Monday, February 25, 2019

Forever & Ever

I've lost my heart to the beautiful new "Songbird's Garden Series" by Cottage Garden Samplings! I can't remember when I enjoyed stitching a piece as much as I did this sweet cardinal pair... Even though, it was one of the most stitch-dense pieces I've ever done, it just came together so beautifully... Very little ripping out of stitches, very large, easy-to-read color chart--a true pleasure to stitch! I began this one on the first day of January 2019 and just finished it up last week--and believe me, I spent multiple hours stitching it--almost every day! But, just look at the result of "Forever & Ever."

Forever & Ever finish

I so love the designer's use of color! I questioned things when I first looked at the shades of floss on their own, but went ahead and used the suggested colors and I'm so glad I did. Look at these gorgeous Christmas Roses (commonly called Hellebores). Aren't they stunning? I've never seen a Hellebore in person and wonder if they would grow in our cold winters here in western Pennsylvania. Of course, even if they did, ours would promptly be consumed by our marauding band of deer!

Such soft pinks and greens!

And look at this tiny house--just so sweet and so unexpected nestled on the flower stems. Each of the eight designs that have been released so far has a miniature house!

Little pink houses (for you and me?!)

But, it is the Northern Cardinals themselves who are the stars of this design... I love the stylized nature of their bodies with the swirls and ovals--really striking, aren't they?

True love--Northern Cardinal style!

My finished piece ended up being 8 inches square and was stitched on 40 ct. pearl gray Newcastle linen. I plan on stitching more charts in this delightful bird series this year and using the same linen for each. They are all the same size and I think they will look wonderful framed individually and hung as a group.  Are any of you stitching this series? Which bird is your favorite? I am having a hard time trying to decide which to stitch next--they are all so beautifully designed!

The first of many finishes in this series (I hope!)

As many of my long-time readers know, cardinals hold a special place in my heart. This wasn't always the case... Oh, I've always admired them as the beautiful birds they are and I love the fact that they mate for life. But, I didn't develop a deep caring for them until soon after my dad died in late 2014. I first mentioned that special cardinal in this post from January 2015--just a bit over two months after his death. And then in this post from a month later, I described learning about the meaning of cardinals and just how much peace I felt when I saw that cardinal sitting atop the tree on that snowy January day.  A blogging friend had written to tell me about cardinals being representative of a loved one who has passed. Suddenly, the feeling of peace and contentment that I got as I gazed at that cardinal made complete sense. 

Flash forward four years and I see cardinals on an almost daily basis.  Sometimes, I just say "Hi, Papa!" and go about my way. Other times--usually when I'm anxious or stressed,  I talk to them and tell them of my worries and thank them for visiting. (Do I sound like some sort of weirdo?!) Anyway, all I know is that cardinals have brought me so much joy and comfort since that day in January 2015 and as soon as I saw this chart, I felt compelled to stitch it...

A bright red male cardinal on a snowy winter day


Aren't they striking against the snow?


Vibrant red male on the left and the fawn colored female on the right... I almost always see cardinals in pairs.


Can you spot the female? She is well camouflaged within the branches of this woody shrub.

More goodies! My middle son's girlfriend celebrated her birthday recently and I wanted to make a special treat for her when they came over for Sunday dinner. I didn't want a large dessert so I simply googled "small batch cupcakes" and was surprised to find so many recipes for four or six cupcakes. I ended up making this one from "Celebrating Sweets" and it was very tasty. The recipe made six cupcakes (I think I could have gotten seven or even eight from the batter, though)--chocolatey goodness with a bit of brewed coffee added to bring out the chocolate flavor. 

Some birthday cupcakes prettied up with tiny chocolate hearts! (The directions for making them are also on the blog that I linked to).

