Monday, June 29, 2009

Tweet Tweet!

Hark! What is that I hear? It's the Dainty Housewren sweetly cheeping "look at me!"


The Dainty Housewren
by Carriage House Samplings
used recommended NPI silks except added 240 (pink) for dress
I think the linen is Vintage Buttercream by Lakeside Linens

I really enjoyed stitching this one. I made a few changes in the design (no surprise eh?).

I love these nasturtiums too. The colours of these are so pretty this year.

When I started stitching the Dainty Housewren I was listening to The tale of Edgar Sawtelle. While it was really good - a modern take on Hamlet, and involved a storyline of raising dogs which I found interesting - half way through I couldn't listen any more because the story was so depressing. I think I was avoiding and/or shortening my stitching because I just felt so sad listening to the story.

So, I switched and listened to something completely silly and delightful - The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde. This is part of the Nursery Crime series and is absolutely hilarious. The narrator, Simon Vance, is just superb. My goodness, what a difference it made to my stitching! I kept wanting to continue stitching because the story was so funny.

Motto: Life is too short to let something ruin your mood for stitching! This is not a slight on the book but a comment on what I need to support my stitching - something light and bright and sparkly. Well, truth be told, I think it's just my summer mood.

I'm currently reading a book which has delighted and surprised me but I want to finish it first before I know I can recommend it. I'd finished The Art of Racing in the Rain, and it was wonderful. I love Enzo and I think you will too!

So now I will have to prepare linens for a few upcoming projects. It'll be a surprise as to what I stitch next. Eeeny-meeny-miney-mo! BTW, there are a few wonderful new designs coming out. Check out Midsummer Night Designs, new to me, and quite delightful! Then Kathy from Carriage House Samplings has some new ones forthcoming. I like Frederika - such a pretty bird!

Lastly, I'll leave you with a picture of Julius, doing what cats do best. In his case, he has a little quirk where he has to sleep on TOP of the cushion, or if he sleeps on his side, the cushion has to be tucked under his head like a pillow. Silly cat! He's quite a wonderful character.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you are enjoying your summer so far - can't believe it's the last day of June tomorrow! TTFN.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

We are in a cool drizzly spell right now. The plants could sure use the moisture, that's for sure. I'm sure that won't dampen Father's Day - cave men instincts will live on, with many grills firing up tonight I'm sure!

On the stitching front, my hands are following my heart, and the garden theme continues...
The Dainty Housewren
by Carriage House Samplings

I'm enjoying this stitch very much! I'm surprised I've gotten so far with it in a week. Some designs just do that, don't they? They are so easy breezy and others seem to be more fiddly. For those who have stitched this design already, you will have noticed that I changed the dress to pink instead of using the gold. Yeah, I'd wanted a pink dress. Since I am not using beads, I made the flowers into sunflowers instead but then had to do a bit of outline stitching so they'll show up better!

Last week I received some gorgeous prints purchased from a very talented artist, Wyann Thompson. Here are my goodies.
The big picture is called "Free to Be". I've been eyeing this for months and I'm so glad I finally was able to purchase the print. The black and white is is a complement to it isn't it? I like the idea of the birds being freed from the cages. Even as a young child, I really didn't like seeing birds in cages. I had imagined if it were someone tying your feet together so you could only hobble instead of walk. A bird in a cage was such a sad thing to me, and now seeing a bird let out of a cage, well both paintings were very meaningful for me! And, I love the colours of "Free to Be".

Yesterday, there was a big plant sale at a local nursery. I was looking for a white rose, preferabley a David Austin Rose. Instead we found this unusual beauty.
Jaqueline Du Pre rose

If you go here you will find more info about this rose. We just liked the unusal pink stamen on the rose, and it has a really delicate and unusual scent. And, the price was right - $cheap$!

Well, I must run. Thank you for stopping by. You know I love to read your comments, and even if you don't leave any now...well, one day you might! I am so lo-tech and I don't spend enough time learning more features - I don't even know how many visitors I have had to my blog. Something else to add to my to-figure-out list.

Have a great Father's Day with all the cavemen you know! I see a few around here! ;-)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

An Embarrassment of Riches

I don't know where I found the expression "An Embarrassment of Riches" but I quite like it. It certainly explains why I feel a little sheepish at my good fortunes:

(1) Three weeks of sunshine, which produced ...ta da!

(2) The Blooming Garden!
I'm proudest of those tall blue delphiniums. I could never grow them at our last house but this house has provided the perfect conditions for it and it is so happy. It grew from a teeny plant to this giant! And really, I can't take too much credit, Mother Nature deserves that. In the foreground are roses, bearded irses, some tall orange lilies in the back.
Here's a different part of the backyard, taken looking out from under the sundeck. While we had lost the mother banana plant, 5 'pups' came back up this spring so we were delighted with this abundance! In the background is our wall of red roses that came with the house, and some pots of tomato plants.

(3) Finished Love of Myn!
Love of Myn
by Barbara Chatterton-Lurring

Such a fun stitch! And, yes, I did make some changes.

(4) Books! Books! Books!
I am currently reading "The Art of Racing in the Rain". If you have a dog, I urge you to go out and get this book. It is just wonderful. It is narrated by Enzo, an old soul of a dog and you just gotta love him. It's funny, it's sad, and it makes you think how we treat our animals and what they think about us! I don't have a dog, never had one (just cats) but I've met a couple of wonderful dogs in my time and I can see them nodding and agreeing as the story unfolds. I wuv this book.

