Thursday, February 12, 2015

February Finishes

Good afternoon and how are my stitching friends today? We are in the middle of another very cold spell here in western Pennsylvania, but, for the most part, I can't complain about this winter. My poor sister lives in Boston and they've recently been slammed with over six feet of snow. I can't even imagine how the city is functioning! How are things in your "neck of the woods" (as Al Roker would say!)? 

Thank you for all of your wonderful comments on my last post--I'm so glad some of you were able to glean a few helpful hints from my finishing tips. None of them are unique to me--I just wanted to pass on what has helped me improve in my finishing over the years. I received so many nice emails, too, from fellow stitchers thanking me for the time I put into writing, staging, and photographing the things I put on each blog post. Do you know how much those emails meant to me? I even received the most lovely birthday gift from a complete stranger--now a friend. Someone who read my blog and wanted to thank me for the inspiration and time I took to post my finishes and stories. I'll show you that very special gift later in the post.

For now, I have my January and February ornaments to share with you. Although it may look like I'm stitching all Prairie Schooler designs this year, that's not the case (at least I don't think it will be!). For my January ornament, I actually stitched the same design that I gave my friend, Cindy, for Christmas. I loved it so much, I just had to make another one for myself. This is from Book No. 51 "Christmas Past," and is stitched "over one" on 28 ct. black Monaco. 

Prairie Schooler Santa from  "Christmas Past"

My February ornament is also a Prairie Schooler design, but it is just a small portion of the sampler in Book No. 133 "Winter Wind." Stitched on gray 40ct. Newcastle linen with the suggested DMC threads, I simply used the top quarter of the chart and added red beads instead of stitching the blue "berries" that were charted as part of the design.

Prairie Schooler "Winter Wind" motif

Here is a close-up so you can get a better look at the beads:

I am so happy with how both of my first 2015 ornaments turned out, but the second one will always have special meaning for me. Do you know why? Take a look at that cardinal perched at the tip-top of the pine tree. Do you remember me showing you these photos of that bright red cardinal in this post? Well, what I didn't mention anywhere in that post was the tremendous sense of peace I felt as the cardinal and I gazed at each other as I stood in my upstairs window. He just sat there for the longest time--even while I ran downstairs to grab my camera. I couldn't explain the feeling; I just knew I felt safe and loved and less sad than I had been since my Dad died on October 31st, 2014.

That special cardinal...

The day after that post, I received an email from blogging friend, Frances, with the following words that she had found online:

"A cardinal is a representative of a loved one who has passed. 
When you see one, it means they are visiting you.
 They usually show up when you most need them or miss them. 
They also make an appearance during times of celebration
 as well as despair to let you know they will always be with you. 
Look for them, they'll appear."

When Frances sent me those words, she had no idea that I felt Dad's presence when I spied that cardinal;  as I said, I hadn't mentioned it on that blog post. I had never heard anything about cardinals representing loved ones, but that day--and ever since--I have been more at peace with Dad's passing. And for that reason, my February stitched ornament with the cardinal atop the pine tree will forever remind me of him... I check that same grove of pine trees regularly for any sign of the cardinal, but I haven't seen him again. That's okay--he was there when I needed him most! Thanks, Dad!

Gifts stitched and sent... I also stitched a couple of gifts for friends in Wisconsin and California. To Tricia, I sent this cute "Winter" freebie pillow (available here) as a thank-you gift for a chart she let me borrow. I stitched the scene on 32 ct. slate blue linen using DMC threads 729, 869, 924, 3776, 498, 3865, and 3371. I changed the "T" to resemble a broom and used DMC 729 for that portion. I also eliminated the second row of snowflakes that was charted under "Winter" to make it small enough for a pillow finish. Tricia seemed to like it and I'm so pleased!

Glory Bee "Winter" freebie

And, to my friend, Valerie, out in San Francisco went a VERY belated birthday present. A witch in February?? Well, Valerie's birthday is actually in October so I had it all stitched up back then, and then Dad passed away and I just didn't get it finished until late January. So, Valerie got a little Valentine's witch which she seems to love.  This is an older Mary Garry pattern (from the "Seasonal Mementos" booklet) that I had also stitched for myself back in this post on a different linen. I stitched Valerie's version on 40 ct. raw Newcastle with the suggested DMC threads and finished it into a little pillow that she can sit on a shelf or place in a basket.

