Hello there, my stitching friends! How is the merry, merry month of May going for you? Our lovely April morphed into a dreary, rainy, cool May and this weekend is looking particularly gloomy. Oh well, not much I can do outside in this kind of weather (even though the weeds are taking over!) so why not spend my time stitching away inside? Thank you all for your kind comments on my last post... Although a few of you liked my bright blue "Cookie Monster" loaner car, most of you were in agreement that you would rather be driving something else. Unfortunately, after six weeks, I'm still driving it and have already put over 1200 miles on it! Looks like it will be a while before the airbag on my Honda CRV will be replaced...
So, what have I been stitching this month? Well, snowmen and sheep! As you know, my monthly Christmas ornament theme for 2016 is snowmen and I've just finished Mr. April and Mr. May. April's design is from The Drawn Thread's "The Joys of Christmas" chart.
|"Joy" snowman by The Drawn Thread|
I used some sort of dark 32 ct. mystery linen that I had in my stash (love how the white shows up on it) and an assortment of Dinky Dyes and DMC. I had to substitute some of the Dinky Dyes because the suggested colors looked nothing like those on the front of the chart... Isn't he a cutie? This one stitched up very quickly and there are five more "Joy" themed designs in this wonderful chart that I know I'll be stitching, too. Here is my final finish, all ready for my Christmas tree in December.
|The Drawn Thread: "Joy" snowman finish|
For May, I returned to my favorite comfort stitching designer--Prairie Schooler. This snowman is part of the "Evergreen" (Book No. 202) chart which has eight additional designs. Don't you love his little grin? I did change a few of the colors on the broom, his nose, and the red color. I also stitched the cardinal holding the berry branch rather than as part of the border.
|Prairie Schooler "Evergreen" snowman|
My May snowman is stitched on 40 ct. Country Mocha Newcastle--a great mottled fabric as you can see in the photo above. This is another good fabric to use when stitching with white. For the finish, I combined three fabrics, a wooden button, and some mini black ric rak. Really love how this one turned out!
|"Evergreen" snowman finish (Prairie Schooler)|
So, I'm caught up with my monthly snowman challenge--only seven more to go. Still can't believe how quickly this year is flying by!
My friend, Robin in Virginia, celebrates her birthday on May 14th so I sent her a little stitched pillow. This sweet Little House Needleworks chart was free with the purchase of three Classic Colorworks threads: Prairie Grass, Shabby Sheep, and Sugar Plum. I wish my photo was better (a gray day is not conducive to good photography!)--the floss colors are so beautiful in real life. I stitched the sheep with the Shabby Sheep thread in a sort of swirly pattern rather than straight across--really like the final look...
|Little House Needleworks "Welcome Spring"|
This one is stitched on 40 ct. antique white Newcastle with the suggested Classic Colorworks threads. I wanted the sheep's head and legs darker so I chose DMC 3371 and I substituted DMC 729 for the gold in the flower centers. I also omitted the five charted stitched bees and added a single bee charm. Robin loved her gift and I want to wish her a wonderful year ahead!
|"Welcome Spring" pillow finish|
More Birthday greetings! Robin's May 14th birthday is very special to me because it is also my mom's birthday! Happy 89th, Mom--I love you so much!! My siblings and I pooled our money and bought her a lift chair to help her stand up easier, but I still wanted to send her some money so she could purchase some pretty flowers for her balcony. Rather than just stick a $50.00 bill in an envelope, I found this easy video tutorial for an origami dollar bill in a fancy heart shape. Isn't it cute? The hard part will be unfolding it to actually use it! Anyway, I hope your birthday is special for you mom--you always made my birthdays so great by letting me choose my favorite meal (spaghetti and meatballs and Tunnel of Fudge cake!). The older I get, the more I appreciate all my mom did for me--thanks, mom!! I treasure you so very much...
|Happy, Happy Birthday dear Mom!! XXXOOO|
My sons thoroughly spoiled me for Mother's Day. The youngest couldn't be here as he was busy writing his final paper to complete his Master's program at George Washington Univeristy. Luckily, we were able to visit him the previous weekend (more about that further down). He knows I love my sweets and sent this tasty sampler of goodies from Georgetown Cupcakes. Which would you choose? I had to eat that fluffy coconut creation first, followed by the chocolate peanut butter. My husband chose the lime and the carrot cake and the rest were taken to my older sons' apartment for Mother's Day dessert after dinner on Sunday.
