On Monday of this week, my Grandmother had triple bypass surgery. She is my last living Grandparent and is very dear to all of us. All of this came on rather suddenly and I have spent much of the last two weeks at the hospital and with all of the family that came flooding in from all over the country. The whole affair has been bathed with a great deal of prayer, and God has been good. She has come through the surgery quite well and is making a speedy recovery.
One of the things that I learned rather quickly when I spent all of that time in the NICU with our oldest is that I can sit for an indefinate period of time as long as my hands have something to do. It's not enough to have a TV on somewhere. I find very little worth watching anyway.
So, I have spent a great deal of time over the last two weeks working on various Hardanger projects, mostly bookmarks. Hardanger is a Norwegian embroidery done with perle cotton fibers on even weave fabric, usually 22-32 count. The traditional style is white on white, or ivory on ivory, like the last bookmark pictured here.
However, the last time DH and I were in Minnesota for his injections, I discovered a store that is a needle crafter's paradise. It is called Stitchville USA, and is in Minnetonka, just in case you'd like to visit.
There are so many options available now, that it seems a waste to limit the art to just white and ivory. I ended up coming home with quite a variety of fabrics and thread, both in solid colors as well as some beautiful varigated types. (You can translate that as "I spent alot of money".)
I also decided to get a little daring and try some different kinds of silk, wool, and blended fibers.
Some of them have worked exceptionally well, like the silk (this bookmark to the left is an example of the silk). Others have been a complete failure, like the cotton/rayon blend (not even pictured). The blue bookmark is one that I designed the pattern for and used the silk thread on also.
Now I know that 99% of the 4 people that read this blog are probably completely and utterly bored at this point. The other 1% probably thinks that changing thread types isn't exactly the most daring thing they've ever heard of.
But what can I say? You can't exactly ride roller coasters in the ICU now, can you? And embroidery happens to be a wonderfully portable diversion. In one little ziploc bag I can carry everything that I need to keep me occupied for hours on end. You know how cats love to play with strings. ;)
Anyhow, these bookmarks are some of the results. They all need to be cut out of the fabric and pressed, which will make them look quite a bit better. And they all will probably end up in my Etsy shop at some point. I really only posted this to waste time and not have to fold the clothes on the couch. Maybe later, I'll post some pictures of some of my more elaborate embroidery pieces.