Friday, February 14, 2020

Sending a little love on Valentine's Day


Good morning, my stitching friends! How are you doing on this "lovely" Valentine's Day? (That is actually wishful thinking--it is a mere 22° here this morning, the coldest weather we've had in a long time). The good news is that they are calling for partly sunny skies! Hmm... I'll believe it when I see it--it has just been one grey, cloudy, rainy, depressing day after another here in western Pennsylvania. But, we did get a nice snowfall a week ago (which promptly melted, although it sure was lovely while it lasted!). I'll share some photos with you later on in the post. 

I've finished my ornament for February and it is a cutie, if I do say so myself! This is Bent Creek's "Red Bird Globe" stitched on a piece of mystery color/mystery count fabric. I think it may be 36 ct. linen as I used only one thread, but I did end up using two strands on the white "snow" part to provide better coverage.  The fabric is a very pretty blue/grey color--sure wish I knew what it was as I'd love to buy more of it for winter stitching. The white shows up so well, doesn't it? Isn't this cardinal sweet--I just think his little striped scarf blowing in the wind is adorable. I used Smyrna stitches on the scarf and the lighter brown bands on the globe's base to provide texture. The bird is stitched all in Week's Dye Works "Indian Summer" using the darker portion of the thread for the wing.

My February Ornament finish

I kept the finish very simple on this one--just added beads for the snow (as was charted) and applied a simple white cording and hanger. I seem to be in a "less is more" mood lately as I think too many extras detract from the stitching in many cases. The fabric shown behind the ornament is what I used to back it (another of my husband's old shirts!).  Anyway--so far, I'm happy to say I'm keeping up with my monthly ornament challenge for 2020.

Bent Creek's "Red Bird Globe" finish

For the first time in many years I did no new stitching for my Valentine's Day collection. I did post a few photos on Instagram of a new display which were well received. I got the chippy white basket at HomeGoods last year, but hadn't used it until now. Because the bottom is quite open in each basket, I had to put some shredded raffia in the bottom to get the pieces to stand up. 

Baskets of red and white for Valentine's Day!

These are the more red-themed Valentine's pieces--the pinker pieces are in my corner cupboard. 

Some of my Valentine's finishes from years past


The sweet girl and boy finish on the right is still one of my favorites from my finish last February!

But... I did do some Valentine's stitching for others. Over on Instagram, my dear friend, Claire (Blackberryhill1), wrote on her January 10, 2020 post these words, which ring so true: "As stitchers we carry a long history of creating comfort. A small, handmade item and a few kind words can be a great comfort to someone in need." In an effort to provide some comfort and to let them know we are thinking of them, Claire designed a sweet heart pattern to stitch and make into a pincushion to send to our Australian stitching sisters who have been affected by the horrific wildfires. You can get a copy of the pattern at Wool Penny Rug Supplies by clicking here and then clicking on the button that says Wendy Williams. 

After you've stitched your pincushion, simply sew it up on three sides and leave about 1 1/2 inches open on the fourth side for stuffing.  Turn, press, and you're all set to mail it off--the actual stuffing of each one will be done in Australia. The owners of the Virginia Beach shop, Dyeing To Stitch, offered to act as a collection point in the United States and mail everyone's contributions at once thus saving a lot of money on postage. So, I'll be mailing mine to them next week at Dyeing To Stitch, 5312 Kemp's River Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23464. ***Important: the deadline for getting it sent to the Dyeing To Stitch shop is February 28th, 2020!*** (If you are not in the U.S. and would like to contribute a stitched heart, you can mail them directly to Australia to: Wendy Williams, PO Box 638,  Drummoyne 2047, Sydney, Australia).


♥♥♥ They ask that you include a short note, as well... I hope you'll each consider sending some love to Australia this Valentine's Day--these only take a few hours to stitch up! ♥♥♥


A pretty red heart with its flannel backing fabric


I used Sulky threads for this one and loved stitching with just one thread on 30 ct. fabric. I didn't leave enough room for the outlined straight stitch border, but think it looks just fine without.


Two heart pincushions will soon be finding new homes with two Australian stitchers!


