Friday, April 9, 2010

A Prairie Spring



Hello everyone! Spring has burst into full bloom here in Pennsylvania and it also made its way into my stitching this week. I just finished this spring sampler from Book No. 50: "Prairie Seasons". It is stitched on 32 ct. flax Belfast linen with the suggested DMC threads. I got a start on this when I was in Florida last month and am so pleased with the way it turned out. I'll have to tell you though, I don't ever remember doing this much back-stitching in a Prairie Schooler design. Look at the window panes, the water spraying from the fountain and all of those stems and leaves--I thought I would never finish "sowing" this garden! The only change I made was to the robins' legs--the chart showed them as cross stitches, but after trying that, the poor things looked like grannies wearing thick, gray support hose, so I switched to a simple straight stitch and think they look much more delicate and bird-like.

I've included a collage of close-ups below so you can get a better look at all of the details in this finish: the wheelbarrow, the fountain, the watering can...And don't you love that blue door?

One of my favorite parts of this sampler is the little patch of orange carrots poking through the ground (shown in the lower right part of the collage photo). Speaking of carrots, I made a delicious carrot cake for Easter. Myra had posted her carrot cake recipe on her blog a few weeks ago and so I gave it a try... It was so tasty, Myra; thank you again for sharing it with us! I cut the recipe in half and it made a cake just the right size for the four of us (with just enough left over for my older sons to take back to their apartment). Unfortunately, my youngest son wasn't able to get home from college for Easter and it felt like a "piece of the puzzle" was missing from our family that day. With two giant papers due in mid-April and final exams looming, he thought it better to remain in Virginia and get some work done...

This wasn't the first Prairie Schooler spring sampler that I've stitched. I also stitched this one from PS Book No. 123, "Country Seasons" back in 2008. I'm not sure which one I like better. Both are very different, but I think I have a soft spot for the fluffy lambs grazing in the field in this one. How about you?

We've been fortunate enough to have a string of record-breaking warm and sunny days in April. I honestly think we're being rewarded for enduring the four feet of snow we got clobbered with in February! Just wanted to share some of those gorgeous spring blooms that have popped up in our backyard over the past week: daffodils, violas, hyacinth, periwinkle, and those lovely ferns. Have any of you planted your gardens yet? Yesterday, I went to the garden center and bought tons of flower and vegetable seeds and bulbs that will keep us busy planting over the weekend. Oh, wait a minute, did I say "us?" I have to work on Saturday--hope my dear husband doesn't mind getting started on the digging without me :)





I will be announcing the three participants in my PIF next weekend. Since there were more than three entries, I'll just do a random pick. If anyone else would like a chance to participate, you can sign up on my post from March 27th...

Thank you all so much for taking the time to visit my little corner of the world today... And a special thank you to all of my readers and friends who take the time to leave a comment. I know your lives are as busy as mine, but I truly love to hear from each and every one of you. Wishing you all a week filled with perfectly crossed stitches...

51 comments:

BeckySC said...

What a BEEutiful post, Carol :) I just love the PS!! WOW!! AND I love your other pics as well-SO springy :)
Have a lovely weekend :)

Margaret said...

Oh wow! I just love both your PS pieces! I'm a big fan of theirs as well! And spring -- yes! You deserve it after all that snow! We had the same thing with our daughter -- she couldn't come home for Easter from college either. Her first time not home for Easter. A weird feeling, right? But she surprised us this afternoon -- she's coming home this weekend instead! :D

Jules said...

Very beautiful stitching and the cake looks oh so yummy!

Nope, no gardens here, but then again, there's no room for one in this little park!

Jackie said...

Your PS piece is wonderful! Your photography does a great job of showing it off. I think the door is my favorite...but then again I love unusually shaped doors.

Your garden is beautiful. I love the look but hate all the work. For some people it's fun and relaxing but I'm not there yet.

Kellie said...

I love both of your PS finishes. Beautiful!! And so are those flowers. :)

Angela said...

I personally LOVE both of the PS designs so can't pick a favorite one either :) That carrot cake looks absolutely delicious! Lovely spring flowers too, we had nice warmer than normal weather for most of the week too. Have a great weekend!

Cindy's Stitching said...

Carol they are so pretty. I haven't really done any spring pieces yet. Your easter cake looks yummy and I am sure it tasted good. We have been lucky to actually have a spring this year, they past couple of years we really didn't get a spring. I took my bike into today to get a tune up ( how funny is that) It will be ready tuesday and I am looking forward to my biking again. Have a blessed weekend. I love reading your blog as much as you love writing it.

Melissa said...

