Friday, July 30, 2021

The green, green grass of home

I'm home! And it feels so good to be in one place for a while. We've been awfully busy since May and I look forward to simply relaxing here at home. The green, green grass in my title? Well, while we were gone there was an unusual amount of rain here and our yard and gardens now look so lush and healthy--a bit jungle-like in all honesty! California is going through a terrible dry spell and there was so much brown everywhere from the hillsides to the dusty roads... I think I'll take Pennsylvania weather! Our trip was a mix of ups and downs which I'll get to later. But, first, as always--here's what I've been stitching (even if it is just a tiny bit!).

I finished my ornament for July--a Tralala design called "Miss et Mister Snow." Isn't the little snow couple darling? I love her little bonnet and the tiny basket she is carrying. And he looks mighty dapper in that oversized bowtie! They are stitched with a mix of DMC and overdyed threads "over one" on 25 ct. moss green Lugana.

"Miss et Mister Snow" finish

 

I knew I wanted this to be an oval shaped finish so I simply rearranged the stars and snowflakes and added a few more to achieve the shape I was looking for. I also shortened the bottom border and reversed it so the scallops face down rather than up. It is finished with the fabric shown in the background and surrounded by white handmade cording along with a simple white bow. I chose to add a long "tail" to this one as I love how this particular finish looks on my Christmas tree or hanging from a cabinet knob. I really enjoyed stitching "over one" on the 25 ct. Lugana and know I'll be adding various colors of this fabric to my stash soon!

My July 2021 ornament

The only other piece I managed to stitch this month was one I've done before. It's a freebie which can be found right here (or in my sidebar under "Favorite Freebies" Noel). This was the only piece I worked on (very sporadically) in California. When you have an already walking (running at times!) one-year old to keep track of, there isn't a whole lot of time to sit and stitch except during his naps. This was an easy piece to work on because it used just one thread: the beautiful variegated red DMC 115. Since I already made an ornament for myself using this design way back in 2010, this one will be a Christmas gift.

"Noel" freebie finish

Much of the Noel piece was stitched while relaxing by the beautiful pool of the AirBnB that we rented for five days just north of San Diego. Honestly, I could have sat there with my feet up all day just feeling the cool breezes as I stitched away in the shade under the big umbrellas. 

Ahhh... pure relaxation!

Unfortunately, our trip was not all smiles and sunshine... but, I'll get to the sadness in a bit. First of all, the happy things and the number one happiest thing is my now one-year-old grandson! Baby B had not one, not two, but three birthday parties--the lucky little boy. The first was just for us and his mom's brother's family who were visiting from El Paso, the second was a big picnic in the park for friends and family (my youngest son surprised us by popping in for that one!), and the third was just our family celebration for three birthdays held at the Airbnb we rented. 

"I'm one year old today!" July 8, 2021

 
My daughter-in-law did a wonderful job planning Baby B's dog-themed birthday parties. Look how sweet the doggie cakes and cupcakes are. Amazingly, my grandson had absolutely no interest in the cake. He can't be related to me as I love sugar a little too much!

Our three July birthday "boys" (the 8th, the 9th, and the 14th!) all celebrate together:  my youngest son, Baby B, and my husband.

I just had to share this video with you! How cute that the birthday boy got such joy from tossing the rainbow of tissue paper wrappings into the air! Hope this makes you smile, too!

 

Sadly, Baby B picked up a virus (most likely at the large picnic/birthday party on Sunday) and became quite ill with a fever, vomiting, congestion, etc. the very first night we were at the Airbnb. Poor little guy--just not his usual cheerful self that entire week. Of course, he "nicely" shared his germs with his mommy and daddy (oddly enough, neither of my sons, my middle son's girlfriend,  my husband, or I got sick). The three sick family members all tested for Covid (even though my son and his wife have both been vaccinated) just to make sure, but the tests came back negative. Anyway, that put a damper on the week, but we still managed to enjoy being together at the beautiful Airbnb.

So what did we do on this latest San Diego trip besides enjoy the famously "perfect" weather? Well, we...

