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

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Slippery Slope

I'm on a slippery slope.  Here is a photo of my progress thus far with Along for the Ride.

My plan was to stitch all the cross stitches, then the back stitches, & then hunker down for a few days of colonial knot torture. However, I discovered something while stitching the last of my cross stitches ... the plume of smoke coming out of the chimney on the right.  I started stitching the plume from the top down, right there to the side of Dancer's nose (or Piglet's nose ... someone told me when they look at this design they do not see a reindeer, but a pig, & I must admit I see her point).  When I got to what was supposed to be the last 2 stitches, the ones connected to the chimney, they weren't connecting.  I was off by one.  ???  I looked & looked & counted & counted & finally found the problem.  I have an extra stitch right at the beginning of the reindeer, where his tail is.  There should be 1 stitch between the tail & the snowman's back, but I've got 2.  I also noticed that I didn't leave off a stitch on the bottom right of the reindeer's body where the front leg drops down.  As a result of these errors, the right plume of smoke needed to be fudged a bit, & I did that, & it looks okay, but darn it, that extra stitch behind the snowman's back means Dancer is one stitch longer than he should be & it's driving me crazy!!!  What can I tell you ... it's an OCD thing.  I decided I just need to put this project on the back burner (at this point I truly would consider putting it directly on the back burner of a gas stove, if you catch my drift) & ponder it for a while.  I don't normally do this ... not finish stitching something I start before moving on to something else.  In fact, I have never done this unless you count the baby sampler I started stitching for my son 30+ years ago & stopped after 2 lines.  Not lines of letters or words, mind you ... 2 lines of stitches making part of the border across the top.  I may need counseling to work my way through this.

Having found myself projectless, I scurried around last night looking for a replacement project & settled on something from my recently acquired Stacy Nash booklet, A Simply Early Christmas.  I chose to stitch the bell ornament.
Just imagine this in the shape of a bell.  It's pretty cool!  Unfortunately, in my rush to start stitching something, I neglected to read the directions carefully & I stitched it on 32 count linen, over 2, using 2 strands of floss. After finishing it I discovered I should have stitched over 2 using 1 strand of floss.  That's okay though ... it's a little larger than I prefer it to be so I'm going to stitch it again, this time on my beloved osnaburg.  I was astute enough to see a flaw in the chart.  All of the holly berries were left off the chart on the left side.  If I didn't think it was odd that there were berries on the right & not on the left, I never would've noticed this.  I took a look at the model photo & worked the berries from that.

I don't know if I'll start another bell tonight, or maybe stitch the stocking that prompted me to buy the booklet in the first place, or go on to something else.  I'll let you know   : )

Our bird visitors were rather plentiful this morning so I got a couple snaps.  Not real good ones but I'll share them anyway.  The first is a male cardinal who was pecking around the frosty ground to find some seeds. He wasn't disappointed   : )
Up on the feeder, a house finch & a chickadee were sharing a suet cake.
And here are a few photos of hawk taken a couple days ago.  He/she flew low over the back yard & then perched in one of the trees beyond the back fence.  The zoom on my camera allowed me to get a good look at this beautiful, majestic bird.



My surgery site is healing nicely at this stage but now I've got a big yellow lump in my eye ... lol!  I'm going to apply for a spot on that new reality show, How Many Things Can Go Wrong With A Person?  But seriously, the yellow lump is a mystery.  Guess I'll call the eye doctor tomorrow & schedule an appointment.  Maybe I'll get to add it to the other 3 I've got this week.  Tomorrow is a brain MRI, with & without contrast.  Tuesday is a followup with the rheumatologist. Thursday is a meeting with someone to discuss my options regarding the "very, very, very bad thing."  Please do keep me in your prayers regarding that last one.  Medical stuff is one thing ... the "very, very, very bad thing" is a totally different & scarier animal.  

17 comments:

Melody said...

Nice bird photos. I know what you mean about finding mistakes in your stitching. It is very frustrating. Sometimes I can leave it and adjust if its tiny. Other times I ripit!

