Happy July! I hope everyone in the U.S. had a relaxing Fourth Of July weekend... It was a quiet one here, but we'll make up for it when my entire family gathers in San Diego this coming week to celebrate three birthdays, a job change, and our upcoming 44th wedding anniversary. Needless to say, I can't wait for the fun to begin! Before I get into my stitching news, I want to thank all of you who offered suggestions on how to deal with my vertigo. I purchased some of the items suggested (motion sickness bands and anti-nausea meds) to have on hand if (please, no!!) it returns. Thankfully, I'm feeling better now and am just going to think positively!
So, on to stitching updates. I had really hoped to have this latest finish done by the Fourth of July, but it took longer to stitch than I expected. That's okay, though, as I leave my patriotic stitching up for most of the summer... I'll switch over to sunflowers and bees in mid-August. This is the first piece I've stitched by "From the Heart Needleart," but it won't be the last... such an enjoyable design! "Let Freedom Ring" was stitched on 40 ct. sand Newcastle with a combination of the suggested threads and my own choices. The substitutions made were: I used Needle Necessities #142 (Grecian Olive) for the green, Nina's Threads (Old Jeans) for the blue, and DMC 3865 for the white. The other colors were as suggested by the designer. I did change the beak on the eagle to the gold color as well as its claws. And instead of using cross stitches for the flagpole, I did a simple straight stitch.
|"Let Freedom Ring" by From the Heart Needleart|
Once again, a thrifted frame came to the rescue! My middle son had picked up this simple frame for me at Goodwill for $2.00 (I have him look for square frames whenever he goes!). I painted it with Waverly chalk paint (using the color "Plaster") and then lightly distressed it with a bit of sandpaper. It was too wide for the stitched piece so I simply sewed on two star-strewn pieces of fabric in burgundy and blue, added a strip of gold ric-rak, and topped it off with a yo-yo and a couple of buttons. A very inexpensive, but cute, finish! I love it!
|Love the flag carrying eagle!|
Last week, I was putting away some things in my guest room when I spotted this sweet little scene on top of the dresser and it just made me happy. So, why not share it with you? The reading bunny was a Mother's Day gift from my youngest son a few years ago and the stitching is a piece that I finished way back in 2009--my very first year of blogging. I wonder if there are any readers that remember my blog from way back then? That was the year I was stitching an "Ornament a Week"--crazy, right? I don't know how I did it given the fact that I was still working at the time... Most of those early blogging friends have left the blog world behind and have turned to Facebook or Flosstube. I really miss them, but I'm so happy to have you new readers along for the ride!
|Reading books and stitching--two of my favorite things!|
This chart can be found in the August 2000 issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine--a sweet design by The Drawn Thread called "Summer Scene." I think this may have been one of the very first pieces I stitched on linen. I remember being a bit overwhelmed by all of the specialty stitches in it: Hungarian stitches on the roof, leviathan stitches on the front door, Smyrna stitches for the flowers, woven leaf stitches for the tree
leaves, reversed cushion stitch on the sidewalk; and everyone's
favorite--the French knot for the flower centers. It was a challenge, but I truly love how it turned out. I mean who doesn't love a giant cat in their front yard? This remains one of my favorite finishes even though it is 12 years old! Do you have any old favorites that just make you smile when you walk by them?
|"Summer Scene" by The Drawn Thread|
I took a few photos of my 4th of July display to post on Instagram which might provide some inspiration to those of you who love red, white, and blue stitching as much as I do. These were stitched over the past twelve years; I usually stitch two or three patriotic pieces each summer. After Christmas stitching, patriotic stitching is my favorite (although bunnies for spring and Easter are rapidly multiplying, too!).
|So many memories in these little pillows...|
|Red, white, and blue stitches are taking over my kitchen!|
Believe it or not--there are more patriotic finishes in my corner cupboard which I didn't photograph! I think I've gotten a bit carried away with them, but they sure are fun to stitch and finish...
Reading update... The reading bunny seated in the blue chair, that I showed you earlier, was a perfect gift for me being a former librarian. I know many of you love to read, too, and might enjoy seeing what I've read so far in 2021. I rated them with blue hearts (five being the most-liked) and am so surprised that I've already read 25 books this year. I am not a fast reader... I tend to fall asleep when I read. But, I do have an audiobook and a Kindle book in progress at all times. I love listening to the audiobooks when I stitch, cook, or work on my finishes (or when I'm trying to get in my 10,000 steps by just walking around in the house)! Some have been very good, some only so-so; the number of blue hearts tell you what I thought of each one. Do you have any recommendations for me?
|Books read and rated so far in 2021|
I passed on all of your compliments about our garden to my husband--thank you so much. He's really enjoying digging in the soil this summer and I told him the garden and yard have never looked better. He's even set up a drip irrigation system to water the plants when we are away on trips! Lately, we've seen lots of wildlife in our backyard... a doe and her twin fawns, lots of groundhogs, and a Great Blue Heron visiting our pond. The pond is stocked with a couple dozen very large koi and a few smaller fish as well as a newly arrived snapping turtle (where he came from, we have no idea!). The heron waits patiently on the bank of the pond until just the right moment... Then he rapidly snatches one of the smaller fish out of the water with his long bill. I think the koi are too big for the heron to eat, thankfully...
|The Great Blue Heron patiently waiting for his breakfast to appear|
Email subscriptions... You may notice a new white box in the upper right sidebar to sign up for email subscriptions. Recently Google has announced that it was stopping their feedburner subscription service so I had to switch to follow.it. The very helpful staff at follow.it have transferred my existing active subscribers for "Stitching Dreams" to their service so, if you have already subscribed, you should still receive email notifications each time I put up a new post. They may look a bit different than the previous emails--I have no control over this... If you're not receiving notifications, you may have to subscribe again in the white box.
I'll be on a little blogging break while in San Diego celebrating my grandson's first birthday. I will be able to read your blogs, but won't be able to comment as my phone won't let me for some reason... I hope you all have a wonderful month ahead with lots of time to relax and enjoy the season. Thank you, one and all, for visiting me today--I love my readers! Bye for now...
|The peaceful view from our front porch as the sun sets on the Fourth of July. "Day is done, gone the sun. From the lake, from the hills, from the sky; All is well, safely rest. God is nigh..." (lyrics to "Taps")|