Sunday, June 30, 2013

A bit of the red, white, and blue

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...


Jan Gartlan said...

Lovely patriotic pieces! I will have to check out the new novel!

Scattered Threads said...

Beautiful post Carol and I do like both of your finished pieces, especially the box.
I display some of my red, white and blue pieces, along with fall and christmas framed pieces all year long. The smalls are taken out by season.
Lovely gifts too.
I will have to look into that XS before Dying book.
Thanks for the headups on it.
Take care and always, TFS.
Jackie :)

Gabi said...

Wonderful stitched pieces and nice post. I like the box.
Have a wonderful day!
Greetings from Germany

Peggy Lee said...

Very much enjoyed this post.
I love those patriotic pieces!
Thanks for sharing...

Julie said...

Your box finish is stunning Carol, i always marvel that i cannot see the beginning and end of the cords you put on as trims, you must have a special knack of getting them so perfect.

The mailman has delivered a variety of beautiful goodies to you this week, lots to keep you busy.

Cute little bunny, i hope he didnt eat too many of your beautiful plants.

Hydrangea is looking stunning, such a delicate shade of blue.

Happy 4th July, enjoy your celebrations. xxx

Nicky said...

Gorgeous post Carol, you've received some lovely gifts from special friends. Your garden is looking a picture at the moment, no wonder the bunny wanted to enjoy it!

Mii Stitch said...

Oooh, I so love to read your posts!! Full of beautiful finishes! The patriotic theme is not my cup of tea but you have made such lovely finishes, what's not to like? :D You've also received some great goodies in the post and I'm so jealous of your Hydrangea!! In full beautiful blooom!! Ours are still budding... I guess I'll have to be patient :) xx

Elia said...

Wowwwww so beautiful work, Carol !!
For this special day for your country!!
I like so much de box, cute idea !!

Your garden is allways a big surprise, and so nice with the flowers !!
I like hydrangea ^^

kisses and hugs from Spain
and have a wonderful week and patrotic day!!!


Beth said...

Thanks for the book ideas - I am a voracious reader. Love your Chessy red white and blue stitch. Your monthly basket is wonderful as always.

Jackie said...

Your box finish is delightful Carol! I love the red trim against the navy - it just highlights your beautiful cross stitching! You have a wonderful collection of patriotic pieces!

Dawn said...

Everything is so wonderful! Love your finishes. So happy to hear June's package arrived safe!

Chris said...

What beautiful Patriotic pieces. Your box finish turned out so beautifully!
What wonderful treats from stitching friends.
Have a wonderful 4th and I hope that all if July is foiled with happy celebrations!

priscilla said...

Love your 2 new patriotic finishes Carol ! ( and your old patriotic finishes !) Hydrangeas are my favorite esp. the blue ones !
Hope you have a wonderful 4th of July !

Vickie said...

Such darling patriotic pieces Carol. Now if only someone would come out with adorable poodle pieces, like Chessie. It has seriously made me wish I was better at design.
That last picture of your patriotic display is wonderful!

Rhona said...

What beautiful finishes! I love your little box - especially the little cushion inside, very professional looking!
Enjoy all those goodies from your friends!

The Inspired Stitcher said...

Congrats on the sweet box finish! Isn't if fun to get goodies from stitching friends?! Your garden is just beautiful this time of year. Hugs!

Robin said...

What a super post, Carol! Your patriotic finishes are fabulous; way to go on your first box finish! I leave my patriotic things out from Memorial Day to mid September when I change over to fall/harvest.

What lovely packages you received in the mail!

Robin in Virginia

Ellen said...

Gorgeous patriotic finishes, I especially love that box!

Love your patriotic display, the pieces look great together!

Happy Holiday!


Mrs. GraceWorks said...

Lovely patriotic stitching, Carol! And sweet gifts from stitching friends. How nice! Hope you are having a wonderful summer!


Wanda said...

Carol, what beautiful finishes! Your patriotic ball is looking great! Your finished box is gorgeous. One day I hope to try one as well. What lovely gifts! Your hydrangeas are stunning - such a beautiful flower. Your garden looks lovely and its beauty is enhanced by your wildlife! Have a great week and Happy July 4th!

Keeper of the Crowes said...

I just love both of your pieces, Carol! The box came out so beautifully! You always have just the best displays!!!

Faye said...

This post makes me proud to be an American! Beautiful stitched pieces and yes, impartial to the beautifully well done box! Blessings to you my friend, Faye

Giovanna said...

