Good morning, my friends! How is everyone doing during these final two weeks before Christmas? Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed with things or is it just me? I'm way behind in everything now except for my decorating and baking. Not one card has been written or a single gift sent. I feel like I lost a couple of weeks in there with Thanksgiving preparations and, of course, saying goodbye to my dear father. Things have been a bit up and down for me, emotionally, since Thanksgiving ended and everyone went home. I think keeping busy during that time was good for me and then when the quiet returned, I had more time to think (and cry), but I'm getting there--one step at a time, right?
This week, I did manage to finish my decorating and put up my garland of ornaments for 2014. I have to say I'm very proud of this year's finishes. They're an eclectic bunch as I really love all sorts of patterns--I think that is one thing that keeps me interested in stitching ornaments. I never get bored--there is so much to choose from!
For those of you who are new to my blog, I began posting my yearly ornament finishes on the Christmas garland going up my stairs way back in 2010, in my second year of blogging. If you would like to see previous years, just click on the year: 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. There has been a serious lack of sunshine around this part of Pennsylvania so the photos are not the best, but I hope you'll enjoy my 2014 collection...
|2014 Monthly Ornament Finishes|
|2014 Ornaments: The First Six Months|
|2014 Ornaments: The Last Six Months|
|January ~ March 2014 ornament finishes|
|April ~ June 2014 ornament finishes|
|July ~ September 2014 ornament finishes|
|October ~ December 2014 ornament finishes|
Which is your favorite? I'll give you a closer look of each of them to help you choose... (You can click on the name of the ornament to get more information on the colors and fabrics I used, etc.):
|Noel Snowman freebie|
|Prairie Schooler "Snow Day"|
|Chessie & Me "Noel"|
|"Nutmeg Santa" (from Just Cross Stitch 1997 Ornament issue)|
|Little House Needleworks "Seven Pines" freebie|
|"Joy" freebie by Erynne Chard|
|"It Snowed Last Night" freebie by Erynne Chard|
|Prairie Schooler 2014 Santa|
|Prairie Schooler "Ho Ho Santa" mini card|
|Prairie Schooler "A Christmas Visit"|
|"A Winter's Night" from Nov/Dec. 2011 JCS magazine|
|New York Dreamer "Frosty Night"|
So, which one do you like the best? I think my favorite is either December or April, but it's so hard to choose! Looking back on my year, I'd call this "the year of the handmade cording"... I really became addicted to making that stuff--it just adds such a great finishing touch to any ornament, don't you think? Will I stitch another ornament each month during 2015? Stay tuned...
THANKSGIVING MEMORIES... So, how was your Thanksgiving? Ours was wonderful--it felt so good to gather with relatives on my husband's side and recall old stories and build new memories. Our sunroom, once again, provided the setting for our feast for the 17 of us and it was so nice to be able to sit our entire group at one table. If you look closely out the windows, you can see a sprinkling of snow; it provided such a lovely backdrop for our day.
|Thanksgiving table 2014|
Here is another look (the tablecloth is white--although it appears to be pale blue for some reason!)... You can catch a glimpse of the flames in the fireplace in the background. It opens up to both the sunroom and the family room and makes holiday dinnertimes so cozy.
I was so very touched to receive this beautiful centerpiece from a local group that my husband volunteers with. They sent it in memory of my dad... Of course, it had the place of honor on our Thanksgiving table.
|Centerpiece received in memory of dad|
My sons were put in charge of making appetizers this year and they did a great job! Here is a photo of the cheese spread (in the upper left) made by my youngest son (with just a bit of guidance from his old mom!) and the wonderful cheese plate put together by my oldest. He even made little cards describing the cheeses and where they came from. See the cheese resting under the glass dome at the far right? Well, there was a good reason for it--that was the "stinky cheese!" Ugh!! The smell was horrid... Some brave souls dared to taste it, but I was not one of them--not sure anyone actually liked it, but it was certainly a topic of conversation! My middle son and his girlfriend also made some tasty pumpkin hummus, but they hadn't arrived by the time I took this photo. It was such a help to delegate a part of the menu to the guys... Maybe next Thanksgiving, we'll switch and they can do the main meal and I'll do the appetizers? In my dreams!
|Thanksgiving appetizers prepared by my sons|
I fell in love with this darling turkey bowl when I saw it online and just had to buy one for myself. When they went on sale for 50% off at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop, I jumped at the chance. Do you know what he is made out of? A large gourd--grown and carved right here in Pennsylvania!! Such a great place to hold nuts or other goodies...
And finally, here is a shot of the nine types of cookies I made for the annual Thanksgiving cookie tray. Needless to say, most of them were devoured by the end of the evening. Luckily, I have more in the freezer just waiting for Christmas!!
|Thanksgiving 2014 cookie tray|
GIVEAWAY WINNER: I was surprised that there weren't more entries to win this pretty chart, but that gave the few of you who entered a better chance... I simply drew a name and whose name came out of the bowl? Well, the lucky Dani! Dani, please email me with your mailing address and I'll get the chart off to you as soon as I can (although, given this busy, busy time of year, that may not be until January!). I do hope Dani will continue the kindness and offer the chart as a giveaway when she is done stitching it...
GIFTS RECEIVED... I've received several packages from stitching friends from around the world lately, but I am saving them to open on a day when I need cheering up. As I mentioned previously, not a single gift has been sent from my end, so please forgive me and know that, although I had the best of intentions, this year they are definitely going to be late (at least the international ones!)... I'll really try to do better next year.
I had planned on driving up to New York to visit my mom today, but, unfortunately, the snow and winter storm warning up her way curtailed those plans! I don't mind driving in the snow, it's the ice that scares me! Hopefully, I can go tomorrow or Friday. I really want to spend some time with her before Christmas. I know it's going to be a tough Christmas for all of us since dad died so recently...
I want to thank each and every one of you for your supportive and oh-so-kind comments on my previous post. Many of you have already lost one or both parents so you know what I am going through. The holidays are such a hard time when a family has suffered a recent death. I'm getting through my days... it's just that some days I seem to be on the verge of tears most of the time. I found myself looking at the Christmas cards in Target the other day and seeing the ones for "Dad" had me fighting back tears. I know it will get better, though, and that dad would want his family to smile and go on about our lives. Anyway, I hope you all have a great week ahead. I should be back with one more post before Christmas (hmm... can you guess what might be featured in it?!). Bye for now...