Thursday, November 19, 2020

When It Rains, It Pours.....

 Ain't that the truth??

But that kind of rain is not what I'm talking about.  I'm actually not even talking about any kind of rain.  I'm talking about salt.  Specifically, "Morton's Salt."
(Yes, I'm bored now that Spooking Season is over.  😞)

Many, many blog seasons ago, I started a series of posts about my collections. 
I forget where exactly I left off, but I know I never finished...because I have many collections.  My philosophy:  If one of something is good, MANY more of them would be better.  But I know I never did "this" collection, because it isn't much of a collection...and it was one of my later-acquired habits.  So here we go:  Collections - Part ????

Anyways...who doesn't know the Morton Salt Girl??? The iconic little girl with the big umbrella holding a package of trailing salt.  But, (here comes your history lesson LOL), she isn't as popular as I thought she would be amongst collectors.

Morton Salt traces its roots back to 1848 (I won't bore you with those details) but "back in the day," people had to deal with salt that clumped together in damp or humid weather.  In 1911, Morton's came up with a genius solution:  Add an anti-caking agent to the salt.... i.e., magnesium carbonate.  (Now most salt has calcium silicate added instead).  The result:  free flowing salt, and the dawn of a new era for cooks and diners alike. The company soon adopted the slogan "When it rains, it pours."

The iconic little girl was not actually added as the company "mascot" until 1914.


There have been seven versions of the Morton Salt Girl since her debut.  The 8-year old (bet you didn't know her age, did ya???) has had curly hair, then straight, then curly again.  She's had pigtails and a bob, and been a blonde as well as a brunette.  Her yellow dress, however, wasn't added until 1941.

No, I don't have all 7 versions, but I do have popcorn salt....does that count???

Oh....and some tenderizer....

Boring I know...but the non-boring stuff in my world these days are things I rather not breathe more life into by putting into words.  And, yes...I am still putting away Halloween.

As for stitching, I want to thank everyone who ventured an opinion on my flower floss.  Whether you're a stitcher or not, each and every input was appreciated and considered.

I felt like Goldilocks and the Three Bears....I kept trying floss, and one would be too dark, one too orange, one too red....but then, I think I found one that was just right (at least I think so).

In the top vine the lightest flower floss (on the right) is the original called-for DMC 436.  To the left of it is one I really liked (DMC 310) but, after studying it a bit, decided it was a bit too "shocking" for the muted, "moody" (thank you Marly...that's the perfect descriptive) colors of the rest of the piece.
So, I ended up with DMC 435 (that's what is on the bottom vine flowers).  Thank you Color Queen for your patience with me in my venture into this unknown and new color-changing world.

As for hooking....There's nothing to discuss.  Sorry Mummy Dearest.

There's so much ugliness in the world right now, I will leave you with this photo of my neglected little plant in my laundry window.  I went to the lake for an extended "unplugging" and came home to these beautiful blooms.

Always remember, there are unexpected and undeserved miracles in this world. I believe in them, but not in coincidences.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

A Marly Dilemma

 I am trying to escape to the lake as I am desperately in need of some unplugging and recharging. BUT, before I leave, I wanted to ask for your help in a kind of Marly-ish dilemma.  
Those who follow Marly (Samplers-and-Santas) know that she just can't follow a cross stitch chart. 
I in no way mean that in a negative sense....In fact, I admire her courage and creativity and her down-right mad talent for changing up the "called-for" linens and flosses of a design.
Me? Not so much.
Actually, me....not at ALL.
I am a slave to whatever the designer calls for and it causes me great angst when I cannot find the called-for linen and/or floss.  (Really and truly.)
I just don't visualize.  When Marly suggests swapping this for that, or "editing" a design, I just screw up my nose and puzzle.
And each and every time (well, at least as far as I can recall),  I am the first to admit that her changes were nothing short of brilliant when I see her final result.

So.....that brings me to Salem Village.
It is a design by Lori Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm which I started years ago.

