Thursday, February 22, 2018

Two new ornaments and more random thoughts

Hello, everyone! How has February been treating you? I can't believe it's been more than three weeks since my last post--I guess my goal of two posts per month isn't going to be met for February, is it? I spent a wonderful week in New York visiting my mom (who is doing very well--thanks to all of you who ask about her!) in early February. Since I returned home, I have been stitching a lot, but since several things are for gifts, I have only two new finishes to share with you today. 

My February Christmas ornament is Little House Needleworks' "Needlework Shop" stitched "over one" on black Monaco... So tiny and cute! Because it was done on such a tiny scale (and on black!), I had to change a few things. I changed the lettering just a bit to make it readable, omitted the window panes in the door and substituted a simple red valance, left off the backstitching around the quilt in the window. I also changed the color of the roof so it would show up on the black and satin stitched the cute little spool underneath the peak of the roofline.

Another Little House Needleworks shop on black

And this is how I finished it off... I just love the green flannel--I think it is perfect for a winter scene. The little details in this series are so sweet--the wreath in the window, the quilt on display, and that brilliant red cardinal atop the pine tree. I think the black shows them off even better, don't you?

Needlework Shop finish

If you think this finish looks familiar, it's because I finished "Tree Lot" in the Hometown Holidays Series in the same manner. In fact, I've decided to stitch and finish each chart in the series in a similar fashion with various flannel colors. There are 15 charts in this series and I only have two done--at this rate it will be a three or four year project! Think I can do it? Wish me luck...

The first two finishes in the Hometown Holidays series

My second finish was made for a former coworker's new baby girl for her first Christmas. As usual, I was just a bit late with my gift and she didn't receive it until late January, but it was so well-received. This is "Snowmen" by Country Cottage Needleworks with quite a bit of rearranging (you can see the original chart right here). I actually took the snowmen, lined them up and spelled out the baby's name. I then used the snowflakes that were on the chart and rearranged them and put the pine needle border along the bottom. 

Give me an "A," give me an "L," give me an "I"...

To make this ornament sized, I stitched it "over one" on a dusty pink evenweave that I found in my stash. I am thrilled with how it turned out and think the pink and white twisted cording adds a perfect touch. I hope sweet Alice enjoys hanging this quintet of smiling snowmen on her Christmas tree for years to come. This may give some of you a new idea for a baby gift... As someone on my Instagram post commented "Carol, you've just started something new!" I'm sure I'll be using this idea for future baby gifts or Christmas presents...

The finished gift for baby Alice

So, what else have I been up to this month? Well, lots of organization / re-purposing / purging  has been going on in our house. We are turning our middle son's bedroom into a proper guest room which meant purchasing a bigger bed and new mattress. While mattress shopping for the guest room, we decided it was long past time for us to replace our own mattress (which is, I'm embarrassed to say--at least 25 years old!). It is just so weird testing out mattresses in public, isn't it? But, we both agreed, very quickly, on two mattresses to purchase and they will be delivered in a couple of weeks.  So, that set off a chain reaction... we moved the daybed in our middle son's old room to the youngest son's room and gave that bed to Goodwill. And, that led to cleaning out under the beds, reorganizing drawers... well, you get it! But, it is such a good feeling to be getting rid of so many long-unused items. 

When I mentioned what was happening to one of my sons, he said, "It sounds like you are doing "Swedish Death Cleaning." WHAT?!?! I had never even heard of such a thing! It sounded a bit crazy, but then I read up on it and it is a real thing called "döstädning" which means "death cleaning"  in Swedish. In fact, there is even a book about it called "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning and How to Save Yourself and Your Family From a Lifetime of Clutter" by Margaretta Magnusson.  It sounds rather morbid, but it really makes sense when you think about it... It basically involves going through your possessions one by one and paring them down so that, when you pass away, your family isn't burdened with disposing of them. It is not cleaning or organizing--it is literally getting rid of what you no longer use or want... What do you think? I know my sons will appreciate our efforts some day (hopefully, many, many years from now!). We have just begun, and have a very long way to go, but it is such a freeing experience!

Found treasures! Anyway, while doing my purging, I came across four old cross stitch kits (pictured below) that I didn't even remember I had as they were stuck way back in a cupboard behind my fabrics. I was so excited as I still love each of them and really should get started on one. But, which one? What would you like to see me stitch? After all--they are kits with the fabric and floss so I have no excuse not to start one, do I? 
Which one should I stitch next?


