Thursday, June 29, 2017

A lone finish in a month of travel

Well, that was quick! June that is... As I mentioned in my last post, it was going to be a month of traveling for me and my family and I feel like I'm still recovering. Within the time span of three weeks, we drove over 800 miles to and from Connecticut for a nephew's wedding, flew almost 2500 miles to San Diego, California to spend a couple of days with my son and his fiancee before driving over 200 miles north to Santa Barbara for another nephew's wedding. Then we drove 100 miles back to Los Angeles, flew another 2500 miles back to Pittsburgh, and then last week I drove 600 miles to and from New York to visit my mom. And I wonder why I'm so tired! I'm 62 years old and my body just doesn't bounce back like it used to, that's for sure!! But, we enjoyed the weddings so very much--one from each side of the family so there were a lot of laughs and reminiscing. The next time that we'll see all of the relatives will be for a very happy occasion--my oldest son's wedding in October!

So, I hope you'll forgive this post for its lack of stitching. I have been stitching ornaments, but, you know me--I don't like to share them until they are fully finished off. Today, I have just one finish--a patriotic one that I'm so pleased with. You'll recognize it as one I stitched back in 2015: "Free and Brave" designed by The Drawn Thread. I found the red clipboard at Kohl's for only $5.00 (picked up a black one and a gray one, too!) and thought it would come in so handy for displaying future Christmas or Valentine's Day finishes. For the blue fabric on the background, I used an old shirt (not sure which one of the men in my family it belonged to!).

Final finish of "Free and Brave"

I love this design for the wonderful specialty stitches that comprise the leaves and flowers.  I remember really struggling with the flowers as I stitched them, but I'm so happy with the way they turned out. Here is a closer look:

Love those special stitches!

And that beautiful extra-long  American flag waving in the breeze--love it!

And that sweet bird on the roof--so cute!

I'll try my best to finish up some Christmas ornaments to share with you next time. I don't think I've shown any finished ornaments since February! Oh, I am more behind than I thought I was with my monthly ornament challenge...  Sigh... Just one of those crazy, busy years!

GIVEAWAY WINNER:  I had a number of entries for the little patriotic chart so I pulled a winner from the hat and the name chosen was:


Congratulations to Mary! Please send me your mailing address and I'll get the chart off to you as soon as possible. It's probably too late to stitch it for this 4th of July, but you'll have it done by the next July 4th in plenty of time!  And, if you didn't win this giveaway--don't worry! I'll be having more in the future. I'm so happy these old charts are going to my stitching friends!

Winner of this giveaway chart is:  Mary!

A special present... I wanted to share this sweet gift that my youngest son gave me for Mother's Day. He purchased it when he traveled to Abu Dhabi for work last month and it is just so delightful... filled with all shades of blue and those lovely birds--he knows me well! The wall hanging measures about 2 feet by 3 feet--not sure what fibers it is made of.

Wall hanging all the way from Abu Dhabi!

Here are a couple of close-ups...

Love those colors...

...and those beautiful birds!


I'm not sure where I'm going to hang it yet--perhaps at the top of my stairs or at the end of my kitchen. Or perhaps I'll use it as the starting point when I re-decorate one of the boys' old bedrooms? I have to think about it for a while still--it is so beautiful that it needs to be showcased somehow.

My son's trip to Abu Dhabi was his first and he was so impressed with the splendor of the architecture and beauty of the city. I was a bit worried about him being there, but he said he felt extremely safe.  Here are a few photos he sent us--not sure that it will ever be a place I'll travel to, but never say never. I'm sure he never dreamed that he would be there either!

Abu Dhabi photos taken by my youngest son

As I mentioned, we were in southern California earlier in June and we just had to take advantage of the ever present sunny blue skies and get outside. We went on two hikes--the first one was in Mission Trails Regional Park. Hiking out there is very different than in western Pennsylvania--it is more desert like; we are used to forests of green trees and moss covered rocks! But, we still managed to spy some lovely wildflowers and even one small cactus.

Desert flowers in Mission Trails Regional Park

A couple more lovely scenes we came across...

Old Mission Dam

Some of the rugged terrain at Mission Trails

We also drove up to Mt. Soledad Veteran's Memorial to enjoy the spectacular views of the La Jolla coastline... Wow! What a sight!

The La Jolla coastline in the distance

At the top of the mountain is a war memorial and a huge cross which was the subject of much controversy (dealing with separation of church and state.) But, in 2015 a private group purchased the land under the cross and the case was dismissed as the cross is no longer on public lands.

