After the semi-blizzards of the past few days, yesterday morning was a glorious surprise: one of those crisp-cold sunny blue days of winter, where the snow sparkles and all things white are almost too white to look at head-on.
I know that I could write “snow that sparkled like candy sugar”, or “snow sparkling with the fire of a thousand/million/gadzillion/universe-full of diamonds” like all the other kids do, but c’mon, people. Have we no new ideas, no original thoughts, no individual quirks of tongue? Part of being a writer is to capture (and perhaps even keep) the attention of those reading, methinks.
If I wanted to capture the attention of folks likely to be my readers, I might say something more along the lines of “sparkling in all the star-shine hues of swarovski crystals scattered by an unseen hand upon the landscape”.
Or something along those lines. Perhaps something with fewer words, and maybe less schmaltz, even.
If I just use the same imagery everyone else is using, isn’t my writing sort of a strung-together plagarism of quotes off the internet, rather than a reflection of my own personal style and ingenuity?
Yeah, deep thoughts today. So deep that I set my mighty brain to use this morning browsing Christmas-themed apps for my iPhone. ::waggles eyebrows:: Impressive, yes?
Speaking of the Day of the Fat Man: Like any other self-respecting knitter/crocheter/sewist*/weaver, I am working on holiday projects, in addition to my daily struggles with red yarn and stockinette stitch. This year, my mantra has been If You Really Loved It, You Would Finish It.
Thus, I have been creeping along on my Mallard Duck mini-quilt:
Click to embiggen!
As well as making good progress on my Advent Tree quilt:
And, of course, working in the dark of the guest bathroom on the usual Secret Things.
No, I do not have a photo of the Secret Things In Progress. My family, my close friends, my wife, and, as you can see, even my cats all read this blog. They are probably doing so with extra diligence near Christmas, in the hopes of me having a Stupid Moment and writing a post—complete with detailed photos and source linkages—about that One Special Thing intended for THEM. (Sorry, Mom. I am currently out of stock of Stupid Moments. However, I am expecting a delivery of New Improved Stupid Moments any day now.)
I like how the two quilt projects pictured above, in particular, are biting my arse. No, really. They are arse-biters in that they are just a bit beyond my current level of expertise, forcing me to look up good tutorials on the web for what I don’t know, thus ensuring that I learn new things.
Some of this stuff, like the blanket stitch I am using to secure the edges of my appliquéd Advent Tree, some of it I already sort-of knew, but only in a brute force sort of way. This time, I actually searched out examples, step-by-step tutorials, and instruction on the finer points (turning inner vs outer corners, amongst other topics). This time, I wanted to finish the project actually KNOWING how I did things, instead of just cruising along, guessing and improvising along the general correct direction.
Blanket Stitch, I have conquered Thee.
The best Blanket Stitch tutorial I have found covers everything, including how to turn corners, how to turn an inside or an outside point, and more. However, what works for me may be noodle soup to you. The most effective way to find any sort of tutorial (in my experience) is to do a search on Google Images for whatever it is (“blanket stitch how to go around a point”, or “blanket stitch step by step”, or the thing I seem to forget most often, “blanket stitch how to start”). I find it easier to look for an image that makes sense to me, or looks as though it addresses my question, than to read through two-line text descriptions and click on five or six until I find one I understand.
Peace and hugs on this cold winter evening.
P.S. I apologise for the wacky formatting, and the weird sizing of the photos. WordPress “upgraded” their editing interface, and you should have heard the cursing this past hour…
* I am told by my sister that “sewist” is now the favoured term for one who sews. Apparently, some people did not like being called the back-end of a plumbing system, as in “sewer”. Who knew?