Sunday, March 27, 2022

A joyous Christmas finish!

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:

Spring Bunny Freebie by Annie Beez Folk Art 

Easter Delivery by Shannon Christine Designs 

Spring Freebies by Whilst Iris Naps 

Happy Easter by La Comtesse & Le Point de Croix 

Hoppy Easter by The Nebby Needle 

Spring by Sylvia's Kreuzstich Liebe 

Waiting for Spring by My Happy Memories 

Easter 2 by Aliolka Design 

Spring Chick Crock by Pinker n Punkin 

Easter Bunny by Tiny Modernist 

Carrot Patch by Cosmic Handmade 

Happy Easter by amintkipattan.blogspot 

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...

Carolyn K. 

Congratulations, Carolyn! Please email me with your mailing address and I'll get the chart off to you as soon as possible.  


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.


If you would like to win this chart, please follow the guidelines listed above.

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!

Mister B learns how to attach a new license plate!

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...

Monday, March 14, 2022

♣♣♣ Seeing green ♣♣♣

Hello, my friends! Everywhere I look, green is popping up and I love it! I honestly think St. Patrick's Day with its accompanying green theme comes around at the perfect time of year. The days are longer (hooray!),  thoughts of Easter and renewal are on our minds, and gardeners are beginning to see tiny green sprouts popping up from the brown dirt. (Well, I won't dwell on the fact that we were hit with over 7 inches of snow on Saturday! The good thing is that it will melt quickly as our temperatures are going to be in the 60's this week). Green is everywhere and guess what you're getting in this post? Lots of green--hope you like that color!

I talked about falling in love with the sweet Perrette Samouiloff designs in this post from 2019. Those little children just capture my heart and when I saw this St. Patrick's Day design I couldn't stitch it fast enough. I mean--how cute are those little Irishmen? I have to say that is the first time I ever stitched a mug of beer! Or a fiddle!

My latest St. Patrick's Day finish


This one was stitched on 40 ct. Woodland Newcastle (have you noticed how often I use that fabric?) with DMC colors. I used most of the suggested threads, but moved them around a bit and added a few more ferns and plants to fill out the bottom. I had the frame in my stash ($3.00 from Goodwill) and I originally was going to chalk paint it white. However, I ended up leaving it just as it was and I'm so glad I did. I love the little gold band around the inner edge. I added the ecru colored ric rak to just the top and bottom of the finish to even out the margins of green gingham a bit--love how it turned out! 


I love the endearing designs of Perrette Samouiloff!

Here is a better photo of the piece before I mounted and framed it... Isn't is charming?

Looks like they're in for a fabulous St. Patrick's Day celebration!

Unfortunately, I believe the chart is only available in the book, Un Air de Fête by Perrette Samouiloff, which I purchased on Amazon a few years ago and no longer see listed... Those of you living in Europe may have a better chance of finding a copy of the book, though. It is a darling book with charts for celebrations throughout the year. 


Even more green stitching appeared in the form of this sweet chart by Carol Hodge in England. The chart is available in her Etsy shop called "Samplers and Stitches" which you can find right here. Isn't it sweet? She has designed a chart for each season so I plan on purchasing the others soon! I used the suggested overdyed colors for some of it, but substituted DMC threads for the word Spring, the vine, and the yellow flowers. Can you spy the tiny chick popping out of his egg in the bottom middle? Just...too...cute!

My latest Spring finish from "Samplers and Stitches" Etsy shop

I stitched this one on 40 ct. white Newcastle linen and added mini pompoms to the bunny tails. Doesn't it look sweet in my kitchen corner cupboard? I've been gradually decorating for Easter and this was the first shelf I finished.  Bunnies and chicks and lots of bright green and yellow really brighten my kitchen!

Those pretty pastels are such a treat after a long winter


In other stitching news... I'm almost done stitching the special Christmas piece that I've been teasing you with! Hope to share it with you in my next post. I've also been working on my Christmas ornament for April and another special project using Aurifloss threads by Aurifil which I'll tell you more about next month. I will give you a hint though--shades of blue. 