Read lots of books... "Gramma, read me a book!" That sweet expression as he smiles up at me absolutely melts my heart!

Took a beautiful hike around Lake Miramar

Enjoyed the unusual foliage found in southern California

Watched the sun rise from the top of Black Mountain (well, my youngest son and husband did, anyway--the rest of us were too lazy to get out of bed that early!)

We also paid an impromptu visit to Balboa Park after dinner one evening. I wish we had gone earlier in the day as many of the gardens were just closing, but we thoroughly enjoyed our stroll around this beautiful place as we watched the sun set. I highly recommend a visit if you are in the San Diego area!

The California Bell Tower in Balboa Park

 

Looking down at the Japanese Friendship Gardens in Balboa Park

The Botanical Building and Lily Pond were built in 1915 for the California-Panama Exposition

The sun sets at Balboa Park as my middle son (in the blue shirt on the other side of the fountain) rides an electric scooter

Sadly, California visits are not always kind to us. Many of you remember that, last year, my mom died just 16 days after Baby B's birth when we were in California. Well, unbelievably, history repeated itself this year as, just five days after the baby celebrated his first birthday, my father-in-law passed away. He lived a good long, life, and at age 92, this was not totally unexpected. It's still so sad, though, especially for my husband, his three brothers, and the nine grandchildren who adored him. It is very hard going away on a trip with a parent still living and then returning home knowing that you'll never see them again...

In my mind, I will always associate my father-in-law with our family trips to The Outer Banks of North Carolina. He paid for a wonderful rental house right on the beach for us every summer since 1984. When we first began going on these beach vacations, our oldest son (who is now 39) was just two years old. The last time my in-laws were able to travel down with us was in 2017. I still remember how amazed I was that my father-in-law could navigate the stairs down to the beach and get in the water (even boogie-boarding!) at age 88. He gave us all so many wonderful memories and my three sons and their cousins, who are spread far and wide across The United States, really got to know each other on these annual trips. He will be truly missed, but never forgotten. May he rest in peace...

Four generations... remembering my father-in-law (1928-2021). This photo was taken in mid-May at my mother-in-law's 93rd birthday. So glad my son got to introduce the baby to his great-grandpa!

When we returned to Pennsylvania, we celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary by going out for a nice lunch. It was so pleasant eating on the shaded patio and reminiscing... Hard to believe that 50 years is just around the corner. I have to say how much I enjoy going out for lunch rather than dinner and I think we're going to try to do this on a more regular basis!

Still smiling after 44 years together!

I've been picking lots and lots of flowers from the garden this year--they are just beautiful with the mix of sun and rain that we've had this summer.

These pastel colored glads were picked from our garden and given to my mother-in-law when my husband visited her last week. He tries to visit her in the nursing home a couple times a week always taking some homemade cookies and fresh flowers from our garden. 

I'm loving the miniature sunflowers my husband planted this year--just the right size for cutting!


And my favorite hydrangeas...The bushes have had so many more blossoms than normal this summer.


I'm still finding it hard to believe that my grandson is one! I know those of you who have children and grandchildren share my amazement in how quickly that first year passes. So many changes, so much growth, so many things learned in the span of the first 365 days. I could, honestly, sit and watch him play all day as he discovers the world around him. I love pondering what thoughts may be going through his head! I hope he never loses his sense of wonder about life, continues to want to learn and explore new things, and is always, always kind to others in the process. I love you dearly Baby B!

I hope he never loses his sense of wonder...

I want to thank you all for visiting me today and taking the time to say "hello!" I know some of you are facing health issues or, like me, have family members who are dying or who have passed away. Life isn't easy sometimes, is it? But, without the sad times, I wonder if we would feel the joy of the happy times in the same wonderful way? Wishing you a wonderful month of August! Bye for now...

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The red, the white, and the blue...