Good luck on your appointments this week.

Catherine said...

Oh, the joys of stitching! There are times when I can live with or smooth over a mistake...then, there are times when I just can't....hopefully, you'll figure out what will work for you. Continued thoughts and prayers your way!

cucki said...

aww sweet birds photos..i love bird so much..very pretty..
i love your stitching progress so much..very pretty new start..you are in my prayers dear..all the time.. i am going to pray just now..i will pray for you.
love you xxx

Mii Stitch said...

Great new start (this one will be fun & stress free :)) and awesome bird pic!!!

butterfly said...

Poor Shirlee , I hate it when i am a stitch out , it never works out for me so i put it away and start something else and then when i get 5 mins in the day will frog it all out.
Beautiful birds. hugs.

Vickie said...

Oh the frustration of being off a stitch or two. grrr!
Sorry for the lump on your eye. Hot wash cloth?
Did I miss something Shirlee? You need a brain MRI? I am praying for you friend.♥

Chris said...

I hate it when I miss count. You know where the mistake is and it is all that you can see. You are right to put that oiece up for awhile. I love your bell start.
The bird pics are lovely.
I hope the eyething turns out to be nothing to worry about.
Hugs

Mouse said...

well I wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't mentioned it being a stitch to much ... and coo fancy nobody noticing the pattern was wrong on the wee bell ?? which is rather cute btw .... sending (((HUGS)) that all go well this week for you :) love mouse xxxxx

TheCrankyCrow said...

I know I owe you an email or two or three or a dozen....but just had to sneak a little visit in here. Yeah, me too - did I miss something? What's up with this MRI stuff??? Good luck with all the appointments. I've got stuff going "wrong" too, but choose to ignore them until something or someone says otherwise. :o As for the "offness" on the stitching count....I really think that cross-stitching was invented to torture OCD souls like us. Really. :o) Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin (PS - It's snowing a mighty blizzard here....eee gads....)

Anne said...

Your pics are why I really miss having my backyard. Being in an apartment now, there are only neighbourhood birds, like chickadees, wrens, magpies, and the huge geese that stayed for the winter, along with some ducks - mallards. Love your stitching!! :)

Carol said...

Oh, such gorgeous bird photos, Shirlee--what kind of camera do you have? The cardinal is especially stunning...

Not more health problems--oh, I'm so sorry. I hope the eye is nothing serious and I hope you can figure out what to do about your Along For the Ride... I really don't think we would have noticed at all if you hadn't said something. And good for you for spotting the forgotten berries on the little bell ornament!

marly said...

I hear you loud and clear about that back burner flame. Don't know what I would do! Good luck on all the appointments this week.

Dani - tkdchick said...

It is okay to tweak a pattern if you can when you make an error. I'm like you though and I like things just right. So I would probably think about it too.

The bell will be so pretty.

frontporchprims said...

Oh I feel your pain. OCD is torture!!!! If I had done that I would have wanted to burn it too. Just having to look at it after it was all done, day after day, and knowing that it's not perfect would drive me batty. But, no one else knows the otherwise. It's still very nice, and not pigish at all. Ha ha. I just adore Stacy Nash designs. Interesting that the berries were left out. Beautiful bird shots. Glad to hear you are healing. -Steph-

Michelle said...

Oh my friend - hugs for you. I adore your bird photos thanks for sharing them xx

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

Sending out prayers your way....and may the very, very, very, bad thing turn out to be not a bad thing at, if that's possible...sending lots of prayers to you.

I do that with projects all the time...mostly with knitting. Hang in there...get lots of rest and relax...you'll go back to it when you are ready.

Blessings always

Anne said...

Oh dear Shirlee!! I don't see the mistake at all! I just think we are all picky about getting our stitches perfect the first time. I say fudge it!! Love the little bell you chose to do. I really need to get myself some more Stacy Nash charts. I adore her designs. Pretty bird pics too!

I'll be praying for you Shirlee! Hope all is okay with you.

Give Sophie a pet for me k!!