Sunday, July 17, 2022

All Creatures Great and Small

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 Bermingham

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. 

Mister B on his second birthday! When we arrived, he had his little creatures arranged in a circle and told us they were having a party--so cute! Then he proceeded to sing "Hap Burfday to You" (the first of many renditions of it that he sang that weekend :)

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!


Sandra said...

Your Spring Moon stitching is just gorgeous. I'm not really a blue stitcher but this is something else. Can't wait to see how you get it framed. Enjoy the rest of Summer.

Irene said...

Oh Carol, Mister B. ha già 2 anni! So quanto ci mancano le nostre mamme, io cerco ogni giorno di comportarmi in modo che sia orgogliosa di me. Buon anniversario di matrimonio!

butterfly said...

Love your new stitch Carol and I love the blues in it .
You have alot going on this month , I bet there will be tears and moments of joy.
What ever life throws at us ,we can over come .
You have some lovely moments with your family and your grandson is such a cute boy . Happy Anniversary dear friend , I will be thinking of you .
And enjoy every moment with your family . Hugs June.

Stoff und Nadel ... Jutta’s Blog said...

Oh dear Carol,
you always put so much effort into your posts, thank you so much. 45 years of marriage, it's only 31 for us, take good care of yourselves.
Mister B is my absolute favourite, he's now 2 years old, time flies way too fast, doesn't it?
Best wishes to you, Jutta

Marilyn said...

How lucky you are to stitch Spring Moon, it's so very pretty.
I hope Paulette releases it some day.
Happy Birthday to the 3 Birthday guys!
Mr. B is sooooo cute, & growing fast.
Glad he made it up the rocks ok.
That's an awesome picture your son took.
It's been very warm & humid here with some big storms.

Sandy said...

Little B is just adorable. Your July is like our June and September with multiple birthdays close. I always tried to keep them all separate as the kids were growing up, but now we sort of lump them together. With the additional birthdays of grandsons you have to cave in and celebrate all at one time. The stitch is lovely. I love many of Pauline's patterns and blue anything is good with me too. Happy Anniversary. That is a lot of years and memories indeed. It is hard to believe it has been 2 years since your little mama passed. I feel for you!

Stasi said...

Carol, such a pleasure to sit down this morning and read your latest post. The Plum Street piece is wonderful...I don't usually tend towards blue, but you are slowly converting me! :)
Mr B is just too darn cute! I've been to that section of Great Falls and those kayakers are definitely dare devils.
We've been having major issues with rabbits this bad Rich got a live trap and has been relocating them to the state park.
We celebrate our 48th on the 20th...have a wonderful trip to celebrate your special day!

Vickie said...

Happy Anniversary to you and Tim! :)
What a gorgeous piece Spring Moon is!
My two brothers and Brian all have their birthdays on August 20 and 21, so they celebrate together every year. ;)

Robin in Virginia said...

Spring Moon is a gorgeous finish, Carol. Love the blues and the bunny! Wishing you and Tim a very happy and blessed anniversary! It looks like the birthday boys enjoyed their celebrations. What beautiful pictures you shared of your time together. That lightning picture is incredible as are the pictures of the Falls.

Maggie said...

What a lovely post Carol. I love the Plum Street Samplers piece, that bunny is fab and I love anything with a house on.
Your grandson is growing up fast, he is beautiful and so cute singing to his little figures :-) I love the photo of the three boys together and the photo your son took of the lightening, yes frame worthy indeed.
Loved seeing all the visitors to your garden, I wouldn't get anything else done all day if I had those sort of visitors, lol.
I hope you have a fantastic anniversary and that the weather is just right for you to go hiking.

Isabel para ALROMASAR said...

it's a very nice embroidery, Carol
I like the colour combination very much. Thank you very much for sharing and for your giveaways.
I have loved the birthday photos and congratulations on your anniversary and for that beautiful family you have created
Kisses from Spain

Vicki said...

