Thursday, September 29, 2016

And the days grow shorter...

Well, September is nearly over--can you believe it? I hope you've each had a good month? Before I show you what I've been working on since my last post, I want to thank you for your great comments and emails regarding my oldest son's move to the opposite side of the country. I really could feel the love--and it made his departure a bit easier to deal with. Let's just say I'm doing "okay"--I have my tearful moments, but am trying my best to look ahead to our already booked San Diego trip to visit him in November.   Sunday night is the hardest time for me as that is when he and my middle son always used to come over for a special Sunday dinner each week. But, life goes on and is always changing, isn't it?

On to stitching news... I managed to finish that little Prairie Schooler snowman that I showed you in my last post. This is my eighth snowman ornament for 2016 (yes, I need to get the ninth stitched and finished for September as soon as possible). For this finish I used some green gingham (actually I cut up a kitchen towel because I liked the weight of it better than the gingham fabric I can find in stores), some putty colored mini pompom trim, a sprig of greenery, and some jingle bells to match the red in his scarf and earmuffs. 

Prairie Schooler Santa finish for August

Here is another photo where you can see the greenery a bit better...I simply glued the greenery and the red bells to the jute hanging ribbon. The back of the ornament is covered with red felt. I think his big grin tells me he's quite happy with the finish, too!

Such a smiley guy :)
I also stitched a fall piece that I've stitched before (way back in 2012 which you can see here) as a birthday gift for one of my earliest blogging friends, Myra. (She isn't blogging any longer, like so many, but that doesn't mean I don't still think of her! I'm so happy to have discovered many old blogging buddies on Instagram and reconnect with them, though...) Anyway, this Homespun Elegance design was stitched "over one" on 28 ct. Monaco (a hand dyed fabric by Sassy's Fabbys called "Hay Fields").

Homespun Elegance's "Joyful Autumn"

I auditioned various fabrics for the final finish and this medley of tan, brown, and black was the ultimate winner. I was surprised at how much I liked this as it isn't a "typical" fall fabric, but for some reason, it worked! I simply added some black ric rac, gold handmade cording, and a pair of buttons to finish it off. I was really pleased with the final look and who could resist that tiny black squirrel posing with a little acorn in his paw?

"Joyful Autumn" all finished up

My overdyed thread for the Birds Of a Feather Sampler that I shared with you last time arrived and I've made some progress--not a lot, but at least the green leaves and trunk are done on the large tree and I can move on to the house on the hill... I would love to get this done by the end of the year, but I'm going to have to begin Christmas stitching soon, so it may have to wait!

"Birds Of a Feather" progress

I was surprised to receive not one, but two RAKs in the mail recently. First--all the way from jolly old England and my friend, June, came a lovely stitched sachet filled with lavender, fragrant soap, and cards. June grew the lavender in her own garden (which has to be one of the prettiest around!) so that makes it even more special. Thank you for thinking of me, my sweet friend...

Random Act of Kindness from June

And from my friend, Lisa, in Ohio came two bunny charts. Lisa was de-stashing (something I should be doing, too!) and came across these two cute charts that reminded her of me. She knows how much I love rabbits! So, off the bunnies hopped across the border into Pennsylvania and to a new home with me. Thank you so much, Lisa--they are adorable!

Random Act of Kindness from Lisa P.

On one of our last Sunday dinners together before my son moved to San Diego, I made one of our favorite cakes: Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake!  This has a chocolate cake mix, chocolate pudding, and chocolate chips in it--I mean, really, who can resist something made with three chocolates? It is so moist and tasty and super easy to make--I'd be happy to share the recipe if any of you would like it (just make sure to include your email so I can send it to you). 

Triple Chocolate Cake, Orange Cosmos, and some fall stitching--three of my favorite things!
I have to admit, I'm a bit sad to say "farewell" to this month. I honestly don't remember a September as warm and sunny as this one...  The shorter days of late fall and winter are something I dread--especially when it begins to be dark when I leave work at 6:00 PM. But, I do get more stitching time in as the months grow colder which is good. I hope October is good to each of you--thanks, as always, for taking the time to say "hello" and reading my little blog--I do appreciate each of you! Bye for now...


Jenny said...

Hi Carol,

Yes the days are getting shorter but here in California the weather is still hot...maybe next week we will have cooler temps...can't wait for Fall weather...grins!

Your stitching and finishing look just beautiful as always! I agree with you...the grin on the snowman lets us know he is happy too! I don't think I have ever seen a happier snowman! You are making good progress on your Birds of a Feather as well! I have always been drawn to those blue birds...they just make me smile .)

