Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Finally Fall!

Good morning, my blogging buddies, on one gorgeous autumn morning here in western Pennsylvania. I think this September may have been one of the nicest (and warmest!) on record and I've loved every second. The sunny days and the crisp, cooler nights are just my "cup of tea"... I've been stitching a couple of fall things and putting out a few autumn-hued decorations and my house just seems much cozier these days--like it's welcoming me to spend the colder days ahead all curled up in my stitching chair. Sounds like a nice plan, doesn't it?

Of course, real life interferes sometimes and that precious stitching time is hard to come by...  This past month has been so busy that I'm afraid I don't have much to share with you today. But, I hope you'll stick around and read through my lone September post. First of all, I want to wish a warm welcome to my new followers--there are over 1500 of you now and I'm so thrilled to have you visit! I began this blog in 2009 as a simple way to keep track of my finishes--never in my wildest dreams did I imagine there would be so many of you who enjoyed reading it! Thank you all for your wonderful support--especially this year. It has been one difficult year around here, but things are looking up. My husband's broken neck has healed to the point where he has returned to biking--I do worry, but he is absolutely elated to be "back in the saddle," as he puts it. Amazing how far he has come in just four months. The numbness/tingling in his fingers on his right hand continue, but it is nothing that he can't learn to live with...

So, on to stitching! I have one small finish and one larger work in progress that I'd like to share with you today. The finish is a Prairie Schooler from an issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine and couldn't be more perfect for this time of year. "Autumn" is stitched over one on 28 ct. black Monaco using the suggested DMC threads. The finished design is so tiny--just 1¾ by 1¼ inches!! You know me and my love of anything tiny!

To finish this off, I used some miniature rust-colored ric rak to frame it and backed it with the cute acorn printed fabric you see in the background. I thought of adding buttons or something to the corners where the ric rak meets, but I felt they would overwhelm this tiny piece. Sometimes, an understated finish is just better, don't you think? I am so happy with the final look...

Prairie Schooler Autumn finish

I've also begun a larger Prairie Schooler Sampler from Book No. 40 "Band Samplers." I've wanted to stitch this one for so long, but have avoided it because of the abundance of browns in the design--I simply don't like stitching with browns! But, I finally just took the plunge and I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying stitching this piece--even that crazed-looking giant squirrel making his way up to the tree top! I'm using 40 ct. flax Newcastle with DMC threads and, hopefully, I'll have it finished up for you next time I post.

Tall oaks from little acorns grow...

As I mentioned, I've also been doing a bit of fall decorating and the first thing to get a makeover was my kitchen corner cupboard. Down came the patriotic stitching and accessories that I shared with you in this post and out came the autumn colored leaves, pumpkins, and squirrels.

Here are some close-ups of each shelf so you can see them better... The carved wooden squirrels belonged to my grandmother and I think they're perfect to display alongside the PS stitched September Squirrel and the Midnight Stitching "Quaker Acorns I" piece.

The middle shelf contains a bowl full of sunflower finishes from Prairie Schooler, Homespun Elegance, Heart In Hand, and an old freebie that is no longer available online (just a reminder to print out those freebies when they are offered online as the designers often remove them).

On the bottom shelf are some crocheted sunflowers from my sweet blogging friend, Annette in The Netherlands in a wire basket of leaves and pumpkins, my little Lizzie High doll with her crows and giant sunflower, a tarnished old baby cup from a distant relative, and a sweet quote about September that I printed from one of my favorite home lifestyle blogs, On Sutton Place.

Here is a closeup of of the print which you can find and print off for yourself right here. I used some mottled beige scrapbook paper to print it on and had the frame in my stash. A cute and inexpensive addition to my corner cupboard, don't you think?

I wanted to share a few photos from our annual trip to the Outer Banks last month. In spite of the not-so-great weather, I so enjoyed spending time with my family and catching up with relatives we only see once or twice a year. This year we all (24 of us) stayed in a giant house right on the beach. This was the view from the front deck. See those whitecaps? Yes, there were some very rough waters this year and the "red flag" of danger/no swimming was posted for much of the week. You can actually see it in the middle right side of the photo. I didn't care as I don't go in the ocean anyway, but my sons were so disappointed.

