Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ah...Tis Spring!

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.
"Ah...Tis Spring!"

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...



Mii Stitch said...

2 delightful finishes! I love this adorable big bunny. Have a safe journey & enjoy the big apple :)

KimM said...

Love, love, love your finishes!! What a lucky RAK friend!! I know she will love your gift.

Annie said...

A beautiful bunny! You are lucky that dress was blue.. slogging through solid color blocks can be a real chore and your favorite color does make it go a bit faster, hand-dyeds too.

Love that sweet sampler. What a treat for Anne.

Wishing your son a very happy birthday.

Hoping the prediction of yet another big storm next week doesn't actually happen!

Gillie said...

Absolutely delightful, love the changes, and oh my, her pantaloons!
The snow is disappearing slowly here, still a lot in the front garden but did see a couple of bulbs popping up and the lake population has returned including the very noisy Canadians, lol! Hugs x

priscilla said...

Such a cute bunny ,Carol ! She is just perfect ! Your other finish is very pretty ! Hope you have a nice visit with your parents :)

Elia said...

Loveeeeeeeeeee this finishes Carol ^^
She is perfect, cute this beautiful bunny ;))
I like so much !!

Have a nice and wonderful visit with your parents

hugs from Spain


Valma said...

fantastic stitchings Carol :)
This bunny is just perfect, such a neat stitching you've done !!!
and a very great choice of the colours :)
I just finished a LHN piece and did the same...almost changed all the recommended threads colours :)
it's even more unique and personalised this way...
you gift for Anne is superb ! I love those small bobbins you used, lovely.
Spring is playing yo-yo here ! some very sunny days and some others that remind us we still are in winter !
no snow at all this winter !
let's hope it's not the sign of a bad summer...
have a great moment in New York. My kindest regards to your parents :)
big big hugs

cucki said...

Aww such a cute bunny...I love her so much and she is so cute..kisses...
Hope you have a nice visit with your family ..
Hugs x

Kate said...

Lovely finishes, Carol. So nice to read that the robins have returned - here we are grateful to know the geese are back. Have a wonderful visit with your parents.

Vickie said...

I am so happy Spring has arrived for you. Our snow AND ice are still here. puh! No robins yet either.
Oh that precious, beautiful bunny!
I saw Anne's great gift. Love how your personalized it.
I hope your trip is a happy and safe one Carol.

Shelly said...

Love the bunny and the color changes you made. Like you, I thought the blue for her dress was too dark for such a 'light' design. When I think of Spring and Easter, I think of light and pastel colors. The gift for Anne is cute and who would've thought to use spools for decoration but you?! Happy B-Day to your eldest! Here's hoping for a faster appearing Spring for you all over in the hard hit areas!

Heather said...

Happy spring Carol! :-) I am so ready for spring! :-) I LOVE your bunny stitchery. I love the changes that you made. I have had the color issue happen to me too. Always makes me wonder if it's a typo or bad photography.
:-) I will definitely have to look for that chart.

I LOVE the pin pillow! It is gorgeous! You are very sweet and generous. I love the spools!

I hope you have a blessed visit with your parents.

Krista said...

A wonderful way to get ready for spring! That bunny is the cutest!!

Gabi said...

Wonderful and cute this bunny. Great finishes as always.The pinpillow is awesome
Happy spring to you and happy birthday to your son.
Hugs from germany

Robin said...

Congratulations to you on your bunny finish (she is adorable and I like your changes) and the Valentine pinkeep you created for Anne! Love how you finished it, Carol!

Have a safe trip to see your parents. Hope your visit goes well!

Robin in Virginia

Brigitte said...

After such a severe winter that you were having this year each little sign of spring is highly welcome and so much appreciated. We usually have severe winters too and I know that every little green that shows after the snow has disappeared lifts my heart and makes me sing.

A great piece that you stitched to welcome spring. And you were doing what I usually do when I like the colours on the picture better than the colours of the recommended threads. And this happens so often lately. Your version is just what I see on the picture. What a nice soft blue her dress has. I have this pattern too and will write down all the changes you made.

What a lovely little gift you stitched for Anne. The little pillow with the cording and the tiny bobbins is so adorable. This chart is on my wishlist and has now made a jump towards the top of it.

Have a wonderful start of spring.

Mrs. GraceWorks said...

What beautiful stitching! I love the changes you made to the colors in the pattern. And your gift for Anne is precious! I really like the little wooden spools!


Hilda said...

Oh Carol - your "Ah … Tis Spring" is so wonderful - I am really excited about the colors you have chosen. Taking only one part of a two-color thread is so genius - AND a bit crazy too ;-) What have you done with the grey parts of the threads?