Randomness...

*** Thank you for all of your caring comments about my sadness and feelings of uselessness now that I've retired. They honestly meant a lot to me...  I did a bit of reading on the subject and discovered that retirement is a process and involves steps similar to those in the grieving process. I am feeling better each week and I know I'll find my way as I journey deeper into this new chapter of mine.

*** I've been slowly dipping my toes into a new craft--one that involves pretty fabrics. Can you guess what it is? I hope to have some photos for you next time.

*** Thank you for your prayers and positive thoughts for my son's safe return from abroad. His trip to Pakistan went well, other than a bout with food poisoning, and he is safe at home in Washington, DC (until mid-March when he is off on yet another extended work adventure!). 


*** I just finished listening to a very good audiobook called "Night Road" by Kristin Hannah. Has anyone read books by her that they recommend? I listened to her book "The Nightingale" which was excellent, too, so I think more of her books are in my future.

*** Did you see any new Nashville Needlework Market releases that called your name? My favorite four were three With Thy Needle and Thread designs: "Basketful of Summer Time," "Indigo Lane," and "Welcome Spring" (oh, that design is just the cutest!) and one La D Da piece called "Love Abide." I also love "Pear Tree Sampler" by Chessie and Me... time to start a new wish list!

My favorites from the Nashville Market releases

♥♥♥ I'll leave you with a belated Valentine's Day photo that I posted on Instagram (if you would like to follow me, please click here)... These are all older finishes from 2012, but I know I have a lot of new followers who may not have seen these before. I am generally not a pink girl, but I do love it at Valentine's Day! ♥♥♥

Happy Belated Valentine's Day!

So, that ends my lone February post! I hope you all enjoy a lovely weekend. We are due for a lot of rain so it looks like a good weekend to do more "Swedish Death Cleaning" and some spring stitching... As always, thank you for visiting with me today--and a special thank you to those who take the time to comment. It really means a lot to me to know there are people giving up their free time to read my blog. And if you have any questions, just be sure to include your email address so I can reply to you. Bye for now...

65 comments:

Cindy's Stitching said...

How I made the first comment, so rare. Love the finishes on black. I have been doing some new crafting myself, it's good to try new thjngs. I don't have much to clean out since losing everything, so I guess there is an upside. I do try to keep things simple these day. Glad your mom is doing well. I have so many patterns I want from market. I am looking forward to videos of the market. Sprint is oN its way.. Have fun with the spring cleaning.🌻🌻🌻

deb said...

Your finished ornaments are lovely - I like your idea to do the series with coordinated fabrics to make a set that clearly goes together.

Of your rediscovered kits, I would vote for .... what is his name? The Literary Cat. And you're taking up quilting? Oh my. I've decided I seriously need to destash quilt fabrics as I've admitted to myself that my passion is stitching and I don't have need of a monstrous big fabric stash, lol

Hope the remainder of February is good to you.

RJ said...

Hi Carol! Great post with beautiful stitching and ideas to ponder. I'm also stitching the Hometown Holiday series into a French village but now you have me wishing I had done them on black. I love the black background and I do think they pop so well on that fabric. I also like that you are doing them over one. Small appeals to me in ornaments. I looked everywhere for plaid wool for them but no luck so I have chosen a very tiny print to do all of mine in.

That book does sound sad but I understand the motive behind it. I do have to clean out as we have gathered so much over the years with moving so much.

My guess is you are taking up quilting. If so that is such a lovely craft and you can make so many lovely things.

Love all of your Valentine stitches of the past...beautiful. RJ@stitchingfriendsforever

Barb said...

I am so glad to hear your mom is doing much better! Of course, I love all the stitching. What a lovely baby gift. Well worth waiting for I would think. I have a very dear friend who is having a very difficult time since she retired. I was lucky. We moved from KY to WA. Looking for a home and all that goes with that kept me so busy. Plus, for the first time in her adult life, we lived near our daughter. That has been such a blessing. However, I have seen a lot of people who do have issues. I think it is a big life change and they always take time to adjust. I am happy that you are feeling better. Now if you get the sleep thing licked, let me know!!

Glenna said...

