Friday, 8 April 2011

Hello there!

It's been awhile. I will catch up with you in "sandwich" style. The top layer -  the important stuff - stitching, of course; then the filling - why I've been away; lastly - more stitching and other photos. So, here we go!

We begin with 2 lovely pink flowers...and an angel. I love the pink. It's stitched with GA Rhubarb.
A Gold Tulip? I've never seen one in real life, but it sure looks pretty. I like the bluebells too.  And those other balloon like flowers remind of me Chinese Lantern flowers. I love that funky striped bird!
 A Lion and a butterfly under some dreamy purpley flowers (wisteria?)
The infamous couple with the snake hovering above. Oh, I just realized, there is no apple in sight! Well, we have a cute bunny and a peacock.
And now the whole thing - "Permit Me Not to Stray" by Heartstring Samplery. It's quite a luscious design, don't you think? I did replace the over-one verse with my own - "Into this Life, the Journey Begins". This phrase did come to me, very easily, and I was thankful for it because I could bypass the over-one stitching. Honestly, I have to get the Mighty Bright magnifier lamp that some of you have mentioned to me in the past.
Now comes the filling - why I've been away longer than usual. I've been living a Charlie Brown life, or Life has been Bumpy. 
To keep things in perspective, everyone is healthy. Check! However, life has just been throwing me not only curves, but boulders in my path. Now, I think we all agree that we've been taught to "overcome obstacles" by preservering. But sometimes I think that when the boulders keep landing in your path, it might mean "get the hell out of the way coz a landslide is coming!" Yeah, it might be a good idea to look for a different route. 

So, I've been in a hunker down mode which usually means I keep life as simple and quiet as possible. Staying offline is one of the things I do. I know I owe people emails so please accept my apologies for being quiet. I hope to remedy the situation soon. 

Stitching the A&E was tough going. It wasn't the design, it was just me feeling the stitching love leave me too. I don't know what I will stitch next or maybe take a wee break. What do you think? I have some big samplers I want to dive into but this might not be the best strategy for me.

Enough of the pity party. Now, onto more pictures. 

I made a new stitchy friend via my blog about a month or two ago. Nicole is from Belgium and doesn't have a blog. When she started sending me some photos of her stitching I immediately said to her that she should start her own blog! I am sure you would agree. In the meantime, here is a small example of her lovely stitching and finishing! 

 Oh my! Isn't her work just beautiful? I love her display as well. I have to think about copying her idea with the glass dome! 

Next, the pink flower is a camellia we bought last week. Can't remember the name though!
Then a Christmas Rose still in bloom. Our Spring is about a month behind schedule this year.
Last night my husband said "come quick and see this!". At our kitchen door were two young racoons (you can only see one in this photo) wanting to come in! Julius was sooooooo curious and they were having this mutual curiosity staring contest! Daisy hid!

Well, my dearies, that's it for my catch up post. Thank you for your visits, your comments and emails! Have a lovely weekend!


WoolenSails said...

I know those days, been a rough winter for me too.
Finally warming up again, so getting out more and trying to get healthier. I switch projects and work on other things when one type gets too much.

I hope the bumps smooth out for you.


Nancy said...

Sorry you have been going through a rough patch. I always say those times are when God is trying to hone you in to a better person. You will see once you come out on the other side.

Love the sampler finish, it is just lovely!

Annemarie said...

Oh, Melissa, I know exactly what you mean. Stitchers are a curious bunch: we all seem to react to stress and difficult situations in the same way. Don't worry about the stitching bug: it will bite you in the behind sooner or later! Just try to relax in any way that you can, and don't be too hard on yourself.
At least you have your gorrrrrrgeous sampler to look at. Oh my, Permit Me Not To Stray is breathtaking!
And the racoons.... awwww. Love them!

valerie said...

Ack...Thank goodness the window was closed. Raccoons are scary. I'd be with Daisy. Sorry to hear you're going through a rough patch. Mine continues but I find stitching to be relaxing. Maybe you can find some cute smalls and it won't feel so overwhelming? And you'll have a quick happy dance too. Permit Me Not to Stray is stunning! Wonderful finish!

Hope things get better soon.

Theresa said...

Sorry to hear that your life is not the smoothest these days, that can happen.... I hope it will get better soon.

LOVE your sampler finish!!! It is gorgeous!!! And those flowers are just beautiful!!!! You must have a lovely garden~~

That cat picture is too funny!!!

Siobhan said...

I've been thinking about you! I'm glad everybody is healthy but sorry that things are sucky. I know how that goes--when you just want to go outside, look up and yell, "Are you KIDDING me???". I hope things get better soon.

Your A&E is fantastic!! Hang in there with the mojo and maybe work on a few different things till something 'catches'. Big hugs.

Siobhan said...

PS--Nicole's work is beautiful! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Andrea said...

