So there I was, minding my own business, when Stewey jumped up into the Happy Chair with his whistle and clipboard. "It's December 1st, Mommie Dearest, and you haven't done one damn thing around here to welcome the holidays. Do you think Santa Claus is going to find this house with a GPS? Now put your shoes and socks on and get out there in that garage. I want to see decorations and festive cheer by the end of business today."
With that, he disappeared into the bedroom. I suspect that he decided to wait out the ensuing madness in his "fort", which is the space under the bed in between dust bunnies and a few stray craft projects. (For all I know, he's tamed the bunnies into his pets and has completed, washed, framed, and hung all of the projects.)
I managed to muscle the big ass Christmas tree box into the house without too much damage and I even found the urn that I used last year that was still filled with water softener salt as a tree base stabilizer. That's a very technical term, don't you know. Tree. Base. Stabilizer.
Now I know that I am 42 years old and I know that I am supposed to be smarter than a 6 1/2 foot Martha Stewart pre-lit spruce holiday faux fir, but alas, I am not. I grunted the tree into the tree base stabilizer and then proceeded to plug it in, all the while thinking "Gee, I sure hope these 1,500 specialized white Martha Stewart faux fir tree lights work."
Sadly, they did not.
Four episodes of "The Sopranos" and a case of diet Coke later, this is what I ended up with:
It looks lovely, doesn't it? You never would guess that stripping that tree of lights or getting it into the urn and fluffing its branches would have consumed 12 hours of my day. I gave it a little kick and headed for the shower and I'm thinking the damn thing is going to stay this way until March. Stewey is not amused:"She can't even put up a Christmas tree without supervision. Why do I even bother?
On a MUCH happier note...I finished Laura J. Perin's "Jewel Box" in Christmas colors:Now I know you're wondering why I decided to use ecru in the background, but I really wanted those variegated "arrows" to pop. I think they do. Quite nicely. Now I'm going to tart this up with a bunch of beads and fish out a Michael's coupon for some fast framing and we'll be Happy Dancing for Joy all over the place.
My Christmas stitching basket is all assembled, but I have to confess that I still felt the need to do counted canvas work instead of cross stitch. I suppose that you could argue that they are very closely related, if not sisters, so I didn't feel too guilty about neglecting my q-snaps and linen supply for the time being.
The problem, however, is that between the massive holiday preparations (see above), and the massive effort to finish "Jewel Box" (also, above), my fingers are a bit....um....sore. OK, they're a bloody, scabbed over, scratched, dried out mess. I'm dutifully putting hand cream and cuticle oil on them, but I just didn't think that I could take canvas at this moment.
I was starting to fret about that when I pulled out another Laura J. Perin piece called "Christmas Quilt" and lo and behold, she mentions CONGRESS CLOTH! Woo Hoo! I can get my canvas work fix AND save my poor hurt fingers all at the same time! So I kitted it up and started stitching away and I'm just thrilled with the way it's stitching:
If you're a cross stitcher and you think you might want to try canvas work, but aren't sure about working on needlepoint canvas, congress cloth is a wonderful transition. It's 24 count and is a little stiffer than linen, but not as stiff as needlepoint canvas. It's stiff-light.
So I'll be in the Happy Chair today working on this piece, unless Stewey decides that the bare unlit tree is just too much for him to look at. He's hiding out under the dining room chairs at the moment, and methinks he's plotting a coups. Stay tuned, and send help if you don't hear from me in a few days!