I received some love of my own this week in the form of another birthday package from a friend in Arizona. Oh, my--I was so spoiled! Just look at all of these charts, floss, and other goodies from her! The silks are such lovely pastel colors--makes me want to drop everything I'm working on and delve into a spring project. Thank you so much, my friend--you are one of the most thoughtful people I know.


My birthday gifts continue! Thank you so much to a stitching friend in Arizona!


I had a number of folks wanting to win the cute snowman chart from the last giveaway with the unforgettable name: "Mr. Shivers." I've drawn a name from the proverbial hat and the winner is...




Congratulations, Barbara! You're the winner!


Congratulations, Barbara--please send me your mailing address and I'll get the chart out to you next week. I hope he doesn't melt on his way to sunny, warm Florida! Thank you to all who entered!


New Giveaway... Since the snow has finally fallen here in western Pennsylvania (even though it has now all melted away), how about another snowman chart to give away to one of my readers? I found this adorable snowman and rabbit chart in an old issue of Leisure Arts. How cute is the little bunny in this one? Do you think he's taking the snowman's carrot nose or offering him it? Anyway, if you'd like to be entered into the giveaway for this chart (pulled from an old magazine--I will be folding it to fit in a legal sized envelope when I mail it): 1) Please say so specifically in your comment below, 2) Make sure to include your email address if I don't already have it, and 3) Tell me how you feel about snow! Me? I love seeing it as long as I don't have to go outside. **** I'm sorry, but if you don't include your email address, you won't be included in the drawing. I've had too many past winners who never claimed their prizes and I don't think it's fair to those who regularly read my blog who enter and want to win.****

If you would like to win this cute snowman and bunny chart: 1) Specifically say so in your comment below, 2) Include your email address if I don't already have it and 3) Tell me how you feel about snow!
 
In my last bit of stitching talk, I was asked on Instagram last week how much time I spend stitching each day. The stitcher who inquired seemed to think I was a fast stitcher (oh, I definitely disagree!) and was curious as to how much time I spent. Of course, it varies from day to day and season to season. I certainly spend more time in the winter than in other seasons. Spring brings more outdoor chores and summer and fall bring more vacations and trips. But, on average, I would say 3-4 hours a day. I try to sit down each morning for a couple of hours and then do the same in the evening. On a really good day, I may sneak in an afternoon session as well. My problem is--I'm very easily distracted. I think I need to just start putting my phone in another room while I stitch so I won't be tempted to look at Instagram, check my email, scroll through Pinterest, etc. I've noticed a big improvement in the amount I stitch when my phone isn't within grabbing distance! How about you? How long do you manage to stitch on average? Do you stitch in peace and quiet, listen to a recorded book or music, watch television? I'm usually watching TV or listening to a book--it all depends on how engrossed I am in a particular book. Anyway, I'd love to hear your "normals" when it comes to stitching times...


Snow... at last!  With what is fast becoming a record "lowest-snowfall ever" winter here, I never thought I would say this, but... I truly miss seeing the snow. We haven't even had to shovel our sidewalks or driveway all winter! So, I was thrilled to see a few inches covering the landscape when I woke up last Friday. And even more thrilled to see it was the "cover everything" type of snow that looks so magical. For those of you who have no snow in your part of the world (or who don't like snow and just enjoy pictures of it!), I thought you might enjoy these photos.


Looking out onto our back yard: February 7, 2020


Picnic in the snow, anyone? Brrr...


The snow looked like icing as it covered every branch and twig in sight!


It even stuck to the sides of the picket fence.


A sweet male cardinal spent a long time gobbling up the sunflower seeds.


Thank you so much for visiting me today--a big welcome to my new followers. I hope the rest of February is good to you--I should be back with a completed larger finish by the end of the month. Thank you, as always,  for your sweet comments and emails--they really make my day! Stay warm now--and happy stitching. Bye for now... 

♥♥♥ Sending each of you a little Valentine's Day love  ♥♥♥

35 comments:

Marilyn said...

