Thursday, November 30, 2006

The cross stitch project from heck

I love to cross stitch, but somehow I always end up picking projects that are so intricately shaded that you go blind trying to differentiate between 14 different shades of peach for the skin tones. Every time this happens, I vow that I will examine all future projects for this problem and refuse to buy any that require more than two different shades of any one color.

Should have thought of that before I bought the advent calendar project four or five years ago. It's been sitting in the back of my craft closet for years, waiting until I was dumb enough ... er, motivated to start working on it. When my daughter was born last year, I finally decided it was time to start. Round about Halloween I finally had time to work on it.

By Thanksgiving 2005 I had determined that, if I didn't go insane first, I might be able to finish by Christmas 2006, if I put some effort into it and ditched all of my other stitching projects. That worked for a while, and then summer came and I was fed up with stitching trees and snow and fuzzy bunny slippers.

I had to put production into high gear this fall to finish in time, but by god, I made it. Sure, I was stitching the last four day markers last week at my in-laws' house ("Honey, isn't that the same thing you were working on last year?" "Um, yeah. I think I need more chocolate."), and they're in the box we shipped back that got waylaid by the postal service and won't be here in time for the start of Advent tomorrow. But at least I've got until the 21st before I need them, and the rest turned out beautifully, if I do say so myself:

Every one of those stupid rabbits is made of four colors of brown, and the mother's skirt? Something like six shades of pink. Gahhh.

Ahem. Anyway, I upgraded the original finishing instructions to stabilize the work on a piece of felted wool, and I used velcro instead of spray sticky stuff to adhere the markers to the days. That saggy part on the bottom is a pocket I made to hold the day markers, which are all inside and making it look a little funny right now.

So now we're ready for tomorrow morning, when my bright-eyed little girl will probably smear peanut butter all over the stitching. If so, she's totally getting a pasteboard one next year :)

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