I just wanted to point out also that I am not necessarily following my 'usual' sequence of working this type of band. Normally I work things differently but at the moment I am using this sampler as a form of therapy. I am able to do some of the things because I am controlling the tension of the background fabric and do not plan to move the fabric until I am done with this sampler. If using a hoop or scroll rods or anything other than a slate frame I would not have been able to complete this band right now. I normally do not cut and remove threads way ahead of time like I have done here - this was an exercise to see if I could do this type of work for a few hours to gauge what type of procedures I could do at work.
So, please ignore my sequencing of things here and stick to the usual sequencing if doing such needlework : work all the surface stitches first (satin, buttonhole etc.), then work the cut work area one area at a time (to reduce distortion), then do any of the raised work or attach beads last after all the bands have been completed.
My shoulder continues to give me problems but I am determined to get past it - it is now 'fully frozen' and every movement causes exquisite, high intensity pain - no more nuances or avoidance of certain movements...good news is that the orthopedic surgeon says that typically this phase lasts for a week or two which is a blessing since none of the pain medications help me at all... A number of you emailed me to ask how I am working, doing needlework etc.; I am paying attention to what I am doing but I cannot really come up with clear cut answers for you. It is a challenge - each movement, each moment... pain is there if you are doing something or not so all I can say is that it is a matter of mind over matter... keeping my mind focused and keeping a positive outlook that this is a temporary condition and will improve in time is the most effective way. I am learning that I have to pace myself, take frequent breaks, vary the intensity of my movements and also accept that sometimes I cannot do all the things I planned to do. It is definitely affecting my work - I am not doing some of the things and delegating things - fine motor control is something absolutely essential in my daily activities and there are days when I have had to cancel all activities and just 'sit'. I have a new respect for so many people I know who are dealing with 'chronic' pain. I am also learning more about the connection between mind and body - amazing how positive emotions can keep the physical state in perspective. The flexibility exercises are most useful and more definitive than any of the other 'esoteric' things so far for me - the role of estrogen, certain foods etc. I found are not really helping me as much as I had hoped...the exercises are.
So anyway, here is the band completed:
Two bands of needleweaving left on this sampler...
Have a great weekend!