Oh Carol, Mr B is such a cutie! I can't believe he's already two years old. I'm so happy for you that he lives so close now and you can celebrate holidays and milestones with him.
Your finish is beautiful, the colors are so pretty.
Happy Anniversary!

Donna said...

Hi Carol,
I too like the blue in your stitching. The simple things in life are really the big things in life. Nature has lots of them to offer if we remember to look.

marly said...

Those blues are so special, and I can see why this wonderful design took longer than expected to stitch. How thoughtful to be offered the chart.

I don't think I could move to any large city, I prefer less noise and less people the older I get. But we also have to consider how close the hospital is so finding a happy medium may be difficult!

The tree in Mister B's yard is so nice!

Jill said...

Happy Anniversary. A summer hike sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate. I guessed you liked the rich blues in Spring Moon. Wall the colors do go well together. I know see the dense stitching. Certainly, the two-year old stole the show on all the birthdays. Too fun! We’ve visited DC twice and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Have not been to Great Falls. Here in Michigan, we’ve also had a pleasant summer and it is going quickly. Enjoy your hiking!

Maureen said...

Carol I love your Plum Street finish! Beautiful colors - I can't wait to see it framed. Mr. B is soooo cute! Isn't being a grandmother the most wonderful thing? Like you, I have 3 sons and I now have 3 grandsons. There is nothing better than being a grandmother!
Happy Anniversary to you and your husband! I hope you enjoy your anniversary trip!

Jackie's Stitches said...

Happy anniversary to you and your sweet husband! July was indeed a month of celebrations for you. August is like that for us!

I'm thinking of you as 7/24 approaches and sending you a hug.

MartinaM said...

All the best for your wedding day, glad to hear you are still happy.
Spring Moon is a great subject. The colors go together so beautifully. Oh, 3 birthdays in such a short time, you can't stop celebrating. Such a beautiful picture with the three. Your son photographed at the right moment, a great, unique picture. The pictures of Mister B climbing reminds me of my son, he always liked to climb on everything when he was little.
I also think it's important to enjoy the little things and to be thankful for what you have and that you're doing well.
Thanks for your nice post, I really enjoyed reading it again.
enjoy the summer, Martina

Ο κόσμος της Ράνιας said...

Χρόνια πολλά για όλους σας και πάντα ευτυχισμένοι !!!
Θαυμάζω πάντα τα κεντήματά σας και χαίρομαι, είναι πολύ όμορφα !!!
Κι εγώ στο εξοχικό μου εδώ στην Ελλάδα, πολλά ελάφια και με πολύ θάρρος τρώνε τα πάντα..... καλή συνέχεια στις διακοπές σας και πολλά χαιρετίσματα από Αθήνα !!!!

Boyett-Brinkley said...

Your photos are absolutely gorgeous as is your stitching. And I agree, gorgeous, yummy colors! Happy upcoming Anniversary!

Eva said...

Carol,I read the whole post with bated breath.We have a lot in commonI like your grandson very,very much.
I'm going to finish the richelieu embroidery.I'll cross stitch the pictures again.I hope I didn't forget it ☺.I have pictures (big ones) that my daddy and mommy embroidered.I used to embroider a lot of them too,but then I was excited about richelieu.
It's been awfully hot here.They said it's gonna be over 35°C today. It's finally been raining lightly for a couple of hours now.I think it's the best thing for nature.When it rains heavily,the water just runs down the dry soil into the canals.
All three of my kids have birthdays in the spring in a span of 3 weeks.When they were little,I made a cake for one and it alternated each year.
I wish you and the whole family beautiful summer days ☺

Christel said...