(Sadly, that's all the clearer the cover photo really is and sadly, the frame is not available.)

When I first saw the design, I decided I had to do it as a tribute to my grandmother (8x removed), Mary Easty, and her sister, my aunt (8x removed), who were hanged as witches in Salem.

And, of course I used the called-for linen and the called-for flosses (all DMC).

I guess I knew from the get-go that I didn't care for the colors palette much...but I, being me, had not the courage to change things up and by the time I realized I did not really care for them at all, I had stitched too much to redo. 
So, it was put aside.

In my (rather long) hiatus from hooking The Beast, I pulled it out again....
Stitching (or hooking/punching/whatever) "in season" (as Edgar would say) appeals to me....and this being a bit "witchy" was somewhat seasonal....especially given that my grandmother was hanged on September 22nd.

And, gee....I like the color scheme even less.  (Sorry Lori!)
But, I will finish it....after all, I only have one more house to go....(please don't look for "ditches" Marly!!)  
However, as I started the bottom "vine" border, it occurred to me that, mayhaps, I could change the color of the "bud" and that might make things more appealing to me. 

(It isn't as "wonky" as it appears here...that's because it is on my frame...really LOL.)

Mind you, it won't be a cakewalk taking the 7 I have already completed given how I wind and bury my beginnings and tails) and I don't possess a Lift-n-Snip type scissors, but it is do-able.  The called for floss is DMC 436 ("Tan")....but it is a real peachy type tan (which I have a phobia of as that was the color of the gross Formica counter in our bathroom prior to WWR).  I suppose it works well with the other strange colors like DMC 734 ("Light Olive Green"), but would a darker, more rust-like color work better to "anchor" things??? Or would that be lost amongst the browns of the stems and vine??

What say ye???  And if ye be a stitcher and think a substitution is advisable, have ye any suggestions????  I have a sizable stash of DMC, WDW and the possibilities could be endless.

I hope you're keeping your sanity out there....Just when we didn't think things could get any nutty crazier, eh??

Monday, November 2, 2020

All Souls' Day

Farewell October!

Happy Belated Hallows' Eve to you all...and wishing you an eventful All Souls' Day as well.
My apologies for not getting back on with a proper Halloween post, but it was a busier-than-I-thought-it-would-be day. (Ever have one of those days where it seems none of your spells are working?? 😉)

And, well....I also missed All Saints' Day, so here we are at All Souls' Day.

{This was taken a few weeks ago...our leaves are long, long, gone....}

All Souls' Day seems to be an all but forgotten holiday, but I have always found it fascinating....  For modern Christians, it is usually a day of prayer and remembrance for the souls of those who have passed on. For Catholics, if is primarily a day where they pray for the souls of the departed who linger in purgatory so they may be released and go to heaven.

{One of the few gravestones I got up before the ground froze too hard.}

Traditionally and by many still, it is believed that on this day the border between the spirit world and real world dissolves. During this brief period, the souls of the dead awaken and return to the living world to rejoin their living relatives for a short reunion.

In some cultures (e.g., Mexico), the living family members treat the deceased as honored guests in their celebrations and leave the deceased's favorite foods and other offerings at their gravesite, or in "ofrendas" built in their homes. It is a time of celebration, drinking, and dancing.  You likely know it by "El Día de los Muertos" or "Day of the Dead."

{This is a real one and stays out year round....}

In European and Spanish cultures, the holiday is a 3-day affair, beginning on Halloween when, at midnight, the gates of heaven open. November 1st is "El Día de los Inocentes" (literally, "Day of the Innocents" or, as we know it, All Saints' Day. This is when the spirits of children can rejoin their families for a 24-hour period.

{Another real one that stays out all year....}

The spirits of adults can then rejoin their families for a 24-hour period on November 2nd, "All Souls Day."

{In case you're wondering, she's typing "The Raven."}

Visiting hours are almost over, so I best be moving on.
Hold your loved ones close because we never know when those in-person visits might end.



