Friday, September 22, 2017

Stitching Christmas In a Time of Transition

Good morning! It's been a while, hasn't it? Yes, over a month has passed since my last post... I haven't felt much like posting--or even stitching--over the past couple of months so I'm sure hoping that things turn around. So many concerns are worrying me right now and I can't seem to settle and just stitch. I'm having a lot of trouble sleeping, too, which complicates my daily life. But, after next week... things should be a "bit" calmer for me.

As I mentioned in my August post, I am WAY behind on my monthly Christmas ornament stitching, but I do have two to share with you today--a chickadee for May and a PS Santa for June.  This sweet chickadee design appeared in the 1992 issue of Better Homes and Garden's Christmas magazine. How adorable is he?!  Of course, I made a few changes to the colors to update them from what was charted  25 years ago. I also added another musical note and changed the coloring of the word "Joy" to black.

My ornament for May

This cheerful bird is stitched on 40 ct. pearl gray Newcastle linen. I thought the shape of this design would make a perfect round ornament and I'm really pleased with the final look. Some black and white gingham ruched ribbon, bow, and hanger finished my ornament for May off quite nicely. I like a simple, clean look to my ornaments--especially when they have a lot of detail like this one. What do you think?

A joyful finish

I seem to be stitching a lot of Prairie Schooler Santas this year, don't I? I have fallen in love with the oval finish for these handsome guys and here is my latest: a red-robed, bluejay carrying Santa. Isn't the detail on his robe wonderful?

I wonder how many PS Santas I've stitched?!

This one, like the other oval Prairie Schooler Santas I've stitched this year is simply finished with red handmade cording and a tiny gingham bow... I may have to go back and restitch some of the other PS Santas that I finished differently over the years so I'll have a complete set of oval finishes (or maybe not!!). We'll see...

Don't you love his robe?

I've also stitched a sweet Halloween design, but I'll wait to share it with you until after I've finished it into a little pillow.  September, to me, means squirrels and sunflowers and I thought this display perfectly captured the feeling of the month... We had a wonderful variety of sunflowers this year in our garden (thanks to my dear husband who patiently planted the seeds and then covered them with mesh so the chipmunks wouldn't gobble them up as they have in years past). I wasn't crazy about the brown sunflowers when they first bloomed, but I ended up liking them when paired with the traditional yellow variety.

Squirrels + Sunflowers = September!

Fall stitching, anyone?  I'm giving away these two charts from an old Cross Stitch & Needlework Magazine from October 1997.  Although they are very different styles, the patterns are printed back-to-back so I can't separate them. If you are interested in giving these charts a new home, just let me know in your comments. This is just three pages torn from a magazine--not the whole magazine. If more than one person wants them, I will do a drawing.  PLEASE, PLEASE make sure to include your email in with your comment--I won't be trying to track anyone down if they haven't included their email address... Also, just so you know, I will be folding this up and mailing it in a legal sized envelope to save on postage. I'll announce the winner the next time I post...

If you are interested in winning these charts, please leave a note in your comment!

So, why haven't I been sleeping? Just too many worries running through my mind: my son's upcoming wedding in October (his fiancee's dress still hasn't arrived at the shop for alterations!), our trip to Hawaii (which is far from being planned!), my dear mom's health, and all of these natural disasters that are plaguing our world.

Unfortunately, Hurricane Irma took a personal toll on our family with the flooding (and possible loss) of my in-laws' home down in Naples, Florida. The water was 8-12 inches deep throughout  and with the heat and humidity and no power to run fans or air conditioning, the mold and mildew began quickly taking over. Fortunately, my husband's parents live up north during the summer months so  we didn't need to worry about evacuating them. They've had workers in to remove the carpeting, tear out the drywall, etc, but only got power back yesterday after more than 10 days without. At this point, no one is sure if the house is worth saving or if it will be torn down. It's just heartbreaking to watch all the damage the hurricanes have wreaked along with the earthquakes in Mexico (where my youngest son was scheduled to go for work next week--thank goodness it wasn't this week!). 

I can fall asleep just fine, but I'm waking up and ruminating about everything under the sun for two-three hours each night--UGH!! Do any of you have this problem? If anyone has any advice for me, I'd love to hear it!