Mary Garry "Seasonal Mementos" witch

Prairie Schooler Santa Sundays SAL update:  I am doing a PS Santa SAL with my friends, Melissa and Hilda each Sunday. Our goal is to stitch one Prairie Schooler Santa of our choosing each month (we began in February) and we hope that by stitching together this will inspire us to follow through on our goals... I've chosen one of the blue Santas from the "Old World Santas II" (Book No. 88) to stitch for February and here is my progress after two Sundays. I've made some changes (of course) which I'll tell you about when I show the final finish... I love knowing that a Canadian stitching friend and an Austrian stitching friend are stitching right along with me each Sunday!

PS Santa Sundays SAL progress

A Special Belated Birthday Gift... Now for that oh-so-special gift which a blog reader sent me for my mid-January 60th birthday. I received the sweetest email from April  in Virginia (no blog), telling me how much she liked reading my blog and how she appreciated all the time it took me to pull together a blog post  and what inspiration she had received from Stitching Dreams. She then mentioned that she had made me a gift and asked for my address. Well, just look at what arrived in mailbox on Monday...

I should have known just from the beautifully wrapped presentation that the contents would be so special... I am, I'll admit it--just terrible at wrapping gifts! So, I truly appreciate those of you who can do something like this. Notice the flower adorning the top all made of pretty blue ric rak with felt leaves. Simply lovely!

And then when I opened up the box, I gasped--literally gasped--when I spotted what she had made for me! A punchneedle bunny--isn't he adorable? He is so perfect for bunny-loving me and April's work is fabulous. I have never had a piece of punchneedle before and every time I walk by this bunny in his charming frame, he just makes me smile :) She also included a cake of soap that smells just like baby powder. Is there a sweeter, more sentimental scent in the world?

Birthday gifts from April M.

Here is a close-up of April's gift... Thank you, my new friend, I was truly touched by your kind and thoughtful gift... It will be treasured, I promise you!

Punchneedle bunny from April M.

We were invited to a Super Bowl party earlier this month and were asked to bring a vegetable or fruit. Hmmm... for you long time readers of my blog, you know vegetables and I are NOT on good terms--especially green vegetables. I've never liked them, and at 60 years old, I doubt that will change. So, I went with fruit and whipped up these cute rainbow colored fruit kebabs. They were a hit!! Such a nice treat in the middle of winter. (Just watch yourself when spearing the fruit--I drew blood at one point when the pointed end plunged into my hand!).

A rainbow in mid-winter!

So, that's it for me today. I did no Valentine's Day stitching this year, which is unusual, but I've so enjoyed seeing all of your "love-themed" finishes. I do want to share with  you a short video which you've probably seen, but it's just captured my heart and I think it's perfect for Valentine's Day. We are all different, but that doesn't mean we can't be friends! I hope this makes you smile :)

Thank you for reading, for your sweet comments and emails, and for your friendship! Bye for now...

 Happy Valentine's Day!


Blu said...

So many lovely finishes Carol! Your posts always fire me up with the desire to finish my smalls. I have so many of them saved for inspiration.

Vickie said...

Oh Carol, what an indescribable feeling I got reading about your Dad and the cardinal. I am glad you are healing my friend.
What a FABULOUS gift from your new friend April. That is just wonderful.
I just may make up some kebobs like that in the future, so pretty.
No. I had not seen that video. I just shared it with Brian and Emerson. We all got a big kick out of it. =)

Csilla Sörösné said...

This is Blog so wonderful!
happy Valentin day


The Inspired Stitcher said...

I had no idea about the cardinals either! I love that! I'm going to keep your fruit kebabs in mind next time I'm asked to bring something to a pitch-in. They are so cheerful and I'm sure yummy too! Have a good rest of the week.

suellen said...

Carol - As always am inspired by all your beautiful stitching. Just wish I had more time! Happy Valentine's Day!
Suellen in GA

Joan said...

Your projects are so lovely. I do enjoy your posts. Happy Valentine's Day!

Angie Hinojosa said...

I'm very new to cross-stitching and I do so enjoy reading your blog and seeing your wonderful projects. You come across as if speaking to a dear friend and I find that very sweet. My condolences on you father's passing. Thank you for you stitching guidance! :) I pray peace and comfort during your difficult times.
Blessings, Angie H. (

Annie said...

Love the array of gifts you gave and received. You do such beautiful work and so do you stitchy friends!

That cardinal story is almost spooky. Kind of gives me chills just reading it.

