Monday, March 15, 2021

A busy two weeks and two new finishes

Whew! It's been a busy first two weeks of March for me... I think I've left my house more over the past two weeks than I did over the entire past year! (Well, not really, as there were trips to visit my mom and my grandson last year, but you get the idea). This was my "self-care" time of the year when I schedule all the doctors'  appointments that I can manage into two weeks. I went for my annual physical, my eye appointment, my dental check-up, my mammogram, my bone density scan, and had my blood and urine tested at the lab. Throw in a much-needed haircut and color and it was a productive, if tiring, couple of weeks. Thankfully, all my appointments went well. (Although when you suffer from osteoporosis like I do, the results of my bone density scans are never what you want to see... In spite of all my exercise, my bones continue to grow weaker. For me, it's genetic, both mom and grandma had severe osteoporosis, too). 

I have had a bit of time to stitch--though not as much as I would have liked. As you can see below, my St. Patrick's Day display has been brightening up the kitchen. Although I have no Irish blood, I really love the cheery green of these pieces--they just say spring to me and they're a perfect transition from frosty snowmen to frolicking bunnies. I purchased the little pitcher and two matching cups adorned with shamrocks at Goodwill over a year ago (BC--before Covid). I thought they would be a perfect addition to my Irish-themed basket. And do you see the green checked "placemat" that everything is resting on? It is an extra-large men's shirt that I also purchased at Goodwill to cut up and use in finishing and in my displays. Since all the shirts are the same price, why not look for the "extra-large" size, right!?

Lots of green goodies in my St. Patrick's Day display

For those of you who are new to my blog, I thought perhaps you might enjoy reading about each of the cute green finishes in my tiered basket... You can click on the highlighted name of each piece and be taken to my blog post with details about each finish. The piece peeking out in the back right corner is from Prairie Schooler's Book No. 13 "A Prairie Year." In front of that is "Wee Lassies" from Pineberry Lane's "Little Shamrocks" chart. Over on the right is a freebie from Erica Michaels called "The Lion and the Lamb." And in the very front is another freebie from Remy at Embroiderbee's Primary Hive. Love that black kitty as he reminds me of our old cat, Shadow.

Love that black cat finish!

Moving on down to the lower basket, you can find "Basket O' Luck" from Pineberry Lane's "Little Shamrock's chart in the back left, "Erin Go Bragh" from the same chart in the middle, and the Lizzie Kate March Stamp from the Flip-It Series on the right. In the very front is "Leprechaun Lodge" by Blue Ribbon Designs. The freebie for this design can be found right here.

My newest St. Patrick's Day finish is in the frame on the far right


One of my favorite St. Patrick's Day finishes is this little cutie called "Sweet Clover Girl" by Pineberry Lanes. It, too, can be found in the "Little Shamrocks" chart. She is resting on an old hankie from my maternal grandmother--look at the delicate clover lace edging on it. I treasure this so much! 

Love this embroidered handkerchief that belonged to my grandmother!


But, wait--I missed telling you about one finish... On the far right of the display is my latest in the Holiday Hoopla series--"St. Patrick's Day" by With Thy Needle and Thread. I used 40 ct. Woodland Newcastle linen and the suggested colors. I did add a few extra ecru "doodads" to round it out a bit more and surrounded the circle (which is glued onto a square of fabric covered sticky board) with ecru covered cording. I am using the same frame for all of my Holiday Hoopla finishes. You can see the Valentine's Day finish right here and the Easter finish in this post. I really love how this one turned out! I want to thank my sweet friend, Vickie, for passing this wonderful chart on to me! And to keep the kindness going, I'll be giving it away today... Just follow the directions below if you are interested.

How cute is this sheep wearing his Irish hat?

Stitchers really are the kindest people and I have three wonderful friends to thank today. First of all, my friend, Ginger S., on Instagram who sent me a very special chart a while back. You see, Ginger lost her mother last year, too, and her friend, Joy, sent her the wonderful Plum Street Samplers chart called "Remember Me" so she could stitch it in memory of her mom. As soon as Ginger was done, she kindly passed it on to me and now that I have finished, I have passed it on to another stitching friend who also lost her mother in 2020. We are hoping to keep this kindness going for as long as possible. 

