Homespun Gathering

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Catching Up

Well, look what I found just sitting in the OCTOBER blog folder.  Just shaking my head.

You may know how much I love 18th century living history.  Townsends has a great YouTube channel devoted to this, and every once in a while they put out a specialty mug. The potter makes a very limited number, so when they're gone they're gone.  It's not unheard of to sell out on the website in 24 hours.  I'm feeling incredibly blessed to have this stoneware mug for tea, and I've used it quite a bit already.  

My Christmas gift from my husband is also stoneware, and it arrived safe and sound at his office yesterday.  Sorry, you and I are just going to have to wait, but he did well. :-) 

Our son turned 19 last month.  Bless his heart.  He made it easy on me and asked for chocolate cake with maraschino cherries.

I've been frosting cakes with a protective layer of waxed paper for a few years now--love it.

This may make me a little odd, but these nails make me so happy.  They are from the 1809 portion of my mom's home where she was having some clapboard replaced.  Have you ever seen the work that goes into making these nails?  No wonder people would burn an older building down for the nails.

A hackberry is very distinctive.  Just look for the warts on the bark.  It may be sparse, but it will definitely be there.  This duo came down on two different days.  Taking a tree down takes a little problem solving especially when it's practically hugging it's bestie.

Look a little further down the trunk on the right (chainsaw cut) and you will see where I would have preferred to cut it. 

Nonetheless, this problem child came down and was turned into firewood.  Do you see the crook in the trunk?  Yep, that weight distribution caused it to fell left.

Felled the "next door neighbor" a couple of weeks later before cutting it up into kindling and firewood.  Well, actually a man from Mom's church did the felling portion.  He wanted to try out my mom's battery operated chainsaw.  I think he liked it as much as I do.  It's easy start and no slacker for the smaller trunked trees.  

Mom's 77 and still climbing trees.  I think it's like putting chocolate in front of us.  We'll climb the tree and eat the chocolate.

The day before the work crew arrived I was feeling crafty in the kitchen and made a speculaas stocking covered in ganache.  There was no way I was keeping it in the house so I donated it to the crew at Mom's.  You may notice the stocking shape from the Carriage House Samplings stocking series.

The pigs were long gone by the time I came along, but the barbed wire in the fence I was carefully clearing around was meant to keep the pigs in the field and out of the front yard where my mom lived with her family in the late 50s early 60s.  I did get permission to clear out a few more hackberry saplings.  Here you can see a hackberry weaving its way through the nearly 60 year old fence.  Nuh-uh, not on my watch.  Y'all clearing fence lines really is my happy place.

The old light pole is leaning against one of the walnuts mom is allowing me to take down to fence height.   Hallelujah!  No more walnuts to run over with the lawnmower blade!  On the right of the picture just inside the shade is the other walnut she's allowing me to take down to fence height.  And the cherry on top the the other walnut just outside the photo that she's letting me girdle.  This kills the offending tree in place within 2-3 years.  Best part, dying trees aren't putting out walnuts :-).  Even better walnut is great firewood.

This fence was put up around 1958, and still mostly standing.  This is a creosote fence for you.  They last a really long time.  The most you'll get out of a regular fence is 15-20 years.  

Mom wanted one of her fences (to a working field) put back up a few weeks ago.  The corner post was long gone, but there was a volunteer hackberry practically begging to volunteer.    I priced hinges like the one below and nearly choked at the price tag.  No doubt the $5 was fair, but daggumbit, y'all, They were free in this corner post.  I lost one of my favorite water bottle bottle hooks, but a set of vice grips and a drill later the hackberry is doing a great job holding up that old fence.  We'll cut it down to fence height in the next few months.  Hackberries drop seeds like crazy, so they breed like rabbits.  At least this one is useful for something other than firewood . 

Well, I've cleaned up from the farm.  Are you ready for some stitching?  I thought you might be.

A very sweet and thoughtful stitching friend gifted me Sarah Braizear 1829.  I had been really on the fence. Do I want to follow all the stitchers racing to purchase her?  She's kinda big, and I just finished a "tablecloth sampler"  Well, she did come out on my birthday.  She is the first of many Queens of May that will be put out by Hands Across the Sea Samplers.    

Out of nowhere she arrived, and I committed to stitch her by May 1st of 2019.  Oh, dear, what am I getting myself into.  There are so many purposefully charted mistakes in this faithfully reproduced sampler.  The border is full of them and they sneak out and cry "BOO" when you least expect it.  My plan was to expect it everywhere.

So what's a girl to do?  Focus.  Focus I tell you.  
Focus like the anti-frog depends on it.   

First, I should say I'm a center starter.  Well, I was until Sarah.  Needing to do the border first for accuracy meant I started at the top left.  487 stitches by 482 later the first double line was complete.  The inner double line was NOT charted as the same color.  So glad I caught that early.

Sometimes I'm stitching and my leg feels awfully warm.  Do you see why?  Bless her heart.  

Well, we are never in any doubt how much she loves us.

Do you see the waxed paper marker on the margin of the fabric.  I placed them every 100 stitches to keep me sane, but they weren't as durable as I'd hoped.  I replaced them with a DMC upgrade.  

You may also notice I've counted using my stitches.  Tent stitch for nine and cross the tenth.  I heard this tip on Fiber Talk, and it was a tip that has really served me well.

I was going to have to get a different magnifying system later, but my clip on fell apart earlier than expected.  I'm no a proud owner of Mageyes.

There are something like 64 flowers in this border, and I'm almost 3/4 there.  Happily both double borders are stitched as is the vine.  The double borders are nowhere near finished.  They are both filled with satin stitch as are some of the flowers.  I'm really hoping to have the border completed in the next week or so--minus the satin stitches.  

Seriously, y'all. I'm ready to start the main part of the design.  This reminds me of the first time I stitched on linen.  I used to be a slightly sloppy stitcher, but linen doesn't allow for that.   I used to be forgiving of mistakes, but this border was having none of it.  I'm tired, but proud of matching it all the first time.


Over the last 35 years of stitching I've come to dislike floss bobbins and love the precut lengths in Classic Colorworks floss.   I made floss cards for the change over starting with Sarah.  Here is my version that keeps everything neat and tidy and oh so happy. Let the change over begin.

My new car project has begun.  A couple of weeks ago a letter came in the mail informing me of an front passenger airbag recall.  I called and they were able to give me an appointment that day with an estimated time.  

Of course,  I'm thinking of how much frogging and stitching would get done.  Do you see the circled area?  I think that was the second time that area was stitched--wrong.  I finally got it right at the dealer while they fixed the recall and checked things like fluids, tires and tire pressure as part of the complimentary recall fix.  All in all a good day.

Mystery pattern to be revealed later.

I'm so blessed to have these things in my life.
  • homemade cranberry sauce
  • a comfortable bed to sleep in
  • heat in the winter
Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.