Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Farewell to February

February draws to a close... the shortest month--and the warmest February I can remember in my 62 years! It was such a delight to experience what I can only describe as "end-of-April weather" last week... Temperatures reached the 60s and even the 70s with plentiful sunshine.  It sure has been easier to get through winter with a week like that thrown in the middle. And just think, in three short weeks, spring will be greeting us! This really has been "the winter that wasn't" for us folks in western Pennsylvania--barely any snow, much warmer temperatures than normal, and easy-to-drive-on roads with no ice to worry about. Hope I haven't just jinxed myself with those words...

A new start... I've finally stitched a bit more on the larger sampler that I mentioned earlier this year so I'd like to share it with you. "A Walk In the Woods" by The Cricket Collection, is about half-finished and I've loved every stitch. I've had this in my stash for a while (it is from 1988--the year my youngest son was born!) and I'm so glad I'm finally getting around to it. I fell in love with the violet border and the shades of blue in the design. I'm trying to work on this one in between smaller projects, so I hope to have it done by the end of March--we'll see! After I've finished the entire piece, I'll share a few close-up photos of some of the individual nature motifs. But, just in case you're wondering, that interesting creature between the G and the H is a snail! First time I've stitched a snail--that's for sure! 

"A Walk In the Woods"

February Ornament... And I've finished my second ornament of 2017... This Prairie Schooler Santa is from the "Kris Kringle" (Book No. 62) and is stitched on 40 ct. natural Newcastle with the suggested DMC threads. Isn't he a fancy fellow with his hat and blue robe embroidered with holly and berries? And those swans? Love them!  I just never tire of stitching PS Santas--love everything about these guys...

Prairie Schooler Santa in blue

To finish him off I used the oval shape that I've become so fond of. I trace the ovals from scrapbooking templates (similar to these).  Adding some handmade cording and a simple bow finishes him off quite nicely, don't you think? I'd like to stitch and finish all seven from this PS booklet in the same fashion--some day! For those of you wondering about finishing oval or round ornaments, here are two excellent tutorials: Pinwheel Ponders  and the wonderful Vonna, our very own Twisted Stitcher I actually lace my ornament on the back after I've gathered the edges as Pinwheel Ponder shows. Give it a try--I honestly find finishing oval or round ornaments to be the easiest of all!

Another PS Santa for my Christmas tree!

I've pulled the threads for another larger (to me, anyway) sampler--can you believe it? What is happening to me? Am I abandoning my smalls? No, just trying to branch out a bit and stop neglecting all of the beautiful charts that lie patiently waiting for me to pay them some attention. Hopefully, I'll have a bit done to share with you sometime soon!

New Giveway for a pretty chart. As I mentioned in my last post, I've been doing some housecleaning and going through old stitching magazines.  I'll be giving away one chart each time I post and this time it is for a lovely chart from Catherine Theron. I love the blue house in this one and think I'll be stitching it myself some day. If you are interested in giving this chart a new home, just let me know in your comments. This is just two pages torn from a magazine--not the whole magazine. If more than one person wants it, I will do a drawing.  PLEASE, PLEASE make sure to include your email in with your comment--I won't be trying to track anyone down if they haven't included their email address... Also, just so you know, I will be folding this up and mailing it in a legal sized envelope to save on postage.

I'm giving away this old chart from a magazine

Giveway winner from last time... I had 8 people who entered to win the chart from my Valentine's Day giveaway post so I did a simple drawing to determine the winner. And the winner is... 
 SUSAN L.

Susan, please send me your mailing address and I'll get this pretty chart off to you as soon as possible. I hope you enjoy it... And for those of you who didn't win this time--please keep an eye on my blog for future chart giveaways...

Chart giveaway won by: Susan L.

For some reason, we've noticed fewer and fewer birds at our bird feeders this winter. I'm attributing it to the mild winter and the fact that, without much snow, the birds are having no problems fending for themselves. But, I looked out one day earlier this month to be greeted by this sight! Do you think the deer are scaring off the birds? I had to laugh when I saw him helping himself to the birdseed--I'd say it's time we raised the bird feeder a bit, wouldn't you?

"Hey! Save some for the birds!"

