Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Lighting The Darkness...


Putting Up The Trees... 

The Minute Thanksgiving was over, Dear Readers, Sally May wanted to put up her Christmas Tree. I was in complete agreement, because I am now working mostly from Home again, and I sit all day in front of her house... only sometimes lapsing into Daydreams of what I will do when I have more time. And it occurred to me that I had a string of mini LED's that needed to be put to use to light her Christmas Tree! It only took a minute or two to get the lights on the tree and the batteries installed... and OH!!!!! Sally May is overjoyed (and me too!) at the results! Their house is still a "fixer-upper" I am afraid, and electricity has yet to be installed, so the battery lights are just the perfect solution. And as soon as I had finished that task... I heard Blue the Blue Fairy Bearey asking for her Tree to be put up as well. And I had a couple of things that needed to be added to that tree too...

The whole gang was there to see it 
when the lights were switched on.

There is a garland of snowflakes.....
And if you look very carefully...

There are three tiny Snowmen ornaments 
that were made by Birgit and sent to me last year!
Here is a close-up of one of them... 
the red "scarf" helps you find him 
if the orange carrot nose isn't bright enough!
I think they are perfect for this tree!

And over at The Lovely Old Dollhouse...
Charles has managed to get the Tree up
 before anyone else had noticed!

Helen finds it very comforting...

It is always the same tree in the same place
 and looks just as beautiful as ever!
And the lights are so lovely...
It brings a great sense of Peace to her heart.

And while we are thinking about Christmas Lights, Dear Readers, 
I want to show you a small update on the
 Christmas Tree Skirt I have been stitching.

I was able to do a great deal of stitching last week
 while I was home on Vacation...
And it had occurred to me that I didn't think All the trees
 in the Village should have the same lights!
Some of the houses might want to have only "White" lights!
And that made me decide that maybe one side of the skirt
 should be only "white" lights (here stitched in yellow thread).

I thought I would test the look first with just one house... 
I had already added the red lights to the rest 
of the trees on this side of the skirt.
I really liked the way it looked!

And here I have also added a couple more "cavorting" deer!

But I really wanted to get started on the other half of the Tree Skirt!
It is easier to stitch it by turning it "upside down" 
from the way I was stitching.
This works as long as you turn it 180 degrees around...
 the stitches will still slant in the same direction
 as the other half of the skirt.
This would not be true if I only turned it 90 degrees!

And while I was stitching the red roofs... I had an idea...
see that red "dot"....?
way off in the empty area at the bottom?
Can you guess what will come next...?

Look! It's Rudolph!!!
He will be a real "standout" 
amongst those all "White" lights!

You can see here that the Trees and the lights have been started!
And that is as far as I got, Dear Readers, on my Vacation week.
I might not have much time for stitching now that
 I am back to work and all my spare Time
 needs to be used to draw the Annual Christmas Card!
Yes, it is once again that Season....
It always takes me longer to make than I think it will....
 and I can tell you that I am "working on it"! 
But I won't show any of it here
 until it is done and mailed.
So you will have to be patient
 if I don't have much to report for a while!
But at least I have put up the Trees
 to Light The Darkness!

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Giving Thanks....



I Hope you will Understand, Dear Readers, that Thanksgiving is different this year. The pandemic has made it risky to gather... even with your loved ones, for any length of time indoors. Pollyanna had received a recorded phone message sent out by the Governor of the State saying all groups of more than ten were banned from gathering indoors! She went right to Helen with the news, because with all of them together they were eleven. Six at the Lovely Old Dollhouse, and five at Sally May and Chip's because his parents had pretty much moved in with them last summer. 

"We can't all get together this year" she says to Helen.

"But what will we do..." she asks...
 "What will they do"?
"Who will cook the Turkey...?" she adds.
"We will have too much food!"

Victor and Joanna were in the kitchen discussing that very question.
"I am sure we can do a great job..." said Victor cheerfully.

"I'll start on the squash..." he added. 
"You can get the bird in the oven. 
Don't worry, I'll help! " he said happily.

"Good thing we baked the pies here last night....
 that's the important part!"... he joked. 

Pollyanna and Arthur decided the help by "staying out of the way" 
otherwise known as hiding in Pollyanna's craft room in the attic.
I really need to organize things better in here thinks Pollyanna.
I just don't have the right storage spaces.

Meanwhile, Dear Readers, the problem over at Sally May and Chips house
 is that the neighborhood got a little crowded last Spring when the pandemic started.

