Friday, June 18, 2010

Bedazzled When It’s Done

Bedazzled When It’s Done

    I would have never guessed that our relocation from Maine to Pennsylvania would find us renting a house for four years. As soon as we moved in I put up curtains. Most rental houses are a neutral color scheme - all the more reason for adding color with curtains – but the curtains I had on hand were a safe-white, cast off from windows gone- by. “White is okay,” I thought, “after all, anytime now we will be moving again.”

    We are now in a house of our own. Just before the move various projects swirled in my head. No more neutral – Oh, to be surrounded with daring color. Peach paint – that will be a warm color for our bathroom. I lay awake during the early mornings, planning “colors” before I was up on my feet. I imagined a curtain fabric of a honey brown - with flowers, too; flowers that incorporated the peach of the walls and the white of the trim. Stepping into one of the many quilters’ shops here in Lancaster, I found exactly what I was looking for. I was elated. But it was months after I purchased the fabric, months after we had moved into this house, that the curtains were still a work-in-progress. I always have a work-in-progress. This time I had too many.

    Yolanda (married and living nearby) came by for a visit and after we had lunch I sprang it on her. “My curtain project is dragging on. I’ve lost my initial enthusiasm. Would you help me finish what I started before Christmas? All that’s needed is the hemming.”

    “Let’s get at it,” she said. She gave me more than moral support. She sat at my sewing machine and did the hems for me with perfection, right where I had measured and pinned them for her. We first decided upon the height of the tension rod. I wanted optimum light and optimum privacy. Within the hour they were up. “Aren’t they cute?” Yolanda said.
     “I knew they would be,” I smiled, eyes fixed on my new curtains.

    As Yolanda gave me the impetus to finish a work-in-progress, I wish to offer you friendly impetus, too, to enjoy your summer with either a new project or an old one. You will be bedazzled when it’s done.

    Your WIP can’t be as old as my toddler-size ladybug socks. Shall I admit to you that they were started before I needed reading glasses? I found the socks at the bottom of a box of yarn I unpacked and nestled the project in an inviting basket.

    I left off knitting (before our daughters’ weddings) just where I was about to decrease for the toe. Decreasing here is a bit tricky, as the fleur-de-lis pattern must be kept up nearly until the toe is completed. All excuses aside – soon I hope to say, “Aren’t they cute?”


    You can tell I am partial to red by the photo of the newest sampler I started. Ahh, another WIP. Just as I have several books started I often have several WIP. In both cases “I pick up the one I feel fit for.” How about you?

    “I know, some people get their thrills climbing mountains, but why go through all that trouble when a similar feeling of accomplishment can be experienced in a little time, with a little domestic thing?” Karen Andreola A Charlotte Mason Companion page 328.


  1. Yes, the summer is the perfect time to pick up "one" project form your wip basket. I have quite a few going on at the same time.

    It was very gracious of your friend Yolanda, to encourage you and help you finish the curtains.

    They look lovely :)


  2. Oh Karen, That bathtub looks warm & inviting ahh I can feel the bublles and smell the soap right now followed by a huge fluffy towel - I'm having a bath tonight!
    I love your toddler socks, I' really like to learn to knit so I can teach my two. Carter and I are attempting a basic scarf and beanie at the moment. Thankyou for sharing. I love the rich colours.Blessings

  3. That is one of the most darling bathrooms I have ever seen! Yes, I'm inspired to get busy on a little domestic thing, now. :o)

  4. Oh, those socks are so cute!!

    Do be sure to show us when they're finished! See - you're accountable now...

  5. Mrs. Maria,
    So there are others who have several WIPs. Summer sunlight helps in seeing tiny stitches doesn't it?

    You picked up my hint about a mother treating herself to the luxury of a relaxing bath.

    Since it is winter where you are it is natural that you'd be thinking about knitting. A scarf is a very good project to start with - one-size-fits-all.

    So glad to hear you've been inspired to start a project.

    I felt a tinge of accountability when I posted a photo of my unfinished sock. With your comment that feeling of accountability has doubled.

    Thanks everyone for your comments and compliments.
    Karen A.

  6. Karen,
    I just recently chose to get off-line. I snuck on for a moment after finishing your latest book "Lessons at Blackberry Inn" to look up a few of the books you mentioned at amazon. I was lucky to actually find the Chesterton Art book free on-line! Karen, how I would love to sit down for a day of Mother Culture over tea with you. Your first book, "A Charlotte Mason Companion" is what inspired me and made our home school journey a joy. Well, now I need to re-read it as I am feeling very weary. We are a homeschool family of 12! I have graduated only 2 thus far and the rest range in age from 14 down to under one! I am finding harder and harder to use my beloved CM method, but each time I go back to traditional book textbook/workbook/computer etc...she calls me back!! :) I simply need to find a way to make her methods work with so many at so many different age levels and this has indeed been a challenge.
    We have all of your works and keep an eye out for any new books you may be working on! I only found out about your last book a month ago! I am sorry to hear that you were bed ridden. I hope that you are feeling better now.
    This has gone on! I don't want to be on-line in this season, but I certainly was surprised to see that you now have a blog as well as Laine (from Laine's Letters).
    Oh, my is it ever tempting! Don't be surprised if one day you get a written letter from me.
    I am from Madawaska, Maine. I miss Maine (the way life should be!) at times, but I find that since I am so conservative I fit better elsewhere.
    Thank you for all you have done for home schooling families everywhere Karen. Now, I think I shall get back off-line make a cup of iced tea and re-read your original book.


  7. Laura,
    I am happy you found me. It is good to know that Miss Mason's method has enabled you joy in your homeschool experience. I know it isn't all a joy when difficulties have to be faced. The more children you have the more hours you wish you had in your day, I'm sure. Several of my long distance friends like to do afternoon group sessions will all the ages present. One day poetry is appreciated, another day picture study is done, another music, or nature study. These are short sessions but by the end of the year it is amazing how much can be covered this way. Bible, Math, English, History, Science are accomplished in the mornings with older children doing independent work. But here I'm giving too much advice. You probably have figured this out by now. I can't resist sometimes.
    We moved out of Maine for similar reasons. It can be breathtakingly beautiful in Maine in June. I remember. The ocean, the hills, the forests, the quaint sea coast villages make for lovely tourist drives. I'm enjoying Pennsylvania for what its farmland.
    Thanks for writing,
    Karen A.

  8. The curtains look beautiful in your bathroom!

    I love to have works in progress...I have 5 at home still! And I love to have other projects as well! :)

  9. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who starts a new project when I already have a handful of WIP.

  10. I enjoy these homemakery posts. They are part of the culture that we mamas need.