Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Month of Changes!

It's here, it's here!! My oldest son's wedding month, that is! When he and his lovely fiancée announced their engagement a year ago, it seemed like it would take forever for the wedding day to arrive... But, the months have just sped by at seemingly warp speed and, all of a sudden, it's time. The next time you read a post from me I will have a daughter in the family--after all these years of being the lone female (even our cat was a boy!), I will have someone who may actually think a bit more like I do and see my side of things more easily. Because, no matter how much they may love each other, men and women think totally differently, don't you agree? (Oh, and for those of you who are wondering, her wedding dress finally arrived and the final fitting is Tuesday--thank goodness!!)

Before I go any further, I want to thank you for all of your thoughtful and heartfelt comments on my previous post about my retirement and my sleeping issues. I truly appreciate your well-wishes and your suggestions on how to get a better night's sleep so thank you for taking the time to leave a comment... Anyway, more about those two topics later. After all, you're here to see some stitching, right?

I try to add at least one little pillow to my Halloween collection each year and this one came from a chart I found in the October 2017 issue of Just Cross Stitching Magazine. It is designed by Teresa Murgida and is called "Boo Birdhouse." If you have seen the design in the magazine, you'll notice that I made a number of changes. I changed the color of the birdhouse roof and opening to gray (from purple), changed the color of the ghost's hat from black to orange, stitched a smaller bat and moved him down, omitted a white swirly thing under the bat, added some more green vines to the left of the pumpkin. Whew! And my biggest change--I added a teeny baby ghost peeking out of the birdhouse!

"Boo Birdhouse" finish from October 2017 JCS Magazine

And here is my finished ghostly pillow--I'm so pleased with it! The orange and black polka dot fabric is wool flannel (love that stuff!) and the backing is the fabric pictured. A bit of ric rak and a gingham yo-yo and black button finish it off. The fibers are all DMC and it is stitched on 40 ct. country mocha Newcastle linen. Every time I look at that baby ghost, I just smile :) This was my most "liked" photo on my Instagram account (if you'd like to follow me, please click here... It brought lots of wonderful comments and one of them said I was so "brave" to change colors and design elements. I replied that that is something I would never have done when I was younger, but now I'm more comfortable with color and I simply know what I like. I hope the designers never take offense--it is just my way of making the design more "me." And, after all, if I hadn't truly loved the original design, I wouldn't have chosen to stitch it, right? How about you--do most of you make changes?

How do you like the wee baby ghost?


Still plugging away on  stitching my monthly Christmas ornaments, but I am very concerned that I'll not be able to finish all twelve for the first time since I began blogging... Hopefully, there will be stitching time on my upcoming travels, although I am not the best at stitching on airplanes! But, I do have a new Prairie Schooler Santa to share with you... This handsome guy is the annual Santa chart from the year 2000 and is stitched with the suggested DMC colors on 40 ct. burch Newcastle linen. I did change the suggested ecru on his beard, book, and candy canes to DMC 3865, though.

Prairie Schooler Santa 2000

I have to say, that this one has special meaning as it brings back fond memories of when my boys would ask what I wanted for Christmas and I would reply, "All I want is good little boys!" I can't say that any longer so I do supply them with (usually stitch-related!) wish lists. I like to keep my PS Santa finishes pretty simple as they are such classics so I stitched a small pillow, added homemade cording, and tied on a pair of rusty bells in the corner. This is my monthly Christmas ornament for July (I told you I was behind!)...

My July ornament finally finished!

I had several entries for the pair of autumn charts that I was giving away in my last post and the name drawn from the proverbial hat was...  ROSE HECK!   Rose, please email me with your mailing address and I will get this charts off to you this week.  Congratulations and, if you weren't the lucky winner, please check back--I'll be having more old chart giveaways in the future!

Giveaway winner... Rose Heck!


Retirement update... Today marks the beginning of my third week as a "lady of leisure"--ha! Whoever said retirement brought more hours of free time? I spent the first week up in New York helping out my mom who continues to have health problems (prayers, good thoughts, positive vibes, etc. would all be very much appreciated!) and the second week packing and cleaning the house so I can leave it "spic and span" for our travels. Does anyone else do that? I just have to clean the whole place before I leave on a trip--can't stand coming back to a cluttered house!

