Hello! Hello! And how are my blogging buddies doing on this fine morning? I hope this last week in April finds your part of the world greening up and beginning to bloom with those lovely pastel colors that can only mean spring has arrived. Spring has definitely "sprung" here in western Pennsylvania even though the temperatures have been quite temperamental. Last week it was 71° on Friday morning and then a mere 24 hours later it was almost 40° cooler! Crazy...
I've only managed a bit of new stitching lately because my husband and I spent some time in southern Florida earlier this month (more on that in a bit). But, I was so relieved to get the April Word Play finally finished up. Yes, "relieved" is the correct word...as much as I love the finish and as adorable as this design is, I just didn't enjoy stitching it any more than I enjoyed stitching the January Word Play. I don't know what my problem is because as an avid reader and librarian, I love words. I persevered, however, and ended up with, what I think, is a very cute finish.
April Word Play
I stitched the April Word Play "over one" on a very pretty 25 ct. sage green evenweave of some sort. I thought it was a 28 ct., but it turned out larger than my January Word Play finish so it must be a 25 ct. Most of the suggested overdyeds were used, but I had to change the colors of the leaves and the birds' feet and beaks because they just weren't showing up well on the green. To finish it off, I used the same tiny white ric rac that I used for the January Word Play and backed it with the darker green cotton fabric (from a cloth napkin I bought at Kohl's). I wish the color difference showed up better--the backing fabric is quite a bit darker than the evenweave. I do love this finish!
Finished April Word Play
I also had to change the way the word "Seeds" was stitched on the little wagon since this was stitched over one. Stitching it the way the design was charted made it too crowded looking so I simplified the letters a bit. And, taking the advice from several of you who already stitched this, I gave the bunny a cute and fluffy white tail made entirely of French knots (or my version of them--I am NOT the best French knot maker in the world)!
April Word Play
So, will I stitch more of these Word Play designs? Probably--I did buy all twelve charts after all!! (And don't we all always stitch each and every chart we purchase--ha ha!) But, I will have to stitch them sparingly--just now and then, not one month after another. I'll be skipping May and June, but might pick up July during the summer. Here is a photo that will give you a better idea of the size of the little pillow next to some freshly picked daffodils from our back yard...
April Word Play
Now, on the flip side--a design I loved stitching was this Little House Needleworks piece. It will eventually be a scissor fob--just didn't have time to finish it for this post. It is from the chart "Wool Needlebook & Fob." And yes, I also hope to stitch the needlebook, too, at some point. Don't you love the sheep? And the colors--the purple just makes this design! This is stitched over one on 28 ct. dirty linen with the suggested DMC threads. I'll show you the finished fob next time--it will be my first fob finish, believe it or not!
(From "Wool Needlebook & Fob")
FLORIDA VISIT: As I mentioned earlier, I was in sunny southern Florida (Naples to be exact) recently. As much as I complained about our endless winter and longed for warmer weather, I wasn't quite ready for the extremely hot (85°+) and humid days we had our entire visit. I'm not sure what happened, but my hot flashes were out of control the entire time I was in Florida... Having dealt with them for 15 years (yes, you're reading correctly), I'm no stranger to them, but, oh--I felt like I was absolutely melting the whole visit. I'm assuming it was the heat that triggered them to be so outrageous because now that I've come back to cooler weather I'm back to "normal."
Despite the uncomfortable temperatures it was so nice to see the tropical plants and trees that we don't have up north. Thought you might enjoy seeing a few of the prettiest botanical beauties. Many of these photos were taken at the Naples Botanical Garden which, if you ever find yourself in that southwest corner of Florida, I strongly urge you to visit.
Shaving Brush Tree
Silk Floss Tree
(No, that's not where stitching floss comes from!)
A tiny skink
(notice how well he blends in with the wood)
Asian Garden at Naples Botanical Garden
Spanish moss draped tree
Naples is a wonderful city to take long walks in--so many beautiful houses and interesting things to see. Here are some of the sights we saw on our long walks...
A boy reading a book mailbox--how sweet!!
Flowers blooming in every color
Tropical trees in all shapes and sizes
So many lovely houses and estates...
I'll take that pink one!!
Our last night was spent strolling the beach
near the Naples Pier.
THANKS TO... It's always good to get away, but, for me, there is nothing like returning home! I love my house and yard and being surrounded by my stitching and books and other simple things that make me the happiest. When I got home I found a lovely surprise waiting for me from Manka. Just look at all of these beautiful goodies that arrived in a recent giveaway win all the way from Hungary. I wish I could show you just how perfectly stitched the heart shaped bookmark and the biscornu are. The ribbon roses are lovely and the delicate specialty stitches add so much to these pieces. The talented Manka offers some lovely free designs on her her blog, so if you haven't visited, please stop by. Thank you again, my sweet friend from Hungary--I love each and every thing you sent my way!
Giveaway beauties from Manka!
And arriving like a burst of Carolina sunshine came what Faye called a "belated, belated birthday gift!" I was so surprised and thrilled to open her package and find one of her beautifully stitched project pouches. She chose the colors especially for me in the prettiest shades of yellow and blue...And look at the tiny scissors charm attached to the zipper--adorable! Why, she even monogrammed it for me... I know most you are familiar with Faye's Carolina Stitcher blog, but if you aren't, please pay her a visit. You'll be inspired by her beautiful stitching as well as her finishing of many of our fellow stitchers' projects. Thank you again, Faye, so very much, for your special birthday surprise and for your friendship. I know I'll think of you each time I use your lovely gift...
Blue and yellow stitching pouch from Faye!
I think I'll wind up this way-too-long post now, even though I have more to share with you. It will just have to wait until next time! I'll leave you with two photos of what makes spring time in the north so special...
April in Pennsylvania
Is there anything prettier than a bouquet
of freshly picked spring flowers?
Enjoy this last week of April, my friends, and thank you all for dropping by today! It's always so nice to visit with you and I sincerely appreciate each and every comment and email. I'll be in New York visiting with my mom and dad for the rest of the week so I may be a bit quiet on the "commenting front," but will definitely catch up with your blogs when I return. Bye for now...