Thursday, October 22, 2015

Three for my tree...

Good morning, all! I plan on making this short and simple today (I can already hear some of you snickering at the idea of me writing a "short" post, but I really am going to "try"!). I'm busily packing away for my stitching retreat this afternoon so I have a bit of a deadline here... After all, I have to get the important stuff packed--the charts, fabrics, threads, needles, and Ott light! I have set aside way too many projects to take with me for what amounts to 2 1/2 days of stitching, but isn't that always the case? If you're anything like me, the thought of not having enough stitching to keep myself busy is one of my worst nightmares. So, I always end up bringing too many projects! I'm so looking forward to seeing my four stitching friends later today as I haven't seen any of them since last year at our retreat. That's pretty sad considering two of them live within an hour and a half of me, but we all lead busy lives and this year was particularly crazy for some of us...

For those of you who are new to my blog (a big welcome to you, first of all!), I have been stitching an ornament a month for my Christmas tree since January of 2010. Creating ornaments really is my first love when it comes to stitching--there is just something special about bringing them out of hiding each December and carefully placing them on the tree. I have three new creations to share with you today for the months of August, September, and October.

For August, I stitched "Winter's Night" by Grandma Kringles. It seems that Grandma Kringles is no longer designing, unfortunately, because she really had some darling ideas. Her blog is gone, but you can still find some of her patterns available online.This one is stitched on 32 ct. dirty Belfast linen with the suggested  DMC threads. Although I love the way it turned out, I really struggled with the stitching. I've gotten so I can barely stand to stitch with two strands anymore, which is why you see me mostly stitching on 40 ct. or stitching "over one" on 28 ct. fabric. I stitch so much faster with one thread and there is no worry about the threads twisting up or laying flat. Does anyone else feel that way?


To finish "Winter's Night," I sewed a strip of burgundy gingham on one side, stitched some little x's on top where the two fabrics joined, stretched out a spring (I confess that I needed my husband's help with that chore!) for a hanger and added a strip of the frayed gingham in the corner. Oh, and I added a rusty bell at the tip of Santa's hat...  A really simple finish, but I love it!


September brought an ornament finish called, what else, but "Merry Christmas!" This design is from All Through the Night and was stitched over one on 28 ct. white evenweave using DMC 115.


I thought a round finish with some ruched gingham ribbon would be perfect for this one. Many of you have asked about how to ruche ribbon. The way this blogger makes the stitches in her ribbon is how I do it, too: ruched ribbon tutorial. Work slowly and gather the ribbon after you've made the zig-zag stitching on about a two inch length--don't wait until the very end and attempt to gather it all at once! I glue my ruched ribbon on with just a teeny bit of Aleene's Tacky Glue applied sparingly with a toothpick.


And for my October ornament, I couldn't resist making another of the snowmen featured in the "Let It Snow" chart by A Stitcher's Hands. Meet the third jolly snowman that I've stitched from this chart. He is stitched on some sort of mystery 32 ct. linen. Are you smiling now?  C'mon--how can you resist that crooked grin of his?


I finished him using fabrics that picked up the blues and greens in his hat and scarf along with a mini-pompom on his hat and some white ric-rak. The blue and green plaid is from a cloth napkin I picked up at Kohl's last spring. I wanted to give all three snowmen a similar finish.


Here are all three together--do  you have a favorite? You'll notice that my newest one is wider than the others. Since I used the exact same piece of fabric for all, I can only assume that the fabric wasn't square as this newest guy clocks in at 1/4 inch wider!


Here are my three newest ornaments all together. As you can see, I have rather eclectic taste! You've got a more primitive Santa, a cutesy snowman, and a traditional bird and holly ornament. I really enjoy mixing things up in my stitching and will stitch just about anything except fairies, dragons, or extremely primitive designs. How about you?




Gratitude... To say I was touched and gratified by the number of you who emailed me wanting to help out my friend,  Cindy, who lost all of her household belongings and stitching stash due to a deadly black mold infestation, is an understatement. I can't begin to tell you how wonderfully generous the stitching community is--but, then again, I think you already knew that, didn't you?!