I also made the vanilla frosting found at the bottom of the same recipe, but it seemed to only be enough for four cupcakes (I do like a lot of frosting on my cupcakes, after all--don't you?!). So, what to do about the remaining two naked cupcakes? Well, I found a delicious recipe for peanut butter frosting on a blog called "Peas and Crayons" which you can find right here. Even though I halved the recipe to make only enough for two cupcakes, there was way too much! There was easily enough for four cupcakes... But, the extra frosting didn't go to waste :) (And my treadmill had the pleasure of my company for a lot longer than usual on Sunday to make up for my indulgence)! Anyway, everyone enjoyed them very much and it certainly was a birthday for my middle son's girlfriend to remember! Our power went out due to the 60 mile per hour winds that we were experiencing (along with much of the rest of the mid-west and northeast!). Really crazy weather patterns this year, that's for sure.

Peanut butter and chocolate! What could be better?

I've finished stitching both my February and March Christmas ornaments, but don't have them fully finished so I'll share those with you next time.  Until then... thank you all for your extra kind comments on my Valentine's finishes in my previous post and all of your love for my sweet mom--she appreciated all of your sweet words. Yes, at age 91,  she reads my blog each time I post and is always so complimentary--not only of my writing, but of all of your sweet comments... She reads each of them, too! Wishing you a wonderful week ahead and I hope the month of March brings lots of love and luck your way! Bye for now...

73 comments:

moreofhim said...

Your stitched piece is absolutely gorgeous! I love the colors, too. I love those cardinals in your yard - oh how I wish we had them here! Your cupcakes look so delicious! Made me hungry for cupcakes! lol

Blessings - Julie

Sandra said...

What a beautiful piece you've just finished stitching. I loved all the details you showed us close up, especially that little pink house!
It was lovely to hear your connection to the Cardinal birds and how they bring you closer to your dad. It must be wonderful to have them in your garden!
Your birthday cupcakes are so nicely decorated. I bet they tasted good too!

MartinaM said...

Oh, Carol, that's a pretty pattern, I believe you like it, sweet the two cardinals. I have such a red Christmas rose in the garden and I look forward to it every time it blooms. You notice your enthusiasm for this pattern. There are some nice patterns, I can not say which one I like the most.
No, that does not sound crazy, but wonderful. I also like cardinals, even if you do not find them here with us. They are wonderful birds. It's nice that they come to you again and again.
Oh, delicious cupcakes, I should do that again.
Have a nice time, see you soon, Hugs, Martina

Gabi said...

Hi Carol, what a beautiful pattern you stitched. The colors are so charming. Very, very pretty!
I can understand your love to the cardinals. You know my situation and
sometimes things happens that I think, wow, that's a sign.
The cupcakes look so delicious and mmmmmh... yummy!
Have a great day.
Hugs, Gabi

Kay said...

I really like the tiny house in this stitched piece, I am often drawn to houses for stitching designs. Cardinals are not something we have in England but I do like to se them in designs. x

Irene said...

Adoro il tuo ricamo Carol! É splendido, bellissimo nei colori e nel disegno, brava

Shortbread and Ginger said...

I love your finished cross stitch - so neatly done! The pattern is gorgeous.

butterfly said...

I saw these bird charts and almost stitched the one you have , but thought I must finish a few of my WIPS first . I did think of you when I saw this one .

I am so happy you stitched it , looks so beautiful ,I love it Carol and will be stitching it in the future.

And yes he is sending you a message .

Have a lovely week sweet friend.

Marilyn said...

Forever & Ever is beautiful, such pretty detail.
Sometimes pics don't do the piece justice until you stitch it.
This IS a very pretty series.
I've read that about Cardinals.
My Mom loved Cardinals. and we see a LOT of them here. :)
Mmmmm, those cupcakes look delicious!
Thanks for the links to the recipes.
I'll take one with the Peanut Butter frosting please. :)
Glad your Mom enjoys reading your blog.
Happy Birthday to your Son's girlfriend.
Have a great week!
Marilyn

Janet said...

Your cardinals are beautiful. Also I am going to be checking out those cupcakes.

Ele said...

Your stitched piece is stunning Carol! I love this design and you certainly did a wonderful job with it.
Thank you for sharing those beautiful photos, love the cardinals. We don't see them here in Europe so they are really precious.
Have a great week

LaNelle said...

I’m in Love with this piece Carol ....Spectacular! I agree the colors are pretty & make the Cardinals even more fabulous than they already are....this is at the top of my start next have it ready to go I keep telling myself I have to finish the others first, will see if I can hold out! Extra hugs to your Mom, blessings to you both.

