Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Something To Crow About!

What a crazy week in the eastern United States--an earthquake and a hurricane in the same week?! How did all of my blogging friends fare? I feel almost guilty in reporting that we've enjoyed nothing but a string of sunny days here in western Pennsylvania while those of you along the east coast struggled with the rain and winds, floods and power outages... Many of us felt the earthquake locally (not me, however my son's office building here was evacuated!), but thank goodness there appears to be little serious damage. I wish the same could be said for Hurricane Irene. I just heard on television that the estimate of damage is between seven and ten BILLION dollars--just devastating. Anyway, I want my east coast blogging friends to know I'm thinking of you and hoping things return to normal for all of you very soon.

Well, on to more enjoyable topics--like stitching! Have you ever stumbled upon a "new to you" designer and wondered how you missed her work? That happened to me recently with "Chessie and Me" designs. How did I ever miss Bunny Sampler, Love Liberty, and Pumpkin Hill? Aren't they charming? I think a few of them will be popping into my next online shopping cart! This sweet freebie, Chessie and Me's "Bird & Flower," can be found right here. Just click on "Newsletter" in the left column, and you will find it on page three of the May 2009 issue.


This one is stitched on 32 ct. flax Belfast linen using WDW and Sampler Threads (if you're interested in the colors I used, just email me!). I found an old purple button in my button jar and topped it off with a small sage green one to accent the empty space. You could certainly fill that space with the date or your initials if you wanted to. Finally, I backed it in the fabric shown and attached a straw colored handmade cording.


I loved this "With Thy Needle and Thread" freebie when I first caught a glimpse of it two years ago and I'm so glad I finally found the time to sit down and stitch it. Brenda's free chart can be found right here. I so appreciate designers' time and effort in creating these beautiful free designs for us! This crow perched on a pumpkin uses DMC, WDW, and Crescent Colours and is stitched on 32 ct. cafe latte linen.




I originally planned on framing it, but I decided to just make a simple pinkeep out of it and top it off with a black bow and gold colored pin. The sides look a bit wonky in my photo, but they are actually pretty straight--not perfect, but "good enough" (which, by the way, is my new motto--"good enough!"--life is really too short to worry about being perfect all the time, don't you think?). Again, if anyone wants to know my color choices, please email me and I'll be happy to share them with you.



Primitive Betty offered this cute crows and sunflowers freebie back in July and I thought it would be a perfect addition to my little collection. Click here for the chart. She has so many cute freebies on her site which I'm sure most of you have seen, but for those of you who haven't, head on over and check them out.


This one is stitched "over one" on 28 ct. clay Lugana using DMC threads. I finished it into a tiny pillow with some coordinating fall leaf fabric, a black satin ribbon, and orange ric-rac. It will be a nice addition to my fall decorating, don't you think? (You can click on the photo to get a bigger view.) So are you sensing a theme here? I'm calling all of these birds "crows," but they very well could be ravens or blackbirds. Did you know that a group of crows is called a "murder" and that they are among the smartest creatures in the world? Just a bit of librarian trivia for you!


And of course, I couldn't finish off my crow stitching without including a Prairie Schooler, could I? This is from PS Book No. 132: Autumn Leaves. I stitched it on 32 ct. grey linen using DMC threads. I wasn't really sold on the darker fabric color at first, but kept stitching away and I'm quite pleased with the end result.





For this finish, I attached it to a fabric covered piece of mounting board (I applied thin batting on the top of each piece underneath the fabric) and then applied a trail of the teeniest pom-pom beading around the perimeter and attached it with just a bit of fabric glue. I'm planning on covering the back with a piece of black felt--just didn't have any on hand...

So, what did I do with all my crows? Why, I created a little fall display in my kitchen. My two older sons were over for dinner on Sunday night and just looked at me with raised eyebrows as if to say: "Crows?? Mom--really!! That's pretty weird." I'll tell you, these guys of mine just don't get me at all! But, I love them anyway, and I love my stitched crows as well. I even found a cute crow mat and metal black statue to display with them along with an older crow on a picket fence piece that I stitched back in 2009. What do you think? Cute or weird? I think they'll make a fun and whimsical September display before I put out my Halloween pieces...


And, oh, yes--I plan on adding to my crow table! Just look at what I'm stitching next! That's right--Ida Mae Crow along with her sweet husband Ira Ray. Don't you love them? I showed them to the guys and of course, they just groaned: "Those are really weird, mom!" Sigh... Do you see why I count on you, my blogging friends, for your supportive comments?


