Wednesday, December 26, 2012

French Sampler and Farewell to Sweetpea

This wonderful sampler was a UFO that's been in my sewing room closet for a few years.  I've pulled it out more than once to work on it but for some reason I always got tired of it.  I think maybe because of the intricate border, it was a bit tedious!
Then, a few weeks ago, I made up my mind to get it done, and I'm glad I did!  The chart came from this great magazine that I bought several years ago, I don't know if it can still be found, but if you can find a copy it would be so worthwhile, it's full of lovely French sampler charts.
I bought it at Nordic Needle, but I'm pretty sure it isn't available there anymore.  Here's a few more pictures of the sampler.
The sampler was done on 25 count Lugana over two threads with the recommended DMC threads.

I started a Christmas break off from work on the 20th and I have to say that the way this vacation started out, it can only get better.  The first two days we had a power outage from the winter storm Draco, and when did they start naming winter storms?  We had never had an outage that lasted that long before and since we don't have a fireplace or a wood stove it got very cold!  
Harley and Tigger keeping warm during the power outage.
Then, after enjoying about half of a day with heat, lights and water, my husband, Tom, starting feeling very badly and I had to take him to the ER.  It turned out that he had a peptic ulcer, so he had to stay in the hospital for two days.  He was able to come home on Christmas day which was the best present I could have asked for!  His ulcer will be treated with medicine and he's feeling fine now.

Now, the sad part of this post.  Our Sweetpea, who was 19 years old, had not been enjoying her life very much for a while now,  so we decided it was time to send her on.  She was actually born here on our property in a shed when a sweet gray barn kitty from one of the local farms decided to have her litter here.  The mother, who we named Alice, eventually went back to her farm and we took most of the kittens to the farm, too.  But our daughter, Jessie, decided that she wanted the little tortoiseshell kitten, so we kept her and named her Sweetpea.  
Jessie, eventually got married and moved away and by then Sweetpea was really more my cat.  I was her favorite person and the only one who could hold her without getting a dose of her tortie attitude!
But we have 7 other cats to hold and hug and that helps enormously.  She had a long life and was very loved!
This was the last picture taken of her.
April 7, 1993--November 16, 2012

Thank you for visiting once again!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Autumn Embroidery

This pattern is an adaptation of one that I found on Hoop Love Vintage Transfers.  I left out a tall sort of a bird house thing that would have been in the middle, and replaced the paving stones along the front with some plants.  I could never draw an embroidery pattern to save my life, but then I usually find myself making all sorts of changes to the ones I use.  I hope this one looks good as it is, I know I had fun stitching it.
The pattern for the chair originally had a nice lacy ironwork look to it, but I knew I wouldn't be able to make that work so I just filled it with random cross stitch.
 The fuzzy purple flowers are my first attempt at turkey work, it didn't seem too difficult.
I trimmed the edge of the wall hanging with a nice brown leaf ribbon and then added some autumn colored leaf pins.  I may take the pins back out, I'm thinking that maybe they look like a little bit too much.
It looks like a good place to sit and do some stitching, doesn't it?
Now I will show you a couple of cat pictures, the first two are of Pepper, our baby who was born in our shed last May and was the only one of the litter to survive an attack from an unknown wild animal.
She's getting to be a big girl, isn't she?
A pile of kitties!  Tigger was laying in the chair when Sarah decided to join him and then Pepper didn't want to be left out so she added herself to the pile.  She's nursing from her Mom here, we can't believe Sarah still allows this but she does.  Pepper is almost as big as her Mom!  
Thank you for checking in on my blog.  I haven't been commenting much on other blogs lately, there's been a lot of stress at work the last few weeks and I just haven't had the mental energy to say much.  My boss, who was much loved by all of us, was fired and since then we have lost seven other employees from our department who either quit or were fired.  It's been a struggle at times just to get through the day, I miss my co-workers a lot!  But I do have a job, at least so far, so things could certainly be worse!  Thanks for listening, I appreciate it!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Walk in the Woods and Our Neighbor's Garden

Behind the local college where I work, there's a Natural Area that's a great place to walk.  The weather was perfect today so I decided to go.  There are a couple of miles of trails with boardwalks where it might otherwise be muddy or messy.
I took my "walking purse", a small over the shoulder bag for holding a few necessities.
The trail was sunny and beautiful, at least for this time of the year, not very many flowers left to look at.
But I found a few things to photograph anyway.
A lovely fern.
A small river running through the woods.
A lot of twisty, turny paths with roots to catch your feet if you're not careful.
And moss.  I love moss.
On the way back I noticed some little wild flowers peeking up through the boards.  I'm thankful for such a nice place to walk in and I can't wait to go back!  We were at our neighbor Lana's a few days ago, she has a beautiful garden of flowers.  This giant pink one is a hibiscus, I was surprised, I thought it only grew in more tropical areas.
Gorgeous peachy roses.
I can't remember what this plant is, but it's pretty.
I think the grasshopper likes this red rose as much as I do!
Thanks for visiting, I hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Another Cottage Embroidery and Swan Lake Sampler

