Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Blogging under the influence...

...of cold medicine! It's a snowy morning here in western Pennsylvania--actually our first real snowfall of the winter. So pretty outside, but, oh, how I wish I could just stay home today and stitch. Unfortunately, the real world of work and meetings and such calls and in spite of the fact that I have come down with a head cold that has swept through the entire library, I have to carry on as usual. Which, is why I took cold medicine last night (something I rarely give in to!) and I am feeling quite groggy and "out of it" this morning. Fortunately, I don't have to be at work until after noon today, so I have a few hours to "clear my head!" 

So, that is how my new year is starting out... How about yours? I've watched as many of you began the crazy challenges of starting new projects each day and just can't imagine how you keep track of everything. I am such a "one-project-at-a-time" stitcher which is why I also don't post as often as others. Sometimes, I just don't feel that I have much to share with you. Today, though, I am going to share some of the Christmas stitching I gave away to blogging friends... This post will contain the pieces I sent to my friends here in the United States and the lovely things I received from them. And next time, I will show you the pieces that were sent and received internationally. I am still waiting for one of them to arrive!

I stitched this Prairie Schooler ornament called "Christmas Eve Deer" for my friend Robin (no blog), in Virginia. I used 40 ct. Newcastle and DMC threads and changed many of the colors to those that were used in the earlier PS charts including DMC 221 and 520. The deer was changed to a much lighter color: 610--just didn't like him so dark in the recommended 3371. I also left off the border! Lots of changes, but I think the final ornament turned out so sweet!

Prairie Schooler "Christmas Eve Deer" finish

To my friend Myra, in North Carolina, went this miniature  Barbara Ana design that was featured in the November 2014 issue of "Cross Stitch & Needlework" magazine. It is stitched over one on 28 ct. black Monaco--I just love the tininess of it! And don't you love that chubby snowman just waiting to chuck a snowball at some passerby? The checked fabric that I used to finish it is from a kitchen towel that I picked up at a local craft store.  It is a nice weight and lends a cheery air to the finish, don't you think?

Barbara Ana design from CS&N November 2014 magazine

My friend, Cindy, in Tennessee, was the recipient of this darling snowman pair that I have stitched at least twice before. They just never fail to make me smile! The Val's Stuff design is from the 2010 Just Cross Stitch ornament issue and is called "Oh, Joy." As usual, I made some color changes and used DMC 221, 520, 844, 301, and B5200. This is also stitched "over one" on some mystery 28 ct. fabric and uses the same fabric from the kitchen towel as I used in the ornament shown above.

Val's Stuff "Oh, Joy!" finish

Cindy and I also share January as our birthday month and have exchanged gifts for years. This year, I sent her this cute Trilogy piece called "Happy Bunny Bunny Day" made into a little pillow. I have always loved this design and Cindy was very pleased with her gift. 

The Trilogy "Happy Bunny, Bunny Day" finish

I was delighted to receive packages from my U.S. friends in return! So many talented stitchers are out there--I am honored to be the recipient of your carefully stitched gifts!

From Robin, came not one, but two(!) darling Prairie Schooler ornaments along with some pretty pompom trims which will come in very handy with my next round of ornament finishing. Thank you so very much, Robin! Your beautifully stitched gifts made me smile :)

Christmas gifts from Robin

From Myra, came a box just jam-packed full of wonderful goodies including homemade pillowcases in the beautiful deer/cardinal winter themed fabric that you see below, a tiny cloth bell ornament, a wee zipper pouch that will be most handy when I travel or to clip on to my stitching bag (it is a perfect size for needles), some lotions, a jar of caramel pear butter, and a nice supply of candy canes. Thank you so much, my friend--I just love everything!

Christmas gifts from Myra

From Cindy, came this cheerful Lizzie Kate ornament, some snowflake fabric and two charts. I'm sure my youngest son would love it if I stitched that hockey playing PS Santa for him some day! Thank you, Cindy, you were so sweet to remember me after the difficult year you've had. Your gifts are beautiful!

