Monday, August 26, 2019

Endless Summer.....

The Beginning Of The End.....

I am Keenly aware, Dear Readers, that the Summer is drawing to a close. The School year is starting, the nights are getting longer and alarmingly chilly, and the deadline for my personal goal of completing the Summer Lilac Shrub is nearly upon us! And what better way to understand this Seasonal Shift, than to be stitching on a Tiny Christmas Stocking? The very essence of cold Winter to come is embodied in the Starry Winter Night! As you can see in the above picture, I have finished stitching the blue sky. I have made one artistic alteration to the original design, in that I have left a little bit of snowy "ground" behind the topmost house and tree, rather than have it terminate at the foundation as in the instructions.

I think my adjustment makes it feel
 a little more three-dimensional,
 and  tiny bit cozier too!
Now all I have left to stitch is the
 endless expanse of cold white snow! 

And as for the Summer Lilac Shrub and the
 Endless application of leaves and leafy stems... 
I did complete another batch of ten leafy stems.... but only barely!
I ran into a problem with the paint.
I have been using one tube of the chosen Chromium Oxide Green
 for all the lilac leaves and have been running low on the paint.
I have been trying not to switch to a new tube
 because I was concerned that the pigment would not match exactly
 and would be noticeable on the shrub.
But the tube is really nearly empty,
 so I finally pulled out the new tube.
 It is not the same brand but is the same "pigment". 
Yes, I can see a difference in the new paint....

The new paint is the green blob at the lower right,
 it overlaps the small patch of the original green paint... 
and I can clearly see a difference.
But I thought I had better give it a try....
I could tell it was not going to work at all!
 It has a much less opaque quality... 
leaving streaks of the paper showing through on the leaves.

Here is a comparison of the regular paint on the leaves.... 
no streaks and a lovely dense coverage.
(Yes, the paint I have been using is of a higher quality....
 I will need to get more!)
But could I squeeze any more out of the tube.... 
just to complete this batch of leaves?

Oh, the Drama....!

I dug into the cap with my brush, 
and into the pinched tube as well....
 gathering enough paint to finish this batch..... 
and maybe even next week's too.......?

Here are this week's at any rate... waiting to be shaped and glued....

And I did manage to attach about fifteen more leafy stems... 
or was it twenty......
You can see the improvement to the shrub.
 But the left hand side still needs a lot more added!
(Hence the Endless part of this summer....!)

And lest we be the only ones who are feeling the Chilly air and the change of the Seasons, you might be happy to see that Daphne and Renee had decided to show Grandpere the quilt they were making, even though it was still so incomplete.

"Grandpere..." said Renee earnestly
 "It is to keep you warm when we go to the Park!"

"Ah...!" replied Grandpere.
He really thought he had never seen anything so Beautiful...
 but could not find the words.
"Madamoiselle O'Malley says we can use it today
 when we go..." added Renee excitedly.
"Can we go now..." she added?

He could deny her nothing.... so off they went.
It was a chilly and overcast morning....

I should have worn a jacket... thought Daphne....
 and found a sweater for Renee!
(She was still getting used to this thinking of the child's needs...!)

But Renee did not notice, she only wanted to play with her friends the birds!

Daphne wheeled Grandpere closer so he could watch...

What was it about those birds that fascinated her so?

Perhaps it was the same fascination as he felt watching her....
She was so young and quick and Alive!

She grabbed the bread and threw it again and again....
The birds did not mind!

She is so young.... thought Grandpere.
And growing so fast...
 soon it would be time for her to go to school....

She is so Beautiful... thought Daphne....
 I could watch her Forever and never get tired!

"School..." said Grandpere suddenly.
No! thought Daphne..... 
She is not ready... 
I am not ready....! 
Although she did not speak aloud...
 it was not hers to decide.
But perhaps there would still be some Time,
 Dear Readers, before that came to pass.
We are, after all, talking about Endless Summer.... 
even though we know that such can never be,
 and is perhaps already Truly
 The beginning of the End!


  1. La bota navideña se ve magnífica!! y tu arbusto de lilas cada vez más completo y exuberante!! La manta ha quedado preciosa y se nota calentita.
    Bonita historia y con sentimientos muy reales.

