Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hope you like black cats!!

Good morning, my dear friends! And a warm welcome to my new followers! I never post on Sundays, but with Hurricane Sandy making her way up to the north east, I decided to get this written because, yes, western Pennsylvania is in that highlighted red area you see on all of those weather maps. Hopefully, it is just high winds and rain (I'd even take some snow!), but you just can't be sure... Last week we enjoyed summer-like record-breaking temperatures and here we are just seven days later with hurricane warnings!  That Mother Nature sure is a fickle woman, isn't she? We are very blessed in the western Pennsylvania region to usually manage to escape nature's ravages...few tornadoes, wild fires, hurricanes, or any of the other devastating events that effect so many other parts of the country rarely hit us here. BUT, we were affected by Hurricane Ivan back in 2004. Our whole basement was flooded and I sure hope history doesn't repeat itself. My thoughts are with all of you on--especially those of you on the coast--as the storm approaches...

So, what have I been doing over the past three weeks? Well, playing with little black cats, of course! No, not real ones (unfortunately), but these sweet stitched ones. Yes, as many of you guessed, black cats is the theme for my October bowl of smalls. I love black cats because of the one and only cat we ever owned--my dear Shadow cat (more about him later!). Even though he's been gone for five years, I still miss him and since we aren't able to get another cat due to my husband's allergies, I have to get my "black cat fix" through my stitching. This month, I managed to stitch five new pieces featuring the fabulous felines and finish two of my unfinished-finishes that had been hidden away in a drawer for three years!

October 2012 Black Cat Finishes

This trio of grinning black cats marching along with their pumpkin heads made me smile the very first time I saw it, so I knew it would be making it into my bowl. This is actually just a small motif taken from the bottom portion of Prairie Schooler Book No. 165 Sweeping Cobwebs. I stitched this one on 40 ct. R&R Creme Brulee with DMC threads. It was the first time I'd worked on this fabric and I'll have to say, it wasn't my favorite. It was very loosely woven and almost stretchy--I didn't think the coverage (I normally use one thread on 40ct. fabrics) was as good as on other 40 ct. linens that I've used. I do like the mottled appearance of this linen, though, for a Halloween finish. The black and tan gingham and orange ruched ribbon finished up the little pillow quite nicely, don't you think?

"Sweeping Cobwebs" motif by Prairie Schooler
Next up is a finish called "Cat O'Lanterns" by Silly Snobs Gallery--a chart that I've had in my stash for a l-o-n-g time. It was published way back in 1993!! Again I used the 40 ct. R&R Creme Brulee for this piece, but learning from experience  on the previous finish, this time I used TWO threads for the black portions of the design and I'm much happier with the result. The cats have a lovely, almost velvety appearance. And how cute is that tiny gray mouse peaking out of the littlest pumpkin! I did end up changing the colors for the pumpkins because the charted colors were just too bright of an orange for my taste. This one is finished as a flat mount with miniature black pompom trim, a gingham bow, and tiny button as accents.

"Cat O'Lantern" by Silly Snobs Gallery

From the wonderful imagination of The Sampler Girl comes my next finish called "Quaker Boo." I'm really happy with how this one turned out--I picked the fabric colors after I'd finished the stitching, but they truly look like they were meant to go with my chosen floss colors. For this one, I used a combination of DMC, Needle Necessities, and WDW threads stitched over one on 25 ct. mushroom lugana. The chart is still available for purchase on Tanya's website . And how about those adorable black cat scissors in the photo--thanks again, Mary--I just love them! 

"Quaker Boo" by The Sampler Girl

I knew this freebie from Our Pioneer Homestead blog would be a perfect addition to my bowl of kitties. For the first time in a long, long time, I used 18ct. Aida for this finish.  Not my favorite to stitch on, but the color of burnt orange was perfect. I added another bat, a black star charm, and changed the border to finish this one. I wanted to make a black cording, but ran out of DMC 310, so I had to resort to whipstitching the back to the front which, boy, sure takes a lot longer than making a simple pillow and adding cording!

"Black Cat Inn" freebie from

And finally, I dove into my drawer of unfinished finishes and pulled out these two cuties... In a way, I'm glad I didn't finish them way back in 2009 when I stitched them, because I've gotten much more confident in my finishing skills and had tons of practice on finishing smalls since then!

This finish is called simply "Halloween Sampler" and is from the book The New Cross Stitch Sampler Book by Helen Philipps. You may be able to find a copy of the book at your local library which is where I found this one... If you're interested in reading more about this finish, you can read more about it in this post.
To make the pillow, I chose the ghostly fabric displayed behind it and added a black cording and bow--quick and easy and oh-so-cute!