My retirement farewell brought recollections of many fond stories and quite a few tears as I said goodbye to my wonderful co-workers at the library. I was treated to some beautiful gifts, a farewell lunch, a lovely cake, and lots of goodbye hugs and well wishes. My sweet co-workers know me well because just look at these lovely gifts they bought for me...

Yes, it's a personalized stitching pouch!! And the fabric is made to look like old library date due cards--how perfect for a librarian! The pouch was filled with a Michael's gift card, needles, floss tags, and threads. Absolutely loved this!


My second gift from my coworkers was equally special--a basket filled with baking goodies, a cute pie-themed apron, and a gift card to King Arthur's Flour Baking catalog. How very thoughtful!

And look at this giant cake--so pretty in shades of teal, pink, yellow, and green.

My lovely chocolate retirement cake was scrumptious!

To thank them all, I made these little thank you cards--only a librarian will truly appreciate them. They are made to look like old library catalog cards and you can generate your own personalized (and free!) card at this site. I added the Dewey Decimal number 179.9 which is for "thankfulness/gratitude" and the name of the library (which I have blocked out) along with a little note saying my "wonderful co-workers will forever be in my heart. Thank you for all you have done to make my 29 years at the library so memorable." And a personal note was written to each of my fellow librarians inside the cards... As many of you mentioned, I was so fortunate to have a job that I loved all those years; not many can say that!

Thank you note cards I made for my co-workers

Other retirement treats were received as well from my oldest son and his fiancee, my two sisters and brother, and previously retired coworkers... Even a couple of patrons brought candy and flowers! I felt very much appreciated and loved!

From my oldest son and his fiancée: a lovely pouch (will use it for my stitching, of course!)  and an action figure of Nancy Perl--America's best known librarian. She "shushes you" when you push the button on her back--too cute!)


Also from my oldest son and fiancée--these beautiful fall flowers and a box of delicious chocolates. They really spoiled me--do you think they are angling for a nice wedding gift?! (Just kidding!)


Beautiful roses from my youngest sister! The fall colors were stunning!


And a host of gift cards, flowers, retirement cards and other small gifts from various family members, friends, and library patrons.

Here is a photo of me on my last day with my lovely cake. Yes, that is a big smile on my face because I was pretty much cried out at that stage... The decision to leave now wasn't easy, but I felt the timing was right. To just be able to fly to my son's wedding and then on to our 40th wedding anniversary trip to Hawaii, and then not have to return to work--it just all made sense! I'll be 63 in January, a bit young to retire perhaps, but, for me, it works! Thank you all so much for your well-wishes--I know I'll never be bored in retirement! And if I do miss the library, I can always go volunteer on a weekly basis!

Still smiling 'til the end--I was so blessed to have had a job I truly loved for all these years!

Sleeping update... Wow! I am obviously not alone in my sleeping problems. Based on your comments, a lot of you are having issues--either falling asleep or staying asleep (my problem). Things seem to be a bit better since I retired, but are still not great. Interestingly, there was just an article in the Wall Street Journal this weekend that was titled, "The Older You Are, the Worse You Sleep." Great...  Apparently, the older we get, the more our capacity for deep, restorative sleep disappears so that by the time we are age 70, 80-90% of our "youthful, restorative deep sleep is gone." Sad...  And that lack of sleep can really affect our health as we age. I loved reading your tips about overcoming (or at least accepting) sleep problems and plan to try some of them soon. Right now, the best thing for me is to get my Kindle out and simply start reading, but I worry about waking up my husband so I don't resort to that very often. 

Okay--I have babbled on for far too long. There is just so much going on in my life right now... Thank you, as always for your sweet comments--I read and appreciate each one. Can't always get back to you as some of you are "no reply bloggers," but if you leave your email address, I will certainly try to answer your questions. Happy rest of October, everyone... see you in November! Bye for now...

66 comments:

Robin in Virginia said...

Carol, what a wonderful post you have written. Your little Halloween pillow is adorable. I like your changes; I would have omitted the spider. Your PS Santa is just darling. Have a wonderful trip west to the wedding and then on to Hawaii. Again, congratulations on your retirement; I know your days will be filled. Thinking of you!

RJ said...

