Saturday, February 27, 2010

That House on the Hill





Block #2 of Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow totally captured my imagination. The entire time I was stitching it, I conjured up what life might be like inside this mansion. I think many towns have "that house on the hill"--that grand structure that just stands out from other homes. The small village in which I grew up had just such a house...Not brick like this one, but a large white-columned colonial perched at the top of a hill at the end of my street. There were no peacocks strutting around in the front yard, but there were the most handsome horses. The estate was even surrounded by a wrought iron fence much like the one pictured here. As a girl, I would often pause during my walk to school, peer through that fence, and wonder what life was like inside. I would picture beautifully decorated rooms, fashionably dressed women chatting over tea and little cakes, and fresh flowers on every tabletop. I imagined that everything inside that house was perfect and that the people who lived within led perfect lives. It wasn't until I was older that I learned of the family problems and soap-opera like events that the owners faced. Eventually, a fire destroyed much of that outwardly beautiful home...

In the years since, I've learned that it really is the simple things in life that bring me the most pleasure--the sight of a robin's nest filled with tiny, sky blue eggs; the first sentence of a new novel as it begins to capture my imagination; the brilliant colors of floss spread across a lovely cut of linen waiting for my latest stitching to begin. Oh, and I can't forget to mention my daily piece (well, okay, I admit it--pieces)of chocolate! Simple things that don't cost much, but always bring me pleasure. What are the special little things in your life that make you smile?

I feel lucky to have managed to finish this very stitch-intense block in the short month of February. By the time I stitched the final black bars in the fence, I was looking at them as if they were bars in a jail cell! I was just so tired of stitching all of that black and white... For any of you who are planning to stitch this, I just want you to be aware of two problems in the charting that I found. The chart showed the left side of the house stitched one full row above the right side and the right lamp post was charted one stitch above the left. I don't think this was intentional, but I know if I had left it that way, the lack of symmetry would have driven me crazy... So, the left side of the house got a re-roofing job and the two sides are now balanced. The chart also called for backstitching around the windows, but after trying it on one, I decided I liked it better without. This block is one of my favorites in Christmas at HRH, and I'm so pleased with the way it turned out. "Only" ten more blocks to go!

I was touched to read all of your remarks regarding my Fa La La carolers last week--thank you each so very much for taking the time to comment. I truly value your opinions and supportive comments and love discovering that a new reader has popped in to say "hello." Have a lovely week everyone!

46 comments:

BeckySC said...

Carol, it is looking just beautiful :) I LOVED your imagination during the stitching on that lovely house on the hill :)
Have a lovely weekend :)

Violet / Viooltje said...

(I've not (yet) read a word)
*Ü*
I hope to be back soon to catch up in reading.
(I'm SO behind everywhere *Ü*)
I just want to say I ♥ your stitching!
♥♥♥
:o)

Nic said...

It looks great - congratulations!

Hazel said...

It is looking great! I think I would have been the same as you imagining whilst stitching. Yes simple things like kind comments make me smile. x

Jackie said...

Carol, your stitching is truly beautiful! Congratulations on your finish. I really enjoyed hearing about the memories this block brought up. Like you, it's the simple things that bring me so much pleasure. Maybe that's because I'm in my 40's that I recognize it but I'm glad I do.

Shari said...

your blog post is so nice Carol!!!! I can see why you get so many comments! You have a wonderful way with words.
Your block looks great.....I love it without the backstitching.
I can totally relate on the white issue!! Wait until you see my update this week!!!!!

Lana said...

Looking great!!!

Debby said...

Very beautyful!! I am stitching it to. But i have started at block 12.

Greetings from Debby,
the Netherlands

T. Whitesell said...

Your piece is looking great. Seeing how it is turning out has it on my list of patterns to get. Thanks for the notes on the pattern errors also!

Martine said...

Waouhhhhh !!! Your block is very beautiful !!! I love this house on the hill and I find that colors are very attractive !
Congratulations, Carol !
Yes simple things bring me pleasure...a friendly word in my messaging, for example... Yesterday, I noticed that my plant was going to bloom and I was so satisfied !!!!!...
Have a lovely week-end !
Hugs

Lois said...

