Saturday, September 27, 2008

Keep the Home Fires Burning

Keep the Home Fires Burning,
While your hearts are yearning, Though your lads are far away They dream of home. There's a silver lining Through the dark clouds shining, Turn the dark cloud inside out 'Til the boys come home. I am left alone to keep the home fires burning, for hockey tournaments far away places...Indianapolis...shoot! One of my favorite quilts shops is there, I should have done the driving this week. These photos remind me of how small the children were when we moved to Ohio four years ago. The cowboy outfit was worn almost every day and everywhere. Serves me right for laughing at the mother's whose children used to wear batman capes to the grocery store. The boots were outgrown long ago and the hat hangs crumpled from a coat peg. The gun belt is still a favorite but I know that these days are numbered and I will someday look back at these pictures and they will be a memory as well. It's too warm for a fire and the animals have all been feed, watered and are out in the pasture, so what's a mother to do without her children tugging at her apron strings! This time it only took a couple of hours for me to pine their being gone and I sat and worked diligently to finish the stitching on the embroidery flower garden pincushion. It will be sewn into a pillow and stuffed later this afternoon. Then while I was searching for something else to work on, I found a queen size log cabin quilt that I started two years ago and then threw into a moving box when we came to the farm. When I went searching for something it wasn't what I had my mind to work on this weekend, but why put off till tomorrow what I can finish today. The last five blocks only need a log or two and they can be stitched into the last row. I wish I had more quilt tops that could be finished up this quickly! Would have loved to have shown pictures of the quilt top and pincushion, but the camera was packed away into the hockey bag.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Stitching Hare I Am Not!

When it comes to stitching ... I am a tortoise not a hare.
I enjoy the process of stitching and find it difficult to hurry my work. There is something about a slow repetitive motion of my hands that soothes my soul. I thought I would snap a few more pictures of the embroidery pincushion that I am making for Anne for the Down to Earth pincushion swap. The center rose garden.
The corner larkspur garden. The corner lavender garden.
The corner Foxglove garden, which is almost finished. Just a few more French knots to fill in the background and I can move on to the last corner garden.
The last corner garden waiting to be stitched is a daisy garden. I have saved the least difficult garden to stitch for last, leaving only the tiny border of French knot leaves to be stitched. I am hoping to be onto stuffing the pincushion later this weekend and heading into the village to send off the package. Anne has been very patient waiting for her pincushion and I hope she is pleased. Once the package is one it's way I will be getting back to quilt in my frame. I am behind on where I would have like to been on the quilting, but may still be able to catch up and get it to the auction in October. My thimble, needle and thread patiently wait.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Things that begin with a "B"

the beach...
brisk swim... big waves... best friends... boats... bikini, bucket and braids... best vacation EVER! We are back home and hitting the books for our 4th year of learning at home. I look forward to gathering the children at the table for penmanship, math, Latin, history and afternoons curled up with a quilt on the couch while we lose ourselves in the stories we have selected to read aloud.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

We're on Vacation......

well almost!
We are just one pre-season hockey game away from hitting the road! We forgot to check with the coach when we scheduled our vacation, so we will be delaying our trip by a couple hours. When the coach called begging that he was willing to do just about anything if we could make the game..... I told him that I sure would like a red chicken coop! Doogie starts this season as a 5th year as a Mite player. It seems like just yesterday that he was just learning to skate. He was two years old when he took his first skating class. I can still remember the look on his face when the instructor asked him to sit on the ice so that she could teach him how to stand up. When he wouldn't sit on the ice she asked him why not, and he told her "Because I'm never going to fall!" For the most part he was right, and it's a rare occasion that he loses his skates from beneath himself. I'm sure once he advances to the age group that allows checking....that will all change. All Mom can ask, is that you try your best, and I will keep up my end of the bargain and take you half way round the world and back to play! Good Luck #18

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Busy as a bee.....

