Log in

No account? Create an account
...in time - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

...in time [Sep. 15th, 2006|08:06 am]
[Current Mood |chipperchipper]

As a small child, I loved coloring books. My crayons were treasured possessions, and I was horrified by children who would intentionally break them. At as young as 3, my mother had to console me if I ruined a picture by coloring outside the lines. I hated sharing my coloring books with friends, because their work inevitably fell below my standards. Even in high school and college, I found a kind of zen peace in coloring.

This probably explains why I like cross stitch.

The coolest part of cross stitch is that you start with an utterly empty canvas, and through dint of will and attention, a colorful picture emerges. It's not an original piece of art, merely an imitation made by following a recipe. But it's pretty, and it's yours. It fills a different niche inside me than quilting, and the two of them are complementary.

So it was last night that I at last found myself with needle in hand again. I looked at the patterns that I want to make - incredibly difficult - and decided to "warm up" by working on a simple but bright and cheery star pattern that's been lying around the house for several years now. It's a perfect choice for now, giving me something to be doing while I'm getting ready to tackle bigger projects.

An hour of stitching, and a square inch covered. That's about right.

[User Picture]From: cleobourne
2006-09-15 12:24 pm (UTC)
I too had and still have the same affections for color crayons and am trying to instill it into my chidren that the wrappers don't come off,they don't get broken, and they go back to thier homes.

Last year in kindergarden my nieces teacher took a crayon and says 'I will be expecting all the crayons to be broken" *breaks the innocent purple crayon in half* "To help them with thier motor skills."

*I died a little inside.*
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-15 01:16 pm (UTC)

That's INSANE!!!!! How does being destructive help with motor skills??!! Stacking blocks, stitching laces, actually coloring!! THAT develops motor skills!!!

I would have had a fit. I'm practically having one now!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]From: trianakvetch
2006-09-15 12:29 pm (UTC)
I love cross-stiching as well for the same reason. People ask me how I can stand it, but there's this feeling of beauty as you see the picture emerge. I love doing the backstitches at the end to make everything "pop-up"

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-15 01:17 pm (UTC)
Yup. Backstitching is like the outlining I used to do on pictures. It really pulls out the details.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: wolflady26
2006-09-15 12:42 pm (UTC)
Woo, yay! We can cross stitch together!

To me, cross stitch often feels like some bizarre kind of archaeology. Like I'm uncovering the pattern rather than creating it. I love seeing how each bit comes out.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-15 01:17 pm (UTC)
Very much so!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jadecat
2006-09-15 01:18 pm (UTC)
I cross-stich for similar reasons. And it soothes the OCD 'need ORDER!' bit of me as I neatly create X after X. Of course, the projects I pick all have to be hyoooge (like the 12X17inch or so in the icon- every space stitched).

Some friends and I (who normally don't see each other in person much as we live 1 hour + away from each other) journey to a cross-stitch store- that's pretty equidistant for all of us- whenever they have the quarterly 20% off sale. So I get to socialize too! ;)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-15 01:21 pm (UTC)
Theresa Wetzler. I want to stitch her patterns. Blended needles, metalic threads, beading, exotic stitches.

I want those pictures. But I'm starting completely intimidated!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]From: hugh_mannity
2006-09-15 01:33 pm (UTC)
I have a good half-dozen counted cross stitch projects I've started over the years and not finished. Every so often I'll work on one for a while.

There's something about the counting and calculating aspect of fiber arts: I'm an obsessive stitch counter when I'm knitting and weaving (certainly warping the loom) is a counter's dream.

I love seeing a warp all counted out and chained up, ready to be put on the loom. I love seeing skeins of handspun wool stacked up on my shelf just waiting to be turned into something gorgeous.

*Pauses to admire hand knit socks with Fibonnaci series stripes* Yep if it weren't for the Math, I don't think I'd bother with fiber arts.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-15 01:54 pm (UTC)
Whereas the math is what I have to get through in order to enjoy the art!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: vrax
2006-09-15 01:38 pm (UTC)
I can't stand it when people hurt crayons, unless it's via melting and that melting is making a piece of artwork or something. Despite my generally chaotic persona I could never bring myself to color outside the lines.

I feel like I 'color outside the lines' in most aspects of life...just not actual coloring - that's sacred.

And especialy purple! What the fuck?! Purple is greatest among the colors. My favorite hue in the world is that rusty looking purple of a summer night sky in the middle of the city. The lights throw themselves at the sky splattering into an orange tinge over violet - that is beauty. Rust Purple.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-15 01:55 pm (UTC)
I like Rust Purple. I've never thought of it that way, but it's perfect.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: aehallh
2006-09-15 02:29 pm (UTC)
I was the same way as a kid (and teenager >.>). And I love cross stitching, too. Only, it's gotten too hard for me to see it properly now. I miss it, but I glory every time I see/read about someone picking up the needle.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-15 02:30 pm (UTC)
The seeing thing is a pain in the butt. My eyes are getting worse. I need to go to the eye doctor soon.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mishamish
2006-09-15 02:58 pm (UTC)

Cross stitch = Xs or small SQUARES of color.
Sprites = big pixels, or small SQUARES of color.

