Monday, November 25, 2013

Chirp, Gobble, Quack!

Good morning all! Thanksgiving is almost here! Are you ready? This year we'll be heading to Ohio for the day to celebrate with my husband's family. Can you tell I've been relatively stress-free having a year "off?" Oh, I'm still making the pies, a cookie tray, the pumpkin-cranberry bread, and the strawberry-pretzel "salad," but it is such a welcome relief not to be the hostess. None of that exhausting pre-feast cleaning and set-up that accompanies all the shopping and cooking. What are your plans this year?

Somehow, all of my stitching lately has been bird-related! I didn't plan that, but well, I do love our little (and-not-so-little) feathered friends. The first finish I'd like to share with you today is my ornament for September (yes, September--I'm way behind on my monthly ornament challenge, but I will get it done!). This is from the 2013 Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue and is called "Baby Cardinal" by The Victoria Sampler. I do believe it is the tiniest ornament I've ever made...

 The Victoria Sampler's "Baby Cardinal"

The stitched portion measures only about 1¼ inches square so it made a perfect piece to finish as a flat mounted ornament (you can follow Vonna's very helpful tutorial right here). I think this is stitched on a 28 ct. dirty linen (it was one of those mystery scraps that seem to accumulate in my fabric cupboard). I used a mixture of DMC and overdyeds and since I didn't have the tiny star that was called for, I improvised my own star in pale yellow. I also made the baby cardinal's tail longer. Isn't he sweet?

Baby Cardinal ornament

My next finish was the first La D Da piece I've ever stitched! I've had "O Birdy" in my stash for a while and decided it was high time I brought him to life. I love the colors in this piece--so rich and autumnal. This majestic looking fellow is stitched on 40 ct. creme brulee fabric using DMC threads. Don't you love his purple plume? I'll be framing this one (some day!).

"O Birdy" finish

My other two birdy stitches were both for birthday gifts... For my friend Shirlee, who celebrated her birthday in October, I stitched this La D Da piece called "Yellow Bird." Yellow? Yellow? Well, obviously I changed the color! The pretty green silk is by Dinky Dyes and is called "Sea Grass." I loved stitching with silk--another first for me! I added Shirlee's initials to make it into a little pinkeep for her to sit on a shelf or actually use for pins. She is another bird lover so I thought this would be a perfect gift...

 "Yellow Bird" (in green!)

And remember when I told you I stitched two of the Shepherd's Bush "Give Thanks" last month, but only showed you one? Well, that's because the second one was for a gift. One of my fellow Pennsylvania friends,  Mary, celebrated her birthday earlier this month and this one went to her. Here is the larger of the two I created on 40 ct. flax Newcastle using the suggested threads. I made him into one of my little pillows so Mary can display him on a mantle or bookshelf.

 Shepherd's Bush "Give Thanks"

I thought you might enjoy seeing the difference stitching something "over one" versus "over two" makes in a piece. Here are both of them together... Barb won my giveaway for the "over one" turkey and reports that he has safely landed in Washington State. And, guess what?! I stitched a third one, too, but since the intended recipient hasn't received it yet, I'll show you that version in my next post...

 Shepherd's Bush "Give Thanks" finishes

I found some photos that I took over the past few months of the feathered friends who have visited our yard and thought you might enjoy them. My husband surprised me one day by bringing home a new hummingbird feeder (our old one seemed to have mysteriously disappeared into the black hole that we call our garage attic!). It didn't take the little hummers long to find a new and plentiful source of food--I think we had some visiting the very next day. Of course, they are gone now that the cold weather has settled in, but we so enjoyed seeing them flit around right outside our kitchen window this summer.

Once the cold weather appeared and the hummingbirds headed south, we put up a thistle feeder. The goldfinches enjoyed feasting for a while before they, too, left for warmer climates.

Even though it has cooled off, we still get visits from these sweet chickadees. They stay around all winter and certainly brighten up the landscape.

