Friday, June 26, 2020

Lockdown on Merry Wind Farm

I don't know why it is so hard for me to keep up with blogging.  I love to read blogs, 
I think about blogging all the time, I take pictures on my phone to share, then 
never get them transferred to the computer to share.  

Oh well....

I know so many people are really suffering emotionally and mentally from the lockdown.
I guess they are all normal people who need and enjoy the company of others.
I am definitely not a normal person.  Left to my own devices, I would
probably become a hermit.  

I have only been off the farm a handful of times in the last 3 months.  I have everything 
delivered or my son gets it for me.  And I hate to admit I've been enjoying it!
For me, it is like I don't have to feel guilty for not leaving the house for days at a time, that 
makes me feel like I am just lazy.  Which I am not.  I just prefer to be at home with 
the animals and my gardens and hobbies than to be out with people.

Of course, financially it is quite nasty.  For at least two months I did not
have any bnb guests, except for one man who stays with me every week  and
has an essential job in the next town.  Things have been starting to pick up recently.

I'll share a few photos that I actually have on this computer.  The first is Grace Stewart.  

Remember I was trying to locate her genealogy a few months ago?  I never did have
any luck.  There are two other samplers that I know of with the same building.
Both were stitched in Perthshire during the early 1800.s  Grace's sampler is a little
late for an unregistered birth, so I am thinking that perhaps one or more of her parents used a 
different name than the initials.  Kind of like a James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser!
I have exhausted all of the ways that I know to search for her.  Maybe someday I will have more time!  Available in my Etsy shop or your favorite needlework shop for $19.00.

I have spent a great deal of time outdoors during the last few months.  I love gardening and being outside with nature.  As soon as the heat and humidity kicks in, that will be it for me!!

Someone posted pictures of a wall of red samplers, so of course I have decided
that I want one too!  Here are my first two samplers for it.  The first photo is my inspiration.

This is Jane Marshall from HATS.  Many of you probably also stitched her as a benefit to an Australia fire department.

I have also been working on this.  It is a top for a sewing box and various accessories 
that was from GPA a few years ago.  There are also lots of fun little wooden
accessories to go in the box.  Most of the stitching is now complete, I just need
to find a box.  The name of this project was Mary Robinson, but I have chosen to leave her name off.

Well that's it for now.  I hope there aren't too many errors in this, I think the reason I never
get around to posting is that I make too big a deal out of it!

Stay safe and well.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Elizabeth Thornbrough and other stuff...

Elizabeth Thornbrough 1790 has been released.  Actually, she was released two weeks ago but I forgot to make a blog post about her.  Elizabeth is an early sampler,  probably from Yorkshire, and of a nearly square size that won't take too awfully long to complete.  The stitch count is 241 x 239 and it is all cross stitch over two threads and algerian eye stitch.  No over one...yeah!!  The first photo is my reproduction, the second is of the antique.  When stitching the inner border, Elizabeth was pretty much all over the place with her eyelet stitches,  over 2,3,5, whatever,  threads, so a few liberties needed to be taken to make it stitchable.  I can't tell you how excited I was at finding the perfect size vintage frame in my collection for Elizabeth!  Available for $20 plus shipping in my etsy shop.  Merry Wind Farm

If you are interested, the antique will soon be for sale for $150.00.  After I have completed a reproduction, I usually sell the antique at a reduced price.    The few holes disappear completely when backed with a piece of Confederate Gray linen from Weeks Dye Works, which is the same linen which was used for the reproduction.  

In my previous post, I was asking for help with locating Grace Stewart.  No luck, unfortunately.  Of all the registered Grace Stewart births between 1790 and 1840, none have initials that match what looks to be her parents.  Scottish samplers are usually so easy to find the stitcher genealogy, but not Grace.  Something odd is going on, either an unregistered birth, or perhaps Grace or her father had another forename on their birth certificate.  So for now, even though she is charted and stitched, she is on the back burner until I decide what to do.  Should I just publish the chart without knowing who she was and where she was from?  Decision, decisions.  And since I didn't get her out a month before the Nashville Needlework Market, which I do not attend, I know from experience that shop owners will be too swamped for the next two months to place orders.  I learned that the hard way last year.