Both the Spring pieces are so pretty, Carol! I love your spring photos too. Spring flowers are so cheery!

Have a lovely weekend!

valerie said...

Beautiful spring finish! Great job! And that cake looks scrumptious...where do I line up for a slice? lol

I do have to say I love your new header! I love pansies and like the washout effect that makes that purple one stand out. Beautiful!

Rowyn said...

Ahhh Spring... my favourite season (for the flowers and the lambs etc). Beautiful photos!

That carrot cake looks exquisite, and I love the view from your dining room table.

I do love Prairie Schooler designs, and I think both of your PS pieces are gorgeous.

Have fun with your PIF. I have never joined one because I'm finishing skilled deficient :-)

Lesleyanne said...

Both the Spring pieces are so pretty, I couldn't pick a favourite. Love the blue door.! I love your spring photos too.

MrsB said...

Gorgeous PS stitching, and lovely spring flowers, too!

Melanie said...

Both of the PS are lovely, I don't think I could pick a favourite. As for the garden we've just started with the veg seeds as the children are planting them in pots to grow this year, just some carrots, courgettes etc. Have a great weekend.

Lee said...

Love visiting your little corner of the world, your photos are as great as your stitching. Can see I will have to look for PS charts in the future.
By contrast we spent today cleaning up the garden read for winter.

Jane said...

This is such a lovely Spring posting and full of colour. I love both the PS stitches and both the blue door on the first one and the red house on the second BUT the second one has a rabbit on it so by unanimous decision by Buttons that one wins!!!
Our garden is still recovering from the months and months of rain we've had here in England but work will commence again out there soon! xx

~ Stitchin Sweet Sue ~ said...

Lovely post Carol, everything there looks great, especially that cake! Oh, btw... why were you not at our door with that cake Easter afternoon ~ lol!

xoxo

Catherine said...

Carol,
What a great post! Yes spring has sprung in PA! So has the pollen and allergy season, but I'll take it over any more shoveling (unless that's done in the gardens!)

I love your PS designs - my heart always goes towards sheep though, but birds are a close choice! I really love the frame on the sheep too!

Loving the warmer weather and yes, I have been in my gardens already. Cleaning them up, edging, mulching, etc. Yesterday was a bit cooler though and windy here.

Between getting out into the dirt and baseball kicking in for the boys, my stitching time has been depleted the last two weeks. I hope to get some in this weekend!

Happy Stitching and Gardening!

Carolyn NC said...

Your spring is beautiful - both old and new! Love this weather!

Barbi said...

Carol!
Everything is gorgeous! The finish, the flowers, even the cake looks gorgeous! YUMMM

Bette said...

Oh, how I miss the gorgeous spring flowers I used to have in Central PA. Your pics brought back some great memories. And I love the PS you stitched. They are one of my favorite designers.

Myra said...

Carol that is such a pretty piece. I don't think I have seen that one before. The little details are just amazing. I am glad you enjoyed the carrot cake - I need to get busy and make one myself. Your flowers are so pretty - spring has sprung!

Jennifer said...

Hi Carol, i just love your spring stitching. I hope you had a great trip to Flda. The carrot cake looks delicious! Happy spring!

Charlene ♥ SC said...

I'm so happy I don't have to pick - they're both very special in their own way! Isn't spring wonderful?

Rachel S said...

Pretty spring finishes! Thank you for sharing

Elaine said...

Both your spring pieces are beautiful Carol.
Yummy, carrot cake and great pictures!

Mylene said...

Love your new Spring finish, haven't seen this one earlier. It's beautiful also your earlier Spring finish.
Your flower pictures looks great.

Sally said...

Your PS Spring finish is gorgeous!

Your carrot cake looks absolutely delicious.

Farm Girl said...

Hi Carol,
Thanks for stopping by my blog, I've just paid a return visit to your beautiful blog. Your stitching is gorgeous, love the Spring finish. I am very envious of your pretty garden photos,we are cooling down fast here now, and I am missing summer already. Will be back for another visit soon. Nicky in NZ

D@isy said...

Hola!!!
Que preciosidad de labores,
Te felicito.

Saludos

Brigitte said...

This is such a great spring post, Carol. I love your Praire Schooler stitching, she's my very favourite designer. And like you I love all the nice little details that one can discover on her designs. And I love the colours.
All these flowers in your garden are so lovely. I can't get enough looking at all kinds of flowers after that hard winter. On our front lawn the violets have just started blooming and it's a terrific sight.
You seem to have spend a wonderful Easter holiday with your family. Enjoy spring!

Martine said...

