Monday, October 11, 2010

Nine Down -- Three To Go!

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:

On Returning

"And on returning
even the streets know
you were born here
and speak
when you walk them
watching for sidewalk flaws
cracks and swellings
where napping childhood
hides waiting.

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...


Margaret said...

Your Christmas at HRH is gorgeous! I know what you mean about missing the smaller samplers when stitching the larger ones though.

Your church is so beautiful! You are really lucky to have grown up in a small town like that. I wasn't one of those lucky people, so I envy you.

I have a little stove set similar to your grandmother's, but I bet mine is a lot newer than your grandmother's. I got mine as a child in the 60's. :D Mine doesn't have the pipe either.

Annette said...

Nice you finished another block!! Looks lovely.
At the moment we have lovely weather over here, cold but sunny, it's so nice to don't have rain...
What a beautifull postcard, and lovely poem..

KarenV said...

Congratulations on getting another block done Carol, it's looking gorgeous! I really admire your perseverance in tackling one of these HRH projects - I started but abandoned Village and know now that big projects are not my thing. At least you're on the home stretch now with only 3 blocks to go.

It's a lovely sunny day here too and will hopefully continue to be this way for a few days - enjoy the sunshine!

Kathy A. said...

Congratulations on finishing Block 9 Carol. HRH all tend to be monsters but so beautiful when done. You are well on your way to one BIG Happy Dance.
Thatt is one cool postcard! Especially when it holds so many memories for you. I have a postcard of the hospital/house where I was born and it is precious to me.
Your pot belly stove is so special and you have done a lovely display around it.
Enjoy the sunshine and warm weather.

Anonymous said...

your christmas at HRH, is coming along beautifully, well done you for reaching so far
lovely postcad, great find for you

BrendaS said...

Carol --
Your CaHRH piece is just beautiful. I know what you mean about just "throwing in the towel" on such a large piece but keep plugging away and you will have a masterpiece when you are finished. Almost there...

I'm a small town girl too and wouldn't trade it for anything. Over the last year I've had to go back to my hometown to clear out my Mom's house and it certainly brings back so many memories.

Thanks for sharing. Have a great week.

Annie said...

HRH is looking fabulous. That church does indeed remind me of camouflage! Funny what you discover as you stitch something.

That is such a sweet story to go with your postcard find. Planning to frame it?

Sure was great weather for bike ride. I always worry when we get a string of nice weather that we'll have to pay for it later!

Tricia T said...

What a fun story about your postcard/church. That will be a treasure for sure! And your Hawk Run piece will be a treasure, too, when you're done. I know what you mean about being tempted by all the smaller pieces, though. I feel the same way while I'm working on this stocking!!

Hazel said...

Love your new block. I have this in my stash to do. Will I ever get round to starting it???? Lovely story about your church and hometown. Happy memories. x

Unknown said...

272 mile bike ride - that's insane! Was it a race or just a "pleasure" trip.

Congratulations on finishing your 9th square! It is a lovely piece and good for you for sticking with it.

How wonderful to have obtained the postcard of your church - so many wonderful memories. I love the poem - I always wished I had grown up in a small town and had roots somewhere instead of boucing all over the country.

What a fun photo shoot with the old stove - makes me grateful for electricity :-)

Barbi said...

Carol! I love everything about this post! Your stitching is coming along so beautifully! I can hardly wait to start mine in January. I have to gather everything for it, but I have the chart, that's the main thing. The postcard of the church is wonderful, wonderful that you were able to get it. I didn't grow up in a small town, but I always longed to! I was absorbed by books like Anne of Green Gables series, and Little house on the Praire series, and imagined myself in them. And who wouldn't want to cook on that marvelous stove!!!! I love it. :)

Julie M said...

Block 9 is beautiful! As much as I like the HRH charts, I do not think I would ever stitch them. Too many other pieces calling my name!

Love the little stove. Such detail!

Lesleyanne said...

