Siege Diaries 10/25/2021

It’s been quite a few days since I’ve written anything. I’ve been enjoying the vacation from the tyranny of writing every day for public consumption, but I haven’t stopped thinking. Or doing.

I’ve finished another Shostakovich embroidered piece, although I’m not entirely happy with the way it photographs, especially the face; in real life the indvidual stitches do not stand out quite so much. Notably on this one, I added padding underneath the embroidery to make it somewhat three dimensional. This was to counteract the fact that the fabric here is not under tension in the finished piece, so this smooths it out a bit. For the next piece I won’t make the mistake of not tensioning it in the final finishing. I am also thinking of getting away from the silk for a bit and venturing into cotton. It will expand my palette of greys and cut down on some of the shine. I’ve already picked my next photo, but for the following one I am thinking of working up my own design again and using some of the hand-dyed fibres (see below) with more of an abstract look.

This was the piece I started on the composer’s birthday, exactly one month ago today, and put aside for nearly three weeks as other projects intervened. It’s sort of fitting that I put the final touches on it today, exactly one month later.

Tonight–or maybe tomorrow–I am going to get started on a C&I project. This one has landed itself up higher in the queue, since I’d like to hand it off at this weekend’s event. I suspect tonight might just to do the mental design work.

Deutschland 89 has arrived, I’ve started watching it, and as I did for its two predecessors, I have feelings. The first episode takes place largely on November 9, 1989. Once again, the music, the set dressing, and the clothing and hairstyles (oh, the late-80s enormous hair!) are pitch perfect, but what just blows me out of the water was a scene where various bureaucrats at the HVA (the foreign intelligence wing of the Stasi) sit around a table watching events unfold at the checkpoints between East and West Berlin. They’re confident the border guards will hold the line and ask for visas, and their reaction when things go a little differently–what the viewer knows marks the beginning of the end for the DDR–is perhaps the highlight of all three seasons so far. So there are those feelings, and then there are the general 1989 feelings that these events engendered in 22-year-old me. I’ve written about those before–I can honestly say they were the high point of hope for humanity for me during my lifetime; it’s been a roller coaster since, but it was special. I am looking forward to finding out where the remaining seven episodes take me.

There was nothing planned on Saturday this past weekend, so we drove out to Upper Canada Mall for a little Union Chicken and a drive back through the hills and vistas of York, Caledon, and Dufferin County. It was a little past peak for the fall leaves, but there were still many stands of flaming reds, yellows, and oranges. I also spent the time to wind up all of the gorgeous dyed threads from the vigil so that they will stop tangling.

The Speechcraft session I have been running for Toastmasters is coming to an end tomorrow, although I still have plans to put together a webinar based on my experiences running it. It’s gone well, and I’m hoping to continue to be able to mentor others who are putting sessions together.

Another milestone for the SCA will take place on Saturday, with the first Crown Tourney in two years. I’ll also be stepping up as Trillium Herald, assisting with the tourney heraldry, and have assembled a ceremony for a Pelican elevation. I’m also putting together a second herald’s baton to provide to the new Pentland Herald. There will be a break of about a month for events, then. I have prizes to get together for QPT at the end of November and a scroll for a friend for December, as well as helping with another ceremony.

I’m also just over three weeks away from my trip to Montreal. And the year is slipping away…