THANK YOU! I really appreciate all of your kind words about my "bad day" at work that I described in my last post. Working with the public is tough as you just never know who will walk through the door and what their request or complaint will involve.  But, 99% of my library patrons are wonderful. Just to give you an example, I had a very elderly man come in the other day who wanted to see a map of Spain because his granddaughter was living and studying there for the semester. He specifically wanted to find out the location of Grenada and I promptly pointed it out and told him I had visited that very locale in 2011. He was surprised and delighted to hear that, so I told him a bit about the ancient city, (which just happened to be my favorite Spanish stop on our trip). He continued to study the map a bit longer and before he left the library he stopped at my desk and said, "I can't tell you how much you just made my day!" No, sir--you made mine :) Kindness counts!

So, on to March--windy, wild March. But, who knows--this year we could see warmer and sunnier days. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!  Thanks so much for stopping by--I always enjoy reading your comments, my friends. Happy stitching! Bye for now...

71 comments:

Mini said...

A lovely post Carol. Love the details in the Cricket Collection piece. The fabric is perfect for this design.
A Santa with a blue robe..now that's something new for me.
I will pass this giveaway and wait for the next one.
Glad to you know your input was appreciated at work. Dealing with public is one of the toughest jobs.

P.S. Do you think the warmer temp.s in Feb are a result of global warming?

Cindy said...

I can understand why you want to do "A Walk in the Woods"! It's lovely and I can't wait to see it as you progress. AS I said on IG, I love your santa and how you finished it. I won't enter your giveaway because I have so many patterns that I want to stitch up first. But it is a lovely one!
During the year and a half that I worked in circulation at our county library, almost all of our customers were polite and grateful for our help. But I sure remember the very few who weren't!
Have a wonderful day, Carol!

Kate said...

Such a delightful post, Carol, as usual it's a pleasure to read. The pessimist in me hopes we don't pay for the mild winter we're having and my optimist side reminds me that the weather is out of our hands so we should enjoy it as it comes. :)
It's a lovely story about your elderly visitor at the library and a good lesson to all of us to be kind and to find the positive and offer kudos in all situations .... sometimes we need a gentle reminder to acknowledge the good things that happen.

Hilda said...

Although it is uncommon to me, I love your blue Santa (as I already said on your IG-pict the other day ...) I love this oval shape. Thank you for linken the tutorials. Although I am sure, the way you finish it, will bring the more perfect result, I am more the glueing kind of finisher ;-)
Your bigger project is so beautiful. I love the colors. Unbelievable that this design is almost 30 years old ...
And oh the deer! I love this picture. You are blessed to live at such a wonderful place surrounded by nature!

Have a wonderful last day of February!

Hugs
Hilda

Vickie said...

Your Santa brings a BIG smile to my face. :D
What a gorgeous sampler you have there Carol! So lovely after all these years.

Sandy said...

I can see why you held onto that Walk in the Woods piece. It is really lovely. I saw your blue PS Santa on Instagram. It turned out amazing.
Oh my word, I love that blue house. I am hoping I am a winner. That would look great in my kitchen.
sandypalmer4@gmail.com

Arlene Grimm said...

I love your oval finish!! And that sampler is going to be adorable. You are right, Kindness does count and I needed that reminder.

Jacqueline said...

your stitches are so perfect. Love your sampler. Thanks for sharing.

Vicki said...

I really like "A Walk in the Woods", the colors are gorgeous. I think you might have gotten our warm winter - it's been very chilly and rainy here this winter. While I love the rain (we always need it), the cold (50s-60s) temps are about to do me in!

Robin in Virginia said...

Love your PS Santa ornament finish, Carol! He turned out so sweet and the oval finishing is perfect for him. You have made good progress on your Cricket Collection sampler. Love the picture of the deer feasting at the feeder. We have had a very mild winter here.

Tricia B said...

Your new big stitch is beautiful already! I love it! Since I have been cross stitching for only 5-6 years I love seeing older designs that I missed. The deer is hilarious! I would love to see one in my small lot, suburban yard but I guess not eating all of our birdseed! Here in Chicago we have had a mild winter as well, hardly any snow. I have enjoyed it but think it is probably a sign of climate change 😕 Kindness does matter and you are a perfect example of that! Thanks for sharing!

