Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fall finishes and helping out a stitching friend


Happy October to you! October is one of my favorite months of the year and it's been a great month, weatherwise, so far. We started off with cooler, wet weather, but the past five days have been just perfect. My heart goes out to all of you in the Carolinas, though--such devastation from the rains and floods and broken dams. Oh my--it is just heartbreaking to watch the news coverage... 

Well, I've had  more stitching time lately as I continue to recover from the bone bruise on my left foot. When you hear the word "bruise," it doesn't sound serious, but a bone bruise is very different than a bruise suffered on your arm or leg when you hit it on something.  The pain is much more severe and can last months. I've been following the RICE treatment plan: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation and it seems to be working. It's been three weeks now, and the pain is subsiding, just leaving me with a bit of tenderness and swelling. I so miss my daily treadmill workouts, but they will have to wait until I am completely healed. I've just begun riding a stationary bike for a bit of exercise this week and it feels so good to be doing something physical again! I have been able to work and my new odd gait as I hobble across the floors at the library has earned me a new nickname: "The Limping Librarian!" Hopefully, by my next post, I'll be feeling significantly better.

I have a few finishes to show you today and the first is a big one (for me anyway!). I finished the Prairie Schooler Band Sampler (Tall Oaks) from Book No. 40 that I showed you in my previous post. Isn't it pretty for this time of year? I'll be framing this one--eventually! All of you know, I'm much better at finishing smalls, than getting larger pieces framed!

Prairie Schooler's Band Sampler (Tall Oaks)

I just love all of the squirrels in this piece--the two little guys holding their acorns below the tree, the wild looking giant squirrel climbing up to the top of the tree and the two tinier squirrels scampering away in the bottom border.


I did make a couple of changes to the piece. Notice the vacant space above the two squirrels under the tree? That was supposed to be personalized with my initials and year. I really loved the empty look, though--I think it gives the eyes a place to rest. So, I simply stitched my initials and the year 2015 discreetly at the bottom of the sampler. I also changed the color of the acorns to DMC 3045 so they would more resemble acorns in my part of the country.


One of the reasons this piece is so special to me is because of this tree:


It is an oak tree--the only oak tree in our yard--and the story behind it is one that most mothers will appreciate. It all started one day back in the mid-80s when my oldest son was about 3 or 4 years old and he noticed a teeny tiny sapling that had sprung from an acorn (probably carried over by a squirrel from one of our neighbors giant oak trees) growing right beside the parking place in our driveway. He basically claimed the tree as his own--it fascinated him and he enjoyed watching it grow year by year. The oak sapling soon became too large to remain in its place right beside the driveway so we moved it to the front yard. When we totally remodeled our home almost 20 years ago, we had a decision to make: should we cut down the tree or move it? With the pictures of my son and his love for that tree  in our minds, we chose to pay to have it moved to its present location in the back yard. It is now about 30 years old, growing straight and strong and every time I look at it, I am reminded of the saying "Tall trees from little acorns grow" and of one very dear little boy.


A couple of blogging friends recently celebrated birthdays and I wanted to stitch them something special. To my friend Lois in Northern Ireland, I sent a small pillow as a token of our friendship. This is a design by Annie Beez Folk Art and is appropriately called "Such Friendship." Stitched on 40 ct. raw natural Newcastle with a mix of overyded and DMC colors, I just love its simple message and I hope it conveys to Lois just how much I treasure our friendship!


I made a wee pillow so she can set it on her mantle or bookshelf or place it in a bowl full of other small gifts. It is backed with the fabric shown behind it and finished off with just a bit of lace and some handmade cording.

"Such Friendship" finish

And for one of my very first blogging friends, Myra, I made this cute Halloween witch. Yes, you've seen it before--this is the third time I've stitched her, but I never get tired of that cute little face! The design is from Mary Garry's "Seasonal Mementos" booklet and is stitched on 32 ct. bay leaf linen with the suggested DMC colors. (And aren't those autumn hued mums in the background pretty? A nice "get well" gift from my oldest son and his girlfriend after my oral surgery last month). Myra loves anything Halloweeny and I know this gift will fit right in with her decorating this month!

