Sunday, February 14, 2021

♥ Sending a lot of love on Valentine's Day! ♥

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...


Lee said...

As always its lovely to see and read your news and enjoy what you have been stitching
Happy Valentines day

Vickie said...

That French Love Bird is wonderful! You know I love the cupid as I also stitched her! The cubby shelf is just perfect. You are going to love using that SO much! I have had a Zojirushi bread machine for years Carol! I cannot believe how adorable your grandson is!! So glad you will be getting your next shot. My Mom, two Aunts, and Brian's parents have gotten theirs and will be getting there second ones shortly.

Maggie said...

Your cubby shelf is lovely Carol! I know you are going to have fun decorating that each month.
We can have some very unchangeable weather in March, I remember one year having blazing temperatures and the next year at the same time having snow and ice so i'm not ready to wish February away just yet, lol.
Hope you don't have any adverse effects from your second covid jab, I don't know anyone who has had their second jab yet, I'm still reading up on it but won't be called till around May anyway.
Your little grandson is so sweet in his Valentine's outfit, they grow up so quickly don't they, i'm sure you are counting down the days till you get cuddles again:-)
Have a good week x

Sandy said...

The bird with the postage stamp is so pretty. I very much like your cubbies. I know you will have much fun with them. If it helps any Mother, and my sister and brother-in-law have had their second doses with no issues. I am so glad you are going to go see that little boy. He is so cute and yes, they grow so fast.

Stasi said...

I love that cubby shelf...I am on a hunt!!! Hope that second vaccine is not a problem for you both.

diamondc said...

Carol: Nice post, beautiful finishing on your designs, we have snow and -degree weather here in Minnesota.
What a cutie pie he is.


Sandra said...

Beautiful Valentine's Day stitching. I especially love the bird! Your cubby hole hanging is so lovely to showcase stitching pieces and so sweet that you've dedicated a place in memory of your mother.

Your 7-month grandson is gorgeous. I think it's his 'grown-up' clothes which make him look older! Such lovely dark hair and his eyes look dark too.

Have a beautiful week, Carol.

Gabi said...

Another lovely post. Beautiful Valentine stitching and it looks wonderful in your cubby. Wait for the deco next month. Very good idea to safe the middle space for your mom. Best place to honor her!
Your little grandson is adorable. Already 7 months, they grow so fast.
Weather here is getting better, last week it was very,very cold.
Wish you a wonderful week and send warm greetings.

Kay said...

Oh my, the wall cubby unit is amazing. I love how you will be able to change it every month to suit the season and whatever is happening. I am sure you have plenty of smalls to fill it. x

Clare-Aimetu said...

Little chap is so cute in his bow tie. Your cubby hole looks super, I wish I had room for something dedicated to my stitching. Good luck with the vaccine. A lovely Valentine piece for the Hop but it isn't mine, Happy Valentine's 💕

butterfly said...

Oh my look at your lovely little one he is so cute and has grown so much .
How smart he looks dresses up for Valentine's day .
I love your header and all the beautiful new stitches .
And the Barn Cubby is wonderful WOW I love it .
Enjoy a wonderful new week .HUGS

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
wonderful Valentine finishes. I love the bird it is a perfect finish.
Your new shelf is great. Every month you can decorate with your ornaments and pillows. Hope you will share the monthly decoration with us.
All the best for your second vaccine.
Have a nice restful month.
Hugs, Manuela

maxi said...

Hello Carol,
i like your Pottery Barn! Your Ornament for Valentin a so cute, thank you for share it with us.
Happy Stitichng

Marilyn said...

I LOVE all of the smalls on your header, so pretty!
What a pretty ornament finish, & Hoopla is too cute the way you finished it.
Love your cubby shelf, it will hold a lot of great smalls.
What a nice tribute to your Mother.
Your bread looks delicious.
My loaves always turn out hard as doorstops, maybe I need to read some solutions for that.
The little guy is too cute in his suspenders, & growing!
Hope your 2nd shot goes well with no symptoms.
Have a great week!

moosecraft said...

Beautiful stitches....lovely finishes....and love that that Pottery Barn shelf! Great piece to display all the smalls! :-)

Donna G. said...

Love the cubby display!

Robin in Virginia said...

Your cubby shelf looks fabulous and I know you will enjoy changing things out for different seasons and/or holidays, Carol. Your Valentine stitches are all darling, the new ones along with the old ones. The loaf of bread looks delicious. But your little Valentine is so precious; he is so adorable. Have a good week!

Arlene @Nanaland said...