Happy Valentines Day Carol!!
Mr. Cardinal looks so cute in his scarf.
Very pretty Valentines display, I just love the little Cherub on black, so cute!
Thank you for the link about Australia stitching, I will do this too.
It's a great idea. Yours are so pretty.
Great goodies you've received, the silks are so pretty.
Congrats to Barbara!
It's been warmer for awhile here in WI, but we had 6" of snow on Sunday. & now it's cold again. No chance of it melting soon.
It's so pretty on the trees.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Marilyn

Ann at Beadlework. said...

A lovely post Carol and nice to see the snowy scenes - I love the look of it but not the disruption it brings.
I am impressed at how much time you spend stitching - I'm not quite so disciplined with my crafting and wish that I was. I'm too easily distracted:) I think the idea of sending the stitched pieces to Australia is a great one and I'm sure they will have a good response.

marly said...

Another great finish. That linen color is perfect for this design and so is the simple white edging. Looks like Dolphin?

A wonderful idea for our friends in Australia. I had no idea!! Thanks for sharing this.

As for the snow and its men, no thank you!!

Vickie said...

Oh Carol your Red Bird Globe is wonderful! Your red Valentines are beautiful! I average four hours a day of stitching time. I am SO addicted to listening to recorded books while I stitch!! I agree with you snow is beautiful. I however am always ready for it to go. We never lack for it here in Wisconsin. ;)
Happy Valentine's Day Carol!

Stasi said...

Happy Valentine's Day, Carol! Your snow globe is adorable and I, too, like the simplicity of it. Stitchers have big hearts and there have been a number of fundraisers by stitchers for Australia. I've participated in two so far and will try to do one of these hearts too.
You know I love your snow pictures and so wish I had some of my own...thank for sharing!
I stitch every evening while watching TV. If I have time in the late afternoon, I'll squeeze some in while listening to a book. I could get much more done if I wasn't checking IG and FB so often...they are as addictive as stitching!!! :)

Arlene @Nanaland said...

Carol, I love that you are sending stitchy love to our sister stitchers in Australia. What a wonderful idea. AS for stitching, I spend way too much time stitching but then I am retired and entitled.lol I stitch in the afternoons for a bit then after dinner. I did not stitch at all yesterday as I had a book I needed to finish. Today I plan on working on some FFOs. Your stitching is so beautiful and your finishes are always so tasteful and pretty. Happy Valentines Day!

Sandy said...

The cardinal stitch is wonderful and I agree about sometimes the simple finishes are often the best especially with some stitches. The tiered tray is lovely and I remember that little boy and girl from last year. I think that inspired my purchase of that Christmas book that I want to stitch every single thing in it. (The one with the Advent idea.) Sweet to send the stitches to the Aussies. I really should do more stitching for others. As for time spent, I feel lucky to get in an hour a day. Lately, 30 minutes is a good day. IT is a season though. More later I suppose.
IT has been a mild winter here and I am seeing azaleas starting to bloom. Too early!!!
Happy Valentine's Day.

Giusi said...

Buona festa di San Valentino
https://iricordidelcuore2.blogspot.com/

Irene said...

Buon San Valentino! Che bella la neve, qui in Italia è già quasi primavera. Adoro i tuoi ornamenti, sono meravigliosi!

butterfly said...

Happy Valentine's day Carol.
Your stitching is so cute love it .
You had a visit from your Cardinal what could be better for you my friend .
Look at your winter wonderland garden so pretty .
Love the white basket with all your love stitching , very pretty .
I would spend allot more time on stitching when hubby was working .
But I stitch more in the Spring in the warm conservatory , at the moment it's so cool in there unless the sun is out and I can still count on my hands the days of sunshine and that's not many .
So night time is best for me to stitch maybe two hours per night some times a little bit more .
Lovely birthday treats ,you are so loved sweet friend.


Kay said...

Lovely stitching and finishing, as usual. I am always amazed how long other people can stitch for, I have a problem with my hands and so on a good day can do an hour, an average day would be 30 mixtures though. This means that I don't get done half as much as I would like to but anything that gets finished is extra special. x

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

Happy Valentine's Day! I've just finished hopping around my annual Valentine Blog Hop, so much love and stitching there!

In the third photo of your basket, do you remember the name of the Celtic Knotwork design? I really like that one.

My stitching time varies from 30 minutes on a work day to about 3 hours on day when there's not much going on!