  2. Isn't it amazing how teeny, tiny details such as where the snowline ends can make such an immense difference? Your artistic change has most certainly added dimension to the wee stocking.
    Great to see the scrub in (almost) all its glory. It looks fabulous.. and lucky Grandpere, such a perfect little rug to keep the chilly autumn air off his weary knees.
    Anna x

  3. Huge difference in paint color! I loved this blog - filling in all that white snow on the little stocking will be a bit like making leaf after leaf after leaf.... And your somewhat melancholy thoughts of winter coming on. Yes, it does every year. So far, anyway. Good to see Daphne back in the picture - a lovely episode.
    Much love - see you soon!

  4. I get so excited when you post stories, especially ones that include photos of the park! It's a magical place that I love to visit again and again!
    The cozy quilt is perfect for keeping Grandpere warm on outings such as this. If you ever get an urge to add to the park, a coffee and treat cart in the background complete with umbrella would be charming to set the scene!
    The lilac shrub is looking so close to being full and complete, yet I know there is still so many leaf stems to add. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the paint tube gives up every last drop and it is the perfect amount to finish!
    I am excited to see the stocking all finished and to see in which magical place in Betsyville it will live!

  5. I must confess that I'm really happy that summer is not endless - we're having another heatwave here and this is really not my weather… especially with so much miniature work to do and you-know-what is coming closer and closer (no, I'm not mentioning the C-word… but the clock is ticking *pant*) But I'm glad that the miracles to admire on your blog seem to be endless - and hooray, a new episode of Daphne's story!!! Yippiiee! *doing-a-slow-happy-dance-due-to-the-heat*

    Ah, it was so lovely to see Daphne, Renee and Grandpere visiting the park again with Grandpa being warm and cozy in his beautiful quilt. No surprise he was touched. And not surprising that Daphne is shocked to hear the word "school"... but now I wonder… hmmmmm… are you going to build a school next? Maybe with seasonal trees and bushes next to the entrance? *teehee* I mean this would be a great way to keep leaf-making a part of your life… *devilish-grin*

    But without anymore bad joking, seeing your lilac shrub in all its actual splendor was breathtaking. Sorry to hear about your problems with the new paint, the difference is indeed visible - so fingers crossed that you'll get a new tube soon and that the old can be squeezed even more. And not to forget - the stocking! You've been stitching once more so diligent and it pays off, also your artistic change. A wonderful design!


  6. The leaves look great and the stocking is incredible!

  7. I always love your park scenes. Grandpa has such a beautiful comforter! Your story telling is always so much fun!

  8. I love the stocking! And I feel your pain with the paint, I've noticed the issue with the same brand and color if the bottles are several years apart in age.

  9. Betsy, the shrub looks FABULOUS! Perhaps the left hand side has been stripped by birds, as happens here in Australia, or has bits dying off??? Perhaps you could cut open the tube to access the last bits of paint. Hope you work it out.

  10. Hi, Betsy - The Christmas stocking is beautiful, and your extra artistic touches have added some lovely depth and detail. I hope that your original "good" green paint for the lilac leaves will last as long as needed or until you find more of the same! Grandpere is right about the beauty of his new quilt - and I'm sure it's as warm and cozy as it is beautiful! I'll be needing my own quilt for warmth soon - the weather in Lincoln is unseasonably cool, which makes me sad - these last days of summer should be more summerlike. Even though I know that I can't have an endless summer, I'd at least like a long one!

  11. I love your Christmas stocking the small change looks wonderful. Grandpa's quilt is beautiful I am sure it keeps him nice and warm. I hope your paint lasts. It was wonderful to see your beautiful park again and to read another little bit of this wonderful story.
    Hugs Maria

  12. Your small Christmas stocking is wonderful.
    The scenes in the park look real.

  13. Betsy, your Christmas stocking is SUPERB, and I agree with your raising the snowline on it as well, what a difference it has made to the pattern- GOOD CALL!
    I love the leaves you've been making and seeing the fullness of the one side as opposed to the other makes me better understand your due diligence.
    I would also say, that in a pinch, try cutting the paint tube open because I'm sure that there's some of it still lurking inside! :)

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