Christmas gifts from Cindy

And another unexpected gift flew in from California! I lent Annette a chart a few months ago and to thank me she sent a beautiful needlebook (all done up in my favorite colors of blue and white!), two skeins of silk thread, and a charming hand-made Christmas card. What a wonderful surprise, Annette! You were so sweet to spoil me--your needlebook will come in very handy and is perfect for this time of year with its sparkly fabric. It mimics the sparkly snow that is falling outside as I write this! Thank you again for thinking of me...

Thank you gifts from Annette

I have to say, that it feels good to get the house back to "normal" after all of the Christmas festivities. It was hard to take the ornaments off my tree and put them to "bed" for the year. Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments about my Christmas tree in my last post. They meant so much to me! Here are all the little beauties nestled into their acid-free box just waiting to greet me next December...

Piles of Christmas ornaments just waiting for next year!

I still have more Christmas ornaments to share with you that were sent and received from my international friends, but that will have to wait until my next post. Right now, I have to run and shower and head off to work. My head is beginning to feel less groggy since I began writing this so at least I can drive safely now that the cold medicine has worn off. I have the rest of the week off after today so I'm sure I'll get well-rested and be back to my normal self the next time I post. But, there will be one big change--I will be a year older. Yep, I turn 61 on Saturday. Sigh... That sounds very old to me!

I do hope this will be a healthier year for my family. When my husband broke his neck last May, it clouded much of our year with worry and uncertainty. I actually think many of the health issues I faced were rooted in my anxiety over his recovery. But, 2016 is a new year and I am so hopeful for better days... I wish you the same!  Bye for now...

A snowy day here in Pennsylvania...


Mavi. said...

Carol, espero que los medicamentos hagan su efecto y te recuperes asi como que no te produzcan esa sensación de mareo.
Que caja más grande llena de bonitos cojines todos bordados.
Que maravilla como acabas los bordados y que buena la sustitución de algunos hilos por otro color.
Aquí hace frio, pero todavía no ha nevado lo suficiente en la montaña, está siendo un invierno bastante cálido.
Un gran beso.

Carol, I hope that drugs have its effect and you recover as well as you do not produce the feeling of dizziness.
What a big box full of beautiful embroidered cushions all.
You just wonder how good embroidery and replacing some other color threads.
Here it's cold, but it has not yet enough snow on the mountain, it is still a fairly warm winter.
A big kiss.

Kate said...

I enjoyed seeing all the lovelies that you were gifted with, Carol. Happy (early) Birthday to you ♪♫♪♫! 61 sounds young to me - I shall enter a new decade later, much later, this year and I can hardly believe it. Enjoy. k

Cole said...

Beautiful gifts, both sent and received!

I wish you a Happy, Happy Birthday Carol! May your day be filled with happy times, making more memories with the ones you love most :)

butterfly said...

Poor you , hope your cold gets better soon .
I see you have your first snow I would love to run up and down in the lovely snow and make a snowman.
Wow your ornaments are so beautiful that you made for your friends , and love all your gifts that were sent you by your lovely friends .
Happy Birthday dear friend enjoy your day , I have stopped counting mine , I feel younger than I am so thats what counts , I just get the odd day when I know yes it's my age ha.
Have a wonderful week , sending hugs & XXX for your Birthday.

Robin in Virginia said...

What a wonderful box filled with Christmas ornaments! I would have a hard time putting them away for another year. You stitched some lovely ornaments (thank you again for my PS Deer) and you also received some lovely ones. Thank you for sharing a picture of your snowy day with us. Hope you are feeling better by the time your birthday rolls around on Saturday. Thinking of you, Carol!

Lynda Harrison said...

Hello Carol - so good to see your lovely photos and read about what is happening with you.
Sorry to hear though, about your cold, and hoping it will be better before your birthday.
Just where has that last year gone so fast?!
Weather here has finally turned more winters - hope yours is better!
Take care of yourself - 'thinking of you!
With love,

Myra said...

Dear Carol, wishing you all the best in 2016. I just love my little ornament. It is such a treasure and I hated putting it away until next year.

Gillie said...

Oh poor you, I can't take that stuff, it makes me agitated. Lovely, lovely things sent and received. I remember that box when you showed me all your beautiful pieces. Happy New Year, dear friend!

