A lot has been going on lately- nothing horrible, just a lot. Part of that means that I have not been getting enough sleep and when I get a chance to get on the internet, I fool around on ebay, obsessively looking up things that I may or may not actually want instead of doing something (semi) productive.

Because of the weather (forecast, not actual) the kids were out of school for the whole last week. So Emily had a 10 day break… I’m trying not to be envious.

At Christmas, my sister-in-law took Emily and I for manicures and pedicures. I’ve never had a pedicure before and I will never have one again! Besides the bad experience, something they did to my toenails has caused my first ever ingrown nail. Ow- ouch! I’m just now getting it straightened out. This just confirms my thought that I need to give most beautifying routines a miss- they’re bad for me.

While I’ve been surfing around Ebay, I came across several tea cosies made to look like cottages. Some are better and some are worse but the idea is fantastic. The downside is that the ones I actually like run $50 and up… and none of them are exactly right. I guess I’ll have to make… Oh, bother- new project.

Ok, new project- a cottage tea cosy:

  • I can make the thatch with rattan embroidery on canvas (I have that) and the walls out of unbleached muslin (I have that) and the windows out of a graduated yellow fabric covered with silk organza with diamond netting on top (I have that). I can make the windows a little inset by putting a layer of wool felt between the lining and the outside and cutting it out at the windows then tacking them to the lining. Same thing with the door.
  • Shutters can be black inset pleating (I have black cotton and an easy pleater) and can be made large enough to actually cover the windows (this is a pet peeve- have you noticed recently that you get these huge picture windows and then this tiny little strip of a shutter that wouldn’t protect anything even if they actually worked which they don’t).
  • The door can be also pleated from wood grained cotton (I have that) and the chimney/handle can be made from stone printed cotton and trapunto-ed (I have that).
  • I can make the lining from muslin (I have that) and I can make a padded insert with more muslin and sheet quilt batting (I have that- oh boy, do I have scraps of that!)
  • The thing that really makes these is the embroidery garden around the house. I can do silk and silk ribbon flowers (I have supplies and instructions for that) and then I think I’d like to experiment with a stump work rabbit, cat and apple tree (or cherry tree or orange tree) on the back of the house. I’ve never done stump work before but I have all the supplies I need and I can make them separately and then applique them onto the cottage.
  • Around the bottom, I think I would like to run a half inch strip of green wool (I have a WW2 army blanket) and making two puffs of grey cotton going down from the door as stepping stones.

While I was thinking about the tree, my mental voice queried “What’s the difference between an apple tree and a cherry tree?” and I immediately answered “An apple tree has either appliqued puffs or raised circles, a cherry tree has french knots”. Nice to be able to answer questions I ask myself.

Obviously, I’ve been thinking a lot about exactly how to make this before I’ve even committed to actually doing it- although now that I have it all planned, it seems a shame not to finish it.

In looking up stumpwork and how to do it, I have decided that I want to go back to school. At the Royal School of Needlework. Or, alternatively, I could work there: The Royal School of Needlework Finance Director (part time) Application. Can I just move to England and take that job? There might even be a discount for classes for employees and even if there’s not, it pays many times what I make now.

I also ran across (looking for a cat pattern) a kit for a piece of embroidery that I did sometime in my early teens. I don’t much remember working it so it must have been pretty fast and easy but anyone who’s ever been to my house has seen it hanging in the hall:

and then I ran across the companion piece:

Um- yes?

And I found a crewel version of Chessie… and Snow Bunnies from the Current card in the 80s. I liked that card so much, I still have it! A crewel version to work and hang on the wall- oh yes, I want to do that.

And I remembered that, in the early 2000s, A C Moore closed here (Joann’s is there now). As they were having their going out of business sale, I grabbed up a lot of needlework kits for almost nothing. I haven’t had the time for fancy work (or other things have been my priority) so they have been sitting in a drawer all these years. Last night I threw almost all of them up on ebay… and one sold almost immediately for enough to pay for Chessie and the Snow Bunnies- although I do still need to sell more to make the shipping and fees and the third piece. Emily is planning to work Chessie.. and give it to Mom for Christmas next year. I applaud this plan!

By the way, if any of you want any of the kits I have up, when you get it, add a message to the seller that says “livejournal or wordpress or facebook” and I’ll ship it to you free.

Oooo! GTG- Non to the doctor now….

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