Enfin je retrouve le chemin de votre blog, après quelques soucis avec mon ordinateur.
Le mois de juillet tire vers sa fin... Hélas ! Je voudrais tant que l'été reste toujours présent.
Je vous souhaite par avance un très bel anniversaire de mariage.
Le Spring Moon est magnifique ! J'espère qu'un jour il sera disponible en France... Comme vous j'aime tellement le bleu...
Bravo à la gagnante de votre joli modèle.
Vos fêtes d'anniversaire en ce mois de juillet ont été réussi car les visages sont souriants. Votre mari est né le jour de la fête nationale en France.
Que c'est beau toutes ces photos du parc national.
Pas de tortue ou de faon dans notre jardin, mais toujours des oiseaux du ciel et un écureuil roux.
Amitiés de France,
Amitiés de France

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Happy Anniversary to you and Happy Birthday to all the men!
I do love Mr B's animal celebration.
He did well on the walk too, everything is so interesting to them at that age.
The Plum Street design is so pretty, it would be lovely to live in a house like that!

Anonymous said...

Good call on changing the thread color on thr bunny! This color is perfect! It has a lot of life to it! Hope you have a wonderful anniversary get away. I don’t blame you for getting a bit teary writing about your time together. It’s been a magnificent 45 years! Love all of these pics- Mr.B., the view of the Monument at night, and your backyard. Lovely!

Leonore Winterer said...

Happy anniversary to you and your husband - 45 years is quite an achievement! I hope it wasn't too overshadowed by the second anniversary of your mum's death. My grandpa died just a week after our first wedding anniversary, so I know how it feels.
I'm glad to hear you've been having a great summer, full of celebrations and adventures! Here's, it's just too hot. Not as hot as some areas in the US, but too hot for my taste and hotter than we are used to! We just stay inside sweating most of the time now.
Of course, let's not forget your stitching either - what a beautiful finish, well done!

diamondc said...

Hello Carol: The Spring moon is beautiful; you are right the colors are
Mr. B is adorable, happy birthday.
Lovely outdoor photos.
Congratulations to Shelly.

Have a great week

Claire said...

Beautiful photos, Carol! I hope you have a wonderful anniversary trip and thank you for taking us along on your July adventures!

Faith... said...

I hope you had a wonderful Anniversary Carol. 45 years us quite a while and almost unheard of these days. I LOVE Spring Moon and that checkerboard house. I wouldn't mind living there myself! I can't believe Mr. B is two already! I would love the view from that apartment on a stormy night. The Great Falls National Park looks like an awesome place to visit, though I am not sure I would want to be kayaking in there. Mr. B is certainly a brave little fella!

Congratulations Shelley!

Cathy H. said...

What a wonderful month you've had! Happy Birthday to your guys and Happy Anniversery to you and your husband! Your grandson is the cutest fellow! He looked like he handled the climbing challenge well!
Love your new finished piece. I'm looking forward to see it framed.
It's almost August, so Happy August to you!

Manuela said...

Hallo Carol,
ein wunderschönes Stitching Finish. Mittlerweile sticke ich einzelne Stiche auch sehr gern als Smyrna Stitch.
Danke auch für die schöne Bilder von deiner Familie und euren Ausflügen.
Am Washington Mounoment war ich gerade erst vor 2 Wochen. Es ist sehr schön dort.
Hoffe ihr habt eueren 45. Hochzeitstag genossen. Alles gute nachträglich.
Big Hugs, Manuela

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol, Love your blog. I was wondering how big in inches do you finish your oval santa ornaments? I got a drafters template and my max was 4 inches...I was hoping to use it on my annual santa from pairie schooler instead of the square finish.

Jennifer said...

Wow, Carol - congratulations on your 45th wedding anniversary, a great milestone! And that stitching is lovely - I think the Plum Street designs are deceptive from the pictures because they don’t look so big but have a ton of stitches in them. It’s all worth it in the end because they are so beautiful. Love the DC picture and hearing about the birthday celebrations, your grandson is just adorable! Hope you are now enjoying the start of August, kids are back to school here and time will fly for the next few months as activities start up again. Like you, I am glad to have some time for stitching! Hope you have a great weekend!