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!

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!