Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the dad's out there. I think EVERY day should be celebrated as Father's Day--and Mother's Day as well. I want to share some things that I remember about my dad who died when I was 10 years old.

As a girl and even into adulthood, I missed him so much. Even today, I can get teary eyed if I'm not careful, when I'm thinking or talking about my dad. (It's probably unresolved grief or some other emotional disorder but it is what it is.) At any rate, my daughter asked me the other day to tell her something about her grandfather whom she's never met of course. I told her he was a lot like her cousin George, who is named after my dad. Dad was a fun loving person--I remember that he laughed and joked a lot, but he was a very responsible person at the same time. He liked to whistle while he was working around the house--I rarely hear people whistling any more. Does that mean we're less happy and contented than we were in the 50's?

My dad earned some kind of mechanical degree through a correspondence school and supported the 6 of us in the family with his blue collar wages. After work he would tend the garden and the yard and in the winter, take us skating and sledding and spend time in his basement workshop. As a young man in the 30's he and a buddy took off from Minnesota to travel to the west coast and they landed jobs in the orchards of California. I like to think that the oranges I eat today come from the trees he planted back then.

I loved my dad very much. I always felt valuable and special when I was with him. He seemed to enjoy having me with him while he did things and he taught me how to use woodworking and gardening tools by letting me work alongside him. He would spend ten cents to buy an ice cream cone for me while my mom was the one who kept a tight fist on the pocketbook. After our Saturday night baths, my sisters and I, in our bathrobes, would "dance" with Dad by standing on his feet and moving around the living room floor with him. I believe Lawrence Welk was our radio dance band. After his death from what was probably his 5th or 6th heart attack, I missed having him at my graduations, my wedding, and the births of my children.

To all the "kids" whose dads are still dancing on this earth, enjoy every minute you have with them. Make time to spend with Dad--and Mom too. Appreciate them. Savor every minute you have with them. If you have problems with Dad--or Mom--work it out. Solve the problem or let it go. All too soon your dads will be gone and you'll only have memories to cherish. Let your memories be good ones.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Needle Threading Tutorial

One of the bloggers I follow, Vesuviusmama, posted recently, "Were there any good embroidery needle threaders on the market?" I don't know if she found any but I decided to share how I thread my needles with embroidery floss without using a threader.

The pix are blurry because I had to hold the camera in one hand while holding the needle and floss in the other and contorting like a pretzel to get the right angle. And I have a crappy camera. Yeah, lets blame it on the camera. ;) Anyway, I hope that between the text and the pix, you can figure out what I'm trying to say here.

I draw the strands of floss out of the 6 ply thread, one at a time. I hold the 6 ply between my thumb and first finger--either hand--and draw out one strand while the rest of them bunch up. Don't worry, they don't tangle. Just straighten them out when you've got the first thread pulled out. Then draw out another if you need to. In the pix, I'm just using one thread.

If I'm using more than one strand, I put them together and then proceed with making a loop and I place the needle in the loop as shown.

Next, I hold the loop between my left thumb and first finger (I'm right handed so you lefties will have to do it your way) and snug it down between my fingers so only a teeny tiny bit of the thread shows--with the needle still in the teeny tiny loop.

Then, I draw the needle out of the loop leaving the thread snugged between my fingers. I thread that tiny loop into the eye of the needle instead of trying to get the end of the thread into the eye.

I won't say this works "every" time because I often have to repeat the looping and threading a few times until I get the loop in the eye. (of the needle I mean, not my eye. :)) I think the trick is to keep the tiny loop really tight around the needle before you draw out the needle. Anyway, I have much better luck threading needles this way--especially when embroidering--than trying to stick the end of the thread into the eye.

Then you just pull one end of the thread through the needle and you're ready to go.

I hope this is useful information. Try it and see if this works for you.

Barb H