Happy July! I hope everyone in the U.S. had a relaxing Fourth Of July weekend... It was a quiet one here, but we'll make up for it when my entire family gathers in San Diego this coming week to celebrate three birthdays, a job change, and our upcoming 44th wedding anniversary. Needless to say, I can't wait for the fun to begin! Before I get into my stitching news, I want to thank all of you who offered suggestions on how to deal with my vertigo. I purchased some of the items suggested (motion sickness bands and anti-nausea meds) to have on hand if (please, no!!) it returns. Thankfully, I'm feeling better now and am just going to think positively!  

So, on to stitching updates. I had really hoped to have this latest finish done by the Fourth of July, but it took longer to stitch than I expected. That's okay, though, as I leave my patriotic stitching up for most of the summer... I'll switch over to sunflowers and bees in mid-August. This is the first piece I've stitched by "From the Heart Needleart," but it won't be the last... such an enjoyable design! "Let Freedom Ring" was stitched on 40 ct. sand Newcastle with a combination of the suggested threads and my own choices. The substitutions made were: I used Needle Necessities #142 (Grecian Olive) for the green, Nina's Threads (Old Jeans) for the blue, and DMC 3865 for the white. The other colors were as suggested by the designer. I did change the beak on the eagle to the gold color as well as its claws. And instead of using cross stitches for the flagpole, I did a simple straight stitch.

"Let Freedom Ring" by From the Heart Needleart

 

Once again, a thrifted frame came to the rescue! My middle son had picked up this simple frame for me at Goodwill for $2.00 (I have him look for square frames whenever he goes!).  I painted it with Waverly chalk paint (using the color "Plaster") and then lightly distressed it with a bit of sandpaper. It was too wide for the stitched piece so I simply sewed on two star-strewn pieces of fabric in burgundy and blue, added a strip of gold ric-rak, and topped it off with a yo-yo and a couple of buttons. A very inexpensive, but cute, finish! I love it!

Love the flag carrying eagle!

 

Last week, I was putting away some things in my guest room when I spotted this sweet little scene on top of the dresser and it just made me happy. So, why not share it with you? The reading bunny was a Mother's Day gift from my youngest son a few years ago and the stitching is a piece that I finished way back in 2009--my very first year of blogging.  I wonder if there are any readers that remember my blog from way back then? That was the year I was stitching an "Ornament a Week"--crazy, right? I don't know how I did it given the fact that I was still working at the time... Most of those early blogging friends have left the blog world behind and have turned to Facebook or Flosstube. I really miss them, but I'm so happy to have you new readers along for the ride!

Reading books and stitching--two of my favorite things!

 

This chart can be found in the August 2000 issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine--a sweet design by The Drawn Thread called "Summer Scene." I think this may have been one of the very first pieces I stitched on linen. I remember being a bit overwhelmed by all of the specialty stitches in it: Hungarian stitches on the roof, leviathan stitches on the front door, Smyrna stitches for the flowers, woven leaf stitches for the tree leaves, reversed cushion stitch on the sidewalk; and everyone's favorite--the French knot for the flower centers. It was a challenge, but I truly love how it turned out. I mean who doesn't love a giant cat in their front yard? This remains one of my favorite finishes even though it is 12 years old! Do you have any old favorites that just make you smile when you walk by them?

"Summer Scene" by The Drawn Thread

 

I took a few photos of my 4th of July display to post on Instagram which might provide some inspiration to those of you who love red, white, and blue stitching as much as I do. These were stitched over the past twelve years; I usually stitch two or three patriotic pieces each summer. After Christmas stitching, patriotic stitching is my favorite (although bunnies for spring and Easter are rapidly multiplying, too!). 

So many memories in these little pillows...



Red, white, and blue stitches are taking over my kitchen!

Believe it or not--there are more patriotic finishes in my corner cupboard which I didn't photograph! I think I've gotten a bit carried away with them, but they sure are fun to stitch and finish...

Reading update... The reading bunny seated in the blue chair, that I showed you earlier, was a perfect gift for me being a former librarian. I know many of you love to read, too, and might enjoy seeing what I've read so far in 2021. I rated them with blue hearts (five being the most-liked) and am so surprised that I've already read 25 books this year. I am not a fast reader... I tend to fall asleep when I read. But, I do have an audiobook and a Kindle book in progress at all times. I love listening to the audiobooks when I stitch, cook, or work on my finishes (or when I'm trying to get in my 10,000 steps by just walking around in the house)! Some have been very good, some only so-so; the number of blue hearts tell you what I thought of each one. Do you have any recommendations for me?