Brigitte said...

Oh my, Carol, a head cold is not a funny thing to have, and having to go to work when having it is even worse. I know exactly what it feels like because when I was still working (I was a teacher) I just couldn't stay home when I had a cold. Sometimes it was possible but usually it wasn't. But from tomorrow on you can rest and I'm sure you will feel better very soon.

These little ornament gifts that you stitched for your US friends are all so darling. Each of them is so special and thoughtfully chosen. I often take the old red and green colors when stitching a PS design, I love them better than the ones they took in their later designs. So lovely to see that Barbara Ana design, so tiny and so beautifully stitched. Oh Joy and the little bunny look wonderful, too, and I love the finishing very much. This gingham fabric looks great with ornaments.

Wonderful what your friends made and sent you for Christmas. Everything so perfect for you. I love to see the picture with all the ornaments taken down and being together in their box until next Christmas.

Linda said...

Congrats on all of the gorgeous ornaments Carol. Lovely stitching and finishing as always. Love all of your gifts.


PS Happy Birthday

Annie said...

Beautiful gifts all around. Almost too much stitchy goodness to absorb! I'd never seen that Barbara Ana piece.. what a funny snowman.. I thought he was holding a cup of coffee at first glance.

No fair to have to start the year with a cold, but hopefully it'll pass quickly and you can continue with a very healthy, happy 2016! And 61 sounds like a baby to me!

Daniela Bencúrová said...

Carol, you have received many beautiful gifts from friends, congratulations!
You have a beautiful snowy landscape!

Unknown said...

Carol, I love all the stitched ornaments, both the ones you made and the ones you received. Happy Birthday, I turned 61 last October and I really don't know where the year between my 60th and 61st went to - I guess that is a sign of age when each year just speeds by so quickly. I hope 2016 is a healthier and less worrying year for you and your family and I hope you recover from your head cold very soon. xx

cucki said...

Wow you have received so many beautiful gifts.they all so pretty ..
Big hugs x

Maggee said...

It is too bad that you have to work while having a cold. But then you are off for a few days, and can recover! What a wonderful group of stitched ornaments you sent out! And the gifts you received were all very thoughtful! I also get a little sad when I take down the trees (yes, I have 2, the big one is color-themed: purple and gold, and the other small one has stitched ornies on it)... knowing it will be another year till I see them again. Sigh! You have had a bunch of snow already! We went below freezing last night... that's about as bad as it has been this winter. It's still early tho! Hugs!

priscilla said...

Such pretty ornaments Carol..love that little tiny Barbara Ana snowman!! So sorry you are sick and hope you start to feel better soon!

Vickie said...

Oh such pretty ornaments. I truly adore the one you sent Myra!
HaPpY BiRtHdAy!

Unknown said...

So many beautiful ornaments! It must be such a joy to hang them every Christmas! It would take me forever as I would be looking at all of them!

Ellen said...

Love all your beautiful ornaments! Such beautiful gifts from friends too!

Wishing you a Healthy and Beautiful Birthday! May all your dreams come true in 2016!


Cathy B said...

Lovely gifts both sent and received. Wishing you much health and happiness in the new year.

Blu said...

What gorgeous gifts both sent and received! I hope you have a wonderful 2016.

Mary Ann said...

Such lovely gifts sent and received! I hope you are feeling much better very soon, and that you have a very Happy Birthday!!

Cindy's Stitching said...

Carol, sorry to hear you have a cold. All of the ornaments make me smile, both sent and received. you received lot of Christmas goodies. Both of the
cross stitch treasures you sent are displayed in my bedroom/office. They always make me smile. The box of your ornaments packed up look so pretty. It's hard to put them away. I can only stitch one project at a time, more then one would Confuse me. Have a happy birthday. Wishing you a blessed year.

CathieJ said...

You gave and received so many beautifully stitched gifts. I love looking at all of the different finishing ideas.

Beth said...

You sent and received wonderful gifts. I do hope 2016 is a quiet and unevenful year!

Barb said...

