Tuesday, December 30, 2014

As the year winds down...

I want to thank each of you for your kind words throughout 2014; all the comments, emails, gifts, and support have helped make a somewhat difficult year, much easier. There has been a change in the blogging world over the past year and I'm sure all of you have noticed it, too. So many long-time bloggers have left this format to share their works through Facebook and Instagram and it has definitely made a difference in our little community. There seem to be fewer visits to our blogs, fewer comments, and a general feeling like people are slowly drifting away from blogging. For me, that's sad... The truth is, blogging does take a lot of time, but I love the feeling of permanency that I feel is lacking in the other venues. I love being able to scroll down through my blog and see all of my finishes and read about the exact fabric and fibers that I used ever since I wrote my first post almost seven years ago. I love, most of all, the personal connections that have come my way through blogging. I'm not sure they would have occurred in other forms of social media--I seriously doubt it. So, thank you for being here and still reading my way too long posts and leaving those wonderful comments. I truly appreciate you hanging in there with me even though I have only posted 23 times this year...

Christmas goodies...  The biggest present I received for Christmas came in the form of two beautiful Amish-made corner cupboards for my kitchen. I've wanted these for the longest time, but it took a while to find some that would fit the dimensions of our kitchen and blend well with our existing table and chairs. I was thrilled to find two pretty pine corner cupboards online and they were delivered shortly before Christmas.  Right now, we only have one in the kitchen because my snowman tree occupies the other corner. I've temporarily located the other in our bedroom and really like it there so who knows if it will be making its way down to the kitchen at all! What fun I'm going to have decorating them with each season...

A corner cupboard for Christmas!

Here is a closer look--I can just imagine lots of my cross-stitched pillows scattered across the shelves, can't you?

Gifts in the mail... My mailman was kept very busy this month delivering some wonderful gifts from around the world which I'd like to share with you...

From Lois, in Northern Ireland, came a darling ornament, some pretty Christmas ribbons and napkins, and a lovely BBD chart. I know I'll be stitching it very soon... Thanks so much, Lois--I love your gifts and our friendship so very much!

Christmas gifts from Lois ~ 2014

From Cindy, in Tennessee, came another box of goodies. She sent a pretty Lizzie Kate "Love" pillow for my bowl of February pillows, a cheery pair of Christmas socks, some sunflower stickers, and an adorable bunny plate (she knows I'm a bunny lover!).  Thanks so much, Cindy, you are always so sweet to remember me at Christmas time with such lovely gifts!

Christmas gifts from Cindy ~ 2014

From Myra, in North Carolina, came the tiniest little bird pincushion--so adorable. Myra knows how much I love small things and she even included a miniature bird house in which the petite bird was perched when it arrived. She also spoiled me with a Moda Merriment charm pack, which will definitely come in handy for my finishing, as well as some tasty glazed pecans and hot apple cider spice blend. Thank you so much, Myra--I just love my goodies from you!

Christmas gifts from Myra ~ 2014

From a new friend, Nathalie (no blog) in France, came an assortment of French chocolates (which my husband and sons just about devoured!) and two cute ornaments to add to my tree. Thanks so much, Nathalie, it's been fun getting to know you this year!

Christmas gifts from Nathalie ~ 2014

From Gabi (no blog) in Germany, came two sweet ornaments for my tree. Isn't that little mouse with the Santa hat just adorable? Love the little bell on it, too... Thanks so very much for your lovely gifts, Gabi, and for your kind comments you leave on my blog throughout the year!

Christmas gifts from Gabi ~ 2014

From Anne, in Canada, came a beautifully crocheted snowflake. I just love the burgundy color of it and really do need to teach myself how to make these some day soon! Thanks so much for thinking of me at Christmas, Anne!

Christmas gift from Anne ~ 2014

From Robin (no blog) in Virginia, came a sweet "C" monogrammed ornament for my tree and a wonderful array of finishing trims. I love receiving fabrics and trims to use in my own finishing so this was a real treat, Robin--thank you so much!

Christmas gifts from Robin ~ 2014

From June, in England, came a beautiful package of ornaments and trims and buttons to use in my finishing. I had admired the smiling gingerbread boy on June's blog and was so tickled to receive one of my own! And the little scissor fob (along with my first pair of blue scissors) is so beautifully stitched and finished. Thank you so much, June--you always manage to make me feel special when you spoil me each Christmas!

Christmas gifts from June ~ 2014

From Shirlee, in Kentucky, came another beautifully stitched and finished blue and white ornament. I hadn't seen this design before and I love the way it spells out "Glory to God" amidst the alphabet... Thank you so much, Shirlee--I love it!

Christmas gift from Shirlee ~ 2014

From another relatively new friend, Lynda (no blog) in England came this pretty heart shaped ornament along with a lovely stitched card. I'm not sure who the designer of the ornament is, but I love it--such a cheerful looking gift. Thank you very much for your lovely gifts, Lynda--I've so enjoyed our emails this year!

Christmas gifts from Lynda ~ 2014

And finally, from Tricia, in Wisconsin, came a wonderful RAK--a package of her beautifully crafted handmade greeting cards. Tricia had offered to let me borrow one of her charts and surprised me by including her lovely cards as a little gift. I have always been in awe of Tricia's adorable and perfectly crafted little paper creations... You can check out more of her darling designs on her card-making blog right here. Thank you so very much, Tricia--I will save them to send to some very special people!

RAK from Tricia--December 2014

I sent out some Christmas ornaments, too, but will save them for my next post...