I love your ornaments and as always, you write about so many things that I will think about later. Cheers, and spring really is on its way.

Robin in Virginia said...

Carol, both of your ornaments are super. What a great idea for Alice's ornament! I am intrigued by the Swedish Death Cleaning you mentioned. Off to check out the book! I like the Marjolein Bastin kit with the birds (the blue one). I hope the remaining days of February are good ones for you.

Kate said...

Great post, Carol. The snowman ornie for the little one is so cute and such a clever idea - definitely a keepsake for her. Nice to read that you're finding lots to do and enjoying it. :)

Myra said...

Carol, another lovely post! You should definitely do the book shelf chart first. I just love it! Your LHN ornament finishes are just so cute. The white x's you added are the perfect touch. Glad to hear your mom is doing well. I think of you often my friend!

marly said...

Glad to hear your mom is doing well.

That green cord and fabric set your finish off perfectly. Good choice! And Alice's ornament is so sweet.

I'm purging to make a move easier. One day, don't know when, I will have plenty to dispose of so I'm trying to get a good start.

Love Marjolein's greeting cards and stationary, I choose the berries!

Ele said...

Glad to hear you mom is doing well. Your LHN ornaments look fantastic on black, I love your choice of flannel too, so pretty. The baby ornament is such a good idea, I think I will remember it! Makes the perfect baby gift
Have a great weekend, enjoy stitching your new kit. The tea sampler is lovely by the way

arcadia said...

Love your ornaments ! I'm in a huge cleaning/repurposing mood too, being very ill and with no relatives, after mu husband drop me like a trash bag on a road side I've started selling, throwing away, after some hard time at the beginning it became quite addictive ! I've read the book, and the Konmari method as well... but what gave me the more motivation was to gain SPACE at home, what sounded impossible. I'm really enjoying it now :-) I love your choices from Nashville market, there are appealing me, but I have soooo many to end/stitch/finish first... I'm not sure life time could be enough...

Irene said...

le tue finiture sono sempre perfette e meravigliose! Brava che fai pulizia, la casa deve sempre essere in ordine perchè ci rende più felici :)

butterfly said...

Love your new header and you new ornaments are wonderful.
Love the little baby gift how sweet.
You sound like us Carol , we are doing some work on the house and sorting out the upstairs it will be on going for a few years.
And I also found a box of kits I have already started on one.
I think you should start the blue tit one or the tea design I have loved those ones for a long time go for it Carol.
I am also happy you had a good week with your mother and that you are starting to enjoy your time at home.

Preeti said...

Beautiful ornaments, Carol !:) And your finishes are as perfect as always ! Black background looks great but might not be as easy to stitch as on white, I need to try stitching on black. That baby ornament is very cute and a great idea for gifting !
How nice that you found some charts while cleaning the house. The one with books and cats can be a gift for one of your sons who has a kitty. But since you stitch more of smaller projects, the birds and tea themed ones are my choices:)
I did not know that it is called Swedish death cleaning but I had similar thoughts when I do paper work organisation. I told my husband to have everything organised so that atleast the important monetary tasks can be handled properly in our absence. My father was very organised in his property and paper work but my husband is very disorganised in this area. If I ask him to consolidate, he says I need to only contact so and so wealth manager in his absence. Then I just stop the topic as the discussion goes somewhere else and loses its purpose.

Marilyn said...

The LH pieces are too cute, what a great idea to co-ordinate the series.
The Baby gift too, is a cute idea,so pretty.
I like your market choices.
I too, love the La D Da design.
I love this design, and the Springy colors...........
https://www.stitchesnthings.com/detail.cfm?ID=56968
Your Valentine smalls are so pretty.
I too, and cleaning and purging......a LOT!
Must be a retiremnt thing. ;)
Marilyn

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
a wonderful post.
Your finishes are so lovely. I like your stitching on the black fabric.
The gift for the little baby is very cute. Nice idea.
Your cross stitch kits are wonderful.
Have a nice weekend.
Big Hugs, Manuela

Christine said...

Gorgeous ornaments, the buildings look stunning on the black.
Great lost kits that you found too, I think I'd like to see you stitch the one in blue tones with the birds eggs first

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

I so hope you are starting to quilt!!! Will be looking forward to what you reveal to us. Your stitching is so inspiring. If you become a quilter, it'll be just as exciting to see! Glad you are finding your niche in the retirement world.

