Wednesday July 11, 2007

It rained here overnight.  That’s out of the ordinary for July in my part of the country.  The day dawned  with a lot of clouds in the sky and even a sprinkle or two early this morning.  By afternoon, the day was sunny, bright and a lovely 78!  There was a wonderful, cool breeze all day.  It was great to have every window in the house open allowing all that wonderful cool air to freshen it up.

I looked out one of my parlor windows just before lunch time and a hen turkey and her seven half-grown chicks were scratching and pecking in the flower bed right under the windows!  I tried to sneak around outside to snap a picture of them up so close to the house, but they were already moving across the lawn by the time I got outside. 

When I came back in, I caught Dixie watching the turkeys from the same window!  I’m not sure that catching  the turkeys with the camera was quite what she had in mind!

 

I spent all morning on the usual Wednesday and everyday chores.  Laundry, straightening up, wiping down bathrooms, etc.  The boys sat down for a shortened day of school right after lunch, and I used the afternoon to finish up an embroidery project and to start a new apron.

I finished the actual embroidery work on the dish towel I’ve been working on last night.   This afternoon I pressed up a rolled hem on the two unfinished edges and sat down in the parlor to hand stitch the hem.  I had originally intended to machine stitch the hem with matching thread; but as I finished up the embroidery, I knew that I wanted to hand stitch the hem with the red floss found in the design.  The entire project was worked with two strands of floss, so I used two strands of floss for the hem as well.  The weather and the day were so lovely, I took everything into the parlor to work in there so that I could enjoy the view and the breeze.

The turkeys I’d seen earlier, took up residence for the afternoon under Aaron’s “tree fort”.  They stayed there  for several hours, alternating napping and scratching for bugs.  It was so quiet outside today, that I could actually hear the turkeys scratching the grass out there!  I looked up from my work, from time to time, to watch them through the parlor windows.  The only other sounds to be heard were birds of every kind singing and my front porch wind chimes!  It was so peaceful and pleasant.  The Grandfather clock in the entry way marked time for me.  Several times I thanked the Lord for the beauty of the day!

 

Before long, Will brought his book into the parlor and sat in the second rocker next to me to read.  I enjoyed  his company.  With the view from the parlor windows to my left, and my youngest baby to my right, the view was beautiful no matter which way I looked!

As I worked on the hem I not only enjoyed the sounds of the birds and the breeze playing in the wind chimes, but I also spent some time admiring and thinking about imperfection.  Does that even make sense?  Admiring imperfection?

I used a running stitch to hem the towel, and though I was careful with my stitching, the stitches are not perfect.  Some are a little  longer than others, and some are not quite perfectly straight.  To my eye, the imperfection of the stitching is actually appealing.  Hand stitched will never be absolutely perfect, but it can still be beautiful.

Since I planned to start an apron later in the day, I thought about all of the lovely apron patterns I have; and I wondered why it is that I tend to always use my Nora apron pattern.  Why is it my favorite?  I drew out the pattern from an apron we completely wore out that Grandma Nora made years and years and years ago.  She’d made the apron without a professional pattern, and I’m guessing she might not have used a pattern at all!  One side of the top of the pocket, for example is wider than the other.  The pocket is rounded, rather than square, and the rounded bottom is just a bit askew.  When I traced my pattern out from the worn out apron last year, I thought about making the two sides of that pocket exactly the same.   I am so glad now that I did not.  Every time I cut out another “Nora” apron, I appreciate all over again the beauty of the imperfection of that pocket!

When Dani has done some of her decorative painting here in my home, I’ve loved standing back and admiring her work.  I love that the leaves on the vines are not all the same size and the exact same shape.  I think it’s beautiful that the flowers’ petals are not perfectly the same all around the flower, and that the two sides of a swag are not identical.  I think that it’s beautiful and eye pleasing because that’s the way the flowers and plants would be found in God’s creation.

All of this ran through my head today as I sat and stitched in that hem!  As the afternoon wore on, the sun  began streaming in through the parlor windows.  I got up at one point to close the blinds so that the bright sun didn’t burn my African Violets.  Just as I did, though, I saw that another of my Violets was coming back into bloom.  The sun hit the plant in just the right way that I could see the light colored flower bud just beginning to pop up over the leaves.  It won’t be long now until all seven are blooming again!

