Monday, December 6, 2010


I'll try to take a photo tonight, but I have a loaded schedule, with having just had a distant uncle pass away. I have to run to pay my respects today and go to the funeral tomorrow, which is going to cut into "free" time.  

I have done a tail-ectomy on the Morehouse Alligator Scarf I made for a gift. He was just too short. I added a few rows to lengthen him & I did get gauge when I swatched, but I want him to be more luxuriously long for Dottie.  I used to very thin circs to grab stitches above and below the last normal body scale rows, before the beginning of the decreases for the tail.  I will knit several more rows of scales and then try my hand at grafting the tail scale rows and tail end. If I have to re-knit them, so be it, but I'll try to save the time by doing a "implant."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

under construction

I'll continue working on this blog and will add links and pages later.

Until I get to writing properly, here's the list of completed Christmas projects I have done so far. All but 1 have been photographed:

a Morehouse Alligator Scarf
2 Morehouse Swiss Cheese Scarves
2 Welted Leaf Neck Wraps (original) a his & hers, one closes with buttons and the other with a shawl pin
a Karabella New Magic shawl
an Ann Budd crochet edge knitted scarf
2 balaclavas, the pattern for which I obtained on Ravelry
5 toques from a free Berroco pattern
the merino sea cel ruffled scarf that I did in merino
50  double chocolate dipped pretzels with peppermint sprinkles on 1 end

I think that's it for now.  More updates and blog improvements to follow.

YOWZA!!! 25 days until Christmas!!!

how to write a love letter

This was available online at one of the sites from which I purchase wax seals. I guess one of the reasons I like and use sealing wax and seals is because I'm a sucker for romance. If you don't like mushy things, don't bother with this. If you think ages gone by were a precious time and like the way people expressed themselves and restrained themselves in order to maintain their dignity, read on and enjoy.

Writing Love Letters

How to get started

1. Clear your desk and your mind of distractions. If you love someone enough to craft this letter, he or she deserves your full attention.

2. Place a picture of the one you love in front of you.

3. Put on your favorite music.

4. Take out your best letter writing stationery and pen.

5. On another sheet of letter paper, make two lists: a) the unique qualities you love about him/her; b) your hopes for the future together.

6. Personalize the love letter salutation. "Dear ___ ," or "To my darling _____," are both fine.

7. In the body of the love letter, begin by telling him/her what you think makes him/her so special. List at least three different qualities of the one you love in the letter, ideally emotional, physical, and spiritual ones.

8. In the following paragraph of your love letter, share your hopes and dreams for the future you can have together.

9. Personalize the closing of the letter. "I will love you always," "Loving you forever," "My heart is yours," are all good possibilities.

10. Don't forget to sign your love letter!

11. Spray the love letter with a light fragrance.

12. Address, seal with special wax and stamp, and place postage on the love letter.

13. Wait a day before you send your love letter; you may change your mind.

14. Drop the love letter in the mail, and look forward to the response.

Tips: Don't mention anyone else but yourself and the addressee in the love letter.
Make sure you only send a love letter to someone who will appreciate it.
Pick out a special stamp for your love letter at the post office.
Find a seal for the envelope which can be your special theme - heart, moon, initial, etc.


This advice is from a manual published in 1882.

Hints on Writing Love Letters

(Editor's Note: The following originally appeared in Hill's Manual of Social and Business Forms: A Guide to Correct Writing, by Thomas E. Hill, published by the Hill Standard Book Co., Chicago, 1882. Hill's Manual, an amazingly comprehensive book, was very popular in it's time, and I still find it more useful than most "up-to-date" reference books published nowadays. -- D J Mc.)

Letters of Love
Of all letters, the love-letter should be the most carefully prepared. Among the written missives, they are the most thoroughly read and re-read, the longest preserved, and the most likely to be regretted in after life.

Importance of Care
They should be written with the utmost regard for perfection. An ungrammatical expression, or word improperly spelled, may seriously interfere with the writer's prospects, by being turned to ridicule. For any person, however, to make sport of a respectful, confidential letter, because of some error in the writing, is in the highest degree unladylike and ungentlemanly.

Necessity of Caution
As a rule, the love-letter should be very guardedly written. Ladies, especially, should be very careful to maintain their dignity when writing them. When, possibly, in after time the feelings entirely change, you will regret that you wrote the letter at all. If the love remains unchanged, no harm will certainly be done, if you wrote with judgement and care.

At What Age To Write Love-Letters
The love-letter is the prelude to marriage - a state that, if the husband and wife be fitted for each other, is the most natural and serenely happy; a state, however, that none should enter upon, until, in judgement and physical development, both parties have completely matured. Many a life has been wrecked by a blind, impulsive marriage, simply resulting from a youthful passion. As a physiological law, man should be twenty-five, and woman twenty-three, before marrying.

Approval of Parents
While there may be exceptional cases, as a rule, correspondence should be conducted only with the assent and approval of the parents. If it is not so, parents are themselves generally to blame. If children are properly trained, they will implicitly confide in the father and mother, who will retain their love until they are sufficiently matured to choose a companion for life. If parents neglect to retain this love and confidence, the child, in the yearning for affection, will place the love elsewhere, frequently much too early in life.