Just the five of us went out together on August 26th which would have been my dad's 88th birthday--just wanted some time away from the crowd to remember dad and raise a glass in his honor. This was the peaceful view from the restaurant in the calm sound. Just lovely!

As always there were some glorious sunrises...

And equally glorious sunsets...

I am much more at home lounging by a lake or hiking in a forest, but there is something so very special about the beaches in North Carolina, too. We've been going with my husband's family for 31 years now and it's been fun to see the family grow. Next year, we might actually need to expand to two houses!

Thank you all for your well-wishes for my youngest son who is studying in Argentina this semester. I'm happy to report he got there safely and is settling in nicely. He's finding the Spanish to be somewhat of a challenge as they speak very rapidly and Argentinian Spanish is a bit different than what he learned. He may have to record his lectures and break them down so he can understand things more easily. We are still  hoping to go visit in late November or mid-December and take an extended trip to Patagonia!

I'll leave you with a photo of this sweet little fawn who made his way up to munch on some sunflower seeds. Each year, after the sunflowers have finished blooming, my husband lays the giant flower heads out on the fence that surrounds his garden next to the tool shed. The birds, chipmunks, and deer all delight in this unexpected feast!

Thank you all for visiting today--so sorry for the long time between posts. I went through some dreadful oral surgery last week and now appear to have hurt my left foot. I dropped something on it and it is swollen and painful when I walk. Boy, it's just been one thing after another since I turned 60! I hope this isn't a sign of things to come... I'm actually heading up to New York to visit my mom tomorrow--after the month I've had I need a big, big hug from her. There's just something about mom's hugs that takes away the pain even at my age! Anyway, thank you for your very kind comments and I hope the rest of September brings you much to smile about. Bye for now...


Vickie said...

Oh your PS over one Autumn finish is just precious!
Hope you keep enjoying your next PS stitch. It is lovely.
Your displays in the kitchen are just wonderful Carol.
Have a wonderful visit with your mom.

Melissa said...

Good morning, Carol. I had typed a long comment and then it disappeared! I will try again!

That little stitching is so sweet. Reminds me of a postage stamp! You've decorated your house beautifully for Fall - all that gorgeous stitching!

It seems like just yesterday that we saw those beach photos. That just speaks to how time is flying by. It looks like such a gorgeous place.

Glad to hear your husband is "back in the saddle" and that your son has arrived safely. As much as we learn whatever language in school (eg Spanish, French, even English!) it most likely will sound different spoken in different countries. I'm sure he will catch on soon enough. Glad you hear you and your husband will be going for a visit soon!

Hilda said...

Oh my dear,
I am so happy and glad to read from you! I was a little bit in sorrow already! But thank's good (almost) everything is allright. I am so sorry for your painful surgery and your hurt leg and hope you are getting totally well soon.
How fine to read that Tim is "back in the saddle". Although I totally understand your fears, it is so good for him that he can start his "normal" life again, isn't it?

Your Autumns stitching is darling. I love how it turned out on this black fabric - and of course I love how you finished it.

Wishing you peaceful and relaxing Autumn days in your wunderful decorated home. I hope that stitching time will increase in the next weeks and months.

Have a wonderful trip to New York!


Syd said...


What a beautiful finish. Did you use a black linen as the background for the Autumn piece? I'm happy to see you back blogging again. I've missed your posts.


Annie said...

Love your little PS finish. You could probably hang it in a dollhouse!

I find sometimes that if a design is really to my liking, I enjoy stitching it even when the colors aren't my favorites. I guess that's the case for you with the brown sampler.

So happy to hear of your husband's progress. And sounds like your son is merrily settling in. Your NC photos make the place look absolutely gorgeous, troubled waters or not.