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

I have always loved your cardinal posts. My husband's mom passed away two years after he and I married. We saw a pair of cardinals in the yard often, and I would always think of her. I cherish those two years with her and think of her every time I see anything displaying a red cardinal.

As usual your stitching is beautiful. This piece you showed is not something that would fit into my decorating, so I'll pass on ordering this; but the colors and style are wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Arlene Grimm said...

Beautiful stitching as usual Carol! You inspire me to look for some different designers as I tend to stitch my old favorites. :) Those cupcakes looked like the perfect birthday treat. I agree with you, I do not need a whole cake or a batch of cupcakes at my house these days. Six is just about right. Looking forward to Market Night at my LNS next week. It is always fun to see what she brings home from Nashville.

Stasi said...

What a beautiful piece Carol..I love the muted colors! I have heard the cardinal story from a number of people, so there must be something to it. I am excited to see there are recipes for small batches of cupcakes. With just two of us here, I tend to not bake as much because we always have so much "left over" that, of course, can't go to waste....oh wait...can't go to "waist"!!! LOL Anyway, I'll have to google some of those recipes.
Have a great week!

Kate said...

This is a beautiful design, Carol, and I can understand why you want to stitch more of them. I am envious of the cardinals that visit - they don't visit our neck of the woods. You're very lucky that your mom is still able to visit and read your blog.

Vickie said...

Carol this cardinal piece is absolutely gorgeous! And you know I love that pink house!! Can't wait to see you stitch up all of these. Beth is stitching them too. Your cupcakes look fantastic!

Jennifer King said...

I have some of those charts also, but as yet have not stitched one. I think I have the cardinals, chickadees, and blue jay, all frequent diners at our feeders. I encourage you to plant hellebores as they grow here in Michigan. We have a resident herd of deer, and they don't seem to bother them. They bloom here around Easter, hence the common name of Lenten rose. Good luck.
Jennifer

Annie said...

Such a beautiful design and your stitching is so perfect as always. I know what a chore those dense designs can be. Love the colors in this one. And the cardinal connection makes it all the better. These will make a wonderful arrangement.

Yummy cupcakes! At least with a small batch you can't OD too much!

Sandy said...

Carol, it is simply stunning. I love the 40 count gray linen. I started the chickadee one but then decided the space shuttle must be finished. I have ordered the whole set of these. I simply love them. I got the idea of a wall of them from one of my favorite decorators and his botanical walls. I love birds and thought what a treat these would be grouped together. Now, to find time to do them. Maybe in 5 years I will have them done. Anyway since I didn't get very far on the called for 36 count I may change to the 40 count or not. I will just have to ponder it.
I love to bake to...I need to think about doing smaller batches so I can bake more. I tend to wait until I have guests coming to bake since there will be too much temptation lying around for me.
I have my own very wonderful cardinal story as well. They are truly a majestic bird.
I have always been super close to mom, but the one thing she has no idea about is my blog. She would be sure an axe murderer was on their way to my house to slash me to bits and would never sleep a wink. I love that your mom reads.

Tricia B said...

LOVE your lovevirds, Carol! I adore this series, too! I have 5 in my stash, i think, and 3 are fully kitted up. I’ve been thinking that i will stitch one a year at the slow rate I seem to be stitching this year! I love your idea of hanging them all together - a beautiful bird wall! Your cupcakes look divine! You are so funny that you only wanted to make a small batch! My husband would have happily eaten cupcakes everyday for a week! They are beautifully decorated! Excited to see your latest ornaments!

Robin in Virginia said...

Carol, your Cardinal piece turned out fabulously. I have been thinking about getting this chart, but until seeing your finish didn't feel like getting off the fence. The cupcakes you created for the birthday celebration look incredible and very tasty.

Meg said...

What a pretty stitch! I love the patterns in the birds and the tiny house. Have not done any in this series, but I have been eyeing them on 123stitch.

The cupcakes look wonderful! Love those cute little chocolate hearts.

