December 31, 2007

Old Year, New Starts

Lots of pictures, and more to come in the next day or two. I felt like some new starts--things have been stressful around here, and nothing calms like a fresh start, right?
This is "Peaceful Paradise," by Midsummer Night Designs. I've wanted to do lots of biblically-oriented samplers lately, and there are a few designers doing a really fine job with them.

Here's my start. I'm doing it on 40 ct Light Examplar by Lakeside Linens using Crescent Colors with a couple of required DMC skeins. There's a lot of writing in this, which gets a little tedious, but I think the results will be worth it, and the pictorial areas are gorgeous.

This is Plum Street Samplers' "Fruit of the Spirit."

Here's my start: I'm doing it also on 40 ct Light Examplar by Lakeside Linens, using NPI and two required skeins of Silk 'n Colors. I love the colors in this as well as the design.

I'm not a resolutions person, although I occasionally will set a general goal for myself. For instance, I'll try to plant the tulip bulbs I bought, since it's finally stopped raining. And the windows behind me could really use a good wash. And I should get out and go for a walk and enjoy the first sun we've seen in a while. I'm home today and tomorrow, and I really need to attend to some cleaning tasks around the house. Here's one that Pink has pointed out to me in the linen closet.

"Whew, Mom, what a mess!"


December 23, 2007

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas: A Holiday Tale

Do you hear what I hear?
So early last week, having found a little white rabbit on the website for the Frederick County Animal Shelter, we traveled 85 miles to pick up Pink. Like Elvis, Pink (who was supposedly also at least part lionhead) was a rabbit given up by a family who didn't want him. Pink was owned by people who had five dogs and "no longer had time for him." Given his age--just under a year--Pink was likely a poorly thought out Easter purchase. Poor Pink. White rabbits with pink eyes are generally adopted last. We met Pink's foster mom, Patti, who fosters a number of rabbits and who has a business taking pet photos. He was larger than I expected, easily twice Elvis' size, but she put Pink on my shoulder and I just melted. His paws were dirty and he had an ugly scab from his neutering and the not-lovely pink eyes, but he had a little mane and beard of the softest white fur and a wistful expression and no forever home if we rejected him, so we packed him up and drove back home and settled him into his new quarters in one of our two "rabbit rooms" (the master bath with a new large cage).

The next day we went to work and when I came home, I sat on the floor to clean his cage, something I'd always enjoyed doing with the Bunnyman. While I spread clean newspaper in the bottom of the Bunnyman's cage, I'd read and pet the Bunnyman, who would stretch out next to me, clicking his bunny teeth in a kind of purr that happy bunnies have. Pink wasn't purring though. As soon as I sat down and reached into his cage to clean it, this formerly docile bunny turned into a maniac, rushing at me and lunging, snapping his teeth and biting. He bit me on the hands and the arm and the leg, drawing blood and causing terrible bruising. With his red eyes he looked like a little vampire bunny.

I called Patti, shaken and crying. I needed to bring the bunny back; he wasn't working out. He hated me. Patti promised to take him and said she'd rehabilitate him; that sometimes stress turned little rabbits into bunny monsters. Perhaps, she theorized, he didn't feel well. His neutering scab didn't look right to her. And he'd lived in four places (his originaly family, the shelter, Patti's after the surgery and then our house) in just a short time. He might be scared and uncertain. I couldn't bring him right back anyway; it would have to wait two days to Saturday--the drive to Frederick is too long at night and in holiday traffic. And she told me to push his head down if he rushed at me to bite, and to blow in his face, which bunnies don't like but which is non-violent. So the next night I followed her suggestions, talking calmly to Pink, blowing a puff of air into his face when he got edgy or too close. It worked; he calmed down and began to relax. He watched me warily at first, and then he came closer, nudging me and finally creeping into my lap to have his ears rubbed and his back stroked. He did the tooth purr. I emailed Patti and said I'd keep him another week. Yesterday I told her he could stay permanently.