SEVILLE ~ the capital of Andalusia...
Our final stop on our European adventure was really the city that began our whole trip. You see, my youngest son studied abroad in Seville in the summer of 2009. When he returned to the U.S. with such enthusiasm for his experiences, he encouraged the whole family to travel there some day. And so the seeds for this trip were planted...

The beautiful Plaza de España was built in 1928
for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929.
Portions of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
were filmed here in 2000.

The lovely blue and white ceramic railings at
Plaza de España.


More detailed look at those stunning railings.

Even the bannisters were blue and white!

One of the "Alcoves of the Provinces" at Plaza de España.


Waiting for a passenger, horse-drawn carriages were a common sight.


As a librarian, I was captivated by this darling statue of
Clara Campoamor (1888-1972), a Spanish politician and feminist.
Notice the tiny mouse sitting there reading a book of his own!

The wrought-iron work was so beautiful.



Orange trees were everywhere!

A co-worker who travels a lot advised me to go "off the beaten path" a bit to get the true flavor of a city. She was right! Without wandering down some side streets, we would never have come upon this parish festival complete with a religious parade...
We followed the colorful paper flowers and came upon...

Seville children all dressed up for a religious festival and parade.

This young man is taking his job very seriously...

How sweet!

My very favorite photo of our entire trip!


View outside our hotel...such pretty colors!

Seville Cathedral, built in the 15th and
early 16th centuries, is the largest in Europe.

Inside the Seville Cathedral.

La Giralda, a former minaret that was converted
to a bell tower for the Cathedral of Seville.


Bells and views of Seville from La Giralda.

The Real Alcázar was built in the 14th century.

Patio de las Doncellas (Patio of the Maidens)

Such beautiful mosaics and intricate carvings...


Gardens of the Alcázar of Seville.


This mama duck and her brood were right
at home in the middle of the garden!


Peacocks, flowers, water scenes of the gardens of Real Alcázar.

My youngest son was so right--Seville was indeed a gorgeous spot to visit. We hope to visit more of Spain's lovely cities some day. That concludes my European trip photos--thanks for coming along with me as I relived those special memories!




I want to thank Marly from Samplers and Santas who was having a stash clean-out and offered up some of her goodies in exchange for postage. I was lucky enough to win this beautiful lot of lugana--perfect for my "over one" stitching. She also included these pretty beads as well! Thank you so much, Marly; your fabric has found a good home. In fact, I already have put it to good use--it is your lugana in the little over one crows piece shown above.

Thank you for all your sweet comments on my last post--I guess everyone loves a good fireman story! As I told many of you, that will definitely go down into our family history and be told and re-told again and again. I also want to welcome my new followers...I've tried to visit your blogs and say hello, too. I am in awe that my follower numbers are approaching 500--sounds like a giveaway should be coming soon, doesn't it? Let's all hope this week brings no more natural disasters for any of us...Have a safe and relaxing Labor Day weekend, and thank you again for your friendship, comments, and emails--I can't even begin to tell you how much they mean to me. Bye for now...

77 comments:

Jackie said...

Thank you for the links to the beautiful freebies! Your collection of crows is wonderful.

Siobhan said...

Oh my gosh, Carol! What a great murder of crows you have there. ;) They're all wonderful--and I thank you for including the links to the freebies! I love how you finished everything, as always!

Denise said...

Omg ~ your crows are beautiful! I did a bunch of crows lately and none of these. Going to look some of these up! Thanks for the preview! And your boys just aren't 'with' it!

Annie said...

What a fabulous collection of crows! You really planned for fall. Love all the stitching, finishing and gorgeous fall colors.

Lisa V said...

I love your collection of crows Carol. All such lovely finishes.
Hugs

Rhona said...

Love your crow collection, don't worry if the boys don't 'get it'....we do!
Thanks for the links for the freebies - guess where I'm off to next?!!

JillMN said...

I love all of your crow finishes The display look beautiful.

Tricia said...

What a wonderful stitching display!! I think my favorite is the "With Thy Needle" freebie. You have such a wonderful eye for choosing colors!!

butterfly said...

Oh i just love a crow or two. They are just fab carol. Love your display , now you have put thoughts into my head for a crow table. Also just love the Mr&Mrs Crow how sweet are they.

