Thursday, June 13, 2024

Stitching gifts as summer begins

Has it really been a month since my last post? I never planned on being away so long, but, you know... life! Thanks to those of you who have checked on me. As I mentioned in previous posts, my month of May was filled with doctors' appointments (mostly good results, although there may be a follow-up appointment or two in my future). Right now I'm dealing with a random attack of hives on my arms and I have no idea of the cause! They're fading and most of the itching is gone, but it was not a fun two weeks...  I did manage to get some small gifts stitched, but that's about all since my last post. Our weather is finally warming up and I'm sure that next week (when it gets into the 90s), I'll be kicking myself for complaining about the cold. But honestly--it was down in the 40s a couple nights  this week and our heat even came on. In June! I just love 80° weather with no humidity and today has been exactly that sort of day. 

Two blogging friends, June and Vickie, both have June birthdays so I managed to stitch a couple of sweet designs to make into cards. 

A pair of stitched birthday cards


For June, in England, I stitched a pair of bunnies by Brittercup Designs from "Bunnies Galore." Aren't they sweet? I forgot to note the fabric that I used, but I think it was a 32 ct. white linen or evenweave of some sort.

♥ Bunny love ♥


And for Vickie, I stitched the little "Hello Spring" design by Primrose Cottage Stitches. This one was stitched "over one" on 28 ct. white Lugana with a variety of pastel colors. I thought it might make a nice addition to Vickie's cubby that she changes out monthly.

Such a cute design for Spring

A new baby boy was born into my middle son's girlfriend's family so guess what I stitched? Yep! The cute JBW Designs gingerbread boy from the "Baby's First Christmas" chart.  This marks the tenth time I've stitched this little cutie; in fact, I stitched it for this little guy's big brother just two years ago. The parents are always so happy to receive a personalized and unique ornament! I used 32 ct. black Belfast linen with DMC threads and added a white pom-pom and red beads along with the candy cane colored cording. I wonder if I'll be stitching any more of these for baby boys in the future? I certainly hope so!

A Christmas ornament for a new baby boy (the name is whited out for privacy)

And this next one came as such a surprise to me! My best friend sent a photo of the little "Welcome" piece that I had stitched and given her years and years ago. It is so old, I don't even recall stitching it! She took a photo of it to show me that it is now hanging in her daughter's home and I was so touched. My friend downsized her belongings when she moved away and gave each of her five children a piece that I had stitched. I'm honored to think that my work lives on in their homes. Unfortunately, I have no idea where the chart came from, but it may have been in an early Just Cross Stitch magazine from the 1980s or 90s. If anyone knows, could you let me know?

This piece is so old, I can't even remember the source or when I stitched it!

So, I've turned my attention to patriotic stitching and am almost finished with a cute piece that I'll share with you next time. I'm very behind on getting my patriotic stitching out and on display this year. I usually like to have it out by Memorial Day, but I just wasn't motivated to take the Spring stitching down. Finally, I pulled out my patriotic finishes today and hope to get them on display tomorrow which is Flag Day here in the U.S. A perfect time to get these out--there sure are a lot of flags in these pieces, aren't there? I think you all know that Christmas stitching is my favorite, but after that comes patriotic themes. I just can't resist a good red, white, and blue design!

Can you tell I love patriotic stitching?

Here are a few close-ups for you...



An unexpected visitor arrived in our yard a couple weeks ago. We saw some sort of blob out in the middle of the grass and it turned out to be... a large snapping turtle!

Our pond's newest resident

We believe he was heading to our pond from the creek across the street. That is quite a distance, but "slow and steady" wins the race as they say. This fellow looked like he was in pretty rough shape. He had a small notch out of his shell toward the back and was so muddy. We tried to give the turtle something to eat, but he wasn't interested so we left him alone and watched as he ever-so-slowly made his way back to our pond. I did see him sunning himself on the pond's bank a couple of times since,  so I'm hoping he's found himself a welcoming new home!

Can you spot his very dark eye?

New flowers are blooming, adding their pretty colors to all the green, green grass in our yard. 

Love the wispy catmint!