And then there is one last thing that is on my mind. But, it's a biggie: I've decided to retire... In fact, I only have one week of work remaining at the library. There have been a lot of tears since I made up my mind earlier this summer--and I know many more will be coming next week as I say goodbye to a job that I've loved for nearly 30 years. I'll fill you in on how I fare in my next post...

Thank you all for stopping by today--I so enjoy reading your comments! And I truly appreciate the time you take to read my blog posts and say "hello!" Bye for now...

Friday, August 18, 2017

Buzzing in with a late summer finish!

Well, hello there! And how are my stitching friends on this fine morning? Well, it's not exactly fine here in western Pennsylvania--it is grey, drizzly, and extremely humid. And the outlook for the weekend doesn't look much different. Not a very satisfactory August in terms of weather, but other than that, all is good. Busy, but good! I only have one stitching finish for you today, but it is a fairly large one (for me, that is!).

I am, for the most part, a one project at a time stitcher... Oh, I have a couple of unfinished projects patiently waiting in the background, but I know myself. If I leave a project, I have a hard time going back to it which is why I tend to stick through my current project until completion. Today's finish is from a very old Prairie Schooler Chart called "Garden Verses"  (Book No. 49). Unfortunately, it is not one that has been reprinted yet so it is not easy to find. I'm sure I paid way too much for mine on eBay a few years back...

Prairie Schooler Garden Verses (Book No. 49)

For this lovely piece, I used DMC threads on 40 ct. burch Newcastle and I am so pleased with how well the white shows up. When I posted this on Instagram yesterday, several people commented that the colors look a bit different than those on the chart. Well, I did make some color changes! The main thing I did was to use more pink in this piece. I substituted DMC 356 for the suggested 632 and DMC 3779 for 407 in the flowers. For the highlighted words ("busy bee," "honey," "flower") I used DMC 420 instead of the suggested 632. Other than that, the colors are as charted.

One busy big bee

The hive seemed to take forever but I decided to just buckle down and "get it done!" And all those little bees--whew! I tried to add some little black stripes to their tiny bodies to look more like bumblebees, but they ended up looking like prisoners or something evil, so I left them as charted with just the white and gold.

And lots of tiny little bees

It's funny, but bee charts have been calling my name lately... This is just one example of how a stitcher's tastes can change over the years. I was never particularly interested in them before. Has that ever happened to you--a sudden interest in stitching a subject that had never appealed to you before? There are two other lovely garden themed charts in this booklet and I can picture myself stitching them in the future, too!

I "pinked" up the flowers a bit!

We've seen a lot of these fuzzy little guys on our zinnias this summer. If you click on the photo for a better look, you can even see the yellow pollen on him! Yay--spreading the love!

This fellow just flew from flower to flower

I wondered about the sentiment on this Prairie Schooler sampler and discovered that it was the first stanza of a short poem penned by English theologian,  Isaac Watts back in 1715 titled "Against Idleness and Mischief."  Basically, it was used to encourage children to stay busy and not be idle or they'll get into trouble! Hmmm... I think there may just be some truth to that.

When we were in Washington, DC a couple weeks ago to visit my son, we stopped in at the International Spy Museum because it was a rainy day and what else do you do on a rainy day in DC, but go to a museum?   Now remember, I am surrounded by all men in my family so this is the norm for us--we do not visit stitching shops or tea parlors or any of the fun things that I read about on your blogs. But, it was interesting and, guess what?! I found a giant piece of cross stitch!! I'm not sure if this is a vintage piece, but my guess is that someone stitched it in honor of Rose O'Neal Greenhow who was a Confederate spy during the Civil War, but just look at it! The full quote is actually: "God gave me both a brain and a body, and I shall use them both." The whole thing was huge--probably four feet long by a 18 inches tall, I'm guessing. Love the giant bees that flank her name...

A piece of stitching found at the Spy Museum!

Long-time readers of Stitching Dreams know what problems we have with the deer in our yard. Yes, they are adorable and fun to watch,  but they do take the joy out of gardening. We've pretty much thrown up our hands in surrender over the past two years and, unless we can plant within the fenced in portion of our yard, things don't get planted.  Anyway, my husband was able to capture this adorable video of a mama deer and her triplet fawns frolicking in our back yard. I love how mama simply stands and eats our trees while her babies cavort in the background! He took it on his iPhone through our kitchen window so it's not the clearest, but it was just too sweet not to share. If you click on the "full-size" symbol in the lower right corner, you can get a much bigger picture of it... Enjoy!