The $10.00 Challenge... Many of you asked what my sons ended up giving each other in their second annual "$10.00 Challenge," so I thought I would share a photo of their gifts. (Unfortunately, one gift never arrived from the vendor so there are only five pictured). Clockwise, from the top left, we have the game "Appleletters" (a relative of Bananagrams), a cacti dish garden, a book (which my youngest son cheated on and spent a bit more than $10 so he jokingly told us he had to rip out the last two chapters to make it fair!), a 19-in-1 keychain full of little tools, and a can of kinetic sand. Never heard of kinetic sand? I hadn't either, but here is a short video about it. We all really enjoyed seeing what the guys came up with for each other--I hope they do it again next year.

$10.00 Challenge gifts ~ 2014

A little gift idea... My youngest son is the only one who doesn't live nearby so he didn't want any big gifts to have to transport back to Washington, DC. One of the requests on his gift list was some plants for his office at the Department of Justice. Rather than just handing him the cash to buy them, I came up with this cute idea--a little forest of money trees made from $20.00 bills. To make the little "trees," I used this video on YouTube and, although they're not perfect, for my first attempt, I thought they turned out quite well. I then added a large gold star, some snowflakes, a fawn and cardinal, and a grinning snowman with a gift message (using the Publisher program on my computer) for a fun and easy gift. My son loved it and I know I'll be doing this for future money gifts...

Origami forest gift

Talk, talk, talk... Do you remember the conversation starter jar that I showed you in this post? Well, I decided to make a Christmas version of it for our Christmas Eve dinner. We had such fun with it and the guys wanted to do it again the next evening so they came up with even more questions. The questions ranged from the serious ("What is your favorite Christmas carol?" to the silly "Who is your favorite reindeer?"). I even included, "What is something you like about the person to your right / left" which one of my sons promptly changed to read "What is something you dislike about the person to your right!" Honestly--those guys!!

But, my favorite question, and one that I like to ask myself as each year comes to an end is, "What is your happiest memory of the past year?" Their responses all made me smile and imagine my sons in those situations: the day the youngest reunited with his girlfriend after a four-month break-up, the afternoon my middle son spent snorkeling in Japan with his girlfriend in July, the mini-reunion weekend my oldest son spent with seven friends from college at a lake in Virginia ... Although I wasn't there for any of those experiences, I could honestly feel their happiness...  My husband said his happiest memory was seeing how well I handled my father's death--he was so worried about me and was very proud of how well I held up at the funeral and afterward. And what was my happiest memory? Well, ironically, it took place on one of the saddest days of the year and that was at Dad's funeral in November.  It was the moment I looked around and found myself surrounded by the four men in my life and I just felt such complete pride and happiness that they were there for me--to support and care for and love me. I felt so very blessed and loved in that moment--and so, so happy!  How about you--I'd love to hear your happiest memory of 2014...

So, that's it for this year! I usually look forward to the quiet and peace that January brings along with my birthday in two weeks, but I have to admit that this is a birthday I'm dreading... I'll be 60 and, to me, that is the real start of getting "old." At least I'll have the many senior citizen discounts to look forward to--I do love a good bargain!  Anyway, as my husband always reminds me, "Getting older is better than the alternative." I want to wish each of you every happiness in 2015! Thank you again for being such true friends! Bye for now...



Shebafudge said...

What a wonderful idea to have a $10 budget. Great gifts. I like the game you played too, I may just 'steal' that for the next family meal.

Happy new year to you. I hope 2015 is a fantastic year. xx

Pam in Virginia said...

What a delightful blog entry today! All your news was delightful - the lovely gifts from blog readers, the peek at your new corner cupboards, the slips of thought-provoking questions for your family, and the two videos. I have grandsons who would love receiving origami dollar bill trees and that magical sand! You will make me one "cool" grandma in their eyes! I don't Facebook, I don't Instagram, and I don't want to. I'm drawn to the warmth and exchange of personal thoughts and creative ideas your blog brings to your readers. I hope you will continue for many years to come...I know I will joyfully follow you.

Karen said...

So many lovely ornaments and goodies from stitching pals around the world. The $10 gift challenge is a great idea. What a fun way to challenge the gifter, keep costs down and focus on the more important aspects of Christmas.

Melody said...

Your card of folded bills is such a cute idea! Very creative. It was fun seeing the $10 gifts. It sounds like your sons have a great sense of humor. I like the idea of best memories. Very sweet. You received some lovely exchange gifts. My hubby turned 60 in November. We had a fun little party for him. I have to remind myself of what your husband said about growing older, beats the alternative... true, but sometimes I look at my face in the mirror and wonder what happened....

Annie said...

Love your new corner cupboard. That plus those great stitchy gifts will give you plenty to play with for a while!

The guys did a great job with $10 gifts. They really got pretty creative.

And your money trees are just the cutest. I'll have to bookmark that video. It's such a nice way to give cash since it shows a lot of though and effort.

You are just a baby in my eyes... so be sure to have a fun-filled, playful, healthy, happy 2015!

Anonymous said...

I've been blogging for 8 years now, and I miss people who go to other mediums too. I don't do tumblr or twitter, and barely use instagram to keep up with my family. I just prefer the long post form so much more!

Robin in Virginia said...

As always, I enjoyed your post today! I loved seeing the items of the $10 gift challenge and your origami money card was a great idea. You received many lovely things from various stitching/crafting friends. I look forward to seeing your corner cupboard decked in Carol-style.

I have truly enjoyed your blog since I first stumbled onto it, Carol! To me, reading your blog is like sitting down over coffee and chatting with you.

Wishing you a peaceful and joy filled 2015!

Robin in Virginia

Kaisievic said...

Wonderful, wonderful long post, Carol. I really enjoyed it. Such beautiful gifts you received - I love that Amish cabinet and all of the gorgeous stitching. Your DH and your DSs are so wonderful, such a joy for you. My happiest time this year would have to be when my DS1 and his girlfriend announced their engagement - she is such a lovely girl and she is already like my second daughter. I imagine that my happiest memory for 2015 will be there wedding day - only 11 days away now! Oh my goodness.

