Saturday, July 27, 2013

Stitchin' N Streamin'

Summer has arrived on Gracewood and while I love the roses in bloom and the delicious fruits it brings, on the whole I just don't 'do' heat well.  I'm like a reverse bear I hibernate but not in the winter. 

And while our little part of the world is humming with tourists come to camp and hike and partake of this weekend's Down River Days celebration, I'm only putting a foot out of air conditioning to enjoy the sublime mountain breezes in the early mornings and evenings. 

So, while many do less stitching this time of year due to being out enjoying themselves in the sun, I get a lot of stitching done as I hibernate inside waiting for that first nip in the air that says fall has come.  This year this has been a good thing since I'm working hard on finishing stitching Beauvais' model to get it framed and sent off to Just Cross Stitch magazine by the end of August.

These days I'm finding that nothing facilitates intense stitching like streaming some epic films.  And while I am still obsessed with South Korean sageuks I have also been enjoying watching some BBC productions streaming on Acorn TV. 

This week I enjoyed the newest production of one of my favorite novels, Tolstoy's War & Peace.  Though I admit that this one is War & Peace Lite and while I hate how much it leaves out if there is no other way you'd ever know something of the story and you like lavishly produced period dramas then by all means watch and enjoy this one.

However, watching this one left me wanting the 'real thing' and so I dug through our dvds and found our copy of what has to be the best, as in most complete, filming of this masterpiece, the 1972 version the BBC made starring a very young Anthony Hopkins as Pierre.

I am so very glad that I read this novel when I was younger, no film can do it justice.  They can't portray all of the inner thoughts of the characters that fill this story to the brim, but at least this version made the attempt and it is what helps to make this one truer than any other.  Please don't be satisfied with the laughably brief movie Hollywood attempted with Henry Fonda and Audrey Hepburn, it isn't even the Cliff Notes of this epic novel.

So if you too are a summer hibernator and are seeking something to accompany some serious stitching, give this one a try - I'm happy to find that the complete production is available on You Tube.

Now, off to refill the iced tea glass and get back to stitchin'

Friday, July 5, 2013

Beauvais, an Enthusiasm, & a Bit of News

Beauvais is progressing and thankfully, it has enough variation to keep my interest and with each stitch I am 'seeing' the design I wanted to create that has the feel of a vintage textile.
I have some news that affects the sale of Beauvais.  Just Cross Stitch magazine has asked to feature Gracewood Stitches in its February 2014 issue and in accepting their request I needed to provide an unpublished pattern that could be presented with the feature.  So, I'm sorry you'll have to wait for this design but if you subscribe to the magazine or can pick up the February issue you'll have the pattern included.

I won't be able to sell it through my website or publishers until the end of May 2014, but it will be nice to have the exposure the magazine will bring.

I'll hopefully have some similar designs in the Vintage Textile Collection out and available this fall.


As the photos show, this is definitely the time to share this enthusiasm, Heirloom Roses!  What is an heirloom rose?  It is generally used to refer to roses that existed prior to 1867 prior to the introduction of the tea rose.  Also called 'Antique or Old Garden' roses their habit - more of a shrub or climber - their fragrance and shapes - centifolia, cabbage or cupped - are quite different from 'modern' tea roses.

Heirloom varieties fall into several categories; Albas, Centifolias, Damasks, Gallicas and Moss roses.

There are some famous rose breeders such as David Austin whose roses are bred by crossing old garden roses with more modern roses to achieve the superb fragrance, delicacy and charm of the old-style blooms combined with the repeat flowering characteristics and wide color range of modern roses.

These types of roses are easy to grow and many are much hardier than modern roses.   They have to survive below zero temperatures and heavy snow here on Gracewood.

This gorgeous climber is the first rose David Austin developed, Constance Spry.  It only blooms once but as you can see it gives you lots of beautiful roses.  The fragrance is a soft myrrh which wafts far and wide and the bees love it!  Wish I could find that honey.
Constance Spry

Constance Spry
The next rose is one of the oldest Antique roses, Great Maiden's Blush is a classic with nothing short of magnificent fragrance.  An alba with soft pink/white flowers that are semi-double, it is also a once bloomer, and has a vigorous arched shape that is truly elegant.

Great Maiden's Blush

Another of David Austin's wonderful roses, this is Teasing Georgia and a complete joy to grow and behold.  This one blooms continuously and has a lovely cupped centifolia form with a beautiful citrusy peach fragrance.

Teasing Georgia
Thanks for letting me share another enthusiasm, wish I could transport you here to enjoy a cup of tea among them :)