Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Sweet Simple Things

Good morning, my stitching friends! And how is your month of May going? This has to be my favorite time of year--when the leaves are just half out on the trees. It give everything a lacy, almost dainty look, doesn't it? So delicate and new... The pinks of the crab apple trees and the whites of the dogwood are bursting out and the grass is the most brilliant shade of green here in Pennsylvania. I was sitting at my kitchen table Sunday morning thoroughly content as I read the newspaper and gazed out at our back yard filled with so many simple and beautiful things... There were the tulips blooming in the garden, our resident duck couple waddling from the pond to the bird feeder to enjoy their breakfast, the goldfinches feeding at the thistle feeder, and even an animal rarely seen in daylight around here--a large raccoon lazily walking to the pond to sip a drink. Such simple things and I love them all. It really doesn't take much to make me happy; how about you?

I've loved this Little House Needleworks piece since it first came out a few years ago, but am just now getting around to stitching it. How many of you have already stitched this one? A lot of you, I'll bet! The colors are so perfect together, but the message is what really spoke to me. "Simple Joys, Simple Life." Even saying those words seems to bring a feeling of contentment... I stitched this one on 40 ct. white Newcastle with the suggested thread colors, but I did make a couple of changes. I filled in each of the corner diamonds in the border rather than just the lower left one as was charted. I also omitted the box around the wording "Simple Joys" and raised the words up a bit to center them more.

Little House Needleworks "Simple Joys"

I think the colors in this second photo are more true-to-life... And how do you like those gorgeous tulips that have bloomed from the bulbs my husband planted for me last fall?

Simple joys...simple life

This was one of those pieces that just flowed--do you know what I mean? It was a pure joy to stitch...

In keeping with my "simple" theme for this post, I also found an old freebie from Hands to Work called "Live Simply." I just happened to come across it when I was sorting through a file folder of long-forgotten freebies. I'm not even sure if the designer is still in business...does anyone know? I've never seen it stitched before, but I love how it turned out. It is stitched on 40 ct. flax Newcastle linen (has anyone noticed I seem to be addicted to 40 ct. Newcastle?!) using a skein of Nina's "Old Jeans" Hand Dyed Threads. You know me and my love of blues!

"Live Simply" by Hands to Work

I made a couple of changes to this design, too.  The tulips that were charted had A, B, C on them and I just wanted a simpler design so I stitched them in stripes instead. I also turned that third bird around so he was facing the two to the left. I like things very symmetrical in case you haven't figured that out... How about you? Would you have left him facing the one bird on the right or turned him around? 

I simply love blues!

I plan on framing both of my "simple" finishes, but may turn the blue one into a little pillow. I have to think about that for a while...

As I mentioned earlier our yard is simply brimming with color and life at this time of year so, of course, I've been taking photos... You can click on the photos for a better look, if you'd like!

Our resident deer family

The sweet goldfinches which are turning
more and more yellow with each passing day

The lovely tulips planted by my husband
(inside a fenced garden so the deer 
don't gobble them all up!)

My house is filled with bouquets of tulips!

House finches--birds that are new
to this area. We never saw
them before this year. 

Our resident ducks love to waddle up
from the pond to feast on fallen bird seed.

Mrs. Mallard--isn't she pretty?

How was your Mother's Day? My two older sons came over for their usual Sunday night dinner, but this time they cooked (with some help from my dear husband!). Hooray! They gave me a set of cast-iron cookware that I've been wanting so I was thrilled. And how about this card--isn't it perfect for the mother of three boys? When you open it up, it says "Raising boys--that's an extreme sport! Happy Mother's Day" They had me guess which boy was supposed to be which and I guessed perfectly: the top boy is my middle child (he was so blonde when he was young), the boy sandwiched in between the other two is my oldest, and the youngest--the one being squished by the other boys--is represented by the boy on the bottom. I'll be keeping this one, that's for sure.

My youngest son couldn't be with us because he and six friends were vacationing in The Bahamas--wow! I've never even been to The Bahamas and I'm nearly 60! He called on Mother's Day morning and said it was like paradise down there. And look what he sent for our Mother's Day dessert... this fantastic array of cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake in Washington, DC. He can walk there from his apartment--lucky guy. I think I'd be down there every day getting my cupcake fix! Which one do you think I chose to eat first? Which one would you choose? I went for the coconut because I'm the only one in the family who likes it... The bottom four have little purple hearts with "mom" written on them--so sweet!