Please keep blogging, Carol, you are right it is a more real way of communicating than all of the other social media.

Happy New Year, hugs Kaye

Mary Ann said...

I always look forward to your posts, Carol! I love your new corner cupboard, and you received some really lovely gifts from friends!!

Happy New Year!

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

Hi, what a beautiful blog post. I loved looking at the gorgeous stitched pieces. What accomplished embroiderers! Truly inspiring, thanks you, Jocelyn

valerie said...

Happy New Year Carol! All the gifts you received are lovely and your money tree card is so creative!The boys managed to get some interesting $10 gifts but I have to laugh at One of the boys ripping out chapters to estimate $10! lol

Sherri said...

I always enjoy reading your blog as I find it to be very inspirational among other things. It's sad that many bloggers are leaving for other forms of social media. I don't do facebook, instagram or any of those other than Pinterest. I prefer reading blogs and they are far more personal. I know I've read that other bloggers have shared your same sentiments. I have learned to do so many finishes from reading blogs whereas I used to have every piece finished. Now, I have about 50% finished. I hope you will continue to blog for years to come. Happy New Year!

Jacqueline said...

Very nice post. Family is everything. Happy New Year to you and yours.

Jackie's Stitches said...

So many wonderful things in this post but it was your happiest moment that brought tears to my eyes! How special that you recognized that in your time of grief. Sending you a big hug.

I love your conversation starter jar - such a cute idea and such a way to share with each other things that you may have missed talking about.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and safe New Year!

The Queen Bee said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas. The corner cupboards will lend themselves to cross stitch decorating for years. Very pretty.

Happiest memory? Erin's graduation, I think. I never saw that girl smile so big. It was a happy few days and she earned every ounce of it.

Amen to your thoughts on blogging. I have made an effort to add some new-to-me blogs to my reading list which has helped.

Talk soon..... Pam

Wanda said...

Hi Carol,
What a beautiful post as always! Although I do not have a blog, I totally agree with you about the relationships that are built via blogs. I am so thankful for the gift of knowing you thanks to your blog and thankful always for the time and energy you spend on your posts for our inspiration, delight, love of stitching, sharing your
life with us and your friendship.
Your corner cabinet is stunning! You are going to have such fun with it (them).
I may have to 'steal' your question jar game. It looks like such fun. I love the ideas your sons came up with for $10.
I have been thinking about my happiest memory for 2014 and am having difficulty narrowing it to one thing. One of my happiest memories is the road trip my husband and I took to Hilton Head, to Florida and then for a cruise as it was just the two of us and was such a joy to escape the busyness of life for awhile; another really happy memory is the Christmas weekend we had for my best friend the weekend before Christmas; another happy memory is the day my stitching friends and I went to a Corn Flower glass exhibit; completing my SAL via a Facebook group; and so many others - my treasured days with my Mom where we often both sit sewing/stitching at the kitchen table; stealing a day antiquing; getting to bake when there is no timeline; the team I have the privilege of working with; my kitties...so many happy memories/blessings to be thankful for, but like you, the happiest memories involve being surrounded by love.
Sending lots of love and prayers to you Carol as 2015 approaches and hoping that time continues to help you with the loss of your Dad.
hugs, Wanda

Nancy said...

Beautiful gifts Carol! Looks like you had a Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to you!

Cindy's Stitching said...

A beautiful post carol. I agree, I used to get so msny comments and now hardly any. It is a small community and other forums don't compare. Its an online diary. I like looking back. It is permanent. You really get gifts from around the world, how Nice that is. Thank you for sharing. Your best moment made me cry, how blessed you are. My best moment was driving through a winter wonderland in november. I have never seen anything like it. Your hutches are so pretty. Your blog brings me joy. Happy new year my friend.

Ellen said...

Happy New Year Carol! I just love your new corner cupboard, can't wait to see how you decorate this corner for every season n holiday!

Love those ornaments and gifts received from friends around the world! That $10 gift challenge is a great idea, will borrow it for next year ha ha!

Have a healthy and creative 2015!


diamondc said...

Carol: What a beautiful post: Love all your goodies from your Friends,we are lucky here in blogland to have such wonderful people to converse with via blogland.
What a wonderful idea of the conversation starter, wow how great an idea.
Love the money card great idea also.
I had trouble turning 30 I am now 63, 60 was piece of cake with age comes wisdom.

Happy Newyear


Mouse said...

well you won't get rid of me that easily ..lol I love blogging :) wonderful post of lots of goodies ... gorgeous furniture and cooooo an almost birthday for you too ....
love the bucket of questions idea ... may have to borrow this :) wishing you a wonderful stitchy new year :) love mouse xxxxx

Margaret said...

Ok, one problem with getting older? I have a hard time remembering everything that I enjoyed reading on your post. lolol! Not that I'm complaining in any way! I agree -- I do think that blogging has gone down and lots of bloggers have simply stopped blogging. It's sad, isn't it? I am on Facebook, but never use it. I'm on Instagram and love it! I think that there can be community on Instagram, but it's very very different. But it's quick and fast, which is a benefit. I would miss blogging if I stopped though. It's like a record for me of my life and a way to keep in touch with online friends, as you said.

Love all the gifts you received! You are well loved in the blogging world. I love what the boys bought each other for $10 -- so fun! And the money trees -- so clever! I love those cupboards you got -- they are wonderful, perfect for displaying your smalls.

I'm trying to think of my happiest memory for this year. All I can think of at the moment is what happened this Christmas. I was teaching my daughter to knit (I'd been wanting to have her interested in one of my crafts forever!). The boys were engaged in playing with a new electronic toy of DH's, which involved music and was right up DS's alley. It felt so wonderful having bonding time with our kids, being home together on Christmas. And our kids are grown up but they still love to come home to us and spend time with us! So yes, I think that's my happiest memory of 2014. Unless I think of another. lol!

