Monday, December 21, 2020

The End Of An Era


Hello lovely lovelies❣ A beautiful welcome to my little place. It is a place where an end of an era has arrived, and, to be honest, I am a little sad. Those of you who have followed my dribble of a blog for some time know that for nine years I have been teaching all things stitching and creative to school children. For nine years, after school, the local school bus has been hurtling along our bumpy, country road, screeching to a sudden stop in front of the hydrangea-hugged front gate, ejecting my sewing children, who then skipped along the flower-lined front path, bursting through the bright pink front door all excited to while away a few hours stitching a whirlwind of creativity, at 'The Kim Sharman School of Stitching Excellence'. Why am I sad?? Holly, my very last student has now graduated; and I might add, graduated with flying colours. Why, she has passed with Honours! Yep, she has her very own degree and her very own uniquely designed mortarboard...graduation cap! =) She is a clever girl, is Holly!

Sweet Holly, my delightful partner in crime at 'The Kim Sharman School of Stitching Excellence' has concluded her time here, at the place where all things textiles have twirled and whirled in a muddly and creative mess, and more often than not escaping the confines of the sewing room, swirling their way throughout the house entangling Holly, me and whomever else  happened to be in the path of the runaway textiles. Holly's friend, Akasha, used to come also but she left a couple of years ago. Throughout the past nine years quite a few students have whipped up a creative storm here, but as is often the way in life, they stayed a while and left to follow other adventures, other creative pursuits. As for Holly she has been coming since the very beginning. Nine years!! Where oh where did that time go??!! 

Holly has learnt 'all-things-stitching' here at my little place. She has sewn quilts, wall hangings, cushions, birthday presents, Christmas presents, Mother's Day presents, purses, bags, softies, clothes, home decor pretties........even patchwork curtains which  adorn the windows in her, so many amazing pretties. Why, as I rewind the video tape of these past years I can see Holly ay her very first lesson, ever-so-carefully hand stitching a little heart sachet which she would then fill with lavender. It was obvious from the beginning that Holly was a natural. She has so much talent with all things pertaining to textiles and design. Holly or I would see a picture or a photo of something she wanted to fashion, we would design it, draft the pattern and then she would choose the fabrics, then happily stitch away to her heart's content. Do you know, in all these nine years we never had a pattern to which we would refer, we just made it up as we went along and drafted the pieces needed for any given project. When fashioning clothes, Holly used a commercial pattern, but more often than not, she strayed from the pattern path and added her own ideas. Mmm......I wonder who encouraged Holly to meander off the path to gather and explore her own ideas. =) Holly has attained skills she can easily fall upon with ease throughout adulthood. Yes indeed, Holly has learnt a plethora of design and stitching skills; skills which she will have forevermore. Why, Holly has a little stitching business called Holly Dolly,  where she designs and stitches pretties to sell at fairs and on-line.

It seems as if only yesterday  Holly arrived for her first lesson; tentative, shy, quiet, her hair in pigtails and feet dangling on two suitcases, in order to reach the sewing machine pedal, so that she might sew. And now, she is no longer shy; but confident, smart, funny, witty, clever, kind, honest, committed, and so, so brave. Just before Holly's thirteenth birthday, her beloved dad passed away suddenly, leaving both Holly, her brother James and her beautiful mum, Trish......and everyone who loved her dad, in stunned disbelief and shock. Holly has faced gargantuan struggles that one so young should never have to, but she has met them head on with such quiet strength and courage. Holly always brightens my days. Let me count the ways in which I am proud of Holly. Alas, I cannot, as they are innumerable. I am so, so very proud of Holly! She is off to complete Years 10 and 12 of high school (college) and then on to study Osteopathy at university. I might add that Holly has worked hard throughout her school years to attain dux of her school and a bursary for university. Holly truly is a most remarkable young lady! It has been one of the delights of my life to travel along some of the path with Holly, to laugh with her, to cry with her; to support her and encourage her to fulfil those lifelong dreams. It truly has been a joy to teach Holly skills in all things textiles; to teach her life skills which she will call upon throughout her life. It has been the best fun to share Wednesday afternoons with this most amazing young lady. A young lady who is ready to claim her place in the world, making it a better place.  I have no doubt Holly will sprinkle sunshine, love and delight, to those she happens to walk with along the path of life.

Thank you for strolling through the photos of the years celebrating Holly's days at The Kim Sharman School of Stitching Excellence. Such  a long post, I know, but then, the life of an extraordinary young lady such as Holly needs to be celebrated.