Katie said...

Your beautiful walk in the woods is just that beautiful. Love the adorable snail. Your new Santa ornament is fantastic. He's a fancy fellow indeed. Please don't enter me into your drawing. I have way too many projects now that are screaming to be stitched. Congrats to Susan and Good luck to all on the new drawing. We love having deer at our feeder. We put down corn for them though. Have a fantastic March.

Mavi. said...

Querida Carol, precioso tu nuevo avatar, en esos tonos rosas y dulces. Me encanta el Santa y el acabado en forma oval y me parece estupendo ir haciendo limpia de cajones de tus generosos regalos. El bordado que tienes entre manos es precioso.
Un gran beso.

Shelly said...

A Walk in the Woods is so pretty. I have been admiring it because I see it everywhere and not an OOP. Your PS Santa looks great and you're right, ovals and circles are easier to finish, no corners to deal with. It's my day off and I should finish more things but chores galore wait for me. Customer service is a tough way to go but it's nice when you deal with more kind people than grumpy ones and I try to put my grumpiness away, which is few and far between nowadays. Have a nice day, Carol!

Heartland Stitcher said...

Good morning Carol. Walk in the woods proves how timeless cross stitch can be. Lovely. The PS santa is perfect. Love the photo of the deer. When you began that paragraph, I expected to see squirrels hanging on the feeder. Thanks for sharing your "good" library story. Kindness DOES matter. Happy March.

Judy Heartland stitcher

Sarah Marchuk said...

What a lovely chart. Your blog is so cute. I have the cricket collection chart you are using. Now even more I want to finish it.

Sarah Marchuk said...

Yes I would like a chance to get it.

Faye said...

I have 'A Walk in the Woods' too and the 40 count silk gauze to sew it on. Like you, I've had the chart for a long time because I'd seen it sewn on the silk at our local Threadneedle Street shop. You inspire me.

The Inspired Stitcher said...

I've had that very same Cricket chart in my stash for ages too. Seeing yours makes me want to go find mine. LOL! Have a great week.

Celaina said...

I have started A Walk In the Woods several times and I'm not great with larger projects (attention span) and all that olive green.....ultimately I haven't found a fabric that seems right. I was going to do it for my daughter but now my daughter in law loves bumble bees!

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
what a wonderful sampler. It looks very good.
Your blue Santa ist beautiful. I like him.
Best wishes Manuela

Pam in Virginia said...

Every time you share another Prairie Schooler project with us, I run to check if I have the chart. This finish is perfect and classic with its bow and homemade cording.

Annie said...

What a cool sampler! And it's about time you did that one. The paper might have faded and crumbled after all this time!

Love your blue Santa. You really do a nice job on the ovals. I wish I could get mine to be as neat as yours.

butterfly said...

It's great to see you stitching on a few larger designs , and I am so happy you are still going to stitch your small ones I always love your work , you always inspire me .
Enjoy your week with Spring only a few weeks away.

Linda said...

Congrats on another pretty Santa finish Carol. Your sampler looks great. I would love to be entered in your giveaway. bengalcatlover10@yahoo.com

Linda

Nurdan Kanber said...

"A Walk in the Wood" is a wonderful Sampler such a precious heritage from 1988! I love your Blue Santa and oval finish! It looks so perfect!

Image with the Deer is like a scene of a fairytale ♥♥♥

Happy and blessed March...

Greetings from far away!

Mii Stitch said...

Great sampler, the colours are wonderful!
Great Santa finish too :)
Please don't include me in your giveaway but wishing good luck to all who will take part.
Have a lovely day!

Daniela Bencúrová said...

Dear Carol, a new start of 1988 is beautiful! I look forward to the end! I hope it will not wait 38 years :-)
I have a nice March!
Hugs!

Julie said...

A blue Santa does look so different and delightful. I'll have to give an oval finish a try.
Nice new larger design you are putting some little X's into.

Clare said...

What a great ornament your Santa has become. Love to have a chance for giveaway pattern. A delightful pattern. Happy Stitching.

Melinda Forbes said...

