A Mixed Bag

I finished embroidering all the seams on my crazy quilt square last night. It made me realize how long it has been since I really did much embroidery! What fun to bring out old favorites like feather stitch again. And challenging to try out new stitches. I think my favorite new stitch was the Spanish Knotted Feather Stitch shown on the top edge of the lower left piece of velvet. My least favorite was the Rosette Chain Stitch shown along the right edge of a piece of cream silk crepe on the far lower left.

Now I'm wondering what to do next! There are such large expanses of open area that need filling! I went looking for my book of ribbon embroidery stitches but have realized that it was one of the books I got rid of in my downsizing efforts! Oops! So I've been browsing blogs of fabulous crazy quilters in an attempt to gather ideas. I really want to keep this block all in shades of cream, ivory, and white with touches of ecru. Any and all suggestions will be gladly appreciated!
Dotee Dolls
Another bit of recent handcrafting is this assortment of Dotee Dolls. The left one will stay with me, the others are headed out to my swap partners! I had such fun with the little Geisha doll! I am realizing that I need to always make an extra one for me. It's so hard to send some of these little creations out the door and know that I'll never see them again!

I've been enjoying the fabric and paper crafts lately and as I've been doing research for my crazy quilt block have come to the realization of just how addicting things like this can get. I tend to rotate through various handcrafts for a period of time, then leave them behind to do something new. The problem is that there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish all the things I love to do. Right now, I am struggling with wanting to spend my time doing these fabric crafts and wanting to paint. I don't want to give up either, but by not working on one exclusively, I wonder if I don't short-change them all. My Aunt L, the same one who did all the lovely tatted and crocheted items had felt much the same and decided to devote herself to only two things. So she quit drawing and painting and most handcrafts to focus on her tatting and crocheting. She became a master at both. But I am reluctant to give up this wide assortment of handcrafts that I enjoy. How many others fight the same dilemma and how do you resolve it in a way that works for you? I'd love to hear about it.

I've been reading, "The Secret Garden" again. I needed its messages of hope and spring. I'm finding it filled with all sorts of nuggets of wisdom.
"To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting
a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after it has
got in you may never get over it as long as you live."
"Much more surprising things can happen to anyone who, when a disagreeable or
discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time
and push it out by putting in an agreeable, determinedly courageous one. Two
things cannot be in one place. 'Where you tend a rose, my lad, A thistle cannot
grow.' "
I've had a growing list of worries, disagreeable items to dwell on lately.
- an unknown allergy that provoked serious facial swelling and a nasty rash. It is improving finally, but still not gone after nearly 2 weeks.
- learning that my second son, the Marine, who has been on active reserve has been called back to active duty and will be headed to Iraq shortly.
-learning that my daughter, the Seamstress and my youngest son, the Artist are both out of work and looking for new jobs and new living situations.
- not being able to work all my scheduled hours at work as there haven't been as many babies being born lately.

A dear friend of ours used to say,
"If you stand with your face to the sun, the shadows will fall behind you."
I've been trying to do so, but this evening, the shadows seem to be falling thick and I'm having a difficult time pushing the discouraging things aside and replacing them with something agreeable.


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