Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thanks and Giving

Hello everyone! Hope you've had a nice November so far... For most of my fellow U.S. residents, November is all about Thanksgiving--getting together with family or friends, feasting, and giving thanks for our blessings. I know Canada has its Thanksgiving holiday in October, but do my other international friends celebrate a similar day during the year? Do you have any special foods or traditions for that day? I'd love to hear about them...

This Prairie Schooler Thanksgiving piece (from the "Harvest Time" chart: Book No. 93) was three years in the making mainly because I ran out of DMC 370 and couldn't find a shade to match anywhere. So, the poor turkey sat waiting and waiting for me to finish him. Luckily, my friend, Lee, rescued me (thanks again, Lee!!) and found enough of the old shade in her stash that blended perfectly. This piece was 2/3 of the way done when I took it to our stitching getaway last week and I worked on it the entire time I was there. I was just determined to finish it before Thanksgiving...

I am really thrilled with how this one turned out--love the richness of the colors and the symmetry of the whole design. Speaking of symmetry, for anyone planning on stitching this, beware that there are mistakes in the four half-leaves near the border--they are not charted the same at all. I had to rip out two of them and stitch them again. Oh, it probably wouldn't have been noticeable to anyone but me, but I just had to make them all the same or my eye would always have wandered to the differences... I think the fabric I used is 18 ct. cream colored Davos, but I'm not positive. All threads were the suggested DMC colors.

A very special friend, Mary, celebrated her birthday earlier this month and I sent her this tiny ornament along with some fabrics to help her celebrate. This one is called "Home For the Holidays" by LHN and can be found in the 2005 Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue. I stitched it "over one" on 32 ct. Twilight Blue linen, but changed a few of the DMC colors and added a beaded edge. I love how the personalization on the back turned out and Mary seemed to, also!

As I mentioned in my last post, I spent a wonderful three days stitching and chatting and eating, eating, eating with five fellow cross stitch addicts at a wonderful bed and breakfast near Lake Erie in the northwestern corner of Pennsylvania. The Grape Arbor Bed and Breakfast (click on the collage of photos I snapped while I was there for a closer look) couldn't have worked out any better for the retreat. Since we had booked every room in the inn we were able to simply "take over" one of the parlors--ott lights, frames, piles of charts, and stitching accessories were spread out everywhere. Luckily, the innkeeper is a stitcher, too, so she couldn't have been more accommodating.

The first thing we noticed (well, I noticed anyway!)was the big bowl of chocolates sitting there to welcome us. The inn had three resident cats and I'll tell you, having the black and white one (shown in the photo above) cuddle with us while we stitched surely tested my resolve not to get another cat (husband is very allergic). The house was so beautifully decorated it made me want to rush home and work on my own autumn decorating. We laughed and chatted and ate such scrumptious breakfasts that between them and the never-ending chocolate bowl, I ended up gaining three pounds!! I need to double my treadmill workouts for a few weeks, that's for sure. It was a thoroughly enjoyable get-together for all...

For our getaway stitching weekend, we had decided ahead of time to have a bit of an exchange. Not only were we to stitch something small, but also bring a gift representative of the part of the country that we live in. This was the first time I had stitched something for an unknown recipient and I thought it was difficult to stitch a piece that would appeal to just about anyone (we just did a simple number drawing to divvy up the exchange gifts). Anyway, I ended up stitching The Trilogy turkey called "Happy Gobble Gobble Day" and Barb ended up going home with him. I also gave her a local cookbook and a pretty Christmas ornament from Wendell August Forge which is America’s oldest and largest forge and is located right here in western Pennsylvania. The happy gobbler is stitched on 32 ct. Country French latte linen using the suggested overdyeds. I backed it in the brown/orange fabric in the background and bordered it with pumpkin colored ric-rac. I think he's so cute, I just may have to stitch another for myself!

The gift I received from our stitching getaway came from Linda (no blog yet) and I just love it. It is a floss-keeper from Blackbird designs stitched in the prettiest shade of greens and violets. I especially like the way she highlighted the first initial of each of the six of us who got together for that special weekend. (And, yes, if you look closely, you'll notice that there are two "Ls" since there were two stitchers whose names began with the letter "L." Don't you love it?! I wonder how future generations will interpret that one?) She also gifted me with a lovely tray (again from Wendell August Forge) which is embellished with fall leaves and a skein of "Grape Arbor" overdyed floss. How perfect is that?! The name of the floss is the same as that of our Bed and Breakfast: The Grape Arbor! And since Wendell August Forge is located in the same town where I went to college, it is especially meaningful. Thank you so very much, Linda--I will treasure your gifts and think of our stitching retreat often...