I think the squirrels have cleaned out my birdfeeder a couple of times this year, I would never expect it to be a deer. Great picture. Thank you too for reminding all of us how important kindness is

Linda Rapp said...

Which magazine is that chart from? I love the blue house! I'll have to look at 123stitch to see the PS booklet. I'm cleaning out and just may have it! I have things I'd love to give away but know no stitches to give them to. I don't have a blog so any ideas as to how I can get them to others? Linda lrapp80520@aol.com

Ann at Beadlework. said...

This is a lovely CEC design, so pretty. Working with the public can be a trial but the pleasant people make up for the not so pleasant ones. What a resourceful deer:-)

Cathy H. said...

Love your large sampler! Your newest Santa is indeed very well dressed! I'm sure the elderly man was grateful to find someone with knowledge of Spain. We never know how we might connect with or and touch someone. In fact, you have influenced me to pick up my stitching again. I've started going to a local shop that has a stitching group on Tuesdays. See, you've touched my life and we've never met! Have a great week!

deb said...

Oh! I have WITW somewhere in my stash - have always though it was a fun sampler - yours is looking beautiful! And lother stitching, and *finishing* - wow!

Missed your bad day post (have had a few computer issues the last week or so) - things are a bit better now, I hope?

(hey, we have something else in common besides stitching - my youngest was born in 88 as well)

Susan Lankford said...

Eeeek! I'm so excited to win the chart!! I was just reading along and thinking I would put my name in for the darling chart you mentioned first and then saw my name below that! I'm thrilled! I can't imagine that I would not like any chart you offer because I really like your taste in projects. I also want to mention that I "stole" your idea for your blog design (not the exact same one) for my own blog...love it!

Address: Susan Lankford...14 Big Pines...Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

Lesley said...

I love A Walk In The Woods Carol and your latest Santa is great.
Lucky you,having Deer come into your garden ( I remember they do help themselves to your flowers)it would be a shock if I saw one in our garden.We have had the odd escapee cow from the farm behind our home!
We had a dusting of snow today,then it disappeared.It has become colder here over the last two days.
I am glad you had a lovely,appreciative patron to brighten your day,it does make such a difference.

Goofin' Off Around the Block said...

The "Walk in the Woods" sampler is absolutely adorable. I love that it is done in earthy colors. Thank you for sharing your pictures of your projects. I can never get enough pictures of stitching and quilting pieces.

I enjoyed your story of your elderly patron. Working with the public can be trying at times, especially if you're an introvert like myself.

Barb said...

I'm glad to hear it has been nice somewhere, certainly not in the NW!!! I love all your work. The oval Santa is so cute and that is a perfect finish. Thanks so much for the tutorials . I will be looking at both. I do know just what you mean about being nice. It does seem to be catching.

Preeti said...

Your finish is perfect, Carol ! That's a great stitching progress on the sampler :)
If you look forward to more sunshine, our part of the world would be burning hot. This year also it seems the peak summer in May would touch 47C. Already it is 35 C :( hope the govt will shut down schools early as they did for last summer.

Tatiana Roncancio Medina said...

Precioso!!. Me ha encantado el Papá Noel azul, y las fotos del ciervo son muy tiernas. Saludos desde las Islas Canarias, España

Marilyn said...

Walk in the Woods is so pretty, as is the blue Santa oval finish, it's perfect!
Sounds like you made the older gentleman's day, for sure. :)
Marilyn

marly said...

Now I remember what I was supposed to look for at Hobby Lobby the other day! Geez. I saw Yarn Tree finishing forms on 123 for rounds and ovals, look so easy to do.

Maybe the larger sampler lean is getting you prepared for retirement when you can take on time consuming projects. This one is so very nice. Crisp and striking, love the colors.

Hope your mom is doing well.

Mary - Lecoeurceltique said...

Beautiful stitching, Carol. Your PS Santa oval finish has inspired me to try something similar for an ornament that I am stitching. I once worked in a public library and I found the older patrons a delight to deal with.

jeffsrose35 said...

Good morning, what a wonderful way to start the day with a beautiful post from Stitching Dreams. You are so much more than an inspiration to me and I am so in love with everything you do. Decided to comment on here rather than IG so that you know that I truly do follow these beautiful blog posts, LOL. Thanks so much for keeping it up as these posts give such a beautiful view inside.

