Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas to You

Time again slipped through my hands and here it is Christmas night.
I had such good intentions but, as Augusten Burroughs said, "I, myself, am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions."

So, in lieu of the posts I intended to do this month, you get this one.
Just a few random photos around the house this holiday season.

{The entry way cupboard}

{A close-up of one of the old Kentucky Bourbon pulp papier mache snowmen snowpeeps that hang out on the entryway cupboard above}

{"Jailhouse" cabinet in the dining room}

{My (humble compared to Lauren's) collection of saltglaze Santas - sorry for the poor photo; it is very difficult to photograph them where they are displayed}

{The saltglaze Santas hang out on the butter churn behind my kitchen sink}


My wish for you this Christmas is for peace - peace within your heart and within your soul as that is where I firmly believe all peace truly must first begin.

I hope your Christmas was filled with unending joy that will last not just a day but a season.

Merry, Merry, Christmas my friends.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Christmas Molds

I know I have shared (much of) my Christmas before...
and I have showed (many of) my molds before...
But, I don't think I've done (just) Christmas molds before.
So, why not?
(Blame it on the Reese's peanut butter cups left over from Halloween I was eating..)

I promise the post will be short and sweet (sorry) as for all the chocolate molds I have, I don't have particularly many Christmas ones.  I started collecting chocolate molds long before they were a "thing" and, therefore, still (somewhat) affordable, but, even then, the holiday - and especially Christmas - molds were very spendy.
(In fact, I have so few I am "supplementing" this post with some non-chocolate molds....)


This first mold is a Santa and sleigh "gang" mold by Eppelsheimer. They are called "gang" molds because they are capable of molding several of the same design simultaneously and are connected together like a chain gang.  (Ok, I made that last part up, but it makes sense, no?) 
Eppelsheimer was the largest manufacturer of chocolate (and ice cream) molds in the United States from 1880 - 1947.

You can see the details of the individual bars in this close up:

Another, newer, unmarked, Santa gang mold.

Below are several individual chocolate molds depicting Father Christmas, Santa, Saint Nicholas, etc. - some marked, some not, all old.  The fellow on the far right is Zwarte Piet or "Black Pete" who is Saint Nicholas's companion or helper in the Netherlands.

This mold (hanging above my cook top) is a cake or pudding mold:

This fellow is technically not a mold at all (but don't tell him).  He's actually a nutcracker (literally and virtually).  He was made by the Godinger Silver Co. and is vintage, but not "old."

A Nordic Ware cake mold:

A tree "gang" mold (lower center of the photo in front of the snowfella - sorry, this is an old photo and wasn't taken for the mold.) (I'm not certain but I am thinking it was used for small/individual cakes?)

And lastly, a very old reindeer cookie mold:


It's a mold thing.  What can I say?

Carry on with your merry!

Friday, December 17, 2021

The View From Where I Sit

I started this post the day before yesterday and this was, indeed, my view looking out as I wrote to you.
 We no longer have a Christmas tree inside (long story), but we have usually had a tree put up outside bedecked in simple white lights...and the snows in Nod, well, they do the rest.  
It was not my intention to have the tree outdoors this year either (another similarly long story), but things were inadvertently not canceled and there it is...or was...until the night before last. 
Then came the Winds of Nod....and it is now no longer.

It seems like things have been so transient for me these days....Christmas trees, Christmas joy, minutes, hours, days themselves...motivation, inspiration, organized  thought.

Anyway...While I have no tree (indoor or outdoor at this point), I did manage to bring out some of my beloved decorations and have intended to do some Christmas-y posts for a while. 
But then the plan becomes as mecurial as the Spirit of Christmas Future.

No, I am not shopping; nor baking, not wrapping gifts (if one doesn't shop, there are no gifts to wrap, are there?) nor writing out cards.  And, heaven forbid, I am not cleaning, Lauren.

Yet it seems that I am paralyzed and stymied by indecision (surprises very few I am certain).  I have posted most all of my holiday decor previously over the years (and little of it changes) and while I realize there are new followers who may have not seen it before and long-time followers who don't recall each and every thing I have posted (and, if they do, they are gracious enough not to admit it or complain of its repetition), I had thought I might present it in a bit different format.  
But then the whirlwinds started - and I am not referring to the ones outside.  (Who heard of tornado watches/warnings in Nod in the middle of December??)
Should I do posts dedicated to Santas? Snowmen? Sleighs and sleds? Sleigh bells and jingle bells? Vintage Christmas?
Well, as I said: indecision set in.

So, here I am: staring at a darkness that used to be a beautifully lit tree and wonder what happened. (Not to the tree...I KNOW what happened to that.)  At the risk of letting the last week before Christmas slip through my hands, I am going to post something.  I will start with a (hopefully) brief catchup and perhaps be back tomorrow (ha!) with something more Christmas-y. you can see from the tree that is no more, we had more snow.  About 10-11" (it drifted horribly so difficult to be precise) fell last Friday into Saturday (on top of what was already on the ground).

