Monday, November 22, 2021

Two Thanksgiving Cross Stitch FFOs and a Bit of This and That

I’ve added this Gobble Gobble pillow to this year’s Thanksgiving display. Here, too, are the vintage Gurley candles mentioned in a previous post. I used a scrap of upholstery fabric and a couple of fun buttons on the back.

This afternoon I ‘finally finished’ this second piece. Both cross stitch patterns were by Priscilla Blain of Stitching with the Housewives. This was the bottom section of a larger pattern, Gather. The pumpkin picture frame was from Hobby Lobby.

Speaking of cross stitch, a new needlework store has opened in North Attleboro, MA. Yippee!!! Pam of the always enjoyable flosstube, “Stitching in the Land of Good Enough” and her husband recently opened Stitch New England. Here is Pam in front of a wall of floss. This cross stitch shop is only thirty-five minutes from Weymouth, so my wallet could be in big trouble. :- ()

On a visit on Saturday, I purchased some floss and three patterns featuring Christmas ornaments. While shopping at Lowe’s the other evening, I had bought on impulse a small Christmas tree solely to display my cross stitch ornaments.  Let’s hope I get more then a few completed in time. ;-)

My plan had been to continue to stitch autumn themed pieces for the rest of November, but that plan didn’t last; it’s full on now to Christmas stitching!!!

Could this be the last perfect rose of summer? 

Finally, for Emma fans . . . Cuteness alert!!!  Here she is sporting a new jacket. It is lightweight, perfect for our daily walks. I just couldn’t resist when I spotted it while picking up her food at the pet store.

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Stay safe.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Halloween Finishing Palooza - Part 2

At our last in person meeting of the Herring Run Quilt Guild in March of 2020, we had two lovely ladies wearing lab coats and with stethoscopes draped around their necks talk about how to “doctor” or improve problem quilts. The premise was entertaining and instructive, but what struck me the most was one of the pieces that was shown during their trunk show. One of the ladies had taught a class at a local quilt shop on how to embellish a panel. Wait!!! Had she said embellish??? I was all ears. (My middle initial is E for Elizabeth. When I taught, the E stood for enthusiasm as Lord knows I had to have a ton of enthusiasm to sell some of my lessons to my eighth graders. It won’t surprise you to learn that grammar and punctuation rules which were part of the curriculum were tough lessons to hold the interest of thirteen and fourteen year olds. :-) In recent years, the E has stood for embellishing. ) Anyway, once I saw one of the presenter’s pieces, I could not get home fast enough to try online to track down the panel. I did find one, and when I received it, I immediately starting stitching and making beaded spiders of various sizes around the web border.

Then . . . the world started shutting down and stitching spiders seemed a bit too frivolous. I didn’t pick this piece up again until last month. I started quilting the panel at that point which was easy as there were so many lines to follow. Of course, I outlined stitched each raven and its wings and the pumpkins. . . lots and lots of quilting but so so easy.

Then the fun began. What treasures would ravens collect? Well, the one in the cage would certainly need a key so he or she could come and go at will. Anything shiny or colorful was added. In fact, yesterday while walking Emma, I spotted a red pop top from a can, and that was added last night. There are all kinds of bits and bobs, colorful yarn, charms, and a broken dangling earring. It was great, great fun working on this piece, and hopefully, it may give you some inspiration for having fun with fabric panels. 

I also finished two sweet little cross stitched pillows for my tiered tray. The patterns were from a set from Puntini Puntini.

On the top tier there are a couple more vintage Gurley Halloween candles that had belonged to my aunts. 
These little candles were always displayed on their mantel for Halloween; I also have their Thanksgiving set.

One of the Thanksgiving candles still has the original price sticker of ten cents. Because there were duplicates, I had sold a few of the Halloween candles on eBay a few years back. I think that I sold four and the high bid was $28.00!!! I could have sold the rest, but I kept them for sentimental reasons.

One last thing . . . Lucy, one of my young cousins, recently asked me to be her sponsor at Confirmation. We attended a special Mass together Saturday afternoon followed by a dinner for sponsors and candidates at a local restaurant. The Confirmation ceremony will be in the spring. Of course, I was super honored that she had asked me to be her sponsor, and super doubly honored to learn that if I had declined, she would have tried asking her second choice . . . Beyonce!!! Imagine that! I beat out Beyonce.  ;-()

Keep smiling and keep safe.

