Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Reading's Fun Too

A friend recently asked me why I didn't have more posts on my blog about books.   And since I don't have much recent stitching in a state ready to show ANYONE, this seemed like the perfect time.....

.....especially since I've found a NEW series of medieval mysteries by author Mel Starr, featuring Hugh de Singleton, surgeon, living near Oxford c. 1375.

So far there are three in the series:  The Unquiet Bones, A Corpse at St. Andrew's Chapel, and A Trail of Ink.  I've really been enjoying them!

I do find that each of my looooong list of series of historical who-done-its has a little different focus.  In the case of the Master Hugh series, the author spends a lot of time with little details. . . mostly of ordinary daily life. . . woven in the the story-telling.  Mel includes a lot about what folks are eating and wearing -- from the type of shoes a peasant might wear to the "high fashion" garb of a 14th century dandy.  The focus seems mostly on quick glimpses about the life of "ordinary" people. . . which to my mind is most interesting. . . for example,. as what the type of hinges on the front door might say about the prosperity of a peasant family.   The pace of these tales is fairly leisurely, which to me mirrors the slower pace of life of the time. . . and the fact that our hero, Master Hugh, is first a bailiff....then a surgeon, and only third a "detective."  

I hardily recommend the series to those who read historical fiction both for the story AND the history.  For folks who like fast paced suspense, these books may be a little tame.

I'm crossing my fingers this is just a start in a long series. . . especially since the authors of a number of my favorite many-volume series seem to be winding down.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Some Summer Stitching

I admit I have hardly been turbo-stitching recently, but have not abandoned my needle and thread.  I recently completed a model of an interesting 19th century reproduction sampler for a new designer.  Needless to day, I can hardly steal her thunder.  So I need to wait to show you pictures until she launches her new web site.  Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I have also finished a small Dresden Lace piece that was taught for our EGA chapter by wonderful teacher Jane Ellen Balzuweit.  I enjoy doing pulled thread, and found that working on the very fine count linen wasn't really a problem.  In fact, compared to doing pulled stitches on 32 count, for example, with the shadow work linen, you could make a little error and it really doesn't show. With around 50 threads to the inch, being one thread off just doesn't shout WRONG WRONG WRONG the way it does with other fabrics.

This piece is designed to be mounted on an Altoid tin top. . . so I need to pull my materials together and get that done. . . but as some of you know, I don't really enjoy doing finishing. . . so when will that be done.......???