Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Embroidering the Last Secret Garden Flowers…


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Ever since returning from a little road trip almost two weeks ago, I’ve been in a bit of a slump, and my embroidery on the Secret Garden project is suffering for it.

A Slump? you say. Yes. A Slump.

Well, it’s a strange slump – but I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s ever experienced a slump like this. It’s like facing the kitchen after a huge Thanksgiving dinner for forty people. You look at the dishes heaped hither and yon, the pots, the pans – there’s a lot to do, and unless you work out some organized process, it’s going to take a lot of time to clean up the mess! Flitting from one little dish to another, from one section of the kitchen to another, isn’t really going to help things.

Sometimes, it’s just hard to know where to start.

Sometimes, the best option is burying your head in a pillow and waiting to see if elves really do exist.

But when it comes to embroidery – or to anything creative – sometimes, the best thing to do is to step away from a project for a little bit. Sometimes, it’s just helpful to take a break and tackle other things that need to be tackled.

Secret Garden Embroidery - the Flowers

And so, for the past many days, I’ve been tackling other Needle ‘n Thread-related things that have been piling up – trying to clear the cobwebs, re-group, re-organize, and re-vitalize.

With my mind a little freer to be still and concentrate on embroidery, I finished one flower and started the last flower on the Secret Garden hummingbirds.

I thought I could finish both flowers in one sitting, but that was just me, being overly optimistic again.

Secret Garden Embroidery - the Flowers

This is progress so far. And today, the flowers will be finished, or I’ll eat my hat.

Unlike Thanksgiving dinner, hat is a very easy dinner to clean up. Much like crow, no one else ever wants to eat it with you…

If you’d like to follow along with the Secret Garden Hummingbirds project, you can find all the articles relating to this project arranged in chronological order in the Secret Garden Project Index.


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(23) Comments

  1. I am sure we all hope it will not be necessary, but I am sure many of us would be happy to provide a delicious sauce recipe if fedora, beret, sombrero or fez is on the menu. (hehe) ๐Ÿ™‚ Lovely so far, looking forward to the birds.

  2. wow wow wow how beautiful!!!!!
    stand back and take a look – see the beauty and
    you realize all your hard work was worth it.

    thanks for your continuing inspiration!!!

  3. Dear Marie,
    As in nature, the creative process takes time, as the time of a swallow flying … my computer I see a beautiful and brilliant work.It misses the birds to fly…

  4. Dear Mary

    Yes I know what you mean by a slump, it does take time to settle back in to the rhyme again, and oh, I hope you won’t have to eat your hat, knowing you, you will complete the last flower today. But wow it looks beautiful and very impressive and now for the Hemming Birds can’t wait to see what delights are awaiting us. Happy stitching, thanks for the photos of the update of the Secret Garden project delicious.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  5. Wow – that really is gorgeous. And you aren’t even finished yet! I love the in progress shots on a large project like this. And your work is just so lovely, Mary.

  6. Dear, Mrs. Corbet, I think you’re being way too hard on yourself. Sometimes, multitasking gets out of control and certain things get put in a slump. Just thinking of all the various topics you post on this blog in one week, and then combining that with the unknowns: Your work, Family, Friends, etc. etc… I’m SHOCKED you’re so far along with this project! If you ask me, you’re speeding along at Warp 9, (yeah I’m also a trekkie) so please, don’t stress over the slump. Take a deep breath and think of all the reasons why you love this project and it will get done when it gets done!

    Sending you a warm cyber hug!

  7. Beautiful ! I can’t wait to see the hummingbirds! I am using some of your free patterns to teach myself new stitches and just try to get better at doing this.
    Then I plan to jump into the Secret Garden! Looks like a big project , I don’t want to scale it up too large! Love your colors on this project !

  8. What kind of hat might that be? I’ve actually never tried that dish before (lol). I was thinking that beanie might be a little mushy, and straw would be quite dry, and also sombrero would be a large mouthful.
    LOL! I enjoy your sense of humor, Mrs. Corbet. ๐Ÿ˜€
    As for that SOS. . .wonder if there’s a cure out there?
    The Secret Garden is looking wonderful, Mrs. Corbet. Thanks for sharing.

    Sarah ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. I love your sense of humor, Mary, and your honesty. I know I’ve had slumps (my current one is making a couch dog cover of Krypton(R), and its really impeding progress on other fronts — because I promised myself I’d finish it before starting anything else, and it’s really hard to work with that much heavy fabric!), and I’d bet everyone else has, too. We’re all human.

  10. Mary, you get so much done that slowing the pace a little just brings you somewhere nearer us mere mortals who don’t work very quickly. I totally agree about putting aside your stitching when you don’t feel in the mood. It’s a great temptation to make yourself stitch, especially if you are working to a deadline. But if you try to stitch when you don’t really feel like it one of two things happens: either you do quickly get back into the groove and go rattling away, which is great; or else you remain uninspired, forcing yourself, and then Things Go Wrong. I’d hate to see your Secret Garden spoilt that way, even if we have to wait a little longer to watch it grow. It is looking so lush now, I can hardly imagine how gorgeous it will be when the two birds make an appearance.

  11. It’s looking absolutely gorgeous. Could the slump be because when you finish that last flower you then have to take a deep breath and start the birds? I’m sure you’ve been rehearsing over and over all the possibilities for the birds, but could you subconsciously be putting off committing to one of these? Oh, and thank you for setting up the page for everyone else’s embroidery. I am amazed at the wonderful work and different interpretations of your fellow stitchers.

  12. Oh Mary please, not the hat again. I wonder where that expression originated, perhaps I will consult Mr Brewer (again – he is pretty popular in this house). There is no need to look for elves or eat hats or even crow, heaven forfend, all you need to do is begin at the beginning. It is so simple when it is written down for you isn’t it? I don’t know why I can’t get it to work for me though ….. (Your flowers are looking absolutely splendid.)

  13. Well, if I had to clean up after a serving Thanksgiving dinner to 40 people it would take me a LONG time whether I flitted from one job to another or got ‘organized’. A big job is a big job – there is no getting around that – and we all have our own ways of dealing with a mess or a project.
    I think in this day and age of ‘fast’ everything we fall into the trap of rationalizing why it takes ‘so long’ because so many people have no clue how to make anything; they just order what they want and produce little of nothing themselves. so they do not understand.

  14. Hi Mary,
    You are so clever with words and always leave me feeling more optimistic and hopeful with your self talk rather than mine. I spend more time starting over rather than pushing through and staying on mission. Too much lack of confidence in my self talk. I had taken a sabbatical of sorts and making my way back. Thanks for all your amazing word pictures. You are truly a treasure.

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