"Halloween Sampler" from
The New Cross Stitch Sampler Book by Helen Phillips

And finally (whew!!), the adorable "Halloween Spots" design by The Trilogy. You can read about my finish in this post from way back in October of 2009. I love that skinny-legged ghost, don't you? Reminds me of my boys when they were tiny. For the finish, I chose a plain black fabric and a black and white polka-dot fabric to sew the pillow. Just adding on stripes of orange and black checked ribbon and a little brass pumpkin charm makes this one of my favorite finishes of this year.

"Halloween Spots" by The Trilogy

Seven black cat finishes (including the Prairie Schooler one from my last post) are shown below. Which one do you like best? It's really hard for me to pick this month--I'm really happy with each one of them!

 October 2012 Black Cat Finishes

So, here they are in my wooden bowl... Ten months down, two to go!! This monthly goal has been such a good way to finally stitch many of the older charts that I've had languishing in my stash for so long. I highly recommend it as a way of stitching some of those "oldies, but goodies" that you might have in your stitching collection, too... 

  October 2012 bowl of finishes

So, are any of my fellow stitchers also fans of black cats? Are you wondering how my obsession with them come about? Well, blame it on this little guy--my sweet "Shadow" who was our one and only pet for 14 years. In 1993, he wandered into our yard as a stray when my three young sons were playing outside with their friends and quickly made himself right at home. He really was the perfect Halloween kitty--this photo taken back in 2001 is one of my favorites.

Shadow in October 2001

Shadow was a constant companion to my sons--a great confidante who probably heard more of their hopes and dreams than any human being. The photo below was taken on our front porch in Halloween 1998 with my youngest "mummy" son and my middle "detective" son. (No, that isn't my oldest son in the rocking chair--it is just a giant stuffed monkey dressed up as Dracula!). We enjoyed eight more wonderful Halloweens with Shadow until an intestinal tumor took him from us in the summer of 2007. I still miss him every day...

 Halloween 1998

I won a lovely giveaway from my friend, Anne, who blogs at Doll's Musings. The plaid fabric is just perfect for future Christmas ornament finishing, isn't it? She also included some pretty green ribbon and a skein of Watercolors thread that she thought would be perfect to make cording along with three packets of tea. If you haven't visited Anne's blog, please stop by and say "hello." I'm sure you'll be impressed with her beautiful stitching and finishing... Thank you so very much, Anne--it has been a pleasure to get to know you better this year!  

Giveaway win from Anne

We've had such a gorgeous fall here in western Pennsylvania. I was afraid the colors wouldn't be very vibrant on the trees this year due to our hot, dry summer, but I think they were the prettiest they've been in years. I took the picture on the left driving home from my parents a couple of weeks ago, the one on the top right on my way to work, and the one on the bottom right from the library parking lot. Western Pennsylvania is very hilly and I think that only adds to the gorgeous display. I can't imagine not living with four beautiful and distinct seasons like we have here... 

Fall Foliage in Western Pennsylvania: October 2012

My husband put out the old sunflower heads for our resident deer and they've been having fun feasting while we enjoy watching them graze. We usually see three to five almost daily in our back yard. The middle photo of the collage shows the three females. The antlered males seem to come by less often, but they are so impressive to see when they do grace us with their appearance. 

 Backyard deer: Autumn 2012

I meant to share more photos from our North Carolina trip with everyone, but I'm just out of energy and in a bit of pain right now. I've been having trouble with my right thumb and am seriously wondering if it might be carpal tunnel syndrome. Anyone have any experience with that? I'm so afraid I'll have to give up stitching... Anyway, time to get off the computer and rest it a bit. Typing really bothers it and it's almost impossible not to use the right thumb since that is the one I use to hit the space bar!! 

Thank you, thank you for your kind comments and compliments on my finishes. I'm truly honored to hear that I've inspired you in some small way or other--really... Another reminder about your questions--I'm happy to answer them if I can, but you must leave an email address in order for me to get in touch with you. Anyway, I hope you each enjoy the remainder of your week and for those of you who celebrate... I wish you a most enjoyable Halloween filled with chocolate galore! Bye for now... 



Vickie said...

Good morning Carol. Your stitching and finishing are really just superb Carol. I mean it. Good for you. You have such a talent.♥
I am so sorry to hear of your thumb pain. I can only think to tell you to take breaks, no long period of typing or stitching without breaks. I have prayed for you.♥

Robin said...

Beautiful stitching and adorable finishing! Hope your basement stays dry!

Margaret said...

