birds and words #3

Many, many thanks for everyone who voted on their favorite option in my last post. Purple Martins (#1) won the popular vote, but after reading your comments, I'm leaning towards #3 or #4 as something my parnter might like best. I'd like to stitch Purple Martins for one of you and do a little name drawing to determine the recipient. I'll let you know when I can get to that!

Loose Feathers Poetry Corner

The house part of Awake the Dawning Day is now under construction. I managed to put in the door and windows and part of the birds at the bottom.

(If you're just now tuning in to birds and words, I am stitching this Blackbird Designs' chart using the recommended Weeks fibers and R&R linen.)

Hope you'll also enjoy this little poem by Daniel Hall.

"Short Circuit"

For no reason,
all at once,

a dove and a jay
swerve and land

at opposite ends
of the clothesline,

and the clothes--mine,
all mine!--commence

to dance with reckless
love and joy.

Please Help Me Choose!

I'm participating in a bird-themed exchange in a few weeks, and find that I have so many cute charts that would be appropriate. Thus, I'm having the hardest time choosing what to stitch. Will you help me choose?

I have 3 Prairie Schooler options and one from Bent Creek. The third picture is an option because I know my partner loves cats.

OPTION 1, Praire Schooler Purple Martins (Book 24):

OPTION 2, PS Hummingbirds:

OPTION 3, PS Bird and Cat (Book 94):

OPTION 4, Bent Creek, "One Bird Having Some Friends Over":

Please comment and tell me which you like best!

Jane Austen Sampler Finish

Hello friends,

I don't have a "birds and words" for you today, because I couldn't stop stitching on my Jane Austen sampler. (Picture is clickable for a larger image.)

I did manage to finish it up this morning and it is the perfect description of how we have spent the last several days; my dear sister-in-law, Sarah, has been visiting us this week, and so far we have spent most of our time at home, sleeping in, drinking coffee, cooking fun meals, snuggling under the covers to watch movies, and playing with Philo. We are still in pajamas at 1:00 pm as I type! Soon we will get dressed and head downtown to the museum for their live jazz evening. I hope you will all have a restful weekend as well.

Thank you for all your wonderful comments on my last post- I appreciate you each stopping in and taking the time to say hello.

birds and words #2

Loose Feathers Poetry Corner

"THE SADDEST NOISE" -- Emily Dickinson

The saddest noise, the sweetest noise,
The maddest noise that grows, --
The birds, they make it in the spring,
At night's delicious close.

Between the March and April line--
That magical frontier
Beyond which summer hesitates,
Almost too heavenly near.

It makes us think of all the dead
That sauntered with us here,
By separation's sorcery
Made cruelly more dear.

It makes us think of what we had,
And what we now deplore.
We almost wish those siren throats
Would go and sing no more.

An ear would break a human heart
As quickly as a spear,
We wish the ear had not a heart
So dangerously near.

Thank you all for your very kind comments and for taking the time to stop by here. I hope you enjoy this rather sad but lovely poem by the inestimable E.D., as well as week 2 progress. To my SAL friends, Nancy, Janice, Mary Kathryn, and Angela, have fun stitching!

We are desperately in love with our sweet new kitten, Philo. He is affectionate and curious and quite at home in our little apartment.
It is delightful to see all the wee places he is finding to hide and nap.

Now I just wanted to take a moment to address a few questions left in the comments last time. Monique: I do tend to stitch with one color for a bit before moving on to the next one, but if I have to move more than a few squares over, I just tuck my thread under the stitches just finished, cut that thread, and start a new one. This will help you avoid having a messy back. I hope that helps - if you need any other guidance, such as it is, feel free to email me: rachelvendsel at yahoo dot com

Nancy I did leave you a comment at your blog regarding the title title of the poetry book I'm using, but in case you didn't see or for anyone else who couldn't click through the link, the book is called
On Wings of Song: Poems About Birds from the Everyman's Library Pocket Poet hardback collection, which are very beautiful little books, sized for carrying with you to read at picnics, or on the train, or what have you.