Those fruit kebabs were such a great idea! Sweet, but guilt-free. An oh so pretty!

Ann at Beadlework. said...

Oh Carol, you write such inspiring posts. Your finishes are so neat - over one on black - wow!
The story of the cardinal was so touching - I think birds have a way of connecting with us that is special.
Your animal clip made me laugh, it was so uplifting.

Maggee said...

Another great post! Love Winter Wind... really nice part to stitch! Glad that it reminds you of that cardinal--it was pretty cool! And what a great present from a new friend! The bunny punch needle is so adorable! Thanks for sharing! Hugs!

Ellen said...

Love the two ornaments, they are so pretty! Love your stitched gifts too!

That bunny is so precious, love him!

I am also trying to stitch a santa a month, not necessary PS though...hope I can keep up ha ha!

Happy Valentine!


Mary Ann said...

Carol, thank you for another lovely and inspiring post. You sent and received some beautiful gifts! And, your February cardinal ornament is so very special!!

Barbi said...

Again, sensational finishes! I really love them all. Such fun to work on PS Santa's all year! Looking forward to seeing them from all three of you.

Andréia Regina Sarmento said...

Hi, Carol! Realy touching the story about the cardinal. Your posts are so sweet, your writing is incredible! Love Reading them.

Jenn M said...

Prairie Schooler designs are just so classic and quintessentially "cross stitch" if you know what I mean! Your eyes must be better than mine to stitch over one on black fabric! Beautiful ornaments you made; and I just love those rainbow kebabs!
Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

StitchinByTheLake said...

I don't even know what to say everything is so beautiful! I love the way you finish your's just so elegant and distinctive. Thanks so much for sharing with us. blessings, marlene

diamondc said...

Carol: Love your finishes, so lovely.
Thank-you for sharing the video with us.


Linda said...

Your stitching and finishing is gorgeous as always Carol. I love that commercial.


Christina said...

Great job on your ornaments. Love the cardinal story. What a beautiful rabbit. Yes your last post was very informational. Thank you for all the time you put into your blog.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a visual feast!! Everything is soooo beautiful. I'm so glad you've had a great birthday and everything!!

Barb said...

As usual, your finishing is such an inspiration. I'm so glad you were comforted by the cardinal. I believe that those who have gone on still are there for us and love us.

Shelly said...

Wow, amazing story about your Dad, the cardinal, and the email from Frances. A chill went up my back reading that! Your ornaments are gorgeous as usual. And the fruit kabobs-looks delicious! It's always great to see a new post from you!

shirley flavell said...

A beautiful gift you received from April. It would take my breath away as well. I truly understand your feelings with the Cardinal and totally relate to it. We don't have those birds here in N.Z. it would be a wonderful sight to see. Love all your stitching and finishes, so inspiring. Shirley N.Z.

Robin said...

What a lovely post to see this evening! Love your finishes especially your February ornament! What a precious bunny to receive from your new friend. Happy Valentine's Day to you, Carol!

Robin in Virginia

Nancy said...

Beautiful February ornaments and Valentine stitching! Happy Valentine's Day!

Phyllis said...

Your finishes are beautiful. So touching about the cardinal. I lost my dad over 41 years ago and still I see and hear things that remind me of him and give me comfort.
Such a nice gift from your friend, so sweet. God Bless, Phyllis

*-* said...

I was interested to read about the appearance of Cardinals. How lovely!
I wonder what the bird would be in this part of the world - Australia- home for me, or New Zealand where I currently reside?

Angela P said...

Your blog posts always make me smile :) Love the PS ornament finishes!

CraftyGurl said...

your blog is always one I look forward to reading! you write such woderful posts. I adore all the items you stitched, very nice!

I have never heard the story about the cardinal either.... Funny though because before my Mom passed she was saying that when she did go she wanted to be creamated which we did and sprinkled into to bird seed so when the birds ate the seeds they would deposite her all over, which we DID not do. HaHa she sure did have a silly humor.

But the funny thing was about a month after her passing I was back home in California and was out walking clearing my mind and I asked God for a sign that she was alright. Right at that moment a Robin flew right in front of my face and it carried with it the scent of her perfume "eternity" I knew then that she was ok.

Loved your post. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!


Jan Doling said...