I think I am perhaps making a major change in my stitching habits.  For 35 years I have stitched large and involved reproduction samplers for my own enjoyment and decorating.  I have no space left, and the last several years worth of samplers, including big beauties like Miss Mary Ann Bournes and Ann Tong Uffindell, just sitting in drawers.  I think I will work on small stuff from now one, smaller samplers that I can stitch onto a bag or something, or ornaments or similar.  

I saw this beautiful red wall with red antique samplers on Facebook.  Now I want to stitch a bunch of small red samplers.  I have gathered together 3 or 4 charts, and am working on Elisabetta Monteleone  first.  I am stitching her in Gentle Arts Buckeye Scarlet and it is beautiful!  

This little six pound bundle of joy and happiness has developed an irritating habit!  All three dogs sleep upstairs in the bedroom with me.  Bertie (mini poodle) and Oliver (cocker) together on the floor on an extra large size dog bed, Bella has a covered cat igloo for a bed, which she sometimes sleeps in and sometimes on the bed with me.  She always starts out on the bed with me, I have to pick her up, after cuddles she has been jumping down, then about 10 minutes later I hear er, er, er, sneeze, sneeze, getting my attention.  She wants picked up again!  I wish she would just stay up or make up her mind.
Good thing she is so adorable...


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Looking for Grace

Grace Stewart that is!  This lovely Scottish sampler is all charted and 
the model is stitched.  Usually these Scottish girls are so easy to
find with their whole family stitched on the sampler.
I assume that the WS (heart) BS is her parents, but of about 40 
Grace Stewart's born between 1800-1840, none of the initials match.

I have tried other things, all on Ancestry as that is all I have access to.
Whether B could be Beth or Bell, short for Elizabeth or Isobel.  
That doesn't work either.
Neither does looking for Grace in censuses.

The only other thing I have not tried, is whether her father could have
had multiples names, sort of like in Outlander, Jamie has 3 or 4 names.

I don't know where to turn.  I'm hoping that someone can help me.  
I need to find family information about her, where she was born, etc. and what
building this is.  It appears on two other samplers that I know of, both from very 
early 1800;s.  Elizabeth Chapman and Ann Blair.

The second sampler, Ann Blair, has the identical manor house motif with the same
cockerels on the roof and identical colors.

The other two Scottish samplers that I have reproduced were so easy to locate.
Here are Lillias Davidson and Mary Inglis  Davidson was my maiden name and 
I just loved the blue roof on Mary!

Winter continues to march on without having really any winter.  A few days of lows in the single digits but no snow or ice.  But there are still two more months to go before we can really 
be safe from the winter weather.


Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New Year's Eve and time on my hands

Happy New Year to all.  I am having a quiet New Year, as usual, which follows a quiet Christmas.  Nothing much happens around here on holidays, as it is now just me and my son, and he has a girlfriend that occupies much of his free time.   I had many years of wonderful Christmases, I think every Christmas I can ever remember was wonderful, starting when I was a small child.  There was only one really bad year, the year that I was in the hospital for two weeks with MS.  And there was the year of the colicky horse, and the year of strept throat, but on the whole they were great!  So I can't really complain that the holidays aren't any fun  any more, as I have many wonderful memories...

Have you seen the expensive vintage sleighs offered by Spring Green Country Sampler with small needlework pillow inside?  This is my version.  The vintage sleigh was purchased for a couple of dollars on marketplace.  Some at Country Sampler were as much as $100, so I think I got quite a deal.  The little sampler pillow didn't really show up, next year perhaps I'll add a little mini red wool blanket.

When my mother passed away, I saved her costume jewelry which I now hang on the tree.  It is a lovely remembrance of her at Christmas.  Except for the year I was in the hospital, I never spent a single Christmas without my parents.  I need to look around and see if there are any more that I can use.

I did do a lot of decorating for the bnb portion of the house as I have had guests solidly since mid December.  No outdoor wreaths or lights this year.  It has been so warm that I haven't been in the mood.  Here is a picture of the house several years ago when we had a nice snow.   I forced myself to put up a tree in my part, and took it down the day after Christmas.

