Yesterday was Seb's birthday, and it was a somewhat eventful one. Everything was fine in the morning - we had to go and buy a few things for our trip to Ireland (the eternal brain-teaser of finding a bag large enough for me to travel for a fortnight, and yet that fits my back... Of course the "junior' bags aren't capacious enough! Am I a dwarf or what?). We also wanted sunhats in case the sun is hot in Ireland, but when I saw the price (and it was 50% off!) I said "OK... I'll make us some". Another birthday gift for Seb then!
We decided Seb would open his gifts at tea-time, after the clafoutis (edited for Jo: a clafoutis is a French cake, made of a sort of batter and fruit. After making the batter you pour it onto the fruit in the baking pan, and bake it for half an hour. I can write up the recipe if you wish to try it! It's a delicious, light cake.). Early in the afternoon, Seb left for an hour on some errands - that was the perfect opportunity to frame Skyscape, the cross-stitch project I'd been stitching for months for his birthday. Trouble is, when I removed the glass from the frame, I cut off a bit of a finger. Not much, mind you - a bit of flesh at the knuckle. But enough to make it bleed, and bleed... Of course, such things always happen on Saturday afternoons or Sundays, when the doctors are off work! At first I thought that was no big deal. It hurt a lot but I thought, "stop your whining, it'll pass"... Typical me. I wrapped it tight so I could finish framing Skyscape; but I started getting a bit worried when I realized the bandage was soaked through after only 1 minute. But I wanted to wait for Seb to come back and have his opinion before leaving home and try to get some help... I didnt want him to come to an empty house and he has no mobile phone. Seb was really angry when he got back and heard the story! So off we went to a chemist's. It appeared going to the hospital wouldn't help : since the cut was at a bending point, they wouldn't have been able to put a stitch in (yeah I know, a stitch, how appropriate). The chemist was absolutely adorable: she sprayed some hemostatic tincture on the wound, again and again and again, until the wound started bleeding at last. Then she made a compress soaked in the tincture, and told us to attach a small bit of wood as a splint so the finger wouldn't bend. And she refused to have us pay for the bandage and tincture. Yes, the chemists in France are great!
So here I am, with a ridiculous bit of wood over a bandage at the left index. Needless to say I've been unable to stitch... I so wanted to stitch on the Petal Fairy again! I did manage to sew a little today... And I feel so bad, yesterday was the day when Seb was supposed to do nothing but relax and he finally had to do the whole washing-up! I felt so bad.
But enough of that. I bet pictures will be much more interesting! It's high time I talked about Seb's gifts at last...
Here is... Skyscape, which I'd been stitching since last April :This is the biggest x-stitch project I've ever tackled. It was tricky because I couldn't stitch when Seb was there... And yet I usually stitch when he's there, in the evening and during the weekend. So I stitched it mainly on the weekends when I went to my parents'; and over the last few weeks, when I had some time during the day. I was afraid I wouldn't finish it in time - the backstitching was so extensive.
Here it is framed (in the evil frame ):That was the "big" gift. He really likes it. We're both fond (among other periods) of early 20ieth-century art, and this design is directly inspired by Art Deco artists. It is no accident that my literary research is on a modernist author of the same period!
I don't know if you can see the silver threads and beads... I removed the wicked glass from the frame so the beads wouldn't be crushed.
Next came a kitty quilt:
Seb was quite surprised to hear I made it in only 2 days! That's tough isn't it. Skyscape took 60-70 hours to stitch, and the quilt was done in 2 days... But that may explain partly why I like to alternate stitching and sewing...
(I find it so difficult to take a good picture of a quilt! The softness of the fabric makes it look all crooked... Honestly it isn't! )
I had completely fallen in love with the fabric when I saw it. Unfortunately the edges were so close to the design there wasn't even room for seam allowances... So all I could do was to pink the fabric and sew it onto a larger black fabric.
Next came two boxer shorts, which I embroidered with aboriginal designs :
I hope my Australian readers will enjoy the designs? Seb went hiking in Australia two days ago and brought back some aboriginal paintings and a fascination for the art... And that is one of the reasons why I so enjoy reading blogs from Australia! (besides the fact that you Australian ladies make such impressive needlwork...)
Finally, I gave him the DVD of Apocalyse Now, which we watched in the evening.
Violette was very actively involved in the party...