MartinaM said...

The February motif is great, you can tell that you like the red cardinal.
Oh yes, the display for Valentine's Day is great, a real dream piece.
A very nice idea with the small heart pillows for Australia, I hope a lot will come together.
I would like to win the cute snowman. How do I deal with snow? As long as I don't have to go out or drive a car, I like it when it is thick on the meadows and flower beds or when the thick flakes fall.
I think it's about the same from the time, but I knit in the evening, I like to embroider the bright midday light and I also listen to an audio book or a podcast. And sometimes it's like you - many hours, sometimes less.
We haven't had snow here yet, once a small snowstorm, but nothing was left behind and went straight back to rain.
Now on the weekend it should even be like spring.
Enjoy your weekend, Martina

RJ said...

Happy Valentine's Day Carol. I hope you spent a lovely day today. I love your newest cardinal stitch and it really looks great on that pretty gray linen. Great finish too.

Love your basket with all of your pretty Valentine stitches. I saw it somewhere else and admired it but didn't know it was yours. It is a fantastic way to show all of your beautiful work.

I love the idea of stitching for the ladies in Australia. It is so hard to see the damage that has been done there.

I can stitch anytime of the day but my favorite time is at night. I usually stitch a good four to six hours a day with the tv on usually. But many times I will just turn everything off and have complete silence. And other times I will put music on and enjoy that too. I guess you can say give me a piece of linen, a good pattern and lots of pretty floss and I'm happy anywhere and anytime.

Your snow looks so lovely. It has been so many years since I've seen snow in person and I miss it I love how it looks as it's coming down. Have a great week Carol. RJ@stitchingfriends

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
another wonderful little finish and I like it.
Your Valentine decoration is gorgeous.
I like your giveaway. I like snow everything is so quiet outside.
I'm stitching and watching Netflix or hearing a book for two or three hours in the afternoon. In the evening I'm sewing or knitting.
Have a nice weekend. Manuela

Kate said...

Your Valentine display is beautiful and I love both cardinals - the stitched one and the real one.

Ele said...

Love your basket of Valentine themed tiny pillows. They look so colorful and sweet. Thank you for sharing photos of the snow: I adore it but we get so little of it here.
Hugs

Carol is Sewbizzy said...

Carol, I especially love the chippy white basket with all the heart cross stitch and other goodies in it...I did see your post on Instagram and told one of my daughter in laws to view it...we both just purchased a 3 tiered tray this past month and loving filling it with goodies..
The cardinal globe ornament is precious...all of your projects are a joy to look at for me! I am reading some of your past blogs and loving everyone of them...I heard about your blog from Priscilla's blog of the Real Housewives of Cross Stitch...I enjoy watching their flosstubes...
I would enjoy stitching the Snowman chart..I usually stitch in the evenings while watching tv with my hubby...sometimes I get some stitching in during the day...I also do some quilting projects...I am totally addicted to sewing!
.also, thank you for the list of freebie charts...I am going to look through them...
I love to see the snow, but do not enjoy driving in it so much now...This has been a strange winter here in western PA...these last couple days are the coldest we have had...we live across from Boyce Park in Plum and enjoy the snowy views, but am looking forward to an early Spring...do you think Punxsatawney Phil will be right or wrong this year?
My email address is clinhart440@comcast.net

Pat said...

Carol, love your basket of red & white ornaments. The snow globe with the cardinal is such a cute design, and lovely (as usual) finishing. We haven't had much snow either, but we (my neck of the woods in Canada) did have a couple or so days that looked like your pictures. Love the pic of the cardinal peeking around the feeder. Right now we are having the coldest days of the whole winter, getting down to almost zero F at night and about 20-25 during the day.

I've printed off the Australia With Love chart and will send it directly to Wendy Williams. Thanks for the link.

Margaret said...

Love your February ornament! Love your displays for Valentine's Day too! I think I'm a very slow stitcher/knitter. I spend a lot of time doing whichever I'm doing to make up for my slowness. lol! I like to listen to something -- watch a podcast or listen to an audiobook -- while I'm stitching or knitting. (Note how I'm sticking stitching in there -- been thinking about it more, which I consider a good sign!) As for snow -- I must admit I don't miss it at all. Isn't that terrible of me? lol!