Cross stitch = analog sprites!!!

I'm going to have to get some quadrille paper and do patterns for Squidi.Net characters now...
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-15 03:14 pm (UTC)
Yes. That's right....

[Backs sloowly away from Misha.....]
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: geekjul
2006-09-15 03:23 pm (UTC)
If you don't already you might want to keep an eye on cross_stitch. It's a great community with lots of lovely pictures for inspiration.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-15 03:56 pm (UTC)
I'm debating whether to join that and some of the quilting communities. Problem is, I can't keep up with my flist as it is!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]From: unamundamour
2006-09-15 05:27 pm (UTC)
I'm trying to decide if I'll ever feel ambitious enough to tackle one of these:

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-15 05:30 pm (UTC)
Um. Wow? Now I want to stitch The Accolade. A friend made that dress for her wedding dress.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: laplor
2006-09-15 05:28 pm (UTC)
I discovered counted cross stitch just as I discovered that my near vision is going. It's become terribly frustrating for right now. (Health and vision insurance are coming soon!)
I haven't stitched any of the patterns I've made, but this is fun software for creating patterns out of images - I aspire to stitch the stained glass anchor photograph that became my icon.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-15 05:33 pm (UTC)
I'm getting far too many really lovely ideas! I clearly need to quit my job and stitch fulltime.

And I hear you about the eyesight. Mine is suddenly taking a dive for the worse.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: shermel
2006-09-15 05:41 pm (UTC)
I did some cross stitch for my art coursework at school, but I designed a very intricate swirling pattern for it that took about four hours a day for three weeks. By the time I was finished I couldn't stand it any more, never felt the desire to take it up again.

As for colouring in, I'm 27 and I still have colouring books. I get one every year from my Mum for christmas. I'm a coloured pencil girl myself though. And the pencils must be arragned in strict colour order, in their original box and sharpened fully after each use.

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-15 06:22 pm (UTC)
I keep looking for coloring books that I would like, but nothing grabs me. Just as well - I can make something useful with that time and get pretty much the same pleasure with cross stitch.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ithildae
2006-09-15 06:12 pm (UTC)
If you only got 1 in ^2 in an hour, you need a coarser weave. Try a 14, or even an 11. I get further by doing all the same color in a large area, rather than doing smaller blocks. It doesn't matter, as long as you are having fun!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-15 06:23 pm (UTC)
I'm doing a very dark color against black (Aida 12), and mostly it's just that I'm out of practice. But I am having fun!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: losgunna
2006-09-15 07:17 pm (UTC)
Okay, you've already seen Miribilia and Theresa Wentzler, who are a couple of my favourites. Also included in that list, though, are Dragon Dreams and Chatelaine, which are totally daunting. Plus, if you like the idea of stitching Starry Night, take a poke around Uncharted Territory, which is nothing but paintings done as cross stitch patterns. They are incredibly unbeliveable, and they have hundreds. My favourite is Pomona, which was a tapestry.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-15 07:52 pm (UTC)
Eek!!! I really will have to quit my job to stitch!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dreagoddess
2006-09-15 11:55 pm (UTC)
I've always loved cross-stitching. I started doing it in second grade (Camp Fire) and have never quite stopped, even if I went for years without picking up a needle. It's always there for me when I just need something patient and meticulous yet not terribly thought-provoking to do. :)

I'm doing a baby blanket with the Pooh characters on it right now as a Christmas gift for a friend's baby.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: rintheamazing
2006-09-16 12:07 am (UTC)
Oooh - this actually just reminded me that I have a brand new unopened cross stitch kit waiting for me. With dark blue fabric and pretty metallic thread for embellishment.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: rhapsody_98
2006-09-17 12:03 am (UTC)
I have to cross-stitch something every Halloween for my boyfriend. This year we just got a whole bunch of those Halloween kits at wal-mart, since I've already made all the patterns in the books I have. I always just use my own silk and Aida, though.

I'm having trouble finding things to do with them, besides letting them sit around in a drawer. I'm thinking of making a holiday tree and making the smaller patterns into ornaments. I've also glued them to the lids of mason jars and made really pretty candy jars that way.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-17 03:28 am (UTC)
Yes, that can become a problem. It's actually one of the reasons I prefer large, time-consuming projects - I can't make nearly as many of them in my lifetime!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)