Carol, I love all your finishes, especially the Winter Wind cardinal design and I am so pleased that it has special meaning for you. I totally understand where you are coming from as I get a similar feeling when our UK robins appear really close to me, I always think it is my Dad come to say hello. My Dad was a great gardener and very often a robin would come right up to where he was digging to say hello. You have given me inspiration to get my needle and thread out and find a lovely robin to stitch so thank you, I needed something to kick start my stitching mojo again - it has been missing for far too long. Jan xx

Mavi. said...

Feliz día de San Valentin Carol, tus almohadas son preciosas, sus acabados perfectos y todas juntas lucen de maravilla. Precioso el regalo que has recibido, es un lujo. Espero que pase esta ola de frio y que llegue la primavera. Un gran beso.

Thoeria said...

Oh Carol....I totally love all your pieces! And I can understand why the cardinal pice would hold a special place in your heart :) I have never heard of this before....but I do believe that when we need them, our passed love ones are there for us. I am still blessed to have both Mum and Dad...even though they live in another city and I don't get to see them as often as we want to.
Your friend April has sent you a truly amazing gift! From the ric rac flower to the framed bunny!

butterfly said...

Lovely post Carol , and you found your sign I told you that you would, and to look for it . Just like my rainbows, now each time you see your cardinal you will know your father is saying hello and I am fine.

Beautiful stitching love all of your stitching the cardinal one is just wonderful and I can see you enjoyed this one and stitched it with so much love.
Love your Valentine display .
And what a beautiful gift, blogging friends are the best , Big Hugs .

Irene said...

che meraviglie Carol!

Rose Victorien said...

- je ne dirai qu'un mot pour les ouvrages : SUBLIME
- très touchant l'éloge du petit cardinal, qu'il t'apporte sérénité.
bien amicalement
Véro (Rose)

Jane said...

Beautiful post Carol and your Red Cardinal story brought tears to my eyes, wish I could see one and know my MIL is checking up on us! I miss her so much and the first anniversary is nearly here already.
Your stitching and gifts received are, as always, a pleasure to see/ Love the Prairie Schoolers and your new blogging friend's gift is Tilly coloured so loving that too.
I'm sorry I seem to have missed your birthday post ~ BIG belated birthday wishes from me, Monty, Tilly & Oscar xxx

Leanne Nugent said...

The cardinal is so bright, I was amazed when I saw one in real life. And we have some pretty australian birds of our own. Your finishing techniques are sublime, really skilled. I have joined your site and look forward to more. Thanks

Preeti said...

Lovely finishes, Carol!! :) I can understand how important it is to feel that peace when we lose our loved one.
In Hindu mythology, it is said that only the soul passes away, since we are made from our parents, we share their physical presence through our body. They are always with you. I assured myself, when I started looking positively after two years, that all the beautiful things - flowers, nature, etc...whenever makes you smile, then think that he is also smiling at you and that he wants you to be happy.
The gift from April is lovely and the wrapping is just wonderful:)

Marilyn said...

Great projects and gifts.
Love the Cardinal story.
Thanks for sharing the cute video.

Nicola said...

Carol, all your stitchimg is, as always, beautiful! Love the idea of PS Santa Sunday SAL, especially when your fellow stitchers are spread around the world. The punch needle gift is so gorgeous.

Maggie said...

Beautiful stitching and finishing, as always and that birthday gift is stunning!

I can understand how the cardinal ornament will be special to you, I'm sure it was your dad's way of saying he is alright and for you to be happy, my mum experienced something similar after my day died, many years ago, she said she felt better because she knew he was ok now.

Lois said...

Another lovely post Carol and how special the cardinal visiting you was. I'm glad it brought you such a feeling of peace. Enjoy your SAL with Melissa and Hilda. I stitched several of those PS Santas one year and love putting them out when Christmas rolls around. Some lovely stitching, as always, and I love the punchneedle bunny - a perfect gift for you. Aren't stitchers some of the kindest folk out there? Wishing you the loveliest Valentine's Day!

Mary said...

Cardinals have always been very special birds for me too, Carol. Instinctively we must understand they are messengers. How lovely that you spotted yours and captured him in your stitching.

Love the fruit kabobs! I'm stealing you idea for my next office potluck. Thanks for sharing it.

Lynda Harrison said...

Hi Carol,
So good to read your new post! As always, you are a true inspiration to us all! Such beautiful stitching and finishing - it is wonderful to read all about what has been happening in your part of the world!
Have a lovely weekend!
Take care if yourself, my friend,

Mii Stitch said...

