Friday, August 6, 2010

Bringing Home the Tree: Block 7

Hi everyone! I can hardly believe it has been almost three weeks since my last post. I seem to be turning into a twice a month blogger. Oh well, I do have a good excuse this time. But, more on that later… I am a bit late with what was supposed to be my July finish for Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow, but here is my completed Christmas tree farm. I changed several things in the chart this month. I just couldn’t bring myself to stitch minty blue trees, so I substituted various shades of green instead. Most noticeably, I personalized this block with my last name (by marriage). (For privacy, you can see I’ve covered my name with paper, but if anyone wants to see the actual block, just ask and I’ll email you a photo.) Luckily, I have a short surname with skinny letters like “l” and “i” so it was a perfect fit!

Block #7 of Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow has special meaning for my family. You see, my husband’s grandfather owned a nursery for many years and took great pride in his ability to propagate trees. He actually hybridized his very own crabapple tree: the White Angel which is pictured here. Even after he retired and moved to Florida, he had a passion for gardening. At the ripe old age of 90, he was still propagating and growing little Royal Palm Trees in his tiny backyard plot and advertising them for sale in local newspapers. I can still picture him shuffling back to his garden to show his tiny trees to a prospective customer—he was so proud of his specimens. So, this block is proudly dedicated to my husband’s paternal grandfather—I wish we all could share even half of the special kindness and warmth that this gentle man possessed.

Now, one of the reasons that I haven’t been blogging much is that my family just returned from a wonderful week in the warm and sunny Outer Banks area of North Carolina. Not much stitching was done, but it was great to relax with my husband’s side of the family—all 22 of us in one giant beach house. The house was amazing, but, unfortunately, it was next to the public beach access so the beach itself was extremely crowded. On top of that, the jellyfish decided to vacation there the very same week as we did! They just packed their slimy little suitcases and had a grand time! Seriously--they were everywhere--it was like jellyfish soup. And so many were washed up on shore that you couldn't even walk on the beach without stepping on pieces of their gooey bodies--ugh! The boogie-boarders in our family were all stung and it certainly led to a less than desirable week water-wise.

On the way home we were almost hit by some woman who was texting as she drove. She had a small child in her back seat and I shudder to think what might have happened if my son hadn’t honked (and screamed and yelled!) to alert her that she was in our lane. We also saw a man driving and holding a burger in one hand and a drink in the other. Was he steering the car with his knees??!! Seriously, we all survived for many, many years with no cell phones in cars—just turn them off and put them out of reach so you won’t be tempted while driving! Stepping off my soapbox, now… (Can you tell this really upsets me?)

When I returned from my week at the beach, I found this amazing giveaway patiently waiting in my mailbox from Maggee at "Stitching Devotee". She sent me 9 beautiful Quaker themed charts including all 12 months of the Quaker calendar! If you haven’t visited Maggee’s blog, now is the time to check it out. She is having another giveaway in honor of her siblings’ birthdays and one of you might just be lucky enough to win. Thank you so much for your generosity, Maggee—I love each and every chart and can’t wait to start stitching them…

Now for a bit of fun! Some of you may have heard of this site, but it was new to me, so I thought I’d pass it on. My oldest son told me about this site that analyzes your blog writing and tells you which author your style resembles. Now, I wouldn’t put too much credence into it, but it is certainly entertaining. I put in a number of passages from my blog and according to the site I Write Like, I have a similar style to authors ranging from Margaret Mitchell to Vladimir Nabokov to Dan Brown. But, you know which author’s name came up for me most consistently? Stephen King!!! Now that is scary—literally. Are you all having nightmares after you read my blog? Anyway, give it a try—I’d love to know which author your blog’s writing style most resembles…

I hope you all didn’t get shocked when you saw my new blog background and header! I feel like I should put on sunglasses when I read it. I suppose it is a bit bright...and, well, yellow! But, I was so inspired by the huge sunflowers that had bloomed while we were away, that I decided to make a change. This is the view from our kitchen window! Those 10 foot sunflowers just make me smile every time I glance outside…

Thank you again for all of your supportive comments and nice emails—they mean so much to me. I really missed you guys when I was at the beach. I feel so far behind on what everyone has been stitching or writing about, but I’m slowly catching up. You’re all a very special group of friends! Have a wonderful week now …


Vinniey said...