Another year will soon draw to a close. A year like no other, really. As I sit here and think of you, I would love to say thank you to each one of you who has visited my little place throughout the year. Thank you for the gift of your visits, patiently reading my 'stuff and nonsense', and for blessing me with your sweet comments each time. This has been a difficult year for all of us. There have been many sadnesses that have come our way. But, I believe this blogging world is a gift to each one of us. A beautiful gift where you and I can visit each other and see what we have been up to or how we are going. We can support each other, encourage each other, inspire each other; show random acts of kindness to each other. For some of you Christmas will be difficult this year.....and sad. I am sending you an armful of hugs wrapped in much love As I sit here I am reflecting upon the real spirit of the joyousness of Christmas......Jesus'  'Birth'day, the miracle of Christmas. To me, this is the most precious gift that could ever be given to me♥

May you all enjoy a Blessed Christmas❣

Until next year.........................

Linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

The Waltz of Spring; How Lovely It Was

Hello lovely lovelies❣ The fondest of greetings to you❣ I hope you are well, enjoying your weekend. I have delighted in a lovely weekend; oodles of gardening, much too much drinking of tea, playing with pretty fabrics, and a little hand stitching. Here at my little place the smooth, gliding steps of the Spring Waltz is nearing an end. Summer is waiting in the wings to step and slide onto the stage, delighting all who gaze upon the beauty that summer gifts. I can feel a touch of the warm breath of summer whispering on my cheek, just a little. There is a sense of warm summer air beginning to pervade the landscape. 

I cannot believe the Waltz of Spring is nearly over. Every year it is the same. Every year it floats by much too quickly. Here at my little place there is always much ado about spring. After what invariably seems like an over-long winter, spring slowly takes its place on the stage, where day after day, blooms dance in the gentle breeze. First it is the appearance of the daffodils and jonquils; then the waratahs, tulips, bluebells, camellias, cherry blossoms, azaleas, forget-me-nots, irises, granny bonnets, foxgloves, rhododendrons,, so many blossoms all doing their thing....just blooming beautifully.

With just a touch of the breath of summer the first rose buds are beginning to unfurl their delicate petals, filling the air with intoxicating perfumes. Each rose different, each scent divine. There is one rose bush which has exploded into frothy, peachy pink gorgeousness. So, so very pretty.

This week I enjoyed a little more stitching of my clamshells. Not a lot, as the garden demanded that time be spent in it. Gardens at this time of year are a never ending battle. Oh, the weeds!! I stitched five more rows of clamshells onto the quilt. With every row that is added I cannot help but smile. Each clamshell dances with gorgeous colour and the prettiest of patterns. Truly, this quilt is scrappy deliciousness at its very best.

Teatime❣  Lovely friend, please join me in a cup of tea; I'll think of you, you'll think of me❣

And.....if you are so inclined, won't you join me in a little happy, Slow Sunday Stitching over at Kathy's lovely place❣

Until the next time..........

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Well.....Hello ❣

Well.....hello❣ I did wonder if you would return. =) It seems my little political musings last week threw the cat among the pigeons. Not that I condone throwing a cat or indeed any other animal. A disagreeable person or two perhaps....just joking....hmmm.....but then....! =) The only cat here, is my Boo, and I suppose, though he might not be disagreeable to a pigeon or two, me thinks he would rather snooze his day away. He is a rather aloof fellow who looks upon most people with disdain, regardless of their political persuasion (but he does seem to tolerate me). Boo just snoozes his day away in a cosy corner, with one eye open just to make sure nothing is amiss. He doesn't take too kindly to disagreements and commotions. For it is a quiet world that he craves, and I must say, as do I. Oh, to be a cat where all one has to worry about is his next feed or what pretty quilt he will rest on.

I have thought much about my blog this week. I have mulled over and over what my blog is reflective of. I'm just thinking aloud. =) Though my little blog waxes lyrical about all things pretty; pretty flowers and pretty pretties which I imagine and then fashion, and other such fripperies and frivolous nonsense; sometimes, just sometimes my toes do tend to step over to the other side. The dark side, where I visit and linger a while, where subjects such as political intrigues, fractious governments and other social issues are pondered and spoken about. Then, to my horror, I shriek "what on earth have I done??!!", and quickly step back into my happy place once again, where dastardly topics such as foreign affairs, political back room dealings and the like are once again smothered and blotted out by bouquet after bouquet of pretty flowers; and stuff and nonsense reigns supreme yet again. There are those who don't necessarily want to broach the subject of politics or other social issues in the blog arena, and that is perfectly fine and acceptable,  but sometimes, just sometimes I desire to address the metaphorical; uncomfortable and controversial, socially and political 'elephant in the room'.