Carol I am so happy to hear you have retired and things have calmed down a bit for you. Having a daughter in the family will be a blessing and fun too. My MIL always referred to me as her daughter too and it really makes you feel good that someone cares that much. Your Mom is definitely in my prayers and I do hope she will be feeling better real soon. I sleep terribly too...it goes with the territory when a lot of things are on your mind. Just enjoy the happy days ahead and sleep when you can. Sometimes I have catch up days where I sleep in and that is a good feeling.

I'm not able to see any of your lovely photos so I will come back later and comment on them. Have a lovely week. RJ@stitchingfriendsforever

Christine said...

I absolutely love your finished holday pillow/ornaments! And congrats on the retirement! You'll love it more each week!

Linda said...

Loving stitching and finishing as always Carol. (Not that your retired maybe I should send you all of my ornaments to finish.) LOL Hugs and happy thoughts coming your way for you and your Mom. You have received some beautiful gifts. The flowers are gorgeous. Enjoy your retirement.

Linda

Kay said...

Happy retirement. x

Vicki said...

What a fun, informative post! Congrats on your retirement, looks like the celebration was very special. Congrats on having another female in the family! Although I have two girls and two boys, when the youngest one was the only one left at home I was hopelessly outnumbered by male everything - son, husband, pets... Enjoy your new DIL!

Your stitching projects look awesome.

Kaisievic said...

Hi Carol, Oh, I meant to comment on your last post but somehow I was too busy being wined and dined in the Yarra Valley yesterday to find the time - lol! Anyway, this comment will be a twofer now.
1. Comments on last post - love your sweet little chickadee - he is just gorgeous and you finished him beautifully and your PS Santa is just as gorgeous! Re your non-sleeping - I find that,too - which is no fun at all but I do have a fail safe solution for those nights when you just cannot fall asleep. My very dear friend, Lisa, gave me this tip and whilst I was oh so sceptical at first, I found that it does work every time and it is very simple. It is sort of a variation on counting sheep, all that you do is recite all the girls names that you can think of, starting with each letter of the alphabet. Eg, Abla, Abbie, Abigail, Ada, Adele.... etc. I tell you, it works a treat - I think that the longest that I have ever had to go is to about G! I usually fall asleep by about C or D. Give it a try, what have you got to lose, after all?

2. This is for this post but sort of crosses over to last post, too. Phew! Re the wedding dress, I was hoping that all would be well, and it is! I am sure that the wedding will go beautifully and I wish you and all of your family every happiness at this important life event.
And, of course, many, many congratulations on your retirement (in another life I was a teacher-librarian, so all of your presents really resonated with me!). As I think you have said that you have found already - you will be as busy in retirement as you were working - you will find that you will be wondering how on earth you managed to get to work at all! I only work three days a week and I am finding that too much! lol! Anyway, lots of gorgeous, well-deserved gifts and I am sure that you are enjoying them all.
Great charts that you gave away, I am just sorry that I missed entering but that's okay. Love your 2000 PS Santa, too.

Okay, this comment is now way too long. Enjoy retirement. hugs, Kaye

ricketyjo said...

What a great post! Thanks for sharing everything with us. I love that halloween pillow, totally cute! And I can't believe the size of your cake, it looks yummy. What lovely retirement gifts you received as well.
I hope that your Son's wedding goes well, looking forward to your next update. Have a wonderful time!

Ann at Beadlework. said...

What a lovely newsy post Carol, so many good things going on to enjoy. I think your sleep issues will settle in time. I do tend to agree with the age theory - I know that my sleep patterns are very different these days compared to when I was in my fifties. I hope all goes well with the wedding and that it's a special day for everyone.

deb said...

Happy retirement! Looks like you received a first class sending off - so nice! And you look so happy. Your completed stitches are beautiful. Good thoughts and prayers both are headed your mom's way (and some for you too!).

Seems I missed your last post - rats. :( The not staying asleep (or not being able to go back to sleep) is a problem I've had for several years myself. My doctor had me start taking melatonin pills which help a lot most nights. Reading up on that, apparently one of the reasons those of us who are no longer young'uns have more trouble sleeping is that our bodies don't make as much melatonin as they used to.

Tricia B said...

