Friday, October 30, 2020

Trick or Treat - SNOW!!!

What a difference two days can make. . . I had been considering bringing this hibiscus inside on my sunporch. Only a dusting of snow had been forecast . . . oops!!! SNOW!!! Worse,  a killing frost is expected overnight.

My snow bunny was super excited to see the snow; the only weather that she doesn't like is heavy, windblown rain. She loves running around in a snowstorm. If only we greeted the snow with such enthusiasm. (Truthfully, except for the shoveling, I love it, too, but perhaps just not quite this early.)



Candy corn . . . love it or hate it. I'm definitely in the candy corn camp, just the kernels and no chocolate ones please. You may read a short, fun article about the history of candy corn here.

Have a sweet Halloween weekend.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

A Fairly Wordless Wednesday


[Before I begin this post, let me say that I have been having scary problems with Google. I was denied access to my blog; the content was there, but I could not change or add anything, and it took me fully forty-five minutes to recover access to it.  Fingers crossed it will not happen again. ]  

So much for being fairly wordless . . . 

We are expecting colder temperatures and possibly a dusting of snow in a few days, so I thought I would share what will probably be my last, "What's Blooming in My Garden This Week " post for the season. 




The light was exquisite and fleeting when I grabbed this shot of maple leaves with my iPhone early one morning last week.


A Tip for Stitchers: Sue Spargo suggest using a hot ruler when turning over and pressing edges. How many times have I burned my finger tips when trying to do this? Countless times. . . No longer . . . this Hot Ruler by Clover is great. You fold the fabric to the correct measurement on the ruler and press right on the ruler. Awesome!!!

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Finally, at the risk of being too political, may I recommend an article, "A Crusade for Something Noble" by democratic political strategist James Carville. (If you lean conservatively, then you just might want to skip it.) 

One more political note; the White House has audaciously and erroneously listed "ending the Covid-19 pandemic" as one of its accomplishments as across the country cases are spiking to terrifying, record numbers. 

France today announced another national lockdown and cases are continuing to rise across Europe in a second wave.

One week to Election Day . . .  Stay safe. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Autumn Afternoon Ramble - Part Two

Sudbury is only eighteen miles from Lincoln, so after visiting Ponyhenge last Monday afternoon I headed on to Sudbury. This is the Martha Mary Chapel on the grounds of the Longfellow Wayside Inn.  This area is a popular spot for photographers. I would love to come back in the winter to shoot this tree without its leaves as its structure was so interesting.



 

I'm thinking that either of these photos of the grist mill would be a fine subject for a quilted wallhanging. I'll add it to my list of possible things to do.. :-) Be sure to click on any of these images for a larger view. The grist mill would be another scene that I would surely like to photograph after a snowfall.


                                                          
 Covid-19 Update

As of today, October 26,2020, Covid-19 numbers are rising at a terrifying rate around the world.

World . . . 43.4M cases . . . 1.16M deaths

US  . . .   8,690, 000 cases  . . .    225,000 deaths

Massachusetts  . . . 151,000 cases   .. . 9,864

In eight days our national election will determine the direction this country will take for the next four years. The number of people who have already voted either in person or through mail-in ballots is record breaking. Some people have stood in line for six, seven, or eight hours to cast their votes. Regardless of which side you are on, VOTE, your country's future depends on it.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Ponyhenge in Autumn on an Afternoon Ramble

 

Last Monday afternoon, I grabbed my camera and set out for a very special place, Ponyhenge in Lincoln, MA.  I have written about this place in previous posts, but if you are new to my blog, let me explain. In the corner of a very large field, there is a small area where people have left rocking horses of all shapes and sizes. The other day there were forty-nine, once beloved rocking horses frolicking in the autumn sun.




 A few even had enough horse sense to be wearing masks.