{Under that snow are my back steps and watering cans on the steps}

Then the snows stopped and a few days later the skies turned pink (REALLY) pink - and the temperatures turned mild (REALLY mild).

Yeah, and that's when the winds raged.  
Let me tell you, one day of almost 50° mid-December really wasn't worth it.
Half the shingles on the garage were ripped off, my heavy washtub filled with frozen dirt tossed across the patio, trees snapped, metal garden stakes bent at a 45° angle, etc.
And I am thinking that pretty lit Christmas tree may just be in Vermont about now.
'Nuff said about that.

While indecision and overthinking takes up a great deal of time, I have made some progress on my (not-so-simple-for-me) Simple Santa rug.  Will it be finished before Christmas?
Ummm, no.

{"Simple Santa" design by Therese Shick}

And, for those following along on my "reads," this is what I am currently enjoying:

I posted about this author (Sarah Maine)'s debut novel, "The House Between Tides" previously and said I would be reading more of her.  I am enjoying this one very much also, although there are some incongruencies which should have been caught with careful editing (which I find distracting, but I'm picky like that) and a bit of predictability (then again, I haven't finished it yet so I may be surprised).

I hope this finds you all well and getting your merry on.

{PS...I am not sure how many of you can still hear the music on my blog.  I thought it had disappeared but someone mentioned it not too long ago. Maybe I should try to remember how to change it to Christmas?? Or maybe not.}


Sunday, December 5, 2021

Back to Back Forty

 Exactly one year ago today, I posted about a magical place just over the (very large) hill and through the woods (literally) from me: Back Forty

{If you are interested in the original post, you can find that post here.}

Although Mark and Mel have their sales several times each year, it seems (to me at least) that their Christmas sales are the most beguiling.  (And coming from me - whose first love is fall/Halloween - that is saying a lot.)

This year was no exception.... If anything, it was even more amazing than last year's.  
So, in search of my once again misplaced Christmas spirit, I chose a time that I had hoped would be less "people-y" and made the 3-minute trek over (I am in serious danger of becoming a hermit.)
Since I explained the "gist" of the shop in the original post, I will not repeat it here.  You know where to find it (👆).  
I will leave you instead with a few photos (hurriedly taken as there apparently is no longer a time when there are no people).
News of good  things, indeed, travels quickly.

{You don't know how close this table was to coming home with me...for the lake...}

Peace and out....

Monday, November 22, 2021

Salem and Santa

I'm back....
Hard-drive has been replaced (again), power supply has been replaced (again), and my fingers are crossed (again).

I actually have very little to say, but before I roll it up, I thought I'd share a long-suffering (and I do mean suffering) stitching project that I finally finished up.

I started this at the end of December, last year, and worked on it sporadically.  You may (or may not) recall that this is the one that gave my OCD fits with all the inconsistencies in the chart (spacing, alignment, inaccurate listing of names, the seemingly endless ways the same letter was charted, etc., etc.) 
And then I ran out of Carriage Black floss.
Apparently I was not the only one as it was literally months before I managed to get some more.

But, the stitching is finally done.
The design is cleverly entitled "Witches of Salem" and is by The Primitive Hare. 

{Stitched 1 over 2 on 40ct "Old Massachusetts" linen}

The photo is not the clearest, but the names of Mary Eastey and Rebecca Nurse are done in a darker floss than the other names to reflect my family connection.


And now I have moved on....
It was a difficult decision to put down my needle and take up my hook, but they tell me change is good.

As you can tell by the creases in the linen, this has been packed away for a while.  It is a design by Therese Shick called "Simple Santa."
(What's with these clever names??? 😶)

Compared to other hookers, my works-in-progress always look messy for one simple reason: they are.
It's just the way I do things... I never know when I will need to make some adjustments so I leave messy tails until they drive me nuts.
Santa's coat, in particular, is going to need some serious tweaking in this case.


I have also eased out of the historical fiction genre in books for a wee bit. While I tend to like reading "in season," there isn't much out there I care to read Christmas-wise...and I certainly am not inclined to read about winter, so anything's really game. 

This was a quick book fix from Menard's of all places and I am not far enough along to give a credible review but, so far, it is keeping my attention more than well and the writing is good.  It is a psychological thriller ala Alfred Hitchcock me thinks. (Sorry if this sounds ignorant as I know there is a sticker indicating it is a Netflix film...but I don't have Netflix here in Nod and live under a rock for the most part.  If you've seen it, please don't tell me how it ends.)


I cannot hit publish without acknowledging the horrendous tragedy that happened in Waukesha.  I had plans to go there this past week, but had to cancel.
My heart breaks for those injured, the families of those who lost loved ones or whose family members are injured, for all those who witnessed this senseless carnage and the entire community who will never again be able to experience a holiday parade without sorrow.


Friday, November 12, 2021

Turkeys, Technology, and Tides

{David T. Smith redware turkey}

 I am here, but once again having technology issues.  This time the hard-drive on my pc expired....or, more accurately, I believe the hard-drive on my pc has "expired."
And since I have issues posting from my Ipad, especially with respect to uploading photos, I've been quiet.  But I'm here.

