daidoji_gisei: blooming tree branches against blue sky (Color of Sky)
As I mentioned before I wore my embroidered shirt to work this week, and one of my co-workers took some photos of it for me. Last night I got them posted on my deviantART account, so interested parties can go look at them. They are not the best photos ever, I will warn you, but neither of us knew the first thing about how to photograph embroidery for display and I didn't want to use up any more of her time than I was. They still make me happy, because the close-ups do give an idea of the color scheme and stitches I chose.

I've gone back to some of my crochet projects while I think of what I want to embroider next. Clothing is nice because then I get to see (and show it off) more, but that requires considering which clothes are suitable for embroidery and then finding a good design for it. Switching crafts between projects will give me time to consider such things while still messing with lovely textiles. I should pick up and finish one of the several snoods I have started, but instead I'm racing to finish a capelet/scarf thing that will be nice to throw over my shoulders this spring.

Looking up

Feb. 10th, 2011 11:37 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
Today was delightful.

Yesterday I finally decided that I didn't have to live in pain and made an appointment to see my doctor; and his office was able to get me in this morning. I explained my symptoms and what I had and had not done, and he diagnosed a sinus infection and prescribed a steroid to de-inflame my sinuses and an antibiotic to clear out the infection. He didn't do any lab tests, but maybe when the patient complains of constant crawling pains up and down the sides of her face lab tests become unnecessary. At my request he also wrote down his recommendation of a humidifier or vaporizer, so I can use my flex plan money for it.

While I was there I discussed my health-related (irrational) anxiety with him. He agreed (in a nice, reassuring way) that my paranoid anxiety really was far-fetched and unworthy of worry. His opinion was that it would probably fade on its own, but if it did not then I should talk to someone about it. He also said he could write me a prescription for something to get me 'over the hump' if I needed, and if I do end up seeking therapy I will be sure to discuss this with my therapist. If a medication can get me some breathing space while I develop some healthy coping strategies I'd be a fool not to use it.

I may not need to, however. I took the first steroid at lunch and the first antibiotic at dinner and the change is amazing. I still have little twinges of pain in my face, but they are pale reminders of what I have been living with. And it is amazing how much my outlook on life has improved now that I am not in constant pain. It's magical!

The other thing that made this day good was that I wore the shirt that I had embroidered, and collected a lot of nice comments on it. In the afternoon a co-worker with a cell phone that could take pictures and email them took some photos of it, so I can post them later. This is doubly exciting, as it means I can finally put something up on my deviantArt account; until now I've only used it to keep tabs on a few artists I like.
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Empress (Empress)
This evening I was looking over the stuff at Sublime Stiching, which is possibly the most interesting company that I will ever refuse to do business with. They sell patterns and sundries for needlework, in case you didn't guess from the name.

The reason why I think I will never give them my money is that I find their slogan--"This ain't your gramma's embroidery." so very, very irritating. My grammas were hardworking women who raised large families (Grandma H had only 6; Grandma S had 12) without the benefit of microwave ovens or television AND they knew how to draw and dress a chicken. (Grandma H lived in town and had Grandpa take them out back to chop the heads off first; I can't say for sure but Grandma S had always stuck me as the type who could throttle them single-handedly.) Unless the hip young things at Sublime Stiching think they can beat that they need to dial back the attitude, because they are talking about women who had bigger problems to face than losing their cell phone again.

And another thing. Grandmas embroidered things like geese hanging up laundry to dry because geese (or other varieties of fowl) and drying laundry outside on a line were parts of their lives. Chicken didn't come in a styrofoamed shrink-wrapped tray of boneless, skinless chicken tenders, it came as a bird. Laundry was hung out to dry because there were no alternatives. Offering embroidery transfers of tattoos and robots doesn't make the Sublime Stitching people better than their grandmas, it makes them people of a different era who are putting the icons of a different time on their kitchen towels.

In conclusion, stuff like this pisses me off.
daidoji_gisei: (Milkshake)
So far, I have all but one of the leaves, the tree branch, most of the flower, and the outlining of the body of the bird done. I had originally left the center part of the flower undone because I was dithering over what stitch to use, but now I see this is fortuitous, because if I do it in the pale yellow I can have the flower and the shoulder-patches of the bird (I've decided it is a modified red-winged black bird) be the same colors. This pleases me because then the scene forms a story in my mind: a bird pausing a moment to stare at a flower that looks like a bird.

