Stitching with Jane Austen

Tomorrow, Mike's sister, Karen, and husband, Dave, are flying in to spend the rest of the week with us and celebrate America's birthday in the city where it all began. We are planning on spoiling them all week with fun and relaxing activities. I'm so happy to have a break from work to look forward to, also!

Speaking of a break from work, I took the day off today partly due to car trouble (the brakes on our Jeep started making a horrible grinding noise this weekend and I wanted to get that fixed right away) and partly because I wanted to spend the day cleaning. Well, what do you think I found myself doing instead of cleaning? (What would any true needleworker do with a day off? Clean ... or Stitch??) I happened to have the 2007 Northanger Abbey at home on Netflix, so I watched that this morning and worked on Blackbird Design's "Where my Heart Blooms." I read NA a few months ago and it quickly became one of my favorites. I really enjoyed this adaptation, especially the gorgeous costumes and the handsome Mr. Tilney.

I had a slow start with the BBD project: owing to a small error, I ended up stitching most of the border and then having to frog and re-do it. I made yet another error the second time, but left it in as I don't think it makes a huge difference.

This weekend we also did some housesitting and pet-care for some good friends and I watched Pride and Prejudice whilst working on the same project. So it truly has been a weekend to stitch with Jane. I ordered Monique's lovely little threadkeeper with the same theme, and she was kind enough to include some pretty red silk with the order. Thanks, Monique! I was happy that these purchases were able to go to such a good cause.

Also pictured are some recent stash acquisitions, including the fabric and fibers for Rites of Spring and a few Belle Soie to add to my small collection. Also I just fell in love with "A Child's Prayer" by With My Needle, a new favorite.

Next time I return I'll share some photos of our vacation week. For those Americans who are celebrating, I hope you all have something special planned for your Fourth of July!

Bless the Baby

(click on the photos for a larger image)

I'm finally sharing pictures of a pillow I made for my baby cousin, Henry. Isn't he adorable? His nursery is done in tiffany blue and chocolate brown. I made a tie-on pillow with paisely fabric and matching grossgrain ribbons. Henry lives in California; his mommy Lorie, a very talented photographer and awesome Mom, is my husband's father's sister's daughter - ("cousin" is easier, isn't it?).

Thanks for all your encouraging comments! Hugs and love right back at ya.

p.s. I watched the cutest movie this week, Calendar Girls with Helen Mirren. Go rent it or Netflix it if you haven't already! It is wonderful British fun, very tastefully done and inspired by a true story.

Seek Joy in All Things

Well, it's hot, people. Hot, hot, hot. We're setting records in Philadelphia! I think the high today was a very muggy 99. I do have a finish to share, which is Stacy Nash's "Seek Joy in All Things." I just love that verse and had to stitch it when I saw it. I've been switching this project out with 3 pay-it-forward gifts, and I have finished 2 of the 3, so I'm almost done with those, yay. I'm excited to share those soon. "Seek Joy" by the way, is stitched on 28 ct. Gray Flannel by Sassy's Fabbys with DMC threads and I plan to make it into a pillow.

I celebrated my 30th birthday and 5 year wedding anniversary at the end of May. On our anniversary, Mike and I did some of the things we most enjoy together: museum exploring, bookstore browsing, and reading outside in a park. We visited the Rodin sculpture museum and snapped some pictures of his extraordinary The Thinker. I learned that The Thinker was taken from a work called The Gates of Hell based on Dante's Inferno, so the subject is actually contemplating eternity and damnation. No wonder he seems so intent. Rodin loved hands and I was particularly taken with the beauty of some of the hands he rendered in sculpture.

So, I'll be back soon with some PIF projects to share as well as some great new stash acquisition. I'm feeling very empowered and inspired by two things: one is a new Nikon camera that Mike got me for my birthday. Hip hip hooray! No more boring scans from me. Two, Annemarie's post about not feeling guilty about her blog. I have only been able to blog about once a month and really don't get to comment on other blogs too much. I have contemplated deleting this blog so many times but when I read Annemarie's declaration of independence (of sorts) I felt much better, so thanks for that, Annemarie! I will update my blog whenever I can, but it is my blog after all and I shouldn't feel guilty or apologize every time I come on here. So, there. :) That having been said, Thank You all for reading! It really means a lot. I hope that if you are around excessive heat, you're finding ways to keep cool... see you soon!