27 March 2020

I put the Christmas lights back up

I put our Christmas lights back up last Friday. Nothing elaborate, just a few strings around inside, and a single string of red/white/blue lights outside around our front door. It makes the house look warm and cheerful. It helps.

Be good to yourselves.

24 March 2020

Puppy Therapy!

Are y'all familiar with Explore.org? If not, click that link to watch a quick video about the site. It's a wonderful collection of nature and animal webcams with everything from African wildlife to farm animals, and everything in between: service dogs, rescue kitties, sanctuaries, pandas, marine life, birds of every kind... you will never lack something interesting to watch.

My favorite cams are the Warrior Canine Connection cams. They're an organization in Maryland that pairs wounded warriors with service dogs and they aaalwaaays have puppies to watch! Here's the camera to watch the newest litter. There's an older litter on the playroom cam just below. 

Need more puppies? This is another brand new litter of service dogs at East Coast Assistance Dogs. A dozen wee Golden Retriever puppers. How can this fail to improve one's day?

If you browse around the site, you'll find so much more to watch. The aurora cam is absolutely mesmerizing when you're lucky enough to catch it showing off. And I have been known to put the farm cam on as background noise (why is peaceful munching such a soothing sound?) and to fall asleep watching the jellyfish cam. You'll find your favorites, too.

Anyway, I just wanted to share one of my favorite sites with you in hopes it will be a source of relaxation and wonder and joy, as it has been for me.

Tiger Lily watching her fish video.

21 March 2020

Spring is here, and it brought freebies!

Hello, everybody! Here's my finish of the freebie from The Drawn Thread I linked to in my last post. I love it... so bright and cheerful. I stitched mine on 28 ct. mushroom evenweave with Caron Wildflowers in Daffodil, Dark Shadows, Guacamole, Iris, Ivy, and Snow White. Look at these sweet little bees!

Even though spring arrived with snow (and thunderstorms and hail!), I put out my wee birds and bunnies anyway. 

In my last post I promised another freebie for you and you can find it here. It's a lovely spring teacup in a delicate pink, which color the Italian designer describes as "like the life we will have tomorrow." In the midst of her country's unimaginable hardship, she still finds spring beautiful. What can I say?

In my wanderings around the interwebs over the last few days, I've discovered that the freebie from The Drawn Thread I posted is part of a group effort by designers to create "be well and stitch" freebies to encourage stitchers to both stay home and stitch, and also to purchase fabric and threads from their local shops to help them stay afloat during this crisis. I think it's a wonderful, wonderful idea. I have a few to share with you, but since I'm not on Facebook or Instagram, I'm sure I've missed some. 

Summer House Stitche Works

Hands On Design

Notforgotten Farm

Jeannette Douglas

Needlemade Designs

Heartstring Samplery

The Blue Flower

If you have Facebook or Instagram and want to go on your own search, look for #bewellandstitch. If I read correctly, I think shops will soon be getting an info packet on these designs, so keep an eye on your favorite shop!

Well, now. Y'all have oodles of new freebies to work on so that oughta keep everybody in the house and out of trouble for a while.

Take care of yourselves, and Happy Stitching!

18 March 2020

We Need This Freebie

Y'all, just look at this lovely little freebie from The Drawn Thread. Isn't this the most thoughtful gift to stitchers right now? So, so sweet. Thank you, thank you.

I'm stitching mine with Caron Wildflowers. I love these bold, cheerful colors.

I had another project at the top of my spring stitching list, but this is just too perfect for the moment we're in and I want to stitch it up first. 

If you're joining me in stitching this, stitch fast, because I'll have another freebie for you in a couple of days!

Be good to yourself, and be well.

16 March 2020

Napping: A Tutorial by Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily lends a paw to help with stress relief. How to nap properly:

Get comfy and close your eyes...

Relax and allow your head to droop...

Snuggle your nose into the couch and doze off...

Roll over, cover your eyes with your paw, and really go for it!

One more thing for today--look at this beauty that just arrived from Moscow! I adore this design. It's so calm and quiet and peaceful, and the light is so warm. 

