“Sewing mends the soul.”

Since Sunday it has rained every day but one. That was the teaser day when it looked as if spring was finally poking its head out of the snow, but that was just a single joyful day. Yesterday it poured and today is dark and grim, the kind of day when you know it’s going to rain but don’t know exactly when. Gracie and I haven’t yet done our dump run. It was pouring too much. We’ll go today before it starts to rain.

My neighbor is taking classes to be a masseuse. She asked if she could practice on me. It took me a nano second to agree. Yesterday I got a wonderful massage. She spent over an hour making me so relaxed my limbs forgot how to work. It was wonderful! When I was leaving, she asked if she could practice on me again and give me another massage. You can guess my answer!

The pant leg of my cozy pants caught on the bureau knob and a small hole became a large one. I grabbed my trusty stabler. I do have a sewing kit complete with everything I could have needed to sew the hole shut, but the stapler worked quickly and the hole disappeared. I just hope the staples don’t rust in the wash!

When I was in Ghana, I made my own bedroom curtains, a feat for which I felt accomplished because of my total lack of sewing skills. I could have had them made, but I wanted to give them a try. My room had a whole wall filled with two really large, long windows and another wall with a much smaller window. These windows had screens, and glass pieces like shutters which opened and closed with levers. I measured the length and height of the windows using a piece of cloth I already had as the measuring piece then went to the market and bought a cloth which was sort of a rusty-brown. The cloth had a pattern at the top and the bottom. I cut the cloth into three window pieces, hemmed the bottom of each so the pattern was still there then used string under a top seam so I could attach the curtains to the windows as I had no rods. The curtains looked great and gave me a sense of privacy, a rare commodity those days in Bolga where a white person was a curiosity.

I also made a lamp shade. I used a beautifully colored basket I had bought in the market. Since those days, Bolga baskets can be bought here and are really expensive. They are distinctive with their vibrant colors and handles with red leather. I probably paid a cedi or two and was definitely paying too much as bargaining still meant I’d over-pay. I cut out the bottom of the basket and fashioned a holder for the lightbulb from a hanger to replace the bottom. In my living room I had one light bulb on a long cord hanging from the really high ceiling, and the shade was for that bulb. Once it was attached to the bulb, it looked great though the room was far less bright than it had been. The top rim of the basket made a circle of light on the floor beneath the shade. In the rainy season, the buggy season, that circle light would be black by the end of the night, black with dead bugs.

I didn’t make anything else for my house. Those two, the curtains and the shade, were my only attempts at domesticity.

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14 Comments on ““Sewing mends the soul.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Your neighbor is training to be a massage therapist. We don’t call ourselves masseuses or masseurs any more. Or so I was taught in massage school. 🙂
    Anyway, lucky you that your neighbor wants to use you to practice on. I’d be all over that offer faster than lightning. I wish there was a neighbor in my neighborhood that wanted to practice massage on me. But I’m the only therapist on the street. 🙁

    The staple in your cozy pants will only rust in the wash if it manages to stay in your cozy pants. My experience is that the staples fall out in the process of washing or drying. Staples are how I do hems.
    I applaude your sewing curtains and making a lamp shade. I’m not that domestic. I will knit the curtains and crochet the lamp shade before I sew either. A friend has woven some cloth for my kitchen windows. It’s lovely but I’m afraid to cut the stuff so I will have to figure out a way to make curtains out of it that doesn’t require cutting or sewing.

    The weather is dreary up here, too. Very uninspiring. In an attempt to forestall boredom, I have cooked. Well, the slow cooker is cooking a pork loin with various veggies and strange spices. It smells wonderful. Hope it tastes good. It’s not always a given when I make up stuff with food. 😀

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      Thanks on the name. My neighbor is Brazilian and is still a bit nervous about her English though it has gotten quite good so we never did talk about her schooling. I will now give her the correct title! I hopped on the offer in a second. Call me anytime was what I told her!!

      I will just keep restyling, but these can soon be put away as they are flannel and I have much lighter cozy clothes for summer.

      I was quite proud of myself with the curtains and the lamp shade. That basket I cut up would probably sell for $65.00 or more now here in the US. I always got a laugh from the morning circle of dead bugs!

      Once in a while, twice actually, I thought the sun would have the strength to get through the clouds but no go. I love a pork loin, but I don’t use my slow cooker all that much though I do have three small slow cookers I use often for hot dips. The idea of the air redolent with the smell of that pork cooking does make me salivate just a bit!