So you have "hoof and mouth" disease huh? Yes, it's always something with these uncooperative bodies. Take it easy and let yourself heal. Do it by enjoying your beautiful display of fall stitching and your personal backyard wildlife preserve!

Daniela Bencúrová said...

Carol, I love autumn and its colors. Your autumn decor is beautiful!
Did you have a great trip!

Lynda Harrison said...

Hello Carol - so lovely to read your post. Your stitching is as always, sublime! You always manage to create such lovely things, and the colours of Autumn are just beautiful.
Your photos are lovely, and I'm so glad everything is going well with your husband.
Take really good care of yourself.
With love,

Linda said...

Congrats on the gorgeous finish Carol. I love your new start.
Great vacations pics.
I hope your foot heals quickly. Have a fun time with your mom.


Mavi. said...

Carol, I hope you recover from the surgery of your mouth with the warm embrace of your mother. I am glad to recovery your husband and I hope your little child to do brilliantly in Argentina, if there are language differences between the Argentine and Spanish, but eventually understand, my companion is Argentina and I have so much fun with different expressions and funny accent. Your embroidery envidables by that count so small and your perfect finish. I hope your foot recovers, ask again another big hug your mom. Many kisses.

Heather said...

Carol, your cabinet looks so lovely! We are in the midst of a nasty cold, so autumn decorating will have to wait. Your stitching is lovely as ever! Your pictures of the beach are amazing ! I am so glad that your husband is recovering so well! I'm sorry that you have had such a rough year! Praying that you will have a blessed time with your momma!

Amanda said...

Don't let all those browns put you off! I did the "Content lodges oftener in cottages" piece some years ago, and it is still one of my all-time favorites. I'm sure you'll love your "oaks" just as much.

Unknown said...

OMGoodness! I was just looking last night for something with the quote about little acorns and mighty oaks! I will have to stitch this. Love love love your little autumn!

Kaisievic said...

Lovely long post, Carol and definitely worth the wait. I love your stitching and your corner cupboard looks amazing - I need more time to change my decorations around like that - I love it. Thanks for sharing your holiday as well, it looks like a beautiful spot to visit and that fawn, so sweet. I am so glad to hear that your husband is doing better, such good news. hugs, Kaye xoxox

valerie said...

Great post Carol! I love the autumn piece. It looks so striking on the black linen. And I look forward to seeing the progress on your large PS piece. I've never seen that design before. Your Fall decorating looks lovely. How is it already Fall?! It's reminding me to dig out the Halloween decorations as it's October in a mere 8 days. I am glad that your DH is doing so much better! Boys will be boys and continue to do things they love even if we worry about them getting hurt. I hope you have a wonderful visit with your mom and that your foot feels better soon. *hugs*

dhenders said...

Good to see you back!

Your fall stitching and fall decorating are delightful! Tall Oaks is looking beautiful, and it's nice to hear you're having fun stitching it since that one is on my "someday" list. :)

Enjoy your mom's hugs - always the best medicine.

Robin said...

Your PS finish is darling, Carol! I like how the rick rack is framing it. Your PS WIP is looking great. Thank you for sharing the beach photos and the deer by the sunflowers. Enjoy your time with your Mom this week. Thinking of you!

Robin in Virginia

Shelly said...

Good to see your hubby is back in the saddle! Nice finish and start. You did say you have quite a few PS's! My daughter was in NC the last week of July and her and her friend spent 3 days at the beach. She said the humidity was something else! Love your beach photos, they're so relaxing. I can hear the waves crashing on the beach. Enjoy your Mom time!

Barb said...

Well Carol, I have a good friend who told me that after 50, it's all patch work!! I hope you do feel much better soon. As I always say, your finishing is wonderful. The corner cupboard looks great with your Fall things. Lovely photos of the outer banks.

Preeti said...

Your finish is very sweet!! And the new start is lovely too!! 40 ct. fabric must be difficult to stitch. Your kitchen corner decor is beautiful :)
Hope your foot pain heals soon.

Mini said...

