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meet idleness: my new best friend

November 18, 2011

The apartment’s renovation has come to a screeching halt. It seems that you cannot paint, sand, spackle, saw or lay floors with two cracked ribs. And despite every puritanical rant against idle hands, I find there is more than enough to occupy myself with. I’m going through some pictures I’ve been needing to edit and writing a few long-anticipated letters. I’ve even figured out a way to play the guitar without bumping my ribcage, and have been catching up on some much-needed practice. But most of all, I’ve enjoyed going through some of my art supplies. At first it was just idle desire to “make something”, a need to fiddle. But then I started finding things.

A set of old embroidery hoops I picked up at a DC thrift store for $3.99. A 50 cent bag of vintage embroidery floss that had faded to quiet, earthy shades. Old muslin I’ve had for years.

Honestly, how could I resist?

Inspired by a vibrant piece of embroidery I’d recently seen, I started stitching freehand, using a combination of feather stitches, french knots, fly stitches and chain stitches. While it’s coming out very different from the original, I love it. I think it looks like an embroidered incarnation of fading naturalist’s display.

Somehow I’d forgotten how soothing it is to embroider, and can’t wait to try my hand at some other designs as soon as I finish this one. How long does a broken rib last, and is there any way to prolong the healing process?

Don’t tell my doctor,

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 19, 2011 12:15 am

    This is gorgeous! I was tag-surfing, saw the snapshot of this embroidery, and to me – as a collector of books on plant taxonomy (*hangs head*) it looks like one of those pages from a distance. An analysis of all the different manifestations of a plant, a botanical examination. I really think it’s stunning work.

    Although, my god, crying shame that broken ribs lead to the discovery. They are the WORST.

    Also, the french knots? ❤ They took me so long to learn in cross stitch. So long. I now have moments of utter awe whenever I see them, they took me maybe 200 tries? I’m not exaggerating. I’m particularly unskilled with a needle and thread, however!

    • December 8, 2011 9:08 am

      Don’t even think about hanging your head! As a closet mycology enthusiast, I understand you perfectly. I am so honored you liked the embroidery so much, and am thrilled that it reminded you of plant taxonomy…that’s exactly the sort of thing I want it to look like!

  2. November 19, 2011 9:38 am

    What a lovely piece of stich-work!

    • December 8, 2011 9:08 am

      Thank you so much! I’ve had such fun with it.

  3. November 22, 2011 1:28 pm

    Your free hand embroidery project is wonderful!

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