Mary Garry's "Seasonal Mementos" witch


Helping out one of our own... Have you ever asked yourself, what you would take from your home if you had to leave suddenly? For me, it would be my family photos and my giant box of stitched Christmas ornaments. But, what if you could take nothing? What if you had to vacate suddenly and leave everything behind. Well, this is what one of my long-time blogging friends faced recently. Cindy and I bonded over our love of stitching smalls--especially Christmas ornaments and we've exchanged both birthday and Christmas gifts over the past six years. This summer, when Cindy kept getting sicker and sicker, she found that her apartment was contaminated with a deadly black mold and, to save her life, she had to leave literally everything behind and move out. You see, the black mold spores can spread everywhere and, you guessed it, all of her stitching fabrics, threads, charts, finishes, and gifts had to be thrown away. Can you imagine? Cindy has posted about the black mold problem and is attempting to do her part to shine awareness on just how serious it can be. You can read all about it in  her post.

Would you like to help? As soon as I received her email about this crisis, I began putting together a care package for Cindy of charts, threads, handmade cording, fabrics, and a gift card to Joann's and sent it to her last week. She was so touched and since then, I've had others asking me for her address because they want to help her re-build her stash, too. Would you like to help, too? If so, please email me (my address is in the sidebar--just click on the little girl with the black cat in my profile to find it) and I will send you Cindy's new address. Stitchers are such generous folks and I know she would appreciate any bit of help--even a skein of DMC in an envelope would be appreciated. And if you can't help by sending a little something, please keep those prayers and positive thoughts coming her way... Right now, Cindy is focused on getting her health back and returning to work. I really think receiving little care packages from the stitching community would go a long way toward helping her recover, don't you?

And here I thought this was going to be a short post! Ha! I always love October for another big reason, too, and that is that I'll be going to my annual stitching retreat in a couple of weeks. Just five friends sitting, chatting, eating, and stitching for 3 days--what could be better? This year, we are taking a break from making each other anything--it's just been a crazy year for some of us (do you think I'm one of them?!) and it will be really nice to just show up and enjoy myself without worrying about getting four gifts finished up...  Until next time, happy stitching, my friends, and thank you all for your much appreciated comments and email! Bye for now...

54 comments:

butterfly said...


Just love the PS ornament how sweet .

Beautiful stitching for your friends love what you stitched and your finished is wonderful .

I would love to send some goodies for your friend can you send me her address , I don't know what I would do if I lost all my stitching stash hugs.

LoriU said...

Oh my what gorgeous finishes this month! I can appreciate your tree story...we also have one! We had a tree in our yard that would drop the "helicopters" each year. One year our youngest son planted one in a pot. Well it grew and we ended up planting the little tree in the yard. That tree grew to tower above the original one! About a year after our son passed away, we moved from that house. That Fall, our kind neighbor planted several of the helicopters from our son's tree and started growing them, and she brought the pot to our new house. We planted one of the trees and now it is over 20 feet tall! This year I planted some more helicopters from it to give our friends. So our son and his tree will never be forgotten!

I would love to send Cindy something, please do forward her address to me. Thank you!

Mini said...

These are gorgeous finishes. You are truly a great friend , helping in tough times.
I liked the story about the oak tree.

Preeti said...

Beautiful ornament !!:) lovely gifts too! Just like your story of Oak tree, my brother's son had sown a mango seed in the center of the lawn and it started growing. Now no one has the heart to bring it down :)
That is so nice of you for helping your friend. I don't know about this problem, I will go through the link.

Cindy Derosa said...

Thank you for the post Carol about mold. I hope it brings light to what mold can do. The tree story about your son is a great memory. What special gifts you made. As always, your post made me smile.

Beth Aalberts said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and looking at your pretty pictures. I even thought of a friend of mine who needs that friendship one you stitched, and I promptly had to go order it! I also emailed you for info about helping Cindy.

Vickie said...

I love the oak tree story. :D
Your stitching is wonderful Carol.
I am praying for Cindy!

Kate said...

Beautiful pieces, Carol, and I love the story about the oak tree.
Continue to enjoy October.

Kaisievic said...

Hi Carol, I loved the story behind your Oak tree sampler and the tree - so sweet! Lots of wonderful stitching here and gift giving. Thanks for sharing Cindy's story, so scary, isn't it? I will email you shortly for her address - I am sure that I can find something for her in my stash empire. Enjoy your stitching retreat - how wonderful! What bliss it must be. Thank you for the lovely long post.

Annie said...

Love your PS finish. So rare for you to do something a little larger. Nice sometimes to stitch more and sea rah for patterns, threads, fabrics less.

What a sweet story about your treasured tree.

Very nice stitchy gifts and I'd be happy to send something to Cindy.

Hope that foot heals soon so you can go back to being the Leaping Librarian!

