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!