I just enjoyed what had to be the most beautiful fall weekend ever! Last week opened with four days of nothing but gloomy rain and dark days, but the sun broke through on Thursday and hasn't stopped shining since! Oh, if only this weather could last through Thanksgiving... My husband was away on a 272 mile bike ride to Washington, D.C. (biking is his passion like stitching is mine) last week so I enjoyed some extra hours of stitching time. And look at what I finished! Block 9 -- Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow is now officially three quarters of the way done. This project is really starting to wear me down, though--each block takes so many hours of my time, that I've decided if (and that's a big if!!) I ever do a huge piece like this again, I'll never put myself on a deadline like I have with this one. There honestly was a point this week where I was ready to give it up completely after re-stitching that same little heart for the third time...And I really miss stitching the smaller samplers that you all are tempting me with on your blogs!
Anyway, I call this the "camouflage church" because the whole time I was stitching it, it kept reminding me of camouflage army garb! If I ever do stitch anything camouflage (not that that is likely to happen), I'll know exactly what colors to use, that's for sure. The only changes I made to this block were to leave the transom window above the church door open (not backstitching the panes) because I liked the idea of more light flowing from the church and a few minor color changes in the peacock's tail, the birds' eyes, and the heart. Oh, and I used red French knots for the flower centers because I just couldn't figure out what was charted at all. So, here are Blocks 1-9 in all their glory...
Speaking of churches, I was thrilled when this old, 1910 era, postcard came up for auction on Ebay and I was able to purchase it for a mere $3.00. Why you ask? Well, this is the Presbyterian church in my hometown where I attended Sunday school, sang in the choir, and was active in the youth group from age five until I left for college. More importantly, it is the church where my husband and I were married over 33 years ago. I have many fond memories of that church and the times I spent there. You see, the tiny town that I grew up in had only one main street and a handful of side streets. We walked or rode our bikes everywhere--my church and the park (with that all-important gazebo) were right down at the end of my street, the library was around the corner right on Main Street along with the post office, the market, the "five and dime," the drugstore, the barber, and a handful of other shops. The school was actually a mile away and we had to walk to and from every day from fourth grade on. (And yes, I was one of those parents that used the old line, "Well, in my day, I used to have to walk a mile to school every single day, rain or shine" on my sons when they would complain about walking the short distance to their bus stop!). The older I get the more I appreciate how lucky I was to grow up in a small town environment. Are any of you "small town girls," too?
One of my favorite poems, which I included in a scrapbook that I made in 2003 for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary really captures the feeling of small town life. It is titled "On Returning" and was written by Charles L. Cingolani:
"And on returning
even the streets know
you were born here
when you walk them
watching for sidewalk flaws
cracks and swellings
where napping childhood
And, after all the years
people on the porches
greet you and wave
to show they know
on seeing you,
who is one of theirs."
--by Charles L. Cingolani
I was visiting my parents in my old western New York hometown last month and took these photos of this little cast iron stove. It used to belong to my grandmother and I can remember playing with it as a child when I visited her. The stove is unbelievably heavy even though it is only about 18" tall! And the detail on it is incredible--just look at the little pots and pans and that chimney. Don't you love the name on it: "Beauty." Not sure if this was a salesman's sample or meant for a child's toy--does anyone know anything about these little stoves? Anyway, mom and I set up this scene with the stove, the primitive wooden cupboard full of small teacups and saucers, and the old round hooked rug in the corner of my old bedroom. Isn't it cute? It's nice to get things out of storage and actually enjoy them while you can...
There is still time to enter my giveaway until Friday, October 15th at 5 PM Eastern Standard Time. Just click on this link if you want to leave your comment for a chance to win. Even if you don't want to enter, you might want to take a few minutes and read everyone's comments about their favorite children's books. It's apparent that books evoke long-lasting and pleasant memories for many of us. Sorry this post was so long--I seem to be feeling very nostalgic these days...
I hope all of my Canadian friends are enjoying a lovely Thanksgiving Day today. And if any of you are lucky enough to have today off for Columbus Day (not me!), enjoy your extra stitching hours. Thank you all for taking time out of your busy day to stop in and say hello. Your comments always make me smile :) Bye now...