Sunday, March 29, 2020

A Different Kind of Quiet

It's day whatever of the lock-down in Nod.  Yes, the indiscriminate reach of this new plague extends even to places as cold and forlorn as Nod.  When asked how I am tolerating the isolation, I respond that it really isn't much different for me than life was before the Plague.  I am accustomed to spending my time alone...and, specifically, at home alone, so that is nothing new.  I am also easily entertained and amused and, heaven knows, I have enough projects (fun and otherwise) to keep me occupied for several natural (and otherwise) lifetimes.
And life in Nod has always been, for the most part, quiet. 

But even this Quarantined Crow must admit that it is a different kind of quiet.

It is too early for the farmers to be in their fields and, apparently, we don't have too many "essential" workers living out this way because there are few, if any, cars that pass.
It is too cold to do outdoor things and that "ugly" adolescent-ness of spring is upon us so that nothing is green, but nothing is really white anymore as what snow remains seems dirty and used.

It is as if life was suddenly "paused."


We do not have children here that need to be schooled and I imagine life is quite different and not so serene in those homes that do....but that happy chaos does not reach here.

So, I carry on doing what I have been carrying on doing for so long now.... 
No - no closets emptied, no drawers organized; no purging, no downsizing, no tossing....No spring cleaning, no rearranging of furniture, no painting. No. Nope. Nada. 

I am, after all, a creature of habit.

I have not had much inclination to decorate for Easter. 


But a few things have found their way upstairs....

{Wax chicks by the talented Misi from 1890 Gable House Goodes}

{Felted carrots I made years and years ago in one of my favorite bunnies}

My plan to get binding wool to finish my Gillford runner...and perhaps a new hooking pattern and wool...was thwarted by the lock-down.   So, I have continued to stitch until I get up the nerve to pick up my Welcome Cat rug again.  This week I bit the bullet and actually made this stitching into the pinkeep it was supposed to be:


The pattern is from Scattered Seed Samplers and was part of the Birds of a Feather Handworkes club.  It is appropriately entitled Set Free. 

I know many are longing to be "set free" and my heart goes out to those who are much more affected by this pandemic than I:  Those whom the illness has touched directly and/or indirectly, those who have lost their jobs or been laid off indefinitely (including my Little Crow), those who are on the front lines in health care or "essential" job functions, those who have been thrown into uncertainty of having their life savings and retirement accounts reduced to a mere fraction of what they were, and those whom this plague has isolated.  I worry for my mum and those others who are in assisted living facilities, nursing homes and the like and are not allowed visitors. Dementia is cruel as we know, and my mother can be told 100x a day why no one from her family visits her, but she cannot remember.  All she must feel is total and utter abandonment.  Our economy, our country, and our world will not be the same.  But I hope that some of the "difference-ness" that results will be of the good sort.

And despite all the hardships, fear and uncertainty that has accompanied this plague, I hope a little piece of each of us can be grateful that we live in a place where, despite a pandemic of epic proportions, we can be safe and warm in our homes, work and attend school from our homes, communicate (albeit not in person) with loved ones, and have food in our pantries and refrigerators.

  Maybe not toilet paper...but, hey....life's never gonna be perfect.

Rajah Roo practicing "social distancing"

Stay well and stay safe.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Dia Duit

Dia Duit to all my Irish friends....
and top o' the day to all you non-Irish folk.

("Basket O' Luck" from Pineberry Lane's Little Shamrocks)

 There's 3-6" of snow headed our way and I am sick so I will have lots of time to catch up on your blogs....provided I can stay awake for more than 15 minutes at a time.

I hope you are well and safe, and that the day has been good to you. 

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Bit and Bobs

Every now and again, the book I choose to read is by a British author. It seems to happen quite frequently actually.  Among my recent favorites are Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel, both by Daphne Du Maurier.  (Once I like a book, I seem to search out other titles by the same author and read until I am satiated, or get over it.) Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel are not recent books (Rebecca was actually first published in 1938), but well worth the read.  