What a beautiful block Carol and I can see how stitching intensive it was. Outward appearances can be so deceptive, can't they, inside that house you looked at so much must have had alot of heartache going on. Simple things in life are truly a pleasure and I can definitely agree with you about chocolate being one of those pleasures!

Myra said...

Lovely block Carol. I also enjoyed your story about the house on the hill of your childhood. The simple things are just the best - my dog cuddling up next to me as I am stitching, the sight of a deer flitting through our yard, a tall glass of iced tea - ahhhhhhhh.

Terri(TerriBoog) said...

Awesome job, Carol. The lack of symmetry would drive me crazy as well. Your a girl after my own heart - never enough chocolate!

Bonnie said...

Beautiful work. I love your post about enjoying the simple things of life - especially the remark about the opening sentence of a novel. How true.
I would add, "hearing from friends" to my list - especially my daily emails from cousins/friends far away.
Happy stitching.

Kim B said...

WOW CAROL! It's stunning! And I love all your fantasies about the inhabitants and decor and the house in your neighborhood growing up. There are entire neighborhoods of huge old mansions in St Louis. DH and I used to live not far from one and we would take walks in the neighborhood and imagine the goings on in them as well. But it is true that rarely are homes filled with perfection. The rich are not immune to drama, and there are times it seems they are even more susceptible to it!

Ah the little things...the smell of homemade banana bread in the oven, a sleeping child in your arms, the way a newborn wraps their little fingers around yours as if to say "I trust you, take care of me," and peony blossoms in the spring. I, too, find joy in the little things.

And I've got big plans to make it to the post office this week ;)

HUGS!

Lee said...

You did it! You finished it in February and it looks wonderful! I always think that stitching houses is going to be so simple and quick and then I'm surprised that they're complicated and take so much time.

I love the perspectives on life that change as we mature.

BrendaS said...

Wonderful progress on CaHRH. The 2 blocks that you have stitched are my favorite ones! Thanks for the tips on the chart corrections. I will have to make sure to note that on my pattern.

You are so correct that the simple things in life are what truly matter. It's our journey through life that makes us realize how important and precious those things are!

Love your blog and look forward to reading it each week.

Melissa said...

This is a lovely block Carol. I can see how it can (and has) set one's imagination soaring! It's the place for a Jane Austen novel, isn't it? This may be my favourite HRH design yet!

You're right, the simple things are the best. I love the garden in the spring when all sorts of old friends pop up, and some surprises (good and not so good). Of course chocolates are right up there on the favourites list!

Have a lovely weekend!

Margaret said...

It's looking so great, Carol! Congrats on finishing that block -- it's a big one!

Catherine said...

Carol,
Your stitching looks beautiful! I have always liked to imagine what life was like in some of the big older homes back in their "heyday" so to speak.

I am so with you on the simple things - espicially chocolate!

Have a stitchy weekend!

Deb said...

Carol - it looks wonderful. I loved reading about what your imagination came up with while you were stitching. I think that stitching just brings us such calming thoughts sometimes! Maybe that's why we do it!

Charlene ♥ SC said...

Very pretty! Glad you're 'out of jail' and on to the next beauty!

Shirley said...

Lovely work Carol. I know what you mean about small pleasures. With me it can be relaxing with a new stitching magazine, a cup of coffee and a piece of yummy cake. Have a good weekend, Shirley

ohiofarmgirl said...

The block looks great...I am finishing that one too. I did not stitch it exactly I almost always stitch something a little different that the pattern. Yours looks wonderful...I am now stitching block 3...good luck. Dianntha

Cari-in-VA said...

Carol, congratulations on finishing Block 2. It is absolutely beautiful! Our house is 125 years old and I sometimes stop and wonder about the people who lived here before me and I would love to know how the house was originally painted, inside and out.

Thanks for sharing.

Cindy's Stitching said...

Carol, you always have such a great story. My favorite small things. My tea in the morning brings me a smile, I so enjoy it. Chocolate of course and cake. I love sitting on the beach and love the ocean water. my stitching brings me a smile when I put together a new project and collect all the thread etc. And most important the special people in my life who always make me feel good. The two blocks are so pretty. Cant wait to see the next one.

Carolyn NC said...

Beautiful, beautiful! Wonderful stitching!

ohiofarmgirl said...

