Thursday, June 13, 2024

Stitching gifts as summer begins

Has it really been a month since my last post? I never planned on being away so long, but, you know... life! Thanks to those of you who have checked on me. As I mentioned in previous posts, my month of May was filled with doctors' appointments (mostly good results, although there may be a follow-up appointment or two in my future). Right now I'm dealing with a random attack of hives on my arms and I have no idea of the cause! They're fading and most of the itching is gone, but it was not a fun two weeks...  I did manage to get some small gifts stitched, but that's about all since my last post. Our weather is finally warming up and I'm sure that next week (when it gets into the 90s), I'll be kicking myself for complaining about the cold. But honestly--it was down in the 40s a couple nights  this week and our heat even came on. In June! I just love 80° weather with no humidity and today has been exactly that sort of day. 

Two blogging friends, June and Vickie, both have June birthdays so I managed to stitch a couple of sweet designs to make into cards. 

A pair of stitched birthday cards


For June, in England, I stitched a pair of bunnies by Brittercup Designs from "Bunnies Galore." Aren't they sweet? I forgot to note the fabric that I used, but I think it was a 32 ct. white linen or evenweave of some sort.

♥ Bunny love ♥


And for Vickie, I stitched the little "Hello Spring" design by Primrose Cottage Stitches. This one was stitched "over one" on 28 ct. white Lugana with a variety of pastel colors. I thought it might make a nice addition to Vickie's cubby that she changes out monthly.

Such a cute design for Spring

A new baby boy was born into my middle son's girlfriend's family so guess what I stitched? Yep! The cute JBW Designs gingerbread boy from the "Baby's First Christmas" chart.  This marks the tenth time I've stitched this little cutie; in fact, I stitched it for this little guy's big brother just two years ago. The parents are always so happy to receive a personalized and unique ornament! I used 32 ct. black Belfast linen with DMC threads and added a white pom-pom and red beads along with the candy cane colored cording. I wonder if I'll be stitching any more of these for baby boys in the future? I certainly hope so!

A Christmas ornament for a new baby boy (the name is whited out for privacy)

And this next one came as such a surprise to me! My best friend sent a photo of the little "Welcome" piece that I had stitched and given her years and years ago. It is so old, I don't even recall stitching it! She took a photo of it to show me that it is now hanging in her daughter's home and I was so touched. My friend downsized her belongings when she moved away and gave each of her five children a piece that I had stitched. I'm honored to think that my work lives on in their homes. Unfortunately, I have no idea where the chart came from, but it may have been in an early Just Cross Stitch magazine from the 1980s or 90s. If anyone knows, could you let me know?

This piece is so old, I can't even remember the source or when I stitched it!

So, I've turned my attention to patriotic stitching and am almost finished with a cute piece that I'll share with you next time. I'm very behind on getting my patriotic stitching out and on display this year. I usually like to have it out by Memorial Day, but I just wasn't motivated to take the Spring stitching down. Finally, I pulled out my patriotic finishes today and hope to get them on display tomorrow which is Flag Day here in the U.S. A perfect time to get these out--there sure are a lot of flags in these pieces, aren't there? I think you all know that Christmas stitching is my favorite, but after that comes patriotic themes. I just can't resist a good red, white, and blue design!

Can you tell I love patriotic stitching?

Here are a few close-ups for you...



An unexpected visitor arrived in our yard a couple weeks ago. We saw some sort of blob out in the middle of the grass and it turned out to be... a large snapping turtle!

Our pond's newest resident

We believe he was heading to our pond from the creek across the street. That is quite a distance, but "slow and steady" wins the race as they say. This fellow looked like he was in pretty rough shape. He had a small notch out of his shell toward the back and was so muddy. We tried to give the turtle something to eat, but he wasn't interested so we left him alone and watched as he ever-so-slowly made his way back to our pond. I did see him sunning himself on the pond's bank a couple of times since,  so I'm hoping he's found himself a welcoming new home!

Can you spot his very dark eye?

New flowers are blooming, adding their pretty colors to all the green, green grass in our yard. 

Love the wispy catmint!

These elegant white calla lilies with their dappled leaves are some of my favorites this time of year.

Our purchased flowers waiting to be planted. The yellow dipladenia on the left was a Mother's Day gift from my middle son and his girlfriend

Okay--this is a strange one! I was given an amaryllis bulb as a gift back in December and it never bloomed. The stalks  grew about 4 inches tall and then just stopped. So last month, I asked my husband to take it outside and plant it--never dreaming it would actually bloom. Surprisingly, two weeks later we had these bright red flowers!


