Friday, April 12, 2013

A Blanket, a Cross Stitch Start, & a Couple Birds

I decided it's about time for me to share a photo of my crocheted blanket progress which I've promised to do a time or two recently.  These photos aren't great.  Maybe I need a new camera?  Please try to ignore any mess that is so obviously apparent.

As you can see, I have quite a ways to go yet.  I thought I was about at the half way point, but not quite.  I haven't really been doing much in the way of crochet this past week thanks to the miserable temperatures we've been having.  It's been in the 80s already!  BLAH! 
Since crocheting has been out, I decided to begin a new cross stitch project.  I did finish the one I was working on last week, but I can't show it to you since it's a gift, & the person it's for will undoubtedly see it posted here & immediately know it's for her, & it's a surprise, & well, there you have it.  I can, however, show you my new start which is Plum Street Sampler's Christmas Tea.  I've been wanting to stitch this for a long time. Although I've stitched various things on osnaburg many, many times, I have never stitched anything on 40 count linen.  I am enjoying it very much although it would not be possible without the aid of my Daylight magnifying lamp!  This is also the first time I've ever used silk threads.  I am liking them so far.  The colors in my photo are showing very strangely.  The linen is the suggested Vintage River Willow which is kind of a mottled green.  I'm looking at the photo now & the linen is showing up like kind of a blah gray.   
My photo is not the only color discrepancy that is puzzling me.  There is quite a difference between the suggested silk thread colors & suggested linen color per the designer, & what shows in her model photo. The model appears to have a very light blue background, dark blue lettering, & a dark blue bird on the left side with a red bird on the right.  It is beautifully showcased in a navy blue frame.  However, following the designer's recommendations, I've got a mottled green background with black lettering & a black bird on the left side.  I think the answer is obvious ... designers (some, not all) like to play with our minds.

Despite the sadistic bent of some cross stitch designers, I recently ordered a bit of stash from 123 Stitch.  Prairie Schooler came out with a few new nursery rhyme leaflets.  I love nursery rhyme anything.  I also got their Cranberry Christmas leaflet.  I was very happy to see the last 2 parts of the Cherished Stitches Feathered Friends series finally available ... November & December. My goal is to stitch all 12 of these & display them in a nice basket.  I have been able to find all the 35 count suggested fabrics I'll need for 11 of the designs.  The fabric suggested for the December chart is 36 count Lakeside Sea Storm.  I have not been able to locate it anywhere.  Does anyone know where I can find this?
An odd bird came into our yard recently. I've also heard an unusual, but very pretty, bird song.  I had no idea what I was hearing or seeing, but this is it ... a Western Meadowlark.

It is quite striking!  I also got this nice photo of one of the downy woodpeckers that come to visit us.  This is Roberta Downy.  Her husband, Robert Downey (get it? ... tee-hee-hee!) enjoy our feeders & cakes.  
We have a red-bellied woodpecker that comes to see us a few times a week but I haven't been able to get a picture of him yet. We named him Gregory.  Gregory Pecker   : ) The only kind of pecker we haven't seen around here is a pilated woodpecker.  We enjoyed watching them when we lived in Tennessee though.  They are huge!

I came across some interesting info online yesterday to back up my opinion of the devil's playground ... the results of a survey conducted to rank states on the basis of the happiest ones in which to live on down to the saddest ones.  Hawaii is #1.  I can sort of understand that.  Quite possibly my favorite state, Montana, came in at #7.  Want to know where Kentucky came in?  I'll bet you think I'm going to say #50.  Well, no ... Kentucky is #49.  It's hard for me to believe there's a state sadder than this one, but there is.  It's West Virginia, #50.

Happy weekend to all of you!  


marly said...

What a beautiful bird. We only had one odd visitor in recent years. Good thing you saw him when you did. Love their names!!!

Vickie said...

Hi Shirlee! I had to go look up your survey. Wisconsin is 20. That's not too bad. I am happy enough here my whole life so far. ;)

I hope you are doing well.

Love the birdie pictures. Thanks for sharing.

I don't understand the differences in some pattern pictures and actual materials either.o_0

Shebafudge said...

The blanket is coming on beautifully. Lovely new stash too. What a gorgeous bird you had visiting.

I had to laugh at the rankings - it's good to know that you could be living somewhere worse :)

Catherine said...

Your projects are great! I love the tea one!! Sometimes the difference in the cover photo and the actual piece is just due to the lighting during the photo session. If I come across one that I love based on the cover that doesn't match, I wil usually switch out colors to make it look like the cover.

Karen said...

I enjoy reading your always make me chuckle!

butterfly said...

Your blanket is looking so good so is your new stitching and your new stash.

Lovely birds keep those photo,s coming, hugs.

Ele said...

Aww! Your blanket is coming out nicely. And I love your new stash, look forward to see them stitched :D
Sometimes the difference between photo and stitched finish is striking, I agree... but I quite like the effect of the threads on fabric in your new project!!
Have a lovely weekend

Mii Stitch said...

Wow, Shirlee I've fallen in love with your blanket!!! It was worth spending time sitting on the floor of the shop :D Your hubby really found the perfect colour coordination!! I LOVE IT!!! Feel free to post it over in UK when finished :P
Great new stash too, it's nice your back stitching after that horrible episode we won't mention... :D Have a great productive weekend xxx

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

Your crochet blanket is looking very nice. I have switched from working with yarn in my crochet to thread. I am now making doilies, but crochet and knitted.

Love your new cross stitch, too. I keep saying I am going to start a new one, and now you have given me the itch to stitch. :)

Yeah, I use to live in Florida, and then moved to Kentucky, so I have no problem at all believing it ranked 49. But then again I miss Florida, so I might not be fair for me to judge. :)

Wishing you a lovely day...and I really enjoyed the bird pictures, too.

cucki said...

Aww sweet bird..and cute stash..
I love your crochet so much..
Big hugs x

Dawn said...

I love the tea and the color as it is showing on your picture. Oh Shirlee, we have a pilated woodpecker that comes to our yard a few times a summer, I have managed to get a picture of him, he is beautiful. My summer birds are back and time to start putting out my hummingbird feeders, it's mid April and they should be showing up now. Great progress on your blanket but it's hard to work on warm things when it's warm outside. Take care my friend.

Chocolates4Breakfast (Terri Malinovich) said...

Fun post. I had to go look up MI. We came in at 36. With the little amount of sunshine we get in the winter, I'm not surprised. If we were to be surveyed during our summer, I bet we'd rank happier.
Great new stash. I hate when the colors on a chart cover don't match the choices of threads.

Chris said...

Hey Shirlee!
Great update. The blanket is coming along beautifully.
You can contact Louise about the linen at her website. Let me know if she helps, if not I will go and wrestle some out of her supplies for you. I hope that you have a great week!

Robin in Virginia said...

Love your progress on your blanket! What fun colors you are using for it! Awesome bird pictures!

Robin in Virginia

Kaisievic said...

Lovely bird pics, I especially like Roberta. Great new stash and that sounds like an interesting survey. Love your new start, too.

hugs, Kaye

Judy said...

Your crochet blanket is quite nice. And great stash! The only birds I see in my neighborhood are crows! So I really enjoy yours. I bet Illinois is #48....

Judy heartland stitcher

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Love the blanket colours, great progress.
The Prairie Schooler charts looks great too, hope you find the right fabric.
Your State may be near the bottom of the pile but you do have some gorgeous birds, maybe that's why you're not completely bottom!