When the dish towel was finished, I pressed the hem to set the stitches, and then pressed and ironed the towel, folding and pressing it so that it will hang with the design forward.  I’d love to show you a picture of the finished project, but it is a long overdue gift and I don’t want to show it until it has been seen by its owner.  (Hey, Meg! Can you believe I finally finished your dish towel? Merry Christmas! )

With the dishtowel finished, I cut out a “Nora” apron, and worked for a bit on it, too!  The apron is also to be a gift, and I’m hoping to finish it Friday.  I worked up a list the other day of several projects that have been languishing, and of several more projects that I am itching to start . I prioritized the list to finish up the languishing projects first.  I’m excited to have reached a point where I can be back working on some sewing, knitting and embroidery again.  It’s been far too long.  Having so many things that I’d like to start, will keep me motivated to finish up the older projects, too!

My Dani girl went to her sister’s to baby sit my grandbabies this afternoon for a couple of hours, and she did some shopping while she was out.  I knew she was stopping at Jo-Ann’s so I had her pick up some cotton yarn for me.  I’ve had this wash cloth pattern for some time that I’ve wanted to start.  She did a wonderful job of choosing the yarn for me.  I’ve been working on embroidery in the car as we drive the hour to and from church every Sunday, but knitting really is a better road project.  The wash cloths will be my new highway project!  Rather than doing the stockinette stitch in the middle with the lettering as shown in the patterns, I think I will just work each whole wash cloth in the lovely knitted designs shown.  I like the textured look and the variety of these patterns, as well as the fact that each one is just a bit more challenging than the one before it.

Tomorrow is another full and busy day!   My Corin and her babies will be coming over in the afternoon for our first ever “Grandma’s Library Day”.  I’m hoping to make a habit of it!  I’ve picked out a couple of fun picture books to read to the three older grands (5, 3 and 2), and I’m hoping that they’ll each want to choose a couple of books to borrow to take home and have Mommy and Daddy read to them there!  It is finally time to begin sharing my Heritage Library with the next generation, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your households!
Proverbs 31:27

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10 comments to Wednesday July 11, 2007

  • Oh my goodness! You’re going to read Dexter “The Three Little Kittens”??? And Little Miss Feisty “Henny Penny”??? You’re just feeding their obsessions you know! :nono: 2 are determined to swim tomorrow. Prince Charming is thinking he’d rather not. We’ll see how it goes (and if it’s even warm enough! It’s JULY for crying out loud!!! 😮 )

    Personally I like the uneven stitches. It gives it personality. That’s my favorite part about all of my handmade dishtowels!

    Look at that poor scrawny mama turkey! She’s got 7 chicks to look after!!! 😆

  • I so enjoyed reading this post and looking at the snap shots.
    Sounds like you had a lovely day. I also like the hand stitching.
    It gives it character.:)

  • Grandma’s Library Day! I LOVE it! That’s just the kind of thing I want to do when I’m a Grammy!!! I’m so glad I have friends like you go ahead of me; keep those wonderful ideas coming.

    Joy!
    Lisa

  • Love the hand stitching!  I agree – it gives the work character.  I sure enjoy coming by your house every day to see what you’re doing! 😉

  • It sounds like a day of Heaven right on this Big Blue Ball!

    I have always heard that the Amish put in one mistake on purpose (on their quilts and such) because only God is perfect. Believe me, I never had to put anything in on purpose! I, too, love the imperfection of all things handmade.

    Now, the guy at the auto plant better not be imperfect…but my handwork is charming that way.

    I’m getting to open up windows here, too! Love the turkeys, when we lived in Michigan we had wild turkeys near us. I was always amazed at how they just felt at home wherever they went. In our house, there were two cats looking at them and drooling. Not that they could ever do anything but perhaps scare them to death!

  • I love your blog! I could stay with ya all day!

  • Ah. That parlor window reminds me of my grandmother.

    She always had African violets lined up at her window.

    I sure like your stove too :o)

  • Oh, that stove!  That stove was a wedding gift for my parents (married in 1942) from my dad’s folks (whom I never met).  My mom cooked on that stove for all 50+ years of her marriage.  When my folks passed away in 1993, we remodeled our then kitchen and had natural gas plumbed in just so that we could have the stove in our kitchen.  When we moved to the country in 1998, we brought the stove with us.  However, our country home is all electric, so the stove sits unused, but still very much loved, in my parlor. 

  • I love visiting your blog.  You are such an encouragement to me of what a Godly, Proverbs 31 woman looks like.  You are amazing, and your husband is very fortunate to have a wife like you.  If I could be half that wife to my husband I would be happy!  I have learned much from your wisdom that I know comes from God, and your ideas are just wonderful, and very helpful to me!  Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  • Hi! I am visiting from Regina’s blog and am so happy I have. I can see why she chose you to receive her award! 🙂
    Blessings!
    Susan