A very chilly good morning to you, my stitching friends! Yes, we got a bad frost here last night--in mid-May! It was only one degree away from the record all-time record low temperature for May 14th--can you imagine? So, how is everyone? Have you wondered if I would ever post again? I know, I know--it's been three weeks since my last post--at this rate I'll be down to only posting once a month. I wish I could say I've been spending all my free time stitching, but that just isn't the case. In fact, I just can't seem to sit and stitch for more than 45 minutes at a time without getting distracted by something else and then completely abandoning my needle and thread. I used to be able to sit for a couple hours at a time and happily stitch away, but not lately. I hope I get back to being able to do so, but for now, all I have to share with you are two little Christmas ornaments and a new start.
I just loved this little snowman when I saw him on Melanie's blog and she kindly offered to lend me her chart. Isn't he the cutest with that miniature snowman perched on his nose? This design is by Midnight Stitching and is called "Heartstruck Friends." I used the suggested DMC and overdyed threads and stitched it on 40 ct. flax Newcastle linen. To finish it off, I simply combined two coordinating fabrics, a bit of lace, some white cording, and topped it off with a tiny white snowflake charm. Thank you so very much, Melanie, for sharing your chart with me--I really enjoyed stitching him!
"Heartstruck Friends" by Midnight Stitching
The snowman was my monthly ornament for March (yes, I'm way behind!) and for April I chose this cute freebie by Madame la Fée called "Candy Cane." If you're not familiar with her free designs, you're in for a treat! You can find this one and many others by clicking right here. I thought the candy cane would really pop on black so I used the suggested DMC threads on 32 ct. black Belfast linen. I finished it off as an oval with white ruched ribbon and pearly red pins... So, now I just need to stitch my ornament for May and I'll be all caught up!
"Candy Cane" by Madame la Fée
I also began a new piece of what I call "my comfort stitching." Yes, a new Prairie Schooler design called "Summer" from Book No. 50: Prairie Seasons. I've already stitched Spring and Autumn which you can see here and here. I'd forgotten how "stitch intense" these pieces are! At first glance, it looked like I'd be able to finish this up fairly quickly, but there is so much solid stitching that it will probably take me another two weeks. I find myself completely relaxing with PS designs--there are no surprises; no specialty stitches, no odd colors to deal with, just beautiful designs in pretty hues. What is your "comfort stitching?"
A new start: Prairie Schooler's
Summer from "Prairie Seasons"
CURIOUS CREATURES... Now on to the second part of my post title. We've certainly had some unusual animal sightings around our yard over the past few weeks. In addition to the typical deer, bunnies, great blue heron, and groundhogs that we normally see, we've been entertained by a host of other visitors. When we returned from our Florida trip last month, we reached our front door to find a real mess. There was mud and straw and grass scattered all over the "Welcome" mat and even the door itself! Well, just look who had been visiting our home while we were in the sunny south...When the humans are away, the birds will play!
Don't see anything unusual? Just a pretty spring wreath? Well, let's take a closer look...
Do you see the nest? A mama robin had painstakingly built a nest right on my front door wreath! When we first saw it, there were no eggs and we planned to remove it after I had taken a photo for my blog. But, lo and behold, when I went out a few days later to photograph it--there were three eggs in that glorious shade of blue! So, of course, I couldn't remove the nest, could I?
A trio of robin eggs
Unfortunately, something must have happened to the mother because the eggs remained unattended and then they began disappearing (probably stolen by a blue jay or some other mean bird!) and now there is only one remaining. I've been checking on it periodically and imagine my surprise when I went out last week and found this:
Now there are two nests on my wreath!
Look carefully...Another tiny nest was being built right next to the first! Crazy birds!! It is perched so precariously I know it won't last long, but the bird gave it a good try. Anyway, I guess we'll leave the nest up until we take the wreath down in the fall. I'm not sure I'll be able to salvage my poor wreath--it is quite mud-spattered at the moment!
We also spotted this huge hawk sitting on top of our Martin house. Was he possibly surveying our pond for his next meal? We have koi, catfish, bluegill, and minnows in our pond which I'm sure he would enjoy getting a taste of! Or maybe he was just visiting the birdie condo trying to make friends with the many new birds that have recently moved in... I think he's just a bit too large to fit in those holes, don't you?
Hawk on the Martin house!
And just look at this creature! Smack-dab in the middle of our yard we discovered a snapping turtle. How he got there is a mystery; there was no trail through the long grass or anything! But, look how muddy he is--he must have just crawled out of a hole in the ground or something...
In our attempt to be good samaritans, we decided to move the poor lost thing to our pond, but how to pick him up was another matter! Oh, was that turtle mean... My husband tried picking him up on the sides of his shell, way back by his tail, but the turtle's head immediately stretched way out, swiveled around, and snapped viciously at his bare hands.
All ready to snap!
After several attempts, my husband finally got a shovel, turned the snapping turtle over onto his belly, and carefully lifted him across the yard to the safety of our pond.
Ahhh...back to the water where you belong...
Well, after seeing that rather unattractive reptile, I thought you might like to see some prettier things... How about these lovely tulips that I cut from our garden in the prettiest shades of pink? We have to grow them within the confines of my husband's fenced in vegetable garden because, otherwise, the deer would be feasting on them. I just love tulips, don't you? Sure wish they would last through the summer...
Tulips from our garden
And then there are the stunning flowers that my sons gave me on Mother's Day. Aren't they lovely? Thank you, guys, for the flowers, chocolates, and iPad keyboard... But, most of all, thanks for being such kind, young men--I'm so proud and lucky to be your mom!
Mother's Day flowers from my sons
A MOST SPECIAL DAY! I also want to wish my dear mother a very ♫♪♫ Happy Birthday ♫♪♫! Yes, 86 years ago today, this sweet baby entered the world. Just look at her in that darling antique wicker baby carriage being adored by her older brother and sister. Mom, you are my hero and my best friend... You've been through so much over the past few years and I'm in awe of how well you've dealt with some very dark and difficult days. I've been truly blessed having you for my mother and I love you dearly.
My mom in 1927...
a beautiful new addition to her family!
Well, I think that's about it for today's post. I'll try not to wait so long until I post next time...In the mean time, I sincerely want to thank all of you for the wonderful comments on my last post. It means so much to me that you take the time to leave a comment because I'm sure your lives are just as busy as mine! Until next time, I hope your days are filled with things that make you smile. Bye for now...