"Remember Me" stitched in memory of mom


My finish of "Remember Me" was stitched on 36 ct. Sand Edinburgh linen by Picture This Plus. I did change several of the colors, the font for my mom's initials, and if you look closely in the photo below, you'll notice a tiny addition to my version. I added a wee hummingbird--can you see him stitched "over one" in the upper right? I am no artist so I'm thrilled that he resembles a hummingbird even a little bit!

I added a teeny hummingbird to the design

Why did I choose to add a hummingbird? You see, hummingbirds were "mom's bird"--she loved them. She had them on her china, on coasters, drinking glasses, stationery, and ornaments. There is even a hummingbird etched above her name on her gravestone. When I see one in real life, or even a drawing of one, I always think of my sweet mother. In the photo below you'll see my parents after my dad's graduation from medical school (just a few months after I greeted the world in 1955)! I've been taking a lot of comfort in looking through these old black and white photos of my parents looking so young and whole and in love. That is how I like to imagine them together again...

Mom and Dad in 1955--oh, how I miss them!

Another lovely gift came all the way from England from my friend, Linda G. She recently got in touch with me after many years and said she was still enjoying reading my blog. She asked if she could send me some gold plated needles to thank me for "all the joy" that my blog posts bring her. Isn't that thoughtful of her? Well, just look at this fancy box of needles that arrived from The Cross Stitch Guild in Great Britain! Oh, my--I feel like royalty! The needles are wonderful and they truly do glide through the fabric. I will treasure your gift, Linda, and I truly thank you!

A lovely set of the best needles from my friend, Linda G., in England


A third gift arrived as a complete surprise from my young friend in Germany, Amara, whom I first "met" on Instagram (her name on IG is "xstitchingmakesmyheartlight" if you would like to follow her). Amara wanted to thank me for always being so "kind and supportive." I was truly touched when I opened her package to see a beautifully stitched bunny ornament and a lovely Easter card. Isn't this darling? I love the bunny girl bearing a bouquet of spring blooms. And the blue cording and ribbon finish it off perfectly, Amara! Thank you, my friend!

A sweet Easter gift from my Instagram friend, Amara


Giveaway winner... So, to keep the stitchy kindness going, I want to first announce the winner of my giveaway from my previous post. Many of you entered the drawing, but there can only be one winner of the pretty "Love Grows" chart and that is...

Darlene J.

Darlene J.--you have won the "Love Grows" chart!

Darlene, please contact me via email or Instagram and send me your mailing address. I'll post the chart as soon as possible. Hope you enjoy stitching it!

Giveaway time... And, guess what?! I'd like to send one of you the "Holiday Hoopla St. Patrick's Day" chart. Who is interested? If you are, please 1) Specifically say so in your comment, 2) Make sure to leave your email address if I don't already have it and 3) Answer today's "Getting To Know You" question below.

If you would like to enter the giveaway for this St. Patrick's Day chart, please follow the instructions above.

Getting To Know You... I so enjoyed reading about your place in the family from my last post. As I predicted, many of you are firstborn children like I am. For today's question, I'm wondering if you collect anything? Some people are big collectors and some aren't. I've gone through various phases in the 43 years that I've been married. At first I collected gnomes, then I moved on to Lizzie High dolls, then to David Winter Cottages, and then to Dedham Pottery (the reproductions--not the pricey genuine pieces). It's been about fifteen years now since I've collected anything, though. I think I'm beginning to slow down as I get older and simply enjoy the things I already have. Now, it's your turn--do you collect something special (or have you in your younger days)?

I'll be taking a bit of a blogging break for a few weeks as a certain eight-month-old bundle of  baby boy will be occupying my time. I'll still try to read your blogs, but it's very hard for me to comment from my phone so I'll just have to catch up with you all in April at some point. If you follow me on Instagram (which you can do by clicking right here), I'll still try to post a few photos during my blogging break so look for me there. In the meantime, I'm so glad you stopped to visit today! Welcome to my new followers and a big thank you to all of you who take the time to comment or email me. I always enjoy hearing from you. Wishing you a blessed Easter and hoping that more and more of you are able to once again hug your families. Bye for now...

Wishing each of you something to smile about on St. Patrick's Day!