September 29, 2013

Mary's Sampler Week 1 Stitching

The wonderful Paulette Stewart of Plum Street Samplers has designed a holiday sampler that she is sharing with the blogosphere every Sunday for the next 9 Sundays.  Today was the release of the first motif - Mary and Joseph.

Here is my start.  I found a piece of 36ct. Light Exemplar in my stash that I decided to use and I had all of the GAST but Expresso Bean so I pulled the DMC called for on that.  Tonight I sat down and started my stitching and everything went well except for the blank sash area you see in this photo. 

I have tried about 4 different choices and was happy with none of them.  There just wasn't enough contrast between the colors.  I tried Piney Wood, thinking that would be very different from the browns but with only one thread, it didn't give enough contrast.

I'm leaning towards using Mulberry but I want to see a little bit more of the piece before I go with that in case it clashes with something nearby.  I got tired of ripping out so I've put it away until next week.

I'm looking forward to seeing how others are doing with theirs and their color choices.  If you're stitching this, please leave me a comment so I can check out your progress!

September 28, 2013

52 Weeks of Happy - Week 39

Lots of happy moments this week and I tried really hard to take pictures throughout the week.  Thank goodness for cell phone cameras!

On Sunday I traveled down to Salem, MA to the Peabody Essex Museum to visit the special Faberge exhibit that was due to end today.  It was a great way to spend a rainy morning.
Although Salem is most famous for being the sight of the 17th Century witch trials which draws a lot of people to the town, it has a lot more to offer!

 I also managed to finish the pair of socks I've been working on for a while and it's just in time because we had some very chilly mornings this week and I'm sure I will be reaching for my wool socks VERY soon.

Those cool nights and the warm days we've had have really turned on the trees and this is one I quickly snapped.  No photo can truly capture the magic of the colors(or at least one with me pressing the buttons!)

This was definitely the week to be in Maine for leaf-peeping as many of the sugar maples are already dropping their leaves and I think after next weekend, the color will have gone by.  Today was perfect with blue, blue sky and brilliant sunshine.

And finally a truly fabulous dinner at a great restaurant in Portland with some wonderful family members.  I ate beets and loved them which is saying something as I have never liked beets.  If you get to Portland, make a reservation!

September 27, 2013

Pumpkins for Cathey

Someone very special in the stitching blog-o-sphere is having an anniversary today.  I'm sending her some pumpkin love along with many others in our community.  You can see more here.

Happy Anniversary Cathey!  

If you have visited Cathey's blog, you know that she is waging a very fierce battle against a very ruthless adversary.  Please stop by her blog Pumpkin Patch & Co. and add your best wishes for her anniversary and encourage her on in her battle.

September 23, 2013

Common Ground PS - Amish in Maine

This is a post script to my post on the Common Ground fair.  I had mentioned it in the original post but then deleted the couple of sentences for some reason.  One of the really neat things I experienced at Common Ground was to see Amish again.  I didn't take photos as that is not done but seeing girls in their brightly colored, solid dresses and little white caps and men in flat straw hats with the distinctive bowl cut hair was really wonderful.

Growing up in Ohio, my dad used to head to Amish country any chance he got and during the summers, we were usually along for the ride.  He loved going to Kidron and Sugar Creek and we got used to driving the rolling farm roads, keeping an eye out for buggies, carts and Amish on bicycles.  I think if my mom would have gone for it, he'd have moved us out there - no car, no electricity, etc.  Just farming, community and the slow lane at its most basic.

I had thought I'd heard something about the Amish moving into Maine to farm but this was my first opportunity to see them in person.  I did a Google search and found out there is a small but growing community in Unity and Thorndike.  If you are interested, click on the link for an article published in 2009 in the Boston Globe.  It feels neat to know the community is growing and bringing a part of my childhood up Maine!

September 22, 2013

Common Ground

I'm really glad I went up to the Common Ground fair yesterday as today started out rainy.  That means mud.
The fair is focused on natural farming and sustainable living in every sense of the word.  There are tons of educational session on farming, forestry and living life as close to nature as possible.  There are demos on low impact logging using horses and cattle, as well as using farm animals vs. tractors for plowing, haying, etc.

If you ride a bike to the fairgrounds, you get in free.  I did not do that.

Being the city girl I am, I drove in.  The line was pretty reasonable and the views were gorgeous

There were a number of vendors, demos, speakers and a musical tent. 