My family think i am mad to with my displays of cross stitch, but they love it when i do stitch for them.

Yes i did know about a group of Crows being a Murder.
My DH is a mind of information and once he starts he goes through every single bird duck , animal.

Cindy said...

love, love, love your crow collection and thank you for the links :D....don't worry too much about your 'boys'...we understand...my husband has learned to smile and say nice things instead of eye rolls, hehehe

marly said...

Thanks for the free chart links. I just love your attention to detail and finishing ideas. All of them great! I had to scroll down and browse the photos from Ronda again. They just amaze me.

KarenV said...

Wonderful crows Carol! You have a great display there, just perfect for the changing season.

Natalia said...

Great job on the finishes, Carol !!! I love how you displayed it all. Thanks so much for the link to the freebies :-)

CATHI said...

These are wonderful finishes!!!

Kathy A. said...

Now, that's some assortment of crows! Lovely finishes.

Meari said...

I think your crow display is tasteful and definitely you. It looks nice for a fall display.

I just can't get over how many finishes you do! Nice job... they're beautiful.

Jan said...

Oh gosh Carol!!! I share your love for crows and your recent stitched pieces and finishes are just perfect! I too love Ida Mae and Ira Ray...you go girl on that wonderful collection!!

Barb said...

You do like crows don't you! Nice finishes.

BrendaS said...

Carol --
It's always so much fun to come visit with you on your blog. You always have such wonderful things to show us and tons of inspiration and this week was no exception.

I love all your Crows and the finishing is gorgeous. I think the way you displayed them where you can enjoy them every day is just perfect:)))

Can't wait to see your progress on new set of crows!

Have a safe and pleasant Labor Day weekend!

The Inspired Stitcher said...

I love the crows! I think they are a perfect transition theme until you put out the Halloween things. You inspired me to look at some of my stash and try some theme stitching too. Thanks for sharing!

Lee said...

Just tell those boys that crows are the new geese! But they probably still won't get it.

Wonderful finishes, as always Carol!

~*Shar*~ said...

Thank you so much for sharing the freebies hun; I love crows...and pumpkins. Love how you finished them.

Hugs, Shar

LoriU said...

Oh I love that With Thy Needle and Thread freebie! Can you tell us what colors you used?

Lesleyanne said...

I LOVE your display of crows. I look forward to seeing Ida crow and her hubby. Thank you for your kind comments on my blog and I hope you don't mind but I would really like to pinch your finishing idea for LHN Silent Night.

beforethedawn said...

Such wonderful finishes and stitching! I love them all. I have been on a crow kick lately, I think I'm just anticipating fall and all the characters that come with it. :)

Blessings, Jessica
http://blessingsinthecountry.com/

Beth said...

The crows are great, wonderful, fabulous! I love them all and your finishing is super too! Thanks for the links to the freebies - it will be hard to decide what to do first!

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michele said...

love all your crows! Thanks for the freebie link .. I'll be stitching this one up soon :)

The Queen Bee said...

Carol,

I love every one of your fall projects. The colors....I can't get enough.

I brought out my fall decorations but am trying to wait until September 1 to unpack the boxes.

Pam

Anne said...

I love all your finishes Carol! They are all so darling. The "With They Needle and Thread" freebie is one that I just pulled out to do as well!! But I don't have the threads so I can't start it yet until I get a chance to run over to Michael's. I'm finishing mine as a pillow, but yours is so sweet as a pinkeep!!

Love the autumn display!! And all those fabrics you won are wonderful! Enjoy them!

Nancy said...

Love all your crows! The finishing looks great! Thanks for the links!

Rachel S said...

That is a lot of crows, but they are wonderful! I think they make a nice transitional display from summer to fall!

Theresa said...

Wow~~~~ What an awesome bunch of crows!!!!! Your finishes are so beautiful~~~~ I can definitely sense autumn in the air with your lovely display~

mckinney37397 said...

love your crows-who is the large one with fence by-mckinney37397@yahoo.com

Suzanne said...

I love you little collection of crow stitches. You have some very pretty finishes there.

Great stash you won from Marly, she certainly was very generous.

lynda said...

Your stitching and finishing are beautiful! Thanks for all the great freebie links too!

Vickie Niggemann said...

Hello Carol, always a joy to find an update from you. Your finishing techniques are ever improving, so nice. Your murder of crows is definately cute not weird. Thank you for the links to the freebies.

