Wednesday, June 27, 2018

"Oh, the places you'll go!"

Well, hello there--and yes, another entire month has passed since my last blog post! I bet you were all ready to give up on me, weren't you?  I could have posted earlier, but there wouldn't have been much to show... Most of you know I usually show only finished projects; oh, a rare partially finished piece sneaks in now and then, but, for me, it's all about my finishes. That is why I started my blog way back on that cold, snowy January day in 2009--to keep track of my finishes. So, when I work on a larger (for me!) piece, I just don't post as often. Plus, there is the little factor of traveling thrown in--and June saw a lot of it! I'll get to that further on in the post, but first of all I'd love to share my latest finish.

I don't think this is one of the more commonly stitched Prairie Schooler designs--do you recognize it? This sweet finish (using the suggested DMC threads on 40 ct. burch Newcastle linen) is from PS "Spring Samplers" (Book No. 60). I fell in love with not only the tiny creatures, but the message: "Doth thou not see the little plants, the little birds, the ants, the spiders, the bees working together."

Prairie Schooler "Spring Sampler" (Book No. 60)

I was vaguely familiar with that quote, but the retired librarian inside had me researching its origins, of course! It turns out it is ancient--written way back in A.D. 167  by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. He was actually advising his readers to get out of bed each morning and get busy--in other words, to do their jobs in order to keep the world humming. After all, if the tiniest creatures can do so, why can't you, he ponders. Interesting that this still holds true so, so many years later.

A timeless quote...

The border got a bit tedious on this one, but I loved stitching the tiny creatures and flowers. Birds, bunnies, butterflies--so sweet. And, well, the frog and the snail are cute, too (sort of!). And can you spot the wee spider hanging from the web and the cluster of buzzing bees?

Even the snail is cute!

I am planning on stitching one (or two) more of these Prairie Schooler spring/garden samplers and then framing them separately, but displaying them together. If you remember the bee sampler that I stitched last year, I think you'll agree that it will be perfect framed next to my latest finish. I'm stitching them all on the same 40 ct. linen...

My two completed samplers--more are on the way!

I did get my ornament for June stitched, but not finished and I'm almost done with a house-warming Christmas ornament gift for a former co-worker. I should have those finished up in time for my next post...

Kindness abounded this month...  For some reason, I must have been a very good girl this month because I received the most wonderful gifts from my readers and friends. My goodness--I would have thought it was my birthday, but no--that was 6 months ago. I just shake my head in amazement when I think of all the sweet, thoughtful people I have met through my blog... Amazing! So, here is what appeared in my mailbox--in the order the gifts were received!

♥♥♥ From my long-time blogging friend, Annie, came a package of delights to thank me for being a good friend... Annie made this lovely thread keep (a Blackbird Designs chart), and sent some beautiful bird and flower buttons (she knows me well!), and a pretty array of silk threads. I'm honored to be your friend, Annie--you are so thoughtful and sweet... Thank you so very much for your delightful gifts!

Gifts from Annie

♥♥♥ From a blog reader and fellow stitcher, Pam in Virginia, came this cute bee chart to help me in my endeavor to create a "bee bowl." I don't think I've ever seen this designer before... Thank you so very much, Pam--I love it!

Gift from Pam

♥♥♥ From another blog reader/fellow stitcher who wishes to remain anonymous (but I know who she is--so thank you so very much, my friend!), came this amazing selection of Ewe & Eye & Friends charts! She simply wanted to thank me for my blog and she knew I was interested in EEF designs... I was so excited as they almost all "new-to-me" charts. I do have a couple of them already and was told I could pass them on in a future giveaway (so be on the lookout). Thank you, again!

Anonymous gifts from a stitching friend

♥♥♥ From Louise at Raggedy Stitcher, came this lovely Blackbird Designs chart which she sent to thank me for lending her a hard-to-find chart. I truly love the soft colors in this one. Thank you so much, Louise--that was so sweet of you!

Gift from Louise

♥♥♥ From another longtime blogging friend, Lois, came a packet that I will be sure to put to good use. Lois has been quilting more than stitching lately. She thought I might be able to use some of her fabric scraps in my small finishes so she thought of me (yes, please!!). Anything with a small print is perfect for my finishing--and she also included two pieces of higher count linen which she knows I like. Thank you very much, Lois--that was so thoughtful of you--and I love the fact that they came all the way from Ireland!

Gifts from Lois

♥♥♥ And last, but not least, I won a giveaway for this fun sampler on Instagram from Lisa S. (lschindcm on Instagram). A lot of folks on Instagram have been stitching the "Sally Spencer Sampler" by Birds of a Feather, lately. It's an older design, but it seems to have caught everyone's attention again--I love it when that happens with an older publication. Thank you so much, Lisa--I will be sure to pass it on in a giveaway of my own when I am done stitching it!

Giveaway win from Lisa S.

