Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Still thankful

Good morning, everyone... I didn't intend to be away this long! I hope you are all hanging in there! I've read on a few stitching blogs that Covid has hit close to home for some of you. Things are really getting bad out there and I am staying put and keeping myself busy with the things I love here at home. Sadly, that means my family won't be here for Thanksgiving--this will be the first Thanksgiving in our 43 years of marriage that my husband and I will be spending alone. I'm sad, but I'd rather stay safe and see everyone for many Thanksgivings to come than risk getting sick. I've always been a very cautious person so this will surprise no one. But, it still hurts to not be with family, doesn't it?

Some of you long-time readers may remember the little bunny pouch that I created back in 2017 (you can read about it in this post ). Well, a little turkey pouch has made its appearance just in time for Thanksgiving. Isn't it adorable? This one is tiny--the pouch measures just 3 1/2 inches from top to bottom (not including the gingham hanger). 

Two tiny Prairie Schooler pouches

I filled the pouch with some shafts of wheat, but you could use dried bittersweet; I think that would be lovely, too. Bittersweet always reminds me of my dear mother as she used to send us kids up to the end of the street to pick some every autumn for her holiday centerpieces. I might just have to plant some in my yard next year in her honor!

The pouch measures just 3 1/2 inches high!

Both the turkey and bunny designs can be found in Prairie Schooler's Book No. 52 which is called "Prairie Year-Rounds." I may just do the Santa one in that same book at some point.  The gingham on the top border and in the hanger is from an old pair of slacks of mine that have received new life by helping to finish off my stitching! These were finished as round hanging ornaments on the front of the booklet--not sure what made me think they would look cute finished into pouches, but I absolutely love them!

Here's a close-up for you!

The little pouch is perfect for hanging on a cabinet knob. You know how much I love tiny things and this is right up my alley!

The turkey pouch will make a nice addition to my future Thanksgiving decorating.

 

And, after ten long years, one of my very favorite Thanksgiving pieces has finally been framed and is on display. Why, oh why, did I wait so long? I've even had the frame for nine of those years, but I just tend to procrastinate when it comes to finishing my larger pieces. In a way, I'm glad I waited as I've become much more confident in my framing skills. You might like to read about my finish from this 2010 post.  The framing tutorial that I use is from With Thy Needle and Thread and can be found right here. It's honestly much easier to frame things yourself than you would think--give it a try!


Finally framed after 10 years!

 

My Thanksgiving piece is stitched on a mystery fabric that I believe is 18 ct. cream Davos. I used the suggested DMC threads--don't you adore these fall colors! Prairie Schooler always gets it just right--the designs are so very timeless and classic. I'm thrilled to have it all finished up... better late than never, right?

Although stitching all those leaves got just a bit repetitive, I'm glad I persevered!
 

Prairie Schooler Santas are among my favorite ornaments to display each Christmas and my oval-finished ones are at the top of the list! A new blue Santa joined his buddies for 2020. I'm happy to introduce you to "Mr. August"--yes, this is my ornament for August (I told you I was way behind!). I did change the color of his robe as I wanted him to match his buddies in blue. All of my oval Santas are stitched on 40 ct. raw natural Newcastle linen.

Another oval Prairie Schooler Santa in blue

The Santa above is from Prairie Schooler's "Father Christmas," but the ones below can be found in three different PS booklets: "Father Christmas" (Book No. 43), "Kris Kringle" (Book No. 62), and "Old St. Nick" (Book No. 58). Do you have a favorite? I think I still love the light blue one carrying the ice skates with the swans on his robe. There is just such beautiful detail in that one! But, honestly, I love them all!

The whole oval PS family!! Which one is your favorite?

 

My September ornament is a tiny one and, surprise, surprise (!!!)--another Prairie Schooler design! This is from "Santa Moon" (Book No. 53) and is stitched "over one" on 28 ct. black Monaco. I did change the color of the star from the suggested DMC ecru to DMC 738. The stitched portion came out to be a mere 1 1/2 inches in diameter so I decided to mount it on a red polka-dot covered round piece of sticky board and border it with ecru cording to make it stand out more on my tree.

 

P.S. Santa Moon finish

I kept the finish simple by just adding a gingham bow and a tiny button while leaving long pieces of cording trailing downward. What do you think?


Love how tiny he is stitched one over one!

My final three ornaments for 2020 are stitched, but I need to finish them before I can share them in my annual "Parade Of Ornaments!" I still can't believe this year is coming to a close, can you? 