In early June we visited my grandson in the D.C. suburbs and had a grand time! The main purpose of this particular trip was to take my middle son's old bunk beds down for him. Oh, my! He'd been so excited about moving from his toddler bed into bunk beds and talked about it for weeks. On the day we put them up in his bedroom, he was almost jumping out of his skin. He wants, so badly, to sleep in the top bunk, but, for now, his mom and dad are limiting him to the bottom. In addition to that big event, he helped me make some very tasty banana bread and helped plant the very first garden in his new house. I just love this photo of my husband holding the carrot seeds as Mister B carefully places them in the ground. He proudly announced just this week that the carrots were already sprouting! I've never seen a kid love vegetables the way he does, so I'm sure all the tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and cucumbers that were planted won't last long once they ripen!

My sweet grandson patiently planting some tiny carrot seeds

This coming Sunday is Father's Day here in the U.S. Do any of you have special plans? We are going to my middle son's place for dinner (which is also a gift for me since I don't have to cook for a change!). It's kind of a bittersweet day for all of us whose fathers have passed, though, isn't it? I do hope to be back for a visit again in a couple weeks and return to my twice a month blogging schedule. Thank you, one and all, for visiting today--hope your summer is off to a great start (yes, I know summer doesn't officially start until June 20th, but I've always considered it to start on Memorial Day!). I really appreciate each of your comments and emails--you stitching friends are the best! Take care now and enjoy your weekend. Bye for now...

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Christmas is coming... 223 days! Although the way I've been stitching anything and everything Christmas this year, you would think it's arriving next month! In my attempt to have some bigger Christmas pieces on my walls by December, I've been pretty much stitching Christmas all year so far. I may just have to take a break and stitch up some patriotic pieces soon, though--they've definitely been calling to me!

So, how is everyone doing in mid-May? It sure doesn't seem like May here as our truly nice spring days are few and far between. We get one picture-perfect day and then a string of cloudy/rainy/gloomy days. And the weekends? I don't even want to mention them! It doesn't really matter to me being retired, but I do feel for all the folks who only have the weekends off and are met with gray, soggy days. 

I've managed to stitch another big (to me, anyway!) Christmas piece. Would you like to see? This is "Christmas is Coming" by Shakespeare's Peddler and it was such a fun piece! I love stitching words and little motifs so this one was just perfect. Stitched on 40 ct. vintage country mocha Newcastle linen with "most" of the suggested colors, I'm so happy with how it turned out.

"Christmas is Coming" finish

How about a closer view? My main changes were to the house portion of the design. The year was supposed to be stitched above the fence, but I substituted five snowflakes. I also changed the color of the house itself to WDW Brick (front) and WDW Havana (side), changed the paint on the door to WDW Charcoal, added muntins to the windows, and added more snow under the house. And do you see the comma and the period? Yep--had to add them to make my librarian's brain happy :) 

In the lower portion, I changed the goose in the box to match the pair of geese above. It was charted as just a silhouette in black, but I preferred a full-color goose. I also added some snowflakes inside the box and to an empty space to the right of it. The long flower had leaves that weren't symmetrical so I changed them, too, and altered the flower's color a bit. I centered that bottom row of holly to match the spacing in the row at the very top. And yes... more punctuation :)

So, I have another large Christmas piece to add to my "to-be-framed" drawer. I need to get busy and place an order for frames soon!

Now to find a frame...

Speaking of frames--I managed to frame one of my Christmas finishes from last year! This finish is actually the result of what I like to call two "happy accidents." Happy Accident Number One: First of all, the "2019 Twin Peak Santa" was not stitched according to the chart. I accidentally started the design off-center so I didn't have enough fabric to stitch the bag of toys that was originally charted. To fill it in a bit, I chose random snowflake designs from various charts and added them along the sides. You can read about my finish of this handsome Santa in this post. I really love how it looks with the pretty snowflakes falling gently down on both sides of the blue-robed Santa. And then Happy Accident Number Two: I placed an order from my favorite online frame shop, Franken Frames, last year. (You can read about the frames I  ordered in this post). Well, the frame you see below on the Santa was in that order, although originally intended for a Prairie Schooler Thanksgiving piece. When it arrived and I held it up to the PS piece, it was way too small. Thinking that the framing company had made an error, I checked out my original order, and sure enough--it was me! I had sent them the wrong measurements. Ugh! But... I just happened to hold it up to this Santa piece and, lo and behold, it was an almost perfect fit! What do you think?

