Hi, friends. I apologize for being a flakey stamper/blogger. I have a confession: I have a love-hate relationship with stamping/blogging. There are times when I want to create something and put it "out there" and have friends (known & unknown) check it out. And it's wonderful validation when something I've made or said resonates enough with someone that she takes the time to leave me a comment - I love that. But I rebel against feeling like stamping/blogging is something I have to do. Do you get what I mean?
I finished a great book yesterday -- Rin Tin Tin by Susan Orlean, about the famous German shepherd(s) of movie/TV fame -- and I read something that really captured how I've been feeling about stamping/blogging of late. Orlean is interviewing a local amateur historian who offered to show her around the site north of Hollywood where the Corriganville Movie Ranch had been. This was the venue where the TV series, 'The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin' was shot. After Corriganville shut down in 1966, the land was eventually subdivided into lots for suburban homes and the Ronald Reagan Freeway. Anyway, this local historian shows up for the tour in a calvary costume, as if he were an extra in the Rin Tin Tin series. He had taped and watched every western he could that had been filmed at Corriganville to learn how to recognize the rock formations, and thus identify the location where a given scene had been shot. He would watch and re-watch the films/show with the sound off, so that he could focus on which rocks were which.
As Orlean writes on page 209,
"This seemed like an unusual sort of hobby, but no matter how specialized or particular a hobby might be, it always seems someone has dug into it. Immersing yourself in a single interest so thoroughly sometimes means that the interest stops being something you do; instead you become a servant of that interest." [emphasis added]
I don't know about you, but I feel like I'm required to be a servant in so many areas of my life, that I need to be a servant to my leisure pursuits like I need a hole in my head. And yet, because I tend to be an extremist where hobbies are concerned, I immerse myself in such endeavors to the point where in creeps commitments and obligations that I inevitably chafe against. I can't just be an avid reader; I have to be in book clubs/write a novel/attend the Bread Loaf Writers' Workshop/edit a collection of essays. I can't just enjoy stamping; I have to start a blog about it/be on design teams/serve on the Splitcoast Dirty Dozen. Etc.
Perhaps that's why I'm so enjoying cross-stitching after putting down my needle and floss for so many years. It's a hobby that is contemplative without taxing my wee brain too much, I can do it while watching TV with the family or whiling away time in waiting rooms, and I love that I'm making something that will last for generations. I'm making a conscious effort to NOT become obsessive about it. Wish me luck on that... ;)
Anyway, here are some pictures of a piece that I finished recently (if you click on the photos, you can see the details better):
It's a pattern (appropriately) called 'Autumn' from one of my favorite cross stich designers, Vicki Hastings of The Cricket Collection (Leaflet # 304). I stitched it on 28 count linen with DMC threads. Here are some close-ups...
As you can see from the bottom lefthand corner, I believe in 'signing' my cross-stich as I've often preached about signing my stamped projects. Claim your art!
I've got more finished projects to share, but I'll save those for another day. Thanks for stopping by to see me! :)
PS - I highly recommend Rin Tin Tin - Susan Orlean is a terrific writer (she's a staff writer for the New Yorker, and she's also author of The Orchid Thief, which was made into the movie Adaptation starring Meryl Streep). Of course, as a German shepherd lover, I'm a bit biased, but still. It comes out in paperback on October 9th - FYI!