I think I will do the shoulder-patches in satin stitch. I've been shying off from it because it can be hard to do right, but I have to master it sooner or later and I think the design would benefit from the concentration of color it provides. I haven't figured out what filling stitch I am going to use in the body of the bird, but I think I'll look through the embroidery book I borrowed from the library to see if they have any stitches I want to learn.

Overall I am pleased by how this is turning out, and if I keep working a little each day on it I think I should be able to wear it next week. Yay!
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I did further work on the living room this afternoon, and while it is not fit to be seen in public yet you can see the outlines of what its going to look like when I'm done. One thing I've decided is that I just have to get another lamp; the two I have can somewhat light the area I am trying to use for sewing, reading, etc but if I ever have company they will be sitting in the dim. After work tomorrow I think I'll stop at the local thrift store and see if they have anything I like.

Since I now had a nice place to sit, I did embroidery for a hour or two this afternoon. I need to brush up on my stitches, but rather than do a sampler I picked out a transfer I liked and put it on the back of a white cotton twill shirt, so that I can embroider it. I picked out some thread colors I liked and started in. My reasoning in this is that were I to do a sampler I'd never finish, because what am I going to do with a sampler? But if I do something on a shirt in current rotation I have incentive to finish it quickly, and to do a good job.

So far all I've used is stem stitch, which is easier than I remember it. I am helped along by the fact I have a lot of fine motor skill in my left hand, so I can keep one hand below the hoop and one above and just keep passing the needle between them. I will be interesting to see if I can manage this trick on something more complicated, like say chain stitch.

I worked a little on my shrug, but didn't quite get it fully sewed up. I had to keep stopping and trying it on to see if I had sewed enough, and it got boring after a bit. I should finish tomorrow, though, but it appears to be very warm and cozy.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Has it really been two weeks? How time flies.

I spent most of the last week alternately trying to write and committing random acts of housework. Very stressful! But I am now caught up on all my writing stuff, so this weekend I can just to housework. Well, housework and reading and a few other fun things--I have to relax a little, after all.

Last Saturday I girded up my loins, grabbed a flashlight and went up to the attic in search of my embroidery stuff. I don't know why, except that I had searched everywhere else and it wasn't there. While looking around I found a box of yarn I had forgotten I had (and why was it in the attic anyway? Why not with my other boxes of yarn?) and moved by some dim intuition I burrowed deep into the bottom of the box and there was my embroidery bag. No, I have no idea why I put it there.

Tonight while closing the drapes in the living room I was seized with a strong fancy and rummaged around in a pile of oversized paper back books and found the rest of my embroidery transfer books. This means I now have two copies of the Pennsylvania Dutch book, but looking it over I recalled how much I liked it's strongly stylized designs, so that is ok. There were a few others, as well as the Ancient Egyptian stencil book that Karin and Ami gave me a few years back. While it will take a bit of effort to turn the into embroidery designs, I'm pretty excited by it, because I think that a few of the Egyptian designs would be really nice on some casual summer wear.

In the meantime, going through my yarn boxes has reminded me of all the cool yarns I have saved up. I simply need to learn how to ride a bike and crochet at the same time; otherwise I'll never get all the things I need to get done, done.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Dear Diary,

Yesterday I was a rebel without a pause. First when I got dressed I decided to wear gold and silver jewelry at the same time! Then at church we sang "Amazing Grace" during the offertory and I sang the original lyrics for the first verse even though the missalete had the rewritten version. After church the parish's Vietnamese families hosted a food stand to benefit some church repairs and I had a 4-egg roll lunch. (Home-made egg rolls are love.)

Then I went to my yarn club where I embroidered. Well, I crocheted a little--last month Genevieve had started an experimental project of knitting with embroidery floss, so I had started wondering if you could crochet with it, too. So I got a skein of one of DMC's new colors (Very Dark Cornflower Blue, which really does look like the exact shade of my favorite kind of bachelor buttons) and found a motif that looked like a bachelor button and it came out looking really nice. (If anyone reading this is wondering, I used all six strands together and a B hook.) And then I got out my embroidery and started working on an Asian crane design that I had transeferred to some muslin years ago and never got farther on. If I ever finish it I plan to use it as an applique on something jacketish. And now, since I know I can crochet with the same thread I can do some color-coordinating accents for whatever I choose to embroider.

And then I did laundry. Even rebels need clean clothes.

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