We've passed the half-way point of July! Can you believe it? Our summer has been quite nice here in southwestern Pennsylvania--pleasant temperatures (a bit too cool in the mornings for me!) and low humidity. But, that will change this week with some impending storms and very high temperatures on the way. My husband and I have a nice little anniversary trip coming up which involves hiking so I hope it's not too hot! Yes, on Saturday, July 23rd, we will be celebrating 45 years of marriage. I shake my head in wonder at how quickly those years have flown by. We met at just 19 years of age--as sophomores in college at a fraternity party. And here we are now, at 67 having raised a beautiful family and having made lots of memories--many, many happy times and a few sad, of course. It's been a wonderful journey and I can't imagine making it with any other man by my side...
Gosh... I got a bit teary-eyed writing that! Better switch over to stitching talk so I can even see the keyboard through all the tears... I have a big, beautiful finish to share with you today and it is all because of the generosity of a fellow stitcher on Instagram. You see this design, "Spring Moon" by Plum Street Samplers is an exclusive to Fox and Rabbit in Australia. The demand for the chart was so great that they are now sold out. I'm not sure if it will be reprinted, but when I admired Sherri's finish on Instagram, she immediately offered me the chart and I have continued the kindness by passing it along to another Instagram friend.
|"Spring Moon" finish by Plum Street Samplers|
I'm sure you know what first captured my eye in this design, don't you? Yep... those luscious colors! Oh, how beautiful those blues are! And who doesn't love a giant, leaping rabbit? Add in some buzzing bees, a beautiful border, and a beehive almost as tall as the house and you have one charming design!
|I think I need to live in a blue and white checkerboard house!|
I stitched this one on 40 ct. vintage country mocha Newcastle linen with most of the suggested colors. I did change the rabbit to Gentle Arts "Maple Syrup," though, as the suggested color was just too dark for me. I also made the rabbit's nose smaller and changed up his eye area a bit. And for the reddish brown of the basket, I used Weeks Dye Works "Brick" as I didn't have the suggested color in my stash. I also used Smyrna stitches instead of cross stitches wherever you see the white dots (just to help them show up better on my fabric).
|By the light of the silvery moon...|
Although the finished size is not huge (it ended up being 7 inches wide by 8 1/4 high on 40 ct. linen), this took much longer to stitch than I expected. There is a lot of dense, solid stitching in that house, the basket and the gigantic beehive. I am so pleased with my finish, though, and will definitely be getting this one professionally framed!
Now, I've moved on to some gift stitching which I really need to finish up and get mailed off! Hopefully, I will have those finishes to share with you next time along with my Christmas ornament for July.
There were many, many entries for the All American chart that I offered in my last post. I put all of the names into a bowl and the winning name picked is...
|Shelley B.--you are the winner of this patriotic chart!|
Congratulations to Shelley! Please send me your mailing address and I will get this mailed to you as soon as possible. And for those of you who didn't win... check this space in my next post for another giveaway!
July is always our busiest family celebration month and this year was no exception. My sweet grandson turned two on July 8th, my youngest son turned 34 on July 9th, and my husband turned 67 on July 14th--whew! Luckily, we were all together to celebrate Mister B's 2nd birthday so we were able to celebrate all three special guys at once.
Mister B ended up having not one, not two, but three parties! His first was just for the immediate family on his real birthday, his second was a neighborhood party for his little friends from the park (and their families) held the following day.
The third party was actually a birthday party for my youngest son that his girlfriend hosted and nicely included celebrations for my grandson and husband. I think this trio will be celebrating together forever!
|The birthday boys prepare to blow out their candles. I wonder what they wished for?|
My youngest son's girlfriend lives in a beautiful apartment overlooking the Jefferson Memorial right in the heart of Washington DC. Oh, my--the views from her window are breathtaking! And if you look out her window the other way, you can see the Washington Monument, too! The night after we visited her place for the birthday party, there was a crazy thunderstorm. From the window of her apartment, my son captured this amazing photo of lightning near the Washington Monument right at sunset. I told him this one is definitely frame worthy!
|Lightning over the Washington Monument as the sun sets|
I truly love the Washington DC area and could see myself living there some day. We lived there for just twelve months in the late 1980s (my youngest son was actually born there) and I so enjoyed that special year... Something to ponder for sure!
While down in Maryland for the birthday celebrations, we also took a nice hike at Great Falls National Park. It's one of my favorite spots to visit when we are down that way. If you are ever visiting the area, make sure to check it out!
|Great Falls National Park: July 9, 2022|
|The roar of the water was so loud!|
|Can you spot the kayakers? |
|You wouldn't catch me kayaking in those rapids for any amount of money! It looked very scary, but they obviously knew what they were doing.|
|Can you spy the lone heron surveying the rushing water for fish?|
We only hiked about two miles because Mister B wanted to pick up every single stone he found and fling it into the water! It made for a very slow walk, but he was a trooper and did quite well on those sturdy little legs of his. His dad finally had to put Mister B up on his shoulders and carry him part of the way. The biggest attraction for him was this small rock formation (I'm sure it looked like a mountain to him!) which he was bound and determined to climb. Of course, Nonna was holding her breath hoping that he wouldn't fall on his face and break those tiny baby teeth right off. But, he wouldn't take no for an answer and he reached the summit with a look of great pride!
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.” – John Muir
Back home again, our yard has been alive with creatures! A pair of sweet spotted fawns has been spotted frolicking around our pond. I haven't been able to get a photo of them, but will keep trying. Seeing them is a bittersweet experience because we know that our flowering plants and shrubs are doomed--those babies seem to be eating all the time! Here are some of the other creatures we spied...
|A foot-long snapping turtle making its way across our yard into our pond|
|A trio of buzzing bees and a Japanese beetle enjoying the milkweed|
|I'm fascinated by the fine detail in this fuzzy bee's wings!|
|A big brown bunny wondering which flower he should devour first...|
It's been a lovely summer so far and I'm trying to stay positive as the second anniversary of my dear mother's death approaches on the 24th. How can it be two years already? I'm still missing her terribly and tears come easily on some days. But, I know how much delight she would take in knowing that my family is doing well, and I'm still carrying on with the things I love... my stitching, reading, baking, decorating my home, and taking delight in the small, simple things in life. I hope the small things in life bring you comfort and joy as well! Thank you for visiting me today--I appreciate each and every comment and email. Bye for now...
|It's the simple things, right? Like watching the wonder in a two-year-old's eyes as he spots a deer casually strolling down the street in front of his home! |