Good morning all! Thanksgiving is almost here! Are you ready? This year we'll be heading to Ohio for the day to celebrate with my husband's family. Can you tell I've been relatively stress-free having a year "off?" Oh, I'm still making the pies, a cookie tray, the pumpkin-cranberry bread, and the strawberry-pretzel "salad," but it is such a welcome relief not to be the hostess. None of that exhausting pre-feast cleaning and set-up that accompanies all the shopping and cooking. What are your plans this year?
Somehow, all of my stitching lately has been bird-related! I didn't plan that, but well, I do love our little (and-not-so-little) feathered friends. The first finish I'd like to share with you today is my ornament for September (yes, September--I'm way behind on my monthly ornament challenge, but I will get it done!). This is from the 2013 Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue and is called "Baby Cardinal" by The Victoria Sampler. I do believe it is the tiniest ornament I've ever made...
The Victoria Sampler's "Baby Cardinal"
The stitched portion measures only about 1¼ inches square so it made a perfect piece to finish as a flat mounted ornament (you can follow Vonna's very helpful tutorial right here). I think this is stitched on a 28 ct. dirty linen (it was one of those mystery scraps that seem to accumulate in my fabric cupboard). I used a mixture of DMC and overdyeds and since I didn't have the tiny star that was called for, I improvised my own star in pale yellow. I also made the baby cardinal's tail longer. Isn't he sweet?
Baby Cardinal ornament
My next finish was the first La D Da piece I've ever stitched! I've had "O Birdy" in my stash for a while and decided it was high time I brought him to life. I love the colors in this piece--so rich and autumnal. This majestic looking fellow is stitched on 40 ct. creme brulee fabric using DMC threads. Don't you love his purple plume? I'll be framing this one (some day!).
"O Birdy" finish
My other two birdy stitches were both for birthday gifts... For my friend Shirlee, who celebrated her birthday in October, I stitched this La D Da piece called "Yellow Bird." Yellow? Yellow? Well, obviously I changed the color! The pretty green silk is by Dinky Dyes and is called "Sea Grass." I loved stitching with silk--another first for me! I added Shirlee's initials to make it into a little pinkeep for her to sit on a shelf or actually use for pins. She is another bird lover so I thought this would be a perfect gift...
"Yellow Bird" (in green!)
And remember when I told you I stitched two of the Shepherd's Bush "Give Thanks" last month, but only showed you one? Well, that's because the second one was for a gift. One of my fellow Pennsylvania friends, Mary, celebrated her birthday earlier this month and this one went to her. Here is the larger of the two I created on 40 ct. flax Newcastle using the suggested threads. I made him into one of my little pillows so Mary can display him on a mantle or bookshelf.
Shepherd's Bush "Give Thanks"
I thought you might enjoy seeing the difference stitching something "over one" versus "over two" makes in a piece. Here are both of them together... Barb won my giveaway for the "over one" turkey and reports that he has safely landed in Washington State. And, guess what?! I stitched a third one, too, but since the intended recipient hasn't received it yet, I'll show you that version in my next post...
Shepherd's Bush "Give Thanks" finishes
I found some photos that I took over the past few months of the feathered friends who have visited our yard and thought you might enjoy them. My husband surprised me one day by bringing home a new hummingbird feeder (our old one seemed to have mysteriously disappeared into the black hole that we call our garage attic!). It didn't take the little hummers long to find a new and plentiful source of food--I think we had some visiting the very next day. Of course, they are gone now that the cold weather has settled in, but we so enjoyed seeing them flit around right outside our kitchen window this summer.
Once the cold weather appeared and the hummingbirds headed south, we put up a thistle feeder. The goldfinches enjoyed feasting for a while before they, too, left for warmer climates.
Even though it has cooled off, we still get visits from these sweet chickadees. They stay around all winter and certainly brighten up the landscape.
And just look at this big old turkey trying to steal the food of the tinier birds! My husband saw a whole flock of them out there, but by the time I ran and got my camera, this lonely fellow was the only one left. (I had to take the photo through the glass window so please excuse the glare).
I've saved the biggest and best bird for last! In September and October the city of Pittsburgh had the honor of becoming the first city in the United States to host the famous giant 40 foot rubber duck! They had to design him a bit shorter than normal to fit under our many bridges. The duck, designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, has now visited over a dozen cities around the world and has brought smiles to young and old. Of course, we had to go see him and I can't begin to describe the atmosphere--there were just happy people everywhere grinning ear-to-ear at the sight of this giant yellow bird bobbing up and down in the waters of the Allegheny River. What a brilliant idea the artist had--something so simple, yet so appealing to people of all ages! I'll leave you with a few pictures (you can click them for a better look) we took that day--I still smile when I think about that sweet duck!
The giant rubber duck invades
Pittsburgh in September 2013.
Doesn't his face just "quack you up!?"
A view of the duck at Point State Park from
the North Shore of the Allegheny River.
The Pittsburgh city skyline brightened by a duck!
Well, that's it for this week! I want to wish each of you a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families on Thursday. I can hardly wait until our family is complete again and my youngest son (whom I haven't seen in almost three months) arrives home from Washington, DC for a few days. Lots of catching up and laughing about old family memories will ensue, I'm sure! I love it when all three of my sons are together teasing each other and joking together as we sit around the kitchen table. I'll be back in December with my final three ornament finishes--I promise! Bye for now...
WISHING YOU A DELIGHTFUL