God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The 9 Levels of Hell & How They Relate to Cross Stitching

Actual levels in heaven & hell are not addressed in the Bible.  For example, if you one day find yourself within the gates of hell, you will not step into an elevator & hear something like "4th Floor, Murderers & Adulterers."  The level reference can be traced back to the imagination of Dante Alighieri in his famous poem Divine Comedy, the first part of that poem being Inferno.  To oversimplify, Dante describes 9 levels of hell as being concentric circles, each level or circle increasing in, well, hellishness until you find satan in Level 9.

If this were true, I know without a doubt that living in central Kentucky would be Level 8, but what about the other 7 levels?  I can't help but think the next 2 levels would be as follows:

Level 7 - Here the demons will howl with maniacal laughter as they bring you floss, needles, fabric, & charts which require you to stitch more french knots than there are stars in the heavens.  No cross stitches, mind you.  No half crosses or back stitches.  Just french knots.

Level 6 - Here you would have satan's minions constantly bringing you cross stitched items to finish into ornaments, pinkeeps, cupboard tucks, etc.

Levels 6 & 7 are probably interchangeable. At this moment the remaining 5 levels are up for grabs.

Can you guess that I started work on some finishing today?  A week or two ago I estimated that I must have about 2 dozen stitched items to finish into ornaments or pinkeeps or whatever else you can think of. A few days ago, after a week of prolific stitching, I upped that estimate to 3 dozen. Well, I went upstairs this morning filled with good intentions.  I uncovered my stitched projects awaiting finishing & began to press them.  I counted as I pressed.  My heart grew heavier & heavier as the number climbed.  I finished counting at 42.  42!!! Did those little elves or fairies I've mentioned in the past decide to stop by & stitch up a storm just to see me run for the Xanax bottle?  Well, hold on to your hats because I then noticed something odd sitting on a box where nothing should've been sitting.  I went over to investigate.  It was 9 more stitched items ready to be finished!  That's 51!!!

How in the world am I going to finish 51 stitched items (52 if you count the one in progress in my Q-Snap right now) when I detest finishing?!?!?

I turned off the iron, headed downstairs & baked a batch of sugar cookies & then whipped up a batch of brownies.  The sugar cookies got burned & they taste like feet. The verdict isn't in regarding the brownies.  They are still cooling in the pan.  

I wonder if 51 of my dearest friends & most beloved family members would like a "Finish It Yourself Cross Stitch Kit" for Christmas?  I could fill some sort of decorative bag or box with FIYCSK supplies which would include a completed stitched item, a backing fabric, a little baggie full of batting or sawdust, & a sheet of directions!  Who wouldn't love to find something like this under their tree?!?!? Okay, nobody would.  I don't have 51 dear friends or beloved family members anyway. Damn!

I don't think I can accomplish anything else today.  I think I'm in shock.  I need to be kept calm.  Perhaps I'll try to ignore the horrific reality of this morning & instead do something to relax.  Perhaps read a book while I munch on what will hopefully be yummy brownies.  I have 2 Miss Read books that I got for Christmas last year.  Miss Read is my favorite author.  I've never read these 2 particular books.  They are both Christmas books & I decided last year that I wanted to wait to read them until this next Christmas season.  In retrospect that was probably a dumb thing for me to decide to do because I may have died already this year & then I would have gone to my grave without having enjoyed them!  Anyway, Miss Read's characters don't do cross stitching. They have no worries about finishing or french knots.  Lucky fictional folk!


Kay said...

At least YOU had the nerve to count your finishes that need finishing! I always have such good intentions, but the sewing machine is not my friend and everything turns out looking like a child did it! I just tell my fam it's the "primitive" look, lol.

cucki said...

lol..i am agree with kay..mine sewing is also like child look at the end..and i said to my heart..dont worry it is a "prim look"
i love you kay..you made my day..
love and hugs xx

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

I saw this and thought of you:


with love Azkiel the Demon mwah-hahaha

geeky Heather said...

LOL!!! NEVER count them!!

I think level 9 is where you have all the fabric, floss, etc., but...NO NEEDLES!!!!

Elaine said...

Oh I'm sorry Shirlee I know I shouldn;t but I;m laughing so hard hubby wants to know why.You sound just like me I hate finishing!!! I couldn;t put in print how I feel about french knots. I wouldn't dare count how many I have in my unfinished box. I feel for you my friend, good luck!

stitchinrose said...

