Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer Fun

It's hard to believe almost two weeks have past since we said goodbye to teachers, school books, and homework! Can't say it feels as if we've got off the treadmill yet, however, as our days have been filled with the hoopla of holiday celebrations and all the preparation that goes into them. It starts with the birthdays. . . . . both the boys, dear hubby, and my mom all have their special days within a three week span of time. Needless to say we are getting a bit sick of cake around here! Throw into the mix the 4th of July and a family wedding to attend and the days of alarm clocks, buses to catch, and after school activities are beginning to look quite peaceful in retrospect!

As has been our tradition for many years now we did find time to sit down as a family and create our Summer Fun List. We always gather at the kitchen table where everyone takes turns announcing activities they hope to participate in or places they would like to go during the course of the summer. Not all of them are ever completed or even realistic but we try to make sure each person gets to do several of their special choices. It's actually a good thing we've been so busy with all our little celebrations as the weather has not been very conducive to summer fun. A sunny day here or there but otherwise rain, rain, rain, and more rain. And chilly too. . . . would you believe we've still got our quilts and the beds and its July!

I've found the best activity for cold chilly weather is a bit of sewing. It's especially fun to do a bit of hand quilting while snuggled in a cozy chair with a cup of tea. Pop Little Women or Miss Potter into the DVD player and I'm all set! Most comforting of all, however, is the feel of a thimble on my finger. . . . . it's actually my favorite accessory, more so than any piece of jewelry! I keep it in my sewing nook, usually on tiny tray or plate along with a strawberry keep full of betweens.

You can see how uncozy handwork would be without one's trusty thimble. Unfortunately this was my reality not so very long ago. I had been working up in my nook at the ironing board finishing a Lily doll when the thimble slipped ever so gently off my finger and onto the ground. . . . or so I thought! I bent to retrieve it by feel only as I had assumed it was right there. When my hand came up empty I got down on all fours for a more thorough look around. Under the bookcase, behind the shelf, and across the hall. . . . . it was nowhere. At this point things started to get ugly! Baskets of fabric were emptied, books were tossed aside, and storage drawers turned askew so that within thirty minuets of time my oh so neat Where Women Create sewing nook of last fall was totally unrecognizable! And all for nothing because that thing had apparently been sucked into a black hole of never to be seen again items.

The next day found me at the store looking for a replacement. UGH! They were horrible with their angular designs, surface shine to the point of distraction, and a one size fit all roominess. Lucky for me Etsy has a wonderful selection of vintage items and I was able to order up not one. . . . .
. . . . . not three. . . . .

. . . . . but an assortment of 15 thimbles! And all for a pittance of the price of the ones I'd seen at the store. Each one of them is different in size, shape, and appearance but they all have a well worn coziness that money can't buy. Quite a happy ending to my thimble story. . . . .or so I thought. Believe it or not, it gets better! The very same day of their arrival I was back up at work in the nook adding bits and pieces to a project, when I reached into a basket of scraps and my hand came out with none other than my original thimble wrapped in a wee bit of fabric! Now I swear I went through that very same basket more than once during my frantic search days earlier. . . . in fact its contents were scattered across the room at one point! Why is it you can never find something when your looking for it and yet casually happen upon it once the urgency is over?

Speaking of looking for something. . . . . I been a on a quest for romantic ephemera for weeks now. I recently discovered the work of Virginia Cole over at Galloping Pony Studio and am in love with it. With the family wedding coming up I thought it would be wonderful to attempt something similar as a gift. I spent days envisioning the outcome and I have to say it was quite a lovely vision! Unfortunately the tokens and trinkets I desired to include in the work were no where to be found. Multiple consignment shops and antique malls were scoured. Finally this past Sunday the sun decided to make an appearance and we were able to tramp on up to the Hollis flea markets for the first time this season. I had very high hopes for making headway on Summer Fun items #10-Flea Markets and #16 Go to a Wedding!

There are actually three or four separate fields of vendors off this little stretch of road. We always park our car at the first field because it only costs a dollar and the lady there hands out a pile of sweet tarts to boot! The first field was a treasure chest of star wars figures and sci-fi DVDs which kept the boys well occupied. Good for me so I had all the more time to dig deep and find what I needed. By the time I crossed the street into the second. . . . .

. . . . .and third fields I was more than a bit concerned about the lack of ephemera available! And so the project is on hold as the days tick away far too quickly. What do you want to bet I stumble upon a trunk full of collage worthy trinkets come August!

Look at the surprise find I did make however! What a perfect addition to both my chair and pincushion collections. It needs a bit of a scrub down and a day spent out in the fresh air but other than that its good as new. It even came with all the thread and. . . . .

. . . . . a drawer full of old buttons! Once the buttons are sorted and stored with my others I think this little drawers will be perfect for my new thimble collection! The little slot in the back to store your scissors I didn't even notice until I got home and was taking pictures. What a great spot that will be to keep my pinking shears.

Not quite as exciting but still lovely were a bluebird postcard and necklace I just couldn't pass up.

We returned home to find the sun still shinning so we decided to try another Summer Fun item, #13-Go to the Lake and Swim. We live in a tiny lake community so it's only a hop, skip, and a jump from our house to the beach.
What we failed to take into consideration were the endless days of cold and damp weather all though the month of June. As a result the water was still freezing! There were plenty of boaters but not a soul swimming. A quick rinse of our dusty feet was about all we could muster!

Finally after a day full of fun in the sun an early bedtime was more than welcome by all but one small doll. I was only able to get a quick sneak peek at Lily Red from around the corner but it appears she has some grand plans in the works! It seems as if even more celebrations are in our future!


  1. Your thimble solution was brillant! Thank you for sharing the lake pictures, they are like being on a little mental vacation! I also think your idea of a summer list is wonderful! We may have to try this at our house.

  2. Why do pics of thimbles and pin cushions make me happy? Glad to know there are others out there like me...LOL!

  3. What a great idea to have a family summer wish list! I think that is one I am going to have to implement.

    I love all your thimble pictures. My mom just recently gave me my Great-Grandma's thimble. It's far to precious and worn to use but it has a special place in my craft/sewing room. Your pictures have inspired me to take photo of it.

    As always I love your posts and your lovely way with words. Hope your summer is warming up and check marks are appearing on your family's wish list.


  4. Oh! I can totally relate to your thimble incident. I'm in need of a new one myself...saw some in a fabric store yesterday that looked like they were made of gel (like gummy bears stuff!). I'm kicking myself for not getting one. It will be an excuse to go back. ;o)

    You'll have to check out my recent blog post -- I gave you props for the sweet pin cushion I got from you. :o) I love it!


  5. Oh to live by the lake again! How much I miss it! Who knew that it would play such an important role in my life and be the one thing that I miss the most from home - other than my children, that is?
    Love your thimble story and love that you make a list. Your children will remember that and carry on your tradition, you know.
    Good for you for taking the time to go to the lake as a family and have a summer outing.