The Primitive Hare

By now, I'm sure most of you have heard of this wonderful Italian designer and her fabulous style of needlework patterns. I adore her! When I was at the Shepherd's Bush retreat this past October, I picked up my first chart from her collection, and soon afterward she surprised me with an email, telling me of a design of mine she had completed…

Fromisabella

I've decided I'm going to try to talk her into designing all my covers. heehee

Check out Isabella's gorgeous blog and all of her patterns, if you haven't already!

Hers.

Ever since Bre's Tilly came to live with us briefly last year, Sophie has been longing for a kitten of her own. I'd have been happy if Tilly had just stayed behind when Bre moved away, but no, Tilly wanted to move away with her mama.

Sophie had been asking for weeks if we could rescue a kitten from the humane society, but the answer was never what she wanted to hear. Whether it was accompanied with "I'm allergic," or "Your dad only likes Tilly," the response was always the same: no, no, and no.

Last week, I gave Sabrina a call to let her know that I'd secretly changed my mind about letting Sophie have a kitten, and I needed her help. We scoured all the shelters in the area by internet and phone, but found only older cats. I didn't mind older cats, as I would have loved to adopt the cat that had been at the shelter the longest, but with the hooligans and their antics, I thought a young kitten would be a much better idea. (I decided this after talking with Theresa from Shakespeare's Peddler, asking her for some advice on what to look for in a kitten. Thanks, Theresa!)

Finally, Sabrina found a 4-month-old at her local Petsmart, which adopted out cats and kittens from a nearby shelter. We decided to stop there first, and Sophie thought we were simply going to look at the cats, and maybe play with one; she had no idea that Sabrina had chosen this location specifically…

Here's a side note: Earlier in the week, Soph asked if we could visit a shelter and perhaps play with a cat. I told her that only those serious about adopting could play with the cats, and she said, "Well can we pretend we're serious about adopting?" So I pretended to think about it, and told her that we certainly could pretend to be interested in adopting. But of course, she had no idea that I wouldn't be pretending. 😉

…So into Petsmart we went, and Sophie spied the 4-month-old.

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I took out my phone and started taking a few pictures, but I'm disappointed that I missed one photo in particular: the sign on the window said her name was Tilly! We were all so surprised! When the Petsmart employee walked over to see if we needed help, we asked if we could have a one-on-one visit with little Tilly, and she said to us, "You can only visit with her if you're serious about adopting. Are you serious about adopting?" I answered, "Well, we think we're serious about adopting."

At this point, Sophie was just pleased that I was playing this "secret" game of ours so she could play with the kitten. So into the little room the three of us went, and the employee brought her out to us. She set Tilly on the ground, and after a long stretch, Tilly ran straight to Sophie. We all cooed and giggled at her, and finally we couldn't stand it any more and each of us held her. She was as gentle and charming as could be, and never minded us passing her around.

I asked a few questions about the adoption process, and Sabrina mentioned how she thought this was the perfect little kitten for Sophie to take care of. When we looked at Sophie, her face was a mix of emotions, because in her mind she knew we were "just pretending" for the employee, but in her heart she was desperately wishing that our intentions were sincere. So Sabrina and I knew in that moment that it was time to come clean.

"Would you like to adopt her?" I asked.

Sophie caught her breath. "Seriously?" she replied.

"Yes, seriously." I said.

There was a pause as the reality of it registered, and suddenly she put her hands over her eyes and started sobbing. Now it was mine and Sabrina's turns to be surprised! We both hugged her as she sat between us, and she kept saying "thank you, thank you, thank you" to us through tears. It truly was a very special moment.

The adoption went through speedily, and soon it was time to choose a carrier to take Tilly home in and for Sophie to fill out the adoption papers. It thrilled Soph to be handed the vet records by the Petsmart employee, as it made her feel as though Tilly was truly hers.

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Here is the mama and her new baby, on the car ride home…

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Tilly rested in Sophie's arms the whole ride home, which lasted about an hour.

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Little Tilly, whom Sophie officially named Tilly-Roux to be a little different from Bre's sweet kitty, is settling in nicely. She doesn't have quite the moxie that Bre's Tilly had when the hooligans are around, but I'm sure that will change as she grows bigger. The Yorkie has figured out that this little one is frightened easily, and is taking full advantage of it. Tasha, however, is only trying to be her friend when she charges her portly self at the little feline.

I have no doubt that, in time, this Tilly will be batting The Yorkie's behind like Bre's Tilly did.