Sweet treats from my youngest son

Advice needed... My dear sister-in-law asked me if I would come to Ohio this summer to teach her little triplet granddaughters how to cross stitch. I am so excited to introduce them to our craft, but am at a loss as to the best way to do so. Do you have any suggestions for teaching three 10-year-olds to stitch? I thought of putting little kits together for them--simple things like hearts, butterflies, etc. in bright colors. Do any of you have ideas on fabric counts (Aida 14 or even 11?)  or advice on what to do/not to do when introducing kids to stitching? I don't want to overwhelm them and I want to make it fun... Any help would be much appreciated!

♫♪♫ Birthday wishes ♫♪♫... Well, that winds up another long, long post from me. but I do want to wish my dear mother and dear mother-in-law very happy birthdays this week. Mom will be 87 tomorrow--I so wish I could be with her on her special day. And my mother-in-law turns 86 on Thursday--I hope her day is equally special. My husband and I are so blessed to have all four of our parents still with us. Even though my father no longer knows us, it is still a comfort to give him a hug when I visit. Not many couples approaching 60 year of age still have all four parents around... and we are so appreciative.

I'll leave you with a photo of one of our lovely crab apple trees hybridized by my husband's paternal grandfather, Grandpa Ralph... a simple man who lived a simple life and got such pleasure from doing so. Thank you for visiting today, for your thoughtful comments, and for being such a special group of friends... I wish each of you a simply beautiful day! Bye for now...


Rachel S-H said...

Thank you for a lovely post to look at first thing in the morning. I am ling vicariously through your flower pics--we don't have a deer issue, but we do have a bunny family who ate most of my tulips, so those were a wash this year. Lovely finishes!

Elia said...

Ohh wonderful post Carol ^^

This beautiful images of your home. garden ...the tulips !!
congrats to your mother in low,
and for you for this nice finishes, are so lovely ^^

Hugs from my spanich Garden,
hugs and kisses

love this picture of the children ;)

^^ take care

Mii Stitch said...

Hello Carol!!! So nice to read your lovely post. I love love love your LHN finish. It's beautiful. The colours are so yummy, I didn't know this chart but will have to add it to my wish list :) I'm sure you'll have fun teaching the girls to cross stitch... A little while back my son (soon to be 10) wanted to give it a go. We found him a basic Winnie the Pooh design on 14ct aida and he was fine with it. He just wasn't patient enough really and ... a boy too! It was ok for him to keep busy for a few hours in the afternoon but he said he won't do it again :D Girls will be different. Especially if you make it as a little kit with button finishes or sparkly bit, they will just love it!! Just remember to share with us their beautiful work!! Hugs xxx

Lynn B said...

Loving your stitching Carol, as always!
The tulips are delightful, funnily enough I received a lovely bunch of tulips from the lady that I made the Little House Neighbourhood design for, they are gorgeous flowers aren't they?

Yours are so pretty, I do keep meaning to plant some tulips and daffodils.

Barb said...

Loved seeing your pictures. Your finish is great great job on it.

Margaret said...

I love your stitching finishes! Both are lovely! Love seeing all the wildlife in your yard and your tulips. The tulips are wonderful! I saw some goldfinches the other day -- they are so bright and colorful! Love that card your sons gave you -- so appropriate! My aunt had 3 sons as well, just like you. Sounds like you had a great Mother's Day! Those cupcakes -- wow! I'm not a good one for advice on teaching cross stitch. Hope you figure it all out. Probably aida?? Anna Maria Horner (google her name) has some simple xs kits of fairly simple but pretty motifs if you want to take a look. Happy birthday to both mothers! You and your DH certainly are lucky to have both sets of parents! Very much so! We only have one parent left between the two of us.

Heather said...

Good morning Carol! What a lovely post. It brought a smile to my face. :-) We must be a little further advanced than your area. Our tulips have finished and lilacs, irises, and azaleas are all blooming. It's so gorgeous! I enjoy the same simple pleasures. :-) We have an abundance of house finches down here. Our gold finches have already finished changing colors. They are so gorgeous. In fact, I am not getting much done because all I can do is look at everything and admire the beauty. :-)
Your stitching is lovely! I love the card your boys got you. Your cupcakes look yummy! :-)
I hope you have a lovely week!

Shirlee said...

My dear friend ... As you know, I always save your posts to read last. I feel like I'm sitting down at the kitchen table with you, sipping a cup of tea & shooting the breeze : ) Your finishes are lovely. I especially like the Hands to Work design. Such fun to see all your wildlife! I live in the country & don't see that much! And you have such gorgeous tulips! I planted a few bulbs the year before last but they never came up. Great card from your sons & they made a very nice Mother's Day for you! I like your idea of putting kits together for the 3 girls. I think I'd go with 14-count Aida. Sounds like a good start for them : ) Turns out my youngest granddaughter is interested in crafting so I will follow your experience with this ... just in case : ) Oh, I also love coconut : )

Tricia T said...