Monday, November 1, 2021

Halloween Finishing Palooza - Part 1

With the storm that we had on Tuesday, I didn’t get around to fully finishing this piece until today. Speaking of the nor’easter, we were very lucky here. The wind was fierce, but no limbs or branches landed on any wires or on my roof. Lots of limbs and branches came down, so clean up has kept me busy for a few days.  We are used to nor’easters in the winter, but the fact that the trees were still fully foliated caused major headaches for many. I lost my lights, phone, cable, and internet intermittently for a day or two, but folks further south down to the Cape were without power for several days. 

 This piece is Fright Night by the Fat Quarter Shop. I started it quite a while ago and stitched on it off and on. Let me just say that the house section took forever!!! Though Halloween is over, I’m going to leave it up for a week or so to enjoy it.

Just Cross Stitch magazine puts out a special Halloween issue each year, and these two pieces appealed to my sense of humor. Each took about three or four nights to stitch. 

I stitched two other small Halloween pieces which I will show you in my next post along with a quilted piece.

Here’s Emma waiting patiently to go on our morning walk. 

Have a wonderful week. Stay safe.

                           ——————-             ——————            —-—————-
Covid Update as of October 31, 2021:

Deaths in the world . . . 247 million
Deaths in the United States . . . 746,000
Deaths in Massachusetts . . . 18,996

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Nor’easter on the Way

Get ready! Bombogenesis heading our way!!! A nor’easter with strong winds and heavy rain is coming. We cannot complain though as we have been having gorgeous autumn weather. The foliage has been disappointing, but the temperatures have been amazing.

This photo was taken last Thursday while on a walk with friends at Webb State Memorial Park in North Weymouth. We had brought our chairs, and it was warm enough to enjoy our picnic lunches and to catch up with each other. 

Six of us were able to gather, but we also ran in to two other happy retirees who were enjoying the park. We are hoping that we might sneak in one more walk/ picnic this season so the rest of our  group might be able to join us. We are a big group of happy retirees who all worked in the Weymouth Public Schools. All were exceptional, dedicated educators who are now enjoying the next chapter of their lives. Carol, second from the left, has done a fantastic job through the years of keeping us together. I’m blessed to be part of two wonderful groups of teacher retirees who regularly get together as much as the pandemic has allowed. We all miss out restaurant gatherings, but no one at this point feels comfortable with indoor dining. Fingers crossed things may improve by spring.

I’m happy to report that my quilting mojo is returning. I actually finished quilting a Halloween piece while watching two football games on Sunday afternoon. Both the Patriots and the Buccaneers had victories. I stitched the binding last night, so after adding a few more embellishment it should be ready for a post later this week. I also finished a very time consuming Halloween cross stitch piece that I will FFO later today or tomorrow.

To give you an idea of how long cross stitch takes to do, this little pillow represents three full evenings of stitching. I still have to add the candy and finish filling in the pumpkin. Isn’t this needle minder adorable!

Look who is back. There were six more in the front side yard. Good grief.

Finally, under the category of What’s Up with That??? Look what I spotted on the top shelf in the cereal section. The small strip across the bowls reads, “Made with DUNKIN’ coffee.” Rushed for time in the morning? Then pour yourself a hearty bowl of Caramel Macchiato or Mocha Latte! Goodness gracious!!!

Stay safe. Keep smiling. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Who Ya Gonna Call???

 Isn’t this display fun? It is in front of the Brewster Ambulance Service at the intersection of routes 18 and 53 in Weymouth.

We have been having a glorious stretch of weather. Last Friday, I met friends for breakfast at the Strawberry Faire in Norwell. You could chose to eat inside the restaurant, but there is also a seating area outside. The tables are well spaced and as always the food was delicious. The only downside was the crowded parking space. I parked across the street and waited for kind souls to let me cross the busy road. 

On Tuesday morning, the Crosstown Quilters Guild held a meeting in the parking lot of the Pond Plain Improvement Association hall. Forty-five ladies showed up.

