Monday, August 16, 2021

Buzzing in with a couple late summer finishes...

Hello, hello! How is everyone doing on this mid-August morning? The month is half over and it's been quite a rollercoaster ride in terms of weather so far. Last week we had bad storms with high winds passing through the area almost daily along with high temperatures in the 90s. And then this weekend it cooled off so much that I had to put on my toasty white, well-loved (that should read almost thread-bare!) chenille winter robe in the mornings--crazy for late summer! Today, more storms are in the forecast. Yep! A rollercoaster for sure. But, honestly, I'm not complaining after seeing all the fires, earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes that are devastating our planet. It is heartbreaking... and concerning... and it makes me truly worry for the future of our younger generations...

With everything going on around the world, I've been having trouble concentrating on my stitching. Oh, I've done a bit here and there, but my mind begins to wander and I can't seem to focus. Is anyone else having that problem? I did work on a couple of new bee themed pieces and finished those up last week. Can you spot them in my August bee/sunflower display?

My bee/sunflower display makes such a nice transition into fall decorating. It is one of my favorites to put out each August.

There is something so special about the way the light begins to filter in through the windows as fall approaches...


Here are a couple of close-ups for you. Do you have a favorite? I think mine is the Prairie Schooler "H Is for Honeybee" that I stitched a few years ago.

So, did you spot the two newest additions? Well, one of them is right in the middle framed in black. It is a cute freebie that was offered by Liz Mathews in her newsletter. You can subscribe on her website  right here.  I did change the colors up a bit for this finish making the border black, adding little stripes to the bees' bodies, and giving them black heads and white wings. I also stitched the flowers in a pinker color. The colors I used on 40 ct. sand Newcastle were: DMC white, 311, 520, 522, 646, 729, 950, 3046, and 3722. I also left off the band-stripe thing in the design and just stitched the middle medallion portion. This is one of the easiest types of finishes, but it is so effective, isn't it? The frame is one I've had in my stash from Marshalls--a perfect fit! The background fabric is a piece from a charm pack of fabrics applied to sticky board. I purchase a lot of charm packs to use in my finishing rather than buy larger cuts of fabric because most of my finishes are quite small.

Bee freebie finish from "Hello From Liz Mathews"


The second new bee addition is this Homespun Elegance design shown below called "Crows 'A Plenty." And yes, there were plenty more crows in the original design... I just couldn't take any more "over one" stitching of those black birds--my eyes were crying out for me to stop! So, I just stitched the middle hive and bee portion with a crow on either side. There is also a tiny ladybug creeping toward the hive on the right side! Can you spot it? This one is stitched on 28 ct. vintage country mocha cashel linen with the suggested colors. Love how this long pillow turned out!

Two crows was plenty for me!


When I add new pieces to collections, I try to use colors in my finishing that will blend nicely with the existing pillows. In this case, you'll notice mostly gold and black with hints of green and pink. The beautiful yellow sunflowers were miniature ones grown by my  husband in his vegetable (rapidly turning into "my" cutting flower!) garden. I've so enjoyed all my cut flowers this year and will miss them once summer is over... I really can't thank him enough for the time he's put into growing flowers for us (me!) this year!

A final look at my bee/sunflower display for the summer of 2021


And here are some of the busy little fellows doing their work on our beautiful garden sunflowers!

Oh, they are hard workers!

A lone honey bee. Sadly, we are not seeing nearly as many as we used to.


Well, I did it! I took a deep breath and mailed off some of my stitching to be framed at Total Framing in Virginia. They made the process so easy and I'm very pleased with my framed "A Stitch In Time by the Workbasket" which I shared with you back this post post in April. The frame picks up the browns so nicely, doesn't it? 

My framed finish of "A Stitch In Time" by The Workbasket

The frame, as described by Total Framing, is "a coffee colored burl scoop" design and I love how it looks hanging on my family room wall. Except now the fact that I really, really need to paint the room itself is glaringly obvious! But, seriously, I can't stop staring at it. The one change I would make for next time, is to specify that I want a bit wider margin left around the stitching. Other than that minor issue, though, I'm very pleased and would definitely use their services again!

