Friday, April 30, 2021

Bunnies and blue (and a bit of beach time)

The last day of April--can you believe it? The year is one third over! I'm back with some stitching and a life update and I hope this finds you all doing well. Who else is finding stitching time to be in short supply at this point in the year? I think I stitched a total of about two hours over the past week (but I do have a good excuse for that which I'll go into later on in this post). 

For those of you who know me only as that dedicated "one ornament a month" or small pillow stitcher, you'll probably be a bit surprised by this new finish. I began "A Stitch In Time" by The Workbasket back in July 2020 when we were in California quarantining before our grandson came into the world. I worked on it from time to time since then and finally finished it completely in early March. I've had this chart in my stash for years (it is from 2005) and I'm glad I finally took the plunge and stitched it.

"A Stitch In Time" finish

The suggested Kreinik Silk Mori threads on 40 ct. Woodland Newcastle linen were used for this finish. I love the beautiful flowers in varying shades of blue with their specialty stitches.

And the little creatures are so adorable... I mean who doesn't love a pale blue swan? Those cute white owls are so sweet, too!

As always, I made a few changes to my finish... The original design had the saying "A stitch in time saves my mind" charted below the flower pot (you can see it right here) and it just didn't appeal to me. So, I made the decision to center the entire motif and eliminate the words. Instead, I stitched my initials and the year on either side of the flower pot and I'm very pleased with the result!

Can't wait to get this one back from the framer!

I took a leap of faith and mailed this piece (along with two other large finishes) to Total Framing in Virginia so they could work their magic. Hopefully, I'll have them back some time in May. And, of course, I'll share the framed finishes with you right here. 

What draws you to choose what to stitch? For me, the colors in this design are perfect for my family room, but the thing that really called my name were the cute bunnies on the flower pot. They remind me so much of the Dedham Pottery bunnies that I've collected for years. I began collecting these reproduction pieces in the '90s and purchased most of them on Ebay. Through the years I've probably added nearly 50 pieces to my collection. 

For the past couple of months, I've filled my Pottery Barn cubby with some of my Dedham Pottery. As you can see there are bunny figurines, little vases and jars--even a two-piece egg!

My Pottery Barn cubby this month

I'm not sure what captivated me about this pottery. I do love the bunnies' sweet faces, of course, but I also love the crackled glazing on the pieces. And, of course, I love the blue and white--always such a crisp, clean look.

Do you have a favorite?


I also have some larger pieces not displayed here including two different teapots, a casserole dish, even a recipe box! They've been displayed in the glass-front cabinets in my kitchen for over 25 years and I've never grown tired of them. 

Why, I even have similar bunnies on the pillow covers in my family room which I ordered on Etsy--they came all the way from England!

Here you can see the pillows in my family room setting. Remember the new rug that I mentioned a few posts back. Many of you said you'd like to see it, so here it is... Yes, it's clear that I love blues! That navy blue chair on the left is my stitching chair, which, sadly hasn't seen much use lately. Why is that? Well... read on!

My family room--and my stitching chair where you'll find me most every evening!


And here is a view from the opposite end--on the far right you can see my Pottery Barn cubby hanging on the wall leading into the kitchen. I stood on the window seat to take this photo which is why the room looks bigger than it is! It's simply a nice cozy space and the new rug gave the room some much needed pattern...

So, why haven't I been stitching? Two weeks after we returned from seeing our grandbaby in California, we were on the plane again--this time heading south to sunny Naples, Florida. No, it wasn't for a holiday--we were there to work. And work we did--boy, I can't remember the last time I was that tired at the end of each day. You see, my in-laws' health has deteriorated so they had to bid farewell to their Florida home and are now residing in a nursing home in Ohio (about an hour from us). We flew down to get their home ready for the rental market which meant a lot of trips to Goodwill (for both dropping off and purchasing), organizing, cleaning, repairing, rearranging, etc. 

We did enjoy a bit of free time over the weekend when my youngest son flew in for a quick visit. We went out to eat with him a couple of times and saw the prettiest skies as the sun was about to set. I did manage to take one lone walk on the lovely Naples beach which is only five blocks from my in-laws' home.

Naples, Florida at sunset

Naples is truly one of the prettiest places I've visited--beautiful homes, wonderful restaurants, and charming little shops and boutiques. If you haven't had the chance to visit, I highly suggest it! I'm usually not one for the sun and heat and beach life, but even I fell under the spell of this Gulf Coast city.