I just finished this embroidery using a pattern from the HoopLove Flickr group.  I used several different flosses as well as some pearl cottons.  It's kind of whimsical and not very realistic but I like how it turned out.  I know that this type of cottage is usually painted white but I just felt like making it pink!
If you noticed the little yellow flower button, it's there because I completely missed doing a flower in that spot and didn't notice it was missing until I was pressing the embroidery and at that point I didn't feel like putting it back in the hoop to add another flower.  So I will have to add one later or just sew the button on.
Those yellow flowers are done with a new stitch I recently learned, I don't remember what it's called but it's very easy to do.
I used rows of outline stitch to fill in the house and herringbone stitch for the roof.
Close up of the garden.  Now for those of you who might be tired of looking at my embroidery here is a cross stitch from a couple of years ago.
It's Swan Lake Sampler by Examplars from the Heart, one of my favorite designers.  It's done entirely in Vikki's Hand Dyed Silks which are such a pleasure to use.
I put in initials for my husband and me and the J's are for our daughter and son-in-law.
The satin stitch at the bottom was done with "Moon-called Sea" my favorite of Vikki's colors I think mostly because I love the name!
I wanted to tell you about a contest that I entered  the covered bridge embroidery in from my last post.  The Flickr group New Embroidery with Vintage Patterns.  I was very lucky to win prizes from two wonderful sponsors for the category it was in.  Emily at The Floss Box provided an excellent book with a lot of creative ideas as well as several of the patterns that she designed herself.  And Vicki at The Pattern Bee let me choose 3 sets of vintage patterns!  Here are just a few of them:
 The contest was lots of fun and I was so thrilled to win these prizes!  Thank you Emily and Vicki!
That's it for now, thanks for stopping by again, I appreciate it!  
We will be waiting patiently for your next visit!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Covered Bridge Embroidery

I really enjoyed stitching this design, but then I always do love these vintage embroidered scenes.  All of the threads used are overdyed or multi-colored.  One of the reasons I like to use these types of threads is I feel that they help me get away with not doing shading.  Why don't I use shading in my embroidery?  Because I just don't have the artistic talent to figure it out.  In this picture the inside of the covered bridge is darker than the rest of the building, I guess I was capable of realizing that simple logic, but that is the extent of my shading abilities!  The other reason I like to use these threads is they are so much fun!  The lazy daisy leaves on the large tree were done with Cosmos Seasons 8024 which is just about my favorite green.  It seems to have about a dozen shades of blue and yellow greens, I love it!
The tree trunk and the red on the building were made with rows and rows of split stitch, a very easy but time consuming stitch, but one of my favorite ways to fill in large areas.  This pattern is available on the Flickr group, "Hoop Love Vintage Transfers," or just Google "Covered Bridge Embroidery Pattern" and you should be able to find it easily if you want it.  I mostly stuck to the pattern but added a few of my own embellishments such as the sunflower and peach colored flowers and the weeds around the small tree.  I wish I knew a better way to do the river water, though, does anyone have a suggestion? 
Here's a couple of pictures of Pepper, one of the two newest additions to our kitty family.  She and her mother Sarah are fitting in very well with the others cats, they no longer need to stay in a separate room.  Harley and Maggie were somewhat stubborn in accepting them, maybe because they were previously the newest kitties before Sarah and Pepper came along.  
Pepper is growing like a weed and she definitely has a mind of her own, she is so independent for such a little one!  As you can imagine, she has us wrapped around her little paw!
Here she is snuggled up with Tigger.  They look so much alike, doesn't it look like Tigger could be her baby Daddy?  One last picture before I end this post, several weeks ago we kept noticing that some robins were hanging around my truck where it parks in the driveway.  We didn't think much about it until I took the truck in for an oil change.  While I was waiting at the service station, Bill, the owner said, "You have to come and look at your engine."  Here's what was under the hood:
A robin's nest with eggs!  I'm not sure how many trips to town were taken with the nest in place, the robin parents must have wondered why the place where their nest was built kept disappearing.  I tried to save the nest for them by placing it in our large lilac bush, but it didn't work, they never came back it use it again.  I think the eggs were probably cooked from the engine heat so they probably wouldn't have hatched anyway.  I felt sorry for the poor birds whose time and hard work were wasted!  Thanks in advance for any comments you might leave, I recently discovered the blog setting that sends your comments to my email making it very easy for me to reply to you, so I have decided I would like to answer each one from now on.  One of the nicest things about having a blog is reading the messages that you write, I really appreciate it!  But even if you don't have time for a comment, that's ok, too, your visit is still appreciated, thank you!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Just a Bunch of Pictures

I was in a picture taking mood today!
Inside plants.
Sedum in bloom.
Flowerpots in barn.
Burr plant.
Mother barn swallow feeding babies.  She's hovering over the one on the far left.
 My new tattoo!
The new baby in the family, we finally decided on a permanent name for her--Pepper!
I hope you're having a wonderful summer!  Thanks for visiting!