In enjoyable news, this book has been a great escape to a different place and a different time.  It's a debut novel by this UK author, but it's making me think it won't be the last of her works that I read.
 Downside:  Now I want to go to The Hebrides. 
{"The House Between Tides" by Sarah Maine.}

Hope all is well by you.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

All Hallow's Eve Tidings!

{"Oct 31" by Blackbird Designs.  Drum finish by my sweet and talented SIL, Debbie. I'm not sure why the photo makes it look washed out; it really isn't in person.}

May your night be filled with many happy haunts and magic of the very best kind.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Losing October

Happy FriYay everyone!

I promised I would try to work a few more posts into this enchanted month but, like everything else, October is slipping by me. This, therefore, will be brief.

Our weather has turned.  Last night we had a hard frost which was the end to the remaining outdoor vegetation, and today has been moody and dark...kind of like me.

{Cement Ghosts...remind me of all the mothers who tell their children that their faces will stay that way if they make an unseemly face.}

The photo below was taken a few days ago.  This beautiful tree is now almost bare.

{The lady in black carries a lantern with a candle that lights at night.  Unfortunately, in this photo it is hidden behind the rock.}

No spooking season is complete without some lights:
(Yes, yes, you grammar Nazis (you know who you are) - I KNOW the apostrophe should not be there...but I did not make this sign.)

Fingers crossed that this video works...I've had issues getting them to work here:

If it doesn't work for you, this is a still shot...but it is sooo much better if you can see the light dance.
{"Girls' Night Out" from 1890 Gable House Goodes}

And since it was so gloomy, it was a perfect day for baking something pumpkin.
These are streusel-topped pumpkin muffies.  (In case you aren't familiar with the term, "muffies" are muffins that are baked in special tins so you end up with something that is like just the top of a muffin - the best part as everyone knows.) 
{Not the best of photos....they aren't flat like a cookie, but they are definitely not as thick/high as a regular muffin.}

That's it... Short and sweet.  (In case you missed it, the "sweet" part of this post was the muffies LOL.)  I am off to get a fire going and cross a few stitches.
And when my eyes start to cross from crossing stitches, I will spend too much some time lost in Pendle Forest. 

I'll be back!....Maybe...

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Things Forgotten and Found (and Other Stuff)

I had thought of titling this post "The Things You Find," but since Lauren just did a post by that title, I thought the plagiarism would be a bit too obvious. So you get this instead.

First, some of the "other stuff":
I thought I had posted these in previous posts, but I am not finding any mention of them...not even in the post dedicated to vintage Halloween.  Strange...but, in any event, this is my (very small) collection of vintage black Steiff cats.  (There are more than 3 so, yes, I can properly call it a "collection.")  I haven't met many vintage Steiff animals I don't covet, but the black
I wish I had a whole herd of them

Many think they all look alike, but not to me.
And, yes, I have them named.  
Some other "other stuff":
I finished hooking "Jack's Crow" (design by Terri Leamer of Winter Cottage Studio).

I mentioned in my last post that Lauren (Rugs and Pugs) thinks hooked loops should look like little soldiers standing side by each...and her army is one of the finest in the hooking world.
Mine, not so much.... Not only are they all different heights (like REAL soldiers Lauren!), mine, sadly, look like they went on a bender the night before.
But, it is what it is.  
Now to whether to finish it with the simple fold forward method Terri used in the original design, a whipped edge, or a wool binding.

As for the "things forgotten and found," please don't judge me...
There are several boxes still unpacked from WWR ("When We Remodeled"). The other day I was looking for something and opened one marked "law books."  Inside there were, indeed, law books...but also a mittful of things I had stitched and/or punched, and other pictures.  (In my defense, I did NOT pack, nor label, that box.)
The scary part? I had not "missed" these things (that I recall) - I apparently just "forgot" about them.

The contents were representative of all the seasons/holidays...and then some, but I will share with you only a couple of the Halloween pieces.  I truly apologize to the designers of the patterns, but I do not recall them and so am not crediting them here. However, if anyone is interested in knowing the particulars, let me know and I will open another box.  I'm sure the patterns are in there somewhere.

The two pieces above are punched (and thinking of it now, am pretty sure they are by Brenda Gervais of "With Thy Needle and Thread").  The piece below is stitched:

Finally, as promised, here a peek at what's keeping me company nights:
{I love this of my favorites.  I've read it before but picked it up again as I was trying to recall a passage that kept creeping around the edges of my memories (yet another "thing forgotten").  Once I opened it, I decided to re-read it. Yup, I like it that much.}

This time around you are getting a two-fer since the above book is one I've already read and I may (or may not) have mentioned in a post somewhere along the way already, and because this book below is just a short "novella."

{This one I did not "love."  It held my interest (after all, it was only a novella and I still have some type of attention span), but....I found it a bit predictable and distractingly sophomoric. However, I do adore the artwork gracing the cover.  It is by Tina Lewonski of 
The Burlap Owl.}

I will try to sneak a couple more posts in yet this month...Until then, be well and good.