Another wonderful post Carol :)
The little cardinal story had me in tears... This is unbelievable & so touching.
As always your finishes are just perfect!! Was wondering if you new of a good tutorial for the cording finishes. I'm ok with placing it around my say ornament but don't know how to make it look nice & neat at the top with the actual "loop" bit... Sorry, a bit difficult to explain but if you know what I mean, I'll really appreciate advice on that bit :)
Thank you xx

Irene said...

Hello Carol

So many wonderful makes, they are just beautiful.

I love the little cardinal story, but I'm not too sure if we have them in the UK.


Gabi said...

What a wonderful post. I loved to read about the cardinal. When I read it I instinctively thought, that's something special for Carol.
Your stitching and finishing is beautiful as always.
Happy Valentine's day

Kate said...

As usual, Carol, your post is a fabulous read. I loved your story about the cardinal and loved the video. Of course, I always enjoy seeing your beautiful work and the stories behind each piece. :)

Kate said...

Beautiful stitching update and the gifts both sent & received are gorgeous.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Kristin said...

Lovely finishes Carol. I just love your Santa's and you have enabled me to see them out. Your fruit kebabs are beautiful and I may have to steal this idea for my DD's birthday in July!

Sally said...

What a beautiful post Carol. Love all of your finishes and gifts both sent and received are beautiful.

I can totally relate to you feeling at peace when you saw the cardinal and how special it makes the piece you stitched. Over there whenever I see a robin I have that same feeling. I always used to say it was my Mum coming to see me but what I didn't know back then was that over there a robin is a loved one who has passed. I have always loved robins but they have an extra special place in my heart since then.

The Queen Bee said...

What a lovely collection of ornaments. The punchneedle bunny is adorable.

Hope you get to stay home safe and warm this weekend.


Margaret said...

Ok, I'm sniffling away here. That is so wonderful and touching about the red cardinal. Oh my gosh. I hadn't known that until I read your post.

Anyway, I love your January and February ornies! Love that punchneedle rabbit from your friend April. Wow! Those fruit kabobs are wonderful!

Pam in IL said...

Wonderful post! Love all the stitching and your gift from April is lovely. I've heard about Cardinal's before and I have at least one pair in my backyard every day. I enjoy watching and listening to them too.

Lesley said...

Beautiful stitching Carol and a gorgeous gift from April.
The video is priceless,the sound track is a reminder of my boys watching Disneys Robin Hood and the animal friends put a smile on my face.I love Orangutans and the youngster at the end made me laugh out loud:-)

Judy said...

Hi Carol,
Thank you for another fabulous post. I am thankful for your time and sharing on each blog post you do. Such inspiration and perfection. The PS ornaments are beautiful. My favorite is winter wind. I have that in my winter folder to stitch.

The punch needle bunny is so cute..and just in time for spring. I know it will be a bit before spring gets here(with these freezing temps we are having). I love punch needle and it is something I can do without a magnifier.

I am a real fan of Mary Garry. The witch is another cute pattern and finished perfectly.

Hope you have frequent cardinal visits.

Time for breakfast, wish I had a rainbow kebab!

Stay warm.

Judy Heartland stitcher

Wanda said...

Hi Carol!
Beautiful post as always! I love your header! Your PS ornaments are beautiful and the finishing is gorgeous as always. What a beautiful stitch in honour of the cardinal sent by your Dad. I got goosebumps reading the story.
I have been working away on one of the yearly PS Santas (in my bag that I take to my Mom's). Your bowl of Valentine ornaments is beautiful. The little witch is too cute. I saw a question on either a blog or FB asking what your favourite thing to stitch at Halloween is and many were saying pumpkins but witches and black cats top my list.The Glory Bee Winter freebie is too cute. This year I made The Wrapper (from one of the JCS ornament magazines - can't say which issue right now as we are in Florida)and I think it is so cute!
Hope you are keeping warm (glad I don't live in Boston either!) and thanks as always for the joy your beautiful blog brings.
Hugs, Wanda

Barb said...

Hi Carol - Oh what a wonderful post you have written and what beautiful stitching you have shared with us. I love to read everyone's Comments to you, too, because it is so obvious how much we all love you!!

I have always loved Cardinals but I didn't know the story behind them. I have always thought it was a special moment when I would see them.

And your punch needle bunny is beautiful. what a lovely, priceless gift you have been given - thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Oh, and I love the rainbow fruit spears, too. what a great idea and so colorful at this time of year - I have to remember that yummy idea.

Hugs to you - xoxo


Carol C said...