I have a busy weekend ahead with family visiting and dinner guests on Saturday so I'm off to clean the house and do some last minute grocery shopping. It seems like every weekend has been scheduled with something or other since early May and I am longing for a weekend of simply sitting and stiching. At this rate that won't happen until after our son's wedding, our Hawaii trip, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are all over--in other words, until next year! Oh well, at least we're making plenty of wonderful memories this year! Enjoy your weekend, my friends, and thanks for visiting and saying "hello"--you are the best!  Bye for now...

Monday, July 24, 2017

Bits of blue and big celebrations!

Hello, everyone! Another one-post month, I'm afraid, unless I can get another one up within the next week and that isn't looking very likely at this point. But, I do have a good excuse... July is our busiest family month for celebrations! Every family seems to have one--you know, the month that is filled with birthdays, anniversaries, etc. What is yours?

I do have a couple of stitching finishes to share with you and another non-stitchy project that I finally finished. This is "Summer" from Little House Needleworks stitched over one on 28 ct. white evenweave. As you can see, I finished this one the same way as I did the "Spring" LHN monochrome piece (which you can see right here). I hope to do Fall and Winter in the same series this year, too.

Little House Needleworks "Summer"

Aren't the blues in this lovely? I used the prettiest silk thread from Hand Dyed Fibers (no longer selling silks, unfortunately) called "Rubbed Navy." I found a coordinating checked fabric (another old shirt from one of my sons) which worked perfectly for the background. A simple jute ribbon and pair of buttons completes the piece. For this type of finish, I simply apply a piece of felt to the back--very quick and easy!

I never get tired of blue!

And I finished another ornament--this one is for April (yes, April, she said as she hung her head in shame).  I actually have all of my Christmas ornaments stitched through July, just haven't had any desire to finish them for some reason. I had to force myself to get this one done yesterday! This Prairie Schooler Santa is from Book No. 58 called "Old St. Nick." I used the called for DMC colors on 40 ct. raw natural Newcastle, but did change his beard to DMC 3865.

A new blue-robed Santa for my tree

I have really come to love finishing this series in an oval shape so that is what I went with once again.  Matching blue handmade cording and a snippet of fabric (the same fabric that I used for the backing) finish him off quite nicely, don't you think?

Prairie Schooler Santa from "Old St. Nick (Book No.58)

I met up with my friend, Lee, for lunch last week and she surprised me with this project pouch! Isn't it gorgeous? She's been experimenting and trying to use up stash and thought this blue and yellow print would be perfect for me. I just love it, Lee--thank you so, so much. And I'm already using it to hold my latest Prairie Schooler project!

Lee made me this gorgeous project pouch!

My non-stitchy project was started way back in November of last year when I picked up these pretty tiles on my very first visit to San Diego. My son and his fiancee took us to a Mexican market and I selected these four blue and white designs with the intention of turning them into coasters. At only $2.00 a piece, they were quite the bargain!

Pretty Mexican tiles

For this project, I simply painted the edges a dark blue (as I didn't want to leave the raw edges showing) and then glued on some cork backing that I found at a local craft store.  And there you have it--some cute new coasters that fit in perfectly with my blue and white kitchen... When my oldest son saw them he jokingly (I hope!) asked if I could make 250 more for his wedding in October!

New coasters all finished up!

Along with some stitching, crafting, and just getting on with my normal every day life--there were some family birthdays to celebrate. And birthdays = cake = baking!! Yay! You know that I love baking almost as much as I love stitching, don't you? I don't get to bake much these days because my sons no longer live at home--and I really miss it (and them!). But, my youngest son did come home for his 29th birthday and he requested a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. So, that's what he got.  I had never made a yellow cake from scratch before, but I found this recipe and it looked so good that I had to try it. And when topped with this frosting--oh, my rich and decadent--a little piece went a long way! I did make 1 1/2 times the amount of frosting to cover the cake completely.

Lots of July birthday baking

My husband celebrated his birthday (he caught up with me as he is 6 months younger!) five days later. So, out came the baking pans once again and I whipped up this carrot cake which my friend Myra posted on her blog several years ago. It is a winner and I've made it many, many times. I cut the recipe in half to make a smaller cake, though. Oh, it is heavenly! Pictured above with the two cakes are some blueberry banana mini-muffins. I used this recipe, but halved it and made muffins instead of bread--they turned out so moist and tasty. That's it for the family birthdays now until December.