I am so lucky to be the first to comment on your post this time. :) Beautiful picture of your header. Your Block #7 is beautiful. I love your change on the color, it's looks great! Glad to hear you have a wonderful trip. Thank god you and your family are safe in that scary incident. What a great gifts from Maggee! Enjoy your new stash, Carol.
Happy stitching. :)

KAY said...

carol I doo love the Christmas tree thread colours you substituted, It is a wonderful block, & I love how you used your own name, even if I am not aware of it, under the tape. Makes the whole piece very personal along with the wonderful story of your DH's Garndpa. Thnak you for sharing about such a lovely gentleman, the blossom photo and his love of propagation.
A holiday with 22 family members sounds like allot of fun and at the beach, even better. Apart from the jellyfish.
I love the background template, it looks like a beautiful quilt to match the sunflower header.

Terri(TerriBoog) said...

HRH is looking great and I like the green trees, too! A vacation at the Outer Banks sounds like pure heaven to me. I haven't been there for eons but used to go and just love it.

I love your new background - I think it looks more golden and sunny than yellow and really like it!

I'll have to try that writer website. I'm afraid mine might say something like, "sorry, your writing is far too childish for us to even begin to analyze!" Wouldn't that be a crackup?

Welcome home!

Jackie said...

Your header is fantastic! I love sunflowers - they're so happy looking!

CaHRH - WOW! I like the trees and I love that you personalized your block. What count fabric are you using? You're making great progress!

Carolyn NC said...

Carol, I think this has become one of my favorite blocks in CAHRH! I love how you personalized and the reasons (what precious memories). Your gift is fantastic and I love your sunflowers!
You weren't too far from my neck of the woods at the OBX (central NC) - aren't they just beautiful? Glad you had a great time on your vacation. :)

Catherine said...

Love the new header - what a pretty sight outside your window!

Your block of CaHRH is wonderful. I love how you made it yours and the story behind it is makes it even better. Your husband's grandfather sounds like the type of person you would just want to sit and chat with for hours!

Sorry about the jellies - bummer. And that trip in the car sounds scary. I hate seeing people on phones, eating, putting on make-up, etc. Life's too short to be taking such chances with the lives of others.

Great goodies from Maggee!! Enjoy them! One of my WIP's right now is a Quaker pattern - Quaker Diamonds.

Lesleyanne said...

Block 7 is gorgeous. Love the colour of the trees. Lovely story about your husbands Grandpa. Glad you are okay after your near miss and glad to hear you had a lovely holiday. Your pictures are great.

Margaret said...

I love your block 7 -- and how special about the significance of the block for your family. Glad you had a good holiday -- but bummer about those jellyfish and the crowded beach! I totally agree about the texting thing and all other distractions while driving. I've lecture both my kids about it (both are about to enter the world of driving). Love that prize you won! And love your new header and background! I'm going to have to check out that i write like site. :D Stephen King, huh? lol!

Cindy's Stitching said...

Love the Sunflower. If is one of my favorite flowers. How pretty they look when you look outside your window. The block is so pretty. What a great story. I like the colors. Sorry about the jellyfish- YUK. I wouldn't go near the water with them around.

natalyK said...

Love the Sunflowers. It's a true sign that summer is in full swing. I love the personalization of your CHRH block. It means more when we add our own touch.

mainely stitching said...

I have something of an irrational horror of jellyfish. Ugh. And people who mess about with their cell phones while driving - don't even get me started. It's illegal in Holland. Should be here, too! I'm glad you're back, and I'm looking forward to your upcoming posts! :D

Martine said...

Hi Carol !
I am so satisfied to find you among us!!!!
I thought well to you and you missed me a lot and you imagine my surprise when I saw your article on your blog!!!!!!
I see that you spent good holidays and congratulations for your block 7! It is magnificent!!!!!!!!
Here, in France, mobiles are forbidden by car but a lot of people breaks !!! So, the gendarmes give fines and remove points on driving licences !!!!!! It is so dangerous !!!!!!!
Well, we go on holiday tomorrow !!!
I am so glad you are back !!!
Hugs !

Deborah said...

I couldn't agree more with you on using cellphones while driving!! it's just plain stupid. Is there nowhere anymore that we can't be reached? Love the 7th block finished. The personalization of the barn.

Sally said...

I love this block and I love how you personalised it. Lovely story about your husband's grandfather.

So glad you are safe after your near miss. It's illegal over here but people still do it and never seem to think of the dangers. It's one of my pet hates.

Berit said...

Love your tree farm personalization; what a neat story!

~ Stitchin Sweet Sue ~ said...

Howdy Sunflower Girl! Lovely post, enjoyed you getting us caught up and sharing about family! Glad you're all back in one piece, whew... Thx for link to Maggee, will visit her. Great weekend to you:)


Lee said...

