And a frosty good morning to you, my friends! I hope you are enjoying this busy, busy countdown to Christmas. I'm a bit behind on everything because of catching a cold over Thanksgiving. It seemed to be a mild one at first, but turned worse on Friday. I'm usually very healthy and rarely get colds (which, considering all the keyboards, computer mice, books, and such that I touch at work at the library each day, is a minor miracle!). I'm wondering, though, if my illness and hospitalization in August lowered my immune system defenses making me more susceptible to all those nasty germs. I sure hope this isn't a sign of what's to come this winter as it has really zapped my energy and that's not good at this time of year!
I've finally managed to finish my last three ornaments for 2012. Would you like to see them? First up is my October ornament, a Plum Pudding NeedleArt design called "Let It Snow" which can be found in the 2013 Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue. It looks quite different than the finish shown in the magazine because I stitched mine over one on 28 ct. black Monaco and changed a few of the colors. What a difference the fabric you choose can make!
Plum Pudding NeedleArt "Let It Snow"
Since this was another tiny finish, I decided to add a couple of fabrics, some ric-rak, and white cording to jazz it up a bit. At the very top I added a few holly leaves, red berries (beads), and silver jinglebells. I really love how this one turned out--it's such a cheery little ornament. I think this may be one of my favorite ornaments this year...a simple design made special by the finish.
"Let It Snow" finish
For November's ornament, I chose this simple snowflake freebie called "Estonian Snowflake." You can find it, and three other lovely snowflake patterns, at Needleprint--just click right here. This one is stitched on white 40ct. Newcastle linen with DMC 115. A very quick and easy design.
As you can see, I finished it into a round ornament and simply added a burgundy gingham ruched ribbon with a little hanger and bow of the same fabric... This would make a nice last-minute gift for someone on your Christmas list!
"Estonian Snowflake" freebie finish
For my final ornament of 2013, I returned to my old favorite--Prairie Schooler. Isn't this the most handsome Santa? I used the suggested DMC threads on 32 ct. black Monaco. However, I changed the background and added snowflakes rather than the charted monogrammed initials. What do you think?
Prairie Schooler St. Nicholas II Santa
This particular Santa is from Book No. 36: "St. Nicholas II," an older out-of-print book which contains eight designs. I was thinking the other day, what a bargain these charts were! I mean you got eight wonderful designs back in 1992 when this was published for a mere $5.00! And today, you can rarely buy a single design for that amount! I know the older PS charts go for big money on Ebay, but when you break the cost down into a per design basis, it really doesn't seem that bad. I kept my finish very simple--wanted this distinguished looking Santa to be the star of the show!
Santa from Prairie Schooler's
St. Nicholas II booklet
So, there you have it--my final three ornaments for 2013. Next week, I'll post my annual "Ornaments on the Staircase Railing Garland" review of all twelve so you can see them together!
I mentioned in my last post, that I had stitched a third "Give Thanks" turkey. This one went to my dear sister-in-law who so wonderfully hosted our Thanksgiving this year. It was a real treat to have most of the cooking done by others, and I so appreciate all of her hard work. She used to be a cross-stitcher herself so she truly appreciates all the time that goes into making these little pillows. I used the same 32 ct. lambswool Jobelan that I used on my second finish, but changed the color of the cording and the fabric on the left. It gives it a totally different look than the two you saw in my previous post, doesn't it?
Third Shepherd's Bush "Give Thanks" finish
Well, I've covered Christmas and Thanksgiving--how about a bit of Halloween? Yep--I received this adorable Primitive Hare design called "Spooky Countdown" all the way from Italy. Chiara, who blogs at The Grey Tail offered this autographed chart in a recent giveaway and I was the lucky winner! I love it so much, Chiara--thank you for the wonderful gift--I can hardly wait to start stitching this next fall!
I had to work on Saturday, but came home to the house all lit up--garland strung on the porch, lights in each window, and two small trees covered with white lights. What a treat!! My husband had worked on everything that afternoon and surprised me with it. Such a lovely sight to come home to after a hard day's work! And then last night, we celebrated our middle son's 28th birthday (which was on December 4th) and enlisted his help, along with that of his girlfriend, and our oldest son and finally, finally got our tree up and half-way decorated. I say half-way because I still haven't put my stitched ornaments on it yet. I hope to get them up in the next few days before I leave for a visit with my parents. I won't see them at Christmas time this year so my sister will be having a little pre-Christmas brunch on Saturday for us. If she's been a good little girl, I just might take her a special stitched ornament for her tree!
Our home--all ready for Christmas!
I'll leave you with some photos of my treasured Nativity set that I received from my dear mother many, many years ago. It is all hand-carved--made in Italy. I love the simplicity of the wooden pieces, so carefully crafted and sanded smooth. When my mom gave me this set, she included a little note with it that read, "To Care: may you always treasure this." (I will mom, just as I will always treasure you...) Do any of you have special Christmas decorations that you treasure, too ?
Nativity set from Mom
So, there you have it! I'm behind again on visiting and commenting on blogs, but, now that I'm feeling a bit better, I hope to catch up with everyone this week. I want to welcome my new followers--so happy you've come to join us! And thank you to all of my faithful readers and commenters--I truly value your friendship and kind words. I'll be back with another post soon... Bye for now...