Mindi said...

Thank you so much for providing the links to the free charts, I'd never seen the Crow and Pumpkin one from With Thy Needle & Thread. All of your finishes are adorable, but I love that crow and pumpkin. Have fun with Ida and Ira.

valerie said...

Looks like you have lots to crow about Carol! Ok, I couldn't resist the pun! lol Great finishes. The first two are my favorites. The cording came out great on the Chessie & Me piece. And I love that WMN&T piece. You're really been busy...so many wonderful finishes!

Myra said...

Holy crow Carol! :o) You have been busy and I love all of them. You know birds are my favorite motif and blackbirds are second only to cardinals in my book. What a wonderful display you have.

Shari said...

Ok, Carol, DO YOU, DENISE & I need to do a SAL with IDA & IRA?????????
All of your crows are gorgeous....I love hearing you say those things about your guys...mine are the same way.....one of my guys comments on all of my alphabet pieces!!!!!
Wonderful stitching & finishing, as always!!!

Gabi said...

This is so gorgeous. All of it. Love it. Ida and Ira are on my to do list as well. Downloaded some of your freebies for my future bird wall.
Your crow table looks so gorgeous. Love it.

Catherine said...

Oh Carol, I love your crows - I so get it!!! I have been in such a slump over the last month and I am now inspired to put everything away and start on some fall crow freebies!!! Thank you for the inspiration!

Melissa said...

Oh, you've been busy, Carol! Love all the crow stitching and finishing! Wow! I have to hunt down some of those freebies!

Cross Stitch Queen said...

Carol,

That is quite a collection of stunning stitching! They look so well together! Your place will look amazing when you showcase them.

In NYC, we felt the earthquake and of course Irene. We were lucky in the sense that in my area it was mostly a wind event, although a only a couple of miles away from me, people lost power.

I enjoyed my stay at your blog. I am a follower. Hope that you get a chance to pass by my blog. Only 25 more followers to my next giveaway!

Have a great day!
CSQ
http://betweenthestitches.blogspot.com

Charity C. said...

Hey Carol,

I loved your post today! Glad you got the time to write it. Your crow presentation is splendid! You are very talented! I know you must have had fun. Your boys sound so funny!! You must laugh a lot! A good sense of humor is always wonderful to possess.

passionfruitprincess said...

Hi, Carol! I love your crows...you are a busy girl! The display looks wonderful. The boys are just teasing you...you are very talented and have such a good taste.
Other day I was looking at the collection of smalls too blog and was amazed by the amount of stitching you do. See all together there is great. Your work is lovely. Keep stitching! And thanks for the freebie links.

Jane said...

WOW! Crow overload but I think they're great, I love the dark colours of the birds against the rich autumnal colours ~ perfect for this time of year.
Yours guys sounds like my twin boys ~ I don't even have to show them what I'm stitching anymore, they just automatically say 'another bunny?'
Great post Carol, great fun to read.
Have a fun weekend xxx

Quiltsmiles said...

Carol,
I love all your crow pieces done and displayed and please let your boys know that you are totally fine as far as I'm concerned. Great finishing! (uh humm..that's an area I would love to know more about and hope to learn soon.)

Your Ida Mae and Ira Crows are patterns I have always admired and would love to do sometime, they are both great fall patterns that could be left out year around.

Jane

♥ Nia said...

Glad to hear that you're in a safe zone! I followed the news on the web =/

I'm always amazed with so many finishes you have in each post! :D All look very cute! And I love that last picture with the whole 'collection' heheheh :D

mainely stitching said...

Oh I just LOVE crows in cross stitching! (Not so much the real crows who hover around my chicken pen and toss avian insults at my flock, LOL.) Your finishes are amazing - how do you get so much done? And I love the way you've displayed them. :)

Ele said...

Hi Carol,

now I am successful with my comment.;-)

Your crows are amazing, the finish is perfect! I like these patterns vey much, actually I am stitching Ida Mae and husband, and some other black fellows...

have a happy stitching time and a beautiful harvest

Gabriele

Elia said...

Wonderful crows Carol!
The finishing looks great!
Thanks for the links too!

Hugs from Spain,

eljardindemiduende

Lynn said...

Look at all those wonderful crows!!
I love, love, love all of your finishes and your display of them is fantastic. You must have had a lot of fun setting it up. I haven't got enough stitched smalls to display like that but once I do you can be sure I'll be setting up something too.
Thanks for sharing the freebies with us.