What great progress you're making on Christmas at HRH! I hope you're patting yourself on the back. If not, I'll give you some back pats the next time we see each other.

Love the sunflowers, too, and btw, what is the stitched sunflower in your side bar?

Rachel S said...

Love the new block. I love it when people personalize the Hawks Run pieces. They're too big to be impersonal.

I put my info in that I write like. It told me I write like Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, and Cory Doctorow. Interesting. I did suspect what I read affected how I wrote.

valerie said...

I love your new header! It's cheery...not to mention...look at that bee!

I love your Block #7 and how wonderful that you personalized it plus changed the color of the trees. Blue trees?! You're more than 1/2 way done! Wow!

Congrats on winning Maggee's giveaway and good you had a fun vacation despite them jellyfish and the crazy knee driving drivers. I know people who drive that way. I can't...and refuse to. People def. need to put their cells away while driving!

♥ Nia said...

I was missing news around here!
And you're back with a pretty work! It's looking wonderful :)
Have a great weekend!!!! :D

Isabelle said...

Absolutely wonderful ! I just discover your blog and I added it to my favorites. Sorry if my english is not so good, but I'm French. Have a nice day, Isabelle

The Queen Bee said...

Beautiful finish. Your tree colors are perfect. Also, your new blog headed is so bright and cheery.


Elaine said...

Love your new header picture and what a lovely story of your husbands grandfather.
I love the changes you have made on your block and a lovely idea to personalise it.
Wonderful selection of charts you have won and I look forward to seeing them all stitched up.
There sure are some crazy drivers out there,so glad you and your family are all safe.
Have a nice week-end Carol. Hugs!

Nancy said...

First of all welcome home! Carol I think your blog background and sunflower is beautiful and represents your cheerful personality.

Block #7 is gorgeous, and I love the special meaning it has for you. How did you stitch all that snow! As always you did a beautiful job.

I love the story of your husband's grandfather, and his tree that you shared is so special. It must have been so fun to know him.

And last, I'm so glad to hear that someone else gets so upset by people texting and driving! That is one of my pet peeves!

Rowyn said...

CAHRH is looking so good Carol.

Glad you had a nice holiday. Pity about the jellyfish on the beach. (When we went to Fiji last year there were mud crabs on the beach -, yuk!).

Your sunflowers are beautiful, no wonder they make you smile every time you look out of your window.

Have a lovely weekend.

Rowyn said...

CAHRH is looking so good Carol.

Glad you had a nice holiday. Pity about the jellyfish on the beach. (When we went to Fiji last year there were mud crabs on the beach -, yuk!).

Your sunflowers are beautiful, no wonder they make you smile every time you look out of your window.

Have a lovely weekend.

Lois said...

Welcome home Carol! I'm glad you'd such a lovely time with family although it's a shame the jellyfish were in such abundance. Sounds like there were some crazy drivers out there!

Of course, I love your latest block on CaHRH! I like you have personalised it and the green trees look great!

What beautiful sunflowers. My next door neighbour has grown a couple this year. I had no idea until suddenly they had grown above the hedge! It is lovely to look out and see the bright yellow flower heads, especially as the sun is in short supply these days. Seems like all we are having are dull, cloudy days.

Have a good weekend!

Barb said...

Love the story about your husband's grandfather. Gardening must be in your husband's genes!

Texting while driving? Hate hate hate it! I don't even like to see people talking on a cell phone while driving. Makes me crazy.

And jelly fish! Heard about them on TV. I have never been to the Outer Banks and desperately want to visit that area.

I'm envious of your stitching accomplishments. Have a bit of a hard time stitching and/or blogging these busy days.

Is that asparagus I see in front of the sunflowers?

Myra said...

Your sunflowers are beautiful Carol - what a treat to come home to those. I love sunflowers yet always forget to plant them. CaHRH is looking fabulous! The personalization you added is so clever. You are going to have that puppy finished in no time.

Lynn said...

I love your CAHRH! Several of the ladies that I stitch with on Tuesday nights are stitching this together. And I love your substitution on the trees. I think they look so much better.
I love all of your recent small finishes too. We seem to have the same taste in designers.

Mylene said...

Beautiful header picture and background, Carol. Sorry to hear about the jellyfish and couple of incidents along the way. You'll be fine if you are caught with your cellphone here while driving. Glad you're back home safely.

I so love the recent block of CaHRH, looks gorgeous!

wow! great giveaway wins!

Solstitches said...

The latest block on your Christmas at HRH is so lovely and I love Delivering Posies in the previous post.
Beautiful stitching!


Edit said...

