Sunday, January 22, 2012


Just as I began to wonder if I should plant some spinach, “Old Man Winter” arrived in force, covering the L-C Valley with 8 to 10 inches of snow on Wednesday (the 18th). Mike was disappointed to have to drive the car to the office, while Nellie and I have been mostly confined to the house and general neighborhood. Now that things have warmed up a bit, water stands or runs or makes mud and is again treacherous in the morning.

Fortunately we had that big influx of food as we closed the farmhouse for the winter. It would be a while before we’d starve, even if we couldn’t cook. Of course, Mike gets out everyday and so has wandered into the grocery store a time or two for produce. But today – today I am going out! I need a boost from Jo-Ann’s, and then I’ll shop Albertson’s for a few things. I’m just waiting for the day to warm up and bring more moderation. Mike says I can't leave until he's sure I won't go sailing off the driveway into the house below us.

I made use of the “in” time to tackle another unfinished project on my list – a white apron to which I’ve added time-consuming machine embroidery embellishment. The stitching on the bib required several hours on Friday, while the three scallops on the bottom took all day Saturday – with interruptions, of course. And it’s not perfect. I had some troubles. Embroidery designs interface to my sewing machine from my laptop, and unbeknownst to me, my computer cord was slightly dislodged, eventually causing the computer to shut down in order to charge. When I was able to bring the design up again, I somehow re-started with a mirror image with the result that one of the scallops is – well, different. Thank goodness for the symmetry of the design or hours of work would have been lost. At one point I also found myself referring to the wrong color change sheet which never bodes well. I had to re-stitch in order to save.

And I think that’s why I fail to finish some things I start. I keep thinking my skills will be better tomorrow. I have to remind myself that at this point it doesn’t matter anymore. I am the master of my own experience. Now is the time. (Etc., etc., etc.)

Last week I abandoned a doll dress I was making from a vintage pattern. I realized it would never be right, and I was happy enough to let it go and cross it off the list. That’s still a decision -- and progress -- in my book.

I'm taking a "wait and see" attitude toward this next week. It looks like daytime highs will reach the 40s, but it could rain. It could even snow again. Predictions for the Camas Prairie (farmhouse) are at 1 to 3 inches tonight. Spring will still come -- it happens every year -- so back to the seed catalog. KW


drMolly, the BeanQueen said...

Oh, now there is something I am looking forward to when I have more time after I retire. I have a Janome stand-alone embroidery machine & I want to be able to do that sort of thing, ie. decorate garments, etc.
Looking good!.
And I wish we had a little bit more gone up here - snow that is.

Leah said...

Beautiful apron. I wouldn't want to use it! What would our mothers say about machine embroidery? I know, it's a different world today and we should take advantage of technology. When I look at vintage embroidery, I have a reverence for the object, knowing that the "artist" spent long hours to complete her project.

I think my mother enjoyed telling others how long it took her to do a certain piece (by hand). She did an huge owl embroidery for the wall 30 years ago as my Christmas gift. This work took a very long time, she reminded me, and also bragged that the design was done with one thread thickness. It was excellent work and I know made with love.

When I moved to L.A., 30 years ago this month in fact, I had a HUGE disagreement with the moving company. They raised their original prices and I couldn't pay the bill. All my worldly goods (furniture, family photos, china, etc) sat in their warehouse for many weeks. It looked like I might lose it all. Finally after contacting a consumer advocate with a national TV show, the bad moving co. settled with me for the original price. Nothing strikes fear into a big business more than nationwide publicity for fleecing poor defenseless women. What did my mother say? She was afraid I'd lose the owl embroidery that she's just spent months working on. Not the family photos, all my furniture, anything else. Just her owl embroidery.

Chris said...

More snow pictures!! I love how the snow makes everything beautiful, even if treacherous!! (I loved your comment about Mike's worrying about you sailing down into the house below...)

We just stopped at the store ourselves to pick up a few things. Dan has been out and about, but I tend to hunker down and stay close to home. We did have a ladies' craft day at church yesterday which forced me to get out since I was in charge. I just took knitting and helped several others with theirs. Ann took her embroidery machine and her knitting and did some multitasking since she had no little fingers to worry about. One lady did bring a pillowcase she was hand embroidering.

What a beautiful apron! Perfect for the hostess to wear while doling out cookies at a swap, or perhaps serving the roast turkey or ham. No one will ever know it is anything but perfect, so don't tell!

Kathy said...

Dr. M -- I wonder if you have experimented with your Janome. Do you have designs you're waiting to use?

Leah, I loved your story about your mother's attitude toward her work. My mother was the same way. "Kathy, the boys were using the afghan I made you," she said. I thought of this again at a Christmas party when a man complained about the box of afghans they are unable to dispose of because of the sentimental value. People make things for loved ones in large part because it's what they like to do.

Oh, Chris! I heard your voice all day yesterday as I worked through my embroidery project. "Just don't unhoop!" you said. "And don't point out the mistake."

The apron might never be used, but it will be decorative in the kitchen at the farmhouse.

Chris said...

Oh good--you got my message--I hope you didn't think I was nagging! :-)

Kathy said...

No, Chris -- you weren't nagging.