Sunday, February 15, 2015


Springtime shows up early here in Florida and it now seems to be bursting out all over.  Our azaleas are in full bloom.  The live oak trees in our backyard are all either dropping their old leaves or putting out new ones. And birds are everywhere!  Hummingbirds are passing through, hawks are nesting, sand hill cranes are swooping in and the usual chorus of jays, mockingbirds and redbirds are showing their colors and raising a racket every morning.

With all this springtime bird commotion, it seems quite fitting that when visiting with my sisters and mother last month, I had the chance to take another long look at a piece I'd stitched several years ago for my sister Teresa.

This is an old one from Goode Huswife called "Birds in the Bower".  You'll have to forgive the yellowish background in the photo, courtesy of my phone's camera.  When Teresa lived in Minnesota, she had an apple tree in her yard that attracted songbirds all through the summer.  This design seemed like the perfect piece for her, a way she could enjoy her songbirds even through the long Minnesota winters.  Since then, she's moved further south more than once, but each time her songbirds have found a place of honor.  It was a thrill to see them again in her new home outside Dallas.  I decided then and there it was time for the Florida branch of the family to also have its tree of songbirds.  After all,  it's the year of reckless abandon. Why hesitate to re-stitch - re-tweet? - this little treasure?

So here's the first attempt at re-tweeting.

I quickly noticed that something wasn't quite right with this first redo, though it took a while to figure out what the deal was.  I was using the exact same overdyed thread conversion I used on the original.  While the linen might not have been exactly the same as the first, it wasn't different enough to account for what was bothering me.  The it dawned on's been such a long long while since I'd stitched anything with more than a single thread of floss that I hadn't even considered the possibility of using two on this re-tweet.  And it's been just long enough that more than likely the original piece for Teresa was the last one I'd done that way.  Fortunately, the piece of mystery linen in play was long enough that I could just turn it upside down and avoid any soul crushing stitch removal. A quick reversal of fortunes and the second re-tweet was underway.  See the difference?

In the spirit of reckless abandon, I'll just stitch these songbirds until my ongoing commitment to Hannah Pepper thaws back out.   And yes Carol, one of these tweets is going to appear as a cardinal!

All is not lost - again - on Hannah Pepper.  I think she's just gone back to the frozen north for awhile, as it seems her progress along the bottom border was moving at a glacial pace.  Here's where we ground to a halt.

I put this same picture as the cover photo on my Facebook page, mostly as a nag to myself that Hannah still isn't done.  Funny thing is, now I mostly just don't go to my Facebook page for not wanting to be shamed by the photo!

How cool is this?

Not many people can witness a NASA rocket launch just by walking down to the neighborhood park a few minutes before lift-off and watch it all happen in real time.  Jim and Halley did just that last week after work when the Space X DSCOVR went up from Kennedy Space Center.  Seeing how the actual launch site is two hours away from us, the view was rather spectacular!

As always, thanks for taking the time to visit.  Hope wherever you are that springs finds its way to you soon!


Margaret said...

Wow! How lucky are you that you can see the launch so close to home! So cool! I love your "retweet" so far! It's beautiful! Love the original too. I hate stitching with two strands. lol! I do see the difference though. Glad you could just restart and not have to rip out.

Brigitte said...

So lovely, all these little birds in Birds in a Bower. A great design and worth stitching twice.

llknbillburg said...

Don't feel too badly about HP, you're farther along than I am. I hit the color change button as soon as I got in one leaf of that gold and it has taken me a while to get that worked out. Now, I am past her in the rotation and she will have to wait for her turn to come back around again! LOL! Hope it is soon! Laura

Melissa said...

Wow, that is awesome you get to see the launch "in person". That's a great photo.

Glad the "re-tweet" worked out with the same linen. It is a cute design too.

Carol said...

What a darling piece, Mary--and I'm so glad you're including a cardinal :)

I had to laugh about you using one strand on the large count fabric and it not looking right because I did the exact same thing the other day. I usually stitch with one thread on 40 ct. or over one on 28 ct. as I really don't find stitching with two threads relaxing anymore. I started a new piece on 32 ct. and used just one thread and it looked a bit sickly :)

Enjoy that Florida warmth--it's 4° here in mid-afternoon. Do you think we're crazy for living up north?!

woolwoman said...

your Hannah really looks beautiful from the prior post. I find with those BAP's you almost have to ( or I have to) take a break. I have stitching ADD so bad it's just necessary. The usual February plants and bushes are blooming here in NE FL - although I hear we'll be getting liquid snow tomorrow followed by another cold front. Cheers! Mel

Krista said...

love your Bird in the Bower. And I am quite jealous that Spring has found you and not me lol. But that must mean it is not too far away from here too. Your Hannah looks great. Mine has gotten a little lost in the shuffle lately. That is so awesome you can see the rocket launch, something I have always wanted to do!! Have a great day, Mary!

The Inspired Stitcher said...

What an awesome sight to see just by walking down the street! Love the birds too. I agree, it must have at least one cardinal on it.