Reputations are a complex thing. Sometimes based on thorough information, sometimes just a few incidents strung together, the reputation is a tricksy thing for sure.
Some guy you work with is always crabby and kinda mean? I'd bet that guy has a bad rep. What if it turns out dude has chronic back pain, and once that's fixed, he's perfectly lovely? You might change your mind about the guy, right?
OK. So. You could jump to conclusions about me if you simply knew that I have failed time and time again to get a handmade gift completed on time. You could. Jump away.
However! I've realized that it's not that I wait until the last minute. It's not. It's more that I tend to underestimate how long a gift is going to take to make. So, instead of calling me a procrastinator or shirker of deadlines, you might just call me a bad forecaster of the future. But then you'd be the one who'd look silly. Because who among us can tell what the future holds? Right?! OK, then.
This brings us to the top-secret item I was working on: A birthday gift for a good friend. I started working on it well in advance, and it took longer than I'd expected. More on that in a moment.
The birthday girl had once told me a story about how her grandmother and her mother, as they got older, would enter their bedrooms at night and say warmly, "Hello, bed." Like they were being reunited with a loved one. My friend thought that this -- being so pleased to collapse into bed at the end of a long day -- was a sign of aging, until she suddenly realized she'd started doing it, too. For her 40th birthday, I designed and embroidered a couple of pillowcases for her.
The pillowcases were store-bought (good thinking there), and I had originally planned on embroidering an identical set, both just like the one above. Except.
These took so much longer than I expected. So very much longer. And not just because of the do-over. That fishbone stitch or herringbone stitch, whatever it's called, takes forever. (So I'm a perfectionist. And, yes, it would go faster if I weren't. I'm aware. There's no need to yell.)
So, the second pillowcase -- made an hour before her surprise party -- looked like this:
You can even still see the outline of the embroidery hoop there, that's how fresh it was (how short on time I was) when it went into the gift-wrap. It's pretty and simple, but it also took me a very long time.
Obligatory photo apology: I managed to shoot these pictures while putting on my make-up, blow-drying my hair, and figuring out what to wear to the party. It was getting late. This was the best we could do.
Take-home lesson? You can't accuse my friend of being old, and you can't say I don't try. Because she's not, and I do. Sometimes you just have to make modifications to an original idea, that's all. (And truth be told, sometimes you have to admit you dabble a little in the perfectionism. Meh. It is what it is. Rock on!)