Sunday, September 02, 2018

September Bittersweet

The package I sent all the way to Ireland arrived, so now I can show the completed handkerchief. I guess the only thing I didn't share before were her initials. Anyway, this is the completed handkerchief, which I confess I am a bit proud of. I was chagrinned to realize that though I was participating in a swap about Beatrix Potter, I didn't have any actual Beatrix Potter themed stuff to offer. So, it was in haste that I painted Peter Rabbit, then added the tiny robin. Maybe the feeling is actually relief, not pride, because I was glad to have something that seemed fitting to send off to HC. So, yes, I believe it's relief I feel, because I am not always certain that I should make agreements or offers, participate or sign up; I have a fear of disappointing people, not fulfilling my end.

It felt good taking on embroidery, again. So I went straight away to starting the next handkerchief, settling on depicting a sheep in a simple meadow. I'd already added deep green grass and bright golden flowers, when I woke up to this sunrise, and it delights me to see that the two... the colors, even textures of the sunrise, and my sheep are so much alike.

It's ok if you don't see it. Being easily amused, I am happy to make the comparison. This may be my favorite handkerchief yet.

But between the leaping sheep and the tiny curls of the sheep's wool, I cannot pick a favorite. Have I mentioned that I am easily amused?

This little bird house came home with me from Minneapolis, from a shop in Linden Hills, Heartfelt. This is evidence of yet another crush. I've shared my Portland crush, and my general New England crush, and I'm sure I've shared my Minneapolis crush, too. How about Madison, and Door County? And how about the Troll Town in Wisconsin, Mt Horeb? Not yet? I will. Soon. There are places in the world that have me smitten, in love, in a daze, and I imagine that I could live there, and be fabulously happy, make scads of friends, and do good deeds, live purposefully, and look out every window and be glad of the views. Linden Hills is one of those neighborhoods that I adore, and the craft store, by my favorite bakery, across from one of the best bookstores, is full of supplies, inspiration, and space for making... just thinking of it has me crushing hard, all over again.

I woke up somewhat startled to realize that this is September, and the little bird house reminded me of my favorite place to be in September... Wisconsin, the Midwest, for Grandma Nancy's birthday. And with happy memories still fresh in my mind, from any number of Septembers we have enjoyed in Wisconsin, with Nancy, I imagine what we would do if we were there, now, and it is bittersweet... happy, and sad. Outside, over there, we have had such wonderful times, and there is such heartache in knowing that so much is evolving, changed, that those days are drawing to an end.

If this year has had a message, a lesson to show me, it's been about endings, these inevitable parts of life, where we lose even the best people. But I am not taking these lessons easily, nor well. Not at all. And I am certainly not ready for any more.


Alicia said...


Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Gracias, Alicia~

Unknown said...

Good day Natalie!
As I was reading your blog ( I’ve been following your lovely family for years and simply adore your family and creative endeavors-also being a math person I’ve been cheerfully noticing your son’s interest in math. ), I thought to myself that I would comment on your darling sheep. I’d like to learn how to embroider in that fashion.
Also want to mention that I live a few blocks from Linden Hills and share your fondness for Heartfelt, Wild Rumpus, the bakery, ice cream shop and the little library. There once was a yarn store also.
My oldest daughter relocated to northern CA a few years back so we’ve spent time exploring your side of the world.
It’s so much fun to share our stories across so many miles.
Any ideas on how I can learn to embroider sheep?
Again, I appreciate your paintings and the way you’re raising your family to be open minded and creative.
(My hotmail is defunct but google will allow me to use it to publish here. I’m actually at and on ravelry)

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Hello, Denise~
Thank you for commenting. And such a sweet comment, too. Max's interest in math increases by volumes! He's got a final today, for Mathematical Reasoning. He comes home with lessons to share with us. Do you teach, or use math in your work?

I'm so happy to have found an admirer of the sheep! Do you embroider? She's outlined in a simple stem stitch, then filled with those French knots. I learned about French knots from Alicia Paulson, in a post where she shared a link to Purl Soho.
Posie Gets Cozy:

Purl SOHO:

If these are no help, then I'll make a wish to return to Linden Hills, we can meet at Great Harvest and I will gladly teach you myself how to embroider woolly sheep.

There's a lot of California in the northern part! What drew your daughter there? I hope she loves it. I don't know the inland parts of northern California as well as the coast. I would LOVE to be north... of Los Angeles, or north of San Francisco, near the redwoods, especially.

If I had a dollar for every time I've been tempted to join Ravelry, I could by an airline ticket to Minneapolis today. I always hear the best things about the knitting and crochet patterns there. I can knit a bit, and I love to crochet. The hold up is, I don't understand crochet patterns, and so far I haven't taken the initiative to learn.

Thank you, once more... this has been a long week, and your note has cheered me. I hope you and I will chat, again, soon.