I have mentioned before how much our family loves the local library. I have always loved books, and love to foster a love for books in my children also. But more than that, there is the excitement of not knowing what you are going to find from one week to the next. I love that our city libraries rotate books around, so the half a shelf of craft books are not always the same ones. The sense of anticipation before a trip to the library is similar to that before a trip to an op-shop - but the library has the added advantage of not emptying your wallet!
One of the lovely, romantic things my husband does from time to time is surprise me with some library books he has chosen for me at the city library on his way home from work. The intention is always super sweet but the books can be a bit hit and miss. However, he did this recently and hit a real winner. The book is called "Embroidery For All Seasons", by Diana Lampe with Jane Fisk, published by Milner.
WOW! This book really got me itching to pick up needle and thread. It also totally intimidated me! Check out this illustration below - the book is roughly A4 size, and this illustration covers the entire page, and is life-sized. Isn't that AMAZING??
Anyway, suffice to say I could not long hold off actually attempting something from the book. Most of the designs required too many different colours, outside of my current collection of threads, but the silver birch caught my eye (below right, as illustrated in the book). It required only 3 colours, and while I did not have the exact correct numbers, I thought they were close enough. I learned some new stitches, and thoroughly enjoyed the process. My attempt is below left, as stitched on simple, unbleached calico. I think the embroidery hoop frames the tree nicely (as seen in the pic at the top of the post).
This has satisfied my craving for now, but I may just have to put the book on my birthday list this year, so I can attempt some of the other beautiful designs in the book.