quaker meeting has begun

No more laughing, no more fun,
If you show your teeth or tongue,
You’ll have to pay a forfeit.

I was really good at this as a child. I do not seem to be very good at it as an adult, or at least not in a round-robin setting. After going through my usual ordeal of choosing a fabric and floss, I finally chose a Silkweaver Solo 36 count in a warm golden brown with ecru DMC for the Samplers and Such “Quaker Style Friendship Sampler”. The fabric was a little on the small side, but I do my own framing so I could make it work. But I had one problem after another. Talk about frogging – it was a rain of frogs of biblical proportions! Friday night I sat up too late, frogged and stitched, and finally put it away with confidence that all was well. And then I saw it on Saturday and … a huge, glaring error that would throw the whole rest of the design seriously off – as in off the piece of slightly-small fabric. I didn’t have the heart to frog it again. I was sick of the fabric and unbelievably sick DMC ecru. After school on Saturday I yanked out a huge piece of reasonably high-count white linen that Niek’s grandma gave me, cut it larger than needed, and started stitching with Carrie’s Creations Double Fudge Brownie, one thread over two. And all I can say is “wow”. I really like it. I stitched as much as I could on Sunday, knowing that the kids have school vacation all week and will have very little stitching time. I think I’m back on track, time-wise, and will have this off to Karen in time. Phew! Go look at the Quaker Friendship blog to see everyone’s beautiful progress.

Today was the kids first day of spring break. I took the boys to the zoo and then we went to IKEA. I really need some way of sorting my floss and hoped to find it there. They didn’t have what I wanted, but I think I have found a workable solution. We also pigged out on Swedish meatballs and French fries. My stomach is still complaining. Ugh.

Ash was doing the very fun alphabet game over on her blog and assigned me the W when I asked for a letter. This was fun – I must’ve come up with at least 10 more than are listed here, including willow, waterfront, winter, wisdom, waffles, windmills …


1. Wilder
My dad’s name, and one of Nicky’s middle names. It’s not “just” that it’s my dad’s name, it’s also a terribly cool name in and of itself.
2. Wide-open spaces
One of the hardest adjustments I’ve had to make since moving to the Netherlands has been the lack of space. We grew up not being able to see our nearest neighbors. I would dearly love to have some wide-open space of my very own.
3. Walking
I don’t do enough of it, but I do love to walk. It’s the best way to really get the pulse of the place you’re at. It forces you to slow down and experience Mother Nature’s offerings at her pace, not at your own. It feels good to smile or say hello to other people you see out walking; and often they’re friendly and return the greeting. I like the cadence of walking, the chance to let my mind wander a bit, and of course it has some health benefits.
4. Wool-gathering
Now this is definitely something I don’t do enough of (do I do any?). But I love to watch my kids at it, knowing that they’ve gone into that incredibly rich, personal space between their ears where anything is possible. I was a great daydreamer as a child. I miss being able to escape inside myself to a pleasant place like that.
5. Wackiness
The world needs more of this! The unexpected something that makes you think a little differently or even laugh right out loud. Like tonight when Nicky was playing with Rowen’s Barbie doll and the legs ‘fell off’ and he continued playing happily with just the legs. LOL! Wackiness enriches us and makes us better people to be around, IMHO.
6. Wonder
Like wackiness, we need more. With everything so fast-paced, it’s easy to take things for granted and miss out on the magic of it all around us. The first time I saw a fax machine, I was utterly convinced it must be magic. I could not get over the fact that binary code existed, that our most subtle expressions could be broken down to groupings of 0 and 1 and sent across space to re-emerge and be re-assembled into intelligible pictures, text, etc. It still sort of amazes me.
7. Wildness
When I was 12 or so, I promised myself that I would not look in the mirror at, say 37, and wonder how Id gotten there. I was going to make some memories on the way! As you might guess, this entailed a certain amount of wildness. I don’t regret it. It was mostly fun. And no, I’m not telling!
8. Worship
I guess this relates to wonder. We need to feel that there is something bigger/better/different outside ourselves and strive to meet higher goals because of this belief. Some humility in life would go a long way toward making the world in general a much better place. Follow your beliefs, worship them, be bettered because of them.
9. Wind
What’s more refreshing – or more mysterious – than a breeze? What’s more bracing and exciting than a gust of wind? I lived in The Hague for a year and that’s got to be the windiest city in this country. I loved it!
10. Why
When I was younger, I loved the concept of why because it was a puzzle for me to solve. Now that I’m older I love the concept of why because it ensures me that no matter what I see or do or experience, there will always be more mysteries. That’s a very comforting thought.

About Barbara

nestled into my adopted home state of Maine, where I'm a happy homesteader with a big family that I love lots & lots View all posts by Barbara

9 responses to “quaker meeting has begun

  • Heather

    That is so frustrating when you mess up like that, it makes you want to just give up. I mostly do big errors when I am exhausted, and that is usually when I stitch, after I am done with a long hard day, and am exhausted, I sit down to stitch :P I was quilting Saturday night, and am making blue/yellow log cabin blocks. Well, I was happily cutting out 90 4” strips in yellow for my next row, and when I looked at my pattern they were supposed to be BLUE, duh! I was tired too, I feel your pain. *hugs*

    I want a letter, pick me, pick me! :D

  • Carol

    What a pretty start! It sure is nervewracking when you start something and it all just goes wrong – but your second attempt is so pretty!

  • KarenV

    I think I felt the same way as you when I pulled out Primitive Sampler on Saturday – ick! I’m sorry you had so many problems but I love your final version – the thread colour is so pretty!

  • Ash

    Your W’s are great! I think W is a much easier letter than N :)

  • VavadesNeiges

    i saw saturday the Quaker Style Friendship Sampler in a French exhibition : just gorgeous
    and i’m going to order very sooooon :)))

  • Isabelle

    I’m glad you could find a solution to your problem, Barbara! Some projects are like that – as if they were meant to go wrong! Good that you tossed it before it made you utterly crazy. I went to see your result and it is gorgeous!!

    Funny, Seb and I went to Ikea in Lille too! (it’s less of a hassle to wait till we’re in Lille and can drive there than to go to the Ikea near Paris – which means taking a metro, a train, and a bus – fancy bringing home your stuff that way! we did it a few times, though!). I am sooo excited as we found a storage solution for my sewing corner and our CDs… and we found a cute reader lamp into which I’ll put a Daylight bulb. We’d been looking for both for half a year. Yipee! :D

    Love your answers to the W quiz. They are beautiful and very “you”, IMO :)

  • Wendy

    It was great reading all your W-answers and a very nice insight into You!

    Good luck with the kiddies home this week!!

  • Dianne

    Your ‘W’ list could so be a magazine article-so fun and interesting!
    If you want to throw a letter my way, I’ll do my best, but I don’t think I can compare to yours.
    Sometimes stitching does that to you. I also frogged a small Christmas ornament so many times and finally got it. I finished the stitching last night and need to assemble it. Will share it eventually on the blog.

  • Katie

    Oh no, not the dreaded frog! I spent half my lunch break with him and it’s just not fun at all. Hopefully it’ll be a quick one when you do feel like actually doing it (mine have a nasty habit of hiding for a couple of weeks post boo boo)

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