Love your stitching and finishing as always. You can retire but not downsize - where would you display all your beautiful creations?! (especially as they will keep coming even faster now! 😁) I ADORE your thank you cards! They are fantastic! You are thoughtful in all things. I am not much of an airplane stitcher either. So many movies to watch and books to read! Enjoy the wedding and your anniversary trip. Hawaii is a favorite in our family. Cant wait to see pictures of both! Your future daughter in law is going to have a wonderful mother in law. (And as the mother of 3 daughters, no sons, I will tell you its not all unicorns and spa days. I’m sure my husband will feel like you when he one day has a son in law! 🤣)

Kate said...

Congratulations on your retirement, Carol - enjoy it. I wish better health for your mom. The pieces you shared are all beautiful. Have a swell time at your son's wedding and celebrating your 40th in Hawaii.

Barb said...

Where to begin.. First, I will continue prayers and good thoughts for your Mom, I went through a similar time with my dear step mom and I know it is very hard. I hope you all have a wonderful time at the wedding. It is amazing how fast a year can go. I retired at 60. I'm so glad I did. It gives you lots of time for fun things before you get a bit too old to enjoy. My DH and I have really gotten out of the travel mood. We went to Albany to see how it felt and I think most of our future travel will be to see our sweet grand children. At 60 we still loved to travel. I do love that little Halloween ornament and your changes made it special. I once asked a designer how she felt about people making changes and she liked the idea. She said the same things you said about making the piece your own. Well, have a wonderful month. By the way, I often read in the middle of the night. I have a good book light and it does not bother my DH.

*-* said...


Best wishes for the upcoming wedding to the Bride & Groom, along with their parents. Such a wonderful family celebration.
October 15th is our wedding anniversary, I wish them the joy, love & friendship we have experienced in the many years of our marriage.

Yes I also leave my home spotless when we venture away, it is so pleasant to come home to an organized home.

Such a splendid send off from your colleagues, friends & family, setting you off beautifully, for your retirement.

As always Carol, your stitching is wonderful. I do love how you have personalized the Halloween Birdhouse. I'm guilty of changing many charts to my liking. The PS Santa looks beautiful.

Kay.

Arlene Grimm said...

Carol, what a lovely celebration of your retirement. All the gifts were adorable. I love your new October pillow. I have just started to add these to my collection. In fact I need to run to Hobby Lobby for some fabric to do some finishes. Best wishes for your sweet son and his bride. I am sorry you are not sleeping well because I have the same problem. If there is a cure, please pass it on. I try to spend that wakeful time praying for friends and family.

marly said...

Enjoyable post as always Carol. Anxious to see wedding photos! Looks like your pantry is stocked with retirement goodies for holiday baking. Great finishing on both of your pieces.

Cindy said...

What a wonderful way to retire - you have several things you are going to do! I am almost always busy with chores around the house, stitching, the garden, or with family, so I am never bored. I can't imagine how some people end up just sitting around when they retire.
I'm sure you are over the moon about your son's wedding and then a trip to Hawaii! So fun! You will have to post many pictures - you know we are a bunch of busybodies! Ha!

Shelly said...

Oh my gosh, Carol, your Halloween finish is so pretty! The baby ghost is too cute! I will change colors sometimes but mostly out of necessity because I've run out of the floss, especially overdyes or because I'm using a different fabric that is lighter and the floss disappears. What I'm getting bad with is counting mistakes! On everything I'm stitching lately. I don't get it. All the love bestowed upon you for your retirement party is because you are such a nice person and I'm sure they'll miss you at the library. Sending prayers your mothers way on her health. It's not easy to care for elderly parents. I grab a book when I can't sleep also. Wishing you and your hubby a safe trip to the wedding. I'll be waving when you pass over Arizona:)

Irene said...

Innanzi tutto spero che la tua mamma guarisca presto. Poi sono felice del matrimonio di tuo figlio, è bello accogliere una figlia nella famiglia. E i tuoi ricami sono sempre meravigliosi

Brigitte said...

Good to hear that now that the wedding dress has arrived there isn't anything any more to disturb the wedding planning. What great event for you and the whole family.

Being retired now you already experienced the fact that you never have enough time for all the things you want to do, lol. But you are nor the only one, I feel it the same way, and my father had already complained about the same thing. But the good thing is that you will not be bored. It was great to read how you celebrated the beginning of your retirement with your colleagues and what wonderful gifts you received from them. And also from friends and your family.

