treading water, not literally

We got very lucky in the recent flooding; or maybe “lucky” is not the right word: the first house my parents bought when they moved back to south Louisiana was twice destroyed in hurricanes. They had to strip it down to studs and rebuild it after Rita, and when the exact same thing happened in Ike, my mother went “eff this” and they moved. They looked at elevation very carefully when they looked for that 2nd house.

There was flooding all around us, including in town (we live outside the city limits of Abbeville) and we were kind of stuck in our immediate neighborhood during the weekend, and I couldn’t get to work on Monday or Tuesday because the bridges over the Vermilion were closed and LA-14 was under water. But we were fine, I’ve seen more water in the ditches and on the lawns during the average summer thunderstorm. The worst thing we had to deal with was a dog that hates to poop in the rain.

I spent most of the time watching movies on the MST3K YouTube channel and doing cross stitch, finishing two projects:

mori

(The text is my own addition, I found the alphabet by Googling “backstitch alphabet”, here’s a link if you’re interested.)

muffuletta

And I got started on a big project, a copy of the original 1723 map of New Orleans, the pattern is by the same woman who did the hurricane tracking map of the Gulf of Mexico that I did for Mom a few years ago. I’m doing it on 18-count as opposed to over 2 squares of 28 count (so 14, essentially), so the finished project won’t be as large, but the pattern is just as big, so I expect that will occupy me for at least the rest of the year.

Other than that, I’m just waiting for summer to end. I have my October vacation all planned, I’m spending a week in Galveston and renting a studio apartment (via Airbnb) that’s a block from the beach. To say I’m looking forward to it is a massive understatement.

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My Neighbor Totoro cross stitch #1

Totoro in hydrangeas cross stitch (with flash)

This is the first cross stitch I’ve completed in a while. I got bogged down with those Celtic crosses; I wanted to do the entire book of designs (I think there were 8 in all), but as I was about to finish the 2nd to last one I got a serious case of the eff thises and didn’t want to pick up any needlecrafts for the next several months. Which is my normal routine, I go in spurts where I’m obsessed with it and do it every waking minute, then I can’t stand the sight of an embroidery hoop for the rest of the year.

This is a small design, actually one of 2 My Neighbor Totoro designs that I bought as a digital file from an Etsy seller for a few dollars, back when I was still working on the crosses. I usually like to ease back into things with a small project. I was just going to hoop it, but it’s small enough that maybe I can use it for a clothing or a tote bag patch or something.

Celtic cross stitch: MacRegol Medallion

This was definitely the most complex of this series of designs, and may be one of the most complex designs I’ve ever done. That backstitching was murder.

With flash:
macregol medallion flash

Without flash:
macregol medallion no flash

Close-up:
macregol medallion close up

Macro!:
macregol medallion macro

5th Celtic cross stitch: mini cross

mini celtic cross

This is a small design, about 3×4 inches. I’m thinking this will make a good crest, if I can find a blazer. Like a private school jacket.

4th Celtic cross stitch: Iona cross

iona cross flash

Without the flash:

iona cross wo flash

I forgot to make the French knots in the arms until after I’d washed it, so there are some marks from the hoop still in it, but those will easily press out with a warm iron.

3rd in the cross stitch Celtic cross series: knots cross

knots cross flash

This one took a while because I went through a period of a couple of months where I didn’t want to work on it. I got kind of bogged down in the center, it was all shades of the same color and the backstitching was really confusing–it makes sense when you pull back and look at the whole design, but when you’re working on one tiny fraction of it inches from your nose, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. So I really needed to take a break from it for a while. Once I was done with that part, the rest was relatively easy.

knots cross no flash

This is a photo I took without the flash, so it’s blurry but the colors are truer to reality. I really like the alternating color scheme in this design.

The next cross is the Iona Cross, which has some fussy elements–French knots, single stitches that need to be individually backstitched, some blackwork design–but doesn’t look difficult.

Celtic cross stitch #2: Tara Cross


PICT0521, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

PICT0524, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

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