Friday, May 01, 2009

Roses, encyclopedias, a globe, and a unicorn.

I've been feeling a desire to do some kind of needlework--it's been a couple of years since I've stitched anything--so last night I dug through my sewing box and found this:

I started this unicorn needlepoint when we were living in Idaho--say, about 1994? It was a big splurge: I bought a brand-new (then) hardcover of Flowers, Birds and Unicorns: Medieval Needlepoint by Candace Bahouth for the pattern, and a big canvas, and a huge pile of wool yarn. A large expenditure fifteen years ago, when we were still practically newlyweds.

Todd was very much into the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA) then, a medieval re-enactment group which had a very active branch in Idaho Falls, so we had a lot of medieval books and such, and I was very much into cross-stitch then, so when I found this book and was able to find all the supplies at the very nice needlecraft store downtown, it seemed like the perfect project. I think it was the third (and last) needlepoint project I ever attempted. Here it is in the book, completed as a pillow:

I got it about 70% done, and then abandoned it for fifteen years, crumpled in the bottom of my sewing box. Every now and then I would paw through and think "I should finish that," but never seriously. Somehow something just clicked last night and I pulled it out and started stitching and am having a grand old time with it. I like needlepoint a lot--it doesn't seem to age as badly as counted cross-stitch has. And I'm not sure why. Cross-stitch's heyday seemed to coincide with that cutesy-country period, and so there's a lot of just lousy cross-stitch out there in the yard sales and thrift stores. Needlepoint seems to have a more timeless look--except of course for plastic canvas. *shudder*

(I do have to say that I have made a lot of really terrific cross-stitch projects that still (in my opinion) look good, and the wedding sampler pattern that my mother-in-law stitched for us still looks quite up-to-date 17 years later. But we won't talk about some of the odds and ends at the bottom of my sewing box...)

One danger of abandoning a project for that long a time is that you won't find it appealing or to your taste after so long, but I do still find the unicorn and the design really beautiful, even if we're not quite as heavily into all things medieval as we were years ago. And the colors will still work in several different rooms in our home.

Sometimes when I look at a piece of stitching I've done, I can remember so clearly which apartment we lived in, and which of our old couches I sat on, and can pinpoint the year from there, but not with this. I have no clear memory of working on it. But it does stir up a lot of memories of the three-and-a-half years we lived in Idaho. I miss the big sky and the foothills of the Tetons you could see from town. Maybe someday I'll dig out some pictures from that era and post them here--that would be fun! are a few other things from my life right now...the first two roses from my rosebush out front:

Once or twice a day when I'm in the kitchen, I just pick them up and take a few deep sniffs. Mmmm.

I bought this little Homer Laughlin bowl for $3.00 at an estate sale a few weeks ago:

I LOVE the little inset details--love, love, love.

I bought seventeen--yes, seventeen--of these small (maybe 5x6") encyclopedias at the thrift store last week. They were published in the early 1930's, and they are in perfect condition. It was one of those things where you're loading them into your cart and thinking, "What is wrong with you and what on earth are you going to do with these?" but I couldn't help myself. They were dirt cheap and just so cool. I love the design on the spines.

They don't have many illustrations, but the ones that are included are quite nice:

It's not a complete set, but that's okay. I think I have a fear that in another 20 years books will be a total anachronism, and I feel this need to grab all the oldies I can find and take good care of them. These books are already an anachronism--do encyclopedias even exist any more?

And speaking of anachronisms, here's the globe I found at another estate sale five or six weeks ago:

I was so excited to find it, because I didn't have a black one yet, and the price was very fair. The colors are so nice, and I believe it's about 55-60 years old, because Israel is a country, but Korea hasn't been divided yet. I love dating globes, it satisfies the utter dork in me.

And with this purchase, I am officially out of room for globes, except maybe a few more of those little globe banks, which are getting rare as hen's teeth, but way more expensive. Time to buy a bigger house, right?

We are still without our second car, which is getting the automobile equivalent of triple bypass surgery right now--a gamble on an eleven-year-old car, but we agreed that neither of us had the energy for a new car search right now. Nor do we have any burning desire to make car payments again. It seems like a law of our lives: within six months of when we get one car paid off, the other breaks down or gets in an accident and has to be replaced. But we're going for the surgical option this time, with fingers crossed that we can get another two or three years out of this car if we do the work on it now. But I am ready to have my car back and start running useless errands again!