Happy July, all! How is your summer going? Ours has been hot, hot, hot! But, today is the perfect day--sunny and mid-70s with low humidity. If only every day could feel like this one! Before I share my latest stitching finishes with you, I want to pause and thank each one of you who left a comment for me on my previous post--you all leave the best comments--you really do! Many of you don't have blogs and your comments are one of the few ways in which I can get to know a bit about you. Blogging is often a one-way street, so to speak... So, thank you for taking the time to comment--I promise I read and enjoy each and every one.
Anyway... I have "almost" caught up with my monthly ornaments! Yay! I have never been this far behind in the ten years that I've been stitching a monthly Christmas ornament. I'm not sure what my problem has been this year. I've really lacked my finishing mojo and prefer to spend my time stitching (like most of you, I'm sure!). But, I'm happy to present my finish for my May ornament--an oldie, but goodie, by Little House Needleworks called "Frosty Flakes." Have any of you stitched this cutie? If so, you'll recognize that I changed the color of the border, the scarf, and the package from the suggested green to a pretty variegated blue (GAST Dungarees thread). I also changed the checked border underneath the snowman from gold to white to resemble snow.
|"Frosty Flakes" in blue!|
Once again, I turned to my favorite 40 ct. Vintage Country Mocha Newcastle linen and I'm so happy with how my finish turned out. I had originally planned on making one of my little pillow finishes, but when I spotted this blue plaid fabric (just a scrap of an old miniature decorative towel that I had saved), I immediately knew it was the perfect thing to showcase Mr. Frosty Flakes. On this type of finish, I simply cover the back of the blue plaid fabric with a square of coordinating felt. Why spend extra money on fabric when it is not being seen? I cut two sprigs off the back of my dried boxwood wreath and hot glued them to the cording along with some miniature silver bells. What do you think?
|Little House Needleworks "Frosty Flakes" finish|
My ornament for June is another oval-shaped Prairie Schooler Santa from "Kris Kringle" Book No. 62. I've now stitched all but two of the eight Santas. I actually stitched this one back in 2012 and gave it to a good stitching friend, but this one is staying here with me. As I did for the other Santas in this series, I used 40 ct. raw natural Newcastle linen and the suggested DMC threads. Many people have asked how I get the perfect oval shape. Well, I use these plastic templates that are sold on Amazon: oval templates. There is no way I could draw an oval that perfectly!
|Prairie Schooler Santa and goose from "Kris Kringle" Book No. 62|
And, I stitched another of one of my favorite PS Santas carrying the birds and birdhouse to send as a gift to a friend on Instagram. This is from the same "Kris Kringle" Prairie Schooler book and marks the fourth time I've stitched it! Friendships can spring up on Instagram between stitchers so easily--if you'd like to follow me on Instagram, just click here! I'd love to have you visit me...
|A gift for a friend!|
Since it is July, I just had to get a bit of patriotic stitching in, so I leafed through my notebook of older charts and came up with this beauty. Stitched on 40 ct. Vintage Country Mocha Newcastle with most of the suggested colors (I had all but one in my stash--how unusual is that!) is "Penny America" by Tree of Life Samplings. Isn't it pretty?
|"Penny America" finish|
To finish it off I sewed a piece of blue gingham (from a thrifted man's shirt!) to the linen with the larger burgundy ric rak peeking out in between. I then carefully applied the tiny gold ric rak with a bit of glue and topped it off with a yo-yo, blue button, and gold star. I love it!
|"Penny America" made a nice addition to my July decorating|
I'll zoom in a bit closer so you can get a better look at the rustic frame that I got for free! Yes, this beautifully aged frame was on the "free table" at my mom's senior living center when I was visiting last fall and I quickly snapped it up! I plan on just popping out the patriotic piece and possibly using the frame again for an autumn piece late this year. Just look at all of those great "worm" holes--such a beauty!
|A close-up so you can see this wonderful old frame|
Giveaway winner... I had 12 stitchers enter for the patriotic parade chart shown below and I'm happy to announce that the name picked out of the hat is...