Jutta said...

My dear Carol,
and again an interesting new article, I can't get enough of your wonderful photos.
Your white basket for Valentine's Day is great, you have a good eye for decoration, beautiful! The February ornament, the snow photos and a red cardinal, I'm happy with you!!!

Thanks also for your comments on my blog, at the moment I hardly get a chance to answer directly, but that will get better.
I would like to participate in your new giveaway, I love snow, as a child I could already build the best snowmen . . . . in Berlin there is hardly any snow since a few years, sometimes a white touch, nothing more ;-(

I used to do almost only sewing, but since a few years I'm sitting with my husband in the evening and swinging the embroidery needle. He had complained and said: You always sit upstairs and sew and leave me alone. Since then I have about 3 hours in the evening to embroider.
A beautiful Sunday for you and your family, all my love, Jutta

Sandra said...

Beautiful stitchwork art! I like your basket of red and white for Valentine's Day. Pretty hearts in red and blue also asnd the February bird with scarf is just lovely.
You have lots of lovely snow too!

Jenn M said...

I love the Valentine display Carol, and your February ornament is so sweet. We still have LOTS of snow in my patch, but at least having a teen-agd boy at home means the walkway gets shovelled by someone else! I stitch a few hours a day also: usually in the evening. If the sun is shining I try to sneak an hour or two to work on my linen or dark fabric pieces.
Happy belated birthday also!
Jenn

Mary said...

The snow globe is so pretty and I think the simple finish is perfect for it. Your Valentine displays are so pretty and cheerful. I really need to get some Valentine stitching done. I have one!!! I think the boy and girl is my favorite too!!
So kind of you to stitch the heart pincushions for the Australian stitchers. I can imagine how appreciative they will be for your thoughtfulness.
Oh, I wish we had some pretty snow. Just rain and more rain and one gloomy day after another. It was 9 degrees yesterday morning but it will be 50 again soon. Craziest winter ever.

Robin in Virginia said...

What a great post to find here today when I turned on the computer! Love your Cardinal ornament and how you finished it! Your tier of Valentine goodies is fabulous. Loved seeing your snow pictures! I tend to stitch in the evening for a couple hours and sneaking in some time during the afternoon some days. It all depends on what needs to be accomplished during the day. Afternoon stitching is done in the quiet and evening stitching is usually with the TV on if Bruce is watching it. Enjoy your week!

Miriam Canuto Póvoa said...

Olá Carol! Me chamo Miriam e sou de um lugar bem distante Brasil! Aqui não temos neve, e eu nunca vi nevar ou neve em minha vida. Aqui a maior parte do ano é verão e temos temperaturas muito altas 36° , quase morremos com o calor kkkkkk.
Eu tenho quase certeza que gostaria da neve, sinto que estar em casa , olhando pela janela com uma xícara de chocolate ou chá quente seria maravilhoso, e bordando também claroo!
Eu ficarei imensamente feliz se ganhar este gráfico. Para mim o coelho está conversando com o boneco de neve contando como está saborosa sua cenoura, kkkkkk
Meu email é docesalinhavos2@gmail.com
Adoro suas postagens !
Excelente semana <3
Hi Carol! My name is Miriam and I'm from a very distant place in Brazil! There is no snow here, and I have never seen snow or snow in my life. Here most of the year is summer and we have very high temperatures 36 °, we almost die with the kkkkkk heat.
I am almost sure that I would like the snow, I feel that being at home, looking out the window with a cup of chocolate or hot tea would be wonderful, and also embroidering of course!
I will be immensely happy if I win this chart. For me the rabbit is talking to the snowman telling how tasty his carrot is, kkkkkk
My email is docealinhavos2@gmail.com
I love your posts!
Excellent week <3


Toni said...

I love your blog. I have followed it for several years and love looking at your stitching. I would love to be added in your giveaway. I love snow, snowmen, and bunnies. Thanks for taking the time to write your blog and showing us all your creations. Thank you.

Tnapier
toni@hartnettlawfirm.com

Katie said...