Love the rustic looking dark frame!

I also added a few goodies to my stash which I haven't done in quite a while. I love the series of small holiday designs created by Brenda Gervais (of course!) and just had to add them to my collection. Am I the only one who gets pleasure in just leafing through my charts? I know that, at age 66, I will never get them all stitched, but it really doesn't matter. Looking through them and dreaming makes me happy and it's such a simple, inexpensive way to treat yourself! The darling tiered tray designs by Madame Chantilly and the handsome robin by Cottage Garden Samplings also captured my heart. I'm sure at least some of these will be stitched at some point--I promise!

Which one should I start next? I'm leaning toward the Autumn themed tiered tray.

Giveaway time! So, it's been a while since I've had a giveaway... How about this sweet sampler from an old Leisure Arts magazine? The "Proverbs 7:4 Sampler"  features the Bible verse ("Say to wisdom, thou art my sister, and call understanding thy kinswoman") along with two little sisters holding hands, a black dog, a willow tree, and a red house--so cute! The sampler can be stitched as shown or stitched without the verse and placed in a box or smaller frame. Would anyone be interested in stitching this? If so, please: 1) Specifically mention that you would like to stitch the sampler in your comment below, 2) Make sure to include your email address if I don't already have it, and 3) Answer today's "Getting To Know You" question. I will be folding this chart to fit in a legal-sized envelope to keep postage costs down when I mail it. The giveaway winner will be announced on my next blog post. Good luck to all!

If you would like to enter the giveaway for this sweet sampler, please follow the directions above!

Getting To Know You! For those of you new to my blog, I like to get to know a little bit more about my stitching friends so I pose random questions now and then. Today's question is not really a question, but something just for fun... Quick! Look around you and tell me three things that make you smile. No cheating and walking into a "more interesting"  room! Well, I'm in my kitchen where I write my blog posts so, it's easy... Three things that make me smile are right now are: 1) The plump ripe tomatoes sitting beside the kitchen sink that my husband has pronounced the best tomatoes he's ever grown, 2) The family photos on my refrigerator. I never used to put anything on the refrigerator, but as my family has grown, it is getting more and more papered with favorite family faces. 3) The little bookshelf at the end of my kitchen island where I store cookbooks and some of my Dedham pottery collection. I'm so glad we added this feature when we remodeled our home 25 years ago! So, now it's your turn--what are three favorite spots or sights in your room?

I have one last thing that makes me smile--this batch of fresh banana carrot muffins that I made yesterday. Carrot cake and banana bread in muffin form? Yes, please!  I made the recipe as suggested, but did cut the white sugar down to 1/4 cup. I seem to be doing that more and more in my baking lately and am finding I really don't miss all that sugar. Give it a try! The recipe is one I've mentioned before and I got it from the blog Fork In the Kitchen  right here. Hope you enjoy them--they freeze great, too!

A delicious way to start your day--Banana Carrot Muffins!

I may be missing in action a bit over the next couple of weeks because, guess who's coming to visit? A certain one-year-old and his parents are flying in for a week before a family wedding in New York. This will mark the first time anyone on my side of the family has met "Baby B," so we're hoping and praying that their travel plans go smoothly. With the terrible uptick in Covid cases, it's hard to plan ahead, isn't it? Please stay safe my friends... 

Thanks so much for visiting me today--I love reading your comments and hearing your answers to the "Getting To Know You" questions. I do enjoy the give and take of blogging that isn't found as much on other forms of social media. And I love having this written record of my life over the past 13 years--I can't tell you how often I refer to my blog when wanting to check on dates of trips or events or look up favorite recipes. I know blogging isn't as popular these days, but I want to truly thank all of you who visit and take the time to comment. It's nice to know someone is still out there reading! Take care, my friends! Bye for now...