Sunday, December 6, 2009

I hate flowers

Over Thanksgiving, I told my brother-in-law that there was a good chance that working on his Christmas present would make me blind.  My mother objected to this, but, as I pointed out, that doesn't ruin the surprise.  I could be writing him an epic poem by candlelight about man's first disobedience or something.

In terms of Christmas gifts, my brother-in-law is actually fairly easy to shop/make something for, so it's pretty sad that it's already come to risking blindness.  He's one of those people that as long as they keep licensing a certain character or a certain series, there will always be potential presents.

  • Brother-in-law: Legend of Zelda
  • Sister: Disney Princess crap (ideally Aurora)
  • Bridget: Hello Kitty
  • Jamel: Harry Potter (ideally Ravenclaw)  
And I usually do try a bit harder than just seeing what's in the Target dollar bin, but that doesn't change the fact that, if there were a way to combine pink glitter, Princess Aurora, and pomeranians, that would be the best present I could ever get my sister.  

But these are all young people--my grandparents have become my biggest Christmas gift challenge because they don't like video game characters and boy wizards.  And because they keep making comments about how, when they die, we can just back the dumpster up to the house.

It's very difficult to come up with an appropriate gift for people who are trying to get rid of a lot of their stuff.  Last year I did 12 Days of Christmas ornaments, and this year I've started a Poinsettia towel.  Because I forgot that, when you cross stitch what is essentially a big blob of red, you have to cross stitch a big blob of red.

It's one of Charles Craft's free designs.  The pattern that comes with the towel is split so that the symbol key is on one side and the pattern is on the other.  The pattern you can print off from the website includes both on the same page, but the symbols are all letters of the alphabet.  You'd think that wouldn't make a difference, but letters of the alphabet (printed in the same color) are even harder to distinguish than arrows pointing in different directions, especially when you're working with various shades of red.

One of the reasons I switched over to my own patterns and stuff on the internet is because most of the cross stitch kits you can find in Michael's are teddy bears, lighthouses, and flowers (which are still much better than shit like Dolly Mama).  

With cross stitch, you start with some squares of color and eventually it starts to turn into a picture.  Flowers are basically just blobs of color and, unlike Pokemon and alphabets, the "Oh, now it's something" moment happens a lot later.  Usually not until you've started backstitching.

Since I'm an awful substitute, I usually bring cross stitch projects to work with me, and the kids'll often ask questions about it.  Someone almost always mentions something about cross stitch being difficult, and I usually say it's pretty easy, but it takes a lot of patience.  And flowers require even more patience than anything else because my brother-in-law's present has looked like [the fruit of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste brought death into the World] for awhile now, but my poinsetta towel looks like pointy red and green things, and I'm already starting to get bored with it.

And giving people one towel is pretty freaking sad when you're my age, so I'm going to need to come up with another one or keep hoping I can find Charles Craft's other two Christmas patterns somewhere.

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