I've written before about the holidays, about how I'm not so great with them, blahblahblah, and you know, no one really wants to hear someone else's existential angst-ridden whinges. It's not attractive when it's done by black-clad, multi-pierced hormonal adolescents, and it's certainly not attractive when it's done by someone who's old enough to deal with it. So this year I thought I'd set myself A Major Project, something that would give me plenty (snort--yes, I'm actually laughing here) to do and keep me occupied. I got all The Real Work--the deadlines, the interviews, all that--done the first part of December, and when The EGE got out of school for two weeks off, I pushed away from the computer and got busy.
Oh. My. God. I have stitched and beaded and beaded and stitched for hours and hours and hours. I have beaded and stitched on a couple of little road trips--just day-long ones--and for hours at Starbucks, where The Smelly Guy forces us periodically to hold our breaths and makes me try to practice compassion, which SO does not work for me, not when it involves human beings (he doesn't have a home, but he's educated and articulate and appears to be completely lucid and gets money from his mom, so for him it appears to be a lifestyle choice, and the fact that he doesn't have a plan for personal hygiene and, instead, sits for hours and hours every day in the cafe, skyping wifi and poking frenetically at his iPhone, multiple backpacks and sleeping bags piled around him while he forces other people to breathe in his ever-increasing stench, just makes me the tiniest bit frothy around the mouth. This is putting it mildly. I periodically give him things, trying to overcome my animosity (sometimes it works, giving gifts to people you don't like, acting as if you like them until you actually begin to at least tolerate them. Really: there's something about giving people something useful that will make you view them in a more favorable light. It has worked many times for me, and it worked for a while with this guy, but after almost a year of stench so strong it makes my eyes water, it's kind of passed its effectiveness. Now I just try to ignore him except for having enough warning when he walks past that I can quickquick grab and hold a breath of air.).
I always kind of balk at writing about other people any more, esp. since last year in the Houston airport when we were wandering around, waiting for our flight on The Puddle Jumper From Hell, and a couple walked past us a couple times, the woman checking us out. I figured it was just the way we look, but then she walked up and said, "I read your blog." And then she walked off. I have no idea if it was an "I read your blog and love it and am so happy to stop and say 'hi!'" or if it was an "I read your blog and think you should be ashamed for wasting bandwidth, you self-involved cretin." But I realized that there are people here besides just *us*, and since I don't know who they are and don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, I just try to avoid mentioning anyone unless I'm saying something nice about them. But some people need to be called out, you know?
But never mind that. Never mind that I started to rant! This isn't about that. This is about The Project That Will Not End. I do not want to show it to you because--gack!--it is not finished. I thought I would finish yesterday, but I did not. I thought, well, I'd get up this morning and tackle it and get it closer to being finished, but then I realized that, if I don't show up and post something--anything!--you're going to think I've vanished into the ether and will move on without me, and I'll never see or hear from you again. You won't write; you won't call. I won't have an address to which to send a bat mitzvah card, and one day I'll read in the newspaper that you've been given an ambassadorship to Sweden, and I will be forlorn here, all alone.
So here goes. I'm a little embarrassed to show something unfinished, so this is tough. I still have some of the circles to bead-and-sequin, and then I'll go back and add beads in among the sequins on some of them to vary them up. I don't know if I'm going to do anything inside the stars or not. My anal-retentive nature says yes: you can't leave them bare like this because they look like you stopped in the middle of the project. My aesthetic nature, though, says it's good to have some blank space to offset the heavily beaded parts. Of course the anal-retentive side is much, much stronger from being exercised much, much more over the course of many, many years.
It's from the Alabama Chanin bolero pattern, of course. Two t-shirts. Thread. A ton of beads. And hours of handwork.
Please ignore the cat fur worked into the beading. Sigh. I roll it periodically--you know, with the sticky roll thing. Then I put it into a plastic ziplock bag when I'm not working on it. But there's no way to keep the fur off--Clarice's fur is so fine it floats in the air. I'm sure I have pounds of it in my lungs and gizzard. It's everywhere, literally. So the cat fur in the beading isn't a sign of--gack!--slovenliness, as if I didn't notice there was animal hair. It's a sign that no amount of anal-retentive fur-removal is effective enough to prevent cat fur from becoming a part of everything in the house.
OK. Taking a big breath and Just Doing It.
You can see the blank, as-yet-un-sequined circles here on the back:
I've got more to show you--I've taken some more things to be put up for sale, and I'm going to see if I can find photos of those and show you in case you want to find out more. I'll try to do that later today.
11 hours ago