Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you are spending the day doing something you love or spending it with someone you love! I intended to get this blog post written and posted much earlier in the day, but as luck would have it, the new rug for our family room was delivered and we spent the entire morning moving furniture, removing the old rug, cleaning the hardwood floors, and then putting everything back in place. If I can get some decent photos (in other words, if the sun ever shines again!), I'll post a couple of photos for you if you'd like to see them...
I've made it my practice to stitch a couple new Valentine's piece each year and 2021 was no exception. Isn't this love letter carrying bird a sweet piece? I used DMC 115 on 40 ct. white Newcastle linen and bordered it with the same color ruched ribbon. To add a bit more interest, I hung a little heart-shaped charm from the bird's beak topped with a bow of the same DMC floss.
|Love the variegation of DMC 115!|
This chart comes from a French book called "Coeurs a Broder" (which I believe translates to "Hearts to Embroider"), by Agnes Delage-Calvet and Anne Sohier-Fournel. It was a gift from a blogging friend in England many years ago and is filled with so many charming designs for both cross stitch and embroidery. I'm sure I will be stitching more designs from it in the future. The red fabric you see in the right corner is what I used on the back of my finish.
|Sending some love to all of my blog readers today!|
This little cupid has been calling my name for a few years and I finally got around to stitching her. Most of you will recognize this as part of the "Holiday Hooopla" series by With Thy Needle and Thread. I used the suggested colors except I changed the word "Love," her shoes, and her eyes to DMC 3799--a dark grey. I also gave her a bit of a smile and used smyrna stitches to round out her eyes.
|With Thy Needle and Thread "Holiday Hoopla Valentine's Day"|
I decided to finish this one the same way that I did my Easter Holiday Hoopla from last year. You can see that finish right here. I'm using the same frame for all of the holiday hooplas (St. Patrick's Day is coming up next month!) to make things easy. The backing is just a piece of sticky board covered with red fabric. Then, after finishing the stitching into a round shape, I simply glued it onto the red fabric, added a fun polka-dot bow, and attached a silver heart charm--a very easy finish!
I did add more hearts to the design to round it out a bit so it would better fit the finish I had planned. Isn't she sweet? I love her tiny shoes!
And the next "finish" of sorts has been a long time coming. It has been almost a decade since I purchased this beautiful wooden cubby that Pottery Barn sells. So, where has it been all this time? Oh, just sitting on the floor in one of my son's old bedrooms collecting dust. I just kept procrastinating because to hang something this large seems like such a commitment! Do any of you put things off this way? I think something changed in me after my mom passed away almost 7 months ago, though... I've been consciously trying to complete long planned tasks and goals--I think I realize that life is never guaranteed to any of us so we might as well enjoy what we have while we can! I'm thrilled to finally have this out and on display where I can have fun with it each month.
|My Pottery Barn cubby is finally hanging on the wall!|
For February, I filled the cubbies with lots of red and white stitches, old greeting cards, and assorted small treasures and am so enjoying seeing it hang on my family room wall. It will be such fun to change it up for the seasons, don't you think? All of the Valentine's finishes are ones you can find in my February blog posts from years past.
|February contents: lots of pink and red|
Here is a view of it on the wall. I love the location I chose because it is the first thing you see when you walk into the house from the garage and is even visible from my desk here in the kitchen when I'm on the computer. It certainly makes me smile!
No matter what I put in my cubby each month, I've decided to dedicate the very middle space to my very first love--my dear mother. There is a sweet silhouette of her as a young girl, a pair of ceramic white shoes that were part of the collection she had as a child, and a gold thimble belonging to her first love--my maternal grandmother. (There is a whole story behind that thimble which I'll have to share with you some day!). This particular cubby hole is right at my eye level and is very, very special to me...
|The center cubbyhole dedicated to my dear mother. |
I was so touched to receive this wonderful package of goodies below from a fellow blogging friend... I had done a simple favor for her and expected nothing in return, but she sent me an amazing group of fabrics and charts. Thank you so much, my friend--you know who you are! With all you've been dealing with, your thoughtful and kind gifts mean all the more to me...
|Thank you, thank you to my sweet friend!|
I finally got a wonderful looking (and tasting!) loaf of bread from my Zojirushi bread machine. I've really struggled with my machine and have had very uneven results. I've been reading tips online (such as make sure not to let the salt touch the yeast when you put in the ingredients, double check the temperature of your liquids, and make sure to always use fresh yeast and flour). Anyway, this multigrain bread is a favorite of ours and I "try" to limit myself to one piece a day! If you'd like to give the recipe a try in your bread machine, you can find it right here. I only use two teaspoons of yeast, 1 cup of the multi-grain oats, and substitute 1/4 cup honey for the brown sugar when I make it.
|Finally a bread that looks as great as it tastes!|
Snow, snow, snow... although we have yet to receive a giant snowfall, the ground has been snow-covered for most of the winter. The funny thing is, now that I've retired, I really don't mind snow or ice! I can just sit at home all cozy and comfy and not worry about driving or falling on icy parking lots. We are supposed to get more snow off and on all week! I don't care as long as the roads are clear on the 23rd as that is the day we're getting our second dose of the Covid vaccine. I'm a bit worried as I have heard there are more side effects with this second one, but I don't care--I just want it done! We are already making plans to fly to California in mid-March to spend some long overdue time with this little cutie. We last saw him when he was just 3 months old and here he is all dressed up for Valentine's Day in his little heart suspenders and red bow tie. Seven months old already and he is definitely looking more like a little boy than a baby!
|♥ This tiny 7-month old cupid has captured my heart! ♥|
Well, my friends, stay warm and safe... I hope these last two weeks of February fly by for you. Next comes March and the promise of springtime--I can't wait! Thanks so very much for stopping by today and for all of your sweet comments. If any of you have questions, make sure to leave your email address so I can try to answer you. Happy stitching everyone! Bye for now...