Monday, January 18, 2021

Stitching The Tree Skirt Snow....



And The Christmas Card...

I Thought you would like to see, Dear Readers, the completed Sky on the petit-point Christmas Tree Skirt. Yes, I did a lot of stitching on the weekend. I do think it looks lovely and as Birgit has commented, the way the sky shows off the Snowman and the Snowdeer are particularly satisfying. All that remains to do is the snowy ground around the border, and since I was not-commuting to work this morning I made a start. I thought it would be easy, just add the white in the circle shape, but discovered that it was Not easy at all! Making the circle edge completely round is a delicate mix of ever changing rows of stitches, and counting the correct number of stitches for each row requires that you know exactly where you are on the chart at every stitch! Yikes! After the easy task of just filling in the sky background.... making the snowy Ground required vigilant attention.... and lots of taking out stitches!

Here you can see the Snowman and the
 Snowdeer with the finished sky.
Here you can see where I have started to add the snow.
And at a certain point I realized that I 
needed to stitch the outer edge first, 
making a "line" at the edge that
 I could fill in afterwards.
It was easier to count the placement of the edge stitches first...

Until I came to where I had added
 the Cavorting Deer to the design...
and I am afraid I made them a little too frisky,
 and they overstep the border edge of the snow!
Even though I had drawn the deer onto the pattern guide
 within the snowy edge, 
when I was stitching I did not stick exactly to my drawing.

You can see in this closeup that I have had to "bump out"
 the circle edge the littlest bit to fit around the deer!
I am hoping that once it is all stitched and hemmed, 
it won't be noticeable at all!
But it has made it very difficult to get back to the
 "proper edge" of the circle design.

But I am Sure that what some of you Really want to see
is the finished Christmas Card Drawing.
The Post Office delivered it in Record time so here it is!

Please judge it Gently, Dear Readers, as it is not the Prettiest of my cards.
But it was not a pretty year and we all struggled to cope
 with more changes and more danger than we ever imagined.
As always it is pen and ink and watercolor on paper, 
drawn to actual size of the printed cards, 8.5 by 11 inches.
I did not count the hours this year.... 
nor did I count the trips up and down the stairs
 to double check my details....
And there is at least one glaring mistake!
But I hope you never notice it!

Stay strong and stay well, Dear Readers,
and I hope you are Comforted by the 
Glimmers of Hope for this New Year!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

It's Not A Lot....


 But It Is Progress....

I Can't Show it to you yet, Dear Readers, but I finished drawing the Christmas Card last Sunday! I got it printed on Tuesday and mailed the copies to my Family before sunset the same day. As soon as I hear from my Mother that she has her card, I can then post a picture here. So it is up to the US mail service which this year has given new meaning to the term "snail mail"! The package I sent them for Christmas took three times as long as usual to reach them, arriving the day after Christmas. I really don't blame the good postal workers, they have been working bravely and steadily throughout this crazy year.... but they were overwhelmed by the amount of things people wanted "delivered" this year. So we will see. Maybe I will be able to show you the Card next week. Until then you will have to put up with another Tiny update on the Christmas Tree Skirt. It has been very soothing during the past tumultuous week to be able to just pick it up and add a few stitches! Nothing Fancy... no creativity involved! And that is all I have managed to do!

Soon I will be done with the sky blue and will move on
 to the White snow around the edges.
I can't tell you how much I love this little Village!
So there you have it, Dear Readers,
 It is Not a Lot.... but it is All I have to show... 
and it is Progress!

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Filling The Sky....



I  Hope.....

You will Understand, Dear Readers, that this will be a short post. Just a glimpse of the Sky being filled with stars.... spreading the message of Hope Eternal.... for Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Mankind. Tonight is Epiphany... The Magi arrive and give their Gifts to the Baby. How much we need to hold Faith now! I have Hope that our institutions are strong and will withstand the turmoil of the next few weeks. Meanwhile, I will keep adding to this Sky... one stitch at a time. And I will complete the Christmas Card drawing... almost done (but so difficult to concentrate just now...!) I have Hope that it will be done by this weekend. Soon it will be traveling to my Family near and far.

I Hope, Dear Readers, that you are all well

 and that you can see the Stars from where you are. 

We will make it through these challenging Times!

I Hope.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Just Another Up-date....



A Few Little Additions.....

I Hope you will understand, Dear Readers, that I have been doing almost nothing except work on the Christmas Card drawing and it is still not finished. I have not read any blogs or spent time in the internet, and the one tiny exception is that I have kept stitching a little bit each day. We had a big snowstorm on the 18th of December with 16 inches of snow overnight... and so when I was stitching on the little Christmas Tree Skirt, I realized that the village was lacking a snowman! So, as you can see in the above picture, I added one right away!

And then the next time I was stitching,
 I realized that it needed a "snow deer" as well..... 
But I am afraid it turned out more like a "polar bear deer".....
(See in the above picture!)
 but I am sure this was because the snow was not cooperating!

And then, because there was a space that seemed "unpopulated"
 between the houses... 
I thought I would add a Santa....
He is pointing at the star in the sky above!

And because he is pointing.... 
it seemed that there should be someone he is pointing for...

So Mrs. Santa had to come out to see what he was pointing to!
And all this while I was adding the "snow shadows" around the edges too.

And on Christmas morning
(in the middle of a torrential rainstorm that washed away All our snow!)
 I started to stitch the blue sky around the star.
I had a very very quiet Christmas with just my son and me.
 I got a lot done on the Christmas card too!

Here the central star is all surrounded with the blue. 
This was tricky to do because the yellow thread
 is so similar to the color of the mesh, 
it is sometimes difficult to tell where the stitch is!
Now there is just a lot of sky to stitch....


Which will take a while!

