Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Are you shocked? A blog post from me both last week and this week? That may be a new record! I knew I wouldn't have time to post again until after Thanksgiving so I wanted to share my latest finishes with you today. I also want to thank you all for your sweet comments on my last post. I know what a truly busy time of year this is, so it's especially nice to read your kind comments.

I so enjoyed stitching "Be Ye Thankful!" It is an older Cricket Collection chart from 1997, but I think the design has stood the test of time very well.  The autumn colored leaves and tiny motifs scattered across the giant black letters lend a playful look, don't you think? Can you spot the acorn, the eggplant, the basket, the apple, and the ear of corn? The brick house is so pretty, too, with the wee leaves falling softly all around it.

"Be Ye Thankful"

I had to make a few color changes to accommodate my fabric (40 ct. Burch Newcastle), but most of the suggested colors were used--a mix of DMC and overdyeds. I'm picturing this in a black frame; what do you think?

And this next fall finish is on its way to a special friend for her birthday. Yes, you've seen this one before! I stitched it way back in November 2012 (you can see it in this post). This is a freebie from Beth Twist at My Heartstring blog which you can find right here. I loved my first finish of this so much that I ended up using the same thread colors and stitched it "over one" on 28 ct. black Monaco. If you're interested, the colors I used are Sampler Threads: Cidermill Brown, Wheat Fields, Nutmeg; Weeks Dye Works: Cocoa; Needle Necessities: 142; and Classic Colorworks: Used Brick. The leafy print in the background is what I used on the back of the little 2" X 4.75" pillow.  How do you feel about stitching the same design twice? I can only stitch things twice if enough time has passed between stitchings. Anyway, I hope the birthday girl is pleased with her (rather late!) gift!  

Another Prairie Schooler Santa has been added to my collection! This is the 1998 annual Santa featuring the jolly fellow carrying an ark with two pretty white doves nesting in his backpack. If you are familiar with this pattern, you'll notice that I did change one thing: I left out a giraffe that was hanging under the tree. To me--it looked like the poor thing had a broken neck! And since the animals on the ark arrived in pairs, I thought the pair of rabbits was perfect. This one is stitched on 25 ct. mushroom lugana with most of the suggested DMC threads. I did change the ecru to white, the green to DMC 520 and the colors of the ark and reindeer to 612 so they would show up better. I'm so going to miss these annual Santas now that Prairie Schooler is going out of business, but, thankfully, I have many in my stash to keep me happy for quite a while!

Why do you stitch?  As  most of you know, I'm a librarian in a very busy suburban public library. One of my duties as a reference librarian (in addition to finding the answers to all sorts of crazy and interesting questions--and some not so interesting ones such as "What day of the week is it?"), is selecting books to add to the collection. My fellow librarians and I have various subject categories to read reviews on and decide whether or not to purchase the books. I'm lucky enough to choose books in the  Dewey Decimal 740s section which includes the home decorating books, drawing, antiques, crafts, and needlework. Because I get to see each and every book as it is added to the collection, I run across some beautiful and inspiring titles. Even though I don't knit or quilt, I often spend time perusing the newly acquired books and sighing "some day!"

Anyway, last week when I was reading reviews on new needlework books, I came across one titled "Knitting Pearls: Writers Writing about Knitting" by Ann Hood. This book contains two dozen stories from writers about how knitting has changed and added to their lives. Now, I think the same thing can be said for cross stitching, don't you? Many of us stitch because it truly is our "therapy." By its very nature, making all those little x's in our fabrics causes us to simply sit, breath, and relax.

One quote in the knitting book, though, truly touched me because of the horrific events in France last week. And even though it is about knitting, the same can certainly be said for cross stitching: 

“With its calm, methodical progress, 
it’s a promise, 
in the midst of war and chaos and loss, 
that, somewhere, an orderly world still exists."
                                       --Stewart O'Nan

As the world seems to have gone completely mad lately with new reports of terrorism and tragedy on a daily basis, I find my stitching to be a source of refuge more than ever, don't you? 

I'll leave you with the following which I can only think of as a photograph of hope. My youngest son has met so many wonderful young people in his study abroad semester in Argentina this fall; not only from South America, but from all over the world. This was taken when he and five of his classmates traveled to the Mendoza region for a weekend of horse-back riding, wine-tasting, and sledding with the breathtaking Andes Mountains as their backdrop. In the photo you see three nationalities represented: The United States, Germany, and Hungary. Each of these young people is hoping that their studies in International Relations and related fields will, somehow, make a difference in the future of the world. Of all the photos my son (who is in the orange jacket) has sent me, this is the one that I love the most... I wonder what each of them was thinking as they gazed out, arms entwined, at this breathtaking view of the Andes?