The next 3 books I have read last year or before that. Guernsey, you've heard me rave about it more than once so I won't go on. Suffice to say I bought the hardcover of when it came out, and I just bought the softcover because it has information about the authors in the back, and a reading guide. That's how much I like it.

Nectar from a Stone is great. This is set in 1351 in Wales and I hope she writes a sequel.

The Highest Tide is a wonderful summer read, and can be recommended to a teenager. The story is told by Miles O'Malley, a speed-reading, insomniac, Rachel Carson-obsessed thirteen year old in love with the girl next door. (I'm typing this nearly verbatim from the back of the book.) The story takes place one summer and...I don't want to give it away.

Lastly is a new book I got out from the library called The Good Mayor. It's a wonderful read reminiscent of Chocolat in a way. Be warned that I was lulled into a false sense of 'wonderment' and smiles, then mid-way through the book, lightning struck, so to speak, just like in real life. The writing is gorgeous. It has some wonderful humour and it has sadness. It is a love story. Enough said.

I also have a stack of books from the library! A lot are new releases and I'll let you know how they turn out. I have the latest from John Connolly (woo-hooo, Barbara!) and Kate Grenville.

(5) Some "Garage Sale" finds
Actually, I bought the basket and the duvet cover brand new at a sidewalk sale at a wonderful store, at 50% off (that's the extent of my garage sale!). I love the green basket. It's very sturdy and will be great for holding some of my heavier hardcover books. The duvet cover is so me - roses on one side, stripes on the other in pale pinks and greens.

It's 3pm and I must get out to my garden. The garden 'peaked' last week FULL of blooms. Now I have a lot of spent blooms to deadhead!

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I really enjoy reading your comments and sharing your thoughts. I also enjoy visiting your blogs and seeing the stitching (of course) but also the rhythm of your lives. May/June was graduation season. I suspect wedding season is upon us, and of course, summer holidays!

My next "big task" is to select my next stitching project - oh, the embarrassment of riches never ends...and I hope that holds true for you too.

Take care! Have a wonderful week! Life is Good!

Winner of Giveaway

The winner of the Giveaway is Ansci - Congratulations! Sorry I can't send each of you some goodies. I know how you feel because I've never won anything either in these things. Oh well, next time.
I'll be back later today with another post.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Prairie Schooler exchange

Hi, it's a beautiful Saturday morning here. We've been so lucky that the nice warm weather has been continuing on. This is a quick post to show you my Prairie Schooler exchange that arrived at Ellen's (no blog), and a reminder about the draw for the Giveaway which will be tomorrow sometime (cutoff, midnight tonight PST).

This is from No. 67, Wedding and Birth Sampler. It was fun to pick out my own colours for it.

That's it for today. I'll be back tomorrow with the winner of the giveaway, and more photos of stitching and the garden, and maybe share some reading with you.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Flowers everywhere!

We've had an incredible couple of weeks of sunshine and heat which cooled off for the weekend but that's ok as it's easier to work in the garden when it's not 30+ degrees outside!

I've started my next project, which is Love of Myn, by the talented Barbara (aka Queen of Chateau Chaos).
This is the first time I've stitched with HDF silks and there is only one word to describe it - "Yummy-licious". I used a darker linen than what Barbara used so the colours are showing up a bit differently. I'm using the same piece of linen (Lakeside "Reindeer") that I used for Tulip for my Love as the designs were exactly the same width. This is just a lovely and fun stitch!

Sheril received my BBD exchange piece on Thursday which meant it was phonomenal that it took barely 4 days to get to her in Oregon. It must be quicker going down the west coast than going to eastern parts of US. I stitched a piece from Beneath the Sunlit Sky.
It's unfortunate that the colours look so washed out. I've stitched this design in the past and it remains one of my favourite stitch from beginning to end. (In case you are wondering, those are dried rosebuds in the dish - they look terrible in the photo!)

Now, some flower photos of course.
Some agapanthus in a pot in the foreground. I love sitting on that bench in the corner of our sundeck. Looks like I need some nice cushions there, eh?

Golden Celebration, a David Austin rose - this looks like a photo from a magazine, doesn't it? It isn't, it's that gorgeous! And the fragrance is wonderful!

Clematis came with the house, unknown name

That's my post for the day! Thank you for stopping by and remember the giveaway in the previous post. The cutoff will be midnight on Saturday, the 13th and I'll draw and post the winner on Sunday.

Have a great week! Remember, I love reading your comments! If you don't know what to say - tell me what you are doing this week (eg stitching? reading? vacationing?) I'm waiting for the yummy local strawberries to arrive!

Monday, June 1, 2009

June kicks off with a Giveaway!

As promised, here is a bundle of goodies for Giveaway to YOU.
If you are interested, please leave a comment on THIS post only, along with your email address. I will do a draw in a couple of weeks and post the winner on Sunday, June 14. There might be a few extra goodies thrown in by then! Oh, and it would be very nice if you could mention this giveaway on your blog.

I finished stitching my 2 exchanges on Sunday morning. Why oh why do I paint myself in the corner like this? I dunno! I did post them today so they just squeaked in by the deadline! Now I will indulge in some selfish stitching.

I will close off by sending to you the talented KarenV's blog. Please check out this incredibly beautiful piece she did for MM&IRR. I just love it and admire her talent (actually I'm still picking my jaw off the floor!)

Have a great week!