Monday, September 13, 2010

Block 8 Is Finished!

Hello everyone! I'm so excited to finally have Block #8 finished. These carolers have been haunting me ever since I started Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow because I thought they looked rather pale and so stern-looking. So, a number of changes were made in both colors and stitches in an attempt to humanize them and make them as joyful as the rest of this piece. To compare the originally charted carolers to mine you can click here. As you can see I changed the man's coat to a gray color, changed the book's colors, and the size of the woman's mittens. I pinked up their faces and tried to give them less of a "uni-brow" look by changing their eyebrow shape and the nose (still a bit pointy, but nothing else seemed to work). I also changed the colors of their mouths and gave them a more oval shape.

The man's face looks a bit too feminine to me, but I couldn't figure out how to make him more "manly." Add a mustache? In addition to changing the window color, I added a few holly berries to the woman's hat and darkened her hair. Honestly, I felt like I was playing with a Mr. Potato Head I tried so many different noses, mouths, eyebrows, and eyes on these two! So, what do you think? Should I leave it as is or make some other changes?

As a bit of a break while finishing up the carolers' block, I stitched this little Halloween cutie from Xs and Ohs called "Boo Web." I just love the way his web spells out "boo." This grinning spider is stitched over one on 28 ct. summer khaki lugana using DMC threads.

To finish him off I used some of the black and orange pumpkin fabric that Myra gifted me with last year (thanks, Myra!!), and some black and orange ribbons for accent. (The orange ribbon didn't photograph well and really matches the orange in the pumpkins much better in real life.) And here's a little hint--look for the little pillow as part of a Halloween themed giveaway that I'll be having in October to celebrate my blog reaching 200+ followers. Watch for details in the next few weeks... (in other words, I haven't bought all the stuff for my giveaway so I need to get my act together!).

Doesn't this look like the most relaxing place to sit and stitch? This is the view my sister gets to enjoy every evening from the deck of her house on Lake Ontario. We were lucky enough to visit over Labor Day weekend and I truly realize that I'm more of a lake person than a beach person. Which are you? I feel like I totally let down sitting by a quiet lake. And, to be honest with you, I really don't like the feeling of sand at the beach! Unfortunately, the good weather didn't last more than a couple of hours. A brisk wind whipped up and we saw waves and whitecaps on Lake Ontario that would rival any ocean!

So how did we spend the time? We ate some delicious food (crabmeat quiche, blueberry pancakes), drank some Margaritas, and played lots of games: Scrabble, Yahtzee, and my new favorite, Bananagrams. Have any of you played Bananagrams yet? If you love words and a quick game that can be played by almost any number of people, you may want to give it a try. Here are some other scenes of our visit including her huge Bernese Mountain dog in a rare moment of rest! Thanks to my oldest son who was kind enough to let me use his wonderful photos of our trip (I think I was too busy eating to take any of my own!).

When I returned home from the lake visit, I found the most lovely stitched gift waiting in my mailbox all the way from The Netherlands. Sweet Mylene had a giveaway for six of her darling scissor fobs and I was lucky enough to win one. Her stitching is just perfect and I love how she beaded the edge with alternating colors of yellow and orange. You all know that I love sunflowers so this is a wonderful addition to my collection of sunflower pieces. Thank you so much, Mylene--I truly love it!

I still find it amazing that over 200 of you find what I have to say interesting! Thank you so much for the many friendships that have begun as a result of blogging--your comments, emails, and support always bring me smiles :)

Hope your week is special in every way! Bye now...


Edit said...

Carol, your carol singers look great to me! I compared with the charted version and I like so much the changes you have made. I think they are really human now :)

And it is nice to see the blocks together. It must be quite a big piece by now.

You photos are also beautiful, must be really great to spend some days in a place like that. I also like lakes, but I think I prefer the sea... the smell, the seafood... But unfortunately we are far from the sea and there are no lakes nearby either.

What a lovely fob you received from Mylene! It is really beautiful, as all her works :)

I wish you a nice week with lots of stitching.

Cole said...

CaHRH is looking great! And your Halloween stitch is too cute! Congrats on reaching 200 followers :)

Melissa said...

Gee, Carol, trust you to play "Mr Potato Head" with your stitching! ;-) That's too funny. I think they are looking grand!

Beach or Lake? Hmmm, I like each for different reasons. As soon as I say I like one over the other, I'll have reasons why I am wrong! Both offer big bodies of water and, for me, that works for calm!

Lesleyanne said...

Congratulations on finishing block 8 and boo. They are both gorgeous. I love your photos of the lake. I think I am a beach girl. Congratulations on 200+ followers thats brillant.

Ineke said...

Your carol singers look great this way. The spider ornament is very cute!

Julie said...

