Friday, August 29, 2014

My lone August post...

Hello, hello! Did you miss me? I've missed you! It's hard to believe a month has passed since my last post. August was a bit of an up and down month for me--the first part was very busy with work and extra doctor's appointments to deal with some weird health issues. The second part has been more relaxing with a week at the beach and a string of sunny, non-humid days--absolutely the best weather we've had all summer--finally! I've done a bit of stitching along the way, but seem to really have more time to sit down with my needle and thread in the winter months. So, would you like to see what I've been up to?

I was delighted to see the 2014 Prairie Schooler Santa this year--he's a caroler! (Yes, I'm a bit partial to carols and caroling for some reason--I wonder why?). The newest PS Santa was my beach stitching this year. Although I tried to stitch in the car on the 10-hour drive down to Corolla, NC, I didn't have much luck. I'm not sure if the road was too bumpy or it was just too hard to deal with the 40 ct. fabric without better lighting. So, this Santa got stitched over a number of days while I was away on vacation--usually just an hour or two each morning. What a great way to start my day!

2014 Prairie Schooler Santa

I used the suggested DMC colors on 40 ct. flax Newcastle, but I had to substitute the green color with DMC 500 since I had no 501. I did make a few changes, though: I gave Santa a green and white striped scarf instead of the solid green, made his mouth more of an oval shape instead of the square shape that was charted, changed the color of the wording and border to DMC 844, and changed the ribbon on the top package from red to gold. The ornament is backed with the plaid fabric you can see in the lower right corner of the photo below. I'm so pleased with how he turned out...

Before we left for the beach in mid-August, I made a birthday gift for my dear friend, Lois, in Northern Ireland. I was thrilled to hear from her that it only took one week to arrive--now that is great mail service on both sides of the Atlantic! This is what I stitched for Lois as I thought she would enjoy the colors and the sampler-like motifs. It was my first time stitching the Spider Web Roses and I'm so pleased with how they turned out.

Ewe and Eye and Friends "Petite Exemplary No. 2"

This piece is called "Petite Exemplary No. 2" by Ewe and Eye and Friends and is stitched on 40 ct. flax Newcastle using the suggested DMC threads. I really enjoyed all the specialty stitches in this one--they add such interest and dimension to a tiny piece. Here is a better look at the Spider Web Roses: 

I wasn't quite sure how to finish this one for Lois, but finally decided on a scissor fob. I used DMC in the darker color of the house to make the cording and the pretty floral fabric shown to back the fob. Lois loved my gift and I just want to wish her a very "Happy Birthday" once again!

I was looking through my drawer of "unfinished/finishes" the other day (you do all have those, too, right?) and found a little Santa that I had stitched way back in 2009--the year I began my blog! Oh, the poor thing--he's been shut up in the dark all these years. Time to pull him out, finish him up, and get him ready to hang on the Christmas tree in December. This is from the Cricket Collection's "Woolen Mittens" chart. The backing fabric is the cute black and white polka dot that you see underneath the ornament. In some ways, I'm glad I held off on finishing him because I've gotten more confident in my finishing skills over the past five years and I think he looks better now than he would have looked had I tackled him back in 2009!

Cricket Collection "Santa Mitten" finish

I'm also working on a larger piece, but have run into a snafu! I think I'll show you that next time and get your opinions on just what you think I should do...

BEACH WEEK 2014... Well, this year marked the 30th year that we have traveled down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina with my husband's entire family... How the group has grown! I think there were only 12 of us the first year, but now with added grandchildren and great-grandchildren, our group numbered 25 this year! Only my middle son and my niece's husband were unable to make the trip due to work responsibilities. (Don't feel too bad for my middle son, though--he just returned from two weeks in Japan!).  Since we rented the same house as last year, you can click here to see photos of the giant beach house where we made our home for the week. Here are some photos I took this year, including a day trip to Currituck Beach Lighthouse.

The view from the gazebo at the beach house

Looking down the beach at Corolla, NC.

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse

Another view of the lighthouse

A view from the top of the lighthouse

Gazing down at the lighthouse keeper's home

Looking down through the winding 220 step lighthouse

It was quite a relaxing week overall, although with 25 people at dinner each night, things got a bit  loud for me! I don't know about you, but I really enjoy my quiet time and with that many people in a house, you don't get much of it... I did manage to walk on the beach several mornings which seemed to agree with my plantar fasciitis. My heel felt much better down there than it has since I got home! 

But, I so needed that time away... As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I had a couple of odd health issues to deal with in early August (an emergency root canal due to something called "External Root Resorption." Ever hear of it? Me either! And a diagnosis of Schamberg Disease as a result of some odd pinprick rashes that have been popping up on my legs and thighs. Don't google photos of it--mine looked nowhere near that bad and have disappeared--for now! Apparently, there is no cure, but I'm just hoping mine remains a light case).  Neither of these are horrible--just rare and weird. The doctor who did my root canal was so thrilled to see a case of External Root Resorption that he called his 18-year-old son in to witness the procedure... And the dermatologist exclaimed excitedly that she hadn't seen anyone with Schamberg Disease in over two years! Apparently, I'm a rarity--ha ha!!

I hope those of you in the United States have a fun and relaxing Labor Day Weekend... Do you have any special plans? I'm just hoping this spell of lovely weather continues on through September. We sure could use it before winter sets in. Thank you all for stopping by today and a warm welcome to my new followers--so glad you're here! Bye for now...