The beautiful end of a busy day

My youngest son took this photo of my husband and me at the Naples dock right before dinner. We don't look too tired here, but, honestly, we were both wiped out from working from dawn to bedtime... Did we get everything done? No, we will be making more trips down at some point. But, I think next time, we'll try to fit in a bit more relaxation (and I'll definitely make sure to carve out more stitching time!).

Tired, but still smiling!

Giveaway winner... I drew a name for the chart of the yellow daffodils in the blue vase  that I offered in my previous post and the winner is...


April--you are the winner of this chart!

Congratulations, April! Please email me with your mailing address and I'll get this chart right out to you. I hope you enjoy stitching it--it really is a beauty. I'll be having more giveaways in future posts, so please stop by again!

I was the winner of a beautiful giveaway on Instagram myself! Just look at this huge project pouch made by the talented Michelle from Under the Woolen Willow. Michelle "saves the stitches" that she finds in thrift stores and turns them into beautiful project pouches. She has a wonderful Etsy shop which you can find right here. Thank you again, Michelle--this was a real treat and your work is perfection!

A lovely giveaway win from Michelle at "Under the Woolen Willow"

I was happy to find our spring flowers and trees still in bloom when we returned from Florida. Honestly, is it just me, or do they seem to be more beautiful than ever this year? This busy bee certainly seems to be loving the miniature rhododendron. We had heavy rains yesterday which brought down many of the blossoms, but I was so glad to enjoy a few days of their beauty and lovely scent.

Spring in western Pennsylvania


Well, a busy month lies ahead, but it's one I've waited for for ever-so-long--my grandson is coming for a visit! Yes, my oldest son, daughter-in-law, and almost 10-month-old (and into EVERYTHING!) grandbaby will be here for two weeks in May. I've been busy setting up a little play area (at the far end of our sunroom where the Christmas tree usually sits), babyproofing, and purchasing a crib, highchair, diapers, etc. in preparation. (My oldest son has not been home in over a year and a half so I think he is more excited than anyone)! Thank goodness for vaccinations--such a feeling of freedom after all the time we were isolated from our loved ones. I feel truly grateful and thankful for the scientists who worked so hard to come up with these vaccines, don't you?

I'm having such fun setting up a little play area for my grandson's visit!

I'll be reading blogs only off and on during their visit, but I hope each of you has a wonderful month of May. Not sure when I will post again, but I'll try to check in with you at some point. Thank you for all of your supportive comments--I do appreciate each and every one. I'm also thankful for those of you who have taken the time to email me and thank me for inspiring you, stitching-wise. Those kind emails always make me smile and give me the push I need to keep on writing "Stitching Dreams." Have a wonderful day, everyone! Bye for now...


Sandy said...

Let's start with that corner for the grandson. It is looking like my house here. I am really glad I kept some of the kids' toys because they have been the foundation for "Mimi's daycare." The blue and white rabbit stitch is just gorgeous. I love blues like that and that is a gorgeous stitch. So delicate with the 40 count. I love the pillows in the family room. That is a clear match for the stitch and the cubby cabinet is just perfect with the collection. It is so true that when we choose things we really like (that speak to us when we see them) we won't grow tired of them. Ignore the trends. I was so excited to see snippets of your beautiful home. I think you are right about the flowers this year. I think we have had a bumper year with blooms. Now, walking and strolling along the docks and beach is my thing. I guess it is a good thing I live where I live. I know when y'all are done you will have no trouble renting the home. It is tough watching our loved ones age. Enjoy that family time.

Vickie said...

A Stitch in Time is just gorgeous! Those blues really pop! Love all those little critters.
Your family room is so cozy. What a pretty rug!
Naples sure does look wonderful!
That project pouch you won is so very pretty! Wow. I do not follow Michelle and had no idea of this.
Oh, I can see how much fun you are having setting up for Baby B. I am very envious!! I think you will have a grand Mother's Day this year!

Robin in Virginia said...

Your Stitch in Time piece is gorgeous, Carol. I can't wait to see what Total Framing does with it (and your other pieces). It sounds like you had a productive trip to Florida along with a good visit with your youngest son. The area that you are setting up for Baby B makes me want to come and play. Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!

Shami Immanuel said...

Wonder stitch in time finish. Congrats on winning the pouch. it is gorgeous. Have a nice time with your grandson and family. Had a nice time reading your post and seeing your cozy stitching corner.

Sandra said...

Well you have been busy travelling and seeing to thinks for your parents-in-law. I love the bunnies stitching.
How exciting to have your family and especially your adorable grandson to stay in May.
A lovely photo of you and your husband!

butterfly said...