Lovely post Carol and your stitching is perfection, especially the cardinal stitched with thoughts of your Dad.
I have always wanted to try punchneedle, your gift certainly is beautiful.
Thanks for sharing your finishes, you truly inspire me.
Carol C

Elizabeth Ann said...

Love all your new pieces and that little rabbit is amazing! Love that Valentine's bowl the best though!

Carin said...

Once again I love reading this post with so many beautiful things to see !!

Melissa said...

Carol, I just loved that story about the cardinal and your dad. It brought tears to my eyes. It was interesting how you had felt your dad's presence then, well before you got the email from Frances. Loved it! I am glad it brought you comfort.

Now, stitching - beautiful work as usual! Never ceases to amaze me.

I love that work that April sent to you. How gorgeous is that bunny! Lucky girl!

Thanks for sharing that cute video!

laceystitcher said...

What a wonderful post (as usual) from you. I loved the special happening with the cardinal; I know that it will bring you peace and joy forever. I have had happenings (gifts from God) like that over the years that I hold very dear; they bring great comfort that your loved one is happy and safe in heaven.

I love all of your stitched projects and their finishes! I am always inspired to stitch after reading your blog.

The bunny gift is absolutely gorgeous! What a wonderful RAK!

I can just taste those wonderful fruit kabobs! What a great idea; I will have to try them.

Blessings and grace to you each day..............

priscilla said...

Love that first PS santa I had to go order the chart :) All your finished ornaments are just fabulous Carol ! That cute witch I might have to try and find ! Love your cardinal story .. I have never heard that before ..It seems here I always see a male and female ..and that makes sense since both my parents are gone.. Your PS Santa in progress is amazing ! Going to have to check and see if I ahve that one :) Gosh I love those guys ! Keep stitching PS this year so I can see more of them :) Have a great weekend Carol !

Sherri said...

You can never go wrong with PS ornaments. They are usually a favorite with me and yours are always perfectly stitched and finished. I had not heard that of cardinals either, but how special. I love how they always stay together and mate for life. Your February bowl of smalls looks great and I spotted your oh so cute stupid Cupid. He's adorable.

Daniela Bencúrová said...

So 6 m depth snow can not imagine:-)))
Our snow melts, today was a beautiful sunny day.
All Prairie Schooler are wonderful !!!
Image winter landscape and red bird = super!
I wish you a happy Valentine's Day!

Quiltsmiles said...

It's always nice to catch up with what you have going on. Your 2015 ornaments are fantastic, very nice finishes.

Quiltsmiles said...

It's a nice sentimental story about the cardinal and a friend recently lost her parents and she's noticed recurrences of cardinal and blue jays in specific ways so she's comforted by the spiritual connection. Bless you.

Cindy's Stitching said...

Some really pretty finishes Carol. As I started reading about the cardinal I just knew it had to be your dad. He is always with. I am glad you feel some peace. What a great story. Reading your last post i had to laugh, I use an iron when finishing a piece and always used a toothpick for applying the glue, I thought i was the only one who did that. I did learn something new about the interfacing and have tried it, it does make a difference. We can always learn something new.
Happy Valentine's Day. Your display looks awesome. Try to stay warm.

Cathy H. said...

Beautiful stitched pieces. I love the second ornament and the story of your own cardinal! Lovin' your Valentine pieces, too!

Christine said...

Beautiful stitching and finishing and your fruit rainbows look delicious

Hilda said...

Dear Carol,
thank you so much for this wonderful post.
It made me smile, it made me laugh and it made me cry a little.
I am so happy to have you as a friend, my dear!
And I really love reading your wonderful stories and admiring your wonderful wonderful finishings.

and a warm embrace!


Mary - Lecoeurceltique said...

Beautiful finishes, Carol. I want to rush away and stitch each one myself. I love the sentiment around the red cardinal ornament.

Девушка с пяльцами said...

Wonderful finishes!

Heather said...

What lovely ornaments Carol! I especially love the cardinal one! I am so glad that you were able to get some peace about your father!

What a lovely gift from your new friend, and it is wrapped so beautifully!

I hope that you have a lovely weekend!

Jennifer said...

Love your winter wind and the story about the cardinals. They have always been one of my favorite birds to see on the feeder! Love your set of valentine stitches too!

Karen said...

So many lovely finishes. Bet those fruit kabobs tasted as great as they look.

