Friday, July 24, 2015

Wondrous Beauty

I liked this quote so much I stitched it twice (and I hate stitching the same thing twice). It's from a Moomins book by Tove Jansson (check then out if you haven't yet, I've read one and really liked it). 

The pattern is up in my shop now. Up to now I've been very hesitant to use any non-DMC thread in my patterns. A lot of people seem to have trouble choosing colors themselves and I felt like everything I used should be easily available. I've threw that to the wind with this project. Kreinik metallics plus "wondrous beauty" on both pieces is done with over dyed stranded silk from another Etsy sellers. I have pretty threads and I want to use them! I will probably try to stick to commercially available products though, since you never know when an Etsy user will close shop or get rid of an item.

Trying to capture the gorgeous gleam of the metallic border was frustrating and impossible. Then trying to have the colors be accurate on the black aida was as terrible as I remember. I love black aida, and I hate it. Everything looks so awesome on black though. Wish everyone could see these pieces in person.

I just finished an excellent book for book-lovers, When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning. It's about the drive to get books to servicemen (they didn't bother supplying service women, annoyingly) during WWII, and the creation of the Armed Services Edition paperback, specially designed to be light and portable and readable in any situation. Books soon became the most important 'luxury' for the troops, and many wrote letters to the authors and publishers. This program is basically what led to The Great Gatsby becoming an American classic (mixed feelings for me, I found that book so boring).

The program created a generation of readers who knew the incredible psychological value of reading, and won over many who hadn't previously been readers. It's a wonderful, feel good story. Interestingly, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was one of the most popular, despite being narrated by a young girl. Author Betty Smith received an average of four letters per day from servicemen and responded to all of them.


  1. It's a great quote, and I too love black Aida, though getting metallic threads to display properly in photographs is nigh impossible (I read Mary Corbett's Needle'nThread blog, and she just blogged about this issue). I really like using Kreinik over DMC metallic threads--the latter seem to be designed to fray. Perhaps we are supposed to couch them instead? Which still doesn't make sense, as they are not THAT nice or showy.

    Thank you for sharing the book recommendation. Service people all over the world struggle with boredom during down time, as well as with escaping (at least mentally) the realities of their circumstances, and reading is often the most accessible distraction. Many years ago, I participated in a couple of reader-driven programs to send boxes of books to sailors and Marines. Most of the books were romances, and it was great to receive letters from these tough guys (as most of them were men), discussing the stories, the writing, the authors, and asking for more.

    1. The DMC metallic I tried me so mad, and yeah, it's not even that shiny. Plus I love an extra bit of West Virginia pride. Plus the core on the red I used was a dark grey and kept showing through.

      I've participated in Soldiers Angels on and off for a while (off lately), mostly writing letters and sending postcards and the occasional package. I may be a pacifist, but I never felt there was any conflict in that. I wonder if there was a significant difference in mental health levels between the US and UK veterans of WWII, as the UK didn't have that kind of specialized book program due to the rationing, shortages, and the fact that many publishing operations were bombed (hardbacks were donated, but weren't portable enough of course). Just going on popular culture, I'd say US vets coped more easily and I don't think it's an exaggeration to put that down to reading. It was really a great read.