Happy July, my stitching friends! Can you believe 2015 is half over? Before I show you my stitching finishes, I just want to send each of you a huge "Thank You" for your many comforting emails and thoughtful comments on my last post. They meant so much to me--and to my husband. When he first broke his neck on May 21st, he didn't want me to post about it on my blog. But, I explained to him that I need support from my friends as we go through this recovery period, just as much as he needs support. And I couldn't ask for better friends than all of you who read my blog, could I? Even though I've never met 98% of you, I feel so very close to you--we've been through a lot together since I began my blog in early 2009. We've celebrated each other's success--not only in our stitching, but in our lives. And we've been saddened by losses of each other's family members and worrying health challenges. But, through all the ups and downs of life, your kind and thoughtful words have continued to mean so much to me. Thank you, my friends...
Since this is still mainly a cross stitching blog, I want to begin with two new finishes just in time for the 4th of July. Many of you know how much I love Chessie and Me designs because of the fun specialty stitches the designer includes in each chart. The grass is satin stitched, the border is done with Smyrna stitches, and the doors are done in Rhodes stitches. There is even some "over one" stitching in the ship and the date! This came in the form of a kit which was so very handy--I loved being able to just sit down and get started right away and not wait for the correct fibers or fabric to arrive if I had had to order them online.
This finish is called "1776 Harbor" and is stitched all in Gloriana silks--just wonderful and soft to work with! Don't you love the giant American flag waving across the harbor--so whimsical... I finished this piece quite simply as a little pillow with some star-strewn burgundy fabric, handmade gold cording, and an attached star button. It will be a perfect addition to my bowl of patriotic pillows, don't you think?
|Chessie and Me "1776 Harbor" finish|
Along with Prairie Schooler pieces, I consider Little House Needleworks designs to be my favorite form of "comfort stitching." Easy to read charts, no backstitching, not too many colors--just what I need as I go through the worries with my husband's health this summer... I bought this LHN "Old Glory" design last summer, but am just getting around to stitching it now. It is done on 40 ct. raw Newcastle with a variety of overdyed threads. I didn't have each one that was suggested, so I substituted a few and am very pleased with the result.
For this little pillow, I used a blue star-filled fabric along with some burgundy fabric, white ric rak, a red and white striped ribbon, and a stack of buttons. It is backed with the solid blue fabric shown behind it. This photo isn't the best due to our complete lack of sunshine lately, but it really looks quite cute!
|LHN "Old Glory" finish|
Since I try to stitch at least two new patriotic pieces each year, I now have quite a collection--in fact it has outgrown my original bowl. Here it is when I took the photo last year--see, already "bursting at the seams" so to speak!
So, I've had to spread out my little creations and luckily, my new kitchen corner cupboard is the perfect place to display some of them. Here it is all ready for the 4th of July in all of its red, white, and blue glory...
|Patriotic corner cupboard in kitchen|
On the top shelf, I have my two little Lizzie High characters proudly waving their pinwheels. In their opposite hands they are holding tiny hotdogs--so cute! Next to the little boy, I've place a tiny crock of blueberries (thanks, Mom!).
The middle shelf contains several pieces of my stitching: Chessie and Me's "Love Liberty," a Prairie Schooler design from Book No. 13, "A Prairie Year," and an old freebie from Prairie Grove Peddler which you can still find right here.
And the on the bottom, you'll find this cute Williraye figurine holding an American eagle and nest in his right hand and waving the flag in his left hand. Next to him is another freebie from The Stitcherhood that I stitched last year. This freebie is still available right here. As always, I'd like to thank the designers for sharing their talents with us through their generous free designs! And way over on the right sitting in the little blue bowl is an old patriotic design from Homespun Elegance.
Here's one last look at the whole display. It's really brightened up the corner of my kitchen and I plan to leave the patriotic shelves up through late August when I'll switch things up for a more autumn look.
|Hooray for the red, white, and blue!|
Gifts from a new friend... I've made a special new blogging friend named Shirley who just happens to reside way across the ocean in Cape Town, South Africa! Shirley just began a new blog called The Artfull Place and I hope you'll go say "hello" and welcome her to our blogging community. She is so multi-talented and she sent me this darling Christmas ornament and hand-painted tag. I told her the tag will be a part of my annual spring display on my corner cupboard--it is just so sweet.
|Gifts from Shirley, in South Africa|
Here is a close-up of the little tag so you can see the marvelous detail. Shirley has just started her own Etsy shop and you can read all the details on her blog. Thank you again, my new friend--I will treasure your gifts!
|Gift tag painted by Shirley|
Medical update... Well, I had hoped to have better news for you regarding my husband's broken neck. He had an appointment yesterday and the hoped-for switch from the hard neck-brace to the soft collar didn't happen. The surgeon wants to keep him in the hard brace for at least another month to make sure the vertebrae that aren't quite aligned have not shifted. As I mentioned in my last post, there is no way to tell if this misalignment is something my husband was born with or if it happened after his fall down the stairs in May. So, unfortunately, surgery has not been totally ruled out as we previously thought...
Our spirits were flagging yesterday after the doctor's visit, but there is nothing we can do except try to be patient, wait, hope and pray. I've been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately as I just keep ruminating about that night six weeks ago when my husband fell down the stairs. I sure hope this passes soon as insomnia can really take a toll on your health over time... Anyway, keep praying and thinking positive thoughts, please; we're not out of the woods yet!
I'd like to leave on a cheerier note so I'm share this very addicting recipe for granola that I've gotten "hooked" on. They sell a treat called "Kimberley's Bakeshoppe Granola" at Sam's Club and I made the mistake of buying it one day. Oh, my!! Amazingly delicious and just filled with everything I love--lots of nuts, grains, and dried fruits. I stumbled upon a recipe online for a copycat recipe from Yammie's Noshery which you can find right here. It is fabulous--but addicting (don't say I didn't warn you!!). Hope you enjoy making (and eating!) it along with your other picnic foods this 4th of July weekend...
|I dare you to eat just one bite of this tasty granola!|
Wishing all of my U.S. friends a fabulous Independence Day! Thanks again for your kind comments and supportive emails--they mean so much to me. Bye for now...
|HAPPY 4th of JULY TO ALL!|