Wow!! I just love it! I think my favorite is the Prairie Schooler 3 cats. You always do such amazing finishes! The bowl is just wonderful! Loved hearing about Shadow. My sister has a little black cat (plus her non-black sister) -- so cute! Sounds like your sons had the same sort of relationship with Shadow as my son has with Mia. Love that Halloween pic of two of your boys with Shadow. Great prize from Anne too! Here's hoping we all survive Sandy with no problems!

Kate said...

I love your October smalls ... you stitch the loveliest designs. Shadow is a perfect name for your cat - in that photo he so blends in. Good luck with the impending storm.

Julie said...

Shadow looked like a very special kitty, he chose your home for a very special reason Carol.

How exciting to have the deer come by for a visit!

Your halloween bowl looks great, how can i possibly choose a favourite from all those beauties.

Stay safe, i'll be thinking of you and watching the news here xxx

Marsha said...

I think i like black cat inn the best. Really simple but that makes it stand out.

We're in Washington DC now and should have an interesting drive home tomorrow trying to beat the hurricane. It hasn't started raining yet!

Cath said...

What great finishes ,all of them , but I particularly like the kitties in the pumpkins.
Shadow looks so gorgeous. I've never had a true black cat, but have had two black and white ones. They both had very big personalities .

Shirlee said...

I pray that you do not have CTS. I can't even imagine having to give up stitching! Shadow indeed looked like a sweet kitty. Your black cats & finishes are marvelous! I wonder if I could slip some of my projects in with yours & you wouldn't notice & finish them as though they were your own? Keep safe! Praying for that too : )

Maggee said...

Oooh, I love Cat O Lanterns the best! Too cute! We are having high winds and some rain so far in Virginia Beach, but no damage yet! And of course, I still have power. I am not sure what I would do without power for days on end! For Isabel, I bugged out to Danville, VA. What an adventure! Hugs!

Laurie in Iowa said...

WOW... you always stitch wonderful designs and your finishing techniques make them all the more special. I'll be thinking of all of you in the path of Frankenstorm and keeping my fingers crossed that it won't be as horrific as they are predicting.

AnaCristina said...

wow!!! wonderful! see my halloween here:

pj said...

Carol, As always I love all of your finishes. I think my fav is the Halloween Spots finish but also like Autumn Leaves! I am a cat lover and owned a Black Silver Persian at one time and she was darling. Shadow picked a great home with love and fun!

Thanks again for sharing your Oct finishes! You are a great inspiration and I may have to pick up the pace for 2013 and do some smalls each month for a dough bowl. Happy Halloween! pj

Christina said...

Congrats on so many wonderful black kitty finishes!

We had a black cat too. She has been gone for quite a few years now.

Love the fall pictures.

Hope you stay safe from the storm.

Barbi said...

Happy Sunday my friend! And Happy Halloween! I love the black cats and Shadow is soooo handsome. What a great trick or treat shot too. I've been watching the developement of this hurricane. Batten down the hatches Carol. Tuck yourself away into a nice cozy nook and be safe!!!

CATHI said...

Carol, your finishes are soo adorable! I love black cats, too! :o)


Teri said...

I love, love, love the black cat finishes!!! My favorites are the PS designs. Loved reading about Shadow and seeing her in the photos over the years. Hope you and others in the path of Sandy stay safe and dry,

Vicki said...

Your black cats are precious! Praying the storm stays far away from you.

Jennifer said...

So sweet! We have a tuxedo cat, but a friend of mine had the funniest all black cat, also named Shadow. We referred to him as Chatter though, because he was never, ever quiet and it often sounded like he was trying to talk.

All the finishes are lovely, but I think the Quaker Boo one might be my favorite. The little pops of color really work

escargopotte said...

oh happy halloween ! very nice !!

butterfly said...

Beautiful, beautiful , beautiful, just love every one of your stitched pillows .
Sorry to hear you have some pain , I did one year , so I had to wear a glove for strain and it did get better .
Your photo's are wonderful, I love your cat you do miss them I had one called Candy she was the sweetest little cat, she would follow me every where even to work.
She use to love playing hide and seek with my dogs .
Those were happy days.
Thanks Carole another lovely post. hugs.

Anonymous said...

Qué trabajos más hermosos, elegantes y bonitos. Sus colores, combinación de telas y abalarios.....espectaculares, muy muy bellos. Enhorabuena por ello, y te envío besos

Judy said...

Another super post! All of the black cat smalls are adorable and beautifuuly stitched and finished. I think my favorite is Cat O'lantern..but each of them is as cute as the next!