Happy New Year to you, Carol!

shirley flavell said...

A wonderful post Carol. I have to admit to following you and very rarely commenting but will do so in the future if you continue your lovely blog.I know how you felt at your dear Dad's funerals. I too lost my Mum couple of months ago and still find it hard to believe that she has gone, she always seemed to be "there". I do not have a blog but really enjoy following like interest blogs and learn lots and get wonderful ideas for a stitchery.Best wishes for a happy new year and look forward to reading your next post.I will reach 2015 before you:-) Hugs Shirley N.Z.

Natasha said...

I have really enjoyed your blog through the years. Your posts are always so well written come with wonderful photos :)

I love the $10 gift challenge and the commnet box, both great ideas. I am wishing you a New Year filled with happiness and wonderful memories to be read at the dinner table next year!

HUGS friend

Katya said...

I have just recently started following your blog, and I really like your posts. So - I will be hanging around for a while. :)
Your stitching gifts are beautiful - the pictures made me pick up the needle and stitch. Happy New Year! Will be waiting for more posts from you.

Debbie said...

Your new furniture pieces are beautiful.

Your blog is wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Blogging is worth the effort.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year!

AnaCristina said...

Oh Carol! I really can imagine yours cross-stitched pillows in the shelves! I will wait to see it.
* *   * *  **  ★  ☆  ★  
★* * HAPPY NEW YEAR * * ★

Barb said...

This was a fun post. I am looking at the Facebook community and I do enjoy it, BUT it will not replace blogging. I think blogging gives you a chance to really get to "know" the others. It means a lot to me. You must be very proud of your boys. It was fun seeing their gifts. I am still thinking about my best moment of the year. You do have me thinking about it and that is positive. My best to you and your family in 2015!

Unknown said...

If you continue to blog, I'll continue to read. Love your post and 60 is still seriously young. I am 54 and my husband just turned 56. We have 2 lovely grand daughters Reagan 3.5 and Hazel 15 months. Such a great time in our lives. Loved the gift exchange idea and the boys did great. Love your conversation starters as well. Most precious memory for 2014...our son married his lovely girlfriend on December 20th! God is good!

Praying you have a wonderful 2015 full of peace, good health and prosperity!

Angela said...

Lovely gifts :) Happy New Year!

Cole said...

We used to do a $10 exchange a few years back, there were always such neat gifts for everybody under the tree!

Lovely gifts, blogging buddies truly are the best! Happy New Year!

Lisa V said...

Dear Carol, what a lovely post, such great gifts you received from friends.
2014 has been a trying year for me, health wise it has been a tough one and I lost my beloved 15 year old dog "Jed" in November, so I sure hope that 2015 will be one of joy and happiness instead. The one good thing to come out of the year for me was that I finally got myself back into full time work after doing temping work for about 4 years.
It's a big year for me to next year, I turn 40 in June. So we will both be having milestone years. hehe
Hugs to you dear friend and Happy New Year.

Lynda Harrison said...

Hi Carol,
I really can't tell you how much I've enjoyed reading your posts over this last year, and previous years, too. Your stitching has been an inspiration in times when I thought I would never stitch again.
I know the year has had it's ups and downs for you, especially with the loss of your dear dad, but things do get better eventually.
As for getting older - well, things just get better don't they? But I do think that whoever came up with the phrase 'life begins at forty' might have been joking - because that's when the aches and pains begin!!

I wish you, your dear husband and sons the happiest of New Year's for 2015. Take care of yourself - it is always a delight to hear from you.

With love and best wishes,


Preeti said...

Hi Carol,
Your corner cupboard is looking great!! You have got some wonderful gifts :)
Nice to see how your family got the best gifts from the budget . We(me &hubby) had been doing the same for each other's Bday for past 8 years. We have a same range of budget eventhough the prices are inflated. Earlier we used to splurge a lot on gifts when we were newly weds. It's interesting to look for lovely things rather than just get into unmindful money spending.

I know many bloggers are drifting away from blogland and while facebook and Instagram might be a quick think to do or like or comment, but there is no feeling of personal touch. Blogging helps to keep a journal of your hobbies and activities which cannot be done on Facebook etc. Some people feel blogging requires lot of writing effort but then it is upto the blogger to write just a one liner or 1000 lines.

That was really touching to know about happiest moment. I can't remember mine. There were many happy moments but I would alternatively say that my most satisfying phase in 2014 is to tell my father that , "yes, I have tried successfully to come out of depression and move forward after 3 years of not having you with me" I hope he will be satisfied to see that too.
Wish you and your family , a happy new year!!

butterfly said...

Oh Carol another wonderful post.
Lets hope us bloggers stay bloggers for many years .
I have met many friends on blogger.
Love your new furniture it is going to look so beautiful with your displays .
I am so happy you had fun with your family at Christmas.
I wish I was 60 again the years are going far too fast , I will be 68 next year how did that happen ! I don't feel it , but love what your husband said about age
Happy New Year have a lovely one , lets hope it's a good one for all and a peaceful one. Hugs.

Gabi said...

Another wonderful post and I agree with Robin. I love to visit your blog and read everything.
Your new furniture looks very beautiful.
Don't worry about 60, it's not bad. I will be 65 in March and feel still 39 forever.:)Lol!!!
Have a happy new year.
Hugs from Germany

Clare-Aimetu said...

Beautiful furniture and such lovely gifts. Happy New Year to you and your family x x

Nicola said...

Your cupboards and stitched gifts are wonderful!