No wonder with all the events in your life that your stitching has been suffering a bit concerning your 12 ornaments this year. Your new Santa at least is finished. And you have finished that wonderful Halloween piece you chose for this year. I love the little baby ghost you added, such a nice idea.

Manuela said...

Hallo Carol,
ein wunderbarer Post.
Deine kleines Halloweenkissen ist wunderschön. Die kleinen Geister sind niedlich. Auch dein neuestes Weihnachtskissen gefällt mir sehr gut.
Ich wünsche dir für deinen Ruhestand und für die Hochzeitsfeier bei deinem Sohn und seiner Verlobten alles Gute, sowie eine traumhafte Reise nach Hawaii.

Hugs, Manuela

Preeti said...

Your finishes are beautiful as always :) I hope your mom feels better, sending prayers for her.
The gifts you received from friends and family on retirement are all so thoughtful and lovely and I am sure you will enjoy this phase of life equally but don't get indulged in too much of housework, just relax and enjoy some little me time too:)
I don't bother much about clutter free home while travelling but I do ensure that the bed and living room is clutter free. I also read to get sleep but digital gadgets take away my sleep so I use paper books. There are tiny lightweight lamps that can be clamped on the book for reading.
I retired at 35 but I still have kept my second career option open but not sure when would I again feel like going to work. I have become homesick :)

Maggee said...

Well, you got through the formalities, and are officially retired now. I know you will enjoy it a LOT! So many people gave you a great sendoff! I am hungry seeing that cake! As always, you stitched some great pieces. The PS Santas will make a wonderful addition to any tree, separate or part of a usual tree. I would guess you are working towards a Halloween tree. I LOVE the baby ghost peeking out of the birdhouse! And also love the polka dot wool fabric... very nice touch! Best wishes to all on the upcoming wedding! Hugs and Prayers!

Sandy said...

I loved reading about your retirement. It is always nice to know a bit more about the stitcher. I have definitely found that I am quite busy since retirement. I think it might have been perfect timing to pick up with my mother and kids who all need me tons these days. I get a little sad that I don't have time for me, but I try to think of on the positive side that I am returning the favor to my mom who helped me so much when I was working and had small kids.
AND, I love all of your stitches. They are always so pretty.

Vickie said...

Good for you Carol. I am just so happy for you with your retirement. What a wonderful sending off you had. I continue to pray for your mom. Cannot wait to hear all about the wedding!!

MartinaM said...

Hello Carol,
I am glad for you that you soon have a daughter and wish the two a beautiful wedding day.
Where do I begin? The Halloween motif looks charming, I like your finish very well. But also your new Santa can be seen - beautiful.
Yes - I always make clean and tidy before each vacation. I like coming back to a beautiful house.
You've got so wonderful gifts for retirement, and I wish you heartfeltly that you can enjoy him to the fullest.

Mavi. said...

Ufff... que nervios y que emoción con la preparación de la boda de tu hijo. Maravilloso incluir en la familia una nueva hija con la que compartir cosas de chicas. Tus bordados y acabados tan elegantes como siempre. Y respecto a tus problemas con el sueño espero que mejoren. Yo no duermo muchas horas pero duermo. A mi también me gusta dejar la casa ordenada cada vez que salimos, por lo menos despejo la mesa que la tengo llena de cosas en el día a día.
Espero que todo transcurra como lo tenéis planeado.
Muchos besos.
Ufff ... what a nerve and what a thrill with the preparation of your son's wedding. Wonderful to include in the family a new daughter to share things with girls. Your embroidery and finishes as elegant as ever. And regarding your problems with sleep I hope they improve. I do not sleep many hours but I sleep. I also like to leave the house tidy every time we go out, at least I clear the table that I have full of things in the day to day.
I hope everything goes as planned.
Many kisses.

Jenny said...

Hi Carol....I am catching up on blogs and just loved your post! Your stitching is just beautiful both for your Halloween pillow and your PS Santa! I feel in love with your little ghost peeking out of the birdhouse :) too cute!

Congratulations on your retirement! What beautiful cards, flowers, gift and cake! Libraries have always been one of my favorite places to be and librarians are very special people indeed! Enjoy your " free" time...grins!

I cannot believe it is October already and time for your son's wedding! My goodness the time went quickly! Enjoy that special day my friend and congratulations on getting a daughter! What a special blessing that is!