Hilda said...

Dear Carol!
What a wonderful post! I also love those black guys so much - therefore I can not look often enough at your amazing "crow"-table! A great idea - a shall copy it, if you don't mind (in my way ;-) )
And thanks for all these links to these wonderful freebies.
I am sure some of them will be stitch soon by me!
Have a nice time
Hugs
Hilda

Lois said...

Oh Carol, what wonderful autumn finishes! I love all the crows and your finishing for each of them is just perfect! I have that Primitive Betty freebie on my 'to do' list and seeing your finish might just motivate me to actually have that stitched for this year!!!! Love the little button you added to the Chessie & Me freebie, another favourite freebie of mine. Enjoy your holiday weekend and I hope the sun is still shining.

Bekca said...

I just love your crow table! Autumn is my favourite theme for cross stitching and all of these sweet little designs are wonderful. Your finishing is perfect too, boys will just never understand :) Best wishes and happy stitching to you.

Solstitches said...

What a lovely post Carol.
I love your crow display and look forward to seeing your collection grow.
Thanks for all the great links.

Margaret

Giovanna said...

I love all your crow finishes - lovely stitching and sewing!

Edit said...

Your crows are beautiful and I love the way you display them. I am also planning to make a corner where I can display some autumn related stitchings, just have to find a little free space in the flat :)

By the way, I am sitching PS - October, the one that I won from you and it also has crows :)

Wishing you a very nice weekend,
Edit

Melanie said...

Loving the crows!!! How could I not? They go so perfectly with sunflowers and who doesn't love sunflowers with all their bright yellow colors?

Angela P said...

Wow, you have been very busy! I love all of your finishes :)

Tatkis said...

Absolutely lovely finishes - and so elegant! Wonderful adding to your stash too :)

Hugs,
Tatyana

Nancy M said...

Your collection of crows is lovely. It's nice that you are able to display them in such a manner. I can see my husband giving the same groans. Anything I make he doesn't really care for,I can tell because he asks who I am giving it to?? LOL It's nice to share all the freebie links too if others are interested.

Michele B. said...

What a great group of crows you've put together - all you need now is a scarecrow! Your finishing is so spot-on for every one. Your boys may not get it, but your blogging friends sure do!

Thanks so much for the link to the Stitchville USA newsletters. I went through all of them and there are some great freebies in them. There was one for a Quaker penguin that I first thought was another crow. Alas, it was another kind of bird, but still a nice find.

Our hurricane damage included one tree across the driveway and one vacation to Cape Cod delayed for two days. But we were lucky compared to a lot of others.

Claudine brodeuse de perles said...

Vraiment de très beaux ouvrages ! Superbe ! A bientôt

Sally said...

I love all of your crow finishes Carol :) Your display looks fantastic!

averyclaire.org said...

Love finding links for freebies...Thank you. Love your collection of crows. Great Autumn display. Ira Ray and Ida Mae will surely add to the crowd! I keep my Halloween things up until Thanksgiving and then put up the Christmas things.

Sharon said...

Carol, what gorgeous finishes you have made. Love the display!

Andrea said...

A wonderful collection and they make a fantastic display.

Susan said...

All your crow finishes are lovely, Carol. Congratulations!

Melody said...

Carol, I just love your crow pieces! You have inspired me to want to do them too!! Your display is just perfect. I love it.

Even if your boys don't 'get it'..we do!

Thanks for sharing.

Annette said...

Ow I'm so glad your Oke!!
Thankfully ;)

WOW!! AWESOME JOB...:):)
Al your crow pieces are great!! love them really

Stitchin' Sweet Sue said...

Catching up on my reading, you're really do have so much to crow about ~ wonderful, one and all:)

pat said...

fantastic your pillows
Pat

LoriU said...

Forgot I wanted to say, I "had" to have Ida and Ira too! My DH thinks they are kinda weird too but I love them!

Pumpkin said...

What an adorable finish Carol :o) You always add just the right final touch to things.

Another lovely crow finish! This one seems to be popular this fall. Love the colors :o)

And more crows! LOL! Can I send some of my stitching over to be finished by you? ;o) I think your display is perfect for this time of year!

I like the subjects of your next WIPs. Who says crows can't wear clothes? What's wrong with that? LOL!