Good morning, my stitching friends! I hope all of you here in the U.S. enjoyed a relaxing and fun-filled Memorial Day weekend. I was so happy to have my youngest son home from Washington, DC. for four days--I hadn't seen him since early February, so it was the first time all five of us had been together in nearly four months. How I enjoy watching my three now grown "boys" together--they always have me in stitches with their antics, teasing, funny songs, and family jokes. In between visiting with them and cooking and cooking and cooking (I'd forgotten how much food four males can put away!!), I did manage to put the finishing touches on my bowl of May smalls...
First up, is Bent Creek's "May Blooms" which looks nothing like the original which you can see here. Do you ever work backward and pick your colors based on how you want to finish a piece? Well, that's exactly what I did with this one. I had this gorgeous piece of blue and yellow fabric which I wanted to use for the finish so I chose my thread colors based on that... It is stitched on 40 ct. white Newcastle linen using a variety of blue and yellow overdyed threads from my stash. I finished it into a flat-mounted ornament and tied some pretty yellow cording around it to finish it off. You all know blue and yellow is my favorite color combination, so you can imagine how happy I am with this finish!
Nest Under the Flowers freebie
My next finish, is a freebie called "Nid Sour les Fleurs" (Nest Under the Flowers) from the wonderful blog Le Chalet des Perelles which can be seen right here. The chart can be obtained by emailing a request to its talented designer, Cathy. (Look in the right sidebar under "Contactez l'auteur" to send an email to her.) This one is stitched with DMC on 40 ct. raw natural Newcastle linen. I seem to be stitching a lot on 40 ct. lately--it seems so much easier because you just have to use one thread and there are no worries about the threads getting twisted. This one is finished up as a small pillow and accented with a ruched ribbon made of dusty blue satin...so sweet.
The flowery finish which was my next choice to be included in my May bowl, is "Buttercup Alphabet" by The Victoria Sampler. Don't you love buttercups--so sunny and bright! When you were a child, did you used to do hold them under your chin? If you saw their reflection that meant that you "liked butter"--remember? Come on--who doesn't like butter!! I only had one of the overdyed threads suggested for this finish so I substituted similar colors from my collection of Nina's Hand Dyed and Sampler Threads and I'm very pleased with the result. To me, this almost looks like a watercolor painting--do any of you see that effect in the flowers? Buttercup Alphabet is stitched over one on 28 ct. cream cashel linen and finished off with a soft yellow and white flower print and rope trim.
Finally, another freebie finish called "Lavanda" by Luli which can be found right here. For this finish (stitched with the suggested DMC colors on 40 ct. white Newcastle linen), I did something a bit different. I sewed a small loop of pink ribbon in the middle, added a trio of pastel bows, and placed a bouquet of tiny flowers inside the ribbon. Ideally, these would be dried lavender, but not having any right now, I simply inserted a few sprigs of pink coral bells for the photo. What do you think?
Below are my four latest May finishes along with the two I showed you in my last post:
And here are all six--displayed in the bowl along with some of the prettiest clematis blooms which are growing in our yard... I'm so pleased that I've been able to keep this bowl filled with new finishes each month so far this year. I already have a theme in mind for June--can anyone guess what I'll be stitching?
I received a surprise gift from dear Brenda at Brenda's Stitching last week. I mentioned, in a comment on her blog, that I had never used chenille trim and she kindly sent some to me to try it out on some of my little pillows! I just love the colors you chose, Brenda, and think they will be great accents--especially for some of my to-be-stitched fall pieces! Thank you so much, my friend--you really made me smile. If you haven't visited Brenda's blog--please check it out. Her work is not only beautifully stitched, but perfectly finished as well!
So did you do anything especially fun over the long Memorial Day weekend? I did something I hadn't done in 30 years--yes 30 long years!! I rode a bike! The last time I was on a bike was when I was pregnant with my oldest son three decades ago. We took a trip to Cape Cod and spent many relaxing afternoons just biking around the island. My husband is an avid cyclist who often rides 50 or even 100 miles at a time. He's been after me to give it a try, so this weekend all the guys convinced me that now was the time. It was a bit scary and I was slightly wobbly at first, but I so enjoyed it! We ended up riding over 17 miles (which in Pittsburgh, with it's hilly terrain is not the easiest riding!) and although I may not be sitting comfortably on hard wooden chairs for a few days, I think this may be the start of a new interest. When we returned from our ride we all indulged in these goodies...probably the best brownie recipe I've ever tried. If you love fudgy, ooey-gooey brownies like we do, check out this recipe for "Brooke's Best Bombshell Brownies." Oh, my!! Believe me, I'll have to add more miles onto my daily treadmill workouts to get rid of the calories from those chocolatey treats, but, they were so worth it!
Thank you for all of your kind comments on my last post... You were so very supportive and understanding about my sadness at having to clean out my childhood home. It was a long, tiring, and emotional weekend, but we got the job done and I'll post soon about some of the treasures I found in the old attic--I think you'll enjoy them! Have a joyful week, my friends, and I hope you find some time each day to stitch and create--even if just for a few minutes. It is so good for the soul. Bye for now...