Happy (almost) Spring, my friends! Yes, I know Spring doesn't officially start until tomorrow (March 20th, 2014 at 12:57 PM to be exact!), but I won't be home to post tomorrow so I'm rushing it a bit. I think all of us are anxious for spring to make an appearance after the winter we've suffered through, but I do see signs of life popping up everywhere. Last week, not only did all of our snow finally melt, but we also saw the first robin of spring and some tiny green daffodil shoots poking through the earth. The birds are joyfully singing again and the pale green leaf buds will soon appear on trees and shrubs to brighten this dull post-winter landscape. Ah, 'tis Spring!! I don't think it's ever been as warmly anticipated or welcome as it is this year, do you?
In honor of the season, I've stitched one big blue bunny! Isn't she the cutest? I just love her giant body balancing on those petite black-heeled feet with her lacy pantaloons peaking out from beneath her dress. This design ("Ah... Tis Spring" by Notforgotten Farm) is stitched on 40 ct. flax Newcastle linen, but I changed almost every one of the suggested colors.
"Ah...Tis Spring" finish
This is one of those designs where the photo on the front of the chart didn't resemble the suggested colors at all. In the photo below is the actual chart and the suggested color of the dress. To my eye, they look nothing alike. I preferred the pale blue of the photo on the front of the chart so I had to do some experimenting to find a close substitute. I wanted to use mostly overdyed threads in this piece, so I finally settled on GAST "Banker's Grey." It's a thread that contains both slate blue and grey in the skein so I leaned toward using only the blueish part and I think it turned out very well. There were times when I thought I would never finish that big dress, but you all know what a lover of all things blue I am, so that made it a bit easier.
For the bunny's fur, I used Crescent Colours "Stepping Stones" and am very pleased with how it looks. I wanted it to resemble the soft brown of our local bunnies. The inner ears and whiskers were stitched in Crescent Colours "Rosy Glow." For the flowers, I used both the darker and lighter parts of CC "Clay Pot" (the darker on the outside, the lighter on the inner portion).
Obviously, I changed the color of her pocket to DMC ecru to match the cuff, collar, and buttons. I wanted her to look a bit less primitive and even though I stitched the pocket in several different colors, the ecru is what finally won me over. I also added the design to the pocket to mimic the design on her pantaloons and that in the basket that she's carrying. Rather than having three colors for the grass, I used GAST "Dried Thyme" with carrots in GAST "Burnt Orange" and stems of DMC 3051.
The basket is stitched with GAST "Picnic Basket" with accents in CC "Stepping Stones." Don't you love the striped socks? They are stitched with the lighter part of CC "Clay Pot" and DMC 612. And what is a proper bunny without black heels?
Thank you, Lori, for such a delightful design! I will probably frame this one at some point... I am really bad at getting my few larger pieces framed, but she is too cute to leave stowed away in a drawer for too long. Below is a collage of my finish that you can click on if you want to see it in more detail.
My other finish is a pinkeep from With Thy Needle and Thread's "Valentine Sampler" leaflet. I just love this chart so much--it contains so many lovely designs! For this finish, I used 40 ct. raw natural Newcastle linen with the suggested threads. Since this one was being sent off as a RAK to my sweet friend in Canada, Anne, I wanted to personalize it a bit so I did make some changes.
As you can see, I added her initial in the upper left corner instead of the ABCs that were charted. I also added the button and changed the kitty in the lower right to resemble her darling brown and white cat, Titus. I neglected to take a photo of the back, but it is a pale green leafy material--very soft and pretty. The little wooden spools are wound with the same green thread that is in the design--aren't they adorable? I'm very pleased with how this one turned out and Anne seems to love it, too--you can see more photos on her beautiful blog if you want to take a peak...
"Valentine Sampler" pinkeep finish
I can't help think of Spring without being reminded of my oldest son's birth. He was born on March 21st, 32 years ago (now that makes me feel very old!) on a sunny warm day in the mid-60s. A perfect spring day in every way and I hope his birthday on Friday will be the same for him. So ♫♪♫ Happy Birthday ♫♪♫ to my oldest--I wish you every happiness in the year ahead...
I've done more stitching, but since it is for gifts, I can't show you quite yet. I'm leaving later today to go to New York to visit with my parents for a few days so I may be a bit out of touch, but I'll be sure to catch up with all of you when I return next week. I wish for each of you sunshine and warmer days and the hope that our long, cold winter may soon be nothing but a distant memory. Bye for now...
HAPPY SPRING TO ALL!