All the creatures are stirring … there’s even a mouse

There is so much to show, so much to tell. Open House stuff first.

Do you see him?

A Santa found many many years ago at a Cedarburg, Wisconsin craft show back in my research librarian days …

He must be at least 25 years old … so vintage, right?

And then there’s the menagerie overseen by a proper Herald Angel …

The folk art pig was my parents’ gift on my 50th birthday (it has grown on me over the years, but it caused some head-shaking wonderment at first) … the armadillo was one of our first South Congress, Austin finds … and the longhorn was painted by Don. Oh, and the bell used to hang from a bedraggled bit of green yarn in our family copy of the Polar Express. We can still hear it ringing.

Then there’s the what iffing that I’ve been up to. As in, what if I wanted to make paper-pieced ornaments?

And what if, instead of removing the basting, I made the basting visible in the form of French knots?

And what if I used some of my Boho clothing?

And maybe even, what if I tried making teeny-tiny hexies by printing them on adhesive label stock so they would stay put on the cloth?

Well, that would result in some very productive, if messy, making … ably overseen by Dee’s Christmas Lady Mouse

Bo Ho Ho … Merry Christmas!

P.S. here’s a needle-cushion addendum for Mo …

27 thoughts on “All the creatures are stirring … there’s even a mouse

  1. Twas almost the week before Christmas,and all through this home,
    A vintage Santa,heralded angel and so much more, greeted your eyes when you roamed.

    Busy gathering cloth scraps and threads to make magical gifts,
    Liz’s special ornaments are sure to give everyone a lift!

    Stitching new shapes for ornaments galore
    Liz and Don can’t wait for the knock on their door.

    Family is coming, people so dear
    It’s time to let out a great ho ho ho cheer!

    Guarded by Don’s longhorn, a wild armadillo, special pig and Dee’s festive mouse,
    Come one, come all, to this happy Ackert Holiday House.

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  2. Cedarburg .. my every year favorite Christmas/ window shopping destination. Oh it is only one of my holiday traditions that I miss this year. How fun knowing that you have been there .. such a great place to visit any time of the year. Love seeing so many of your wonderful art works along with your Christmas wonders collected over the years.

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    1. There was a library conference in Wisconsin that I attended most every year during the late 80s/early 90s … it often fell on the same weekend as the Cedarburg fair and the Miss America competition on TV … a strange conjunction to be sure, but memorable! And now that I think about it, I also have a vague memory of an old fashioned ice cream parlor … I smile

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    1. The pincushion dates back to the early 1980s when I was the first Needleworker at Colonial Williamsburg (a position I created and then, sadly, left) … naturally dyed wool, flame-stitched on linen, backed with indigo dyed silk, and stuffed with cotton. It has withstood the abuse of sitting on Texas sun-soaked window sills … the colors faded, but the wool holding fast

      Don’s longhorn was inspired by a painting I admired at a Wimberley gallery some years ago … his replica is a wonderful reminder of our decade in the Hill Country

      We can’t get over how our new home has provided such wonderful nooks and crannies for displaying the things we love … especially during the “Silly Season”

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  3. LA – all the little joy bringing bits to discover in your house. Your stitching is just so….. great to have the skills to make joy filled bits out of delicious scraps. Joy and peace. B

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  4. Liz~ How fun it is to peek through your house making discoveries, even a mouse! I too gave a jingle bell with Polar Express in those early years. (I was actually rather sad when the turned that magic into a movie). Love your What Ifing? That pic of the cube (first one, in color)…do you see towards the bottom, laying sideways…a green Seuss type head, with the red tongue sticking out! lol Love watching your fun!

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    1. Seussian Christmas ornaments! I wonder what other images can be found in the India prints I used for the ornaments … btw, Connie (see comments below) will appreciate that a lot of the cloth I used came from the Village Store in Wimberley. I hit the jackpot one day when I found a patchwork jacket with 3×5″ pieces of India print cotton. It didn’t come close to fitting me, but proved to be a great stash-maker.

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  5. there is so much to enjoy here! the ensemble of assorted critters, the hand-made mouse, old Santa…..a gorgeous pin cushion, your delightful paper-pieced decorations, just what we need during our second lockdown

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    1. Your comments are popping up on my phone as I sit stitching yet another ornament … the ether-real ties are holding strong … sorry to hear you all need another lockdown, but am also somewhat envious of your country’s decisiveness

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  6. My but there’s a flurry of activity over there! Especially enjoyed the what iff-ing, and very familiar scenario to some of my holiday efforts over here. I would’ve been puzzled by the pig, too.

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  7. I’ve been enjoying these tours! The sense of family, tradition, and valuing of aesthetics comes through. I love the arched indentation as “gallery.”

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  8. These Christmas posts have been so enjoyable! It is fun to see your decorations and hear the stories attached to them. It looks like you are ready to enjoy the holiday.

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  9. I love all your nooks and crannies and the wee decorations popping up here and there with a story to tell. Your pincushion/needlecushion looks like something we might call Bargello. Done over canvas with wool in a striking geometric pattern. Altho of course I may now have just begun another lost in translation moment1 Lovely to see you enjoying the pre Christmas flurry – I am still on the side of bah humbug a bit I admit!

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    1. Bargello it is … I had to go look it up, but back in the 18th-century it was called Irish stitch. The cushion was copied from one in the holdings at Colonial Williamsburg, worked on 28 threads per inch linen with very fine spun wool. Each stitch covers one strand by four strands, so they’re 1/7″ long, which adds up to almost 200 stitches per square inch. The dimensions are tricky given the curved ends, but the total area is about 4 x 7 inches.

      As for humbug, well I confess to usually having much the same feeling during the holiday rush … somehow this year feels lighter, which is odd, right? I thought of you yesterday especially as I made “Scotch” shortbread (my Scottish grandmother’s recipe). I even pulled up one of your blog posts to suss out pricking patterns.

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  10. Love it all! I’ve received a few of those head-shaking gifts myself and, come to think of it, given one or two myself. 🙂

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