Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Finally Fall!

Good morning, my blogging buddies, on one gorgeous autumn morning here in western Pennsylvania. I think this September may have been one of the nicest (and warmest!) on record and I've loved every second. The sunny days and the crisp, cooler nights are just my "cup of tea"... I've been stitching a couple of fall things and putting out a few autumn-hued decorations and my house just seems much cozier these days--like it's welcoming me to spend the colder days ahead all curled up in my stitching chair. Sounds like a nice plan, doesn't it?

Of course, real life interferes sometimes and that precious stitching time is hard to come by...  This past month has been so busy that I'm afraid I don't have much to share with you today. But, I hope you'll stick around and read through my lone September post. First of all, I want to wish a warm welcome to my new followers--there are over 1500 of you now and I'm so thrilled to have you visit! I began this blog in 2009 as a simple way to keep track of my finishes--never in my wildest dreams did I imagine there would be so many of you who enjoyed reading it! Thank you all for your wonderful support--especially this year. It has been one difficult year around here, but things are looking up. My husband's broken neck has healed to the point where he has returned to biking--I do worry, but he is absolutely elated to be "back in the saddle," as he puts it. Amazing how far he has come in just four months. The numbness/tingling in his fingers on his right hand continue, but it is nothing that he can't learn to live with...

So, on to stitching! I have one small finish and one larger work in progress that I'd like to share with you today. The finish is a Prairie Schooler from an issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine and couldn't be more perfect for this time of year. "Autumn" is stitched over one on 28 ct. black Monaco using the suggested DMC threads. The finished design is so tiny--just 1¾ by 1¼ inches!! You know me and my love of anything tiny!

To finish this off, I used some miniature rust-colored ric rak to frame it and backed it with the cute acorn printed fabric you see in the background. I thought of adding buttons or something to the corners where the ric rak meets, but I felt they would overwhelm this tiny piece. Sometimes, an understated finish is just better, don't you think? I am so happy with the final look...

Prairie Schooler Autumn finish

I've also begun a larger Prairie Schooler Sampler from Book No. 40 "Band Samplers." I've wanted to stitch this one for so long, but have avoided it because of the abundance of browns in the design--I simply don't like stitching with browns! But, I finally just took the plunge and I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying stitching this piece--even that crazed-looking giant squirrel making his way up to the tree top! I'm using 40 ct. flax Newcastle with DMC threads and, hopefully, I'll have it finished up for you next time I post.

Tall oaks from little acorns grow...

As I mentioned, I've also been doing a bit of fall decorating and the first thing to get a makeover was my kitchen corner cupboard. Down came the patriotic stitching and accessories that I shared with you in this post and out came the autumn colored leaves, pumpkins, and squirrels.

Here are some close-ups of each shelf so you can see them better... The carved wooden squirrels belonged to my grandmother and I think they're perfect to display alongside the PS stitched September Squirrel and the Midnight Stitching "Quaker Acorns I" piece.

The middle shelf contains a bowl full of sunflower finishes from Prairie Schooler, Homespun Elegance, Heart In Hand, and an old freebie that is no longer available online (just a reminder to print out those freebies when they are offered online as the designers often remove them).

On the bottom shelf are some crocheted sunflowers from my sweet blogging friend, Annette in The Netherlands in a wire basket of leaves and pumpkins, my little Lizzie High doll with her crows and giant sunflower, a tarnished old baby cup from a distant relative, and a sweet quote about September that I printed from one of my favorite home lifestyle blogs, On Sutton Place.

Here is a closeup of of the print which you can find and print off for yourself right here. I used some mottled beige scrapbook paper to print it on and had the frame in my stash. A cute and inexpensive addition to my corner cupboard, don't you think?

I wanted to share a few photos from our annual trip to the Outer Banks last month. In spite of the not-so-great weather, I so enjoyed spending time with my family and catching up with relatives we only see once or twice a year. This year we all (24 of us) stayed in a giant house right on the beach. This was the view from the front deck. See those whitecaps? Yes, there were some very rough waters this year and the "red flag" of danger/no swimming was posted for much of the week. You can actually see it in the middle right side of the photo. I didn't care as I don't go in the ocean anyway, but my sons were so disappointed.

Just the five of us went out together on August 26th which would have been my dad's 88th birthday--just wanted some time away from the crowd to remember dad and raise a glass in his honor. This was the peaceful view from the restaurant in the calm sound. Just lovely!

As always there were some glorious sunrises...

And equally glorious sunsets...

I am much more at home lounging by a lake or hiking in a forest, but there is something so very special about the beaches in North Carolina, too. We've been going with my husband's family for 31 years now and it's been fun to see the family grow. Next year, we might actually need to expand to two houses!

Thank you all for your well-wishes for my youngest son who is studying in Argentina this semester. I'm happy to report he got there safely and is settling in nicely. He's finding the Spanish to be somewhat of a challenge as they speak very rapidly and Argentinian Spanish is a bit different than what he learned. He may have to record his lectures and break them down so he can understand things more easily. We are still  hoping to go visit in late November or mid-December and take an extended trip to Patagonia!

I'll leave you with a photo of this sweet little fawn who made his way up to munch on some sunflower seeds. Each year, after the sunflowers have finished blooming, my husband lays the giant flower heads out on the fence that surrounds his garden next to the tool shed. The birds, chipmunks, and deer all delight in this unexpected feast!

Thank you all for visiting today--so sorry for the long time between posts. I went through some dreadful oral surgery last week and now appear to have hurt my left foot. I dropped something on it and it is swollen and painful when I walk. Boy, it's just been one thing after another since I turned 60! I hope this isn't a sign of things to come... I'm actually heading up to New York to visit my mom tomorrow--after the month I've had I need a big, big hug from her. There's just something about mom's hugs that takes away the pain even at my age! Anyway, thank you for your very kind comments and I hope the rest of September brings you much to smile about. Bye for now...