I received this cute summery chart by Ewe & Eye & Friends as a giveaway win from Chris at Tot Hill Farm Stitches. What a sweet little piece! I think the watermelons growing underneath the house are so cute and it looks like a perfect thing to stitch next summer. For some reason I have fewer summery stitched pieces around my house than any other season. I have so much autumn and Christmas /winter stitching, but spring and summer things are few and far between. So, thank you very much, Chris! It will really brighten up my house next summer...

I've been extremely busy shopping, cooking, baking, cleaning, and setting up for the nearly 25 of us who will sit down to give thanks at my table next week. One dish which always makes its appearance at Thanksgiving is the Strawberry Pretzel Salad, which is more of a dessert than a salad, but, hey--it does have strawberries! What dish is a "must-have" at your holiday table--that food that makes your family dinner special to you?

I doubt I'll be posting again until after Thanksgiving, so I want to wish each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving and thank you again for your friendship, inspiration, and kind words. I hope you know I count you all among my many blessings! Bye now...


Hazel said...

Wow what lovely stitched pieces. I love your Thanksgiving finish. Beautiful exchanges both given and received. Sounds like a wonderful time away. xx

natalysneedle said...

Love all of your beautiful finishes. The ornament you made is adorable.

Margaret said...

Oh my goodness! That PS piece is just spectacular! Such a beautiful finish! Your getaway sounds like it was really fun. Love both what you stitched and what you received -- both are so pretty! I love what you stitched for your friend Mary as well. And the EEF chart you won -- so cute! I love that designer! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 25 people! Wow!

Myra said...

Carol, Your Thanksgiving piece is just divine. What a spectacular finish! I am preparing the entire Thanksgiving dinner for the first time this year. We usually go to the in-laws but since they have moved 5 hours away it just isn't going to happen this year. Wish me luck!

I enjoyed reading about the retreat and the fun you had. Your exchange piece is so cute and the one you received is quite special as well. I admired the ornament you stitched for Mary on her blog - you do such pretty stitching and finishing.

Belinda said...

Sounds like you had a great time at your retreat, anywhere with chocolate and stitching is exciting. :-)
I love the little exchange pieces, both are very sweet and alot of work has gone into them.
I love the little 'home for the holidays' ornament you stitched for Mary, it's so little and cute!

Have a lovely thanksgiving, I live in Australia so we don't celebrate, but it sounds like a wonderful day.

gracie said...

I love your Thanksgiving is gorgeous. the retreat sounds wonderful...the exchanges are lovely...
Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving....

Kathy said...

What a delightful posting. One of these days I have to find a stitching retreat like that. Yours sounds perfect! I love all the things you stitched and your gifts are beautiful. But the best of all is that PS Thanksgiving. OMG it is gorgeous!!

Since my Mom passed Thanksgiving is on the quiet side. And to make it unique this year I will be at a dog show! :) So I will have to save my special turkey dinner until Christmas. :)

Have a special and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Ann said...

I love your PS Thanksgiving piece, the colours are so deep and rich. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving and we don't really have an equivalent either.

Friendship Crossing said...

Your Pr.Sc. piece is stunning to say the least ~ a lot of work I'm sure, but turned out gorgeous!

Love the trilogy turkey! I was going to stitch that one on a Huck towel, but after seeing how darling yours is done up, I might have to change my mind.

Your exchange piece is really pretty too! Sounds like you all had too much fun! Wish I could go to a retreat nearby.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! That's a LOT of people to stitch for.

Friendship Crossing said...

OOPS!!! I meant a lot of people to COOK for!!! LOL
(you can tell what's on my mind) :))


Cindy's Stitching said...

You did so many pieces. Adore the turkey, and the many years of mr. turkey waiting to be finished. The bed and breakfast sounds like fun. My thanksgiving is simple just me and my three kids. I remember the hectic days and do appreciate cooking for the kids. They have to have mashed potatoes. My kids do not like much of anything so it is very simple, turkey, corn, mashed potates and salad. I make for myself fresh cranberry sauce and I just have to eat stuffing. The favorite for them is the bakery goodies. The rainbow cookies and the petite fours are their favorite. My family does not live near me so I do enjoy a simple day. I enjoy watching the thanksgiving day parade. My sons birthday is the 27th so I always look forward to that. sometimes thanksgiving falls on his birthday. I look forward to him coming home from school. Have a blessed thanksgiving Carol. We all have so much to be thankful for.

Lisa V said...

