inspiration

congruent
Congruency: Variations on the Utility Graph.

This piece started out slightly different (as seen here) back when I gave a tiny peek into what I had cooking in my brain. I was just playing around with different configurations of my favorite and old friend, K 3,3. I realized though that I would be happier if the graphs were exactly equal — that is if there were four graphs on each page. And so, I kept the two pieces on the right and modified the ones on the left. Further, I used the opening page of the Answers section for the upper left-hand piece (and the last page was used on the bottom right-hand one). But the thing that made me the most happy was the rotation I added to the bottom left-hand graph. I wanted the almost-triangles to look more different from the triangles above them.

To me, this piece is about things that appear to be quite different, but are fundamentally the same — the same number of points, the same number of lines, simply arranged in another configuration. Is this idea the answer to everything? No. But for a lot of things, this idea of being congruent can be key.

(And yes, I sort of made up the word “congruency” but I liked it better so there.)

 

I’m feeling pretty awesome about things these last few days.

On Friday, I did some work to finish up this piece

I’m pretty in love with it. It really deserves it’s own post later on this week.

Then, one of my best friends came down and she and her daughter hung out with me and the kids while our husbands went camping and to a Brew Fest in the area. One of the best things we did was hit up the local Friends of the Library book sale. We first went on Saturday morning, and the kids found some cool stuff, and I found a crate full of cross stitch patterns. Now, I’m dabbling a little in cross stitch these days, and would love to attempt something larger. Most of the pamphlets were way too country for my tastes, but I did find a few things (like alphabets) and then I saw these which made me a bit giddy:

The patterns inside (especially the Rainbow Brite ones) are quite detailed and intricate. I am really going to have to commit myself if I am ever going to try one. I was happy with what I had. (These were only 10 cents apiece)

But then we went back at noon today. The boys were back from the campground and so we were able to go without the kids. Today was fill up a paper grocery bag for $3.00! Here’s just a taste of what I got (novels not pictured)

Some highlights include Quilt Place Mat Sets; it has place mat, napkin ring and coaster patterns in Double Wedding ring, Lonestar and other patterns that are done on plastic canvas. They remind me of my grandmother’s house and should be fun to do (maybe I can get my daughter to help). I also picked up some sweet Beatrix Potter patterns that will be adorable to put together for a kid of two at some point.

There were two milk crates to go through, and clearly it was an 80s-90s collection and someone just unloaded everything. The thing that’s crying out for something a little twisted is a pamphlet called Sassy Sweats for Cross Stitchers. It’s from 1987. Not only is the styling pure 80s gold, the sentiments are well, shall we say, sexist.

I don’t even know what to say.

But it looks like I’m going to be busy these next few months.

 

our little camping cabin

This weekend our family took a little trip up north to the mountains. We met up with my husband’s brother’s family and had a nice time hanging out around the campfire. Thank goodness that the rain that came through on Saturday morning lifted just after lunch and the kids all went down for a rest.

The leaves in our part of Virginia haven’t started to turn yet, so I will have more of this sort of thing to look forward to in the near future. Fall has to be my favorite season.

stitching on the screened in porch

While the kids were napping, I took the opportunity to try to get some cross stitch practice in.

Not sure if you can see them well, but the tree on the right has little groupings of French knots.

I have no idea what the size of this even-weave is — it’s just a remnant that I had laying around. It’s pretty small though. I’m working just with one strand of floss. The tree on the right I started from scratch, and it’s only about halfway done. My shoulder held up for about an hour or so before it just got too sore. I am sure stitching in 50 degree weather wasn’t doing me any favors.

Still, I’m working my way through a few things and hopefully will be making some progress on working up a pattern of my own sometime in the near future.

I have done just a tiny tiny bit of embroidery on an old scrap piece of paper inside a Calculus book. My arm has been feeling better and I am no longer required to keep it tucked away in a sling. Still, it gets tired easily and repetitive motions (especially up and down) are a bit scary. It will take a while before I am completely comfortable stitching again.

I have though been making it a point to read on my commute — most recently finishing The Art of Hearing Heartbeats and One Thousand White Women. I have turned back now to an old favorite: An American Childhood by Annie Dillard. I think I could read it (and Pilgrim at Tinker Creek) a million times and still find something special within it.

An infant watches her hands and feels them move. Gradually she fixes her own boundaries at the complex incurved rim of her skin. Later she touches one palm to another and tries for a game to distinguish each hand’s sensation of feeling and being felt. What is a house but a bigger skin, and a neighborhood map but the world’s skin ever expanding?”

I can only dream of writing sentences like that.

baltimore beehive

As soon as I saw this new pattern from Jenny Hart @ Sublime Stitching, I knew I had to have it. My mind immediately went to Hampden and Highlandtown and “Hons“*.

I’ve mentioned before that I grew up near Baltimore, and there are things that I really miss (and things that are unique to Baltimore that I don’t necessarily miss but associate with the city).

First of all, “hon” is a ubiquitous term – as in “Hi hon!” or “Welcome to Bawlmer hon!” And it’s pronounced more like there’s a “w” in there next to the “o”. Baltimoreans have a special way of saying the letter “O” (and also “L”). The accent is one thing I don’t necessarily miss, but I can hear it a mile away. I myself don’t have it much anymore (though occasionally I will say “wooder” instead of “water” and I have a hell of a time saying “ambulance”).

Another special think about Baltimore is duckpin bowling. I love it. The little balls are a thousand times easier than regular bowling. So when I got to thinking about stitching up this pattern I immediately decided that I wanted to do it on satin, as if I were doing it for my duckpin team jacket (and oh my God, how awesome would that be?).

This was my first time stitching on something as slippery as satin and also my first time using tear away stabilizer. Ripping the stabilizer away as like opening a really great present. I had planned on making her glasses black, but it was looking too subtle on the dark purple, so I ended up with a light silver instead.

baltimore beehive

She’s pretty awesome. I’m planning on hanging her in my office on Monday.

And now I just want an egg custard snowball with marshmallow creme. Sigh.

___

* Someone in a comment thread regarding the pattern mentioned it too, I’d love to see any others!

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