These elegant white calla lilies with their dappled leaves are some of my favorites this time of year.

Our purchased flowers waiting to be planted. The yellow dipladenia on the left was a Mother's Day gift from my middle son and his girlfriend

Okay--this is a strange one! I was given an amaryllis bulb as a gift back in December and it never bloomed. The stalks  grew about 4 inches tall and then just stopped. So last month, I asked my husband to take it outside and plant it--never dreaming it would actually bloom. Surprisingly, two weeks later we had these bright red flowers!


In early June we visited my grandson in the D.C. suburbs and had a grand time! The main purpose of this particular trip was to take my middle son's old bunk beds down for him. Oh, my! He'd been so excited about moving from his toddler bed into bunk beds and talked about it for weeks. On the day we put them up in his bedroom, he was almost jumping out of his skin. He wants, so badly, to sleep in the top bunk, but, for now, his mom and dad are limiting him to the bottom. In addition to that big event, he helped me make some very tasty banana bread and helped plant the very first garden in his new house. I just love this photo of my husband holding the carrot seeds as Mister B carefully places them in the ground. He proudly announced just this week that the carrots were already sprouting! I've never seen a kid love vegetables the way he does, so I'm sure all the tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and cucumbers that were planted won't last long once they ripen!

My sweet grandson patiently planting some tiny carrot seeds

This coming Sunday is Father's Day here in the U.S. Do any of you have special plans? We are going to my middle son's place for dinner (which is also a gift for me since I don't have to cook for a change!). It's kind of a bittersweet day for all of us whose fathers have passed, though, isn't it? I do hope to be back for a visit again in a couple weeks and return to my twice a month blogging schedule. Thank you, one and all, for visiting today--hope your summer is off to a great start (yes, I know summer doesn't officially start until June 20th, but I've always considered it to start on Memorial Day!). I really appreciate each of your comments and emails--you stitching friends are the best! Take care now and enjoy your weekend. Bye for now...


MartinaM said...

Oh, they are really sweet, your cards. Beautiful motifs.
The little gingerbread man is also a very sweet and nice idea, and it looks great. A special gift. How wonderful that your girlfriend still has her old embroidery and admires it..
How beautiful your amaryllis looks. Yes, you can put it outside in the summer, you just have to watch out for snails, and in the autumn you should hardly water it at all so that it can bloom again in the winter.
What a wonderful picture with your husband and MisterB, a lovely memory of this day.
I wish you a happy Father's Day

Clare-Aimetu said...

Lovely cards for June and Vickie, such a cute gingerbread man. I hope you are feeling better. The gift you stitched is beautiful, so nice to see it is still loved. A turtle is not something we would ever see in our pond, we're lucky if we get a frog. Lovely family photo

Melisa- pinkernpunkinquilting said...

The cards are adorable, Carol and love the little gingerbread ornament- how sweet! Looks like little Mr. B. is having a great time planting seeds and learning about gardening. What sweet memories being made. I wish you a lovely summer. Stay cool and comfy and Happy stitching. Hugs.

Irene said...

When I was left alone, I thought that I didn't have a life that would allow me to have a pet, so I decided to take care of wild animals and since then my garden has been populated with birds, bees, bumblebees, lizards. I believe that when an animal arrives, in your case the turtle, it is nature that is thanking us for respecting it and taking care of it :)

Isabel para ALROMASAR said...

I'm glad you posted again and that everything is going well.
How grown up your grandson is and how enthusiastic he is about the garden.
I love your patriotic stitching!
Kisses and happy arrival of summer

Marilyn said...

Very cute cards.
What a great collection of Patriotic stitches you have.
Poor Mr. Turtle, glad he found a new home.
Beautiful flowers. & Mr.B is so cute planting his seeds.

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
both cards are beautiful and I think June and Vickie are very happy to recieved this cards.
The little pillow with the gingerbread man are very cute. Es ist doch schön, dass wir jemanden damit eine Freude bereiten können.
Zu deiner Frage, ich meine das Motiv war ein Freebie von einer französischen Seite, denn dort habe ich es vor einigen Jahren mal gefunden. Leider habe ich nicht mehr die Adresse.
27 Grad und trockene Wärme gefällt mir auch für den Sommer.
Have a nice weekend. Manuela

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

Always nice to have morning coffee and see a post from you! As usual, everything is so inspiring and pretty here.