Sunday, October 25, 2020

I Be Like Waiting....

I be like waiting.....

.....waiting for All Hallows' Eve....
....waiting to turn back the clocks (I always feel like I get an extra hour of sleep...but wait, I no longer sleep, so what do I care??)
...waiting for the moon to be full (a Hunter's Moon and a "blue" moon to boot since we already had one full moon this month)....

....waiting for the election to be over....

....and waiting for 2020 to be over.  (Something tells me I am going to regret that last one though...because as bad as it is, we know it CAN get worse....)

I am not quite done decorating yet but, at this "point," it's a bit "pointless" I will likely call it done....Unless the snow goes away so I can finish up outside.
For some reason, I feel like I have to have at least some decorations outside for the trick-or-treaters that don't come....

So, here's yet more Halloween:


{Dolls by Kimberly Bouffard....They didn't always reside here, but one naughty kitty has a penchant for chewing on wee clay legs and feet.....)



{Yes, I know "maker's" is not grammatically correct...but the person I paid to make the sign obviously didn't....}




{Punchneedle mat on the wee-est little picnic basket I have ever seen....which was a gift from my "good twin" Lauren of Rugs and Pugs....Thank you again "Sissie" 😉}


{"All Nite Long" is actually a complete sheet music piece I had framed...}


{Vintage noisemakers...I usually display them in a divided tote, just like my twin, but thought I would change things up a bit this year.  Not sure I like it as well...and my tambourines don't stand a chance of fitting....}


{More dolls by Kimberly Bouffard (shhhh...kitty hasn't found these yet....) and cross stitched pinkeeps and pillow tucks.}

{What? Doesn't everyone have orange witches and Jack-o-lantern snowmen in their laundry room???}

There are many, many, more things I could photograph, but I don't want to make you tire of Halloween here.

I promise that this blog will be back to its "regular programming" soon.

Have a great new week ahead!

PS....Look what I found!  Hobgoblin grapes! I know some of you have had these for a several years already, but this is a first here in these parts!
Wow...they are everything everyone said they are!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

More Halloween....

Real original title, eh?
Well, I'm not feeling real "original" today.
What I wouldn't give to sleep like a normal person. sleep at ALL.

 But I digress.
I want to thank everyone for their gracious and kind comments on my previous post....and since there seemed no objection to seeing more Halloween, that's what you're getting.

{This actually IS new this crow one was getting a bit faded....}

There's really no rhyme or reason to how I'm decorating at this point.
As I said, I usually start with my papier mache jacks and apothecary cabinet, then it's what strikes my fancy...or, more likely, which tote I happen to grab.

{Ghoul Gal by Lisa Evans ~ Folk For All Seasons}

I have a bit of a rodent problem.  I just wish someone would tell my cat that they are already dead. Every time I look he has taken them.

{This is my little hearth witch}

It is very difficult to photograph in our house because of how it is configured.
There is a spiral staircase that goes between the living room and the hallway, and there are railings along the hallways, so it seems something is always "in the way" when it comes to photos but, hopefully, you get the idea.

{Sculpted witch on old wooden ironing Lisa Evans of Folk For All Seasons}

{This is at the top of the circular stairway.  Thanks to Lori Rippey of HomeSpunPrims for lending me the pattern.  It was by a pattern by Cheri Payne, a wonderfully talented artist who left us too young and I could find the pattern nowhere.}

{Boxes covered in vintage Halloween fabric}

{Kitchen...The pieces on either side of the refrigerator are again by Lisa Evans of Folk For All Seasons. Hmmmm...I sense a theme here LOL}

{Mohair Bear by Lori Ann Corelis of The Spotted Hare}

{"Scaredy Cat"....Freebie pattern by Lisa Bowles....and hooked by the ever-talented and gifted Lauren from Rugs and Pugs .  I loved it...and her finish on much that I cajoled, begged and pleaded for her to sell it.}

And speaking of hooking, look what I found!  My black jack mat with the braided edge!  Somehow it didn't end up with all my other rugs and mats that were packed away during WWR ("When We Remodeled") and it's been MIA for the better part of 5 years.  And, no, I'm not going to tell you where I found it.