I do hope you have a much healthier year. We are discovering things that did not get done last fall. My DH feels guilty then I remind him that he was busy taking such good care of me. You are in his position and being the caretaker isn't always easy. So many wonderful ornaments! I especially like the Barbara Ana design. I do like many of her designs. Hope that cold is gone soon!

Cindy said...

Very pretty ornaments and gifts given and received! I hope that you are feeling well soon! And have a wonderful birthday! I will be turning 61 in March. Yuck! Oh well, better than the alternative, as they say:)

marly said...

Oh I hope your cold leaves soon and it doesn't end up being the bug our friends have. Putting those ornaments away has to be difficult. Hope you have a wonderful birthday (without the snow!).

Lillie said...

What wonderful gifts received and those are lovely choice of designs you stitched into ornaments. That box of Christmas ornaments are a treasure.

Hope you are feeling better and thanks for sharing a photo of the snowy day, to me from a land of sun and rain, it's very pretty sight.

The Knitting Cross Stitcher said...

A lovely post to start 2016, with gorgeous stitched ornaments and gifts.
Wishing you a very Happy Birthday on Saturday Carol.

Justine said...

Happy birthday Carol! Hope your head cold gets better soon, and your year gets off to a better start.
All the ornaments both sent and received are gorgeous and so perfectly finished. What a talented bunch you and your friends are!

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
I hope your are feeling better.
All the ornaments for your friends are so wonderful.
Happy Birthday.
Greetings, Manuela

Marilyn said...

I hope you feel better soon, and that you have a better year this year.
What great gifts you received and sent.
Love that big box of ornaments!
Happy B-Day!

twinpeakprimitives said...

Carol, sincerely you are my idol in stitching and finishing such wonderful ornaments and pieces!!!!

All look so very lovely - no doubt, you made your friends thrilled!!!

I love winter scene from your window! Enjoy your winter wonderland!

Warm greetings from far far away!!!!

Christine said...

What wonderful ornaments, your finishing is exquisite. I hope you feel better soon

Lois said...

Such lovely gifts both sent and received Carol! I hope your cold passes soon. Seems like many of us have been hit with colds recently. Glad that you only had one day to work and could then rest and recuperate. Feel better soon and may 2016 being a wonderful year for you.

Jenn M said...

Oh what stitchy goodness to see first thing in the morning! Hope you feel better soon and that your days off can be filled with stitching. Oh and have a wonderful birthday!

Mii Stitch said...

Hello Carol!!
First of all, wishing you a speedy recovery with the head cold.
And an early HaPpY BdAy!!!! I am sure you will have a wonderful day.
As always, your finishes are simply perfect and creative.
You have also received beautiful makes from your talented friends.
Have a lovely day x

Unknown said...

Dear Carol , what for wonderful embroidery , I am so impressed by the charming , small cushion again One more beautiful than the other , a dream . Also all the gifts received are fantastic. What wonderful friends you have yet , I can only congratulate you . I wish you well soon and greet you cordially from the other end of the ocean
Your Sandra

Christina said...

Happy Birthday! I hope you have a wonderful day. Sorry that you are not feeling well. I had my cold right before Christmas. All of the gifts you made and received are beautiful.

Mary - Lecoeurceltique said...

What a beautiful set of ornaments you sent and received. I hope that your cold clears quickly and that you are feeling well for your birthday.

LoriU said...

Happy New Year Carol! I love the deer and snowman finishes!! What a great idea to use a kitchen towel fabric to make the pillow!

Wishing you a wonderful 2016!

PS...have you heard from Shirlee, the Easily Influenced Stitcher at all? She had not updated her blog in quite some time, and I was worried something happened to either her or John.

Melissa said...

What beautiful gifts given and received! I can't imagine stitching over 1 and on black linen - well done!

I hope you feel better soon. I had a dental hygiene appointment yesterday and my girl was sick! The bug was going through their office too so I got my cleaning from Mr Dentist himself! Never had that happen.

Hope you get to enjoy the snow too.

The Inspired Stitcher said...

Lovely ornaments from such talented generous friends. They are all just so nice. Happy early birthday, dear friend!

Anna said...

absolutely adorable ornaments...I would give my eye teeth to not only be able to be on your bestie list but to finish off my cross stitch so beautifully. It is the finish trimming and stuffing that stymie me...hope the cold has passed...I hate that groggy feeling of cold medicine!