      • Caryn Says:

        The stuff I put in the cooker with the pork loin tastes lovely. I haven’t tried the meat yet. Waiting for dinner.
        The sun is out up here! 🙂

      • katry Says:

        The sun never did make it though it tried again in the afternoon. I love adding all different sorts of herbs and spices to dishes.

  2. olof1 Says:

    I wish she was my neighbor too! I really need a massage since I’ve been working a lot with my armes raised and also lifted heavy things. I once worked with another painter that once had been a massage therapist (thank You Caryn) and when he noticed we all started to work badly he massaged us all 🙂 There’s too few of working friends like that in the world 🙂

    I can’t say I can sew in any way but I usually tries to mend holes by sewing, I don’t own a stapler 🙂 I can’t say that sewing was a favorite subject of mine when I went to school, I changed to woodwork as soon as I was allowed too 🙂

    We’ve had yet another springwinter day and they say it will continue like this for quite some time 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      A guy I used to work with would do my shoulders sometimes. It was heavenly.

      I love my neighbor! That was wonderful and she actually thought she’d have to ask if I’d let her do it again. Yikes-a hundred times would be fine!!

      My mother could sew really well but that didn’t get passed on to any of us.

      I am jealous of your spring days!! It rained a tiny bit earlier but the sun is struggling to come out.

      Enjoy your evening!

  3. Birgit Says:

    A massage for free … – I’m jealous!
    I love sewing with a machine, but I hate sewing by hand. Bags are easy to sew and great presents for friends. I still have my grandmas old feet driven “Pfaff 11” sewing machine (ca. 1920), she showed me how to use it when I was young. As a lazy person I prefer the electric machine now, but for leather and thick fabrics the old machine is still indispensable. To celebrate laziness: when sewing with the machine it’s often easier and faster to use clothespins instead of pins to hold fabrics together.

    • katry Says:

      It was perfectly wonderful!!

      I have sewed bags with a small machine I bought. I made Christmas bags for gifts. I stenciled and did needlework on the material.

      I made several cross-stitched ornaments for people years back, and my mother showed me how to use a machine to back them. I even hand-stitched them closed.

  4. Lori Kossowsky Says:

    I’m so glad you got a massage– what a treat. I also have a neighbor who is a practitioner, but she charges me, although way less then those who do the Trager approach, plus I just have to walk upstairs. I never caught the knack of sewing, although I used to sew by hand fine silk and to hem fabric art pieces which I had made.
    Right now as you know my energy is spent with my cat, who has been ill– she is sleeping after having been given a mess of medicine and fluids.

    • katry Says:

      It was so relaxing. I loved it. My neighbor is still taking her course so she really can’t charge money, but I would have gladly paid.

      I had read about Jewels on FB and left you a couple of messages. I hope that every day brings better health and a happy kitty and a happier you!

  5. flyboybob Says:

    What a wonderful treat to get a genuine massage. Years ago my company, when we were owned by people who actually liked people, would bring in a masseuse to give free 15 minute shoulder massages once a month. Now we are owned by people who are computer engineers and they really don’t like people, especially their employees 🙁

    I not only have a purple thumb but I also must have fine motor dyslexia since I can’t sew a stitch. When I was in high school I should have taken some home economics classes along with typing. Unfortunately, I was a late bloomer and didn’t realize that it was a good thing to be in a class with all woman 🙂

    I have a feeling that winter is not through with us yet but here we will take all the precipitation we can get to offset the terrible draught we had the last two summers. Of course our governor, Perry with the pompadour hairdo, doesn’t believe in climate change or any pollution control because his buddies in the oil refinery and electric generating business might have to spend money and clean up their acts. Sure we will give you an exemption to build a coal fired generating plant or allow that 40 year old refinery to belch that black stuff into the air 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Given how awful the weather has been the message brightened my own day. It looks like the new President of Yahoo is joining your management in not liking their employees all that much.

      I took a woodworking class but it was in adult ed. I even made a small bookcase, but my greatest fear was the table saw. I had visions of my fingers flying off with the wood.

      The continuation of the drought has been predicted for your part of the country.

      We got a lot of snow but so much more rain. It takes a foot of snow to equal an inch of rain so I guess I shouldn’t complain about the days of downpours we’ve had. Rain is so much easier to deal with than snow.

  6. kay Says:

    Have you been having more rain than normal in the last year or so? It seems as though your weather is very frequently wet. Of course, any rain seems like a lot to me right now. My state is still in the middle of a drought. We have recently had quite a bit of snow though, which will give us a little relief when it all melts.

    • katry Says:

      We are having days of rain in a row. This whole week has had only one sunny day, and on the all the other days, when it rained, it came down in torrents. We also had more snow than usual, not so many storms but lots of snow in a few storms.

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