Good morning, everyone! Well, I've procrastinated long enough--it's time to force myself to sit down and write a long-overdue post. Is it really the end of March already? For us Pennsylvanians, March hasn't been kind--we even had snow on the first day of Spring and I hear that we may be in for more of the white stuff tomorrow. There is nothing blooming or greening up and it is all getting rather depressing to be honest. So, in yet another attempt to hurry up Spring, I've been stitching one of my favorite Spring subjects: bunnies!
I've had this La D Da piece called "Briar Rabbit" in my stash for a long, long time, but, to be honest the photo on the leaflet (see below) scared me off a bit. It looked so dark and non-springlike to me that I kept pushing it aside for other pieces. But, I finally got up my nerve to try it on a lighter color linen than was suggested and I just love the result! I used 40 ct. antique white Newcastle with the suggested DMC threads (although I had to change the bunny tail to Week's Dye Works "Taupe" so it would show up on the lighter fabric).
To finish him off into one of my little pillows, I first took a single thread of DMC 3858 and tied a wee bow around his neck. This wasn't charted, but I thought it made him look even sweeter. I then sewed a small pillow using the beautiful floral fabric shown in the background and a yellow bow on the side.
|Briar Rabbit finish|
And here is a close-up of the bunny and his burgundy bowtie--what a cutie!
The original La D Da chart looks like this... What a difference the fabric you choose can make!
Another bunny hopped into my life this month in the form of this adorable design that can be found in the April 2015 issue of "Just Cross Stitch Magazine". It is called "Primrose Maiden" and is designed by The Little Stitcher (whose designs I just love!). This looks very different from the photo in the magazine, though, as I changed all of the orange colors to blues... It is stitched on 40 ct. raw Newcastle with DMC threads (if anyone wants the color changes that I made, just email me).
For this finish, I used some complementary blue and golden-yellow fabrics and ric rac and added a small accent square featuring one of the stitched white flowers in the lower right. At the corner where the ric rac intersects, I placed a white button topped with a cut of blue and white gingham ribbon. I'm so pleased with how it turned out!
|Primrose Maiden finish|
I also finished my second Prairie Schooler Santa that I am doing in my Sunday SAL with Melissa in Canada and Hilda in Austria. This handsome guy caring for his feathered friends is from the "Kris Kringle" chart (Book No. 62). He is stitched on 40 ct. raw Newcastle with most of the suggested DMC threads (I did substitute DMC 520 for 3362, though, as it just wasn't showing up well). I will have to set a date and get busy on finishing these Santas into ornaments as I really don't want to leave them all until December...
|Prairie Schooler Santa Kris Kringle (Book No. 62)|
I also received a very special gift that I'd like to show you which was sent by one of my blog readers and friends, Sylvia (no blog) from New Mexico. Sylvia had read this post that I shared with you about the special meaning that cardinals have held for me since Dad died and asked me if I would like a copy of an old book she owned called The Song of the Cardinal by Gene Stratton Porter. Old book? Cardinal? Why, yes--I would love to receive it! I was so very touched when I opened her package to find not only the beautiful old book, but the most lovely and lovingly stitched cardinal ornament. Isn't it a beauty? It brought tears to my eyes that Sylvia would make this for me--I wish you could see it as it is even prettier in person. And she included some cardinal and Pennsylvania stickers and a pretty snowflake bookmark all wrapped up in cardinal-red tissue paper. Absolutely gorgeous!
Here is a better look at the sweet ornament and the title page of the old book. I will treasure them both, Sylvia, my friend--your generous spirit truly touched my heart... Thank you, thank you, thank you!
|A special cardinal gift from Sylvia!|
March has been a very noisy month around here! We have workmen putting a new floor in our garage attic and all that pounding and sawing isn't exactly conducive to relaxing with my stitching. I can't just seem to sit and relax while they're here so reading, stitching, and watching television are all out. Instead, I've been cleaning out drawers and sorting through things that should have been discarded long ago. I can't even tell you the number of bags of "stuff" we've sent on to thrift shops. What a great feeling it is to organize your life! I've also been sprucing up the house for spring a bit. I'm just loving my new corner cupboard in the kitchen--it is such fun to decorate for the seasons!
I've tucked a few cross stitch pieces onto each shelf... The top shelf houses my newest pillow and three of my Dedham Pottery reproduction bunny ceramics. I've been collecting Dedham Pottery bunnies through Ebay auctions for a number of years now and currently have almost 50 of the blue and white pieces here in my kitchen.
The middle shelf has a vintage yellow bird that I found up in the attic which I think came from my mother-in-law many years ago. He looks quite cheerful sitting there with a bird print, some cross-stitching, and an old lace doily.
And the bottom shelf has a larger Dedham pottery bunny, a tiny Spring pillow, and a yellow flower pot filled with dried baby's breath left over from my husband's Valentine's Day flowers last month.
I've created so many bunny / spring cross-stitched pieces over the past six years that they are flowing out of my wooden bowl so I had to come up with additional ways to display them. I put together this spring-time vignette on the sideboard of my kitchen that I'm so pleased with. I used to collect tiny bunny ceramic figurines when my sons were young and you can see some of them on top of the cake plate (which was a wedding gift nearly 38 years ago!). The opened book behind the candle is about--what else--bunnies! That bunny sampler tucked into the back corner is from an early "Just Cross Stitch" magazine; according to the date on the back, I stitched it in 1993!
|The bunnies are taking over!|
We celebrated my oldest son's 33rd birthday on Sunday with these yummy brownies that he found online and wanted me to bake for him. They were gooey and scrumptious (and just "a bit" decadent!). You can find the recipe for these Chunky Cheesecake Brownies right here. The only change I made was to put half the amount of chocolate chips in the cream cheese layer as was recommended by other bakers. Unfortunately, my son had a terrible cold so he couldn't even taste his birthday treat--I'll have to make them again very soon.
|Chunky Cheesecake Brownies|
I hope that the next time I post, there will be warm breezes and spring flowers starting to pop up around here! That may be wishful thinking, but winter can't last forever, can it? Until then, I hope you know how much your comments, emails, and friendships mean to me--stitchers are the best!! Do you have any special plans for the weekend? I'm so looking forward to tomorrow as my youngest son will be visiting for three days and we haven't seen him since Christmas. Time to spoil him with his favorites: pot roast, grilled cheese sandwiches, and homemade cookies... Comfort food! Bye for now...