The Wind in the Willows

Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing.

-Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

The July block in my Happily Ever Stitchalong was Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows. I did read the book when I was younger but when I think of this story the first thing that comes to mind is that kind of creepy stop-motion TV series. Anyhow, I rewatched the series while I was working on this and it was quite pleasant in that slow, pastoral English countryside way (as an aside, I never noticed as a kid, but how weird is it that there are almost no female characters? I’ll have to reread the book and see if there are any in the original.)

Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Happily Ever Stitchalong The Wind in the Willows

I liked this month’s block but I made so many little mistakes here and there. I kept having to rip out and restitch sections, which really slowed my progress for the month.

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Little House on the Prairie

The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies.

-Laura Ingalls Wilder

June’s Happily Ever After block was Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie. I read some of the books as a child but didn’t really remember much of the details so this was a perfect opportunity for a reread.

Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Happily Ever Stitch a Long Little House on the Prairie

I read the first four books in the series (Little House in the Big Woods, Farmer Boy, Little House on the Prairie, and On the Banks of Plum Creek) and quite enjoyed them for the most part. I loved the descriptions of farming and cooking and making butter and sewing clothes and all the details of self-sufficiency. Reading this as an adult though makes me really wonder about a few things – what kind of father puts his family through all of that when it isn’t necessary? And the attitude towards ‘Indians’ in Little House on the Prairie – I know it was written at a different time but oh my!

Anyway, on to the cross stitch.

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Happily Ever After, Interlude

A quick update today to show you the progress on my Happily Every After sampler. I finished the banner in the middle so am now officially done with the top half. I love the way the ladies over at Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery use colours, the floral border has this wonderfully nostalgic feel to it thanks to those peach flowers. I really like that central bit and think it might actually look quite nice on its own as a framed piece – perhaps I’ll make it as a gift for someone someday – it was a relatively quick stitch and the colours can be changed around to suit almost any taste.

Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Happily Ever After Stitch-a-Long

Top half is DONE!

This month’s block is Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, another classic that I never actually read (these samplers really make me realize that I’m not as well read as I thought!), I picked up the first three in the series and will regale you with my thoughts when I finish this working on the block.

Robin Hood

Will you come with me, sweet Reader? I thank you. Give me your hand.

Howard Pyle, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

The May block for my Happily Ever After stitch-a-long was Robin Hood and I noticed something, I’ve never actually read it. I’m sure I watched the Disney version as a kid, and I know the basics of the storyline, but when I actually try and think about Robin Hood the first thing that comes to mind is the Dr. Who episode from a few years back. Obviously I had to pick up an audiobook copy of Howard Pyle’s version. My overall impression was that it was pleasant enough but kind of forgettable. To be fair that might have more to do with the narrator, maybe I’ll try reading again someday.

Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Happily Ever After Stitch-a-Long Robin Hood

Anyhow, enough about that. On to the cross stitch!

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Happily Every After, Prologue

You might remember that a while back I spent a year working on a The Storytime Sampler designed by the wonderful ladies over at The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. Well, I’m working on another one of this year; the Happily Ever After sampler is another story themed stitch-a-long.

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My Happily Ever After sampler so far

So far we’ve seen The Owl and the Pussycat, Heidi, Three Billy Goats Gruff, and Around the World in Eighty Days. None of the stories featured so far have struck a particular chord with me, but I am loving the way the overall project is coming together. This month’s block features Robin Hood, and I’m hoping to work ahead on the borders once that’s done.

In Which Procrastination Saves the Day

Life is much more successfully looked at from a single window.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

I made it just in time – my Story Time Sampler is done! I was a bit late getting to this month’s frame, partly because I’ve been busy with work, partly because there’s been almost no daylight, and partly because I just wasn’t feeling this month’s frame. The official last frame was supposed to be A Christmas Carol and I just didn’t like it for some reason.

Well, it’s a good thing I delayed getting started because about halfway through the month the lovely Frosted Pumpkins released a surprise bonus frame featuring The Great Gatsby.

Bittersweet

The final scene

No major changes except for lowering his mouth and changing his smile to more of a smirk.

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