Books read and rated so far in 2021

 

I passed on all of your compliments about our garden to my husband--thank you so much. He's really enjoying digging in the soil this summer and I told him the garden and yard have never looked better. He's even set up a drip irrigation system to water the plants when we are away on trips! Lately, we've seen lots of wildlife in our backyard... a doe and her twin fawns, lots of groundhogs, and a Great Blue Heron visiting our pond. The pond is stocked with a couple dozen very large koi and a few smaller fish as well as a newly arrived snapping turtle (where he came from, we have no idea!). The heron waits patiently on the bank of the pond until just the right moment... Then he rapidly snatches one of the smaller fish out of the water with his long bill. I think the koi are too big for the heron to eat, thankfully...

The Great Blue Heron patiently waiting for his breakfast to appear

Email subscriptions... You may notice a new white box in the upper right sidebar to sign up for email subscriptions. Recently Google has announced that it was stopping their feedburner subscription service so I had to switch to follow.it. The very helpful staff at follow.it have transferred my existing active subscribers for "Stitching Dreams" to their service so, if you have already subscribed, you should still receive email notifications each time I put up a new post. They may look a bit different than the previous emails--I have no control over this... If you're not receiving notifications, you may have to subscribe again in the white box. 

I'll be on a little blogging break while in San Diego celebrating my grandson's first birthday. I will be able to read your blogs, but won't be able to comment as my phone won't let me for some reason... I hope you all have a wonderful month ahead with lots of time to relax and enjoy the season. Thank you, one and all, for visiting me today--I love my readers! Bye for now...

The peaceful view from our front porch as the sun sets on the Fourth of July. "Day is done, gone the sun. From the lake, from the hills, from the sky; All is well, safely rest. God is nigh..." (lyrics to "Taps")
 

Sunday, June 27, 2021

A Dizzying Month

Only three more days and 2021 will be half over--can you believe it? June has been an "interesting" month for me--filled with some nice times, but also some troubling health issues. Things have evened out for now so let's hope I stay on track. More about that later on, though--let's start with what I've been stitching, okay? 

Stitching update... I managed to stay on track and completely stitch and finish my ornament for June and I love it! I'd been wanting to stitch this whimsical Birds Of a Feather design ever since I saw it in the 1998 Just Cross Stitch Ornament magazine. I'm not sure why I put it off so long, but I'm so glad I finally sat down and stitched it. Just look at those big-eyed tots wide awake in their beds on Christmas Eve. Do you think they heard the giant reindeer on the roof or, perhaps, that rosy-cheeked Santa is making too much noise as he lays a pink present under the Christmas tree? The colors in this one are such fun, aren't they?

Birds Of a Feather "Night Before Christmas"

 

I stitched "Night Before Christmas" on 40 ct. raw natural Newcastle with most of the suggested colors. (I did change the eyes from the suggested bright blue to a dark brown because all of them looked slightly possessed when I used the blue thread)! At first, I planned to use white cording to surround the little pillow, but I held up some minty green DMC 369 and knew that  that would be a better choice. I had just enough ribbon in my stash to make a hanger and bow in the same color, too, and I'm so pleased with the final result. It is a small ornament, but is almost solid stitching so it took quite a while! Anyway, I'm happy to say that the stitch along that I started on Instagram (#12in21ornamentstitchalong) has really been keeping me on track this year as far as getting my ornaments done each month. It's so nice to have company and see others' ornament finishes each month, too. Thanks to all who have joined in! If you'd like to start following me on Instagram, too, just click right here.

Such fun retro colors!

 

My only other stitching related news is that I finally managed to sit down and frame this sweet piece from Tralala called "Carré ABC Bouquet." If you've been following my blog for a while, you may recall that I stitched this more than five years ago--yes, in 2016! You can read about my finish right here in my post from April 21, 2016. It was stitched on 40 ct. burch Newcastle using a variety of overdyed threads. The blue thread is Gentle Arts "Crystal Lake"--such a soft pretty color, don't you think?

