|La Migraine. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons. My|
favorite part of this picture? The maid running to
halt the little boy playing a big drum. Ohhh, the pain!
Or will -- here her head drops to the marginal comfort of her crossed forearms -- will she lie in her chamber, the curtains drawn against excruciating light, her ears stopped with pillows to the ordinarily dear sounds of her own children, a heating pad under the neck and a cold compress on the forehead, wrestling in despair with the devils hammering at all sides of her head?
That moment lies in the next chapter, my friends, but if plot twists past indicate accurately, the abominable headache bed is as likely as the Jane Austen Festival. For our heroine and her family are prey to the migraine and to the spectre of overwork.
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Well, let's leave that grim scene, shall we? I've visited it too often in the last year to make writing about it any more than a barren pleasure.
So, if you see me next weekend at the Jane Austen Festival at Locust Grove in Louisville, with my twins in hand, let's celebrate together, for I've been looking forward to returning to the festival since last July. Bonnie Wise and all the staff and volunteers put on a really memorable Regency-themed weekend. If you don't see me, you will know that a) I am trying to keep the boys far from my husband's office, where he is working with few breaks, or b) the headache bed has reclaimed its victim and unseated the entire family's equilibrium.
If you do see me, you probably won't see this, at least finished and on my back:
|The back section of the sleeveless spencer, pinned to the embroidery frame|
De Saint-Aubin's The Art of the Embroiderer, 1770
For example, I could have been doing my flat silk embroidery with what is now known as split stitch, and have avoided the issues that have arisen with trying to do shading with laid stitch. Split stitch was the recommended method for embroideresses to use when doing shaded flat silk work. The stitch remains today, and Mary Corbet has an online tutorial about it, as part of her long-and-short-stitch tutorial, bless her.
Then too, de Saint-Aubin at last convinced me of what no one else could, that pinning my work to the impromptu embroidery frame may be fine for loose work on gauze, but not for silk. I need a real frame to get the proper tension and so avoid the puckers that bother some of the motifs. Now to figure out how to make one, because purchasing one is not in the cards -- erm -- wallet.
Finally, the book tells us how to work with silk chenille! At last, solid help in this area, for it's actually not as easy at it seems! Is anything ever as easy as it seems? Really?
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Ah, the current headache has lifted a little. It's not a migraine, just a run-of-the-mill bother, and I can at least write a bit. Now it's to work awhile. A deadline looms next week, and if I get a jump on it, so much the better. One never knows what the next day will serve up.