Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Great Canon, part two

Last night Tikhon stayed home and I brought Kassi, Tristan & Rome. I felt less distracted. Like the night before, Rome fell asleep and laid on the floor for the entire service.

We arrived early and had a moment with Father Stephan before the service. Perhaps in the euphoric effect of the fast, I was distinctly filled with gratitude towards him. How can be sitting next to him? My life is full of good things.

Holy father Andrew, pray for us.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Great Canon

Last night we were able to attend the first night of the Great Canon. Tikhon was able to come as well. He did not make it to Forgiveness Vespers so I was eager to have him with us last night.

Here I write about my fast. Please remember this is my journal as a catechumen.

After a day of fasting, I was consumed with a desire to go back to the church. I felt that if I could just be there, I would feel better. My feeling was correct. It was also very strange. I have never been so distracted during a service. I didn't feel hunger, but the strangest thoughts kept popping into my mind. Ridiculous thoughts. I pushed them away, but they returned stranger than before. At the end of the service I sat in a chair with Martin in arms, and finally felt some peace in my mind. What connection could this have to the fast, and will it get better? I felt removed from the service.

"Christ became man, calling to repentance thieves and harlots.  Repent, my soul: the door of the Kingdom is already open, and Pharisees and publicans and adulterers pass through it before thee, changing their life."

Monday, February 27, 2012

I am so happy to begin Lent with my husband. Nearly a year has passed since
 we first stepped inside the Church. 
From 2012-02-24

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Forgiveness Vespers

My first glimpse of Lent.

Note to self: remember when Father said Lent would make me ready?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I have not been reading very much.

I have been sewing a little each day on the gowns for the Baptisms. There is a lot of handwork and it makes a great carry along project.

We spent some portion of all 4 days of our long weekend at church. Friday night was the Commemoration for All Departed, which I found to be deeply cathartic and beautiful service. Saturday night was a Vespers service in preparation for the Sunday of the Last Judgement. Sunday, then, was obviously Divine Liturgy and the feast afterward. Monday we returned to make the beeswax candles from about 10am until 3pm. It was my first time making candles for the church and I really enjoyed it. The older children helped, too. I am sure I will always want to be present for candlemaking.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Missing Liturgy, The Great Divorce

We were out sick from church last weekend, both services, and I miss it. Seems so long a time until Saturday night.

While I was sick I read The Great Divorce . This reading was surely first first in nearly 2 decades. I found an old paperback copy at a thrift store and bought it. What a nice, short jaunt full of thought and wonder. I am always amazed by C.S. Lewis' way of putting the desirable in with the unthinkable and making me swallow it. He is a good doctor, and despite my protest he delivers good medicine for the mind. I would like it not to be a dream. I would like, if we're making suggestions, it to be exactly what it seems and not decisions made already in life. However God works, though, he does not work my way.


Monday, February 13, 2012

More Gowns

 I am making progress on this sick day. I am keeping the kids home from classes today and we aren't doing anything formal for school. Kassi is missing Ballet and Tristan, foil.

Hand sewing is perfect for illness. I sat on my bed with pillows against the wall and worked on these necklines today. The top picture is of Kassiane's and the bottom will be for Martin.

My machine began working again today for no logical reason. It is frustrating to think it could stop at any moment. I am at its mercy, so I will use it while I can.

I am very happy to be able to make these garments. I feel like in some small way I am like my patron Saint Tabitha.

Martin's Cross

Our family was host to a respiratory illness this weekend, but I made progress on the first Baptismal gown.

Last time I updated I had abandoned the thought of silk-bias neck lines. This installment must confess another deviation from the plan: I am not using grosgrain ribbon for the crosses. I will save my lovely, impossible silk grosgrain for another project. As you can see below, I decided to make the cross in needle-turn applique.

Again, the 100% linen is a joy to work with. This is my first attempt at needle-turn and I am pleased with it. The cross will be the same size on each gown, so Martin's is very large on his back. 

In the above photo I am nearly finished. I love the subtle white cross on white background. The doing of this applique was quite fun so I know I can repeat it again and again. 

Here I don't have pictures, but after the cross was finished I put the gussets in the arms and sewed the arms to the body with machine flat-felled seams. Then, my machine broke. It is so heavily computerised and automated that I don't know what the problem is, but the bobbin tension is all wrong and I can't sew a stitch. Luckily, while I take it in to be serviced I have plenty of handwork to do on the next few gowns. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Paschal Artos

I was asked to try my hand at Paschal Artos for this year. I knew nothing about it. I say knew because I have learned some, but really I still know nothing much about this special bread. A trusted friend at church sent me some links to recipes and gave me the special seal or stamp, pictured below:

It is silver and lovely, bearing an impression of an icon of the Resurrection. I feel especially honoured to be making the bread because this Holy Saturday is the day of my Baptism and Chrismation. I will bring this bread to the church on that day. 

I did a little research as I mentioned, but there really isn't a wealth of knowledge on the internet about Artos. I found a few sites of note:

I knew from the beginning that I would need to start practising right away. My friend assured me there was no harm in using the seal and eating the bread casually as practice. So, I tried for the first time:

I was really happy with my first attempt.

I know it isn't perfect. And, the recipes are an element I have not tackled yet. I hope that in the time I have left, I can make something acceptable.

Martin's Gown

I started on Martin's gown yesterday.

I cut out the pieces then I set to work on the neckline. The keyhole neckline seemed good enough. The silk bias lining the "V" was my original intention for the whole thing, but as you can see I abandoned it as soon as possible.

Subsequent gowns will not have the silk bias at all. The tiny, hand stitched hem is much easier and more attractive.

They will each have a bone button - the buttons were my great grandmother's.

  Working with this weight of 100% linen is delightful. The last 'linen' I worked with was a blend, and there just is no comparison. Rolling the edge is easy, linen loves to wrinkle and in this moment, that works in my favour. I will be cursing that attribute later on, when my wrinkled children pose for post-Pascha photos.

The next step is applying the silk ribbon cross to the back. I am not sure how I will affix the ribbon while I stitch it. I am afraid pins will damage the ribbon, while adhesives may show through (and not wash out of) the silk.

The seams, as I put this together, will be flat-felled.
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