Speaking of Instagram... I know some of you are hesitant to join, but I hope you'll reconsider it. You do not have to post anything--you can still create an account in order to see some stunning pieces of cross-stitch from all around the world. I am so glad I joined two years ago and if you would like to follow me, just click here. It is quick and easy and doesn't take much time at all--I honestly think you'll enjoy yourself.

Giveaway... While going through my stash I found that I had two copies of this sweet patriotic design, "Uncle Sam Flatbed" by Bent Creek Designs. Would any of you like to give one a new home? If so, please mention it in your comment and make sure to include your email address if I don't already have it. And to make it more fun--tell me your favorite Fourth of July tradition or your favorite summer picnic food! I'll draw a winner and post it in July--too late to stitch it for this year, but you'll be early for the next Fourth of July!

I'm giving away this Uncle Sam chart!

Travels in June... So, have you been wondering about the title of my post: "Oh, the places you'll go?" Are you familiar with the Dr. Seuss book of the same title? If you're not, I'm sure readers the world over are well aware of the famous Dr. Seuss himself; a classic author of many a book from our childhood. Well, in addition to a trip to New York in early June to visit my dear mom, my husband and I took a trip to La Jolla, California. La Jolla, once the home of the now-deceased Dr. Seuss, is, more importantly, now the home of my oldest son and dear daughter-in-law! If they have to live almost 2500 miles away, at least it is in once of the prettiest areas of the United States with an almost ideal year-round temperature and lots of sunshine...  Here are some of the places we visited and photos I took while there.

Our first day found us hiking along the Pacific Ocean in the lovely Cabrillo National Monument area located at the southern tip of Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego. This 140+ acrea area was named in honor of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European to set foot on what is now the west coast of the United States in 1542. It was used as a base of defense in WWII; in fact some of the old searchlight bunkers can still be spotted dotting the rocky edifices. There are several museums as well as the Old Point Loma Lighthouse which contained replicated rooms similar to those the lighthouse keeper and his family would have lived in.

View from Cabrillo National Monument

A large ship passing by

The air was so fresh and clean out there!

Old Point Loma Lighthouse

A closer view of the lighthouse

On the second day, we went to The University of California, San Diego to get an interesting tour of the lab my daughter-in-law works in (she is doing a post-doc involving sepsis research). I even got to wear the purple gloves and practice using pipettes (let's just say science wasn't my best subject in school--ha!). After that we toured some of the campus and came upon the Geisel Library--yes, the UCSD library is named after the man better known Dr. Seuss (who was born Theodor Seuss Geisel). Inside, there were some of his original drawings and book ideas and outside was this wonderful statue of him and his most-famous subject, "The Cat In the Hat!" Oh, how I enjoyed that book--and loved reading it to my kids. It was definitely one of my favorites along with "Green Eggs and Ham" and "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins." Did you know he is the ninth best-selling fiction author of all-time?! Which Dr. Seuss book was your favorite?

Dr. Seuss and the most famous cat in the world!

Me with some new friends

Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss)

"Oh, the places you'll go"

The late afternoon of the second day found us exploring the tidal pools along the La Jolla shores. This area is normally underwater except for a short time at low-tide each day. Huge boulders shaped by years of waves and erosion created a very unique landscape--and not the easiest surface to hike on! 

The rocky tidal pools in La Jolla

My son dared to walk barefoot on those rocks--not me!

Looking up at the rocky walls  which are usually partially buried by water

My husband and me after nearly 41 years of marriage!

On our fourth day, we were all pretty tired so we just spent a relaxing morning doing an easy hike in the hills near Poway, California. Pretty scenery included a local reservoir and a lovely white bird gazing across the water. The hiking is so different compared to back east! We have many forests and cool wooded trails; out there it is very hot and desert-like with very little shade. Both are interesting, though!

Hiking near the Poway reservoir

Such a peaceful scene, isn't it?

One last view...

So, that was days one, two, and four--but, wait--what about the third day you may ask? Hmmm.... well, that will be a tale for my next blog post. Anybody have any guesses as to where we went?

A bit of baking... I'll leave you with one final photo of a tasty dessert I made Sunday night. You can find this recipe for Blueberry Crisp right here. It was very simple and quick to make for a last minute dessert. The only thing that might have improved it was to make a bit more of the crunchy topping... And, yay, it's blueberry season--one of my favorite times of the year!

Blueberry season means Blueberry Crisp!

I hope a few of you are still with me--this was a long post, but I like to record my travels this way so my mom and other family members can see my photos easily. Our flights back east were uneventful this time (no horrid virus was lurking onboard!) and I'm always happy to see home again. We truly loved our visit, though, and my son and daughter-in-law couldn't have been more welcoming. It's such a different experience now that our kids have grown--we seem more like friends than parents and I so love the adults they've grown into! 

Hope these last few days of June are good to you. Thank you so very, very much for reading--and a special thanks to those who take the time to comment. I read each and every one and I truly appreciate the time it takes you to say "hello!" Bye for now...