Also the Valentine Sampler is amazing. It is one of the charts I want to stitch too one day (I already have stitched the heart with the bird out of this chart).

I am so glad to read that there is finally spring for you in your place.
Have some nice days with your parents,
and drive safely!


Ali said...

The bunny is lovely and just perfect to see spring in. Your friend Anne is a very lucky lady that pin cushion is wonderful I really love how you have used the teeny cotton reels. I've got some of them and I hope you don't mind but I am going to pinch your idea of using them.

Laurie in Iowa said...

Your bunny is lovely and nothing says 'Spring' more than a bunny!

Elizabeth Ann said...

Oh my gosh that bunny is adorable! She would make a lovely pillow with a lace ruffle all around! Have a safe trip & I hope all is well with your parents this trip....

Von said...

Good call on that color change!
My middle daughter was born on March 21 and she'll be 26. In this family, the first day of spring is always the 21st, regardless what the calendar says, lol.

Melissa said...

What a perfect stitch for "Ah, Tis Spring!" to celebrate the departure of the snow for you guys! I can't imagine in such a deep freeze for so long. The little bunny is so cute.

As you know I love what you stitched for Anne and the fact that you personalized Titus is amazing! I love those little spools too. I'd meant to ask - where do you get your finishing items?

Have a good visit with your parents, Carol. Talk to you later!

Kristin said...

Your bunny turned out wonderfully. I love the changes that you made to her.

Margaret said...

Love your finishes! They are so beautiful and springy! Happy birthday to your DS -- my DS's birthday is tomorrow! Safe travels to your parents'. Happy Spring!

Michele said...

Happy Spring to you too! Hope you have a good visit with your parents :)

Love your finishes!

butterfly said...

Oh Carol I love the rabbit I have a thing for rabbits just love them . Your stitching is so neat just beautiful.
Love the pretty RAK, your friend is in for a treat .
Have a lovely weekend , thinking of you big hugs

Dani - tkdchick said...

Your bunny is just so sweet.

Still no signs of spring here!

BrendaS said...

Carol -- Beautiful finish! I love all the changes you made -- very Spring-like!

Fabulous gift for Anne and adding little touches of personalization just makes it all the better:)

I hope you have a good trip to New York to visit your parents and that things go well.

Take care my friend!

The Inspired Stitcher said...

Love the two finishes! I'm sure your friend treasures that sweet RAK. I know just what you mean about colors in chart pictures not necessarily resembing the called for floss. I think your changes look wonderful. Be well and be safe on your travels. Hugs!

Southpaw Stitcher said...

Your pinkeep is just adorable, and I love Bertha Bunny (she looks like a Bertha to me). Glad your snow is gone. Ours is going, going but not yet gone. Have a good trip to New York.

Wendy @ Ravenwood Whimzies said...

So pretty - love them!

Mary Ann said...

Love your finishes! I hope you have a wonderful visit with your parents!!

Linda said...

Congrats on two adorable finishes Carol.


Lesley said...

I love your bunny Carol,the colours are perfect.
Your pin keep is gorgeous,a lovely gift.
Happy Birthday to your son for Friday..our elder son will be 33 on 27th March:-) born at midnight,so I chose the 27th because I 'd been waiting for him to appear all day! It was his paternal great grandmother's birth date too.

Nicky said...

Happy Spring to you Carol! I am sad to see summer leaving us down here in my part of the worls, but I'm sure you are well and truly ready for some warmer days....
Your blue bunny girl is adorable, your colour changes are lovely. The little Valentine piece is so sweet, what a wonderful gift for your friend. I hope you have a very safe and happy trip to your parents.... take care, Nicky x

Anonymous said...

Love your Ah Tis Spring. Have had that pattern for several years in my stash. Think I'd better pull that one out! Your RAK is lovely. Anne will surely love it! Beautiful work as always!

Vicky L said...

Your bunny came out adorable. I love your changes. The pinkeep is gorgeous. You do beautiful work.

Beth said...

What a dear little lady bunny Carol. Charming Valentine finish too.

Cindy's Stitching said...

The bunny made me smile. I am a blue person also The pinkeep is so pretty. Yes, we all need spring this year. My moms birthday is the 20th and my oldest daughter is the 23rd. Lots of march birthdays. Have a safe trip.

Sherri said...

You did such a nice job changing colors with your bunny. It is a struggle for me when I change colors; it takes a long time. I love the thread spool finish on your RAK. I'll have to try that.

Ellen said...

Adorable bunny, love your changes of colors!

That pillow for Anne is gorgeous! Your finishing is just perfect as usual!

Have a safe trip!


Mary said...

I love the bunny and the pretty pastels you used, Carol.
The pinkeep for Anne is lovely, complete with your "signature touches!"