Karen said...

Hope you feel better soon.

Beautiful assortment of ornaments both sent and received. Truly a lot of very talented stitchers.

Cathy H. said...

What beautiful gifts you sent and received! I'm wishing you a wonderful 2016! Hope your cold gets better quickly!

laceystitcher said...

I so enjoyed seeing all the pics of your lovely ornaments that you made as well as ones received from others; thank you for sharing all your goodies with us. I hope you have a great birthday!! I pray blessings to you and your husband for 2016 - may you both be healthy have great joy!

Pam in IL said...

Beautiful stitchy gifts received and sent! Winter has hit here as well. I hope your cold disappears quickly. Happy Birthday!

valerie said...

Happy New Year, Carol! I'm so sorry that you're sick. I hope you get to feeling better soon. Lovely gifts sent and received. Enjoy your quiet time (after today) to rest and stitch!

Angela said...

Lovely gifts that you sent and received :) Hope you are feeling better soon and have a lovely Birthday too.

Julie said...

{{get well hugs}} to your Carol, I hope you are feeling a little better today. There are so many nasty germs about. Take care and rest lots on your days off.

Such a wonderful collection you made and sent out, the red check is adorable on them. Nice and special gifts that arrived in your mailbox too.

Jennifer said...

Oh Carol, hope you kick the cold soon! I started the year with one too, and then followed that up with the flu! Love all your stitching gifts and hope 2016 brings you health and happiness - happy birthday to you too!

Preeti said...

Hi Carol, hope your cold is better now. Stay warm.
Your ornaments are beautiful and perfectly finished as always:) I loved seeing all the gifts you sent and got wonderful things from friends too. Enjoy!!
Happy Birthday in advance !!:)

Barb said...

Hi Carol - first of all I hope you are feeling better now. A few days of rest at home can make a big difference, can't it?

Your stitched gifts are so wonderful - but your work is always so amazing - charming and creative.

I love the picture of the box filled with all those beautiful hand-stitched ornaments. I think it would be so difficult to put them away for the year. I would probably get the box out again sometime during the summer just to look at them LOL!

Take care, Carol, and best wishes for a very Happy Birthday!

xo - Barb

Hilda said...

My dear friend,
these - again -are so beautiful ornament you have stitched. I really love each one. You are the ornament stitcher (& finisher) number one in the whole world for me.
But also the gifts you received are darling. You will need a much bigger tree one day, haha!

I really really hope, that 2016 will be a wonderful and healthy your for you and your family!


Lumiruusu said...

I am with Hilda You are numer one in finisshing and stitching ornaments ! I wish You better health soon! The Bunny is so sweet ! With Blessings,maija

Andrea said...

Sorry to hear you have a cold. I hope your days off have helped you recover for your birthday! Happy Birthday to you!!
As always your finishes are fantastic. The gifts you received are just as special too.
I know the feeling of putting away the ornaments. If you are anything like me I always place them so carefully in the box as if they were made of porcelain. :) Never mind something to look forward to later in the year.
Have a great day on Saturday.

Southpaw Stitcher said...

What beautiful gifts, both given and received! Hope you fell lots better soon.

Marie said...

So many beautiful ornaments sent and received! I love setting the tree up with all of my treasured needlework ornaments but find it a bit sad packing them away for such a long time.

Hope that you are feeling better soon and that your birthday on Saturday is filled with fun and surprises. Happy Birthday!!!

Unknown said...

Beautiful stitched gifts.

I hope you start to feel better soon and all the best for both of you this year.

Elizabeth Ann said...

Your pieces are so beautiful, I think I need to get on that list somehow, someway, and my dear friend have a absolutely wonderful birthday!

Penny said...

Sorry to hear you aren't feeling well - hopefully you will be feeling better for your big day. Hope you have a very happy birthday, Carol!

Certainly some very, very lucky people to receive such beautifully stitched gifts from you! And it looks like you have been on the receiving end of some wonderful gifts, too!

I'm praying that 2016 is a healthy year for you and your family and one that is full of peace and free from anxiety!

