Happy May, everyone! I hope your weather has warmed up like mine has--finally... It feels so wonderful to walk outside without a coat and simply feel the sun's warmth on my face. It truly was a long, hard winter and not the best to be adjusting to retirement. I hope that I'm breaking out of my cocoon bit by bit now that the weather is nicer and more activities seem to be filling my calendar. Baby steps...
I've decided that I'm a very slow stitcher! I know it's not a race and the older I get, the more I am stitching just for the pure relaxation of feeling the needle go in and out of the fabric in that special rhythm that it has. And that's one reason why I could never do Stitch Maynia and start a new project each day--it would drive me batty! Why stress myself out? How about you? Are you participating in Stitch Maynia this year?
Well, I was bitten by the bee bug recently (or stung, should I say!) as bee themed stitching seems to be calling my name more and more these days. This first finish is a delightful older 2002 sampler from Ewe & Eye & Friends called "Old Rose and Chamomile" which is stitched on 40 ct. antique white Newcastle linen. Oh, the colors--could they be more spring-like? I used Gentle Arts "Antique Rose" to create the brick-like appearance of the house, using both the light and dark portions of the thread to form little bricks, and I love how it turned out. My sampler should actually be called "Old Rose and Dandelion Stem" as I substituted GAST "Dandelion Stem" for the called for "Chamomile." It doesn't have nearly the same ring though, does it?! The other change I made to the colors was substituting WDW "Collards" for DMC 3051.
|"Old Rose and Chamomile"|
The specialty stitches in these Ewe & Eye & Friends designs add such a lovely dimensional look to the finish, don't they? Here are a couple of close-ups so you can see them better. If you haven't tried specialty stitches, please give them a try--they are not hard to do and are actually quite fun! In other changes, I stitched the pretty eyelet stitches on the right vine in the same color as the house and added a tiny doorknob to the front door.
|Some of the beautiful specialty stitches|
And just look at that giant bee--I love him! The black portion of his body is done in satin stitch along with portions of the grass, urn, and door (which you can see in the photo above).
|Rhodes stitches on the flower centers|
Stitching this chart now has me on a hunt for more of the Ewe & Eye & Friends house charts. I'd like to stitch and frame them and hang them all together on the wall of one of my bedrooms. They can be hard to find, though, so I'll be haunting eBay and Etsy for a while!
I also had another small, but very cute bee finish that I made into a tiny pillow. Another Ewe & Eye & Friends chart, this one is called "Bee Hive Scissor Companion." It was meant to be turned into a scissor fob, but I went in a different direction. It began with a fairly simple and straightforward finish (although all that satin stitching did cause a bit of a headache for me on the 32 ct. lambswool jobelan).
|A tiny Ewe & Eye & Friends beehive|
This was one where the finishing actually took longer than the stitching, but I think it looks so darling. Do you think a bowl full of bee pillows might be in my future? Hmmm...
|First finish for a new bee bowl???|
And look! Everyone's favorite crow couple, Ida Mae and Ira Ray are now framed--and I did it myself! Yay! I used the tutorial on this blog post from With Thy Needle and Thread and am so proud of myself. I purchased the frames online from Franken Frames so I spent less than $25 for each frame. My husband cut out the foam core board for me which was a huge help so I know more self-framing will be in my future. If you are new to my blog and want to read more about the crow couple finishes, just click here.
|The crows are framed--now I need to figure out the perfect place to hang them!|
Do you purchase a lot of stash? I've been watching a few Floss Tube videos lately and have to admit that I'm shocked at how much fabric and how many threads and charts many of these stitchers purchase--each week! I guess I am frugal, but I seem to purchase very little. Or maybe I'm just being realistic; at age 63 I know I already have way more charts than I will ever be able to stitch. That being said, I did purchase a few goodies last week--all of them at a great price on either eBay or online cross stitch shop sales. I was especially excited to get the "Home for the Holidays" book (Blackbird Designs) as it included some of my very favorite designs. Would you like a closer look?
|A few new goodies for me!|
Here are just four of the designs I am looking forward to stitching from the BBD booklet! I know many of you have already stitched one or more of these and thoroughly enjoyed them.
|Which one should I stitch first?|
Giveaway... And I have one last stitchy thing--a chart giveaway. In honor of spring and all the singing birds that awaken me each morning (way too early!), I am offering this beautiful Teresa Wentzler chart which I removed from the August 1998 issue of Just Cross Stitch Magazine. You could stitch all five birds as a bellpull or stitch each one individually--either would be lovely. If you would like a better look at the chart, click here. If you are interested in giving this chart a new home, please let me know in your comments. And please remember--this is NOT the whole magazine, just five pages of it that will be folded and mailed in a legal sized envelope to save money. PLEASE make sure to include your email address or I won't be able to contact you... I'll announce the winner the next time I post (probably toward the end of May).
|If you are interested in giving this chart a new home--let me know in your comment!|
I'll leave you with a couple of photos of the glorious spring trees and flowering shrubs in bloom in my yard--I so wish this time of year would last longer!
|Our beautiful white crabapple blooms by our patio each May|
|♥♥♥ Home ♥♥♥|
Thank you all so much for stopping by. Whether you are a long-time reader or a new follower, I'm so glad you visited me today. Thank you for each and every comment--I love reading them and I do appreciate the time it takes to write them. If you have any questions for me, please make sure to include your email in your comments so I can get back to you, okay? Enjoy your week, my friends! Bye for now...