I always get excited to read a new Carol post. Love your cardinal ornament and I agree. The finish with less is more is perfect for it. I just LOVE your red and white basket. Perfect display for sure!! Love your heart pieces you are sending. Adorable. I'm sorry I just don't have any extra time to get one done and sent. So much of my own stitching I want to work on like a mad woman haha. Love the package you received. Those snowmen are adorable. I've loved them every time I've seen them. Congrats Barbara and Good luck to everyone in the new giveaway. Like I said I have way too much to work on even though that snowman you are giving away is just too cute. I've always loved snow and here in Indiana we sure have got missed a lot. No shoveling for us yet. We get a dusting here and there but nothing that's lasted more than a few days. Thanks for sharing your photos. I'm jealous.

Southpaw Stitcher said...

So much going on in this post! Your Valentine's collection is awesome, Carol.
The stitched heart pincushions for Australian stitchers are such a sweet idea.

And your backyard snow looks so pretty -- better your backyard than mine.

I usually stitch for about an hour before breakfast each day, then I try for a couple of hours here and there throughout the day, so it often adds up to four or five hours a day.

Have a wonderful rest of February.

April said...

Hi Carol,
I always look forward to a new post from you. As always, beautifully stitched and finished to perfection!
Your Valentine's Day display is lovely. The basket makes a nice presentation for all of your stitched treasures :)
The snowy pictures are beautiful. We have only had a brief snowfall this year, but it lasted only a day or so. I would like just a bit more before Spring arrives. Plus it would help out the ski resort in our area.
I usually only stitch in the evening, but find I can't stay awake as long anymore. I found out I'm allergic to caffeine, of all things! :( Now my slightly sweet tea is decaf, and my stitching is suffering because of it. lol
Thank you for the link. I definitely want to help out, and show some love to our sister stitchers down under.
Hope you have a great week!
April

Barb said...

Hi Carol - oh what a fun posting you shared with us. As always, I just love seeing your beautiful projects. Your adorable Red Bird Globe is just so charming and how great for you that you’re keeping up with your monthly ornament stitching, and your finishing is wonderful. (I love how you use your husband’s old shirts! Perfect!).
Your Valentine’s Day collection is gorgeous! (I do love red so I’m a bit partial to Valentine’s Day.). I think I told you that I am working on the “Be Mine” chart for Valentine’s Day. Maybe I’ll get it finally done by next Valentine’s Day. I think it’s pretty cute, but a lot more work than I anticipated. Now I think I should work on something for St. Patrick’s Day.
I am currently working on the beautiful heart for Australia. That whole situation is truly awful. Thanks for sharing the link and address to ship off the heart to get shipped to Australia. I truly wish we were able to help more.
Again, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful work with all of us. You are truly an inspiration in so many ways - it is obvious that all of.us know how fortunate we are.

All the best to you!

Mini said...

Beautiful February ornament carol.
The hearts you stitched for the Australian cause are lovely, thanks for the info.Let me check if I can contribute too.
I'm trying to make a routine for stitching now. I try to squeeze in 15-40 mins before going to work. Like you, phone is a big distraction for me too. I can't stitch while watching TV , so its usually just me n my cat sitting next to me.

Maggie said...

Love your February sttiching and your Valentine's display :-)
My free time is divided between stitching, knitting or crochet but I do one or the other of them every day, usually after tea. Depending on what time i get to sit down I can usually get between 3 and 4 hours in. I'm like you though, get distracted so that is not 3 or 4 hours solid crafting.
I LOVE snow! here in the UK we don't get the amount you get, and we have had none this year so far :-(

Meari said...

Happy Belated Valentine's Day, Carol! Your red bird ornament turned out so pretty. Thank you for the heads up on the stitching heart for Australia. Maybe I can get one done and off in time.

Please include my name in the drawing. My comment about snow... I'm so over it. Earlier this week, I shoveled 5" of wet, heavy snow. I was so tired and sore afterwards (3 hours later).

Barbara said...

Wow! I won Mr. Shivers! Thank you so much! He is adorable and will cool down the heat of Florida (at least, in my house), probably year 'round!

Your red cardinal February ornament is cute and represents so well the real one on your bird feeder!