Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day quick update


Greetings Friends! 

Hope your Memorial Day weekend has been filled with family, friends, food and memories.  Ours has been hot, Hot, HOT and therefore not suitable for many outdoor activities.  I managed to slip a few stitches in my cousins wedding sampler this morning after the dog walk.  I'm positive neither of them read my blog so here's the progress pic:

"Modern Wedding Sampler"
Cross Stitch and Needlework magazine

There is only a little bit left to stitch at the bottom.  I expect to have this hammered out in the next few days..

Now, I'm off to the kitchen..

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Playing catch up...(picture heavy)


Hello Friends!  Hubby and I are just back from a last minute, very quick vacation cruise of the Mediterranean so I have a few vacation pics to post but first, I have a few stitching finishes to share!!!

I finished "The Rain Fell" and whisked it off to the framer so fast that I neglected to get a finished snap of it first.    :-(  
Don't worry though, I'll be sure to upload a couple upon its return..

I loved stitching and finishing the Royal Wedding Souvenir almost on time for the anniversary...

design by The Sampler Girl

Most of it is stitched with silks from stash.  I used a scrap piece of 35 ct. hand-dyed R&R linen.  It might just be my favorite fabric of all time to stitch on..

And, hot off the stretcher bars is this bargello Easter egg...

I love the bargello pattern and the overall size of the egg, but I'm not 100% sure about the colors I selected.  The yellow might be throwing the harmony off...  You think?  Plus, the thread coverage is a smidge on the thin side for my liking.  I might just have to do this one again in another colorway with a heavier weight perle cotton.  Next year???

That wraps up the small seasonal pieces I wanted to get off my To Do list this year.  Currently, I'm working on a modern wedding sampler for my newly remarried cousin and his wife.  It should be finished in a week or so.  Then, I plan to dive head first into a Monet impressionist piece that I've had set aside for years.  It is Parliament at Sunset, if you've seen the painting.  I triple heart love it but it is pretty daunting.  I'm sure it will keep me busy for several months.

Now, as for the highlights of the cruise...

First stop:  Sicily where we were once again astonished by the natural beauty of Italy and the genuine character of the people..

Mount Etna

Port of Messina (Sicily)

from Taormina (Sicily, Italy)

Second stop:  Turkey (Ephesus) where we visited the Church and House of the Virgin Mary and celebrated mass.  Afterwards, we toured a rug making factory.  I particularly enjoyed watching the lady pictured below charting an antique pattern.

charting a rug pattern

Turkish rug weaving

an exquisite, small silk rug (placemat size)  

I would have loved to have brought home one or two small rugs but the ones I liked were thousands of dollars (of course).  So sadly, we left Turkey empty handed...

Third stop:  Athens, Greece where we climbed up to the Acropolis (what a hike!) and had the most magnificent views of Athens, and saw what's left of the Parthenon.  We also got to see the Olympic flame which was being transferred to the London Olympic committee the day we were there. 

looking down on Athens from the Acropolis

the Olympic flame with the Parthenon in background

Final stop:  The isle of Crete where we had a quick tour of a few houses of worship, central market, Old Harbour and an ancient monastery turned museum. 

Western Crete shoreline

150 year old Greek Orthodox church

Greek olives in central market

docked in Rome:  instead of rushing off the boat to the airport, hubby and I checked into a hotel and spent the day in Rome.  We revisited a few of the major sites that we saw last year (Trevi fountain, the Pantheon, etc.) but we also took the time to walk around inside a few of the most significant churches/basilicas in Rome (Santa Maria Maggorie, the Church of Louis of the French, and the Church of Saint Agnes in Agony).  Since it was Sunday, we were actually able to participate in several services.  It was an amazing day to end an amazing week.

Trevi Fountain

massive Caravaggio painting in the Church of Louis of the French

The trip was too quick and I'm dreading work tomorrow but it was nice while it lasted...

Here's hoping you all are finding time to stitch and making plans to enjoy Memorial Day weekend with family and friends.  I'll be in the laundry room if you need me...  :-)