My sincere apologies for no TCM top 5 post this week; I’ve been slightly under the weather, and really, I wrote two last week, so I hope I can be forgiven. To be honest, I’ve kicked around the idea of it being less frequent anyhow; it takes a few hours every week to write up, and sometimes I’d rather write about other things, but feel obligated to keep to “the schedule”. But this is, after all, my own blog, so it is whatever I make it, yes? Just a heads-up.
Instead, today (as you can see!) I am sharing with you photos of a years-long embroidery project I finally finished a couple of months ago and sent off to the friend I was gifting them to.
Wandering around an antique mall or something of that sort one day, I spotted a pair of crochet-edge, pre-stamped but not-yet-embroidered pillowcases peeking out at me. Each pillowcase featured a cheerful, bushy-tailed squirrel scampering along an oak branch, intent on grabbing every acorn he could. Seeing them immediately brought to mind a friend who just loves squirrels, at least as long as they’re not creeping down her chimney into her home; in a flash they were in a bag heading home with me, the seller happy not only to have sold them but to have found someone who still enjoyed embroidery (there seems to be the widespread opinion that it’s a lost art).
It’s a simple enough beginning, but the completion of the set—which took a couple of years *blush*—is, I suppose, the real story. Though I do work on my embroidery at home, of course, much of it also happens in the car as Hubby and I travel between home and our families’ houses for the holidays and of course on our road trips too.
Thus, the pillowcases have travelled halfway across the country with me: on Route 66, from West Virginia to Michigan and Ohio and back again countless times, to Virginia, during our move from our beloved, precious little home in the Mountaineer State to our present home in the Buckeye State (it was a terribly difficult move to make, as we were leaving behind friends as well as our home, and though it was for a great reason, I was rather heartbroken). I remember stitching up a squirrel’s tail in Virginia; adding autumnal flame to leaves in Oklahoma; edge-stitching the acorns as rain pelted the windshield of the car during a stormy drive; working on the other squirrel during Christmas in Michigan; even fine-tuning the leaves (which I’ll confess to being a little bit proud of) while we were in Michigan for my grandfather’s funeral last year—I needed something to do with myself.
I stitched through countless miles, in two different cars, during classic movies and Doctor Who and during late nights when my health kept me up, and it was a joy, really, all the while, love and affection going into every stitch, knowing what a kick my friend would get out of them. But you’ll agree—these are certainly the most well-travelled pillowcases in the country!
It was really only as I neared the end of the project, though, that I realized how “far” the pillowcases had really travelled. It was like they were woven into my life, in a way—and it just seemed so right to be sending them as a gift to a dear friend, because aren’t our friends woven into our lives as well, even when they live far away?
Finally, finally I finished them, and was so excited to be able to surprise my friend with them, especially as she was dealing with a quandary of her own at the time. She was, happily, very tickled by them, and it makes me happy to know she’ll enjoy these cheery little nut-gathering squirrels—non-destructive, non-rabid squirrels at that! What projects have you completed lately? With Christmas beginning to breathe down our necks, I’ve no doubt just about all of us have a few projects lined up, and love hearing about what others are working on.
Love, love, LOVE them! 🙂 xoxoxo!
Looks pretty neat Jen! I hope you get to feeling better! Storm damage repair is about all I’m getting done here lately! Theis home show is coming up quick and I just don’t have time to go see it … even though it is close by! :-p
What a terrifically pretty, and endlessly adorable, project, Jen. Love every last element as well as the hefty smile that seeing it put on my face. This was such a thoughtful, awesome gift for your dear friend.
*PS* I agree, that vintage upside down cranberry cake recipe would be the bee’s knees with raspberries (my all-time favourite fruit), too. One could even put together a mix of different berries for a “fruits of the forest” kind of vibe.