Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dutch Beauty

Last year in a fit of ambition I started Dutch Beauty.  Then I got really sick and didn't feel like stitching at all.  Surgery and some awful meds fixed me up.  I've drawn the line under illness and have decided this is going to be a great year!

Dutch Beauty was made around 1790 in the Low Countries and contains 68 wonderful creatures.  It's charted by Permin of Copenhagen.  The booklet explains the symbolic meaning of the motifs and I think they're so interesting.

I'm stitching on 32 count cream Belfast over 2  using the suggested DMC threads.  The finished size is going to be about 40 x 25 inches!  I must say I'm intimidated but I've seen pictures of this completed and it's glorious in its size.  I'm going to proceed one stitch at a time and move on to other things (no shortage there) when I grow weary.

An "aerial" view (I had to stand on a bench):

I'm working from top right to bottom in columns because I stitch in hand and this way allows me to fold what I'm not working on into my lap where it can compete for space with my dog.

The windmill is a symbol for energy and life.  The bridegroom offers a gift.

The rooster symbolizes wakefulness.  Perfect for me.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Warm Winter Woolens

A couple of week-ends ago I watched the U.S. Figure Skating Championships so I would be familiar with who my country is sending to the Olympics in Sochi next month.  All of a sudden I was hit with winter fever and had to stitch this little sheep all snuggled up in a ski sweater.  I live in warm and sunny Arizona therefore cold and snowy winters are just a fantasy.  Now I'm really in the mood and I'm looking forward to the winter games!

Here is my start:

Halfway through:

Finished and framed:

This is Warm Winter Woolens by Little House Needleworks stitched on 32 count Lambswool linen using Crescent Colours hand dyed threads.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Grow Your Blog

Welcome to new friends coming over from the 2 Bags Full Blog Party!

I started my blog when my husband was diagnosed with cancer.  I was so upset I couldn't sleep, which has never been my strong suit anyway.  So I made a space about pretty things that make me happy during all those hours I should have been sleeping.  I'm thrilled to tell you he's doing well and I'm still happily blogging, mostly about stitching.  I'm still not a "good" sleeper so I get plenty of stitching done.

I'm looking forward to making new blogging friends and finding your blogs to follow.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

We Love Dogs All Done


This was fun but I don't think I'll be stitching on dark linen again anytime soon because, after a while, my eyes would start to go all blurry.

I love the fancy frame I found for it, or maybe I should say "them" -- my very own dog pack.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

By The Bay Needleart 2012 Fall Stitch A Long

Well, I'm only a year and a season late!  I missed out on the mystery stitch-a-long over at Donna's blog but the adorable pattern she so generously provides is here.

I stitched this on 36 count sand Edinborough linen with the suggested threads including the gorgeous Weeks Dye Works autumn leaves.  I had so much fun making 3D pumpkins with the Rhodes stitch.

Every so often I like to take a break and stitch something small from beginning to end and this was just the ticket.

I found a subtle nautical themed 5 by 7 inch frame that wasn't over the top, just some rope looped in the corners, as I don't have a nautical themed decorating scheme.  I love it!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cross Stitch Antique Style Samplers by Jane Greenoff

Although I love books and have a rather large collection of them, I own relatively few books about cross stitch.  I have a hard time finding books that capture my fancy.  A lovely exception is Cross Stitch Antique Style Samplers by Jane Greenoff.

The basics of cross stitch are covered and an interesting, albeit brief history of samplers is included and then many pretty projects are offered by antique sampler theme.  There are house, alphabet, map, darning, spot motif, red, Berlin Woolwork, Victorian sentiments, and band sampler patterns.  I love how most of them are broken down into smaller related projects of perhaps just a motif or two as well.

The first projects to catch my eye were the red samplers.

My first cross stitch project was made from this book.  It's fun to see how my stitching has evolved.

I think the next project I will choose from this book will be the sampler on the cover.  Ah, it's only finding the time that is difficult!

If you're interested in learning about antique samplers or stitching a charming project, I highly recommend this pretty book.