Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August Smalls SAL Check In


I'm up to the eighth day of Dragon Dreams's Twelve Dragonlets of Christmas. Instead of maids milking, though...


we have dragons crying over spilled milk. It's kind of hard to see what's going on, I think, but there are two dragons there...the spiller and the...spillee. Have you all heard the saying, "Don't cry over spilled milk"? I looked up the origin of the phrase, but no one is really sure where it started. One theory is that since fairies love milk, spilled milk was considered an offering to them. If you scolded someone for spilling the milk, you'd be seen by the fairies as stingy and bring bad luck on the house!

I personally think that the dragon on the bottom was just going to enjoy a nice milk bath a la Cleopatra and is holding his ears to try and block out the sobbing dragon on top. Way to ruin a relaxing bath with all that blubbing!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Summer Postcard Blog Hop

Look what I received!


It's a lovely postcard from Deborah, of A Patchwork of Crafts. No idea what's going on? This is a blog hop sponsored by the witty and talented Jo at Serendipitous Stitching. (Click here to learn more about it!)

Deborah wrote,
The cross stitch is Nantucket Rose, one of the first patterns I ever finished. I like the idea of sitting peacefully, just smelling the roses and possibly contemplating my next project. I do have a garden, it is quite small, not small the way garden designers talk about small (you know still over half an acre) but small as in I can walk from one side to the other in about ten strides length ways and four widthways. With short legs at that! In it there are some roses, climbing roses, as evidenced by picture number two. I love the colour, they start out as very dark pink buds, as they unfurl they become lighter and the hint of yellow appears. Better than that though are the memories they invoke. These are my grandfather's roses, well cutting from them grown over the many years since we lost his company. He was the gardener, full of love of the green things of the earth having spend so much of his life working in the darkness below it.

So I sit in my little garden, with not nearly as many blooms as Nantucket (and considerably less pink and puffy sleeves may I add) and invite the memories to refresh me, the fresh air to invigorate me and plan how to squeeze more plants into an already overly full space.

And when the summer is over and winter takes away the outside roses, I look at Nantucket and remember they are coming back. and set stitches into cloth to capture more memories for me and the people I love.​

Oh my goodness, Deborah, I wish I had roses as beautiful as that! And your stitching is so lovely! My grandfather kept roses as well...in fact, my mother tells me that when my father showed up for their first date, he gave her a rose that my grandfather cut and told him to bring to her! =) Unfortunately, we don't have any cuttings of them, and that house is long gone. I think it's fantastic that you have a cutting of his. And it gives me hope, as someone who can only garden in containers at the moment, that a very small garden can produce such lovely things!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Orchid Daze: Lasting Impressions - Part 2!

Click now for JiffNotes

Part 1 was a long time ago, and these pretty orchid pictures have been sitting around for far too long without my showing them to you!

Orchid Daze happens at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens every year starting in February. The orchid house is always fabulous, but during Orchid Daze it is simply overflowing with orchids. If you plan your trip for March, you can also enjoy Atlanta Blooms!, where thousands of tulip and daffodil bulbs are added to the Garden landscape! Although I may be very late posting this, it's not to early to plan a trip for next year. ;)

Midway through Orchid Daze, there is an orchid show, but I always forget which weekend it is! And that's why I showed up for the show with only my wide-angle lens, because I thought I was only going to the Garden to look for early bulbs.

However, we were in for some extra treats!
There were many large, beautiful displays. But even though I only had the wide-angle lens, I was more interested in getting closeups of some of the orchids I'd never seen before.

These two bulbous beauties were just fascinating, and so PERFECT.

The color on this next orchid was simply fantastic. A deep, Deep, DEEP purple that eventually made its way to black.

The next week when we went back, I wasn't going to get caught without my lens again, so I took the macro lens and my awesome new tripod! (If you remember, part 1's pictures were taken with a sub-standard tripod.) As Orchid Days goes on, they replace some of the varieties with new ones, so I was anxious to subject some new specimens to my endless adjustments. Good thing the orchids are so patient. =)

Heather asks...how close can I get?? (You can click the pictures to embiggen.)
For perspective, here's an entire spray of the above orchids...each bloom is about 3-4 inches across.

I think this orchid did a good job trying to fit in with the Surrealist theme.

Hey, look...it's more bulbous orchids like in the show!
Well, not QUITE as bulbous as the ones in the show, but still very cool.

A lot of the new orchids they added had fantastic bright, saturated colors.

Others were more subtle, but still beautiful.

I hope you enjoyed part 2!

JiffNotes
Finally, more orchid pictures!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Theme-a-licious July/August



Although my main focus for Jubilee July was celebrating Christmas, I started off with something different. Around here, there is always a huge celebration when Spring arrives! So I did some work on Spring Garden Gate.

I took a couple shots of to show the cool knotted stitch (actually a knotted stitch this time!) below the bunnies in progress. There will be three layers eventually. I'll get some better closeups for my next progress picture. That first shot is of the first layer...
...and this second one is of half of the second layer done. I didn't get around to finishing it, though...it was time to move on to celebrating Christmas!

First I worked on this lovely ornament by Milady's Needle.
It's lovely, but it's also on 40 count. FORTY! COUNT!! Therefore, I can only work on it during the day...the lighting I have isn't good enough to work on it at night. I think I started it last January and quickly had to put it away because there weren't enough daylight hours! (Remember my celebration of Spring? I desperately dislike Winter. After two weeks once I've worn all my sweaters once, what's the point??)

Then, I put in some serious work on Dancer.
He's coming along nicely; but I discovered I was missing a color of Kreinik. It's on the way, but it may be a while, since I took advantage of the Picture This Plus Christmas in July sale. I was very good and only ordered one piece of fabric for a chart I already have!

I did get some work done on a nice little squirrel ornament, but I neglected to get a picture!

On the "setting projects free"...well, I did start to go through my stash, but so far I only identified one kit that can go away. ;)

Now let's talk about THIS month, which is...



Author! Author! August
The words are speaking this month! Hunt out those WIPs with a verse or two. It's time those projects with words and sentences grew.

I've already pulled some projects for the month. I may even start one, because I'm not sure the others are "wordy" enough. ;)



So how was Jubilee July? Was your stitching a celebration or did you want to set it ALL free? What will your needle write for August? Please add your link below (to your latest Theme-a-licious post), and visit some other Themers if you can (everyone loves comments and encouragement!) Our next post will be on September 1st.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

July Just Nan SAL Check-in


I actually got a band done this month on Lady Scarlet's Journey!


I'm still behind where I want to be, but these constant color changes are killing me. The fabric is a very open weave, too, so I can't cheat and carry over the thread...I have to end and begin for every one of those little flowers. The "knotted stitch" below the sheep was a lot of fun, though. Why did I put "knotted stitch" in quotes? Because there are no knots in this stitch, and it honestly doesn't even look knotted to me. It's just a long-arm cross variation. Anyway, it was a pleasure to do after all those color changes!

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