I was the lucky recipient of two Random Acts of Kindness in the form of the two charts pictured below. Two Instagram friends, Marilyn F. and Deborah Y. sent me the cute Shepherd's Bush "Pumpkin Harvest" chart and The Drawn Thread "Christmas Cards" chart, respectively. Aren't stitching friends the best? I'll be sure to pass these on when I'm done with them--thank you both so much, Marilyn and Deborah. I'm enjoying seeing more and more of you on Instagram, too! If you'd like to follow me, please click here.  

 

Gifts from Marilyn and Deborah--thank you both!

GIVEAWAY WINNER... I'd also like to announce the winner of the giveaway for the 20  pieces of cording that I offered in my previous post. Drum roll please... the winner is...

GEORGIA  W. ! 

Congratulations to Georgia!

Congratulations to Georgia W. Georgia, please send me your mailing address, and I'll get the cording out to you sometime this week! I'll be having future giveaways, so be sure to keep an eye on this space.

Our yard has been filled with the usual visitors this fall...

Our  local deer family popping in for lunch on a pretty fall afternoon!

 
I took this photo of three turkeys eating fallen birdseed from our upstairs window. Hope they are in hiding this week now that Thanksgiving is upon us!

And then there's that unwanted visitor--that shadow that still looms over all of us--Covid-19. I do have hope that the coming vaccines will be helpful in getting this pandemic under control. I come from a long line of doctors and two of my children (my middle son and my daughter-in-law) are both actively working in labs to combat and do research on various diseases so this vaccine makes total sense to me. The science behind it is is incredible and I so admire all those scientists who have been toiling long hours to research and come up with a solution to help the world feel safe once again. It has helped to maintain a sense of humor over the past nine months, though, hasn't it? The thought below made me chuckle when I saw it on Instagram..

Never thought I'd see myself in the middle of a pandemic, did  you?

In spite of this crazy and upsetting year that we'd all rather forget, I still remain thankful. I was blessed with loving parents and siblings, a wonderful husband, and three amazing sons. Now, I have a beautiful daughter-in-law and sweet grandson in the mix. I miss my mom more than words can say, though. She has been gone four months today and I feel almost more pain than I felt when she died. I know the holidays are hardest after the loss of a loved one, but this year, with no family around for support, makes it even more difficult. How I long to hug my sons... I haven't seen my youngest in eleven months! But, I know we are all in the same boat, so to speak, and we just have to hang in there and be patient a while longer.

I stitched this Heartstring Samplery piece ("Let Us Be Truly Thankful") after my dad died in 2014 and added my parents' birth year (1927) and their initials on either side of the flower stem on the right. I keep this out year-round to remind me to always be thankful and to count my blessings no matter what is going on in my life. I hope you can do the same. Take care now, my friends... and Happy Thanksgiving to you! Bye for now...

"Let Us Be Truly Thankful" finish

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Missing the sunshine

Well,  it's back to the reality of cold, dreary weather for me! Having missed the height of fall color in Pennsylvania while we were visiting my son's family in sunny southern California, I have to admit, it's been a rude awakening of sorts to come back to the rain and gray skies that have surrounded us all week. But, we had a safe trip out and back and a wonderful visit so, for that, I'm extremely grateful. To be able to fly out to visit my baby grandson twice since his birth in July is something I don't take for granted during a pandemic. We aren't sure when we'll see them again, but we sure made some wonderful memories while we were out there for three weeks. More about our trip further on in my post--for now, let's talk stitching!

As many of you long-time readers know, I haven't really decorated for Halloween since my father died on that day six years ago. But, the thing is, I still enjoy stitching a little bit of Halloween here and there. What do I do with these Halloween finishes if I don't decorate with them you may ask? Well, I simply tuck them away in a dresser drawer with the hope that maybe, some day, I'll feel like decorating again! Or, perhaps I won't and I'll just pass all my Halloween stitching on to my sons... 

Anyway, this was such a fun little piece to stitch. It is called "Halloween Screen" and is a chart from one of my favorite designers, The Drawn Thread. I think of all the Halloween designs out there, those by The Drawn Thread and The Prairie Schooler are my two favorites. I used the suggested Dinky Dyes silks for this piece on 40 ct. Woodland Newcastle linen. Love how the colors work so well together!

"Halloween Screen" finish

To finish this Halloween scene, I made a simple pillow with the palest yellow ric rak separating the black accent fabric from the stitching. A yellow handmade cording in the same shade as the moon was added to finish it off. I had to order the tiny button that forms the spider's body from Etsy as I've been avoiding going into stores. It came very quickly in a pack of ten so I have nine more for any future "spider bodies" that I may want to stitch! The bat is done with satin stitches which is something I love about The Drawn Thread designs--the use of various, relatively easy, specialty stitches adds so much to the finished look.