He's perked up. His incision has healed and the green scab has fallen off. He drank a lot of water for a while and slept deeply in his little dishpan litterbox. He ate everything brought to him and asked for more. Little by little he became less hostile, then less wary, and now he plays with his pinecones and his cardboard tubes and does little jump-and-twists called binkies.

Pink is home for Christmas.

And here's another shot of Elvis, our other Christmas bunny, who looks and acts more like a puppy than a rabbit. Elvis was neutered Friday, so he's a little subdued today; normally he tears around sniffing everything, licking your face, squirming, jumping into your arms. Tonight he's had his dinner of hay and fresh cilantro and parsley and carrots, with a tiny syringe of fruit-flavored anti-inflammatory, and he's nodding off in his little box.

Merry Christmas from our hutch to yours! Stitching pictures to come when I've had a chance to do something other than shop and cook and clean and bunny-tame.

December 16, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...


My mom loves tablecloths and old fashioned linens like table runners and napkins. So when she runs across some in a church bazaar or antique store, she sends them to me. This is a table runner which I'm embellishing with lobsters from Lobsters in the Round by hmmm. That chart is two floors up, so maybe I'll have to tell you the designer another time.

And here's a little progress on the Ark. I have made a gross error though, and I'm going to have to frog out the bottom chamber with the squirrel in it; it's one row too narrow. Argh! Don't you hate that?

Meet Elvis! I hated walking past my bunny's empty bunny room, so last week, my sister and I went to the Alexandria Animal Shelter and I adopted this little guy; they sent someone out to inspect my home today and she said I could go get him right away, so I did. He's a lionhead, which is a miniature breed of rabbit. He's young--about a year old, and we decided he should have a bunny companion, so I went online and found another lionhead at the Frederick, Maryland animal shelter. That one is white, with pink eyes. They've called him Pinky, but I'm calling him "Pink," and I can pick him up later this week. Pink looks a lot like the little white bunnies under the tree on the Christmas ornament in the 2007 Just Cross Stitch ornaments issue. Each of them is about 3-4 pounds, fully grown. This is not an especially good picture, because he was adjusting to his new home. More pictures to come!

December 09, 2007

The Bunnyman--1998-December 5, 2007

Last week I lost my dear bunny friend to cancer. He was diagnosed about 7 weeks ago, so I had some time with him before we had to have him put to sleep. Bunnyman was a throwaway bunny whose family didn't want to bother to care for him; they set him loose in the neighborhood to fend for himself. I had spotted him a few times before he showed up in my yard, where I found him contentedly munching on the seed that drifted out of my bird feeder. Bird seed was always one of his favorite snacks. So we took him in--bunnies on the loose generally meet a quick and grisly end in the talons of a hawk or the jaws of a dog--and he became our much doted-on little pet. House bunnies are wonderful pets; they can be trained to use a litter box and they're endlessly amusing when young, and quiet, peaceful and loving companions when they're old. They're subtle though, and the shelters and bunny refuges are full of unwanted and unappreciated little pets. In a few weeks, when I can do it without weeping, I will go to the Bunny Magic refuge in Maryland ( and choose two bunnies who are waiting for a home and who might otherwise go unadopted because they're white with pink eyes (an unpopular color combination) or because they're seniors or because they're missing an ear or an eye or were nearly starved to death in a backyard hutch and are shy and fearful.

In the meantime, I have kitted up Little House Needleworks' "Morning Berries" with the Crescent Colors threads. I've had this chart for a long time because I collect bunny needlework projects and now I want to stich this to memorialize the Bunnyman's too-short stay on earth. I will change the color of the bunny at the bottom of the chart to black though.

And those stitchers in my neighborhood RR (as in this picture of Carol's neighborhood) are getting a little black Just Nan bunny, who is happily passing from yard to yard, looking for dandelions. Every spring the Bunnyman and I would go into the backyard for a supervised romp and gathering of dandelions. He loved the greens, the bitter milky stems, the bright full flowers and even the seed heads.