I know I haven't blogged much this last year, yes, I do find Facebook quicker. However, I am planning a come back in 2015! To be honest blogging is a much more "grown up" way of sharing stitching. I belong to several cross stitch groups on FB and on at least a couple of them there has been unpleasantness in some form, and I now find myself posting less and less on them. I have always enjoyed reading your blog Carol, and will continue to do so.

Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year!

Mary - Lecoeurceltique said...

Such great gifts. You had a beautiful family Christmas.
Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year.

Chris said...

Happy New Year Carol!
I have been missing the blogging community so much. I need to try and organizing my time on the road so that I can keep up with it and so that I have more stitching time.
There is nothing better than receiving a gift from a stitching friend in the mail. Lovely gifts.
So nice that you and your sons are establishing these traditions. It sounds like a great Christmas.

LaNelle said...

Carol, once again reading your post made me smile and brought a tear.....wow oh wow what treasures you received! Love your new corner cabinet will look stunning each & every time you decorate it will look forward to seeing....my nephews also received that same book it's a great one! I wish you much peace & joy this coming 2015 and a wonderful 60th! I believe everyday is truly a gift to be celebrated so enjoy....blessings!

The Knitting Cross Stitcher said...

A lovely post on which to say goodbye to 2014.wishing you health snd happiness in 2015, Carole.

Kate said...

Carol, your blog posts are always such a pleasure to read and to look at. Happy 60th from someone who just turned 68 .... "you're not getting older, you're getting better"! I totally agree with your husband "it beats the alternative" and have often said that to those who bemoan their age. Enjoy your new decade.
Happy 2015!

Chrissie B said...

Wonderful post Carol!! I always look so forward to all your posts, cross stitch finishes and just great words of family and fun. May youand your family have a blessed 2015!!

Vickie said...

I know I have told you before, but YOU and your blog were the first I discovered. You still inspire me. :)
Your cupboard is fantastic!
My happiest moment was Emerson's high school graduation.

Roberta said...

you are so right, blogging seems to have gone to the wayside. I am so guilty of that, but it is because of also having a bad year and no inspiration to blog. Hoping to change that in 2015. Do love your corner cabinets they are perfect. The question game with your family is such a great idea and sound like such fun.

Happy New Year.

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

I always love reading your blog and hope you never stop! Blogging will always be my venue...I can't ever imagine using any other site of social media.

So loved seeing all your lovely gifts. :)

My favorite memory of 2014 is more like a collage of moments frozen in time. They are all of my husband. I am truly blessed to share my life with such a loving man, who is not just my husband, but also my best friend. I always smile when I see his face, to me, he gets even more handsome as time passes. True beauty goes far deeper than the skin, it goes all the way into the bone and very soul.

Wishing you a most Happy New Year sweet friend. ((hugs)) and blessings always. :)

Barb said...

Hi Carol - what a wonderful post!! I always love reading your blog - it is so special. And I love to read everyone's comments to you. It is so evident that you are truly loved by all of us!

Your pine cabinets are so beautiful! What a wonderful Christmas gift and I just know that you will make them extra special all year long. It will be so much fun to see what you do with them throughout the year.

Thank you, too, for sharing your Christmas gifts with us and your son's $10 gifts - very creative all of these ideas. I loved the "money trees" too - such a clever idea!

Carol, my wish for you and your family is for a wonderful, joyful, peaceful and very Happy New Year.

Peace and blessings to you!


Elizabeth Ann said...

Your Amish cabinet is beautiful - that is amazing you can buy them online! That Amish are coming right to your door now! When we lived in OK we would go to one of their outdoor shows and the furniture was always sold out before we got there! But thank goodness the homemade chicken soup and noodles were still there!
Happy New Year to you and your husband! (Got two Santa's done so far....)

Jenn M said...

Lovely blog post! I love the cupboards: you could fill one up with all the lovely gifts you received alone!
Have a wonderful 2015,

Melissa said...

Carol, you are the queen of the wonderful blogs - great stitching and great writing/stories! Such lovely gifts from your friends. I got one of those crochet stars from Anne and I want to learn to make them too! If you find out how, let me know!

The last bits about Christmas with your boys etc made me smile and a bit misty eyed!

BTW, I love the Amish cupboard. We have an Amish sideboard for over 30 years (maple) and we still love it!

I will answer your email shortly!

Andrea said...

How would we get a post like this on Twitter or Instagram! I always savour your posts and have a cup of tea to hand. :) Wonderful gifts from friends. Oh I can see lots of projects with those trims on. Love your cupboard, more space to display your creations.

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year!

Mary said...

Hi Carol, I couldn't agree with you more about the changes to the blogging world even in the relatively short time that I've been a part of it. I do think there's a core of us who enjoy the companionship and reflection blogging provides enough that we'll keep on with it. While wish there were more followers on my own blog, at the end of the day, I do it for myself as a record of my thoughts and the things that mean most to me.

All your beautiful gifts sent from friendships formed through your blog - not to mention that as of now 52 comments to this posting - are testament to its value.

Here's wishing you a blessed and joyous New Year!

Девушка с пяльцами said...

Happy New Year, Carol! May it be bright and joyful!!!

Annette-California said...

Love your new Amish corner cupboard! Talk about beautiful craftsmanship.
I sure love our stitchers blogging community. Doesn't matter how often you post. I wouldn't get to see & learn from everyone's needleworks and Honestly I love our friendships.
I got tears too reading your favorite memory for 2014. I like to say "It's all about the Love"!
My fav memory: My Nannie talking to me about our son graduating this year (he did) and if we would be okay!
Incredible beautiful gifts you received. Wishing you every happiness too for the New Year!
love Annette

Julie said...

