Saturday, September 26, 2015

Afternoon Tea - A Birthday Party for Miss Abigail

Miss Abigail and I hosted an afternoon tea for our club ladies in honor of Abigail's birthday. It was so fun and turned out so well. Of course, not being a tea drinker myself, I enlisted the help of our good friend Isobel, who handled the all important tea. Isobel brewed several kinds, including a local herbal tea. Abigail and I had only to make the sandwiches and goodies. There was an important reason why I wanted to host the tea. Long-time readers might remember that one of our good friends gave Abigail a beautiful tea set for her hope chest. Three years have gone by and we have never "baptized" the tea set. There seems to be so many rules about having a tea, but the one very important lesson that I've learned from being with friends over tea is that it really, truly isn't about the tea. It is, above all, completely about the friends. But the rest of it is kind of fun too.

I really wanted Miss Abigail to learn what was involved in hosting a tea party, in particular one that includes those who don't drink tea as well as those who do. Pat's gift of the tea set was such a sincere wish for Abigail to enjoy this kind of party that I wanted to help Abigail get past that first intimidating experience. I don't want the tea set to languish in her hope chest as a sort of "sacred object," too pretty and so intimidating to actually use. Plus, I thought it would be nice to attach a memory to it as well. Now when she uses the set again, she will remember as well the wonderful women who have taught her to enjoy taking tea. It was a fabulous day and we all had a lovely time. We only wished for Pat to be there too. Alas.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Yellow Ruffled Towels

I recently made these cotton plain weave hand towels for a kitchen set that has been almost finished for a few years now. I have several sets for the kitchen that just need embellished hand towels or the apron sewn or crocheted dishcloths to match or a set of hot pads that are not crocheted! (I'm thinking Abigail might want a little variety in her kitchen linen drawer.) There is always a reason the final set isn't finished. Maybe I can't find a cotton yarn to match the rest of the set, or I can't think of a good way to fancy up the terry hand towel.

Take the yellow, blue and green set, for example. I had purchased the fabric for these towels quite a while ago because it was the perfect color to match the set and it was 100% cotton and it was just begging to be made into towels. You know how that is! Abigail embroidered one of a set of two dishtowels for the county fair a few years ago, but hasn't been interested in finishing the second one. The apron for this set is now sewn, but it still needs a pocket. I have planned to do one in filet crochet, similar to an apron my grandmother made for my hope chest, but I've needed to design the pattern and that just gets put off. So it goes.

I've decided to be disciplined. (Hah! We'll see how if that works.) I've made a list of all the unfinished items languishing in the kitchen sets that are otherwise finished. Naturally, this list is in my hope chest planning book! I am dutifully working on these projects before other, more mentally inspiring projects and methodically crossing things off as I finish them. This process has been good for me because, in some cases, I've just decided to eliminate items that I had planned for certain sets. The number of kitchen linens has become such a joke between my husband and Miss Abigail, that I think I can just call some of the sets finished.

I think I'm making good progress on the list. These towels are now crossed off the list. Now, if I can just turn my head when I see cute ideas on Pinterest or lovely fabric or darling tea towels...

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Link: Article - "Hope Chests"

I wanted to let you all know about a delightful blog post about making a hope chest. In a blog celebration of the anniversary of the LDS document "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," Jill Wright has written a very thoughtful article and has helpfully included a nice list of suggestions of what to include in a hope chest. Her article is very warm and encouraging. You'll come away feeling that this project isn't as hard as it might seem. If you have ever wondered how to get started, or feel even a bit discouraged or daunted, don't miss Jill's post on "Hope Chests"!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Hope Chest Planning Book

In a recent post I mentioned that I have a hope chest planning book. I am a list maker. I sometimes don't follow the list because I'm also creative and change plans at the drop of a hat, but I love to make lists and I love to cross things off a list. So this ordinary composition book is where I've kept all my plans for Miss Abigail's hope chest.

This is the inside front cover. Some years ago, I made a list of categories for items in a hope chest. You can find the list on the side-bar of this blog. I also have a list of categories for skills that I hope Miss Abigail will learn. I think we are making pretty good progress!

On the pages inside I have a list of items that I want to make for each kitchen set, planned table linens, bed linens and bath linens. Plus lists for other specialized sets, like a first aid kit, sewing basket and supplies (done - yay!), craft tools, gardening and canning tools, practical books, family history records / scrapbooks and holiday decorations. For example, I want to make a picnic set with a picnic basket or cooler, a picnic blanket and a picnic recipe book. So there is a list for a picnic set. I haven't gotten to it yet, but it is in the book. I also have a list of special pieces that I want to include; a birthday cake plate, candlesticks, a bread cloth, a piece of petrified wood (I won't go into the reason, LOL), a framed picture of Jesus Christ, a Sabbath cookbook and menu book, etc.

I also keep pictures of ideas that I find in magazines and on Pinterest. I'm not a digital person, so I print these out and paste them in my book. I record my own ideas and designs. Trying to illustrate them is often a challenge. I sometimes write recipes or household tips here because the book is a handy place to keep them.

I paste things in. I draw patterns. I keep published patterns stuffed in pockets and taped between pages. I copy out crochet patterns and record those that I design myself. The book is just an all-purpose place to keep my thoughts and ideas of anything related to the hope chest. I also have written inspirational quotes to keep me going.

I'm not sure why these pictures are appearing vertical - sorry!

This inside back cover has a master list again. Just more specific ideas of items that I want to include in the hope chest. So there it is - my hope chest planning / stuff book. I hope it inspires you to make a few lists too.

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