Between writing and the Birthday Bash, I’ve been spending 15 hours a day at my computer in my office and not paying much attention to the family (or the housework). The little trip to Mt. Tremblant helped a bit, and let me pay some attention to Gizmo Guy, but this week I realized how the “business of writing” had taken over my life. And I think it’s stifled my writing too. So I’m stepping back a little bit and forcing myself away from the computer, and out of the office to notice that it’s summer outside and the grass is green. I picked up a sewing project that I put aside years ago.

Ugh, the fabric’s all pulled out of square, but it’ll be straightened when I lace it for framing. The design is by a Canadian designer Lynne Nicoletti. She has a few patterns that have hidden designs in them. The images in this one? Josiah Henson, a slave who escaped to Canada and helped other slaves arriving in Canada from the underground railway–he’s widely thought to be the inspiration for Uncle Tom’s Cabin; the two-metal two dollar coin (twonie); the first bars of Oh Canada; the call sign from one of the original Avro Arrows; the three penny moose stamp; the Union Jack, replaced in 1966 by the now-familiar Maple Leaf; the telephone – Canada is the home of Alexander Graham Bell; a nod to our French heritage – a fleur-de-lis; a mention of Tom Longboat, a native Canadian long-distance runner; the time of the winning goal in the Canada/Russian 1972 hockey game; and an inukshuk (a rock formation used by Inuit people that means in its very basic form “I was here.”

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it when it’s finished. I’ve been thinking of getting it framed and donating it to Curly’s school. (I have SO many designs waiting to be framed that I have no wall space left.)

All that’s left is filling in the white background. So I did a few lines of it then when I get bored I switched to this pattern:

It’ll end up looking like this one. I started this one during that long spell last winter when my father was in hospital and my mother was dithering about putting him into the nursing home. The pattern was given to me by one of my mother’s friends, so I’m stitching it for her. Before getting serious about my writing, this pattern probably wouldn’t have taken me more than a week to stitch, but as I said, I’ve not been doing anything but working on my writing (marketing, publicity and yes, writing) so they’ve been sitting in my sewing box for 18 months now. One little birdie to do. If I put my mind to it, it really wouldn’t take long to finish. (One extra challenge I added in for myself – instead of sewing it on 14 count fabric I’m doing it on 22 count fabric – so it’s that much smaller and a bit harder to see. Which has altered the pattern in a way – the little guy on the right? He’s completely outlined and has all the little jutty-out hairy parts that the pattern calls for, but because it’s so tiny you can’t see them.)

It used to be that when I sat and stitched my fingers would be sewing, but my mind would be mulling over the next scene, working and reworking it until I got it the way I wanted. Yet yesterday? My brain was completely quiet. It was NOT a comfortable feeling. But it also gave me time to watch some TV and get into some conversations with Gizmo Guy and Curly. And listen to one of my favorite songs by Brandi Carlile, a song and singer that author Lisa Pietsch introduced me to a while back.

At first it was the lyrics that drew me in – especially for someone who just turned 50 (All of those lines across my face/Tell you the story of who I am/So many stories of where I’ve been/And how I got to where I am) but the strength of the singer’s voice sucks me in too.

If you watch this version (embedding has been disabled or I’d post it here), I loved the video except for the three guys behind her, especially when they started singing. I kept seeing them as vampires or worse, Lessers from JR Ward’s BDB books. I haven’t a clue why, but they creeped me out.

Tomorrow I’m heading down to my local bookstore to meet Sherrilyn Kenyon who is visiting for a booksigning. I’ll post some pictures on Tuesday of that. And hopefully have an autographed copy of one of Sherrilyn’s books to give away in a future contest.

Kicking Back for once

5 thoughts on “Kicking Back for once

  • August 9, 2009 at 6:56 am

    Love the stitching. I too have some projects that I need to return to, including some scrapbooking.

    Something of a different artistic bent to balance life? I think so!!

  • August 9, 2009 at 7:01 am

    I haven't done a project in so long… glad to see you took the time to do something to calm and recharge you at the same time…. whoot whoot can't wait till tomorrow… I get to connect with Karen again and meet you and Sherrilyn and maybe go to Newmarket in the morning and get a brand new doo…?? See you in about 30 hours give or take…LOL

  • August 9, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I love the birdies! I tried cross stitch once, and decided that it just isn't for me. I just don't have the patience…

    I personally have been craving my sewing machine. Right now, living in a basement, we just don't have the room.

  • August 9, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    I used to do a lot of cross stitch–arthritis sure hampers the creativity.

  • August 10, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Wow, a lot going on in that Canada piece.

    Love the video. I have to learn that song. I locked onto totally different phrases than you, perhaps because I already passed the big one.

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