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Monday, May 13, 2013

Santa in Spring

 I am working on creating pieces for a craft  fair being held by a garden club that my sister Suzanne belongs to. It will be in July and is geared to somewhat of a  Christmas theme. My Santas were a big hit this past Christmas so I thought I might make a series of them in many colors.

 They look absolutely lovely as a grouping. I will be making a sign that will say that, after Christmas, Santa wears many colors. He also lets his beard grow long. It is softest beard in the whole wide world. When an Elf gets sick, he or she will sit on his lap and nestle into his beard to feel better. Mrs. Clause suspects that they are often faking it....

 This is how they begin and each one is different as I do not record exactly where the face will be nor the arms. This way, they each take on a character of their own.

 Last weekend, the Saturday before Mother's Day, George and I went to the NH Sheep and Wool festival to get the mohair locks that I use for the beards. I had bought some last year in small packages without knowing what I would do with them. Then Santa came along and it all came together. But you can't get them year 'round. And when you do find it, they are expensive. So we made our way to the festival hoping to buy whole shearings of it not even knowing what it was called.

 These women who clean, card, spin and convert the wool to fibers are wonderful. They knew exactly what I was talking about. They directed me to the right Sheppard. Not everyone raises Cotswold Sheep.

 I ended up buying two bags of raw mohair that I will be cleaning myself. They told me exactly how to do this and I don't mind doing this work if it means saving a few pennies. I have a feeling I will need it all when these Santas hit the market. I may have enough wool to make at least a couple of hundred.

 Once cleaned, I separate the locks into small manageable hanks.

 From there I separate this into really small hanks which is what I stitch onto Santa's face.

 After that, I paint on the eyes and cheeks. Then I give him a rough haircut. The curls are everything so I don't over cut.
I insert a round package made of batting filled with soft river rocks into the base of the body so you can play with him and have him lean in any direction. You can also curl the hat as well. Just a darling creature.

Monday, May 6, 2013

It's Spring at the Pond

This was the first tree to bloom out in the yard. It is not a tall tree. My height I think. Every day when I would go to my car, this is what greeted me. 

This is a view of the pond across from my back door. To the left is a swing that hangs from a tree. My mother will be thrilled to come out here and sit on it. She constantly talks about owning a swing. She always had one at our house next door. One morning last week as I was leaving for my mother's, there was a row boat out there on the pond with two people fishing. My heart was was rendered.

I have taken several views from the hill that we came down then jump into the pond to swim.

It is a very peaceful place. 

This is the dam that we would cross very carefully to get to the other side. I think it has been re-built as the walls surrounding it are different from when we were kids. I don't remember walls. And of course, the water is pretty strong because of the run-off from the spring thaw. As a child the boys would be on the other side goading us to come across telling us that if we slipped it would be all over. We were gonna die!! And we believed them but we would not give in. And we crossed it all the time knowing we might die but hey - it was all about the thrill.

This is the bottom of the dam. My memories are so different. As a child it looked more slimey. 

Across the way used to be a clearer beach I think. People could drive there from the road to swim. It was not a popular beach so it was not a crowded place. It was very small. And I remember there being leeches. You really had to be careful. One time, my sister Denise came running to get me to show me something she had found. So off we went across the dam, over to the far end of the beach. She up turned a rock and there it was. An orange salamander. We had never seen one before. She was always finding new things to show me. Usually creatures. Once, it was a cow....

I have wanted to take pictures of this pond for quite some time but I am lazy. Then I took these two weeks ago and had some difficulty loading them onto the blog. Come to find out that I just needed to put them up and walk away and give them time to come up. I need more patience.