Mary said...

Carol, I'm so glad to hear you had a great visit with your Mom and she is doing well.
I love the Hometown Holiday series and it's stunning on black!!
Your Christmas ornament is just darling and I looked at the original design and you certainly did personalize it!! It's just perfect!! I'm so impressed with your creativity on how you adapt patterns.
Hmm, I wonder what your playing with!! I am guessing wool applique!! I bought 2 kits that are adorable and hope to play with them soon.

I keep on telling my husband that we have to do something about all that we have accumulated in the 30+ years, I have no children to go through our things. I think it is a smart idea to de-clutter and get rid of what you no longer need. Your children will appreciate it!
Great Valentine smalls!!
I vote for the stitch with all the bird designs...And, RJ and I have already made a new list from the sneak peeks...The Spring WTNT is my favorite so far....

Vickie said...

I am so glad to hear your mom is well Carol. The Needlework Shop looks great on black. The baby ornament is very sweet! Brian and I did plenty of "Swedish Death Cleaning" before moving here. We had to! Is is liberating! I vote for Birdhouse Artistry. I think you are trying out quilting my friend! I really do enjoy it. Just not as much as stitching. I will get back to it. I have just been in such a HUGE stitching mode.

Cathy H. said...

Happy belated Valentine's Day to you, too! I love your pretty display of Valentine stitched pieces. You are so patient to work on black over one. I love the way these ornaments are turning out! Great idea to finish them in a similar fashion. Oh, and the baby's ornament, just PRECIOUS! If I were picking one of your kits, it would be Marjolein Bastin's kit with the bluebirds. I love bluebirds! Looking forward to seeing what new craft you might be getting into. I'm thinking it might be quilting.

Stasi said...

Carol,
Good news about your Mom!
I love the LHN pieces on black; the colors pop so much! And the different color wools at the bottoms are such a nice touch. Do you use floss or perle cotton for your cording? If floss, how many strands?
We went through the 'house purging' two years ago when we started our move to VA. We got rid of a lot (our new home is smaller with no basement) and I am trying hard not to re-accumulate in our new location. Every now and then I'll think of something I regret getting rid of, but overall it was a "freeing" experience.
I love the artwork of Marjolein Bastin, so I vote for one of hers.
I'm starting a short list of things being previewed for Nashville; there are couple bee related charts I have to have!!! :)

Ann at Beadlework. said...

I heard about the Swedish thing a while back and think that we perhaps do this without giving it a name. I know that since I've lost both parents and have had to empty their home I'm much more aware of the accumulated "clutter" that I have and need to reduce.
Marjolein Bastin art is so lovely, I've stitched a couple of her Vera mouse designs and they are so neat.

Rhona said...

Your Hometown Holiday finishes are gorgeous! The fabrics you chose compliments them perfectly. The new baby finish is adorable too, I'm sure the new parents will treasure it.
What a lovely surprise to find some new/old kits!!! They are all wonderful designs so I can see why you're having difficulty choosing which one to start with.
Enjoy your new craft and all those pretty fabrics....it's good to try something new!

Shelly said...

Love your finishes! The checkered flannel looks so good with black stitching fabric. The baby gift is so very cute. Glad to hear you are adjusting to retirement. As for Market, I love all the With Thy Needle and Thread releases, haven't seen the Chessie and Me piece though. I've been Swedish Death Cleaning myself and it's an ongoing thing but I also have a big box set aside for charity donations. Have a super weekend, Carol!

Vicki said...

What a great post! Your finishes are all lovely, the little snowman for Alice is just precious. I'm with you on the de-cluttering. My motto for this year is "the year of the purge" and I'm determined to carry it out. I have so many items that I keep for all the wrong reasons and I need to let them go so my house can breathe again! haha I'm feeling inspired by your post so I'm rarin' to go today. Enjoy your weekend!

Linda said...

Congrats on the super cute finishes Carol. I think you should do the Dimensions kit.

Linda

Maggee said...

Another wonderful post! Really like the ornament stitched on black, and your finish is perfect for it! So glad your Mom is doing fine... always a good thing! Getting used to retirement is a process. We have ups and downs... winter is the hardest, because we both like to be outdoors a LOT! We just had a taste of spring here, with warmer temps for a couple of days, and I am suffering with horrible allergies now! Eyes are itchy and swollen, throat is irritated, etc etc... Not the best day for me. Thanks as always for sharing! Hugs!