"Carré ABC Bouquet" stitched in 2016

 

The very detailed, carved frame came from my box (well, boxes, plural!!) of thrifted frames that I've purchased for $1-$5 through the years. Doesn't it look pretty? It is a silvery gold color and I think it accents this sweet piece so nicely.

There is a bit more margin on the top and bottom than the sides, but overall, the fit of this thrift store frame is quite good!

The flowers that lie beside it are from my garden... The blue hydrangea was from the plant that my middle son gave me for Mother's Day this year that we planted outside. The pink coral bells were transplanted from my parents' garden at my childhood home so they are very special to me. And the white astilbe, although only in bloom for a short while, is so soft and delicate, isn't it? Our neighborhood deer have been leaving things alone lately, but we just spied a pair of baby fawns frolicking in the yard yesterday so I fear the plants will be gobbled up in no time...

Such pretty blooms this year!

 

Giveaway winner... I had quite a few entries for this pretty Americana quilt chart! Thank you to all who entered and who told me about your thrift store/yard sale/side-of-the-road finds. It was such fun reading about them and it makes me feel better about picking up things I happen upon that someone has thrown out! The winner's name drawn from the hat this time is...

Faith from Faithfully Stitching


Congratulations, Faith! Please send me your mailing address and I'll get this out to you this week. I'll be having another giveaway next month so watch this space...


 

So, what was I doing the rest of the month? Well... traveling, gardening, baking, and stumbling around like a drunken sailor. Yes, after a wonderful break of 19 years (yes, years!) my vertigo came back with a vengeance this month. Oh, I'd forgotten how bad it feels. The first  time I had it in 2002, I ended up in the hospital and was diagnosed with BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). The doctor told me then that it would return... thankfully, it decided to give me a long break. But, boy, was I sick with it--violent vomiting and complete dizziness that lasted all day. I really couldn't move at all without getting sick or feeling like the room was spinning. It was so bad that we had to postpone our flight to Florida the following day. We were able to reschedule the flight for two days later and I felt well enough to fly, but the night we arrived in Florida my vertigo returned... I simply sat and felt miserable the entire next day. I tried doing the various maneuvers to ease the dizziness that were suggested online and one of them must have kicked in because I've been okay now for over a week. I'm still not feeling quite myself, but at least I can function! So, who else deals with vertigo--do you have any tips for me? 

Our Florida visit was yet another trip to prepare my in-laws' house for the rental market. We're almost there, I'd say... My husband did the majority of the work because of my vertigo, but I did a few things and we even managed one walk on the beach. It rained (heavily!) every day except for two--I really don't remember such horrid weather down there. Combine that with 90°+ temperatures and it was pretty miserable. I'm not sure if we have to go down again before we put it on the rental market, but, hopefully, things can be handled with phone calls from now on...

One of two non-rainy days in Naples, Florida. The Naples pier is in the distance.


Playing hide and seek--can you spy the little crab peeking out?

 

Our garden has been doing so well this year! It must have something to do with the cooler temperatures and all the rain we had in May, but everything is blooming and extremely lush and green... My husband deserves full credit for the gardening. All I do is pick out plants and seeds and tell him where to plant them. He is really enjoying the extra time in the garden now that he's retired. Here are a few photos for you...

The raised beds in our fenced in vegetable and flower garden

Lots of tomatoes are ripening on the vine

And lots of snap peas, too!

We also grow some flowers within the fenced vegetable garden to keep them safe from deer. That way we can cut them and enjoy them in our home.

Sunflowers, strawflowers and zinnias

Love the various shades of purple in the alyssum!

The calla lilies are very special to me. They came from a plant that my oldest son gave my mother on her birthday two years ago. So glad they've kept blooming--I feel like mom is smiling at me!

A view from the end of our driveway to our back patio--green as far as you can see!

