Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Two big finishes!

Hello my friends! My blogging seems to be dwindling to a mere twice a month these days... Just a very busy time of year for all of us, isn't it? I do have a big (for me anyway!) finish to share with you which I'm very excited about. Back in February, I was gifted with the lovely Drawn Thread Sunflower Bellpull chart from the very generous Brenda. I can't even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed stitching this piece. Most of you know that I love sunflowers--remember this post from last year?

It's hard to get a good closeup of the entire piece, so I've taken photos of the different sections. The specialty stitches were challenging, but not overwhelmingly so, and they just add so much personality to the piece. If you look closely, you'll see Half Rhodes Stitches, Shell Stitches, Four-sided Stitches, Woven Stitches, Horizontal Smyrna Stitches, Alternating Back Stitches, Diagonal Satin Stitches, Lazy Roman Stitches, and Alternating Double Back Stitches. Whew!



The color used for the alphabet (Needle Necessities Serengeti) added so much to the look and provided great color variation without having to change floss colors. And those giant "bigger-than-the-house" size sunflowers, black crows, and tiny red lady bugs with their beady black heads scattered throughout the piece--adorable!


I think one of the most appealing parts of Sunflower Bellpull is the quote: "When up they riseth early in the morrow; that blissful sight it softeneth my sorrow." Nature has that effect on me--many times it is just the simple glimpse of a bird in flight or newly blooming flower that can bring a smile to my face. I suppose that's why you see so many nature photos on my blog. Another special thing about the quote is that my mother's maiden name can be found somewhere in it--can you guess what it is?



I've covered my name for privacy, but I have a question about names on samplers like this. How on earth does someone with a long name manage to make it fit? Do any of you ever have problems? I just used my first initial and last name, but if you had a really long surname, what would you do? This final section with the delta-shaped sunflower garden is so pretty, isn't it? I loved the four-sided stitch and chose to use it as a border around the entire piece even though it was only charted at the bottom point. I think it just ties up the whole piece very nicely.

As I do with all charts that are passed on to me, I want to pass this along to one of my followers. Simply let me know in your comment (on this post only) if you would like to stitch it and be included in the drawing. My only request is that you stitch it in a timely manner and pass it along when you are done... I'll announce the winner the next time I post. And thank you again Brenda--as you can tell, I truly enjoyed this piece!


My mailbox was full of stitching gifts again last week. The very talented Karen at Karen's Handiwork has a really fun drawing each month. She stitches an ornament for herself and another identical ornament for one of her lucky followers. Well, I won the April ornament and what an ornament it is! It is a very unique and perfectly stitched and beaded beauty called a "humbug." Karen has more information about it (along with much better photos) in this post if you want to try your hand at making your very own humbug. I truly love it, Karen, and it will be an honor to hang it on my tree each Christmas--thank you for sharing your talent with me!


And all the way from England, came another wonderful package from a new reader, sweet June. June doesn't have a blog, but I keep encouraging her--if I can do it, she can, too! Don't you love the miniature card that she created? It is just so sweet and with its birds and flowers it couldn't be more perfect for me. I'm going to try to find a tiny frame for it so I can display it on my kitchen shelf. She included some pretty wildlife charts and a skein of the softest pinkish-lavender floss, too. Thank you so very much, June--I've really enjoyed getting to know you through our emails and I hope you take the plunge into the wonderful world of stitching blogs very soon!










Okay, I guess you're wondering about my other finish--after all the title of this post is "Two big finishes," right? Well, the other finish isn't mine, but my youngest son's. On Sunday, May 8th, (Mother's Day here in the U.S.) I was the proudest mom in the world as I watched him graduate 'magna cum laude' from The University of Richmond. Seeing him receive his diploma with all of those honor cords around his neck brought tears to my eyes. You see, he didn't just sit in the dorm spending his time studying...He played in the jazz band, worked in the computer center, was a writing tutor for underclassmen, volunteered with Hispanic students in the community, studied in Spain, and truly lived the whole college experience to its fullest. (And yes, there were "those" parties and a bit of (ahem) "mischief," too!!)