Your new cabinet looks superb. Such an array of beautiful gifts you were sent to celebrate Christmas.
My happiest moment this year was a seaside little break when my granddaughter came to stay for the weekend with us, simply perfect and such fun.
I hope 2015 is a good year fir you Carol with lots of fun and happy times (and of course some exciting stitchy moments too!)
Much love xxx

Sheryl said...

Lovely interesting post Carol. -what beautiful stitchy gifts, Your corner cupboards are perfect. Best wishes for a very Happy New Year.

lynda said...

I am one of those people who have drifted away from blogging...not to go anywhere else, just because the past year has been crazy and I have been unfocused most of the time! But I plan to change all that in the new year, and reading your blogpost reminded me of all the friends I've been missing, so thank you! I love your ornament tree...my goodness, it's gorgeous! You have a beautiful collection. And your corner cabinet is to die for! I have the perfect place for something like that...I think I will start on my own hunt!
I did scroll through a few of your previous posts and say the loving tribute you wrote to your dad. I am so sorry for your loss...it is really hard to lose a parent, I know. But you have a lifetime of wonderful memories and an another angel watching over you still!
Your holiday sounded wonderful...I hope you have a happy new year and that 2015 brings you much joy and happiness.

Mini Addictions said...

Hi Carol,
I love reading your blog! I must say that I feel like I am hearing stories from a dear friend whenever I read it. :D I am in love with your corner cupboard! It looks so well made and really looks lovely filled with the Christmas goodies. I do hope you share with us your future decorations in it. Thank you for sharing the wonderful handmade gifts you received. It is always so inspiring. Although my main craft focus is miniatures, I still find time to stitch a few squares for charity and draw ideas from your creations. I wish you & your family a very happy, healthy & creative New Year. I am looking forward to reading your blog in 2015!
All the best,
Lisa :D

Ruth said...

What a lovely holiday you had. Sounds like a good time was had by all... and more memories for next year's questions :)

Happy New Year.

Christina said...

Thank you for another year of your blog. I still prefer blogs over FB etc.. Just last week I was looking back at your older posts to get finishing ideas for my ornaments. Your corner cabinet is so pretty. Oh wow, all the wonderful gifts you received. Glad you had a wonderful time with your boys at Christmas. Great gift ideas, including your money origami. Wishing you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Pam in IL said...

I agree with you about blogging compared to other social media. Your Christmas sounds wonderful! I know you enjoyed the family time. All the gifts and goodies you got in the mail are great as are the $10 gifts. The last part of your post brought a tear to my eye as I picture your men supporting you during that sad time.

My happiest memory of 2014 is that perfect Saturday in September when my daughter married the man of her dreams.

Happy New Year!

Melanie said...

Thanks so much for all your lovely posts and comments throughout the year! I look forward to and enjoy every single one of them. :)
And happy-almost-birthday, too!

Judy said...

Hi Carol,

Thanks for the beautiful post to enjoy! I have never started a blog, but I keep up with a few. I don't always comment on them. I am not that technical, so I don't spend much time on facebook and never on instagram. Do we really need all of that? I know you spend alot of time on your posts...but all of us greatly appreciate it.

You had some fun things to keep you busy during Christmas. The $10.00 gift and the game of questions are terrific ideas. I give my children money and I always come up with different ideas to give it to them. So your money card was inspiring to me!

Your cabinet looks perfect in the corner of the kitchen. And all of your gifts from around the world are very nice.

I will share my favorite thing of 2015: My Mom celebrated her 80th birthday. My husband and I took her to a Cardinal baseball game. She didn't know that the rest of our small family was going to joins us until we got to the game. We had a professional photographer there to take pictures. We spent the weekend (I had a hard time getting her to agree to pack a bag and stay!) and had a great time. She was on a cloud all weekend.

Turning 60 isn't toooooooo bad...but it is hard to squeeze "60" out of your mouth! You look much younger, so you don't have to worry about it!

Blessings in 2015.

Big hugs!
Judy Heartland stitcher

Krista said...

What a lovely post, Carol. Your mailbox has been full of lots of pretty goodies :) Wishing you and yours a wonderful New Year filled with happiness and peace!

Shirley-Ann said...

Lovely post today. I don't comment often but felt I wanted to say that for me, Facebook and Instagram just cannot replace the personal touch you get from visiting a blog. I love writing, that's part of what makes blogging fun and therapeutic.

Like you, I love to look back through the years on my blog and see what we were doing, what my thoughts were at the time etc - no 'instant' social media site could ever be a replacement in my eyes.

looking forward to another year of reading your blog :)

Shirley Ann in England

Anonymous said...

that was a wonderful post, thank you so much for sharing it all.
I love all the gifts, the pillows and that cupboard! lucky you!
have a wonderful 2015 ❤️❤️❤️ all the best,

KrissKross said...

Dear Carol,

I just wanted to wish you a very Happy New Year and to thank you for your blog! I rarely comment on any blog as I am very inarticulate, but I just have to tell you how much I enjoy reading your thoughts and seeing your beautiful cross stitch pieces! Your blog is a feast for the eyes, an inspiration for the mind, and a joy to my heart! May the Lord bless you and keep you in 2015!

Kristina in FL

msmartello said...

Hi Carol,
Beautiful cabinet Carol! You will have such fun decorating it. oh the possibilities! Your ornament gifts are fabulous. Happy new Year!


msmartello said...

Hi Carol,
Beautiful cabinet Carol! You will have such fun decorating it. oh the possibilities! Your ornament gifts are fabulous. Happy new Year!


Veronica said...

Such wonderful gifts from all around the world :D

It's true that many bloggers have shifted to Facebook and Instagram but what affected me most was when Google Reader was taken down. I've shifted to other RSS feed websites but I still prefer Google Reader. Hence that took me away from visiting blogs for quite some time :(

Happy New Year! Hope it will be a wonderful and peaceful one :)


Nancy M said...

