This year I decided that I probably wasn’t going to bother with a birthday. We’d just moved house the day before and there were boxes everywhere, plus moving house is extortionately expensive so we were both pretty broke, and a birthday just seemed like a bit of an unnecessary extravagance. So I decided just to skip 25 (I don’t like odd numbers anyway). I mean we didn’t just ignore it completely: we had breakfast and did some more unpacking before just quietly going to sit in the pub all afternoon. It was what I wanted.
Choosing a birthday like that – a non-birthday birthday, if you will – was a truly brilliant idea. Not only did I not have to organise people or pay lots of money to go to a club I wouldn’t like to be felt up by men who make me wretch, but because I didn’t see many people, it means that even now (nearly 3 months later), I’m still receiving gifts from people. And not just any old gifts, but CRAFT GIFTS!
One of the best non-birthday birthday presents I think I’ve ever received was a cross-stitch set to make your own coasters. I have previously professed my undying hatred for cross-stitch, due to my inability to follow a pattern and count the squares, so Rachel was really making a bold move by buying me this. I think she knew the I ♥ GIN designs would win me over, and boy was she right.
The kit contained two coasters and two patterns: one that said I ♥ GIN (see above) and one that said I ♥ TEA. I started off with the gin one and found it so easy that I’d finished it within about half an hour and decided that I would mix things up a bit by creating my own pattern to substitute I ♥ TEA for I♥ WINE (because I do). However, I think I have a medical condition, which is probably called something like superioritis. You see I have this thing where, if I’m following instructions or a recipe, I get to a point where I’m like “I think *I* know better than this” and then just do as I please. It happened recently with a cheesecake I made, which I decided didn’t need anywhere near as much sugar as the recipe suggested, and which inevitably ended up in the bin, entirely uneaten. It happened again with JB’s birthday cake. And the I ♥ WINE coaster was yet another example of my arrogance getting the better of me.
I started off well by doing the letters I knew I could do (I, N, and E) but the W was the straw that broke my back and it ended up looking like it said I ♥ IVINE. I suppose it would be the perfect coaster if you were in love with someone called IVINE, but I’m not so I had to spend about an hour unpicking all of the stitching before eventually just following the pattern.
Despite my little set-back, I’m quite pleased with the results and the coasters have pride of place on my coffee table. However I’m not sure I’m really cut out to be a cross-stitcher for the following reasons:
1) I really hurt my finger when I accidentally pushed the needle underneath my nail
2) Patterns are hard to follow and stifle my creativity
3) I am arrogant
I give cross-stitch a 6/10.