Thanks for sharing all the photos of nature and cat plus the young trick or treaters!

I hope Frankenstorm will be more mild than predicted. Icannot imagine being in a hurricane. And certinally pray for everyone who lives in the path!

Judy Heartland stitcher

Anonymous said...

Fabulous post, Carol! Loved seeing your stitched black cats (and no, I can't pick a favorite) and how you finished each one! Thank you for sharing Shadow's story with us!

Stay safe as Hurricane Sandy makes her way north!

Robin in Virginia

Monica said...

I love your finishes! They always inspire me! They are so wonderful especially the cat o'lanterns!

Friendship Crossing said...

Carol, LOVE LOVE LOVE all of your finishes! How cute and I hope you won't mind if I borrow some ideas from you~ :))
You are so very talented and I can see why your thumb hurts~ you must stitch in your sleep - LOL. I really hope it gets better real soon!
Very cute kitty!


Jodi S said...

Love your finishing on your October projects! I wish I could do that. Maybe some day.... What a handsome boy Shadow was! I too am from PA - Middle.

Charlene ♥ SC said...

What a lovely post! You know how much I admire your finishing, and yes, I too love black cats.

My favorite this time is Cat O'lanterns. I find it difficult to use two strands on 40ct. The over-dyed fibers do seem to cover better since the dying process makes them a little fuzzier. The Halloween Sampler is cute as can be, too.

Thumb: So sorry for your pain. A stitcher at my LNS had surgery on hers, and one of the requirements by the doctor was that she use a frame holder. I've thought of getting one to try to get used to just in case it gets to the point where I can't hold my q-snap. If you're an ín-hand stitcher, try using the q-snap. I can stitch multiple times longer than if stitching in hand.

Septiembre said...

Hola Carol, cómo has trabajado. Es una maravilla como terminas tus bordados. Me gustan todos, si tengo que elegir me quedo con Boo y con Hallowewn Spots.
Que graciosos tus hijos en el porche.
Espero que el clima sea benigno
Las fotos del otoño se ven preciosas.
Muchos besos.
Hi Carol, how you worked. It is a wonder how you finish your embroidery. I like them all, if I have to choose I prefer Boo and Hallowewn Spots.
Funny that your kids on the porch.
I hope the weather is benign
The photos look gorgeous autumn.
Many kisses.

Wanda said...

Beautiful! It's hard to choose a favorite especially when they all have a black cat! Shadow reminds me of our 'Beans' or 'Beanie' as we usually called him. He was a beautiful black cat. Thanks as always for sharing your spectacular finishes. Wanda

Jennifer M. said...

I love your October finishes! The 3little black cats are my favorite I think. Of course, they are all fabulous though. I like the big sampler looking one too.

I'm sorry to hear about the pain in your thumb. My best friend's mom has carpel tunnel and its kept her from her love of crochet, but it is treatable though which is good.

The pics of Pennsylvania are beautiful. I showed them to my boyfriend and he was amazed by all of the foliage colors. You are really lucky to have the four seasons up there. My grandparents loved them too...all except Winter!
Can I ask what kind of camera you have? You always take beautiful pictures.

Good Luck with the storm. I have had my share of those since I live in Florida! Hopefully you don't lose power. That is the worst.


EvalinaMaria said...

Happy Halloween to you too! Congrats on the lovely finishes, stay warm and safe!

Carol C said...

Hi Carol,
All are BEAUTIFUL as always.First time commenting for me, but not first time visitor.
Thank you for sharing, I so look forward to seeing your new bowl each month.
Stay safe.
Carol C.

Sweet Sue said...

Great finishes Carol, like your mix of fall colors and trims! Gotta couple stitched black cats here too, won't be finished for the 31st though, maybe next year lol. Stay safe, warm and out of harms way my friend:)

Marianne said...

very nice halloween stiches, I love the black cats!
with love,Marianne

♥ Nia said...

Your head banner looks so pretty :)
I've heard news here! I hope you're safe with your family! Here it's winter cold, really low temperatures... Looks like autumn was so short =/
Gorgeous finishes as always :D
Halloween sampler is so pretty! Love the way you finished it :)
7? You need to make 2 more! For nine ;) hehehe halloween sampler is my favorite this time :)
Happy halloween sweetie :D

Michelle said...

Oh my you have been busy - beautiful stitching and finishing x

Beth said...

Very much enjoyed your basket of Black Cats and stories of Shadow. I hope that you stay safe and the weather is not too extreme.

Annette-California said...

