Saturday, February 28, 2009

Thankful for small things

Jim and I had a surprise invitation this week to join a CROP walk friend for dinner. Alice, a widow, moved late last year, leaving deep New York roots to settle here in Central Pennsylvania. To us, it seemed (and still seems) a courageous move. Thus, Wednesday night we joined her for dinner at Foxdale, a Quaker sponsored retirement village. The food was nourishing and tasty, the company delightful, and being among senior citizens a comforting reminder of my mother and father. It was a special joy to reconnect with the Dalys, long time friends of my parents.

A simple meal, the comfort of friendship forming, and a glimpse of things to come..someday. I am grateful for this gentle interlude in the middle of my week.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A mid-winter bloom

For Christmas my friend Chrissy gave me an amaryllis. Years ago, I remember giving my grandmother, the one with the garden-club-prize-winning, green thumb, an amaryllis. She sent me a picture of it blooming and I was rather astonished that something so majestic could come from such an large and rather unsightly bulb. I also recall marveling at the fact that it could grow and bloom indoors in the winter. And now I too have grown seems the perfect antidote to the winds and snows still blowing outside. Surely, spring must come soon!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Socks for Jeans

One of my favorite things to make are are my latest...tweed, of course!


For some reason, I have had this thing about knitting with tweed lately. Maybe the English/Irish part of my heritage is drawn to the comforting, classic look of sturdy, working-class yarn flecked with color. For Alexander's birthday, I knit a sweater vest in two colors of Debbie Bliss Donegal Aran Tweed. With what was leftover, I made his mother some mitts, and later with another tweed, Lamb's Pride Serendipty Tweed, I made another pair of mitts for Chris and socks for me. Some yarn remains, allowing me to get this tweed fixation out of my system...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Birthday Bedtime Bags

Last weekend I made two bedtime bags, based on a pattern from Amanda Blake Soule's The Creative Family. One bag belongs to my dear grandson Alexander, and the other is for Kate, the daughter of my colleague and friend Chrissy. It was really fun to pick fabric, thread, and sew once again. These bags are intended to hold a pair of pajamas and a book. Alexander's bag now hangs on his bedpost...

Summer fading, winter comes—
Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs,
Window robins, winter rooks,
And the picture story-books.

All the pretty things put by,
Wait upon the children’s eye,
Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
In the picture story-books.

We may see how all things are,
Seas and cities, near and far,
And the flying fairies’ looks,
In the picture story-books.

excerpt from
”Picture-books in Winter”
Robert Louis Stevenson

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Old Singer Sewing Machine

I am sewing once again....

Over Thanksgiving vacation, I pulled out the old Singer Sewing Machine, the same sewing machine my mother taught me to sew on, the same machine that sewed curtains for most of my houses, the same machine that crafted Christmas outfits and Halloween costumes for all my children, and the same go-to machine for all my sewing repairs. It is surely an antique now, since the last copyright date on the instruction booklet is 1954 (or is that still considered vintage?). At any rate, it is mine, was my mother's, and gives my great joy to use (although it is much harder than it once it was for me to thread the needle!)

Before Christmas, I sewed Christmas pageant costumes for the men in my son Matthew's Sunday School class. These men, all of whom have mental retardation, were to appear as the wise shepherds in this annual church pageant. For some, this was the first time ever they had been in a Christmas pageant (I am not certain how this egregious omission occurred at our church because we were not members then). And so, I promised costumes. It had been a very long time since I had purchased fabric, and even longer since I fashioned something from cut yard goods. It was fun and gratifying to see these men robed and head covered in something I had sewn.

I completed two projects today, the description of which I cannot reveal until after my grandson's birthday...I think I just may keep my sewing options open for yet another day and another idea...