I heard from fellow bloggers, both here in the U.S. and overseas;  many stitchers that had never before commented on my blog, but must read it (which made me happy!);  an EGA group near Binghamton, NY;  a New Jersey cross stitch store owner (Where Victoria's Angels Stitch); and a woman who runs a group that accepts donations of stitching stash to pass on to others. Charlene set up this group, Paraclete Designs, which is involved with accepting the donations, sorting,  repackaging, and sending them on to various charitable organizations, teachers, and street ministries to spread the love of cross stitching to others. A very interesting mission that I never knew existed! You can read more about it on her website. Each of these people and groups wanted Cindy's address so they could help her rebuild her stash. If there is anyone else interested in helping her out, just email me and I will send you the details. I'm happy to report that Cindy's health is improving day by day, she has begun stitching again, and has just returned to work. I can't help but think that knowing so many fellow stitchers were thinking of her and praying for her recovery is helping her in so many ways...

Have you noticed anything missing from my blog this month? Yes, there is no evidence of Halloween stitching... You see, my dad died on Halloween last year, and I just haven't had it in me to even put out so much as one of my Halloween decorations or pieces of stitching. I know this feeling will pass gradually, but the "missing him" is still a bit too fresh this year. I have enjoyed seeing all of your spooky stitching, though, and I wish you all a very fun Halloween!

Thank you for your well wishes regarding my bone bruise. It really is beginning to feel better and I can walk around the house (and work!) without limping. But, it still hurts to walk any distance so I can't yet use my treadmill. I'm encouraged by the healing that has taken place since my last post, though, so I know I'm on the right track!

Well, so much for a "short post," eh? I tried--I really did!  Thank you, thank you for your visit today, and a special thanks to those of you who take the time to comment. I never know how many of you actually read my words or if you just look at the photos, but it's nice to hear from you just the same! Bye for now...

74 comments:

Justine said...

Beautiful beautiful ornaments Carol. Your finishing is simply perfect. They are an eclectic mix but I'm sure will all look wonderful together on your tree.
I must have missed your post about Cindy but I'm currently having a little stitching clear out so would be happy to send her something. I'll email you.

Vickie said...

Beautiful, new ornaments Carol. I like Merry Christmas the best.
I am eclectic also.
So are you no longer the "limping librarian"? ;)
Have a marvelous time on your trip! I am praying it is a safe one!

Lesley said...

I always look forward to your posts Carol,I lovel reading them so I am glad you didn't manage a too short a post:)
My favourite snowman is the one in the yellow hat,I love the fabric that goes with this snowman too. Your other ornaments are gorgeous and I am looking forward to seeing all of your 2015 ornaments together when you have finished stitching..please:)
I hope you have a lovely retreat with your friends.

Lynda Harrison said...

Hello Carol - how lovely to see your new post, and those marvellous ornaments! They are so lovely, it makes my fingers itch to stitch! I hope you and your friends will have a relaxing retreat with lots of stitching, and I'm really glad that your bruise is so much better.
So wonderful to hear from you, too and I will reply very soon.
Take care of you all,
Much love,
Lynda.

Mii Stitch said...

Oh well Carol, you've done it again, haven't you?? Long or short post, you always come up trump with your delightful stitching skills & finishing :) I am so envious, your ornaments are all different & are all perfect!!! Very well done and have a wonderful time at your retreat.

Kate said...

Carol, I LOVE your finishes - you are so creative! I envy you being able to stitch on 28 and 40 count ..... Enjoy your retreat. Hugs to you in memory of your dad.

Mrs. GraceWorks said...

I always love seeing your stitching, Carol! The way you finished that Santa makes it one of my all time favorites. And, of the three snowmen, I think I like the Yellow Hatted one best, but the one you just completed it a close second!! So glad you are healing - slowly but surely is sometimes the best way. That way you are reminded that you still need to be careful and you aren't as apt to overdo it.

{Hugs} as you approach the anniversary of your Dad's passing. You are in my thoughts!

Tricia

Robin said...

Good morning, Carol! First, I love each one of your ornaments. The snowman one makes me smile. Thank you for providing the link Charlene's site. I am not surprised about the kindness and generosity shown to Cindy from fellow stitchers. Enjoy your retreat with your group.

Robin in Virginia

Hilda said...

