Another book, and being a proud satsuma

A few days ago a lovely surprise came in the post – I’d pre-ordered Lizzy Pye’s Goldwork Embroidery: Techniques and Projects and although we had been warned on her FB page to expect some delay, that delay turned out to be shorter than expected! So here it is, signed and all.

Lizzy Pye's goldwork book Signed by the author

And a first perusal shows it to be a wonderful addition to my stitching library – good photographs, clear explanations, and some interesting facts I didn’t know. And as an unexpected bonus, two of the projects in the book turn out to be designs I had been eyeing up on the Laurelin website: The Holly and the Ivy and the Silk and Goldwork Butterfly. Both very pretty designs, but until now only available as kits, and I could see that I already had all the materials in my stash. So now I can have a go at them whenever I like! (Well, after the SAL, the Certificate, the goldwork race horse, Hengest, Mechthild, the Llandrindod cross, the silk and gold flower, the silverwork umbrella…)

The Holly & Ivy project The Butterfly project

I also received some cotton sateen fabrics, about which I will write more in the near future. These are Empress Mills’ heavyweight Mountmellick fabric (the white) and cotton sateen (the cream). A friend of mine will be using the Mountmellick for her Tree of Life, so I’ll be sure to ask her opinion of it as well.

Two Empress Mills fabrics

And finally, something only tangentially (or tangerine-ly?) stitch-related. I love embroidery and (very un-British of me to say this, but then I’m not British smiley) I’m quite good at it. But I have long since realised and accepted that there are extremely talented people out there who produce work of a kind and standard that I will never produce (take a bow Mary Corbet, among others). And you know what? It doesn’t matter! I do the best that I can, and – very important, this – I enjoy it. And for all of us who are never going to be the absolute best at something, I’ve found an encouraging quotation. Commenting on the fact that small can be beautiful (and I will stretch this to mean that small achievements can be beautiful) the Rev Canon Dr Rob Kelsey remarked “A satsuma is not a failed orange”. It can be inspirational to look at the oranges of this world and admire them, but for those of us who are not, let’s take pride in being jolly good satsumas!

A satsuma is not a failed orange

6 comments on “Another book, and being a proud satsuma

  1. Hear! Hear! Mabel. Sometimes books like this and pieces of embroidery eg. your certificate Tree of Life can make one feel totally inadequate but when I hear that voice saying “you can’t do that” I force myself to reply “maybe not but I can do my best and that’s all anyone should expect”. On the other hand a dear friend, who by her own admission can’t thread a needle but is a fantastic baker, picked up my doodle cloth on Friday and said “Wow, that’s looking good” mistaking it for the actual SAL. Satsumas rule ok.

  2. That must be some doodle cloth you’re producing 🙂 Perhaps you can teach her to stitch in exchange for a cake?

  3. Isn’t their a saying as well that the perfect can be the enemy of the good? On the other hand, I do aspire to be as perfect a satsuma as I can be 🙂

  4. Late to the party here, but since a satsuma isn’t a failed orange, then it stands to reason that a nectarine is not a failed peach. Which is excellent news, since I love all these fruits, but there is no doubt that (where I live) nectarines travel better to market than peaches, and are, therefore, generally more enjoyable.

    So, Mabel, you can aspire to be either your best satsuma or your best nectarine, depending on the season.

    (I think I need a coffee…)

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