I want to wish each of my fellow United States stitchers all the blessings of this season as Thanksgiving approaches. I hope your time spent with family and friends is filled with love and laughter--and lots of good eating. Safe travels and I hope you know how truly thankful I am for my blogging friends--you are the best! Bye for now...


Vickie said...

I most certainly was surprised to see this post! Yay!
I love Be Ye Thankful. It is so very classic.
What a fantastic picture your son sent you. I agree. It just really speaks of hope.
That quote up there by Stewart O'Nan is perfect.
Happy Thanksgiving dear Carol.

The Inspired Stitcher said...

I definitely think a black frame would be perfect for that one. You are so right, it is truly a classic that has stood the test of time. I hope you and yours have a very happy Thanksgiving. With lots of love and hugs!

Monica said...

I did Be Ye Thankful and hang it every year at Thanksgiving. One of my favorite Thanksgiving patterns. Nicely done. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Myra said...

Enjoy your Thansgiving my friend. You and your posts are also an inspiration to us all.

Chrissie B said...

Hi Carol, Blessings to you and your family as well this Thanksgiving. Your blog is the best I've ever read. I look so forward to every month to find a new one and to find 2 this month I was thrilled!! I don't think I have ever seen any of your stitching and finishing that I haven't liked.
That thought of a book such as "Cross Stitching for the Soul" would be awesome. It is definitely my therapy each and almost everyday.
Blessings to you as always and can't wait to read your next blog.....Chris

Lee said...

This is such a lovely, lovely post! Happy Thanksgiving, my friend.

Beth said...

What a wonderfully thoughtful post Carol. Stitching is a hopeful exercise I think...creating something to share. Very pretty seasonal stitches. You have such an eye for color combinations.

Pam in Virginia said...

Wishing you and your family, Carol, a Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for YOU and the lovely posts we all enjoy in your blog. I've been stitching for almost 40 years. I'm retired now, so I have plenty of time to stitch and quilt. But even when I was working, and grading papers most evenings, I still had to find a few minutes to stitch before going to bed. The day just didn't seem complete unless I had threaded my needle and stitched at least one small area. I'm sure many of us have gotten knots in our thread, or miscounted and had to frog our mistakes, but I never considered giving up stitching no matter what huge or frustrating or careless mistake I had made. Stitching has always been for me a quiet calm...and that's what I see in your son's photo.

Robin in Virginia said...

Blessings to you and yours during this season of gratitude. I always enjoy seeing what you have stitched. I think a black frame will be just the thing for 'Be Ye Thankful'. I don't mind stitching ornaments more than once. Thank you for sharing the picture sent to you by your son.

Mini said...

All your stitching is beautiful. The picture your son sent is a symbol of love and hope over hatred.
I cross stitch because its my fav form of craft.Lately I have discovered that it keeps my calm as i have a tendency to over-think and of course I have met wonderful people who share the same passion for cross stitch as me.

Stitching Noni said...

Gorgeous finishes :o)
I find it hard to understand people who don't craft.... I know that they certainly don't understand why we do!! I very rarely tell people that I stitch as I so often see their eyes glaze over.... it is a conversation that always comes after I have known them for some time... I love stitching and I would never stop doing it - there are times when I take a break for some reason but I always go back to it! Stitching is my stress relief! :o)
What a lovely photo of your son and his friends! It would be wonderful if everyone got on with everyone else like those in the photo...
Take care and Happy Thanksgiving for next week
Hugs xx

ES said...

I just LOVE your blog!! I truly do! Your tone is calm, your words always seem thoughtful, your stitching is always gorgeous! And I just live your christmas stitches!! The photo of your son is a beauty! Love from a hot and humid Sydney, Australia x

Barb said...

Be Ye Thankful is such a delight! A black frame would be perfect!Both the quote and the picture were wonderful. Your son is having some experiences of a lifetime. Do you remember when I won a Thanksgiving ornament from you? Laurie was over today and noticed it hanging in a special place. She said,"Mom this is beautiful stitching!" I told her that I had won it from you. A very happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

ES said...


Brigitte said...

Such a lovely surprise to see another post from you in such a short time. Three new wonderfully stitched pieces, all three beautiful designs. I love these older Cricket Collection pieces a lot, and yours has a special appeal to me. I rarely stitch a design twice, only if a friend or family mamber is very fond of it and I can't let go of mine :)

I love Stewart O'Nan's thoughts and you are right, this can also be said about stitching. Stitching and knitting (and other crafts) create something new, something beautiful, so it's just the opposite of what happens in the world these days.