Framed finish of the 2019 Twin Peak Primitives Santa

The color of the wood in the frame perfectly matches Santa's staff and the size was excellent--a bit wider on the sides than the top and bottom, but that's okay. It sure feels good to have a framed finish checked off my list. For those of you who wonder how I do my framing, I'll link to the instructional post by Brenda Gervais that I follow right here.

Giveaway winner... Wow! I was amazed at the number of you who wanted to stitch the "Cycling Santa" chart that I offered last month as a giveaway. I truly appreciate all of your book recommendations, too. I'd read many of them, but did add a few new titles to my "must-read" list. I so wish I could send each of you the chart, but there can be only one winner and that winner is....

Rita H. 

Rita H.--you are the winner of the "Cycling Santa" chart!

Congratulations, Rita! Please send me your mailing address and I'll get this chart right out to you. Hopefully, you can pass it on when you are finished, too, and keep the kindness going. For those of you who didn't win, luckily, the chart is still readily available for purchase. In fact 123 Stitch has it on sale right here for just $7.19!

The ups and downs of May... May used to be one of my favorite months, but that has changed over the past several years. You see, my mom's birthday was May 14th (she would have been 97)  and my mother-in-law's birthday was yesterday, May 15th (she would have been 96). It was always such a fun, festive time of year with Mother's Day falling right before their two birthdays. But, now that they are both gone (mom in 2020 and my mother-in-law in 2022), I tend to get pretty sad. This year it seemed to really hit hard... The fact that none of my boys were able to be here for Mother's Day on Sunday didn't help. The tears were flowing pretty frequently over the past couple of weeks. 


I found a feather this week! Yes, a teeny tiny white feather in the middle of my kitchen floor. As I bent to pick it up, I just knew it was a sign from mom--that she was nearby and watching over me. I felt such comfort the moment I found the feather.

A message from mom? I believe so!

I know a lot of you are probably rolling your eyes right now, but I truly believe in signs and my mom has sent me feathers before. Anyway, I carefully placed it in "her" spot in my Pottery Barn cubby with other special things I've received from her over the years. How about you? Have you received signs from a loved one that bring you comfort and a sense of peace?

The cubby space dedicated to my dear mother

Our Spring flowers continue to dot our green, green yard with brilliant spots of color...

Love the shade of purple in this clematis

And the pink is pretty sweet as well!

Our Korean Lilac bush has never had so many blooms!

The rhododendron bloomed about two weeks earlier than normal this year

And the wildlife... I think I've mentioned (probably many times over the past 15 years that I've been blogging) that we are blessed with a large yard. It's a bit over an acre with a good-sized pond in the back. I thought you might enjoy seeing an aerial photo of it taken by my youngest son with his drone back in 2018. On the left is the pond, in the upper middle is my husband's vegetable/flower garden (which he's since made half the size for easier maintenance) and the garden shed. The little bluish "blob" in the lower middle near the pond is the top of the big bird house that you often see in my photos.

An aerial view of our home and back yard from 2018.

Because of the pond, our back yard is filled with  animals who are drawn to the water. The pond contains probably two dozen koi. The koi are huge--18 to 24 inches long--and are orange, white, black, and a combination of those three colors. During the spring, summer, and fall we feed them special koi food, but when the temperature falls below 52° we stop feeding them for the winter and they survive just fine. You can see a portion of the pond and a couple koi in the photo below, taken last summer in 2023. My little grandson, Mister B, was almost three years old here and looks like he really wanted to jump right in with the fish!


"Look, Nonna!"

Here are some of the many visitors we've seen in our back yard this spring...

The blue heron is a frequent visitor hoping to grab a koi. They are simply too big for him, though, so he often flies away still hungry.


Can you spot the blue heron flying above the birdhouse near the top of the photo? What a wide wingspan!

This mallard duck couple has been spotted a few times this spring. They sometimes wander up the lawn from the pond and feed underneath the bird feeders. We were hoping they would choose our pond  to build their nest, but I think they've gone elsewhere.

Spot the bunny! And the squirrel and the mourning dove couple! All gather at the base of the bird feeders to enjoy easy-to-get treats.

I honestly can't imagine living in a city... Every time I look out my window, it's like a moving picture of wildlife. From the silly squirrels chasing each other round and round the tree to the mischievous bluejays stealing all the bird seed, to the herd of deer that roams through our yard (eating many of our flowers!)--it's always something new each day. I get so much joy from watching nature!

