Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Seeing as most everyone else is likely baking pies and stewing cranberries today, I though it would be the perfect time for me to cook up a long overdue blog post.  This week has been a blessing, the first real time away from work I've had in almost a year.  For that I'm extremely thankful!

Faye has worked her magic again, this time on my little 7 Sailors.  I sent them off to her as a piece of stitching and they've come back home shortly after the last post as this real treasure box. 

She also glamoured the inside with a padded lid and bottom....

,,,,and Halley made the perfect nautical fob to keep my favorite scissors stowed inside.

I'm still amazed at how perfectly the stitching fit the size and shape of the cigar box lid.  But I'm even more astonished at how beautifully it was finished.  Well done, Ms Faye!

I'm happy to report that progress has been steady on Miss Mary Goodburn, in spite of more work travel and limited time.  With a bit of focus this weekend I'm hoping she'll be done before Monday rolls around again and it's back to the usual grind. Here she is:

After all the alphabets and color changes at the top, it was easy stitching through the flower bands.  Love how they increased in size as the bands move along.

Why do I love band samplers?  Because just about the time my patience wears thin with a certain border or pattern, it's done and something more interesting comes along.  Still haven't decided what those creatures near the flower stand are.  Dogs?  Horses?  Dinosaurs?  Go figure.

But I think my favorite section is the bottom part I'm working on now.  You can see the sides are full of initials  and a few other little details.  And the most fun of all, a tiny sailing ship will go in the middle.  The ship is what drew me to Miss Mary to begin with first time I spotted her.  At long last I'll actually get down to stitching it tonight!

Another magical thing, or maybe it's just serendipity.....Does this ever happen to anyone else, or is it just me? 

I so enjoyed listening to "A Marriage of Opposites" by Alice Hoffman earlier this summer that I couldn't wait to download more of her work.  I'm now coming to the conclusion of "The Red Garden", which has captured my imagination to the point of inspiring another stitching project.  Not to give away too many details, but the plot threads its way through the real and mythical stories of the townspeople of Bedford Massachusetts.  At one point in time Johnny Appleseed cultivates an orchard on the outskirts or town.  Naturally, this led me back to a project I've been meaning to start since I first bought the chart .....

If I've been in love with Johnny for 30 years and still really want to stitch him, then it's about time to get started, don't you think?  Best of all, when I got the chart out to give it yet another look over, I found a sheet of paper I'd tucked inside with a conversion to over-dyed threads in it.  I have absolutely no recollection of when I did that, but it's only further proof that all these years and it's still on my bucket list.  Think I'll wrestle out the linen box tomorrow while my pie is baking and get him all kitted up.

I promised myself this week I would only spend my time with people I care about doing things I love,  On Monday that meant a trip to the Tampa Bay History Center with Halley, where she's volunteering in the collections department in order to buff up her research skills.

We spent the afternoon visiting Tampa's oldest cemeteries, Halley searching for specific details and me just looking in amazement.  This stone in particular was touching.

And at another site, this lady was interred by her husband,  life sized figures sitting with their backs to the city 

and a touching detail at the hem of her skirt.

It was a rare, touching day and I couldn't have spent it better.  Somehow it pulls me back to my stitching....

Here's hoping your Thanksgiving is blessed with love, good food and special memories.


Margaret said...

I love how your Seven Sailors came out -- you must be so happy with it! Such a lovely box! Love your Mary Goodburn -- who is the designer? I'll have to look this one up. What fun on Johnny Appleseed! I'll have to look up that Alice Hoffman book, don't think I've read it. Glad you got to spend some time with your friend Halley too. Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!

Barb said...

I think you spent your week in just the right way, doing what you love with people who you care about!I have read several Alice Hoffman books but have not read the Red Garden. I will have to look it us. Mary Goodbum is a great sampler. I love flowers in a sampler. Faye is such an amazing finisher!!

marly said...

I totally agree about stitching band samplers. And she's a beauty.

Merry Wind Farm said...

Hi, Mary, your 17 Sailors is wonderful! The old tombstones are so neat. If you like Alice Hoffman, be sure to get The Story Sisters, I think it is one of her best. Happy Thanksgiving. Melinda

Ali said...

Your Seven Sailors finish is stunning a real treasure. Love your new stitchy pieces and look forward to seeing them progress. Your day out with Halley sounded amazing and what fun too discovering those old headstones such interesting facts.

Marilyn said...

7 Sailors turned out so pretty.
The Fob is perfect for it.
Mary Goodburn is beautiful, love the colors in this one.
Johnny Appleseed is a real treasure too.
Happy Thnkasgiving!

Brigitte said...

Oh my, this box is so special, so perfectly finished by Faye. And Mary looks gorgeous so far, so many wonderful red colours
I also love to see old tombstones, they often tell a whole family story.

Vickie said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing the pictures from the cemetery. Really, really neat.

Penny said...

What a beautiful way to finish Seven Sailors and Mary Goodburn is another pretty sampler! Looking forward to seeing the ship. And you have me curious about your new stitching project. I've never read anything by Alice Hoffman ~ I'll have to check her out. :) I love to walk through old cemeteries. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Robin in Virginia said...

Mary Goodburn is looking fabulous. Your box finish by Faye turned out great. It looks like you have a wonderful adventure to the oldest cemeteries. I hope you will be able to get Johnny Appleseed started soon. Enjoy your weekend!