I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~Author Unknown

Sharing a common thread with those who love the art of hand embroidery

Monday, March 30, 2009

Her Name Was Rose

Once again, I found a lovely set of napkins done by someone's expert hands. Every stitch is flawless. I love roses and flowers, so it wasn't hard for my eye to spot this on the shelf. But looking at it.....it makes me remember Rose.
Rose lived in the brick house across the street from us when we lived in town. The neighborhood we lived in at that time was drug and gang infested and good neighbors did not exist......except for when Rose moved in. She was an elderly lady who spent her days sitting out in the coolness of her front porch watching the busy traffic and all activities of the block go on around her. While she sat.....her hands were busy....stitching the hours away. Quilting mostly....but sometimes, pretty pieces of crochet edgings and embroidery would surface as well. I would be working out in the flowers when I would her her call hello to me. I would wander over for a few minutes and we would both catch up on each others lives.....the children....folks passing away.....gardening flowers.... and sewing. As we talked, her hands never stopped the stitches. I often wondered if she gave her treasures to her many grandchildren she often spoke of. The day we moved away....I told her goodbye....I remember looking back and seeing her.....one hand holding her material....the other waving the last farewell. She made living in that unbearable neighborhood, easier for me. She was a good neighbor....a rose that really grew among the thorns.
So I thought about her as I took these treasures home. Imagine my delight when I discovered a small tablecloth to match the napkins!

There are four napkins......and there is no way my husband or sons will use these when I fix dinner! They will only go so far when it comes to cloth napkins and these are just too girly!

I am so impressed with all of the work someone did on these cloths. The cut work is wonderful, as well as the embroidery.

The hand crocheted edge is perfect.

Of course I have some dishes and silverware that matches!

Maybe I will use them for dessert and for friends who come by. We can have a "girl lunch" without the men. I wonder if the one who stitched these ,sat out on her front porch like Rose did. I wonder what she thought about as she stitched all of those hours away..... How about you? Do you have any linens that make you remember a certain person? Maybe Grandmother showing you your first crochet stitches? Maybe the new born babe, so sweet in sleep in lace bedding? I would love to hear!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Our Favorite Places To Find Treasures

Have you ever gone to an antique store or flea market so much that you know every item they have had and exactly where it is and how much it costs? I have several stores like that. I go and look and enjoy each moment, even though I have seen it all before. But sometimes....the owner has just returned from an estate sell....and there is something new.....something I must have! Sometimes, I know the owners well enough, that they put something back for me...knowing I will want it. Sometimes they will stop me in the store, telling me to drop by....they have something I might want to look at.
For spring break, we were able to go out of town and stop by some of my favorite "treasure places". In the back, among the linens, I found this stack of beautiful unused napkins! 10 in all, perfect in every stitch, without a flaw on either one.
As you can see the cutwork is wonderfully worked. It is probably Madeira embroidery,......they are famous for this kind of perfect stitching. I am usually drawn to greens and pinks, but this silver-grey color, and the leaf, is something I have been searching for to match with my china.

Sorry the photo is blurry. I also collect pieces of silverware. The real silverware. Decorative pieces as this one above is hard to find. I found several pieces of this design a few years ago. I love leaves....I just had to have them. As you can see....the napkins match just right.

A few years ago, I was helping a friend clean out her antique barn for an upcoming sell, and found this beautiful china set from Noritake. The name is Pasadena. It has a silver rim, a very pale single rose, with silver and green leaves and stems. The napkins will go perfect with this dinnerware. I only use this china on holidays or special occasions and the napkins will be used only during that time. So......how about you? Where are your favorite treasures found? Is there a particular set of dinnerware and napkins you use? I would love to hear!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wild Roses

I love roses of all kinds, especially if they are in hues of pink. But I am particularly fond of the wild roses you see growing around old homesteads. They have a different shape, more of a open petal look, and they have such a wonderful heavy fragrance! Oh, be still my heart!
When I was young, my mother found a scarlet red wild rose growing where an old house had been torn down. It was blooming, even though there was no one left to enjoy it's beauty. She dug it up, took it home, and it is still growing and blooming all over her grounds ......that was so many years ago. You can smell the fragrance way down the road. My grandmother's dishes have the "Virginia Rose" design on them. I have always loved these dishes over the rest of my treasures.
I finally found a design that is almost identical in form and color as to these dishes. I am planning on decorating my dining room in these kinds of roses and in shades of green. I am planning on stitching this design on to a tablecloth and also cushions for the dining room chairs.