We don't have cardinals in the west, so I think if I ever saw one in the wild I would be wowed. I did not know they mate for life. I know ducks do, so that's pretty sweet that cardinals do as well. Great pics of them, by the way!

E Wilburn said...

Carol, I love that Cottage Garden series, too, and your cardinals are gorgeous. I have a soft spot for chickadees, myself...they remind me of my grandfather. And according to folklore, chickadees are "cheerful and truthful beings who teach us the art of flexibility and curiosity regardless of size." Pretty sure my sweet grandad would approve. <3

Your cupcakes look delicious, too! Take care and stay warm!

Erin

Patricia Dee said...

Your cardinal stitching is beautiful, Carol. I've got pictures of male and female cardinals on my snowy tree out back that I took a couple of years ago. I haven't seen them in the last couple of years in the winter, though. I'll spot them in the summer time sometimes, but hear them more than see them.

Cupcakes look sooooo yummy. Hope you saved some for us readers out here. LOL!

Jackie said...

I never knew there was such a thing as a recipe for 4-6 cupcakes! Brilliant!

Love your latest stitch! I think what stands out to me is that the shading is very simple but very effective! Very much well designed and of course perfectly stitched!

LoriU said...

Your bird stitching is very pretty!! The cupcakes look yummy! If you ever want other small batch recipes, check out this blogger: https://www.dessertfortwo.com/

She has all kinds of desserts, plus main dishes and other goodies!

Karen said...

Such a pretty piece you stitched, Carol. I haven't seen that series before. The cardinal really is striking.

marly said...

Gorgeous! Love that tiny house but all elements are special. As always, not familiar with these designs.

Thanks for the peanut butter frosting link. I've looked for a good recipe for a while, will check it out right now.

Wisconsin Stitcher said...

Hi Carol. I absolutely love your cardinal piece. I think that’s my favorite me from the series so far.

Loved your story about your papa and cardinals. And no you don’t sound weird at all.
Blessings on these cold last days of winter.
Pat

Linda said...

Congrats on the stunning finish Carol. They are beautiful. Those cupcakes sure look yummy.

Linda

Barb said...

That is a beautiful finish. I have not looked at the series but after seeing how beautiful yours is, I will be taking a look. Every other place where I have lived, I have enjoyed cardinals. Can you believe they do not live in Western Washington? I am not sure about Eastern WA. Maybe they just never made it over the Cascade Mts. or even the Rockies, I have no idea. But I miss their beautiful red color. Those cupcakes looked very yummy!

Katie said...

What a gorgeous piece! Lots of color changes but so worth it. Can't wait to see how you finish this one so perfectly. I love cardinals too. We get them all the time. I talk to them too so if you are weird so am I haha. Beautiful pictures of them against the snow. The cupcakes look yummy indeed. We had those winds too. Crazy!

Hi Carol's Mom! How neat that you read your daughters blog. It's a personal favorite of mine that's for sure. Have a great day!

Faith... said...

What a sweet story about your Dad and the cardinals. I have heard that story in the past and I am glad to see it is holding true for you. The males are SO bright and it seems as though the ladies must take a back seat to them in their splendor.

I love the piece you stitched, it is a beauty and I know it will always hold a special place in your heart Carol. Looking forward to seeing those ornaments.

Carolyn xxx said...

Your stitching is absolutely beautiful and the design is truly delightful. The Hellebores look so realistic. Must see if the series is available here.

You mentioned you've not seen Hellebores in real life. They are beautiful and come in many shades of pinks, creams, soft lemons & even gorgeous dark burgundy. I think you should be able to grow them as they grow in the cold English climate and also in the higher altitudes of Australia. I have known them all my life and have established them in all my gardens, where the winter has been cold enough. They do not grow in areas with hot dry summers.

Isn't it lovely to have girls in the family after having a household of boys for so long? I know I love and enjoy the company of my DILs. Your lovely cakes must have made her feel loved.

Best wishes & happy stitching.

Shelly said...

Beautiful finish, Carol! Those patterns are really cute, especially with the little houses that are in every pattern. They would look gorgeous all framed and hung together. I don't think you are capable of baking anything horrible or something turning out bad! Having a working stove/oven certainly helps! Mine gave up the ghost about 2 weeks ago and I haven't had the time to see about another one. One word-microwave, ugh. Take care Carol!

