February 22, 2009

Shallots and Lemons

I couldn't seem to settle on any particular project this week. I haven't stitched on this one for a while. It's Charlotte Clayton. I can see how it's spelled, but having grown up in Massachusetts, my mind still pronounces that first name as "Shallot." When I was a kid, we had a neighbor who'd call her kids in to dinner by screeching out the back door: "Shallot! Shallot! Maa-gret! Theres-er!" (Charlotte, Margaret and Theresa.) I love the fabric and the fiber (my favorite combination: Lakeside Linen and AVAS) but I don't love-love the design. Or stitching without aid of the photo of the sampler as charted. The cover photo is of the antique sampler. I'd like to see a photo of the contemporary adaptation! That said, I think it will be quite arresting when fully stitched up.
Siobhan, look--yet another Adam and Eve!

I've been eyeing this book for a while at Borders. It has some really nice projects in it for needlepoint, easily adaptable to counted cross stitch. I got one of those Borders coupons via email the other day for 40% off any one book, so I hightailed it to the DC Borders store. Using these coupons (which range from 20-40% off and are coming at the rate of about one a week) as I get them is resulting in a nice build-up of my cookbook/craft library. We can thank the poor economy and slow sales for my enlarged library, which is a bit of lemonade from lemons, isn't it? Rabbits' Guy has proposed a lemonade party; that's a small glass--larger glass coming later in this post.

Here's the first project I want to do from this book: a line of houses. I'm choosing it because of the nice graphics and because at the size it will be, it's perfect for a particular long blank narrow area of wall. In the book it's a needlepoint draft dodger. Eeek--like I'd put my needlework on the floor! Kind of a small photo--the stitching chart is good though. I've shown the project with the gorgeous cut of Picture This Plus linen (32 count in Icon). I love this fabric and bought a half-yard because I know I will want it for other projects. Since the project is charted for Paternayan yarns, I'm substituting fibers from my stash--mostly GAST and Crescent Colors. The finished design on 32 count will be a yard long--36 inches by 9!

Well, you know I had to start it! I'm sticking close to the project's folk-y colors (they stitched the background in blue, but who has that kind of time?), but I'm thinking it'd be fun to do it in contemporary colors as a second project displayed in the same room, and with lots of sparkly touches.

So I'm sitting at my desk on Friday afternoon, preparing to go home, when Hoffman Enablement and Distributing sends the regular Friday afternoon email. I scroll through it, ho-humming: "Ho-hum, same old. Not that one--too weird. What was that designer thinking?" Next. Next, next, next. Then--"WHOA!" When I spotted the two new designs from Prairie Schooler, I placed a phonecall to Everything Cross Stitch, and sure enough, they had them. Brand new monthlies! I understand they'll be released every so often. I got this one because of a certain white bunny:

And started it. Disregard the fuzzy at the upper left. Fabric 32 ct antique white cashel from my stash and the called-for DMC threads--2 over 2. It's called, not surprisingly, "April."

Here's July. I like it even better. Can't wait to see the other 10 months as they come out. Celeste does her PS designs over one on 28 ct. I tried it because they look so crisp and clear, but while I prefer the finished look, my eyes don't appreciate it, and I don't like the way the single thread slides under the linen thread and looks crooked. Anyway, here's "July." Please tell me though that not all the months are going to have verses that rhyme with "eet." What we need here is proper poetry or bible verses (why so many of us like the antique samplers) [Edited to add after Tammy's comment, I don't mean to say that I don't appreciate the whimsical or the quick (I stitch a lot of those), just that I'm disappointed by some of the dull verses that accompany them.]

In the same color family as "July," I've started "Popcorn," which is larger than I expected. Remind me to get some tacky bob; I've got little seed beeds all in the bed from dropping them when I was beeding the other night. They're tiny suckers!

Okay, RG, here's my lemons-to-lemonade developing story: in a nutshell, the legal biz is imploding. Even in "recession-proof" DC, in this terrible downturn, law firms are laying off in droves. So much so, that there's a blog devoted to tracking the many layoffs in our industry called abovethelaw.com. IMHO, some of it is probably overdue cost-cutting; the last few hysterical years of growth and institutional piggishness inflated everything. It's fairly well-known that in Biglaw, 1st-yr. associates are wooed with starting salaries straight out of school of $160K; equity partner salaries range in the multi-millions. The rest of us get the crumbs of course, but we're the first to go even though the savings isn't all that great. I haven't been laid off--yet. But my firm is remaining silent on our prospects and is conducting stealth layoffs, and I've seen the work fall off. And off. The Lemonade here? Even with three classes, I have time to do my homework AND stitch at lunch. Even better lemonade potentially: There's an ongoing shortage of accountants in this area, particularly forensic accountants, and there's beginning to be quite a call for forensic accountants what with all that money having gone poof. So I've got my fingers crossed that I'm going from the buggy whip factory to something more robust and that my timing for a change is good. There will always be law firms, but they will be considerably slimmed down, I'll bet. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't apprehensive about now--I'd compare my leap from one field to the other to the cartoon character running across the suspension bridge as the boards fall out behind him and having to make a last desperate leap to the other side just as the last board falls out. If I lose my job soon enough, I'll plan on finishing the degree this year instead of next year, by taking 6 classes or so a semester--there's some lemonade as well. (My theory also being that if it benefits me to be laid off, or if I'm perhaps cautiously pleased by the prospect of being laid off, it will certainly not happen. Some of the kinder firms in our area have offered buyouts to their staffs; count me in for that. I wouldn't even need to think about that one overnight!)
All we can really do though, considering that most stuff is out of our hands, is to keep on stitching. And make more friends!