What a precious valentine boy!! I know you can hardly wait to see him in March. Cherish the moments as they grow up so fast. Kendall, our oldest will be 15 in April. Time flew by. Love all your Valentine stitches. My dough bowl is full now so I am moving on to some spring pillows. I have very few March things so maybe I should stitch some of those as well. After Valentines Day, I am ready for Easter.I will start pulling out things on Ash Wednesday. That cubby is a great idea. I may have to look for one of those at my favorite antique stores. The tribute to your mother is perfect. You had asked how I keep up with various projects. Well I try to only have 10 going at one time. When I watch carol the Saltbox Stitcher on You Tube and she showed her WIP parade, I almost I keep them all in separate project bags. File them in a big box and just rotate through from front to back unless I have something special I need to finish. It keeps me from getting bored for sure. Today I am working on March Word Play. Happy Stitching Carol. I always enjoy seeing your beautiful work.

Sheryl said...

Two pretty stitched designs for Valentine´s Day and I like the finish you have given to the little Cupid design, the red background and frame are just perfect. The cubby shelf is a lovely addition to your decor and a great idea to change the decoration as the seasons pass and I like the box reserved for your mum - always in your heart.
Your seven month old cutie, certainly looks older than his months and growing so fast.

Amara said...

Hi Carol,
your Valentine stitches are so beautiful and they are looking perfect in your cubby shelf.
Your bread sounds delicious, thank you for sharing the recipe.
All the best with the second Vaccine for you and your Husband and i hope you can hug your sweet little Cupid in March. His little heart suspenders are too cute.
Have a nice week

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

That cubby is fabulous, if you follow Vickie's Blog you will have lots of inspiration from her cubby too.
I hosted my annual Blog Hop for Valentine's Day so there's plenty more inspiration there.
Your little Grandson is adorable!

Sherri said...

Well Carol, I love your latest Valentine's stitches! BUT, your cubby steals the show! I have one in our guest room and I fill it with a mix of stitcheries and vintage family treasures. So much fun. Your grandson is adorable! Enjoy your visit with him.

Kgirl said...

That little guy's smile warms up this cold day! What a cutie! We are expecting 8-12 inches of snow today. Staff meeting is cancelled tomorrow....yay for me! More time to clean and reorganize the craft room. :)

I bought a cubbie shelf at Hobby Lobby last week. Today I figured out the perfect spot for it in the family room/kitchen. I didn't want to put it in my scrapbook area once I brought it home. I want to see it often. Love your sweet stitches!

Thank you for this happy mail in my inbox today! I'm inspired to stitch and stitch!

Kaisievic said...

What a gorgeous Valentine's Day boy, I bet that you can't wait to visit him - not long now! Your Valentine's Day stitching and February cubby are so gorgeous, Carol. As I have stated many a time, you are so talented. Happy belated Valentine's Day.

Kate said...

Isn't he a sweetie-pie and so grown up looking!

Barb said...

What a little cutie! I bet you just can't wait to see him again! I love the way you have done the Pottery Barn piece. That silhouette of your Mom is priceless! Plus those little white ceramic shoes are adorable. I have two silhouettes from when my children were very young. I hang them in my guest room. What a great collection of stitched valentine designs.

Shami Immanuel said...

Your cubby shelf is lovely. So many colorful projects and a treat to my eyes. Happy that I found your blog. I will be following you.

Melisa- pinkernpunkinquilting said...

Such beautiful projects and stitching for the month, Carol. I love your cubby and how you had it decorated for February. I hope you will share it when it gets its Spring makeover. It is so hard to believe that your grandbaby has turned 7 months old- what a doll. Have a wonderful week and happy stitching, Hugs.

Vicki said...

What a precious photo of your grandson! They change in looks so quickly, don't they? I know you're counting down the days until you can hold him in your arms.
I LOVE your cubby shelf! Can't wait to see how you decorate it each month.

Barb R. said...

Hi Carol - first of all, your grandson is absolutely precious and way too adorable!!! I can certainly understand how much you want to go see him and love him and enjoy everything with him! He makes a perfect Valentine!!
Thanks, too, for sharing all of your beautiful stitching for this month of hearts ♥️! They are all so wonderful - and the French bird is so pretty.
Your shelf of cubbies from Pottery Barn is beautiful, and how special to devote the middle cubby to your Mom - perfect! It really will be fun to see all the changes you can make each month. You may be surprised how easy it will be to fill it up each month. (and I know I will drool over how terrific it is!)
I think we would all love to see photos of your new rug. After all the work it takes to get the room ready, you deserve all the praise for all your efforts. Oh, and could you send a slice of your bread made from your bread machine my way? It really looks delicious!! YUM! I think you made a great loaf 🍞!
Happy rest of February to you!
Love to you ❣️

Christel said...

