Thursday, June 2, 2016

When stitching dreams are just that

In April I dreamed up several ideas for small projects that I could work on when I returned to Denver. I was excited about them, especially the stump work project I wanted to start. I knew May would be busy, but I pictured my future self working diligently on projects, calmly and purposefully a little each day, and likely finishing at least one. But the reality of May came crashing down on me almost from the time I stepped off the plane.

I haven't had such a stressful month in a long time. Not all of it was bad stress. For example, I spent a long Mother's Day weekend with my parent's in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I drove down on a Friday and left on Monday. It is only 5.5 hours each way and I hadn't seen my parents in a year and a half, so it was worth the time off to see them. We visited galleries, ate good southwestern food, and enjoyed tracking down the sights from a book about old Santa Fe that my mother and I had recently read. I even took my parents for cocktails at a "haunted" bar. Fun

But the next week wasn't fun at all. I spent long hours at work and evenings sorting and packing because I had to move. I am trying to make myself more mobile and when a co-worker suggested that I move into their spare room and drop my lease, I jumped at the offer. So, each day I carted a new car load of things I wouldn't need in the new place to the ARC donation center next to work and packed up what I knew I couldn't part with.

Because I was going to be away the19th through the 22nd, I hired movers for the second weekend of May. They moved my furniture and most of my things in less than 2 hours and I was relieved not to have to try to get a truck and movers over the Memorial Day weekend. But, that meant that I slept on the floor for several days while I continued sorting and packing household goods to be picked up by a refugee organization later in the month and carted even more nicknacks to ARC

It is somewhat freeing to give away almost all of your things--furniture, dishes, etc.--but it meant that I was left living in a half empty apartment. But that was ok. I didn't have time to start a new project since I traveled to Detroit the third weekend of the month for a memorial service. It was nice to see family again and wonderful to see my husband in the middle of an off month, but two more days off of work was a bit deadly. When I got home I started going to work earlier and earlier--even as early as 4 am--to try to get things done, but still have afternoons to pack and clean. This was stress! But one good thing came of it. A pillow top that I had embroidered and cut out ready to assemble two years ago, but which had subsequently vanished, showed up during the move. Now I have a birthday present for my brother-in-law ready made!

The following week, cleaned everything I could, And finally moved into my new place on the 25th. My friends were going of town, so I cat sat for them. It was a great arrangement. I was able to organize everything while they were gone without inconveniencing them a bit. I took off some of Friday afternoon to work on it all, and I am glad I did, even though that meant I had to work on the Monday holiday to make up my time. I gained two full relaxing, stress-free days for myself. I spent the time watching Midsomer Mystery videos, and petting cats. I almost didn't know what to do with myself, so I began FINALLY, to think about my project ideas.

Saturday afternoon I found the fabric and threads for the stump work project, but I could n't begin. I had no hoop. And then, no needles. I just couldn't find them. Maybe they were in one of the three suitcases I had packed with craft supplied to bring back east, but those were packed so tightly, I didn't dare open them. After two trips to the fabric store I was ready to start, but too drained.

Not until the next morning did I start setting up my new project. As you can see, I didn't get too far! I am finding the wool tricky to work with. It stretches much more than I expected, so I will need to cut shorter lengths. Also, the curve in the leaf is making my long and short stitch a bit random. Once the veins are embroidered in, however, I think it will look good. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a first attempt at a new technique and not get ahead of myself, but I've already envisioned several much more elaborate projects when this one is finished.


That is what happens when I have time to daydream. But I need to remember the lessons I learned in May and stick with the little projects that I can pick up and set back down at will. Clearly, my contemplative future isn't right around the corner and I am going to have to snatch stitching time from the here and now when I can. At least when I return to Denver in July I will have a project waiting for me, and that is half the battle.