Congratulations on finishing block 9. It is gorgeous. It will be well worth it when you have finished block 12. Love your story about the church and so happy for you that you were able to get the postcard.

Vinniey said...

Although I see your CHRH's progress since few months ago, but I really enjoyed following the "adventure" you stitching this beautiful large project. You always did some color changes on most of each block, and those little changes were making each blocks looks gorgeous, and you've did some "magic" on this 9th block again. Well done, Carol! I love them all.

Thanks for sharing your sweet memories of this beautiful church. Love the poem. :)

Have a nice day, Carol.

valerie said...

I don't have Columbus Day off either. Sounds like we are in the same boat today.

Wonderful progress on your CaHRH! Keep plugging along and it's ok if you take two months for each block so you can stitch a little on other things. In the end, you'll be so happy with your finished project. It's stunning already!

I love the postcard and poem relating to your small-town upbringing. It's nice to hear stories like that since I come from a "big" city where things were much different from the mid-west or even East Coast. Cute stove!

Shari said...

as I read your post, it reminded me of my son, so far away! Just today, I talked to him on Skype & he said he was 75% done...just like you are with this piece....keep pressing on! When you finish this piece...HE WILL BE HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!
It looks great Carol!
Oh my! That stove is so pretty!!
I bet you do have fond memories!

Dani - tkdchick said...

Congrats on getting another block finished. Don't feel bad you're working on big projects, so am I and I feel like I'm one of the few lately. There's just so many people working on smalls lately. I do love my big projects!

Catherine said...

Your block finish is beautiful! I love how you are making subtle changes in each block - it truly makes it your own!

I definitely consider myself a small town girl! At least it was a small town when I was growing up there - sadly, not so much anymore. But like you, I have old postcards from my hometown that take me back!

Love the stove! Isn't it great how one thing can bring back fond memories! Sometimes even the smell of a certain rose will remind me of a powder that my grandmother wore when I was little.

Hugs to you...

Christina said...

I certainly have a lot of admiration for anyone that tackles CaHRH, it looks absolutely fabulous but takes a lot of stamina! I can't imagine how many hours ofwork go into each block.

Bekca said...

Christmas at HRH is looking so good, don't lose heart with it. You'll know it will look beautiful in the end :) I love the postcard of the church and the memories you connect with it. I'm not a small town girl, but I do live in a village, that counts right? :) Happy stitching to you.

Mary said...

CHRH is looking great Carol - don't lose heart on this one it will be magnificent when it is finished. This one is in my pile - maybe next year !
Love your trip down memory lane.

Vonna Pfeiffer said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Your Christmas in HRH...three to go! That is amazing and it is beautiful, it really is!

I'm a small town girl, we didn't have a 5 and dime but we had Will's Corner where my Mama would buy me a Cherry Coke and they'd bring it out on roller skates :)
I grew up in Haubstadt, Indiana and it only had a population of 1800. Still is small, but not that small. No stop lights, just good, clean living and I miss it! But I get to visit when we go "home" to our parents homes ;)

Mary said...

Oh Carol, Your CatHRH looks're really coming along. The next block looks like one you'll enjoy with the birds. I must say the New Year block with the dark background might be a task for me. I dislike stitching large areas of one color, especially darker ones. Do you mind it as much?

Your postcard "find" of your hometown church is a real keepsake holding many memories for you.

I love the little treasures you and your Mom found in the attic. There was so much attention paid to detail back then, wasn't there?

I also came from a smaller town, although it's not that way now. The people are still friendly, humble and kind-hearted.

I had the opportunity to revisit the school where I spent my first 3 years. Ironicaly, my niece attended Pre-K there. Everything was still the same! The paint on the walls was still green....hopefully not the same coat from 1963!!
It's going to be torn down at the end of this school year :(

Best of luck with your giveaway...lucky the 3 winners!


Anonymous said...