While our boys were busy both North and South of the Mason-Dixon Line, girlie and I were busy working on this small flock of woolly pincushions. A great jump on Christmas gifts and a few extra for the start of an Etsy shop. I hope to get the shop set up after we come back from our trip to Michigan.
My mother and I used to sell items at craft shows and I miss working on batches of craftiness. A ewe similar to this one is lost somewhere between here and Australia. A second package has been shipped and I am keeping my fingers crossed that the second package arrives quickly and safely. I had two international packages lost earlier this year, but many months later both packages safely arrived. There's always one who stands out in the crowd. I am beginning to think that somewhere in time I have angered the pincushion swap fairies! First I forgot to mark the stitching lines for the embroidery before painting the background wash. Then I was having difficulty with the embroidery on the pincushion as the background wash was painted too thickly. The entire first pincushion was scrubbed and I had to start anew. Sometimes moving backwards helps you move forward! After restitching all of the bullion roses and ready to move on with the silk ribbon rose clusters, the pink silk ribbon that I had on hand wasn't quite the right color and an order for a better choice was placed and sent from The Shibori Dragon. This was the first time I had placed an order with them and would highly recommend their store to others. With the bullions restitched and the silk rose clusters added the center garden will finish out quickly with lots of French knot flowers and leaves. I forgot how quickly the open areas fill once you add the French knots. I can almost smell the coffee now for a couple of late night stitching sessions. I better check the fridge and make sure that I have plenty of cream and maybe a brownie or two to see me through. I am participating in Rhonda's pincushion swap at Down To Earth and the swap also includes a needle book. This little house has been on my mind to work up for some time. It is one of my favorites from the book "Linen Heirlooms: Vintage Linens." The directions throughout the book are a bit vague and I have had to do a bit of guessing how the original house was constructed. Leftover scraps have already been set aside to make another little cottage for a Christmas gift. It should be just the right size to tuck away in a Christmas card. A little more blanket stitch around the edge of the roof and I will be able to set the house into the box with a few other surprises. And a 48" cotton crochet bandage that will be slipped into a box and sent on it's way to wait with others that have been knitted or crocheted. Eventually they will be sent overseas where they are needed. A new bandage has already been started and will be a great project for the car trip. Now I have to decide which other projects to take with me for a week of quiet time in a cabin away from the chores of a farm, school or work. I have a feeling it will be a little bit of this and a little bit of that and a project or two for a "Pay It Ahead" that I owe. No idea where there is a market close to the cabin we are going to...but have already called ahead and know that there are two quilt shops just minutes away in case I run out of projects.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

School Pictures 2008-2009

Each year as we prepare to say our goodbye to Summer , I go through pictures that we have taken and select one for the front of the yearbook that we will use to compile work completed by each child. I see the photo as a reflection of the child's heart and spirit in the moment, not just a snapshot of their face.
We are preparing our 4th yearbook for my son, and yesterday he returned with a camera full of photos from his trip to Gettysburg and Washington. His photo shows change and continued growth of a passion that he holds near and dear to his heart. This is the photo that will be slid into the front of his yearbook to record his year of change, of growth and achievements in learning and life. I like looking back at the photos we have used for other yearbooks and seeing the change. This was a photo from one of his earlier yearbooks.
This will be the first year that we are required by our state laws to document our daughter's school work, and so I prepare her first yearbook. In selecting a picture, I stop and think about who this child is and where she is headed over the next year. If I had to choose one word to describe her being at this moment, it's "movement," not just a physical one, but also of a movement forward in speech, reading, writing and confidence that she will reach her goals.
It was earlier this year that I made the connection between her love of dance and movement and where it came from, when she told me that when she danced she didn't have to talk. This was a chance for me as a mother to help my child who has a severe speech disorder find a form of expression that was pleasure and not pain for her spirit. She will pursue her passion of dance this year with a special position in a ballet performance of "The Nutcracker" as a Mouse. We head to Michigan next week and will return ready to move into a daily routine of playing, learning, reading, counting, exploring books and writing about things near and dear to our hearts while trying to keep our lives simple.