(Both "Rebecca" and "My Cousin Rachel" have been made into movies....several times)

Anyways...where was I going with this?  Oh, yes....  For some reason, the British version for certain words and phrases resurface in my head at the oddest of times. I find some of their words amusing...like "boot" (a car trunk), child-minder (babysitter), people carrier (minivan), lie-down (nap) (as in "I think I will have a lie-down") and perhaps that is why they get "stuck" up there in my head; but why they come to mind when they do has me nonplussed.  It seems there is a magnet in my mind that attracts the most useless of information.

So, the phrase that got stuck and regurgitated today is "bits and bobs"....and that's exactly what you're getting in this post: Bits and bobs about what's new in Nod.

Nothing.

Absolutely NOTHING is new in Nod LOL.

*************
  We have had several days of mild weather (today I think we are to break 50°) (aren't you impressed I figured out how to make the "°" symbol??).  But mild temps or not, we still have a thick layer of snow on the ground...and it snowed just this past Thursday.

While others look to cheery daffodils and the return of fair-weather birds as the harbinger of spring, here in Nod, we need to manually push ourselves into spring mode.  So, to that end, I did a bit of spring cleaning...and even a bit of rearranging.  
Unlike most of my blog acquaintances, I rarely rearrange because, despite WWR, our house is still quite small, and there are rooms, such as the living room, where furniture only can go one way.  And, when I find a place for my non-furniture junk stuff treasures, they often stay put....for a long, long, time.  Oh, I change things out for the holidays...(ok, I used to change things out for the holidays) but, for the most part, when something lands someplace, it puts down roots and that's where it stays.

I, however, forced myself out of my "box" this weekend.  I have an old horse tricycle that Daddy Crow bought for me when we were first married.  It is, however, awkward to display and landed in the basement.  While there, it acquired some not-so-happy associations (another story perhaps another time) and so where it landed, it stayed...to be moved only to another room in the basement as a result of The Great Flood during WWR.

But, I saw it the other day and decided it was time to try to find the joy in it that I felt when Daddy Crow first gave it to me.


It did not work in the space I originally thought it would so, as part of Plan B, I had to move the treasures stuff junk that had "landed" in the space I decided to put it.  And of course that meant finding new "landing" places for those treasures that stuff that junk.

 (Corner between the bathroom and Little Crow's room the guest bedroom)


I am not particularly ecstatic over the end results, but I do like that it opened up a bit more floor space in both spots.  I will live with it a while and see what I want to change .... in another 10 years.  😮
And please don't ask what happened to the treasures stuff junk that was in this corner.

*************

Other than that (and reading too much), I finished the hooking up on my Guillford runner (an Edyth O'Neill design). 


 I haven't located the box I stuffed my whipping wool in don't have any whipping wool, so I will have to wait on the binding of it.  
Please remind me that when I go back to hooking after an unduly long hiatus, NOT to choose a pattern with symmetry involved....particularly when said pattern is not very carefully drawn. Grrrr....

*************

I also finished up a few little diddies that have been hanging around in various states of unfinish for far too long.  This little scissors pouch is a design from Teresa's Prim Treasures.  


I must have been on a scissors kick, because I also finished up this scissors block:


Each side has a different design, but I obviously have a bird thing going. Go figure.


I may make some more of these....If I can find where I stashed the other wood blocks I had made. The design is by La-D-Da.

So, that's a wrap on my bits and bobs for the day.
I hope your week ahead is filled with smiles...and a few shenanigans of course.

Cheerie-Bye!

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Silent Words

Actions speak louder than words, so it is said.
But the Yupik (Eskimos) also believe that thought is equally as important as action.  Just because something is not said out loud doesn't mean its intent is not articulated or received.  In other words, silence is an act and you don't have to talk to say something.

So there you have it.... Just because I have been silent does not mean that I have not thought of you...for I have....and my thoughts have spoken volumes.  

Not buying it, huh?  Ok...well, consider it your anthropology lesson for the day then.

In any event, I am truly still here...although most days I feel like this.

It is winter in Nod, and I hate winter.  'Nuf said.

Late summer this past year, we purchased a (vacation) home on a lake "north of Nod" (yes, there is, indeed, something north of Nod).  We had little time to enjoy it before winter was upon us, but I still go there when I can to hear a different silence.  I need to make the house of it more "me" and so have spent a great deal of time trying to figure out which me that's going to be, since it seems to change on a dime. Those of you who recall "The WWR Chronicles" may remember that I have a devil of a time "visualizing" and that attribute, like so many others, is not improving with age.

