Happy last day of November! How is everyone? It's been a month of battling the flu here (and I heard last night on the news that the flu shot was only 10% effective this year here in the U.S.--what's up with that?!)... But, we are on the mend and looking forward to a wonderful (and healthy!) Christmas.
Before I go any further, I want to thank each of you for your wonderful comments on the wedding photos that you left on my last post. You are so sweet and my son and his wife were as touched as I was to read your kind words and well wishes. It truly was a magical day--two cultures and religions coming together so seamlessly. If only the entire world could feel the love and acceptance and support that my son and his bride felt that day... Thank you again!
Well, I'll bet you can guess what I've been stitching, can't you? Yep--Christmas ornaments! And, at this point, it looks like I might actually finish all twelve for the year. I have three to show you today--those for August, September, and October which leaves just two for the year. I think I can manage two! My ornament for August is this darling Little House Needleworks design called "Tree Lot."
|Little House Needleworks "The Tree Lot"|
I just loved the detail in this one... the red, vintage truck, the tiny cardinals, the softly falling snow. To make it ornament sized, though, I had to stitch it over one and chose 28 ct. black Monaco so that the snow would show up well. It is really tiny and I took a photo of it next to a quarter so you could get a better idea of its size.
I made several changes to the colors and also added more snowflakes. To finish it off, I used that wonderful Woolies Flannel that I've become so fond of. It just reminded me of a cozy flannel shirt--the kind my sons used to wear during the cold winters here in western Pennsylvania. Some tiny white x's and handmade cording finished it off quite nicely, don't you think?
|The Tree Lot all ready for my tree|
For September's ornament, I chose to stitch another Prairie Schooler from Book No. 48: "A Christmas Visit." As I've mentioned before, this is one of my favorite PS books--seven delightful designs and it's still being sold for the original $6.00 price tag! I forgot to write down what fabric I used, but it is a very stiff higher count natural linen (perhaps 36 ct. dirty linen?). I forgot to take a "before" photo, but finished this one very simply (and very quickly!) with coordinating cording and a little bow.
|I wonder how many Prairie Schooler Santas I have stitched this year?|
October's ornament was one I stitched while in Hawaii--yes, I was stitching an icy snowman in warm Hawaii! I'm sure you'll all recognize this as a JBW design. "French Country Snowman" is stitched over one on 28 ct. white Monaco with GAST Blue Jay thread. I left off the words "In the Meadow We Can Build a Snowman" to make it ornament sized. Can you spot all the winter themed motifs that make up this design: the bell, the star, the ice skate, the mittens, the hats, the birds, the shovel, the trees, the snowballs? So cute! I used a blue and white cording and a gauzy blue bow to finish it off.
And, here is one last finish--I told you I've been stitching! A sweet baby gift for a newborn baby boy was such fun to stitch. This is one I've stitched before and it is also a JBW design called "Baby's First Christmas." For this one, I used 32 ct. black Belfast linen, made some color changes, and added the baby's name instead of the words "Baby's First Christmas."
|A new baby gift|
Not sure if you can see them, but there are tiny red beads for the berries on the gingerbread boy's hat along with a white pompom at the very tip. I hope the new baby (and his mom and dad) enjoy hanging it on their tree for years to come!
|Such a cutie!|
Giveaway! And I have one last stitchy thing--a little chart giveaway. This one is from the November/December 1991 issue of "Cross Stitch and Country Crafts" magazine--an oldie, but goodie. It features a quintet of Santas which could be stitched in a group as shown or individually. I think the patriotic Santa is especially nice. If you are interested in giving this chart a new home, just let me know in your comments. This is just four pages torn from a magazine--not the whole magazine. If more than one person wants them, 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'll announce the winner the next time I post...
|Let me know in your comments if you would like to win this chart|
So, on to Hawaii photos... What can I say about paradise? Except it wasn't--paradise that is! We had horrible weather; in fact, out of the ten full days we were there, it was sunny for only three. And what a difference that makes. You see, it wasn't just the lack of sunshine. It was two nine-hour power outages--one on Maui and one on Kauai combined with flash flooding, closed bridges and hiking trails, and a distinct lack of blue sky. We still enjoyed ourselves and it felt wonderful to relax after the wedding and celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary, though. But, would we go back? That is debatable... Weather can really make or break a vacation!
Anyway, many of you had expressed interest in seeing some photos so here you go... I will just show scenes of Maui today and save Kauai for the next time...
|Gray skies and clouds were the norm for the week|
|But, there were beautiful waterfalls everywhere due to all the rain!|
|Just look at this mountainside--three waterfalls in one photo!|
|Smiling even though it was a cloudy day|
|This was taken on the "Road To Hana"--a notoriously curvy, scary road|
|The view from our condo on the beach--we could look right down onto the water and see sea turtles!|
|A beautiful sunset at the luau|
|Such lovely flowers were everywhere|
|And so were the wild chickens that roamed the island freely!|
|This was probably our best day--weatherwise. We just relaxed on a non-crowded beach and my husband did some snorkeling.|
|The day we spent at the Haleakala volcano was so special. What made the biggest impression on me was the absolute silence as we hiked down into the crater.|
|We hiked for four hours down into the crater and back up. At over 10,000 feet above sea level, it made for a very tough trek... It was so amazing to be above the clouds!|
|Haleakala has erupted only three times in the past 900 years--glad it didn't choose to do so when we were visiting!|
|A sunset dinner cruise was a beautiful way to end our stay in Maui|
|Dinner cruise sunset with the island of Molokai in the background|
|My favorite place of the three Airbnb's that we stayed was a cottage in Kula, Maui. Such a treat to be in the mountains and experience beautiful sunsets like these! Total relaxation...|
So, there you have it--Maui 2017. Up next post: Kauai, a very different island!
If you are still reading--thank you! I know this was a long post to get through... I really hope you enjoyed both my stitching and travel photos. I always love seeing your travel photos as there are so many places in the world I know I will never get to see. Hopefully, I've inspired some of you to travel there--as long as it's sunny! Hope the month of December is good to you--busy, busy, I know. But, a joyful kind of busy and one that I am truly enjoying now that I'm retired. Thank you ever so much for your kind comments and emails--I do appreciate them! Bye for now...