I thought you might enjoy this collage of photos from the graduation. (Several of you have requested a photo of "the graduate" and his proud parents and I'd be happy to email you one if you'd like--just let me know in your comments. I'm just a bit shy about posting family photos on my blog for some reason.) The weather couldn't have been nicer and showcased the gorgeous campus so beautifully. I'm really going to miss the place--my oldest son graduated from the same college 7 years ago, so we've spent a lot of time in the Richmond area. It was hard to watch my son's rollercoaster of emotions this weekend--he was thrilled to be saying farewell to tests and studying, but saying goodbye to long-time friends and knowing he was about to face life in the "real world" was difficult at times. Now, it's on to job-hunting and deciding about law or graduate school. But, I have no doubt that he'll find happiness and success in whatever path he chooses. With his positive attitude and zest for living, he can't possibly fail...

Well, that's about it for this week. I'll leave you with some shots of the lovely pastel flowers that have recently burst into bloom in my yard--finally!! This had to be the rainiest, coolest spring ever here in western Pennsylvania, but this week has been gorgeous. Hope it lasts into the summer...

Thank you all for your visits, comments, and friendship. I treasure them all... Bye for now...

60 comments:

Hazel said...

What a fantastic finish Carol. It is big I would say. Lovely gifts too from friends. x

Cindy's Stitching said...

What a beautiful piece. I love sunflowers also. One of my all time favorites. Congratulations on your sons graduation. You gave him the best start they can get and shows what great parents he has. The goodies you received in the mail are great. Stitching gifts are the best

Lisa Russell said...

Your finished piece is so pretty! My son graduated a couple of weeks ago also, from FSU Magna Cum Laude! Thank you for the nice congrats you left for him on my blog. Congrats to all graduates!

Melissa said...

Well, I can see this is a big accomplishment post! First, congrats to your son - what a great accomplishment and his future looks bright!

Second, congrats on your Sunflower Bellpull finish. I'm going to write down that verse - it's a good one!

CalamityJr said...

I'd love to try to stitch that as beautifully as you have - please include me in your drawing!

pam said...

Congrats on your son's graduation! Maybe some more $$ for stash now:) Also, I loved all the same things about the sunflower bell pull with the exception of the hidden name.(guessing Morrow)It was a really fun stitch and seemed to go quick if I recall.

~*Shar*~ said...

I love this sampler hun and would love to be included in your generous drawing. You did a great job...

Hugs, Shar

Stitchin' Sweet Sue said...

Ahhhhhh, she turned out quite nice, congrats. As you know, this chart is one of my WIP's, plz give my chance to another. Kudos to your son, congrats to you and hubby on yet another fine finish;-) xoxo

valerie said...

Congratulations to your DS on his graduation! Very proud accomplishment.

Congrats on your sunflower bellpull finish! It's stunning! I wonder what people with long surnames do too...mine is short so I wouldn't have that issue. I love it when flowers are bigger than the house.

Great gifties too!

Annette said...

What a lovely sunflower piece you have stitched!! so big.. great job..
I have a longe name to... mostly only put my first name!!
What a great gifts you got!!
You get so many beautifull things!!
Congratz with your son.. wow great job of him and you too...
Beautifull flower pics..

have a great week..

hugs

Christine said...

Your sunflower piece is wonderful! Congratulations to your son

Shari said...

wow!!!!!! That is gorgeous!!!! You have been secretly busy working on that one...I would love a chance to stitch it.
Congrats to your son....I know it had to have been a very emotional weekend for all of you!!!! Congrats to all!!!
one more semester here!!!
Your flowers are beautiful...don't you just love this time of year??? I wish it would last a lot longer than it does....
Your goodies are great too, by the way!

Nicola said...

Oh what a beautiful finish Carol! The gifts you received are lovely too.

Congratulations to your son on his graduation.

Sorry I've not been in touch lately, will e-mail you soon.

KarenV said...

Sunflower Bellpull looks wonderful Carol, congratulations on a beautiful finish :)

Lucky you to win such a lovely ornament from Karen too. Congratulations to your DS - I'm sure he has a bright future ahead of him!

Anonymous said...

Carol,
Like you,sunflowers are my favorite flowers. I have been wanting this sampler for the longest time. Would love an opportunity to win it. Congratulations and much success to your son. Love your blog.
Linda C.

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

Your finish is awesome. So pretty.

I've really got to stop reading your blog because every time you post a finish, I want to stitch it, too!

Congrats to the Grad. Oh, what a wonderful adventure, fresh out of college! Blessings to him always.

Please put my name in the hat for the drawing. :)

Blessings to you and yours

Annie said...

The sunflower piece is gorgeous! It's fun to do all the different stitches and you did a wonderful job. So your mother's maiden name was ABC? Anyway, guess you have to go with initials only if you have a long name.

Great set of gifts from stitchers. Gives you plenty of toys to play with.

