This song by Enya reminds me so much of the lazy, hazy days of summer and this post is all about temperature.
First off, let’s have a look at Flora, who is wandering in a Florentine garden during Spring:
Although she is in soft focus (purely because the original is life-sized and my piece is a mere 33 x 68cm/13 x 31″), Meredith at Scarlet Quince designs has still managed to capture the flowing nature of her gown. I just love it. I reckon I have another two days’ work on this row and then 7-8 weeks on the last row, which is about the same depth as the one I’m working on. However, she will have to wait a little while longer as I have a new start!
Let me introduce you to Nikki’s Miami Heat:
We offered Nikki a choice of various logos and styles and I am so glad she picked this one as it is much more interesting from a stitcher’s viewpoint due to the colour changes.
There were some problems getting the sharpness of Nikki’s name and Miami Heat to match as the latter is taken from the team’s artwork and the former was created using the matching font from Microsoft Office. Note, the A and T are stylized versions of the font so DH couldn’t just replace the artwork with the font. Given this, I emailed the basketball team to see if they could help out; however, not a single reply, despite writing to two different email addresses along with a couple of polite nudges. Hey ho, back to the drawing board. Amongst all his preparations for the conference in Guatemala and other pressing deadlines, DH found a high-resolution image on their website and adapted it to create the image above. Have I said he is just the loveliest husband? I then ran the image through my cross stitch pattern maker trying out various styles to get the best blend of colours – some just came out with defined hoops of colours rather than the gentle change from orange to red and yellow you can see above. I then took out all the white and white variations as I am going to leave the background blank, including within the ball itself. Funnily enough, the lettering and the hoop are not 100% black but are 50% black, 25% a red/green blend, and 25% a blue/red copper blend, possibly to reflect the heat of the ball?
The final statistics are:
- Design: 200 x 282 stitches, 12.5 x 17.6″ on white Belfast linen (16/32 count)
- Colours: 119 including 42 blends. This is a similar number of colours/blends to Island Mood Patchwork, so I am hoping for great things on the colour changes. Here are the colours – sorted in number order for ease of selection when stitching:
119 Colours including 42 Blends
I would really like to get this finished in time for Christmas; however, factoring in the framing, it might be a little later than that. Anyway, I have put aside Flora to concentrate solely on Miami Heat for the duration.
At the end of last week, DH jetted off to Guatemala for the conference I mentioned and has now moved on to Florida for a well-deserved rest visiting my brother-in-law and his family, including my four lovely nieces. Nikki’s Nordic Santa has been safely delivered, which completes the set of four designs. Take a look here and scroll down to the bottom. You can click on a picture for a larger/carousel view.
As you know, I stitch a lot, which involves a lot of sitting. Over the years I have had to manage the various muscle pains which arise from such physical inactivity. My method is to stitch for 30 minutes and then practice yoga for 10 minutes; however, I found it didn’t go deep enough to really address the pain in my back (created by holding my hands in front of me for extended periods of time) and the pain in my backside (from sitting down and tightening the glutes, which presses on the piriformis – otherwise known as a PITA). Obviously, giving up stitching is a non-starter. However, I came across these two exercises and they have improved matters massively:
First, the latissimus dorsi (don’t get hung up on the latin, it’s just a muscle in your back). You will need a lacrosse ball, as it won’t slip when working against a wall, unlike a tennis ball. The information you need is here: Excerpt from Davies & Davies Trigger Point Therapy Workbook. This is just a useful book to have anyway and I commend it to you.
Finally, the glutes and piriformis. This video shows a brilliant version of this stretch as you use a wall and body weight to create the stretch rather than using your arms. I hold each side for the duration of a song and breathe into the area being stretched.
Is it silly to say I am beyond excited about starting Miami Heat? Who cares! I am! Enjoy the rest of your Summer!