Thursday, September 15, 2022

A late summer finish

Brrr... it's another cold, September morning here in western Pennsylvania--proof that fall is slowly creeping in! Luckily, we'll be having some nice warm weather here again over the next week and I can't wait. It's been a busy two weeks since I last posted and the world has seen some major changes. I'm thinking, especially, of all my friends in Great Britain who have had such changes in leadership and I hope things go smoothly during the transition. I think the whole world was a bit shocked when on September 6th at Balmoral Castle, Queen Elizabeth II welcomed the new Prime Minister and less than 48 hours later... she was gone. I think that whenever an older person lives well into his or her 90s, we are all pulling for them to reach age 100. But, that just wasn't meant to be...

But, on to stitching... I've been teasing you over the past couple of months with a big summer piece that I've been working on since early July. And guess what?! It's finished! Welcome to Riley Harbor where horses roam the streets, birds are as big as doorways, and a large, friendly whale resides in the bay. 

"Riley Harbor"


I have very few summer-themed pieces in my collection so when I spotted this charming design by Kathy Barrick, I ordered it on the spot and began stitching it as soon as it arrived. (Well, right after I changed almost all of the colors, that is)! I've never changed as many colors as I did in this piece, but I'm so pleased with the final result. The original darker  houses were charted to be black, but that just didn't feel right to me, so I chose a lovely navy blue Kreinik Silk Mori.

It was such fun picking the colors for the houses!

Each house took a surprising amount of time to stitch! I honestly felt like a little girl with a coloring book and crayons as I selected the colors and filled in each one. The houses that are stitched in shades of golden brown are the only ones that I used the suggested colors for.

Which house would you live in? I'd pick that little blue one on the far right. I just noticed the houses in the back row have no doors... Perhaps they are on the other side?

There was such a wonderful variety of motifs in this one: the houses, waves, birds, horses, sea creatures (I'd never stitched a lobster, crab, or seahorse before)... And don't you love that trio of ships with their billowy sails?

Sailing, sailing!


Last, but not least, just look at that humongous whale stitched in Weeks Dye Works Confederate Grey (which I just noticed has been re-named simply "Grey" on many websites). He seemed to take forever, but he is most certainly the star of the show. For the waves, I used a Belle Soie Silk: Chester's Blue (stitching with only the lighter blue portions).

All I can think of when I look at the whale is the Raffi song "Baby Beluga"--one of my grandson's favorites!

I plan on having this piece framed next year--really looking forward to seeing it hanging in my family room year round!

"Riley Harbor" stitched on 40 ct. Stormy Night Newcastle linen

So, what do I stitch next? I seriously need to buckle down and begin my Christmas stitching--I have several gifts to make, a few cards and ornaments to stitch, and I'd love to at least start one of the larger Christmas charts that I purchased earlier this year. And then there are a couple of Thanksgiving charts that I've put off for way too long. Oh, if there were only more hours in my day! How about you? Are you moving on to Christmas or still doing autumn or Halloween stitching? 

We had a wonderful four days with my grandson! I was a bit disappointed as they were supposed to arrive on a Wednesday night, but work got in the way so they wouldn't be able to get here until late Thursday night. Imagine my surprise when I heard a noise at my kitchen door early Thursday afternoon and turned around to find Mister B and his mom and dad standing there smiling at me. Oh, the joy! They had rearranged their schedules to surprise us! We played and played with all of the old toys my husband and I had recently brought down from the attic and cleaned up. Oh, how my grandson loved them--he didn't even want to take a break from play-time to eat. It really made me smile as I recalled my sons happily playing with those very same toys over 30 years ago...

Fisher Price toys from the 1980s were a big hit with my grandson--I'm so glad I saved them all these years! Do any of you remember these?

Mister B named this quintet: Nonna, Pompaw, Dada, Mama, and baby

A new experience... We also did something my husband and I had never done in spite of living in western Pennsylvania for over 45 years--we took a little river cruise on the Gateway Clipper. Now keeping a two-year-old entertained for more than ten minutes on an hour-long riverboat ride was not the easiest thing, but we managed. It was a fun way to see the city and enjoy some lovely fall weather at the same time.

The sights of Pittsburgh and its three rivers as seen from The Gateway Clipper cruise.

