How on earth could this be the last day of May? I mean, really... why is this year flying by so quickly? Do you remember when you were little and you couldn't wait to grow up? You wanted so badly to drive a car, to experience that first kiss, to move out on your own; you wanted time to pass as quickly as possible. And now--now that you're older--you wish there was some magical way to slow things down, don't you? That's how I feel. I know that it will probably just keep speeding up as I age, though, but I've found that taking an hour or so to add a few lines of stitches to whatever design I'm working on really does seem to slow down my world. Have you ever noticed that? It has such a calming effect...
With a busier than normal month that included extra work days and all those "must-do" outdoor chores that greet us each spring and summer, I've had little stitching time, but I did manage to finish the Prairie Schooler "Summer" piece that I was working on the last time you visited me. I do love seasonal stitching, but, for some reason, I have very few summer themed pieces in my collection. So, I'm thrilled to have a new finish to display this summer.
Prairie Schooler "Summer"
from Book No. 50 "Prairie Seasons"
"Summer" is stitched on 32 ct. flax Belfast linen using the suggested DMC colors (except for the little ducks which I changed to a lighter gold than was charted). I changed the ducks' beaks, too (using straight stitches rather than cross stitches), and gave them French Knots (well, my odd version!) for eyes. There is a mistake on this chart--the sunflowers on the left were charted for a different color than the ones on the right although in the photo they were all the same, so I stitched them all in the lighter gold.
A trio of ducklings guarded by their mama
If you look closely at the sun, can you spy a smiling face? Such a cute touch! The colors in this piece are my favorites--the blues and buttery yellows so, of course, I love the house. I'm so pleased with this finish...it encompasses the essence of those hot, lazy days of summer, doesn't it?
A smiling sun
I'll be framing this one with the same frame I used for the Prairie Schooler Spring finish that I showed you in this post back in 2010. Here is a collage of some of the little details... the bee hive, the flower garden, the willow tree and bird house, the oversized sunflower. Such a great design!
Prairie Schooler Summer from Book No. 50
I also finished up the Little House Needleworks scissor fob that I shared with you last month. This one was sent to my friend, Melanie, to thank her for lending me one of her charts. I hope she likes it! This was my very first scissor fob and I'm very happy with how it turned out...
LHN Scissor Fob
(from "Wool Needlebook & Fob")
The fob was stitched "over one" on 28 ct. dirty linen with the suggested DMC threads. I added a purple cording and backed it with the pretty tulip fabric shown above. It is filled with crushed walnut shells and a penny was placed inside for good luck (thanks to Terri for that sweet idea!). This may be my first scissor fob, but it won't be my last!
LHN Scissor Fob
Now, it's time to start a new project! What to stitch, what to stitch? Last year, it was easy because I had a monthly theme to help guide my choices. This year, it seems to be whatever calls my name as I browse through my stash. How do you pick your projects? I think a nice patriotic start might be in my future!
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND... Our Memorial Day weekend, although unseasonably cool, was a delight... Can you guess why? Well, we had all three sons home for the first time since Christmas! I love it when the three of them are together--love to hear their laughing and teasing, their inside jokes that go way back to childhood, their interaction as adults versus little boys (although sometimes those little boy roles make an appearance, too!). We took advantage of the sunny, but chilly, weather on Sunday and drove 40 miles north to a beautiful state park called McConnells Mill. The last time I had been there was 36 years ago as a newly engaged-to-be-married college senior. My soon-to-be husband (we were married two months later) and I visited the park with our college friends right before we graduated way back in 1977. It was so nice to visit again after all these years with our three grown sons. We packed a picnic lunch and then hiked along the beautiful Slippery Rock Creek after we ate.
The park features an old gristmill which processed buckwheat, oats, corn, and wheat until the late 1920s. Unfortunately, the old waterwheel was removed years ago, but it was still very interesting to go inside the mill and learn how the grains were processed in days gone by.
The old mill at McConnells Mill State Park
The mill and covered bridge
The covered bridge over Slippery Rock Creek
Inside the old mill
The antique scales at McConnells Mill
Slippery Rock Creek
at McConnells Mill
My guys hiking along the creek
Large rocks and boulders were scattered
across the landscape and creek
During our hike, I was most enchanted by the pretty red covered bridge, however this slithery creature was the highlight of the walk for the guys... They kept trying to see who could get the closest to it and I kept saying, "Stop, you guys, it might be poisonous!!" In researching it when we got home, it appears that it was a harmless Northern Water Snake. But, still, snakes rank right up there with bats in things I most fear! Anyone else feel that way?
Northern Water Snake
Scenes from McConnells Mill State Park: May 2013
When we got home I made one of our favorite desserts, Key Lime Pie, and I thought you might enjoy the recipe. It is so quick and easy to make (I believe I got this recipe from my mother-in-law many years ago). I am not the best at making the meringue topping, but, trust me--it was delicious!
Key Lime Pie
THANK YOU... I recently won a very nice giveaway from Shirlee, better known as "The Easily Influenced Stitcher." She sent me a gift certificate to my favorite online stitching shop, 123 Stitch, so I could have a little shopping spree. Would you like to see what I purchased with Shirlee's generous gift? Just look at these pretties... Three lovely charts and three new overdyeds for my collection. Thank you so very much, Shirlee--I know I'll enjoy stitching these and I'm so appreciative of your generosity! Which one do you think I should start first?
Purchases from Shirlee's Gift Certificate
Are you still with me? Another mammoth post--that's what I get for procrastinating and only posting twice a month, isn't it? I thought you might like an update on the nest in my wreath from my last post. I mentioned that the mother had abandoned it and the beautiful blue eggs slowly began disappearing until they were all gone... So sad! BUT, guess what? Another bird has taken up residence in that same nest and has two beautiful eggs of her own. Just look at her proudly sitting on her nest. I hope the birdies live to fly away after they are hatched. I'll keep you posted...
Mama robin in her nest!
So, June is upon us and it appears we're in for a hot, humid summer. I don't know about you, but I think I'll be spending lots of time in my air-conditioned home this summer. The older I get, the less I can deal with the heat and humidity. Does that mean I'll have a productive summer stitching-wise? Let's hope so!! Anyway, enjoy the start of summer, my sweet friends. Thanks to all of you for sharing your comments and your blogs with me--you're the best! Bye for now...