This is the place where I "work from home"....
And I will be mostly working from home again starting next week.
Our school is done for the Fall term and will
 open again in February if all goes well.
I will be going in to the school office two days a week
 since we do have to keep things running anyway.
But you can understand that Sally May feels a little "out of sorts".

Even with the neighboring equipment temporarily moved....
it is dark and empty feeling in the dining room where they usually gather.
She wishes she could celebrate with Her family! 
Chip's family are fine... she loves them too... but it is not the same.
And they have been here all year. 
She is tired and a bit depressed.
She almost doesn't want to cook!
They won't have a turkey since it is being cooked
 over at the Lovely Old Dollhouse.

Chip will keep his folks entertained... 
even though the house is dark and a bit cold. 
One of these days he is going to have to fix that window!

Meanwhile, Joanna and Victor have cooked the feast!
"I think it is time to call everybody in" says Joanna.

"It's time to eat..." she tells Helen and Charles.

"This smells wonderful...!" says Charles.
"And it looks delicious too!" he adds.
"Well done, my dear".... he says to Joanna.

"Goodness! What a Huge bird!" says Helen.
"We will be feasting for weeks!"

"Oh, I Wish everybody could be here!" says Helen
 for at least the dozenth time this day.
"But at least we know they are all safe and well..." says Charles.
That is the most important thing!
"And I am sure Sally May has cooked up a feast too..." adds Pollyanna.
"She is so good at that! We know they are not starving!"
"And we will call them when we are done says Victor."

"Let's all hold hands for the Grace now" says Charles.
And they bow their heads in silence ....
there is much to be thankful for.
And over at Sally May's she is
 putting the finishing touches on their meal. 
She has baked a chicken instead of the turkey
 and also roasted some Venison that Chip's folks
 brought as their "contribution" to the menu.

"I think it is as ready as it is going to be..." she sighs.
"It smells yummy Mummy!" says Annabelle excitedly.
"And I helped... didn't I!" she adds.
"You were a Big help" said Sally May.
"I could not have done it without you!"
"I think it is time to call the others in" she added.
"Now that looks like the kind of dinner
 that makes the menfolk happy!" declares Blanche.
"Ah... we do have a lot to be thankful for!" agrees Ernie.
 "Thanks, Babe..." says Chip. "I know it is hard for you not seeing your folks" he adds.
Sally May suddenly is reminded how much she does have to be Thankful for.
"Who will say Grace...?" she asks.
"Grace" shouts  Annabelle excitedly and everybody laughs.
Ernie sings the doxology and they serve the feast.
They do have so much to be thankful for!

Meanwhile, Honey and Oreo
 are keeping an eye on things in the kitchen... 
there are no pies.
Sally May had made a beautiful cake that she planned
 to bring to The Lovely Old Dollhouse gathering. 
"Are we 'guarding'...." thinks Oreo.... 
"or just 'watching'?"
Honey doesn't even bother to answer him.
She is trying not to drool at the thought of crumbs on plates.

Well, Dear Readers, it seems that
 Nothing is Normal this year!
But I am Giving Thanks anyway.
I do have so much to be thankful for!
And I hope you all are celebrating safely
Wherever you are!




Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Stitching Updates....



Small Progress....

It Could be argued, Dear Readers, that All progress on Minis is Small progress! And so I will leave you to be the Judge of whether the progress I have made is truly "small" or not! I am mostly working on the carpet in my evenings during the week, so it never feels like I am getting much done at all. And I would love to be able to devote myself entirely to the "seasonal" project... the Christmas Tree Skirt...  but it really is too challenging to stitch it by artificial light. I would be making too many mistakes in my counting of stitches and that is no fun! Here you can see the picture of the design on the kit label...

Just so you can see what the finished results are supposed to look like.
But I have to confess, I have already made some changes in the design!

I spent much of last weekend stitching on this
 and did make some good progress. 
It really is quite little and I wasn't able to get better pictures.
But perhaps you can see that I decided
 that there needed to be some "Reindeer"
 cavorting in the snowdrifts of this Village.
Well, the ones I made so far don't look like they are cavorting...
but we shall see what I manage to do with the next ones!
And that is all I have to show you, Dear Readers!
It might be Small progress, 
But I comfort myself with the thought that
 Any progress is Progress!


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

More Stitching......



More Patience....