Some wonderful finishes, and the lovely exchange pieces you showed from your B&B getaway. What fun!

Deborah said...

Your PS finish is is wonderful! The exchange pieces are really beautiful. What a great B&B you stayed in. Chocolates and kitties, what more do you want.

Faye said...

Oh Carol, I have become more and more aware of your awesome blog here of late and was amazed at this beautiful post!! I absolutely LOVE the PS turkey and being one who does not stitch many Thanksgiving pieces, this one is stunning!! And, I LOVE the Triology turkey...Can you share with us how you attached the beautiful rick rack..the edges lay just beautifully...

Again, I admire your work and look forward to your next post...May your Thanksgiving be filled with blessings! Take care, Faye

Annie said...

The PS piece is lovely. Congrats on finally finishing it!

That sounds like a really fun get-together. I love the gift you made with the great rick-rack trim. Really great local gift ideas too. And you received some lovely gifts as well.

Our family dinners always have an over-abundance of chocolate. We're pretty traditional on Thanksgiving except for an extra vegetarian main course to accommodate everyone's tastes!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Chris said...

Dear Carol,
What a beautiful post. Your PS turkey is stunning. It sounds like you had a great stitching getaway. I think that there is nothing better than a getaway like that. The exchange pieces are both beautiful.
I can't wait to see your stitched version of the EEF chart.
Have a great week.

Karen said...

Hi Carol, here in Australia we do not have Thanksgiving or anything similar. I don't really know what it's about other than it is not a high point on a Turkeys calendar. Hope you have a good one anyway.
Cheers Karen

Missy said...

Gorgeous post!!! Your stitching looks flawless.

Nancy said...

I just love reading your blog Carol! It seems like we're sitting at a table having coffee and talking.

Everything stitched - given and received - is just beautiful! Aren't the Autumn colors wonderful to stitch with? I love the tray you were gifted with too!

The retreat sounds like a very special time!

I have Watermelon House to stitch next year too. Maybe we could have a SAL?

Catherine said...

Beautiful post. Your Thanksgiving piece is wonderful as are your exchanges - given and received!

Your retreat seems to have been a huge success! What fun that you filled the entire inn!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! My middle guy and I always have our first glass of the season of egg-nog on Thanksgiving Day!

passionfruitprincess said...

Hi Carol!
Your PS stitch is beautiful.
I love your other finishes too.
Thanks for your kind comments on my blog.
I am originally from Brazil and we don't have Thanksgiving there.
But, after marrying an American and living here for 8 years, I enjoy all the American holidays.
I love decorating for the seasons. It is a new thing for me, since in Brazil we don't do that, even because the part of Brazil where I am from is a forever summer. I am always amazed with the miracles that the seasons bring, even in Southern California.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
Ana Paula

Veronica said...

Love your PS Thanksgiving. The colors are gorgeous! So is the ornament you stitched for Mary.

Sounds like you had tons of fun at the stitchers gathering. Love your gift. So cute!

Melanie said...

OMGosh there is so much in this post I don't even know where to start!! :)

That piece may have been 3 years in the making but good for you for sticking with it because it is a masterpiece. Truly.

The gather sounds like SO MUCH fun and I do so love the turkey you stitched up and the piece you received. (Do I ever NOT love anything by The Trilogy? *happy sigh*)

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Can't believe it's that time of year again already. I'm ready to get my 'eat' on though. I don't cook heavy meals like that except for Thanksgiving so it's nice to indulge, even if it does cause a couple extra pounds the next week. I'm sure by Monday, I'll be back to grilled chicken and steamed broccoli. lol

Teresa S. said...

Love the beaded edge on the ornament Carol! and the cute little spot on the back too. I'm not normally a big fan of PS but that Thanksgiving turkey has me rethinking that! A blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours!

valerie said...

Wow, what a wonderful post! So many terrific things! Congrats on your PS finish! Perfect for November. And it sounds like your retreat was great fun! Perfect all around! Love the exchange pieces and your EEF win.

Sounds like you are going to be very busy! I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving growing up was weird. My parents didn't get the concept that well being from Nicaragua. There were American dishes and then there were weird Nicaraguan dishes that had no place being on the table (i.e. I wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot pole). Finally...we have a normal thanksgiving dinner. Always need to have turkey, stuffing, candied yams, roasted veggies and pumpkin pie. The pie is always my contribution. :)

Ariane20 said...

1000 fois bravo!!! J'adore tous ces ouvrages. Félicitations.

Lois said...

Carol, I so enjoyed reading all about your stitching retreat. Sounds like you'd a wonderful time. I love what you stitched for the exchange and what you received. The personal touches in the BBD piece are so nice.

