Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I Can't Read

When faced with the stress of not knowing, there are many ways one can alleviate the wear and tear on the mind. Some people eat. Some people drink. Some people practice meditation. I discovered this weekend, for sure, what I probably knew all along this year, I stitch.

Remember at the end of last month, when the last cross-stitch was finished? I wasn't going to pick up another project until January 1st. December was about taking stock, sitting back and relaxing and NOT stitching. I have mountains of books and a smaller stack of magazines to read. I was going to read the magazines, get them recycled so the only ones on the ottoman were the current issues. I did read 5 magazines over the past 4 days. I picked up a book, started it and realized, after a time, that I'd read the 3rd page three times. My mind wasn't interested in reading. It was interested in financial doomsday scenarios. (Memo to self: Saturday afternoon PBS hours are filled with Suze Orman. Not a good thing.)

"You can skip breakfast on weekends to make the ends meet. They can't, by law, stop your utilities, so you don't have to pay them if you need the money." My mind raced on ahead of my reality. There's a great line from The Simpson's which would pop up the minute the doom and gloom voice would start in. "Shut up brain, or I'll poke you with a Q tip," says Homer Simpson. All it took was one paragraph of, "And in order to further the goal of [insert cause], we need your help" and my brain was off to the races.

In order to calm down and enjoy the weekend, I spent Saturday morning cleaning the area of the basement below the bathroom plumbing. When that was done, I wandered over to the chest of drawers where I keep my sewing patterns and crafting supplies. There are a bunch of kits in one of the drawers so I started going through them. One caught my eye. I could do this.

I discovered, as I started in on the first color, that cross-stitch is my preferred method of relaxation. It was reasonably simple to throw my energies and my brain into the x's and graphs and colors of a new project. As much as I love to read, it wasn't enough to keep me from setting down the book and pondering the future. Here, I have to look at the grid, look at the colors and then look at the fabric. I found the stress slid away. There really isn't anything I can do about the money troubles I face other than do what I can when they surface. Sitting in the recliner on a Saturday night complaining to the world won't solve them either. Putting that energy into something, that does work.

It sort of snowballs then. I turned on the TV or popped in a DvD and just stitched. I don't know who gave me this kit. It was something they had opened and prepared but never got past step 1. I think I see why.

The first flower I chose to do was the purple one. You are given two colors of purple, a light and a medium purple, no dark purple. The colored graph clearly shows dark purple as part of the design, but that's not a color in the batch you're given. In fact, it's not even listed on the color chart. There is a maroon shown but not a dark purple, where it's clearly shown on the chart.

The kit was bought at a discount. Originally $30, there is a sticker on it for $10. I'm sure that's the price the person who bought this paid. I have no idea how old this is either as I haven't seen it for sale on any of my crafting supplies sites. Whoever bought this must have tried to start this, looked at the problem and then decided it wasn't something they wanted to deal with. My late mother-in-law did some stitching so I wonder if I got it from her during one of her house cleanings.

Never fear. I, who have boxes of DMC floss also have a sewing basket full of floss bits.

This is my original sewing basket. I believe my mother's father gave this to me when I was, perhaps, 9 or 10. I use it now to keep my cross-stitching needles in the underside of the lid, which is a large pin cushion. It also contains non-DMC floss in plastic bags organized by color. I simply went through the bags to find the purple and, viola, I happened to have a dark purple of indeterminate origin that fit the bill perfectly. I have just enough of the dark purple on hand to do this project and whatever is left from this will go into these bags.

Sometimes, however, I look at these bags and think I should find something to use this stuff up. I gravitate towards DMC colors, the numbers and those kinds of charted designs and I rarely delve into this basket for floss. What would I use the basket for if it didn't contain remnants of past projects? Who knows.

So, I'm off stitching again. There is a vast wasteland on TV during the afternoon hours and I don't rightly care for the offerings in the evening, either. I want my computer back. In the meantime, I know exactly who is going to get this NEXT Christmas and I feel my stress melt away with each stitch.

Beverage:  Water


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