My husband was on a bike ride for five days earlier in the month and sent this sweet photo taken while biking on Assateague Island. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Assateague, a 37-mile barrier island located on the shores of Maryland and Virginia, is home to over 150 wild horses which are descendants of horses from the 17th century. If you'd like to read more about them, you can click on this article. I'd love to see them in person some day!

Three of the wild horses on Assateague Island. I simply love this sweet photo of the little foal nursing from his or her mother. A perfect photo for Mother's Day weekend, I'd say!

I always think I don't have much to write about when I first begin a post, but it seems to mushroom as I look through the photos on my camera! I hope you don't mind these longer posts... I'm not sure if I'll be back by the end of May or not. It's going to be a busy time with many doctors' appointments, shopping for flowers and planting them, and a trip to visit my grandson. Just a bit uncertain if I'll even get much stitching done to share with you. As I mentioned, I think it's about time I began a few patriotic pieces. After Christmas stitching, red, white, and blue stitching is my favorite! Hope you all have a great month with lots of sunshine and stitches--and as always, thank you so very much for your kind comments and emails. Bye for now...

Monday, April 29, 2024

Santas and Spring

Greetings on what has been a glorious spring day! The temperature reached the mid-80s today and I loved every minute! Isn't it wonderful to have the windows open after a long winter and hear the birds chirping, the bees humming, and the lawnmowers droning on and on (okay--well, maybe not that last one so much!). Amazing how a nice, sunny day can lift one's mood...

It's been a quiet couple of weeks since I last posted and I've managed to stitch and finish both my ornament for April and another for May. It always feels good to be a bit ahead of the game! On Instagram, the #12in24ornamentstitchalong that I host is going swimmingly. It's wonderful to see so many international stitchers participating this year, too. It's a lot of fun getting to know stitchers from so many countries!

For April, I stitched a Homespun Elegance chart that was so generously passed on to me by Catherine over at "I Love to Stitch." (And, as always, I like to keep the kindness going with charts that have been passed on to me so I'm having a giveaway for this particular chart below). Isn't this guy the most whimsical Santa? There he is, just relaxing on his bike as he pedals through the falling snow. "Avery's Cycling Santa" is stitched on 40 ct. vintage country mocha Newcastle with a mix of DMC and Weeks Dye Works threads. I added burgundy colored beads to the Christmas tree in his sack and a small bell to the end of the stick that he is carrying. 

A Homespun Elegance finish for April

To finish it off, I sewed on two pieces of Woolies flannel with a bit of ecru rick-rack peeking out, topped by a polka dot bow. My husband is a big bicyclist (in fact he's away on a bike trip right now so you know what I'm going to be doing this week--stitching each and every day away!) so he thought this one was pretty cute (even though Santa is not dressed quite properly for biking!). I ended up switching out the silver bell that is shown in the above photo for a tinier gold one--just thought the scale was better.

Doesn't he just make you smile?


And for my May ornament, I stitched the 2024 annual Prairie Schooler Santa. Isn't he a handsome fellow? Once again, I used 40 ct. vintage country mocha Newcastle with most of the suggested DMC threads. I did change the belt buckle to gold (used Gentle Arts toffee) and changed all the green to DMC 520. Don't ask me why, but I have  always used 520 on all of the PS Santas along with that signature Prairie Schooler red: DMC 221. I accidentally made his pants one stitch too long so all of the lower tree trunks are a bit elongated as a result. No problem, though--I bet you wouldn't even have noticed if I hadn't pointed it out!

2024 Prairie Schooler Santa finish

I finished the 2024 Santa in the same way that I've finished other PS Santas over the years with a simple cording in DMC 221 and a gingham checked bow. Easy and classic... I really love the back stitching on this one--it's very different and those trees were a lot of fun to stitch! This one is definitely one of my favorite of the PS annual Santas.

My May 2024 ornament


Two more for my tree!

Giveaway time... It's been a while since I've offered a giveaway and I thought the "Cycling Santa" chart might be perfect for this time of year when everyone is getting outside and, perhaps--riding a bike. Would any of you like to enter this giveaway? If so, please follow the guidelines below and I'll announce the winner in my next post.

I'm having a giveaway for this chart. Please follow the guidelines below if you want to be included.

To be included in the drawing for the Homespun Elegance chart shown above, please...

1) Specifically mention that you would like to win it in your comment 

2) Be a follower of Stitching Dreams (in my blog's sidebar on the right)

3) Make sure to leave your email address in your comment if I don't already have it

4) Answer the "Getting to Know You" question below.


