Hello, hello! And how are my stitching friends today? I know I don't usually post on Sunday evening, but I promised myself at the beginning of the year that I would try to post at least twice a month, so it's now or never. The month of June is over--on to one of the busiest months of the year for my family. July includes several birthdays and anniversaries. Before I go any further, I want to thank you all for your wonderful comments on my last post--I'm so glad you enjoyed the up-close-and-personal visit with the baby animals at the zoo.
I've noticed that many of you have been stitching patriotic pieces this time of year and I'm joining the crowd. I think that after Christmas ornament stitching, patriotic is my favorite theme. I only had time to add a couple of new things to my ever-growing collection of red, white, and blue stitching, but I'm really happy with how they both turned out. First up, is this little scene from an old issue (Summer 2002) of Fine Lines magazine. I couldn't seem to get a good photo of the stitching itself, so you'll have to trust me on just how cute this one stitched up. The flag, grass, and fireworks are stitched over two on a 32 ct. mystery linen. The people and animals are stitched over one--so tiny and detailed! I didn't have any of the suggested colors so I simply substituted them with similar overdyeds. The ribbon/kite-like thing that the girl is waving was made by twisting some red, white, and blue DMC into cording and simply tacking it down with some gold floss.
"Americana" by Dames of the Needle
The type of finish for this one is a first for me--a box finish! I was going to simply make one of my little pillows, but then I remembered a collection of small craft boxes that I'd purchased last year and wondered if one of them would be a good fit. As you can see, the largest size was perfect for a round finish! I painted the outside with three coats of navy blue (DecoArt American in Prussian Blue)--not sure if I should have primed it first, but I didn't. And what about coating the paint with a finisher of some sort? Is that something I should do?
Americana Box finish
The inside of the box was also painted with three coats of Prussian Blue and a star-studded fabric cushion was applied to the bottom along with some red cording in DMC 221.
I'm not sure what (if anything) I'll store in it. Any ideas? Overall, I'm very pleased with this considering it was the first time I had done a box-finish!
"Americana Box" design by Dames of the Needle
(Chart from Fine Lines Magazine: Summer 2002)
My other patriotic finish is from one of my favorite designers: Chessie & Me and is called "True Blue Chessie. This piece includes a satin and smyrna stitched border and is done on 32 ct. antique ivory Belfast with overdyed and DMC threads. The words are stitched "over one" while the rest of the piece is done over two. The stars on the grass were charted to be stitched into the hill, but I couldn't get them to show up well, so I just hand stitched two rows of stars on top of the green.
"True Blue Chessie"
For the finish, I chose some red, white, and blue fabric and ric rac and made a simple pillow for my bowl of patriotic finishes. The backing is the red and gold fabric shown on the left.
"True Blue Chessie" pillow finish
I'm getting quite a nice collection of stitched patriotic pieces, don't you think? These were all stitched within the past few years and they're so cute I wish I could leave them out on display longer than a month. Do any of you keep your patriotic stitching out all year long? I had a friend years ago who had a bathroom all done in red, white, and blue Americana decor--a real conversation starter that's for sure!
True to the red, white, and blue!
My mail man was kept busy this past week with deliveries arriving from England, Portugal, and Connecticut. My package from England came from my dear friend, June. I had won her giveaway way, way back in April and we both feared the package had been lost at sea or something! She mailed it on May 2nd and it took seven long weeks to arrive. Can you believe it? June was thrilled to hear it finally got here and, believe me, it was well worth the wait. Just look at all the blue and white goodies June sent--fabrics, ribbons, thread, pins, beads! Lovely... There was also some chocolate which had melted into a gooey mess, but did that stop me from eating it? Heavens, no!! I just popped it into the refrigerator until it solidified and then popped it right into my mouth--delicious! Thanks you so much, June--everything is so lovely!
Thank you so much, June--such lovely goodies!
From my young friend in Portugal, sweet Nia, came a Random Act of Kindness in the form of this cute Lizzie Kate snowman chart and some pretty stitching themed fabric. What a nice surprise, Nia! I am so happy to have met you through blogging and thoroughly enjoy seeing your latest creations on your blog. Your gifts definitely put a smile on my face--thank you so very much!
Thank you so much, Nia--your RAK was wonderful!
And last, but not least, I received this darling LHN chart called "Heart of America" from my generous friend, Melanie. She offered the chart as a giveaway/traveling pattern type of thing and I will definitely be passing this along after I've stitched it. Knowing me, I'll just stitch a few of the little motifs as smalls rather than doing it as one large piece. So, keep an eye on my blog for a chance at winning this chart in the future... Thanks so much, Melanie--and I love the sentiment on the card you sent, also. It is, indeed, the small things in life that make it so sweet!
Thank you, Melanie--the chart is just lovely!
I just finished a thoroughly enjoyable book which I wanted to share with you. It's not a new book, in fact, many of you probably read it when it was published in 2009. As a librarian, you would think I would read all of the best-sellers when they first come out, right? No--I am such a slow reader that I tend to wait a few years after a book is published to actually read it, so I'm always a bit behind the times. This book truly was both bitter and sweet--a sweet love story between a Chinese boy and a Japanese girl and a look at a bitter part of U.S. history that has so often been glossed over: the internment of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans during WWII. I learned so much about that time period in Seattle and the northwest U.S. and think this would make a delightful movie.
And look what else I came across, when I was working on book selection the other day at the library. I don't select fiction (I am in charge of psychology, Large Print non-fiction, weddings, etiquette, interior decorating, and crafts--yay!!), but this book popped up when I did a keyword search for "cross stitch." Do you think this will be on your summer reading list? It isn't being published until August 2013, but here is a bit about it on Amazon if you'd like to get an idea of what it's like. Frankly, I think that's something everyone should do: cross stitch before dying!!
It's hydrangea time here in the east and oh, they are so lovely this year. Just look at these fat, full blooms on the bush right outside my kitchen window... Stunning! And I love how a bush can sometimes have blue, pink, and purple hydrangea blooms on it at the same time.
One of my favorite flowers
When I was photographing this hydrangea, I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye and froze. I was so scared to turn my head to see what it was because our neighbor had just told us he had seen a bobcat, yes a bobcat, in the woods behind his house. Now, that is a first around here--I won't be walking back into the woods alone as long as he may be lurking! But, I didn't need to worry; as I turned my head, this sweet, brown bunny was all that I found. He was just looking for a little snack for dinner amidst our flowers. Our patio garden looks so pretty this year, although the deer have been nibbling on the small Japanese maple that we planted last year. And just last week I noticed two more deer mouths to feed--yes, little twin fawns were romping back by the pond with their mother!
"What's for supper tonight?"
Whew--I'd say that is about enough for this post. I'm so glad I managed to squeeze in this final post for the month of June! Thanks for stopping by to visit me and a special thank you to those of you who take the time to comment. I so appreciate hearing from you. I hope each of my U.S. friends has a fabulous 4th of July with your families and I want to wish my Canadian friends a most happy Canada Day! Let's hope for good weather for all of the picnics and fireworks that are planned! Bye for now...