But, I do have one more celebration to share with you and it's a big one! Yesterday, July 23, 2017, was our 40th wedding anniversary. It seems like I just blinked and that young 22-year-old couple on the left, newly graduated from college,  morphed into the 62-year-old couple on the right--a bit wrinkly, but still smiling! I'm happy to say that most, if not all of our dreams have come true. Oh, there have been bumps in the road--no marriage is free of those, but I can't imagine sharing this journey with any other man by my side. Our three sons are our greatest blessing and, hopefully (fingers crossed!) we'll be blessed with grandchildren in the not-too-distant future. I am truly thankful...

Then and now! 40 years have flown by!

For our anniversary celebration, we had a quiet dinner overlooking the beautiful Pittsburgh skyline. For those of you who haven't visited this area, the view of Pittsburgh from Mt. Washington is one of the prettiest of any city around. I mean just look at it... those rivers, those bridges, the wonderful hills!

The beauty of Pittsburgh as seen from Mt. Washington

After our seafood dinner, we ordered a very chocolatey dessert and they brought it out on a plate specially decorated for us. We shared this one, but should have ordered one for each of us! Anyway... that was just our little 40th anniversary celebration. The big one is coming this fall when we head to Hawaii--a first for me. I'm counting the days!

A bit of chocolate to top off our anniversary dinner

Insta-versary! July also marked my first anniversary of being on Instagram. I was so reluctant to join, but I can't tell you how glad I've been to be there. It really has been a joy to catch up with former blogging friends and meet so many new stitchers from around the world. It is quick and easy and if some of you are on the fence about it, I strongly encourage you to give it a chance.  My account (if you wish to follow me) is under caroling55 or you can click here!

And, that's my July! Busy and not quite over--we plan to visit our youngest son in DC later this month as we haven't been down in over a year. He is only 4 hours away, too! Just a shame that we don't get there more often. 

I know many of my blogging friends are going through some tough times and my heart goes out to each of you--serious illnesses, deaths of loved one and pets... You know who you are and please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you all for taking the time to visit me--and an extra thanks to those of you who take the time to say "hello!" Bye for now...

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A lone finish in a month of travel

Well, that was quick! June that is... As I mentioned in my last post, it was going to be a month of traveling for me and my family and I feel like I'm still recovering. Within the time span of three weeks, we drove over 800 miles to and from Connecticut for a nephew's wedding, flew almost 2500 miles to San Diego, California to spend a couple of days with my son and his fiancee before driving over 200 miles north to Santa Barbara for another nephew's wedding. Then we drove 100 miles back to Los Angeles, flew another 2500 miles back to Pittsburgh, and then last week I drove 600 miles to and from New York to visit my mom. And I wonder why I'm so tired! I'm 62 years old and my body just doesn't bounce back like it used to, that's for sure!! But, we enjoyed the weddings so very much--one from each side of the family so there were a lot of laughs and reminiscing. The next time that we'll see all of the relatives will be for a very happy occasion--my oldest son's wedding in October!

So, I hope you'll forgive this post for its lack of stitching. I have been stitching ornaments, but, you know me--I don't like to share them until they are fully finished off. Today, I have just one finish--a patriotic one that I'm so pleased with. You'll recognize it as one I stitched back in 2015: "Free and Brave" designed by The Drawn Thread. I found the red clipboard at Kohl's for only $5.00 (picked up a black one and a gray one, too!) and thought it would come in so handy for displaying future Christmas or Valentine's Day finishes. For the blue fabric on the background, I used an old shirt (not sure which one of the men in my family it belonged to!).

Final finish of "Free and Brave"

I love this design for the wonderful specialty stitches that comprise the leaves and flowers.  I remember really struggling with the flowers as I stitched them, but I'm so happy with the way they turned out. Here is a closer look:

Love those special stitches!

And that beautiful extra-long  American flag waving in the breeze--love it!

And that sweet bird on the roof--so cute!

I'll try my best to finish up some Christmas ornaments to share with you next time. I don't think I've shown any finished ornaments since February! Oh, I am more behind than I thought I was with my monthly ornament challenge...  Sigh... Just one of those crazy, busy years!