Ellen said...

Beautiful piece, just love the acorns and the squirrels! Love the ornaments too, they are so pretty! Sweet story about the oak tree!

I would love to send something to Cindy, please forward address.

Enjoy the rest of October and take care of your foot!

Hugs,

marly said...

Everything you've featured in this post is fabulous. I must have missed your last post! Not surprising since the computer death. Sorry to hear about the foot! And surgery. Hopefully it will be smooth sailing for you and your husband from now on.

Mary said...

Oh Carol, I have loved Tall Oaks for such a long time. What fun to see it come to life!

Robin said...

Congratulations on your Tall Oaks finish! I love it and I like your acorn colors. Lovely gifts you created for Lois and Myra. I stitched the Annie Beez piece for a dear and special friend, but had it framed. Glad to hear your foot is healing from its bone bruise! Enjoy your upcoming retreat with your friends!

Robin in Virginia

Melody said...

Hi Carol. What a lovely story about the oak tree! It's sweet that it has thrived, and fitting for you to stitch the sampler. Glad your bone bruise is improving. Take it easy. I love the little witch piece you stitched. That is such a cute design. Have fun at your stitching retreat!

Anne said...

My dear Carol I've been so remiss as of late but I know you'll forgive me. I'm going to email you tomorrow more in length as I'm running on empty at the moment. Love your stitching and I would love to send Cindy some things as I have way too much and no time to stitch anymore. Again, I'll email you tomorrow and if I forget, send me a reminder! Xoxoxoxo hugs and warm wishes Anne

Beth said...

Love your PS Oak sampler and the story behind your young oak tree! Wonderful.

Shelly said...

Your PS finish is great. What is with the freaky squirrels in needlework?! I encountered two large dancing squirrels in my one Fancey Blackett finish. Haha. Cute story about your son and the tiny oak. Gosh, your finishing is so beautiful, I need to have your blog front and central when I'm finishing my own! I've seen the story about Cindy circulating around...how horrible to just up and leave everything. I'll mail you. What is her style of stitching though? Primitive, lizziekate, samplers, Aida or linen? Thanks Carol. Back to my beloved NHL hockey...

Loubie69 said...

Wow you have some great finishes. I love the Praire Schooler one and I don't think I have seen that one before and your work is so very neat :-)

Jan Doling said...

The story of your oak tree touched my heart and your lovely PS sampler is such a meaningful piece for you to have stitched. I love autumnal designs and squirrels/oak leaves/acorns are among my favourite things, they illustrate the season so well. I am sorry to hear about your friend's devastating loss of all her stash, I would like to send her some bits and pieces but because of the overseas postage it will just be small light things if that is ok.

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
your sampler looks great. The little squirrel looks very cute.
Wondrful gifts for your blogfriends.
Have a nice weekend, Manuela

Marilyn said...

What a great Sampler, you stitched it perfectly.
Cute story about your son, he's a "tree hugger". :)
How nice of you not to chop it down, and a great memory.
Your 2 finishes are so cute, as always.
Hope your foot feels better soon.
Marilyn

Maggie said...

Beautiful Beautiful finishes :-)

What a wonderful story you have attached to the oak tree, so glad you decided to keep it :-)

Lois said...

You already know how much I love what you sent - it just makes me smile every time I look at it. I missed about your foot so I hope it continues to heal at a steady pace (you have had a year of it!). I love your PS finish and the little pillow for Myra is so cute! What a sweet story about the oak tree - so special to know how it came about and you definitely did the right thing moving it rather than cutting it down. What a dreadful thing to happen to your friend. I would love to help out so send me her address when you get the chance.

Mii Stitch said...

Congratulations Carol on finishing such a beautiful design.
Tall oaks is just stunning!
Love your little makes for your friends too :)
As always, perfect stitching & finishing!

Lynda Harrison said...

Hello Carol - it is so lovely to read your news. As always, your stitching is just perfect, and a real joy to behold. I am so sorry I've not been in touch lately - will email soon.
The oak tree story is wonderful, and please let me know where to send some things for Cindy.....
Hope you are all ok, and that your foot is better soon.
Take care,
Lynda.

averyclaire.org said...

Love your oak sampler and the squirrels. I fight with them in my garden all the time, but I love squirrels anyway! Love that you changed up things in the sampler so it is personal to you! And the oak tree story that goes along with it is precious. You have a very special family. Glad you are on the mend. Love the "friendship" chart and finish...haven't seen that one around. And the witch is adorable. I would like to help with sending your friend something due to her awful loss. I can't imagine this! We take so much for granted in our lives and one never knows when something can turn bad! Thanks for sharing so much on your post. Look forward to the next one!