WOW! Carol your work is amazing. I especially love the way you select your colors and how you add special touches to all your finishing's. I love all of your fall themed and especially Quaker Boo. You have a great talent in using the perfect fabrics for your projects. I pray you find out whats causing your pain in your thumb. That's scary enough and especially since your a stitcher. Beautiful photos of the deer and scenery in your area.
love Annette

Sandra said...

Hi Carol

Always read your blog but dont comment. I recently had some trouble with my finger, similar to your thumb troubles. Mine was tendonitis its still a pain but managable its worth getting it checked out anyway. Love the black cat finishes by the way. Keep up the good work on your basket finishes.


Tracey said...

Oh, I really enjoyed this post!!!

How cute are the patterns you stitched... and your finishing is impeccable :-) (I would love to see a pic of the back of your flat finish, if possible, please.) A favourite??! I can't choose... they are all so lovely.

Stay safe!

Linda said...

Wow Carol. What awesome stitching and finishing. You truly are a talented lady and I'm jealous. lol
Love all your black cats.
Please stay safe from the storm.


Myra said...

I have been looking forward to this post Carol. I have a penchant for black cats too and all your stitching is wonderful as always. My favorite is the PS with the 3 cats marching along. So cute!

Anne said...

Carol! Love your black cat finishes in memory of Shadow. He is a darling little cat! I love his eyes!! Your finishing is perfect as usual!! Funny how you stitched the PS one on Creme Brulee. Yours looks a lot lighter than the one I got...and mine's quite blotchy. I do find the weave very loose too. I sure hope the hurricane won't flood your basement and do too much damage. My prayers go out to everyone. On our coast, our Haida Gwaii just had a massive earthquake. Didn't feel it here but there's tsunami just never know. Glad you enjoyed the package! I can't wait to see what you use that pretty fabric for!! Beautiful fall photos and those deer are darling!


Anne said...

Thank you for sharing all your pics. I love your finishes. I truly hope that you stay safe and dry for the hurricane time. :)

Lesleyanne said...

Wow Carol I LOVE your black cat finishes they are all stunning. My favourite is probably the Sampler Girl and your small finish from 2009. Great pictures of Shadow and the deer in your garden. The picture of the Autumn foilage is stunning.

cucki said...

Wow they all so beautiful..
I love them all so much
Hugs xxx

Jon Lee said...

Love your stitching. Stay safe with the hurricane. I need to go stitch now.

LoriU said...

Oh Carol, I do not think you have ANY idea how excited I get when I see an update on your blog! I just love your stitches and finishes. I think I am probably at stalker status. You just might find me knocking on your door next time we are in PA to visit my mother-in-law!

I would love to see your finishing fabric stash. They are all so cute!

Thanks for sharing photos of Shadow. He was a beautiful cat! And the fall foliage is amazing! Thanks again for blogging and can't wait to see what your November bowl theme is.

LoriU said...

I forgot to say when my carpal tunnel acts up I wear a wrist back at night to sleep and tak 50 mg of Vitamin B6 once a day. It really helps! I hope yours gets better.

Deb said...

A post full of eye candy. You've made some wonderful things.

Ellen said...

Gorgeous! I just love your monthly bowls of finishes! Your selections of designs are wonderful!

Wow, autumn colors are so beautiful! Thanks for sharing the photos of Shadow!

Happy Halloween!


Lisa V said...

Hi Carol, Happy Halloween dear friend. Love your October bowl of goodies, they are all so wonderful and your finishing is amazing as ever.
I hope you are safe during the storm, fingers crossed that you and your family are spared from any devastation. I shall be thinking of you. Take care.

priscilla said...

Great finishes this month Carol ! Love your October bowl ! My favorite is the 3 black cats ..really cute finishing ! Cute photo of your black cat and your boys! Hope you don't get hit by the storm, and your hand feels better !

Faye said...

As always Carol, a beautiful post with gorgeous finishes and your inspirational words...I hate you having trouble with your thumb however...It is one of my greatest body will not accomodate my hobby...I am sure, however, that with a little rest, it will improve..lets hope for that! And, I will keep you in my prayers with the many others that could be affected by this bad storm. We expect alot of rain, but nothing bad. I will cross my fingers for you!! Love all your goodies, Faye

Mrs. GraceWorks said...

Wonderful stitching this month, Carol! I think I like the PS piece that you have in your header best, although they all turned out splendidly!! I have trouble with my thumb on and off and my chiropractor is able to adjust it and my wrist so it doesn't hurt. I hope you are able to find some answers!! Stay safe!!


Elizabeth Ann said...

Cute Cute Cute, love the spot sampler the best. Will be praying for you during the next few days! For the first time in years I bought the Christmas Ornament issue, love the Mosey N me ornament, can hardly wait to start it!