Dear Carol,
first of all: I read every word you are writing in your posts. Sometimes I need to start again, because there is something that disturbed me - or have to wait until evening, but once (at least) I read every word.
And every word is worth reading - so I love your posts - the long and the longer ones, haha.
Your latest Christmas ornaments are amazing. I hardly can't wait to see your tree all trimmed up with those wonderful ornaments. That must be at about two hundreds now, aren't they? Isn't it wonderful that there are soooooo many pretty designs out there? I love this.

Enjoy the retreat with your stitching friends, my dear Carol!

Hugs
Hilda

priscilla said...

Love your three beautiful finishes Carol ! I think Grandma Kringles is still around but has changed her name ? I think it was something with the word cottage in the name ? Sorry about the Halloween and your Dad.. hope you have a great time stitching with your friends!

Melissa said...

Yes I did snigger at the short post. lol. I love everything you've stitched and finished, Carol! I've never seen that design, Winter's Night,before.It's really cute.

Have a great stitching retreat with your buddies!

Lynda Ruth Bowers said...

Hope you get better soon. Yes, dad's are special people and I miss mine too. He died in May no special holiday but still miss him, You will for a long time but the hurt dose go down some and the special memories surface and that's the best part. My dad and I had a great rapport and I have a photo of him by my computer and always talk to him. I know he is listening to me. I have had many a dream of my dad talking to me. Take care love your stitching Big hugs Lynda Ruth

Christina said...

Beautiful ornaments as always. I always love the way you finish them. Have a wonderful time and a safe trip to your retreat. Glad to hear that your foot is improving. I haven't really put up any Halloween decorations either. I'm just not up for it, don't know why. Maybe because it has still be rather warm. I have to go back and read your previous post. My Bloglovin keeps missing posts. I'm glad your friend is doing better.

Nurdan Kanber said...

You are amazing ♥♥♥

All my admiration to your stitching ability, passion taste and stitching elegance♥♥♥

Each piece of your finishing works is just extraordinary♥♥♥ I just love them all!


Warm hugs

wranglerkate said...

Love your pieces and your finishes - they are all beautiful and happy! Thanks for sharing with us.

Beth Aalberts said...

I love all of your little ornaments. I love all your finishes as well. I am also embarrassed to say that I have a big ol' bag of stuff for Cindy at home that I have not gotten around to sending her yet. I keep forgetting to grab it when I'm running out the door for the train to work. I am going to try to make sure I do that tomorrow!

Sandra die Puppenhexe said...

A gorgeous long Post..smile ... I like him very much. I try also always hold briefly but often I do not succeed easily , so many words have to figure out . Your Christmas embroidery are all charming, I can not decide which I like better because each by itself is so charming and unique me . At the ruffled border I have to definitely try sometimes , looks great. All in all, fantastic , Christmas can come ..
Greetings Sandra

Sheryl S. said...

Beautiful stitching as always Carol,love the snowmen with their pompom hats, just perfect. Hope you have an enjoyable retreat

Jennifer Janney said...

Oh! The snowmen are just too cute for words! I love them!!!

Andrea said...

I guess you are on your way now to your retreat. I hope you have a fabulous time. Now I don't know which I like best, but I'm lingering on the photo of "Merry Christmas". Not into Halloween much myself, much prefer Autumn as a theme for this time of year. I know it is getting bigger here in the UK but still, not for me.

diamondc said...

Beautiful ornaments, the finishing is wonderful, love them all.
I have never heard of this Grandma Kringles, I must look the patterns up, thank-you for the information.
I am sending off Cindy's package today, I have been busy working and gearing down to retire.
Love your short post, have fun at retreat.

Blessings
Catherine

The Inspired Stitcher said...

I hope you have safe travels and much fun on your retreat! It truly restores the soul to spend uninterrupted stitching time with your peeps. Love the ornaments. You always do such a nice job on them. I think it's perfectly healthy to allow yourself the time you need to honor the memory of your dad. Your love is never ending! Hugs.

Le crocette di Mariuccia said...

Very nice all your ornament. I like also the finishing. Best Regards. Mariuccia

Daniela Bencúrová said...

Carol, they're beautiful winter and Christmas pieces!
Greetings!