Love the changes you have made to the carolers, i much prefer a pinkier face, the paler faces on charts always make me think the character is ill!

What a super way to spend a weekend, i too love to sit by the water, but i also love to watch the ocean to and fro with the waves - very relaxing.

Boo is adorable, what a cute little pillow

Congrats on 200 followers, i'm not surprised though, you write a lovely blog entry for us to read.

Have a lovely week

Mary said...

Hi Carol
I have been waiting for you to post your progress on CHRH and I like your changes to the people. I thnk it needed a little more colour especially as the block under it is very dark. I am trying not to make any new starts so have resisted the urge to get this one out and kitted up.
I am not really into Halloween - not something that we celebrated when I was growing up, but the young ones do now. However, I love the way you have finished Boo.
Lovely work. Congratulations on over 200 followers - that's wonderful - keep up the good work.

Shari said...

the block looks wonderful!!!! I love how it looks.....I wouldn't mess with making changes now! I would mess it up!!!
Give me a lake over a beach, ANY DAY!! We walked around a lake yesterday at a state park & it was heavenly!!!
Congrats on your win from Mylene....doesn't she do wonderful work?!?!

Jackie said...

I looked back to the charted version of this block and I think your changes are fantastic! Don't change a thing. I don't think the man looks feminine at all! Your foray into playing Mr. Potato Head worked!

You know, since I live in Florida it's all about the beaches. Your post about being a beach or lake person has made me think. I don't enjoy the beach any more at all but I really think I would enjoy lake living - especially if I lived somewhere as beautiful as your sister.

Margaret said...

Love your Shores and your Boo piece! So nice that you got to visit your sister -- boy she has a nice view every evening! I'm not a beach person, but I'm a definite ocean person. Up in Maine this is definitely possible. lol!

The Queen Bee said...

Oh, the changes to the carolers are perfect. I noticed the mittens right away. Much better.

Cute Halloween finish. Such a fun season to stitch.

Yes, Lake Ontario can be a rough lake. When the ferry used to cross to Toronto the waves were even bigger! While I'm an ocean person I really love the lakes in the Adirondack's. The beaches are so soft.... softer then sand. And calming? Amazingly so.


Vinniey said...

Your Block 8 were fantastic! I love all your changes on this block. You're so smart and creative, Carol! I love your version of Coral singers, small changes does make big difference, they looks so cheerful compared to the original. I must keep your post as my reference if I have a chance to stitch this chart. :)

What a beautiful scenery from the deck of your sister's house! The lake look so calm and relax. Beautiful scissor fobs from Mylene. :)

Happy stitching, Carol.

Hillery said...

Love your carolers, and I really like the gray vs. the brown. He blended into the background in the original. I just love your boo pillow too. Great job.

ohiofarmgirl said...

I have always thought they looked like walking dead too!! lol Looks like you figured out a way to make them better. Dianntha

Berit said...

I do like your changes! Maybe the man's lips are too made-up looking. Another color might help. OR You could try "tarting up" the woman by adding a sweep of eyelash at the outer corner?

Or you could just call him a peacock and leave 'im! lol! Honestly, I wouldn't have considered him too feminine if you hadn't proposed it.

LOVE your Boo finish! :D

natalyK said...

Love your finished block. The changes you made are great. I also love your finished pillow. Too cute!

Lee said...

I think your carolers look wonderful! Why not give the fellow a little soul patch? Then he could be a hipster caroler. ;)

And you know me. Absolutely a LAKE girl. The beach is nice for a vacation every now and then, but even when we're at the beach, we prefer bayfront over beachfront.

As for swimming, I'll always prefer a lake. Jumping into that cold, clear, fresh water? There's nothing like it to refresh you on a hot summer day. Ocean water just makes me feel stickier.

BeckySC said...

Carol, I absolutely LOVE your Boo finish !! CUTE, CUTE, CUTE!! and your block on CaHRH looks just great!!! :)
Have a lovely weeke :)

Deborah said...

I love your finished block! The changes you made are excellent. The pillow is really cute.

Catherine said...
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Catherine said...

I'm still laughing about you playing Mr. Potato Head! Your changes look wonderful as does the entire piece - you're almost there!

Your sister's place is beautiful! I can take a day at the beach, but put me by a lake and I'm content to stay put.

What a sweet fob from Mylene, her finish is so cute! Enjoy!

Have a great week!

mainely stitching said...

Wow, Carol, your improvements to the Carolers' Block are just amazing. What floss did you go with for the face? Great tone. :)

I'm a beach person, though I must admit to really enjoying our visits with my friend Sara, who lives on a huge pond. It's not so much the beach, but the constant changing of tidal water that appeals to me. And of course most beaches up here are not sand, but pebbles. ;)

Sally said...

