Tonight I was sitting around bored, feeling not too motivated to finish cleaning the apartment or do any of the myriad small chores that need to be done, and trying to figure out what to do next. I wound up pulling out an old, old project from about five years ago, Teresa Wentzler’s Peacock Tapestry and starting work on it again, after about a two year hiatus.
A little background: the Peacock Tapestry is a HUGE cross-stitching project, 280 x 180 stitches, full of blended colors, quarter stitches, and other difficult bits. I estimate I’ve put in about 200 hours on it already and have about 200 hours left to go. I tackled it when I was young and considerably more optimistic than I currently am (nowadays I just take on small projects like writing books and riding AIDS Lifecycle 😉 ), and got halfway done before going on to other things. Cross-stitch doesn’t really hold my interest well, requiring (with apologies to cross-stitch lovers) the creativity of a gnat. It’s essentially paint by numbers, with the designer telling you exactly what colors to use and where to put them; there’s some technique involved, but as a whole it’s pretty mindless.
I adapted the Peacock Tapestry a bit to put my stamp on it, mostly by swapping out the cotton embroidery floss specified for a more luxurious silk, which practically glows against the linen background. (The difference, alas, is not obvious in the scanned image.) But it still requires more technique and attention than creativity.
Which is exactly what I want right now. I want my creative energies focused on the book, not on mastering some new technique or experimenting with dyes or (generally) creating anything else. But I also love working with my hands, usually on some kind of fiber arts. So I think cross-stitch will fill the void quite nicely, at least for now.
Now, about the book. I’m going back to work on it. I think now that I’ve resolved my emotional issues around AIDS Lifecycle, it should go considerably quicker. I still need to get my tapes back from my transcriptionist (I ran out of money to pay him) so I can finish transcribing them myself, but I have a lot of good material to work with right now, so I think I can get quite a bit done even without those tapes. I plan to start sometime next week, or perhaps on my birthday (which comes up on Thursday). I think that would be an auspicious day to start.