I am so glad I was not drinking when I read this post, my poor monitor would not have been the same; as it was I nearly choked on my lunch. I can't sew. Don't have a machine, so ... I usually do things that can be frames.

Vickie said...

Deep breaths Shirlee!! You can do it! Bit by bit, that's all. Have you ever seen the movie What About Bob? With Bill Murray? Baby steps. That's what you need. ♥

dixiesamplar said...

Dear Lord, Shirlee; if I continue reading your posts, I am gonna need a Depends, LMBO!!!!!!!!!!!

Rhona said...

Oh dear! I shouldn't laugh but that was so funny! Deep breaths, you can do it...even if it takes forever!

Nicola said...

Brilliant post. I love Miss Reid.

Peggy Lee said...

I agree with a previous comment....you should never count the stitched items that need finishing! That one is in the same category of another important rule to remember: NEVER bend over to look at your face in a mirror!

I do hope the brownies turned out better than the cookies.

marly said...

Fifty-one? Well, I would keep my favorites and finish them into something I like. If the others don't burn in the flames from hell, I'd have a DIY giveaway.

Judy said...

Wow, that is alot of finishing! I think I would have done the same thing. I would be easily distracted by the pan of brownies! Great idea of a finishing kit for a gift.

Judy heartland stitcher

Chris said...

I hope that the shock has worn off and you can approach the stack of finishing again. I hate finishing and I don't sew, so you know that I have a pile too. For a couple of years I just spent November focused on finishing. It did help.
Maybe if you spent 1 day a week finishing the pile would go down..
Good luck! How were the brownies?

Shebafudge said...

I had to laugh Shirlee, the way you write is so funny.

Send me a few with some instructions of how you would like them finished and I will do some for you. (NOT 51!!!) If you like them when I send them back then you can send me some more. How's that for a deal?

I still owe you an email and will get to it. I haven't forgotten you!

Sally said...

Oh wow I thought I had a huge finishing pile but mine is teeny compared to yours. I got worked up over mine so I can understand how you feel about yours!

You made me giggle with your Levels of Hell and How They Relate to Cross Stitch!

Samplers, Silks and Linens said...

i would send them off to be finished - when you get them back it will be like christmas -

butterfly said...

Shirlee you always make me laugh you should be on stage now . You are so funny. You make every day a ray of sunshine.
I would like to know what your DH thinks.
You must sit down and make a do it list, and work to it each day. Ok now thinking about it send them out like they are , I am sure your friends will love them and it will give them something to do for Christmas, ha. hugs.

Janet P said...

The secret is NEVER count your unfinished items!!! I hope you will enjoy reading Miss Read as much as I did.

Joysze said...

LOL!!! I say you gift those finishes with a pieces of fabbie and some glue and lace and tell your giftees to have fun. ;)

Maureen said...

Neat to know there are other Miss Read fans out there! I adore those books :)

Kaisievic said...

Shirlee, why don't you hold a competition and ask all of us bloggers to finish them for you? I would be happy to do one or two for you but not maybe by this Christmas! lol!

Love your post!

bettyj said...

Bless you! Hope you had a good day reading and eating brownies.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Wow 28 comments, that's 2 projects each and 56 finished items! Problem solved LOL.

I scrapbook alot of my smalls so the only "finishing" required is choosing a complementary paper, trimming to size then sticking down with double sided tape, a few embellishments and voila!

cucki said...

oh deary..i am still giggling..
what a true story of a stitcher..he he he
i love miss read too..
more hugs xxx

Shelly said...

Yes, french knots are hellish! I might put it up there at 2 though. I just improvise and hope no one looks closely! And those minions of satans? I'll be visiting them on Monday to send off an exchange package! Thankfully, I have just 4 items to be finished:))!

TheCrankyCrow said...

Only you, my dear Shirlee, would come up with comparing Dante to cross stitch (and make me choke on my coffee).... ;o) LOVE it! Alas, I subscribe to the "personal hell" philosophy - where true hell is crafted out of your own fears and anxieties - multiplied minion-fold....So, for me, having 51 unfinished projects would not be hellish, you see - I would bask in the happiness of knowing I had completed stitching 51 things!!! Perhaps that is why I am so non-proflific....?? Anywho - my offer still stands - send me a few and I'll (eventually) finish them and send (most) of them back. ;o) Smiles & Devilish Hugs ~ Robin