I am so touched by some of your emails, inquiring as to my whereabouts lately. I haven't been here at the computer - mostly because I've been tending to the On Prudence model (to be released next week, hopefully!) and to little bits of spring cleaning here and there.
But the best thing that's happened this month is that my oldest daughter, Breanna, found a new place to move into! I'm so, so happy for her - especially because the apartment seems beautifully suited to her personality: the entire building is quite vintage, with the original wood flooring from 1917, as well as radiators (I love radiators) for heat, and a clawfoot bathtub (which we didn't realize required a special sized shower curtain). What a cozy, sweet, darling little place it is! (And the best part for her mom and dad: a state trooper lives on the floor below.)
Mike, Sophie, and I made the long jaunt out to western Nebraska with a rented truck and Uhaul trailer-full of Breanna's furniture, which had been in storage. (We had been saving all of Mike's parents' old furniture for the day that Bre got a place of her own.) The ride felt like it was about 3 days long...
Finally, sunshine! Here we are, but we look so much smaller in our shadow. :)
Immediately upon arriving at Bre's new apartment, we got to work unloading all of the furniture. Bre and Mike did the heavy lifting, while Sophie and I scurried in and around them with all the little boxes of pillows, plates, utensils, accessories, and coffee. Always coffee.
I love that Bre had her favorite items in the living room: her sewing machine, fabric tote, her grandmother's sewing box, Tilly's scratching post, and her beloved hoola hoops.
About an hour later...
Sabrina (she couldn't come with us, as she had classes) gifted Bre with a framed family picture...
After we got everything put in the rooms they belonged, we decided to go to dinner and call it a night.
The next day, we all got right to work moving and arranging furniture, cleaning floors, and finding out the hard way that almost all of her walls in her apartment are brick! (When a large nail meant to bear the weight of a heavy piece of art bends right in half under the hammer, you know you're not exactly dealing with drywall.)
For her "coffee table," we brought along Mike's dad's old foot locker from Vietnam, which Bre absolutely loved. Not only for the storage space inside, but because her grandfather's name is stenciled on the top.
I spent the day in the kitchen, doing lots of cooking, and enjoying every minute of it. I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to cook efficiently with no counter space except for the drain board, but I actually found it to be quite easy, as long as I kept everything picked up and put away. I'll never forget that day, with everyone taking turns dodging in and out of the kitchen to scoop up some of the hot corn dip I'd made (from a Tricia Yearwood cookbook)... or to have some of the delicious Zuppa Tuscano soup that Bre's co-worker brought to us (along with a delicious loaf of garlic bread and cake - what a lovely gesture! Thank you, Alona!), or to ask why we didn't buy a pitcher at WalMart for some sweet tea...
I'll also always remember how Big Papa's Big Idea was to buy a stand to build around the toilet for extra shelving, which we all applauded, and which made him very pleased with himself. :)
... And how excited Sophie was that Bre entrusted her with all of the decorating and organizing in both the kitchen and bathroom...
As the sun went down, the living room became more and more cozy...
Sophie decided it was time to find someone to spy on, and whatever she found warranted her calling to Bre to come take a look...
It turned out to be a neighbor who had locked his keys in his car and was using a flashlight to search for them. :)
Oh how I've missed this sweet baby cat... she was so happy in the new place, exploring everything and purring nonstop. Kaia will live at Josh's house because she is so close to Josh's dog, Nahla, and Bre and Josh didn't want to hurt Kaia's feelings by seperating the two. However, I imagine this arrangement works out just fine for Miss Tilly, as she can have Bre and company all to herself...
I've always loved this silly girl's feet!
When I took this picture, Tilly was watching Bre arrange her Grandma Frieda's figurines into her old shadowbox...
(And across from the shadowbox, just outside the kitchen, is a blank wall I've instructed Bre to leave blank, because it needs a sampler there. Ha!)
I suppose I've kept you long enough.. see there? I'm either never here or I'm here too much. Feast or famine, nothing in moderation with me. :)
I leave you with my favorite picture of Miss Tilly... it makes me laugh.
And thank you again to those of you who checked in on me. :)
I truly enjoyed designing my next release, coming out this week.. the name is probably my favorite part, which was suggested to me by my dear friend Katrina (who keeps me in a steady supply of sampler names.. other than Olga, she's named all of the "Russian friends" I've designed. What can I say? She charms me, and I can't say no!). I have, however, included an alphabet chart for your own name, if you decide you'd like to stitch it.
