Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Time Well Spent

"She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands."
Proverbs 31:13

I thought I'd start this post with what I did on Monday. I am honored to have been invited by Penny to join a swap in which we make these adorable little gathered clutch bags and trade with a partner. Fun, eh?

There is one aspect of this easy-to-make project that has held the upper hand with me, but I'm determined to perfect it. So far, I've had two practice runs -- one for Caelyn and one for me. Mine is the one shown here. It matches my birdie sling. I've decided that Morgan should have one, too, as she's not really a "bag" kind of girl; but she does need a place for a cell phone and lip gloss -- and when we return to the States, she'll be needing a space for that long-over-due driver's license.

I like that there's plenty of room to have separate spaces for my Mo├žambican, Swazi, South African and American currency, as well as things like my international driver's license, credit cards, etc.

Yesterday we had the grand privilege of meeting Craig out for lunch. On our way there, I had to stop at the petrol station and fuel up. As we sat awaiting our fill-up, we saw a few Mo├žambican women pass by with their wares for sale on top of their heads. This is a normal sight, but this time they were carrying sugar cane. Our existence here has been very typical to ex-pat living, and this just won't do for Graham. He has such a longing to get involved on a more intimate level with the culture here, but his mother, Suzie Safety, hasn't relinquished that kind of control. So, seeing this opportunity to appear to be more lenient, I suggested he take some money and follow those ladies. Morgan offered to go with him, and they managed to score two generously-sized sugar cane sticks for 10 meticais (29 cents). That's almost like the penny candy from my childhood, only not as sweet!

I love their relationship. It's so sweet that Graham would share with Gabriela. And gross, depending how I choose to look at it. I think this builds a good case for allowing boys to carry pocket knives; but in the end, it was our experienced empregada who properly peeled it for them.

Later in the day, this adorable face came to me and asked, "E'ma (Hebrew for "mom"), may I sew??" Tell me, would you refuse this face? OK, I often do deny her requests, being immune to her cuteness. However, she knows that it just tickles me that she's so eager to sew. Setting aside my own pursuits (but only momentarily), I agreed to help her work on the skirt she's making from an old pair of denim capris. We put "The Sound of Music" on the desktop computer so we could watch and listen with busy hands.

I included extra photos because Morgan is practicing photography (since I've never read the camera manual), and I thought I should include some of the practice shots. Thanks for bearing with me. I really like this one of the pins against the denim with Gab's cute little fingers.

Tier 1 finished; three to go.

In keeping with my report of the day's productivity, I wanted to include this:

What do meatballs have to do with sewing? Well, Caelyn made them so that I could be free to remain at the sewing table with Gabriela. These ended up in a delectable lentil soup. I really am blessed to have such skilled and industrious children!

After dinner, inspired by our movie, Craig played a wide variety of praise music (and a bit of old jazz) and gathered the children around the computer to sing along. It was such a fun, spontaneous moment. As they chose songs, I decided to start on a project that I've wanted to make for Gabriela. I didn't end up finishing it last night, but here's the work in progress, exposed threads and all:

To my quilting friends: I don't normally buy panels, but I really like this fabric for what it is. I thought it would be great for this particular project.


  1. I love the quilt you're working on now! And I totally like the idea you guys are using for the denim skirt. It's fun and colorful and it'll be really cute when it's finished! Those clutches look easy and hard at the same time - I am not sure how I'd do with it. But I do know I have never attempted to put a zipper on something, so it intimidates me immediately!

  2. Now, how could you have said no to the cuteness WANTING to sew...one of your very favorite things! The skirt looks like it will be cute, and what is the mysterious project you are making for Gabriella? The meatballs looked good, too...I love having daughters who cook! Can't wait to teach you to crochet, my friend! (Anna wants to learn, too)