Wonderful finishes, congratulations!

Libby said...

Everything is so beautiful...from your stitching to your flowers.

I am still stitching away at a patriotic piece I bought last year when I had the urge. It easily got tossed aside for other seasons. In fact, I just finished 2 Valentine's Day quilted items. I can't seem to stay with the correct season!


marly said...

Fantastic job on your box - inside and out. I would put a coat of clear paste wax on the piece (I've even used car wax!) Great group of patriotic stitchery.

Elizabeth Ann said...

Love that box! You did a great job with it. I love the piece at the end, I know I have that pattern somewhere.... All your pieces are beautiful - have a great holiday!

Shirlee said...

Gorgeous patriotic pieces Carol! Your box finish is amazing!!! Love the finish for Chessie as well! Your hydrangea looks lovely, & what a sweet bunny : ) We had several hopping around here but I think the foxes must have gotten them as I haven't seen them for a while : (

Berit said...

A great post, as ever! :D

I also feel conflicted about things like wood finishing. On the one hand, you have "best modern practices", and on the other rubbing things with walnut ink/coffee/tea/cinnamon etc. for a prim weathering.

I've heard that tea tannins, for example are very "damaging" and will swiftly--within 5 years--begin to discolor/degrade your work. Yet, I can see a scenario where that would be desirable!

As far as finishing the box; I think I have it mind to try a little light/neutral beeswax or something to "warm up" a matte-painted box--but haven't gotten around to trying it or identifying the appropriate finishing wax/paint formula combination. I do have some Briwax in a "very rich red" (i.e. not the ever-popular BBD-recommended Walnut-y finish), but I think I may be on the prowl for something different altogether.

It does look great, however, so if you are satisfied I think it's just fine!

Jennifer said...

Lovely finishes! I find with craft wood, a light sanding before painting really makes a difference. We do a lot of painting on craft wood around here - Nick LOVES it and it's fairly cheap to keep him entertained for about an hour.

I also use the tiny wooden embroidery hoops for ornament finishes occasionally, and sanding refines the wood and makes it look nicer. Sometimes I will use a sealer / primer before painting as well. You can find a water-based version right in with the regular acrylic paints.

Beautiful hydrangeas. We just got back from the beach, and I noticed quite a few houses where we stayed had hydrangeas planted all around. So pretty!

Jennifer said...

I love all your patiriotic cross stitch Carol!! Thank you for the book recommendations. I hope you will follow my blog on bloglovin where now it is . My daughter is going to camp soon so I will have time to update . Wonderful post .

Ranae said...

Love the patriotic display, the new pieces are fabulous
You've had a very nice mail day,
Wonderful things you received
Happy 4th July!!!

Parsley said...

Such lovely pieces!! Love reading here and getting ideas for charts and finishing.

BrendaS said...

Carol -- Always so good to read your posts! Your box finish turned out just beautiful -- I can't believe it's your first one. I love your little pillow with the wonderful red/white/blue trims too. Your Patriotic display looks so good that I would leave it up until Labor Day!

Have a great 4th of July:)

Southpaw Stitcher said...

Love your two patriotic finishes, and your collection of all of them is just stunning! Great gifts you received in the mail. Happy Independence Day to you, too!

Melissa said...

Carol, as usual, where do I start?

I love the latest patriotic stitches. The teeny tiny over one's I am most envious of! The whole grouping looks wonderful.

Ahh, I see you do live the "wild" life! or the wildlife live near you! That's scary to hear about a bobcat in your area but then if you have deer and bunnies... yikes.

Here it is HOT for Canada Day! I wish you a Happy Sunny Fourth for your celebrations!

Nicola said...

Lovely stitching and gifts. Carol, your box finish is fantastic, no one would ever know that it was your first!

Yekaterina Haussler said...

Beautiful finishes! I especially liked the box. Amazing gifts; thank you for sharing. I am also a fan of Little House Needleworks! Thank you for sharing. :)

Manka said...

Great collection of pariotic pieces, Carol!
I like your first box finish,too, it turned out very pretty.
Your hydrangea isbeautiful,it's one of my favourite flowers,too. Unfortunatelly I don't have it in our garden, I'd like to have one so much but I think the soil is just not good for it here, I tried to plant it some years ago but without success :(

Happy 4th of July!



butterfly said...

Carol your first box well done it is beautiful, I have just painted a very small box I am hoping to do something with this week , watch this space !
Your stitching is just wonderful I wish we had 4th of July here , I love the charts .
Great gifts , sorry my one got lost , but found your home in the end.
Love all your photos, big hugs.

