Spring had a few magnificent days when it seemed like everything popped all at once. My lilac bush has never been so beautiful or so laden with flowers. It's lovely to come home to and the abundance of bloom makes me feel less guilty about cutting them to bring inside. (Did you know that the best time to cut any flower is first thing in the morning after a night's rest?)
I'm stitching a new piece with the thread sent by Cosmo and Lecien. After all these years of loving pearl cotton, I'm a convert and do think it's so, so wonderful to work with.
And I just received my contributor's copy of Australian Homespun magazine. The May issue features a sweet design I created for them. At some point in the future, it will be a sampler in my shop, but for now, it's available only through the magazine. (I can't find this issue on their site, but it should be up soon.)
Unfortunately, Typepad is making some changes with their spam filter. (Even their formatting is wonky today.) Tons of insane spam is slipping through, so for now, I'm moderating comments. That means that among the 1000 comments this morning, I would have a hard time finding a genuine reader comment. Hoping things get straightened out very soon.
The rain just stopped for a bit. Let's go outside and see the spring flowers while they last.
Thanks so much for all the enthusiasm for the Homebodies sampler! So happy you like it too. Today I have a new design in the hoop and I'm going to use a bunch of pretty colors that just arrived from Cosmo threads and Lecien. The thread is gorgeous. Will be back with more on all that.
Most of my week was spent trying to get over a nasty cold. Hate being sick!
Pam sent me this little needlepoint. She found it out at the flea market a few weeks ago and blogged about it. I, of course, implied that because it was a pink house, it should be mine. And what do you know?! She actually sent it to me! (I'm putting together a big box of things she would like and sending them back to her.)
My cold got better just in time for Maggie's birthday. She asked if I would go with her to the native plant sale last Saturday. So wonderful to be outside in the sun looking at plants! She found lots of things for her little garden - just hoping she finds time and space for all of it to get in the ground.
And lastly, my dear friend Suzanne said goodbye to her Watson.
He was a sweet, sweet dog, always a gentleman. I'm among the many who loved him. Found this photo I took of him at the beach a few summers ago and printed and framed it along with the one below for their kitchen gallery. Suzanne, Lynne, Jane and I all became closer friends while walking our dogs together over the years. Watson was the last of the four to go. None of us has ever gotten another dog, but we talk about it all the time. Sigh. Dogs should live longer lives.
Hoping they are all running around together on an endless beach somewhere.
When I was experimenting in Pam's beautiful journal, I had a stack of little quote clips from an old book nearby. This one inspired a quick sketch. Looking at it later, I thought it would make a good sampler design. Homebodies.
It was great fun to draw the design, trying to make the clothes look like little houses but still be dresses or skirts and sweaters. Of course I loved stitching it too. It's mostly back stitch with a few others like satin and daisy. The chain stitch makes great braids. And I'm crazy about those bunny slippers! My mom had a really cute pair that appear in lots of her baby photos.
I finished it up as a pillow with a patchwork border of Tilly and then added some linen to tone down the sweetness. Very happy with and hoping to see your versions popping up in my flickr make-along group (on the right sidebar -->). It's so exciting to see what you do!
So, yeah, I'm very proud to be a homebody. How about you?
Here at home, I enjoyed a bunch of pink ranunculus - right to the very end of their run.
Mr. America had a nice splash on Feeling Stitchy. I was unfortunately out of stock in the shop, but then set up a preorder for those to come. (Thanks, Julie, for letting me know!)
One of my own lambs came home for a visit.
Sweet friends - the same adorables that inspired Josie Bunny - joined us for the day at the farm. They have grown up so!
Have been stitching and finishing a new sampler almost ready to share. I think you'll like it.
And lastly, I upcycled my mandarin orange bag into a thread keeper. Works perfectly with a little clip at the end and the threads spool out through the mesh without tangling. Pretty darned clever, if I do say so myself!
The days have been pretty and sunny. Some warm and soft almost like summer. Some, like today, start with an invitation to go outside, but not for long. It's cold again. Even if just through a window, the sun is enough for me. Everything soaks up the light like poundcake under a sugared lemon glaze.
The tulips brightened eight fine days. The snowdrops are standing strong in little clumps all over the yard by the creek. Luckily, the deer don't like them.
Stitching, sewing and stitching.
Spring is finally creeping in. She means to stay.
"The day widened, pulled from both ends by the shrinking dark, as if darkness itself were a pair of hands and daylight a skein between them, a flexible membrane, and the hands that had pressed together all winter - praying, paralyzed with foreboding - now flung open wide." ~Annie Dillard, The Living
Sweet Amy Powers has published another beautiful issue of her magazine, Inspired Ideas. Several of my friends have darling projects for spring inside and the whole issue is just what it promises - inspiration!
I have a few traveling needlebook kits left from the French General teaching event way back in January. I'm going to post them in my shop this afternoon. I've seen some really pretty student versions on the blogs and here. It would be nice to have one made up for a summer road trip.
Otherwise, I'm craving color and warmth like everyone else waiting for spring to really show up. Noticed this morning that our goldfinches are actually golden yellow again and the house finches have their raspberry feathers too. A redwing blackbird is trilling right outside and there was a long and animated conversation between a pair of Great Horned Owls the other night.
Before I tell you anything else, I'm happy to let you know that the full line of Tilly (and Walnut Hill Farm too!) is available direct from Anna Griffin (Blend) online.
So many of you have written to ask where you can find it. The whole collection, each and every design, all in one place! Yay! Hoping you sew happily and make beautiful things. Please send me pictures of what you make with it. I really would love to see.
At home, I'm still unpacking from California, trying to figure out where all those little pieces came from in my studio. And then in between sorting, sketching and stitching, I do stop to think about what's next.
Valentine's Day is coming around the corner faster than I thought. My favorite.
Next week I hope to have some pretty new things ready to go in the shop, just right for this time of year. Stay warm!