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Thank you, Sabrina, for all your help in this. And thank you, Bre, for making your dad see that cats really are as sweet as dogs. (He loves this Tilly as much as his first grand-kitty.)

Dough Bowl Dreams

This past Christmas, more than ever, I was wishing I'd had lots and lots of stitched ornaments or pin pillows to put into the large dough bowl my mom had gotten for me last summer. It seems that dough bowls are the new Longaberger baskets, and I love seeing what people put in them.

Here is a collection Mom had out on her coffee table this past December…

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And if you love Brenda Gervais' Word Play series, then you'll have to check out Carol Sims' bowl full of them!

So I've decided that in an effort to fill my own dough bowl with yuletide goodies, I'd stitch only Christmas patterns each Sunday this year. Hopefully, by the time the Christmas decorating season rolls back around, I'll have several to show for my time spent on Santa Sundays.

If you have Instagram downloaded on your iPhone or Android, then join in the fun! Siobhan, Tanya, my mom, and a few others have been participating, and we've been using the hashtag #santasundayxs.

This was the first ornament I finished for the new year…

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It was the Samplers-and-Santas blog that inspired me to get moving on these. Her home is fabulous, and every time I visit her blog I want to stitch my figgy pudding guts out.

Anyway, my first ornament is Black Santa by Birds of a Feather (no longer in print, but will pop up on eBay occasionally). I changed my colors to a darker palette, but only because I didn't have many of the called-for colors. Here is my conversion, if you're interested…

Fabric used: 36 ct. Vintage Pearled Barley by Lakeside Linens.

Threads (with original colors on chart in paretheses):

GAST Old Red Paint (WDW Liberty)
GAST Soot (WDW Charcoal)
DMC 758 (DMC 3778)
GAST Grecian Gold (WDW Metallic Gold)
GAST Oatmeal (WDW White Wash)
DMC 3774 (DMC 3771)
GAST Grecian Gold (WDW Whiskey)
GAST Dried Thyme (WDW Hunter)

Notice I used Grecian Gold for both the Metallic Gold and the Whiskey, and I didn't sew on the white pearl beads for the falling snow.

My next project for Santa Sundays is Green Santa by BoaF, and I'm almost finished with it. I've changed the colors on this one as well, and have been enjoying it very much!

By the way, when I finished Elizabeth Sheffield, I moved on to my poor Ruth Bacheler that's been waning in the closet. I've decided that once I'm caught up with all the samplers I've started in the past few years, I'd like to never have something take me longer than 2 years to finish, because I don't like losing interest in them. It was hard to get back to Ruthie, but once I did, I really enjoyed her. However, I may need to take a break from her here and there, because I've got Irish Chain Stitches up to my eyeballs and see no end in sight.

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I'll be back very soon with news about our newest addition to the family! But if you're on Instagram, you may already know about her. 😉

Tree Huggers.

We finally got the Christmas tree taken down, and if you follow me on Instagram, you may remember all the needles in the carpet I got to clean up. 🙂 Last week Mike loaded up the tree into the back of the car, and the three of us headed to a nearby tree recycling area to say goodbye. It was pitch-black out, even though it was only around 7 pm, so we had to shine the headlights on the pile of discarded trees just to see where we were placing it.

Mike and Sophie decided it would be best to make a huge production of throwing the tree, and they spent a few minutes formulating a huge plan for doing so. I was to be the videographer (with my cell phone), and they would be the Grandest Tree Tossers of All Time.

I'd like to share that major feat with you now, if you can bear to watch. And please know that after viewing this video myself, I've decided to try to come up with a laugh more akin to a chortle than a cackle.

 

Saying Goodbye to the Tree from Paulette Stewart on Vimeo.

 

And yes, Mike did actually say that the tree wanted to come back home with us.

ETA: The red item you see in the tree isn't a forgotten ornament, but rather the tag that was on it when we first purchased the tree; I had completely forgotten it was there, and never noticed it during the holidays.

Happy Day.

I turned another year wiser this month. 😉

It was a small party of three, but it was very nice.. I wanted to stay home and cook dinner that night, so Mike and Sophie decided to take me to my favorite place for lunch instead: Noodles & Company! If you have one within 400 miles of you, you need to drive there today. Order the Penne Rosa with Parmesan-crusted chicken and feta cheese. You won't be sorry! (Unless you're gluten-intolerant, like myself, and you'll pay for it for the following 3 days.)

