I did it! I finished my final two monthly ornaments for 2017! Are you surprised? I sure am--I truly thought this would be the first year since I began my blog that I wouldn't get all twelve finished. Anyway, I want to share these last two with you before my annual "Parade of Ornaments" post next time. And since you seemed to enjoy my photos of Maui so much, I'm moving on to some scenes of our visit to Kauai later on in the post.
In my haste to finish my 2017 monthly ornaments, I neglected to take a "before" photo and only have the finished ornaments to share with you today. I think many of you will recognize this cute couple--"Kissing Cardinals" from the 2014 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue. Aren't they adorable? The lovebirds are stitched on 40 ct. pearl gray Newcastle with a variety of overdyed threads and finished into a round ornament. The dotty gray fabric pictured is what I used for the back of the ornament.
|"Kissing Cardinals" finish|
And my December ornament is "Silver Bells" which is part of the Hands On Design's Chalkboard Ornaments Christmas Collection (Part 3). This is much smaller than the ornaments shown on the cover of the chart, though--I stitched it "over one" on 28 ct. black Monaco. Because it's so small, I had to scale everything back. I couldn't use the holly leaves or button that came with the chart so I cut smaller ones out of olive green felt and added a teeny button from my collection. I also added real mini-jingle bells rather than stitching them as was charted. I love how it turned out--so tiny and cute!
|Hands On Design "Silver Bells" finish|
So, that brings another "ornament a month" quest to an end. I'll have a wrap up post next time so you can see all twelve together.
GIVEAWAY WINNER: The only other stitching news I have is to announce the winner of the Santa chart giveaway from my previous. I had eleven entries so I threw the names into a hat and picked out the winner: PAM (Tall House Quilts)! Pam, please email me with your mailing address and I will get this chart off to you as soon as possible. Congratulations and, if you weren't the lucky winner, please come visit me again--I'll be having more old chart giveaways in the future!
Green, green, and more green... So, on to my photos from what is known as Hawaii's "Garden Isle." Kauai was described on one website as the land of "Emerald mountains, weeping waterfalls, red-rock canyons, jaw-dropping beaches, clear seas and big waves." All-true--it was so lush and green everywhere you looked. But, like our time on Maui, the sunshine was absent most of the time. And like Maui, we also had a nine-hour power outage--I mean what are the chances of that happening on both islands?
We stayed in an Airbnb that felt very jungle-like nestled along the banks of the Wainiha River in the remote, more isolated northern area of Kauai. I'll give you a tour in photos if you'd like to come along...
|The view from our balcony overlooking the tranquil Wainiha River|
|One of the few blue-sky days brought this pretty pink sunrise|
|I laughed when I first saw this "Caution: Falling Coconuts" sign, but by week's end, there were nine coconuts that had thudded onto the ground. They really could have caused great damage to someone if they landed on a head!|
|There was an abundance of fresh fruit growing right in the yard of the Airbnb--along with these bananas, there were papayas, avocados, guavas, oranges, and mangoes!|
|The house that we stayed in advised us to close the gate that surrounds the yard and we found out why! We encountered this quintet of wild pigs on the road as we drove into town...|
|How would you like to run into this fellow in your yard?|
|On a non-rainy day, we took in the beautiful sights at the Limahuli Garden & Preserve which was just up the road.|
|Everything grows bigger than life here including the roots on these trees!|
|Pointy cliffs like these make it impossible to drive entirely around the island|
|This traditional Hawaiian hale (house) was reconstructed in the footprint of what was once an ancient housing complex.|
|Another shot of the Limahuli Preserve (and me!)|
|More beauteous flowers--the bird-of-paradise in the center was my favorite|
|I believe these are papaya trees full of fruit|
|Special touches like these stepping stone etched with symbols of plants and trees added a nice touch|
|Our final day--and a sunny one--took us to the Allerton Garden at the National Tropical Botanical Garden on the southern end of Kauai|
|Do these Morton Bay fig trees look familiar? Parts of the movie, Jurassic Park were filmed here. You may remember that scene where the hatched dinosaur eggs were found among the roots of these trees.|
|You can get a better idea of just how large the roots are with us standing in front of them!|
|This arbor of golden bamboo was so lovely|
|An orchid nestled in the bamboo|
|The Wai`oli Hui`ia Church was one of the prettiest I have ever seen|
|On our final afternoon we drove way, way up into the Waimea Canyon State Park.|
Hope you enjoyed seeing my photos from this beautiful part of the U.S. I think we got to see some lovely sights in spite of the rain, flash flooding, and closed hiking trails that we encountered. And we certainly were forced to just stay home and relax when the weather was so terrible. I had been so far behind on my sleep with worrying about the wedding, my retirement decision, and trip planning, that I slept like a baby!
A traditional birthday treat... My middle son turned 32 last week and, as he has ever since he was a little boy, he requested a "Giant Chocolate Eclair Dessert" as his birthday goodie. I cut the recipe in half as there were just four of us, but it still tasted delicious. My little Santa helpers seem to think it looks pretty yummy, too! I mean, what's not to like about a puffy pastry crust and layers of cream cheese, French vanilla pudding, and whipped topping. Oh, and don't forget the swirly chocolate topping!
|Giant Chocolate Eclair for the birthday boy|
How is everyone coming along with their Christmas preparations? I still don't have my tree decorated... I was visiting my mom last week, came back home, and will go up to New York again this week as she began having some health issues. But, she comes first right now--she is my best friend :) I'll get my tree up at some point--even if it is just for a week!
Thanks so much for visiting today--I know you, like me, have very limited hours to spend online at this time of year. Just want you to know how much I appreciate your comments, emails, and visits! Bye for now...