Friendship Crossing said...

Hi Carol,
I think you put us all to shame w/all your darling finishes!! I love the way your box turned out and your cute pillow too! Love your Americana display- I am a HUGE Americana fan and my whole living room is decorated in that theme all yr. long, but boy, do I need to get busy stitching up more pieces to add in that room.
Beautiful flowers too!
Happy 4th to you!!

Shelly said...

Nice finishes Carol! Stitching all of my stash is on my bucket list! I just need to quit buying more! That's a huge jackrabbit there. Is your box papier mâché or a shaker-style? Love your 4th of July display!

Annie said...

The box piece and finish is just outstanding! I've always shied away from anything that requires finishing the box. I'm totally ignorant of painting and staining. But I love how great yours looks without doing anything special priming and post-painting. Reminds me of how my Mom used to paint things.. pay no attention to the rules, just paint! And you really are good at hiding the ends of the cording!

Your pillow is equally adorable in your signature type of finish.

Fun new gifts to play with. Enjoy!

And what a forest of wild animals you have! Bobcats don't make great pets.

Growing up, out neighbors had two hydrangea bushes, one pink and one white. They were our Hostess sno-balls! Your photo brings back memories.

Cath said...

I'm overwhelmed with all the stitchy goodness. Such beautiful finishes , and some lovely gifts too .X

Cath said...

I'm overwhelmed with all the stitchy goodness. Such beautiful finishes , and some lovely gifts too .X

passionfruitprincess said...

Love your new patriotic finishes!
You really have a pretty collection.
I also love your gifts and the hydrangea. I have a very pretty one but pink. Your flower bed is lovely, and the bunny too! Have a wonderful week!

Ana Paula.

Lumiruusu said...

Hello carol and thank you for visting my blog.
The box with the stitching in the cover looks very pretty -you did a perfect job with that !

What the lovely things you received from the post-,arent the blogging friend allways so generous !? :)

The Little Brown Bunny is almost too cute !

cucki said...

Aww such beautiful finishes and very pretty gifts
Hugs x

msmartello said...

Hi Carol! Wow!! Love all your goodies and especially love the box you made. I usually put my patriotic things out around Memorial Day and leave them out until Labor Day. Then I am able to enjoy them all summer. Great post I loved reading every bit of it. I may have to get that book. LOL!


Katrina said...

What a fantastic post Carol! Loved the Hotel on the Corner pf Bitter Sweet book too :) Have a great week.

Penny said...

Your box is perfect in every detail and a wonderful addition to your patriotic collection! Looks like I will be adding a few more books to my list. :) And yikes on the bobcat! The fawns sound sweet though. :)

Margaret said...

Your two finishes are so wonderful! And your whole patriotic collection -- fantastic! Red white and blue looks so pretty when displayed like this! lol! Lovely gifts from friends too! I LOVED Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet! Such a good book! I'm looking forward to his next novel (I follow his blog). The other title sounds intriguing!

Angela P said...

Hi Carol,

First of all I love your patriotic box finish! It turned out perfectly.

Your pillow finishes are great too. Lovely gifts :)

Don't feel bad, I'm a Librarian too and I haven't read Hotel on the Corner yet either. It is actually on my shortlist for the book club this year so I will be reading it soon. I'm going to look up the cross stitch mystery too.

Have a great 4th of July holiday :)

Barb said...

Your patriotic finishes are just beautiful. The box is just amazing! Thanks for the book idea, next to stitching reading is my favorite past-time. I read Hotel on the Corner of bitter and Sweet. Our county has a big read along each year. A few years ago that was the book. There were lots of activities, lectures, etc. Just last week Laurie(DD), Jim(DH) and I went over to the international district in Seattle. We had a fun interesting day.

Pam in IL said...

Such a wonderful post! Your patriotic finishes are so cute and your first box finish looks perfect to me.

I've encountered a bobcat a few feet in front of me while hiking in the woods -- I think it was as startled as I was! Thankfully it took off in the opposite direction.

Happy 4th to you and your family!

Meari said...

Hi Carol!

Your patriotic pieces are wonderful! Congrats on your latest finishes. The reason for priming wood is so that it doesn't suck up so much paint. I don't think it's necessary to cover the paint with a clearcoat.

Judy said...