Carol, Yes, I am trying to stitch one block a month but with a graduation party coming this spring I am trying to just keep at it for now so I won't all behind.
I am also not stitching the last three blocks, I just didn't think they went with the rest of the design so I am leaving them off. thanks for stopping by, dianntha

Edit said...

Carol, your new block on the stitching looks so beautiful. I grew up in a town where there was no house on the hill, no hill either :(

What I liked, during Christmastime, to look at the windows and see if I could catch a glimpse the Christmas trees behind the curtains :)

I am looking forward to see the new block, in March :)

Dani - tkdchick said...

What a great block! Congratulations on finishing your 2nd block on Christmas at HRH!

Kellie said...

Congrats Carol! Block 2 looks great!! :) I love the story that you recalled that the house reminded you of. It is the simple things in life that are best, isn't it? I love a quiet night at home with no where that any of us have to be, a home cooked meal, a phone call or email from a friend, a kiss goodnight from my son, a kiss hello from my husband when he comes in from work, a good movie, a book I just can't put down, and of course, stitching. :)

Hope you have a great week filled with simple things that bring you joy. :)

Siobhan said...

Carol, it looks great!! I'm so psyched for you that you're continuing along on this. I loved your musings on wondering what the occupants of the house were like, what the house was like, etc. We have a house on our road that is a farm house but on more of a grand scale... it looks Georgian... and I would SO love to get a peek inside! Anyway, great job--can't wait to see what March brings for your needle!

Vonna said...

It is beautiful Carol! Did you see Nicole's all finished up? See what you have to look forward to? ;O)

Sally said...

Just discovered your blog and had to comment on your Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow. It looks absolutely fantastic! I shall be back to see more.

Julie said...

Wow this is looking so wonderful, what a super block.

I like the simple pleasures in life... watching my cats sleeping in the morning sunshine in the garden, i too like the odd square (or 2 or 3) of choccie, watching the birds on the feeders always gives me a thrill.

Mylene said...

Congrats on finishing another block and it looks great!

Pumpkin said...

***doing a little jig***

Looks just gorgeous Carol and no wonder you are so happy with it :o) I agree, the lack of symmetry would have driven me nuts as well.

I loved reading your story and I'm much like you and have quite a vivid imagination ;o) I can't read a book without picturing the whole scene, background, people, etc. Even if I re-read the same book, everything comes back the same. I have no idea why. LOL!

The simple things? New flowers in the spring, floss on fabric (of course!), opening a brand new book, the smell of the air when it turns to fall...

Pumpkin...The Gull Rescuer ;o)

Michelle said...

So, so pretty! You are motivating me to get my fabric purchased.. I have everything else for this! LOVE that block..

Brigitte said...

What a great blog post. And a great block that you finished. I loved to read about the flow of thoughts that came to your mind when stitching this block.
The older I get the more I love the little things in my daily life. Watching the birds coming to their feeding place in our garden. Seeing the first little leaves on the bushes in the garden (not yet at the moment). Discovering the first violets in spring. Waiting for my little cactus to develop the only flower once a year. Starting a new stitching project (not on a daily basis of course, lol). Sitting in my armchair after lunch and reading a couple of pages in my current book. And many more things that I appreciate so much.

Meari said...

There was home with the pillars that I always admired as a young girl, too. The beautiful home is gone now and I always wondered what it was like inside.

Congrats on your finish. It's beautiful.

Jennifer said...

Carol , This house is so beautiful! You must be thrilled. I love this design.I'm with you on the chocolate!!

Michelle said...

Congrats on the block finish - it looks beautiful!

Elaine said...

Carol your blocks are beautiful and I loved the story about your childhood.
Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

Margit said...

Hello Carol.
Thank you for you kind comment in my blog and you are right, Edit is a very sweet wonderful lady!
I LOVE YOUR STITCHING!!! I did spend most of my day looking at all your beautiful work.
Congratulations!!!
Margit

Melanie said...

Your stitching of CaHRH is lovely! Thanks for the heads up on the charting error.

My most favorite simple things are the feel of my cat's fur and the sound of his purr!

Angela said...

Carol, it's really looking fabulous! I agree that this block's house really cathes the imagination. I have long admired these charts and keep wondering if one day I will start Shores :)