So you can see, Dear Readers, 
I have been doing almost nothing but work on the Christmas Card!
 And because I can't show you that,
 all I can show is the little additions to the Christmas Tree Skirt!

I hope you have all had a wonderful, 
Quiet and Safe Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The Nativity.....


 It's a Last Minute Thing.....

I Hope you understand, Dear Readers, that when we don't go anywhere, we sometimes lose track of Time passing, and suddenly there are only a couple of days until Christmas! Yes, it is way past time to be using the "C" word! And over at The Lovely Old Dollhouse, it is the same story. Nobody can go anywhere except the supermarket, and that is always a bit alarming because you have to follow the one-way aisles and keep your distance even when it is very busy! Pollyanna and Arthur take turns getting in the supplies. Nobody has done any shopping besides ordering things on-line... and the packages are all being very late to arrive. It is going to be a Very Different Christmas! But they are all healthy and have decided to have a "remote" hot chocolate brunch with Sally May and her family. They will mostly stay outside and Helen and Charles will wave from the windows. And amid all this planning, Pollyanna remembered she had not yet set up the Nativity! Well, there was still Time! She got busy right away and Arthur "helped" by reminding her that he thinks the Camel should go on the other side, over by the Kings. 

But Pollyanna isn't sure.
She thinks there is not enough room over on that side.
It will look unbalanced....
Arthur decides to agree
although he thinks the whole family could move over to make room!
"Where do we usually put it...?" says Pollyanna.

"I think it looks fine the way it is..." says Arthur, smiling.
But now Charles is asking Helen if she remembers 
which side the camel goes on?

"Oh, goodness..." says Helen....
"I think it should belong with the Kings....."
"But maybe parking it over with the sheep makes sense too...." she added.
" I don't know why there is only one camel
 for three kings anyway!" She added, laughing.
And Meanwhile, over at The Folly
 things are also very quiet.

 Will and Gabrielle are still enjoying each other's company
 and never run out of things to talk about.
They are far away from family, 
but they have each other and that is enough!
Their Christmas will be very quiet.
 There is no room for a tree in The Folly,
 but Will always puts up a small Nativity in the bay window.

Can you see it tucked in there?

Here is a closer view.....
Just the Holy Family and The Angel above.
And I am sure you will understand, Dear Readers,
 that the Nativity is Always a Last minute thing!

And in case you are wondering, 
I am still drawing the Christmas Card. 
I might even get to the painting part soon!
But it will be a while before it is done.

Meanwhile, I Hope you all are well
 and Safe and enjoy the Holiday
 whatever the last minute changes have brought.
After all, Peace, Love, and Hope 
are the greatest gifts.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

More Stitching....


 I Just Can't Help Myself....

You can see from the picture, Dear Readers, that I added more reindeer to the Christmas Tree skirt. Now there are nine including Rudolph! And yes, even though I am supposed to be working tirelessly on the Christmas Card drawing... I still have the morning "commute" hours to occupy now that I am not going in to the Office every day. Embroidery is easier to "put down" mid stitch when the hour arrives that I must be at my computer. The drawing is something where I quickly lose track of time... because that is the only way to concentrate on the details. So I am still putting a few stitches in each week! 

The last couple of trees have only the "white" lights.
I completed the larger one and was starting on the smaller one
 when I realized I had made a mistake in counting threads
 when adding the dark green branches...

I had to unstitch all the dark green and begin again.

And here you can see the trees are all done!
And I had a few minutes before "arriving at work" this morning 
so I started on the snow shadows...

It's just the very beginning of the pale blue shadows...
I have a long way to go!
But I just couldn't help myself, Dear Readers,
I Love stitching!

Monday, December 7, 2020

Christmas Tree Lights...



 The Old Fashioned Way....

For Many many years, Dear Readers, I decorated my Christmas Trees with real candles, and on at least one Night we would light the candles and admire the indescribable beauty of real candlelight on the Tree shining brightly in the darkness. And of course, I had to include this in my Christmas Card drawings from time to time. Above is a detail from one of the earliest cards. The first seventeen years of cards were all drawn in black and white, just pen and ink, because there was no inexpensive color duplication in those days. So you would need an imagination to sense the candles lighting the tree! But after color copying became inexpensive I included the Tree lit with candles in a couple of the cards.

It is difficult to get good pictures of the details on these cards.
This was only the second or third year
 that I had painted the card in color.
But you can see the candles in this one!

Here again you can see the candles on the tree lit....
This is taking liberties with real life because
 we didn't leave the candles lit while we did other things!
Usually we had dinner first and then lit the candles
 while we sang carols around the tree.
But this was all long ago...
 the house was big,
 the trees were freshly cut from my own back yard...
Many of us would gather to celebrate.
It is quite safe if you are careful where you place the candles.

I have not put real candles on my trees
 since I moved to my small house.
Everything is too crowded.
But I can remember the light....
and I have always wanted to see if I could make them in mini...

And these mini LED light strings made it so easy!
The "bulb" is just a "blip" in the wire 
and it is easy to bend the wire back on itself.
And then I wrapped the folded wire in paper to make the "candle".

This particular string had eighteen LED's.

I added a "saucer" to catch the wax drips... 
just a card-stock circle punch wrapped around
 and glued at the base of the candle.
And I painted the candles ocher to look like beeswax.

And when I turned the batteries on....
They were wonderfully realistic!

I could not wait to test them on the Tree!

I hastily wrapped the string around the Castle Great Hall Tree
 (I have had this tree forever... waiting to get "candles" on it!)
But the candles did need to be attached so they
 would sit upright so they can burn safely!

Which took a little longer....
and now it is fully dark outside...

But Oh!.... the light is Magnificent and so realistic!!!
It has me completely mesmerized!
So I have Finally lit this tree
 the Old Fashioned way
With candles!