 

June means blueberry season--my favorite fruit! I stumbled upon this extremely quick and easy recipe for "Ridiculously Easy Blueberry Crumble" and went right into the kitchen to whip it up. Oh, my--delicious and super simple... what more could you ask for? You can find the recipe by clicking right here at Inspired Taste. I halved the recipe which was a mistake--my husband and I could easily have eaten twice the amount!

A very tasty Blueberry Crumble

So, what does July hold? Well, believe it or not, my grandson turns one next week! Yes, it makes me want to cry when I think how quickly his first year has gone. He took his first steps earlier this month and we just happened to be on FaceTime with him when that happened so we got to witness that milestone. His dad says he's now walking more than crawling and oh-so-proud of himself! There are six teeth sprouting in his little mouth so he no longer looks like such a baby... more like a sweet little boy. We'll be heading to California for his first birthday and I'm counting the days, as you can imagine. "Baby B" helped us through so much sadness over the past year with the loss of my mom and my daughter-in-law's parents.  He has no idea how very much he is treasured...

This photo warms this former librarian's heart--Baby B loves books! Hooray!

Thank you, as always for visiting me today... I always enjoy reading your comments after each post--thank you so much for taking the time to say "hi!" I'm happy to try to answer your questions, but please make sure to include your email address so I can get back to you...  Wishing you each a wonderful July with lots of stitching time. Bye for now...

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Finds and a finish

Whoa! What's going on here? Two posts from me in only 9 days?! Well, I just had to share my newest finish with you right away because I truly love how it turned out... This design is from my friends at Twin Peak Primitives and is a limited edition kit called "Stitcher's Soul Journey." (The kit is currently sold out, but they hope to release it in chart form sometime in the future). I shared the photo of the entire kit  and of my start on it (using 40 ct. Woodland Newcastle linen) in this post from April 14th. 

"Stitcher's Soul Journey" finish

 

Isn't it sweet? And you know me, I just had to change it up a bit and add my personal touches to the design. As you can see, the main change I made was to omit the verse ("Mend thy soul with needle and threads") because, although I love the verse, I saw this as more of a patriotic or summer piece so I simply left it off. I also converted the DMC threads to similar overdyeds from my stash, added some specialty stitches (satin stitched the grass and the thread on the spools), and sprinkled a few smyrna and eyelet stitches in the centers of the flowers. 

I changed the colors to overdyed threads and added some specialty stitches

 

I think the border is especially pretty in this charming piece--and I do love those patriotic colors! I found a thrifted frame in my stash that I chalk-painted (Waverly Inspirations "Plaster" color) and distressed, added a backing of royal blue gingham cut from a thrifted man's shirt (washed, of course!), and glued some white ric-rak around the edges. Simple, but oh-so-pretty! This will decorate my home all summer. Thank you again to my dear friends at Twin Peak Primitives for the wonderful kit--I so enjoyed every stitch! Please check out their Etsy shop right here for many, many more beautiful designs! 

A pretty summer addition to my patriotic decorating!

So, how many of you love finding bargains in thrift stores? As I mentioned, both the frame shown above and the blue gingham backing fabric came from my local Goodwill. I hadn't been in a thrift store since March of 2020 when Covid began spreading so quickly. But, being fully vaccinated, I recently paid my Goodwill a visit in early May and, boy, did I find some gems! A beautiful blue and white piece of Polish Pottery, two pretty beaded frames in a pale yellow, and a very fun child's play car all hopped into my shopping cart. Would you like to see my finds? 

A woman at the Goodwill store actually stopped me and asked if this $3.98 tray was Polish Pottery. I told her I didn't know--that I just loved it 'cause it was blue and white. She picked it up out of my cart, checked the bottom, and said, "Yup! You got a great bargain!"

These pretty beaded, pale yellow framed flower prints were only $2.98 each. They look perfect in my bathroom!

My favorite find that day was this Fisher Price "Laugh & Learn Crawl Around Car" that cost $5.99. When I got home I was shocked to learn that it sells for $60! I can't tell you how much fun my little grandson (who turns 11 months old today!) had with it during his visit--the sounds, the songs, the little activities... it kept him entertained for hours and he loved simply crawling in and out (and over!) it!