This is a Riolis kit called Wise Raven. I purchased it from this Etsy shop. 

Everybody doing okay? Things are okay here. As most of you know, we're military. In order to help prevent the spread of the virus, the Pentagon has banned all domestic travel for the military and dependents, as well as DoD civilians. This means we cannot leave the local area. I've been in a military family my entire life and I've never seen anything like these domestic travel restrictions. Mr. Wonderful's mission has been affected as well. So far, we haven't been restricted to quarters, and we're hopeful it doesn't come to that, but we're ready if it does. 

I've been furiously clearing my slate of this week's housework today so that I can goof off in my sewing room later in the week and get some finishing done. I'm so looking forward to it!

Remember, be good to yourself--and enjoy a Tiger Lily nap this week!

14 March 2020

Goodies & Getting Through It

How's that for a happy little burst of spring color? I spent yesterday visiting some of my favorite local small businesses, in my own small effort to help out ahead of what may be a very trying few months for them. We may as well talk about it, since it's the only thing anyone is talking about: the virus, the quarantines, the recommendations to stay at home as much as possible. For a lot of people, for various reasons, there's a great deal of stress associated with staying home a lot. Everyone's situation is different, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution, but I will just offer this: be good to yourself. 

If you've been reading here for a while, you know I'm a big believer in goodies, usually the smaller the better. Big goodies are really fun but they're usually few and far between. It's the little goodies that get us through a hard day, a tough week. Stash is always at the top of the list, but there are so many small things that can lift our spirits. I love lip balm and have a vast collection (and I shamelessly added to it yesterday). I love hand cream. I love a brand new, successful recipe. I love carnations. I love getting a new book (which I also did yesterday). I love a piping hot cup of tea. I love 40's music and old time radio. I love little sparkly things, whatever they may be. I love sharing a scone with Tiger Lily every morning. I love finishing my needlework. I love blogging and sharing my stitching.

Think about your list of "loves" and then really focus on allowing yourself to enjoy them. It's a worrying time, and a lot of us have a tendency to get so wrapped up taking care of stuff and other people that we forget we might need a little care, too. The ceiling is not going to fall in if you take a few minutes to savor a cup of your favorite tea. Or go for a walk. Or bake something scrumptious. Be good to yourself.

I was being very good to myself yesterday! I picked up a few Market goodies I had ordered. Here's that gorgeous sampler I posted about a while back.

I already had the fabric (PTP Shale) and even though I don't know when I'll be able to start this, I picked up most of the hand dyed threads, too. Look at these colors!

Look at this pretty fox!

Last year was the first year for the Nashville Market cookbook. I'm so glad they decided to do it again. It's full of recipes from designers and has some small charts in it, too. There are a few more designs from Market I've got my eye on, but Huckleberry Farm and Fox & Friend were my top two. 

It's a snowy spring day and I've been thinking a lot about everything going on in the world, and doing a great deal of praying. There are hopeful signs that things won't be as bad here in the United States as they are elsewhere, but it's impossible to know for sure, and even a best case scenario results in a lot of suffering. I've always aimed to make this blog a happy place, free of the negativity that seems to permeate every aspect of life these days. I have always wanted this to be a place of calm and cheerfulness and creativity. An escape. With that in mind, over the next few weeks I hope to be blogging more frequently. Nothing fancy, just more frequent, "Hey! How are y'all doing? Here's what I'm up to." Think of it as checking in on your neighbors, blogger-style. I've got spring projects to stitch, finishing to do, recipes to try, and just general spring busyness around the house. So after you've caught up on the news (I recommend not marinating in it), stop by here and see what Tiger Lily and I are up to. The blog's always open and you're always welcome to pop in.

Happy Hand Washing!

12 March 2020

Time for Tea

Here's another project I'll be working on throughout the year, Teapot Calendar, available from this Etsy shop. I'm stitching the Russian version, but there is an English version included in the PDF. I'm using the recommended DMC threads on 28 ct. Oaken from PTP. The literal translation here is "time to drink tea." In English, we'd just say, "time for tea" or "tea time." 