I Hope you will understand, Dear Readers, that these Dark Times require great Patience. The recent elections here in the USA, like so many things this year, have been extraordinary in so many ways it is impossible to keep track of the "never-befores" as they pile up. I voted for Kamala Harris and Joe Biden, and I am so relieved that they are on the Path to Victory! And yet, there are two months before the current administration will be "out of office". We must continue to have Patience, and Faith in the integrity of our voting system! And so it is hard to feel Jubilant, even though it is a Great milestone to have a Woman as Vice President elect! We still have a long Dark Season to get through. The virus is not getting "under control", people are tired. Nothing is "normal". And now we add Dark and Winter to the mix... we need Patience and Faith. And lots of Stitching to soothe the nerves! Above you can see I have made some progress on the carpet I started. But I have also started another stitching project that has a Seasonal theme...

I bet that most of you will not be able to guess what this is!
(Even though there is a clue visible through the gauze...)
So I will tell you!
It is another Janet Granger kit...
 to make a Christmas Tree Skirt with the starry Village theme
 that matches one of the stockings I have already stitched.

It is stitched on 32 count silk gauze... 
which makes it more detailed than the carpets 
which are on 22 count canvas.
Here you can see more of the details.
This has been surprisingly difficult to stitch!
 For starters, it is round...
 so the houses are all at an angle from the perpendicular!

The directions have you use masking tape
 to affix the gauze to the cardboard frame...
 but the masking tape doesn't hold well enough 
so I have added thread binding to keep the gauze taut.
The size of the tree skirt will be almost five inches in diameter, 
so the frame is wider than six inches,
 which makes it hard to reach the center with your hands
 as you try to place the needle for stitching.
And the finer count requires good light and a magnifier.... 
so I am not really able to stitch on it at night when it is so dark.
And it is Dark morning and evening now.
Hence the other project!

I did a Lot of stitching on the Christmas Village Tree Skirt
 during the sunny days last weekend.

And only a little more on the carpet 
in the Dark evenings this week.
I have a long way to go.
Patience and Perseverance...
and Faith will get us there.
I have Hope!

Tuesday, November 3, 2020




Soothing .....

Some of you, Dear Readers, May have noticed that I did finish stitching the Medieval Ladies Tapestry a few weeks ago in time to be able to include it in the All Hallows Eve story, if only in the background. I was wondering where in all my Projects I would be able to place it when it was finished, not having figured that out prior to stitching it. As I was stitching one sunny Sunday morning, I glanced up at Rose Thorne Cottage which sits across the room, and realized the colors were a perfect match. But would it fit? The rooms are quite small and cramped and already rather full. I could not test it in place until I was finished with the stitching, which did not take me long! The above picture shows the finished piece before the hems are turned under.

And here you can see the hems are turned under 
and the edges stitched all around.
The finished size is approximately 4 inches by 5.5 inches.
To my way of thinking, this "Tapestry"
 is just a fragment of the original much larger piece...
Which would have had more figures 
and been larger, to cover a wall at least!

But here, in Rose Thorne Cottage it fits Perfectly!
It is as if it were designed for this space!
I still have to add the tabs that allow you to hang it from the wall... 
but I think it has found its home!
I apologize for the blurry picture...
 it is very difficult to get enough light in there!
 This house is not "electrified"... being a very Old Cottage.
And because, Dear Readers, I really am addicted
 to the soothing practice of stitching petit-point kits... 
(Especially helpful these days...)
I could not wait to get started on another project!
But I made myself wait 
until after the Halloween Story frenzy was over....
to start a new project.

And here it is! It is another of Janet Granger's kits... 
the larger version of the carpet I stitched earlier this year.
It should keep me busy for a while....
Soothing my spirit with stitching!

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Time Spins Onward....



Dancing For Evermore....

All Hallows Eve is a Tricky time to be wandering abroad, Dear Readers, and not just because of the Treats to be had at many a doorstep. It is Tricky because the Spirits are nearer at hand than at other Times... and they can be both helpful and not...! It is best to be prepared Early, and that was the case at The Lovely Old Dollhouse on this chilly Autumn Evening. They were not expecting to see very many "guests" because of the Pandemic... but they had set up outside in the yard with the treats and everybody was keeping a "social distance" and wearing their masks! Sally May and Annabelle and Chip were the first to arrive. It was still not dark although the sun had set. Annabelle is too young to stay out late.

Annabelle is feeling a bit shy...
 nobody looks like she remembered them! 
And she is not sure she wants any treats!

"Go ahead, Honey..." says Sally May...
"That's just your Aunt Pollyanna and Grandma!"
"They got dressed up just like we did!"

And before they left they needed to go inside 
for just a minute to see Helen and Charles.
Annabelle is their only Great-grandchild!

Fleur and Daniel and their daughter Juliet arrived shortly after.
They were not planning to stop at many houses...
 only the ones where they knew the families.

"It's so hard to know what is the right thing to do!" said Fleur.