What lovely gifts from the heart of people around the world. YouR blog touches the heart of many. I used to blog much more, but started on Multiply, then it changed formats and I lost all those years. It was hard to transition over to blogger but I did it. Facebook was growing at the same time, so for a person like me, who isn't the greatest at writing, it seems better for me. You can tell you are a true writer with each post and that's what draws people to your blog.My year ended on such a bad note, that I can't remember a happy time this year. Maybe it was finally finishing no the house remodeling.Remember 60 is just a number and I'm sure you don't look or feel like a 60 year old. I know I don't feel that as a 54 year old! Hope you had a great start to the new year.

Kay said...

I love the cupboards! They are so beautiful!!! You got so many wonderful gifts in the mail this holiday season from so many kind and loving friends! Thank you for sharing a piece of your holiday season with all of us from pictures of your decorations, to gifts and so much more!! Sounds like your sons happy moments from the year were really happy! I am sorry again about your father's passing. Your family sounds like they were your rock when you needed them the most at such a difficult time. My happy moment for me this year would have been to see my first born baby graduate high school! One of the few happy moments from a very painful and difficult year. Happy stitching!

Hilda said...

My dear friend,
although the things are changing all the time - in our lifes as well as in bloggerland - I am so happy that some things never change: Your wonderful stories and posts, your amazing cross stitch finishes and your heartwarming friendship!
Thank you for all this!


Michele said...

you were so spoiled and rightly so! what lovely gifts :) I love the idea of a conversation starter box! I'll have to remember that for next year!

Ann at Beadlework. said...

What a beautifully written blog post Carol - some of what you wrote brought a lump to my throat. I agree with every word you said about blogging and the direction it is heading. I'm not far behind you in relation to the whole age thing so I very much relate to what you are saying - mind you my husband has a similar philosophy - he counts every birthday as a blessing as he was very unwell eleven years ago so considers himself lucky to be here at all. It doesn't stop me from feeling that same sense of dread about having my age start with a 6:-)

Maggee said...

Hear! Hear! I totally agree about the blogging competition from FB and other social networks. I myself have gotten on FB and joined some groups, which is yet another distraction from my stitching! And blogging! But I like blogging so much better! FB is NOT as personal to me, as far as stitching goes... but during our family crisis earlier in the year, it was the way I could update many people at one time... Which brings me to my happiest moment of 2014--in spite of little annoyances here and there, I am so VERY happy my hubby made it through the two back-to-back brain surgeries, and is still with us today! Each time the surgeon came out after finishing the surgeries, and told us it went well, etc... THAT was the BEST moment! God was so very good to us throughout the entire process, faithfully answering so many heartfelt prayers! He is still making miracles happen! I have truly enjoyed each post you put on your blog, and this one is no different! Lovely gifts, great kitchen cabinets to enjoy, and your new family gift-giving traditions--priceless! I did conversation jars many years ago...Now I have a whole different family makeup, so I might think of it again. Your family of guys sound like something special--you are surely blessed! Happy 2015!

Carol said...

Hi, just wanted to say "thank you" for a lovely blog read. I recently rediscovered my love of cross stitch after spending more time crocheting and knitting.
I'm afraid I am guilty of neglecting blogging in favour of Instagram but, for me, I have found more friends on there than I did through blogging (although some are fellow bloggers I already followed) and have met up with some of them
I think one change was when I got my Ipad, Blogger doesn't like it as much as my "big" computer!
Very best wishes to you and your family for 2015.
Carol xx

Brigitte said...

I'll have to comment before you write your next post, lol.
Great to read about all the lovely gifts you received for Christmas, and they came from all over the world. This makes them even more special. Such wonderful ornaments. And your corner cupboard is such a beauty. And wonderful for displaying stitchy and other things.

You are right, the social media seem to get bigger and bigger and attract more and more bloggers that abandon their blogs. I have no idea what is better on Facebook and Instagram because I'm not there. Sometimes I feel tempted to join because there are a couple of SALs that I'd love to join but that would mean to spend more time on the computer and I don't want to do that. So I stay with the blogging community and enjoy reading all the posts about other people's stitching and quilting efforts as they motivate me for my own efforts. And I try to comment as often as possible. And I hope that a lot of stitchers stay with the blogging community.

The happiest moments of 2014 - easy for me to answer as those were the moments when we arrived at my daughter's house and could see our little grandson again. And all the weeks that followed that moment when we could be together with him.

I wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Carol, those Amish cabinets are gorgeous! What a lovely new heirloom! And I really enjoyed seeing the gifts from fellow stitchers from all around the world. :)

I'm absolutely stealing your $10 gift exchange idea now that the kids are starting to get old enough to buy gifts for each other. Rowen spent nearly a whole year of saved-up allowances buying gifts and, while that was lovely and generous, it was also a little too generous.

I couldn't agree more about the change from blogging to FB and I am trying to get back to the blogging because it feels more connected to the community. <3

My happiest memory of 2014? Hmm. I don't think I can choose just one, but I am happy that despite the massive challenges that arose during year resolved in such a way as to find us together, happy & healthy, and more aware of the importance of the love we have for one another.

Best of 2015!

Brigitte said...

... and your header reminds me of the two monthly PS charts I have in my stash, too, and that will be added to my monthly stitching this year.

Hazel said...

Goodness me your post brought a tear to my eye. So many lovely things. You got so many beautiful gifts from bloggers and I think that is so special and so priceless. I too have noticed a change in blogland. I haven't blogged much because of work but I know a lot of people have def drifted away. I think it is something special and something to definitely help us remember the good times and the bad. Thanks for sharing the links with the other bloggers. I will definitely check them out. x

Karoline said...

