The Brontes, the British and Me

I love all things British.  Just about any PBS show based on an English author is a must see for me.  Today I discovered a show about the Bronte sisters, Emily, Charlotte and Anne and their attempts to get their books and poetry published.  It was hard for women back in their day. They had to send their work to publishers under men’s names.  This show is brilliant in its portrayal of the sisters and their brother, Branwell, who lived a less than calm life himself.

Other things I love about this program are the clothes and the fabrics.  I am working on a quilt right now using reproduction fabrics from the 1880’s and the early 1900’s.  We think of people back then wearing dark and somber clothes, but they really didn’t.   They used vibrant colors in their clothes, florals and paisleys.  When we look at the black and white photos or pictures from those times, we may think all people wore were black and brown clothes.

The quilt I am making is called the “School Girl Sampler Quilt,” and is made from many different fabrics. I’ve ordered fabric twice in the last month to add to my reproduction fabric stash and I must say, I am falling in love with these fabrics and would love to make some clothes from them.  I have always thought I was born in the wrong era as I don’t think people dress very well in this day and age.  Back in the Brontes’ time, full skirts and petticoats were the norm as were corsets to hold in their tiny waists.  Not sure I’d like wearing a corset, but the dresses are lovely.

Along with the quilt using reproduction fabric, I’m making another just like it in Christmas greens and reds.  There will be one hundred and forty-four blocks, seventy-two in each quilt.  The blocks are 4 and1/2 inches each and there are half square triangles that border the blocks.  It’s quite a lot of cutting out and piecing of fabric, but it’s what I love.  I spend hours in my shop, the three doggies asleep in their crates, cutting out blocks and sewing them together. It’s a peaceful kind of work and when it’s all done, I will have two more quilts.  There are 5000 women and men all over the world working on the same quilt.  You can see some of their handiwork on Kathleen Tracy’s facebook page. Kathleen Tracy is the lady who designed this particular quilt and wrote a quilt book around it.  It’s really going to be quite an accomplishment when it is finished. It’s fun seeing all the different fabrics people are using. Each quilt will be unique.

While talking about British writers, I have always been a fan of Charles Dickens.  Now he could publish in his own name and made quite a name for himself back in his day.  I  have always loved Dickens’ Christmas Carol and have seen several adaptations of this story in different forms. This past Christmas I watched Disney’s version and it was wonderful. The best I’ve seen, I think.  I watched it twice during the Christmas season.  I always love to see how Scrooge’s outlook on Christmas changes so dramatically, from “Bah, humbug,” to buying the biggest turkey for the Christmas dinner.  If you ever get the chance to see this version, do.  You think of cartoons with Disney, but this was made like the Snowball Express where the people look almost real.  I loved it.

Here it is, the end of January. David celebrated another birthday. He took a week off work and I enjoyed it. I hope he did.  I took him out for dinner and baked his favorite chocolate cake.  I keep thinking he is younger than he is. In fact, I told a repairman, who was at our house this week, that he was two years younger than he is!  I wish I could wish the years away like that, but time marches on.  My granddaughter is getting married this Summer and she posted on Facebook “could there be as great a love as this?”  And I told her yes, there is and I hope and pray she and her future husband will be together fifty years from now. I know they think that’s a long way away, but it’s really not. Those years flew for David and me.  This year will be our fifty-third anniversary. It’s true, life is just a vapor. We are born and before we know it, we are old and you wonder where the years went even though you enjoyed them all for the most part.

I must show you a beautiful flower I bought myself for Christmas this year. The last couple of years I’ve sent my sister and her husband an amaryllis and this year I decided to get one myself. It has not been a disappointment.  Better than any poinsettia I’ve had and much longer lasting. When I got it the flowers had not even started growing so we watched every day as the stems grew taller and taller and finally a few days after Christmas this one popped out.

This week three more flowers came out. It’s been so much fun watching this plant grow. I will probably buy another one next Christmas.

Our puppies tore a hole in our pool liner a few weeks ago. They are the first labs we’ve had that wanted to get into the water.  So, today we went and looked at pool liners and ordered one to replace the torn one.  The man working there told us that it has been so hard to get pool supplies and parts for pools because of the pandemic that they are two years behind in installing pools.  People will have to wait until 2022 for their pools to be installed. We had to put a down payment on the liner and get in line to have it installed and still we won’t have it in until June or July which is all right with me as I usually don’t swim until it’s hot, but David usually is in no later than May so he’s kind of disappointed.

How are you doing in this longest of pandemics?  David and I are managing to be active and enjoy our time together. This has really been a blessing in some ways, but I can’t imagine what it’s like for those who live alone or are in nursing homes or hospitals and cannot have visitors.  I gave David a puzzle for Christmas to keep him busy, He had it done in two days.

It’s a puzzle of quilt patterns.  Wouldn’t a quilt be lovely in these colors?

Besides quilting, knitting socks, and playing with pups, I’m painting another picture. It doesn’t look like much now.   I heard in a movie this week a girl describing another girl saying she was like a Monet painting. Beautiful from far away, but a real mess up close!  I thought that was so true. Paintings seen up close you do see all the imperfections, but viewing them from a distance they look good or great depending on the artist.

Here’s to the British, to wonderful quilts and Christmas flowers that delight. Bye.

 

 

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