Aside from that, I have done a bit of stitching....and a bit of hooking.  (I sincerely hope Lauren, Saundra and Kim were sitting down for that last part.)

I was trying to recall what I have stitched but it occurred to me that, while I have finished STITCHING several (small) pieces, I have neglected the "finishing" part of them.  I did, however, (really) finish this little needle roll:

A BlackBird Designs pattern from their "Ooo La La" booklet

I had to laugh because when reading Marly's post from yesterday, she mentioned a counting error she had made.  As I told her, usually I am a stickler for exact counting...I count several different ways from different reference points so no errors are made.  Except...near the very end of stitching, I realized I had made a 1-stitch error in this one.  I wasted 2 good nights of stitching time looking for it.  When I finally found it, I realized I would have to literally rip out everything other than the last motif since the mistake was in the bird with which I had started and used as my main reference point for the first motif... I knew that much ripping would test even my patience and likely ruin the fabric.  Since I intended to actually use this piece myself and it is, after all, a "primitive" piece, I threw exactitude to the wind and finished up the final motif and moved on to the border.



It was then that I realized the 1-stitch error made in the beginning would affect the border.  But I forged on, compensating for that first error  with another stitch adjustment.  So 1 stitch off, became 2 stitches off.  (You know where this is going, right??)  Then, when I got to the next side, it had to become 3 or it would not work..... And one error compounded into I think 5 or 6 by the time I was done. 

It would not have been so bad, but I had to stitch the piece together so the borders were next to each other.  Holy Hallelujah. 



Well, guess what...it's done.  And done is good.



But, when I look at it, I always feel the need to confess my mistake(s).  Guess it's somewhat like a lie that compounds itself until there are so many the liar has no idea of the truth anymore.

I also finished up this hooked snowflake: 

Pattern by Catherine Stephan, Red Barn Rugs

and this little hooked heart pillow:

Pattern by Catherine Stephan, Red Barn Rugs

I managed to cover my own little button for the flower and, while my backs are nothing like Lauren's, I did manage a little "fru fru":


Well, that's all for the written words and thoughts for now folks.  Remember that your silence speaks....so make sure all your words..and thoughts...are kind ones.

"Kind Words" by Lori Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm


Monday, December 23, 2019

Keeping Up Appearances....

Merry Christmas Eve Eve Everyone....



We have the snow

...and a bit of Christmas greenery 

The Christmas deer (and Snowdog) are in place

Even the "lady" seems dressed in her finest for the upcoming holiday

But inside, one can barely tell

This is as "Christmas" as it is going to get this year.

At least we look normal from the outside.


Saturday, September 7, 2019

North of Nod

North of Nod, there is a place where tall pines whisper.

If you listen closely, you can hear their secrets....secrets from many yesterdays ago, and secrets your heart does not yet know.


It is a place where the stars caress the lake and the moonlight dances with the water.

It is a place of paradoxes.

Time moves slower, then so achingly quick that you cannot account for the minutes, let alone the hours or days, behind you.

It is a place where things end,


...and where they begin.


Here age is worn regally


...and youth lingers longer than the seasons.


It is a place where the tall pines whisper and my soul listens.




Saturday, June 1, 2019

Welcome June (and Other Stuff....)

Happy, Happy, June!

It's finally lilac season here....one of my absolute, all-time, favorite flowering shrubs.


At this rate, we might have hollyhocks and foxglove by October.  No...wait....By then there will be snow on the ground again.  😬

I considered boycotting planting annuals this year, but made the mistake of stopping by a greenhouse.  EEEK.  They are one of my major weaknesses.


Now I have bunches boxes (and boxes) of plants to plant.
That was my plan for today...except it rained buckets last night and all my planting receptacles are once again waterlogged.
So you get a blog post from me instead.
 Lucky, lucky, you. 😆

There isn't much new here, other than it is, indeed, GREEN here instead of white.  I did go on a little shopping excursion a few weeks ago with my friend/neighbor, Cathy (of Red Barn Rugs fame).  One of our stops was at a favorite store of mine, The 13th Colony & Elizabeth's Woolery, as Cathy sells some of her patterns and gorgeous hand-dyed wool there and they were in need of more wool. (Aren't we all??)

