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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Monday, June 23, 2014

Learn to Embroidery: Check!

For a couple years now, I have wanted to learn to embroidery.  I can finally check that off my To Do list as of yesterday when I completed my first sampler and feel I have a good understanding of a number of stitches.  I started it last fall and worked on a  bit here and there.

I plan to frame it.  I bought it as a kit from Clementine Pattern Co. on Etsy.  This shop sells patterns created by a mother and her two daughters.  I didn't realize it until recently, but one of the daughters is Breezy Brookshire, the young woman that illustrated Angie Smith's delightful book Audrey Bunny.  (You may recall I gave away a copy of this book last March for Trisomy 18 day.)  You will see in the Etsy shop you can buy complete kits or just the pattern for their designs.

I was drawn to this beginner's "Sing to the Lord!" kit because I was a beginner, I liked the "sampler style" (learning different stitches), and the bird is so cute!  I also liked the "Sing to the Lord!" part which is actually a bit ironic for me because I hate my voice and don't really like to sing.

I suppose for me that is vanity and pride all rolled up "nicely" together.  Sometimes I think that if I had a good voice then I would like to sing so I'd sing a lot more.  The Bible is full of verses about singing, such as:

"Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful." - Psalm 147:1

I know, I know.  I've heard all the statements like "God made your voice, you should be grateful and accept it."  And "God doesn't care what you sound like, it is what is in your heart."  "If you would practice singing more, then you would really learn how to."  Etc. etc.

That's why I said for me, singing is often a struggle of vanity and pride.  Maybe a few more sins lumped in there too.

I remember in elementary school, in 4th grade, we each had to get up and sing solo with a microphone in front of the class.  The teacher played "Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog" (!) on the piano as I sang along. I remember not being nervous or anything, just singing along.  (Kind of funny now that I think about it as I was a shy child and didn't go around singing.  We weren't one of those "singing" families.)  When I sat down after, a boy turned around and said to me "You sounded funny."

Ouch.  The next year when I had to get up to sing, I sang so softly that the teacher stopped playing piano normally and only played the melody softly with her right hand.  I felt like throwing up.  (Almost the same sensation I'd get every February when we had to do square dancing.  Square dancing in elementary school?  That was crazy!  Everybody knew boys had cooties!)

Then when Tabby was a baby, I was singing to her and a person that I shall not name said they had to leave the room because they couldn't stand to hear my singing.  Thankfully that person is no longer in my life.  (I mean really, even when you think someone's singing is bad, why in the world would you feel the need to tell them?)

Tabby made me feel better when she was a toddler when she said "I love when you sing to me, Mama."

Thankfully little children are much more forgiving.  Hunter still wants me to sing to him when I tuck him in at night.  And I sing to Solomon at times.  Lilly found singing very calming when she was upset or hurting.  I even sang to her "her songs" when I was holding her after she died, while we were sitting in the ambulance.

Still though, I sure wish I liked my voice.

Back to embroidery, Tabby decided she wanted to learn too.  And true to Tabby's quick nature, she had a whole project finished within a week or two, using whatever stitches she felt like.  She took several designs from an embroidery book I have called Doodle Stitching: The Motif  Collection, and put them into one.  The result:  chickens, chicks, and a tree showing all 4 seasons.  Peep!

I plan to frame her work too.  It's perfect decor for our old farmhouse.  :)

I have liked embroidery since I was little.  My mom made me a pink heart shaped pillow with embroideried figures all over it.  I always liked looking at it.  Tabby liked using it.  And Hunter even likes it now.  [I had planned to take a picture and post it here but wasn't able to find it.  So just imagine one!]

My ex-mother-in-law gave me this beautiful embroidered piece that she had sewn, when Tabby was born.  I still love looking at it:

Yesterday as I finished my project, Hunter was looking for something to do and asked if he could try sewing something.  He cranked out a piece that says "SAM" (backwards "S") and has a dog leash on it.  (Sam is his stuffed dog that has been his loyal friend for 4.5 years now.)

Seeing Hunter sewing reminded me of something I heard on the radio back in the 1990s.  Apparently, in schools in San Francisco, feminists pushed to have required sewing classes for boys.  Well the boys dutifully sewed, but what kind of pictures do you think they sewed?  Mainly guns and knives.  :)

I'm not sure what my next embroidery project will be.  I know I enjoy working with my hands so I will do something.  Plus I have this wonderful old box full of embroidery thread from my mother-in-law, just waiting to be used.

"Is anyone among you suffering?  Let him pray.  Is anyone cheerful?  Let him sing psalms." - James 5:13

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