Thursday, March 24, 2011

Exhaustion - Snow - and a little restoration

Four days with nary a stitch taken ... my eyes are literally burning from exhaustion. Easter Break can not come soon enough for me though now I fear I will sleep through most of it rather than catching up on house work, garden work and home improvement projects as planned. The past three weeks have been 50 hour work weeks and this one appears to be edging toward 60 hours ... I have come to the conclusion that the hours worked during a week should not equal or exceed the years you have been on the planet ... at least, not once you have passed the fifty mark.

It doesn't help that Spring has meekly fled from this bully we are calling the Winter of 2010-11. Snow again coats the ground with a three-five inch blanket of white and has turned the roads into a slushy, icy deathtrap. School delays are the order of the day. The sprouting shoots of my Spring bulbs are buried beneath the snow.

I have done a few stitch-related things though:
*** read and even posted on several stitching blogs that I follow
***ordered the replacement Mill Hill beads I need for The Ice Dragon's Kingdom
***packed up the Ort Jar to be mailed to Rachel
***filled out and mailed the registration form and final payment for my Stitcher's Hideaway at Sturbridge
***and did the last restorative bath of a sampler stitched by a friend's grandmother, dating from the late 1940s or early 1950s. It was glued onto cheap cardboard from a cereal box and then framed in a plastic dimestore frame and hung in a kitchen, exposed to all sorts of cooking steams, oils and fumes as well as direct sunlight. Three baths in Restoration and one in Woolite have gotten rid of all the glue residue and the paper/cardboard fragments and flakes as well as the old kitchen soil. But there was little I could do about the fading due to sunlight. You can see the original color of the linen at the edges where it was hidden beneath the original frame. The piece is now as soft and supple as linen should be, the colors are as gently faded as they were to begin with but I imagine they are a bit clearer and truer and the piece is ready to be reframed in a manner worthy of the family heirloom it is. I'll be seeing my friend tonight and giving it to her ... I am hoping she'll be pleased. This piece has a certain primitive charm: the simple colors and design, the somewhat inexpert and naif stitching, the sweetness of the message ... but what really makes it special is that it has hung in the kitchens of three generations of women from one family and, once framed properly, will be passed to a fourth. There is a certain satisfaction to be found in being part of that process and to handle a piece of stitchery that is as old or slightly older than I am.

So though I haven't actually been stitching, I have at least maintained a tenuous connection with the craft.


mainely stitching said...

I think you've done a great job staying connected to stiching! Lovely job with the restoration - what a sweet sampler and verse. :)

Rachel S said...

That is a really cute little sampler. Worth the effort to save it. What is Restoration?

Kim Demaree said...

I absolutely love this post! So heartwarming. I hope that one day when I have great-grandkids running around that they will cherish something of mine like your friend's family cherishes that piece. Thanks for sharing your story!

Erica said...

Great job on the restoration!
It will look even better framed.
I am sure the family will appreciate your efforts.

Maggee said...

I love that little sampler! The saying is adorable. Short and sweet, to the point. The restoring you are doing on it is so sweet--to keep it going in the family. Very nice! Hugs.

Bronny said...

Isn't that just a sweet sampler. I think you are right about the age of it. Isn't it wonderful that it will be treasured by another generation.

Now.... back to your OWN stitching !!!


Carol said...

How nice your restoration turned out!! I'm sure the family will be thrilled to have it hanging on their kitchen wall once again.

loretta said...

Your restoration work is lovely ~ fantastic job! I love seeing needlework rescued :)