Carin said...

Your stitchings are wonderful and I love how you finish them !

Olena said...

Beautiful Fall project!

Anna van Schurman said...

Love the family story connected to your PS sampler. Not sure the dog would let me have that one in the house. Too many squirrels--her mortal enemies!

Lesley said...

All your stitching is lovely Carol.The PS Oak Tree sampler is especially lovely and the link to your son's Oak tree is so special.
I am very sorry to hear of your friend's plight.I read the links on her blog and did a bit of my own research.Shocking to find out that toxic mold can lead to so much ill health and heart breaking to have to leave everything behind.

marina said...

Hi Carol! so pleased to meet you... I've been your follower since long time and adore your blog and all your wonderful works.
And I love what you write about family and all daily matters too.
Hope your husband is getting better every day...
Have a nice Sunday, Hugs

CraftyGurl said...

Great story behind the Oak Tree....

I live just outside of Columbia,sc and have seen and heard stories about those having to let go of everything, we were soared in our area thanfully but I could not imagine what it would be like to have to leave EVERYTHING behind. even though I love my stitching I think pictures for me would be the hardest, since I lost my Mother back in 2004 the pictures are all I have left. What a sad thing to have to go through. I will be getting in touch with you soon for her address...


Wishing you a great rest of the Month.

Margaret said...

I so enjoyed your post! First off, I hope your foot is better! How did you find out it was a bone bruise? My foot has been bothering me for I don't know how long. Ugh. Anyway, I love your Oak finish -- and the story of the oak tree -- how wonderful is that! What a special tree that is! Lovely presents for your friends too! And yes, I would love to send something Cindy's way if you would share her address with me. How awful for her! I hope she recovers well and quickly. Hope you're having a good October!

Michelle said...

Oh my I love the Annie Beez design. Thanks for sharing all your lovely photos really enjoyed reading your post xx

Jennifer said...

Love your stitching finishes Carol - I am really impressed by how quickly you finish them into pillows/ornaments, etc. I hope your foot continues to heal - surely the retreat time will be good for that :-) I would be happy to send something on to your friend - I am sure I can find some supplies to send her way and am happy to support another stitcher. Enjoy the remainder of your month, and especially your retreat!

Hilda said...

Dear Carol,
oh I really can imagine the pain of your bone bruise. I had one on my heel last year and I really did not think that this little injury can hurt that much and that long.
Hope you are feeling painless very soon, my dear friend.
Your finishes are adorable - all three of them. I love this TPS so much. I have never seen it before - but these motifs and colors are darling! Thank you for sharing.

Would you please pass me over the adress of Cindy. Although it will take weeks all the way from Austria to the US I really would love to send some stitching stuff to her.

Have a wonderful new week, my dear friend!

Hugs
Hilda

Barb said...

Hi Carol - i really wanted to leave you a comment because you know I love, love, love your blog and I love, love, love your stitching - every time I see what you have stitched, I want to stitch it too! I just love the "Tall Oaks" you have stitched and it's even more special because of the oak tree in your yard. What a wonderful memory! Of course, your stitched gifts are just beautiful too - I know they are treasured !

I was curious to know how you got the bone bruise? Did you fall? It sounds so painful - hopefully, you will find relief and improvement quickly. It's good to know, too, that your husband is doing well.

Have a wonderful time during your yearly stitching retreat. It does sound heavenly to me - I know we will all love to read all about everyone's stitching and see lots of pictures. Enjoy!

xo - Barb R.

mainelystitching said...

What beautiful stitching, Carol. I do hope your bruised bone heals soon and that you'll be back to your usual levels of activity. :)

Sandra die Puppenhexe said...

Dear Carol,
Oh it's nice to you and you tell so great, I 'm totally begeisttert of your post and very happy that you found me . Thank you for your warm comments I 've been looking forward eerie about it. Your squirrels are so sweet and the story with your oak I found really touching.
I wish you a nice week
Dearest greetings from distant Germany
Sandra

Irene said...

Grazie per averci fatto sapere la storia di Cindy, spero che guarisca presto, pregherò per lei. Bellissimi i tuoi ricami. Anche a me piace molto ottobre.

Julie said...