Andrea said...

A wonderful ornament finish. I'm loving how to are stitching and finishing them, so looking forward to the next ... and the next... :)
The baby gift is adorable.

Good to hear your Mum is doing well.

I have been trying to clear the loft (you may call it the attic?), every time we have a charity bag come through the door up I go and have a look. Or if I have clothes I think I no longer require I will put those in a bag, leave them for 6 months and then if I haven't gotten them back out they also go to the charity shop.

Glad to hear things are getting easier with the retirement. It must be so strange.

Have a good weekend.

Clare - Aimetu said...

Super LHN finishes, your Needlehouse is beautiful. What a gorgeous ornament for Alice, a real treasure. Happy Valentine's.

Daniela Bencúrová said...

Dear Carol, great ornaments!
Black fabrics are unusual, you like me!
Hugs!

Susan Lankford said...

Carol...your posts are always so interesting and full! One of the reasons I stopped blogging was because I really am not that conversant and I was pretty sure my blog was boring! But I will persevere for now!

Love, love, love your Christmas series and the flannel is delicious! Especially love the white cross stitches!

I haven't heard of "Swedish Death Cleaning", but I so believe in it! When my mom died, her home was a nightmare of clutter and stuff she had not used for years. It took quite a while to get that taken care of....

I agree with you about the With Thy Needle and Thread Designs from Market...I'm sure there will be many others, too...Aaack!

Hugs, Susan

Lesley said...

Such pretty finishes Carol,especially your gift for Alice.
It is lovely to hear you had a good visit with your mom and that your son has returned safely.
I am intrigued about your new craft,pretty fabric,it sounds like quilting?I am looking forward to finding out:)

Julie said...

So pleased to read your mother is doing well, fabulous news.
The baby gift is so cute, a great idea to add the letters in the snowmans tummy, there'll be lots of them about now you have shared the idea.
The black fabric certainly is beautiful on the new Christmas finish with the flannel fabric. They do look nice and will be so pretty on your tree all finished similarly.
DH and I have been having a clear out too... its got to be done, but it does take a lot of time to do.
love and {hugs} x

Nurdan Kanber said...

You made again tons of stunning works Carol. Your ornaments (from head to toe) are such inspiration.

I'm pretty sure that,which ever you pick among those; you'll create wonder with ♥♥♥

Happy weekend.

Natureluvr57 said...

2018 has not been very good to me so far. I'm hoping all the bad stuff will get out of the way so I can enjoy the remainder but from past experiences, I'll just wait and see. I love the LHN ornaments and that adaptation of Snowmen is awesome. I love love love the Marjolein Bastin kit with birds followed by the Tea one. I love seeing your projects. I didn't know there was a name for this type of purging but a friend would rescue vintage sewing machine. Her daughter was in college and had no desire to sew so she started selling off a lot of them. She said she didn't want her daughter to have to deal with it all when that time came. Besides she knew a lot of people that loved sewing and loved vintage machines. I bought my 1948 Singer Featherweight from her and she sews a beautiful straight line. I've always wanted a treadle machine but she had already sold the two she had before I knew she was selling them.

diamondc said...

Carol: I feel for you I had to adjust to retirement, it was a little hard at first, thankfully I had my stitching and beading.
I am totally in love with your finished designs, they are beautiful.
That baby ornament is perfect, the color is lovely, what a wonderful idea to stitch her name into the snowmen.
I have been purging myself, its hard at first but feels so good after.
I am so happy to hear your Son returned safely and you had a wonderful visit with your Mother.
Not sure which one you should start they all are wonderful.
I am thinking quilting.

Blessings
Catherine

Meg said...

Hi, Carol! So glad to see a post from you. I’ve been thinking about you and hoping you are well. It’s been too long since I’ve posted as well, and I am hoping I can get something online this weekend. Anyway, love the “needlework shop” finish, and that you are doing all the ornaments in the same theme. I just ordered the entire series (what’s been released so far) in one go - thanks to my husband who has been spoiling me a lot lately - and I can’t wait to start them. I may copycat your finishes, since they are so sweet. I hope you don’t mind.

