Thursday, August 31, 2023

One last summer finish...

And suddenly... summer is drawing to an end. I know, I know, summer doesn't technically end until September 22nd, but, to me, it ends today--August 31st. The way the light filters into the house is changing, there is a nip in the air in the mornings, the sounds of the school buses fill the air, and darkness falls earlier and earlier with each passing day. Oh, how I'll miss the summer season... But, I know many, many of you are counting the days until you have much cooler, less rainy weather. We've had a beautiful summer here in western Pennsylvania with more sunshine and less rain that usual--and much less humidity which is always a win-win in my book! The older I get, the less I can tolerate the humidity. It's been such a nice summer here that we've only used our air conditioning maybe five or six days! 

It's been a while since my last post (a whole month to be exact!), but I assure you, I have been stitching. In fact I have one last large summer finish which I've been working on for almost two months. This patriotic piece "Land of the Free" is by Willow Hill Samplings and is stitched on 40 ct. vintage country mocha Newcastle linen. I did change some of the colors: the blue house is stitched with GAST "Old Blue Paint," the red house is done in GAST "Old Red Paint with a roof in CC "Baking Tin," the white house is WDW "Light Khaki" and the greenish/gray house is painted in the called for colors of GAST "Old Hickory" and "Chamomile." I changed a few of the doors and windows here and there--I felt like a little girl with my crayons and coloring book at times!

A beautiful late summer finish


This is such an endearing design, don't you think? My favorite motifs are the charming little couples--a young woman saying farewell to her sweetheart in scenes from four different eras. Below, you can see the long blue gown, lace cap, and tricorn hat of the Revolutionary War couple on the left. And then next to the red house are the Civil War garbed man and woman.

Aren't those little people the cutest?!

And in the photo below are the couples from World War I next to the white house and World War II on the far right. I just think they add so much to the entire piece!

Such a pretty border, don't you think?


And, of course, I love the sentiment: "The land of the free because of the brave." Now, let me tell you one thing (or a lot of things to be exact!) that I did not love:  those tiny little leaves about drove me crazy! Yikes! But, I persevered and got them done and I'm so pleased with the final look...

Which house is your favorite? You know me--I love the blue one!

I purchased "Land of the Free" from  this Etsy shop, but sadly, it appears that the designer has closed her shop as she recently lost her husband. I hope Kim and her family are healing and that she'll reopen her Etsy shop at some point--she is such a talented designer.

The land of the free because of the brave


Have you ever noticed that sometimes little surprises come into your life when you most need them? To be honest, I've been feeling a bit "down" this entire summer. All of the horrible natural disasters going on in the world have really affected me. Growing older has affected me. Lack of sleep has affected me. I just haven't felt quite like myself. Well, imagine my smile when I opened this wonderful package from my sweet friend in Arizona? She sent me three wooden frames that she thought I would like along with a wonderful ceramic cardinal frame which she said reminded her of me. Won't it be perfect for a photo of my dad? She also sent a collection of the cutest little floss tags--they are all dairy-themed which bring back memories of my childhood. I grew up in a very small town with many dairy farms in the countryside that surrounded it. A visit to one of the local dairy farms was always a staple for class field trips during my elementary school years. I want to thank my friend so very much for her random act of  kindness--it really came at the perfect time!

A surprise package of goodies from my sweet friend in Arizona!

Giveaway winner... Way back at the end of July, I offered this cute Lizzie Kate kit as a giveaway. I enjoyed reading everyone's answers to the "Getting To Know You" question about one thing that instantly makes your day better.  Thank you to all who participated! I had quite a few entries, but the name drawn from the hat is... 

Barbara from Wolverine Lake, MI

Barbara from Lake Wolverine--you are the winner!

Congratulations, Barbara! You are the winner of this sweet Lizzie Kate kit. I hope you enjoy stitching it! Please send me your mailing address (my email is in my sidebar under "View My Complete Profile") and I'll pop the chart in the mail to you early next week. And for those of you who didn't win this time, please check future posts as I'll have more things to pass on.

Any advice on... insomnia? Oh, it's gotten bad this year. I can usually fall asleep just fine, but I wake up around 3 AM and can't fall back to sleep for hours--sometimes not at all. This is really taking a toll on me. My mind just won't shut off and I worry about everything under the sun. Does anyone have any advice? I have taken those little melatonin gummies from time to time and they seem to help a bit, but I don't want to become reliant on them. Reading does help sometimes as it distracts my mind for at least a little while. But, it's a real problem that seems to be getting worse. I hope someone can tell me what has helped them.

I'll leave you with a few photos of my end-of-summer flowers to brighten your day...

Amazingly, now that summer is almost over--my hydrangeas have decided to bloom!

Some pretty phlox also made an appearance. It had been hiding behind some ferns for years and when we removed some of them, this beauty made its appearance!

I'm not sure what these are. Does anyone know? They look like some sort of petunia and they've really put on a show in the window box on our garden shed.

A busy little bee gathering pollen from one of the few remaining sunflowers.

On to September! It's going to be a busy month for my family... Believe it or not my little grandson is going to be starting pre-school next Tuesday! I know... how can that be? He's going to be attending just two mornings a week, but it will be a big change for him. He and his mom and dad (my oldest son) will also be moving into their newly renovated home the following week so that will make for lots of changes at the same time for one little 3-year-old. Luckily, the new house is just around the corner from the house they were renting so at least his neighborhood and friends will remain the same. Next weekend my entire family will be home for a few days and we'll then be traveling to Ohio for a memorial service for my in-laws. It will be nice to see some relatives that I haven't seen in many years. But, it will be a sad time, too. Hard to believe my mother-in-law has been gone almost a year now... What's on your calendar for the new month?

I didn't get a chance to thank each of you personally for your sweet comments on my last post, so I want to do that now. Thank you so very much--each and every one of you! I do appreciate the time to you take in commenting (or "trying" to comment as I know Blogger can often be temperamental in even allowing some of you to comment!). Take care everyone! I hope you have a wonderful month ahead! Bye for now...