My colors are picked out, my needle is ready.......
Spring break has come to my area, which means I will have time with my Sweetie,who is off from work and my son who will be out of school for the week. Hopefully, I will be able to get done with a project I am currently stitching and be able to begin this rose design. I hope you all have a wonderful week. Thank you to all who stop by to comment. I will catch up with you all next week and maybe have a few petals stitched to show you! My question to you is.... what type of rose do you like best? The old heavy scented cabbage roses? Perhaps, the tight perfect bulb shaped roses in pale hues? I can't wait to hear!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Matching Up With Nature

You know......, my blogging friends, I have posted about many things from the projects I have embroidered, the things I collect, the places and spaces I find inspiration in to create and about what kinds of flowers do you others like in embroidery. You all have been so good to comment and tell me your thoughts on everything! I do listen and your input has always been very helpful. When I had posted about the types of flowers you all like in embroidery, Lindasue over at Living in Buhl-a-land http://buhlaland.blogspot.com/ blog told me that wildflowers would be good. I also agree. Especially for where I live, there are acres and acres of wildflowers to see.
I use journals just about for everything. I have journals for my children's growing up years, our family life, journals on our life in the country, journals on my gardening and I just bought this journal pictured above for my embroidery design. Going back to wildflowers,
on the long walks Sophie and I take along the grounds, I take a lot of pictures of wildflowers and leaves.I think they are wonderful in color and design. Come over and take a walk with Sophie and me at my country blog, Eggs In My Pocket http://eggsinmypocket.blogspot.com/ After I take a photo, I pick a couple of leaves and blossoms to take home with me.

I then take out my stash of floss and match as best I can, the leaves or petals to the color of floss. Sometimes I take two different colors to blend together,(one or two strands from each skein put together) to get that certain hue.

This leaf has red and a hint of orange in it.

I then press the leaves and put which colors of floss I think would match well and keep them on a card to later refer to. After I get the photo processed, I place it in the journal along with the floss information and a drawn design of the flower or leaf for later embroidering. The photo is so good to go back and look at detail.

I just love this petally blue flower!

I think this color goes well with it, don't you think?

I could print the picture off myself, but it comes out rather larger than a processed photo does. I also like the clarity of a photo for referring to.

As you an see, there are more than one color of green in this set of leaves. It will be interesting to match the colors for embroidery, plus I love the design of these little leaves. So now, my question to you,.......many of you quilt, embroider, knit, spin, paint and much more......what inspires you in nature? The wings of a butterfly?....the fuzzy body of the bumble bee? , the dew drops on a leaf ??? I would love to hear!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Picking Up The Pieces

Doesn't it hurt when you break one of your favorite dishes?? To me, there is never a worse feeling, than to feel a vintage dish slip from your hand, and go crashing to the floor! I'm sure many of you have experienced this through the years.
I collect many little dishes like this above......and I use them. I just love to see them on the table with bread or dessert in them!
I also love collecting broken bits and pieces of china. I have found so many pieces while Sophie and I take our walks. An old farmstead used to be next to our property and the grounds have given me such wonderful pieces. I think about the woman who owned these dishes as I pick each treasure up.

I love vintage dishes that have the flowers and roses across them the most.

I have collected quite a bit through the years....which had me thinking....I would like to use these pretty pieces somehow. I have never done mosaic work yet....maybe one day I could learn and use these pieces.

Of course, just throwing the pieces away, would be like wasting food or throwing money away to me!

So imagine how heartsick I felt when I broke this dish above. I have only a couple more of these. I think this design is one of the prettiest, and I don't even know how it slipped from my hand....so I picked up the pieces.... and my creative side kicked in...

I went out to Sweetie's tool shed and took....umm, borrowed tile cutters and a rough file. I clipped and filed and filed... until.. I got this....

Aren't they pretty?? Not perfectly shaped, but it's my first try! I wish I could drill holes in the middle..they would be cute for buttons...maybe I could put something around the edges and glue a pin base on the back for a broach? Any suggestions??

Here is more proof of my clumsiness...so sad... Now I know some of you talented bloggers already do mosaic work....and how about you others... do you use broken things in an unusual way?? I would love to hear! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Blossoms and Butterflies

Even without much rain, the flowers on the grounds are blooming and filling the air with their herbal fragrance! Such pretty colors are beginning to show.
Inside the greenhouse as well, blossoms are bursting forth.

The shamrock is about to bloom it's faint pink blossom.

A few weeks ago, this was the beginning of the miniature daffodils I have planted in containers in the greenhouse.

Now they have grown and I can't wait to see their cheery blooms!

Butterflies are everywhere, darting back and forth from flower to flower.

Do you have any house plants are outdoor plants that are announcing spring's return? I would love to hear!