Christina said...

Great job on your cardinals. Your cupcakes turned out great. Not a good thing to look at when your hungry. LOL

P.S. had to log into blogger to get profile to show up. 🤪

Christel said...

Votre broderie est absolument magnifique. Beaucoup de douceur de par les teintes et de tendresse.... J'admire les cardinaux, ce sont des oiseaux splendides. Nous n'en avons pas en France. Mon oiseau préféré est le rouge-gorge mais en fait je les aime tous. J'adore les observer dans mon jardin. Ils viennent lorsque mes chats ne sont pas dans les parages !
Bravo pour vos talents de patissière, ces petits gâteaux ont l'air excellents en plus d'être très jolis. Je ne suis pas cuisinière ni patissière mais j'aime manger, déguster :-)
Amitiés de France,
Christel
http://toilesetfils.blogspot.com

Cathy H. said...

The cardinal piece from The Garden Series is gorgeous! I especially love the little house and the designs on the birds. I'll look forward to seeing more in the series!
Delicious looking cupcakes that are decorated so prettily! I need to check out some of the recipes for six cupcakes.
I always think of of the story of cardinals when I see them in the yard. They are such striking birds and very beautiful against your snow. Yes, I talk to them, too!

Daniela Bencúrová said...

Dear Carol, a beautiful match! The red cardinal in the white snow is beautiful. In xxxx even more beautiful!
I wish you beautiful days!
Daniela

Jutta said...

Hi, Carol,
your finish "Forever & Ever" has become really great, sooooo beautiful colors, a really beautiful design.
And I've only seen a red cardinal in the zoo, and you've photographed a cardinal in the garden!
And your sweets are fantastic, the little chocolate hearts homemade, wow!
Thank you for this wonderful post, dear greetings, Jutta

Claire said...

Oh such a wonderful finish with the cardinals! We don't have them here. I have only ever seen one in Hawaii! It was a female so am still looking forward to seeing a bright red male someday. The hellebores are amazing perennial plants. The deer don't eat them because they have thick, stiff leaves, some with jagged edges. They reproduce easily by scattering their seeds and the flowers last for weeks and weeks when nothing else is blooming. You should give them a try. Lovely post today, Carol, and hello to mom!

Southpaw Stitcher said...

Your cardinal piece is stunning, Carol. We see quite a few cardinals here in Illinois, too.

Your cupcakes look so yummy. Great post, as always.

Lili said...

The Cottage Garden series is gorgeous, my favourite is "Promise of Spring". Your stitching is amazing!! The floss colours are so delightful!

Barb said...

Hi Carol - well, I wasn’t familiar with this Songbird’s Garden series from Cottage Garden Samplings but I looked at them after reading about it in your post and I can understand how much you love them. They are really beautiful and your work on this one is stunning. I love how detailed those cardinals are - truly so special! After reading some of the comments from other readers of your blog, I realize how lucky we are to get to see cardinals. They really are a beautiful bird, aren’t they? It seems like I haven’t seen that many recently and I wondered if that is because it has been such an utterly cold winter? Maybe they found somewhere a little bit warmer, but still winter.

The cupcakes you made look so yummy - it’s good we can’t “ship” thru the Internet or we would all be asking you to send us a few our way.

Hope all is going well for you and that you’re staying warm. Keep in touch. All the best to you and your family.
Barb R.

RJ said...

Carol I love your newest stitch. I'm so attached to cardinals for very emotional reasons. Did you know they are also the symbol of hope? My house is filled with these beautiful birds from friends all over the country.

I had never seen this design before but now will go look the series up. I can see another order going in.

Your sweets looks delectable. I wish I could just reach out and have one. Who doesn't love chocolate and peanut butter. Have a wonderful week and happy stitching. RJ

Margaret said...

I do love that finish! And of course I remember why cardinals are so special to you. So sweet. I didn't realize this design was part of a series. What other birds are there? I'm looking forward to seeing more of these pieces all stitched by you! The cupcakes look amazing -- who knew there were recipes for 4 to 6 cupcakes -- that's a good thing! So nice that your mom reads your blog and comments. I hope she's doing well!

