January 12, 2013

And we're off!  Another weekend to fill with a few household chores (really, the Christmas tree has GOT to come down!), some miscellaneous errands (I need to find the perfect frame for my new 'potato print' that I showed you yesterday!), and hopefully a whole lot of fun!  My husband and I are looking forward to spending some time together, as he just finished a 70+ hour work week and we have had very little time to spend together.  Our lives this week  reminds me of Longfellow's remarks on solitude; we've been rather like two Ships that pass in the night, and speak to each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak to one another, only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.  So it is definitely time to have fun experimenting with some new recipes in the kitchen, enjoy a bottle of wine by the fireplace, catch a movie and a couple of football games (go Packers!), and of course, watch Downton Abbey on Sunday evening!  

It's once again "Favorite Things Saturday", and I thought it would be fun to share a sampler I recently finished for my library.  I so love working on cross stitch projects, and this one was especially fun since it features some of my very favorite books, authors and poets.  It was also fun to work on this sampler because I knew it was for me--I tend to give away all of my needlework as gifts.  I've also been working on some original cross-stitch design patterns over the last few months and I hope to share those patterns with you soon--stay tuned for more on my designs later!  

This pattern can be purchased at one of my favorite online needlework shops, 123 Stitch (http://www.123stitch.com)
And to go along with my needlework offering today, here is a simply splendid poem by Emilia Barrosse that really struck close to home.  My beautiful rocking chair, a college graduation gift from my parents, sits in my library next to all my bookshelves, with my new sampler on the wall beside it.  "The stories were enough for her"...what a lovely line!

The Bookshelf and the Rocking Chair

She sat in solitude
in a room with a rocking chair and a bookshelf.
And she didn’t ever speak.
The solitude was perfected by the silence, she thought.
She went through pages and pages
and read about the lives of others,
the adventures of others,
the great loves of others.
And she rocked back and forth in her rocking chair,
the motion soothing, assuring, constant.
She read of families, friendships, brotherhoods,
and tragedies, celebrations, miracles -
and that was enough for her.
And each book she finished, she placed gently back on the shelf.
Each in delicate order,
each lovingly read and admired.
And then she sat back down.
No rocking this time.
The stories were enough for her.
They were all she wanted.
They were all she needed.
They were her life -
The lives of others.
Her adventures
Were their adventures.
And she sat in her motionless rocking chair,
and she imagined the trips her favorite characters took,
And the things they said
And the things they saw
And the things she learned.
And she closed her eyes.
And she folded her arms.
And her rocking chair swayed to and fro.

And for a little added fun in today's post, here are some parting photos from some of the books featured in my sampler.  Really, aren't books just grand?!  Open a page and be swept away to the drawing rooms of London, or the brooding, windswept Yorkshire moors or to a Massachusetts home filled with the laughter of four little women. 


I agree with Marmee:  “...the love, respect, and confidence of my children was the sweetest reward I could receive for my efforts to be the woman I would have them copy.”   

Have a wonderful weekend!  You can enjoy more Favorite Things at


  1. Sounds like you have a nice weekend planned. I love that cross-stitching. I tend to only do small projects anymore -- my eyes and patience aren't what they used to be. :) Best wishes, Tammy

    1. Thanks so much, Tammy! My eyes are tired a lot at night, after working on a computer all day. I find myself doing a lot more small projects myself.

  2. Martha

    Your sampler is beautiful and it's great to work on projects you get to keep for yourself.

    1. Thanks so much, Sara! I love giving to others, but I sure wish I had kept pictures of all the projects I've done over the years! It's probably best that I give so many away--I don't have that many display walls in my house!

  3. I love your sampler, my friend. Beautifully done! And the poem, one I've never seen before, really struck a chord within me. Thank you.

    And thanks so much for joining in this week!


    1. Thanks, Claudia. I loved this poem, too--the moment I read it I knew it was one I wanted to work with. And I love participating in Favorite Things--it gives me something new to think about!

  4. Your cross stitch sampler is really lovely. And some of my favorite books/authors! Wasn't Emma Thompson marvelous in Sense and Sensibility? And Alan Rickman? Little Women became one of my favorite tales at a young age, as there were 4 girls in my family, too.

    1. Emma Thompson was indeed wonderful in Sense and Sensibility! The scene where Hugh Grant comes to see her at the end and she discovers he hasn't married silly old Lucy Steele after all--well, it makes me cry every single time! And Alan Rickman--another great performance! I have loved Little Women all my life, and have been fortunate enough to visit Orchard House in Concord, MA, twice. I'm currently working on a quilted pillow that was one of Marmee's patterns. I'll show it off on my blog as soon as it's finished!