Looking for answers to life's questions

Complete wellness is still eluding me though I can sense its timid, incremental approach. It toys with me, knowing I have no patience for my illness and debilitation. I have since found only one other, blogging about Bells Palsy and they are into months, not years like I am. I may have scared this person, as I was when first hearing of someone with Bells for over five years.

When I am having a good day and feeling quite spry, I try to find things that are enjoyable to do. This week I had a project that needed to be done. My ex-daughter-in-law is having a birthday at the end of the month so I ordered a couple of Chicken Soup books about cats. But to do something more personal I decided to embroider a kitchen towel for her. I had a batch that I bought wholesale and had one left. The rest had already become gifts.

before washing and pressing

before washing and pressing

more of the proportion of design.

more of the proportion of design.

Then I had a towel that I bought somewhere that looked like it might work for embroidery so I tried my hand at doing one for myself. The teapot in the middle is a tiny scrap of fabric. That’s why I throw nothing away. When living in Arizona, our quilt guild made dog & cat beds for the animal shelter in out small town using scrap fabric for the stuffing. There was no money for the shelter to buy beds so we used up lots of unwanted fabric and made stacks and stacks of them.

I almost forgot to put that tiny piece of fabric over the teapot. I get to choose the colors.

I almost forgot to put that tiny piece of fabric over the teapot. I get to choose the colors.

Once the towels were complete, it was time to move on to a birthday card. Looking through my design stash on my computer, I found one that would work. I’ve never done it before so why not give it a shot. I would only be tossing out cardstock, a piece of stabilizer and some thread if it didn’t work. I printed the birthday sentiment inside the card then centered it in the hoop with a bit of temporary adhesive. I have to admit, I did sweat a bit, but it turned out well enough to send. Something different from the norm.

Not perfect but a great first try at something different.

Not perfect but a great first try at something different.

I finally got everything wrapped and mailed so now I sit here wondering what my next project will be. Christmas is always a challenge for me, as I like to make most of my gifts that aren’t books. I have done embroidered t-shirts for my kids and a gift wrappers apron for my daughter that I really need a picture of soon. I don’t think I have the energy yet for quilts but that could still happen. They take me so long to do since I tire easily still.

Do you try to plan your projects ahead or just go with the flow? What’s next on your agenda? Any ideas you want to pass on I’d appreciate.

“I feel like every project I work on is a dream project, so long as I am learning.”
― Simeon Kondev

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of the Next" (11)

  1. JackieP said:

    those look really nice! I used to do a lot of embroidery, but don’t think my fingers will do it anymore. I don’t have a sewing machine that does it. I love the old timey look of what you did.

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    • Thank you. I still sometimes try to do hand work but the machine makes it so much more fun. The machine is over 10 years old but still woking for me. I too love the old fashioned look. Thanks for reading.

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  2. Those are very nice! I’ve been meaning to get back into embroidery–I think doing some artistic projects will keep me from driving myself batty through overthinking. Getting started on handmade gifts, right now, seems like a good idea.

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    • Thanks Bethany. I’m working on my list of things to do next. Yes, artistic projects get you out of your head. That’s why I do them. I’d like to start doing the handwork again too. Loved binding quilts because I could sit with it and watch tv, getting totally relaxed. Looks like a quilt will have to go on the list finally. Hope you find something that fills the need.

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  3. Your embroidery is something I envy. I have yet to move beyond cross stitch. As for Christmas gifts I start planning soon after one Christmas has ended. I already know what I want to make this year, now if I have enough time left. Some are started others waiting to be started. My hope is to give all handmade gifts this year with the tradition of a book per child.

    On the subject of Bell’s Palsy, I have been reading a blog where the husband was recently diagnosed. Probably isn’t what you were looking for but here’s the link if you want to check it out. http://thissortaoldlife.com

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    • Thanks for reading Lois. I did check out the site you mentioned and left a comment that you sent me. Will continue to follow. As for the embroidery, It’s machine done. My vision is too poor these days to do a lot and cross stitch went bye-bye, years ago. Gave it all to my daughter. Just starting to get enough energy back to make things again. I always give books too.

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      • I always thought it would be fun to be able to create things much quicker with a machine, but have never been able to justify the cost as I would probably never create enough to pay for it. I’m sorry you had to give up needle work, must be hard to have lost the ability to do so many things you enjoyed. I know I find needlework relaxing.

        Glad to have been able to connect you to another family dealing with Bells Palsy, When I saw the post about his health you were the first person I thought of.

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  4. I’ve always enjoyed crafts, and for many years since Ken’s diagnosis with MS, I’ve given homemade gifts because I didn’t have any money to buy something. One year I made napkin holders out of pine cones that we picked up in the county park, shellacked them and bought a set a napkins at Big Lots. The receiver was thrilled with the gift. Other years I’ve made jewelry from glass stones. I’ve also given away paintings that I thought were worthy of hanging. My mine is always thinking of new ideas that don’t cost much. Your embroidery is beautiful and it reminded me of my Grandma who used to embroider everything from sheets and pillowcases to dish towels. Needlework is not something I ever excelled at, though.

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    • Thank you Barb. I’ve seen your painting and it’s fantastic. My son paints but I just can’t do that kind of thing. Paint by numbers or a pattern are my style. If you gift them, the reciever is lucky indeed. I happen to love the old fashioned look and have enjoyed the immediate gratification of machine embroidery as much as the peacefulness of hand work. I don’t do hand work as much anyomre because writing and reading take so much time now. Also, the vision is too compromised. I can program it and set up the machine to do the hard part for me. I loved doing crafts and may again, once I get the final move done. Right now, all my stuff is still in boxes…waiting. Thanks for reading.

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  5. I really enjoy your embroidery as I’m sure your ex-daughter inlaw will. Her new tea towel is a gorgeous gift. How awesome that you are able to maintain that relationship. I send my ex-mother-inlaw a christmas card and letter every Christmas but I haven’t seen her in years. I guess I found it hard at first then too much time passed. I think of her often though.

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    • Thanks Boomdee. I hope she likes it. She is a good person, just not a good fit for my son. We were closer till my ex did his thing and damaged the relationship. I tried to stay friendly with my ex but his kids have their own agendas. Oh, well. Life moves on. Thanks for reading.

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