Margaret said...

Love both the ornaments sent and the ones received. I do hope you and your family have a much healthier year this year! Hope that cold goes away fast. It seems everyone is getting sick right now.

Mary said...

Hi Carol,
Oh such beautiful gifts, both sent and received. Each one a special reminder of friendship.

I agree that it's nice to get the house in order after the holidays but I do miss the festive decor.

As you put your little keepsakes away could you help but wonder how many new "friends" will be joining them next year? What a marvelous collection.

Happy Birthday my dear friend. I do hope by now you are feeling much better to enjoy your big day! (NO.....61 is NOT old)

I send many hugs and best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful and blessed year ahead.

Kaisievic said...

Carol, you always finish your ornies so beautifully and these are no exception. Gorgeous stitching both given and received. I hope that you are over your cold by now. hugs, Kaye xxx

Christina said...

Another great post, Carol. It still amazes me that you have the patience to stitch over one. But it's so worth it, I love your ornaments. You must so enjoy putting the ornaments on your tree each year. Each of them a little memory for you.
I hope you had a lovely birthday yesterday. 61 is not old and you certainly don't look like you are in your 60s! I have a 'special' birthday coming up this year. I have mixed emotions about it. I know it's just a number, but I don't 'feel' like a woman who is about to enter her 40th year! Lol. On the other hand, I have a wonderful home, amazing husband and 3 beautiful children. How can I not be grateful?!

Lynn said...

Hi Carol,

Happy belated birthday, I hope you had a good one! As always I love all of your beautiful ornaments, they are all so pretty.
I hope you have a better year than last year and all your family are healthy and happy.


Anonymous said...

Happy belated Birthday. Hope you had a day filled with laughter. Your post is wonderful. I love to see all the ornaments you make. And it was fun to see your ornament gifts as well. I so look forward to seeing your posts. Your finishes are lovely and inspiring. I love the way you take parts of patterns or make them tiny by doing "over one." That one done on the black aida is amazing. I have resorted to doing some things over one as well to make them smaller. I wish you blessings for a fun-filled and happy new year. I send prayers your way for a healthy year as well. Your is always so newsy and fun to read and I LOVE all your gorgeous work!

Irene said...

che bello questo post Carol! Tantissimi regali così belli!

Anne said...

Happiest of birthdays to you dearest Carol! I am sitting here with Nathanael thinking of you and hoping all is well. I should email you soon! Your ornaments are so beautiful and inspires me to keep stitching, since I've lost my mojo to do so lately. The gifts you received are so lovely! I know this year will be better for you...I feel it! Much love, Anne

Meari said...

Oh! I see you're combating a cold also. I held off on taking cold meds and gave in, too. I've also been drinking immune booster.

I usually have a few projects going, but like you, I couldn't do the CJC -- it would drive me crazy having so many unfinished projects.

Your ornaments, both sent and received, are beautiful!

Stay warm, and get well soon.

passionfruitprincess said...

Hello, Carol!

Beautiful ornaments you sent and received. I am catching up on reading blogs. It has been a while. Hope you are feeling better from your cold. There was a nasty one going around here. Have a good week!

Ana Paula.

Sally said...

Oh wow Carol lots of lovely stitching and gifts.

I couldn't do the crazy challenge and I admire anyone who can. I'm not a one at a time girl but I certainly couldn't have that many new starts!

I do hope you are feeling better soon.

Please send some snow my way. Some parts of the country have had it but we haven't. I was so disappointed! The colder temps and frosty days have been lovely though. We're going to be back to rain by the weekend. Yuck!

♥ Nia said...

Ohhh I'm late... =( Sorry sweetie!! Happy birthday to you =)
Hope you had a lovely day with your family, hopefully all your boys together :D
Beautiful stitching, as always a delight to my eyes :D Love your "Oh, Joy!"!! So pretty, so happy! :D
Lovely gifts received too :) Lucky you!

Melanie said...

Hi, Carol: I LOVE your blog!!! I've been reading and enjoying it for a long time. I'm wondering....what thread did you use for the alphabet on Happy Bunny Bunny Day? Thank you very much!