Enjoy your month my friend!

butterfly said...

I can see how well loved you are Carol such lovely gifts for a lovely lady.
Sending prayers and hugs to your mother and family.

Your stitching is beautiful love the baby gost , and your Christmas stitching .

You will enjoy your time at home soon , when you are not so busy.
And yes i always clean my house before I go away , it's so nice to come home to.

Have a great month Carol enjoy every moment of the wedding hugs.

Berit said...

What a wonderful post! You new stitches are just lovely, and I really enjoyed your "good little boys" story. �� All your gifts are wonderful (a KAF gift certificate!!!), and the flowers, too! I like the photo of you with your cake; I think you look very kind and happy, and that sweater is such a nice color.

Sleeping...I have also had problems. You seem like a very conscientious person who lives well, so most of my tips are probably things you already do! I read recently that the composition of our sleep is different at different hours of the night. In earlier hours there is less REM, and more deep sleep. But the ratio reverses its dominance as the hours of the night wear on. The key point: 10pm will have more deep sleep than 2am does REGARDLESS of the time an individual begins sleeping. It is not certain that R.E.M. Is better or worse than deep, but not all "8 hours of sleep"s are equal. I'm pretty sure that early-rising and in turn early sleep are needfuls for humans. They don't match modern society's rhythms very well, though!

Sweet Sue said...

safe journeys to you my friend, relax and savor each new memory!

Susan Lankford said...

Such cute pillows ...and what a wonderful retirement celebration from all your friends and co-workers!

Von said...

What wonderful retirement gifts you received, Carol! I'm sure you will be greatly missed!

Jennifer said...

Prayers for your mom ❤️ And for safe travels and happy memories as you travel the next few weeks. Love your Halloween pillow and your ornament...hope you have a little time to stitch and relax in Hawaii. Congrats again on your retirement!

diamondc said...

Carol: Lovely post.
Congratulations on retirement, I retired two years ago and love it however I am busier now then before.
Prayers sent your way for your Mother.

Blessings
Catherine

Alissa said...

Happy Retirement, Carol!! I'm so happy for you! And selfishly, I'm happy for us because we get to see more of your stitching. :)

That customized library bag is AWESOME, and you're themed thank you notes are so creative as always!

Hilda said...

Carol, I love your sweet Halloween finish. The changes you made look great - and oh the Baby ghost: so cute!!!! And of course I love the TPS-Santa. It is one of the Santas I stitched during our Santas Stitchings-SAL some years ago. I even think it was the first I (ever) stitched. Your finishing looks so perfect - as always.
When I see your Santa I immediately feel the wish to take some linen and a stitching needle and start off again (I collected more Santa-charts in the meanwhile, just in case haha.
I am so happy to read that you are retired now. And I am sure you'll love it, although it did not start off perfectly. My best wishes for your mother. I really hope she will feel better soon. Sending my prayers, dear friend.

I am so much looking forward to your next post. You can tell about the wedding then and about your journey to Hawaii. Enjoy these amazing events, my dear friend. And come back healthy and happy!

Hugs
Hilda

Lesley said...

Beautiful Hallowe’en stitching Carol,I love your PS Santa too.
What a great send off you had,it is lovely for you to to know your colleagues think so much of you.Wishing you a wonderful time at your son’s wedding and your trip to Hawaii.
I am keeping your mom in my thoughts.
And yes..I clean the house before I go away too:)

Gabi said...

Hello again and happy retirement Carol!
Wonderful gifts from your co-workers. 29 years work at the library, I am sure you will be missed!
Best wishes for your Mom.
Your stitching is as always beautiful and a pleasure to look at. Your ideas are great. Love the Halloween pillow.
Look forward to your next post and the news about the wedding and your trip to Hawaii and .... yessss I also clean the house before I go away.
Hugs from Germany,
Gabi

Annie said...

So exciting that the wedding is so close. I'm sure it will be a wonderful occasion.

Your Halloween ornament is so adorable. All of your changes and finishing touches contribute to a wonderful little piece. And good to see your Prairie Schooler Santa collection is growing too.

That was one great retirement celebration all the way round. You were really one beloved co-worker and it's not hard to see why.

Sending good thoughts for your Mom. Hope that sleep issue resolves itself soon too.