Gorgeous stitching and pictures, Carol! What a lovely backyard wonderland you have! I taught my girls to stitch when they were about 10 and I think the best thing that I did was to give them a little picture of which way each "leg" of the stitch should lay. I think my oldest dd still refers to it occasionally and she's in her 20's now! : ) A little motif - 10 x 10 or so, on larger fabric, with a little backstitch is a nice way to start. They don't get overwhelmed and see the completed project and learn the two main stitches. There is usually a "learn to stitch" motif in the back of the UK cross stitch magazines. Some are harder than others, so you just have to look. Also... a needle threader comes in handy! ; ) What a fun task it will be!! Enjoy!


Lisa V said...

Hi Carol,
I think aida at 11 or 14 count would be ideal for the girls. My first stitch was of a teddy bear and that was on 14 count. There are lots of small kits that you can find in craft stores or some easy patterns for them to follow off the net, i'm sure they will enjoy themselves no matter what, you will be a great teacher.

Shelly said...

Ahh, a post that makes me smile! Flowers are gorgeous, your finishes are gorgeous! I have the Live Simply freebie and have never got around to stitching it. That blue color is great on it. Yum, cupcakes..one of the chocolate-looking ones would've been my pick. Your sons made the perfect pick for your card! I have two brothers so I know how my mom was always afraid of what they were going to do next! I tried to teach my daughter stitching, on 11ct. It wasn't something she's interested in! Oh well. Have a super day!

marly said...

Since I'm strictly samplers, I don't see too many other designs. Both of these are so sweet! Your tulips are lovely and you're lucky. No fence has ever kept our deer from dining! Happy birthday to the moms. Since you took the coconut one from me, I would grab the top right.

Vickie said...

Your blue stitch looks wonderful. Such a funny card. :) Love cupcakes! I would go with 18ct aida. I taught Madeleine at about that same age. She lost interest shortly after her first stitch, a butterfly. Pick lots of cute, sweet, and simple projects.

Elizabeth Ann said...

I love all your beautiful pictures! I love all your little designs they are so sweet (I wonder where those Christmas pieces are) You will have so much fun teaching those little girls to stitch! I have to drop my husband at the airport and come home and mow the lovely green grass and pull some of those green weeds that are popping up everywhere! This morning I had a bloom on my squash plant I planted in the seed planter in the house! I guess he is ready to go outside now....

Christina said...

Your stitching is beautiful as always. Glad you had a lovely Mother's Day. Yum, cupcakes. Such beautiful tulips. I love flowers. Your back yard reminds me of work. There is lots of wildlife running around. Especially when I work the early shift. Birthday wishes to your mom and MIL!

Pam in Virginia said...

Your posts are such a lovely way to begin my day, so thank you for today's treat. I might suggest trying perforated paper for a first time project.

Mary Ann said...

Another lovely post, Carol! I love your two finishes!!

Robin in Virginia said...

Morning Carol! What a fabulous post! I really like both of your stitched pieces especially the Hands to Work (by the way, she isn't designing any longer) one.

Enjoyed your photos of the deer, birds, flowers and cupcakes. Hmmm...tough choice with the cupcakes.

Wishing your Mom a wonderful day tomorrow!

Robin in Virginia

Vicki said...

Carol, how exciting that you're going to pass the love of stitching on to another generation! At my local Walmart (& I've seen them at Michaels, JoAnns & Hobby Lobby occasionally) you can purchase beginner kits. They are very simple designs. You might try them...

BrendaS said...

Carol -- As always your stitching is beautiful and I love your finishes. The simple things in life are the best!

Glad you had a wonderful Mother's day. Cute card -- definitely a keeper.

Have a great week my friend!

lbedmisten said...


I LOVE LOVE LOVE you tulips and your finishes!

As for teaching your nieces to cross-stitch, taught my daughter a few weeks ago. She wants to make a mobile for her babies. So she found flower, heart, etc. In a cross-stitch magazine I buy. I figured it was perfect because it was small. She is about half way through the butterfly.

What was so neat was we didn't have some of the colors that the chart asked for (surprise I know) so she just picked colors she liked and went a head and changed them up.

Good luck!!! It will be fun to pass down the craft.

Melissa said...

I love that card your boys gave you! It's hilarious and obviously very "true to life". What a treat to have your guys cook for you and your youngest to send those yummy cupcakes. I love coconut too!

Love the stitching. I have that Hands to Work freebie. Must find it. You've done a fantastic job with the blue - love it!

I don't know what to recommend for teaching the triplets. I'm sure you will do a wonderful job!

Happy Birthday to both the moms! I see Spring has finally arrived for you! The tulips are gorgeous!

Julie said...