How exciting to receive such lovely surprises in the mail! Enjoy them my friend! Ok and now I am hungry for chocolate cake....will be checking cupboards to take stock after I finish this!

Have a great weekend! Sending hugs your way!

Karleen said...

Love reading your blog and seeing the items that you make and finish. Here in central oregon we really have been feeling the fall weather. I would love to have the recipe for the chocolate cake. Thanks.

Amy said...

I love your snowman, and love that you upcycled a kitchen towel to finish him! :D

Joyful Autumn turned out beautifully too. The muted colors are perfect and for me, anyway, capture the restfulness of autumn wonderfully.

Your sampler is coming along nicely, and what great RAKs you received! People are so thoughtful!

I definitely want the triple chocolate cake recipe!!! Oh my. Yes. :))

Kate said...

Delightful post as usual Carol. I love how you finished your two pieces. Enjoy October and may it continue to be sunny and warm for you. Still warm here although very windy.

marly said...

What a great idea to use the red bells for the snowman. Perfect presentation! I can't believe September is over either. I've spent it (wasted it!) on small items to sell. Never do that again. Sunny days are too short in PA to let them pass by. Nice gifts!

Linda said...

Congrats on more adorable finishes Carol. That cake looks yummy.


Arlene Grimm said...

Carol, you do lovely work! I have two finishes I hope to complete this weekend. One is going to a friend and the other one I get to keep!! My son lived in China for four years so I understand your feelings about your young man moving so far away. Charles got to come home every June so at least I could see him then. He was teaching ESL In China. But he found a wife( a fellow teacher) and moved back home where he is now in Atlanta and I feel I saw him more when he was in

Vickie said...

I am thankful for cooler days!
Your stitching and finishing are so sweet Carol. Almost caught up with the snowmen!

Linda Rapp said...

Your finishing makes the ornament! Would love to "reach in" and get a piece of that cake!!

kcenya1950 said...


As you know I think both of these finishes are terrific and the one with the squirrel is particularly lovely. Funny how important it is to audition even some fabrics that don't seem like a good idea --that's when inspiration and the perfect combo often appear.
Would love to have the recipe -- sounds great for a small quilt group get together. I number several chocolate lovers in my group. email is Have a great day and a terrific October.

Lesley said...

Pretty ornaments Carol,your finishing is wonderful.You receivd two lovely RAK's.
Good to read that you have a visit booked to see your son:)something to look forward to.
Your chocolate bundt cake looks very tempting and sounds delicious.
I hope you have a good weekend.

Melissa said...

The snowman is beautifully stitched and finished, as is the present you made for Myra. The RAKs are lovely gifts and will keep you stitching. Not that you don't have enough stitching stuff but something new and varied is always fun, no?

I hope the nice weather carries on for you in October. When it's nice here it's been great, but we've also had blustery, rainy, chilly days too!

Lynda Harrison said...

Hello Carol - so lovely to read your post. I do so love to see what you have been stitching, and your finishing is always so perfect.
I don't seem to find quite enough hours in the day to do all I would like to do!
It has been sunny here today, but with a brisk cool wind - Summer already seems far away, and now September is at a close. The days go so quickly but I like the cooler weather, and log fires in the evening!
Soon be Christmas!!
Have a lovely weekend,
Thinking of you,

Robin in Virginia said...

It is always good to see a new post from you, Carol. Both of your finishes are adorable. Very nice of June and Lisa; very lovely things you received. That chocolate cake looks fabulous.

Ana Lopes said...

Hello Carol! Your finishes are all so beautiful! The snowman is so fun! The chocolate cake looks delicious!
Have a great day!
Hugs and love from Portugal,
Ana Love Craft

Annie said...

Guess it must be hard to adjust to your son so far away when your family has always been so close. But you're tough.. you can handle it.

Love that snowman finish. Lots of clever ideas there. And your gift for Myra is just right. I miss Sassy's fabrics a lot.

Nice BOAF piece. Good progress.

Lots of fun gifts there. You have plenty of new things to play with now.

Dark and rainy here. I wanted the heat wave and light evenings to go on forever!

Ellen said...

Beautiful stitching, just love that snowman!

I love Autumn especially the colors but it is also sunny or rainy in Singapore ha ha! Enjoy your cooler months!

Love that cake, sure looks yummy! I am blogging lesser n lesser now, sorry if I miss any of your postings! Always love to read about your stitching n family n holiday etc...


Shelly said...

I'll wave at you when you pass over Arizona! Nice finishes as usual, but I really like the Joyful Autumn design, so pretty with just a few colors. perfect choice of fabric for it! Cooling down here, nice and comfortable now. Have a nice evening!

Cindy said...