There are no trash cans around the grounds but rather composting stations placed strategically where you could recycle your left over food to compost and paper and plastic were separated out for recycling.  The port-a-potties were also composting.  There are people who walk the grounds with signs instructing you to follow them to the composting.

There was a section where you could see how the Maine guides/woodsmen cut logs, cooked over open fires, etc.  This was a replica of a dog sled they would have used.

There were also Passamaquoddy Indians demonstrating basket weaving which was really beautiful.
On the way out of the parking lot, I passed the campgrounds, complete with it's own set of Common Thrones.

I felt for those campers as it was raining this morning.  Not how I would have wanted to spend the night or wake up.  City girl remember?

Many people in Maine choose to live alternative ways and stay off the grid and this is a forum to showcase how that can happen.  It's not something I would choose but it was neat to see that a lot of young people are opting to look back at the ways things worked before and live closer to nature.

If you are ever in Maine for the 3rd weekend in September, make the trip!

September 21, 2013

52 Weeks of Happy - Weeks 37 & 38

I've not been very good about taking photos of my happy moments the past few weeks so I'm combining last week and this past week.

I attended a Greek church festival in Lewiston and although I resisted the loukoumades, I couldn't resist buying a two pack of finikia

Doing these well is a skill as they can end up dry.  These were PERFECT and so delicious!  After I had them with a cup of coffee, I wished I had bought a lot more!
I have a friend at work that is a fan of a particular author that I like to.  A new book came out and my friend's husband ended up ordering her two copies.  She so generously gave me her 2nd copy and we've had some great discussions as we read through the book. 

We don't work in the same areas so we catch up as we can and I think we both look forward to finding a minute to chat.  I know I do!
This week was a full harvest moon and it was so gorgeous and clear when I got home from a meeting on Wednesday evening I had to snap a picture.  Not a great one, but you get the idea!
And the week ended today with my finally getting to attend the Common Ground Fair up in Unity.  This was the first time I made the trip up (2.5 hours north) and the day couldn't have had more perfect weather. 

It started foggy at the start but by the time I reached my destination, it was sunny with a crisp breeze and about 68 degrees.  I will write a more extensive post on this but here's this year's logo on a bag I bought.  I LOVE it!  I bought a long sleeved t-shirt as well.

September 20, 2013

September WIPocolypse and TUSAL

I've really had a hard time finding time to sit down and create a post.  Hectic work days and after hours meetings and events mean I'm exhausted when I get home and I just haven't had enough interest to fire up the computer.  Hence, trying to catch up with a double post of my September TUSAL and a WIPocolypse project update.

I have only been working on Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow so that's what I will share.  Here is where I left it last month I think:
And where it is currently:

I've made some great progress but I set it aside this week to finish the stitching on a Halloween exchange that needs to be mailed out on the 7th.  I want to tackle the finishing with plenty of time to do a good job.

And here is the TUSAL jar as of the beginning of the month. Some of the threads were from my punch needle project but just ends.

September 7, 2013

52 Weeks of Happy-Week 36

My happy things for this 36th week of the year:
1.  Collecting some of the season's first acorns to display.  I picked these up on a walk with Beau early in the week.
2.  The incredible flavor of local peaches and nectarines.  They just taste so much better than those trucked in from California or Mexico or wherever else they might come.
3.  The local farm stand's display of pumpkins for sale.  This is the first I've spotted so far but I'm sure more will be popping up all over.

4. Getting back on a weight loss program and having a successful first week.
I hope you had a great week too and that it was filled with many happy moments.

September 3, 2013

A Day's Labor

Yesterday turned out to be a total wash out as far as the weather went.  It rained pretty much the entire day and not just a sprinkle.  I bet we got close to 3 inches of rain. 

It wasn't that bad because it gave me the opportunity to work on some indoor projects.
Lots of sock yarn and cotton for crochet
I hung some things in the bedroom and started sorting through the closets and drawers for things that won't carry over to next summer and bagged them up for donation. 

I also put together some Closetmaid storage units that I hoped would work for yarn storage.  While I still need to better organize my stash, I was able to get everything into a cubby and still be able to see what I have. 
There was a lot more than I realized!
I think this will be far more motivating that when everything was enclosed in a fabric drawer on these little metal carts which is what I had before.  I guess the true test will be if you see photos of new knitting and crochet projects on this blog!

I hope those of you who had yesterday as a holiday enjoyed your day off!  Now I will be totally confused as to what day of the week it is since the work week started on a Tuesday.