Rindy Richards stitched the model to perfection for me. I can't thank you enough, Rindy! Your stitching is so beautiful, and I appreciate everything you've done to help me get these patterns out in a decent time frame. :)
Here are the materials you'll need for Eliza:
Fabric: 36 ct. Vintage Pecan Butter by Lakeside Linens
Threads: Needlepoint Inc. silks in 998, 622, 725, 903, 963, 344, 346, 695, 767, 985, 973, 127, and 992. Or, if you'd prefer to use DMC, the threads you'll need are 310, 352, 355, 435, 646, 730, 830, 832, 975, 3023, 3781, 3858, and Ecru.
Miss Rindy is currently working on a Christmas sampler for me called Farmstead Christmas, which will be out some time in December. And if I can get myself in gear, I may have a second December release. Only time will tell if I can get it stitched up quickly enough, but if not, then be on the lookout for it in January. It's more of a winter-themed piece than a Christmas one. (Unless I make more changes to it.) (Which I tend to do.) (But maybe I won't this time.)
When I survey this work of mine,
I'm filled with joy and dread.
May Christ my life with His entwine
before my days' last thread.
I hope you all are having a beautiful fall season, filled with your favorite stitching projects. See you soon!
ETA: The stitch count for this sampler is 317 x 137. And yes, Diane, the verse is a "Paulette original." LOL - that made me laugh!
Here are just a few moments from recent days...
These wild thistles that grow behind my house, next to a busy street, were a pretty spot in the overcast gloom today.
I passed by Sabrina's room and got excited that she'll finally be home from school this Friday. I've missed my girl.
I also miss my Bre, who left to start her new life in a new town with little Tilly.
When I painted my bedroom recently, I also painted my bathroom, so I decided to have some fun and add a few new accessories.
I absolutely love handmade soaps, and I found these on Etsy.
I also found a lovely blue vintage Ball jar with a glass lid...
I got this wire bread basket at Kohl's, but decided to use it for fluffy wash cloths instead of bread.
Here's a new handsoap I got a Trader Joe's. Its fragrance reminds me of hotel soap.. it leaves such a clean smell on my hands, and I love it.
I found this tiny cloche at Hobby Lobby, and it sits on the side of my bathtub now.
I'd like to put this one in a cloche!
But Tasha's a sweetheart. Poor, friendless Tasha.
If you've been checking my mom's blog lately, you know she and my dad were the proud grandparents of 4 baby cardinals this spring. However, these little creatures weren't meant to grow to adulthood, as none of them made it past this downy phase...
Spring brought lots of beauty with it, as usual...
And I have no idea what this plant is, but I do remember putting it in the ground last year... I'm glad it was nice enough to return! I think those tiny pink flowers are so sweet...
Here's another welcome visitor to the back yard... Mom doesn't much care for the mourning doves bc they kick her mulch out of place. But even though they do that to my landscape as well, I think they're charming little creatures.
Speaking of Mom, look at this restaurantware she surprised me with! I love the feel of diner-style coffee cups, and this one was from the Coronado Hotel in California...
When Bre moved back into her room, I moved out my fledgeling collection of Colonial-style accessories. And now that those accessories are settled in my dining room - and she's moved back out - I decided I needed some new accessories in the room. So Mom and I headed to Weathered and Worn and we each picked up these candleabras (mine is red, while hers is black) and battery-powered candles. I love these candles bc they've got built-in timers in them; every night they come on at the same time, and stay on for 6 hours before turning back off again.
I'll leave you with one more thing I added to the bedroom. Thanks to Miss Tanya (The Scarlett House) and her powers of persuasion, I bought my first antique sampler, and I'm ever-so-in-love with it.
I wish so badly I could sit here and blog more. I miss hearing from you all and sharing little things that happen here in this crazy house of mine. Truth be told, though, I just can't sit here like I used to, thanks to some hip pain issues I've been experiencing for a while now. And what stitching I get done is actually done standing up at the kitchen counter! Yes, it can be done, and isn't nearly as uncomfortable as one would imagine. :) (As a matter of fact, I stitched nearly all of The Flood standing up!)
And as for stitching, I've been working away on models, as well as doling others out to some very sweet model stitchers. :) I'm going to pick up a Halloween-themed one tomorrow (thank you, Connie!), and have two others (Salem Sisters 3 and Vexation Sampler) that are being worked on (thank you, Rindy and Karen!).
My little Sophie would like to borrow my computer now, so I suppose I'll get off of here and let the dogs out before heading to bed early.
It was fun visiting with you all. I've missed you!
A couple of weeks ago I decided that I was tired of the green walls in my bedroom. So after trying out several swatches of different colors (everything from mustard to colonial blue), I decided to visit the Sherwin-Williams Color Visualizer, and finally found a color that I couldn't live without: Crystal Clear. Also known as NPI 511.
