Sunday, June 28, 2009

Week Twenty-Six: Prairie Schooler Two-by-Two: Deer

This post marks the half-way mark in my year-long ornament challenge! Hooray!!! So far, the challenge has been fun for me, although sometimes I long to have the time to stitch larger projects. But, at the same time, I am clearing out so, so many of the smaller patterns in my stash (and getting to stitch many fun ornaments at the same time!). This little Prairie Schooler design is from the 1998 JCS Christmas Ornaments issue and was stitched with DMC threads on some mystery fabric (it might be 18ct. Davos--just can't be sure).

I also want to share this photo that I took of a little fawn born two springs ago back by our pond. How cute is that tiny deer? I couldn't believe I was able to get so close to it--the mother must have been away foraging for food or something... Deer seem to love our pond--I saw one just the other day taking a long, cool drink from it on a steamy 88 degree day. Perhaps it was the same deer from my photo all grown up?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Week Twenty Five: Prairie Schooler Boy With His Snowman

Okay, okay, I know what you're thinking--another Prairie Schooler design?! What can I say--I guess I'm an official Prairie Schooler addict. Looking back over the past 25 finishes that I've stitched so far this year, one quarter of them are Prairie Schoolers! This little boy carefully applying the finishing touches to his color coordinated snowman is from the "Button Up" leaflet and was stitched on 32-count Lambswool Jobelan. I finished another of the designs from that leaflet in Week Six--the little boy ice skating. I hope to someday stitch all 8 and finish them as tiny ornaments for our Christmas tree. But, knowing me, I'll give them away as gifts. Is it just me, or do you find yourself giving away much of your cross stitching?

When my sons were little, I used to stitch a small Prairie Schooler Santa for each of their teachers and frame it for them as a Christmas gift. I can't tell you how many of those Santas I stitched, but multiply three boys by who knows how many teachers and you get the picture. I still remember one of the boys saying to me, "Mom, you've made so many for the teachers, but you've never even kept one for yourself!" So, I guess maybe it is finally time to stitch some things just for me...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Week Twenty-Four: Prairie Schooler Santa with Cardinal

By now I'm sure you've gathered that Prairie Schooler designs are among my favorites! This is the second Santa I have stitched from the booklet: "Kris Kringle." This blue-robed Santa carrying his red and white mittens was stitched on 32-count sage jobelan with DMC threads. I love the tiny details on his outfit; the two snowmen holding brooms and wearing hats, with charcoal buttons, carrot noses, and red scarves wrapped warmly around their necks. So cute...If you look closely you'll notice that the Santa is carrying a small red cardinal with a holly branch in its mouth.

Speaking of cardinals...several weeks ago I noticed a lot of rustling and squawking in the lilac bush outside of our familyroom window. Upon further inspection, I spied a brand new cardinal's nest holding one lone egg. I had never seen a cardinal's egg before and after a week or so the brown-speckled egg hatched into this alien-looking little cardinal chick! Just yesterday I checked and what do you know, the little cardinal had grown feathers (not yet red) and was ready to fly away...

A lone cardinal egg...

The newly hatched cardinal... Poor little thing--he looks so frail with his translucent skin and huge bug-like eyes. Hard to believe that someday he'll be one of the bright red birds we enjoy watching in our yard all year long.

And here is the baby cardinal finally leaving the nest...I suppose his feathers will begin to turn red as he gets older. Good luck little one...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Week Twenty-Three: Cat at the Window

As soon as I saw this darling "Cat at the Window" pattern, I knew I had to stitch it in memory of our dear all-black kitty, Shadow. This was a simple and quick stitch using white monaco fabric and DMC threads using a free pattern from Kreuzstich-kreativ which can be found right here.

It was two years ago this week that our dear cat of fourteen years passed away. Taking him to the vet that warm June evening in 2007 was probably one of the hardest things we ever had to do as a family. But his intestinal tumor had returned a year after an operation to remove it... and there was nothing left to be done for him. He was just the best kitty ever--a stray who wandered into our yard in 1993 and made his home with us for the next fourteen years. Shadow was a cat who thought he was a dog--very sociable and loving. He grew up with my sons, watching three little boys become young men. He loved rubber bands and chasing moths, laying his head against his "girlfriend" (my husband's leather briefcase), pouncing on newspapers and exploring paper bags, having his head rubbed with a shoehorn, "talking" to the birds outside the window, rolling in catnip and lolling in the sun, sitting on a kitchen stool next to us while we ate our meals, and sleeping in our laps. Shadow...we miss you daily and we will never forget you.

Shadow on the windowseat in our family room...

and waiting patiently by the door...