Good morning everyone! And how are you doing today? Two days until Christmas and I'm finally feeling prepared. It's amazing how suddenly everything comes together after weeks of being sure you'll never finish the cards, the decorating, the gift-buying and wrapping, and the baking and grocery shopping. Then you wake up one day, and ahh... it is done and you can just relax and enjoy the holiday with your family. For me, that moment came on Saturday, when my husband helped me wrap the gifts, I put the finishing touches on the tree, and started my baking. Good thing, too because I had to work at the library yesterday and then again today (until 9PM)!
I've been working on my final finish of 2013 since my stitching retreat weekend back in late October. I've just picked it up here and there (in between stitching ornaments for friends which I've sent off to all corners of the world), but my goal was to have it finished by Christmas. I put the final stitches in it on Friday and have to say I truly loved every moment of stitching this piece. May I present... "Home For Christmas" from Prairie Schooler's Book No. 86.
Prairie Schooler: "Home For Christmas"
It's so hard to get a good photo of a longer piece like this so I've split it up into smaller parts for you to get a better look. For this piece, I used 40 ct. pearl gray Newcastle linen with the suggested DMC colors. The only change I made was to use DMC 221 for the reds. I loved every motif in this from the covered bridge, to the big orange barn, and the old-fashioned sleigh pulling the man with his freshly-cut Christmas tree back home to his waiting family.
I was a bit worried that the charted gray colors of the church wouldn't show up well on the gray fabric, but they ended up being just fine. I love the light streaming from the stained-glass church windows and the cute, little lamppost adorned with a cheery red bow.
And that big golden house! Can't you just picture the family inside gathering decorations and making popcorn and cranberry garlands to lace across the soon-to-be-delivered Christmas tree? I know which room would be mine in that house--the top one with the dormered window. I've always wanted a bedroom with a dormer... I can just imagine myself curled up on a window seat in the dormer reading a good book or working on some stitching. It sounds so very cozy, doesn't it?
I grew up in a small town which is one of the reasons this piece touched my heart so much. I loved being able to walk down the street to church and around the corner to the library (where I decided at age 12 that I wanted to be a librarian!). My heart really does "go home" to my little western New York hometown every Christmas. My mom made the holidays so very special for us... Ah, the memories: mom decorating cookies with all of her grandchildren the day before Christmas; strolling down the street to the candlelight service at church on Christmas Eve and hearing the stirring sounds of "Oh, Holy Night" being sung; lining up by age to descend the front stairway to open our presents on Christmas morning; discovering the treasured white box filled with Grandma's handmade caramels tucked under the tree; the delighted cries of my brother, sisters, and I as we opened our gifts. And then there was that wonderful feast mom prepared at the end of the day; the laughter and warmth as we sat around a beautifully decorated table to eat by the glow of candlelight. It was all so, so special--thank you, mom. I may not have appreciated all your hard work as much when I was a child, but I certainly do now.
"Home For Christmas" by The Prairie Schooler
I want to thank you for the many wonderful comments on my last post--so glad you enjoyed this year's "Parade of Ornaments." I really enjoyed hearing which was your favorite ornament--it appears that the snowmen have triumphed as most people said the liked either January's or October's ornaments. That makes sense, though--who doesn't like a snowman's cheery face? I have now moved the ornaments from my stairway garland to join all the others on my Christmas tree and thought you might like to see a few photos. Same tree, same location in my sunroom as other years, just more ornaments!
Here are some close-ups for you, too...
A special section of my Christmas tree is reserved for the ornaments my stitching friends from around the world have sent me--can you spot yours? I think of you, my dear friends, when I place these on my tree each December--thank you so much for sending me a little piece of your heart...I never dreamed I would have ornaments on my tree created in England, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, France, and so many places across the United States--amazing how blogging has opened up my world!
A cross stitch Christmas!
I'm out of time for today, but in my next post I'll show you the wonderful Christmas gifts I've received from my stitching friends--such a bevy of beautiful creations! Until then, I wish you a Christmas filled with love and laughter, and, hopefully, loads of stitching goodies filling your stockings. Bye for now...
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!