|Bet you can't eat just one!|
My two older sons (with help from their girlfriends!) prepared a tasty eggplant parmesan dinner for me followed by some lovely gifts. From the oldest and his girlfriend came this beautiful bouquet (along with a gift certificate to 123 Stitch--yay!!!).
|Such a beautiful color combination|
And my middle son presented me with some chocolates and this lovely pink hibiscus plant for my patio. I really enjoy getting potted flowers and plants as gifts--they have such a long life (well, depending on how well I care for them!).
|Pretty in pink hibiscus from my middle son|
And I spoiled myself a bit on Mother's Day, too! I "needed" a few more snowman charts for my monthly ornament challenge and while shopping online for them, these other goodies mysteriously hopped into my shopping cart! I just love buying the Moda charm packs with their tiny prints to use for my ornament finishing. I also found these wonderful little wool squares to use on some winter designs.
Washington, DC trip... As I mentioned earlier, my husband I took a road trip (just a 4 hour drive) to Washington, DC in early May to visit our youngest son. The weather was quite chilly, but that didn't stop us from making the rounds and seeing some of the monuments... I am always so impressed with how clean that city is--honestly, with all of the tourists and traffic, you would expect lots of litter, but, no, it is amazingly litter-free. Although we've seen the monuments many, many times (we lived down in the DC area for a year in the late '80s), I never tire of them.
|The Lincoln Memorial|
|View from the Lincoln Memorial of The Washington Monument|
|The White House on a gray day|
|The U.S. Treasury Building|
We also spent time at the Renwick Gallery and marveled at their awe-inspiring "Wonder" installations. There were nine rooms filled with jaw-droppingly beautiful works. This rainbow colored work by Gabriel Dawe was one of our favorites... It should have special appeal to all of my stitching friends, too, as it is made up of 60 miles of embroidery thread! Yes, can you believe it? If you want to read more about this beauty, click here.
In an exhibit that reminded me of the hoodoos we saw on a visit to Bryce Canyon national park back in the year 2000, Tara Donovan used approximately one million index cards to create 10 towering spirals that filled an entire room. Can you imagine the hours it must have taken to build each little "mountain?"
Here is a close-up for you:
I'm not going to show you each exhibit, but I couldn't leave without sharing my photos from the most unusual art installation I have ever seen in my life: Jennifer Angus's "In the Midnight Garden." At first glance, you think you are entering a pretty pink room with unusual wallpaper, right?
But, take a closer look--each motif is made up of insects. At first I assumed they were fake, but no--these are real giant insects from Malaysia, Thailand, and Papua, New Guinea. The artist uses farmed insects whenever possible and re-uses them in different displays. This exhibit is bound to bring up debates on the ethics of using once-living things as art; you can read the artist's take on the ethics of her insect art here.
None are endangered--they are actually quite abundant. For those of you who are brave enough to take a peek--here are some close-ups...
I found these guys especially creepy!!
I don't think I'll be traveling to Thailand, Malaysia, or Papua, New Guinea any time soon!
Even under the wainscoting, a pattern of giant locusts adorned the pink wall...
Just look at the long legs on these fellows--yikes!!
In the center of the room was a hive and an old wooden chest with drawers filled with dried insects. The whole whole exhibit was fascinating (but, just a bit creepy, truth be told!).
I am continually amazed at the imaginations of artists.Those who can fill our minds with that feeling of wonder like the exhibitions I saw at the Renwick Gallery are truly inspirational...
I hope you enjoyed my post today--another long one, that's for sure! I do hope to be back with my Patagonia trip photos in a couple of weeks. I keep procrastinating in editing them for some reason!
Thanks so much for taking the time to comment--I know what a busy time of year this is for all of you... And for those of you who have asked me questions on previous posts, please, please include your email address. I have so many of you who comment and ask questions, but I have no way to get back to you without your email address. I'm not being rude--I just can't reply unless you include your contact information. Bye for now...