Susan Lankford said...

Hi Carol....when I first saw your stitched piece on social media, I was enamored with it...the piece is so classic and of course, beautiful. I checked the site and my favorite was the one named Merry...however, I will not be able to stitch all I have now before the Lord calls me home! Some days even knowing that doesn't stop me from buying just one more piece or series!!

The Cardinal pictures are lovely and your story is so sweet!

Jennifer said...

I don’t know which I like better, the stitching or the cupcakes! I am going to have to share the cupcake and peanut butter frosting recipes with my daughter in hopes she takes the hint! I also have a love for cardinals and enjoy seeing them in our back yard and at my parent’s house. We both have bird feeders (although they are better about keeping theirs filled) and watching the birds is something I really enjoy. I especially love it when the blue jays go after the piggy squirrels in our back yard! Hope you have a great rest of the week Carol!

Donna said...

Such a beautiful piece! So lovely. I really like the patterns inside each bird and the colors are beautiful. The cardinals around here have started their spring songs to establish their territories. I have the same feeling for dragonflies as you have about cardinals. I feel it’s my son coming around to say hi and that he’s doing well. I look forward to seeing other birds that you stitch in this series. I really enjoy your blog. I hope spring is coming faster in Pennsylvania than it is in Minnesota!

diamondc said...

Carol: What a beautiful design, I love cardinals, we are lucky to have several pine trees on the golf course, they nest in there, I see them daily.
We have snow lots and lots of snow here in Minnesota, I am longing for spring.

Catherine

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
your stitching is wonderful as always. The two cardinals are very beautiful. I have look to the Songbird Garden Series. I like the blue bird very much.
The little cupcakes are look very yummy.
Have a nice day and a big Hugs, Manuela

Christine said...

What a wonderful finish. I've got a couple of those bird pieces lined up, and seeing you finish is making me want to get started on them right away

Berit said...

I think it is so sweet and lovely that your mom keeps up with your blog. She sounds like a bright and savvy lady! Aren't those cupcakes cute with their sparkling pink sugar? We also had winds, though I think 50 mph was our top speed.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Lovely work on the Cardinals design, I like the tiny house very much. We don't have cardinals in the UK so when I first saw them in cross stitch designs I thought the colour was artistic licence. But having seen photos on so many blogs I now know they really are that red!
We also have the same story about loved ones being near but for us, it's when you see a Robin with his red breast.

Andrea said...

Your Forever and Ever piece is just gorgeous. Love the colours and especially on the grey linen it makes it so vibrant.
Your Mum is one special lady.
Awwww, cupcakes, I bet they went down a treat.
Have a good weekend.

Alhana said...

Oh, what a gorgeous piece! Soft pink and green is my favourite colour combination, they look great together. We don't have cardinals in Europe and I must say it's one of the most beautiful birds I've ever seen along bluebirds. Since they are so dear to you there's nothing better than stitching them and look at them on the wall whenever you want. :-)
A big hug to you (and your mum!) from Spain.

Barbara said...

February is behind us now and I’m just now getting to your February 25th blog post. As always, your writing and photos are delightful.

Let me start out by saying the photo of your February-themed projects in your blog header are soo very pretty! I am saving that picture with hopes I can make something even remotely similar for next year’s Valentine’s Day. All the shades of pink and rose just light me up inside!!

And yes, the Forever & Ever finish is beautiful. I am more into florals than birds, so the Hellebores and vine with leaves drew me in.

But your story about the Cardinals is dear, too. I will appreciate birds, especially Cardinals, more as a result.

As I’ve been saying for months now on my blog, we are moving soon (now less than 3 weeks!!) so my stitching has not been as constant as I want it to be be. But in the meantime I have your blog to inspire me to get it all unpacked and settled in so I can make projects of beauty as you do!

P.S. are there any cupcakes left? I didn't get one. (smile)

deb said...

Your cardinal piece is beautiful! It's such a lovely series (I'm really tempted by the chickadee). Thank you for linking to your earlier posts about the cardinal visiting - I also had never heard that they represent a loved one coming to see you, what a happy thought.