Hi Carol. Another great post. Love the patriotic box--great job on the finishing. And the small pillow too. I do have an area of my foyer that is patriotic, so it is out all year. Also have a few things that come out only for the 4th.

Super gifts. Talk about snail mail!

Beautiful of my favorites also. Hope the bunnies don't draw that bobcat any closer to your home.

Hapy 4th!

Judy heartland stitcher

Deborah said...

Beautiful finishes! I love the box. You did a perfect job on your first box finish. The bunnies have been enjoying many if my flowers , as well.

Bekca said...

Congratulations on your first box finish Carol, it's stunning! Maybe you could store some of your other patriotic pieces in it?
That must be one of the strangest book titles I've ever read. You must tell us all about it if you get a chance to read it.
Hope you have a wonderful time celebrating 4th of July, and all of the other events you've got coming up this month.
Best wishes.

Poussy Stitches My Love said...

ohhhhhhhhhhhhh j'adore c'est trop beau very beautiful pictures thank you for the lovely blog !

bisous de FRANCE

Valma said...

ho my ,ho my, ho my =D
this post was a delight...
what a wonderful box you did ! wow ! I love
we have the same colours but must admit we are less patriotic here =)
I wish we were !
very beautiful pieces you made, so small and perfect details
and your little pillow finish is very sweet
very well done =)
I'm sure you'll find what to store in your wonderful box, maybe a part of the collection of your smalls for next July the 4th =)
you've been blessed with gifts
I also received a LK RAK from Nia =)
she is so sweet
I wish you a great 4th of July
big big hugs

Charlene ♥ SC said...

Hope your family has a great celebration, too!

Such an adorable box -- do you already have a special place for your stash of needles? That little pup reminds me of Pixie :-).

I've heard that human hair will keep deer away from where you spread it. Those maple trees are quite fragile, so it may be something to think of for them??

Love your final 4th vignette - very pretty and special!

Melanie said...

Oh my goodness, such delicate over one work! WOW. And that teeny TINY cat!! I love the box finish. You could hit it with a matte sealer I guess, but it doesn't need it looks wise. I think the only thing that will happen without it is that it might leave a paint mark on the odd chance that it rubbed up against something the wrong way. So in other words, nothing much. (If it was something going on the wall, that would maybe be a problem with wall staining.) Both finishes are fabulous and you have quite the impressive collection going there for the month of July.

It's just awful how long packages are taking to get through customs lately. I blame the Boston bombings on it. :( They are taking EXTRA long to go through EVERYTHING. That's the way it's got to be, I guess.

I like critters but a bobcat in the backyard would be too much for even me. We get fisher cats sometimes and those are scary enough. *shudder* (Note: not an actual cat, despite the name.)

Have a fantastic holiday!!! :)

CalamityJr said...

Beautiful stitching and finishing, and such generous mail! Your friends are going to keep your needle busy. I think I'd leave the patriotic finishes out all summer. Memorial Day starts the holidays in May, then there's Flag Day in June, Independence Day in July, and Labor Day ends the summer on yet another patriotic note. After you've worked so hard you certainly deserve to see your finishes for more than a month!

Lynn said...

Hi Carol,

Love your finishes, the box is gorgeous, and the blue gift you received is very nice too and I love your patriotic collection, the colours are lovely.
Loved reading this post, lots of things to see, all very pretty.

Lesleyanne said...

Your patriotic pieces are gorgeous. Will definitely keep an eye out for the book. Great pictures from your garden.

Michelle said...

Beautiful pieces Carol xx

Anne said...

Happy 4th of July! Your patriotic stitches are so sweet and bright! I love the box finish and you could store threads or needle minders in there. The patriotic bowl of wonders can stay up as long as you like because they are just so cute! Hydrangeas are one of my favourites too in the summer. Good thing that bobcat didn't come too close to you. Enjoy your lovely gifts from everyone! Big hugs to you my friend!

Annette said...

srolling down, so I can type, I can't understand people can comments with lesser then 10 words.. there is so much to tell
Oke.. My comments are a bit TOOO long.. but I love your posts so much

How am I ..... wet... here it';s raining raining

Your first piece is really too cute!!
The flag the stars.. so cute.
And then making a box of it!!
So great.. your reallt done a wonderfull job on that.. and that for the first time.
Love the star buttom
First pop-up in my mind was cookies.. but tha wouldn't be good for the inside fabric..

The cat is a cutie too.
But I reall am in love with the way you finished it!!
So great with the 2 fabric and the ric rac.. beautifull

Your table is looking so great!!
Look at that how much you have been maing!!!