Here's a picture of Tilly, perched on a favorite spot in front of my window, with one of the old green walls behind her:
And here's a picture of the new paint over my headboard, silently waiting for Dutch Beauty to return home from the framer:
Btw, I purchased a new bedspread as well.. it's called the Martha Washington's Choice, and I absolutely love it! It looks like it has sampler motifs on it...
I didn't want any shams or throw pillows or neck rolls this time. I'm converting to utter simplicity, so I wanted just a bedspread, and nothing else. So far, I'm very happy with it, although I've threatened Mike with complete despair for the rest of his days if he dares to lay his sweaty, fresh-from-the-gym self on top of it for an afternoon snooze.
Before I painted, I was planning on having Adam & Eve samplers hung over the bed. But I've since changed my mind, and have moved the A&E's to the bathroom. It's not like I have many; I only have Frances Eden and Paradise Lost there so far, but since my mother would need smelling salts if she saw that I wasn't working in odd numbers, I decided to add a third A&E to the mix...
This is A&E by The Primitive Needle. I kept most of the primitive color palette, but did change out a few of the colors to keep it as bright as Frances and Paradise. Of course, one of the colors added was NPI 511. ;)
I also changed the color NPI 775 to NPI 223, and stitched the deer and squirrel in colors from the chart's original NPI list, but not in dark brown, as the chart symbol indicated.
It's stitched on 35-ct. Weeks Dye Works Parchment, and I left off the straight-edge border, as I'd like to have the mats or frame come right up on the edge, where the border would have been.
That's about all I've been up to this past week! I suppose I've had enough fun lollygagging, so it's time to get back to model stitching. Although, the living room could sure use a fresh coat of paint...
I'm sorry, this post has absolutely nothing to do with that title, but after reading Siobhan's blog, I was kind of bummed that she didn't go with the original title she came up with for her post, so I decided that someone had to use it. So there it is.
Kind of looks bad up there, now that I think about it.
Anyway, if you haven't read Siobhan's blog before, you should head on over with a cup of coffee and look around. And keep a credit card next to your mouse, bc you're going to need it after seeing all of her stitching posts.
But before you go over there, I'd love to share with you some pictures of Sophie's bathroom! (I know, who cares about stitching when you can look at bathroom photos!)
When Sabrina left for college this year, Sophie decided it was time for her to move in to Sabrina's bathroom and claim it as her own. She carefully cleaned out drawers and cabinets, and then placed all of her own cosmetics and cotton balls lovingly inside the newly-emptied spaces. Then she asked to be taken to Wal-Mart to choose a new color scheme, and since she's the baby, I dropped everything I was doing and took her there.
Since I wasn't going to be painting the bathroom, she chose bright colors to go with the aqua color that was already in there. I love how it turned out!
I stitched this little Bent Creek design for her when she was a toddler...
She insisted that the handsoap match the decor...
...and I surprised her with a little iHome iPod dock that plays all the Selena Gomez tracks a girl could want... and trust me when I say that Sophie takes singing in the shower to a new level..
This is my favorite part of her bathroom... she used to love taking baths in the kitchen sink.
And that's it!
Okay, you can go look at Siobhan's stitching now. And before I forget - you'll not only need your credit card handy, but you may need a bottle of Clearasil too. Just sayin'...
Last week I started pulling out a few fall things, and I'll probably put a bit more out this weekend.
This was the ornament I submitted to Just Cross Stitch for their Halloween bookazine...
I love all the crazy gourds at this time of year, and their warm colors...
I even found this little pumpkin man, and placed him on the nightstand in Bre's room...
His skinny little legs make me smile...
The temperatures are supposed to start climbing into the 80's again after the weekend, but that's okay. I'll just turn on the air conditioner and bake apple pie and light all my spiced candles and watch Disney's Halloween Town with Sophie and Sabrina and just wait patiently for the cooler weather to finally settle in for good.
Have a lovely weekend!
When Bre left home to start a life of independence in her new apartment, she took with her all the fun personality that she'd put into her room. The white iron headboard that Mike and I bought for her when she was little was gone, the bobby pins that had usually littered every surface had vanished, and the soft scents of her favorite perfumes had finally faded. (She was, however, kind enough to leave behind the makeup stains on the carpeting.)
I decided that I'd redecorate the empty space, turning it into a quiet room that she could come home to if she needed to, and I'd set up office in there as well. I didn't know how I'd do it, but I knew I needed to start with a small bed and dresser. That eventually turned into a desk and table and nightstand and upright chest and bookshelf, which means all that's left to acquire are the samplers. :) (Feel free to stitch them and send them along to me.)
I decided to go with a "Colonial Couples" theme, and with the help of some dear stitching friends of mine (hi, girls!), I've come up with several samplers I want to stitch that have colonial figures on them. I haven't felt this much excitement over stitching in ages! (As a matter of fact, I found myself so inspired, I even designed a Colonial-themed piece that is at the model stitchers' house right now.)