I really liked how you finished the snowman, with the greenery and bells. Adding those extras really makes it special, I think.
I'm also kind of sad that September is over. I do like October and all the halloween stuff, but not winter! Yuck!
I have been having the opposite that you are with your oldest son. Mine is living in Louisville right now and has been going through some depression. He was coming to see us almost every week, just to get some love and support. We think he is doing better now, on meds, and has a job. (He quit his job as professor which may have caused the depression or because of it.) It's so hard when your kids are hurting. But we are always there for them, aren't we?

have a good weekend, Carol, and I hope you get some stitching time!

Lillie said...

Lovely finish on the Snowman. So wonderful to know that you have already made plans to visit your son. That will give you something to look forward to and helps to lighten the longing heart. I like the colors of joyful Autumn, perfect finishing while the Birds of a Feather is looking good. Enjoy your lovely gifts. The cake look delish.
Here comes October ! Happy weekend, hugs

Barb said...

As usual, your finishes are wonderful! That snowman looks so happy. I'm glad to hear you are slowly adjusting to your son's new life in San Diego. I do know haw hard it is and it just takes time!!I would love the cake recipe but better not. I am seriously trying to loose weight. I hope it will help my back so no goodies for me! Have a wonderful October!

Preeti said...

You have been busy with lots of stitching!! Lovely finishes as always and your gifts, both sent and received are wonderful:)
The cake looks yummy!!

Mavi. said...

Preciosos tus bordados, el que llevas a medias es divino, el Santa ha quedado muy bonito y el de otoño es muy elegante. Le deseo todo lo mejor a tu hijo y espero que tú poco a poco vayas superando la separación. El bundt tiene un aspecto increíble.
Me puedes enviar a mi correo la receta??
Muchas gracias Carol.
Your precious embroidery, which take half is divine, Santa has been very nice and the autumn is very elegant. I wish all the best to your child and I hope you go slowly overcoming the separation. The bundt looks great.
I can send to my email the recipe ??
Carol thank you very much.

Irene said...

settembre è volato, anche a me dispiace che sia finito, però ottobre è il mese di Halloween!!! Una torta con 3 cioccolati deve essere strepitosa! Meravigliosi i tuoi ricami

Gabi said...

Dear Carol, yes the days are getting shorter, but we had a wonderful September, very hot and dry.
Your finish for the little snowman is very beautiful. You got a good eye for the added things on your ornies.
Greetings from Germany

Pull the other thread said...

I think looking forward to your trip to San Diego to visit your son is a great way to deal with the sorrow of his move.
I love both your amazing finishes. What a great idea to use a towel for the gingham to get the finish you wanted and the Autumn is just perfect. Love progress on your sampler and what fantastic RAKs you got.

Marilyn said...

That smiley Snowman is so darn cute.
Great projects and goodies you've received.
Mmmm, that cake looks delicious.
Happy Fall!

The Queen Bee said...

Such pretty finishes and good progress on your sampler.
What nice RAKs. They must add a bit of happiness to your day when something like that pops up in the mail.
We will chat about our kids soon. Hope your son is settling in but, boy, wouldn't it have been nice if he'd only moved across the state? Darn kids.
We are having a rainy weekend so I am hoping for some serious stitching time once my obligations are completed each day.


Hilda said...

I love your latest finishes, my dear friend. Both of them. All these sweet details on your snowman ornament come together so perfectly. It is really no wonder that this funny snow guy is grinning so happily. And the colors of the second one are adorable. So elegant and neutral - just my colors!
Happy to read that you are "ok" about Dans moving to California. And now you have another wonderful destination to travel at several times a year, right?

Your triple chocolate bundt cake looks so delicious. Chocolate bundt cakes are one of our favorites here.

Have a wonderful last day of September, my dear friend. Let's hope that October will bring as much sunny and bright days, as September did.


Irmeli said...

Both of your finishes are so delightful. You have chosen lovely finishing materials and as always everything looks great together. Your WIP looks beautiful too.

What a cake, made with three chocolates.... the taste must be heavenly!

Maggie said...

Oh I love that snowman! and the Autumn piece is lovely, perfect fabrics for the finishing.
Great treats from friends too, love the rabbit charts and i will look forward to seeing how you stitch and finish them.
I really feel for you having your son so far away, i know it must be hard for you.

I'd love the recipe for the cake if you don't mind?
my email is;

Have a great weekend x

Christine said...

Love your finishing on the two smalls! Thank you for sharing pics of them! And of course now I have an itch to make a bundt cake, lol.

The Inspired Stitcher said...

I'm glad my little RAK brought a smile to you. I always enjoy our visits and emails. Love and hugs, Lisa

Patricia Lessell said...