Janis Lee: I did not change any of the threads or fabric, I am stitching on the recommended R&R and using the fibers from Weeks Dye Works. There is a rather obvious water stain on my fabric but I'm afraid I made that while ironing my fabric. I'm hoping the house part of the design will cover that up. :)

Barbara, thanks for your comment with the quote by ee cummings -- love that! How wonderful to use on your birth announcements.

I haven't made it around to all your blogs recently but hope to remedy that this weekend. Hope you are all doing well and have a nice weekend whatever you are doing.

New Kitty!

Today my husband and I acquired a precious new kitten. I blogged about it HERE. :)

for the love of birds and words #1

Loose Feathers Poetry Corner

I have decided to create a regular Friday feature here which will include progress pics on Awake the Dawning Day accompanied by poetry. Why, you may ask? Well, I:
  • just re-joined the Loose Feathers Club, which this year is bird-themed
  • just started "Awake the Dawning Day" and am so excited about this piece , and
  • just acquired this beautiful book, an anthology of bird poems
So there you have it.

First, my little start on AtDD. A bit slow going because of all the color changes, but oh, those beautiful colors!

And now our first selection, Bird-Language, by W.H. Auden:

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and get some nice stitching in.

Sharon's Pif Received

I made kind of a "fat" pinkeep for Sharon of a lower case sampler alphabet stitched in blue DMC variegated floss. Once again, my pics are a bit blurry but perhaps Sharon will have a better picture for us soon. This was finished with some pretty blue backing fabric, ribbon, and hand-painted pins to match. I covered two pieces of foam board with batting and the fabric, so it is kind of thick in the middle, which I thought was nice.

I really enjoyed stitching this for you, Sharon!

New Blogger

Everybody go say "Hi" to a new blogging friend, Katie P. She is only 9 years old but already showing great talent! Her blog is here.

Vonna's PiF Received

There are more pictures over at Vonna's blog of the little Pif gifts I sent to her. (I failed to get my crummy camera to take decent pictures this time, but thanks to Nicole, I may be learning.)

I think Vonna really liked it, even though she forgot a PiF was coming her way. :) It is the With My Needle pinkeep and scissor fob from the JCS 2006 Ornament magazine, stitched with an orangey-pink DMC variegated floss that reminded me of summer and Vonna's great personality. The pinkeep is stitched over one with an alphabet on the front and on the back I added our initials and the phrase "pins for thee." The fob includes a quaker flower and bird motif and Vonna's monogram. I also had fun selecting paint colors to create some matching pins for this project. The paint dried a little too matte, so I dipped them in a clear acryllic gloss on the second coat to create a little sheen.

My gift to Sharon is out in the mail and Wendy's is almost finished. I also have a surprise PiF going to a special someone since only 3 ladies signed up under me.

I have created a rotation for new projects and old wip's. Tonight I plan to start the newest BBD Loose Feathers, "Awake the Dawning Day." This will be an SAL with some lovely ladies from The Love of Stitching yahoo group. I have a little something special planned for my blog as I stitch along on this, more details to come.

I'm also trying to finish up the Jane Austen Sampler, a couple of Christmas ornaments, and an embarrasingly old UFO, Quaker Garden.

Rotation Schedule
Ornaments: Rejoice Ornie and then 2006 Annual PS Santa

At Home with Jane Austen (goal is finish by June 21)

Awake the Dawning Day

Quaker Garden

I hope all my stitching pals out there are having a fantastic week. Thanks to everyone for stopping by and thanks especially to my new readers. If I've not made it by your blogs to say thank you, I will soon!

I'm in love: Crab-Apple Hill

Yesterday I spied an adorable embroidered tea towel pattern at Mary Kathryn's blog, and immediately went scouting to find the source: Crab-Apple Hill Studio. I fell in love with what I found there and left a comment for MK to that effect. This morning there was a happy announcment in my email from her that she will be adding this designer to her product line at eHandcrafts online. This is a fantastic collection of cottage-style embroidery, wool-applique, and patchwork designs.

All these photos taken directly from the Crab-Apple Hill website.