Love the Mother's Day card!
Such beautiful pictures of your garden and all who come to visit.
Great finishes, I think. have that freebie, it must be 10 years old!

Kristin said...

Carol, I love your finishes and I totally understand about symmetry. I have been known to schedule my errands so I can make a circle around town. I am so glad that you had a wonderful Mother's Day and I would have gone for the cupcake that looks suspiciously like a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Enjoy every bite!

stitchersanon said...

What a lovely post. I designed some beginners charts for a lady in the UK who uses them in her beginners classes. If your interested I will give you her details. I love this time of the year too. So pretty and so hopeful. Simple is always best and I think you have stitched both peices perfectly xxx

KimM said...

Your stitching is absolutely delightful - I love blues, as well. Your photos are so sharp and inviting. Thank you for sharing all your pretties!

Krista said...

A beautiful post, Carol! Love all the stitching and all the pretty flowers! So sweet all the deer and birdies you have visiting your yard. Isn't it so nice that Spring is in full bloom?! Love it!

Kay said...

This is such a happy post. Your children were so thoughtful, I love the cupcakes! How special for you to have that beautiful tree. Gorgeous stitching too. x

cucki said...

Aww such a sweet post ;)
Loved seeing your pictures. Your finish is great job on it. Big hugs x

Notsuoh said...

DMC mentor's club for teaching cross stitch. They send you free kits and give a lot of advice on the website. I learned at a very early age as well as my daughter. Try using the 6 count aida. Just be patient and allow for mistakes! Makes it unique!

Michelle said...

Oh Carol what a lovely blog post. I have so enjoyed going through it with my cup of Earl Grey Tea. I adore the Live Simply chart its so pretty well done. Thank you for sharing all your photos with us xx

Annie said...

Beautiful post. Spring has really sprung in your backyard after such a long, cold winter.

Love your new stitching pieces. Just right for you. Love your header too since I've got that piece stitched up myself!

The card from your sons is so cute. I'm no cook, so that present wouldn't do me any good, but if it's what you've been wanting, I'm glad they got it for you. Now you can make them even better meals!

We have a Georgetown Cupcakes store about 6 blocks from here. The lines are always long or I'd be buying them way too often. They really are the best cupcakes.

How sweet to become a cross stitch mentor. I'm sure you could put together some cute little kits from all the freebies around. I'd got with 14 count Aida to start them off myself.

Birthday wishes to Mom and MIL!

Barb said...

Your yard looks so pretty. I do love all your stitching. Two years ago my New Year's Resolution was to just enjoy each day as it came and appreciate the beauty of ordinary days. For the most part, I am able to do that. Once in awhile I slip but then try to get back to it! those cupcakes are so cute!! Glad you Mother's Day was great.

valerie said...

Both your finishes are fantastic! I stitched the LHN design a while back. So glad you had a great Mothers Day and that the boys made dinner. The card they gave you is so funny and the cupcakes look delicious!

Good luck teaching the girls to stitch...how wonderful!

Happy Birthday to your mom and MIL! I am working on an email to you which I'll send soon! :)

Wendy @ Wendysquiltsandmore said...

What a lovely post with so many beautiful photos - cross stitch and nature. A lovely blend.

I would recommend plastic canvas and wool for total beginners. The girls can then just focus on putting the needle through and keeping it threaded. I've used it when teaching 10 year olds to stitch at my local school. I'd post you some but I'm in New Zealand and you won't get it in time. Start with no patterm, and then just simple xxxxx. Then go crazy. Good luck.

CalamityJr said...

What a beautiful post - your stitching, animals, flowers - you've covered it all! Glad your Mother's Day was special. You deserve it!

Dede said...

I am working with my 6 year old grand daughter. We started last year with a kit on plastic--in fact she has done two. We did a small Valentine for Daddy, Now we are doing the names of her stuffed animals on aida. She is doing a wonderful job. I am sure the 10 year olds would be able to do it too. Probably should first have them stitch a small square so they will understand how the needle and thread moves across the fabric. I hope they enjoy it. Fun sharing stitching with kids!Good Luck!

Linda said...

Congrats on the gorgeous finishes Carol. What a great post. Love all your yard pictures. Happy Birthday to your Mom's.


Ellen said...

Lovely post, Carol! I just love those gorgeous tulips! The cupcakes sure look yummy, I love the coconut one too ha ha!

Your finishes are gorgeous as usual! Don't we just love 40ct newcastle linens...my favorite too!

Small motifs on big count fabrics is good for kids! I have hard time teaching them how to thread the needles ha ha!


Pam in IL said...

Hi Carol. I'm trying to catch up thanks to yahoo changing things. I would be perfectly happy to sit at your table with you watching the wildlife and flowers in your yard.

All your stitching and flowers are beautiful! You're lucky to have so many blooming tulips.