In my next post I'll show you images from where I went next on my ramble after Ponyhenge. (Note: I am using the word "ramble" for now; it won't be an "excellent adventure" until the time comes when I am able to have my friends in the car, and we are able to spend the day having fun.) If you would like to see Ponyhenge in person, put "39 Old Post Road, Lincoln” into your GPS.

During these difficult days I am determined to try to keep sane and healthy.  I am as truly frightened as anyone about this pandemic. I have seen groups of my friends, but only outside, masked, and at a very safe distance. I am avoiding stores except for biweekly grocery shopping, and I plan to start doing that online soon. I am not going to other stores; if I can't find what I want online then I don't really need it. On Sunday morning, my parish has a zoom Mass. My family does a zoom meeting each Sunday. Emma and I go for daily walks. I am using this time to improve my skills and learn knew things. Cross stitching has been a blessing and a wonderful diversion as have the lessons in wool applique from Sue Spargo.  I have also enjoyed a number of online classes. Last week it was a 'lecture' by art quilter Rosalie Dace sponsored by The Stitching Post and the other day I watched a presentation by Charles Needle on "Creative Macro Photography: Indoor and Backyard Ideas" from Hunts Photo.  I believe you may purchase access to this photo class and there are many, many more from which to choose on their site. And of course, blogging and reading take up some of my time as well.:-)

I will leave you with this quote from a letter from my church, "Tough times never last, tough people do." Those are definitely words to consider cross stitching . . .

Please, Everyone,  stay tough, healthy, and sane.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

It's Fall, Y'all!!!

 

Emma and I pass this charming couple on our walk each morning. They put a smile on my face.

The color is spotty in my area, but the other day while out doing errands, I spotted glowing color in the Village Cemetery. Of course, I turned the car around and stopped to take a few photos.

 
Here is my latest cross stitch FFO, a scarecrow design by Priscilla of The Real Housewives of Cross Stitch. If interested, you may find this pattern/chart in their Etsy shop of the same name. I mounted it on sticky board and layered it on a piece of homespun fabric. I glued a magnet on the back and attached it to this vintage grater. (I love watching Flosstube videos to get ideas for how to display pieces.) The finishing touch was adding a few floral picks.



I did complete block four of the Sue Spargo "Squash Squad" project. Her color sense is lovely. If you do not do cross stitching or wool applique, you might not image just how l-o-n-g it takes to do even small pieces such as these, but that's okay because I truly enjoy it. I still need to go back and work on blocks two and three along with this week's block.

 I attended another outdoor, socially distant, social gathering to celebrate a friend's birthday this morning. It was not as cold and rainy as it was the last time when we gathered. Though the temperature was warmer, there was a steady mist and brief periods of drizzle. Have no fear, we are a hardy bunch and were prepared for the weather. The soft mist would have been a marvelous facial, but of course, we all wore masks. :-0 

On Monday afternoon, I grabbed my camera and went in search of autumn color. I visited two favorite spots and will show you those images in my next posts.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Not One, Not Two, But Three Halloween Cross Stitch FFOs!!!

 Happy Fall, Y'all!!! If you recall from previous posts, cross stitchers have their own lingo. [WIPs = Works in Progress, FOs = Finished Objects (pieces of completed stitching), and FFOs= Fully Finished Objects (pieces of stitching that have been framed or made into an ornament or pillow, etc . . . ] Well, today, I am sharing THREE Halloween Cross Stitch FFOs!!!!

The first is a Mill Hill cross stitched beaded ornament. Isn't it cute!!! The little tree looks somewhat empty with just one, so I have already ordered two more of these kits for next year. :-)

 Next up is "Holiday Hoopla," a pattern by Brenda Gervais. I used a deep blue/purplish 14 count Aida fabric. I used a pale green floss for her face and hands. Brenda Gervais designs the cutest witches. 

I am not really a Halloween person. You will never see me stitch skeletons, zombies, graveyards, gory or creepy things, only "Happy" Halloween things. I used white etoile floss to make a silvery moon.