I hear you about the “death cleaning”! I didn’t know there was a name for it, either, but that makes sense. My husband’s mother has a very large home, and she is an avid collector of everything... I wouldn’t go so far as to call her a hoarder, but she does not like to throw anything away - not even old Newsweek magazines. We talk about how it’s going to take a couple of construction-sized dumpsters to purge everything when she is gone, and at the same time, we don’t like to talk about it. It’s her home, and her things, and we’re just glad she’s still around. Since I’ve been retired, and fighting cancer, I think a lot about my own silly “collections.” I’ve already given away lots of things, but there are still many things I hold on to. I need to make lists of who I would like to have what. I know that may sound morbid, but it is practical.

Ahem.... on a lighter note! I think you should stitch one of the Marjolein Bastin kits. I have a couple of her leaflets, and the colors they use are just breathtaking. They are really a joy to stitch. They use very little backstitching. In fact, I’ve just finished a small project based on one of her paintings, and it is going to be the subject of my next blog.

This comment is already way too long. Be well, my dear friend, and I’m so glad your mother is well and your son is home safe.

Hugs, Meg

Barb said...

Hi Carol - what a happy delight to see you had posted a new posting in your blog yesterday. I read it quickly but really didn’t have time to leave my own Comments at that time. I confess that I’ve looked at your site many times looking for your new postings - so thank you so much. I love your blog and getting to see all your latest stitching and reading about what you have been doing. This one was perfect! I love your LHN Hometown Holiday stitching and finishes. You are so clever and so imaginative - as someone else said, I think a lot of us stitchers will use some of your ideas to carry on these great ideas. It’s so generous of you to share them. The snowman ornament that you made for baby Alice is adorable - very clever and she is definitely a very lucky girl. Such a treasure!!

I, too, am so happy to read that your visit with your Mom was good and that she is doing well. How long were you with her? It’s also good to read that your son is home from his work trip and I do hope he’s feeling good and recovered from food poisoning. That couldn’t have been fun for him.

So many of your followers guessed that you may be quilting? Is that a good guess? It will be so much fun to find out what new crafty project you are doing.

Hugs to you -

Barb R.

Pam in IL said...

I love seeing all your stitching, Carol. Your ornies on the black Monaco are so lovely. I'm in awe that you stitched them over one. Shopping for a new mattress is such a hassle. It seems mattress prices have skyrocketed, but the quality of some mattresses has only gotten worse. We need a new mattress, but I can't bring myself to go shopping. We looked last year and walked away without making a purchase. I'm so happy to hear that your mom is doing well and your son is back home safely.

Margaret said...

OK, I'm not going to remember everything I wanted to comment on, but I'll try! First off, the Marjolein Bastein with the bird houses!!! I love her designs -- used to always buy her cards at Hallmark. Didn't know there were cross stitch kits! I'm trying not to look too hard at Nashville releases. I haven't been stitching so I don't need the temptation! As for the Swedish thing -- yes, I recently heard of it and it does make total sense. I need to do some of that. I also need a new mattress, so I need to follow suit there too! Love your two finishes. The one for the baby is so sweet! So glad your mom is doing well and that you had a nice visit. And that your youngest is home safe too! He's a real traveller, isn't he? I remember your saying he loves to travel. It's funny, I've read The Nightingale but haven't read Night Road, nor her latest book. Loved The Nightngale though! Glad to hear you are getting used to being retired. it makes sense what you read -- that it's a grieving process. I sort of feel like the empty nest process is a bit like that too.

Karen said...

Both ornaments are lovely! Finishing the Hometown Holidays series with coordinating fabric is a great idea. My vote is the Marjolein Bastein bird house kit. We haven't had our mattress quite as long as you have, but we know we will need to replace it next year after we move. As much as I want a new mattress, I'm not looking forward to the process.

Janice Boucher said...

Great post as usual Carol! I love your little finishes with the flannel trim...how cozy and warm looking!
For your next project...definitely the Marjolein Bastin pattern of the large birdhouse...(bottom right in your pic)
I love Kristin Hannah books. I read several of them years ago. Can't remember off the top of my head the titles. Senior Moment once again :(
I look forward to reading more of your posts.
Janice

Marsha said...