Lili said...

Hope your son's wedding goes well, best wishes!!!
Your stitching is lovely! The Santa is so adorable! Love your changes on the Halloween piece!
So sorry for your mother, sending good thoughts.

Congratulations on your retirement!

Cindy's Stitching said...

The halloween pillow is just adorable. I still can't believe you are retired now. I have a special package going out to you. I always clean my house before i go away so i don't have anything to do when i get back. I am sure you are excited about the upcoming wedding. I am looking forward to your pictures. I get lots of stitching done when i fly. I stitch almost the whole trip, i hope you get some stitching time in.

Stasi said...

Carol, I have just visited your blog for the first time and look forward to reading some of your older posts. First, congrats on the upcoming wedding..always a special time..and your recent retirement. We seem to be simpatico as I recently retired and my younger daughter got married a year ago.
I love your finished pieces and wonder if your idea to put the baby ghost in the box was a subliminal thought (grand babies often come after the marriage)? :)
Have a wonderful time at the wedding and enjoy your vacation to Hawaii.
Stasi

Mii Stitch said...

A lovely post as always Carol! Wonderful little crosses and fabulous retirement goodies.
Enjoy and have a wonderful time, you deserve it :)

KimM said...

A hearty congratulations on your retirement, Carol! It looks like your co-workers know you well. Wonderful gifts - and lovely cake. Take care and enjoy your retirement.
xxx

Beth said...

You might find you sleep bit better as you complete your transition from working to retirement...though not before the wedding and all your travels. I do really like your unique thank you notes - those are wonderful! As to your giveaway - I have the piece on the left framed and sitting on a shelf by me as I type this.

Southpaw Stitcher said...

Carol, your Halloween pillow and Santa are just adorable, and perfectly finished as always. I certainly hope your Mom's health improves soon. Living so far away from her must be a worry.

Exciting times for you: your son's wedding and your anniversary trip! Am looking forward to seeing the photos.

Julie said...

An array of lovely gifts for a lovely lady, I'm sure they will all miss you greatly.
Cute little Halloween pillow, the baby ghost is adorable, great changes you made to the original design.
Wishing you son and future DIL a lifetime of love and happiness, I hope all goes smoothly with the wedding for them and you all have a great time.
Safe travels xxx

Margaret said...

Lovely to see all the presents from colleagues, family and friends for your retirement. I love the old library card cards you made! I remember those! (The catalog cards. And the check out cards!) I believe that about the sleep thing. I go through cycles with my sleep. I do hate those insomniac type nights. Staying asleep is usually my problem too. Ugh. I will continue sending you many positive vibes, good thoughts and prayers for your mom, and also for all of you. Safe travels, happy wedding, happy annniversary! Enjoy and try not to stress!

Daffycat said...

What a lovely post, Carol! I hope you will enjoy retirement as much as you did your work!

I adore your cheeky baby ghost, lol! The finishing on that piece is stunning.

My heartfelt prayers for your mother.

Diane Prenatt said...

Love the Halloween and PS finishes. Yes, I have started feeling "entitled" to change things in a chart. That took a little while . . . like 50 years! I'm really attracted to the cluttered look of Blackbird Designs, but I find that as I stitch them, I declutter them! (Believe me, there are plenty of people in my life who would point to the irony in that!) I edit out some of the detail that seems to me random or inconsistent with the overall design. And re sleep: I'm a couple of years older than you but facing the same issue. I'm starting to pay attention to people who say to limit screen time before bed--something about that lightwave (or whatever it is) disturbs our bodily cycles. Enjoy the wedding!

Andrea said...

Looks like you had a great send off. Wow, that cake, how many of you were there to eat all that!
I hope you enjoy the wedding and Hawaii and that your son and DIL will have THE perfect day.
Wonderful stitching. Love the PS santa. I think I might be 1 maybe 2 months behind in my monthly ornaments. It's just not happening this year!

Mary said...

Carol, What a wonderful Retirement Celebration you had, your obviously held in high regard by your fellow workers and will be sorely missed. I have a feeling your going to thoroughly enjoy retirement though despite a hectic start.