And just look at this big old turkey trying to steal the food of the tinier birds! My husband saw a whole flock of them out there, but by the time I ran and got my camera, this lonely fellow was the only one left. (I had to take the photo through the glass window so please excuse the glare).

I've saved the biggest and best bird for last! In September and October the city of Pittsburgh had the honor of becoming the first city in the United States to host the famous  giant 40 foot rubber duck! They had to design him a bit shorter than normal to fit under our many bridges. The duck, designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, has now visited over a dozen cities around the world and has brought smiles to young and old. Of course, we had to go see him and I can't begin to describe the atmosphere--there were just happy people everywhere grinning ear-to-ear at the sight of this giant yellow bird bobbing up and down in the waters of the Allegheny River. What a brilliant idea the artist had--something so simple, yet so appealing to people of all ages! I'll leave you with a few pictures (you can click them for a better look) we took that day--I still smile when I think about that sweet duck!

The giant rubber duck invades
 Pittsburgh in September 2013.

Doesn't his face just "quack you up!?"

A view of the duck at Point State Park from 
the North Shore of the Allegheny River.

The Pittsburgh city skyline brightened by a duck!

Well, that's it for this week! I want to wish each of you a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families on Thursday. I can hardly wait until our family is complete again and my youngest son (whom I haven't seen in almost three months) arrives home from Washington, DC for a few days. Lots of catching up and laughing about old family memories will ensue, I'm sure! I love it when all three of my sons are together teasing each other and joking together as we sit around the kitchen table.  I'll be back in December with my final three ornament finishes--I promise! Bye for now... 



Mii Stitch said...

I love your baby cardinal flat ornament!!! It is so sweet ;) That giant rubber duck is a scream!!!! Have a lovely time at Thanksgiving x

Dawn said...

wonderful ornaments! that is a great visitor you had, I wish the duck would come to Cincinnati. Lucky you to have a break, I have 19 coming! Crazy, loud and so much fun :) Happy Thanksgiving! Safe travels.

Lesley said...

A lovely post Carol.beautiful stitching and great photos,I love the Chickadee.
Wishing you and your family a happy Thanksgiving on Thursday.

Escargopotte bordados said...

adorable birds! I love the finish! very nice post !
good week!
it is cold in Paris but no snow!

Kate said...

Enjoyed the birds and your projects, Carol. The cardinal piece is adorable. Nice to read that you're enjoying your "year off".

Margaret said...

Oh my gosh, that huge "rubber ducky" is wonderful! What fun! Love all your stitching as usual. That tiny one is so tiny and cute! Glad you have a year off from hosting Thanksgiving! Enjoy the boys and family!

Vickie said...

What great tininess! ;)
I have read about that duck! Neat!
Have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving with your whole family!

Denise said...

Your stitching looks great and Love your finishes. Really like Give Thanks.
Pumpkin-Cranberry Bread sounds delish! that might have to be added to my menu.
Happy Stitching

Christina said...

Your finishes are lovely. I have the baby in my never ending "to do" pile. Thank you for sharing the pics of your feathered friends. I just love chickadees, we don't get them here. Have a wonderful "stress free" holiday.

Sherri said...

As always, I love your finishes!

AnaCristina said...

I love your finishes!
LOL for the giant duck

Ellen said...

Beautiful stitching and finishing! I always love your finishing, so creative! Love those birdies, the big rubber duck is my favorite ha ha.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ellen said...

Beautiful stitching and finishing! I always love your finishing, so creative! Love those birdies, the big rubber duck is my favorite ha ha.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Elizabeth Ann said...

Enjoy seeing your stitching pieces for the fall. Your finishing is amazing! I should just send all my ornaments to you - :) I love that baby floating duck, never seen anything like that, how do they control him, couldn't see any tow ropes. Your city and lakes are a very pretty place! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week! We start tonight at 10:30!

Keeper of the Crowes said...

Loved seeing all your wonderful bird pictures. Stitched or other wise!!!

Jennifer said...

Well this post was just for the birds, wasn't it?? LOL Such gorgeous finishes - and now I have to go kit up that baby cardinal one because it is too cute not to stitch up.