Your last block is absolutely beautiful and I love the idea of personalizing it. And all the blocks look so beautiful together. I can imagine how great feeling it will be when you will finish the last block in December and can have it framed and can look at it on the wall every day.

We haven't been on a holiday yet, but I am looking forward to it very much. Here life almost stops in august, everyone is on holidays, shops are closed in the afternoon, etc. Then life returns in September with kids starting the school.

Have a great Sunday! Edit

Daffycat said...

Wow, your Tree Farm block is very special, isn't it? I love the story of your grandfather.

I like you new background and header photo. Very welcoming I think!

Mary said...

Welcome home Carol! Despite the jellies and busy beach access I'm sure you have happy memories that traveled home with you. Cell phones while driving are illegal here and I'm glad but I still see so much and the consequences. CAHR is coming along beautifully - you should be proud! It's so meaningful with your personal touches. Lucky you! Maggee's treats are wonderful!
I'll have to check my blog writing style. You and Stephen King....I DON'T THINK SO...not with happy stitches, sunny background and being a friend:) (*Hugs*)

Shirley said...

Hello Carol, Another lovely block finished. I love your new header, so colorful. Glad you had a good holiday in spite of some hair raising moments.
kind regards, Shirley said...

Hello Carol, This is my first time visiting your stitching blog. What gorgeous needlework you have completed on "Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow"! So glad that you all had some enjoyable time visiting with your husband's family in NC, and that you survived the crazy drivers along the way!
Crossing in Stitches & Friendship!

Pumpkin said...

Carol, another beautiful block :o) Congrats! I love the fact that you put your name over the barn door and that you changed the color of the trees. I agree, they required a more green look to them.

I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed your time in NC. Every time we've gone it's been in early spring so it's never been busy :o) I can only imagine this time of year!

We too have jellies on our beaches too :o( I'm not sure why they show up this time of year. I've never been stung by one nor want to be. Ugh!

I love your sunflower theme! Yes, sunflowers make you smile :o) They're happy flowers. LOL!

That was very lucky that your son was driving and keeping an eye out! How scary! It's illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving here. I like that. There are too many accidents due to this. I'm glad to hear that you're okay.

Oh wow! That would be nice to come home to :o) Enjoy your new stash.

Brigitte said...

I love sunflowers very much so I was more than pleased to see one in your header when I came to your blog.
Congratulations on finishing another beautiful block on CoHRH. What a wonderful idea to personalize it with your married name, which must also be the one of your husband's grandfather. So looking at this square will always bring these memories back.
I've also seen this: beaches swamped with jellyfish and no chnace to go into the water without being stung by them. But I hope that your holidays were full of fun inspite of the jellyfish.
Using the cell phone while driving is not allowed here. And I think it's a very reasonable law.

BrendaS said...

Carol --
I LOVE your CaHRH piece. It is so beautiful and I love the color changes you made. It makes it more personal.

What a great giveaway you won! Lots of things to keep you busy.

Glad your back from vacation and that you had a great time!

Have a good week.

Dani - tkdchick said...

What a fantastic block with such a special meaning. Its things like that which make one piece stand out over another!

I don't understand the need to be on the phone in the car either. My phone stays in my purse pure and simple!

Jennifer said...

Hi Carol,
I love your new blog header and the latest CAHRH block It is beautiful . Your holiday sounded great. Texting and using your cell is now illegal in Ontario. I wish it were that way everywhere. It is crazy what people do . I think eating while driving has also become illegal . Love your new stash that you got in the give away. Enjoy the rest of the beautiful summer.

Jennifer said...

What a great story behind that block! I know my husband's grandfather was incredibly important to him too - there's a special bond between a grandfather and grandson, and I think it's a wonderful way to honor that!

My husband's family also used to vacation in the OBX and jellyfish were a frequent and unwelcome group of visitors. Blech. Sorry they put a damper on the vacation.

Loraine said...

Hi Carol!
Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog. I love your! I'm so happy to have found you.

Your CaHRH is fabulous. I just kitted this up this month (minus the Thread Gatherer thread), and I've contemplated starting it! It is so gorgeous.
I'm adding you to my blog roll so we can keep in touch.

Julie said...

Welcome back from your week away, so pleased you survived the near miss in the car, it's illegal to drive and use a cell phone here but you see so many doing it.

Love this block on CatHRH, its lovely and a perfect tribute to your husbands grandfather.

Your sunflowers look lovely, it made me smile when i read you wondered about the brightness of your new background, i just did a blog post today about changing name, colours etc on blogs LOL

Mary said...

your Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow is looking fabulous - makes me want to get mine out right now and start it.