I bought a package of the Touch of Silk fiberfill. Haven't used it yet, but is certainly feels much softer and smoother then the fiberfill I usually use.

Meari said...

Absolutely beautiful finishes, and what a wonderful gift from April.

I, too, hadn't heard of the cardinal story until my parents passed away. For months, a cardinal hung around my brother's house at that time. Someone had told him about them and then told the rest of us.

Brigitte said...

Loved to see your two first ornaments for this year. I don't know what it is about the Prairie Schooler designs, they just have a certain beauty that goes out from each of their designs. And you can feel this beauty when you stitch one of them. Wonderful finishing, Carol, and a great motivation for me again. You know, I often come to your blog when I have finsihed stitching some smalls and search for ideas how to finish them. Just looking at your finishes helps.

In your SAL you are stitching the Santa that I stitched last year. I finished seven of the Santas of book 88, they are all very beautiful. This year I will be stitching some of the Santas of book 48, A Christmas Visit, so that I will have some more Santas to add to this year's tree.

Thanks for showing the calorie bomb you were preparing for the party. I'll keep this idea in mind.

Such nice gifts that you made for Tricia and Valerie. And a very special gift that you received from your new friend. He's a cute little guy.

Southpaw Stitcher said...

All your ornaments are so perfectly stitched and finished. Love them all! The punch needle bunny is so cute. I tried doing a punch needle project once, but it wasn't my thing. I do admire them, though.

Marie said...

I did not know that about Cardinals, thanks for sharing! Your Dad is always with you…viewing the cardinal will just remind you of that. :-)

You always have so many beautiful projects to share. I have a question about the pillow finish: The cording that runs horizontally across the pillow, does it wrap abound the back?

April's gift is SO nice. Wow, how very sweet of her. Lucky you!

Jackie said...

Oh Carol! I got goosebumps reading your post and then my eyes filled with tears. I do believe that our loved ones who have passed reach out to us in ways only recognized by us. xoxo

So many great things in this post....!

Lillie said...

Gorgeous stitching and finishing Carol, SAL on PS is looking good.
May want to steal your idea on the Fruit kebabs, looking so yummy!

So touching to read about the Cardinal visit, it's something new to me, we do have something similar but not a bird it's always a butterfly.

Fabulous Valentine's collection.

Frances N said...

As always, beautiful stitching and finished to perfection!
I'm so glad to see that you love the cardinal story, and it seems to have given peace to many others. :-)
I saw a cardinal on my patio, just this morning, and just felt tranquil, secure and calm. So lovely.

Andrea said...

Wonderful ornaments for January and February. I really can't choose which I like best. Beautiful gifts you sent out too. Oh the punchneedle design is adorable. Such a pretty box as well.
I've never heard of the cardinal either (I suppose it is the robin here in the UK). I know I read someone say about white feathers appearing around her house after her daughter passed away. Could be the same sort of thing. Comforting though.

Erin said...

Exquisite work.

Beth said...

Carol - Such lovely finishes. The braided trim on your PS Winter Wind is inspired - and how wonderful that it now has special, deeper meaning for you. What a charming bunny you were gifted with too.

Melanie said...

It has been a strange winter. Just one snowstorm after another. Definitely the snowiest winter in a long, long, long time. (Not QUITE as bad as Boston here, but pretty close!)

You stitch up all the P*S you want, you just make them sing with your little changes and finishes. Hands down, no one does them better. :)

That gift is so stunning I'm not sure what to say. It's beautiful and so, so perfect for you. What a treasure. (I will definitely remember that little trick with the rose made out of rick-rack, too. What a neat idea!)

Julie said...

A post full of wonderful things Carol.
Very pretty finishes you have created.
I've never seen punchneedle close up, it does looks such a beautiful gift that you received.
Fair made my heart soar to know your own heart is healing a little, the cardinal is like our robin, they say the same about him when you see one in the garden you know a loved one is near.
Love and {{hugs}}

Melody said...

Hi Carol. What a nice post again as always! I have heard that before about cardinals. So glad that one visited you and gave you comfort. They are so beautiful. I like your two ornaments of 2015. Such beautiful work!

Sheryl S. said...

Beautiful stitching and ornaments. Interested to read about Cardinals, we don't have them here in Spain.

Krista said...

What a lovely post filled with such pretties! That needlepunch bunny is such a sweet gift from your friend. Perfect for springtime :) Which hopefully is on it's way soon! I think we are all ready by now. That cardinal photo is so beautiful. It is wonderful how they can bring comfort... I know this too. :) Love the youtube video, that is one of my favorite commercials! Amazing how sweet animals can bring such happiness and smiles, you know? Have a great week and stay warm!