Love that giant rubber duck! What an amazing site to see that must have been!

Southpaw Stitcher said...

All your bird finishes are so lovely! We feed the birds, too, but haven't had much luck with our hummingbird feeder. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

LoriU said...

Hi Carol! Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful that we have become 'online friends'!

Your littler cardinal is adorable!! Especially with your excellent finishing touches!

Where in Ohio will you be visiting? If you are near me, we would love to have you over for pie!

Mrs. GraceWorks said...

LOVE the duck!!! How fun! And your stitching is wonderful. I'm so glad you enjoyed the little Give Thanks pattern! Your PS Thanksgiving at the bottom is beautiful. Do you happen to know which book that is in??? Have a blessed Thanksgiving with your family!!


Annie said...

Wonderful, bird-ful post. That ducky really inspired you I think. Love your teeny ornament. Cool to make something so sweet out of a fairly quick stitch.

Enjoy your turkey day --- hope the weather doesn't do mean things to you.

Linda Oja said...

What a great post. I really enjoyed reading it.

BrendaS said...

Carol -- Beautiful stitching and finishes! I really like the La D Da "O Birdy". I think I need to pull this out and stitch it up.

I hope you have a stress-free Thanksgiving and enjoy the time with your boys and the rest of your family!

HUGS to you.

Pam in IL said...

That little cardinal is on my to-do list as well. Yours is adorable and I love the way you finished it. All your bird pics are great too. Our Goldfinches stay all winter but they lose their gold color and are more brown. How fun to have turkeys visit your yard.

I'm doing the hosting and cooking for 25 family members as I've done for the past 20 years. I couldn't survive without my notebook with all my lists and recipes.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Simply Victoria said...

Fun birdy post! I love all your finishes but Baby Cardinal is extra sweet! Blessed Thanksgiving and safe travels!

The Inspired Stitcher said...

How fun to see a real live turkey in your yard! We've heard them in our woods but never seen them. Love all the ornaments too. I keep saying one of these days I'm going to stitch that PS turkey. Very nice! Have a wonderful holiday, dear friend!

butterfly said...

Beautiful birds, The little Cardinal is so sweet .
Your stitching is just beautiful Carol.
Oh my and that big Duck , what fun.
Happy Thanks giving , have a lovely day, hugs.

Melissa said...

Oh I like the bird themed post - all the ornaments and the real birds too. That must have been a Happy Smiles day all around when the Rubber Duckie floated down the river!

Have a lovely Thanksgiving, Carol!

ps what is a strawberry pretzel 'salad'?

Gabi said...

Your Baby Cardinal is really sweet.
I got the rubber duck in my bath room, but not that size :)
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family
Warm greetings

Lisa T said...

Beautiful little birdie projects & pictures. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Elia said...

Ohhh I love your baby cardinal,
is wonderful !!!!!!!!!!!!!

A great post, the photos are impresionant!
have a lovely Thanksgiven whit your family
my friend,

hugs from Spain


Robin said...

What a wonderful post to read today. Congratulations on your finishes (that cardinal is so adorable)! Thank you for sharing the bird pictures; that rubber ducky is cute!

Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving, Carol!

Robin in Virginia

The Queen Bee said...

Great finishes. They go with the season of bird watching very nicely.

Safe traveling on Thursday. I just bumped my big grocery shopping trip up to today because of the coming weather. Now I should be able to stay home safe and sound on Wednesday and do the baking.


cucki said...

Such beautiful cute...
Safe traveling my dear...sending you big hugs x

Zeb said...

Aww the Baby Cardinal is too sweet! And I love that giant duck!

Dani - tkdchick said...

Carol, your finishing is always so ... perfect!

Linda said...

More great finishes Carol.


Michelle said...

Oh my Carol - this was a perfect post for me - all those lovely bird designs and so beautifully stitched. Love the duck xx

priscilla said...