What a find with the photo of the church! I'm so glad you were able to get it. I just love that stove. My great-grandma had one in her dugout. She lived on the side of a mountain, and had a large dugout in the backyard that kept her canning and other items cool. I'm sure the stove must have been in the house before it was wired for electricity and they got an electric stove.
Happy Thanksgiving to you! Happy day off to me!

Oh, and your HRH piece is looking fab!

Lynn said...

Lovely job on the latest square in CaHRH! Kudos that you've managed to stay on target so far. I'm afraid I would have fallen far behind by now. It'll all be worth it when it's finished and framed.

I love the poem on homecoming. Unfortunately I did not grow up in a small town although I live in one now and my children have grown up here. I wouldn't want to move back to the big city.

Love the stove. It's so cute!!

Theresa said...

Block nine is gorgeous!!! Can you believe only three more blocks to go and this year will be over?!

That post card of your childhood church is amazing!!!! And the stove is just full of characters!!! Love it!!

Giovanna said...

Hi, thanks for visiting my blog, and helping me to discover yours. Your stitching and finishing are beautiful! Don't be too put off about block 11, once you start the ship things go much better :-)

Lois said...

I really enjoyed reading this post Carol and hearing a little more of times when you were growing up. I think this particular season is one that brings on nostalgia. What a beautiful church and I so enjoyed seeing the pictures of the treasures you found in the attic.

Well done on completing Block 9! Keep going, you are almost there and you will be pleased that you kept working on this when it is completed. It is going to be a beauty!!!!

♥ Nia said...

That church is so beautiful!!! :D
Great memories you have :)
I'm a city girl! Tottally different :p

Your block is gorgeous! It was worth the work ;)

Meari said...

*raises hand* I was a small town girl! :) My two hometowns were 300 and 800 people. I actually lived a couple miles outside these towns in the country. Didn't have to walk to school, though!

That is really cool you found a postcard of your church. It has beautiful architecture!!

Your church square turned out really nice.

Cindy's Stitching said...

Hawk run is looking beautiful. If will be worth it when it is done. It is a big project to take on. I did not grow up in a small town. You church is so pretty. The old stove is amazing. I can only imagine how heavy it is.

Cindy F. said...

Congrats on your beautiful block finish:)
Love the old stove AND the awesome postcard of your church:)
Great post Carol!

Julie said...

Block 9 is truly lovely, a nice addition to the other 8.

It must have been so lovely to live in a small town, the church looks beautiful, thanks for sharing your happy memories.

Unknown said...

I love your HRH - way more than I could ever do, but beautiful. And, I love Christmas decorations and stitching most of all.

I grew up in a small town (bigger than yours) and walked to school everyday until I went to Middle School. There is something special about that.

I have a little stove similar to that as well. It is smaller because my parents got it to put in my Barbie dollhouse that they built. Still have most of the furniture from that now. We built one for DD, and DGD will get it in a few years.

Ranae said...

You Go Girl!!!! HRH is looking awesome.
How neat to find a postcard that holds so many memories.

Edit said...

Your latest block is is so beautiful, just like the whole big design. I am really excited to see it when you finish. It might be a bit stressful to stitch with a deadline, but then when you finish and the result is so beautiful...

That old church on the postcard is really beautiful and it must be a very special card for you. I love postcards very much, I was always collecting them but I started to take it more serious about one year ago. One goal of mine was to have all the 50 US states and I could complete it some month ago. I was really happy when I could get the last state :)

And the old stove!!! It is absolutely beautiful. In Hungary there is a man collecting these old stoves and he even has a museum about it.

Martine said...

Carol ! i love your church and I think that your Hawk Run Hollow will be beautiful !!!! But, what a work !!!....
The old stove is so cute... and yes ! the details on it are incredibles !
I love when you share your happy memories !

Unknown said...

What a beautiful church. I grew up in a small town in western NY. Only 1 stop light. Sometimes idyllic, sometimes not.