I'm one of your new followers and love everything you show on your blog.
Beautiful small finish and your fall decoration is gorgeous.
Hope you feel better soon and have a wonderful visit to your mum's.

Mouse said...

well a gorgeous drool fest from start to finish ... glad to hear DH is doing well ... sorry about your foot (((hugs)) from me too ...and adore your fall decorating .... think I need some more pillows / practice ..lol love mouse xxxxx

Justine said...

Gorgeous stitching and your dresser is just beautiful. What a lovely post.

Brigitte said...

Oh, I love autumn, too, it's my favourite time of the year. We haven't had such a nice September so far, much more rain than sunshine but I love it anyway. And there's still October which usually is a very nice month up here in the mountains.

And like you I have started some autumn stitching and pulled out more charts to stitch during the weeks to come. Your little PS Autumn looks gorgeous on the dark fabric and is so nicely finiahed in the ricrac frame. Tall Oaks is just great, I stitched it some time ago and had so much fun. It's very often that I doubt about the colours when I pull them out for a new PS project but when I start stitching I see that everything falls together so nicely and each time I'm glad that I didn't change anything on them.

Wonderful pictures from your week with your family at the seaside. And so great to read that your husband already rides his bike again. Could there be a better sign of his health being restored as much as possible :)

Marilyn said...

Glad your hubby is on the mend and that he can enjoy his bike riding again.
Your PS is so tiny and cute.
Your Fall corner cupboard looks great also.
Thanks for the Outer banks pics, they're beautiful.
Have a great time at your Mom's.

Irene said...

il tuo autunno è meraviglioso, complimenti

The Queen Bee said...

Hope you have a nice drive. The weather is just so beautiful up here.

I have also started decorating but not because it feels like fall, that's for sure!

The beach looks wonderful...as does your stitching.


Wanda said...

Hi Carol,
I love your PS Autumn! It is just adorable with a beautiful finish, as always! Your band sampler is also beautiful - that squirrel always makes me laugh!
I am glad you were able to attend your annual family vacation. I can't believe it's a tradition that has been happening for 31 years. It must be fun to look at some of the earlier pictures and see all the changes.
How wonderful that you and your family were able to go out for dinner in honour of your Dad's birthday. My Dad is also an August baby and although it is now over five years since he has passed, every year we go to his favourite bakery, Dooher's in Campbellford and buy 'jam jam' cookies. My siblings and I all have such wonderful memories of Dad stopping to buy 'his kiddies' a treat on the way home from the weekly livestock auction.
I just love your corner cupboard and look forward to each new season. You must be having so much fun with it! The carved wooden squirrels are just precious.
I am happy to hear your son arrived safely and I know you will enjoy having the opportunity to visit him later in the fall. What an incredible opportunity for him.
I am so sorry about your dental surgery and your foot. I hope both are feeling better each day. I totally agree with you about 'mom hugs' and hope you have a wonderful visit with your Mom. I will be heading down on Friday to see Mom and can hardly wait.
Happy Fall and I hope you more time to stitch and relax.
hugs, Wanda (The fawn is adorable! We have visitors from Scotland and last night they saw their first raccoon!)

Mary Ann said...

Happy first day of Autumn, Carol! I hope you have a wonderful visit with your mom!!

I love the little Autumn finish--stitched and finished perfectly, and your start on the PS Band Sampler is lovely!!

Mii Stitch said...

What a tiny finish! It looks precious!
Love your stitching on the dresser.
Glad your hubby is getting back into routine & can ride his bike again.
That deer is so so sweet!!! Great picture!

Christina said...

Your PS finish is just so festive for fall. Nice progress on your other PS. Glad to read that your DH is healing so quickly. Such pretty pics from your vacation. I love to be at the beach. Hope things continue to go well for your son at school. You get such lovely visitors. Have a safe trip and enjoy your visit with your mom.

Mrs. GraceWorks said...

I love your PS Autumn finish! What a fun mini piece! But why, oh why did you hurt yourself??? I hope you have a restful and enjoyable visit with your mom!! {{Hugs!}}

Vonna, The Twisted Stitcher said...