A lovely story attached to your beautiful oak tree and such a pretty stitched design you have made to. Perhaps an oak frame for it would be appropriate?
A sad story about your friend, I read this on anther blog where help was asked for her, I hope she is soon recovered and back to full health.

priscilla said...

Such a pretty Prairie Schooler piece Carol ! So sorry about your foot..hope you are back to normal soon! Love your 2 little finishes also . That witch is so adorable! Hope you have a great time with your stitching friends!

Brigitte said...

I'm so glad to read that the pain in your foot is improving and that you can already use the stationary bike again. That RICE treatment doesn't sound bad - and gives you time for stitching :)

Tall Oak looks quite simply gorgeous, it's one of my favourites by the Prairie Schooler. But then I can't say this because I have so many favourites among her charts, lol. I also love the two little birthday gifts you made for your friends. The cording goes perfectly with both of them.

I have read about what happened to Cindy, it's just awful. Could you, please, send me her address so that I can send her a little package? Thank you.

Sheryl S. said...

Hello Carol, lovely stitching as always. Tall oaks is perfect, the design and your tree. Have heard about this deadly mould which seems impossible to treat, I hope your friends health improves.

Marie said...

Dear Limping Librarian :-)
I hope that you are back in tip top shape soon! I know that feeling of not being able to work out. Due to my recent surgery I had to refrain from working out for 6 weeks…ugh! Last week was my very 1st week back and I could not be happier (really can't believe I am saying that). You must listen to your Dr. though and do as s/he says. Get well soon.
You are truly a sweet and generous friend to send those beautiful gifts to Lois and Myra ~ I am sure they were delighted when they opened the package.
I LOVE your tree story. How wonderful that you made the effort to transplant it so that you get to enjoy it everyday…a daily gift to look outside and enjoy the memory.
Are you enjoying the GORGEOUS foliage? It is truly beautiful here in VT.

Mary - Lecoeurceltique said...

Beautiful stitching. I enjoyed your story about the oak tree. I hope that your friend Cindy is starting to feel better.

Elizabeth Ann said...

I love your little witch! Usually I don't like witches but she is very sweet! Your new piece is beautiful, cannot wait to see it framed. Looking forward to your Christmas pieces!

Mavi. said...

Hi Carol, I hope you go recovering from your bone bruise and you can walk again as you like and stop limping so you do not call "Librarian cripple".
Your cushions are beautiful as always, I envy your great view to embroider on 40 count.
I hope you enjoy a lot with your friends in this retreat that great.
We are in the fall, when I love.
A big kiss from this part of the world.

StitchinByTheLake said...

Carol that is a wonderful story about your son and "his" tree - such a sweet reminder that our children need memories like these when they strike out on their own and mamas need them too. :) Your friend Carol has my prayers and my sympathy. I remember when a neighbor's house burned and I ran into them later in a Christian book store (an older couple in their 80s) buying new Bibles. I can't imagine leaving everything behind. I would certainly love to send her a gift. Though I'm a fairly new cross stitcher I have an abundance of patterns and floss and would love to share. I believe you can replay to this to e-mail me but if not my address is mbushretiredatgmaildotcom. blessings, marlene

Pam in IL said...

Your stitching is gorgeous and I always love seeing your creative finishes. I'm sure your friends loved the gifts you sent. Sorry to hear about Cindy and will keep her in my prayers. Hope your foot is doing better each day. Enjoy the retreat.

Wanda said...

Dear Carol,
I do hope your foot is feeling better with each day and that it has not impacted your stitching getaway too much - what an incredible year in your household!!
The story of the oak tree is beautiful and I just love your PS Tall Oaks Band Sampler. It is just gorgeous (get it framed!)Both ornaments are simply gorgeous with your amazing finishing touches.
I am so sorry to hear about your friend Cindy and hope each day finds her feeling better. What a horrific thing to happen.
I am so hoping that every health related incident has worked its way out of your family for a very long time.
Have an amazing time with your stitching friends.
Hugs,
Wanda

Priscila Ponto Cruz said...

Evreything is very beautiful here!!!

Annette said...

Im, very behind on my blog reading, so today I start wirg catching up with that. I reallt have nomore time in teh week to do fun things.. lol
A bone bruise.. au au au , its sounds awfull, hope by now your better
What a lovely acorn piece you stitched!!
OW My what a beautifull story about that tree!!! You really need to keep that. and when he gets married or something like that, make a picture by that three.
You Made beautifull gifts!! They will be very happy your friends
Enjoy the Fall days,

Winter is coming