February.

I said it before, I'll say it again...holy crap on a cracker. (bonus points to the follower who can cite where i got my new favorite saying)  February is almost over.  I still can't believe it.  Easter will soon be here.  How do I know that?  Well, it's not because the weather is getting warmer -- it never really got all that cold here in Philly.  I'm not complaining because I cannot stand winter, but it kinda freaks me out.  Not gonna lie.  We've hovered in the high 40's low 50's almost all winter.  Weird.  
But back to my question - how do I know Easter is almost here?  Today is Fat Tuesday, which means tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, which means today I should have made a gluten-free version of all these fantastic cakes I keep seeing pics of to celebrate Mardis Gras.  But then I'd have to schedule in baking time between putting laundry into the washer, and walking up the steps.  Not enough time.
I seriously need a time-turner.  
In all this time I've been absent from the blogosphere, I've been doing some stitching, doing a lot of papercrafting/scrapbooking/cardmaking (go here to see the "Save the Dates" I made for my sister in case you missed them), and trying to keep it all straight.  Oh, and I got a cold in there somewhere, so I was out of commission for a few days, but I'm back in the saddle.  I'm still a little congested, but I'm hoping tomorrow I'll be back in my workout routine.
Today I'm going to share a recent finish I did from the "Word Play" series by Brenda over at With Thy Needle and Thread.   I'll be honest - I didn't expect to like this series.  At all.  In fact, I thought this was another prim design series that I just wouldn't be able to stand; however, I really, really like this series.  Like, a lot a lot.  I have all of them so far (October through February - March isn't out just yet), and can't wait to get started on the next one.  
I've been collecting a bunch of "smalls" that I've been working on, since I want to make a cutie little basket for display in my living room.  I plan on using this series as part of the display so I can have a theme of sorts, and I can switch up the other "smalls" in the basket to accompany the month as it applies.  You know, have Easter-themed "smalls" during March and April, maybe throw a St. Patty's Day "small" in there, too (remember this???); flags during the summer for all the Americana holidays; Halloween ones during October...I think you get the picture.  I'll take one once I can get my act together and create this wonderful basket of stitched goodies.  Ha!
OK so finalllllyyyyyyyy.....here is the pic of my finished "February" --
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I haven't stuffed it yet, nor have I put the piping around the edges like I want (clearly), but at least I sewed the backing fabric on!  That's quite the accomplishment.  Trust me!  Also - a word to the wise - see that teeny tiny opening at the bottom right?  The one not much wider than the width of my pinky finger?  Leave yourself a little more room than that for turning the piece inside-out.  Jusssst wanted to throw that out there...
Like I said before, I really like this series.  This February isn't too Valentine-y, not all red, and very earthy.  Like I was just telling one of my dear stitching friends, I find my tastes in cross stitch patterns are changing, and I find myself drawn to these more earthy, primitive designs. 
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Faboo!!  Something about those keys really draws me in.  I'm kinda obsessed with this old theme of keys.  Not sure why.  But I am.  I feel a pattern in the making.
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Seriously though, peeps, love this pattern and all the rest of them that have been released.
Here's a shocker for you all -- I didn't change any of the floss colors this time.  I know, right.  As I wait for all my friends to pick themselves up off the floor, I'll explain - I didn't want it to lose its primitive feel.  So, I felt that the Crescent Color earth tones that Brenda chose were appropriate (although, i'll admit, it was really, REALLY hard for me to leave the word "february" blue.  i almost changed it to a shade of red.), and therefore, I kept them all.
I did change the fabric, though, which is almost a given at this point.  I chose 40 count "Cider" by Silkweaver.  Awesome.  Also brings my giant stash down to 36 lifetimes v. 42 lifetimes' worth.  Gotta keep pluggin' away at that 40 count stash.   The finished stitched area ends up at 4" high x 6.25" wide if you use 40 count.
Before I go, I want to leave you with a small aside - I'm working on a big project at the moment, but unfortunately cannot reveal any sneak peeks or any details other than this --
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I hope to be able to post other little projects I'm also working on in between completing chunks of this, but for now, this picture is all I can reveal.  I know some of you are hating right now, but you'll just have to wait until I have the finished product framed :-)
Until next time...
Love and stiches ~ ~ ~

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