Good morning, my blogging buddies! I hope this post finds you enjoying September in all of it's glory. I am loving this cooler weather and the sounds and smells that only autumn can bring. I took a stroll around our yard and gardens yesterday and, even though things are slowly withering and fading away, fall has a beauty all its own, don't you think? I just love the way the light shines in autumn--there is something so appealing about the way it streams through the windows and illuminates the house in a softer, quieter way than the harsh rays of summer. The world of nature is slowing down and preparing to rest for winter and that slower pace of life is so appealing to me right now...
I've been stitching a bit--not as much as I'd like, but I've still managed to get a few things finished... I've also started on my monthly "bowl" finishes for September, too--any guesses as to what my theme will be? My Christmas ornament for August is this winsome snowman. I mean really, who can resist that face? Doesn't he resemble Winston Churchill a bit? Well, I think that is what the designer intended as the name of this chart is "Winston the Snowman." It is a Trilogy chart which I stitched on 40 ct. raw natural Newcastle linen using the recommended overdyed threads with a couple of small substitutions.
I did make some minor changes to the original design; I added little snowflakes (Smyrna stitches) falling around the snowman and also added a handle to his umbrella. Winston is backed with a blue checked fabric that picks up the colors of his scarf. I then finished him off with blue cording and a wire hanger made by simply stretching out a spring--a super easy finish!
"Winston the Snowman" by The Trilogy
September's ornament is a companion piece to my December 2011 ornament which you can see about in this post. This is simply the motif at the top of the "Woodland Peace" sampler from the February 1993 issue of Leisure Arts Magazine. I wish the true color came through (my camera is wonderful, but reds always tend to look a bit "off" for some reason)--it is more of a cherry red than this fire engine red that seems to be showing (on my monitor at least). I used DMC 304 and stitched it over one on 28 ct. white evenweave.
This is a perfect example of how you can turn a very simple design into something a bit more special by adding various fabrics and trims. Isn't it cute? I love those miniature bells and the engraved silver button--I think they give the piece a nice, old-fashioned appeal. So, I'm now caught up with my monthly ornament stitching--whew! This has obviously been a year of stitching smalls for me and I'm so proud to say that I've been keeping up with my finishing for a change. (Of course, I still have a drawer full of things I've stitched, but not finished, from years past--I wonder if I'll ever find the time to get to them?).
"Woodland Peace" from an old Leisure Arts magazine
I stitched a couple of birthday gifts for friends last month which were well received. For my sweet friend, Linda, I made this small pin pillow. "Blessed Be" is a freebie from Plum Pudding NeedleArt which you can find right here. This is the second time I've stitched this one and the second time I've given it away! The third time will be one I keep (I hope!). It is stitched on 40 ct. flax Newcastle using DMC threads. I used a gold colored fabric (from a cloth napkin) and a bit of black ric-rak to finish it off quite simply. Linda told me she'll be displaying it in her office along with some of her own lovely stitching this autumn.
For my dear friend, Lois in Northern Ireland, I made this Homespun Elegance design ("Crows Treat" from the Tiny Stuff II booklet). If this looks familiar, it's because I made another similar one for myself which I showed you in my last post. Can you spot the differences? I simply made hers into a long pillow with the gingham fabric on the bottom and mine is a wide pillow with the fabric on the side. I also stitched the buttons on Lois's with a gold thread and used black on mine. This one, like the one I showed you last month, was stitched on 32 ct. dirty linen using good old DMC threads. I'm so glad you liked your birthday gift, Lois--I wish you a most happy year ahead!
Another special stitching friend sent me a delightful package of goodies this week--all the way from England! June, one of the most generous people I know, surprised me with this fun sewing themed tote bag along with some pretty fabric (in blue and yellow--my favorite color combination, no less!!), and ribbon. The bag will be so handy for storing charts or fabric--we stitchers can never have too much storage, can we? And I just love the little handmade cards you included, June!! What a talented person you are--thank you so very much! If you haven't visited June's blog, please stop by and say "hello!" She is always so warm and welcoming...
So, are any of you beer lovers? I'm not in the least, but all the guys in my life are, so in an effort to do something as a family, we all attended the 6th annual Steel City Big Pour beer tasting event on Saturday. In addition to my husband and three sons, we were lucky enough to have my youngest son's girlfriend from Washington, D.C., my brother-in-law from Indiana, and my nephew from Kentucky joining us. I was the DD (Designated Driver), but I didn't feel like I missed out on any of the fun. There were some tasty and unusual food samples from local restaurants and even home-made sodas--the root beer was my "drink of choice" that evening. I've heard there were over 2000 people in attendance--a bit many for me as I tend to do better in small groups, but I had my "posse" of men with me so all was well!
This was a charity event to benefit a Pittsburgh organization called "Construction Junction" which recycles used building materials and household items. The beer-tasting was held in their warehouse so the decor included rows and rows of used sinks, doors, windows, and (ahem) toilets just waiting for new homes. A true handyman's dream!! I loved the names of the different craft breweries--so fun and creative: Dogfish Head, Duck-Rabbit, Flying Dog, and by far the most interesting name: Smuttynose! Who thinks of these names anyway? While most of the crowd was male, there were also a fair number of females in attendance. There were even a couple of craft booths which I missed, but my son's girlfriend did manage to stop at one and make him a cute beer koozie all decorated with his name and the Pittsburgh Steeler's logo. Hmm... now that I know she's crafty, I might just have to introduce her to cross stitch! What do you think?
I'll leave you with a little beer-themed humor (in the photo on the right) that I've seen popping up on the internet lately, but perhaps it's new to you. Apologies to the men in my life, but this just cracked me up...
Whatever you have planned for your weekend, I hope it's filled with things that make you smile. Thank you all for your comments and emails; even though I've never met most of you, I consider you true friends and I'm always so happy to hear from you! I'll be working at the library ALL weekend, but I plan on finding some time in the evenings for stitching. Hope you find some, too! Bye for now...