No Thanksgiving Day here. I hope you have a wonderful day with your family. It will be hard work but I know you will enjoy having your family round you.

What a nice gift you stitched for Mary. Love your PS finish. I'm like you, I have much more stitched for autumn/winter, even for spring. I never seem to feel inclined to stitch for summer but your giveaway win will be a perfect stitch for that season.

Annette said...

What a beautifull finish... thankfully you could finish it with help!!!
Your get-away sounds so much fun and what a lovely things you stitched for eachother.. 3 pounds.. of the chocolate i think...hihi
Ik make every year something new.. so don't have a favorite dish yet.. always trying something new...

Vonna Pfeiffer said...

There is nothing better than a Prairie Schooler Design...I really believe that and you proved it with your thanksgiving piece. GORGEOUS! And I love the ornament that you made for your friend. Your retreat sounds like a wonderful experience!! I hope to attend one somewhere some day soon! :)
LOVE the beautiful piece you made for the exchange. It is gorgeous!

D@isy said...

I have been beautiful, the turkey was tired of waiting to finish it, an excellent finish.

The gift sent and received are beautiful, congratulations. Very cute cat ..


Vinniey said...

Sounds like you had a great time with stitcher friends at the retreat. I love the "Happy Gobble Gobble Day" ornament you made for the retreat and the gifts you received from Linda. All of them are beautiful! So is the turkey finishing.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Have fun. :)

Tricia T said...

Oh my, Carol! I love - just love - that Thanksgiving PS finish!! The colors are so rich and it will be such a gorgeous decoration! Sigh!! It's beautiful. :-)

The stitching retreat sounds like so much fun. You gave and received such lovely gifts!

Thanks for sharing!!

Bonnie said...

Love your Thanksgiving Turkeys. Both are beautiful and I especially like the Gobble Gobble Ornament.
Retreats are so much fun. Glad you had a good time and Bed and Breakfast sounds like a perfect place to join fellow stitchers.

I have the BBD floss keeper almost finished. Just need to finish it up and paint the frame.

Thanks for the link to the Strawbery Pretzel Salad.

Edit said...

Your PS Thanksgiving turkey is so beautiful! I love the colors and the whole design. Well, Prairie Schooler... :) The little LHN is also lovely. I am stitching a CCN right now, a winter theme, too. I have to hurry up if I want to finish everything before Christmas.

I love your other turkey too, but that one I can stitch myself too :) :)

Your stitching weekend sounds like a wonderful time. I would also love to know other stitchers around, so we could meet and stitch together. But here I do not really know anyone who does cross stitch.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Bekca said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time at your retreat, good job the innkeeper was a stitcher too! I think you chose the perfect gift for an unknown recipient and the one you got back is beautiful. Clever idea about higlighting initials, now you can always remember the good time you had.

We don't celebrate a day similar to Thanksgiving in the UK, but we do have Guy Fawkes Night (or Fireworks Night). For me, it means trudging to the green in wellies to watch the fireworks display and eat toffee apples. Fireworks Night is not the same without toffee apples!

Congratulations on the giveaway win and I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving. Best wishes.

KarenV said...

Carol, your Thanksgiving PS piece turned out great! I love the colours in it. Glad you had a fun time at the retreat, you sent and received beautiful gifts :)

Ranae said...

what a wonderful post.
Love the PS finish.
Cute ornie for Mary.
The stitching weekend sounds so fun.
The finishes both gave and received are awesome.
Happy Thnaksgiving
BTW!! I love mash potatoes, lol

Lynn said...

Your PS Turkey is fantastic!! I have always admired this piece but have yet to stitch it. I love your ornament too, very cute! I saw your finish for Barb this morning on her blog and thought what a lovely job you'd done. Beautiful colours and I love the trim!!
Although our Thanksgiving is past here in Canada I think that the favourite dish at our table and a must have is broccoli salad. No holiday is complete without it.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Shari said...

your finish is always!!! Your stitching is always so pretty!
The retreat sounds like it was wonderful....and how neat that you & your exchange person had the same thoughts with the Wendell August Forge items!
I am always asked for my pies at, pies will be on the menu, regardless of how many are here!

Carolyn NC said...

Wow - you've been busy. Fantastic stitching!

Julie said...

A lovely post Carol

A beautiful thanksgiving finish for you. Lovely exch gifts too from your great weekend away.

Enjoy your time with your family, i hope you all have fun!

Berit said...

Wow--SO love all the work in this post--both what you stitched and got in the exchange!

