Busy as a Bee

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You guys probably thought I dropped off the face of the earth, huh?  Well, things have been very busy around here and a lot of late nights and early mornings at work.  I managed to take Friday off though so that I could have a four day weekend, which I really needed.  And amazing what a little sleep will do for you – I actually made some good progress on my stitching!  
This is how my John Reed sampler is coming along.  I’m working on the middle third of the piece.  The house actually stretches down into the bottom third, which is why I only have the top floor stitched.  All of that fill in was getting a bit boring, so I decided to get back to the motifs.  Last night I managed to stitch ten bees, the beeskep and the two little trees.  Not too shabby!  I have to say though, that house was actually a lifesaver.  Those nights when I was so tired from work I couldn’t think straight – mindless fill in was the perfect thing to stitch on. 
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I hope you are all having a lovely Memorial Day.  I am rather enjoying a quiet day at home.  Oh, with my helpers.   
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I also posted up some photos of Memorial Day from last year on my other blog, if you’d like to visit.   And speaking of my other blog…you might notice that there have been a lot of changes going on around here.  I’ve linked my two blogs, so you can now go to my home page and reach either blog from there.  You’ve probably also noticed that I’ve changed my template and layout on this blog.  Once I got the blogs all linked and took a look at this blog again I decided that it was just too busy for my taste these days.  So, I’ll probably be playing around a bit with things for awhile, but I hope you’ll take a few minutes to look around at the other blog and see some of what I’ve been working on.  
Thutmose is always glad when I include him in my posts.  Thanks for visiting!
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I am grateful for my country.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

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Oh don’t you just love those colors?  I die every time I look at them.  I’ve been talking so much stitching lately (well, relatively speaking), that I thought it was time for a little quilting talk.  And I was completely inspired over the weekend to get out my fabric and get to sewing after visiting two new to me quilt shops.  Everywhere I turned there was inspiration.  But my fabric stash above was a purchase from a couple of months ago.  I decided to use a part of my bonus from work to buy fabrics for a quilt I want to make.  The fabrics are all Tula Pink from her Parisville line.  Aren’t they gorgeous?  Don’t the colors just remind you of macarons?  I. am. in. love.

And you may recall that I’ve been carrying around some Parisville with me for a while now in the form of some beautiful project bags (here, here, and here).  Plus, I made those fun hexagon pincushions with her more recent line Prince Charming.  (I am clearly an addict!)

But I found the perfect quilt that I wanted to make with my treasured fabric… 

Kiss Kiss

Kiss Kiss also by Tula.  I wanted a pattern to showcase those Marie Antoinette silhouettes, and I love the big Xs that make up the pattern.  I’m so excited to get started.  I have one thing I need to finish first – my Kate Spain Christmas quilt.  But then?  Kiss Kiss.

And Tula’s also just come out with two new lines.  The weekend of my Epic Stitching Get Together, we all piled in cars and headed over to a local quilt shop where I managed to score some fat quarters of Nightshade.

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I can’t wait to sew with this.  It’s equally beautiful in person, but so different.  I wish I’d found some of the main cameo fabric, but I’m sure I’ll be getting more of this in the future.  But I’m so excited to cut some fabric and do some sewing!!!

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And I’ve been thinking I needed to take some more photos of our boys.  Can you believe we’ve had these guys a month?  This photo is from when they got their new collars.  They are so much bigger now, and look so different! 

New collars

But taking photos of two black kittens is proving to be almost impossible.  Most of my photos end up looking like this…

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Or this…

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But finally, after many many many attempts, I finally got a few good ones.  This is Ramses.

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With his pretty green eyes.

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And this is Thutmose, with his gold eyes and little white spot. 

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I can’t believe the difference a month makes. 

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They’ve pretty much lost all their kitten fuzz, and they are growing like weeds! 

Anyway, hope you are all managing to stay cool and work on whatever crafty thing makes your heart sing.  I’m stitching along on Isabella and on ATS, but I’m hoping there’s some quilting gonna happen soon!

I am grateful for lots of inspiration, and two little black bundles of joy.