Among other things, I picked up this little applique pattern.
I haven't appliqued for a while, so it was fun getting back to it.

 (The mat is backed in the sweet Moda bee fabric in the background.)

Hopefully it will get me back in practice enough to tackle some of the more "ambitious" applique projects I have been hoarding neglecting saving.

I have also picked up my hook again.

And not just any hook, but this fun one by Hudson Valley Rugs.  (Thanks, Lauren, for the enticement....)

And, yes, I have started a project.  As you all know, my hooking mojo has been MIA for a while.  I left off in the middle of several projects...a Christmas stocking, a Valentine heart, and the largest project, "Welcome Cats" (an antique adaptation).  Although I dislike having too many WIP's of any one genre going at a time, I was finding it difficult to pick up any of the hooking projects mentioned.  The Christmas stocking is very close to being finished, but the finishing is a challenge (to me). I somehow "misplaced" the wool for the heart...and the "Welcome Cats" had some bizarre horizontal hooking going on that I found less than amusing.

So, I decided to start a completely new project.  It's the Guilford Runner by Edyth O'Neill.  

(If you're a hooker and wondering about the long tails of wool on the front side, it is simply to thwart two mischievous kitties who otherwise come up under my hooking frame and unhook things.... This way, I simply fold the fabric over when I need to leave it unattended.) 

I'm not very far, but I have never been, and never will be, a speed hooker. And, hey, I'm ok with that. 

On a sad note:  A little bird made her nest in my fern inside our cornzebo.  She must have thought herself quite clever:  It was protected from the major elements as it was undercover, but was near the birdbath, and she could come and go between the wires of the structure. 


 But, the little bird must have forgotten she lived in Nod. The storms last night that brought the rain unfortunately also brought strong winds (no surprise there).  And the fern, with the little bird's nest, went down.


And broke the eggs that were in the little bird's nest.





It breaks my heart to see the little bird flitting and walking around looking for her eggs.  😢

*********

That's it for now.  Stay safe and kind...and be careful of where you build your nests.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Fruit of the Vine and Something Simpler: A "Maynia" of My Own Making

Those of you in the "stitchy" world are probably very familiar with "Stitch Maynia."
I am not going to define it for you because I am not entirely sure there really is a definition.
It was started several years ago, and, at that point in time, those who participated started a new stitch (or other craft/sewing) project every day for the entire month of May.
Crazy in and of itself if you are me....me who gets a bit "phobic" when I have more than 2 or 3 WIP's going at one time.  (Hey....it took me a long, long, time before I "therapied" (my word and I like it) myself enough to allow myself to have 2 or 3 projects of each type of craft in progress at a given time.)

Now I understand "Stitch Maynia" can really be whatever you want it to be....Start or complete projects... Whatever number you choose....1 each day, 19 for "2019," stitching, hooking, punching or a combination, although it appears the cross-stitchers were the originators of the concept and continue to be the most populous of participants.

I don't participate.  Enough said.  



I'm manic enough if you ask Crow Daddy.

(I had a dickens of a time getting representative colors in the photos....It is, after all, once again raining here in Nod.)

manic:  mental illness marked by periods of great excitement or euphoria, delusions, and overactivity

So, ok...after re-reading the definition, I guess he is, in part, correct.  Not so much in the "euphoria" or "overactivity" departments, but I was, indeed, "greatly excited" to finally finish my "Fruit of the Vine" needle roll.  It is the first project in the "Birds of a Feather Handworke" Club series by Tammy Black of Scattered Seeds Samplers.  It was stitched on 32 count "Country French" Golden Needle linen using the called-for DMC flosses, 1 thread over 2 and, GAH! (read on), 1 over 1.  I had to brush up on my Symrna stitch and stem stitch, but, hey, I remembered.  I was also "greatly excited" that I actually completed it prior to getting the second club installment even.  And, ok, truth be told, I was perhaps a bit "euphoric" that it turned out quite decently if I say so myself.


Ok, ok...it's 99% finished.  See that little triangular pinkeep in the floral fabric that is at the end of the needle roll in the photo?  It is supposed to be actually attached to the bottom of the needle roll and 2 ribbons (matching the needle roll ties) attached to either side.  I, however, couldn't quite decide how best to attach it and as I pondered it, I began to consider that, perhaps, I didn't really want it attached.  Time will tell.


