Monday, January 30, 2017

Another year older...

Hello, everyone! And here we are at the end of January--can you believe it? I hope the first month of 2017 has treated you well? In the middle of the month, I hit another milestone--I turned 62. Age 62, here in the U.S., means you are eligible for Social Security benefits. But, of course, I'll be waiting to claim them as the amount you receive increases each year until you hit 70. I doubt if I'll wait that long, though... still have to figure  out this "new chapter in my life!"

And there was another birthday this month--my blog turned eight years old on January 24th! During that first year of blogging, way back in 2009, my goal was to stitch an ornament (or small design) each week for the entire year--and I did it. Thus began my love of ornaments! Back then, though, I wasn't doing much finishing--and the finishing I was doing didn't look that great. Time and practice have improved my ornament finishing greatly! I've learned to enjoy the finishing process much more than I ever dreamed I would--and I'm so thankful to all of you fellow cross stitchers who have provided inspiration, photos, and tutorials!

So, on to the ornaments that I sent to my international friends for Christmas... Most of you will recognize this first one as a Prairie Schooler. This went to my dear, long-time blogging friend, Lois in Northern Ireland, who shares a love of Prairie Schooler designs with me. This chart can be found in PS Book No. 190 "Happy Christmas" and is stitched on black 32 ct. Belfast linen with the suggested DMC threads. I did change the color of his boots, gloves, and the door to DMC 844, however.  I love this finish so much with it's cheery checked fabric and little red jingle bells hanging from the cording--I know I'll be stitching it again for myself.

Prairie Schooler "Happy Christmas" finish

Another PS Santa found a new home all the way over in Austria with my lovely friend, Hilda. I'm sure he is very happy with his new life surrounded by those snowy mountains near Hilda's beautiful home. The Prairie Schooler Book No. 80, "Old World Santas," is where this chart can be found. I changed the red to DMC 221 (as I often do with PS charts that call for red) and used a 40 ct. flax Newcastle with some handmade cording and a simple bow.  I don't think you can see it in my photo, but I applied teeny Swarovski crystals here and there to look like snow.  Another one that I "must-stitch" for myself!
Prairie Schooler "Old World Santas" finish

My sweet friend, Gabi (no blog), in Germany was the recipient of this "Be Merry" ornament. I'm sure you all recognize this as one of the delightful chalkboard ornaments from Hands On Designs "Christmas Collection: Part I." I love these little designs so much--what I didn't love was the fabric suggested on the chart. It is designed to look like a dusty chalkboard, which is great, but it was way too soft and "flopsy" for me--I prefer stitching on a stiffer fabric with more body. I doubt that I'll be using it again... I think I'll be trying a simple black Belfast or 28 ct. Monaco for future chalkboard ornaments. I used the suggested overdyeds, but think I will just use good old DMC in the future as the variegation didn't show up enough to warrent the cost of the overdyed threads.

Hands On Design "Chalkboard Christmas" finish

And, surprisingly, I stitched three of the same ornament--I enjoyed it that much!! One of these little cuties was sent to my sweet friend, Cindy, here in the U.S., another went to dear June, in England, and the third, also sent to England, appears to have gone into hiding somewhere across the Atlantic Ocean. Sadly, it never arrived. Sigh... That is the first time in all the years I have done exchanges, that something not arrived at its destination. Guess I will just have to stitch another! Anyway, the chart for this Little House Needleworks cutie can be found in the 2014 Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue. I used 40 ct. country mocha Newcastle and a combination of overdyeds and DMC for this one and this is another I plan on stitching for myself (some day!).

Little House Needleworks "Snowy Day" finishes

There are a few more gifts that I also sent, but I will wait for the next post! Whew--I was very busy at Christmas time, as you can tell!

Ch-ch-ch-changes in exchanges... After many years of doing many birthday exchanges, I have decided to stop participating in them this year.  I emailed those I regularly exchange with and explained to them that I could no longer keep up with everyone and the deadlines were causing me a lot of stress. And that is not what stitching should be about, is it?  (I do hope to continue the Christmas exchanges, for now). But, a few stitchers snuck in little birthday gifts for me anyway, which I want to acknowledge...

June included the sweet January Calendar girl chart in with her birthday card:

Birthday gift from June

Cindy included a cute Lizzie Kate chart in her card:

Birthday gift from Cindy

And, Christina, sent me some darling fabrics (aren't the little houses sweet?), a new magazine, and a  little gift tag-making kit.

Birthday gifts from Christina

So sweet of all of you--I truly appreciate your thoughtfulness! My birthday was quiet this year as it also fell on the Monday that Martin Luther King's birthday was celebrated so there was no postal service and it was a federal holiday here in the U.S. Unfortunately, my library doesn't observe many of the federal holidays so I still had to work. The day before my birthday, my middle son and his girlfriend had me over for a wonderful dinner, cake, and flowers so that made the day very special...

