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Thursday, February 11, 2021

Wild Strawberries and Passing Years

I finished my second Spring Bees counted cross stitch chart, "Bee and Bunny Frolic," and sewed it into a pinkeep yesterday, and have it out on the nature table. I have to watch my little "lamb" dog, Sophie: She is very smart and wants to get the pin keeps / pillow tucks down and play with them. 

When I first taught, I was very surprised that the students, without appearing to, watched my EVERY move. It came very much in handy: If I called out, "Where did I put my coffee?" all the kids would call out, point, even excitedly jump up and go immediately to wherever it was. No more lost keys, cups, grading, etc. Sophie is like that. She doesn't appear to be watching, but she is. Always! 

The new design has some little strawberries in it. The house where I was born had 3 acres around it, a small hill, and a beautiful clear creek. All along the slope of the hill down to the creek, wild strawberries grew by the hundreds, perhaps even thousands. The berries were so tiny, but the flavor was out of this world. Their bigger cousins cannot compare. Wild garlic also grew on that slope, in the sunnier areas, and the bulbs sent up tens of thousands of stems topped with delicate pale purple flowers. At first they had no scent, but within a few days, they reeked. I loved them. Tigerlilies and amaryllis grew wild there, too, with native plums, maypops (passionflower vines), and muscadine grapes all through the pine woods.

bee and bunny frolic etsy www.themerryneedle.com cross stitch spring


 I warned of this on my old blog: Do not go to Google Maps and look at the "street view" of long-ago places unless you can take a shock. I decided to go look at my old home after stitching the strawberries. All I can say is, 50 years is a long time to be gone from a place. Evidently the acreage was subdivided, and the hill razed, and the creek diverted or stopped somehow. There are houses encroaching on the house my father built, and the flora is gone. My mother's incredible gardens, gone. The house is still beautiful, but it is no longer sitting in splendor, surrounded by trees. Now untidy houses are right up to the setbacks. Have you ever gotten a shock from the changes the years have wrought on a favorite place?

I am now working on design #3 for the Spring Bees series. I think I will leave it at three. And I think this next pinkeep will be stuffed with lavender, and work as a sachet/pincushion.

26 comments :

  1. This is very nice. I would love to do it, but can ‘t see the threads to do the cross stitch. But I love it.

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    1. Thank you, Catherine! I find it hard to see the fabric, too. I can't stitch at all on the fine linen. The holes are too tiny for me to count.

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  2. Love your spring bees~
    After some dear friends had both passed and the estate settled, it was about 2 years before I could drive past their house where I'd spent so many happy hours. Their beautiful yard was completely neglected and the house had lost its "spirit." I know it's not the house but the inhabitants, but still. . .

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    1. That's sad, Lady Locust...we remember the places when they were kept up and the scene of happy times...

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  3. So sweet Your work is wonderful my grandparents farm is the same. I spend my wonderful hours at their pond or picking blueberries. It is now a shadow of what it was.
    Cathy

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    1. It is sad. We are left with memories, but mine are not always easily accessed.

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  4. I also remember picking and eating wild strawberries. Yum.

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  5. I haven't had a wild strawberries since my childhood . . . that was a very long time ago. Your needle work is amassing: you are so talented.
    Happy Stitching.
    Connie :)

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    1. Thank you, Connie. I can still remember the tiny wild strawberries, and it's been 50+ years...

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  6. What a sweet little design. You sewed that in to a pinkeep quickly. The "finishing" is my downfall.
    Wild strawberries. I haven't thought about the taste of those in decades.
    The old farm where I grew up which used to be way out in the country...sigh. The house is gone and the owner now has the property looking so trashy. And now as an adult I realize it really was only minutes by car from town.

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    1. My whole adult life I plotted to buy my granny's old place...how I loved it, just a little shotgun shack. Then, when Google came into being, I looked on the map and her entire block was GONE and there was an auto parts store where all my happiness had been. I'm with you about "finishing." I find it difficult!

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  7. I like reading your reminiscences. I remember the taste of those tiny wild strawberries and you're right. The ordinary strawberries one buys at the markets don't taste nearly as wonderful.

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    1. I wonder if anyone has wild strawberry seeds for sale...???

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  8. Those four colors surely created a beautiful design...along with your help, of course. I also enjoy you reminiscences! Many of them take me way back to those good old days.

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    1. I think being stuck inside has put me into a sentimental funk!

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  9. I have startled and made myself sad with google maps. The apartment buildings where I started life are gone. My great grandmother's house is so decrepit. My grandmother's house, on the other hand, has hit the gentrify jackpot.

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    1. 1 out of 3, well, that's something. At least your grandmother's house is still full of life and vibrant.

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  10. Love your pinkeep as I am partial to bunnies. My paternal grandparents farm is now a vast parcel of farmland. All of the trees are gone. All of the 6 buildings barn and farmhouse is gone. It was a massive corn field when I drove by last. Janice

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    1. When landmarks like trees go, it is indeed a sorry sight.

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  11. I think so very many of us can relate to the "shock" factor of modern "development." I grew up on a farm that my mother and father bought after my grandparents died... The house and barn had been built my my mother's grandfather and his brothers. Nothing much in the way of amenities, etc. but rich and fertile in the planting of beautiful memories. After my mother went to assisted living, I took her there....it was so very sad. It was still an 80-acre piece of property, but the barn was falling down, the fields overrun with wild onion and houses now cram the little gravel lane that used to be our private driveway. I guess I learned that day that some memories are best preserved in our mind's eye, not our physical eyes. Sweet little tuck...and I have a kitty like your Sophie. I don't think he is watching, but if I have sent something down where it wasn't before, the minute I turn my back he has stolen it. ~Robin~

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    1. A barn falling into ruin is such a sad, sad sight...especially sad somehow. Yes, some memories are best preserved in our mind's eye, I agree.

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  12. I love bunnies too. Your cross stitch pin keep is very sweet and pretty. We call them pin cushions...I like "pin keep". You make such pretty things. I love the wrapped eggs in your last post.

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    1. I think the proper name is indeed pin cushion! I remember calling them that -- my first one was the classic "tomato" with a strawberry hanging off it.

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  13. Love these pin cushion works of art! Your cross stitch is amazing! I am very impressed with your intricate work.

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