Getting to Know You... For today's getting to know you question, I'd love to know what favorite book(s) you've read recently that you would recommend. I've been doing a lot of reading (well, even more listening to audiobooks) this year. I tend to listen more and more while I stitch as there is just nothing on television these days. That way I can enjoy two of my favorite hobbies at once! Win-win! 


Two of my favorite reads so far this year.

Two favorite books that I've read recently just happen to be by the same author, Tracy Chevalier. I so enjoy historical fiction and these both fit the bill. The Last Runaway, (published in 2013) centers around a young Quaker woman who, in 1850, moves to Ohio from England. It portrays her trials and tribulations as she adjusts to a very different culture and way of living. She soon finds herself caught up in helping runaway slaves escape North through the Underground Railroad. The story line and characters are so well done and the scenes centering around the importance of quilts and quilting are especially endearing.

A Single Thread (published in 2019) is set in the early 1930's in Winchester, England. Violet Speedwell is one of the "surplus women"--those women who lost husbands or  fiancés in WWI and are considered "old maids." She moves to Winchester and soon becomes involved with a society of broderers who embroider kneelers for Winchester Cathedral even though she's had no experience with stitching. Both books invoke the feeling of  peace and satisfaction that comes from doing handwork of any kind which is one reason I think I enjoyed reading them so much.

So, now it's your turn... what is a favorite book that you'd like others to know about? I'd love to add some new titles to my "must read" list.

Signs of spring continue to abound now  that it's finally warmed up...

Such brilliant color in front of our home.

This beautiful crabapple tree (hybridized by my husband's grandfather) is something we look forward to each Spring. I only wish the blooms lasted a bit longer!

This little fox was photographed by my oldest son after chasing a squirrel up a tree in my son's yard. The squirrel escaped, but that sly fox appears to still be looking for him!

How can the year be one-third over already? I saw this very relatable Snoopy cartoon (always my dad's favorite Peanuts character) the other day and it is so very true. How I wish time would slow down... 

Can anyone relate?

On to May! It is a month filled with doctor's appointments for me and I'm not looking forward to it at all. (Does anyone ever truly enjoy going to the doctor)? I have my annual physical, dentist, endocrinologist, colonoscopy, and mammogram appointments scattered throughout my May calendar. UGH! I'll sure be glad when they are over. How about you? I hope you have something fun waiting for you in May?  Thank you so much for popping in today and leaving such nice comments. I really look forward to hearing from you... Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead! Bye for now...

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Reindeer Games In a Soggy Month

Finally... a sunny day! I know many of you almost always have sunny (or partially sunny days), but that isn't the norm for southwestern Pennsylvania. And this spring has been rainier than ever. In fact, it's been our wettest spring on record going back to 1871! As of Thursday, we had received 10.54 inches of rain since March 1st beating the old record from 1967 by over three inches. The only good thing about all the rain is it makes for great stitching weather, right?

One of my goals for this year was to finish some large Christmas pieces along with my usual monthly ornaments. What can I say? I just love stitching Christmas! "Reindeer Games" by Erica Michaels was such a fun piece to stitch for my first larger Christmas piece. It is stitched on 40 ct. summer khaki Newcastle with most of the suggested threads. I did substitute DMC 498 for the red and DMC 3865 for the white. The whole time I stitched this, I thought of my dear mother who absolutely adored doing crossword puzzles. She enjoyed doing them well into her late 80s when the macular degeneration in her eyes made it impossible for her to read or do puzzles. Oh, how she missed her crossword puzzles and books. She would have loved this particular finish so much.

"Reindeer Games" by Erica Michaels

All of the reindeer names are stitched in Classic Colorwork's "Black Coffee" thread and the remaining words are done in green and red. The little gold bells were created using Rhodes stitches and add such a nice texture to the finish.

Love that teeny elf!

Below is "the most famous reindeer of all," good old Rudolph with his bright red nose ready to lead Santa's sleigh.

The motifs in this design were such fun to stitch.

I did make one major change from the original chart--I changed the name of one of the reindeer from the charted "Donder" to "Donner." Why? Well, that is the way I remember it from that famous song sung by Gene Autry: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

"You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and VixenComet and Cupid and Donner and BlitzenBut do you recallThe most famous reindeer of all?
Rudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerHad a very shiny noseAnd if you ever saw itYou would even say it glows..."
Donner or Donder?