I love the "button" spider!

Another Drawn Thread design that I finally framed after stitching it four years ago was this sweet "Halloween House Sampler."  I made a few changes to the original design which you can read about in this post . I just love this one with the cute little children trick-or-treating at the haunted house. I wonder if they dared knock on the door or made a mad dash for home after spying the ghosts peering out from the windows and floating up from the chimney?

"Halloween House Sampler" ready for framing

 

As I mentioned above, I've been avoiding going into stores to shop (the only stores I've been in at all since mid-March are Trader Joe's a few times and once to Joann Fabrics), but, fortunately, I've accumulated a nice stash of thrifted frames over the past few years. I found a perfect one--except it was a brassy, gold color... Black chalk paint to the rescue! I put on two coats of it and then distressed it a bit. Here's the final result...

It fit perfectly in a 5" X 5" chalk-painted frame

 

Finishing this piece up, reminded me of a third Drawn Thread piece I had stitched back in 2014 called "Full Moon." I actually stitched this one five times--yes, five! I made one for each of my stitching retreat friends... I thought those of you who are new readers might enjoy seeing it and reading about my finish in this post. Finished in a pre-made black box which you can still purchase on Amazon, it is definitely one of my favorite finishes.

"Full Moon" finish by The Drawn Thread

And here are all three Drawn Thread finishes together. They really are such cute designs, don't you think?

There's just something so special about Halloween designs by The Drawn Thread!

 

I have one other finish to share with you--one that has been a long time coming! I first began stitching the Pittsburgh skyline below back in 2016 when my oldest son moved to sunny San Diego. The chart was actually a gift from my former manager at the library who has an Etsy shop right here. I stitched this "over one" on 28 ct. gold Jobelan with DMC 3799, changed the wording and font, and added some birds to the sky. I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

A gift started four years ago is finally finished!

Although originally meant to be a Christmas 2016 gift for my son, it morphed into a 2020 anniversary gift for both my son and daughter-in-law who celebrated their third wedding anniversary earlier this month. Pittsburgh has special meaning to them because that is where they met when she was getting her PhD at Carnegie Mellon University (and, of course, we live there, too!). On the back, I added a message saying that no matter where they roamed, they would always have a place in Pittsburgh to call home. They loved it, I'm happy to say!

All framed up and now sitting in it's new home in sunny California!

On to our latest southern California venture... Once again, we flew out and quarantined in an AirBnB before moving in with my son's family. I have to admit, this quarantining during a pandemic while in another city is not fun. I mean all we could really do is go for walks--lots and lots of walks! At least we got our 10,000 (++++) steps in each and every day. Our AirBnB was located just across the street from Mission Bay so there were miles and miles of boardwalk to spend time on. I'll just share a few of the photos I took with you...

When you fly into San Diego, you fly right over the city which provides a great view of the buildings, water, and boats. It's a bit scary to be honest--you are so close to the buildings!

 

Sailboats on a foggy San Diego morning

 

You can barely spy the paddleboarders and palm trees through the mist

The sun usually burns through the fog each morning leading to a beautiful blue sky before noon.

Ah... that's more like it! Birds and boats and bright blue skies!

We did manage to take one outing with my daughter-in-law and grandson while my son worked. Wearing our masks, we went to the lovely San Diego Botanic Garden (which was named one of the country's top 10 botanic gardens in 2019 by USA Today) for an afternoon of fresh air and sunshine while being surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers. It was so nice just to get out of our rental house and do something that felt normal again! There were very few people there so we felt safe and just relaxed and enjoyed our day. I've added a few photos from the garden below... 

My husband and I were dwarfed by this large tree

 
Just a few of the exotic flowers we spotted at the San Diego Botanic Garden


A pretty señorita covered in succulents in the Mexican themed garden


Often called a "Century Plant," this Agave Americana typically lives only 10-30 years and near the end of it's life, it finally blooms!

Strolling under a shady canopy of tall bamboo

That gazebo looks like a perfect place to relax, doesn't it?

After we moved in with my sweet grandson, it seemed to be one fun celebration after another... First of all, we celebrated my husband's retirement! Yes, as of September 30, 2020, he is no longer a working man (except for all those projects I have lined up for him around the house!). Of course, we couldn't have a real retirement party with the pandemic going on around us, so we had to, once again, resort to a surprise party via Zoom. Our sons joined us this way and all of our siblings sent cards. We do hope to have a real party one of these days, though--he worked so hard for 43 years and none of us would be where we are in life without him! 