Hi Carol,
I just wanted to say how much I love this post. I loved your stitching finishes. And your Birds of a Feather is beyond superb. Patti x

Manuela said...

Wonderful finishes. I like them both.
Your Sampler looks great.
Have a wonderful weekend, Manuela

Nurdan Kanber said...

Anything, that you touch or finish turns to a beauty Carol ♥♥♥

Love that smiley guy! He is fabulous ♥♥♥

Jan Doling said...

Carol, I love your jolly snowman and you have finished it beautifully as always. Your chocolate cake looks oh so good, I would like the recipe but I know I wouldn't be able to resist making and eating it which would not fit in with my Slimming World eating plan with which I am struggling a bit at the moment. Like you I am not looking forward to the darker evenings and the feeling that Winter is not that far off. xx

Von said...

It's been a wonderful month for my family with the birth of our grandson. But I too hate to see the days shorten, and while I'm enjoying some cooler temperatures, I dread the cold, dark days ahead. But we have football and stitching to make it all better, lol!

Cathy H. said...

I can't say that I'm sorry to September go, it's been so hot and humid here. The last few days have been better. I'm anxious to see what October brings. Love your stitching. I was looking at the autumn piece; your choice of fabric and trims are perfect! I love your finishing!

Weronika said...

Your stitching looks awesome like always. I rely like this cute snowman you've made.

Jackie said...

Carol, so good to hear how well you are coping with the absence of your son miles away and that you will be able to see him in November Seeing him again will be very special and time well spent together again. Your finishings, the selection of your fabby and the RAKs are always a treat to come and see; so pretty and well finished. I hope the month of October will bring lots of stitching time.

Take care my dear friend and hugs;).

Patricia Dee said...

I can understand the 'moving' son situation. It's been 7 years and I still miss him around here. I keep on thinking .... Oh, I'll have to tell him (whatever) .... and then remember I have to do it in an e-mail or remember for the next time he visits.

Love the newly finished snowman. You always find the perfect way for finishing.

Thanks for keeping your blog going. I look forward to reading them and seeing your wonderful finishes and the other pics you post.

Sweet Sue said...

Hiya Carol ~ one might say that October puts us one month closer to Spring.... Yeah, right! Have a great week to come, despite the darkness:)

Sheryl S. said...

Pretty stitching and finishing as always Carol. Love the snowman finish with the red bells and tea towel :-)) Great gifts from stitching friends and that wonderful cake would go down perfect right now with the tea I have at hand.

WOODY said...

Hallo, how beautiful stiching and the cake hmmmmmm, have a nice wk Woody

Margaret said...

Everything looks lovely! I do hope you are doing ok after your son's move. It's tough having him so far away, I bet. That bundt cake looks amazing! Do you know my email?? :D

Julie said...

It's been lovely and sunny here too this past September, record temps in fact they said.
Two super ornaments, stitched and finished so beautifully.
Your WIP is growing well too.
I find a lot of people are moving from blogs to instagram and other social media, its not for me, so i'll be staying right where I am

Southpaw Stitcher said...

All your ornaments are so adorable, Carol. And you've made great progress on the Birds of a Feather sampler. The bundt cake looks delicious!

Mii Stitch said...

Since I have left France, Sunday evening has become the evening where I receive the weekly phone call from my mum. We can't see each other but still catch up on all the latest :) Maybe you could do this with your son too! Anyway, I hope the days fly by so you can go and visit him soon :)
I love your inspiring snowman finish. It is perfect! Who knew kitchen towels could come in handy in finishing off cross stitch ;)
I won't comment on the chocolate cake except that I wish I could taste it!!

Anonymous said...

Love all of your snowmen pieces and that little tiny squirrel in Joy Autumn is really cute. Love the way you finished it as well. You always do such a great job of finishing. The Birds of a Feather is a beautiful piece. I love the rich colors in it and can't wait to see it completed. How special to receive the fun RAKs. I am sure you are the sender of plenty of these as well! Quite sure your dinner with your son was super and what a why to end the day with that luscious Chocolate Cake!!! Hugs.

Penny said...

Your feelings sound very familiar to the ones that I had when my daughter moved away. Granted, it was only North Carolina, but it might as well have been the other side of the world. It helped me a great deal to know that she was happy and that I could always jump in the car or on a plane and visit. My thoughts are certainly with you, Carol. Your stitching is inspiring - that little snowman is especially adorable! And you have received some very lovely gifts, too! That cake looks very tempting. : )

Brigitte said...