Times for Courtship
Ladies should not allow courtship to be conducted at unreasonable hours. The evening entertainment, the walk, the ride, are all favorable for the study of each other's tastes and feelings. For the gentleman to protract his visit at the lady's residence until a late hour, is almost sure to give offence to the lady's parents, and is extremely ungentlemanly.

The love-letter should be honest. It should say what the writer means, and no more. For the lady or gentleman to play the part of a coquette, studying to see how many lovers he or she may secure, is very disreputable, and bears in its train a long list of sorrows, frequently wrecking the domestic happiness for a lifetime. The parties should be honest, also, in the statement of their actual prospects and means of support. Neither should hold out to the other wealth, or other inducements that will not be realized, as disappointment and disgust will be the only result.

Marrying For a Home
Let nobody commence and continue a correspondence with a view to marriage, for fear that they may never have another opportunity. It is the mark of judgement and rare good sense to go through life without wedlock, if she cannot marry from love. Somewhere in eternity, the poet tells us, our true mate will be found. Do not be afraid of being an "old maid." The disgrace attached to that term has long since passed away. Unmarried ladies of mature years are proverbially among the most intelligent, accomplished and independent to be found in society. The sphere of woman's action and work is so widening that she can today, if she desires, handsomely and independently support herself. She need not, therefore, marry for a home.

Intemperate Men
Above all, no lady should allow herself to correspond with an intemperate man, with a view to matrimony. She may reform him, but the chances are that her life's happiness will be completely destroyed by such a union. Better, a thousand times, the single, free and independent maidenhood, than for a woman to trail her life in the dust, and bring poverty, shame and disgrace on her children, by marrying a man addicted to dissipated habits.

Marrying Wealth
Let no man make it an ultimate object in life to marry a rich wife. It is not the possession, but the acquisition, of wealth, that gives happiness. It is a generally conceded fact that the inheritance of great wealth is a positive mental and moral injury to young men, completely destroying the stimulus to advancement. So, as a rule, no man is permanently made happier by a marriage of wealth; while he is quite likely to be given to understand, by his wife and others, from time to time, that, whatever consequence he may attain, it is all the result of his wife's money. Most independent men prefer to start, as all our wealthiest and greatest men have done, at the foot of the ladder, and earn their independence. Where, however, a man can bring extraordinary talent or distinguished reputation, as a balance for his wife's wealth, the conditions are more nearly equalized. Observation shows that those marriages prove most serenely happy where husband and wife, at the time of marriage, stand, socially, intellectually and pecuniarily, very nearly equal. For the chances of successful advancement and happiness in after life, let a man wed a woman poorer than himself rather than one that is richer.

Let no couple hesitate to marry because they are poor. It will cost them less to live after marriage than before - one light, one fire, etc., answering the purpose for both. Having an object to live for, also, they will commence their accumulations after marriage as never before. The young woman that demands a certain amount of costly style, beyond the income of her betrothed, no young man should ever wed. As a general thing, however, women have common sense, and, if husbands will perfectly confide in their wives, telling them exactly their pecuniary condition, the wife will live within the husband's income. In the majority of cases where men fail in business, the failure being attributed to the wife's extravagance, the wife has been kept in entire ignorance of her husband's pecuniary resources. The man who would be successful in business, should not only marry a woman who is worthy of his confidence, but he should at all times advise with her. She is more interested in his prosperity than anybody else, and will be found his best counselor and friend.

Confidence and Honor
The love correspondence of another should be held sacred, the rule of conduct being, to do to others as you wish them to do to you. No woman, who is a lady, will be guilty of making light of the sentiments that are expressed to her in a letter. No man, who is a gentleman, will boast of his love conquests, among boon companions, or reveal to others the correspondence between himself and a lady. If an engagement is mutually broken off, all the love letters should be returned. To retain them is dishonorable. They were written under circumstances that no longer exist. It is better for both parties to wash out every recollection of the past, by returning to the giver every memento of the dead love.

brief history of sealing wax

History of Sealing Wax ( from They include a printed romance card bearing the following info, with every wax seal that is purchased from them. There are more detailed histories available.)

Since time immemorial, the seal has served as a stamp of indisputable authenticity, just as a signature is accepted in the world today. The use of seals can be traced back to the Old Testament, where it mentions that Jezebel used Ahab's seal to counterfeit important documents.

Royalty and governments used their own seal to affix to proclamations to give them their authoritative stamp of approval. The first Great Seal of England was that of Edward the Confessor, impressions of which can still be found. During this time, almost everyone had their own seal, and while most people had just one, Royalty would own several, including their "Great" Seal, as well as seals for all their courts and officials. It was common practice to destroy the seal when the owner died, which is the reason so few original seals are still in existence today.

Official Seals of the Crown were often handed over with great ceremony, and in Medieval Times the size and motif of the Seal conveyed an image of the status of it's owner. Early motifs were equestrian or heraldic in nature, or showed the owner in various pursuits like hunting or doing battle. William the Conqueror used an equestrian seal showing him armed and ready for battle.