A great picture that your son sent you.

Brigitte said...

... and Happy Thanksgiving to you an your family.

Irene said...

Carol, i tuoi ricami sono meravigliosi! Sai che anch'io sono bibliotecaria? :)

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
wonderful seasonal stitches. Your choice of colours are wonderful.
I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.
Greetings, Manuela

The Queen Bee said...

Beautiful finishes and safe travels.


Justine said...

Happy Thanksgiving! What a lovely post. The photo of your son and his friends is gorgeous - he is really having the experience of a lifetime!
Stitching keeps me calm and gives me a sense of achievement and hope. I know it does for many others too. I can't imagine my life without it!
All your finishes are lovely and I agree, a simple black frame would be perfect for Be Thankful.

Jenn M said...

What lovely finishes again! I bookmarked the freebie to stitch for next year.
I think I stitch to slow myself down - you definitely cannot rush cross stitch! It also reaffirms to me that time spent working at something yields good things. Oh, and it's a lesson in patience which I always need!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with you loved ones: even amongst these often sad times there is so much to be grateful for.
Happy Days,

Misty said...

Each stitched project is so lovely! I had not seen that Cricket Coolection pattern before. I will have to look that up.

Kate said...

Carol, your posts are always such a treat! As usual the pieces you shared with us are beautiful. You've reminded us that in spite of what's going on in the world we do have lots to be thankful for. x

Mii Stitch said...

Beautiful stitching & finishing, as always!
Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours!

Cathy H. said...

I don't stitch a lot any more. My new passion is nature photography, but every time I visit here I want to pull out my needle and floss. I am stitching right now. Every year I make Christmas ornaments for my daughter and son's family tree and one for each of my five grandchildren. This year the grands are getting the cutest little puppy dog ornaments and my son and daughter are getting small sleighs that have a stitched pieced attached to the top. Thank you so much for keeping me inspired. I think my goal next year will be to stitch more. It certainly relaxes me! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Vicki said...

Your finishes are terrific! The photo of your son was awesome. Your caption of 'hope' was perfect. Happy Thanksgiving!

Annie said...

Looks like you've found time for some lovely stitching. I do find stitching to be mentally therapeutic, but lately my eyes seem to tire so easily after a long day of being in front of the screen that I can't stitch for very long.

That's a wonderful photo of your son and his new found buds. Reminds me of the old Coke commercial with the lyrics:

I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I'd like to buy the world a Coke
And keep it company

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Lynda Harrison said...

Hello Carol -it was a surprise to see your new post so soon - but lovely, and very welcome!
I love the Be Ye Thankful design, which I think is so beautiful, and a black frame would look superb, and bring the letters and colours to life.
The photo from your son is awe-inspiring, it does show us that there is always hope in even the darkest of days.
Your job with all the new books to peruse is to br revised! And your stitching, as always is wonderful.
Wishing you a truly happy Thanksgiving, wherever you may be.
Take care, my friend.

Lumiruusu said...

Happy Thanksgiving ! I love every single one of your stitchings and still very honoured that you visit my little blog. Thank You for Your prayers for my friend .She is now home and is recovering -we consider that kind of miracle because this was really the second time in her life she suffered these very seroius conditions, Thank You from bottom of my heart!

Preeti said...

Be Thankful is so pretty, love the leaves around the alphabets :)
Lovely finishes!!Your son's photo with his friends is awesome. Like knitting there is a book on crochet as well titled, 'crochet saved my life'.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Unknown said...

A fantastic quote , so I have to start . It's perfect and I am very touched . Today it is again so beautiful with you, I love your way to tell even if my English is far from perfect , however, is to understand enough ... Your Art to see the world speaking out of my soul . Even your work again today fabulously beautiful. Thank you for this post brought me smile .
From the heart of Sandra

butterfly said...

Thank you Carol for such a lovely post , I needed this after a week of of negative news and a week of dull weather and rain.
Your post has lifted my sprit thank you.
Love the colours of the 2nd stitch you have a good eye for colour.
Love all your stitching again such great designs.
What a great photo with all these young friends .

The Knitting Cross Stitcher said...

An extra post is always welcome Carol:)
I love Be Thankful,so pretty with gorgeous colours.Your other stitching is also beautifully finished.
The Photo of your son and his friends is very special.

Joy said...