Mt. Soledad Veteran's Memorial

We took one other hike to the Gaviota Wind Caves in the Santa Ynez Mountains west of Santa Barbara. It had to be one of the hardest hikes I've ever done as it was very steep with lots of loose gravel and no shade. On the way down, I spent much of the time crab-walking so I wouldn't fall flat on my back! I didn't do a good job of taking photos as I was too worried about falling (and watching out for mountain lions and snakes!). But, the caves are those two little black things in the upper left of my photo...

Gaviota Wind Caves off in the distance

So, my month of travel has ended and July looks like it will be quite restful. I'm hoping for lots of porch-sitting weather and more beautiful flowers like these purple and blue beauties that have been popping up in our garden... Even though I love to travel, home will always be my favorite place to be. I never get bored with all the books, stitching, and lovely nature scenes that surround me. Right now we have a pair of twin baby deer romping around our pond under the watchful eyes of their mama. I feel most at peace right here at home...

Pansies, clematis, lavender, and hydrangeas--a few of my favorite things!

I'll try to pop in and visit your blogs very soon--I missed all of you while I was gone! Thank you again for your wonderful comments--I love reading each and every one... Take care now and for my U.S. friends--Happy 4th of July! Bye for now...

60 comments:

Ann at Beadlework. said...

Wow Carol, you have been so busy these last weeks. You've visited some lovely places and so has your son from the look of those photos. The wall hanging he gifted you is just beautiful.

marly said...

Not sure if the travel or those hikes are the reason for being tired! Beautiful views, glad you didn't have any injuries or falls. I can see why your son was impressed with the city, so different and so stunning. Your specialty stitches look perfect to me.

Cindy said...

Well, you have been busy! But sounds like fun with all the family and hiking. Love you son's pictures. I would be worried too. My oldest is taking a bicycle trip through Europe in August. OMG! Oh well, they living life to the fullest!

Tricia B said...

I'm so glad to finally see a picture of you! You look like a 40 year old! I cannot believe you are 62!!! oh yeah, your stitching is nice too 😉😘

Kate said...

That was a very busy month, Carol, and thanks for sharing it. Your pix are enjoyable as usual. Happy July 4th!

Arlene Grimm said...

you have been busy!! I love your finish. In fact, I saw some frames like the one you used at Ross Today. I should have picked one up!! A great way to change out with the seasons. I just picked up some plastic canvas to start the Grands Christmas ornaments for 2017. I try to make ornaments that will not break!!

Goofin' Off Around the Block said...

That is so much travel to do in one month. Glad you enjoyed your time. Your patriotic finish is beautiful. I love how you chose to finish it. Have a good day! --Andrea

Barb said...

You certainly now qualify as a world traveler. Like you, my favorite place in the whole world is my home. We must, however, be willing to travel to spend time with those we love. As I'm sure you will agree. Your yard is becoming so pretty. Now about the deer, I just had a fawn eat all my almost blooming hardy fushias. Needless to say I was not at all happy to see that little deer in my yard. I love you patriotic stitch and you did a wonderful job displaying it. All those special stitches look great. Thanks for sharing your son's pictures. That looks like a very interesting place to visit. I enjoyed the hiking photos as well. I hope July proves to be very restful for you. We will have house guests until the middle of the month. That's when my rest will start.

Robin in Virginia said...

Carol, it sounded like wonderful adventures for you during the month of June. What gorgeous photos you shared! I love your finished Drawn Thread piece.

Chocolates4Breakfast (Terri Malinovich) said...

I love the patriotic clip board finish! The plaid shirting is a perfect touch and those pretty specialty stitches really do make the piece! What a sweet gift from your son - I'm sure you'll find just the right place for it. Love the pic of you and your DH. You're such a cute couple!

Jenny said...

Hi Carol,
Welcome home! What an exciting month of travel you have had! I had to smile...Scott and I were in San Diego and La Jolla earlier this month celebrating our 33 wedding anniversary! I so enjoying seeing pictures and hearing about your trips to places that we have known all our lives.. it is like seeing it all over again...:)
Your finish is lovely like usual...I love how you used an old shirt and the clipboard is perfect! As is the gift from your son! I love the colors!
I hope you have a great Friday and weekend and oh yes a Happy 4th!

Brigitte said...

What a busy month this has been for you, Carol. No wonder that your stitching and finishing time was bit limited to say the least. But this little DT finish looks just gorgeous. I love DT designs for just the same things - all the wonderful specialty stitches that make the designs really special.

You have received a great gift from your son. And I agree, it should be showcased in some way.