Oma said...

Great job on the finishing. I get behind on that part of the goal. I'm not nearly as productive but love what you do.

C Reeder PhxAz said...

Too hard to pick just one-amazing finishes. The Santa makes me smile but that Merry Christmas was Oh Wow! Have a fabulous retreat and thanks for mentioning me on your blog.

Barb said...

Hi Carol - you can never write a too-long- post! We always love to read what you write and to see your truly special stitching. These ornaments are so beautiful - I love how each is so different from the other but love them all. This is why your Christmas tree is so wonderful!!

Have a great time on your stitching retreat - that sounds like so much fun. Hopefully, you will,tell us all about it.

Many hugs to you and your family in memory of yourDad.

xo - Barb

Emma/Itzy said...

As always such wonderful ornaments, I too always make a point of stitching at least one a year to add to the tree, it's become a bit of a tradition :)

Annie said...

Cute ornaments and perfect finishing as always. Love the 3 snowmen in the varying color schemes. Honestly, my eyes are just rebelling at small stitches, so I'm much happier with over-2 stitching these days. I haven't tried ruched ribbon yet.. looks daunting, but you certainly have mastered it.

Glad to hear the foot is perking up. Enjoy your retreat.. you deserve some time for yourself!

averyclaire.org said...

Love ALL of the ornaments...hard to pick a favorite...but I think I like the Merry Christmas one because it is so different from all the rest...perhaps it's the round shape. You continue to be an inspiration for me. Didn't realize you do an ornament a month! WOW, and finish them too! Have a bless weekend (I know you will, as retreats are the best). Now I know why you have so many to show all the time! I best get busy if I ever hope to have that many!

Maggee said...

What cute little snowmen ornaments! A set!! The finishing on all three of your new ones is lovely, as always! I like the all red finish... with the overdyed thread that works beautifully for the piece! And the Santa is not 'too' primitive... nicely done! Thanks for sharing!

Elizabeth Ann said...

I love your Christmas ornaments! I always look forward to seeing what you are going to add this year. Have a wonderful retreat with your friends, I know you will!

Jennifer said...

Ohmigosh those snowmen are so adorable! The other two ornaments are cute too - and great finishing job on all 3!

Annette-California said...

I wish lots of fun & laughter at your retreat. And safe travels!
All three of your ornaments are beautiful! I love seeing all 3 snowmen together. Your tree this year is going to be amazing with all your new ornaments displayed. I know your missing your dad. When or if you
ever stitch a Harvest theme ever again - you can add your dads initials on a pumpkin! Have a great time at your retreat and enjoy!
love Annette

Andréia Regina Sarmento said...

Wow, Christmas ornaments, Carol! Your post made me notice it´s already the end of October, Christmas is close to us!
Beautiful ornaments and love Reading your writings, you do write very well.

Hug,

Andréia

Chrissie B said...

Carol, As always I love your posts and LOVE your stitching and finishing!! I have looked and looked for the snowmen patterns but seem to think they are no longer in print? May your heart continue to heal with the wonderful and loving memories you cherish!! It's not easy but time will help you ......Chris

marly said...

Oh those snowmen are adorable! What a mystery about the chubby one. Maybe the linen was stitched on its side and it's 32 up and down and 30 side to side?
I'll bet your friend received a good batch of goodies.
I was surprised it's already been a year since your Dad passed.
But I'm glad to hear your bruise is better!

Barb said...

Beautiful ornaments Carol. My dear mom got sick in Oct. Up to that point it had been my favorite month. It took a few years, but I eventually got my love of Oct. back. These big loses just take time to heal and then the happy memories take over.

Linda said...

Gorgeous finishes as always Carol. I need finishing lessons.

Linda

Carolyn Kendall said...

Hi Carol,

I love all the finishes but I think the round red "Merry Christmas" is my favourite. I really must go and read the post about the rushing. Snowmen don't really fit into an Australian summer Christmas do they?

It is easy to understand why Halloween has lost its appeal with the anniversary of your dear dad's passing. I know it took almost 10 years for me to begin to get the Christmas feeling after losing our son.

I do hope you have a special time with your stitching buddies.

Mabon Stitcher said...

