It's February, and that means it's camillia time in northern California. Another favorite of mine, the shy little daphne with its heady perfume, is also in bloom now....and everywhere the bright daffodils are beginning to appear in clumps along the highways, as well as in surprising and sometimes forgotten patches in everyone's yard....
These are some of the camillias I have blooming in my yard. I do love the peppermint striped ones...Although the very first ones to appear around here are a frilly pink confection called "Debutante." They are so frothy and festive, they always remind me of plump pink corsages, and the bushes are always overflowing with them, as if they are eagerly waiting to be picked for valentine bouquets, proms and high-school dances.
As I walk my dog Katie around the Healdsburg neighborhood, I love to see which camillias are blooming. And there are LOTS of big camillia bushes here - practically trees, especially around the older houses that originally belonged to the early wine country inhabitants who built these lovely older victorians, bungalows, cottages, and country farmhouses.
After I picked a bunch of camillias this weekend, it got me thinking about some of the pink stitchery projects I had around the house. Pink and green are my favorite color combinations, so I have a lot of projects with those colors. And, left to myself, I will always prefer to do a stitchery project in that color combination.
Here are two of my favorite projects: one is the PINK CYCLAMEN piece in the background. The center picture is done in plain ole' tent stitch (well, okay, I actually do basketweave stitch), but it is surrounded by rows of little ribbon patterns that are worked in #8 pearl cottons. I've worked my piece on 24ct Congress Cloth, but every time I look at it, I think it would also look quite elegant stitched on 18 ct mono canvas, and then you need only stitch out to the wide pink ribbon - and THEN you could finish it in a box pillow with pink velveteen backing. I can SEE this pillow very clearly...sigh....if only I could SNAP MY FINGERS and have it completely stitched and finished!!!
And the smaller pillow in front is quite an old piece. The image is from a scrap of wallpaper I loved, and so I transfered the flowers and border to canvas and stitched it up with wool yarns. Although it's supposed to be a bouquet of roses, I think it looks rather like a handful of camillias....so I think it's particularly appropriate for this time of year!
If you think about it, aren't we stitchers lucky to be able to create our own gardens that never wilt or fade?....and no matter what the weather, we can be surrounded by our favorite flowers - all because we know the simple joys of using a needle and thread!