Leonore Winterer said...

Lovely stitching and delicious cup cakes! Cardinals are so pretty, but sadly, we dont have them here. I'd love to see one in real life one day.
It's so sweet how your mum follows your blog! My grandma is the same, I'm sure she'd follow mine if her English was any better.

Jenn M said...

Beautiful Carol! Love all the pinks in that piece. I have the chart with the chickadee: I would love to stitch them all though! Heaven must be a place where there is unlimited time to stitch and endless wall space, lol!
Happy days,
Jenn

rosey175 said...

omygosh, this is a stunning series that I will adore following your stitching on! Wow! I do hope a hummingbird one comes out, or maybe a tufted titmouse, or an indigo bunting! I think my favorite so far are the bluebirds of happiness; I love cherry blossoms. Cardinals are such cheerful birds on snowy days and I enjoy seeing them at the feeder. I hadn't heard of them being representative of passed loved ones; that's a sweet idea. I think it's great that you talk to them.

Small batch cupcakes are great, especially small batch icing! Although I'm with you, I like a lot of icing... and so, am not opposed to accidentally swiping the bowl with a finger to help clean up if there's extra. Peanut butter frosting on chocolate cupcakes must've been divine!

Julie said...

Your photographs of cardinals are lovely to see, with not having them here in the UK, blogs do teach us some wonderful things of interested don't they?
Such a pretty finish, its delightful.
Waving a 'hello' from over the pond to Mom x

Diartemis said...

Dear Carol, so glad you stitched the songbirds, as I've been looking at these patterns for a while and wondering if I should order one (or two ;). I will definitely be doing this now I've seen yours!
I'm sure Hellebores would grow in your part of the world, as they do well in our freezing winters here in England.
What a great idea for dessert! I never think of cupcakes when I'm asked to bring dessert but I will now!
Thanks for the lovely post x

Meari said...

Hi Carol - You do such beautiful stitching... and baked goodies! Lovely cardinal photos. Even though we've had snow and ice for two months, apparently the robins think spring is coming. Several people here have seen them.

Mary said...

Carol, I recently saw the Cardinal stitch for the first time and I know I'll be stitching it. It is stunning!!! I love cardinals and see them everyday year round at my bird feeders. They are such striking birds that you can't help but love them.

First time I saw hellebore's was at the Philly Flower Show,they come in so many different colors. Have you ever been to the Flower show in Philly?


I am going to ignore that PB and choc recipe, I don't have much of a sweet tooth but PB and Chocolate is a favorite. I just love your photo of the little hearts on them and the plate....so tempting!!

I've had an out of town guest and I'm behind in posting, I'm glad I didn't miss this post!

Cindy's Stitching said...

Oh my. I love this series. The cardinals are so pretty. I have this pattern to. The blue jay released is my next one to stitch. They are all pretty. The cupcakes look so good Carol. Always a joy to visit with you.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Cardinals are such a welcome sight in the winter months. I love your story too and of course your beautiful stitching! And what fun in your banner...love that cat with the Shamrock! I love to decorate with pretty things like this! Enjoy your weekend! Happy stitching!

Halland House Gifts said...

What a beautiful cardinal design, Carol. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a male and femal cardinal together. Okay, maybe just once. It’s very possible I just don’t see the girl. Typically, in my neighborhood the boys are playing chase. Oh my, the cupcakes look delicious. I’m glad we can hop on the internet these days and find recipes for smaller portions. Makes a huge difference in smaller families. Judy

ricketyjo said...

Your stitching is gorgeous and those cupcakes look totally delicious! I'm craving sugar now!

Shelly B. said...

Just beautiful. I had to go and order this pattern. I hope mine turns out as good as yours. Shelly

Sheryl said...

Yes Carol, what a beautiful pattern, the colours are gorgeous and I do like the swirls and ovals that you mention on the bird´s bodies. The cupcakes are very tempting and perfect with the cuppa I have right now on my desk - just going to reach for one.....

Dalene Wilkinson said...

Carol, I love your cording and would like to enter the giveaway.