Happy Birthday to Dan....and NO, you are NOT old!

I hope you have a safe and wonderful visit with your Mom and Dad.

Happy Spring, my friend :)


Jackie said...

Valentine Sampler is so gorgeous! Love this!

Blu said...

Love your finishes! Your colour choices for Tis Spring are wonderful and Valentine Sampler is very pretty.

Mavi. said...

Carol, that bunny with his big blue dress is beautiful. The cushion is divine and you have an enviable 40 count embroidery in sight. Congratulate your son for his birthday. Enjoy with your parents.

The Queen Bee said...

Lovely finishes. Nice to see some spring color.

Welcome to NY...where I'm sure you've figured out we are not past the snow. I just looked outside and it's snowing again. That's March for ya.

Hope you have a nice visit.


Chris said...

Happy Spring Carol!!!
I hope that you have a wonderful time in New York visiting with your parents. Your bunny finish is wonderful, so sweet. I love the piece that you made for Anne to, lovely.
Here's to no more bad weather!!

Julie said...

Awww your little blue bunny is adorable Carol, I seem to remember you have a passion for blue dressed bunnies!!!
My son celebrates his birthday 22nd March, he'll be 29 this time, how time flies, doesn't seem long since they were little boys does it.
Love your little gift for your Canadian friend.
I hope you find dad well and you have some wonderful time with mum.
much love xxxx

Kay said...

I love your finishes, especially the one to send to your friend as the colours are so beautiful. Happy stitching and happy spring too. xx

Escargopotte bordados said...

Hello Carol! it's always nice to vsiter your blog! ah yes, I love spring flowers and especially the bunnies!
happy spring

Lynda Harrison said...

Hiya Carol!
It is always such a pleasure to read of the things you have been up to. Your rabbit is wonderful - and the close-up photos show your beautiful, neat stitches!
I hope you have a wonderful week, and that the sun will shine for you and all your family.
I do hope that your parents are well, and that you will have a happy time together when you visit them.
Take care of yourself.
Thinking of you with love and best wishes,

Melody said...

Oh, Carol I love the bunny, your choices of colors were perfect!

Then, the stitching and finish of the Valentine Sampler is just wonderful! I love this design and how you finished it. I think I have the chart in my stash, I will have to go look.

I hope you have a nice visit with your parents, and yes, I agree I think we are all very ready for Spring's arrival!!!!

Simply Victoria said...

Carol, that pillow you made for Anne is just darling! Have a great trip and enjoy your visit. Still waiting for spring to show up here but I know it will come.

Friendship Crossing said...

Love all your color changes on Miss Bunny and the Valentine Sampler pillow is so sweet!

Have a wonderful trip!

Bekca said...

I hope you enjoy the first few days of Spring Carol, they're always the best :) Such lovely stitching and finishing as always, the little cotton reels on the pillow finish are adorable!
Best wishes and happy Spring!

Christina said...

Happy Spring! As always such lovely stitching. Your bunny is adorable. Hope you have a wonderful and safe trip. Happy Birthday to your DS!

Девушка с пяльцами said...

Wonderful bunny! Love it greatly!

Andrea said...

Ah.. 'Tis a beautiful bunny. Love your colour changes. The pillow is beautiful too, love the little cotton reels, you always think of the extra bit that makes something have that 'wow' factor.
Hope you have a safe trip and a very Happy Birthday to your son.

Annette-California said...

Love the two finishes! Great color you went with for the dress. Saw some first blooms of Spring here and glad you are too!
love Annette really love your bunny:)

Christina said...

Wow, I bet stitching all of the blue drove you to distraction! 3348 is a lovely blue but definitely doesn't look like the blue in the photo.
Your Valentine Sampler finish is so sweet. I love the tiny bobbins!
Enjoy your trip, safe journey.

Dawn said...

Oh they are both so wonderful Carol! WEll done :) The colors you choose are perfect.

Shirley said...

Happy spring Carol. I love your finishes especially the tiny cotton reels, they look fab.

Charlene ♥ SC said...

Ah-spring! Lovely pieces for the beginning of spring. It was a gorgeous 75◦ today, but rain and 50s tomorrow! Hope your trip was safe and the visit pleasant.

Wanda said...

Carol, your bunny is just delightful! I love the colours you chose and how delightfully proper she is! Your Valentine Sampler is lovely - the little spools are so cute! I hope you have a nice visit with your parents. Happy Spring to you Carol and thanks as always for the pleasure of your beautiful blog.
Hugs, Wanda

Shirlee said...

Beautiful stitchings my friend! I'm glad spring seems to have arrived in your area. I know some people like that stuff : ) I hope all is going well in NY.

Barbi said...

Well Miss bunny is just perfect! I love your much more cheerful :)

Annette said...