A few weeks ago, an old design of mine popped up on Facebook, and all of a sudden there was a great deal of interest in something that I maybe sold 5 copies when I designed it back in 2015.  The original version was stitched without a pattern, I just made it up as I went along, and mounted it on a board that I painted and heavily aged.  I sold it on Primitive Handmade Mercantile before I started making reproduction patterns.  

I know, poor photo.:)  It then morphed from Mary Howe to Emmaline Cole (an ancestor of mine and I name that I love) and I created a pattern for it.  I encouraged the stitcher to chose one of their ancestor's names to chart and use.  Anyway, it sort of exploded on Facebook and I sold over 125 PDF copies!  It was just a stroke of luck that I had saved the pdf on the computer, as I didn't save the hard copy pattern.  Here it is as Emmaline Cole.  Bethel Day School is a made up name from the county that I live in, Bethel County.  

Another thing that I made is a project bag.  I spent two weeks of trying different ways to create a bag with the zipper and no seams showing.  Lots of trial and error.  After I had finished, and was so proud of my creation, I found out that I could have just watched a you tube video of how to make it.
Oh well........

The sampler is from Blackbird's Shall I Compare Thee To  A Summer's Day

That is all for now.  I'm working on a new reproduction that I will share next time.


Monday, November 25, 2019


I am having my first ever sale! 
Buy 3 or more  Merry Wind Farm charts at my Etsy shop and receive 30% off your order!
Thursday, November 28 for one week.

If there are any you have been thinking about, now is the time!
Just my little way of saying Thank You for your support.

Melinda Cole
Merry Wind Farm

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Elizabeth Thornbrough 1790 coming soon

Dear friends and readers,

Sooner than anticipated, I have finished the stitching on my next release,
Elizabeth Thornbrough 1790.  She is an English sampler, but I'm not quite sure 
where, perhaps London.  I was pleased today to find a frame the perfect size in my
collection of antique and vintage frames.  That makes everything much easier.

The original plan had been to release her after Christmas.  That may still be the
case as I'm very busy with the B & B.  November and December are extremely busy months. 
I don't know how I am even going to find the time to get the Christmas
decorations up and all the wreaths on the windows.  I am very slow and everything 
takes me forever!!

Speaking of b&b, the vast majority of guests have been just wonderful!
I'd say 99%!!  However, there are always a couple bad apples.   Last week
a couple arrived and informed me that they wanted the temperature set
at 76 degrees!!!!  That is absolutely impossible in a big old house like 
this with brick walls that are impossible to insulate!  Who wants 76 degrees?  Whose house 
could even get the temp up to 76?  Keep in mind this is advertised as an old historic house in the country,
not some tiny, modern apartment.  I volunteered to round up extra blankets and quilts,and even space heaters,  but they just
left in a huff.  Oh well, they weren't the right fit for this place anyway.  

I was becoming concerned about the corn crop.  It went in so late this year
that it was not ready earlier this fall when the weather was good for harvest.
Fortunately, they finally got it in today.  I want to walk around and pick up the
little cobs and walnuts that have fallen (not in the same place),  surely there is something I can do with them.  Thinking of making a garland of some sort.

Next on the sampler front is a Scottish sampler with a ship, stitched in
wool, I think.  Her name is Grace Stewart.  She is charted and waiting on linen.

Also,  Harriot Goodman is awaiting her turn.  The horrid verse just makes me
smile, imagine a young girl stitching these words.  The problem with Harriot is that 
she stitched on teeny, tiny linen and the largest linen count I can manage 
comfortably is 36 count,  That will make this a very large sampler, but I 
can't figure out how to adapt her to a smaller version with compromising the beauty 
of the sampler.  Will have to think on it more.

Happy Thanksgiving to my US readers!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Leaves, leaves, blow away please

I thought I'd share a few pictures of fall on the farm.  

 This is actually the gate to the side porch of the house, but
it is the only entrance that is used.  That is sweet autumn clematis
trailing over the fence and gate.

Maples around the barn .  That is an original bank barn with old
hand hewed beams, the Merry Wind Farm sign is exposed to the weather
from the west and has seen it's better days.

A few pumpkins and free hedge apples, and that's about the
extent of my decorating.  
All of the pretty fall color was spoiled by the heavy rains the 
past few days, and now we are having wicked winds, so I hope 
all the leaves just blow away!