As for teaching the girls, I've taught and continue working with a group of boys and girls from my church. I always teach them the basic stitches and then work with them on a practice piece until they are comfortable with it. After the practice piece, I always let the kids pick what they want to stitch (I provide all the materials and simple designs). The kids haven't had a problem with 14 count aida. I keep it low key and no pressure so it's fun for them. Can't wait to hear how it goes for you.

Linda H said...

Hello Carol
Love all your sweet simple finishes. I have taught several groups of Brownies to cross-stitch. I used Aida, probably 11 count. I charted a very simple heart for them to stitch, all in one color. They all finished, and loved what they had done. My advice - keep it small and simple so they can finish before losing interest. If they are really keen, then they can go on to another design, maybe slightly larger and with several colors. Better to have them succeed on the first try and like what they did than get frustrated with something too complex, and give up. Have fun!!

passionfruitprincess said...

Lovely post, Carol!
Cute finish and beautiful flowers and cupcakes!
I agree. The simple things are the best in life. I love that quote, in reality I love everything from Laura.
Just yesterday we were at Joann's and Brenda found that same quote in a cookbook. What a coincidence that you shared it today.
Enjoy your Spring weather!
Ana Paula.

passionfruitprincess said...

Oh! About teaching cross stitch to little girls. I introduced Brenda first to simple embroidery and now we are going to work on sewing buttons. I will wait a little bit more to teach cross stitch. I don't think she is ready yet. But every child is different. You are on the right track, simple designs and big count fabric. Let them choose the color they want to use and keep it simple. Have fun!
Ana Paula.

Gabi said...

Loved to read your post. Beautiful stitching and yummy cupcakes. I choose the coconut one.
For the 3 girls I would say, start with small and simple motivs, like a heart. Let them choose the colors.
The yard pictures are wonderful.
yeeees, spring is a wonderful time and here in Germany everything is 4 weeks earlier this year.
Have a great day

Anonymous said...

Your tulips are so beautiful Carol!
Birds and deer are cute :) The deer can go inside your garden? Don't are they afraid of people? We have deer
in the fields and woods around our village .When we go for a walk we often see them but I've never seen them in the village .
Your finishes are beautiful as always , I just love the LHN design!

Pat said...

Beautiful post! Thanks for the lovely pictures and stitching.

The Queen Bee said...

Such pretty finishes. Your yard looks so lovely. We have house finches. Besides building nests on the house or in hanging baskets, they have a very pretty chirp.

I've taught several girls to stitch...aida is the easiest to learn on. Pine Mountains tuck pillow kits are nice because they finish so easily. Good luck.


Mary said...

Looks like spring is busting out all over at your home! Thanks for sharing.

Barb said...

Hi Carol - what a great post - so much fun to read . Thank you for sharing with us. I love the Mother's Day card your sons gave you - so funny!

As always, your stitching Is so beautiful. I always love seeming what you've made and your finishes - gorgeous!!

It will be so interesting to read about stitching triplets to stitch - you will have to share that experience with is, too!

LoriU said...

Love the tulips!!! I have been bugging the hubby to plant some tulip bulbs this year so I can have flowers next Spring!

Ohio....where in Ohio? I am in Ohio. Maybe we can meet up when you come out to see the triplets! I would say to start with 14 count aida and some bright colored freebie designs. Here is a cute free one from Gloria & Pat:
and here is a free owl design with beginner instructions from Gloria & Pat:
and here is a website about children's 'how to cross stitch'

LoriU said...

Here is the link to the children's how to stitch website:


Friendship Crossing said...

Today is my MIL's b'day too! She's 76 (14th), while my dad turned 93 this past Sat. (10th) and our son turned 23 on the 2nd. Lots of May b'days in our family too!
Loved the way you finished your pieces Carol! I would have turned the duck around too! I have to have symmetry also.
All the wildlife in your yard is so fun to watch I bet! We've had some too, but I forgot to take pics!
I thought I was looking at a pic of tulips from Denmark or somewhere! LOL Gorgeous!
That card from your boys is perfect for you! What a sweet bunch they are.

Hugs to you!

Friendship Crossing said...

Forgot to add that I taught both our boys to cross stitch yrs. ago when I had my shop and I used those little pillow kits from Pine Mountain Designs ~ they are perfect for kids and include everything you need, plus a cute pillow to slip it in when they're finished.


butterfly said...

Fantastic post , you know how much I also love the simple things in life like yourself.
Wonderful stitching so pretty .
Beautiful tulips , and wild life in your garden.
Yummy cupcake's I will have to show my GS , he just brought Ron some screws !
When my GDs were young I started them on 11 count just doing different rows on Xs and stitches it takes time for them to get use to holding a needle , only one of them got hooked .
Have a blessed week hugs.