I loved looking at all your ornaments, each one is a treasure. I too think you should do a Marjolein Bastein. I always get her desk engagement calendar and a wall calendar of hers. I love her artwork so much. I retired in June on my birthday but it was terrible because so many awful things happened within a 3 week time surrounding it and even on the day of was the worst. So, it’s only been recently that I even feel retired. I know that lost, unproductive, not contributing feeling. I will get to volunteering sometime but I need to find a good fit. I think I am still easing into it and I don’t miss the craziness that was work. I also worked 2nd shift and that time frame is still a part of me-up late, sleep late. We will get there though, I am hopeful.

MartinaM said...

Hi Carol,
I'm thrilled, on black fabric and then over only one thread. Respect. And the finish is really great.
The idea with the baby gift is great, and you have chosen a cute motif.
Oh - there are really some nice old motives, I would start with the tea. Is probably because I´m stitching the coffee itself.
Have a good time, and all the best for your son.
Hugs, Martina

Sandy said...

Your ornaments are lovely as always. Love the flannel selection.
I think you answered a question I have been pondering for awhile. All of daughter's friends are beginning to have babies. I have been looking for a birth record I could cross stitch, but an ornament would be so much easier and original these days or at least around here.

Cindy said...

I listened to an audiobook of Night Road a couple of years ago, it was very enjoyable. I have been seeing sneak peaks for market, and I am adding Indigo Lane to my wish list! Beautiful little baby pillow, I'm sure it will be cherished for many years.

Lili said...

Your ornament for the baby girl is to adorable!
Love your Hometown Holidays ornaments too, this series in black will look so great!

Maybe quilting?

So glad that your mother is so much better!

Have a lovely weekend!

Mary - Lecoeurceltique said...

Beautiful finishes, Carol. You inspired me to get my sewing machine out yesterday to make some finishes. Just little pillows but at least they can be displayed in a basket rather than lie in a folder.
Good to read that your mother is doing well.

Penny said...

I love your ornament finishes, Carol! And I love the Hometown Holiday series -- I have a few of them and just need to find time to stitch them. What a creative baby gift so pretty! Swedish Death Cleaning really struck a chord with me. Our basement is in dire need of that very thing. I just have to find a way to break it down into manageable chunks because otherwise, it is just too overwhelming. You did discover some lovely treasures! I've always loved the cat and the books. : ) I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures of your new craft -- maybe quilting? I'm currently reading The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. I know it has gotten good reviews from a lot of fellow readers, but I'm still undecided - I think I am at about 60% right now so I should know pretty soon. : ) And don't get me started on the Nashville Needlework market -- way too many designs calling my name (I see we have some in common). I'm glad to hear you are slowly making peace with your retirement. It is a big change in your life, and little by little I know you will find your way. Sending hugs!

Jennifer said...

Hi Carol! Lovely stitching and finishing as always. I like how you are doing the LHN series with flannel. I also like the idea of Swedish Death Cleaning....I should probably start that now! There is so much that I hang on to! Glad your mom is doing well and that you’re starting to settle into retirement. Have you started to dabble in quilting? I can’t wait to see! Hope you’ve had a good weekend and have a good week ahead!

Beth said...

Where to begin - M. Bastin birds would be by choice to stitch - but you know me and birds. Your ornament finishes with the flannel are just wonderful - I can't even imagine how striking an entire series will be. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely Valentine finishes with us. I moved to this house 10 years ago, and it is now time for me to do some serious purging. Too much clutter can be overwhelming.

Brigitte said...

I love your new ornament, Carol. And such a lovely plan to finish this series in a similar way. The two that you already stitched and finished look awesome. I hope you will find many different flannel fabrics for them. And that little gift for baby Alice is so sweet.
So great to read that you mom is feeling fine.

Hmmmm, Swedish Death Cleaning sounds a bit morbid but I love the idea behind it. I'm a fan of decluttering and love to get rid of things I no longer want or need. Life gets so much lighter without these things. The biggest challenge is not to decide what to keep and what to get rid of but to convince my DH that decluttering is necessary. He is a real pack rat and would never throw out a thing,lol.

Oh my, all these hidden treasures in our stash. I love Marjolein Bastin's designs and have many of them. They are so full of nice details and the best is they don't need any backstitches. I'd stitch the one with the bird theme.

Bekca said...

I think a good decluttering session is good at any age! It allows you to leave the past behind and focus on the new :) I love the Tea design in the selection of cross stitch kits you found, but I love anything with teapots :)

Vee said...

