Sunday, February 25, 2018

Quaker Sampler: Till Every Stone Be Stitched...

Chimneys completed, I will not stop till every stone be stitched.  Just look at that roof...makes ya want to run yer fingers o'er its nubbly self!  (The dye makes the chimney on the left look as though there's smoke billowing out!).



With the chimneys, I think this house is becoming a home...:)



© 2018 Nancy Duncan


Friday, February 23, 2018

Green Witch's Report: Gardens Past...and to Come!


Where I live, all right now is a wet, soggy mess.  But like my dear friend Goody Prymm, I know that it is a beautiful thing to behold, knowing what the drenching of the ground and swelling of the root systems will become!

I thought of posting a visual daydream of the gardens I have seen in the twenty-two countries I have had the privilege of visiting, always having made sure to put gardens at the top of the must-do lists. But as I look out on the late-winter dreariness of my Gardens, I thought I would post some of my favorite shots of my own Gardens...care to join me in my memory stroll?

Gardens are important to a Green Witch. They are teachers of so many important things...faith, patience, endurance, and so much more...

A gardener friend of mine once described my gardens as "planned chaos," which I found to be a most apt description.  When I planned my gardens, I studied the sun, the soil, and the plant species before finally drawing up my "map." After the soil had been mixed and prepared, I went shopping for the plants I had planned for each area.  It was months of preparation and study. I had no one to plan it for me...I wouldn't want it that way.  These gardens were to be mine, come success or failure! I also wanted to plant all perennials, as any goode gardener knows they just get more beautiful every year until they finally run their course (if they ever do!). There is a profound difference between urban landscape and a Garden.



 I long for the lushness of green, dotted with flowers of all types and colors...








Midnight Gardens are especially close to my heart...those parts of the garden that light up under the Lady of the Night Sky. On soft summer nights you will often find me wandering in the moonlight there...



Soft spring nights are lovely, too...my tiny White Lady Banks Roses in bloom, gifting the air with their light, lemony scent...so lovely to sit on my front porch with a glass of nice white wine, taking it all in...



But closest to my heart are my herbs!!  I look forward to planting new ones, nurturing returning ones, and harvesting through the summer and into fall...



Spring promises...



Butterfly wishes...



Even dark dreams appear in my gardens...



Just the very thought of what is taking place under the soil of my Gardens right now, makes me



So, here's to the drenching rains...and the promises they allow!

© 2018 Nancy Duncan

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Quaker House...again

Am stitching the remainder of the rooftop. The thread that outlines the house I decided to use in order to give the roof a bit of depth, so I am extending the roof using that fawn-grey color by just one x on each side. You can see I've done so on the left (it's very subtle) and am working my way to the right, stitching in one thread above the row, as somehow it ended up "off-stitched." No matter!   After this, I shall stitch the two chimneys. Yay! Chimneys are just so darn cute. Then I'll go back to stitching the stones...after that, trees!!

This is one detailed house...



© 2018 Nancy Duncan

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Dark Morning

It's a dark morning...and I'm inclined to be one with it.  Stitching is slow but pleasant. My right knuckle was bothering me, forcing me to leave off of stitching for a few days, but I can begin again today. The roof of the sampler house is all nubbly, and I really like it, both for its appearance and its texture. It's nice, too, to stitch the repetitive x's, requiring no thought, my having needed a change from stitching the stones of the building.

Feeling a bit under the weather (spring stuff...tree pollen); having the house to myself this morning I will spend it doing yoga, stitching, and reading a good ol' Barbara Michaels mystery.  It's everything I want in a mystery, the setting being an old pre-Revolutionary manse deep in the woods of Virginia. And how could I resist the title...and...the ghost witch in the story was quite the embroideress! (Seriously, could it get any better...), lol!



© 2018 Nancy Duncan

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Quaker Sampler VII

Well...so far, so good! Though it does look like brick, to be sure, I do like the color it brings to the linen. The lighting this morning doesn't do it justice...



Betty Ring's iconic American Needlework Treasures is mostly my source for authenticity, though I have scoped out Shaker samplers online, as well.  If you can get your hands on a copy of this (it is no longer in print), embroiderers, do so! Such beautiful illustrations...color, too! It was a Christmas gift to me from my mother almost 30 years ago.  I have admired historic samplers for a long, long time.



This sampler in the book was my inspiration for the windows and stones, though my stones are laid more like the Johnson House's...I love the two crows (more on that later), and notice the wide lettering, typical of Shaker samplers.



© 2018 Nancy Duncan

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Quaker Sampler VI

Ohhhh...I've gone and done it now.  Historical accuracy be darned!  The Johnson House in Philadelphia is constructed of native stone, rather a medium brownish color.  Having stitched the window frames a dark golden brown and, just because I love this rich red-brown (yikes! almost like brick!), I'm going with it.  What do you think?  The roof I will stitch the brown you see there...and the two chimneys will be the red-brown of the house...

I really want to bring in rich colors throughout this piece...and the red-brown will have some contrast to the golden brown window frames. Yup. So be it.



Oh! Here's the outline of the gable roof.  The stitching around the rectangular house is the color I was going to use, but obviously, it is just too washed out.





© 2018 Nancy Duncan

Friday, February 16, 2018

Where I Go...

This is the spot.
It is where I go to sit, stitch, imagine, create.
Surrounded by my spinning wheels, woole, colorful threads, lace making and embroidery tools,
I sit in my mother's chair, breathe softly...and follow where my mind leads me.

Goody Prymm was dreamt of here, along with Remember, and now Resolved.
My needle and threads sometimes working of their own accord...yes!
There's magic in handwerk!

Everyone should have a spot, all to themselves
To sit, dream, imagine, and create.



© 2018 Nancy Duncan