Good morning, good morning! How is everyone doing on this final day of February? I always feel like we're turning a corner when February is over and it certainly seems like it with our weather this weekend. With temperatures reaching the 50's here in western Pennsylvania, our snow is finally melting and I've even seen a few green shoots appearing here and there. It will be another month or two until we begin to see flowers, but just knowing that they're on their way brings so much hope, doesn't it?
My stitching has taken a back seat this month as I seem to be spending more time doing some serious spring cleaning and refreshing things around my house--puttering is one of my favorite activities in the world! I just put on some music and begin rearranging shelves, displays, plants, etc. for fun. Nothing big like rearranging the furniture, though... Oh, my mom was a great one for that--I swear us kids would come home from school to a newly rearranged living room at least every other month! I remember exclaiming, "Mom, can't you just leave things the same way for once?!" I think that's why the furniture arrangement in my rooms stays the same--how about you?
Well, enough of my rambling... You're here to see what little stitching I've done, right? I stitched my second Christmas ornament for 2021 and I love it! I mean, who can resist a miniature snowman being lifted up by a skating Santa to place his shiny, gold star at the top of the Christmas tree? Too cute! This is "Merry Friends" by Plum Street Samplers stitched "over one" on 28 ct. black Monaco. I changed virtually every color except for the red in Santa's robe and hat. The biggest change was using an icy blue for the snowflake centers and the tiny snowman's hat instead of the suggested gold color.
|"Merry Friends" by Plum Street Samplers|
For my finish, I attached the tiniest star and a mini pom-pom (using glue on both--just a little bit of Aleene's Tacky Glue applied with the tip of a toothpick does the trick). I also changed the location of a couple of the trees to create a more rounded look at the top of the design. Finally, I finished it as a circular ornament with green cording and a green gingham bow. I really love how stitching charts "over one" can make them small enough for ornaments for your tree!
|My February 2021 Ornament Finish|
This next piece is one I began stitching for Valentine's Day, but it ended up taking much longer than I thought it would! Those solid blocks of stitching will surprise you every time, won't they? This is from an old Leisure Arts magazine (sorry, I had ripped it out of the magazine years ago and I don't have the issue information). I'm not even sure of the designer, although it certainly resembles Lizzie Kate's style. It is stitched on 40 ct. white Newcastle linen with a mixture of the suggested colors and some of my own selections. What drew me to this piece was the mixture of soft colors--I just love them!
|"Love Grows" from an old Leisure Arts |
The biggest change that I made was changing the words from "Love grows from the heart" to "Love grows here." (I admit, part of that was sheer laziness as I just couldn't stitch another section of yellow!). Anyway, below is what it originally looked like next to my changed version. I'm not sure how I'll finish this one, but it will probably hang out in my box of unfinished finishes until next February.
|I'm having a giveaway for this chart (my stitching isn't included)|
GIVEAWAY... So, now that I'm done with the 'Love Grows" chart pictured above, is there anyone who would like to stitch it? If you would like to enter the giveaway: 1) Please specifically mention in your comment that you want to enter; 2) Make sure to include your name and last initial along with your email address if I don't already have it and; 3) Answer the question in my "Getting To Know You" section below. I will draw a name and announce the winner on my next blog post in March. Good luck to all!
GETTING TO KNOW YOU... For those of you who are new visitors, my "Getting To Know You" section is simply a way for me to learn more about you. As I've mentioned many times, blogging often feels like a one-street: you know a lot about me, but I know very little about most of you. So, I like to pose questions from time to time to help remedy that... My question today is: "Where do you fit in your family: oldest child, middle, youngest, only?" I am betting that a lot of cross stitchers are, like me, oldest children. I do have many of the traits of the oldest (to read an article that lists the various traits, just click here)... I'm definitely cautious, reliable, conscientious, and somewhat of a perfectionist. I don't fit the "leader" label as I've always hated being the center of attention, though. And controlling? Well, that would depend on who you ask on any given day--ha ha! Now, it's your turn--where do you fall in your family? I'd love to get to know you better!
Baking corner... Now that my husband is permitted to visit his parents (from a distance) in their nursing home in Ohio, I am getting more chances to bake so that he can take them some homemade goodies. I saw a photo of peanut butter brownies topped with peanut butter icing on Pinterest and knew I had to make them. They brought back so many memories of Friday lunches in the school cafeteria... Now, I was not one to buy my lunch--except on days that these special brownies were offered!
The recipe I used can be found on an older blog called "Relished" in this post. Now, I did use a different recipe for the icing as it also contained butter in addition to melted peanut butter and confectioner's sugar. I mean can you ever have too much butter? The icing recipe can be found right here and you pour it on the slightly cooled brownies while the frosting is till a bit warm. They were very tasty (although, next time, I won't bake them as long as the recipe says--my edges were a bit crispy). I cut them fairly small as, oh my, they are very rich--almost like fudge! Give them a try and let me know what you think.
|Frosted Peanut Butter Bars|
That about does it for my final February 2021 post... I'll leave you with two photos of our backyard visitors during this snowy month. The deer have been so hungry this winter (due to all of the snow that covers their normal foodsource), that they started devouring the birdseed in the two smaller bird feeders! My husband decided to outwit them and devised a system to bring the feeders inside each night. Since both of the small feeders are right outside our kitchen, he simply attached a hook onto an old broom handle so he can extend it out the window and then lift the bird feeders right off the hooks and into our kitchen where they sit until the next morning when they're placed outside again. This has cut way down on our bird seed costs! And now that grass is reappearing the deer won't be raiding the feeders any longer (hopefully!).
|The deer have been coming closer and closer to the house to get to the food in our bird feeders. They're so pretty, but so hungry!|
|Mr. Cardinal enjoying a sunny, snowy day!|
I'm so glad you stopped in today! I hope you're all staying safe and making progress in getting your vaccines... We got our second shots of the Moderna vaccine last week with no side effects (other than a bit of tiredness and sore arms). I feel very blessed to have received both doses of the vaccine so quickly--I truly do. It's almost as if the dark veil that has covered the entire world for the past year is slowly lifting. It will take time, but we're getting there... Take extra good care now and I'll be back in March with some St. Patrick's Day stitching to share. Bye for now...