The sun was shining in the room yesterday so prettily, so I took a few photos to share with you.
Nevermind those blank walls. Like I said, they're waiting for samplers. :) I love that rug... it reminded me of sampler motifs when I first saw it a year ago, so I was very happy that I finally had a reason to purchase it (at Lowe's, btw).
And I couldn't leave Weathered and Worn (my favorite little shop!) without this hurricane lamp shade...
This tin horse reminds me of Sabrina bc she loves all things equine...
My rug again. I adore it. :)
Sophie has taken to sleeping in this bed, btw. It's a pillow-top mattress, and I purchased the softest sheets and blankets I could find for it. I was lucky enough to get a much-coveted pillow case (the red French General one) from my mother as well! She makes them so beautifully!
And what would a Colonial Couples room be without the Quintessential Colonial Couple themselves, George and Martha?
I saw this painting somewhere online, but since I didn't want to pay what they were asking for it, I decided to paint it myself.. sort of. I liked the original much better, but this will do. I haven't decided if I'm going to keep it or not though.
I've never bee one for window treatments. Mostly bc I never knew how to make them actually look good. So now I'm just a sheers-and-black-rod sort of gal, and I'm very happy with that.
Here's the dresser. It has really cool dividers in the drawers...
Whenever I open the top drawer, I hear angels singing. It's the weirdest thing.
And my favorite part of the room? A Sgraffito Redware plate!
Oh, wait a second. I lied.
This, looking ever so dreamy - and on loan from Mom - is the best part of the room:
I hope you like the room so far! And I really hope Bre likes it. I know Sophie does. ;)
For the past year Sophie has been lamenting that she has a "child's room." She's been wanting something more grown up, and something a little less pink. She wanted a French theme, and everything that goes along with it - the Eiffel Tower, French poodles, and anything that says "Paris" on it.
When you peruse the aisles of your local stores, you may notice that many American retailers' idea of a French theme generally means black-and-white, with a little pink thrown in. I doubt real French women decorate everything in black and white, but it seems to be a very popular idea around these parts. Just check your local Hobby Lobby store - there's a whole aisle dedicated to everything French/black-and-white/a little pink thrown in. And don't forget all the "Ooh-la-la!" signs.
As far as Sophie's new room idea went, I wasn't sure the Americanized French theme would work, bc she chose a bedspread full of colorful medallions, insisting it was the one bedspread in the world meant just for her. I told her I'd do what I could with it... (in the meantime, Mike was planning a super fun trip to Kansas City for spring break, and invited all of us to go. Sophie's request to me was this: "Mom, do you think you could stay behind and re-do my room and surprise me with it when we get back?" Sweet child.)(I actually granted her request, bc I thought the quiet time would be excellent for a project like this.)
You may remember that Sophie's room used to look like this:
I wasn't sure she was going to get more of a grown-up look, considering that very colorful new bedspread - full of bright medallions - I was telling you about.. I kept thinking I'd need to decorate her room with lime green or orange accents and force her to completely abandon her ideas of a more Parisian-like theme. But the more I scoured the aisles, searching for ideas, the more I started realizing that I was getting tired of limiting myself to the colors of that crazy bedspread.
I had a cart full of things that certainly did NOT go together... everything from bright green feathers to dog cartoon posters. Then I spotted the most gorgeous black-and-white prints of 2 French models. (They had to be French, bc it said so on the back sticker. So there.) And then I decided what her theme would be (I knew she'd approve, of course): Hodgepodge Couture! I'd ignore all the bright colors in that bedspread and go with her original idea of some black-and-white French-y accessories, and then add a little fashion in the mix!
This was her room halfway through the project... I was pretty hyped up on paint fumes and gensing tea, which made me able to move large furniture pieces in a single bound...
The one thing I did have going for me was that Sophie chose WHITE as her paint color. White? What ten-year-old chooses white? (And may I say that I was more than thrilled, as I'm one of those who loves white walls?)
Here is one angle of her finished room, taken at night:
Here's a little bit to the right of the bed...
Don't all French women have black bejewelled candelabras stuck to their walls? (Lili, please say it's so! LOL)
I don't know what's supposed to be French about this hook, but it was in the French aisle, so I bought it for her to hang her scarves on...
And look at these awesome prints! I really did love these. They're from the March and April 1956 issues of Couture...
I was going to take a close-up of the French model prints, but the glare from the glass was awful, no matter what time of day I tried. Trust me though, they're gorgeous! As all French women are. :)
There you have it: Sophie's new almost-Parisian, hodgepodge-couture, mixed-up but less-pink room.
And she loved it.