In reading about the reindeer names online--there is a lively debate over whether it should be Donder or Donner. Boy, you can really go down a rabbit hole reading about the opinions of which one is correct! Some people say it should be Donner as that is the German word for thunder (and Blitz is the Germany word for lightning). I don't know... I'm just choosing to spell it the way I'm most familiar with. How about you? Are you in the Donner camp or the Donder camp?  However you spell it, I love how this turned out and I'm truly hoping to have it framed and on display by December.  On to my next "big" Christmas piece which I'll show you in May!

Easter update... Although it's only been two weeks since Easter, it seems like much longer, doesn't it? All nine of us were here for at least portions of Easter weekend which was wonderful. Little Mister B was enthralled with the idea of the Easter bunny arriving during the night and leaving him a basket of treats. He had such fun following the jelly bean trail from the bottom of the steps to the Easter basket's hiding place and couldn't believe the bunny had hidden it in the clothes dryer. He thought that was hilarious!
Easter morning with Mister B. He certainly is loving those M&M's. Isn't his little bow-tie adorable?

The bunny also hid plastic eggs filled with treats outside even though our weather was cool and wet from a rain the previous day. And lots of baking was done! We celebrated my oldest son's 42nd birthday with a carrot cake, made a bunny cake, and baked bunny biscuits. Have you made a bunny cake before? They are so, so easy and here is a good write-up on how to create one of your very own. It was my grandson's idea to use candles for the whiskers and I thought they were perfect! He had a lot of fun putting the pastel colored M&M's on the bow tie (although I think more ended up in his mouth than on the cake!). I just used a boxed cake mix, but made my own icing using this recipe--it was delicious! And the bunny biscuits were super easy. You start with a package of refrigerated biscuits, cut half of the biscuits in two for ears and then embellish them however you want. We used big chocolate chips for the eyes and pink M&M's for the noses. We didn't add whiskers, but this blog post suggests using slivered almonds. Really a fun project for your little helpers!

Easter baking 2024

I used to make these bunny cakes when my three sons were little. In fact, here is a photo of my oldest son with one we made in the mid-1980s. The shape of the bow tie is a bit different and I no longer use coconut to cover the whole cake because some family members don't care for it (unlike me--I love coconut! How about you?).

One of the first bunny cakes I ever made with my oldest son back in the mid-1980s.

Of course, we also dyed eggs--the first time my grandson had ever done so! They turned out so bright and cheerful--it was a great family activity. Now, if you look closely, you'll notice that unusual brown egg right in the middle... Well, that was the result of Mister B wanting to experiment with dipping one egg in color after color after color. It actually turned out to be a very pretty shade of brown and it was interesting for him to learn about how the different colored dyes reacted with each other.

Such a lovely Easter tradition...

Looking upward! The other big event that happened since my last post was... the solar eclipse here in the U.S. on April 8th. Although we weren't in the path of totality in southwestern Pennsylvania, we were at 97% which was still pretty amazing to watch. Unfortunately, my husband and I both had doctor's appointments which we couldn't miss, so we ended up watching the peak of the eclipse in the parking lots outside of our respective doctors' offices. (I would much rather have watched with him by my side, but when you've waited over a year for a doctor's appointment, you don't change it). I tried to take photos with my phone, but they didn't turn out well at all. The photo below, though (which I found online), is what it looked like locally at the 97% peak coverage--pretty breathtaking. As I watched the sun become more and more covered by the moon and felt the temperature drop, I realized what a small speck I am in this beautiful universe of ours... It was really something special to experience and I can only imagine how those in the path of the total eclipse must have felt!

Southwestern Pennsylvania's 97% coverage on eclipse day

So, that about wraps up my first post for April. Our daffodils and tulips are blooming right now and are putting on quite a show. 
Daffodils are such a welcome sight in April!
I just love spring flowers--and tulips are my favorites. My husband planted several dozen in our fenced-in vegetable garden to protect them from the deer and they've been putting on quite a show.
Tulip bulbs that my husband planted for me last fall have burst into bloom this past week

Below are some tulips that I cut earlier this week. Such a beautiful color, don't you think?

It's so wonderful having fresh-cut tulips to decorate my table this month!

Thanks so much for visiting me today! I hope you are enjoying the month of April and getting outside more. We are, optimistically, putting the screens in our windows today so I'm hopeful that summer is on its way. I so enjoy your emails and comments. Living in a family of all men, I get  little interest in my stitching so I'm always very appreciative of your kind words! Bye for now...