Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Birthday, Lester!

Happy Birthday, Lester!

He may not look like he's having fun, but Lester loves laying in the sun.  And at 12 years old, he's entitled to do whatever the heck he wants.  

Today he went for a ride on his cart and because it's sunny and about 60 degrees, some of his fans were out.  So we stopped and visited.  He's a very popular man about town.  However, he will not wear the birthday hat. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

It's The Simple Traditions That Touch Your Heart

I'm meeting my Mom and sisters in Winston-Salem this weekend to celebrate Easter in Old Salem. It's quite a glorious service.  But one of the most moving traditions for me is when family members and various members of the Moravian churches in the area gather on Easter Saturday in God's Acre, the cemetery in Old Salem, to clean the headstones and leave flowers.  There will arrangements, potted plants, simple vases with flowers from the garden, all placed with a loving hearts.
Although he grumbled about the planting and watering and weeding, my dad always love helping my mom plant flowers in the Spring.  So today I found a beautiful hydrangea to put on his grave this weekend. Of course, mine won't be the only one, so Mom and my sisters and I will probably share ours with someone else who doesn't have anyone to leave flowers on their headstones.  It's just the way things are done.
As in years past, we'll tell stories and laugh and cry and my mom will visit the graves of too many of her friends.  But always knowing they'll meet again.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Who Doesn't Love a Bunny Hop?

My New Year's resolution to spend more time stitching is paying off.  Of course, it's not like more stitching time is a big sacrifice. "Bunny Hop" is ready to frame.  I think I'm going to whitewash a simple pine moulding and give it to my mom for Mother's Day.   The decision to go with the brick stitch for the grass was definitely the right one.  And thanks to all of you who've expressed your approval.  I can't wait to see how many of you stitching "And They Sinned" will try this.  Just be careful of the compensating don't want to see the frog as often as I did.
So, as soon as I signed and dated "Bunny Hop", I was pulling out "Virtue Outshines the Stars".   I've been trying to get to it for almost twenty years and I'm finally taking the plunge.  It's full of Queen stitches, which I love, and Algerian eyes, which I don't.  But you gotta take a little rain with your sunshine.
Darleen O'Steen published this piece in 1984 and it is charted for DMC.  I tried to convert it to my favorite silk, Soie d'Alger (au ver a soie), but there were too many colors that didn't match up well and I really didn't want to take a lot of artisitic license.  So I turned to Spendor.  They tend to match DMC colors more closely.  I still have a couple of question marks, but I'll have to see them stitched before I make a final decision. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hippity Hop!

Oh, I am so glad I decided to used a textured stitch for the grass in "Hippity Hop"!  It looks so cool and I would have died of boredom if I had to cross stitch every single one of those little buggers! I'm using a brick stitch variation.  Each brick stitch is over four threads which equals four cross stitches each. Ych.
I will admit that the compensating stitches brought the frog to the house several times...usually just as I was ready to call it a night.  But I sent him on his way pronto.  I think I will give this little guy to my Mom for Mother's Day. She loves bunnies.

My fabric finally arrived for "Virtue Outshines the Stars", so that will be my next start. But since I want to continue with Nicola's Scarlet Letter blog I'll also be starting "Jean Scrimgeowr" in the next little bit.  I'm not very good at the stitching rotation thing, but I'm going to give it a try.  Don't be surprised if I abandon one because I become obsessed with the other.  I can't help it, it's just the way my brain works.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hang 'Em Up!

It doesn't matter how much I love a piece that I've stitched. Once it's framed it takes on a life of its own and I have to stare at it for a while.  I may go into a trance with this one.
I also framed "The Christmas Quilt" by Emie Bishop, that I stitched for my husband for Christmas. Yes, I'm a little behind, but who cares?  I used the same red suede mat behind the piece that is on the front.  It's quite stunning in person. 

Now I'll go back to my little "Bunny Hop".  I'm finishing the carrots and starting the grass tonight.  Of course, the grass takes up about 50% of the total stitched area. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Stitchless Week

It's been a busy week with no time for stitching or blogging. My nephew was on Spring break so he and my sister came to visit.  We didn't do anything exciting, but you know how it is when you have houseguests.  Your schedule goes right out the window. 

Fortunately I finished my little project for a swap I was involved in with a sampler group on Facebook.  I was stitching for a lady who loves blue and green, which is my favorite color combination so it was an easy and fun thing for me to do.  I found this little ceramic planter among my treasures, so I stitch a a little Bargellow pattern and made some twisted cord for a pin cushion.
Since finished Margret Gatis I picked up a little piece from Country Cottage Needlework that is perfect for Spring, "Bunny Hop".  I'm seriously considering omitting the 'hippity hop' lettering and using a textured stitch for all that grassy area, rather than just cross stitch. 
I haven't worked on it all week, but hopefully it will be a little more colorful real soon. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Let the Happy Dance Commence!

Margret Gatis Sampler
from The Scarlet Letter
Stitched on 40 count linen (color similar to Sandstone)
DMC cotton floss

I feel like singing the Hallelujah Chorus! I put the last stitches in this beautiful satin stitch band last night.