 

 And now, Tah Dah!!! Yes, I finished these colorful witches hats. The pattern is called "Halloween Hocus Pocus" by Ursula Michael.  It definitely broke my first rule of cross stitchng. . .  "Only work on small cross stitch pieces," but I love how it turned out. :-) The bluish/purplish fabric was a Moda blendable from my stash. I had pulled it out long before the piece was finished knowing that it would work well with the colors in the piece.

Lots and lots of backstitching . . . 


I added my initials and a 2020 charm in the lower right corner.

 Though my heart isn't really into decorating this year, I did put up a few of my quilted Halloween wall hangings including this one which is my favorite. It is Sue Pritt's "Witchy Ladies." I just love all of her designs. If you would like to see some close ups of this piece, please click HERE.

 Have I mentioned enough times how addictive cross stitching is? Well, I also enjoy wool applique, and I am about two weeks behind on the Sue Spargo - “Squash Squad” project. I've only completed the first block, and block four starts tomorrow! Yikes!!! I'm going to try to play catch up on that project this week. Fingers crossed . . . 

A comment was left on the last post inquiring whether the new library was larger that the one it replaced. Well, yes and no. . . the former library was torn down and the new library was constructed on that footprint, but the way it is designed it definitely seems to me to be much bigger. Many sections of the library are closed due to Covid-19, but eventually, patrons will have access on the top floor to a local history center, a digital media lab, a quiet reading room, teen rooms, a digital media production conference room. On the first floor there is a small meeting room (seating 54), a conference room (seating 12), and a large multipurpose room which will seat 175 for community events. There will also be a cafe and a bookstore. As I mentioned the last time, the children's room is very large and inviting. One of the most amazing aspects of the construction was that due to covid, work on the building was halted for a period; in spite of that, the library opened pretty much on schedule. I had attended a few of the library construction meetings and came way impressed by the architectural firm,  the construction firm, and the project manager.

One last thing . . . Have you seen the new music video "Show Them the Way" by Stevie Nicks? The Fleetwood Mac frontwoman said that this piece started out as a poem, but it became a prayer for our country. It brought me to tears when I watched it this morning. 

Please God, show all of our leaders from both sides of the aisle the way to save our country. Please God, show all of us the way .

Friday, October 9, 2020

Inside the New Tufts Library in Weymouth

 
Happy Fall, Y'all! Today was a perfectly lovely fall day, so this afternoon I walked down to the newly opened Tufts Library. Since I have periodically posted photos marking the building's construction, I thought you might enjoy some photos of the inside. It is truly magnificent . . . bright, modern, and inviting. 

This photo was taken looking down from the second floor at the entrance. These shelves all feature new releases.

 Due to Covid-19, most of the rooms were closed, but I took these photos through the glass. This is a large, quiet study room. There are also smaller work rooms and a room dedicated to the history of Weymouth.

 Upstairs there is a section for teens and one for adults. I was amazed at the number of books on the shelves. I asked a librarian how many more books there were than before. She wasn't sure, but she said there were still more books in storage waiting to be placed on the shelves.

 The children's room is on the first floor, and though I didn't check that section out, I would estimate that it is at least two and a half times as big as the children's room in the old library.
 

 

It is bright, colorful and welcoming.

At this point visits are timed for thirty minutes: time to wander around and take it all in, and, of course, select a book.

Earlier in the week, I met friends on a very cold morning at the Hingham Bathing Beach. On Tuesday, my quilting friends came for a very social, socially distanced get together in my backyard. Left to right: Maribeth, Edith, Liz, and Rosemary. We have been meeting on alternate Wednesday evenings for years . . . that is until the world turned upside down in mid-March. We have gotten together three times lately and hope to be able to squeeze in a few more lunches while the weather is warm. (Emma was there for part of the time to welcome our guests, but she was sent inside because she was causing a racket chasing and barking at the squirrels.  :-)