Yesterday, my Wednesday night quilting friends came for lunch in my backyard. They have resumed getting together, but I have not joined them. My doctors have advised me to continue to be very careful, and so I shall, but it was wonderful to see them. Maribeth’s brought this sweet little paper pieced beauty that she had recently completed.

Finally, William Shatner on Wednesday blasted off into space on a Blue Origins flight to boldly go where no ninety year old had ever gone before. I have been a fan of  Star Trek since James T. Kirk, commander of the starship USS Enterprise, took the helm when the series first aired in the 1960s. It seemed entirely fitting that he was given the opportunity to travel to the edge of space. I wonder what Mr. Spock would make of it all?

Live long and prosper.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Two Stories to Make You Smile

 Do you remember how I wrote about some songbirds up in my flute teacher’s trees who sang along all through my lesson the other day? Well, I decided to open the windows on my sunporch to see if the birds in my neighborhood would enjoy listening to me practice. It succeeded beyond my wildest imagination, but my musical talent didn’t attract songbirds, but rather a group of turkeys!!!!!!!!!!

It’s a blurry shot taken through the porch screen, but there were seven contented turkeys listening to my concert. They absolutely were not there when I started practicing. I was facing in a different direction, so I didn’t see them until I turned to pick up my next book. I was laughing so hard I could hardly play. Heh? Do you think this says something about the quality of my playing??? You can be sure that I did play a lively version of “Turkey in the Straw” for my appreciative audience. ;-) I’ll try it again tomorrow and let you know what happens.

Here’s another installment of  Yes, There Are Good People. Earlier today I went to CVS to straighten out a problem with a prescription. There was quite a line of customers at the pick up window, but I was further down at the drop off window. The pick up window wasn’t moving and while I was waiting I saw an older woman talking to the clerk. The older woman seemed upset, but I couldn’t hear what was being said. Suddenly a young man in line spoke up and said not to worry as he would pay for the lady’s prescription. He headed to the clerk and paid for the lady’s prescription as well as his own. The lady was very grateful, but he said with a big grin on his face, “It wasn’t that much. Don’t worry about it. I do some bad things from time to time, so I try to something good once in a while to make up for it.” :-()

Have a great weekend. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Pumpkin Picking Weather


Today’s weather was about as perfect as an autumn day could be. . . a perfect pumpkin picking day. That’s the name of this cross stitch pattern by Priscilla Blain of Stitching with the Housewives. I have a link to Priscilla’s blog in the right column where I list some of the blogs that I enjoy. My intention is to stitch a Halloween ornament to hang on each hook. 

I had been stitching on the September cottage seen in my previous post and this pumpkin piece for the last five or six weeks. I do stitch each night and for me, cross stitching is a slow but satisfying process. 

If only the weather had cooperated yesterday morning when members of the Crosstown Quilters Guild gathered in the parking lot of the Pond Plain Improvement Association for a socially distant, outdoor gathering. It was not a regular meeting, but many ladies showed projects they had worked on since the last time we gathered in March of 2019. There were some beautiful quilts! Unfortunately, about twenty-five minutes in, thunder rumbled and the darkening skies gave way to steady rain. Oh, well, the get together was very short, but it was worth it to see familiar, friendly,  albeit masked faces. :-) Hopefully, the weather will cooperate the next time we gather.

Funny, true story . . . I am still being very, very Covid careful, but I am continuing my weekly flute lessons. Sometimes we have had lessons in my teacher’s two car garage with the doors wide open. The ceilings are high, and you would not believe how amazing the acoustics are; it’s as if we are in a concert hall! The other day was gorgeous, and so we had the lesson on her deck. Here’s the funny part. At least one bird was chirping along happily throughout my entire lesson. . . No kidding!!! He, she, or they didn’t even seem to mind when I missed a note or blew a clinker or had to repeat a section  ;-). My friend and flute teacher Donna says the birds chirp and sing along whenever she plays her flute out on her deck.Who knew that birds like Bach and Mozart? I practice inside my house, but I’m going to start practicing on my sunporch to see if the birds at my neighbor’s feeder enjoy Bach, as well. On that note, I will wrap this up ;-).

Please stay safe.