Karen2683 said...

Love your blog- it's the only one I read regularly! For teaching the kids cross stitch, consider using 7 ct. Klostern or 10 ct. Tula using perle cotton. Prairie Schooler has good charts with few color changes. Keep that younger generation learning. Thanks! Karen

dixiesamplar said...

Loved, loved, loved catching up through your post Carol! Such lovely work :-), and all the gorgeous nature pics were a delight. Good luck with the stitch lesson...when I taught classes, I made up a small kit that they could finish in one class time using 14 count and DMC.

The Knitting Cross Stitcher said...

A delightful post,gorgeous stitching and lovely photos.
You have three wonderful boys Carol,what a lovely Mothers Day they gave you.
It is awesome that you both have your parents,I hope your Mums have lovely birthdays.

Annette said...

here all the blossom is already gone.. Spring begone early for us!!
But the grass is so beautifull green.
At the moment we have a lot of rain.. too much rain, but I understand this weekend we will get beautifull weather
I love seeing every thing so green and getting in bloom, birds singing
Your LHN is lovely.. I love the blossom on the picture
Beautifull tulips
Live Simply looks so lovely in that thread.. well done
A little pillow or frame to at your blue decoartion.. is great!!

Your Garden is really awesome!!
All those animals... love to see them..
I love to see a pic from your garden from a distance, so I can see the whole thing.. ( I love gardens)
Your boys are so sweet!!
Love the cards
So for your 60 birthday you will go to the Bahamas, then you have also seen it??, Still 7 months of saving! hihi :))
mmmmm yummy cupcakes.. love them
I wanne have the one with al teh coconut stuff on it secone on teh left above!!

That would be a great idea.. make kids with a pattern and all other supplies.. Aida is the best to learn on.. I did it too!
Do some small pieces like hearts and butterflies, but also some difficulter with more colors.. so the learning progress will go on, when you go back home.. and kids pick up fast!!

Happy birthday for your mom, and your MIL.. how great!
What a beautifull age they have.. and such a sweet daughter and Daughter in law

Really love the blossom pic!!

Brigitte said...

I love the theme of your post, the simple things in life. And your two stitched pieces go along with it. They look so beautiful, just like the simple things in life that make us happy. For me it's always a veyr happy moment when I look out the window first thing in the morning and see all the colours in nature, and it's of no importance if it's raining or the sun is shining. It's just the view that makes me happy. And when I see your tulips or the view of the deer in your garden I can see why they make you happy.

Have a wonderful day today and enjoy all the moments that bring you happiness.

Kay said...

Carol, love the LHN finish! I love anything LHN to begin with. Have not stitched this one, but I do have too many of their designs in my to be stitched pile. All of your stitching is beautiful! I love the photos you shared! I loved the nature photos of the flowers and deer family! Looks like you had a great mothers day! Cast iron cookware is great, I have it as well and it works wonderfully! I wish I had advice to give about teaching cross stitch to a 10 year old. I learned how to when I was 11 from my Home Ec teacher, but I forgot the way she taught us students. Little did she know that so much of what she taught in that class I still use today. Happy birthday as well to your mom and mom in law. Enjoy each and every wonderful day that has been given. It has been nearly 20 years since I lost my mom, I was 19 at the time, but I still think of her a lot as well as my father in law. Seeing your blog posts makes me realize I need to get back to my stitching. Have a wonderful week!

priscilla said...

Both of your finishes are beautiful, Carol ! Love that you have so many tulips !! I only had 1 bloom !!! They look so pretty in the vases ! Glad you had a nice Mother's Day ..such a cute card and those cupcakes!

Michele said...

I think I was 13 or 14 when my Mom showed me how to stitch. I know it was on 14 count. My mom had some monogram leaflets and the first thing I ever did was a letter P with a border around it for my aunt. p for their last initial. It was hanging in my aunts kitchen up until a few years ago when my cousin updated her kitchen for her. It would have been fun to keep it but it was pretty dirty.

laceystitcher said...

I just love reading your blog. It is always well written with beautiful pictures; you make me want to stitch and stitch. Is your banner piece a LHN pattern? Love it. Need to check to see if I have it. Keep up the good work!

Pam from Kansas

Anonymous said...

The tulips are to die for.. Thank you for showing the beautiful feather friends visiting you.. What lovely shots.. ;)

Jennifer said...

Those boys of yours are a trip - that card is a keeper for sure!

I do love goldfinches. They have the sweetest little chirp. We have a few pair of them around here, and a whole flock of house finches.

The two finishes are quite lovely, and I like how they have that similar "pointed" motif in both. (And as a fellow lover of symmetry, I too would have turned that bird around!)