I am so very sorry Carol to read of your Oral surgery and your hurt foot...you have had your share this year...but a big hug from your Mom should make the world all right side up again :)
Your Prairie Schooler finish is just fabulous! TINY! My goodness at 45 I dare not know how you see to do that tiny work. I've noticed over the year that my eyesight has deteriorated in the close up vision range and my arms are just long enough to hold it out to see it...ha :)
Your photos of the Outer Banks...stunning! I adore the beach for a week or two at a time, but I'm a four seasons tree type myself.
Happy to hear that your husband is back in the saddle. Prayers that he stays safe and that he continues improvement.
Nothing is too great for the Lord to heal and its still early. You just never know about the numbness and tingling it could all resolve too. :)
Have a superior day!

The Inspired Stitcher said...

It's always so much fun to catch up with you. I've wanted to stitch that PS chart for the longest time too! It will be fun to see your finish. The beach looks heavenly! I hope you heal quickly and I'm glad to hear DH is doing well. Be safe on your trip! Until next time...

Beth Aalberts said...

The Autumn Prairie Schooler pillow is just adorable! I don't think my eyes would be able to do the one over on black! Which issue of the Just Cross Stitch magazine was that from? I am a Prairie Schooler fanatic! I have a huge collection of their patterns but I envy the people who have the older out of print ones. Sad to see they are retiring.

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

Hi Carol! Thank you so much for featuring my printable and I sure hope you feel better soon. Happy Fall!

Faye said...

So good to hear from you Carole and seeing all your decorations is such a treat!!!! Glad you had a restful time in my great state of NC... I only wish the weather had cooperated a little more for all of you!!! Take care of those ailments my friend!!!

Ali said...

What a lovely catch up post I've really enjoyed reading it. Love the fall decorations that teeny went Autumn stitch is lovely! Hope your on the mend now. X

Jennifer M. said...

Ohhh send that autumn weather down here please. September has been WET in Florida. The rain just won't go away.

Love your Autumn decorations. Too pretty. Of course, your stitching is too perfect.

I really enjoyed your pictures of the Outer Banks. It looks really peaceful there. Enjoy your travels to see your mother. Glad to hear that hubby is back to doing the things he enjoys. Hopefully 2016 will be a better year with less surprises for you.

Beth said...

Enjoyed your PS stitching and your autumn decorating. Congrats on all your many Followers - it is a testament to the quality of your blog and your amazing stitching and finishing!

Sally said...

Your PS finish is beautiful Carol as is your new start.

Your Autumn displays are gorgeous.

Lovely photos from your trip.The sunrise and sunset photos are stunning.

Enjoy your visit to see your Mum.

Jenn M said...

There's no substitute for a Mum hug is there? You deserve one after the year you have had! Thankfully hubby is feeling (almost) back to normal. I would be worried about the bike thing too, but then a life lived in fear is no life at all is it? I'm sure you will be praying for him every time he leaves the house though..
Have a wonderful time with your Mum:)

Margaret said...

Can I just say I'm jealous that you can still go get your mom's hugs to make things better? I miss my mom every day, like I'm sure you miss your dad. Anyway! Glad you all had a fun time at the beach, despite the rough surf and all. I love the ocean -- I'm not a beach person, but the ocean is where I love to be. Love your stitching -- you're always getting me with the Prairie Schooler pieces. I should get back to stitching from my stash of their designs. I'm so so glad to hear your DH is back "in the saddle" again. I know it must be worrying for you, but I'm sure he's so happy. Thank God he has recovered so well! Sorry to hear of your various health woes. Not fun! Hope your youngest is adjusting well in Argentina. I bet the Spanish will get easier as time goes on -- I hope so anyway! Hope you make it down there too!

Jennifer said...

Lovely little finish for the month - hope you have a wonderful visit with your mom and heal well!

muriel chabanne said...