Ms. Wright said...

I see your love for Shadow in all of these pieces! They're adorable, Carol. It's also wonderful to see the photo of the boys at Halloween. They're so very adorable.

Barb said...

Hi Carol, I was thinking about you today. I sure hope this storm is less than predicted!!! I just love all the black cats!!! I guess if I had to pick one it would be the PS. I always like their patterns. I had carpel tunnel surgery done last May. My main symptom was my arm falling asleep . It kept me up at night. Don't be too concerned about the thumb. Our orthopedic surgeon said that joint was very easy to replace and very successful. I don't wish that on you but I always think, at least I won't have to give up stitching if that joint goes!

Kathy A. said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous girl! I am sending my pile of pieces to you for finishing. Your extra little touches are always so special.

Katrina said...

Hi Carol, once again, your finishes are all very inspiring :) I so enjoy seeing how you cleverly sew and trim your little projects.
I'm a black cat fan too,my dear Poppy cat is my constant companion - although this weekend just been she was a "white cat" as she was checking out some painting we are having done and managed to get white paint all over her paws, lol.
have a wonderful week!

Christina said...

Wanted to add that I too have trouble with my right thumb and I was diagnosised with bursitis.

Karen said...

Your finishing is just too cute! Love all of the pieces and love your the pics you shared of your black kitty!

happy stitching...

Lillie said...

Gorgeous finishes !

Mouse said...

well a truly eye candy post from start to finish .... can't make my mind up which I loved the best ... going to have to come over for some finishing techniques :)
love your wee cat ... we had two called spider and maddie that were all black many years ago and they were characters too ....
stay safe in the storm ...
get that thumb checked out as if it is carpel the sooner you go the better it will be :)
love mouse xxxx

Michelle said...

Hi Carol! Shadow was such a handsome fellow, I can believe that you still miss him everyday!

Your smalls for October are beautiful - a great way to enjoy your love of black cats! Your autumn photos are beautiful - thanks for sharing.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Gabriele said...

Wonderful stitching and finishing! The photos are great. Yesterday we had the first snow! Brrr.
Have a Happy Halloween and I hope your house stays dry.
Greetings from Germany

Chris said...

Hello Carol!
I hope that you guys weather Sandy well and that she doesn't cause many problems in your area.
Thank you for sharing the pics of Shadow. They are lovely. She looks like she was a special girl.
Of course I love black cats, so your current assortment of smalls I absolutely love.
Have a great week!

Shari said...

everything looks great Carol.........the header cat is my favorite......
I am sure someone has already commented about the carpal tunnel stuff...I have never had it, but DH has had surgery on both wrists for it....and a head's up.......his JOB is on the computer, so don't fear!

Libby said...

I love, love, love all the black cats. I wouldn't have thought of it as a theme for the monthly basket.

We also had a black cat...Oliver. We had him for exactly 20 years...he was just a few months shy of turning 21 when he died. He was a good boy.

Hope the wind and rain are less than expected. I am also in the path. We won't have flooding...just no electricity.

See you soon.

Joke said...

Oh, I love your bowl of finishes for this month! Your fall of foliage is beautiful, nature is at its best, this time of year. I hope winds will pass by without any damage.

Siobhán said...

What beautiful finishes, Carol!! They're all fantastic but I think my most favorite is the three cats from the PS chart. Your Shadow was an adorable kitty. We had a black cat that I got to name--Clarabelle. Yeah, not sure where that name came from, but I loved her.

I had/have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I developed it when pregnant with my twins. For a long while I had to wear braces on both arms, from my hand up to my elbows, when I slept. I still have problems at times with my left hand and found that (this sounds odd) bending my fingers back helps a bit. I hope your thumb doesn't give you too many problems!

Stay safe with that storm!

Giovanna said...

Wow, great finishes, well done. Stay safe in the storm, will be thinking of all you stitchers in that part of the world.

The Inspired Stitcher said...

Oh dear friend, you finishes are so cute! I think my favorite is the PS cats. They remind me of my dearly departed Ace Kitty. He was such a sweetie pie! I hope you are safe from the storm and don't get any damage. I'll be sending positive thoughts your way today. Hugs!

BrendaS said...

Carol --
You are such an inspiration with your beautiful stitching each month. I've so enjoyed seeing your creativity and what you chose as your theme each month. I love the Black Cats. Each one is cuter than the last:)))

Beautiful Fall pictures. I agree with you that I love living where there are all Four Seasons.

I hope your thumb and wrist feel better. You certainly wouldn't want to give up stitching!