Sounds like you all had a lovely Christmas, you got some gorgeous gifts.

I hope you have a great 2015

passionfruitprincess said...

I love your post, Carol!
Beautiful cupboard, looks really lovely decorated. All your gifts are beautiful, you are so loved!
Have a Happy New Year!
Ana Paula.

Irene said...

Che sia un anno felice anche per te! Auguri!

sew.darn.quilt said...

You received such lovely gifts from your friends far and wide. What a wonderful challenge of the $10.00 gift with fantastic ideas. I have 3 boys myself, although much younger than your's. I look forward to getting to know you and your work in the years to come ")

marly said...

Really enjoyed your post Carol, and for that reason I agree with you about blogging. We can see photos on Pinterest, quick updates on Instagram (?), but there isn't a connection to the stitcher. Facebook is so invasive and to me, confusing!When I sign up for emailed post updates, there is no option for leaving comments. I've been guilty of not leaving comments, not reading blogs, and not answering emails. Hopefully that will resolve soon!

Heather said...

What lovely cabinets Carol! I can't wait to see what you do with them. They will look lovely with your stitching on them!

It's interesting how blogging has changed! I am so glad that people are still blogging. I really enjoy it! :-)

What lovely gifts you received from friends! :-)

I love the question jar. I will have to borrow that idea! :-)

I hope that you have a lovely weekend!

Brenda A said...

I'm catching up on my blog reading, but what lovely gifts from everyone! They are all so gorgeous! What great friends you have. :)

Southpaw Stitcher said...

The gifts sent and received are just beautiful! And the cupboard is the perfect piece for that little corner. Happy New Year, Carol!

Lois said...

I'm glad you liked my gifts Carol, it was fun to pick out something to stitch for you and I did like that little chart. You received such lovely gifts this Christmas from your friends.

Although I am on Facebook I keep it very private and rarely post. I do like Instagram though, find it a micro version of blogging and have made connections with fellow stitchers who I likely wouldn't have met through blogging. I like the instancy of it, that you can take a quick picture on your phone and write a sentence or two. I like how easy it is to leave comments and reply to ones people leave for you and do like the sense of community there is to it now. I do know though that is probably a factor in me not blogging to the same extent. Sometimes it's easier doing one picture and one sentence than trying to get a whole blog post put together!

Joy said...

I'm just getting back into blogging and have so missed reading yours. Your gifts were amazing. Have a wonderful 2015!

Catherine said...

Such a fabulous post, Carol!! So many beautiful gifts and treasures! Your corner cupboard is beautiful and I look forward to seeing how you decorate it for the seasons. You are so right about blogging....I have tried to keep up with reading, but hadn't been leaving as many comments, let alone posting regularly to mine. Something I hope to rectify this year...

Annette said...

First off all Happy new Year..
About teh part of many bloggers stopped, it's sad, but as I needto scroll a lot to can start and write my comment here, tehre is not much to see of that on you blog.. hihi.
I still love blogging so much.. in down moments it's something we stop doing, But I also stop doing it then in FB.. Blogger is my happy place I always say..
I'm doing it now for almost 6 years again.. and still love doing it.. the friend I learn to know from all over the world.

Your Xmas gifts is awesome.. so beautifull. I love to see each month what you will be doing with it for decoration.
We will be suprices I think.. hihi.
But is it big enough for all your decoration?

You got so much beautifull gift.. enjoy them all!!
Your tree is so full and beautifull.. This year it will be more full.

Your had some awesome days.. I always love reading about your moments.
keep up the work in 2015
It will be a better year

BARBARA said...

Your blog is one of my very favorites and I look forward to sitting in a quiet spot and rading every word. You do such lovely stitching and a stitching friend of mine and myself would love to know how we can get Candy Canes by Sue Hillis. It was one of our favorites from your post. Hope 2015 is a off to a good start for you.

Unknown said...

What a great post!!1 And as I will turn 62 in a couple of months, I remember all those things from the 60's & 70's !!! Love your stitchy gifts and your own stitchy projects!!

Irene said...

che bello e che bei ricordi

nkuelbs said...


Thank you for the scroll of memories! Yes, I was a Bluebird and then a Camp Fire Girl. Candy cigarettes, we thought we were so grown up pretending with these - I grew up in a smoking household, started smoking myself at 15, quit at 21, and never looked back! Bobby Sherman covered my walls - my dad took me to one of his concerts, and then proceeded to embarrass the life out of my by stuffing cigarette filters into his ears as sound abatement. Do you remember Clackers, the two resin balls dangling on the ends of ropes, made for the express purpose of swinging up and down to make them hit forcefully at top and bottom? How many facial injuries from those, I wonder. I remember mom and I warring over hemming - she would bring it to my fingertips, and I would scrunch my shoulders up as high as I could without being too obvious. I am bookmarking your post for the wonderful reminder of childhood.


♥ Nia said...

Ohhhh I don't even need to mention my favorite moment from 2014... right?
The first moment I saw a special little baby's face and couldn't stop smilling for hours and hours =))))))
You know better than me how that is, you've been there 3 times ;) hehehhe

I admit my blog is not on it's usual pace :p but I will be back!! I'm far from FB and Instagram and all the other social media, my bubble space will always be my blog. It's not about being public or private, sharing with family or friends, like all that social media is now. It's all about the community as you said :) making friendships, connecting, taking time to meet the people we cross on our way. The blogosphere is a different place, we (bloggers) get it ;)

With a little baby boy at home (a very active little boy! yeah.. just like mummy heheheh) I haven't been able to stitch or post anything! But I do hope to come back soon :) I wanted to start again but before I do it, I decided to use my little free time to catch up on my favorite blogs. Soon I'll be up to date and I will start writing again too :)

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Unknown said...

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