Barb R. (from Michigan)
Barb, congratulations to you--please send me your mailing address and I'll get this out to you as soon as possible.
|Winner of the patriotic chart is Barb R. from Michigan!|
I'm sorry I couldn't send a chart to each of you, but I will definitely be having more giveaways in the future. In fact, why not now?! Would anyone like to win the chart for Frosty Flakes? I know many of you already own it, but if you don't please let me know--specifically--in your comments that you would like to be included in the drawing to win it. Also, make sure to include your email address and to make it more fun and interesting--how about guessing where I am traveling to on my upcoming trip... I've already told some of you so don't answer if you already know. The winner will simply be determined by a random drawing--there is no "extra credit" for guessing the correct destination. I will keep the drawing open until the 27th of July and announce the winner on my next post... Good luck to all!
|If you would like to win this snowman chart, just leave a comment with your email address and a guess as to where I am headed on my next vacation (only guess if I haven't already told you, please).|
All creatures great and small... Most of you know that my backyard is filled with many beautiful (and some not so beautiful!) creatures--both four-legged and feathered. I wanted to share some of the animals I've encountered this summer.
|The bunnies are out in full force--I spotted this sweet rabbit when out for a walk earlier this month.|
|And look! A fox! I don't know who was more scared when I confronted him while on a walk at my mom's senior living community! He turned around in a hurry and ran back into the woods.|
We recently bought two new bird-feeders and, oh, my--the birds are flocking to them. We bought a green recycled-plastic suet feeder with a tail-prop and the woodpeckers just love it. And the bronze colored feeder is one I purchased at Walmart for the smaller birds--goldfinches, chickadees, wrens, etc. (but, we see cardinals and bluejays there, too, now and then). I get such joy from watching these little creatures as I sit at my kitchen table each day.
|Some of the sweet birds that have been visiting daily. They love our new feeders!|
And my family has some new "members!" Yes--a quintet of turkeys has made its home in the woods behind our house and makes a habit of trotting down to our "all-birds welcome" feeder almost daily. They are the funniest looking birds with those long, scrawny necks--wouldn't exactly call them pretty!
|The turkeys stand right under the bird feeder to chow down on the seed that the birds have dropped.|
|It's amazing how quickly the babies are growing up--they could barely waddle the first time I spotted them.|
And one more new member--not a welcome one, however! Some people have their own guard dogs--well, we have our very own guard groundhog who has made himself right at home on our front porch. Apparently, he is living under it and feels like he is entitled to use the porch just like one of the family! He is making a mess of things including digging into my pretty yellow begonias and scattering the dirt everywhere.
|Just watching the world go by on a sunny summer day!|
A scary morning... My porch is just a mess in the photo above because yesterday we were "treated" to a torrential thunderstorm with many areas of flash flooding around the county. Our yard looked like it had a river running down the side of it as it sits at a low point and has all of the other neighbors run-off streaming down their hills into our lawn. Thankfully, a few years ago we had put in some very large 20" drain pipes to help keep our pond from overflowing which (hopefully) keeps our basement from flooding. I'm not sure what would have happened if the rain had lasted all day; thankfully, it only lasted a few hours. I've included a short video that I shot from my front porch of the rain water rushing down the side yard, just yards away from where I was standing--pretty scary stuff! You can see the water rushing down from one neighbors yard and carving paths of mud into the hillside. We only had a bit of water in our basement, thank goodness. My heart goes out to all of my readers who are getting those severe storms down south...
Well, time to hit publish and get back to stitching! My husband has been on a week-long bike trip in Nova Scotia and I am all "off-schedule" without him here! I did get some stitching done--not a lot, but it was nice not to have to think about cooking dinner or doing laundry this week! Back to normal tomorrow and I'll be glad--I really missed him! Thanks so very much for visiting me and thank you, especially, to those of you who take the time to leave a comment... I hope to be back at the end of the month to visit with you again. Bye for now...