Thank you, thank you for the wonderful birthday wishes you left me on my last post. With each one I read, it seemed to make turning 57 "just a bit" easier to take! I truly love how this cross stitching blog community brings together stitchers of all ages to inspire and offer support for our passion, don't you? I know I'm one of the "older generation" in the world of cross stitcher bloggers and I love the fact that I've made friendships with people of all different ages from all over the world. It's been a wonderful three years since I began my blog and I've gotten so much more out of it than I ever dreamed I would. If any of you are thinking about starting a blog of your own, I highly encourage you to!
What have I been working on so far this year? Well, a bit of a larger than normal piece (for me at least). I've had the lovely Nature's Alphabet by Elizabeth's Needlework Designs in my stash for years and finally it just begged me to stitch it. I'm loving this one, even though all that hunter green backstitching between each blog is a bit tiring. I'm up to the "P" block now, but don't want to spoil the surprise so I'll just share just a few of my favorite blocks so far: "E" is for Ewes, "L" for lavender, "D" for daisies, and "C" for cherries... (These are all stitched on one large piece of linen--I just photographed the blocks separately and created this little collage). Aren't they pretty? And the specialty stitches add such beautiful texture!
My other new start is Little House Needlework's "Snow White" which I'm stitching on 16 ct. Stardust Heatherfield. It's such a pretty fabric with the flecks of blue and the wooly appearance, but it is not my favorite to stitch on--it's just too "flopsy" for me. I like a fabric with more body. Anyway, here is my progress so far--it should be finished up next week.
So, I'll bet you're all wondering about the birthday dinner that my two older sons cooked for me? Well, I'm happy to report there wasn't a green vegetable in sight--not one!! They served me chicken parmesan on angel hair pasta, garlic bread, fruit salad, and for dessert these wonderful cupcakes. It was so hard to pick just one flavor--there was mint chocolate chip, peanut butter, strawberry, double chocolate, yellow with chocolate frosting, and red velvet. Which would you have chosen? I finally selected the double chocolate, but had a taste of my husband's peanut butter one as well--absolutely scrumptious!! The guys gave me a variety of stitching and crafting gift cards and a new GPS (I'm known for having absolutely no sense of direction so this will be a huge help!) which I'm still smiling about. I love you so very much my guys; thanks for making my birthday one to remember...
I was thoroughly spoiled by my blogging friends as well... In fact, I feel truly honored to have so many kind and caring friends in the stitching world. You made me feel so special and I thank you all for your friendship as well as all of your generous and thoughtful gifts.
From the always thoughtful Myra, came this lovely group of gifts. She knew I didn't have many summer charts so she fed my "over one" addiction with these tiny By the Bay "Stitch An Inch" charts and a lovely pendant complete with seashell trim to frame one of them. The overdyed floss she included is a perfect soothing shade for summer stitching. Thank you, thank you, dear Myra--you are such a generous and kind friend!
Cindy, one of my very first blogging friends and fellow January birthday girl, sent me this sweet LHN chart called "This Is My Joy." With it she included not only the fabric, but a skein of Belle Soie silk in the loveliest shade of burgundy. I've never stitched with silk before and am so looking forward to it. Along with the stitching things, Cindy sent me a very cute Christmas mug to hold my hot chocolate while I'm munching on those chocolate covered raisins which she included. Your gifts truly made me smile, Cindy, and I want to thank you so very much!
All the way from Ireland, came this bunch of goodies from dear Lois. Isn't this pincushion the prettiest little thing? Lois knows I love blue and she chose such a soft, soothing color to stitch it in. She also included a skein of blue overdyed thread, a cute bookmark (perfect for a book-loving librarian like me!), and the cutest note cards... Lois, you have my color scheme down perfectly. If you could see all the blue and white in my house--you would know how much your gifts appeal to me! Thank you again for remembering me on my special day!
I was tickled pink to receive a surprise gift from dear Linda. She is one of my fellow "Grape Arbor Stitchers" whom I meet with each fall for a few days up in northern Pennsylvania. Linda sent me a generous gift certificate to 1-2-3 Stitch which I can't wait to use. I told her I already know exactly what I'll be spending it on--the threads for some of those darling Word Play charts that I received for Christmas. Thank you, thank you, Linda--you were so kind to remember me with something you knew I would love!
Brenda, my stitching friend from the Chicago area, surprised me with this packet of goodies. Isn't this scissor fob the cutest thing? It is stitched on both sides--a Goldfinch on one and a Martin birdhouse on the other. So perfectly stitched over one--I just love it, Brenda! She kept up her "bird" theme (which I love!) with a hummingbird needleminder and a lovely compartmentalized box which is perfect for holding buttons, bows, and charms. It turns out she and I share a birthday, so if you haven't visited her blog lately, please stop in and wish her a "Happy Birthday" as well! Thank you, Brenda--your thoughtful and generous gifts truly touched my heart...
Another gift from "across the pond" came from sweet June. Just look at this darling linen pouch embroidered with ribbons--how dainty and charming. I'll bet that is a hobby I might enjoy some day (if and when I have more spare time!). The bag was filled with this assortment of blue trims and ribbons and tiny butterfly and bird embellishments. And look at that birthday card--it's shaped like a frilly pink purse. I was so surprised to get your goodies, June, and I can't thank you enough for remembering me!
And last, but definitely not least, my fabulous friend, Valerie, sent me the cutest scissor fob in a pretty blue paisley pouch. The fob has all of my favorite shades of blue and such pretty accent beads... (Do you think everyone knows I like blue? I'd say they've figured me out quite well!). I'd love to visit San Francisco some day, meet Valerie in person, and have her take me on one of her "urban hikes". Watch out, Valerie--I just might make it out there some day! Thank you very much, my friend... you were so kind to remember me on my birthday!
I was also lucky enough to win a giveaway from Kathy Ellen. She sent me this gorgeous Carriage House Samplings design called "Quaker Christmas Samplers" for my prize. I can hardly wait to start stitching this one for next Christmas--I'm trying to decide on the perfect blue overdyed or silk. Any suggestions? Do any of you have a favorite blue thread that you've used? Thank you so much, Kathy--it's always a pleasure to visit your blog and your 12 Days of Christmas gifts made twelve stitchers, including me, very, very happy!
Whew! I still can't believe my luck in having "met" so many wonderful friends through my blog... Your comments, emails, cards, gifts--my goodness; I really have been overwhelmed by your kindness. I've been so very blessed in my life and I count each of you among my blessings. Thank you again for making my birthday so incredible--it certainly was one I'll never forget. Enjoy your day everyone--and take some time to do whatever makes you happiest! Bye for now...