What would we do with our time if we didn't have our stitching. Sometimes I look at the amount of charts and supplies I have as well as the finished projects. I love them all even if it seems like I have an excessive amount. Your work is so nice.

Stasi said...

Your stitched cards are precious, Carol...and I'm sure much appreciated.
I love all your patriotic pieces...what a collection!!!
Glad you got a visit in to Mr. B...he sure is growing up quickly!
Enjoy your hot I'm here cursing it!!! :)
Have a nice Father's Day with your son.

butterfly said...

Hi my sweet friend, I just lost my comment, so will try again.
So happy you had some fun time with your little one.
And a big thank you for the lovely bunny card l love it and the one you stitched for Vickie so sweet.
Yes Christmas is coming faster that we think.
Your garden is looking lovely , I like the red flower I never thought they would grow in the garden so I must buy one.
All your Patriotic pieces look wonderful.
Have a lovely weekend Big Hugs June
And a big Thank you for all you do .

Amanda said...

Your turtle was probably a female, coming back from laying her eggs. She probably just wanted to get to back to her pond and get in the water. They're much more comfortable in the water than on dry ground. It is amazing how far they'll travel to find just the right spot for their eggs. When I was working at a nature center in the Chicago region, we'd have people find them on the freeways!

Kgirl said...

Your welcome stitch is nice to see that it has been passed on. I was given an amaryllis bulb at Christmas in wax. It bloomed continuously until recently. No watering or care needed. it wasn't even in a pot. I'm hoping it will bloom again in the winter. It was from Trader Joe's and so pretty. I want to buy them as gifts this year. Sweet Mr. B brings joy to all of us! It's going to be way too hot this weekend for me in the midwest! 95 will force me inside for sure, but my husband will love it. Happy summer!

marly said...

Great selection of patriotic stitching, and such lovely cards. Glad your hives are leaving.

I hope the turtle stays put and lives a good life in your pond. I didn't know until a year ago that their shells are sensitive and can feel touch, and a great deal of pain if damaged. We see several every summer smashed on the side of road near us. So slow moving and on a wide open road, yet they are smashed on the road's edge. Obviously deliberate.

I am jealous of the DC soil! It looks so rich, there will be a bounty in a few months!

Robin in Virginia said...

What lovely gifts you stitched, Carol! You have an amazing assortment of patriotic pieces. It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend/time with Mr. B. Your flowers look so pretty. In my mind, summer begins on June 1st (meteorologically speaking). Either way, summer has arrived. Have a great weekend.

Vickie said...

The hello Spring piece you stitched me is indeed mounted and in my cubby shelf. It looks great! Thank you once again. Baby's First Christmas once again looks wonderful and is a perfect gift! Are the koi safe from the snapping turtle thus far? The calla lily is gorgeous. I had them in my wedding bouquet.

Rita H said...

Your patriotic collection is phenomenal
Carol! As much as I love patriotic stitches, I only have a few finished. I said I was going to get some of those pieces out of the drawer and finally FFOd. Here it is with almost the first half the year done and not many finished. I’ll have to work a little harder getting some fully finished. Your flowers are beautiful! Enjoy the summer!

Carol in Texas said...

Carol, your yard looks heavenly!!!!!! You must be as good a gardener as you are a stitcher! Each visit is a delight. I’ll look forward to your next blog entry.

Christel said...