I don't always find something when I go to thrift stores, but that visit was special. I also bought a lot of children's books for 79¢ each (as if I hadn't saved enough from my own kids through the years!) and a couple of little ghost votive candle holders. But, thrift stores aren't the only way I find bargains... Over the years, I've been known to pick up little "treasures" (my husband doesn't quite agree with that description!) that my neighbors have put out on the street for garbage pickup.  This little rolltop desk was my favorite find from something a neighbor had left by the side of the road and my youngest son used it in his bedroom for years.

Yes, I found this sweet children's rolltop desk sitting out for trash pickup years ago. Why, oh, why wouldn't they donate it to a charity rather than throw it out. It is my favorite "rescue!"


So, that brings me to this week's "Getting To Know You" section: Do you enjoy going to thrift stores, yard sales, and such? And what are some of your favorite finds? My answer:  I grew up with a mom who loved a bargain so I think that is where my love of thrifting came from. When my kids were little, I would haunt yard sales every Saturday morning picking up books, clothing, and toys--many of which were cleaned up and given to my sons for Christmas and birthday gifts. They never knew the difference as I always bought things which looked brand new. It was never a matter of not having the money for new things--just the thrill of a bargain!  So, how about you? Have you found anything really special at yard sales or thrift stores?

Thank you so much for your answers to my last "Getting To Know You" question in my previous post... I really enjoyed hearing about all the career aspirations you had as children. No one seemed terribly unhappy with what they ended up doing in life which was nice to read, too. 

Giveaway... With summer upon us, that means the 4th of July and lots of red, white, and blue stitching. Would any of you like to stitch this pretty design called "Patriotic Quilts" from the August 2007 issue of  "The Cross Stitcher" magazine? If so, here are the guidelines: 1) Specifically mention that you want to enter to win this chart, 2) Include your email address, if I don't already have it, and 3) Answer the above "Getting To Know You" question in your comment on this post. I'll draw a name at random and let you know the winner in my next post at the end of June, okay? Good luck to all!

If you would like a chance to win this quilt chart, please follow the directions above! Make sure to leave your email address.


 

Giveaway winner from my previous post... I had quite a few people entering to win the Cricket Collection "Wooly Mittens" chart that I offered in my last post. The winning name pulled from the hat is...

 NDAVIS! 

Ndavis--you are the winner!

I'm not sure of your exact name or where you live, but congratulations Ndavis! Please contact me via email (my email is in my profile in the sidebar) with your mailing address and I will get this chart off to you as soon as possible. I hope you enjoy stitching these cute mittens--I may have to stitch that Santa moon one soon, myself!


A small public service announcement... UGH!!! We are having an epidemic of deer ticks which cause Lyme Disease here in Pennsylvania. Our state is one of 12 states which make up 94% of the Lyme Disease cases in the entire United States. Well, just last month when all three of my sons were home, they decided to play a few rounds of "disc golf" (they throw frisbees and try to hit targets in our yard like the pole of the tall bird house, the oak tree in the side yard, etc. and whoever finishes the course with the least number of throws is the winner). Unbeknownst to them, a couple of creepy insects decided to hitchhike on their legs and two of the three ended up with deer ticks burrowing into their flesh. Thankfully, both were spotted later that day and removed, but they had already burrowed, head first, into my sons' belly areas, and were becoming engorged with blood. Disgusting, right? So, my advice is... always, always check yourselves, your loved ones, and your pets each and every time after being outside in grassy areas or on hikes. You just never know! Lyme Disease can be a very long-term debilitating illness if not caught early. Beware and be aware!

I'll leave you with a much prettier vision--these lovely purple flowers are now blooming in our yard. I sure wish the blooms lasted longer, but what a welcome sight they've been this spring!

Chives, clematis, and salvia in my garden

I hope your June is off to a great start, my friends! Only 12 days until the official start of summer--I can't wait... I want to wish a warm welcome to my new followers--so glad to have you here! Thank you, as always for your visit today, your sweet comments, and emails, and your friendship. I truly appreciate each and every one of you! Bye for now...