And congrats on your son's accomplishment! I suspect he could never have done it without a great Mom like you to guide him!

The Queen Bee said...

While you might only post a couple times a month, your posts are HUGE and full of information. The bell pull is gorgeous. So nicely done.

You must be the luckiest blogger around given all the drawings you win. Way to go.

Yes, I'd love a picture. We are just starting down the road of college but can sure imagine the thrill of watching them graduate.

Pam

Margaret said...

Congratulations to your graduate! Magna cum laude no less! Good for him. Love your Sunflower piece too. Please don't include me in the drawing though - I already have the chart.

Lee said...

Congtaulations to both parents and son great achievement.
Your sunflower piece is just lovely, I would love to stitch it and then share the chart on. please include me in your draw.

Cross Stitch Crazy Mum said...

Congrats! The sunflowers are gorgeous. and congrats to your son. To have finished college with such honour is a great thing :)

Isabel said...

Hello Carol
Your sunflower bellpull is lovely and the gifts you received are wonderful but, I think your son´s graduation is a really BIG finish. Congratulations to the graduate and the proud parents!!!

Karen said...

Congrats to your son... it is always a great accomplishment!

I love your Sunflower Sampler. I started it last year but hate the fabric I chose so I need to restart. Seeing your start is really making me want to pull this one out again!!! I must resist.

Glad you like the ornament too. Hope you have a good week. Happy stitching...

Alisa said...

Congrats to your son on his graduation and accomplishment!!

Your finish is lovely and given that I am very partial to sunflowers as well I would love to be included in your draw. Thanks!

Ellen said...

Love sunflowers, your sampler is gorgeous! Congrats on the finish! Please include me in your giveaway, love to have a chance to stitch this beautiful sampler.

Enjoy your stitched gifts, they are the best!

Congrats to your son on his graduation!

Hugs.

Mouse said...

HI Carol :) oooo well done what a wonderful bell pull :) ooo surname Morrow ??? and congratulations to you DS on his graduation and all the things he did there too and not just the parties heheh :)would love to be entered into the draw many thanks :) love mouse xxxx

Gabi said...

Congrats to this gorgeous finish. Love it. My maiden name is quite long and I doubt it would fit on lot of samplers. I don't use that name ever, but if I have to I think I would have to use initials.

mainely stitching said...

A great big huge congratulations to your son! WOW! That's wonderful. :D

And your finish is gorgeous. I love Drawn Thread. :) I often have trouble with my name when I have to personalize it, and when it's something with initials they usually only leave room for 2 letters. :( I wind up stitching over one or subbing something else.

I have a letter Rowen wrote to you that I'm embarrassed to say I have not posted. I will try to remedy that soon!

Jules said...

Beautiful stitchy finish! And a BIG congrats to your son on his big finish! Woo Hoo!!!

Myra said...

Carol, your sunflower piece is gorgeous - I just love everything about it and you are right about that border, just perfect. Congratulations to the graduate! What an accomplishment and you must be so proud. I would love to see a picture when you have a chance.

Tricia said...

Beautiful stitching, Carol! And what fun goodies, too!! Congratulations to your son. I can imagine how proud of him you are. What a special day that must have been!!

Teresa S. said...

Congrats on all your finishes!

Lesleyanne said...

Congrats on a beautiful finish and to your son on his gratduation. Lovely gifts received.

Ana Luisa said...

What a beautiful sampler, well done! Thanks for sharing such lovely photos. :)

Kathy A. said...

That is a stunning sampler. Congratulations on such a beautiful piece.
And huge congratulations to your son. You have every right to be so proud!

BrendaS said...

Carol --
Your Sunflower Sampler turned out just wonderful. Your stitching is so beautiful:)))

Congratulations to your son. How exciting for you to have such a special Mother's Day just bursting with pride! My youngest graduated from college 2 years ago on Mother's Day weekend and I remember being so proud and so full of emotion.

Have a wonderful week my friend.

♥ Nia said...

Beautiful beautiful piece! I love those colors!! :) Congrats on your work sweetie!
And congrats to your son too :D
Hugs&smiles to you

Berit said...

Wonderful in so many ways! I love your choice to put the border all 'round the bell-pull; it really does work. :D

Melanie said...

Congrats for your son!!!!
That's all kinds of awesome!

