Thank you... They seem like two such simple words, but I hope you know how much all of your support has meant to me since I lost my dad on October 31st. Your wonderful comments on my last post truly warmed my heart; they made me smile and they made me cry, but most of all, they reinforced what I already knew--that the stitching/blogging community is filled with the most warm, caring, and generous people. And I am so lucky to call you my friends. Life seems different now that dad is gone--it's almost as if a haze has fallen over things. I know it will clear after a while, but right now, it still seems pretty thick. I know those of you who have already lost a parent will know exactly what I mean. I want to thank you, my friends, for the wonderful cards and caring emails--I was so touched by each and every word that you sent my way. I could feel those hugs you were sending me from far, far away. Thank you--truly...
With Thanksgiving looming (and me preparing for 17 guests this year!) I have had little stitching time, but I do have a few finishes to share with you today. I began Heartstring Samplery's "Let Us Be Truly Thankful" back in October at my stitching retreat, but didn't get very far. I only finished the vine on the left and didn't pick it up again until last week. By then, I had a new plan for it--I decided to stitch it in memory of my dad and in honor of my mom. I changed the date from the charted 1827 to 1927, the year of their births, and added their initials next to the flower on the right.
|Heartstring Samplery's "Let Us Be Truly Thankful|
Other changes I made were adding another acorn to the right of the word "Thankful," reversing the squirrel so he faced toward the center, and evening up the center flower motif so it was symmetrical. I also stitched the entire word "Thankful" in the darker brown rather than just making the "T" that color as was charted.
The finish is quite simple--just some brown ruched ribbon surrounding the little pillow. The dusty yellow fabric shown in the background is what I used to back it. I plan on placing this newest pillow in my wooden bowl of Thanksgiving finishes, but may just keep it on display all year. After all, I am so very thankful for my dear parents each and every day of the year, not just at Thanksgiving time... I was lucky enough to win this chart in a giveaway from sweet Heather and I would love to pass it on to one of you who wants to stitch it. Just let me know in your comments and I will have a drawing and announce the winner in my next blog post.
I'm pleased to say, I've stitched my final two monthly ornaments for 2014, too! You notice I say "stitched"--not finished... The finishing will have to wait until after Thanksgiving. My ornament for November is from the November/December 2011 issue of Just Cross Stitch Magazine. I fell in love with the wonderful teal color and the peaceful scene so beautifully designed by Kathy Schmitz. It is called "A Winter's Night" and the silk thread I used was Dinky Dye's "Emerald" color on 40 ct. flax Newcastle linen. To me emerald always denoted green, but this is definitely more on the blue/gray spectrum. Isn't it pretty?
|A Winter's Night designed by Kathy Schmitz|
And, last, but not least, is my December ornament--this little cutie from New York Dreamer called "Frosty Night." I used most of the suggested colors on 40 ct. Country Mocha Newcastle. Although I use one strand of thread when I stitch on 40 ct. fabric, I did use two strands for the snowflakes to make them really stand out. I also put some fringe on the long-armed snowman's scarf. I just thought the robins were so sweet in this design even though we don't have robins in the winter here in Pennsylvania. Do you have them where you live? I think they probably do stick around in the more moderate climates...
|"Frosty Night" designed by New York Dreamer|
I owe a couple of special thank-you's to two stitching friends who sent me a little something in the mail. First of all, my wonderful friend, Annie, stitched this beautiful condolence card for me. When I returned home after the funeral, this just happened to be the first card I opened and tears sprang to my eyes all over again--not because it made me sad, but because I was so honored that Annie would take the time to stitch such a pretty card for me. Thank you, Annie--I will treasure it...
|Condolence card stitched by Annie|
And from a new stitching friend, Frances, came a lovely card in which she enclosed this little "Dad" chart. She thought I might like to make up one of my little pillows or a small ornament in memory of Dad. I will do just that, Frances--what a wonderful idea. Your thoughtfulness touched me deeply--thank you again!
|"Dad" chart sent by Frances|
I received many lovely cards filled with such kind words of love and support over the past few weeks. Here are some of them and even more arrived since I took this photo. Thank you to each and every one of you who took the time to send a little greeting in the mail--they certainly brightened my days...
|Sympathy cards from around the world|
This beautiful orchid arrived from my husband's co-workers after dad died. They sent it to me here at home rather than delivering it to the funeral home which I thought was such a wonderful idea. I've never had an orchid before and am a bit worried that it won't thrive under my care--do any of you have any tips for me?
I've been keeping very busy baking for Thanksgiving (now that my oven is fixed--it broke last week, wouldn't you know!). Next to stitching, baking is my favorite de-stressor. Here are some of the cookies and the pecan pie that I've made so far. I love to bake and so I really look forward to this time of year. I put half of the cookies in the freezer and save them for Christmas--sure saves me some time when December rolls around!
|Thanksgiving baking 2014|
The turkey family that has strutted through our yard for the past few months has been hard to spot recently! Do you think they're trying to remain hidden until after Thanksgiving is over? I took this photo way back on October 9th and that was the last time I saw them--see how big the babies have gotten? What funny looking creatures they are, aren't they?
|Doing the "turkey trot!"|
The deer have been in hiding, too, now that hunting season has begun. This stately buck is beginning to sprout antlers as can be seen in this photo from mid-October. Now, all those pretty fall leaves have disappeared and the dull, gray November weather is upon us. Better than the seven feet of snow that they got in my hometown of Buffalo, NY, though!!
It's almost time... I've heard some rumblings going on upstairs lately. They seem to be coming from the storage box tucked underneath the bed in my guest room. Hmm... could it be these little beauties are getting anxious to come out of hiding for their annual "Parade of Ornaments??" Stay tuned!
|Almost time to decorate the tree!|
It's a small, small world... I was amazed to learn that two of my blog readers had connections to my small hometown. I got two wonderful emails from stitchers who recognized my small western New York town just from the photos I posted in my memorial post on my father. I never named the town or my family, but they both emailed me to say they new exactly where I had grown up. One used to visit her grandparents there and had fond memories of the little town. And even more amazingly, another actually grew up there and attended the same church that my family did in the 1980s and 90s (after I had married and moved to Pennsylvania). In fact, she even became a librarian--just like me! I can't make this stuff up... the world is definitely shrinking because of the internet!
I am way behind on answering emails and commenting on your blogs, but I hope to catch up this weekend after Thanksgiving is over. Don't forget, if you would like a chance to stitch the "Let Us Be Truly Thankful" chart in my first photo, please leave a comment saying so and I will draw the winner in a couple of weeks.
Again, my friends, thank you so very much for all of your kind words--they really have helped my heart begin to heal. I wish you each a blessed Thanksgiving Day with friends and family. We truly all have so much to be thankful for, don't we?