As for teaching the 10 year olds to stitch, my best advice is don't take it personally if they don't get into it. That they're interested at all in the first place is a big deal. I tried teaching my niece to stitch when she was about 8 or so. She was interested for about an hour, but that was about it, and I ended up finishing a very simple Nemo fish for her. I'd pick something small and simple and relatively quick to finish, and with a subject that interests them or speaks to their personalities. Better still if you can involve them in the selection of the piece - either letting them select their own kits from the store, or perhaps choosing from a selection of freebies or from photos of charts you could email to your SIL?

Use a large enough piece of fabric that will fit in a frame or other holder. Kits are cute, but they often cut the fabric too small to be in a holder. 14 ct. aida should be fine.

And one final suggestion - teach them good habits from the beginning. If this is something they do stay interested in, they might as well learn to do it properly from the beginning.

Melody said...

Hi Carol. It sounds like you had a good Mother's Day! The card is a hoot! Your stitching projects are lovely as always. I have stitched Simple Joys before, and enjoyed doing it.

I've taught various people how to stitch including some younger ones. I would make up a small kit for sure, and use aida 14 count. I'm sure you will find a small design that would appeal to them. You will find that it varies greatly how well they take to it. Some kids are interested and have a skill for doing it, and others not so much. Good luck.

Judy said...

Hi Carol, I am late catching up with your post. A lovely post. I have always wanted a window with a view! I live in a small farming town..very flat..and only birds, bunnies and squirrels to look at. But enjoy that also! So your backyard is a treasure. The stitching is beautiful, the LH is in my pile (ok, very large pile). I don't recall having seen the Live Simply pattern. Your changes to the designs are always perfect. I've no doubt you will come up with the perfect kits to teach the triplets to stitch. And if they love stitching..you can teach them that beautiful finishing! Mother's day was a beautiful warm day..loved it! My Mom had her 80th birthday yesterday. Our small family of 9 will be heading to a St. Louis Cardinal game this weekend. She is an avid fan. She doesn't know the other 5 will be traveling into town for the game. Should be a great weekend. I am making cupcakes..but they won't be beautifully decorated like yours. Until next time, happy spring!

Judy Heartland stitcher

Девушка с пяльцами said...

Nice stitchings as usual!

Andrea said...

I saved your post so I could saviour it to read this late Friday afternoon. My reward for the end of the working week! Beautiful stitching.

I can't say I know of either of the designs. I had to go and look for the LHN one. If I don't see designs on peoples blogs I tend to miss them.

Your tulips are lovely. Don't tend to have tulips for some reason.

Oh you have a zoo at the back of your house! How wonderful to see all of that nature outside your back door.

Good luck with your cross stitch tutoring. I remember I learnt at school on Binca, would that be about an 11ct fabric.

Have a wonderful weekend, mine is supposed to be full of sunshine!

Charlene ♥ SC said...

You surely do have a yard full of lively activity! It is so peaceful watching them enjoying the fresh, spring weather as much as we do. Very pretty stitching - look forward to the finishing!

Jackie's Stitches said...

You have a glorious garden! I'd love to sit and just watch the activity. Especially your family of deer. Living in the city, I don't see the amount of nature that you do - we also have a yard not a garden. So hot here that it burns up quickly.

I have Simple Joys kitted up. Love the colors in this one but like you, the main attraction for me was the sentiment. Lovely stitching as always, Carol.

Wanda said...

Happy May to you Carol! It's so great to see all the beautiful signs of spring! What a lovely herd of deer! We have house finches here most of the summer. They are a pretty little bird.
Your tulips are gorgeous - it's a shame they don't last nearly long enough!
I love your Mother's Day card! It is truly priceless and definitely a keeper.
It is truly a blessing to have all four parents. A dear friend of mine just had her mom's 101st birthday party. Her mom is still living independently in a retirement home and is cognitively intact. I had the pleasure of meeting her a few months ago and what a delight that was!
Your cross stitched pieces are beautiful and echo a sentiment I believe in. There is so much beauty surrounding us each and every day if we are able to notice. Your quote at the end of your post says it perfectly.
I don't have any teaching tips for your triplets (almost a tongue twister!) but it sounds like you have a great plan. What fun it will be - the next generation of stitchers!
Have a great week Carol and happy stitching.
Hugs, Wanda

Karoline said...

Beautiful finishes, congratulations

Your tulips are glorious and you have such a great variety of wildlife visiting. I am currently enjoying the peonies and lilacs that are currently out in my garden.

Lynda Harrison said...

