Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fall Flavors

It seems I've been obsessed with any flower growing wild around here.  Partly, that is because I do love flowers of any kind, and partly, because a flower here in the high desert is something precious and jewel like in it's rarity.  The tiniest bud stands out against the stark rocks and dirt, and is equally vivid in dull grasses.  (I love grasses too, but that is another story!)

Today, my husband alerted me to a large sunflower that is growing down by the barn.  It was larger, he said, than the roadside sunflowers that are making their appearance these days.  So, I went to investigate myself and this is what I saw.

I desperately wish I could have photographed the HUGE black bumblebee that was visiting it upon my arrival, but alas, it flew off just as I got my camera ready.   So...just imagine how beautiful that was!

This flower is growing tall and stately in a field of weeds.   It stands alone, with no other evidence of similar companions.  Here is another view of it with my hand holding it from moving in the breeze.

Sunflowers are Fall flowers, and there is absolutely a wiff of Fall flavors in the air here right now.  This lone flower got me to thinking of the needlepoint canvases I have known and loved, (some of which are my own designs) which feature sunflowers.  And as Fall is the perfect time to begin a new project, I share these designs with you here.  Perhaps they will inspire you to seek out golden threads, bronze beads, velvety greens and a canvas design worthy of those attributes!

First off, I'd like to show you my Happy Rooster.  He sits in front of a backdrop of golden ribbon floss sunflowers created with darning stitches.  Very Happy indeed!

Next, is a country fence.  Perhaps this is in Nebraska, or Kansas, or maybe it is just right down your road.  This canvas is part of a series available through Sundance Designs, and is called The Fields. 
You could stitch as little or as much as you like on this one, and it will look great no matter what!

Next best thing to a sunny field is a backyard bursting with adventures, lawn, flowers, bugs, and of course, children!  Here is my very large rug sized Backyard Sail'n canvas design and a closeup of the sunflowers featured in the left hand border.

Come to think of it, that section of canvas makes a pretty interesting design all by itself...Hmmmm.

Here is my Talavera Sun.  First shown is the painted canvas, followed by photos of the stitched and finished piece as a pillow.

The beaded sunflower centers called to mind a little sunflower I stitched many years ago for a wooden jar top.  It sits on my dresser and holds earrings.  The canvas was designed by my daughter Aunna.
Sundance beads, turkey work and needle weaving.  Now that spells FUN!
Speaking of Sundance, I pulled the following canvas designs off their website.  They will show up here as very small, but I hope you can enjoy viewing them anyway.

The first is by the artist who made Sundance who they are today; Ted DeGrazia.  His little girl holding a giant sunflower is so charming!

Here is a VanGoghish vase of sunflowers by artist Sally Huss.  I love this one!

And a few more by Sally...

Next, is one of my favorite canvases, designed by Gail Tu-oti.  Wouldn't you love this as your own front gate?

Be sure to check out these and all the designs that Sundance distributes at

And lastly, just to show you how much I love and admire sunflowers, I share with you a cherished painted cupboard that resides in my kitchen.  When Aunna and I came upon it in a store, it didn't take much of her urging for me to buy it.  My husband was a bit shell shocked when I brought it home, but then, the poor man never even knew what color was until he married me!   He's over it now!

I believe this cupboard was crafted in India and the painted sunflowers just brighten my day every time I enter the room!  Perhaps you need your own sunflowers to brighten your day too, so get stitch'n!