Saturday, May 30, 2009

Week Twenty-Two: Tulip Sampler










Did you ever have a piece that you just loved to stitch--that just flowed so beautifully and there were no missed stitches and no need to fix your mistakes? For me, this mini "Tulip Sampler" by Karen Kluba was one of them. It was offered as a freebie on the Rosewood Manor site last year, but doesn't seem to be available anymore (online anyway). Currently, there is another cute reindeer freebie on the site, though, so you may want to check that out...

I loved the colors in this tiny (2 3/4" X 3 1/2") sampler; the way they all blended together along with the whimsical alphabet resulted in a lovely finish. For "Tulip Sampler," I used white 28-count linen and DMC threads. I changed the border color from the designer's suggested green to the darkest blue color so it would work nicely in my (mostly) blue family room.

It felt so good to get much of our gardening off to a good start this past weekend. Thanks to help from two of our sons, we planted, pruned, weeded, moved rocks, dug up plants, moved plants, mulched, and got the yard looking pretty spiffy--just in time for the rain which we've had every day since Monday! Oh well, at least we didn't have to water our new plantings. One thing you won't see growing in our yard is tulips--we have such a problem with deer mowing them right down, that we don't even bother planting them anymore. Guess I'll have to be satisfied with the tulips in my stitching!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Week Twenty-One: Gingerbread Birdhouse













Well, this week I'm back to stitching Christmas ornaments. Even though the temperatures are finally warming up (we're having a string of lovely 80 degree, sun-filled days for the Memorial Day weekend), I'm thinking ahead to Christmas. This would make a perfect gift for a friend whom I give an ornament to every year. After all, who doesn't like gingerbread houses? This pattern is from an old issue of Stitcher's World magazine and was stitched on 28-count black Monaco with DMC threads. Lots of backstitching in this one! But I think the finished piece resulted in a house any bird would be happy to call home...

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Week Twenty: Violets








Just a quick finish for a very busy week. My youngest son will be leaving for Spain on Tuesday, so I've spent much of my free time getting him organized and packed up for his six week trip. He'll be taking two classes at a Seville university, living with a host family, and doing some traveling throughout Spain--we're all jealous!

This week I tackled stitching on black with this piece simply called "Violets Flower." It is a freebie from A.B.C. Cross-Stitch which you can find right here. Don't you love the colors in violets? The subtle shades of violets and lavenders create such a delicate looking flower. It was stitched on 16-count Aida using DMC threads. I have always loved the way black fabric makes a design just "pop," but with these middle-aged eyes, stitching on black is just, well, let's say, a bit difficult. I think this would make a lovely sachet pouch someday, or perhaps a pretty covering for a small wooden box...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Week Nineteen: Summer Scene
















I guess the title of my latest finish, "Summer Scene", is just wishful thinking! After the wet and cold week we've had here in western Pennsylvania, summer seems a l-o-n-g way off...This piece, although small, was a challenge for me because it used not only cross stitching, but some specialized stitches that were new to me as well: Hungarian stitches on the roof; leviathan stitches on the front door; Smyrna stitches for the flowers; woven leaf stitches for the tree leaves; reversed cushion stitch on the sidewalk; and everyone's favorite--the French knot for the flower centers. I love the different textures that all of these stitches give the finished piece. This primitive folk-artsy "Summer Scene" designed by Cynthia Zittel of The Drawn Thread was stitched on 32-count Twilight Blue linen with DMC threads. Isn't that oversized cat sitting in the front yard so funny!

Wishing all of you who are mothers a Happy Mother's Day tomorrow--it is often a thankless, tiring, and messy job (especially when your kids are young), but I can't imagine life without my three sons! Oh, and thanks mom--I love you dearly...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Week Eighteen: Prairie Schooler Spring Robin









It's May! It is hard to believe that I have stitched 18 pieces and that my 2009 "Ornament a Week" challenge is one third over--so far, so good. Now I'm just wondering when I will ever have the time to finish them all into ornaments... I stitched this Prairie Schooler robin (from the Spring and Fall leaflet) on 32-count flax Belfast linen using DMC threads. This spring we have our very own robin who sits patiently day after day on her nest filled with three blue eggs. I think the blue of the robin's egg has to be one of the prettiest colors in the world and I took a photo to show you the tiny eggs in their protected nest in the holly bush located just outside the bay window in our den. The mother robin was harder to photograph--very skittish and upset that a human would invade "her" territory, but I did manage to catch her in the photograph below. I look forward to seeing the babies hatch in the coming weeks...


Three lovely sky-blue robin's eggs...

The mother robin guarding her nest...