Happy Retirement to my dear husband... it's the start of our next chapter together!

My daughter-in-law celebrated a birthday with a small socially distanced party in the park and received many lovely flowers and gifts. This birthday cake made of flowers was especially pretty! And, as mentioned above, my son and daughter-in-law celebrated their third wedding anniversary just three days later. Such a fun time of year for the young family!

A no-calorie flower cake! So lovely!

 

We also took the baby on his first trip to the pumpkin patch (more for us than him, obviously!). The sun was so bright that the poor little guy had his eyes closed in every single photo that we took outside, but we were able to find a nice, shady spot inside a tent to take a few photos with his eyes open. Look how big he's grown!

The cutest little pumpkin!

We even got to eat at a restaurant! Well, outside, spread far apart from others, but again, how nice to feel normal again for even a couple hours. I hadn't eaten at a restaurant since March 13th--seven months ago! It was lovely to sit outside, relax, and chat over good food while making funny faces and noises at Baby B to get him to smile. Speaking of the baby, you can imagine that I'm feeling as though I left a piece of my heart in California. I mean--just look at that precious little face... I cried when I left him and I just hope he doesn't forget us--although at this age I know he will, even with FaceTime. He's changed so, so much since our visit in July and just rolled over for the first time on Wednesday. He'll be four months old in just ten days--unbelievable how time is flying by...

Almost four months old already!

 

We arrived home to a few autumn colors still putting on a show in our front yard and that made it (just a bit!) easier (not really!) to leave the little fellow. With the rains this week, many of the leaves are now down--we'll be raking this weekend!


A bit of fall foliage was still remaining on our trees when we returned

So, there you have it--another California trip in the books. We are still keeping our fingers crossed that my oldest son's family will move closer to us one of these years! That trip across the country is grueling and I know as we get older, we won't be able to get out that way as much as we are able at this age...

Giveaway Winner... I had only a few entries for the two charts that I offered in my last post and the winner's name drawn from the hat is...

Jennifer Davis!

Jennifer Davis... you are the winner!

Congratulations, Jennifer... Please email me with your mailing address, (my email address is in my profile on the sidebar) and I will get the charts out to you next week. Thank you to all who entered...

New giveaway! For this giveaway, I've collected small pieces left over from the cording I've made through the years and am offering them to one of you (U.S. entries only due to shipping costs). There are 20 pieces of red, gold, green, and blue cording in lengths varying from five inches to thirteen inches. They would be perfect for adding as hangers to Christmas ornaments or embellishing a finish in some way. They are not long enough to go around a stitched finish (unless it is a teeny, tiny one!). To enter: 1)Please specifically mention that you want to enter the giveaway, 2) Provide your email address if I don't already have it, and 3) Answer the "Getting to Know You"  question below in your comment. This giveaway is limited to my blog followers only. I will draw a winner and announce it on my next blog post (hopefully, in mid-November). Good luck to all...

If you would like to enter this giveaway, please follow the directions above.


Getting to know you... It was such fun reading about whether or not you liked your name in my last post! Many of you, although not crazy about your name, preferred it to the alternatives your parents were considering when they named you. So, what shall we talk about today? How about: "If money were no object and everyone was able to travel safely again with no pandemic in sight, where would you travel? Would it be someplace close-by or somewhere more exotic.
 
My answer... I've always wanted to visit New Zealand! That was going to be our destination once my husband and I both retired, but, of course, COVID put a hold on those plans. The thought of that excruciatingly long trip worries me, but it is my dream to go there and spend a month before I get too, too old. From the photos I've seen and movies I've watched, the landscapes and natural beauty of New Zealand look absolutely stunning... so, hopefully, one day! Now, it's your turn. Where in the world would you like to travel? I'd love to get to know you better!

On to November... I know that many of us are feeling trapped inside as the cool weather moves in and the virus keeps raging around us. I'm especially thinking about my friends in Europe as new lockdowns begin. I'm sure our time is coming as well... I am so thankful to have my indoor hobbies to keep me relatively content. I can't imagine being someone who didn't have things like stitching, quilting, and reading to turn to during these trying times. 

