30 March 2020

Two Weeks

Well, how's everybody doing? We're two weeks into our voluntary lockdown. So far our state/local government hasn't issued a shelter-in-place order but we're staying home anyway and it seems most people around here are doing the same. Hopefully if people continue to behave themselves an order won't be necessary. I've been out of the house once since 15 March, and that was to ride along with Mr. Wonderful on a trip to the store. I put the window down and let the cold, fresh air blow in my face, like a pupper on a car ride. (I waited patiently in the car just like a dog, too.)

I've been working on some spring stitching. This is an old CEC design from a leaflet called Eggs...etera (#109). I'm changing a few of the colors, to the surprise of absolutely nobody. Isn't that just the sweetest little bird?

I got a couple of goodies in the mail this past week. A book of Christmas designs...

...and I finally got my mitts on a Cosmo color card. I'm slooowly building my Cosmo stash, and this will help me decide what color families I want to focus on collecting first.

The faithful Mr. Bun remains a comforting little presence in our front flower bed. He's hard to see in his wee burrow under the grass, but he's always there, morning til evening.

I wanted to share this with y'all. It's the message we see when we visit our community mailbox. People have been carefully avoiding stepping on it to keep from smudging it. 

One last thing: I recently posted some links to the "Be Well" freebies that designers are sharing to encourage folks to stay home and stitch and also to order supplies from their favorite shops to keep them going through this tough time. I found a Facebook page where a shop is posting all the freebies. You don't have to have a Facebook account to access the charts. 

Cardinal Needleworks

Just click on the chart you want, save, and print. And stitch. Lots and lots of stitching!

Hope you're all staying safe and well, and remembering to be good to yourselves. We'll get through this. 

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: