Wednesday, March 27, 2024

It's an Easter parade!

Can you believe Easter is almost upon us? Another year is flying by way too quickly! Our March started off warm and spring-like, but sure fooled us into thinking it was spring. Last week, the temperature got down into the 20s and all the new green growth on our hydrangea bushes died off. Do any of you gardeners know if the hydrangea will grow back this year? Or is it done for? I'm so sad because we didn't even think to cover up the hydrangea bushes like we did the tulips and daffodils. 

In my last post, I mentioned that I was working on stitching and finishing six new Easter themed pieces. Well, I'm happy to say that they're done and they're ever-so-cute (if I do say so myself!). Many of you have already stitched these adorable designs from With Thy Needle and Thread's "Jelly Bean Jubilee" booklet so they'll probably look familiar. I did make a few changes, though, so I'll run through them for you and then share my final display.

More bunnies and chicks have descended upon my house--I'm running out of room to display them!

Let's get this parade started, shall we? First up is "Penelope and Peeps" featuring Miss Penelope Rabbit and three tiny chicks (can you spot them nestled among the letters?). Isn't she adorable with her little carrot balloon? I stitched this one (as I did all six) on 40 ct. raw natural Newcastle. The only changes I made to this pillow were to use Anchor 0001 for the white and DMC 725 for the yellow. The yellow that was suggested was just not showing up on this fabric so I opted for DMC 725. To finish this piece, I sewed on a pretty blue and white gingham, glued on some white miniature rick-rack,  surrounded the pillow with handmade white cording, and attached a small polka-dot yo-yo. What do you think?

"Penelope & Peeps" all finished up

Next up is a trio of waddling yellow chicks. Even though two of the chicks are trying to pretend they're rabbits by donning white bunny ears, they aren't fooling any of us, are they? On the left (below) is "Jelly Bean Delivery" and on the right is "Easter Parade." Some of the changes I made to these include changing the yellow to DMC 725, changing the colors of some of the jelly beans (I am not a fan of purple so I changed those to shades of blue). The biggest change is that I reversed the "Jelly Bean Delivery" design so the single chick was facing toward the pair of chicks rather than facing in the same direction. I just thought they would look cuter that way when displayed in the bowl. It kind of looks like they are saying "hello" to each other. Yellow gingham fabric, rick-rack, and handmade cording made for an easy finish.

"Jelly Bean Delivery" and "Easter Parade"


Then we have a pair of white rabbits. Were both rabbits supposed to be white? No, the girl bunny was charted to be brown, but I changed her coloring. I wanted to make both into oval finishes so I added a few "doo-dads" to the outer borders of  "Let's Paint Eggs" on the right. I also changed the main portion of the egg color to white rather than the suggested yellow and changed the purple stripes on the eggs to  blue. For the "Jelly Bean Garden" finish on the left, I also added a couple of white flowers to shape it into an oval, changed the colors and rearranged some of the jelly beans, and changed her dress color to DMC 598 to match the boy bunny's shirt. Aren't they the cutest couple?

"Jelly Bean Garden" and "Let's Paint Eggs" made into oval finishes

Finally, we have a sweet yellow chick, complete with Easter bonnet, in "Tip-toeing Through the Tulips." The chick is, once again, stitched in DMC 725 and I used Classic Colorworks "Ripe Melon" for the pink tulips (as well as for all of the pinks in each design). The original chart only had three bees, but I added four more  (don't ask me why :). The little bow around Miss Chick's neck is made with two strands of DMC 598.

"Tip-toeing Through the Tulips" (with a few extra bees!)

Here are a couple more close-ups...



And here are all six nestled into my dough bowl all set to shine on Easter weekend. Do you have a favorite? I'm sure my grandson will adore each of them!

My six finishes from With Thy Needle and Thread's "Jelly Bean Jubilee" booklet

I so enjoyed stitching each of these and they stitched up fairly quickly (as you can tell since I managed to do all six in less than a month)! Who else has stitched these cuties? I just adore With Thy Needle and Thread designs, don't you? Especially the holiday designs--each one is so whimsical and sweet.

I received a couple of adorable stitched Easter cards from two friends "across the pond". How sweet of June (in England) and Gabi (in Germany) to think of me at Easter time! I have them sitting on the shelf right above my kitchen sink where I can enjoy them all week. Thank you both so very much!

A lovely card and other goodies from June!

Such a cute Easter card from Gabi!

So, are you ready for Easter? I still have a ton of stuff to do before everyone arrives--beds to make up, soup and dessert to prepare, cleaning, a bit of shopping, etc. I know that my family will pitch in when they arrive, but I do like to have as much done ahead of time as possible (and that way, I get to have more time to spend playing with Mister B!). I really enjoyed reading about your planned Easter menus--they all sound delicious! I'm making a roast chicken (with vegetables) and some baked ziti (for the two vegetarians). My grandson will be helping me make the bunny cake and some bunny biscuits. That should be fun and I'll try to remember to take a photo of them to share with you next time.

I'll leave you with this photo of five-year-old Carol on Easter Sunday in 1960 (which, based on a quick Google search, was on April 17th that year). My mother said I was talking to my grandparents before I left for church. I'm sure I'm filling them in on the contents of my Easter basket! Look at my tiny white gloves, the shiny black patent leather Mary Jane shoes, and my sweet Easter bonnet. Best of all is the smocked dress which I know for sure that my maternal grandmother made for me. I wish I knew what color it was; but whether it was pink or blue or yellow or green, I know she made it with lots of love. She was such a special woman in my life and I'm sure my love of needle and thread came from her. And now I'm crying... Holidays always make me miss my parents and grandparents so very much now that they're gone. I know those of you who have lost special relatives understand...