The fountain at Point State Park with the Pittsburgh skyline behind

PNC Park, the home of Pittsburgh Pirates baseball

Looking up to Mt. Washington from the riverboat. Can you spot the two red and yellow cars on the Duquesne Incline? (I'd sure love to get rid of that beer sign, though; I think it really detracts from the beauty of the hillside!).

I took this photo from the top of Mt. Washington in July when my youngest son and his girlfriend were visiting. Honestly, what a beautiful view of the city from up there. If you ever visit Pittsburgh, taking the Duquesne Incline to the top of Mt. Washington and photographing the city is a must!

If you love peaches... I wanted to share a recipe that I've made a few times this summer--it's one of our favorites and I think you'll love it, too (assuming you like peaches!). Iva's Peach Cobbler from the Taste of Home website is quick and easy (the hardest part is peeling all those peaches!)--you can find the recipe right here. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Peach Cobbler--and don't forget the ice cream!


The end of an inspiring chapter in history... I mentioned the passing of Queen Elizabeth II earlier and I'm honestly surprised at how many times I've shed a tear or two since word came of her death on September 8th. I'm not British (although my mother's paternal ancestry goes way, way back in England), but I feel that her death truly leaves a large void in the world. Just think of all the wondrous sights and changes she witnessed in her 70 years on the throne! All the famous people, world leaders, and just plain common folk that she greeted. All the inventions that have  appeared and changed lives. All the countries she visited and unique experiences she had... Her witty humor, her sense of steadfastness, and that famous twinkle in her eye will surely be missed by many. May she rest in peace...

There were so many beautiful remembrances of the Queen online--these were some of my favorites.

And meaning no disrespect, but my family thought my mother looked more and more like Queen Elizabeth as she got older. Born just a year after the Queen, my mom witnessed many of the same world events--although certainly not in the same way. One day a few years ago, my youngest sister was visiting mom and found her sleeping on the couch with this issue of Vanity Fair laying across her stomach. When my sister saw that mom was dressed nearly identically to the Queen she knew she had to take a photo of her. She ran to get the photo that had been taken at my niece's wedding of mom sitting in a fancy chair in the church pretending to be royalty. After placing it in mom's hand, she then snapped this sweet photo. All mom needed were a few corgis and it would have been a perfect match! (And no--my mom hadn't dressed like this on purpose. It was pure coincidence)!

My family's own "Queen"--my dear mother with her beautiful smile


Giveaway... I have a very cute Lizzie Kate chart to give away today! Would any of you like to stitch it? This was given to me by a very sweet reader named Linda (in North Carolina) who sent a couple charts to me to use as giveaways. Thank you, Linda--I so appreciate your kindness! This chart, called "Autumn Alphabet" also includes the squirrel and moon charms and the tiny button that are needed to embellish the finish. I'll pick the winner at random and announce the name the next time I post.

If you would like to win this Lizzie Kate chart, please follow the guidelines below.

To be included in the drawing for the chart, 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.

4) Answer the "Getting to Know You" question below.

Getting to Know You... Today's question is: "Do you have any artistic talent--specifically, can you paint or draw?" Ha! For me, that is simple--no, I have absolutely no talent in those areas. When I was growing up, I so longed to be good at art. I would try my best in art class in elementary school, but always come away with a mediocre grade. I just have no talent in the drawing or painting arena. When my family plays board games that involve drawing--no one wants me on their team! I am in awe of people who can sit down and paint a landscape or draw a cartoon or funny face. There is some signal just plain missing between my brain and my hands. Thankfully, I feel like cross stitching is "kind of" like painting with threads and, at long last, I do feel at least a bit artistic. How about you?  I'd love to know your thoughts...

I want to thank each of you for taking the time to visit "Stitching Dreams" today! I know blogging is fading, but I truly appreciate each of you who still visits and takes the time to say "hello!" Thank you so much for your comments on my previous post--I'm touched that so many of you enjoyed my recollections of visiting my mother's university. Many of you mentioned you've had similar experiences of a loved one guiding them so I guess I'm not crazy. I hope you each enjoy the rest of September! Bye for now...

Mister B is back in California this week for a visit. I wonder if he remembers the first 15 months of his life spent in San Diego? It was just a year ago this month that he and his parents moved to Maryland and we are so happy they did!