First belated happy birthday to your dear son!!
It not makes you old.. it makes you alive!!
Your such a young woman.. ;)))
What a beautifull colors you used for the bunny, but all that blue.. not for me to stitch so much in one color...
But you did a great job!!

Your Rak for Anne looks great!!
She is very happuy with it!!

Have a great week !!
Hope Spring will be there more and more!!!
Here it's rainy again!!

Melanie said...

Look at your blog all dressed up in green! I love it!!! :)

Don't get too used to those little bits of spring because more snow is coming. (I think it's hitting you? I know *we* are supposed to get pummeled by it. Joy. *snerk*)

That is lot of dress to cover but it came out great. I haven't seen that pattern done up by anyone else but it's a great one. It's very sweet. Just love the finishing touches on the sampler as well. I probably have a bag of those wooden spools from Michaels somewhere in my craft closet and never once thought to use them in a finish like that. Very neat idea for those!

Hope you are settled back home before that storm comes this week. You don't want have to travel in that. :(

Myra said...

I have always loved that big ole bunny. The blue you chose for her dress is perfect. That is a beautiful gift you sent to Anne. I am so ready for spring - they are saying we will have some snow and ice again on Tuesday. Have a wonderful week my friend.

Kay said...

Beautiful finishes! They are divine. I love the Blue Bunny!! The pin keep is beautiful as well. You always do such beautiful work! Happy birthday to your son! Happy spring!

Karoline said...

Gorgeous finishes! Your bunny is very cute and Anne's pincushion is very sweet

Lesleyanne said...

Two gorgeous finishes. Have a great trip with your parents.

Scattered Threads said...

Lovely finishes Carol and I like the changes you made to the bunny. Very pretty.

Vonna, The Twisted Stitcher said...

Your big blue bunny is gorgeous! I love her! :)
And you are so right...ready for spring and greatly anticipated by all!
Happy Birthday to your sweet oldest! May he have many, many more!

Marie said...

We still have snow. Ugh! I can't wait for the warm weather, green grass, and sunny days.

Your stitching always impresses me as it is so beautiful and perfect! I love 40ct and would stitch on it more often if I had younger eyes.

Love Tis Spring and all the color changes you made. I agree the thread charted does not reflect the color on the cover. Your blue substitution is wonderful.

Beautiful job on the Pinkeep as well.

I hope you enjoyed your NY visit.

Happy belated birthday to your son!

Meari said...

Your son shares the same birthday as my sister. She turned 43 this year. Happy Belated Birthday to your DS!

Congrats on your finishes. I like your version of the bunny better. Cute gift for Anne. Love the spools.

passionfruitprincess said...

Wonderful that Spring arrived for you! Your finishes are lovely! The way you finished the Valentine Sampler is just darling... you have always such cute ideas. Hope you are enjoying your trip!
Ana Paula

Anne said...

Stunning finishes - seeing them cheered my day up!

♥ Nia said...

We had an early spring since my baby boy arrived :D he had Sun to welcome him into this world :D but on the 21st? Rain... Ironic, don't you think? :p
Now.. We are freezing again! Very low temperatures, it's really weird =/
Valentine sampler is lovely!! Very sweet finish :)
It's always a delight to see your finishes :) hope one day i will learn to make such pretty finishes like yours :))))

Lumiruusu said...

The bunny looks very pretty on her blue dress -it is really a piece that make you smile :)
The valentine sampler is very stylish pattern and I have it on my stash.
There are some gifts I need to stitch first and then i will be again free to start something new..

Greetings from Finland :)

Sally said...

Two adorable finishes Carol. I think I will have a look at that Valentine booklet as I love the piece you stitched for Anne. I see swans!

Sharon said...

Those two finishes are just gorgeous! Happy belated Birthday to your DS!

Solstitches said...

What a delightful post Carol.
First of all I was admiring the lovely ornament in your blog header and then the adorable Notforgotten Farm bunny.
You did a beautiful job of choosing the perfect threads.
The Valentine sampler is so pretty and I love the addition of the little bobbins.
Happy Spring and happy stitching!

Prairie Stitcher said...

I followed this lovely bunny to your blog and have been looking around and reading and enjoying myself way too much. Come over and visit me when you have a chance at Prairie Cottage Corner. We'll have a virtual scone and a cup of something lovely. Thanks for the nice time today. Kathie in Odessa, WA

Schoolgirl Samplers said...

Carol, I really like all the changes you made on Ah…Tis Spring. I think I see that too on some charts, where the recommended floss do not look the same as is the color photo on the patterns and so I go changing things as I see fit.
Of course, the Valentine sampler you sent out is gorgeous and I love the spool finish.
TFS, always,