Unknown said...

I grew up in a couple of small towns, though none as picturesque-sounding as your home town. My dad was a Presbyterian minister, and none of the churches he was assigned to when I was growing up were nearly as pretty as your old church.

Great progress on Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow! Think of how amazing it will look hanging on your wall when it's finished. I'm with you on the deadlines for large projects, a deadline sure defeats stitching to relive stress!

Melissa said...

This block is just fabulous! I can see that each block is a sampler in itself! Beautiful colours!

barbara said...

Oh you went to and were married in a LOVELY church!! Congratulations on this very special ebay win!

I hear you on the CHS stitching. Exhausting. But oh so worth it!!

Carolyn NC said...

CAHRH looks fantastic. Love the pics of the stove, too!

Sally said...

Congratulations on finishing block 9. This piece is just stunning!

What a lovely postcard and a fantastic find for you.

Katrina said...

Your CaHRH is gorgeous! Love the colors. And the postcard is so neat, congrats on getting it.

Nancy said...

Your Christmas at HRH is looking gorgeous Carol! Congratulations on finishing another block, and I think my favorite so far is the one with the ice skaters.

What a beautiful church you went to Sunday School in and then later married in. So sentimental! I love the old stove too.

As you already know I was born in a small town but moved to a big city when I was very young. I can see advantages and disadvantages to both really. I feel I was exposed to so many different types of things and opportunities living in a big city, but it didn't have the coziness of a small town.

Shirley said...

The needlework is coming along well, it is nice to put your own stamp on it by changing the colours. It will look fantastic when completed.
Take care,

Vaida said...

Dear Carol,

thanks for your visit and kind comment on my blog!
Your Christmas at HRH looks fabulous - and you've almost finished! I love the block with the church, it's one of the two blocks I have plans to stitch until this Christmas

Siobhán said...

Great job on getting another CaHRH block finished! It looks great.

Good for you on the post card win. How neat that you're a small town girl. ;) I love the poem that you shared! I am from suburbia, but that poem resonates with me. When I go home, I run into soooo many people that I know all over the 'burb. It's great--as long as I have my makeup on! LOL DH grew up in a very small town where everybody knew everybody's business a bit more than I'm comfortable with, so the town we're in is a nice compromise between our two childhood towns. It's big enough that we can have our privacy but small enough that we can reach out and connect with friends when we need to.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

CalamityJr said...

I think your church photo is wonderful. I just told my hubby the other day that I wish I had taken pictures of all the churches in the small towns we drove through when I was young. I remember wanting to do it back then, but never did, so that makes your picture of your very own church even more special to me! Love your CaHR, too. I hope to stitch it myself "some day"!

Olga said...

Thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog.
Your Christmas piece is just gorgeous!
Thank you for sharing your touching stories about the church and the stove.

Pumpkin said...

Oh Carol! You are SOOOO close to being done!!!! Another lovely block is done and you're all that much closer to the end. I hope your deadline idea doesn't ruin the pleasure of this piece for you :o( You'll have such an amazing project when you're finished :o)

That is SO neat! I love churches and love to photograph them. Your church has such character :o)

What an adorable stove! The detail is incredible. My Gram used to have a stove something like this one. I remember having to use a hook to open one of the round covers and then place wood or paper inside to burn :o)

Great post Carol! TFS :o)

Ariane20 said...

Bravo!! Tout est très beau. Félicitations.

Michele B. said...

I love your camouflage church with its open tramsom - it looks very inviting. And what a beautiful real life church! Thanks for sharing that wonderful poem.

I have a little cast iron stove (a bit smaller than your Mom's)that I've had since childhood. It came with some pots and pans and a coal scuttle, which I have filled with stones. And I've collected other things to go with it, like a miniature butter churn. I never thought of having a rug - I wonder if I could make a little braided one.

SV said...

Loved your cast iron stove.
Visiting you blog for the first time, Nice blog!