Well, I know lately "adult coloring books" are a thing because people say it helps them to unwind and relax. Stitchers already knew this secret because we paint with string.

Julie said...

Wonderful stitching Carol, your gift is delightful.
Wishing you and your family a lovely thanksgiving

BARBARA said...

Carol, I would like to wish you and your family a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.....there is so much to be grateful for in our beautiful United states. The fact that you stitch on 40 ct so frequently means that God has blessed you with wonderful sight. Everything you do is beautiful and your blogs posts are always most welcome :)

Southpaw Stitcher said...

Love your wonderful seasonal finishes, and the inspirational photo of your son and his friends. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

priscilla said...

Love that photo of your sons Carol! Your Thanksgiving pieces are beautiful! ..and of course the Santa is amazing! Happy Thanksgiving!

Penny said...

Very pleasantly surprised to see another post from you! Your stitched pieces are just beautiful, Carol! Sounds like a good idea to leave the giraffe out of the design. :) And I have definitely found my stitching to be a refuge not only from this scary, crazy world, but from negative things in my personal life. Thank you for sharing that beautiful quote! And what a wonderful picture of your son and his friends! Happy thanksgiving to you and your family.

Friendship Crossing said...

Hello Carol,
You always seem to know how to convey just the right thoughts and words and somehow manage to do it through your stitching as well. I agree that it is therapy and soothing to my soul, I just never seem to have enough time to stitch as much as I used to, but sure enjoy seeing yours!

Wonderful pic of your son/friends/mountain tops!!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family,

marly said...

Amazing view. I'm hoping to see photos from your trip. And I'm still wondering how you did over one on BLACK!!! That's a very nice Schooler too. I honestly do not have an answer to why I stitch. Maybe that's why I'm tiring of it. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Jennifer said...

Love Be Ye Thankful - have a wonderful and safe trip!

Sherri said...

Loved seeing your post today! A black frame would be perfect for Be Ye Thankful, which looks lovely BTW. Fall is another favorite, behind Christmas, for cross stitch designs. I love this time of year and thankful for the beauty that it brings especially when we see all the madness going on everywhere. Scary. My co-worker told me that she bought an adult coloring book which helps relieve stress for her. I thought about that and told her that I find that in cross stitching. I guess that's one of the many reasons I so enjoy it. Your pieces look great and I'm sure your friend will so appreciate the piece you stitched for her. Very special. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Shelly said...

Your finish is so pretty. You sure have an eye for color. Hard question to answer, 'Why do I Stitch?' For me, making those little X's is calming and allows me to think calmly of things. I'm just crafty anyway! I got it from my grandmother, I think, who quilted. I have two of her quilts which are both around 50 years old. No one else in my extended family which includes 30 some cousins, craft. I'm special! Lol.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you for all the lovely bits of inspiration. Hope you too will have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Marilyn said...

Thankful would look great in a black frame.
Your B-Day gift turned out so pretty on the black fabric too.
I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.
Take Care.

Marilyn said...

Can't wait to see your Christmas tree and all of your woinderful ornaments. :)

Melissa said...

I was surprised to see this post too, Carol, but I am glad you did it. The photo of your son and his friends is just a great one and will be a good souvenir of his trip!

I love what you have stitched. I especially like "Be Ye Thankful". The design is so simple but also elegant in its simplicity.

Yes I think those of us who are lucky to have found our "hobby" has a refuge from the madness out in the world.

Have a great trip and a wonderful Thanksgiving too! Hugs.

diamondc said...

Happy Thanksgiving Carol and Family: This is a beautiful post, be Thankful and Give Thanks are lovely.
I am sad Prairie Schooler is not going to design anymore, but I suppose they want to pursue other avenues in life.
It sound like your Son is having a wonderful time and doing it during studies, good for him.
Your vintage card is adorable.


Elizabeth Ann said...

Happy early Thanksgiving! Love your pieces, especially the Santa, inspires me to get going and finishing mine for this year! Have a wonderful trip, hurry home to us, we will miss you a lot!

twinpeakprimitives said...

Dear Carol, Happy Thanksgiving to you and to your beloved family!

Your stitching is giving me a pure pleasure! I am getting more inspired in each visit I pay! My admiration ♥♥♥♥

With my warm regards,

Sally said...

Wonderful stitching as always Carol. I always enjoy seeing how you finish them too.

Stitching is definitely my therapy. I think I'd go mad without it! It helps me relax and it takes my mind off things.

I love the photo of your son and his classmates.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Margaret said...

