After our fabulous day out in London, on Thursday I was ready to get back to stitching. It’s such a luxury to have whole days dedicated to doing something I love, with no interruptions or distractions. I am forever grateful… I left the hotel at the usual time but the bus was running later on Thursday morning due to the Tube strikes of the days before apparently. This turned out to be a GOOD THING. I checked what time the bus would arrive on the trusty electronic sign at each bus stop. These signs are controlled by a computer and tell you exactly how many minutes until the next bus comes – and they’re accurate! I saw there was time to go get a proper coffee! We walked past this place (see below) most evenings as we explored Teddington but we’d not gone in and I thought it was worth a punt (as they say in England!).
I ordered a cappuccino and the waiter asked “Would you like a pastry?” “No, thank you” I responded and he said “That’s £2.50.” I then looked at the pastries and changed my mind – as one does sometimes, especially when confronted with delicious looking French pastries, and asked for an almond croissant with my coffee. He said “That will be £2.50.” “Oh, but I’m also having a coffee” I explained. “I remember,” he replied, “It’s £2.50 for coffee and a pastry every morning.” Wow! What a deal in London! As I sat waiting for the bus – which was right on time, I might add – I decided it was a good thing I didn’t discover this earlier in the week !
Suitably fortified for a day of canvaswork, I got off the bus and walked through the palace and upstairs to the RSN. There were new people in the studio and a few from Monday and Tuesday back again. We said good morning and took time to look at one another’s work for a few minutes. One of my favourite things about being at the RSN is seeing all the different work students are doing! I got settled and the tutors came around to see how we were all progressing. I was feeling more confident and said I would carry on working the spot stitch up the trunk of the tree. I got quite a long way and thought it was looking fine until I stood back and really looked at it from a different perspective. That was when I saw that my idea of varying the lengths of the stitches to mimic the various lengths of the bark in the original image was not going to look very nice at all. In fact, it looked messy and disorganised.
I’d tried to slant the stitches to follow the slant of the tree trunk and it hadn’t worked out. Rather than getting upset and frustrated, I decided to move away and begin work on the green needles of the tree. One of the tutors came over and demonstrated how to work tent stitch (as different from basket weave, I think – it’s all in how you put the stitches in…). We talked about mixing threads in green and grey to make the needles come alive and that sounded like fun. I worked on this until the end of the day and was pleased with the work I accomplished. As I cleaned up my tools and threads and prepared to cover my work with tissue paper, I thought to myself, “Tomorrow is another day and I’ll sort out the tree trunk then”.
Have you ever left something you know had to be fixed until later, when you would have the energy and patience to do it calmly? Did it work? Leave your comments below and I’ll tell you how it went for me on my last day, Friday, next time.