…like gladdening, greening, growing things…*

Easter approaches, and with it all the joy and gratitude for another spring season ushered in with resurrection, longer daylight, warmer temperatures, awakening scents, budding branches, green shoots pushing through warmed soil.

It is time to start checking the garden, to inquire if anything has lifted green, sleepy heads.  I am somewhat concerned, the winter was mild, with little snow.  We did experience a number of extremely cold days and I fear that some of the plants may not have survived without their white blanket to protect.  To this point there is no signs of return, although in the vegetable garden, I think I saw a suggestion of green where the sorrell lives.

John 12:24-25   24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

I’ve been dreaming of seed packets.  I been dreaming of hot houses.  This Sunday past I spoke to a woman in our congregation who has a greenhouse, she is very accommodating in remembering I indulge in purples, from mauve to royalty so dark as to appear almost black.  Last year she started some deep purple Morning Glory, I plan not to miss out this year.

It is a splendid time of the year, in more ways than one.

” Now the green blade rises from the buried grain, wheat that in the dark earth many days has lain;
love lives again, that with the dead has been: love is come again like wheat new-springing green.”**

* How Deep the Silence of the Soul – tune MacPherson’s Farwell – Book of Praise #750

** Now the Green Bladed Rises – tune French Carol – Book of Praise # 256

Stitching Away

  While I was home this Christmas I took pictures of all the needlework I had done and given to my mom and/or dad.  Actually, I have never given my dad, individually a piece of my stitching.

The Garden Cottage was the first piece I gave them.  It was a difficult piece to photograph as it is hung in a corner next to the picture window.  No matter where I stood, the glass reflected a slight glare from outside light.  The best image is a great example of parallel line perspective, not such a great representation of the work.  In hindsight I should have taken it down from the wall and moved it to a better spot.  Silly me.

This piece is a representation of an antique Dutch plate pattern.  My mother bought the pattern in the Netherlands on one of her trips.  She asked if I would stitch it for her.  It is not something that I would choose to stitch, but I did.  For interest sake I kept track of how long it took to complete by making crosses in the black squares of the pattern.  Each crossed square was a half hour.  The entire project took 117 1/4 hours.  I gave (returned?) it to my mom for her birthday and she took it to the framer.  The result is fabulous.  In the end I was very pleased with it.  It almost looks three-dimensional from certain angles.  Again, I didn’t think of taking it down from the wall to photograph, so the result is not the best.


My aunt Shirley did a petit point pair of Dutch children.  My mom always wanted these done of Ukrainian children dancing so that the nationalities on both sides of the family would be represented.  They turned our really well, although I am not crazy about the framing.  It is very ornate, and much to large for the pictures in my opinion.  Mom only went this route because that was the way they were framed in the example with the pattern.

I have not worked on any needlework for some time.  It might be time…

Start dates – August 2002 & Sometime in 2005

Began 2002 - finished 2011

Began 2004 - Finished 2010

Amazingly, since we moved here in 2009, I have actually managed to complete two large cross stitch projects that I began some time ago.  Both are by my favourite cross stitch designer, Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum.  As I indicated in an earlier post, photographs of framed pieces tend not to turn out very well.  I am quite pleased with the finished angels, regardless of the superimposed reflection of me standing on a ladder.  Having it framed the way I envisioned was difficult.  The framer did her best to dissuade me from the proportions, particularly the empty space above the angels.  I wanted the picture to be higher than wider, and initially wanted the space over the angels heads much greater, but the cost was prohibitive.  When the gallery owner insisted “That’s not the way it should be,”  I told her I was making a theological statement, not an artistic one.  I am still not convinced she got my point.

When I am not busy

I realized only recently that I have been stitching for over 20 years.  It has developed into a spiritual practice, many prayers and remembrances are wrapped up into the blending of colour and texture.

I/we own four pieces, I’ve completed over a hundred.  They seem to be the perfect thing to give away.  Photographing the pieces after they have been framed really doesn’t do them justice.  Maybe now that I have a digital camera I can get better results.