Only five days left until April! Can you believe it? Well, I certainly can't; here in my part of Pennsylvania we've had a frigid weekend that, sadly, included more snow. This morning I woke up to a fresh inch... Not much accumulation, but, honestly--we've had enough of the white stuff this year. Many of you are sharing photos of spring blooms and flowering trees and I have to admit to being just a bit envious. Our daffodil shoots are finally sprouting, but that's it. How are things in your part of the world?
Do you remember when I wrote that I'd really like to stitch some larger pieces for Christmas this year in addition to my normal ornaments? Well, I'm thrilled to share my first "big" one of 2022: "A Joyous Christmas" by Birds Of a Feather. The amazing thing, is that this wasn't even one I ever dreamed of stitching because the chart is so hard to find. But, you all know about the kindness and generosity of our stitching community, don't you? A fellow stitcher all the way across the country offered--yes, offered--to let me borrow hers. I didn't even ask her! I was truly touched...
|Birds of a Feather "A Joyous Christmas"|
Don't you look at it and just smile? I sure do! I honestly think I loved stitching this piece more than any I've done (well, except for the gold metallic threads that I put off 'til the very end!). Each little figure and bird and lamb was so enjoyable! I love the expressions on the faces and the simple, folk art appearance of the entire design.
|A Wise Man and a shepherd with his flock of lambs|
The gold metallic threads are in portions of the star, the angels' trumpets, and the gifts of the Wise Men. There isn't a lot of it, just enough to make the whole piece shine (and to make me understand why I don't stitch with metallic threads unless I have to!).
|The angels rejoice with the Holy Family|
"A Joyous Christmas" is stitched on 40 ct. vintage country mocha Newcastle linen with a variety of overdyed threads and DMC. For the most part, I stuck to the suggested colors, but there were a few changes, most notably to Mary's hair (I darkened it from blonde to Weeks Dye Works Charcoal) and the wording which I also did in WDW Charcoal. I also changed the paler skin tones to DMC 950. And I just had to add a comma after the word "earth!"
|Two more Wise Men arrive bearing gifts|
Rather than stitching the year in each upper corner as was charted, I substituted snowflakes. I am truly thrilled with how this one turned out and I can't wait to get it framed.
|Peace on earth, good will toward men|
The same stitcher who let me borrow the nativity scene chart, lent me the BOAF "Christmas Angel Ornaments" chart as well, so I'll be stitching a couple of these pretty angels very soon.
|Which angel should I stitch first? I'm leaning toward the Peace one for obvious reasons.|
I'm not sure if the kind stitcher who shared these BOAF charts with me reads my blog (I know her from Instagram), but I hope she knows just how much I truly appreciate her kindness and generosity. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
So, on to my next big Christmas piece--what will it be?
Freebies for Spring and Easter... I've had many requests for older freebies that I've previously stitched and shown on my blog. Some I can help with, others I can't... My advice when it comes to freebies is to immediately print them off or save a copy to your computer because, often, the pages that contain them are taken down. I was recently asked what advice I would give to a new stitcher and that would be to start with something small. I've seen several people take on a mammoth project only to be turned off by the sheer size of it and decide they don't enjoy stitching at all! I assume most of you who read "Stitching Dreams" are already stitchers, but perhaps you have a friend or family member who would like to get started? In that case, one of these twelve Spring and Easter themed freebies linked below might be perfect:
There are many more Spring and Easter themed free cross stitch charts out there--just use Google to search for them. Happy spring stitching!
Giveaway winner... I had quite a few entries for the charming Spring House Trio chart. Unfortunately, some of you forgot to include your email address. I need your email as I have no way of contacting the winner if you don't have your own blog. Anyway, the name pulled from the hat as the winner of Spring House Trio is...
So, who would like to win the cute Little House Needleworks "Spot of Coffee" chart shown below? (This was also a gift from the generous Janet in Texas who told me I could use it as a giveaway. Thank you again, Janet!). I am not a coffee drinker (although I do love coffee flavored things, especially ice cream)! How about you? If you'd like to win this chart:
1) Specifically mention that you would like to win the chart in your comment
2) Be a follower in my blog's sidebar (to the right)
3) Make sure to leave your email address in your comment if I don't already have it--(this is very important as I have no way of getting in touch with the winner if you don't)4) Answer the "Getting to Know You" question below.
Getting to Know You... I thoroughly enjoyed reading your answers to the previous "Getting to Know You" question about whether you saved things from your childhood. Thank you so much for participating! I love getting to know my readers! My question for today is: "Are you a picky eater?" Oh, boy, I'm hanging my head in shame here. Sadly, I've never outgrown my picky eater phase and those darn green vegetables still torment me. I'll eat just about any other color vegetable (I even love beets!), but those green-hued veggies like spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts are something I just can't swallow even though I'm in my late 60s! How about you? Is there a food that you just can't eat?
We had a wonderful visit with Mister B and his family last week who were here to celebrate my oldest son's 40th birthday. I still can't believe I have a son that old! I remember my early 40s very well as that is the age I returned to work at the library (after a ten year "vacation" when my sons were growing up) and we remodeled our entire house from top to bottom (while living in it complete with three extremely busy boys and one very lively black cat!).
This is the cake I made my son for his birthday--a decadent flourless chocolate cake that I've shared with you before in this post. You can find the recipe for the cake here and the recipe for the chocolate glaze right here (I only made half of the glaze since this is just a one layer cake).
|To decorate it, I simply printed off some cute sayings from the internet and attached them to wooden skewers. A pretty doily helped make the lacy looking design of powdered sugar around the edge of the cake.|
Mister B's vocabulary is exploding each day and there was nothing better than seeing his giant smile and hearing him greet us each time we walked into a room! He loved following us around and "helping" with this or that and he had the best time playing with that giant basket of Matchbox and Hot Wheel cars I had saved from my sons' childhoods. We'll be seeing him again in just a few weeks--can't wait!
So, that wraps up another month. One third of the year 2022 is over... I do hope that the next time I check in with you the weather is warmer and the world is heading toward a more peaceful existence. Take care now and thank you for visiting me today! I'm so happy to welcome all of you new followers, too. Bye for now...