Your stitch in time looks fab and is so you Carol.
How lovely to have your family together again .
You made me smile setting up the baby space .
I use to do this , but a big BUT , they would never stay there they were all over the house well some times there were 5 of them over here .
I don't think I could do it now , running every where to see where they were , oh happy days.
Take time to rest after all your work , and enjoy every moment with your family .
Hugs June.

Barbara said...

Your home is so lovely. Every time you share photos of it, I get a little nostalgic thinking about our years in Northern Virginia (1984-1988). That part of the country has a real homey and beautiful feel to it. Just love it.

Your stitching s P.E.R.F.E.C.T. (of course) and always a treat to see.

And the photos from Naples, Florida. I have not been there, but you captured it well. Those palms against the sky -- very pretty.

Enjoy your grandson's visit. It looks like you've thought of everything. It looks like Christmas!

Jennie in GA said...

A Stitch in Time is gorgeous and I can certainly see why you chose it. It certainly looks great with your collection. Hope you enjoy your family time together.

Manuela said...

A nice Post Carol.
I love your new stitching finish so much. I'm looking forward to the frame.
Your family room is so beautiful.
Enjoy the family time with your oldest son and his family. I thing your grandchild will love his little playground in your house.
Big Hugs, Manuela

Stasi said... the cubby and the pottery in it...will coordinate perfectly with your Workbasket piece.
Sorry about your in-laws...I know it's a lot of work, especially long distance. I dread when we have to do this for my parents.
Have a blast with Baby sounds like you have everything covered....enjoy!!!

diamondc said...

Carol: How exciting it is that your grandson is coming and I see you have a load of fun toys for him, I just love the sock monkey.
Your new design is beautiful, I am looking forward to seeing it framed.
Your family room is lovely and looks so inviting.
Sweet photo of you and your husband.
Your pottery is beautiful, a very nice collection.
Congratulations to April.
Thank-you for the link to the Etsy shop.


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

The blue design is just beautiful, I love those little swans too!
As you know, I am drawn to a wide range of designs, I am a sucker for a series though. At the moment, it's all about the 12 Days of Christmas!
I was excited when I saw your travel destination and thought it was Italy LOL
It will be like very to have the Grandbaby over and as he's a First Child he will probably be very well behaved around your precious things. Unlike those pesky second children who are into everything! Honestly I could take my older son anywhere and often did.

Alhana said...

I love your "A Stitch In Time" and can't wait to see it framed and displayed on your beautiful family room with all these shades of navy blue, rich brown and cream. No wonder you enjoy stitching and spending time in there, it looks so cosy and elegant!

Florida weather must be so different for you, but I am glad you can enjoy it and relax a bit more next time you travel there. May looks like a very exciting month in your house with that long awaited visit in just a few days! I hope you have a great time together.

Happy Mother's Day!

moosecraft said...

Love that Stitch In Time piece! The white really pops off the woodland fabric.... and who doesn't like blue and white? lol! I've heard only good things about Total Framing...looking forward to seeing the magic they work on your stitches!

Jackie's Stitches said...

Oh Carol, you must be so excited for your grandson to visit! And your son and DIL too but we know who is the star of the show!

Your cubby display is just precious! I couldn't possibly pick a favorite.

Christel said...

C'est vrai que le temps passe très vite, trop vite, c'est bien pour cela qu'il faut profiter de tous les jours et des petits bonheurs simples que la vie nous offre.
Comme vous j'aime le bleu, alors forcément votre collection ainsi que le coussin et votre tapis, j'adore !
Je comprends votre grande fatigue avec le grand ménage dans la maison de vos beaux-parents.. La prochaine fois que vous irez vous bénéficierez de plus de temps libre.
Quelle bonne nouvelle la visite de votre petit fils et ses parents. C'est un vrai bonheur que d'aménager tout pour le bien-être du bébé. Nous avons eu la chance de garder notre petite Lara pendant 3 jours et 2 nuits au mois d'avril pendant les vacances scolaires. Elle est adorable, très câline et met de la joie partout.
Bravo à Avril pour avoir gagné ce joli bouquet à broder et bravo à vous pour la magnifique pochette remportée sur instagram.
Amitiés de France (où le printemps peine à s'installer...)

April said...

Hi Carol,
I love your Stitch in Time piece--very beautiful! Total Framing does a fantastic job. Your family room is lovely. I have the bunny on the top left of your shelf. I bought it at a secondhand shop so I didn't know the name of it. Thank you for the chart. I usually don't win things, so I'm excited! :)
Have a wonderful time with your family and sweet little Baby B!

Melisa- pinkernpunkinquilting said...

