Monday, September 25, 2023

Olde Witche Mary

{ is washed out a's been very dreary here these last several days.}

This pattern has been in my "gotta-stitch" stash for many years now.  I finally pulled it out and stitched it...and even managed to fully finish it.

The design is called "Olde Witche Mary" by Lori Breclin of Notforgotten Farm.  It is stitched on 40 ct "Legacy" by Picture this Plus with Gentle Arts "Raven" floss.

The pattern, of course, brought to mind my grandmother (7x removed) who was hanged as a witch in Salem 331 years and 3 days ago, Mary Eastey (also spelled "Esty" or "Easty").

After I finished stitching it, however, I thought of a variation to the verse that would have been more fitting for her, but it was too late to turn back.

The past 3 days the skies have opened and released all the rain it withheld from us the entire summer. We had over 3" in a day and a half and it is continuing just as heavily today.
Even our parched clay soil cannot absorb it all.

In between the deluges, though, the magic of autumn shines through.

~Happy Autumn~

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Salem Hill and a Gift from Blighty

September greetings...

Somehow the days are whirling past me as quickly, and as without purpose, as the autumn leaves.

It seems as though this entire past year has been out of focus.
Little gets accomplished...I start one thing, get distracted by another, find my way back to where I thought I was only to have forgotten my original intention.

My plan to fully finish some of the things I had finished stitching or hooking before starting new projects went the way of the scattering leaves.
But I did manage one finish: "Salem Hill Sampler" by The Scarlett Letter. 

My talented sister-in-law finished into this beautiful trinket box.

I stitched this last year on 40 count "Salem" linen by Fiberlicious Yummy Fibers, 1 over 2 (some limited 1 over 1) with the called-for overdyed floss and some (unintentional) color changes in the pumpkins.

{It looks a bit wonky in these photos, but that is due to the wonky skills of the photographer - it is actually straight as it should be.}

The only other bright spot in my mostly otherwise dull days was the arrival of a wonderful gift from a dear blog buddy (Jean from Shrimpton and Perfect) from across the great pond in England - a/k/a "Blighty."

It arrived wrapped so charmingly, and with the most beautiful card. I had to pause and savor the fact that it had traveled so many miles.

And nothing could be dearer to my soul than an old book.

"Silas Marner" by George Eliot (the pen name of the Victorian era author, Mary Ann Evans).
This is a treasure to me.  I have just started it and I am already smitten. I feel like I have dropped into a different time, in a country I don't know but which is instantly, uncannily, and eerily familiar to me.
Thank you my friend. You know me well even though we will likely never ever meet.

I do believe that joy finds us when we most need it.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

In Retrograde


It really does explain quite a bit.  If you are not familiar with it, retrograde is the apparent motion of a planet in a direction opposite to that of other bodies in its system.  In other words, it appears that a planet is moving backwards from our view here on earth.

Although retrograde is actually only an optical illusion, many believe the effects when it occurs are not unlike the behavioral changes caused by the changes in the gravitational pull during full moons.  
For example, some claim that, during periods of retrograde, it is easier to become unfocused and irritable, more likely to misunderstand or have conflicts, and even to cause anxiety and depression.  It has also been known to cause glitches in technology and communication.

Useless point of trivia: Between now and the end of September, 7 different planets will be in retrograde at the same time.  😳  In my book, that's like having 7 full moons in a month...but not nearly as enchanting.
Anyways, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.


Since my last post, I have settled back into my hermitage.
Summer has slipped through my fingers like the white sand on a beach.
I heard on the weather today that today will be 2 minutes and 56 seconds shorter than yesterday, and tomorrow will be 2 minutes and 57 seconds shorter than today.  So, in two days, we will have essentially lost 6 minutes of daylight.

Rather than blather on about more useless info, I will share photos of what is left of summer here in Nod. 

{Morning Glories}

{Four of my five varieties of Hibiscus are blooming...still waiting on the reds as they are always the last.}

And while Summer revels in her last hurrah, Autumn is quietly slipping in.

The bittersweet berries are turning:

Critters are stockpiling and fattening up:

...and the trees are turning and losing their leaves.

 When has the onset of my favorite season become so bittersweet?
Must be the retrograde, eh?

Friday, August 11, 2023

133 E. Jefferson Street

There was a time when I traveled.
I once traveled across Europe for a year with the clothes on my back and an external frame expedition backpack.
I usually didn't know where I would be staying - or if I would be staying - from night to night.  Many nights were spent sleeping on the train to save hostel costs.
(My neck and back are now paying a price for that backpack and those trains.)
I would love to travel again, but circumstances are not permitting.
Becoming a hermit being just one of those circumstances.

Last week, however, I escaped my hermitage for a brief few days and drove to a little village town in the southwest of Wisconsin called Spring Green.
It is most well-known for Frank Lloyd-Wright's "House on the Rock," but I did not go there.
My destination was 133 E. Jefferson Street - the home of Country Sampler.

For those of you non-stitchers/quilters, it is a name that means nothing (and this post will be of absolutely no interest - my apologies), but for some of us, it is a destination unto itself.

I met up with my sister-in-law and 2 of her friends.  
We stayed in the rooms above the shop.  (See the windows in the upper story above the storefront in the photo above? Those are the windows to the main room and sitting area.)

{My bed}

{Window in my room}

{Deck off the back of our rooms}

Having a beautiful shop overflowing with quilt fabrics, linens, floss, patterns, and other beautiful decor items directly below your sleeping quarters for 3 days is a dangerous thing...not to mention financially reckless.

I thought I had taken more photos but, apparently, I was distracted every time I stepped inside.

{Pssst...see my angel?? I have had mine for years and was tickled to see her twin so beautifully displayed.}

It was, however, inspiring to see the models for some amazing designs perfectly finished/framed.  These are just a few:

{This almost came home with me...then I had a reality check regarding all the 1x1.}

{This - and some linen and floss for it -did come home with me...hoping for a post-Spooking-Season start.}

These (and a few other) things followed me home:

One night that we were there, two of the "keepers of the shop" who create much of the magic downstairs joined us for a night of stitching. It was so good to finally put faces to names.

....and while I was gone, Sister Moon shyly blossomed.

Oh...and did I stitch? Ummm, well, yeah? A little??

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Of Crows, Moons, and Large Alien Eyeballs

Some would think the days pass slowly in Nod - especially for a hermit.
The winter days, yes, they are interminable...but the days of summer pass mercurially fast.

Many are spent counting crows.

One for sorrow, two for mirth;
Three for a wedding, four for death....

And the nights are spent with Sister Moon.
Every month for a lifetime, I have watched her blossom from a meek sliver into a round, ripe, melon in the sky.
But, lately, I have paid more attention to what a changeling she really is.

July 22nd:

July 24th:

July 26th:

July 27th:

July 29th:

One week... It slipped by so quickly...or perhaps that's what time does when one grows older.

For nights when the moon is shy and keeps to the clouds, I have a likeness of her in  my garden.

In her comment on my previous post, Marly of Samplers-and-Santas asked what the "large alien eyeball" was outside my dungeon window.

I explained that it is a gazing ball...atop of a concrete cat lying on its back, slowly being overtaken by rogue sedum, and promised her a photo.

The dungeon is in the basement and, therefore, the view from the dungeon window is at ground level.

But, yes, I do, indeed, see an alien eyeball.  🤣

Another day, and the moon will be full and a new month will be begin.
And so goes the rhythm of nature and time.

Goodbye July.