Here are the finished pillowcases. They're a little different - on the top one I made an error and did the very center of the pansy in navy rather than yellow, as the pattern directed. I decided it wasn't worth it to me to unpick and redo it.
The most tedious part of these things is alllllllllll the backstitching around the outlines. But that really is what makes the picture come to life. (Typically the outlines are just a hair darker than the fill).
I will say that these are pretty sturdily made pillowcases; they don't seem prone to wearing out. Which is a good thing, given the amount of work on them. (They are also, surprisingly, a textile made HERE. As opposed to being imported from another country, presumably one with cheaper labor costs).
I also worked a bit more on the "crinoline lady" pillowcases. These are REALLY elaborate, lots of different colors, lots and lots of tiny French knots, so I expect they will take a while. Right now I'm noodling around doing the different flowers. Usually what I do is all the bits of one color before switching over to the next color.
I like these. As I said before, part of it is the whole "Grandma Style" thing - these would not have been at all out of place in either of my grandmothers' (but especially the style of my maternal grandmother's) houses. And there's something I like about that - they are soothing and pretty and not complex. They are just designed to make you happy. I think I also like them because they are nicer or fancier than they absolutely have to be - you could just have a plain cotton pillowcase, or, I suppose, even no pillowcase at all (but it's nice to have pillowcases you can WASH, especially if you've spent a bad night in the hot summer where you perspired a lot). The pictures, the embroidery, are just extra - they're unnecessary but so nice an addition. They're a reminder to me that things don't have to be strictly utilitarian, that you don't have to go for the cheapest and simplest thing.....
I am feeling some better tonight. I made it through the day of teaching okay. My stomach is mostly better, but all I did eat for dinner was a bowl of Cream of Wheat (which is my go-to food for upset stomachs: it's low in fat, fairly filling, and reasonably nutritious) and a cup of lemon-ginger herbal tea (ginger is a remedy from way back for upset stomachs). So hopefully I'll be totally over this tomorrow but I am going to take another day off exercising just to be safe. (The standard advice I hear is "If all the symptoms are above your neck, it's OK to exercise; if they are below the neck, better off taking at least a day's break.")