The "January" and "February" blocks.

I think I'm really getting ready to start some spring stitching. I'm a snow lover, but once March rolls around I'm ready to open the windows and get on with it. (It's supposed to snow Saturday.) I've got a little stack of spring projects picked out, and I'm looking forward to sitting down and playing in my stash, pulling fabric and threads and getting them all ready to go. And there's that pile of finishing I keep telling y'all about. One of these days I'll have some finishes to share. You just never know when it might be, so don't wander off too far!

Happy Stitching!

02 March 2020

Russian Hunt Update: February Progress

Beginning of March:

Beginning of February:

19 February 2020

Winter in the Sewing Room

Hello, y'all! It's been quiet here on the ol' blog but I've been busy-busy stitching and stalking the Nashville Market previews for new must-have stash. I usually don't post pics of stash until I have it in my mitts but I am so. excited. about this gorgeous new sampler. I'm not a big sampler gal, but this one stole my heart. This is Huckleberry Farm by Blue Flower. I am a huge fan of huckleberries, and this sampler takes me back to where I first experienced them, in Sequoia National Park in California (bears and all!). Huckleberry tea is my absolute favorite. I just love this sampler. The colors, the composition, all the critters (see the chipmunks and hummingbirds?).  Lovely.

I was so wild about it that I already ordered and received my fabric! This is the suggested fabric, PTP Shale. I think I did a pretty good job of capturing the color (it helps to give the camera a little white to look at). It's a very unusual, very pretty purplish grey. 

I've been putting in a few hours of work a week on Russian Hunt. I'm also working on this. Hmmm... what could this be? Stay tuned for updates on both of these projects.

I'm getting lots of support from the Stitchy Supervisor. I don't know how she snoozes with my stitching light in her face, but she does.

Winter dollhouse is up. You can check out my other seasonal dollhouses by clicking on the label at the end of this post.

I am having a fit to get some finishing done. I have a stack, y'all. A stack. I'm trying to get to a certain point on that mysterious piece I showed above, and when I do, I plan to take a break from stitching and plunge into the finishing pile. Hope to have a lot of new lovelies to share over the next few weeks.

I guess most stitchers have their favorite sites for Market previews, but in case you don't, here are a few good ones. These usually start posting in mid-January, and gradually fill up as designers release preview photos. You'll see a lot of overlap, but there are a few things that might be shown on one site that aren't on others. They're updated regularly, so keep checking back to see if there's anything you can't live without. Market is 6-8 March.

Stitches 'n Things

Reflections Framing & Stitching

The Black Cat Stitchery

Enjoy window shopping and Happy Stitching!

07 February 2020

Snowflakes & Scissors

I've had this pretty little freebie in my stash for some time and finally got it stitched. I think it turned out so pretty. It's from the old Patrick's Woods blog. I wanted to share it here so I hunted high and low for it on the interwebs and finally found it here. I stitched it on 28 ct. Natural Brown Undyed linen (a favorite neutral) using DMC B5200, Weeks Pelican Gray, and CC Wild Berries. I also added a few micro mini buttons to the scissors.

Also, I have cake.

I usually bake from scratch but I am not a food snob. A box of cake mix is a good thing to have tucked away in the pantry for cake emergencies. Since there are only two of us to eat cake, I divide the mix in half and bake a small cake in an 8" square pan. Depending on the brand of cake mix you use, you may need to adjust the amounts of water, oil, and eggs, but here's the math for halving a cake mix:

Half of a 15.25 oz. Cake Mix

1 1/4 c. + 3 Tablespoons + 1 tsp. cake mix
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. oil
2 eggs

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. 
*Do use an entire container of frosting on your wee cake. You're welcome.
*Do use sprinkles. It's very important.
*Seal up the remainder of the mix nice and tight and write the date you opened it on the box. 

Back to stitching! Thanks so much for all the kind words and encouragement about Russian Hunt. It's coming along nicely. I'm also about to start another longish project that I'll work on throughout the year, but it's not nearly as large or involved as Russian Hunt. More about that soon.

Happy Stitching!