YOur stitching as always is wonderful, love the changes you made to Theresa's pattern. The little ghost poking his head out of the bird house is adorable. Your finish is perfect!! I just started changing up stitches and it's fun to add your personalized touches. I hope the designers are not offended but flattered. The 40ct Newcastle mocha is my favorite linen to stitch on too.

Have a wonderful time at your son's wedding and a safe trip to Ca....Congratulations on 40 years and how exciting to go to Hawaii!!! I hope it's a very relaxing trip and you enjoy days of sunshine. Mary

Patricia Girard said...

I enjoy reading your blog Carol and this one did not disappoint. Your stitching is, as always, exquisite. Congratulations on your retirement! I wish you blessings in retirement, travel and family!

Karen said...

Congratulations on your retirement! Such lovely retirement gifts from your co-workers and family. I'm looking forward to retirement next year.

Yes, I clean house before traveling, including changing the sheets and towels.

Boo Birdhouse is so cute. Love the changes you made to personalize it.

Cathy H. said...

Congratulations on your retirement! Looks like you had a lovely retirement party and special gifts. I love your little ghost pillow! So cute and, as usually wonderful finishing. Sending best wishes for the wedding and your travels!

Lillie said...

What a fabulous post Carol. Enjoy your wonderful retirement gifts. Boo Birdhouse is so pretty. Oh yes, I clean my house before I travel too.
Enjoy the wedding and your vacation. Have fun

Penny said...

How exciting to hear you will soon be welcoming a new daughter into your family! And I most certainly agree that men and women think differently. : ) Some lovely finishes on the stitching front - those ghosts are adorable! You received some wonderful gifts from your co-workers and family, too! And what a pretty cake. I will keep your mom in my prayers. Safe travels and have a wonderful time! And happy anniversary!!

Patti said...

Congratulations on your retirement! Looking forward to seeing wedding photos! I have 3 sons, 2 DIL's & 1 DIL-to-be and it is so much fun! I also have 1 grandson & 2 little granddaughters now and it is so much fun to shop for women & baby girls!

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

What a great post! I do hope the wedding went well and you all had a wonderful day.
When I started stitching the most frequent change was to the fabric as it was so difficult to get different fabric here pre-internet. I also changed speciality threads to DMC for financial reasons! I've always tweaked and changed things to suit myself, even adding bits from other charts or my own inventions.
Your retirement celebrations look fantastic, I am sure they will miss you so much but I did laugh when you said you could go and volunteer! Since I gave up full-time work I have had so many voluntary roles, everywhere I go they try to recruit me! It is flattering though.

Karen2683 said...

Have fun with your retirement, Carol! You’ve earned it! Now’s the time to live your (stitching) dreams!

Jocelyn Thurston said...

Your stitching is always so lovely and a treat for me to see. You do have a lot going on right now so your sleeping may settle when all this excitement is over. However, I usually wake for an hour each night and my ipad is set for nighttime lighting which is softer and doesn’t disturb hubby. I read an ebook and then go back to sleep. I’ve accepted this as my new normal. Meanwhile good luck with everything; try to take in every moment of the good stuff.

Pam in IL said...

Congratulations on your retirement! My dad always said he was so busy in retirement, he didn't know how he had time to work, lol. I'm happy to hear that the wedding dress arrived and I'm looking forward to hearing about the wedding and your trip. As always, your stitching is lovely. Try not to be too hard on yourself if you don't get all the Christmas ornaments done this year. When I have trouble falling asleep, I tell myself I have to stay awake and I try to stay awake, but I always fall asleep. When I wake during the night (which is just about every night), I pray and usually fall asleep afterwards, or sometimes during my middle of the night prayers. Praying for you and your family.

Daniela Bencúrová said...

You have received beautiful gifts!
I wish you a beautiful deserved rest!

Barb said...

Yes Carol, I always try to clean my house very well before a trip . So you are not alone!! FYI our county just voted a very nice levy for our library system. I use the library a lot so I was very happy. Now, the stitching is lovely!! But then your finishing and stitching are always wonderful. I hope you enjoy your son's wedding as much as I enjoyed my kid's weddings. I will keep your dear Mom in my prayers!!

Bekca said...

I'm so glad you were thoroughly spoiled for your retirement, what a wonderful selection of gifts. And may I say, judging on the photo of you with your amazing cake, you don't look any where near 63!! I hope you enjoy having more time on your hands, sending positive wishes for your mum.