Of Angels and Acorns

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On Tuesday night before guild, I met a couple of friends for dinner. After we ate, they presented me with a secret project they’d been working on since my dad died. They started with Ghoul by Plum Street Samplers, which I love, and charted out a part of the poem that was read at my dad’s funeral. They put his name and birth and death years on the piece along with each of their initials. 
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And if that wasn’t enough, they also sent it to Jill Rensel to be framed. 
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I just can’t get over it. What a huge surprise and such a thoughtful thing to do. I took it to my mom’s yesterday to show her and she got just as choked up as I did. Thank you my sweet friends, it really means the world to me to have a memorial sampler for him. 
I did decide a few months ago that I wanted to start something new on my dad’s birthday, that is coming up on Tuesday. I used a little bit of my bonus check to purchase the AVAS silks and the Weeks Confederate Grey linen. I’ll be sharing my start with you soon as well as which sampler it is. But, I am so grateful to some friends of mine who helped me out by bringing lots of fabric for me to do floss tosses on until I settled on the one I liked. The chart called for ivory or cream linen, but I really wanted something a little more interesting. 
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It’s time for another WIPocalypse post. They time sure flies. And I haven’t gotten a whole lot of stitching done lately, but I’ve put a little bit more in my Quaker Pincushion. And for those who asked that thread is Caron Wildflowers in Tanzanite. Gorgeous, yes? 
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And Isabella’s gotten a bit farther as well. Although I think it’s taken me over a week to get what I have done on that wreath. 
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And you might be wondering why I haven’t done any stitching? Well, let me introduce Thutmose 
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and Ramses. 
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They are 14 weeks old and are brothers. Eric and I adopted them last weekend. Since my first boys had all Shakespeare names, I thought these guys needed Egyptian pharoah names. Although lately Eric has been calling them “Monkey See” and “Monkey Do”. They are treasures and have really brightened up our home and our hearts. 
I am grateful for a new beginning to our lives.

The Last of Three

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Othello was the second of my three boys to come into my life, although he was the oldest.  He loved completely and unconditionally and allowed both Hamlet and Romeo to be the center of attention, always.  When we lost Romeo, for the first time Othello allowed himself his time in the sun.  He took every bit of attention we lavished on him and gave it back tenfold.  

Last February, we nearly lost Othello.  We were given another year with this sweet boy and treasured every moment of it.  
 

Othello Performing

On Friday, I lost the last of my boys.   My home and my heart will never be the same without him.

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One more, one more. 
Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee 
And love thee after. One more, and that’s the last. 
So sweet was ne’er so fatal. I must weep, 
But they are cruel tears. This sorrow’s heavenly, 
It strikes where it doth love.
Othello, Act 5, Scene 2

Mademoiselle Victorine

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Remember back on New Year’s Eve, when I showed you the photo above of these beautiful silks? Remember when I said they were my New Year’s Day start? Ah, good times.

Well, on January 1 I made an executive decision that instead of starting a new piece as planned, I wanted to continue on with Margaret Cottam. I finished her a week into the new year but it was a few more weeks until I started my new piece.

So, allow me to present, Victorine Delacroix by The Essamplaire.

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I love her. I love stitching with those luscious silks. I love her drab little flowers offset by that bright “pistachio” vine. I can hardly wait to get some blue added to her. Isn’t she fun? Love that lacey little basket too.

And on top of her being a new start, she’s also been part of something else new. I mentioned in this post that I would be trying out my new Hardwicke Manor hoop on her. So far I am loving it. Of course, the real challenge is going to be having to put the hoop over my stitches. Quelle horreur! But, eventually I will run out of space in my little six inch hoop and then it will be like sailing off the edge of the world. Courage!

So, that’s what I’ve been up to – not stitching on anything I’m supposed to be stitching on, and instead spending time with a lovely little lady from Philadelphia with a sweet French name.
And in my last post, I neglected to mention something else that I am especially grateful for at Valentine’s Day…

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My handsome Othello. I adopted him sixteen years ago in February, and last February you may remember we almost lost him. So, this Valentine’s Day I was particularly grateful to spend it with him. And you may notice, he has white whiskers on only one side – just like Owen.

I am grateful for moments of respite.