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Sophie always orders the same thing that I do, while Mike orders something a little more Asian. (I don't know what his is called because I'm never paying attention when he orders; I'm generally in a trance, waiting for my Penne Rosa to arrive at the table, hot and fresh and just spicy enough to make me exclaim every single time I eat it, "Wow, this has some kick to it!")

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Sophie picked up my camera and turned it on Mike and I. She's quite good at photography, I must say… a little too good, I'm afraid, since this photo shows just how "wise" I really am. 😉

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After lunch, we headed to Nebraska Furniture Mart, where Mike bought me a bright orange Le Creuset coffee mug. He didn't know this, however, as he was in the men's room, but I received it with joy, and told him thank you. I imagine he thought I was referring to lunch again, but that will be between me and thee.

And after The Mart, he and Sophie got me cake and cupcakes at Jones Brothers! Oh my, how I love their buttercream. The cake flavor was Sweet and Salty Chocolate Cake, and the salt the sprinkled between the layers was outstanding! But my favorite is a simple vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting. (Again with the gluten-filled delights! Woa is me, I added another 3 days onto my suffering!)

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I suppose I may not actually be wiser after all, when you consider that I tend to go for the bent-over-in-agony, darnit-I-love-stuff-made-out-of-flour look. But it is oh, so worth it. 🙂

A New Year and A Red Cottage.

I'm so excited for what this new year will bring! In all the bustling days ahead, I hope you find and take some time to relax with a cup of coffee or tea and pick up a stitching project. A little handwork a day keeps the doldrums away – especially if you're using red floss.

I hope you enjoy my first release for 2013. Happy, Happy New Year!

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A Red Cottage

Stitched on 36 ct. Vintage Meadow Rue
using Gentle Art Sampler Threads.

List of Threads:

Old Covered Bridge
Wood Smoke
Shaker White
Mustard Seed
Piney Woods
Raven
Mulberry

Stitch Count: 98 x 91

Special Note: The miniature cottage and the flower next to it are stitched over one linen thread using a tent stitch.

All Downhill.

Just before Christmas, my niece asked if she could have a sleepover at our house while she was visiting her Meemee and Pops. Of course, I said yes because we hadn't seen Natalie in a year, and Sophie was quite excited to have her little cousin over.

On the night's agenda was coloring, watching a movie, eating junk food, and sledding, which Natalie was especially excited to try out. She doesn't see a whole lot of snow in her home state of Texas, after all.

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Natalie adores her Uncle Mike.

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After covering themselves in Lisa Frank stickers and then playing Candy Land with Mike (he's grooming Natalie to be a board gamer like himself), everyone got bundled up to head outside in the freezing, dark night and drive to the hill at a nearby school. I normally don't go for playing out-of-doors these days, but I did agree to go along and take a few photos.

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Her squeals were so cute!

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I have no clue how these two managed to get down the hill this way, but they did…

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This was just a second before Sophie took a hard spill on the little snowboard we brought along…

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But she survived okay.

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When I was a kid, sledding was my very favorite thing to do when there was snow on the ground… I'd walk to the big hill where all the neighbor kids would gather, and we'd use flattened cardboard boxes to slide down on. They were very slippery, and it was exhilarating to go as fast as we could. When I recalled this fond childhood memory, I decided to hop on board one of the sleds and give it a whirl for old times' sake. This is how I pictured myself looking as I glided down that beautiful, snow-blanketed hill…

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But when I was looking through my camera, I realized with a sudden jolt that those carefree, cute days of my youth were gone… oh, so very gone.

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Live your childhood, young Natalie. For soon it shall pass, and ogredom will greet you.

After sledding and hot chocolate, it was time for bed for the cousins. I allowed them to bring popcorn and reindeer eyes to the room with them, and they watched a DVD.

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It was such a fun sleepover! And despite all the junk food, the girls slept soundly until late the following morning. 🙂

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I'll be back tomorrow with a picture of my new release. Enjoy your day!

Hello, Twentythirteen.

Has the first week of the year already come and gone? Where was I?

I'm shocked that we're already 1/5 of the way through January, but with the craziness of these past few months, I've barely had a moment to catch my breath. One of my favorite things to do at the end of the year is to reflect on what took place in the previous 12 months, and I'm just now getting around to doing that today. My goodness, what a year it's been.

January…

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February…

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March…

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April…

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May…

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June…

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July…

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August…

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September…

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October…

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November…

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December…

 
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May your new year bring you blessings to be thankful for,
friends to hug, and peaceful stitching times for those
crazy moments in your life.