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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Calico Heart Garland

The idea came from Sarana Ave's Heart Strings.  I made mine longer and with more hearts, using my pile of new and vintage calicos.  It's all hand-stitched, too.  I used tan wool and a running stitch to sew the fronts and backs together, leaving a gap for stuffing:
Once I stuffed them, I sewed up the last bits and strung them onto hemp cord with a large, dull needle.

For the moment I have them with my birdies:
(I'm still working on the best way to display the birdies.)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner

The Privilege of the Sword was unlike any fantasy* novel I've read.  The novel contained all the elements one would expect from a story like this -- the young protagonist who is not as lady-like as she is supposed to be; the flighty, more feminine best friend; the rakish, dangerous lord who breaks all the rules; the corrupt, vengeful antagonist; the aging mentor; the street-wise orphan; quasi-regency society; romances both true and false; the supreme importance of honor -- but nothing played out as I expected.  Kushner did something entirely fresh and unusual, yet mostly plausible, with these tropes.  The result was a compelling novel I took in as if I were completely new to reading fiction; no small feat given how much I've learned about story-telling conventions over the years.

I don't think I will read the other two novels in this series, however.  For all that I appreciated, and even enjoyed, what Kushner did, the world she created is not one I want to return to.  Despite all the ribbons and lace and swordplay and adventure, it is a fundamentally amoral, materialist world, filled with people who are clever and witty but not sincere, always seeking pleasure and never experiencing joy.

*I use the term loosely.  It is set in a world similar to but not our own, yet there was no actual magic.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

1 Year of Stitches: Week 5

Tried some new stitches this time in addition to my favorites. The dark fuschia line is the braid stitch, and the purple line next to it is a mystery stitch I found on pinterest (with a dead link, natch); I think it is a combo and variant of the heavy chain and broad chain stitches.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Renaissance Jewels

I got Blueberry Cove Beads' Renaissance Box for my birthday:
Ooh, pretty!
I couldn't resist all those red beads and gold(en) charms, so I made a necklace:

The little treasure chest charm on the top strand opens up; I'll have to find something dear and tiny to put in it.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

1 Year of Stitches: Week 4

A new job, the flu, and the current state of political discourse conspired to kick my ass these past two weeks.  Some nights I stitched literally one stitch, and some nights I stitched nothing at all.