In Medieval Times, betrothals were prearranged-therefore true words of love were secretly written and the envelope's contents secured by a wax seal, so that the recipient could be assured that their passion would be unknown to others.

The first Seal of the United States was created by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams & Thomas Jefferson on July 4th 1776 immediately after the Declaration of Independence was signed. Congress realized the necessity of such a seal for the newly established nation.

As literacy increased, seals were used less frequently and with the introduction of the gummed envelope in the 19th Century the need for privacy was reduced. Seals became a more personal expression as well as a decorative embellishment.

my collection

These were collected from the 60's until now. I only collect seals I plan to use with an exception or 2. Some, purchased at antique shows or online pre-date my collecting. I store and organize them by category. That way, they're easy to find.

I keep the in a little storage unit made for bits and pieces of hardware, like nuts and bolts and washers etc. The little slide-out drawers are clear. I used my Brother P-Touch to label drawers with their contents, like : small flowers, hearts, monograms etc. There are also drawers for sealing wax, tweezers, melting spoon and alcohol burner (which I never use but it came with a set of seals). Sealing wax is grouped by its mailability. Some wax is fine for gifts or hand delivered cards, but doesn't stand up to mailing. Other wax is more pliable and adheres very well, and that's the kind to put through the mail. If it's too hard or too brittle, it will crack off before it arrives at its destination.

I'm sure "serious collectors" who have collected wax seals for a shorter time than I, have many more seals. For me, it's not about the quantity, but rather if I will use it on correspondence or on a gift, etc. Having seals to have them, rather than for an intended use, doesn't appeal to me. It's an inexpensive, different kind of thing to collect. There are a few vintage ones I ordinarily check Ebay for, and every month or 2 I do a search to see if there is anything available that I'd like/use.

My close friends and family know that when I correspond with them, there will be an appropriate wax seal securing the contents of the envelope. In this age of advanced technology - which I relish and use - I enjoy the civility a wax sealed (4 ever) communication extends to its recipient.

Here is my collection: (I will update as necessary.)

Maple Leaf
Leafless Tree

Dove [Hallmark]

Happy Birthday
Birthday Cake
Teddy Bear
Baby Carriage
Baby Foot Prints
Rocking Horse
Graduation Cap

Alpha & Omega (Greek Letters)
Cross (14 k ring w/cut-out)
Praying Hands
Cross on Open Bible
Lutheran Rose (Rose w/Cross in center)
Maker's Mark

Merry Christmas
Partridge in Pear Tree
Bell with Ribbon [Hallmark]

You've Got Mail
Thanks [Hallmark]
Thank You
Thank You (other)
Quill Pen, Ink and Paper

Design Element:
Fleur Du Lys
Heart-shaped Leaf

Rose [my very 1st seal]
Daisy [Hallmark]
Daisy (other)
Basket of Flowers [Hallmark]
Basket of Flowers (other) [Hallmark]

Ribbon-tied Bouquet
Ribbon-tied Bouquet (other)
Generic Flower

Heart within a Heart [Hallmark]
Intertwined Curvy Hearts
Forget-Me-Nots in a Heart
Outlined Heart

Large Shield
Small Shield

Lady Bug [Hallmark]
Butterfly [Hallmark]
Dragon Fly

Menorah (7 branch)

Jewish Star
Ask for the Peace of Jerusalem (in Hebrew sterling ring)

VE [Hallmark]
With Love
VE (other)
Love (in script)
Clasped Hands
Danger Love Bug
Love Ya
Love with Lips

D [Hallmark]
A (octagonal w/lion handle)
A [Hallmark]

Coffee/Tea Cup
Apple or Peach [Hallmark]
Strawberry [Hallmark]

Treble Clef
Eighth Note

US Flag
1776 - 1976 USA

Peace Sign
Peace Sign (hand w/fingers in V peace sign)

Sunbonnet Sue [Hallmark]


Sand and Sea:
Light House

Double Wedding Rings
Double Wedding Bells


boy, oh boy!

I've gone around in circles over podcasting and blogging. I have been podcasting for my work since July and love it.  But, my idea to podcast rather than blog about my knitting, crochet, machine sewing and quilting, and all the other interests I have like my wax seals, techie stuff has died. Cause of death? A reality check.  The time and organization necessary to podcast my current weekly show is way more than I can even find the time to do a second time, for a "fun" podcast.  So, I have resigned myself to returning to blogging.  Perhaps I will podcast if my life and work schedules change, but that's not likely for some time.

So now, I'm going to rework this blog and make it the catch-all with emphasis on my needle crafts plus other topics.  It will be in transition for a while. I will link to all the media, social and graphic, that I use.

So, with 25 days until Christmas, this is yet another project on my plate.  That's so me!!

I accepted an invitation to a luncheon for this coming weekend, last Sunday - and of course there will be an ornament exchange.  So, although I'm a little behind, but not in panic mode yet, as regards Christmas crafting, I have almost finished the ornament, which I will post as soon as I stitch up the side. 

No, I'm not going to tell you what it is until it's done.

So, here I go again.  But for now, the huge pull of podcasting, which I really like to do, has been broken.  I just don't have the time.  Maybe in future.
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