Saturday, February 18, 2012

A week in review...

My goodness, where does the time go?  Is it really mid-February already?

Besides working on the directions for a couple of new With My Needle projects, I have been stitching up a storm on Hannah Lancaster from The Porcupine Collection.  Here are two photos of my progress so far.  Yippee!! This week I finished that large house!  It seemed to go on forever, especially the roof.



Some folks ask how I get so much stitching done. (It's not that I'm a fast stitcher.)  I typically wake up in the morning  several hours before my husband, and that is when I get a fair amount of stitching done.  We recently signed up for NetFlix streaming service, and boy is that wonderful company while I stitch!

This week I watched Sense and Sensibility and the  first season of Downton Abbey (only 7 episodes).  I'm now hooked on the series and will watch this years season next week since I have taped all of them.  After that I have in my queue Mrs. Brown, the story of the grief-stricken Queen Victoria following Prince Albert's death.  Hmm--am I on a British drama roll?

Yesterday I picked up Ann Rayner (from Threads Through Time) from my framer, Carol.  Doesn't Carol do a beautiful job?  Several of you have commented in the past about how good she is at getting those side borders so straight.  When one frames things so closely like I have her do, it would really be obvious if those side borders weren't perfectly straight.


I really feel like I've accomplished a lot this week. In addition to my stitching, I've been continuing to go through old papers and photographs that I brought back from Florida after my father's death.  (I've been able to sort through and organize about 2/3s of the photos.) 

I've also enjoyed reading old wills and letters, including letters my grandmother wrote my grandfather before they were married and letters her friends wrote her when her father died.  Then there was the cutest letter that my mother at age 8 wrote to her father when he was away on a business trip.  Mother wrote that her mother had pulled out one of her baby teeth, and Mother thought it would never stop bleeding.  Then she wrote about how she was playing school with her sister (who was a year younger).  Mother gave her sister a list of spelling words, but my aunt got "0" right.  Mother signed the letter, "Your little girl, Carolyn".  The other wonderful thing about the letter is that I have a photo of my mother when she was 8 years old.  Perhaps I should frame the two together.

I've also been reading old newspaper clippings.  One of the interesting ones I read this week was about the christening of the destroyer the USS Watts in December, 1943.  The ship was named after one of my grandfather's relatives, Captain John Watts, who was a merchant captain in the late 1700's of the Planter.

Also, one of my cousins recently sent me a cookbook from the Methodist Church in Wattsville, Virginia.  She told me she bought it for me not for the recipes but for the family history at the beginning.  Another ancestor, David Watts, was minster at the church in the early 1800's, and a window in the present church is dedicated to him.  The first known Methodists in the area were two circuit riders who took refuge in David Watts' home in 1795.  His home later became a regular preaching place for traveling Methodist ministers.  In 1811, David was licensed to preach, and in 1830 a new denomination was formed, the Methodist Protestant Church.  Under David's leadership, the Wattsville congregation became the first Methodist Protestant Church on Virginia's Eastern Shore.  The next time we're in the area my cousin and I are going to visit the church and some cemeteries with family graves.

Looking at the old photos and reading so many interesting things has made me even more interested in learning more about my family history. I've been having a lot of fun filling in some of the gaps in the information I have, but there is a lot more to learn.  I sometimes feel like I'm on a scavenger hunt as I piece together bits and pieces of information.

15 comments:

Nancy said...

Beautiful progress on Hannah! Ann is perfectly framed! Your framer is indeed a great one!

It's so nice that you have all those old family photos and letters and things to sort through. What a treasure you have!

Margaret said...

Hannah is looking wonderful! And Ann Rayner is gorgeous! I love Downton Abbey. It's so funny -- I just watched Mrs. Brown! I had to rewatch it because of an old BBC series about Queen Victoria's son King Edward. I love that movie.

Barb said...

Your Hannah Lancaster looks great and Ann Rayner is just beautiful! My husband would agree that genealogy is much like a scavenger hunt.

Elizabeth said...

Wow, Hannah is wonderful and I love seeing your Ann Rayner! I actually just pulled Ann back out of my stash to work on and I'm having trouble with the colors. I changed things to AVS silks and the conversions weren't working at all, so I'm going to use DMC to get the tones the designer was going for. Glad I saw yours just now to keep me going on it!

marly said...

Two of my favorites. Great progress on Hannah. Your Carol is certainly a master framer. What a perfect job on Ann Rayner.

Faye said...

Oh Ellen, Hannah is coming along so nicely~ No wonder you are excited to have the house done! And, the framing is esquite on Ann Raynor. You truly have an excellent framer....

Like you, I am still going through old documents, photos and momentos of my "mom" who we lost 18 mos ago. It is a process and you will often find yourself chuckling over some of the simplest of things...

Take care my friend..you really DID have a productive week!

Always, Faye

Laurie in Iowa said...

Hannah looks fabulous and Ann is gorgeous in her frame.

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

Both of your samplers are beautiful!!!
Isn't it fun to go through all that family history and all the things they saved because it was interesting or important to them.
Have fun!
Prim Blessings
Robin

Katrina said...

Love your framed Ann Rayner, gorgeous!!! And now I want to stitch Hannah too :-).

Nancy said...

All of your samplers you stitch are always so beautiful Ellen! These are no exception. Such a gorgeous job of framing on your masterpiece! It is fun to see what you find while going through old things!

Marilyn said...

Hannah Lancaster is coming along nicely Ellen, the biggest part is done, and Ann Rayner is gorgeous.
What fun you are having putting pieces of your family history together.
Thanks for sharing, it's interesting to read.
Marilyn

Charlene ♥ SC said...

What an excellent week you had! Beautiful stitching and gorgeous framed piece! Oh, yes, you should absolutely have those wonderful heirloom pieces framed together for the preservation of family history.

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Hannah is really looking beautiful and Ann Rayner is gorgeous in her frame.

What fun looking thru all the old archives and especially finding that sweet letter from your mom. What a treasure!

woolwoman said...

Ellen I can tell you've been having a grand time delving into the past. Your family has a wonderful colorful past - I know you treasure everything you find. LOVE your framed Ann - you are so lucky to have a wonderful framer close by. your progress on Hannah is amazing. Hope you have a great week and thanks for the comment on my blog - Mel

Suzanne said...

You have made such amazing progress on Hannah! It's a relief when that house is done.

Ann Rayner looks fantastic in her frame.