Your A&E is fabulous, I like the verse you chose. This one is in my "stitch soon" pile!

Sorry to hear you're having a rough time of it. I can completely relate. Hope things brighten up for you soon.

Your friend's stitching is lovely, thanks for sharing!

Gillie said...

Glad you are back but sorry about the rocky road. That sampler is quite stunning! The World Traveller and I loved the stare-off at the cat flap! Keep smiling!

Gillie said...

Oops, PS from me too! Nicole needs to start a blog! We have a camellia bush in our English garden - I am enjoying my first English spring for many years.

Barbi said...

You're friend definitely needs to start a blog! What a fantastic way to display the smalls!!!

Ann at Beadlework. said...

Lovely stitching as always Melissa - a really nice piece.
I just adore the photo of pusscat looking out and the stranger looking in!

Nancy said...

Sorry you have been hit with boulders - I have had a few my way too! Don't you just hate that! I find when I feel this way small designs are the most comforting to stitch. I decided to pick a few of my favorites from the Reward of Merit series by Blackbird Designs.

Your sampler is just gorgeous, and you would never know you were having bad times while stitching. It's just beautiful! And, I agree, Nicole's stitching and displays are wonderful. What a talented friend you have!

Take care, and I hope you enjoy your weekend!

Deb said...

I'm sorry you've been going through some rough times and I hope that things get better for you soon. I think we all have times like that and just want to retreat from things. I do find that stitching helps get me through.

What can I saw about your A&E but FABULOUS! I just love it! I just love everything about it. And your new blogging friend has some lovely stitching too!

Hope that everything gets better for you!!

Anonymous said...

Nice to hear from you. We all need times to spring clean our mind and emotions. Don't appologize for that. If people don't understand then that is their problem.

I love the picture of your daisy and the racoons. It reminds me of the commercial that Sears was running for a while for their eye glass centers. The lady who needs new glasses because her sight is so bad she thinks the cat she is letting in is really a racoon. It always made me laugh.
Have a happy day and weekend.

Margaret said...

Melissa, I hope things get better for you real soon. Such a bummer that you've been having hard times recently. But your A&E is an inspiration! I so want to stitch that one! Nicole's stitching is beautiful too! Hang in there! Oh, the raccoons! Wow! I would have hidden too. lol!

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Hey, Melissa! I'm so happy to see a post from you. I am terribly sorry that things haven't been as smooth and happy as they could be. I can totally relate - I've had a continuing year from hell, myself. I'm sure there's an up-side; I just haven't found it yet. I hope you find the up-side, soon!!!

Great A&E sampler and I love the verse you added. You always pick the prettiest projects and then I just want to rush right out and do them, too.

Great pic of the raccoon!

Your friend Nicole's things are beautiful as are her pictures! I love the dome covers, too!

mainely stitching said...

It's great to hear from you, Melissa. I love-love-love your finish!!! We all have the stitching love take a leave of absence from time to time - hope yours comes back soon. And that you keep avoiding those boulders!!

Rowyn said...

What about starting a small piece while you are not feeling your usual love for stitching? Who knows, it might just be the tonic.

Your A&E sampler is stunning. I love the pretty colours and all the different flowers.

I love the photo of the racoon. How fun. We had a couple of ducks peering in our lounge doors a few months back. They were so curious. Unfortunately, one of my cats soon noticed the visitors and the ducks made a hasty exit.

Your friend Nicole's stitching and displays are beautiful! She should definitely start a blog! :-)

Laurie in Iowa said...

Melissa, I'm sorry to read that life hasn't been all that great for you lately. I hope that situation changes real soon.
Your A&E finish is lovely.
Nicole's stitching is beautiful. She needs to start blogging.
Maybe a little break from stitching wouldn't be a bad idea. Do whatever is calling to you at this time. Don't be concerned about starting a big sampler... you can always put it aside when you want to go on to something else.

Jane said...

I hope the path you choose to travel has a lot less hurdles than the one you've been going on, Melissa. There's certainly ups and downs in life and the ability to ride the downs as best we can is key.

You're still stitching some wonderful creations. I love the pink flowers in your latest finish. Such a lovely thread colour. Your new friend's stitching looks so darling too.

Racoons are an animal we don't have in Australia. They look as though they have Zoro type eye shades on:)

Enjoy planting your new Camellia. Lovely choice!

Katrina said...

Love your finish, it's just gorgeous. And Nicole's pieces are so, so pretty. Love the dome too.

Sorry things have been rough, hope they get better soon!!!!

BTW, the racoon would freak me out.

Varla said...

Hi! I love your samplers! It's natural to be "out" if we are stitching, i understand, it's such be an "stitcholic" way of life (lol) However, the golden tulip is gorgeous and i loved the cat pic infront of that "vision"!! Beautiful sampler! Hugs from Italy, Varla.