Your block 8 looks brilliant. Love the changes you've made.

Cute halloween finish. Really like the way you've finished it.

Lovely win from Mylene. Her fobs look so beautiful.

What a fantstic view your sister has!

marylin & poussy said...

very beautiful
best regards, marylin

Charlene ♥ SC said...

Lovely! Your Boo is so cute! Great finish!

Rachel S said...

I am a beach person, but that is a large enough lake to be a beach, LOL.

Your CAHRH looks wonderful.

valerie said...

I love the changes you made to Block 8! The carolers look human now and not so pasty. Cute Boo small too!

I love the beach! I'm more a beach person than a lake person but Lake Ontario looks like a wonderful place. Given the opportunity, I'd never say no to a lake. Relaxing locales are totally my thing!

Congrats on 200 followers. Wow!

Myra said...

Oh Carol, you made me giggle with the Mr Potato Head reference. I used to love playing with mine as a child.

The changes you made to this block are perfect. I like yours much better than the original. I love your little Halloween piece and am happy you were able to put the pumpkin fabric to good use. How sweet of you to offer it in a giveaway.

Vonna said...

Katie and I are Bannanagram-heads :) Or nerds...LOL!
LOVE the view at your sister's house...WOW!
And your guy isn't look feminine to me...but there is a guy at work that loves to use the term "metrosexual" so maybe you can say your caroler is metrosexual! LOL!
LOVE the spidery pillow finish! And Mylene made a lovely surprise!

Lynn said...

Your carollers look great Carol! I agree with Vonna, he's a metro man. Only a metro man would be caught dead carolling anyways, lol!

Your spider pillow is adorable. The fabric really compliments it.

The view from your sister's place is lovely! When I was younger I was a beach bum but now that I'm older, it's the lake for me. As I sit lakeside and listen I feel all my troubles taking a hike. I'm never more relaxed.

Barbi said...

Well Carol, Thanks to you I now have this CHC piece in my stash and I will be setting out to stitch it one month at a time next year! Like I don't have enough to do, so thank you very much! LOL
I LOVE lakeside, especially for stitching! Not as much sand to get into unwanted places. Mind you I like the seaside beach too. But I find the lake more calming. Looks like you had a wonderful spot there!

Blu said...

Your carolers look great.
I have to admit that I see nothing wrong with the originals. Their frozen faces as they brave the cold...struggling through -50 degree weather...with giant snow drifts just out of sight...snotsicles forming on their faces...singing bravely and nobly! Ah, good times, good times!

Beth said...

I think your carolers look great with the changes. You are much braver than I, and it paid off.

I am a lake person. When I was a child we summered on a lake in Michigan, and those are some of my favorite memories. I also like to swim in fresh water better - unless I am snorkling.

Michele B. said...

The carolers look wonderful - I love the changes you made. Now they look as if they really could be singing Joy to the World. Mr. Potato Head would be proud of you! Your Boo Web is so cute and the backing fabric is perfect. I grew up going to Cape Cod every summer so I suppose I am more of a beach girl, but I find the lake more soothing.

Mary said...

The carolers FINALLY look as if they're enjoying themselves Carol. Great job on the entire're almost done!

I love the Boo pillow, what an adorable finish.

You deserve 200+ followers. Your blog is beautiful and inspiring. Keep up the good work! :)


Meari said...

I like the changes you made to the carolers.

Congrats on your finishes, and the stitchy mail you received from Mylene. Always fun to get mail, isn't it?

I like both lakes and beaches. Both are rough in northern winters though!

Kajsa said...

I love the changes! Keep them! The halloween finish is so cute.

Lois said...

Carol, I really like your changes in this block. I know how much you were dreading stitching it and I think you've done a wonderful job. The whole piece is looking fantastic!

Love your little Halloween pillow. Congrats on reaching over 200 followers!

Loved seeing the pics from your weekend away. What a perfect spot. I'm not big on sand either but I do love to hear the sound of water be it the sea or a lake.

What a nice giveaway to win!

Meadows08 said...

I love your stitching and finishing Carol! I also love the words of the carol on Christmas at HRH, such a gorgeous chart! (You did a great on the changes to the people, they look like zombies on the original!)

Melanie said...

I like the changes you made to the carolers! They look less shell shocked and more normal the way you did them.
The Boo piece is absolutely adorable too. I'll have to remember that pattern because I do so love the Halloween stuff and this one is just too cute!

♥ Nia said...

I like your carolers colors much-much more!! :D I really like the changes you made :)

Boo Web is so cute =)
I don't know that designer.. Xs? I'll look for it!
And your finish looks awesome :D

I love that view!!!! I wish I had a place like that to stitch =) Beautiful image, thanks for sharing it with us :)

BrendaS said...

