Sunday, May 17, 2009

"The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time" ~Abraham Lincoln

It's graduation season, when commencement speakers seek to inspire new graduates by using a quote like this one. The concept of "one day at a time" had to have been a survival technique for President Lincoln who, along with duties as the nation's chief executive, was charged with the task of prosecuting a war to preserve the Union.

Whenever I think I have a lot on my plate, I think of President Lincoln's to-do list and, whoa -- there's instant perspective.

We all seem busier than ever these days. Forget about the Joneses -- I'm just trying to keep up with myself, or the concept of where I should be. But still, is it simply human nature to think that we're busier than our ancestors? Was life really simpler then? Or did our great grandparents recall the carefree days of their own childhoods -- as they tried to grind out a living, raise kids and keep house? I suspect they did.

(Sampler Update: It's coming along . . . onward to July 4th.)

My goal for this summer is to relax and slow down a bit. Like Largo the Snail in the photo, instead of seeking the shortest distance between A and B, I'm going to take the scenic route. Shall we? Good! Meet you in the park in 15 minutes . . .


  1. Beautiful snail, beautiful sentiment. I'm curious about somthing. How do you translate a font into cross stitch? Is it something you do on software? On paper? Do you just trace the letters on the linen and embroider on the fly, hoping for the best?

  2. Lili, I free-hand design the letters (fonts) onto a graph (using a design program, Patternmaker). The program prints a chart, which serves as a "map." No need to trace the design onto the fabric (although some cross stitch projects use printed fabric) -- just cross stitch over the fabric, using the weave as a guide (like a needlepoint mini-canvas), and count each stitch, following the chart specs.

    Off line, I've received some questions about the Snail piece. "Scenic Route" is small, monochromatic unpublished design . . I'll post the chart here tomorrow, as a freebie. Largo the Snail will pop up in future designs, but this is his debut. Thanks, all, for your words of encouragement!

  3. I just learned of your blog from an old link on

    I read through your past entries and had to comment on your previous post about repetition. This technique is used (imho) to excess by the writers of Grey's Anatomy. The characters on that show all have the same tendency to repeat phrases, apparently for emphasis, but it's getting to the point where it's just annoying.

  4. Good evening, Diane. You're playing my song. I find the Grey's Anatomy writing, like "Pick Me, Choose Me, Love Me" just plain awful. Isn't it interesting that Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address in under three minutes -- the length of a commercial break during Grey's Anatomy?

    It's hard to top "of the people, by the people and for the people" . . .

    The saving grace of Grey's Anatomy is the song soundtrack, otherwise I'd watch Home Shopping Network (while stitching, of course, lol). TV-watching is guilt-free if we stitch while we watch, right?