The park that you visited in California must be wonderful. I enjoyed to look at all the pictures that you took during your hike. But I can see how strenuous the hit up to the caves must have been. I can remember this kind of hikes when I was younger and when we were visiting the French Alps a couple of times. I was always the last to reach the summit, lol, but I wouldn't want to miss a single one of these hikes.

A month full of great visits and adventures for you.

Marilyn said...

You have been busy!!
Glad you enjoyed the weddings and traveling.
Free and Brave is so pretty, what a cute clipboard.
Love the flowers!
The wallhanging is beautiful.
Very nice architecture in Abu Dhabi.
Have a peaceful 4th.
Marilyn

WOODY said...

What a lovely post😍💓

Christine said...

Lovely finish Carol, I really like the flowering vine around the bottom corner.
I enjoyed seeing the pictures from your (and your son's) travels too

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
what a busy month for you.
Your finish looks great.
I hope you have a wonderful July.
Best wishes Manuela

Mii Stitch said...

Hi Carol!
Looks like you have been so busy but certainly had great fun :)
Beautiful stitching and finishing as always.
You certainly don't look your age!!
Take care x

Vickie said...

What a great piece you created Carol. Look at you wearing PINK!! :D You two look great! I see the two of you and thank God. I still remember the scary, scary time with Tim and am still thankful as I know you are that he has recovered!!
Such a beautiful gift from your son. Love it. Enjoy July. I hope you get to finish lots of ornaments off. ;) Happy 4th to you!!

Martina M said...

Hi Carol,
I am a new follower and I am impressed by your beautiful pictures. So wonderful places, so much to see. Just great.
I also like your embroidery work - and the finish,
Greetings Martina

Cathy H. said...

Wow, your June was busy with travel! I'm 64 and I know exactly what you mean by not bouncing back as fast! So, take it easy in July and enjoy your time on the porch! Love your patriotic stitching and the neat clipboard. I need to run to Kohls!!

Shelly said...

Always nice to see a new post from you in the mornings! Yes, you've been busy but it's a good kind of busy, right?! Great finishing as usual. I'm going to have to pop into my Kohl's to see if it has the clipboards. Always thinking of new finishing ideas! Enjoy your porch! A Happy Independence Day to you and your hubby!

Mary said...

Hi Carol, what a thrill to see that I won this sweet chart!! I just stitched my first patriotic stitch and I'm looking forward to stitching more of them so I'm excited to have won this!! I'll pass it on to RJ after I'm done because she loves patriotic charts so you have two winners!

I love your latest finish and how sentimental that you used one of your family's shirts for the background. It's a great finish and now I have to add kohls to my list for cross stitch finishing ideas!

I adore the wall hanging your son gave you as I love anything with birds, the colors are fantastic too!
Nice hiking you got in too, the La Jolla coastline is gorgeous! Hope you have a relaxing 4th, Mary

Justine said...

Thank you for sharing your photos with us. It sounds like you've had a busy and exciting month.

I love your patriotic stitch. The speciality stitches add an extra-special touch and have turned out really well. You always have such inspiring ideas for finishing too!

Congratulations to Mary on winning your chart.

Maggee said...

Well, even if you didn't get much stitching done, you still delight us with a great blog posting! That was a lot of miles! Phew, but glad you got to do it all and that you enjoyed yourselves. Love the wall hanging from Abu Dhabi... how nice of your son! I LOVED seeing my California poppies... I miss those! And last but not least--I shall be off to my Kohl's to see if they have any of those little clipboards, as your finish has inspired me!! Good job there! Have a nice holiday weekend! Hugs!

Sandy said...

The stitching turned out beautifully. I love the little flowers and the finish is perfect. You have been busy with traveling. That is a pretty part of the country.

Sweet Sue said...

hi carol ~ lovely newsy post, thx so much for sharing. gotta toddle off now and rest a bit, i'm exhausted reading about your june adventures:) girl, don't know how you do it! wishing you a blissfully quiet month of july, well... after the fireworks!

butterfly said...


So happy you had a lovely month this June , you and your hubby looked so relaxed on your travels.
Wow you always stitch some lovely designs , and the finish is great I love this one.
How thoughtful of your son , love the colours of your gift , so you Carol .
Enjoy a lovely restful July if you can , hugs.

Linda said...

Congrats on another great finish Carol. Looks like you had a great June. It made me tired just reading about all your adventures. lol

Linda

RJ said...

Hi Carol! Loved your post today. What wonderful trips you were on...your photos were all so pretty and I can tell you had a lot of fun. I know you were happy to see your son and family. It was a lot of traveling but so worth it.