I wanted to share a photo that I posted on Instagram last week... I mentioned that the only snow we'd been having in January was in the form of the "snow" in my little stitched pillows! We actually did get a couple of inches this weekend, though, which has brightened up the outdoors.   I'll be replacing these snowy finishes with something more appropriate for Valentine's Day very soon, but I'll miss them--they certainly have brightened up the corner of my kitchen during an extremely grey and rainy month. I don't know about you, but I'm very happy to be rounding the corner to February!

Snowy finishes in my corner cupboard

A bit nostalgic... When I realized that my blog's birthday was January 24th, I began looking through my posts from 2009 and getting a bit nostalgic. So, so many of my old friends from those early years are no longer blogging or have stopped stitching altogether. They've moved on to Facebook, Instagram, or different creative outlets. Or have simply disappeared...  I suppose it is like anything--people move on to newer, more innovative things... Old fashioned records were replaced by 8-track tapes, then cassettes, then CDs and so on. But, then records kind of reinvented themselves as "vinyl." Will that happen with blogs? Do you suppose people will miss the more personal contacts that this media offers, and return?  I do worry about the future of blogs... I have to admit, I love the quick and easy posting format on my Instagram account, but I so treasure the friendships that I have formed through blogging. 

Anyway, I'm ever so thankful for those of you who continue to read "Stitching Dreams!" Your comments and emails and supportive friendships are always appreciated... Wishing you a very Happy February! Bye for now...


Maggie said...

A belated Happy Birthday! Lovely gifts from stitchy friends :-)

I can understand wanting to give up exchanging, it can be very stressful, one of the reasons that I don't usually take part in exchanges is because I get so worked up about them. Having said that I have enjoyed the few I've done this year so far, if they become too much then I will take a break, as you say, it should be enjoyable not something to stress about.

All your finishing is beautiful, I really do hope that practice makes, If not perfect, then at least better because i'm seriously lacking confidence in the making up department!

It's a shame that so many bloggers have disappeared, I like FB and IG but much prefer blogging and reading blogs, you get to 'know' the person more.

Have a great week x

kcenya1950 said...

Sounds like you had a nice birthday celebration, Carol, despite having to work. I only wish I could finish as nicely as you do. I expect practice, as you mentioned, is key.

Blogging does indeed take more effort than Instagram. My poor blog has lain dormant for many years and while I occasionally consider going back to it, the ease of Instagram continues to beckon!


Hilda said...

My dear friend,
whenever I read your blogpost and see all these wonderfull stitchings I want to take up my needle and a piece of linen immediately and stitch on. I really miss it, but there is so few time at the moment. Stitching is relaxable only if you can sit down for a minimum of two hours and stitch.
The more I was pleased about your wonderful present. Thanks again1
All your ornaments, that you made this year, are great!

I absolutely know what you are feeling, because my blog will turn 8 in February and I am in an nostalgic mood about it already now. But I am optimistic too. There are so many blogs out there - and there are people, starting blogging even now. Although it is sad, that so many of the bloggers we knew disappeared our changed to FB or instagram, but I really do not think, that blogging is out.
I started FB too, last year. And (jes me also) registered to Instagram, although I do not use Instagram, because I find it uncomfortable that you only can use it with a mobile device (I hate it to tipp on my iPhone ...) Now I know it for sure: Blogging is THE social media platform for me.

I hope, my dear friend, you will love blogging for a very long time to come so that we will have each other at least, haha!

Have wonderful last days of January!

WOODY said...

All your stitching is marvelous... and the finishing too! Hope you go on in showing us your works! 🤗😘

Mii Stitch said...

Belated birthday wishes Carol!!!!
As always, beautiful creative finishes for your friends.
They have in return, been so generous for your birthday.
I too am sad to have lost blogging friends over the year... unfortunately Life can take us on so many different directions...
I will keep on blogging as I still enjoy it and always enjoy reading your posts too!!

Robin in Virginia said...

Thank you for sharing your "snow" picture that you shared on Instagram, Carol! Your display looks fabulous on your corner cupboard. I always enjoy seeing what you have created (either for yourself or others); way to go on the last batch of ornaments. What lovely goodies you received! We had a bit of snow overnight (enough to give everything a dusting of white). Have a wonderful day.

Vickie said...

I saw those precious gifts you gave to friends! ♥
I miss friends from old, but do not worry about blogging. I do notice some new faces popping up and there are plenty of us still around aren't there. I have no intention of stopping. I have told you before Carol, but you are STILL inspiring me!! 🐩

Arlene @Nanaland said...

Happy Birthday!! I turn 62 in May and I plan to start getting my SS. Although I will be drawing on my husband's as I get more that way!! Marvin says it can be my spending money since he retired and our income has decreased. Of course I will spend it on Cross Stitch. Loved seeing all your ornaments and hearing who you stitched them for! I am a Prairie Schooler fan, big time. But I am branching out. Like you, I miss some of my old blog friends. I have probably been blogging 10 years. I stopped once but found I really missed it so I started up again!! I hope you keep sharing your beautiful work as you encourage me to be more creative.