GIVEAWAY WINNER:  I had a number of entries for the little patriotic chart so I pulled a winner from the hat and the name chosen was:

Congratulations to Mary! Please send me your mailing address and I'll get the chart off to you as soon as possible. It's probably too late to stitch it for this 4th of July, but you'll have it done by the next July 4th in plenty of time!  And, if you didn't win this giveaway--don't worry! I'll be having more in the future. I'm so happy these old charts are going to my stitching friends!

Winner of this giveaway chart is:  Mary!

A special present... I wanted to share this sweet gift that my youngest son gave me for Mother's Day. He purchased it when he traveled to Abu Dhabi for work last month and it is just so delightful... filled with all shades of blue and those lovely birds--he knows me well! The wall hanging measures about 2 feet by 3 feet--not sure what fibers it is made of.

Wall hanging all the way from Abu Dhabi!

Here are a couple of close-ups...

Love those colors...

...and those beautiful birds!

I'm not sure where I'm going to hang it yet--perhaps at the top of my stairs or at the end of my kitchen. Or perhaps I'll use it as the starting point when I re-decorate one of the boys' old bedrooms? I have to think about it for a while still--it is so beautiful that it needs to be showcased somehow.

My son's trip to Abu Dhabi was his first and he was so impressed with the splendor of the architecture and beauty of the city. I was a bit worried about him being there, but he said he felt extremely safe.  Here are a few photos he sent us--not sure that it will ever be a place I'll travel to, but never say never. I'm sure he never dreamed that he would be there either!

Abu Dhabi photos taken by my youngest son

As I mentioned, we were in southern California earlier in June and we just had to take advantage of the ever present sunny blue skies and get outside. We went on two hikes--the first one was in Mission Trails Regional Park. Hiking out there is very different than in western Pennsylvania--it is more desert like; we are used to forests of green trees and moss covered rocks! But, we still managed to spy some lovely wildflowers and even one small cactus.

Desert flowers in Mission Trails Regional Park

A couple more lovely scenes we came across...

Old Mission Dam

Some of the rugged terrain at Mission Trails

We also drove up to Mt. Soledad Veteran's Memorial to enjoy the spectacular views of the La Jolla coastline... Wow! What a sight!

The La Jolla coastline in the distance

At the top of the mountain is a war memorial and a huge cross which was the subject of much controversy (dealing with separation of church and state.) But, in 2015 a private group purchased the land under the cross and the case was dismissed as the cross is no longer on public lands.

Mt. Soledad Veteran's Memorial

We took one other hike to the Gaviota Wind Caves in the Santa Ynez Mountains west of Santa Barbara. It had to be one of the hardest hikes I've ever done as it was very steep with lots of loose gravel and no shade. On the way down, I spent much of the time crab-walking so I wouldn't fall flat on my back! I didn't do a good job of taking photos as I was too worried about falling (and watching out for mountain lions and snakes!). But, the caves are those two little black things in the upper left of my photo...

Gaviota Wind Caves off in the distance

So, my month of travel has ended and July looks like it will be quite restful. I'm hoping for lots of porch-sitting weather and more beautiful flowers like these purple and blue beauties that have been popping up in our garden... Even though I love to travel, home will always be my favorite place to be. I never get bored with all the books, stitching, and lovely nature scenes that surround me. Right now we have a pair of twin baby deer romping around our pond under the watchful eyes of their mama. I feel most at peace right here at home...

Pansies, clematis, lavender, and hydrangeas--a few of my favorite things!

I'll try to pop in and visit your blogs very soon--I missed all of you while I was gone! Thank you again for your wonderful comments--I love reading each and every one... Take care now and for my U.S. friends--Happy 4th of July! Bye for now...

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A big finish and a tiny giveaway...

Good morning! And how are my stitching friends on this final day of May? Summer has "unofficially" started with the Memorial Day weekend, but it is still feeling rather cool and springlike here--I am longing for those warm 75° days when I don't have to dress in layers and the furnace is no longer coming on in the house! Hopefully, by the next time I post, we will have some true summer weather.

Before I show you my "big" finish, I want to express my thanks for your wonderful comments on my previous post. You were all so sweet with your compliments about my mom's 90th birthday party (and my beautiful mom!). As I told some of you--the smile on her face made all of my hard work worthwhile. She loved reading everyone's comments and wants to thank you all for your kind "Happy Birthday" wishes! Throughout my blogging journey, my mom has been one of my biggest supporters--always reading each post, telling me "that was a good one," and being amazed at,  and interested in, the friends that I have made (from all around the world) as a result of my little old blog... So, thank you--stitching friends are the best!

