23 minutes ago
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Hello everyone... Hope each of you is enjoying a good week so far! I'm just counting each of these frigid wintry days as one day closer to spring. It can't come soon enough for me... This sage green Prairie Schooler Santa is my latest finish--my monthly ornament is actually done early for a change! He can be found in Prairie Schooler's "Santa Moon" book and is stitched "over one" on black Monaco using the suggested DMC threads. Would you believe the most difficult part of this was putting together his little bundle of sticks? I used some tiny pieces of branches that had blown down during a recent windy day, glued them together, tied them with raffia, and sewed them onto the finished piece.
Isn't his large, ruddy nose funny-looking? Hope he is just cold and hasn't been imbibing in too much "Christmas cheer!" I wanted a rustic looking finish for this one, so I used the idea suggested by Vonna for the new LHN "Cardinal Winter" ornament--a twig frame. My husband helped me carve the grooves into the twigs so they would fit together more snugly. (As he says, it's our first collaborative cross stitch ornament!) I then glued the twigs together, tied raffia around the corners and used it as the hanger. What do you think?
My mailbox was overflowing with goodies last week... First of all came this glorious rainbow of hand-dyed threads that I had won in a very generous giveaway from Between Crosses With Nina last month. The talented and generous Nina let me choose 25 skeins of her hand-dyed threads as my prize. I waited and waited and waited--so worried that her package had been lost in the mail, but, one month later, it finally arrived. Oh, were they ever worth the wait--they are amazing!
Of course, I wanted to try them out right away, so I stitched up this Lizzie Kate "Be My Valentine" piece over the weekend. This was the second time I've stitched this--I sent the first to my dear parents as a finished card last February. Aren't the colors pure loveliness? For this piece, stitched on 32 ct. dirty linen, I used Nina's "Old Jeans," "Moss," "Eggplant," and "Raspberry" threads along with DMC 3865 for the border. I'm just thrilled with the color variations and how easy it was to work with her threads. Thank you so, so much, Nina--your gift brought some much needed color and cheer into my gray winter days!
I was truly touched to receive a wonderful package from dear Brenda, also. I had admired this Drawn Thread "Sunflower Bellpull" chart on Brenda's lovely blog (if you haven't been over to visit, please do--I promise you you'll be thrilled with her stitching and darling punch needle finishes!) and she offered to send it to me since she was done with it. Well, imagine my surprise when I opened the mailing envelope and found not only the chart, but the linen, the beads, and all of the threads as well! Brenda, your generosity touches my heart...I can't wait to start stitching this (sunflowers are one of my favorite things as most of you know) and you can be sure I will pass on the chart when I am finished. Thank you so very much!
Last, but by no means least, sweet Valerie sent me a belated birthday gift. She was worried that I might have the charts already, but they were all new to me and each and every one is something I would have picked myself. And look at the tiny packet of BBD fabrics--don't you love them?! I'm sure you'll be seeing some of them incorporated into my ornaments in the future. Most of you are probably familiar with Valerie's blog, but if you're not, why not stop in. Although I am just a "bit" older (okay, I'm old enough to be her mother!) we have become email pals and I love reading about her life in San Francisco and the ups and downs of life as a single young woman. So, thank you Valerie, for your wonderful gifts and for your friendship--both are so special...
Since the title of my post is "Saying Thanks," I want to tell you about a very heart-warming "thank you" that I received myself not long ago... As you know, I'm a librarian and am thanked countless times by people whom I've helped. One evening, a while back, I was walking back to the reference desk with an elderly patron and I noticed a young woman waiting there presumably to ask a question. When I finished up with the older woman, she said: "Thank you, you've been so very helpful." And the younger woman piped in: "She always is." I looked at her quizzically and after saying goodbye to the elderly patron, I walked over to her...
"You may not remember me," she began, "but, I was here a while back and you handed me the books that helped me diagnose my son's condition." Shivers ran up my spine and it all came back to me; a rather distraught, scared young mother, with a stack of medical books surrounding her, looking for anything and everything that could possibly help save her young son's life. None of the numerous doctors she had taken him to had been able to diagnose him and she was bound and determined to find out what was wrong with him. I had pulled every pediatric, neurological, and brain-related medical book that I could find and piled them on the table in front of her as she frantically searched for an answer.
"Because of your help, my son will be operated on at The Cleveland Clinic on Friday and I just wanted to thank you," she whispered, and then began to cry. I came out from behind the desk, hugged her and cried myself. How scared she must have been. You see it was a brain operation on a two-year old. This mother had diagnosed a very rare condition using the books in our mid-sized public library! I told her that I had received many, many thank-yous during the 20+ years I've worked as a Reference Librarian, but hers was like the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae.
I saw this young mother soon after the operation and was almost scared to ask about the outcome. Thankfully, her son had come through it with flying colors and, with rehab, would live a normal life. A miracle... I recently saw her in the library again with a "Nursing School Entrance Exam" book tucked under her arm. Yes, she's decided to go to back to school to become a nurse--I know she'll be an excellent one...
I told you this story not because I did anything special--I was simply doing my job. But, the fact that this young woman took the time to come back and thank me for my help--now that is special. Try saying "thank you" to others for even simple things--it might just make someone's day. (And you just might feel better, too!)
I'm so appreciative of the friends I've made over my two years of blogging--I hope you all know how special I think you are. The fact that you take the time to leave a comment or send an email means so much to me. Special thanks to my international friends who take the time to translate my posts and leave a comment. I am really touched at the amount of effort that it must take you to do so... Have a wonderful weekend everyone--only 39 days to Spring--yippee!!