Happy Valentine's Day! And how are all of my stitching friends this fine morning? I know we're all sick of the snow and ice in the U.S. and the flooding in the U.K. It sure has been a winter to forget. We managed to escape the latest storm that hit the southern and eastern states this week--only got about an inch of fresh snow. Our ground has been continually covered with the white stuff since late December so I am more than ready for S-P-R-I-N-G! Oh well, only 33 days left...
I have a couple of cuties to share with you today--just in time for Valentine's Day. First up is a very sweet freebie from Brooke's Books which you can find right here. This little guy is called "Stupid Cupid," but I don't think he looks dumb at all--maybe a bit mischievous as he aims his heart-tipped arrow of love at some unsuspecting soul. Just look at those chubby legs--don't you just want to pinch them? He is so tiny! I stitched him "over one" on 28 ct. black Monaco using the suggested colors although I changed the color of the strings on the bow to a lighter brown so they would show up better on the black.
Brooke's Books: "Stupid Cupid" freebie
I originally planned on a round finish, but I had a bit of this lacy ruched ribbon left from a previous project and thought it would be the perfect accent to add to a tiny pillow. I've placed the finish next to my scissors so you could see how truly small it is. I love it-- you know me and my love of anything miniature. On top of the bow, I glued three red beads in a heart shape--not sure if you can see it well in the photo, but I think it's a cute accent. Mr. Cupid is backed with the red and white heart fabric shown in the background.
"Stupid Cupid" finish
And, I've stitched another of the monthly Word Plays: February. This one was much more enjoyable to stitch than the other two I did last year for some reason. I just love the charming scene of the man presenting his sweetheart with a Valentine flower and I think the tiny birds are so cute. Again, I stitched this "over one" on 28 ct. gray Monaco because I wanted it to be small enough to fit into my bowl of February finishes. I used the suggested colors, but did change the two little birds to the blue color. The suggested color just wasn't showing up well against the gray fabric.
February Word Play
I finished the February Word Play in the same way as January and April with a mini ric-rak border. This finish takes so long for me for some reason--I think it is exhausting trying to get the ric-rak lined up so perfectly. I debated between white and red for the border, but ended up with the red since I'd chosen white for January. My camera is horrible at portraying the actual red in pictures for some reason--it is not nearly as bright as is shown. What do you think?
Finished February Word Play pillow
So, I have an overflowing bowl of February smalls which I've stitched over the past three years. Would you like to see? (You can click on the photo for a larger view). I'd say I need another bowl if I do any more next February! I do love seeing the reds and pinks this time of year--such a nice change from all the white outside... Do you have a favorite? I think mine is still the little bluebird carrying the love letter on the far left--such a sweet design!
February bowl of smalls
A while ago, my mom gave me some of my grandmother's vintage handkerchiefs as she thought I might enjoy using them in my blog photos. Among them were these three sweet Valentine's hankies. I think it was common back in the 1930s-1950s for women to have handkerchiefs for each of the different holidays. The first is bordered in a raised red heart design, the middle has a beautifully embroidered large heart surrounded by tiny hearts (that must have been grandma's favorite because it shows the most signs of use), and the third has one large heart with a sparkly "gem" in the center and a cupid and his bow and arrow sitting above. Such wonderful reminders of a by-gone era...
Vintage Valentine's Day handkerchiefs
You'll notice some cards and letters sitting on the hankies--these were also from Grandma. I have kept a box through the years of cards and letters that have special meaning to me and I brought it out yesterday to read through them for the first time in years. What a treasure trove... Most are from the 1980s and early 1990s--before the days of email and twitter and blogs. Letter writing today is a lost art, I'm afraid. When was the last time you received an actual letter from someone? Oh, emails are nice, but they tend to get lost in the hundreds and hundreds of other emails, messages, and files on your computer. You don't take an email out of a drawer or box, carefully unfold it, and read it time and time again like you do a letter. There is something substantial about a letter--the words almost seem to be more meaningful because they are handwritten.
I'll have to admit I cried a few tears as I explored my box of letters--most of the writers are now dead... my grandmothers, my husband's grandmothers, a favorite aunt of ours. But, there are also cute notes from my sons from camp (one telling us that he must have killed 50 daddy-long-legs spiders that day!), sentimental anniversary cards from my husband, and long letters from old college friends during the years when we were all young mothers trying to figure out just how to raise our kids. There are even a few short notes from my dad who can no longer sign his own name due to his struggle with dementia--these especially touched my heart. I add to my box from time to time, but it is becoming rarer and rarer. Times have changed and these handwritten greetings are fewer and farther between...
So, does anyone have any special plans for Valentine's Day? We're planning on just eating in and then watching Captain Phillips (not exactly a romantic movie, but one we both want to see!). I did make these heart-shaped banana-chocolate chip muffins last night which were quite yummy. I had some very ripe bananas and decided to do something a bit different than make my usual banana bread so I found this recipe and they were very easy to put together. They're small enough that they aren't terribly high in calories, but they offer a quick burst of sweetness when you need a little pick-me-up.
Heart-shaped mini Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins
Well, that winds up my post for today. I want to thank all of you for your wonderful comments and I'd like to say a special "welcome" to my new followers. I hope your day is filled with chocolates, flowers, smiles, and laughter! Happy Valentine's Day my sweet friends! Bye for now...
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!