Hi Carol - what a wonderful post! Your stitching is just beautiful - it is the first time I have seen the LHN design - and love it so much, that I am going to find it and buy it!
The weather here in the UK is warm and sunny - the trees and flowers in bloom, and the woods are filled with bluebells. A truly beautiful time of year.
I will email soon - things have been so hectic here. Have a lovely week!
Love and best wishes,

Jackie said...

Good Morning Carol,
Doing a quick run through this a.m.:) I've had Simply Joys kitted for a while now, but have not yet stitched it. Yours is adorable as well as the Live Simply Chart. Lovely tulips, resident species, and did I forget the cupcakes. LOL. Nice!!!
Happy Belated Birthday to Mom, both!:)
Teaching Kids…patience, mistakes, breaks, candy, cookies, large eye needles, 10ct. Aida if you can find it...Make plenty room for all of those. Demonstration (visual) on paper also may help.
Google DMC mentor and yarn tree…I've used the yarn tree to teach before…change colors for the balloons to match students personality or let them choose. Good luck and looking forward to seeing the results from your class.
Take care,

Maggee said...

Great post Carol! Love the two 'simple' pieces you stitched. I have the LHN in my stash but LUST for the HTW one! Your garden is quite lovely! I started my grands on 11-count. Two out of three (at that time, there are four now!) have gone on with it occasionally. One was found to be dyslexic and stitching is NOT good for her! I have a Mandala grown-up coloring book she loves to work in... Hugs!

Solstitches said...

A beautiful post for a beautiful month Carol.
Your two finishes are so very pretty.
I love the colours in the LHN one and the sentiment too.
The Hands to Work piece is one I've never seen before. Beautiful! I like the stripey tulips very much.
What fun to teach a new generation of stitchers the joys of cross stitching. They could not have found a better teacher.

Annette-California said...

Enjoyed your lovely post. Love both samplers you stitched. LHN one I'm going to add to my list. You did such a beautiful job of making some sweet changes, looks fantastic!
Seems 14ct is a good fabric to start stitching even though at such a young age I'm sure the girls eyesight is really good. How special that they get to learn from YOU!
Gorgeous garden and love all your charming visitors that stop by.
love Annette

Lillie said...

Everything look so perfect and wonderful. You are truly blessed.

Have a good week ahead.

Mavi. said...

Precious your embroidery, enviable your view to embroider on count 40.Me glad to know that your parents and your husband are still with you.A kiss.

Bekca said...

Your tulip bed looks lovely, it must be so nice to have vases full to look at every day :) Simple living is my motto too, I find you appreciate things so much more when you're not swamped by "stuff". I know here in the UK, you can get purposefully blunt needles for children to use, I don't know if you can find something similar? I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time teaching the girls a new hobby :)
Best wishes.

Scrap said...

Hello Carol ! vey nice post ! I love spring and birds !
very lovely stitich !
have a nice day

Sally said...

Carol your latest finishes are so beautiful. I have always loved the LHN one but have never seen the Hands to Work freebie before and it is equallg as pretty.

Beautiful photos of where you live. How wonderful to have deer close by.

Happy Birthday to your Mum and Mum in law.

Kaisievic said...

Carol, such a gorgeous post. I enjoyed reading every bit of it and each and every photo is so gorgeous. We are moving into Winter here so your lovely Spring photos are a treat and I love your dear family. Your stitching is beautiful, too, as always. We are all blessed to have you as a bloggy friend. lots of hugs from Oz!

Melanie said...

I just the love of bursts of color all over this post. It's quite happy-making. :)

The only advice I have for teaching 10 years old is don't go too crazy if they aren't interested. Ha! I mean, you either have the bug for that sort of thing or you don't. (Much like reading.) My mother was into all sorts of crafty things when I was kid and I just naturally grew into it. If it doesn't make their heart sing now though there is always later. Maybe a 'gateway drug' of friendship bracelets made of floss. I remember saving my allowance to buy floss at the 5 & 10 for making dozens and dozens of bracelets. It takes a rare sort to drool over floss at a young age. :)

Anne said...

Oh dear, late comment! I love your simple themed stitching. It's nice to enjoy the pure pleasure of stitching something easy. I need to pick up an easy stitch now! Nina's blue you used for Live simply is the perfect blue! I'll need to order some eventually! Your tulips are gorgeous! You must have quite a variety of them. I love how your boys and husband cooked for you and bought a set of cast-iron cookware! Lucky gal! Your boys are so thoughtful and those cupcakes look like they were gobbled up quickly. How could one resist a bite size taste of deliciousness?! As for helping the 10 year olds, definitely have them stitch on aida cloth with a big needle and bright threads. There are some simple beginner's freebies out there of cute flowers and butterflies. I started stitching Precious Moments but those charts are hard to find. Sending you hugs to you!!

Patty C. said...

Love simple joys ... Great stitching .. :)