Finally! That long month of March is over... And how are my stitching friends feeling on this, the first day of April? Hopeful, relieved, renewed? All of the above? After more snow on Sunday and then highs in the 50s yesterday, March certainly lived up to its rollercoaster of a month reputation, didn't it? I get very bad headaches on the left side of my head with any major weather change so you can imagine how my head has been feeling lately--ugh! But, April will bring daffodils, nest-building, the blessings of Easter, and, most certainly, warmer days than we've seen in months...
I have one spring finish and two Christmas ornaments to share with you today. Which shall I start with? Well, let's go with the spring one which was stitched and sent to a friend for her birthday. This little Just Nan bunny called "Dewdrop" (love his name!) hopped all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to France to help my friend, Valerie, celebrate a very special birthday.
I finished him into a little pillow using shades of purple and white for a very spring-like finish. Aren't you loving stitching with the pastel shades right now? Little Dewdrop is stitched on 40ct. pearl gray Newcastle using the suggested DMC colors. I did change a couple of the egg colors, though--omitted the blue eggs and replaced them with purple and pink. I don't know if you can see them in the photo, but there are tiny pink bead in the border. I don't stitch many Just Nan charts and when I do, it always surprises me at how many colors are used even in a tiny design like this one. I'm so pleased that dear Valérie loves Dewdrop--I think I may have to stitch him again for myself.
I'm proud to say I'm keeping up with my Christmas "ornament a month" stitching this year and I have March's and April's to share with you today. For March, I stitched a darling kit by one of my favorite cross stitch designers, Chessie & Me. I love the way simple cross stitches are combined with specialty stitches in these designs. The roof and the center of some of the snowflakes are finished in satin stitching and the berries and "Noel" are done in Smyrna stitches. And how cute is that tiny "over-one" stitched reindeer. This was done on the fabric included in the kit--36 ct. Vintage Exemplar linen (which I wasn't crazy about--found it to be very floppy and difficult to stitch on) using the Gloriana silks that were also included. I rarely buy kits, but I'll tell you it was so nice to just pick this up and begin stitching as soon as it arrived in my mail box--no waiting for threads or searching for substitute colors.
I used a piece of the lovely fabric that I won from Laurie, in her fabulous giveaway last month. The colors were a perfect accent for this piece which I finished as a flat mounted ornament. I added a couple of green wooden beads to the cording as an accent. Overall, I'm pleased with it, but it's quite a bit bigger than my typical Christmas ornament.
"Noel" by Chessie & Me
Here is a closer look so you can see how well the fabric accents the finish. Thanks again for all of that gorgeous fabric, Laurie--I'm already planning another finish with more of it!
My April ornament is from an older Just Cross Stitch Ornament magazine (1997) and is called "Nutmeg Santa" by Schoolroom Samplers. I really love how this one turned out and I think it is mainly because stitching it on the 32 ct. black Belfast linen gave it a totally different look than the photograph in the magazine. The colors show up so much better and I also changed the date on the ornament at the bottom to the word "Noel." I am not a big fan of dates on the front of ornaments for some reason--they make me feel old when I see them years later. How do you all feel about them?
This was finished as a simple pillow with an ecru bow and hanger to match the ecru in the snowflakes and the wording. I also added a few more snowflakes than were charted. The backing fabric is the dusty green shown in the background (a cloth napkin that I picked up on sale at Kohl's). What do you think? It's hard to believe that I'm one-third of the way through my annual ornament stitching--2014 is flying by for sure!
Nutmeg Santa finish
I'm positive that all of you are familiar with the generous Nancy over at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe. Nancy has giveaways galore throughout the year offering her beautiful threads, trims, and charts and I was lucky enough to win these five luscious spring shades recently. Thank you so much, Nancy--I'm already using the green on a new WIP that I'll share later this month. It is a pleasure to stitch with your beautiful threads!
Beautiful floss won from Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe
MY DAILY SMILE JOURNEY...I'll have to admit that the past few months of our horrid winter weather have really gotten me down. By mid-March, I was really frustrated and looking for a way to pull myself out of the slump that was starting to set in. So, I decided to start keep a small journal and write down one thing that made me smile each day. I found this little blue (of course!) notebook at Target with the quote "Light tomorrow with today" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning imprinted on the front cover that I thought would be perfect for my latest venture. After all, the purpose of it is to look back on my daily "smiles" for years to come, especially in times of sadness; in other words to "light my tomorrow" with the things that make me happy each day.
A smile a day...
I have neither the time nor the inclination to write a long journal entry and the few sentences that make up each daily entry are so quick and easy to achieve. They range from things I've seen (four horses grazing in a snow covered field thoughtfully covered with heavy wool blankets) to things I've smelled (the return of spring when I opened the window last week) to things I've felt (my mom's hug which soothes all hurts) to things I've heard (my dementia-riddled father telling me, "I know who you are" when I visited him last month) to things I've tasted (some fabulous soft pretzels made by my oldest son). In other words all five senses can--and do--bring smiles. I'm anxious to see how long I can keep recording these thoughts--what fun it will be to look back at them when I'm on old (older!) lady and recall the happiness that a simple smile brought each day. Some days are harder than others, but I guarantee if you keep your eyes open you will find your special smile for the day :)
It was so nice of you to visit me today--a special thank you to all who leave me comments each time I post. I know how busy all of us are in our daily lives and the fact that you take a moment to say "hello" means so much to me. And I want to wish a warm welcome to my new followers, too--so glad to meet you! I'll be back with some spring stitching soon and photos of another RAK that was sent out yesterday. Bye for now...