Well the figure of Frida in my piece is pretty much done (just a couple tiny details to do which will only take a couple minutes). I'm really pleased with how she's turned out. At first I thought I'd overdone it, made her clothes too crazy and clashing but it is not supposed to be a rendition of a photograph, after all. It is supposed to be more like a painting. Her paintings are colorful and bright and full full full.
So in those terms I think she's turned out beautifully. I struggled for a few days with how to do her skirt and was very pleased with myself for the idea that finally came. Doing the outline in heavy chain stitch (well, medium heavy really) relates the heft of the fabric and stands out well from the other clothes. The double herring bone works well for filling the space but still showing that the background is white. Finding good stitches for the colored parts proved harder than I'd expected.
It is nice to take my time with a piece instead of feverishly rushing through it as I do with cross-stitch and blackwork. Free embroidery (is this a clear term? since cross-stitch and blackwork are types of embroidery the classification seems necessary) is languid, soft, free wheeling across the fabric like kids doing cartwheels on summer evenings. It is the hippie sibling of the penned-in housewife that is cross-stitch and the upright, English Lady that is blackwork. I love them all, but there's more excitement working on blank fabric without a chart, without clear lines to follow. It is a balm to the soul.
I am happy today. It is very warm, mid to high 40s. I went out in a tank top and skirt and was still too hot in the sun. There are six blossoms sprouting out on my dwarf lemon tree and I can't wait to see them bloom. I made shepherd's pie with leftover chili last night and it turned out really well. I don't know of any American recipes for using leftovers, all the ones I know are English or Mexican or other foreign things (shepherd's pie, chilaquiles, bubble and squeak...). Americans just serve the same food again making a lot of people have an irrational dislike of leftovers (I've known people who refuse to eat leftovers). My brother is coming on Sunday and staying for about a week to help work on the house my mother just bought. I haven't seen him since early October and I've missed him a lot lately.
Here's to spring weather (love spring, hate summer), lemon tree blossoms, good food, and the expectation of good drink (once February starts I'm buying a bottle of single malt Scotch).