Thank you all for stopping in to visit me today and a special thank you to those who take the time to comment. I truly appreciate (and read!) each and every one.  I owe so many of you emails and will try my best to visit with you soon. Don't forget to enter the giveaway if you are interested! Take extra good care now, my friends! Bye for now... 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

For the Love Of Black Cats

Happy end of September! Are you ready for a new month? In some ways it seems 2020 is passing at a snail's pace and in others, it is like a runaway train--speeding by with no sense of direction. It's been a beautiful month here in the mid-Atlantic states with warm days and cool nights--perfect sleeping weather. The cooler weather moved in yesterday, however, and I think it's here to stay. Great stitching weather, though, and I'm looking forward to it. 

Today I have a trio of finishes to share with you on one of my favorite subjects: black cats! Oh, I know... black cats are supposed to bring bad luck and they are even adopted from shelters at a much lower rate than other cats because of that superstition. Well, having had a black cat named Shadow for 14 years when my sons were growing up was one of the best chapters in my life. Ever since then, I've had a love for the sleek felines and, if it weren't for our travels and my husband's allergies to them, I would definitely adopt another one. 

These cute pillows are all designed by Blue Ribbon Designs and were featured in various Just Cross Stitch Magazines. I had stitched the one below on the left last year and decided to make two more and finish them in a similar way to display in this little wooden tray.

A trio of black cat finishes
 

The chart from the one I stitched last year can be found in the October 2018 issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine and is called "Startled Superstition." Don't you love the expression on the cat's face? Now, hovering right above the cat are two things I do fear--bats! Ugh!!!

 

"Startled Superstition"

 

I used 40 ct. vintage country mocha Newcastle for these and changed the colors to all DMC: 311, 3826, 976, 640, 729, 648, B5200. I also changed the outer border from orange to black. To finish it, I added some black ric-rak and a thin border of an orange and black print fabric to the side. Of course, I had to add my cording along with a black button, topped with a rust colored button, topped with a little checked bow.

 

Love black cats, but don't care for those bats!

The second pillow, called "Midnight Meeting" (from the October 2016 issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine, was stitched on the same fabric with the same thread colors that I chose for the pillow above.

"Midnight Meeting"

I wanted the borders to match on all three, so I changed that up a bit, too. I think the shy smiles on the little ghosts are so sweet! This was the narrowest of the three designs so I did a border of ric-rak and fabric on each side, topped it with a gingham ribbon and an old brass jack-o-lantern charm.

Love the cute ghosts!

The final black cat stitchery is called "Scaredy Cat" and can be found in the Just Cross Stitch Halloween magazine from 2011. It's also stitched on 40 count vintage country mocha with the same DMC threads. I began stitching this one and thought, "Wait a minute! If I'm going to display these together, I want the two cats on each end to be facing each other." So, I took a photo of the chart with my phone and flipped it so it was the mirror image. Luckily, I had only stitched the cat's tail so I didn't have much to rip out!

"Scaredy Cat"

The border on this third design was totally different and done in green so I re-charted it to match the borders on the other two. Here is a close-up of it all finished up... what do you think? As you can see, I put the fabric strip on the opposite side of that in the first finish. I love the way all three look together and think this is a cute Halloween display without being creepy or scary. I haven't done much Halloween stitching since 2014 when my dad died on Halloween, but I'm hoping to do a few pieces now and then. It definitely changed the feeling of the holiday for me.

It was nice being able to use the same colors and fabric for all three!

So, do you have a favorite? I think I like the last one the best--not sure why! I like the happy (rather than scary) pumpkin in it, too. I haven't stitched very many Blue Ribbon Designs, but will definitely be doing more.

 

One final look at the black cat trio.

Would you like to see a photo of my sweet Shadow who started my love for all-black cats? He was one big black cat--nearly 20 pounds! The vet said he could double as a panther in an action movie--he was that big. And, he was the very best pet for our boys--he followed them around in the yard, slept with my middle son, and really behaved much more like a dog than a cat. He, sadly, developed a tumor in his intestines and, even though we had him operated on, he ended up dying of it about 18 months later. Shadow was 14 years old when he died in 2007 and I still miss him dearly.

Shadow, 1993-2007

Gifts galore! In other stitching news, I've received some lovely gifts from stitchy friends from both Instagram and fellow bloggers. I still feel quite overwhelmed at the sheer thoughtfulness and generosity found in our community and I hope this kindness spreads to other online communities as well. This year, more than ever, we need a lot more kindness in our world, don't you think? Thank you to all of my sweet friends who surprised me with little bits of happiness in my mailbox recently...