As for the "delusions" part of that definition, I have always admired the beautiful pieces that many do using 1 over 1 (i.e., 1 strand of floss over 1 thread of linen for you non-stitchers who are graciously still with me).  BUT, after doing the little "needle number labels" for the needle sizes 1 over 1, I swore (really SWORE in language that would put any sailor to shame) that I had to be nuts to think I could do 1 over 1 on any large-scale project.

After all that "stress" of 1 over 1, counting endless threads between stitches and to the edges to get a perfect 3//4" seam allowance, and recalling almost-forgotten embroidery stitches, I decided to treat myself to something much simpler.


 This quick and easy stitch is by the talented Tina Woltman ("Early America, The 1815 Shoppe").  This is stitched 2 over 2 on 28 count natural linen.  (I really prefer 2 over 2 for the simple fact that it is so much easier, not to mention quicker, to start a thread.)

So there you have it....a "Maynia" all of my very own making.
Now on to those "delusions of overactivity".... ;-) 

(P.S. An interesting tidbit:  Both of the designers mentioned above, Tammy and Tina, are from Wisconsin.  Hmmmm...methinks some of us make better use of those long, long, winters than others of us.)

(P.S.S.  To those wondering about my missing hooking mojo:  I am getting closer...really I am.) 


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Has Anyone Seen My Mojo??

As some of you who know me perhaps better than others know me, know that I used to do a lot of things that I no longer do.
And while it is perhaps good that I no longer do some of the things that I no longer do (let's not go there), other things that I no longer do were "good" things....and I miss them.

Hooking was one of those "good" things that I miss.

( "Spring Chicken #2" Pattern by Ginny Glover ~ "Cabin Fever Rugs"....available online at nolahooks.com...I am including the link as it is difficult to find doing a simple Google search....)


I've theorized about what happened.... The blame first fell on WWR ("When We Remodeled") and the Great Flood that occurred during WWR because virtually everything in the teeny, tiny, house in Nod was packed into boxes and put into storage and, of course, I was more than preoccupied with figuring out where outlets needed to be placed.
But WWR and even the Great Flood are long since behind us (although the outlets still aren't every place they should be.)

(Pattern by Cathy Stephan ~ Red Barn Rugs)

The second theory was that, like with most of my pastimes, I tend to become a bit compulsive obsessive... When I read, I READ.... When I stitch, I STITCH.... When I punch, I PUNCH....to the exclusion of everything and anything else.
But I've managed to work back into reading, stitching, and punching (albeit in somewhat "diet" form)...just not hooking.



I even theorized that my long sabbatical from hooking had paralyzed me into thinking that, perhaps, I had forgotten HOW. 
But that was just silly. (Wasn't it?)

So, I have come to the conclusion that I have simply misplaced my hooking mojo.

(Pattern by M. Shaw)

I have looked left and right, and I have looked low and high....
Wait....that's a Dr. Seuss rhyme.
Anyways, you get the gist.
I have yet to find it however.

So, a day or so ago, I forced myself to go down into the maze of rooms known as the basement of the teeny, tiny, house, and go through some of the boxes that have remained untouched since WWR.


(Pattern by Cathy Stephan ~ Red Barn Rugs)
(Chicks are hooked Waldoboro style)

Specifically, the boxes containing my hooked rugs.
(Trust me, it took some digging, but I found them.)
In some ways it was like looking at something from a whole other lifetime.
Some made me smile....some made me wonder what the heck I was thinking when I hooked it, and others I had forgotten I had even hooked.


("Hare Heist" Pattern by Ewe and Eye)

Bunny tails are hooked Waldoboro style - you can see better in the photo below (Guess I was on a Waldoboro kick):


I brought up the ones that I had typically displayed for spring/Easter, and those are what you see here.



Funny, even though the teeny, tiny, house is much larger since WWR, I really don't have more places or space to display my rugs/mats.  I guess that's partly while they remained in boxes.

In any event, I still haven't found my missing mojo.  
Maybe next week, I will tackle another box.
Then, again, maybe not.
In the meantime, if any of you find my mojo, please return it to me asap.