Now, if I could only find my hooking mojo.  But I guess that's ok because I have lots of decorating left to stay tuned for even more Halloween (unless by some miracle I finally fall asleep and sleep until then....)

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Something Lauren Said...and Something Saundra Said....

Ok....I just couldn't resist....and Saundra started it LOL.

In her post on Friday, Saundra mentioned something that Lauren (from Rugs and Pugs) said....and well, that got me thinking about other things Lauren said.

{My Halloween Kitchen Tree}

You can relax Lauren....I won't repeat those things.  😜

Ok...seriously now....  We were talking about Halloween decorations and how I had totes and totes, and if I were to decorate this year, I should get to it. 
Lauren said I should post photos when I did and I said that I don't change things up much from year to year.... I have decorations that I love and they usually go in the same place every year and I was pretty sure people had pretty much seen everything I have already.
Lauren replied that I should do it anyway because if most people were like her, they likely wouldn't remember.

Well, I am off to a late start - I usually like to have things done by the first of October so I have at least a whole month to enjoy it while I watch spooky shows and read scary books.  (Or is watch scary shows and read spooky books???)  But I have made a start and thought, in honor of Lauren, I would share some of what has gone up so far.
(And if you aren't like Lauren...and me...and do remember seeing these before, just skip over this post please LOL...and please don't take offense that we assumed you had forgotten.)  😉

One of the first things to go up is my collection of vintage papier mache jack-o-lantern lanterns.  Yes, they actually put candles in these and lit them....that's why not many survived...and why it is rare to find them with the tissue face inserts in tact.  I do put battery operated tea lights in many/most of them so they light up at night.

Of course there are many repros done now, but I like the old.  (If you are interested in knowing how to tell a repro from the real deal, I did a post about it several years ago....I think.)

{I also have a rare black cat one which went MIA during WWR...and it hasn't been located even yet. Makes me sick.}

Some mini papier mache jacks in a mini pie safe:

Usually the next thing that goes up is my witch's apothecary:


I think the rest of the photos are pretty self-explanatory, so I'll spare you the narrative.

{Fresh bittersweet!!!}

{In my laundry room}



{Also in the laundry room....The embalming fluid crate and the undertaker sign in the picture with the papier mache Jack-o-Lanterns came from the same undertaker's estate.  The tins to the right are old "Shadowland Candy" tins.... I LOVE them, but they're not easy to find.}






{I have a little strand of rice lights wound in and about the shoes that light up at night.}

That's it for now....a start.  I hope to be able to finish up the inside this week and hope the ground isn't too frozen to do some of what I usually do outside.  If you didn't get too glassy-eyed with all the photos, I will post more if/when I get it up.

AND...if you've made it this far (Saundra?) and were wondering what it was Saundra said well what she said was what she said she said to Lauren....which was that she had never hooked and stuffed a pumpkin.

And I was tickled to finally be able to say I have done something she hasn't LOL.

Somewhat pathetic and certainly not even remotely in the same class as Lauren's hooked pumpkins, but in my defense, he was hooked years and years ago LOL.

Kind of anti-climatic, eh?

Stay well and safe my friends.

PS:  In previous posts I have gotten several comments and/or questions to which I have not been able to respond because the person asking the question is a "no reply" blogger.  Obviously, it's your choice to be "no reply," but just thought I'd mention it in case you were wondering why you haven't heard from me.  The names that I am recalling now as "no reply" are:  Winnie, Susan Hemann (although I do have your email Susan), Constance (Mystic Woos Primitives), Heritage Hall, and Nicki.  Also, Catherine ("diamondc") - I am not able to respond to you either, but not because you are no reply.  I get an mail failure message??  My apologies.....