 

Instagram friend Claire, in Canada, made me this darling scissor fob with the tiniest "over one" cardinals and the letter "C."

Instagram friend, Lois, from Northern Ireland sent my grandson this adorable book by two of my favorite children's authors.

Instagram friend, Tricia in Illinois, sent me some delicious honey harvested from her husband's beehives, two beeswax candles and these sweet bee-themed scissors.

Blogging and Instagram friend Stasi, in Virginia, sent this wonderful selection of ribbons for my finishing and two sweet "Handmade With Love" charms.

Blogging friend June, in England sent me a cute beveled frame so I can put some stitching or photos in it for my grandson's room.

Giveaway time... I haven't offered a giveaway in a while so how about the chance to win these two charts? I'm offering both because the chart for one is on the back of the photo for the other and I can't separate them. These are from an old Leisure Arts magazine (sorry, but I don't know the issue). One is a seasonal band sampler called "Peace and Plenty" and is filled with pumpkins and sunflowers and a pastoral looking farm scene. And the other is called "Toy-Lovers Santa" and features good St. Nick carrying a bag of toys and carrying a snow globe with what appears to be a tiny Nativity scene inside.

If you would like to win these two charts, please follow the three steps below and I'll pull a name from the hat and post it sometime in October.

If you would like to win these two charts (which are torn from a magazine and will be folded to fit in a legal sized envelope to keep postage costs down): 1) Please let me know you are entering the giveaway in your comment below; 2) Make sure to leave your email if I don't have it already, and 3) Answer the question in my "Getting To Know You" section below. I'll let you know the winner in late October so you have a while to enter! Good luck to all!


Getting to know you... For today's question, I'd love to know if you like your first name and why or why not? My answer: Actually, I do like my first name even though "Carol" definitely screams "born in the 1950s." My mom and dad named me Carol as I was supposed to be born on Christmas, but just wasn't ready to appear until mid-January. "Carol" originated in France and means "song of joy"  and, to me, it always sounds like a happy name. ♪♫♪ I wasn't named after anyone... my parents simply liked the name and I'm happy they chose it!

So, now it's your turn... Do you like your first name? I'd love to get to know you a bit better...


With fall comes the job of cleaning up the garden which I leave to my husband. This spring he put up a new deer and critter-proof fence  and halved the size of our garden. This fenced in area is the only place we can grow flowers due to our overly abundant and very hungry deer, so the four raised beds are used for both vegetables and a few flowers. This is what it looked like in early summer (my husband surprised me by planting those small sunflowers when I returned from caring for my mom in May). I love the concrete slabs in between the beds as they keep your feet free of dirt when picking vegetables or flowers.

The newly configured garden in spring...

And here is the view at the end of summer. There were lots of tomatoes and butternut squash...

... and in fall 2020

Actually, there are way too many butternut squash--we have almost 20! Does anyone have any good recipes to recommend that would use up some of them? I am not usually a squash eater, but I may have to force myself this year!

I need Butternut Squash recipes--help!!

 

This year was definitely a transition year and my husband hopes to plant more flowers and a wider variety of vegetables next year. I did manage to get some pretty bouquets from our garden, though!

Love how the pink and white flowers look in the Delft pieces from my dear mother.

These gorgeous mums were sitting beside mom's grave during the funeral service and each of us kids took a pot of them home. 

Mom would have loved these mums so very much... She always enjoyed the colors of autumn in the northeast.

I'm still planning on doing a memorial tribute for my dear mother, just need to get a bit stronger. The good news is that I am getting less weepy--I noticed a distinct improvement this weekend so I'm hopeful... I still miss her dreadfully, though.

Well, that's it for me for September. I'll be taking a bit of a blogging break for part of October... Bet you know what that means, right? Yep--we are off to visit our little sweetheart grandson, "Baby B" who is now nearly 3 months old. I can't wait to hold him again--although he will look nothing like the nine day old cherub in this photo below. I mean look at that sweet dimple... sigh! Once again, we will be quarantining in an Airbnb before moving in with my son's family just to make sure we didn't pick up Covid on the flight to California. Wish us luck! I will be able to read your blogs while I'm gone, but won't be able to comment on them.

I have this photo of my sweet grandson right here in my kitchen where I can see it as I cook!

Don't forget, if you want to enter the giveaway, please make sure to include your email address (and that goes for anyone who wants a reply to a question as well, please). I hope you all have a wonderful October ahead and thank you all for visiting "Stitching Dreams," reading my way-too-long posts, and commenting--I do appreciate each of you so much! Bye for now... 

Happy October to all!