Your ornament finishes are lovely!

I love the Swedish death cleaning explanation. Here in my neighbourhood, we have military posting cleaning so that we don't have to pack all of this stuff and move it!

Jackie said...

My former manager told me once that I'm always cleaning out closets, etc. It used to be true but now I feel like they ALL need to be done. Getting rid of/giving away things you don't need feels so good! I always feel invigorated by it.

Do you think the time of year affected your blues about being retired? Winter is such a tough time anyways...

The ornament for Alice is just precious! I know it will be a treasured heirloom.

You know I love your ornaments on black! I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of your Hometown Holidays pieces!

Daffycat said...

Oh my goodness! Your finishes are all so wonderful! The baby ornament is terrific and such a great keepsake for her.

You should stitch Frederick! Wait, those are cherries and I'm strangely attracted to fruit. Stitch the cherry sampler!

Are you trying out quilting? I hope so, it's so much fun!

Katie said...

It's always nice to stop by your blog and boy this time was no different. I love your finish on the Little House pieces. So perfect. Your changes made it even more perfect and those finishes. I admire them so much. I just LOVE your baby gift. How cute!! We've been doing a lot of deep cleaning too. I found a box of toilet paper I moved here to our new house 10 years ago haha. Glad I saved it. I love all 4 of the kits you found and look forward to seeing which one you picked to start. So glad to hear your son is back home safe and sound.

Karoline said...

I love your finishes, Needlework Shop is lovely and the Snowman are very cute.

Good for you on Decluttering, that's something I need to get back to but two busy children make it difficult to carve out the time. I'm thinking that I need to get back to the 'Flylady' method of 15mins at a time.

Justine said...

So glad your mum is doing wel, Carol, and that you're getting more used to retirement. It must take some adjustment.
I love your Hometown Holiday series, they look stunning on black and the finishing just sets them off.
Lucky baby Alice receiving that gorgeous ornament!
I imagine you've started one of your new finds already but my vote would be for the tea sampler. They are all lovely though, you must be so pleased to have found them.
I love decluttering and am constantly trying to thin down my possessions. Having said That, I've just ordered 5 charts from Nashville Market!

Sheryl S. said...

Oh, a lot of pretty work here Carol. The Little House Needleworks shop is really impressive, over one and on black, the changes you made sound positive and the finish is lovely with the green fabric, as is the Tree Lot finish. Absolutely love your Valentine´s Day display and I like the thoughtful detail for the baby girl and your death cleaning is a good idea which we should all follow. Glad to hear your mum is well.

Barb said...

Hi Carol - Are those pansies in your header from your yard? So lovely! If you are lucky enough to have any flowers in bloom right now, I’m thinking your weather is better than here. Thanks for sharing them with us -it gives all of us hope. Any fun stuff going on for you? I’m looking forward to seeing what you have been stitching currently - your stitching always inspires me. I’ve been working on LHN “Calendar Girl Series”. I purchased them before my big car crash accident and I guess I got January stitched, so now I’m working on the rest of the months. Then I have to figure out how to finish them - a big job for me. Oh well, it’s fun to try to learn a new skill. Hope all is going well for you,

Hugs to you,
Barb R.

Kaisievic said...

Wonderful post, Carol, full of lots of lovely stitching as always and lots of news - so lovely to hear that your Mum is doing better and that you are feeling a bit better about retirement. My mum did Swedish Death Cleaning (although she had no idea it was called that, of course) however, a lot of her Death Cleaning involved giving me her lovely China - so now my house is chockas with it! lol! We, too, have been purging like mad - over the past twenty years seven adults have lived in this house - that is a lot of stuff! Thanks for the audio book review, too. lots of hugs, Kaye

Weronika said...

Thank you for your wonderfu lposl Carol. The idea of "Swedish Death Cleaning." is really great. I have to do the same in my house very soon. Your stitching and finishing is very beautiful.
The Dimension chart with cats and books looks really tempting. I think You should strat with this one.

Veronica

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

I love the ornies stitched on black! I wasn't bothered by them when they were released but seeing them so tiny and so stunning I may change my mind LOL

Also love the little snowman ornie. Good thing she has a short name. You'd make draught excluders with the length of my sons' names LOL