De bien jolies attentions ces cartes brodées. Les deux motifs choisis sont adorables et plein de tendresse.
Bienvenue au nouveau Bébé W... Il aura un merveilleux souvenir de son 1er Noël.
Les broderies se transmettent et cela fait toujours le bonheur de la brodeuse et des nouveaux "adoptants". J'espère que les broderies offertes à différentes personnes aurons le même sort que les vôtres.
Que de broderies patriotiques ! C'est impressionnant !
Je suis certaine que la tortue serpentine a trouvé son havre de paix, elle sera à l'abri chez vous.
Que de belles fleurs dans votre jardin. Hélas pour moi ce que je plante ne pousse que rarement, je n'ai pas la main verte...
Un beau souvenir en photo de cette journée avec MisterB.
Demain dimanche c'est la fête des pères aussi en France. J'ai la chance d'avoir encore mon père adoptif, c'est lui mon vrai père et je l'aime de tout mon cœur. (Je ne m'attarde pas sur mon père biologique, un horrible personnage empli de méchanceté). Nos fils enverront un message à mon mari, Baptiste travaille et Valentin se repose d'une semaine très fatigante à son travail. Nous les verrons dans le courant de la semaine prochaine.
L'été n'est pas du tout arrivé ici dans le centre de la France. Les températures sont fraîches, la pluie est omniprésente... On parle déjà de l'été alors que nous n'avons même pas vu le printemps... J'espère que le soleil va s'installer car tout ce gris, cette pluie, nous donnent l'impression d'être en automne...
Amitiés de France.

Katie said...

Fantastic cards for your friends. Both are very pretty. I love the gingerbread ornament. Adorable. Glad to hear your gifts were appreciated. This gorgeous Welcome deserves to be cherished. Oh I love all your patriotic pieces. I'm trying to build a patriotic pile of finishes myself. Love the turtle. She was probably off laying eggs and made her way back home. We had a painted belly turtle laying eggs near our pond. Lovely photos. Love the garden. My dad helped me plant a garden this year and I look at it with such pride every day. Since losing my mom I've grown so much closer to my dad and I'm so thankful for that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol, your patriotic pieces are all wonderful! It’s my favorite season to stitch and I’ve stitched many of the same pieces. But, oh so many more to do and so little time! How great that Mr B and his parents are so close now. He’s so cute and I know you enjoy spending time with him as we do with our 2 grandsons. Enjoy your summer. Cherie in WI

Jutta said...

Hello Carol,
I'm glad you posted again, so many beautiful photos, thank you very much for that.
A new little grandson has been born, congratulations!
You show us such beautiful stitcheries, I'm blown away.
And you have free-living turtles, do they eat anything from your garden?
Mr. B is sweet again, he's really a nice boy.
Dear hard-working Carol, have a nice new week, hugs, Jutta

Faith... said...

Two very cute birthday cards! The gingerbread is very cute as well! How honored you must have felt that not only has she has kept the stitching you made her, but that she has passed them on to her children to hang in their own homes. Gorgeous patriotic stitches Carol!

Oh my he was pretty dirty. They like to eat flowers as well as fruit and some veggies though I think when we had our turtle he didn't eat anything acidic. You do have some beautiful flowers there! Funny about the amaryllis! What an awesome thing for a child to actually love vegetables! Hope he keeps that love!

Sandra said...

Sent you an email yesterday re the unknown stitching, it may have gone into your spam box, or perhaps you have changed your email address? Sandra

Barbara said...

You share everything in such beautiful ways. The stitched greeting cards are my favorite in this post. I know the recipients will treasure them!

Shelly said...

Well, tomorrow is the first day of summer but it's been summer in my neck of the woods for nearly a month! My father is also gone but I wish him a heavenly father's day every year. Mr B is getting so big! It's always nice when you don't have to cook for a holiday or a celebration! Happy stitching, Carol!

Leonore Winterer said...

Happy summer! We are also slowly moving into summer temperatures with out first heat advisory of the year today. I don't like it, personally I had nothing at all against a mild and rainy spring, haha!
Your stitching is so lovely, I especially adore the bunny one. Hope you'll have lots of fun with your patriotic stitching as well. It's funny how even just that colour combination seems to be considered 'American', when there are plenty of other countries using the same red, white and blue (although shouldn't that be red, silver and blue? I've been taught that white on a flag is always meant to be silver, just as yellow is meant to be gold).

Jennifer said...

What a sweet set of cards for your friends, it’s such a nice way to send a little gift - and such an easy FFO! So neat to see the turtle going across the yard and hope it’s happy in your pond. Hope your summer is going well, love all your patriotic stitching!