Good morning, my stitching friends! And how is your month of May going? This has to be my favorite time of year--when the leaves are just half out on the trees. It give everything a lacy, almost dainty look, doesn't it? So delicate and new... The pinks of the crab apple trees and the whites of the dogwood are bursting out and the grass is the most brilliant shade of green here in Pennsylvania. I was sitting at my kitchen table Sunday morning thoroughly content as I read the newspaper and gazed out at our back yard filled with so many simple and beautiful things... There were the tulips blooming in the garden, our resident duck couple waddling from the pond to the bird feeder to enjoy their breakfast, the goldfinches feeding at the thistle feeder, and even an animal rarely seen in daylight around here--a large raccoon lazily walking to the pond to sip a drink. Such simple things and I love them all. It really doesn't take much to make me happy; how about you?
I've loved this Little House Needleworks piece since it first came out a few years ago, but am just now getting around to stitching it. How many of you have already stitched this one? A lot of you, I'll bet! The colors are so perfect together, but the message is what really spoke to me. "Simple Joys, Simple Life." Even saying those words seems to bring a feeling of contentment... I stitched this one on 40 ct. white Newcastle with the suggested thread colors, but I did make a couple of changes. I filled in each of the corner diamonds in the border rather than just the lower left one as was charted. I also omitted the box around the wording "Simple Joys" and raised the words up a bit to center them more.
Little House Needleworks "Simple Joys"
I think the colors in this second photo are more true-to-life... And how do you like those gorgeous tulips that have bloomed from the bulbs my husband planted for me last fall?
Simple joys...simple life
This was one of those pieces that just flowed--do you know what I mean? It was a pure joy to stitch...
In keeping with my "simple" theme for this post, I also found an old freebie from Hands to Work called "Live Simply." I just happened to come across it when I was sorting through a file folder of long-forgotten freebies. I'm not even sure if the designer is still in business...does anyone know? I've never seen it stitched before, but I love how it turned out. It is stitched on 40 ct. flax Newcastle linen (has anyone noticed I seem to be addicted to 40 ct. Newcastle?!) using a skein of Nina's "Old Jeans" Hand Dyed Threads. You know me and my love of blues!
"Live Simply" by Hands to Work
I made a couple of changes to this design, too. The tulips that were charted had A, B, C on them and I just wanted a simpler design so I stitched them in stripes instead. I also turned that third bird around so he was facing the two to the left. I like things very symmetrical in case you haven't figured that out... How about you? Would you have left him facing the one bird on the right or turned him around?
I simply love blues!
I plan on framing both of my "simple" finishes, but may turn the blue one into a little pillow. I have to think about that for a while...
As I mentioned earlier our yard is simply brimming with color and life at this time of year so, of course, I've been taking photos... You can click on the photos for a better look, if you'd like!
Our resident deer family
The sweet goldfinches which are turning
more and more yellow with each passing day
The lovely tulips planted by my husband
(inside a fenced garden so the deer
don't gobble them all up!)
My house is filled with bouquets of tulips!
House finches--birds that are new
to this area. We never saw
them before this year.
Our resident ducks love to waddle up
from the pond to feast on fallen bird seed.
Mrs. Mallard--isn't she pretty?
How was your Mother's Day? My two older sons came over for their usual Sunday night dinner, but this time they cooked (with some help from my dear husband!). Hooray! They gave me a set of cast-iron cookware that I've been wanting so I was thrilled. And how about this card--isn't it perfect for the mother of three boys? When you open it up, it says "Raising boys--that's an extreme sport! Happy Mother's Day" They had me guess which boy was supposed to be which and I guessed perfectly: the top boy is my middle child (he was so blonde when he was young), the boy sandwiched in between the other two is my oldest, and the youngest--the one being squished by the other boys--is represented by the boy on the bottom. I'll be keeping this one, that's for sure.
My youngest son couldn't be with us because he and six friends were vacationing in The Bahamas--wow! I've never even been to The Bahamas and I'm nearly 60! He called on Mother's Day morning and said it was like paradise down there. And look what he sent for our Mother's Day dessert... this fantastic array of cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake in Washington, DC. He can walk there from his apartment--lucky guy. I think I'd be down there every day getting my cupcake fix! Which one do you think I chose to eat first? Which one would you choose? I went for the coconut because I'm the only one in the family who likes it... The bottom four have little purple hearts with "mom" written on them--so sweet!
Sweet treats from my youngest son
Advice needed... My dear sister-in-law asked me if I would come to Ohio this summer to teach her little triplet granddaughters how to cross stitch. I am so excited to introduce them to our craft, but am at a loss as to the best way to do so. Do you have any suggestions for teaching three 10-year-olds to stitch? I thought of putting little kits together for them--simple things like hearts, butterflies, etc. in bright colors. Do any of you have ideas on fabric counts (Aida 14 or even 11?) or advice on what to do/not to do when introducing kids to stitching? I don't want to overwhelm them and I want to make it fun... Any help would be much appreciated!
♫♪♫ Birthday wishes ♫♪♫... Well, that winds up another long, long post from me. but I do want to wish my dear mother and dear mother-in-law very happy birthdays this week. Mom will be 87 tomorrow--I so wish I could be with her on her special day. And my mother-in-law turns 86 on Thursday--I hope her day is equally special. My husband and I are so blessed to have all four of our parents still with us. Even though my father no longer knows us, it is still a comfort to give him a hug when I visit. Not many couples approaching 60 year of age still have all four parents around... and we are so appreciative.
I'll leave you with a photo of one of our lovely crab apple trees hybridized by my husband's paternal grandfather, Grandpa Ralph... a simple man who lived a simple life and got such pleasure from doing so. Thank you for visiting today, for your thoughtful comments, and for being such a special group of friends... I wish each of you a simply beautiful day! Bye for now...