thinking about spring

Unfortunately, thinking is all I can do at this point. Yes, the robins are back and some of my perennials are starting to send up little hints of green but it's still pretty chilly and much too early to start planting. I do have my seeds though so I'm ready when the weather begins to cooperate.

Aren't these seeds packets pretty?

My local garden center carries this brand of seed (among others), and the packages are so beautiful that I'm tempted to buy all of them. Surely my garden will look as fantastic as these illustrations! Perhaps not but a girl can dream can't she?

I have three large planters with trellises in front of the garage and I'm going to try these nasturtiums instead of my usual morning glories. Peach Melba and Cherry Rose Jewel - sounds yummy enough to eat! Of course, I'm going to have to wait to plant these until after we get the garage siding done. When we bought our place, the house had already been done but not the garage and it just looks weird. Not that I like siding (I actually hate it on old houses) but it seems easier to add it to the garage than remove it from the house. Hopefully this will be happening in April or May. Waiting now for my accountant to finish the taxes to see whether I can afford it or not :)

So, here I am with my seed packets, still waiting for spring.

P.S. Yes, that's a real banner at the top of my blog. After many false starts I finally figured out how to add it to the template without screwing everything else up. It only took three years - LOL!

Updated to add a link to Botanical Interests. I bought my seeds at a smallish local garden center. Tammy spotted some in California, so they're out there but probably not at larger chain stores like Walmart. But, thanks to online ordering, you can get them wherever you live. And it's nice to see the entire line—I know my local store didn't have all of them.


a quiet Easter

I'm not doing anything special today to celebrate Easter. We ate dinner out with friends last night and it's kind of chilly so not a good day for working outside (although I'm just dying to get out to the garden—I know it's too early but there's so much to be done). So I've been spending a quiet day at home photographing products and updating my website. I've added a bunch of new pillows, including two made from linens I found on my New England trip last September.

This one uses the embroidered pillowcase I found at the Elephant's Trunk Flea Market in Connecticut. I'm looking forward to returning there this summer, too.

And this one uses an embroidered towel found at The Buggy Whip Factory in Southfield, Massachusetts. I didn't find a lot of linens there but I did find other cool things so I'd probably return there, too, if I was in the area.

Speaking of vacations I'm not sure where we're headed this year—maybe Maryland. I haven't been to Baltimore in forever and Havre de Grace is supposed to be good for antiques. Flying is so expensive and too much hassle these days so I'm happy to do a driving trip, especially if it's relatively close. Gas isn't cheap either!

Hope you're all having a nice holiday!


new embroidery patterns

I've listed some new patterns on my website—

For you cat lovers there's Kitten Capers based on a vintage nursery quilt. This pattern comes with a copy of the original directions for making the quilt although you certainly don't have to—the blocks would make really cute pillows, too!

And a fun pattern of animals in hats that I'm calling Party Animals, also based on a set of vintage quilt blocks—

Can you tell I like quilt blocks? A lot of my patterns are based on them, and I think I like them so much because they are the perfect size for pillows. That's certainly the reason I started buying them. And I always scanned and digitally-traced (my computer background helps with this part) each one to keep for my records anyway. Then I got the idea to share them.

I have lots more tracings in various stages of completion so look for more patterns soon. And I may at some point, start selling off some of the originals. It's getting so that, even if I embroider every day for the rest of my life, I'll never get to them all. Yes, it's an addiction :)

Special offer for blog readers during the month of March—Buy 1 embroidery pattern, get 1 embroidery pattern free! I don't think there's a way to set up a code for this in my shopping cart so, when you check out, write the word BOGO in the comments section and tell me which pattern (equal or lesser value) you want for your free one.


so fierce

Congratulations to Christian Siriano for his PR Season 4 win! I can't say that I loved his collection or thought his creations were very wearable (and even he admitted that they weren't), but it was creative in ways that the other designers collections were not. And he lives and works in a closet! I loved Rami's woven bodices but his color choices ...meh. Jillian's designs were nice and wearable but not so high-fashion.

But, I'm certainly no fashionista (I live in jeans) so what do I know? I actually spent yesterday at King of Prussia mall near Philadelphia and didn't buy a single article of clothing. Not that I didn't look but nothing spoke to me loud enough that I had to buy it. I had a nice lunch and bought some pretty poppy print stationery at Papyrus and a wren house at Smith & Hawken. How pathetic is that?


calling all southpaws

Someone left a comment today on my French Knot tutorial asking whether a left-handed embroiderer (like herself) can just flop my directions. Of course, I'm right-handed so have done the instructions and photos from that perspective. I don't know the answer to her question. I did find in a quick Google search that there are lots of books that have left-hand instructions, which leaves me with the suspicion that it's not quite as simple as flipping my pictures.

I'm sure this problem applies to knitting and crocheting, too. So, can anyone help me out? Wikipedia says that 7-10% of the population are southpaws so surely a few of my readers are too!

Updated to add the names of a few books I found: A Primer of Left-Handed Embroidery by Carole R. Myers and Left-Handed Stitchery by Sally Cowan. Sounds like people are managing just fine by flopping my pics and instructions, but a book might be helpful as a reference.