I have watched the 'The News of the World' less this week. I wonder as it is early Sunday morning and I have decided upon a news-free day......are the tenants in the big house, in the 'Land of the Free', beginning to pack their worldly goods and chattels, and put practices into place to evacuate the building yet?? Now, this is intended as a rhetorical question in case some of you want to put me straight, in no uncertain terms, as to the legalities of the  lodgings of the aforementioned tenants and their future eviction. I suppose the news will trickle down here to this far rural outpost, one day. BUT enough of this waggishness, as I fear such frolicsomeness....such  impishness will once again get me into a  a helluva lot of strife. Please excuse me, for it is a wicked and rather droll sense of humour that I have. Us Aussies are a quirky and laconic lot. We really don't take ourselves too seriously. We are a self-deprecating mob, who love to take the mickey out of both ourselves and others, and sometimes our leaders. I shocking! Those of you who have followed my little blog for a long time know that the sense of the ridiculous is always percolating just below the surface. But enough! Let us chat about happy and more agreeable things. Let us chat about quilts and pretty flowers; books and other such pleasurable things, shall we????

My week has disappeared in a fog of busyness. It seems I have been a bit of a social butterfly this week, enjoying convivial conversations and many a cup of tea; and may I add, much laughter and amusement did seem to have bubbled over. It always happens when a group of Aussies with the same sense of humour gather. After all, laughter is the best medicine is it not?? A lovely day was had on Tuesday stitching with my dear friend Anne; me stitching my clamshells, Anne stitching some sweet stitcheries. And then, on Wednesday afternoon, a couple of fun hours hanging out with Holly, at 'The Kim Sharman School of Stitching Excellence'. I always look forward to Wednesday afternoons when Holly visits. She is the most delightful teenager  and her outlook on life from a young person's perspective is always enlightening. I am going to miss Holly when she goes off to college next year. Whatever will I do on Wednesday afternoons?? Then yesterday, both my good husband I were invited to afternoon tea with some lovely friends.

More little clamshells made this week. More little scraps of fabric glued to clamshell papers and stitched together to sit next to each other in an orderly and straight line; well almost. Mostly this is 'easy as' but every now and then for no apparent reason the odd  clamshell just will not toe the line.  I have no reason why, this is so. Don't you hate that?? I know I do. But these little imperfections are not really noticeable even to those with x-ray vision as the plethora of different fabrics and patterns trick the eyes. Love, love, love when this happens.

Anyway, notwithstanding the odd pesky little clamshell I have enjoyed another week of playing. It is always a joy for me to play with as many fabrics as I possibly can. It is always a happy day when I can re-visit fabrics which haven't seen the light of day for a very long time. 'Tis a shallow gal that I am, but what can I say. Playing with fabrics, a little stitching and the odd flower or two does bring smiles to my day.

A lot of gardening has happened this week, too. Weeds and me have been involved in the toughest of wrestling matches, having a torrid battle with me slowly banishing them to the weed heap. I have been getting a good workout too, by shovelling wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of woodchip along the paths in the garden. Truly, it seems chores in the garden are never done at this time of the year. What is the star in the garden this week?? Why, it is a stunning purple rhododendron which is huge. Of course me being me, I wanted to use it as a backdrop to style a little flower photo shoot. =)

Sometimes, when the news of the day was a tad exasperating, just like Mrs Bennett of Pride and Prejudice fame, feeling a little vexed I took to my boudoir, with smelling salts in hand and enjoyed a little reading. At any given time I have a wide variety of books by my bed ready to be enjoyed. My little flower-filled boudoir is a place where peace pervades the most troubled of souls. A few sumptuous flowery books, a couple of my favourite magazines, and, a book I read a couple of years ago which I wanted to revisit. It's title is "To Obama, With love, joy, hate and despair. I loved it then, and I love it even more now. Oh, by the way, when I retire to my boudoir for a little book reading, I always take tea in the grandest of fashion........I you?? =)

This book is based on the popular New York Times article "To Obama". Every evening at Barack Obama's request, before retiring to bed he read ten letters from a diverse range of his constituents. Letters that were rants, pleas, thank yous, full of gratitude, venting frustrations, apologies; not just those who loved him as their president, for Barack Obama wanted to know what America was thinking. He answered each letter, too; many in his own hand writing. It is a book that goes behind the machinations of the White House Mailroom and  staff who sifted through the ten thousand daily letters addressed to their president, choosing those reflective of  the narrative of America during the Obama years. Jeanne Marie Laskas interviews the letter writers themselves; and the White House staff to gain an insight as to how they chose each letter. Impossible really, when you consider that each day Barack Obama received thousands upon thousands of letters. It is a powerful book. This book is those stories of people, who in their desperation just wanted to be heard. It is a book which made me sob many times.....and made me laugh. Regardless of people's political persuasions this book is a powerful read.

As I close I am mindful that some of you will be preparing and celebrating Thanksgiving this coming week. It will be like no other that has been experienced before. I am so sad that at many Thanksgiving tables there will be an empty chair where once a family's loved one sat, and conversed and laugh. This is devastating to me. As dearly as you would love to celebrate with your extended families I am supposing because of these times  it might be difficult to do so.  May I say that however you decide to celebrate this special time in the American calender, may you and yours enjoy a blessed day, making new and special memories. May your day be sprinkled with a little beauty and much love♥

Until the next time............

Linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.