Lili said...

Your sampler is so very pretty! The border is lovely, love the colours!
The Santa ornament is also to pretty, love the swans and the little bow!
Happy March!!

Justine said...

More inspiring stitching Carol! I love your "new" sampler with its pretty snail, the colours are lovely. Such a classic finish on your PS Santa too and thanks for the tip about scrapbook stencils and those tutorials. I'm going to try it!

I can imagine just how much your library visitor was touched to hear about the place his granddaughter is living.

Lee said...

I stitched that CEC design years ago and it remains one of my favorites to this day. It'll always have a place in my living room.

Melissa said...

Lovely Santa, Carol, and I like that sampler you are working on! It was one of my earliest cross stitch patterns purchased too but never stitched so I am looking to see your finish!

We've had the snowiest winter ever, and the snow began before it was even officially winter! It snowed yesterday but thankfully it's all gone in a day, at least in our neighbourhood.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

diamondc said...

Greetings Carol: Love the photo of the dear, the birds did stop coming to feed and we had to raise the feeders to keep the one bear and dear from eating the bird food.
In Minnesota we have had very little snow, and March always brings a snowstorm or two.
The Santa is beautiful, the finish is lovely.
Cricket Collecti9on has some beautiful designs, I have stitched a few and plan on stitching more, this design is beautiful.

Blessings
Catherine

valerie said...

OMGoodness! I didn't know you're working on a Walk in the Woods. I just had a friend finish it and she enabled me so much that I bought the pattern. We could be SALing. Although...my wedding sampler is keeping me pretty busy. 2 more bands and than it's onto the hardanger section for me. I don't know how to do it! I love your blue Santa finish as well. That deer is so funny! So happy that the weather has been pleasant there in PA...I hope it continues and that snow doesn't decide to arrive later on this Spring!

duClay Chapter of EGA said...

Kindess absolutely does count!

Love what you're working on. The butterfly really caught my attention. I was also just thinking today about how to get oval and circle finishes so precise. Thank you so much for the link to the tutorials!

Irmeli said...

Your sampler start is really beautiful, lovely soft colours. Santa finish is wonderful as well.

Pam in IL said...

Love your PS Santa and your oval finish! I haven't tried an oval or round finish lately and will consider it for a future finish now that you've shared a couple finishing tips and links. We haven't had as many birds last winter or this winter. I was thinking we haven't had as many because there are so many more hawks around. Love the deer getting seed from the feeder. We see that quite often here and have even seen them standing up on their hind legs to get to the feeders.

Helping the elderly man find the city on the map is so touching. My mom has begun going to the local library for the first time in her life. She told me after her first time going that she didn't know the library had so much to offer and the ladies that work there are so very nice and helpful.

Emily Veys said...

Hi Carol! I also adore the swans on your dapper blue PS Santa man! They are my favorite part! I think it's great that you are starting to do more larger pieces along with your smalls - it's good to branch out and add some variety to your stitching routine. You will never get bored! Happy stitching and I hope you start seeing more birds soon (I love bird watching)!
-Emily

Beth said...

Kindness counts! I think that is why I love Alexander McCall Smith's books - that's really the bottom line theme, no matter the series. And for me, it is so much easier to be critical or judgmental. FYI I've had Walk in the Woods chart out to stitch for a year now - I think it is just lovely.

♥ Nia said...

I love you blue Santa!! So perfect =)
And beautiful finish, looks very very pretty!!!

Yeah, it's now all bad around us, there are still kind people in the world :D And when we are kind, we find them too ;)
Sweet hugs my friend!!

WOODY said...

I love all your stitching and your finishing si so perfect!! Very pretty 😍🤗💕

Sheryl S. said...

Another pretty finish on the latest Santa ornament and the Walk in the Woods design looks lovely.

Mary said...

So lovely to catch up with all your recent blog posts Carol. Whilst I love seeing all your stitching, I am more of a sampler girl myself and your current Cricket alphabet looks delightful. The colours are beautiful and I just love the font. I may have to try and track this one down as it fulfils my love of both samplers and calligraphy. Thank you for always sharing your creations and a snapshot of your world. X

Kaisievic said...