Love your progress on CaHRH. I think the changes you made are great. You are so brave to do that, as I don't think I would attempt to change colors and facial expressions:)

Your pictures of the lake are just beautiful. How relaxing.

Nice exchange from Mylene and a Sunflower design to make it even better.

Thanks for sharing.

Pumpkin said...

Congrats Carole! That's wonderful! I like the changes you made :o) I'm not sure what else you could do because you don't want to overdo the faces. Personally I like them as they are! Good job.

So cute! That is actually a 'cute' spider ;o) LOL! Is that a freebie? Adorable finish!

Glad you had a nice vacation. I know you were worried about the weather. I'm an ocean person myself but like you said, Lake Ontario is almost like being on the ocean. My parents live on a lake and I'm not a lake person for sure. Too many black flies!

Congrats on your win. How perfect...a sunflower!

I can't believe how many followers I have accumulated as well! I'm only 20 away from my 200 giveaway :o)

Cindy's Stitching said...

You like to change the patterns like I do. Its good to give them a little of your own pesonality. Your halloween pillow is so pretty. The lake looks great. I like both the like and the beach, if I had to pick one - I am a beach person. I love the smell of the ocean and the salt water. Hawk run looks so pretty

Anonymous said...

I think block #8 looks great! Much better than the zombie-like original ;) I can't wait until you stitch the cardinals, they look so pretty.
Take care,
Donna in WV

Andrea said...

Wonderful finishes. Love the pillow.

Mylene said...

Great job on the block, the changes looks perfect.

What a cute little halloween pillow, congrats on another finish.

I am so happy to hear you love the scissor fob. Thanks for the lovely comment.

Anonymous said...

I really like what you did to the faces. I think the man looks fine. I may just have to copy you when I get around to this one! Looks great!

Bekca said...

Thank you for becoming a follower on my little blog Carol and for such a sweet comment. I think you're alterations are perfect on the carol singers and the BOO pillow is adorable. I do have to say I'm an ocean girl at heart, seaside holidays in England are the best for me!
Happy stitching to you.

Elaine said...

Carol I love the changes you have made to your block and the halloween pillow is just darling!
Congrats on your 200 followers.
What a beautiful place your sister lives.
Mylene is such a sweetie, her fob is gorgeous.
Have a great week-end. Hugs!

Carolyn NC said...

I love the changes you've made to the block - they look wonderful! Love the view from the deck - so pretty. Your finish and exchange are both lovely!

Daffycat said...

Oooo, yummy stitching Carol! I really LOVE your Halloween pillow. The finishing is wonderful!

Nancy said...

I think your Carolers looks just wonderful, and I wouldn't touch a thing. Your piece as a whole is stunning! I love your Halloween stitches too, and what a wonderful surprise from Mylene.

I am very envious of your sister's view! A dream for sure!

Ann said...

Hi Carol,
I love your carolers in square # 8. Makes me want to buy the chart! Are you using DMC or silk?

And congrats on having so many blog followers- please keep it up!

Denise said...

Carol - OOOhhh, I can tell I need to come back and spend some time in your part of bloggerville! Love, love, love the Halloween pillow!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!
Smiles - Denise

Patty C. said...

Block 8 is looking great - Wonderful progress ;)

Solstitches said...

Oh the Halloween pillow is just too cute. What a fun piece.
Your Christmas carolers look good with the changes you made. I must go take a look at the original as am not familiar with this design.
Lots of eye candy here as always!


Siobhan said...

Oh my gosh, I can't imagine having that view! I am definitely more of a lake person, too. The beach is nice but I'm not big on swimming in the beach water (okay, in anything w/o chlorine!) and sand in every place possible?! NO thanks.

Love the giveaway from Mylene! She does such lovely work. Kudos to you on the finishes!! Love the CaHRH block and the Halloween pillow is adorable.

Annette said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment!!!
I love what you stitch, so in love with the BOO Halloween piece, and love how you finished it..
That Mylene always makes such lovely things!!!!

Bonnie said...

Carol this is my first visit to your blog. It is awesome.
Love your Christmas at Hawkrun. I am stitching Shores but am so tied up with halloween now I have neglected it.
Your Boo ornament is too cute and I love the pumpkin Fabric and the finsih.

Wendy said...

thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog !
it just feels so good to be back !
I´ve geen gazing your blog, sorry but I´m reading myself silly, trying to catch up.
you´ve been quite busy, so inspiring !
I just love your christmas onmemt, I do so want to make some myself, but if I´ll get tot that..........

Hazel said...

Wow Carol your CAHRH looks fab! x

Anonymous said...

I love the changes you made to the carol singers, you are very clever to do this
I love the boo pillow ornament, the fabric is lovely too, we don't have much choice of halloween fabrics here in the uk

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