The sunflower piece is just divine. I love sunflowers in general but the colors here really are perfect. If I had taken my husband's last name I would definitely have a problem fitting my name into things but, as it is now, it's a scant 4 letters - very workable!!! :) I do an issue though with some things that require 3 initials because I don't have a middle name. lol

♥marylin♥ said...

absolument merveilleux cette broderie !
bisous bisous

Lois said...

What a wonderful memory seeing your son graduate. I wish him well as he starts out on this next stage in his life. You know I'd love to see a picture!!! What a gorgeous finish! I have this in my stash (unstitched!) so I'm passing on being included in the draw for it. Beautiful gifts in your mail box too!! Have a good weekend and I hope your weather warms up a little soon.

Septiembre said...

Enhorabuena por la graduación "Cum laude" te tu hijo, es todo un orgullo para sus padres y para él.
Tu bordado es una maravilla, tremendo trabajo el que has realizado, los resultados fantásticos.
Me alegro de ver tu jardín tan florido, ya se han ido las nieves y llegan las lindas flores.
Buen fin de semana.

Michele B. said...

As always your work is beautiful. Looking at it reminds me that summer will soon be here. I won't try for the chart - I still have plenty to stitch from you! And congratulations on the graduation - I'd love to see a picture!

BlackCat said...

Gorgeous piece. It is finished beautifully and looks impeccable. Great job!

Meari said...

Congratulations to your DS on his graduation :) I'd love to see a pic with him and the parents.

Incidentally, I'll be graduating this fall Magna Cum Laude, too! It's offficial now since I've applied for graduation.

Congrats on your finish. It turned out beautifully. And the mailman was really good to you this week!

Catherine said...

Love your finish Carol!! Congrats again to your son. I know how proud you must be!! What lovely things you had waiting in your mailbox! Enjoy them all!

Sally said...

Congratulations on a gorgeous finish! I love those colours.

Love the ornament from Karen and what a lovelt gift from June.

Congratulations to your DS!

Andrea said...

Congratulations on a gorgeous finish. I love looking at mine, it's so uplifting. Beautiful gifts too. Well done to your son too.

Kathy Ellen said...

Carol, you have done a truly beautiful job of stitching the Drawn Thread Sunflower Sampler bellpull. One of my favorite designers is Drawn Thread, because the designs are always beautiful, have lots of different stitches and great instructions. I would love to be included in your selection to "stitch and pass it on" to another stitcher when I finish it. Thankyou!

passionfruitprincess said...

Hi,Carol! Your sunflowers are beautiful! I tried to comment yesterday and blogger was down...
You have lovely flowers! I am enjoying my garden too. Spring is amazing!
Congrats on your boy's graduation and best wishes for him.
Hugs,
Ana Paula.

sorbert said...

A lovely finish. Well done.
Some lovely gifts you've got.

Susan said...

Your finish is lovely, Carol. Congratulations!

Congratulations to your DS on his graduation!

Siobhan said...

CONGRATULATIONS to your son AND to you!! I am sure you are just so proud, and have every right to be. :)

Congrats, too, on the finish! Beautiful work! Love the gifts you've received, too!

Nancy said...

Your Sunflower Bell Pull is just gorgeous Carol, as is all of your stitched pieces! I love the oversized Sunflowers next to the house. I had a problem with fitting my last name on a sampler recently so I stitched the initial of my first name over two and my last name over one. I like how it turned out.

Congratulations to your son! I know you are a very proud Mom. I love all of your beautiful nature photos. I'm like you - I saw the first hummingbird of the season fly by the other day, and it just gave me the best feeling!

Julie said...

Stunnig finish Carol, it's beautiful

Well done to your son xx

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol,

Oeps, i entered my name for the drawing in the next post , my mistake :-))

So i do it here , again, as this is a chart i am missing in my drawn thread collection, so please enter my name,

Nicole(Belgium)

Brigitte said...

Oh Carol, what a wonderful finish you show here. I just love it. I have the chart, too, and have stitched parts from it but not the whole bellpull. One day I will ...
Congratulations to your son on his great success!!!

Pumpkin said...

Fantastic! Beautiful finish Carol. Congrats :o) I have no idea what you would do if you had a long surname. Never had that problem. LOL! Will you finish this into a bellpull or have it framed?

Congrats on winning one of Karen's lovely Christmas ornies!

How wonderful!!!! You must be one proud momma bear :o)

Beautiful pictures.

Jennifer said...

Congratulations and BEST WISHES to your son! You must be so proud of him - and who wouldn't be? Great job, Mom!!

Kay said...

I love your finish! Very beautiful indeed! Congrats to your son on his graduation!