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Slow Stitching and Learning Curves


I finished it! Hours upon hours of eco printing and then slow stitching the results. Learning the stitches as I went.

I'm in love with this little journal, the way it feels, the promise of making even more magic on its inside pages.

And, I love the eco printed scarves behind it. Pure magic!


I even managed a bit of very basic beading. Very basic was about all I could handle, and just one of the learning curves I mumbled (and yes, swore) my way through. This leaf called for beads, and thanks to Google and a few books, I fumbled my way through it. I pat these beads each time I go by.


It's hard to believe that this gorgeous journal cover began as a wool blanket rescued from a thrift shop. Washed and felted, cut into size, and put into a packet of goodies...bits of silk, watercolor papers, and more, then opened up in class at Lesley Riley's Red Thread Retreat taught by the wonderful Leslie Marsh.  Twenty some women gathering leaves, immersing them in boiling water or steam, and cooking them for hours, all of it done in a very steady rain. We must have been quite the sight.


It's hard to resist unwrapping them right away, and it's like Christmas day, complete with heart felt oohs and aahs. You never really know what you're going to get. Sometimes, not much of anything, which while there's momentary disappointment, you know that you can over dye it and quite possibly get magic. See the blue leaves? They began as tiny red leaves before nature, some rusty bits, and more lent their magic.


There are 8 sets of signatures in this little book. Each signature holds 4 pages, and the whole thing is bound around gathered sticks. True confession: Being tired, but not willing to wait, I cut my first set of sticks way too short. Finding me wandering through our yard and gathering sticks, my youngest son suggested cutting some of the bamboo growing in the back. I cut them down to size, let them harden up for a few days, and stitched away. The first few signatures nearly proved to be my undoing (Talk about awkward...), but I'd come this far, and by God, this book would be coming together. The whole binding bit is a bit funky, and I love it.


The signatures are eco-printed water color pages done using the immersion method. We layered 4 sets of pages with all sorts of gathered leaves, rolled them around copper pipes, making sure to get good contact, and then wrapped them with string or rubber bands. I'll be adding precious bits here and there - leaves encased in mica, bits of poetry and more. Each page, in time, will let me know what it wants.


I've always loved seeing these fabrics and books, and in a few short weeks, I hope to be doing more. Leaves, I've got. Our heavily treed yard will supply me with more than I could ever use. I need to order more scarves (Christmas presents) and will be on the hunt for old wool blankets to use. I've got a stash of silk and linen bits to play with. I've gathered up old pots to use. Now, as soon as the budget permits, I'll be ordering my camp stove to cook on, and a few other miscellaneous goodies. In the meantime, I'll learn as much as I can about the process, and I'll be dreaming of cooking leaves.


The Gang of Three

SoccerandChincoteague 143 copy

Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with soccer!. I just happen to like the photo, and it does have 3 kiddos in it!

Three ring circus.

Three blind mice.

Three French hens.

Three dog night.

Three little pigs.

Three ring circus.

And then...well, then, there's the "Gang of Three," which nearly drove me to be "three sheets to the wind."

First up: "Dyson," who happens to generally be a trustworthy soul. Not so much the other day. Dyson seemed to be in a royal snit.

We started out okay, although in retrospect, he didn't seem to be quite himself. I needed to get the darn house vacuumed though, and as I'm not likely to want to do it another day, I persisted.

One room down. The second down. And on to the middle floor we went, which is where Dyson just lost it. I'd tell you he blew his top, but truthfully, it was a front piece.

Back and forth, back and fourth, and then, "Bam!" With a great show of force, Shark hurled his front rib cage cover across my dining room floor.

I paused, turned him off, put his cover back on him, thinking that maybe I had caught it on the edge of a door frame or something.

Nope. Within 10 seconds, off his cover flew again. Repeat several times just to be "sure."  Well, crap, Dyson meant business.

I pushed Dyson into a corner, then headed to the lowest level and grabbed Shark. Shark and I had not spent any quality time together lately, so I felt about leery, but darn it, I needed to get the house swept.

So, off we went. Shark seemed amiable enough at first, and we managed to do the dining room, when he just up and quit.

Oh, yeah. Now, I remembered. Shark never did like the long term haul. Short and sweet, maybe one room. He felt absolutely no need to exert himself. None. He simply turned himself off when he'd had enough.

Off into the corner he went to trade stories with Dyson.

Back downstairs I faced Dirt Devil. Dirt Devil had all his parts, and he ran like a champ during the long haul.


Well, Dirt Devil's problem was that he sucked because he didn't suck. He glided over the floor, failing to pick up anything. He simply could not be bothered.

At this point, a slew of words flew across the room, words not to be shared aloud since this happens to be a family friendly blog.

I emailed the love of my life, stating firmly that having three vacuum cleaners, none of which worked did not equal a good time no matter how you looked at it.

I reminded him that he had numerous reminders to take apart Dyson, clean him up, and get him ready to roll.

I reminded him that Shark frequently shut down, but I'd been assured that he (the love of my life) had also promised to investigate.

I reminded him why Dirt Devil sucked...or didn't.

I firmly stated that he (the love of my life) had better not tell me that he "forgot" since he remembered the dates and time of every hockey game played by Pittsburgh. Yep, I was at my finest.

I left the gang of three front and center so that they'd be the first thing he saw when he opened the door.

The love of my life....without a word being said...took Dyson apart to clean him. I think Dyson still might be apart, and that needs to be fixed.

He coaxed Shark into submission long enough to finish vacuuming the house at 11 P.M. that night.

He performed surgery on Dirt Devil, locating a ball point pen in his innards, removing it, and pronouncing him "good to go." I haven't investigated that either.

I plan to vacuum tomorrow. If you hear not so nice words coming out of Northern Virginia, you can safely assume I'm battling the "Gang of Three" yet once again.

And, I just might be working on becoming "three sheets to the wind!"