I love the little snowmen and am inspired by your finishing techniques. Great rustic appeal!

butterfly said...


Wonderful new ornaments love them all , such sweet stitching and finishing.

Have a lovely rest with your stitching friends It is a very good time for you to get away .
Happy stitching .

Marilyn said...

I too lost my Mom in October.
It took me a few years, especially at Christmas, I didn't even put up a Christmas tree for a few years. :(
All of your ornaments are too cute.
The Santa really turned out great.
This is what I found out about Kimberly.
But, she has only 1 new design since March of this year.
http://sweetlibertythreadworks.blogspot.com/
Have fun at your retreat.
Marilyn

Gabi said...

Beautiful ornies! Love them. Your finishing is always that beautiful.
Have fun with your friends.
Warm greetings
Gabi

Nicola said...

Love your ornaments, especially the little snowmen. I always take too many cross stitch projects with me on holiday. I mean why take just one when at least three will do, and then I sometimes I don't even get around to stitching on any of them! Enjoy your retreat!

Lynette said...

Love all your new ornaments, Carol, especially the snowman (I love snowmen!). I know what you mean about stitching with 2 strands of thread. I'm stitching a fairly big piece with one strand at the moment and I just know I'm not going to want to go back to 2! Enjoy the retreat!

Julie said...

Have a wonderful time with your stitching friends Carol, I hope you have plenty of fun and laughter together.
Those little snow buddies are so cute, love them!
Santa is my favourite for this months collection, the little bell is so adorable and the spring idea for the hanger I like very much.
love and {hugs} x

Cathy H. said...

Lovely Christmas ornaments! My favorite snowman is the yellow/red one! He just seems so happy and brings a smile. I haven't been to a stitching retreat in many year, but I certainly remember how fun they were. I know you'll enjoy each moment of your stitching, talking, eating, and laughting!

Jocelyn Thurston said...

"Bruised but not broken"thought of you when I heard that phrase the other day...
I just love your stitched ornaments but what I think is so special is the ways you finish them. Really so perfect!

passionfruitprincess said...

Hello, Carol!
Pretty ornaments you made! I love the round one, and the trio of snowmen is darling. I love their button noses and pretty colors. So nice you were able to complete the set!
Glad you are getting better and being able to do the things you need to do. Have fun with your stitching friends!
Ana Paula.

Sherri said...

I always look forward to your post to see what you've stitched and finished. It's one of my favorites. I, too, have an eclectic mix of ornaments that range from Prairie Schoolers to cute ones to slightly primitive (not too much though). Your finishes though are what make your ornaments pop as with your ruched ribbon on your Merry Christmas ornament. The three snowmen are adorable and I think I like the one in the middle the best...something about the yellow. I hope your retreat goes well and look forward to seeing what you turned out. You can never leave with too many projects!

Margaret said...

Love all the ornies as always! I love seeing what you are stitching up. Glad to hear your foot is slowly healing. I hope you are back to normal soon. I totally understand why you aren't doing Halloween this year. The anniversary does get easier with time, but the missing him will always be there of course. Hugs.

Mary said...

As always Carol, your finishes are charming! I love the plaids with the snowpeople. They all look so happy and warm!

Carin said...

Your ornaments are so pretty. Love seeing them. Those snowmen are so cute !!!!

Manuela said...

All the little ornaments look fantastic.
The three snowmens are very cute.
Have a nice weekend, Manuela

Nancy M said...

Great set of ornaments! I wish I could just spend one day with you soaking in all your finishing tips. Like how you add Rick rack to the piece and get your corners so nice looking! I don't do fantasy stuff either. Well I do have a Chatelaine started for my GD that has fairies and dragonflies in it.😉 I hope your retreat goes well. I'm sure it will. As always a great post!

Beth said...

Very much taken with the Santa ornamenthe and the snowman is charming too. So nice of you to help out another stitcher.

Cindy's Stitching said...

All are so pretty Carol. I can't begin to thank you for the post on your blog. Packages from around the world were delivered. It was better then Christmas. Each day my sister and i would open the packages. Stitchers truly are givers at heart. I will be posting an update about it. Glad your foot is doing better. Enjoy your retreat.

mainelystitching said...