So, after five months, my "big" (for me!) finish is done--"A Walk In the Woods" was completed last week and I love it more each time I see it.  I began stitching this Cricket Collection design as my "New Year's start" and have worked on it intermittently since then.

"A Walk In the Woods"--all finished up!!

I used 40 ct. flax Newcastle linen with most of the suggested DMC threads for this piece. I did change the dark purple color to a less vibrant 3740 as I thought it looked better with the subdued colors of this sampler. I also made quite a few changes to the letters. Many of them had a straight line running across the tops of the "open" letters like the U, V, X, and Y that closed the letter off and I didn't like that look. So I omitted the lines and redesigned a few of the letters of the alphabet.

Love that little nest!

My biggest change was to the right of the date--there was supposed to be a crown there. What? I know samplers often include crown motifs, but I just didn't understand what it had to do with this sampler. Everything else is nature related so I found a simple bouquet motif in one of my stitching books, changed the colors to blues and purples, embellished it a bit, and voilĂ --I had my final motif! You can get a better glimpse of it in this photo... I thought it looked as though I had walked through the woods and picked a delicate bunch of posies to take home with me!

I added the little bouquet

So, what is your favorite motif on our nature walk? I really love the nest with the lone blue egg, but that border of violas is what first drew me to this design. I am just thrilled with this finish and I am considering sending it to be framed by Jill Rensel. I'm sure it will be quite expensive, but I've long admired the magic Jill does with her frames. Have any of you sent things to her? I just love scrolling through her blog and seeing her work!

Nature's beauty in stitches...

Unfortunately, not much other stitching has been going on. Like a lot of you, this is a busy, busy time for outdoor chores. We've been planting, transplanting, pruning, and mulching in our free time. At times, it feels rather hopeless, because, chances are, the deer will eat what we've planted. But, they usually avoid the geraniums, petunias, and ferns that we chose, so--fingers crossed! Things are looking a bit sparse right now, but I hope to fill in with a few more plants in the coming weeks.

Our patio garden

Ferns seem to love our yard, so we transplanted several to the front of the porch. We've put out the porch furniture since I took the photo below, too--I can hardly wait to sit there and stitch on a warm June day.

Transplanted ferns seem to be loving our front porch!

Just love the bright yellow of these tuberous begonias. Sam's Club was selling these--all potted up with the English Ivy--for only $14.99! Wish I had bought more than two pots...

Floral sunshine
Blue salvia and pink coral bells come back year after year

We've had tons of bunnies (yay!!) visiting our yard and I caught these two playing hide and seek behind the rose bush (which hasn't bloomed yet because the deer keep attacking it!).   Do you see the deer antlers lying on the ground? My husband found them in the woods behind our house last year and placed them in the garden as a sort of decoration (and to ward off the deer--ha ha!). Anyway, I noticed that the antlers seemed to be "melting" and getting smaller and smaller over the past year. Then one day, I spotted a tiny squirrel nibbling away at them! It seems that the antlers provide needed calcium to squirrels, chipmunks, and other rodents and also help sharpen their teeth! Who knew?!

Bunny hide and seek!

Patriotic stitching, anyone? Since many of us are stitching patriotic pieces this time of year, I came across this chart in an old magazine that I thought one of you might like. If you are interested in giving this chart a new home, just let me know in your comments. This is just two pages torn from a magazine--not the whole magazine. If more than one person wants it, I will do a drawing.  PLEASE, PLEASE make sure to include your email in with your comment--I won't be trying to track anyone down if they haven't included their email address... Also, just so you know, I will be folding this up and mailing it in a legal sized envelope to save on postage. I'll announce the winner the next time I post...

I'm having a giveaway for this cute patriotic chart

Lots of traveling will be happening in June as we have back to back family weddings on opposite coasts of the United States. Yep--almost 3000 miles apart! Two different nephews from each side of the family are getting married a week apart and, although I'm looking forward to seeing all the extended family, I'm not looking forward to all that travel. But, after these trips are over, we can relax for the summer--can't wait!

Thank you so much for visiting me today--and a special thanks to all of you who take the time to comment. I do appreciate each and every one! Hope you have a lovely day and manage to fit in at least some stitching time during this busy, busy season. Bye for now...