It has snowed here off and on for the last few days as well as hailing intermittently.
We even had a bout of freezing rain the other night, the car was encased in a coat of frozen rain drops when I took the pups out for their walk. Fortunately the snow has not been sticking down where we are but above us on the hill, it is looking very wintery. And with the rain and melting snow and hail comes the mud!
Sorry that The Queen looks blurry in this photo, she hates having her picture taken and immediately bolts as soon as I point a camera at her. And The Delinquent was off coursing through the bush trying to sniff out some woodland creatures so I didn't get her in this frame either. They all love the mud though, a very favourite pass time is to find the biggest, deepest, muddiest mud puddle and lie down in the middle of it; nothing like sitting next to three soaking wet, muddy, smelly dogs on the return drive home! But at least it is a hopeful sign that we have mud rather than frozen earth. I, like so many others around Blogland, am longing for Spring to truly arrive; when the song birds returned in mid-March along with the beautiful warm weather I thought she had made her debut but apparently it was only a sneak peek, the main attraction hasn't started yet. So I wait, impatiently I might add!
To pass the time, I've been doing some more cross-stitching. I love doing it, especially in the evenings, but found that I was struggling to see in the dim light we have in the house. So I broke down and purchased an Ott-Lite at Michael's (50% off sale, woo-hoo!) and what a difference it makes. They are expensive to be sure but well worth the money, I can see what I'm stitching now! Here's my latest finish, I combined a couple of subrosa's free patterns to make this little pinkeep.
I started out to stitch her 'Happy Easter' pattern but since Easter had come and gone before I got my Ott-Lite, I used the alphabet from this sampler to letter the words "Mom's Pinkeep". And I used a wonderful free software program called KG-Chart LE to lay out the lettering; check it out if you like to design your own cross-stitch patterns or if, like me, you need lots of help to make sure everything is aligned properly! I used my favourite Valdani floss again, this is O 126, on 14 count Aida cloth and then backed it with a teal floral cotton print and did a little tea staining. With Mother's Day just around the corner, I thought it would be a perfect gift for any Mom who loves to stitch, either to use as a pinkeep or as a tuck or bowl filler. It's listed at my Prim Nest shop if you are interested.
I bought a lovely stash of Aida cloth from Barb at Barb's Heartstrokes and there are several pieces of 18 count and 22 count so I am going to give those a try next. As a newbie stitcher, I've only ever stitched on 14 count Aida cloth and after seeing some of the amazing and intricate stitching out there in Blogland I am eager to try some different foundations. Stitching on linen would be the next step to take but think I'll use up my stash from Barb before I venture into that medium. I just ordered some more Valdani floss from Michelle over at The Raspberry Rabbits and Barb very generously added some skeins of DMC floss to my parcel when I ordered from her, so I will be stitching up a storm here soon. Now I will have to invest in some proper needles, I've been reading with great interest on Marly's blog about the difference in stitching needles; who knew?! I always just grabbed whatever was closest in my pinkeep and whatever had the biggest eye so I could easily thread it. Apparently this is not a good approach to be using! What's that saying about the more you know? I think it is something along the lines of "The more you know, the more you realize you know nothing"; Socrates I think? Smart guy because isn't that the truth!
I'll leave you today with a picture that I just took in my front garden this morning.
Our first crocus of Spring has pushed it's way up out of the detritus! She's not open yet but hopefully she will blossom and show me her beautiful stamens later today once the sun hits the garden. So there is hope, hope that Spring will arrive soon. And for those in Boston affected by the terrible tragedy yesterday, I send hope that you will be able to rise above the horror and the pain and flourish once again. My thoughts and prayers are with you all,
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