Blu said...

Sorry to hear you're having a tough time. Hope things get better soon.

Gorgeous finish on the sampler! Excellent job on the phrase replacement. It looks really good.

Sharon said...

Another fantastic finish Melissa! I hope that things will be better going soon.

Carol said...

Hi Melissa--your newest finish is so lovely--especially those luscious pink flowers...Very "paradise looking" to me :)

Isn't Nicole's work gorgeous? She and I have been emailing, too, and I would love it if she would start a blog to showcase her pretty stitching...

I hope those boulders stop raining down on your path soon. I agree that simplifying your life as much as possible is a good way to deal with things. Try stitching an ornament--those easy finishes really can help. Sending you a warm hug...

Hazel said...

Lovely to see you posting again! Greta stitching as ever and oohhh a racoon!! Amazing. xx

Anne said...

Wow! Your A&E piece is so gorgeous! The colours are so soft and pretty. My favourite flower is the wisteria and the golden tulip. I'm glad you are posting again and hope those boulders have stopped coming down. I'm so glad our cherry blossoms are out finally and all the beautiful magnolia trees are in bloom. When things get tough in life I find sitting under a cherry blossom tree makes me feel better. As for the raccoon (my favourite animal bandit!) I can't believe you captured a photo of the staring contest! So cute!!

Sending good thoughts and hugs your way!


Michelle said...

Gorgeous gorgeous finish. You've made me rethink stitching this one - now I have to have it. And I love your verse. Sorry to hear that life is throwing you curveballs - it's hard to hang in there and keep your chin up. Big hugs. I hope your stitching does bring you some comfort. Thanks so much for sharing Nicole's work - she most definitely needs to start a blog - gorgeous!

Beth Twist said...

Hooray! You finished Permit Me... and really quickly too! Love your color choices... it turned out quite nicely. And hopefully it was at least a bit of a bright spot during your rough patch, despite the missing apple and repetitive border. :)

Brigitte said...

Oh Melissa, so sorry to hear that life hasn't been good to you lately, but I hope that this rough stretch will be over soon. I'm sure that the stitching bug will find its way back to you and you'll find a wonderful new project.In nerve-wrecking times my stitching often helps me to ease my mind.
This finish is such a beauty. And I love all the lovely details you show in your pictures.
And tell your friend Nicole that she should really have a blog and show her wonderful stitching to all of us.

marylin said...

oh wonder on your blog, your embroidery are wonderful and I love that there are all the houses too!
I wish you good luck ...
Marylin friendships France

Pat said...

This is my first visit to your blog. You have some beautiful pictures. Your cross stitch is amazing. Love all of your projects. I will be back.

Suzanne said...

Permit Me Not To Stray is such a lovely A&E piece, I really love the colours. What a beautiful job of the stitching and the switching of the verse you did.

Your friend does some beautiful stitching and I really love the way she has displayed some of her pieces.

I am missing the beautiful flowers that spring brings, although the leaves are just stating to change colour and that's almost as nice.

The girls thought the photo of the racoon was funny and they loved it, although they have no idea what a racoon is.

Lois said...

Good to catch up with you but I'm sorry that the road is somewhat bumpy at the moment. I will hope it all smoothes out as the weeks pass. I love your A&E piece and I hope your stitching mojo doesn't desert you entirely. I'd got for some smaller projects and see if that keeps things ticking over. What lovely pics from Nicole and I love your camellia. I just bought one yesterday. I've never tried growing them before but see them each year and keep saying I must plant one. Finally I have one to do that with! Take care!

Karoline said...

{{{Melissa}}} sorry to hear that you've been having a bad dose of 'life', hope things are starting to pick up.

Your A&E is gorgeous, congratulations

Anonymous said...

Melissa, hoping things in your life smooth out soon. Lovely finishes of both yours, and Nicoles!

Nicole said...

Hi Melissa,
Lately I have often thought of you, because it was so quiet on your blog.
I'm sorry to hear that it's not going well. Hopefully you feel better with the warmer spring days in prospect

Melissa, your A & E is soooo beautiful with all those beautiful flowers and soft colors. Well done !!!!
I thought this sampler was much smaller , i'm suprised now that I see it next to the scissors.

OOOH what is that a cute raccoon

Melissa, thank you so much for showing my pictures :-))) And a big thank you to for all the nice comments
Take care, talk to you soon :-)))


♥marylin♥ said...

Happy Easter !!

Berit said...

So good to hear from you--and this finish is GORGEOUS! I'm seriously drooling. I know what you mean about not enjoying the stitching of a project, however. (My bunny "biscornu" is totally like that!).

Sorry to hear about your troubles; I'm feeling some of those too and all I can say is hang in there. :D We love your stitching and visiting your blog, too.

Darling Cat vs. Raccon Encounter.