That picture your son sent you is marvelous. What a sign of hope that is. Let us hope the world becomes a calmer, more peaceful place soon. I love Ann Hood. I've read one of her books and I know a new one is out. How lucky of you that you get to choose that cateogry of book for the library!! Can't wait to read it! Beautiful stitching too! Happy Thanksgiving!

laceystitcher said...

Love your beautiful stitching - your friend will love her gift! Thanks for sharing all the photos, and have a blessed Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for!

Catherine said...

So glad I caught this post ~ I always love your beautiful stitching finishes! What an awesome photo from your son's travels ~ what an amazing experience!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a hopeful post, Carol!!

C Reeder PhxAz said...

This piece is one I so want to have done and in a black frame too! It's in my gonna do some day list and this made me think about it all over again. Beautiful finish. Stitching means a lot to me. It's used in recovery and grief situations more than people realize. Hope your trip is wonderful.

Michelle said...

What a lovely post thank you Carol xx

Amy said...

I have recently found your blog and am really enjoying it. I started cross-stitching about 20 years ago, and then took a very long break after my son was born. He's a teenager now, and I found that I have time to sit down and stitch again. I also discovered how fun it is to stitch little projects - for some reason I only worked on big projects before.

I found your blog via Pinterest. Thank you for posting links to so many cute freebies, and for introducing me to some great designers. I'm also in awe of your finishes. I can't sew at all and don't have a sewing machine, and am not particularly clever in terms of coming up with fabric/ribbon/etc combinations; but I'm going to at least give some flat finishes a try, to make a couple of Christmas ornaments. I will probably use some of your ornaments as inspiration. :)

Maggee said...

Where to begin? I also stitched Be Ye Thankful many many years ago. First I finished it as a wall hanging, but it looked awful, so I redid it as a cube-standup type piece (obviously not a cube, but finished as a cube is). It is on my mantle as I type. As always, your small projects are expertly done and finished! I DO find my stitching to be a source of comfort and refuge also. This morning, for some reason, my browser would NOT let me open my blog reader!! I was fit to be tied, because I would have 'lost' all my favorite blogs! Glad that my son was able to figure it out! Reading about stitching is ALSO a source of comfort! Till later, Hugs to you!

Melody said...

Hi Carol. I'm happy to read you get to do a "fun" section of your book selection. I select everything adult and juvenile. I have to say it's
one of my most pleasurable duties... I too, am sad to see the end of the annual PS Santa. However, I have many of them in my stash that aren't stitched yet...

Hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving.

Mary Ann said...

Beautiful finishes--as always! : )

I hope you and your family have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Barb said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

xo - Barb R.

Lillie said...

Gorgeous stitching and adorable details, a thoughtful gift for a friend. I am a little late to wish you Happy Thanksgiving but hope you had a happy day with your loved ones.

Amazing photo of your son and his friends on their trip.
Thank you for visiting my blog and I want your to know I sincerely appreciate your comments.

Andrea said...

Be Ye Thankful is so pretty and very striking. I think a black frame would be the perfect choice. Of course the PS Santa is a great piece, I'm looking forward to seeing him finished. The photo of your son and friends is wonderful too.
I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and that you are enjoying every single moment of your trip.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Carol, for the link to the Thanksgiving freebie. I love what you have done with it! As always everything you do is beautiful. I pray you have a safe and fun-filled trip and look forward to your posts when you return! Have a blessed Christmas season!

Cindy said...

Love the picture of your son in the Andes! My oldest son went to Puru a few years ago as a tourist and loved it, but got altitude sickness:( Anyway, I love Be Ye Thankful - so light and airy, and fallish! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and have a great week to come!

phylis said...

I love your Be Ye Thankful. I have had that pattern for years and have always loved it. You make me want to dig it out and stitch it. Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving.

Vonna Pfeiffer said...

Carol, as always your stitching is gorgeous...and I sure do love that Be Ye Thankful finish...but your heart and words shine through each and every time for me. Hope, that photo of your son and his classmates describes it perfectly.
Thank you for sharing!

Unknown said...

I am very happy to your fantastic service about Thanksgiving Thoughts , so awesome all tips about Thanksgiving Thoughts . Some days ago I have gotten and this related site and here has many only support. If you need also more information please see below link.

♥ Nia said...

How about a blog post from me in a full year... Are you shocked? I am!! :D LOL!!!! ;)
Happy to be here reading your blog :D Always one of my favorite places on the blogosphere!!
Always delighting my eyes with your beautiful stitching..

Loved your post! Very special, very true.
Happy December to you my sweet friend