Beautiful stitching Carol ! Love that little cardinal ! So cute :) Great "bird" photos too ! Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving !

Mary said...

Carol, lovely, lovely stitching and finishingg - as always for you! The tiny little cardinal caught my eye too. Wishing you the happiest Thanksgiving!

Lynda Harrison said...

More beautiful stitching and wonderful photos!! It is always such a joy and a pleasure to read about all that you have been up to!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! Love and best wishes, Lynda.

Barb said...

Your bird ornaments are wonderful. I miss the cardinals. We don't have them out here. I loved seeing all the birds. The duck on the river made me smile. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

Beth said...

The giant rubber duck brought a smile to my face. Such a wonderful array of bird stitches. Seeing the over one and over two side by side was very interesting. I especially like your PS turkeys. You had a nice variety of birds at your feeders too.

Catherine said...

Such sweet stitches and finishes, Carol!! Your gifts have surely created some smiles. Enjoy your Thanksgiving with all of your family ~ I am sure you will have lots of laughs! You know, that duck is adorable ~ one can't help but smile when seeing it!!

Wanda said...

Hi Carol, Gorgeous stitching and finishes as always! The baby cardinal is adorable! It is fun to see the difference between the over one and over two. I have several witches that I have 'shrunk to fit'. I do enjoy the over one stitching. This weekend I was able to complete an over one Valentine ornament.
I think you may have inspired me to stitch the yellow bird....
It's fun seeing all the birds including your wonderful duck! We still have chickadees, juncos and finches.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving...enjoy not being the hostess and have a great visit with your family. Wanda

Mary said...

Oh Carol, your stitching is sweet.
I am also stitching the baby cardinal!

My special birthday treat from you is part of my Thanksgiving table decoration. I'll send you a pic.
I am so grateful to call you my friend.

Isn't the duck fun? I wonder if Patrick saw it.
I still have the little one in the kids''s an "heirloom"

What a variety of feathered friends...You are fortunate to have such beautiful nature right in your backyard.

Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving, my friend!


Jackie said...

Happy Thanksgiving Carol! Thank you for sharing your beautiful stitching and finishing with us throughout the year!

Robin said...

Oh my! Love the birds. All of them. Hard to pick which one is my favorite.....happy thanksgiving!

Melanie said...

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE! It's a teeny baby birdie. So cute!!! :)
The La D Da piece is quite the stunner, isn't it? The colors are different and really pop.
How could you not smile at that ducky? It's just too too much and FUN. What a perfectly blue sky for him, too!
Happy happy thanksgiving to you and your family!!!!! *hugs*

Belinda said...

What beautiful stitching Carol! I love the baby cardinal, so sweet. And the word "faith" written beside him.
Thank you for sharing your photos of the birds, they are beautiful. The rubber ducky made me smile, I think Tabitha would like one to put in her bath. :-) We just wouldn't be able to see her!

Enjoy Thanksgiving with your family. x

Bekca said...

The La D Da finish is just beautiful Carol, I love the colours too. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family :)
Best wishes.

Chris said...

Wonderful update Carol!! I love all your birds, stitched and photographed.
It sounds like you are going to have a wonderful holiday with your family around you.
Safe travels and Happy Thanksgiving!

Michelle said...

Such a lovely 'birdie' post - including the giant rubber duck! Great stitching and finishing, the little baby cardinal is so sweet!

Valma said...

the black hole, hahahaha, we have the same here =D
Maybe we can use them as the doors in Stargate and finally meet =D
That would be so great !
Your baby cardinal is very sweet, I love the ornament you made.
this is a very 'birdy' post with many beautiful pictures !
the birds in your garden are amazing and the birds on your stitchings are wonderful =)
Have a great Thanksgiving and a wonderful family time
big big hugs

Melody said...

Your ornaments are as beautiful as ever! I love your choices and finishes.

It's nice that you don't have the hostess duties this year for Thanksgiving. We will have both kids here with their significant others. So, I'm happy.. :)
Happy Thanksgiving!

msmartello said...