Love your new patriotic cross stitch. I need to put that one on my wish list for sure. I have picked up one of those Kohl clipboards too for a November stitch. The price certainly was right. You did such a great job on the specialty stitches and I love your finish

Leaving Sunday but will check in to say hi. Enjoy your weekend. RJ

Susan Lankford said...

Hi Carol...You must be so glad to be back home in what sounds like a beautiful place! California landscapes can be harsh...and yes, most of CA is actually desert land. The truth is that CA has several varied environments. I live just north of San Diego and I attended high school just north of Santa Barbara...I don't go on hikes, however....too many critters!

Love your finish and the "frame"....nice to have something you can use for other pieces. One of the most difficult things I've faced in returning to stitching is finding appropriate frames that fit the size of the stitched piece...most stores have the usual sizes (like 5x7) and the stitched piece doesn't match.

Hugs, Susan

diamondc said...

Hi Carol: What a wonderful post, I am like you I get tired from travel but am so happy to be able to travel, someday I will have to stop hopefully not too soon.
Love the Patriotic Design, I have had a class of Drawn Thread I think way back in 2014 here in Minnesota at Spring Fling Retreat, put on by Stitchville USA.
Beautiful fabric design your Son brought you it is stunning.

Happy Fourth
Catherine

Jennifer said...

What a neat wall hanging from your son! I went to Dubai several years ago, also a place I thought I'd never go, and also felt very safe - it is fascinating to see the world! Love your stitching finish and the California pictures - looks like you packed your time there with lots of great activities! Hope you get to enjoy this long weekend and have plenty of time to watch the flowers bloom, the fawns play, and to pull your needle through some fabric! Happy 4th!

Mama Joan said...

Loved your Drawn Thread project!!! I also stitched that one but I framed it. Stitched it last year. But I did go out to Kohl's and scored a couple of frames. I will be using your idea for those frames for something:)

Hilda said...

Oh what an exciting month, this June has been for you, dear Carol! Travelling so many miles, visiting family AND make such exhausting hikes - no wonder that you are tired. I would be too!
But oh the pictures! Of course I love the one with you and Tim most (surrounded by the lovely flower picts). But all photographs are so amazing and they make me feel wanderlust. But as I big part of me is a homebuddy I absolutely understand your feelings about being home again.

Your patriotic finish is such a treasure. I love these special stitches for the flower -
it is a gorgeous design!

I really wish you a cosy and relaxing month of July.
Enjoy these days
and Happy 4th July to you and your family!

Hugs
Hilda

Mavi. said...

Hola Carol, me encantó tu nuevo bordado patriótico, ya lo vi en instagram y luce precioso, como todos tus trabajos. Estupenda la tabla con pinza sobre la que lo has montado.
Muchos kilómetros has recorrido, pero supongo que ya habrás conseguido descansar. Tienes razón, se viaja con alegría pero luego cuesta un poco recuperarse.
Precioso el bordado con pájaros que te ha regalado tu hijo, encontrarás el lugar donde luzca mucho.
Estáis muy guapos tu marido y tu.
Un beso bien grande.

Hi Carol, I loved your new patriotic embroidery, I already saw it in instagram and it looks lovely, like all your works. Great table with clip on which you have mounted.
Many miles you have traveled, but I suppose you have already gotten rest. You're right, you travel with joy but then it costs a little to recover.
Precious the embroidery with birds that you have given your son, you will find the place where much looks.
You are very handsome your husband and you.
A big kiss.

Cindy's Stitching said...

Carol. Your patriotic finish is just beautiful. The pictures are all just gorgeous. So nice to see you in a picture, you look great. July is here and I hope you get to relax. You just be excited for your sons upcoming wedding.

Sally said...

Wow you have certainly travelled some miles these last few weeks Carol! Your photos are lovely.

Your finish is gorgeous. I think there is something special about Drawn Thread pieces. I have The Pastoral to do which I think I'll be starting maybe next month.

What a beautiful gift from your son.

Lili said...

Your finish piece is very pretty!
Love your son gift, a beautiful piece!!

Happy July!
Lili

Andrea said...

It's lovely going away and seeing new places but it's always so good to come home again. You have finished your patriotic piece beautifully and so differently. Looking forward to seeing your ornaments. Your son's gift is gorgeous. It need to be in a prominent position for sure.
Have a good week. Happy 4th of July.

*-* said...


I love your Patriotic piece. The colours are wonderful & I too love the look of the flag. Your Mother's day gift is so pretty, birds 7 blue, a perfect combination.
Kay.

jeffsrose35 said...

Wow, what a wonderful month you had in June!!!!! So glad to see a picture of you, it is always nice to put a face to all these beautiful adventures. You have surely outdone yourself again with this beautiful Americana piece and lucky you for finding just the right framing for a great price.
Always such a wonderful surprise to see your work, thanks again.