Magnifiques décorations et broderies pour la Saint Valentin. Il faut vraiment que je brode quelques modèles car je n'ai rien pour cette jolie fête, doublement jolie pour moi puisque le plus jeune de mes fils se prénomme Valentin.
A l'étage j'ai 2 casiers d'imprimeurs je n'ai pas encore trouvé où les suspendre... Il faut que j'y réfléchisse car cela me permettrai d'y mettre tout un tas de coussinets brodés qui sont actuellement dans une corbeille...
Votre petit fils a bien grandi en effet, il est tout mignon.
Un bel envoi que celui que vous avez reçu. Ça fait toujours plaisir de recevoir de tel courrier.
Amitiés de France,

Jackie's Stitches said...

Such a sweet cubby, Carol! You're going to have such fun changing it out for the seasons. I've always enjoyed seeing Vicky's displays. I hope you share yours when you change it out too!

Your grandson is just the cutest! I know you can't wait to get your hands on him!

Stoff und Nadel ... Jutta’s Blog said...

Dear Carol,
oh, your sweet grandson!!!! Thank you for this photo.
Your cubby shelf is so lovely! We see, that you have much fun decorating that each month.
Thank you for your comment, yes, it's really a lot of fun to embroider spring patterns in the depth of winter ;-)
Hugs, Jutta

Mary said...

Carol, I love your sweet Valentine stitch and I had NO idea that DMC was variagated!! I have to look for the 115 on earth have I missed out on that? Your Grandson is so adorable, I know you are counting the days till you get to see him again. I can't believe how big he is already. Love your Holiday hoopla...maybe I'll have mine done by next year. I don't have a bread machine but have been making far too much homemade bread during covid. I think I could live on bread and butter!!
I love your cubby shelf and I think the dedication to your Mother on your cubby is wonderful and yes, I want to hear about the thimble!! Stay safe!! Mary

Cathy H. said...

Oh, I love your Pottery Barn cubby! The space in the center honoring your mom is precious! You have so many pretty pieces to put in the cubby. I feel like you, the snow is wonderful as long as I don't have to go anywhere. It has been snowing all day here, a peaceful snow! I know you are looking forward to seeing that adorable young man!! He's precious in his Valentine finery!

Mary - Lecoeurceltique said...

Your chubby hole shelves look terrific with all your stitching and your set of mementos to your mother.
I love seeing your latest finishes and the little 'tweaks' you make that personalise them.
It will be great for you to see your grandson again. As you say, he is a little boy now rather than a baby.

Alhana said...

I love seeing your decoration for Valentine's. The cupid stole my heart, but the center space in the cubby shelves for your mother and grandmother is just too precious for words! Yes, please do tell us about her thimble. :-)
Hope you can see your grandson soon, he looks so handsome and grown up in his Valentine's suit!

April said...

Hello Carol,
What another lovely post from you. Baby B is quite the handsome fellow--and growing so quickly! I know you and your husband must be counting the days when you can see him and his parents!
I love the new/older Valentines stitching. Your cubby looks so great! The tribute spot for your Mom and Grandmother is so special. You will have such fun decorating it. (Pictures please :)
Your bread looks so yummy! I've gotten into sourdough bread....oh my! It's like having a teenager again-always hungry! :) Best to put it in the fridge and bake occasionally-will be best for my waistline!
Have a great day,

Faith... said...

My goodness he is so cute!! I can't believe that he has already lost all that "baby" look! Love your new Valentines. Love Letters looks great. Love the Pottery Barn cubby and think I am jealous! That will be a beautiful way to display your treasures and stitching.

Mary said...

As always, lovely stitching and finishes! Your grandson is adorable! So grown up looking in his Valentine outfit! Good luck with vaccine #2. Had mine Friday, and was feeling achy, tired and like I had the flu yesterday. Did a lot of napping in my chair! But today I’m fine. Just the first 24-36 hours for me. Hubby only had sore arm with his 2nd one.

Pam in IL said...

Your grandson is so adorable! I love that sweet smile! They sure grow up fast. Beautiful stitching too. Your cubby is wonderful, especially that special cubby dedicated to your mom. I've wanted a cubby since I was little, but still don't have one, lol.

Hubby has been struggling with our Zojirushi bread machine too. I'll check out the recipe you've been using.

Jennifer said...

Such lovely Valentines stitches and I just love your cubby and can’t wait to see it each season. Our snow is finally melting this week after a long stretch below freezing. We had a good snow last week and enjoyed a few days of winter wonderland when we didn’t have to go anywhere, and now I think we are all looking forward to spring!