I'm so glad you were able to finish this PS (and share it here, too!). I've not seen this one before, but I must say that when I see a beautiful piece like this it makes me say, "Prairie Schooler is DEFINITELY my favorite!"

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Berit said...

P.S. I LOVE the back personalization on that ornament! :D

BrendaS said...

Carol --
Your PS Thanksgiving is just beautiful. You can never go wrong with a PS design.

Your exchange pieces both given and received are gorgeous too. I'm so glad you had a good time on your retreat.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving:)))

Pumpkin said...

What a post Carol!!!! Congratulations on your fabulous finish! It's just gorgeous and I love the rich colors too :o)

What adorable ornaments you made but then I wouldn't expect anything less from you ;o) I just love how you personalize each one and I just know the recipients appreciate that.

I'm SO jealous of your getaway! It sounds like it was divine!

I know you are probably very busy getting ready for Thanksgiving. I hope you holiday is a lovely one full of friends and family :o)

Meari said...

I always love reading your blog and looking at your stitching. It's so beautiful. I'm envious of your stitching retreat. What a gorgeous place.

Unknown said...

Great finishes and exchange pieces! The retreat sounds like it was a fine time for all! I'm envious!

The strawberry pretzel slad sounds yummy. I'll have to try that one of these days, but I doubt I'll be able to get the boy to taste it, especially if he sees the cream cheese box. :) The dish we always have at holiday dinners is Waldorf salad (Granny Smith apples, celery, walnuts, raisins, and mayo with just a little lemon juice to prevent the apples from browning). We all love it and it's really simple. I think it's more popular than the turkey!

Sally said...

Fantastic finishes and exchange pieces! I love the little ornament you stitched for Mary. It's beautiful.

♥ Nia said...

In Portugal we don't have Thanksgiving and nothing similar.. We celebrate Christmas and Kings Day on 5th January, to close the Christmas season :)

oh! If I knew before, I would have sent you DMC 370! =/
Your ornaments are adorable!

Happy Thanksgiving to you!! :)

Mavi. said...

A beautiful blog, some very nice work. Thanks for the free.
We will continue visiting, is a treat for the senses.
I use a translator.

Julianne said...


I want to wish you and your lovely family a very Happy Thanksgiving. I hope your dinner will be an enjoyable and happy time for all 25 of you.

I received your e-mail and I know I owe you one. I will try to get back to you soon.

All of your stitching is just wonderful. I've always LOVED that PS turkey with the autumn leaves and now after seeing yours, I really must stitch it.

Dani - tkdchick said...

Wow! All of your finishes are just gorgeous and delicate!

I just came back from a retreat at a B&B where they let us take over as well... but its a nice big place, and there's 17 of us! I haven't dared to step on the scale yet to see what dammage I did (will on Friday). I did get out for two runs (12.5KM & 5KM) and two walks (both 5KM) so I'm hoping that helped a little!

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Carol, I love the PS piece! I've never seen that one before. It's gorgeous! Your other little turkey and ornament are such cute finishes. :) Nice job!

Mylene said...

Such gorgeous finishes, Carol. I so love that PS design.
Sounds like you all had wonderful time at the retreat.

Siobhán said...

Ahhhhhhhhh! You mentioned pretzel salad. My mouth is watering. ;)

I love the Thanksgiving piece. PS does the best autumnal and Christmas pieces, don't they? The exchange pieces given and received are wonderful, too. It sounds like you had a great time at a very pretty place with like minded people. It doesn't get better than that!

Your dad is in my prayers, as is your family. (((((Carol))))))

Shirley said...

The stitching retreat sounds wonderful and chocolates too - bliss. Thanks for sharing your stitched pieces they are lovely, as always.
kind regards,

Martine said...

Waouhhh ! Your Prairie Schooler Thanksgiving is georgous !!!!
And I love very much the ornament for Mary !!!!What fortunate !!!! It is so cute !!! Carol ! I love when you add a beaded edge.... it is beautiful !!!!!!!!!
I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving !
Here, it is raining every day and it is cold!! No Thanksgiving in France !
Have a good day, Carol !

Lainey said...

What a great post Carol, I just love reading your blog. Your PS finish is just gorgeous and how darling is Home for the Holidays, I need to go check my mag for this one didn;t even know I had
It looks like your stitching treat was in a lovely place and sounds like everyone had a wonderful time, such beautiful gifts given and received.
We don;t have Thanksgiving here in the UK but is sure sounds like you will be busy cooking for 25. I hope everyone has a wonderful day.
Take care, hugs!

♥ Nia said...

Happy Thanksgiving! :)