Giveaway winner... I had quite a few entries for the cute Lizzie Kate Sampling Easter chart. Unfortunately, many, many 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 already have a blog. Anyway, the name pulled from the hat as the winner of Spring Sampling is...

CATHY H. (from Arkansas)!

Congratulations to Cathy H! Please contact me with your mailing address, Cathy, and I'll get this cutie to you as soon as possible!

Imagine my surprise when a reader (and now a new friend!), Janet from Texas, emailed offering to send me some charts that I could use in my giveaways. Not just some--but a giant box of over 60! I was gobsmacked (I love that delightful British expression!) to say the least. She said she just couldn't bear to give them to Goodwill and she had no local friends to share them with. Just look at what came my way...there are so many cute designs--something for everyone's taste, I'd say. Thank you so very much, Janet--that was incredibly generous and kind of you! I know my stitching friends will be so appreciative to have a chance to win these over the coming months and I'm sure they will keep the kindness going by passing them along to other stitchers.

An abundance of charts from my new friend, Janet! Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!

So, why not start spreading the kindness right now? This sweet "Spring House Trio" chart by Waxing Moon Designs was one I received from Janet. Who would like to win it? To enter the giveaway please: 

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.

To enter the giveaway for this sweet spring chart, please follow the four guidelines listed above.

Getting To Know You... Today's question is: Are you a saver or do you like to clear things out? Have you saved anything from your childhood or your children's? My answer: The only things I own from my childhood are my (slightly) creepy looking Santa doll, a little prayer book from the early 1960s, my beads earned from my time as a Camp Fire Girl, and a lovely handmade ceramic heart made by one of my maternal grandmother's dearest friends on the occasion of my birth. I do have the baby book where my mom recorded a few of my milestones and some old photos, of course. 


A few remaining treasures from my childhood


As for the second part of the question--yes! I've saved many toys and books from when my sons were little and I'm so happy I did! Mister B loves playing with the toys and reading the books when he visits--in fact he'll be here for a visit later this week and I can't wait. My sons actually love seeing the old toys and books come out of the attic, too, and reminiscing. If you have the room, I highly recommend storing at least a few special books and toys for possible grandchildren. Being a retired librarian, I kept three very large cardboard boxes full of books from my sons' childhoods, of course :) 

Mister B (enjoying the snowfall in Maryland on Saturday) is coming for a visit this weekend! These cars and books (and more!) will be waiting for him. He hasn't played with the cars yet, but when we showed him this basket filled to the brim with vehicles of all kinds on FaceTime, his eyes grew wide and he exclaimed, "Wowwww!" 

Baking... I'll leave you with one of my very favorite recipes which I've been making for years: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. 

One of my favorite cookies ever!

The plate I have them on is so cute and I thought it was perfect for St. Patrick's Day. I got it from the "free" table at the library when I worked there many years ago. 

Look at the festive dancers surrounding this plate--so darling--(along with the lady milking her cow and the man plowing his fields). I absolutely love this plate.

Here is the recipe if anyone cares to bake some! Don't skip that first step--I truly think that's the key to the wonderful taste of these cookies...

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I've gone on far too long, as usual! I hope you enjoyed this "green" post and if any of you are celebrating St. Patrick's Day, I hope you have a wonderful day. I have a tiny bit of Irish in me according to my middle sister who has dug up some genealogy that we were unaware of, but other than wearing green, I won't be doing anything special on that day. 

A gentle reminder... I receive so many comments with questions that don't include your email address. Unless you have a blog, I can't reply to you. Please, please, please make sure to include your email if you would like a reply!

I had hopes that peace talks would be achieving some success in Ukraine, but things are still so tragic and terrifying. My husband and I have made donations to humanitarian causes including World Central Kitchen, Unicef, and United Way that I hope bring at least some comfort to the refugees and those trapped inside a country at war. I wish I could do more... those images shown on television of the innocent children bring me to tears every time. Hoping and praying for a peaceful resolution--and soon. Bye for now... 

♣♣♣  Enjoy Your Day! ♣♣♣

"May you always have... walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire." ~ Irish Blessing