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Sunday, December 29, 2013

What happened to settling down for a long winter's nap?

 This is what I was doing just the day before Christmas - putting the binding on my husband's lap quilt.....I did get it done and he loves it.  I neglected to point out the quilting mistakes I made......It's just as warm whether the points all match up correctly or not!
 Did you get moose moccasins for Christmas?  I had a pair when I was a kid and I've always wanted another pair.....I only waited about 45 years!  Good things do come to those who wait.  These are so comfy and now I totally understand how the Indians could glide silently through the forest.....
 These are some of my German sewing machine attachment tins.  I do not have machines to match them all, but I do have a nice collection of vintage German hand cranks and treadles.  We find ourselves seeming quite German at times.  My grandmother (whose parents were German) sang "Oh du lieber Augustin" to me when I was a kid.  I just recently remembered that and was surprised to read the history of that song;
"Oh du lieber Augustin" ("Oh, you dear Augustin") is a Viennese song, composed by Marx Augustin in 1679.
At this time Vienna was struck by the bubonic plague (see Great Plague of Vienna) and Augustin was a ballad singer and bagpiper, who toured Vienna‘s inns entertaining people. The Viennese loved Augustin because of his charming humour in bitter times, and they called him "Lieber Augustin" (Dear Augustin). Once he was drunk and on his way home he fell in the gutter and went to sleep. He was mistaken for a dead man by the gravediggers patrolling the city for dead bodies. They picked him up and dumped him, along with his bagpipes which they presumed were infected, into a pit filled with bodies of plague victims outside the city walls. Next day when Augustin woke up, he was unable to get out of the deep mass grave. He was shocked and after a while he started to play his bag pipes, because he wanted to die the same way he lived. Finally people heard him and he was rescued from this dreadful place. Luckily he remained healthy despite having slept with the infected dead bodies and Augustin became a symbol of hope for Viennese people.

 Now that the Christmas holidays are over, I'm back to crafting primitives again.  Today I made this little wool mouse family.  Can't you just picture finding them in your pantry???
 Here's a fun name for a sewing machine - the Silent Princess!  This is what's known as a 'badged' machine - made by a major sewing machine company (in this case, National Sewing Machine Co.) but the seller could choose the name they wanted.  There is an amazing number of unusual sewing machine names out there.
 For the upcoming Valentine season, I crafted these herbal hearts.  (Try saying that really fast a few times...)
 ......a passel of barn cats,
 .....a few primitive rag dolls,
 four crows, and...........
......have been doing some thread crochet flowers and leaves in my 'spare' time!

It's been a busy season, a lovely Christmas time with lots of good meals, board games, lots of music, singing around the piano and cozy fires.  Richly blessed we are and thank God for His graciousness to us. 

I'm still trying to get used to the emptier nest that we have now that my oldest daughter has moved out.  She's just down the road, but still her place at the dinner table is empty and now her rooms are my sewing & crafting studio.  I see her every day, but it's not quite the same.  Maybe harder because she's been at home so long, but it's making me feel older.  Times they are a changin'.  

On another note, I'm enjoying Winter and wish it would slow down just a bit more!  Seems like there aren't enough hours in the day for all I'd like to accomplish.  Yesterday I cleaned out my milk room and kidding pens in preparation for the upcoming goat kid arrivals (soon!).  Today I have the sore muscles to prove it!  We've gotten two seed catalogs in the mail and we're already imagining this year's garden (always better than the last one, of course).   Before you know it, the days will be longer and we'll spend more time outside once again.    But, for now it's still Winter and the new year is just ahead.  My prayer is that everyone who reads this blog will find the peace that can only be found with our Saviour Jesus Christ who died to take away our sins.  If you don't know Him, you'd better get acquainted quick!  This life goes by so fast and all of us will one day stand before Him.  Will He recognize you?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Of gingerbread and A.A. Milne and melancholy...

 December has been a month of melancholy.  Seems an endless round of work, weather, wood.  Work because my daughter moved to her own place just down the lane, but oh the stuff to move.  Weather because it's been cold & frozen and on Thanksgiving Day (how ironic), our water line broke and we were without water until next day, then completely repaired day after that.  We had Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday.....definitely some things to be thankful for, if we weren't already.
 We heat with wood and the stove seems to devour it like melted chocolate in a desperate woman's mouth.

I'm relating to Eeyore (from Winnie the Pooh by Milne, if you're THAT uninformed!).  Feeling blue & friendless at times.  Wonder if the combination of chronic illness and the dreaded 'change of life' can do that to a person.........
 Spending too much time indoors, I guess.  Reminiscing over past years when the children were young and the calendar days were full of activity. 

Well, 'nuf of that!  Onward.
My 'new' sewing room is part studio to work in and very much a museum of relics - sewing machines from the late 1800s to the 1960s.  Lots of them.  Can you say....eccentric?
 This is a little piece of importance in my daily life.  I sit here and drink coffee, read from Our Daily Bread devotional and E-Sword (Bible online), pray for the needs that come to mind and mull over the day ahead.  I read a handful of interesting blogs, the headline events, the 10-day weather outlook and sneak a peek into the windows of my friends' homes via Facebook.  Check to see if my Ebay stuff is selling.

 Cookies are in important part of December.  Gingerbread men can chase the blues away in a heartbeat (if they had one....).

 I made and sold several batches of these guys on Ebay.  I wanted a bowl-full for myself, but I forgot and sold them all.....
 This is Dr. Zhivago.  He began to look like a Cossack from the moment I began sewing him together.   Just for the record, though I haven't seen that movie since I was a child, I remember that the scenery was amazing but the plot line was rather immoral. 

This snowman-Zhivago is a much nicer fellow.  
 In between moving my daughter's stuff out and hauling MILLIONS of sewing machines UPSTAIRS to my new spot, I also made some of these little fellers.
Then, I had an object lesson.  It started with this 1950s-60s sewing machine.  It looks great on the outside.  I cleaned and polished it up, oiled & serviced it, the cam stitch levers work smoothly and there's no rust or scum anywhere.  It is a FABULOUS machine!   Except it doesn't work.   The dumb thing is froze up solid!  I've done everything I can think of as far as freeing it up.  The only thing for it now is a vat of kerosene or some major doses of KROIL....outside.
Made me think about people.  Sometimes we look fabulous (ok, so we'll just go for neat & tidy) on the outside and most of the important things seem to be in place, but on the inside we may be hard hearted or stiff necked, or hiding other unpleasantries.   People often are not what they appear on the outside.  Before I judge people by what I see, I hope I'll think of this and pray for them instead.