22 comments:

Tammy said...

Good luck with your accounting efforts--keep us posted. Love the new PS stash. I think they are really cute, but then again, I'm not a proper sampler lady, lol! I tend towards the whimsical and that bunny is FABU!

Siobhan said...

I LOVE Charlotte Clayton!!! I can't believe you're working on it already. It looks great. I am promising myself that I can get it if I get a few of my bigger charts finished. Love the PS, too. I agree with you on the verses. Some are good but some are just awful, in my very humble opinion. I say that while freely admitting that I couldn't write poetry or verse if somebody paid me. The popcorn design is cute, too!

Good luck with the job stuff. I get so scared listening to the radio shows & watching the news. It's bad all over--you just have to hang on & pray, I guess.

Theresa said...

Love your new starts!!!! My eyes went wide when I saw the new PS designs as well!! The bunny is really cute~

mainely stitching said...

Jobs. Sigh. Our company's announced a wage freeze for 2009 but so far, no layoffs. Fingers crossed.

Great stitchy stuff!

Kellie said...

Love Charlotte Clayton! The colors are great! Good luck with the job situation. I hope that whatever the outcome, it is to your benefit.

MyLifesAStitch said...

Oooh... that book looks awesome! I'll have to look for that one! And I love the progress pics... I bet the biggun will be awesome when you're done! Good luck with the job... I like your "lemonade" with regards to that... not to be trite, but... doors close, windows open and all that.

quiltcat said...

I love the big cats and the bunny in the Charlotte Clayton sampler! It's nice to see that Prairie Schooler is still in business and still coming out with cute designs...i stopped cross-stitching in 1989 when i got bitten by the quilting bug but i still have lots of patterns, fabric, threads, and works in progress...lots of Praire Schooler patterns!

I like your lemonade ideas. Forensic accounting will be an area of high demand, i expect.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Good looking stuff ...

That's some pretty creative thinking and fancy dancing to deal with impending layoff.

I guess I better strt a list of whose Lemonade Stories are where ..

I suspect we might outa not pick a winner until later if the BunnyGirl is having the Bunny Benefit in March. I asked her when .. let's wait and see. Otherwise I'm ready and will announce it once we nail down a date!

Brigitte said...

Charlotte Clayton looks great, such vibrant colours. The line of houses looks very interesting but to use it as a draft dodger on the floor, no. The fabric you stitch it on is perfect for it.
And oh, I love the new PS design, no matter what the verse is like, lol. I'm just a PS addict and collect their charts.

staci said...

I've been eyeing that very book at my Borders, LOL! You've picked a wonderful project from it :)

Garden Girl said...

The "Shallot" Clayton is really something. I do love that chart ~it's in my stash ~ but that's all I've done with it. And I'm definitely going to look for that book at Borders when I meet my stitchy friends there for our weekly coffee klatch.
I think you are very wise to do this accounting degree. Keep making that lemonade!

d. moll, l.ac. said...

I see a spotted bun on one of those samplers. That white rabbit is, of course, not to be resisted. I think you'll make your career change in grand, style, I love term forensic accounting, can you put that on your business card? I'm waiting to see if I have my teaching job next year. According to my spy on the board I will either not have any job or be the only art teacher.....hmmmmmm. Did Peaches make a friend?

Theresa said...

Hello,
Just want to let you know I think your blog is fabulous and you just got an award from me~

Theresa

The Scarlett House said...

Hi Glenna, boy...this post is just full of interesting stuff. I like Charlotte, but I will say that the giant cats kind of freak me out! The colors are great. On to PS, I love everything from them. I have many,many of their charts, but I never stitch them. Isn't that weird? I guess I just like collecting them.
As for your job situation, these are scary times indeedy. Being prepared, "just in case", is smart.
I'm so glad to hear that you liked your set. Thanks, again.

Fez and the Gang said...

We love the one with the white bunny! Especially Norbert.

Did you know that we are neighbours now??? We live in Northern VA too!

Fez and the Gang said...

We are up in Arlington. You have quite a commute! I'm working in Crystal City. We like it here so far, a bit different from Ontario. But people are friendly and it's a few degrees warmer so we are adjusting!
If you want you can email me privately, it's amy@rabbitrescue.ca

Anonymous said...

Hi Glenna
I have been reading your blog for awhile now. I love the garden grew one who is the designer? Your bunnies are so cute. We only have one a dutch bunny. He is so lovable. Pat
my email is matejcekpat@yahoo.com

YowlYY said...

Our vote goes to the white bunny - although the spotted one is cute too, but you see, Hugo is calling...
You are a creative person, and so you show it also in the way to deal with the career change - it is surely going to go well :) When I think of the word "forensic" I often forget that it means " used in a court of law" and tend to associate images of too many TV shows with authopsies with it. Must read less thrillers, I guess...

Kit said...

That looks like a great book, I can't wait to see your finishes! Good luck with your work.

mrbarrington said...

Cat + bunny = heaven?

Margaret said...

Glenna, thanks for posting a comment at my new blog! I don't know if you noticed my sampler behind my title, but I've stitched up Charlotte Clayton. If you need a picture of the piece in modern day materials (I used NPI) just look in my photobucket album! I hope that helps!

stephaniesblog said...

I love the row of houses...Have you worked on it lately. I would someday love to get the pattern.