Saturday, March 7, 2020

Changes And Life Diversions

I was a prolific cross-stitcher in the eighties. I don't remember how I picked up the hobby, but working second shift at the hospital lent itself to quiet contemplation. Around eight p.m. the clamor quieted and the nurses and I all pulled our current projects out of our bags and sat behind the nurses' station and stitched. I have an impatient, busy mind, and needlework soothed me. It wasn't so much the finished project as the doing. Once I had framed and hung as many projects as my home could bear without turning into a tchotchke shop, I advanced to wedding gift samplers and tiny Christmas ornaments; anything to keep the spill flowing.

There came a point when I just stopped. Life became hectic -- I suddenly, unexpectedly acquired a "career" that consumed me. Then I became divorced and subsequently remarried and (thanks to my husband) began writing and recording songs. Every spare moment was spent writing. Hobbies? No time!

As I now ease into retirement, I'm ready once again for quiet. TV makes me testy. I can't find any downloadable library books that hold my interest. Writing songs is as interesting to me as the latest politically correct television drama. (Plus, TV is much more interesting when I can distract myself.)

Money will be tight once I finally pull the plug, but I could work until I die and then explain to God why I wasted my last few productive years. So I'm back to cross stitching! I've searched various websites, tried-and-true ones and Amazon. Frankly, I'm disappointed. Why are all the cross stitch kits so kitschy? I don't like cute sayings; I like pretty. I'm not into Jolly Old St. Nick -- I want a babbling stream or a stark winter tableau or at least something elegant. I've been searching, fruitlessly. I need to stock up. The best site I've found? Good old Amazon. I think Amazon aggregates all the best offerings, because my old standbys like Herrschners and The Stitchery only have the kits I'd want but can find cheaper on Amazon (thank you, Prime!).

Here's my first project after coming back; and yes, I found it on Amazon. It took me three months to complete and was a bit of a challenge after twenty years away. I haven't ironed or framed it yet, but hey, I did it!

No Jolly St. Nick For Me

I've already started Project Number Two -- a less challenging floral piece. And I just ordered two "Snap And Stitch" projects of my pet babies from DMC. Counted cross stitch will once again become an obsession. I just wish I could find more eye-catching designs.

I should be set for a while. If you're related to me, you know what you're getting for Christmas!

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