Home away from home

My office is a cubefarm. It’s fine. I’m not complaining. You stop noticing how very, very brown it is after a while. Decorating is not my thing, nor are workplace displays of my personal life or hobbies. I finally put up some photos of the kiddos only after I realized my supervisors were concerned about my commitment to the job. Apparently blank  cube walls don’t communicate a vested interest. I’m just a private person and yes, I realize the irony of saying that on a public blog.

Otherwise my decorating scheme consists mostly of schedules, procedures, post-it reminders, and, now, this kit from the Stranded Stitch:

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It does little to cover the brown expanse of my cube walls. Maybe I should make more.

Blown Away

Look at me, already done with a Christmas gift! It’s for my grandma.

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Except I love it and I want to keep it for myself.

Except I already gave it to my mother for finishing. The idea was that it would be a joint gift from the both of us. I neglected to mention this to my mother. She was surprised.

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I got to work on this after a bit of a sewing spree in the early part of the year, a spree you wouldn’t know about since between snow and snow and more snow and then rain and technology woes, picture taking has been a chore I just can’t deal with.

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My sewing hobby was starting to get expensive, like that time 10 years ago when I was going through a Brooklyn Tweed Noro Scarf thing and could knit a scarf with $$$ worth of yarn in it in 4 days. You gotta put the brakes on sometimes if you don’t want to break the bank. Enter slow, steady, economical cross-stitch.

Those scarves are still gorgeous. Makes you want to buy some Noro Silk Garden, doesn’t it? No? Just me?

Absent

Don’t you hate it when a blogger logs in only to tell you how busy she’s been? Yeah, me too. Instead, here’s a silly thing I made, the perfect thing to quickly show you since there’s really not much to say about it. It was an impulse purchase from Jo-Ann. I made it up over a couple evenings and offered it to MJ who didn’t much care. Fair enough, kid, fair enough. I’ll claim it for my own, then.

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Y un forno che non va

The first time I studied abroad was to Rome where I stayed with a host family. I was self-conscious and shy and spent a lot of time that my host family thought I should be going out and dancing staying in and reading. I learned that no matter where you go in the world you go you take yourself with you and that my host family preferred Texans.

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Little Italy by Satsuma Street

I also got lost every day, discovered Belgium beer, skinny-dipped in the Adriatic, told everyone who would listen that I was going to marry my boyfriend of 9 months (I did), formed fast, intense friendships that flamed out as quickly as they began, met one friend who would be a soulmate, and declared to my parents on the drive home from the airport that they didn’t have to worry about me going back there for an academic year. Which I did.

Cross-stitch is slow. Contemplative. Events created a break in my life and my sense of self and I am surprised by how therapeutic it felt to make this and think about that long past time in my life, like maybe I might find a way to reconcile and synthesize the me before with the me after. Cross-stitch was my first and only craft obsession for a long time. I took my cross-stitch with me me to Italy. It was what I turned to to fill my evenings when I couldn’t knit or do much else. It’s surprising how much slowly pushing a needle through aida fabric can dredge up.