Great post Carol! I absolutely love the rubber duck. What fun to see that! Happy Thanksgiving!


Friendship Crossing said...

Your baby cardinal looks adorable Carol!! how cute! Still lovin' the 'Give Thanks' pillow finishes too!

What a hoot w/that great big duck! How funny!

Happy T'giving!

passionfruitprincess said...

What a great bird post, Carol!
I love the baby cardinal ornament, the other ornies,and all your bird stories! The giant rubber duck is way cool! Have to show it to Brenda! And the turkey walking around at your yard...have to show her that too. I am hosting for the first time this year, it's only my father-in-law, but still a big deal to me. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Ana Paula

Jane said...

Love all your birdie finishes Carol but that little baby Cardinal is adorable, love the little beads on it too.
Oh that giant rubber duck made me chuckle, it must have been some sight watching it float down the river :)
Enjoy your thanksgiving, I've just seen my DD after a very long 3 months so know how you feel.
Have a wonderful family time altogether xxx

Charlene ♥ SC said...

Your bird themed series is really pretty! How appropriate for this time of year! That tiny cardinal is beautifully finished. Oh Birdy is adorable, too. Congrats on being relieved from hosting this year. You deserve a little relaxation ~ enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Lesleyanne said...

Your ornament finishes are gorgeous. Great pictures of the birds in your garden. The rubber duck is hilarious.

Lesleyanne said...

Your ornament finishes are gorgeous. Great pictures of the birds in your garden. The rubber duck is hilarious.

Brigitte said...

Oh , a birdie post, how sweet is this - with stitched birds, real birds and even a giant rubber duck, lol. Your ornaments and little pillows are so beautiful, I always love to see the results of your creative ideas.
I just love birds. And what a coincidence. Just a couple of days ago I was thinking about plans for my next stitching year, and one of my ideas was to stitch a little bird each month. I've already had this idea last year but it never was realized. Maybe this year?
I wish you a great Thanksgiving Day with your family.

Bobbie said...

As always I enjoyed your lovely stitching. You give us such wonderful inspiration! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and safe travels!

Christina said...

Wow - that rubber duck made me smile! My Isaac would have LOVED to see that coming down the river! Such a simple idea but so effective.
I love your cardinal ornie - so cute - and the finishing is different too. I always struggle for original ideas for finishing. I should go check out some more of Vonna's finishing tutorials.
I hope you have a fantastic (and relaxing) Thanksgiving. Strawberry pretzel salad sounds yummy. :0)

Shirley said...

Your cardinal ornament is so cute. Thanks for the link to the finishing techniques, I may try this next time.
Take care,

Andrea said...

Oh ... wonderful finishes. Love the cardinal. How do you make a 1" square piece of stitching just come to life ... it's gorgeous. Great birdie photos too, wow that duck sure is a big one!
Happy Thanksgiving.

Shirlee said...

I'm writing this thinking "just what you need ... another comment" ... lol! I enjoyed reading your post, as usual : ) Loved seeing that big rubber duckie, & all the other birds both real & stitched : ) I somehow missed that Baby Cardinal ornament. Something else for my to-do list : ) I wish you & your family a happy & blessed Thanksgiving! I read about how you haven't seen your one son for 3 months & thought how we haven't seen our son for 5 years!

Nancy M said...

Awesome bird post! Love the over one pieces. My eye is always drawn to those finishes in the stores. I am wofully behind in blog reading. Mom had pneumonia and in hospital and rehab and now moving her to apt in 2 weeks. I'm at her condo right now to help with her last thanksgiving she is hosting. Hope you have a grand time with family for thanksgiving!!!

Lillie said...

The birds are adorable. Thanks for sharing the birdies photos too especially that BIG one, LOL
Have a good trip and enjoy the family.

Happy Thanksgiving !

Judy said...

Hi Carol. Beautiful post with fabulous stitching and finishing. And the beautiful birds in your yard...I guess we can include the turkey! The rubber duck is a HOOT! Nice photos of it with the city in the background. I will be cooking on Friday. But I have a very small family.. so only 9 to prepare for. I love to cook Thanksgiving dinner. Hope your holiday is the best!