Happy Halloween. I hope the storm doesn't affect you too much.

Melanie said...

Holy carumba, I don't how you keep up with all these comments. Haha! You keep rocking it though!! :)

Hope you stay safe and DRY for the storm!!

Just love all the new ornaments!! Totally fab. I don't like loosely woven linen either. Bleh. It's like Goldilocks - too tight or too loose is yucky. Needs to be jusssst right. lol You really put a LOT of work into this month's smalls!! WHEW.

Love the fall pictures. Will be sad to see them go. (And I'm sure this storm will just rip off all the remaining leaves. *sniff*)

Carpal tunnel pain usually originates in the wrist, even though you feel it the worst in your fingers. A wrist brace when you aren't stitching might help some to heal it! They are easily had at CVS or even Target, etc. I get carpal tunnel in two fingers on my right hand when stitching too much and it's no fun. (If the finger starts 'clicking' though that's tendonitis which is something else altogether - that you need a finger brace for. Gosh, so glad I have so much experience with all these aches and pains things. lol)

Carolyn NC said...

Wow Carol, hope you guys all stay safe! Your stitching and finishes are amazing! Love them all!

Vonna Pfeiffer said...

Each little pretty, is prettier than the last :) All gorgeous in your stunning monthly bowl! Stay safe....

Southpaw Stitcher said...

I just love all your cat finishes. It's hard to pick a favorite, although I really do like the Quaker Boo. Shadow is such a cutie. The only problem with cats (and dogs!) is that they don't live long enough. Stay safe and dry.

Valma said...

ho my ! your October bowl is really wonderful
I love the colours and each finish you made
Halloween spot is my favourite this month =D
I really hope you're safe, and all your family too
I saw awful pictures on TV and can't imagine what it was like !
And I also hope your thumb will be better very soon
I haven't experience with this syndrome :(
take care
big hugs

Catherine said...

Wonderful post, Carol! I love your black cat finishes!! You should be very pleased with your monthly bowls ~ they have been a treat to see each month.
Oh how I wish you could have another kitty. My parents are trying to find homes for four and one of them is all black and quite the snuggler! It would give me a good reason to visit you, as I could hand deliver!

Nana's Quilts said...

Hello Carol. I am a friend of Joke Boonstra in the Netherlands and that's where I got your blog address. As something of a beginner could you recommend any particular book (or some such) that is a good source for ideas for finishing. I can make the things, but then what? Thanks for your help/suggestions.

Ranae said...

Omgosh Carol, what a awesomeness spooktacular post, you know I love it, lol
your finishes are beautiful

Mary Ann said...

WOW!! Love all of your "black cat" finishes!!

I hope all is well from the storm and that your thumb is feeling better soon!

Scattered Threads said...

Hello Lady Carol,
Your bowl of black cats look wonderfully finished.
I hope you are doing okay during this time of the hurricane your way. I was thinking of you as I awoke this morning as I was getting the kiddos ready for school.
Let us know you are okay.

Take care,

Nicola said...

Yet again more wonderful stitching Carol! I do love the way you display your finishes in their bowl.

I do hope that you are safe and escaped the wrath of hurricane Sandy.

Sally said...

Wow, Carol, you have been a busy bee and they are all wonderful!

Gorgeous photos of the area you live in. I hope you are safe from the storm.

Solstitches said...

Another stunning post Carol. There is always so much to see and everything so lovely. You have done it again with another gorgeous collection for your basket. I adore the PS one with the three black cats.
Definitely one to go on the to do list.
I'm not really a cat person but I do like black cats and consider them lucky whereas the Spanish consider the black cat to be unlucky and will avoid them at all costs.
That is such a lovely picture of Shadow and the picture of your boys when they were young. Happy memories :)
I hope the problem with your thumb eases off.
If I knit for any length of time it really hurts my arm/shoulder. I think the problems arise if we do anything for too long a period of time without a break.

Laura said...

Hi carol
Just discovered your blog, love it Your stitching and finished work is just exquisite!!
Must read some more so I can find out what is your "bowl".
Thanks for making me want to stitch

Tatkis said...

Oh, I love all your black cats! Especially the Quaker boo :)
Great finishes!


Quiltsmiles said...

Sorry to hear of your thumb problems, hopefully it's nothing too serious. Even if it is CT, after surgery and some PT you'll be quickly stitching again, but I hope you don't have to do that route, perhaps it's just strained saying "don't take me for granted".