Carol, your ornaments are so wonderful! I love your pattern choices, but your finishing just wraps it up so perfectly!! <3

Sally said...

I simply love your ornaments Carol. They are all so beautifully stitched and finished.

Sending you lots of hugs for the anniversary of your Dad's passing. It is so very hard.

Hope you enjoyed the retreat.

KimM said...

I love all your stitching and your finishes - those snowmen h=made me chuckle. they are so darned CUTE!
I understand about the anniversary....my mother will have left this world to be with my dad and other loved ones the first week in November - two years ago. I still have a tough time....but it's getting easier....she's so missed, as I know your father is, too. Take care, Carol. Hope your retreat was a fun one.
xxx

Pam in IL said...

Oh how I love all your stitching, especially the snowmen! Did you purchase the napkin or napkins from Kohl's with the intention of using it/them for ornament finishing? I never think to look at things like that for finishing--likewise, I'd never have thought to use a stretched out spring for hanger. Such inspiring ideas you have!!! What color is the fabric you stitched the snowmen on? It looks like a different color in each picture.

So glad to hear that your foot is doing better and that Cindy is feeling better.

LoriU said...

Great finishes!! I love the snowman, but then I am totally partial to snowmen!!

Lillie said...

Wonderful finishes Carol. It's always inspiring to read your post and I am always so looking forward to every post of yours. I have to shamefully admit that at times I tends to copy your finishing style and yet it never look as good as yours.

Winter Night is perfect! The twisted wired hanger is such a wonderful idea, I may want to steal the idea. I am still a two threads. And the snowman are so adorable, love your choice of fabrics too.

And oh yes, I always ended up packing more than I could stitch on my trips.

Hope you had fun at your stitching retreat. Looking forward to your post

Irene said...

Un pensiero per il tuo papà e un abbraccio forte. Le tue decorazioni sono favolose, anche a me piace il filo DMC 115, lo sto usando per i 12 giorni di Natale di Plum Street Samplers :)

Kaisievic said...

Carol, so gorgeous, I have never heard of Grandma Kringle but now I am hooked! I love all three but the Merry Christmas is so pretty and the smile on that snowman!

Kaisievic said...

P.S. I wanted to say how much I admire your wonderful finishing techniques, too! You are so clever!

Southpaw Stitcher said...

Your three new ornaments are just darling! Can hardly wait to see your tree this year. Will all the ornaments even fit? Stitching retreats are the best--I went on one this weekend and had a grand time. Glad to hear your foot is healing.

Isabel (Bekas) said...

Hello. That's my first day here. I love everthings ideas. Your ornaments are just beatiful!I'm here: www.1000projetus.blogspot.com. I wait you visit. Isabel

Mavi. said...

Hi Carol, I'm so glad you you improve your foot injury, but you can not do great walks, at least not bother you so much.
I like all your bordaditos, snowmen are beautiful, I choose three ... well, the left one, I like them all.
I hope you enjoy much in the meeting with your friends.
A big hug.

Brigitte said...

It's good to know that your bruise is healing and that you feel better walking on it. The bad thing is that it always takes a lot of time for bruises to heal.

Your three new ornament additions are so beautiful, and perfectly finished as usual. Your finishing skills have always inspired me a lot. I *love* the three little snowmen, they are truely sweet guys.

My tastes are also eclectic and I have to say that I love it to always have lots of projects of various styles on the go. There are only few things that I would never stitch, and for the rest I just go with how I feel when I see a chart.

I hope you are/were having a great time with your stitching buddies.

Friendship Crossing said...

Hi Carol,
Haven't had much time lately to even check in on my blog to see who all is posting lately, but wanted to say that I love your snowmen and cute finishes! Always look so professional!
Glad to hear your foot is healing! Hope your trip was a blast!
Happy Fall to you!
Hugs,
Tanya

Karoline said...

Your ornaments are gorgeous and I hope you had a fantastic time at your retreat

Lumiruusu said...

Hello and thank you for visiting my little blog.You ornaments are all lovely and I am happy to meet a familiar Christmas Bird-I have also stitched the all in red stitched one. It is one of my favorites and it have its own place every Christmas in the book shelf. Your finisings are just perfect as always :)