I love this tiny Prairie Schooler!
and your fall decor is so pretty, thank you for sharing it with us!
À bientôt!
Muriel (de France)

Julie said...

Cute finish, its so darling and what a nice WIP you are stitching on.
Lovely pics of your trip with the extended family.
Have a wonderful catch up visit with your mum.
Hope the foot heals quickly and you are soon good as new

Lillie said...

Beautiful finish on Autumn. WIP looking great too.
Sounds like you had a great time with your mum. Thanks for sharing the wonderful photos.
Love your cabinet.

Melody said...

Hi Carol. How nice to see a blog post from you. I am woefully behind in reading blogs. I just finally made a much delayed post last week, so am really kind of behind there too. Your Autumn piece is lovely, and finished beautifully. I am ready to begin Fall decorating here at home. Your start has inspired me. Hope your foot feels better soon, and have a good visit with your Mom.

Cindy's Stitching said...

How nice you husband is back on track Carol. Love the pictures from the beach. I missed reading blogs. I am starting to get back on my feet.

Shirlee said...

A lovely post my friend, as always : ) So glad your husband has recovered so well, but am sorry to hear of your oral surgery & foot. You are lucky that you can still get momma hugs. Wishing you a safe & happy visit.

priscilla said...

Hi Carol ..
So happy your husband is almost back to normal. Love your cute PS finish .. your corner cabinet looks fabulous ! Hope you had a nice visit with your mom!

Pam in IL said...

So glad to hear that your hubby is doing so well and that your son arrived safely. Continuing to pray for you and your family. I have that autumn PS design ready to be stitched, but I'm busy with stitching gifts so it will have to wait. Enjoy your visit with your mom!

Catherine said...

Hello dear friend! I am sorry I have been absent for so long, so glad I popped in though! You have had quite the year. I hope the year to come will be less eventful as far as the trying things, and more eventful filled with good. It's always a treat to see your displays and catch up...hugs!

Catherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheryl S. said...

Beautiful photos as always Carol. I especially like the sunrise and sunset pics and the lovely little Autumn design with perfect acorn fabric.

Friendship Crossing said...

Hi Carol,
Better late than never I suppose. I always enjoy your posts, it's like visiting w/a friend you haven't seen in awhile, lol.
Really cute finish on your little 'Autumn' piece! Love the way the rick rack 'frames' the piece.
Great pics of the ocean!
Glad your son is adjusting down 'south', ha! Wonderful that you get to go visit him soon!

happy fall!

Maggee said...

Well, where do I begin? First of all, aren't you glad you went to the Outer Banks earlier this year?? Holy smokes! I really love the PS Band Sampler you are stitching, and as always, your finishing is exquisite and inspiring! You are blessed to have your mom fairly close... Great fall decorating pictures there! Thanks for sharing! Hope you are feeling better, after the surgery and the accident to your foot! I am slightly behind in reading blogs... Thanks for sharing! Hugs!

Annette-California said...

LOVE your PS over one Autumn! I was hunting most of the day looking in my JCS issues and couldn't find it. Oh well!
So beautiful how you have decorated for Fall with all your pretty stitched projects. WOW lovely post. love Annette

butterfly said...

Love your Autumn post, such wonderful stitching again.
Love your Autumn display .
Sorry you had not been well after your dental work, I find the older you get it hurts more.

I just got back from our holiday so must catch up this week with everyone , Just had to come to your one first , big hugs .

Mary - Lecoeurceltique said...

Carol, it's good to read that your husband is so much better. What a shame that you have been having injuries/pain lately. Hopefully that will soon pass.
Some lovely stitching as always.

Alex Moore said...

Very good to hear from you Carole and seeing all your decorations is such a treat!!!! Glad you had a restful time in my great state of NC... I only wish the weather had cooperated a little more for all of you!!! Take care of those ailments my friend!!!

Silk Digitizing

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol,

I so enjoy reading your blog and seeing all your lovely finishes!

Do you know which issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine had the small Prairie Schooler Autumn pattern?

Thank you,