Friday, January 02, 2015

New Year's Day Flashback

Yesterday, I started--and finished!--my first project for Debbie's Ultimate Crazy January Challenge, in memory of our friend Debbie. That makes two finishes yesterday! This is Bee Keeper, a freebie from Drawn Thread. Indeed it is very small, but they say you should "start as you mean to go on" and I do want to finish more things this year, so I thought it couldn't hurt to start small!

I started another new project, but I am going to keep working on it today since we have a friend coming over for dinner and I've been cleaning all day. (Must call cleaners!) I'll show you that new start tomorrow.

 I did promise also to share with you some interesting nineteenth century ideas about the new year. We were perhaps wondering where all the presents were on Christmas...but we find them instead on New Year's Day.
On New Year's Day not only the children, but ladies, young and old, receive presents, not only from their relatives and friends, but from all their acquaintances. And these presents are not merely fanciful trifles, but articles proportioned to the wealth, refinement and taste of the persons who receive them. They vary from Brussels' lace and Cashmere shawls to a simple but elegant bonbonniere--a beautiful paper box, filled with sugar plums. "That is a matter of a few cents," think some of my readers; but they are mistaken. They cannot buy a decent thing of the kind under a Napoleon--and some costs as high as a hundred francs... 
The day is nevertheless a great gala, and serves to rekindle many a feeling that lay dormant during the year, and would have died entirely but for their resurrection le jour de l'an. Friends and acquaintances remember each other, and shake hands; women are pleased to look with complaisance on those who make them presents and men are made aware, (if they forgot it during the year,) that women are dear creatures, who expect to be made happy at our hands...The French, like all southern people, are eminently a people of the senses; their impressions are vivid, and received directly from nature or the things that immediately surround them, without passing through the magnifying lens of the imagination. The northern people of Europe may keep Christmas eve, and feast the living and the dead; the French have "a happy New Year." They express their wishes to each other in direct language, shake hands, kiss, embrace, and make merry for the rest of the evening.  "Christmas and New Year in France and Germany," Francis J. Grund. Godeys' Magazine and Lady's Book. January 1848; 36 p 8

13 comments:

Chris said...

Great start to 2015 stitching!

thegreytail said...

thank you for the excerpt, it was very interesting.
I like that bee, I'll look for the freebie and keep it waiting for a bright green linen leftover.
I couldn't join Deb's challenge but I plan to start 6 new projects in the new year, one of every letter in her name.

Linda said...

Congrats to your new start and first finish Nikki. I am still so unorganized and I started the group. Oops!!

Linda

Vonna, The Twisted Stitcher said...

I love that darling bee finish! And I loved reading the entry you posted about the New Year! :)

Margaret said...

Love the bee! Very interesting on the New Years presents. Way back when in China, everyone's birthday was on New Year's Day. Even if you were born like the day before. I wonder about the day of.

Ruth said...

Congrats on an excellent start to 2015 -- I'm sure you'll kick ass and take names! Love the Godeys piece.

Yekaterina Haussler said...

Such a wonderful start (and finish) for the new year. Thank you for the excerpt from the magazine! Wishing you many more finishes in the new year.

loretta said...

You're off to an awesome stitchy-start ;-) love the Bee Keeper

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

A finish already! I have a nearly finish, just need to add the child's name to the bottom of the design.
New Year in France sounds most civilised, especially reminding our men that we are dear creatures!

Laura said...

That is a lovely finish! Very cute. I am finishing the border on a Christmas gift for my sister in law for our "Christmas " on the 24th.
How do you find out about the challenges and stitch alongs and all? I've never participated, but they sound fun!

Loretta said...

Congrats on the finish!!! Looks great!!!

Beth W said...

Thanks for sharing that- I didn't realize the "northern people" didn't acknowledge the new year as we modern folk do (and as the French did, which also sounds lovely). That bee is adorable, and hopefully a herald of how productive and happy you'll be with the stitch projects this year. Great beginning!

Beth said...

Nothing wrong with a small finish. You cannot have too many bees!