I just love the Stitch in Time cross stitch. So many fun critters in it. Boy is it hard to choose a favorite piece in your cubby, but that darling big bunny on the top shelf sure caught my eye. And looks like you are all set for a grand old time with the grandbaby . Have fun, Carol.

Georgia said...

Hi Carol, I really enjoyed reading your blog post today. I loved reading about all of your adventures:) Your stitched piece is absolutely beautiful, and I do love the bunnies. I am anxious to see your framed pieces when they get back from Total Framing. You give me so many great ideas. Thank you so much for sharing:)

Vicki said...

Oh my gosh, Carol, so many things to comment on I hope I don't leave one out. I LOVE your cubby shelf! Vickie has one similar that I have coveted, I mean admired for years. I have got to get one for myself. The giveaway you won is gorgeous. "A Stitch in Time" is beautiful. The colors just pop on it. Your family room looks so warm and inviting. The play area looks so fun, he will love it! I'm sorry to hear that your in-laws health has deteriorated, but glad they are closer to you now. OK, I think I commented on everything. Will be thinking of you as your family visits and look forward to reading all about it.

Irene said...

Adoro il tuo ricamo, è verissima la frase e sta bene con il tuo arredamento, mi piace molto, lo metterò nella mia wishlist :)

Marilyn said...

A Stitch in time is so pretty, love all of the blues.
Love all of your pottery, my favorite is the watering can.
Looks like a cozy stitching spot.
That project bag is beautiful.
Makes you wonder how something that pretty ends up in a thrift store.
OMG Look at all those toys!
Wishing you fun times when your family comes to visit!

Barb R. said...

Hi Carol - oh how wonderful for all of you that your grandson (and his mom & dad) are coming to visit! That is so exciting and so special! It looks to me like you have gotten all the best things for him to play with and I just know there will be lots of hugs & kisses, affection & attention. I hope you all have a very happy time!
Thanks, too for sharing your beautiful Stitch In Time project - it’s so pretty. Love those little bunnies & swans. It will be so nice to see it framed and to see how Total Framing does. I’m sure it will be very special. Will you hang it in that beautiful family room? Such a wonderful room! It looks so warm and comfortable and very welcoming. I loved seeing all of your collection of Dedham Pottery. I have seen pieces like that but didn’t know the name of that pottery - beautiful, too!
Naples looks so nice. It’s good you got to have at least a little fun there in spite of all the hard work you had to do.
Enjoy your wonderful family visit - have lots of fun! All the fun & joy to all! ❣️

Wanda McColl said...

Carol, it is always such a joy to read your posts. I know I have said it before but your blog is so beautiful! It is so difficult to see our parents/inlaws aging but how wonderful that you and your husband were able to get them re-settled and also to deal with their house. I hope you get to enjoy Naples more on your subsequent trips as you continue to prepare their house as a rental. I hope they are able to get settled in their new surroundings. It's wonderful that you are just an hour away from them.

I am so excited that your grandson and family are coming for a visit. His play space looks amazing and I am sure he will love it! We have had our first vaccine and it is the most wonderful feeling to know we have at least some protection. We have been under another lockdown (3rd one) that will continue to at least May 20th.

I have absolutely fallen in love with "A Stitch in Time". It is stunning!!!! I have had that pattern for years as well and went immediately to pull it out once I saw yours. I also immediately ordered the threads so hopefully sometime in the next few months I will start it. I love how you left out the words and centered everything. It was the 'critters' that drew me to it as well. I must have bunnies on the brain too as I just finished Rabbit Hollow by Stacy Nash.

Speaking of bunnies, your collection of Dedham bunnies is fabulous! It truly is a timeless collection. Blue and white is just so beautiful. It's so wonderful that you are enjoying your Pottery Barn cubby. Your new rug is perfect for your family room.

Have a fabulous time with your grandson and family!
Hugs, Wanda

Mary's Thread said...

Oh your Stitch In Time is BEAUTIFUL! (or BLUE-tiful!) It goes perfectly with all your decor!I love that cushion too. I am a fan of William Morris style design. And I think that those "busy" designs are a good measure of what draws me to pattern. Right after color, I definitely am most attracted to a balance of stitched and unstitched space. I don't like full coverage things, but I like densely patterned things. And I love birds and animals. But not people (I think because to me they usually look to much like video game people all pixelated). And houses only sometimes. :) Have a wonderful week Carol!

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

The pattern “A Stitch in Time” has been wonderfully successful, an expressive embroidery work and so beautifully ironed!! ! !
I like your cozy home very much, especially your embroidery workstation and always your corner for your grandson ;-)
Thank you very much for your comment with me, have a nice May, Jutta