Happy last day of the year to you, my stitching friends! I know I say this every year, but where have the past twelve months gone? I do think time passes by more quickly the older I get, don't you? I hope each of you enjoyed a lovely Christmas week with your families...It was so nice having all three of my sons home for most of the week...we played lots of board games, watched a few action movies together (When I told them they "owe me" a chick flick next Christmas, they all began to groan!), and ate way too much food. I'm really looking forward to some healthier eating and getting back to my exercise routine in January!
So, for those of you who were wondering about my December bowl and whether I would succeed in my goal of doing a themed bowl for each month in 2012, the answer is "YES!" I did it--it was quite an effort this month to finish it up with all of the other things that were on my December "to do" list, but in the end, I came up with a theme I'm happy with. I originally planned to have a baking/gingerbread boys theme for the bowl, but when it came right down to it, I realized that, unless I wanted to give up sleep for a couple of weeks, there was just no way I could get all of them stitched. So, what did I do? Well, I turned to my faithful drawer of "unfinished finishes"and searched for something--anything--that I could use as a theme for my bowl. As luck would have it, there were three long-ago stitched Prairie Schooler Santas just beseeching me to finish them and release them from that dark drawer. So with the three of them, and two more quickly stitched smaller PS Santas, I am happy to say I now have a bowl of Prairie Schooler Santas!
December 2012 Prairie Schooler Santas
So, let's start with the oldest stitched piece first... That would have to be the one done when I was still stitching on Aida, so it was probably finished way back in 2003 or 2004. Stitched on black Aida with the suggested DMCs (I never dared change colors way back then!), is this charming Santa giving a cute brown fox a lift on his sled. This is from The Prairie Schooler Book No. 110: "Santa & Friends." The shade of red isn't showing up true at all (at least on my computer)--the color is DMC 3777. I backed it with the print shown in the photo and finished it off very simply with cording made from the same red and tied in a little bow.
Prairie Schooler's "Santa & Friends"
Next up, is probably my favorite of the annual PS Santas: the 1990 Santa with his woodland buddies. I most likely stitched him in the mid-2000s because, by then, I had ventured into trying evenweaves. This seems to be stitched on a sage Jobelan using the suggested DMC colors. I just love the little feathered and furry friends shown in this charming design! The little pillow is backed with the gingham fabric shown and I attached a tiny cluster of holly leaves and silver bells in the upper corner for a little accent.
Prairie Schooler 1990 Santa
Another "oldie, but goodie" is the PS Santa from 2001 carrying his pear tree with the requisite partridge. Again, this one is stitched on a 32 ct. jobelan using DMC threads. I simply applied some handmade cording in DMC 221 and tied it in a little bow at the very top to finish it. Simple and quick!
Prairie Schooler 2001 Santa
My final two Santas were ones I managed to stitch in December--somehow squeezing them in between stitching gifts for friends and all that accompanies the multitude of things to do for Christmas! These stitched up fairly quickly and I love their old-fashioned look. I think that's why I love the older Prairie Schooler Santas so much--they bring back thoughts of, what seems to me, an easier time in life--slower paced and less hectic. This green coated Santa is from Book No. 88: "Old World Santas II." He is stitched on 32 ct. flax Belfast linen with the suggested DMC threads.
Prairie Schooler Old World Santa
And his buddy, the gold-coated Santa is another handsome fellow. (Although, for some reason, every time I look at him, I think of that wicked Queen in Snow White tempting her with the poisoned apples--yes, my mind works in an odd manner sometimes!!). Both of the Old World Santas are backed in the green gingham fabric and finished off with handmade cording in DMC 520. I really didn't have time to do any "fancy" finishing this month, but I think simpler is better when it comes to these guys.
Prairie Schooler Old World Santa
So, which one is your favorite? I think I'd have to vote for the one on black--I really love the whole design of it and who can resist those cute foxes?
December 2012 Prairie Schooler Santa Finishes
And here we have my final bowl of monthly finishes for the year... It has been such a fun journey and I owe a lot of it to you, my friends and followers. It was your kind and encouraging comments that kept me going month after month. I plan on taking a photo of all of my bowl finishes next week--I think even I will be surprised when I see them all grouped together! I'm still trying to come up with a good way to store them. Right now, they are in shoe boxes under my guestroom bed--one or two months worth per box. Does anyone have any other suggestions?
December 2012 Bowl of Finishes
I also received three more Christmas gifts which I want to share with you... From my dear friend, Mary, came this darling LHN chart called "Holiday House" along with a very generous gift certificate to The Strawberry Sampler. I can't wait to visit their website and pick out some of the goodies on my wish list! Thank you so very much, Mary--I've truly enjoyed our blogging friendship and trust that we will, indeed, meet in person some day. After all, you are only on the other side of Pennsylvania!
Gift from Mary
All the way from Northern Ireland came this next group of gifts from my dear friend, Lois. I was so happy to see what she stitched for me because I had just pulled the threads and fabric and was about to stitch it for myself and now I won't have to. I just love the little pillow ornament, Lois--your stitching and finishing are perfect! The chocolate Santa lollipop, festive Tralala Chart, and the most adorable flannel snowman fabric are so "me!" Our long-distance friendship has really meant so much to me over the past couple of years and I am very thankful for it as well as your lovely gifts.
Gifts from Lois
And from The Netherlands, sweet Annette sent me a jolly Santa card and enclosed a pretty handmade gift tag and the tiniest little ornament I've ever seen. She knows I love tiny things and I told her this would be perfect for the miniature tree that I have on the shelf in my family room. Thank you so much for your gifts, Annette, and for sharing your photos of your wonderful crafts and adorable kids with all of us! It is always a joy to visit your blog!
Gifts from Annette
Our snow had all melted by Christmas Day so there was no "white Christmas" for us, but the day after was a different story... The snow came down in huge flakes making the roads treacherous and even closing the library early. Since I was scheduled to work that evening, I enjoyed a free night and I'm sure you can imagine how I spent it!! Here are some photos of the storm "in process" and after it had stopped... So peaceful looking, isn't it?
December snowstorm 2012
Well, I do have more to show you, but since I have to work today, I'll save it for my next post! I want to thank each and every one of you for your friendship and kind comments over the past year. Bye for now...
May your New Year be filled with much...
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!