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...
4 hours ago