As for my favorite "shadow" finish, I love the portion of the Autumn Leaves Prairie schooler with all those flying leaves seen to as a header to your blog right now. That is just so casually elegant and the finish is superb. All of your pieces look marvelous though, I'm glad that you were able to get so many beautiful finishes for the October bowl. Can't wait to see November but please do take it easy with your thumb. Jane

Elia said...

Halo Carol,
what a beautiful post of Halloween, I like so much this tree black cats!!!
And this photos of Shadow are so special...

I was thinking of you for the urricane!
I hope your thumb and wrist feel better, take care.


Ariane20 said...

Wonderful cats and beautiful stitching.

Parsley said...

Once again, my wish list grows. LOL

Love your finshes. Well done!

Brigitte said...

You have no idea how often I visit your blog just to look at all your wonderful finished pillows. And yes, you always inspire me. These Halloween pieces are all so very special and I love them gathered in your bowl. You are right, we all have old little freebies that we have always wanted to stitch but there was always something else in the way. I was pulling out a couple of mine this year, all of them witchy ones, and worked on them once a month. It was so much fun. I think I'll have to do this more often.
I'm looking forward to your new idea for November.
Like you I have problems with both my thumbs but they only hurt when I want to grip something or when I want to write with a pencil etc.. I never feel pain when I stitch (big sigh of relief). I hope your thumb already feels better by now.

Valentina said...

Loving your October theme! Black cats are so beautiful, even magical!!!
Hope your thumb is ok, it happens to me too to have it hurting, especially when I spend a lot of time crocheting.

Alissa said...

These are so awesome Carol as always. So jealous (sigh).... :)

nathali99 said...

Those are just wonderful .... I just discovered your blog, but be sure that i will stop by very often !!!

Elisa said...

Beautiful stitching and... adorable finishing !!!

msmartello said...

Beautiful finishes Carol! I love the black cats. When I was a kid my neighbors who I was very close too had a black cat named Midnight. I loved her and whenever I went outside she would run over to see me. Good memories. What is November going to be?


passionfruitprincess said...

Hi Carol! Hope all is well with you and you are safe from the storm.
I love all your black cats. I am always amazed with all the stitching you do. Take care!
Ana Paula.

Bekca said...

I always look forward to reading your posts Carol. They make me feel so inspired :) I think Cat o' Lantern is my favourite, such a sweet design!
I hope the storm didn't affect you at all and hope too that your thumb is on the mend.
Best wishes.

Meari said...

Cute October finishes, Carol. I love them all. You sure do stitch fast!

Love the Halloween pic of the boys. Too cute.

Nancy M said...

Well I was not disappointed! You have another awesome bowl of cuties this month. I love the one with the checked ribbon too! I did manage my first small pumpkin pillow....oh man do I need your motivation! LOL

Karoline said...

Your black kitties are all lovely, especially the photo's of Shadow

Shirley said...

Hi Carol, Love the cute cat stitching. The cats holding up the lanterns are my favourites. Glad to hear you have not been affected by the hurricane. I have seen the devastating effects on the world news. There is a products for stitchers called Handeze therapeutic gloves which are suitable for stitchers with carpel tunnel syndrome, arthritis, repetitive strain injury etc., which may be helpful to you. It would be terrible to give up stitching!
take care, Shirley

Melody said...

Carol, Once again you have hit the ball out of the park with your beautiful stitches and creative finishes!

Your monthly bowl has been an inspiration. I hope you fared ok with the storm. I am behind in my blog reading, so I'm a little slow in responding.
Take care!

Cindy's Stitching said...

I could finally access your blog. The cats are all so pretty. the three dancing cats made me laugh. All the patterns are so different. The Fall pictures you got are so pretty. Great colors. As always the finished pieces look fabulous. We have another storm coming tonight. I hope it isnt bad.

Patrizia Valle said...

all very beautiful !

Dani - tkdchick said...

I LOVE black cats too!!! I adore my Hunter!

Giovi's Creations said...

Hi Carol,
I really love your projects! I love cats and your finishes style!
Great photos and stories, as always.
Cheers, Giovi

Loraine said...

Oh my heavens Carol, you take my breath away! You are the best finisher ever, and I want to copy your bowl and all of the smalls that go in it...I'm printing pictures so I can remember what you did! LOL.
Thanks for inspiring me. I love your blog.

Suzanne said...

I love all your October smalls. You have such wonderful and inspiring finishes.

*-* said...

Beautiful finishes as always & wonderful photos.

Kay said...

I love the finishes! I too have a black cat. my son named him Percy. We got him when he was a kitten 13 years ago, still a feisty man to this day. Hope your Halloween was good and that you are feeling well from the pain that you were having.