Hi Carol !
Thank you for this beautiful post !!! I was so satisfied when I saw news on your blog !!!!!
I love your PS "Country Seasons" because the lambs and the small rabbit are so lovely...
In Pennsylvania, it is really the spring !!!! and you have beautiful flowers in your garden (daffodils are my favorite flowers).
Your carrot cake looks delicious but I don't know what is "pacanes" !!!!?????
For Easter, I thought that all your sons were present at home and I imagine that you had to miss the youngest !!!
I hope you a wonderful sunday and thank you for these great pictures !
Hugs.

Julie said...

Prairie Spring looks wonderful, i like both the 2008 one and this one, dont think i could choose a favourtie.

The carrot cake looks delicious. It's so nice when the flowers start to come out after a bit of nice weather, yours are looking really pretty.

Nancy said...

Your stitching is beautiful! I love both of your PS Spring samplers, and it is hard to pick a favorite.

Thanks for the link to the Carrot Cake recipe. All of your flowers are so pretty.

I read your profile and see you are in Western PA. I was born in Meadville, PA. Haven't been there for sooooo many years, but are you anywhere near there?

Shirley said...

Lovely piece of work - those tiny details make all the difference. I adore carrot cake and seeing your photo makes me feel hungry.

Edit said...

Your PS finish is absolutely beautiful Carol, as well as the one you stitched earlier. PS designs are so beautiful, it is always a pleasure to see them :)

And your photos! They are absolutely wonderful, spring has really arrived to your place. Fortunately here we also have great weather and lots of sunshine. But I am already afraid of the summer, last year was a nightmare (i.e. toooo hot)

Sherry said...

Lovely flowers and a wonderful finish!

Lois said...

What a lovely finish Prairie Spring is as is the one you stitched back in 2008! Loved all your pictures, the flowers look gorgeous and just what we all need to see as we leave winter behind. That carrot cake looks so delicious!

Siobhan said...

Do me a favor, Carol, and sniff your hyacinths for me. ;) I don't recall seeing them here, and oh my gosh I miss them.

Your PS is BEAUTIFUL!! Congratulations on the finish. I enjoyed the collage because I find that PS packs so much wonderful detail into their design that it's hard to see it all in one picture.

I'm sorry that your son wasn't able to make it home for Easter. You want them to come home but yet are proud for their attention to school, I know. It's bittersweet. Love the vase that you had the flowers in--I love anything with iron.

Have a great week!

Shari said...

everything is beautiful, as always......your stitching is so perfect! You are such an inspiration!!! Keep up the great work!

mainely stitching said...

I just have to say that your blog post really made me feel the joy of spring on this chilly, overcast day!

Cyndi Harris ~ said...

Great blog! I love the two PS sampelrs. And the cake looks so yummy.

corinna said...

carol
thanks so much for your nice comment
love your blog
the dmc box
amazing!
but all the beautiful stitchings
even more so

i am following along now
how i missed it i do not know
smiles
c

Kathy A. said...

Love the photos of your garden flowers. Makes me miss spring at home.
Your PS piece is quite lovely. The colors are kinda vivid for them but love how it turned out.

Manka said...

Your PS pieces are gorgeous!
greetings from Hungary:Manka

Michelle said...

Love the Prairie Schooler Spring finish! I love all their designs - they just have that 'something' about them.

The Cake looks delicious!

Thank you for all the Spring pics!

Dani - tkdchick said...

That is a lovely finish! I think I prefer your newest spring over the older one. I must be one of the few people out there who dosen't mind backstitching, I think it really brings a piece to life!

Vinniey said...

Your PS looks great! Smart changed and well done on the robins' legs. Your cake looks delicious makes me feel hungry! Can I have some? (LOL) Nice view from your dining area and I love the vase on your dining table, very unique! Thanks for sharing all those beautiful flowers. Have a nice day, Carol.

Meari said...

Both your samplers look nice, Carol. Aren't you glad it's spring? Your flowers are SO beautiful.

Pumpkin said...

Beautiful, beautiful stitching Carol! I always love coming over here and looking at what you've been up to :o) You are too funny but I think I would agree with you on your Robin's legs. LOL!

That carrot cake looks delicious! I wish I had been there for a taste ;o)

Daffodils and crocuses are popping up around here and even some of the magnolia tress have blossomed. I think it's a tad early so I hope they don't get hit by frost :o( It's nice to see colors again!

~ Stitchin Sweet Sue ~ said...

Very gracious of you to share your heart tin with Becky:)

Susan said...

I love both of your PS Spring pieces - it's too difficult to decide which one I prefer!

Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting - I've added you to my blog reader.