They did stop by The Folly because Juliet wanted to see Gabrielle!
Gabrielle was so excited to have some Trick-or-treaters... 
she was very glad to see them!

Meanwhile, Dear Readers, 
A long Time Ago, but not very far away, 
The Gypsy Rowena had brought Tommy to the Castle
 and told him to find the Wizard.
The Little Dreamer Beth had been just leaving the Castle when they arrived.
She took Tommy to the Wizard's cave.

Tommy had seen the Wizard.... 
but had never been to the cave before.

Tommy thought that he must be Dreaming....
The Wizard was telling him he must go find
 that other boy.... Perry...
who was stuck in another cave...
And bring him back...!

He gave him a lantern and told him
 to stay in the narrow crevice....
 it would wind downward...
until he came to another cave.
He would find the boy there.

It was dark.... and farther than he thought....

Until suddenly a space opened up before him.
He had a brief glimpse of the dragon...

But then he tripped and fell...
and the lantern rolled away from him...

And went out!
It was pitch dark.
He could see nothing.
And he wasn't sure which direction
 he had come in from...
And somewhere over there was a Dragon!
He decided to sit very very still.
He was sure he was Dreaming... 
he would wake up any minute!

But I am sure you are wondering, Dear Readers, 
what was the Little Dreamer Amy going to think
 when Beth did not return home?

She had waited until the sun went down....
surely Beth should be back by now she thought.
Perhaps she should go look for her... 
she was sure Beth had gone to the Castle.

Just then the Fairy Bearey Sir Orion appeared beside her.
"You look like you could use some help..." he said helpfully.
"Especially if you need to go to the Castle" he added.
"We'd better call the ponies!"

In no Time at all the whole herd of ponies came galloping up!
It seemed that Prince had found them too.

Before she knew it they were all galloping 
over the Briar Moors toward the Castle!

Meanwhile, deep in the Wizard's cave, 
the Wizard and The Little Dreamer Beth
 waited for Tommy to return with Perry.
"It is as I feared..." said the Wizard at last... 
"You will have to go after them."
"The crevice is too small for me to pass through...
 but you can fit easily."

"Alas... there is no other lantern.... 
but you can take this Guiding Star... 
it will shed enough light....
 as long as you Believe it will..." he added.
And suddenly there was a glowing star in her hand!
"Go quickly...." he said... "Time is running...."

Beth gathered her Courage and held the Star before her....

She didn't like caves....
And she didn't like the dark...
But she didn't want Perry to die alone in the Dragon's Cave!
It seemed like a long time before she felt the cave open up before her...

She saw Tommy sitting beside a pile of bones.... 
but where was Perry...?
"Perry...?" she whispered....
Her voice hissed and echoed in the dark...

And then she spotted Perry.... lying on the ground....
"Perry..! she said again....

Perry sat up.... 
"Is that you, Beth?" he said.
 "What are you doing here...."
"Are we dead....?" he added.
"The Wizard sent me..." she said. 
"We must hurry and leave before the Dragon wakes up!"

"I'm not asleep...." hissed Slitherwing from his corner....
"But I don't like little children...."
"You better leave now...."
"before I change my mind..." he said slyly...

Beth's light dimmed a little bit....
"We must hurry..." she whispered.
And she turned back the way she came.
Perry and Tommy followed closely.

She led them back through the Wizard's Cave...
 And out onto the cliffs.

Where they found the Fairy Bearey Sir Orion
 and The Little Dreamer Amy... 
and all the ponies had come to bring them home!

Tommy had never been so glad to see Prince!

It only took a Minute for them all to climb onto the ponies....
and then they were headed home!
Sir Orion would make sure Tommy found his way into the right Time!

And lest you think it has gotten Too Late, Dear Readers...
 and that there might be No party at the Castle tonight....
 as they rode away they could hear an eeerie shrieking
 and a high pitched wailing coming from the Castle....
And if you happened to look into The Great Hall.... 
you might have been surprised...

Unpleasantly so....!

Shadows were flitting around overhead...

And you might not be able to make out the Melody or the Lyrics....
but Somebody was Howling.... "AaaWooooo...... aaaaWhoooooo...!"

Could that be our Favorite Band.....
"The Dead of Night Shades".....?
Or did we cross over to the "Blissful Dead".....?
I'll let you be the judge, Dear Readers...
If you can hear them at all....

And if you want to Hang out...
Be my Guest!

It seems there's been a lot of "Rockin'" 
going on around here after all!
As Time Spins on....!
I hope you enjoy the Party!

Happy All Hallows Eve!
(And don't forget that the Time will change tonight!)