It's good to read that you are getting accustomed to your son living so far away. It's a hard time in the beginning, I know that from my own experience, but it gets more and more easy. And the good thing is that nowadays we have Skype or FaceTime and this shortens the distance a bit. Helps me a lot. I can understand you so well ...

What wonderful new finishes you show here. That Prairie Schooler snowman is such a funny guy with that smile on his face. A clever idea to cut up a kitchen towel for the green gingham fabric. I have to keep that in mind that there are other materials than quilting fabrics to use for finishing ornaments and pillows.
Your little autumn pillow for Myra is perfect, such a lovely gift. And you found the perfect finishing fabric for it. The gold colours make it very autumnal. And you have received some lovely RAKs from your friends. June is such a sweetie.

I have often read that you find so many people on IG that have left their blogs. Slowly, slowly I get the impression that I should also open an account there. So far I have resisted because I fear to spend too much time on the computer when I read blogs and Instagram. But I really miss some of the bloggers whose stitching I loved to see. I have to think about this.

Three chocolates in one cake? That sounds very intriguing. And the magic word in your description is the word "moist". I love chocolate cake and I love moist cakes. So I have to ask you, could you please send me the recipe? Thanks :)

Justine said...

Well that's the loveliest tea towel I've ever seen! Both your finishes are superb as always Carol - so much inspiration for your friends and followers! You have some lovely thoughtful gifts too.
You must be so proud that your son is confident to travel the world as he does. I moved to London for work when I was 31 and was desperately homesick and moved back after a year. And I was only 200 miles away from my family and visited them every other weekend. Though I am happy to be where I am, having met my lovely husband back up North, I wish I had been able to make the most of that year in London without being so lonely. Your son has spread his wings and is having fantastic adventures, and while it must be hard for you, I hope you can be proud that you've raised him to be so confident and independent.
Thinking and praying for you all.

Mary - Lecoeurceltique said...

I love the snowman finish. Your gifts are lovely too.

Cindy's Stitching said...

The snowman is so cute. The cooler weather is finally here. Blogger has not been showing any blog posts on my end. Grrr. I am so happy fall is here. It was a hot summer. The cake looks so delicious. You will see your son before you know it.

Amb les mans nues said...

Que trabajos más bonitos y perfectos! un día los míos van a quedar igual que los tuyos, o eso espero!

Si quieres pasar por mi casita, te estaré esperando:

Andrea said...

Why has everyone got cake on their blog ... you are all making me terribly hungry! Wonderful stitching dear Carol. Love the snowman, so cute. Great finishing on your Autumn piece, beautiful fabric choice. The weather is certainly a shock to the system, although we do know it's coming I suppose. Time to put the t-shirts away and get out the woolley jumpers. :) Take care.

butterfly said...

Hi Carol , I am back , so the first thing was to come over to your lovely post .
Wow love your designs and your finish is just wonderful .
Your cake looks yummy and love the photo with the orange cosmos.
It is sad to see the months rolling by , but I am ready to do more stitching now .
I bet you are looking forward to be seeing your son soon hugs.

Lili said...

Hi Carol!
Your blog is so beautiful!
So cute stitching! The "Joyful Autumn" is so sweet!
Lovely progress on Birds of a Feather Sampler.
So wonderful gifts!


Meari said...

Like you, I detest getting up in the dark hours of the morning to start getting ready for work. Ugh. Then it gets dark early, too. :(

Your bundt cake sounds so scrumptious! Please send me the recipe.

As usual, your stitching is gorgeous. I love reading your blog just for inspiration. Kudos to you.

Enjoy your RAK's. (We all need to destash, LOL. Shhh! Don't tell...)

Jennifer said...

It took me a little while to get to your post this month and now we are well into October, which I love for the cooler weather and falling leaves. Your stitching is lovely as always and how nice to get those gifts! I'd love your triple chocolate cake recipe - it would make a great dessert for my bunch group! Hope your month is going well and you are adjusting to talking to your son on the phone instead of seeing him weekly. You could call him on FaceTime and set him at his regular place at the table ;-)

Claudine Baudoin said...

I like a lot what you make and your stitching finishes are pretty and amazing in the perfect match with the fabrics.I love very much your country.I come one time a year to visit my son and his familly in Houston, Texas . Best regards from France. Claudine Baudoin, Les passions de clo30

Véronique Rose said...

que de jolie broderies
j'aime beaucoup
douce journée

Summer said...

Pretty stitching☺ Hope you have a great weekend♥

Kaisievic said...

Carol, you are the most expert Final Finisher, you so inspire me to do better with my Final Finishing. Your snowman looks adorable and the Homespun Elegance finish is so very sweet. Love your two lots of RAKs, too, your new bunny stash looks like fun. The chocolate cakes looks so delicious, too.