Judy Heartland stitcher

Karoline said...

Gorgeous finishes, I especially love the baby cardinal

Love all the birds especially the rubber duck!

Myra said...

I love the title of this post Carol! LOL Your finishes are lovely...I have that little cardinal on my to do list. Of course that list is so long who knows when I will get to it. I also love the picture of the turkey - how fun that he made an appearance. I hope you and your loved ones had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Cristina said...

What a cute-lovely-tiny ornament!!! I love it ^^
The Shepherd Bush finishes are gorgeous too.
Hugs & Happy Thanksgiving (a bit late)

Cindy's Stitching said...

As always a delight to read your blog. all of the finishes are so pretty. Can you believe it is Dec. 1st. I know we are probably ate way to much.

Maggee said...

That rubber ducky DOES quack me up! I am not sure how it would go over here in Tidewater, but they should try! I would go to see it! And I would bring my little granddaughter! I loved seeing the two differently stitched pieces, showing the difference in their sizes! And there is a third! Can't wait! Thanks for sharing! Hugs!

Maggee said...

That rubber ducky DOES quack me up! I am not sure how it would go over here in Tidewater, but they should try! I would go to see it! And I would bring my little granddaughter! I loved seeing the two differently stitched pieces, showing the difference in their sizes! And there is a third! Can't wait! Thanks for sharing! Hugs!

Julie said...

Loving the PS header when your blog opened Carol, it's perfect.
There is always something beautiful to see, you've created wonderful little ornaments, lucky friends.
I hope you had a wonderful time with your family.
The huge duck did make me smile.

Ele said...

Hello Carol,

thanks for stopping by and leaving a nice comment on my blog.
Yours looks beautiful as usually,the ornaments are wonderful and the picutures have fresh colours.

Whis you and your family
a wonderful Christmas time


♥ Nia said...

First, I love your head banner :D hehehe

I always have this idea that Thanksgiving on that side it's like Christmas for us! And Christmas over there, is not that big of a deal as in this side hehehehe
You have all that cooking, family gathering, it's a big thing.. we do that on Christmas :) I wonder if you still make a big deal of Christmas as well or it's a simple eve with closer family only. Here, all that excitement around Thanksgiving, is how it goes for us on Christmas Eve :)
Hope you had a wonderful time with your family!! :D

Oh my! that baby cardinal is the cutest =) All your finishes look wonderful but that baby cardinal is definetely my favorite! Too cute! hehehe

WHAT?!?! You were invaded by a giant DUCK???? hahahahah :D LMEO!!!
What an original idea! He sure make sme laugh just by looking at your photos! Wish I could see something like that for real hahahah Very funny and too adorable! :D Thanks for sharing with us!!

Hugs&smiles :)

Barb said...

I just read that it's your middle sone birthday today! Happy Birthday to him!! Today is also my mom's birthday (she turned 90!! Today) and it is also my father-in-laws b'day! Looks like lots of very special people were born today!! :-)

Hazel said...

Fantastic birdies! I have the O burst one to stitch up. It's been great catching up. Xx

Девушка с пяльцами said...

Hi Carol! It seemes to me I've missed your wonderful post! Nice flock! The baby cardinal is my favourite!

Patrizia Valle said...

Your ornaments are fantastic...

Anne said...

Good to hear you didn't have to host Thanksgiving this year! Nice to take a break isn't it?! Loove your stitching as usual. The O Birdy is so enchanting! I have never seen that design before. Sometimes I forget how great La-De-Da is!! I'm sure Shirlee loved your gift. I think that design is so classic and has great restitchability (hehe, made up word!). The huge rubber duck is hilarious!! Love it!!

Babs said...

Very cute stitches and nice finishes.

Kay said...

Beautiful finishes! Thank you for sharing all the wonderful photos! Hope you and yours had a beautiful Thanksgiving and a happy holiday season!