Mdm Samm said...

Hilda mentioned you again this morning, thought I would link over...oh my you are so full of inspiration and your be mine Valentine on your banner is so picture

passionfruitprincess said...

Carol, I love the cardinal story! What a sweet thing! I am glad that you are finding comfort. All your finishes are lovely, specially the cardinal one. And your Valentine bowl is so beautiful, I love it!
Have a happy weekend!

Ana Paula.

Friendship Crossing said...

I am always in awe of all of your darling finishes Carol!! They look so sweet!
Your rainbow of fruit on the skewers look delish as well!
Thanks for sharing your talents w/the rest of the world.

Stay warm!

Nancy M said...

Another great post. You've done more great finishes this month. Your Cardinal story and finish is especially fitting. I'm sure it made you feel at peace. What a great gift the punch needle bunny is. I went to a class once and bought the needle, but have never done one! Love the basket photo at the end, I've been trying to get at least one little pillow done for my basket this year. I did a heart one and I've stitched a spring one, but haven't finsihed it yet. How's your mom doing after her fall?

Christine said...

Wow! Love them all! But I especially love the idea of Santa Sunday SAL!!

Lesleyanne said...

A lovely post Carol. I have never heard that a cardinal represented a love one. So pleased for you that you have felt at peace since it's visit. I love all your stitching.

Ponto Cute said...

Lindos Bordados!!!

Jackie said...

Sweet finishes Carol and I enjoyed your reading on the cardinal.
Take care sweet friend:)/

Hope you are staying warm in this weather.

Kay said...

Wonderfully stitched finishes as always! Love the pictures of the winter scenery! The fruit kabobs looked yummy as well!!! The story about the cardinal was so sweet, thanks for sharing! We lost my father in law in April of last year, I can for surely say that he has paid a visit to our house a few times since he left. The rabbit punch is divine as well! Stay warm!

msmartello said...

As always Carol, I love your finishes. Great job on your PS santas and your gift from April is divine. I have been getting into and learning some punch needle and it is pretty fun. Love the bunny! Your fruit kabobs make me want to eat fruit even though I am freezing. LOL!
Stay warm!

valerie said...

Wonderful post Carol! Amazing to hear the meaning behind a cardinal and I love the ornie you stitched up to represent that moment and feeling you got. Such a pretty finish. Great gifts too to Tricia and myself. Thank you so much...I adore the little witch! It's so funny that you stitched it for me. I was wondering why it looked familiar and its because you had stitched it earlier for yourself too! The punchneedle bunny from April is stunning as is her wrapping. I want to try to make a rickrack rose too! I hope that you had a great Valentine's Day and February! :)

Karoline said...

Gorgeous finishes, Carol and the Punchneedle Rabbit from April is stunning.

Chris said...

Some gorgeous ornies.. and fab finishes

Michelle said...

What lovely finishes - stunning photos thanks for sharing xx

KimM said...

Oh my goodness! Lovely, STUNNING stitching! Beautiful gifts for your friends - you've been a busy lady.

Anne said...

It's always so wonderful to visit your posts and see the gorgeous finishes you make. Each one is unique and finished with a unique style. I love the PS cardinal...a lovely one to remind you of your father. The punch rug is amazing! How cool is that to get such a splendid gift!! Mmm...those fruit kabobs look to die for. I'm ravenous for fruit these days. Hugs to you Carol!

Nurdan Kanber said...

I've missed this wonderful post with amazing finishes, gifts, progresses, heart-melting stories and your sincerity! Shame on me!

I sincerely thank you for sharing with us as well as lovely comment you left on my blog ♥

Weronika said...

Somany gorgeous finishes! As always. Your work is really wonderful. The story of cardinals is so heartwarming! I will surely try your fruit kebabs.

Jan Doling said...

Carol, I have nominated you for a Liebster Award if you want to play along but please don't feel under any obligation. I have just chosen blogs that I have enjoyed reading since entering the world of blogging recently. Jan xx

marly said...

The cardinal brought a tear, the punch needle a gasp, the video a smile. Thanks!

♥ Nia said...

Precious moment... I'm sure that little Cardinal will come to visit you again ♥

Theresa said...

Your stitching is gorgeous.

Theresa said...

Your stitching is gorgeous.