Jenn M said...

Travelling is wonderful but I think coming home is even more so.
I love your finish with the clipboard; so sweet!
I will look forward to an 'ornament parade' when you fully finish what you have stitched. It will be a treat to see more than one at a time!
What a lovely wall hanging your son brought home too. I think it's so sweet he knows just what you like.
Have a happy Fourth!
Jenn

Beth said...

The wall hanging is stunning! There are amazingly creative women all over the world. Lots and lots of travelling, but all for the happiest of occasions!

Preeti said...

Lovely finish, Carol!! No wonder you were tired with all that hiking and travelling but you enjoyed everything:) I just get tired with household stuff. Lovely pics too. Enjoy your me time watching your 'home sweet home' and its surroundings and stitching:)

Maggie said...

Oh my goodness that is a LOT of travelling! no wonder you are tired, you will need to put your feet up and get plenty of relaxing stitching time in now :-)

Your finishes are always so beautiful, and this one is no different.
You make me want to take up my stitching needle again, something I haven't done in a while now.

Southpaw Stitcher said...

Love your Drawn Thread piece, Carol, and the way you finished it with the clipboard is very clever. What a beautiful wall hanging you received from your son! His photos of Abu Dhabi are wonderful, as are yours from the regional park. Have a happy Fourth of July!

Ana Lopes said...

Hi Carol! Wonderful embroidery! Beautiful tapestry you received! Awesome flowers and photos! Thanks for sharing all of this with us! I 'm also love to travel but there isn't no place like home ^_^
Hope you’re having a great week!
Hugs and love from Portugal,
Ana Love Craft
www.lovecraft2012.blogspot.com

Kaisievic said...

Wow! Carol, you have been so busy this past month - I can well understand why you only have one finish to show and oh boy, it is gorgeous - as always. Thank you for sharing all of the wonderful pics - so lovely to see what you and your family have been up to lately. Enjoy your peaceful home, my dear.

Penny said...

Such a lovely patriotic finish, Carol! Your stitches are always so beautifully done! And what a pretty gift from your son. Abu Dhabi looks like a spectacular city to visit, although I can understand your worry. Glad he made it home safely. Such gorgeous photos from your travels! I can't even imagine hiking up to those caves. : ) Hopefully, you will get your porch weather and have a chance to rest up a little.

priscilla said...

Love your finish Carol! I "need" that chart :) Love seeing your travel pictures!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

My goodness, that was a lot of travelling! But for a great reason, family weddings should always be fun. We should have had two recently but one was in Scotland in November and the other one banned children! How can you not have children at a family wedding? The photos look strange, with no little ones.
Love the idea of using a shirt as backing fabric, great recycling.
The wall hanging is wonderful, what a thoughtful gift.
Congratulations to Mary too.

Pam in IL said...

Wow, what a month of travel, indeed! Love all the pictures you shared too. Your patriotic finish is lovely. Specialty stitches are my favorite to do. I have lots of my dad's shirts that I saved for use in finishing projects, just haven't got around to using them yet, lol.

Margaret said...

I'm late to reading your post again, but I always want to save it for a time where I can actually read and enjoy it! Looks like you've been busy (I already knew that, of course, through instagram!) with all the travel! You know it's funny -- with tennis players going to places like Abu dhabi (sp) all the time, I don't tend to think those places are as dangerous as others. But I don't blame you for worrying about your youngest anyway. So thoughtful of him to get you that lovely piece! Lovely stitching finish too! And loved seeing all your travel pics! Hope July is very restful for you. Enjoy!

Nurdan Kanber said...

Such a lovely post ♥♥♥ I just love your stitchery and finish♥♥♥ Wonderful framing ♥♥♥♥

Julie said...

I've enjoyed a lovely read of what you have been up to Carol. A very special gift from your son.
xxx

Frances N said...

What wonderful travels you've had!
I love the Abu Dhabi photos! It looks like a wonderful place to visit! And that is a lovely gift from your son! You will find the perfect place for it!
Your stitching and finishing is lovely, as always.

Meari said...

Congrats on another beautiful finish. The clipboard suits it perfectly!

I always enjoy the armchair tours you share with us. :)

Sheryl S. said...

Wonderful photos Carol, thank you for sharing. Love the pretty Free and Brave design and the thoughtful gift all the way from Abu Dhabi which needs to be on display and admired.

phann son said...

Carol, it sounded like wonderful adventures for you during the month of June. What gorgeous photos you shared! I love your finished Drawn Thread piece.
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