Wonderfull give-away you won.. beautifull.. and blue!!!

That sweet Nia.. also a wonderfull RAK..
Your a luvky one!!!

I'm in love with your hydrangea.. very beautifull..
Here none are in bloom.. will have too wait a bit

Have a great 4th of July!!!

Catherine said...

It's always a treat to see your stitching and finishing!! Love all your patriotic goodies. I actually put mine out in May and leave them through July ~ that way I have Memorial, Flag and Independence Day all covered!!
Wonderful goodies from everyone. I'm sure June was relieved to hear her package arrived safely!
I'll have to remember that book come August!

Christina said...

That's a lovely hydrangea Carol. I love the blue but ours always turn pink! I think it's our soil type. I've been told to put iron filings into the soil and that will produce blue flowers - I've yet to try it.
True Blue Chessie is a fab finish. I really enjoy stitching smyrna stitches. They're very quick to do and look effective. Perhaps I should have a 4th of July bowl despite not having any American connections at all?!

Myra said...

Fabulous finishes Carol. You did a great job on the box and I love the fabric you put inside. I am thinking hydrangeas must love water as mine are lovely too and we have had so much rain. Enjoy all your lovely goodies. I hope you and your family have a wonderful 4th!

Peggy Lee said...

~Well my goodness your mail carrier was busy! You receive such lovely gifts. Love them all.
~I just adore patriotic designs. As you have probably noticed, I haven't changed the background theme of my blog since the day I made it. I leave any patriotic pieces I have out all year long. To me, there isn't only one or two times a year to celebrate the American spirit...but that's probably because I'm married to a career military man. :o)
~I want to try a box finish soon. Yours is so perfectly put together. I used Briwax on my little boxes I made. It turns out a very nice finish over paint.
~Beautiful Hydrangea. Thanks for sharing them!

Dani - tkdchick said...

What an assortment of patriotic pieces you've amassed! Your new additions look great!

Kay said...

Love your newest finishes!!! They turned out beautifully as always! Looks like you got a lot of stitchy goodies in the mail as well, that is always fun! Have a good holiday

Lillie said...

A lovely design for the box finishing and Wow! you have a wonderful collection of Patriotic designs.

Fantastic gifts received.
Happy 4th of July!

Andrea said...

Lovely patriotic pieces. A wonderful box finish and so many special goodies too.

Cathie J said...

Love your Americana box! Just found your blog. Will keep following.

Jennifer M. said...

Your box finish turned out perfect. I love how you twisted the 3 threads to make that rope for the kite on the one pattern.

Lovely gifts you received as well.

I will definitely take note of that cross-stitch book. I wonder if its a first? I know of a few books where knitting is the main craft of the characters.

Thanks for sharing the lovely pics of your flowers. Those are some of my favorite too. Beware of the bobcat!

Sally said...

Beautiful finishes and congratulations on your wonderful wins!

♥ Nia said...

4th of July is not a celebration over here but.. to me, all days in July are worth celebrating :D ehehehe
Love the little detail of the ribbon on your first stitching :)
And the finished box is fantastic!! :D
I won't even say anything about your pillow hehhee I'm a fan! I'm just an unconditional fan of all your little pillows =)

So happy to know you were happy with my surprise :)
hugs to you my friend!!! I'm so very grateful for the day our paths crossed on the blogosphere :D hugs!!!

Anonymous said...

Your red, white and blue collection is the over one little people! Beautiful work on the box finishing also.

Melissa said...

I love your patriotic pieces. Such a lovely display!!!! Your box finish is just gorgeous. You did a beautiful job!!!

Karoline said...

Gorgeous finishes as always, congratulations

valerie said...

What a great post! Love your patriotic finishes! The box finish came out great! You're a brave one Carol! I can't even think about something that will require paint. And what a cute little visitor in your garden! And your hydrangeas are so pretty. If I ever have a garden, I would totally plant some. And what pretty gifts! Hope you're doing well Carol! I am so behind on all fronts but wanted to stop in and send you a quick hi. :) Hugs to you!

Brigitte said...

It was so nice to see all the patriotic stitching on so many blogs during the last weeks. I love these little designs and your red blue and white collection looks fantastic. I am a big lover of the little pillows, it's also my favourite way of finihsing. But your box finish is so beautiful,too, a great idea to try something new.
Enjoy all the little gifties you've received from all over the world. And thanks for the book tips, I have already added them to my book wish list.