Great post, Carol. I love that blue Santa (and I have that PS book - yay!). Your new sampler is looking lovely and I love your story about the elderly gentleman at work. Please include me in your giveaway - it looks like a lovely design. hugs, Kaye xxx

Jennifer said...

Love the new stitching - I am back to working on bigger projects this year, and enjoy it, but miss having a finish each month! Walk in the Woods is lovely, and your PS Santa so cute too! I agree with you that the spring-like weather has been a treat - it turned cold here a few days ago, but the sun is out and I am sure spring will be here soon. Have a great weekend!

Penny said...

A Walk In the Woods is such a beautiful design, and your stitching is lovely! And I always love to see your Santa finishes! Thank you for the finishing links. I think if I could just get my sewing machine straightened out I might be more likely to finish pieces. I can't wait to see your next large choice! Even though we have woods all around our neighborhood, I was surprised to see deer in a neighbor's yard recently. Yours seems to be enjoying him/herself. : )

Andrea said...

A Walk in the Woods is a delightful design. It's wonderful how some of the older designs are still relevant today and don't seem to date. PS Santa looks so different in blue, love the oval finish.

Margaret said...

Ah, so lovely about that nice, elderly gentleman! Yes, we need more kindness in the world these days. We went to NYC the other day -- various grumpy people interacting at various times that day. But also some nice people!

Love that Cricket Collection piece! So pretty! Love the Santa too. That deer gave me a laugh -- nothing wrong with giving the deer a feed too, right? :D I do think the birds aren't suffering as much this winter. I hope the mildness continues! Haven't liked this cold that hit over the weekend!

The Eskimo's Wife said...

We had an extremely mild February as well. I know it will most likely mean a very hot summer, but I'll take it. I was desperate to get rid of the cold.
I *love* your walk in the woods sampler. That is gorgeous.

Cindy's Stitching said...

The Santa's are a joy. Glad to see you working on a bigger piece. I have had a ton of birds at me feeder this year. The picture of the deer eating from the feeder is to funny. Love the story about the man in the library, so nice to have someone friendly. I work with the public on the phone so I do understand how the public can be. A little bit of kindness goes a long way.

Meari said...

Isn't it wonderful when the patrons leave happy like that? It makes me feel good when I can do that. Did I ever tell you I worked in the children's dept at the library (a long time ago). Loved that job!

Your sampler WIP is beautiful. Another great finish! I have a confession... when I was trying to decide what to do with my exchange, I took a peek at your blog to get inspiration. :) Thank you!

Have a wonderful March :) Our February here was very warm, too. I'm not complaining at all... We're due for snow this next week, though. Spring can't come fast enough for me.

priscilla said...

Such pretty stitching Carol! We had the same kind of winter.. I would have liked some Snow! Love your bird feeder eater photo!

Sally said...

A wonderful post as always Carol. Your stitching is beautiful. I always enjoy seeing the lovely things you are stitching and finishing.

We are having some milder weather now but it hardly feels like we've had a winter. We had very little snow where I live and it has, again, been very disappointing!

Love the photo of the deer! How cheeky!

Lovely story about the man at the library. Both my girls work in retail and they get some lovely people and some who are downright rude. They both say that the lovely people make their day. Being pleasant costs nothing does it?!

Brigitte said...

So, you seem to be a little bit caught by larger projects at the moment. Large projects have always been my passion and I can't even say why. Your Cricket Collection piece already looks great and I'm looking forward to seeing it grow and finished. And I'm already curious to see your next larger project.

I agree with you - finishing round and oval small ornaments is very easier, and for me it's easier than finishing rectangular ornaments. Your new little Santa looks wonderful. Kris Kringle is the only PS Santa book that I don't have but as the PS books are being re-published I think I will buy this one as well.

Congratulations to Susan on winning your last giveaway. The chart that you are giving away now is gorgeous but please, don't include me, I have already stitched this great piece. I love Catherine Theron's designs very much.

Hopefully the second half of March will be a real spring month with lots of sunshine and the first spring flowers everywhere.