Because life has just been one thing after another…but I’m doing all right.
So I’ve been spending a lot of time working on products for my shop, which requires me to indulge in my favorite embroidery addictions.
I’m happy to say that it seems to be paying off just a wee bit – as I’ve had two sales in two weeks, and two more of my upcoming embroidery projects have garnered a lot of interest – which is an exciting and welcome distraction from the emotional intensity of the last two weeks.
Since the items folks searched for most often as well as ‘liked’ most often within my shop happen to be
’embroidered altar cloths’
Thus I’ve been testing different patterns of runes, along with testing out different thread blends, stitch patterns, and a lot of sketching (because one of my favorite things about my product process is developing various ideas and incorporating new imagery for embroidering onto altar cloths.)
But as much as I have been making a lot of altar cloths for my shop, I decided to make a new altar cloth for my personal altar.
I didn’t have a concrete idea in mind, though. I hadn’t mapped anything out.
But I figured that I would come up with something.
So, beginning at the lower left corner, I started stitching a smaller version of this design:
(It’s hard to see out of a color scheme but it’s a heart entwined into a triple horn – a design I’ve come to use to represent both of Them.)
And if you know me, I like working with color blends.
It’s a little more work – but I think it’s definitely worth it.
(One shade of red, two oranges, and a yellow for Loki, and four shades of blue for Odin. )
At first, I’d only intended to stitch this design onto one corner…but it’s as if I like to make work for myself when it comes to embroidery
so I stitched it onto two corners:
Then, I sized down a particular border layout, as I wanted to test out some of my new silk thread blends, so I began embroidering
my favorite thing:
a border of Elder Futhark runes.
But a challenge arose with the fabric – a black and grey cotton tie dye – as I found myself struggling to find a color combination that would ‘show up’ against the fabric which had so much variation in color and shade.
A lot of the lighter colors appeared ‘washed out’ in the pattern, so I tried several shades of blue, lavender, and grey thread as tests:
(For example, the Ansuz (ᚨ) is a light blue thread, and the Kenaz (ᚲ) is a lavender thread, though here, they look the same, in that light. O.o)
So I picked out/undid the stitching of the lavender thread, and continued the borders in a light to medium blue.
Fehu to Jera on the left side…and Eihwaz to Othala on the right side.
So, I thought perhaps the two heart/triplehorn should
flank sixteen larger runes
– *an invitation in dark blue*-
for the central portion of the altar cloth.
But this blue looked oddly ‘sunk’ (appearing to fade/disappear) against the darker portions of the pattern:
So, as you see here, I decided to outline the darker runes with a silk blend silver thread…
and I really liked the way it looked.
I liked it so much that I don’t know what I was thinking but
– silly me! –
I wondered how long could it take to outline sixteen runes?
I love embroidering runes (really I do!) so it won’t take long, I thought.
I mean, I’ve had lots of practice, eh?
Since it took me about a half of an hour to hand-stitch the 24 runes (12 on each side)
and about twenty more minutes to stitch the sixteen runes in the center
I figured it would take me an hour
– maybe two –
to outline all of them.
Well, I am a lot slower than I thought.
It took me almost three hours to outline just those sixteen dark blue runes on this altar cloth.
(Perhaps some other day, I will outline the 24 lighter ones that border the edges at the left and the right.)
And then the next day…after walking the dogs and doing my daily routines,
I decided that this altar cloth also needed to have a design to separate *the two sets of eight runes in the center.*
That invitation which looks like this:
At first, I thought I’d just make a little twist or a swirl, but no matter what I did
It didn’t look right.
So I picked, cut, and pulled out all the threads of that little swirly circular button.
And then I decided, how about the World Tree?
I mean, I had about a 2 or 3 inch rectangle to work with, so I thought I’d stitch this, in bright green thread:
(Psst…it was harder than it looked!)
It’s so hard to make things look symmetrical after midnight.
So, again, I unraveled that design and I picked out all those long, graceful stitches
And I sat there staring at it for a bit.
But then I did another World Tree:
I thought it covered up the pulling spots nicely 🙂
Finished outlining the letters…
and as the finishing touch, I stitched a purple border around the heart/triple horns.
And here it is – my new altar cloth –
Hail Loki ❤ Hail Odin
So, as a parent, a Floridian, and an American citizen, I have been thinking a lot about the issues surrounding guns and gun control, along with some personal thoughts on being so recently reminded of the fragility of life and the (sometimes horrifying) inevitability of change.
While I had planned on writing a post about these thoughts – including my opinion that while Donald Trump might talk a good game, I find it highly unlikely that he’d have the wherewithal to run into an active shooter situation to save anybody – I realized that the facts of the experience which I’d meant to call upon to back this personal opinion are presently unavailable to me.
Y’see, in December 22, 2009, I had my own terrifying experience with an active shooter situation … and while I did protect my child (who was seven years old at the time) and myself, the sobering reality of that situation forever changed my mind concerning What I Would Do in an Active Shooter Situation.*
So, unlike Donald Trump… I do know what I would do … and honestly, it wasn’t what I would have thought that I would have done.
But as you might imagine, such situations never seem to play out exactly the way that one would expect, and that’s what makes them so jarring in the way they define our views and responses ever after.
But at any rate, it saves you all from having to read my heavy thoughts on a rather uncomfortable topic, but I had planned to tell you all about it by sharing a glimpse of a defining personal experience.
Instead, I leave you with the haunting truth of this:
*But unfortunately, my access to the finer details of those memories – in the form of a heavily filtered LiveJournal post that I made two days after the event to inform several worried out-of-state friends – is unavailable to me at this time.
It turns out that I cannot log into my LiveJournal after 5+ years of solid inactivity and expect myself to remember the exact password.