Me at age five! Easter morning in April 1960 (Buffalo, New York)

So, that's it for March--on to a (hopefully!) warmer and sunnier April. Thank you, one and all, for your wonderful comments and emails--I always appreciate hearing from you! I wish each of you who celebrates, a blessed Easter Sunday. I hope your time spent with family and friends is filled with happy times, delicious food, and new memories made. Take care now, everyone! Bye for now...

Friday, March 15, 2024

Bunnies and Birds in Blue and Pink

Hello, my stitching friends! I hope March is treating you well? We've had some beautiful spring weather here and our daffodils just burst into bloom this week. Such a treat to see their golden yellow heads bobbing in the breeze--they sure do brighten up the landscape this time of year! With my grandson (and his mom and dad) coming for Easter, I've made sure to decorate my house for their visit and it sure is lovely to see all the little bunnies and birds popping up both in and outside my home. When I went to retrieve them from the dresser drawer where they're stored, I was a bit shocked to see just how many Easter/Spring smalls I've created through the years! I can't seem to stop making them either--in fact I'm working on six new ones that I hope to have finished by the end of March. For today, I'll just share some of my past finishes and how I've displayed them for the season.

I like to group my Easter decorations by color for some reason. You all know my favorite color is blue so it's no surprise that the majority of my Easter/Spring stitching features that color. This year, I used my two-tiered white metal basket (which I purchased at HomeGoods a few years ago) to anchor the display on the sideboard in my kitchen. I just love how it turned out!

Bunnies and birds in blue!

Here are some close-ups for you--if you'd like more information on each finish, just click on the name of it to be taken to my original post on that particular item...

In the top basket (left to right): "Spring Greetings Bouquet" by With Thy Needle and Thread, "Hello Spring" by Plum Street Samplers, a freebie called "Nest Under the Flowers" by Le Chalet des Perelles, and in the front is the Spring portion of "Four Seasons Band Sampler" from the March/April 2011 issue of Just Cross Stitch Magazine. That adorable gingham dressed bunny on the right was a gift from my sweet daughter-in-law.

Pictured in the above photo are (from left to right): a bunny from Prairie Schooler Book No. 163 "Signs of Spring," robin from the Spring 2020 issue of Punch Needle and Primitive Stitching Magazine by Subrosa Designs called "Bless Our Nest," "Paques" from Les Chalet des Perelles, a portion of "Welcome Spring" by With Thy Needle and Thread, and in front rests a freebie from The Snowflower Diaries called "Tulips with Bunny." The little bunny figurines in the front left are ones I've collected over the years and the blue and white rabbit plate is from TJ Maxx from a few years ago.

Featured here are the other half of "Welcome Spring" (on the left) and "Holiday Hoopla: Easter" both by With Thy Needle and Thread. Isn't that ceramic Peter Rabbit head darling? He belonged to my mother-in-law and I brought him home from Florida after my husband's family home in Naples  was flooded by Hurricane Ian in 2022.  

The one piece of stitching featured here is by Tiny Modernist and is called "Easter Wreath." It is sitting on that darling rabbit chair that I found at a thrift shop in Florida for only $5.00--one of my favorite finds ever! You can read about the little chair in this post.

So, there you have it--my blue Easter display. Do you have a favorite? I think mine is the sweet "Welcome Spring" pillow shown below that I stitched last year. It simply makes me smile :)

"Welcome Spring"--my favorite spring finish from 2023

My pink Easter finishes are displayed in my grandmother's old dough bowl and sit in the center of our kitchen table. Again... if you would like more information on each finish, just click on the names in the caption below the photo.

In the back row on the left is a design by Patrick's Woods called "The Heart's Chase," in the back middle is a Prairie Schooler Bunny from "A Prairie Year (Book No. 13)," and that sweet pair on the right is from The Snowflower Diaries and is a freebie called "Spring Bunny Love." In front of the rabbit couple on the right is another Prairie Schooler design from the PS Mini Card Set F. The one on the left stitched on black is a freebie from the Kissy-Cross blog,  and the tiny pillow in the very front is by Just Nan from the "Hummingbead Heaven" chart. 

And how about a favorite among the pink pieces? Mine is that sweet "Spring Bunny Love" couple that I stitched way back in 2013.

My favorite of the pink smalls: "Spring Bunny Love," a freebie from The Snowflower Diaries

Whew! Posts like this (where I link to past finishes) take a lot of time to put together! It's really hard to remember and track down the posts for some of the older pieces--and as my brain ages, it's not getting any easier! Anyway, I've had so many folks, both here and on Instagram, tell me how much they appreciate my efforts--and that it makes it worth all the effort. I've made many more Easter/Spring smalls in green and yellow hues, but I've run out of energy to post them today! However, if you scroll through my March and April posts from any given year, you're sure to find even more Easter and Spring stitching inspiration.

So, I'd love to hear about your plans for Easter... Will you be having visitors? What do you serve for Easter dinner? Do you have any special family traditions? I can hardly wait to spend Easter with 3 1/2 year old (Yes! How on earth did he get so old?!?) Mister B as he is so enthusiastic about all the traditions that accompany celebrations and holidays. Dyeing eggs, hunting for his Easter basket, making a bunny cake, etc. will all be part of our weekend with him. And while preparing for my visitors, I truly hope to squeeze in the finishing of the six small Easter finishes that I mentioned earlier in the post. We'll see...

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing your spring stitching and hearing about your plans for this very special Easter weekend coming up in just two weeks! Thank you all for stopping in today--I always love to read your comments and hear about what you're up to! And just a reminder...if you have a question for me, please make sure to include your email address so I can get back to you.  Bye for now...