Good January morning to you all! And thank you again for all of your wonderful comments on my last post. I had so, so many questions about the title of the wintry design in my blog header, that I thought I'd answer those first. The chart is "Monthly Sampler: January" by Waxing Moon Designs which I stitched back in January 2010. If you're interested in seeing the whole design and reading about my finish, please click here. I remember it as being the perfect piece to stitch during that cold, cold January two years ago. Luckily, this January has proven to be very mild with little snow so far, but snow is forecast for tomorrow, so our luck could be changing.
NO-REPLY BLOGGER ISSUE: I tried to respond to each of you who asked about the January design individually, but some of you still don't have your email attached to your comments or blogs. When that happens, I get the dreaded "firstname.lastname@example.org" when I hit reply. There have been a lot of posts about this lately, but I'm jumping on the bandwagon, too. It is very frustrating to not be able to answer your questions directly. Luckily, two stitching friends addressed this exact problem in recent posts. Stitchin' Sweet Sue, tells you exactly how to correct this problem in her post right here. And Shirlee, at her newly renamed blog, "The Easily Influenced Stitcher," has another helpful post right here. Please, please check your status--there are so many times I would love to say "thank you" for one of your kind comments or answer your questions, but there is no way to get in touch with you if you are a "no-reply" commenter. Check out either link and follow the simple instructions--we'll all be glad when we can communicate with each other more easily, right?
FINAL 2011 ORNAMENTS: I'm happy to say that my last four ornaments of 2011 were finally delivered to their new owners. That made a total of nine ornaments I created in December for friends!! It took a while, but this Prairie Schooler kitty is now residing with my blogging friend, Edit all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. Edit, who is Hungarian, but lives in Spain, and I became friends when she won one of my giveaways a while back. She is just as much of a Prairie Schooler lover as I am so I also included an old Just Cross Stitch magazine with a PS rooster chart in her Christmas package. I'm so glad she liked my gifts!
If this ornament looks familiar, it's because this is the third time I've stitched it! I only stitch things again that I really like, so you know I must really love this one to have stitched it three times. This snowflake went to a dear co-worker at the library who recently retired. I've given her an ornament each year for the past six or seven years, but she said this one is her favorite and she plans on leaving it out all winter. This Prairie Schooler piece is from No. 23: "A Prairie Year II.
This gingerbread boy took so long to arrive in England, I feared the poor thing was drifting aimlessly somewhere in the Atlantic. But, thankfully he found his way to his new home with my lovely friend, June. Again, this is the third time I've stitched this little guy--this one is stitched over one on 28 ct. evenweave. I ruched some gauzy burgundy colored ribbon to add for the trim and hanger. This one went to June because she is so full of J-O-Y; her blog is always a treat!
This next snowman probably looks familiar, as well! You all loved him so much when I stitched him last year, that I decided my youngest son's girlfriend might like one of her very own for a little remembrance at Christmas time. She really seemed to like him and sent me the sweetest thank-you note. I finished him exactly like the one that hangs on my own tree using 28 ct. sage jobelan and DMC threads. He is stitched over one as well, and, of course, a little plaid bow completes his look!
ABOUT THOSE TINY BOWS:
One of the most common questions I'm asked is how I make those tiny bows that you see on so many of my ornaments... Well, if it weren't for the helpful tutorial of that amazing finisher, Barbara from "To Stitch or Not To Stitch", I wouldn't know how to make them either. She did a wonderful step-by-step tutorial back in 2010 which you can find right here. My bows differ only in that they are much smaller. I start out with only about a seven inch piece of ribbon (usually 9 mm or 3/8 inch, but sometimes I use wider ribbon as you can see in the black and white gingham). And rather than tying another piece of ribbon around the center, I just wrap the thread (that I've used to gather up the center) around and around and tie it in the back to create a nice look. Trim the ends as long or short as you like and voilà--you have a sweet, (almost) perfect bow! Give it a try--it only took about half an hour to make the six in my photo.
I was totally caught by surprise when I received the most amazing RAK (random act of kindness) from Annie! I mean, sometimes, you suspect something is up, but, Annie truly, truly surprised me... And what a surprise it was. I first started following Annie's blog because of the darling little tin finishes that she does. I'm so proud to now have an original "Annie-made" tin of my own. Just look at this little perfectly-stitched beauty... She chose my favorite color, blue, included my initials, and inside, tucked the cutest pair of scissors.
But, wait--that's not all! In addition to some yummy chocolates, Annie also crocheted a charming gift-card holder in the most soothing shades of blue and green. And snuggled inside was a very generous Amazon gift card to buy myself a book or two for my Kindle. I think it took me an entire day to stop shaking my head in disbelief at Annie's generosity. You really spoiled my, my friend, and I will treasure your gifts! Thank you, thank you, thank you...I'm so glad our paths crossed through this amazing cross stitch blogging community.
So, do you have any special plans for the weekend? Since my ♫♫♫ birthday ♫♫♫ is coming up on the 16th, my sons thoughtfully asked what I wanted. I told them what I really wanted was to be invited to their apartment for dinner for a birthday dinner. They couldn't believe I would want to come to their "junky apartment" (their words!). But, I haven't been there in almost 3 years, so I can't wait! In a way, it will almost be like "going home again" since most of their furniture is the stuff we bought when we were first married. I can't wait to see what they plan to feed me; they're teasing me saying they'll be making a dish with lots of vegetables. For you long time readers, you know I don't eat green vegetables (remember this post from back in 2010), so I really hope they're just having a bit of fun with old mom.
Well, the next time I post, I'll be a year older. Funny how these birthdays keep coming around faster each year, isn't it? I'll leave you with the image of this beautiful bouquet of roses my three sons surprised me with on Christmas... Enjoy your weekends everyone and thank you again for your thoughtful comments and emails--I'm blessed to have each one of you in my life. Bye for now...