the birthday kindle case

Saturday’s birthday stitchfest also produced a very sweet little kindle cover – Julian’s birthday present.  The cover that is, not the kindle … that came a long time ago.

I used a beautifully thick, stiff, pure wool felt from Winterwood – they use it primarily for building houses and toadstools etc.  It sure makes for lovely construction.  It’s a simple envelope design – the side seams are blanket stitched using crochet thread – and I continued the blanket stitching around the flap.

The boots – why, we ARE boots :-)  And look at that boot on the left – it makes a “J”, yes?  J Boot.  No need for any initials or names here!  And simple running stitch in the same colour used on the boots, for the band that holds the flap in place.

Simple, sturdy, perfect.  He loves it.  And I think I’m more than a bit addicted to the lovely thick felt.  Hmmmm …. my stitchy imagination is running over.




a birthday banner

Amazed it’s taken me this many years of banner-loving to make a birthday banner.  Last weekend was such a lovely slow, stitchy, at-home weekend. Abby and I set up on the dining table, stitching a birthday present for Julian and needle felting for quiet, chatty hours.  In between all this, a birthday banner was perfectly do-able.

Same format as all my previous banners.  Rectangles cut from the edge of a thrifted blanket.  Letters cut out from a pretty fabric and vlisofixed into place.  Haven’t yet stab stitched them, but outlined all in red perle thread, and added a wee flower in colours to entice those oh so sweet ladybugs that are lightly perched upon our Happy Birthday.  Blanketing folded in half over a hanging rope made from 2 1/2 inch wide strips of fabric, folded in half right sides together, turned out with a safety pin and ironed flat.

And there it hangs.  Across the front windows.  Finished for Julian’s birthday.  Hanging there – by little wee nails through the ends of the hanging rope into the tops of the window and door frames where no one will ever see the wee holes :-) – waiting for next week’s birthday … mine!

I can’t decide whether to put all the banners in one small case so’s we can go to the case and pull out whichever one we need.  Or, keep my eyes out for some lovely old suitcases at the thrift shops and then have one for each occasion – a birthday case with the banner, bunting, tablecloth, present wrapping cloths, birthday candle ring …  Mmmm …


v is for valentine

Something about the word Valentine makes me think of acrostic poems … is that what they are called?  Those funny poems we write in primary school where each line starts with the next letter in the title, in this case Valentine.

Since I haven’t managed to finish my wee Valentine’s cross stitch – man! after all these years it never ceases to amaze me how long even the simplest of stitched projects takes – I’ll try summing up our Valentine’s Day acrostically :-)

V is for Vegetables that were planted for autumn

A is for Abigail who’s still languishing at home

L is for the sweet Lotte that adorned our Valentine’s table

E is for Eggs, so warm, brown and wonderful

N is for naughty – yes you Fu! you who ate your way out of your walking harness

T is for trees whose leaves are already tinged with the season to come

I is for inside when we should have been out in the last days of summer’s sun

N is for nightime rituals – put the chooks to bed, wash the dishes, read with Abigail, sit down here at my desk

E is for eagerness for what may come tomorrow – planting the second autumn bed, maybe some patchwork, making oregano pesto, definitely more Oliver, but also raking, washing-folding and floor mopping.

There you go :-)  Happy Valentines to you and those you love.  Hope you have a lovely day.

p.s. the lovely “Vs” are from a beautiful French book of cross stitched alphabets – the French sure know how to cross stitch :-)

my child’s light – candlemas

‘Tis another almost forgotten Feast Day today – Candlemas.   A celebration of Jesus’ presentation at the temple following Mary’s purification.  And the candles? Symbolic of old Simon’s dream (resident of the temple) – that in which the heavens declared the babe Jesus to be the light of the world.  And so, folks in later ages were encouraged to bring their candles to mass to be blessed – to take back home into the dark and cold of winter and to find solace in the light and warmth their candles – Jesus – gave them.

As we lit candles this evening and talked about Candlemas and it’s meaning to us, I found myself, as a mother, totally immersed in that notion of our children bringing forth their light into the world.  What this light will contribute to the world.  How the world will respond to our child’s light.  How this light will grow.  How we, as parents, are charged with the responsibility of keeping this light safe – of nourishing it, allowing it to thrive. Will it become richer and stronger, or will it flicker and be almost quenched by the wild forces that sometimes gather outside our doors – or sometimes, those that we let in.

I thought of Mary – that young, young mother who had already withstood such drama – a rather odd conception, marriage to a much older man, travelling in the last days of her pregnancy, sharing her babe’s birth with a gathering of rather fantastical characters, having to flee in order to save her child from a despot’s wrath, and then, finally, presenting her child to the temple as was the custom, only to be told by some old and wild eccentric that her child was going to light up the world. Oy!

But mostly, I thought of my Abby and her light.  Of the light that I recognised and felt the warmth of the moment she was laid in my arms, seconds after her birth.  The light that we watched grow fulsomely as she strode cheerily through those early, early years at home.  Then the heartwrenching moments as she has made her way – sometimes cautiously, sometimes so brave I stand in awe –  into the larger world, and her light – a light that we adore and admire – is sometimes tipped precariously, other times almost snuffed out.  Then the huge relief, when others – her friends, our friends, her teachers, our colleagues, strangers on the tram! – notice her light, their appreciation drawing it out as it quickens her step, curls her mouth with laughter, adds sparkles to her eyes, allows a rosy glow to emanate from within.

As a mum, I want the light inside my Abby, which makes her the special and marvellous individual she is, to warm her with peace and happiness, to guide her towards her dreams, to attract the love and support of those important to her.

And this year, as we talked and laughed over our Candlemas dinner and later, as we read Abby’s new English novel together, I vow that each time I light our candles and admire their cosy prettiness, I will be mindful of that light within my child, be it puttering timidly, fiercely burning, or richly glowing.  For it is hers with which to light up the world. I, like so many mothers before me and beside me – including Mary – am its most loyal guardian. And that is how it should be.