Margaret said...

I do find it funny that vinyl is now touted as better quality than digital and that it's the "new" cool thing. lol! Now the "new" thing that seems to have hit around here is polaroid cameras with their instant film. Ahem. Not new, guys! But new to my son and his friends. Whatever! Perhaps there's hope for blogs? I don't know. I do know one thing, though. I haven't posted since the new year started. Yikes!

Lovely to see what you sent to friends. I think you are smart to stop with the birthday exchanges. Stitching is supposed to be fun, not stressful. Happy blogiverary, and happy birthday too!

Cindy's Stitching said...

Beautiful gifts you sent to all Carol. I adore mine. Like you, I have reviewed my blog over the years. So many people have disappeared and many do not post comments anymore. I am not into social media. I do not have Facebook, instagram, etc. I have never followed the herd. my blog is an online diary to share with others. A place to tell a story about the pieces we make. Like you, my finishing skills have improved over the years. I am looking forward to spring. February is just around the corner.

Shelly said...

Happy Belated Birthday to you and your blog! Always love your finishes. Nice gifts from your buddies! I don't join a lot of SAL's that release a new part of a design monthly mostly because I hate feeling rushed. I don't do well with deadlines. The exchanges though I try not to procrastinate, although one time I was still stitching at 11pm to finish the piece before it was to go the next day! That was the only time that happened. Although I hang around on FB a lot, I still cannot give up on my blog or the followers. I feel like I have made friends with my followers. Can't find that on FB. Have a great week, Carol! Back to work!

Amy said...

Happy Birthday! And happy blog birthday too! :) You sent such lovely gifts! And the gifts you received are so special.

Can I ask, what is the name/designer of the pattern in your blog header? I love it!

Mavi. said...

Dear Carol, your gifts are precious, those Santas are adorable and your finishes are perfect. If I had to choose I would stay with the Snowy Day Christmas girls, I find it a super nice graphic.
Congratulations on your birthday.
I do not know what will happen with blogs, as you say Instagram is very fast, but the proximity and proximity offered by the blog is not on other platforms, so far I will keep my blog active as long as possible.
A very affectionate hug.

Kate said...

Congratulations on both occasions that you celebrated this month, Carol. The gifts you sent and received are quite lovely. I always enjoy your posts.

Daniela Bencúrová said...

Dear Carol, I welcome you among us - 62 per year!
Also with us it is 62 entitled to a pension. This may work simultaneously. I am a retired teacher :-)
He got a nice gift!
All your works are wonderful!
I have to study. I have a blog just three years, five years to learn how you :-)

CalamityJr said...

What beautiful gifts! Your stitching and finishing are always inspiring. Happy belated birthday. There are so many opinions about when to start taking your social security. I'm sure you'll make the best decision for your family.

Vicki said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Carol! This was a fun post to ready, so many pretty stitching projects. I appreciated your final paragraph. I began blogging in 2009 also. The thing that I don't like about people disappearing from blogs is that I often wonder how they are for a long time after they're gone. I'm not on any other form of social media (unless Pinterest counts). So I really enjoy my blog friends.

Annie said...

Happy Birthday, Carol!

Wonderful assortment of gift photos. I've always been amazed at how many you manage to stitch. I guess it can get out of hand pretty quickly. Glad you are managing the process to keep it more fun.

IG is nice, but frankly, it doesn't seem to work for me as well as blogging. No offense meant to a lot of IG posters, but some post so much, I feel like I'm looking at their work as they complete one stitch at a time. Bores me. But I'm bored with blogging too. Guess I'm just jaded!

Tricia T said...

Happy birthday, Carol! I still love to read blogs, but I find it harder to leave comments when I am on mu iPad instead of my computer. Maybe that is the biggest pull to IG and FB. It is easy to not have to type anything when you are on a tablet or. Phone...

Cole said...

Happy Belated Birthday! Too bad you had to work but it sounds like you had some wonderful celebrations!

Lovely finishes, makes me envious since I haven't stitched in so long!

I keep thinking I should be getting back to blogging too... it's been a long time since I posted anything!

Maggee said...

Happy Belated Birthday and Happy Blogoversary too! I think I have been blogging for 10 years now... (but the first two were on yahoo, and it got deleted when they closed that platform, unfortunately!)Looks like your 'snowman display' is appropriate for now... temps are pretty cold! I saw flurries very briefly this morning! I agree with you about stepping back from any stitching events like SALs or Exchanges. Lately, I am not doing well with deadlines! It will pass. And I hope that people will continue and also join in blogging...that is one thing I enjoy, even if I can't keep up daily! I also love Flosstube, but I can't stitch and watch at the same time... sigh... Loved seeing your Christmas presents, as always. Take care! Hugs!

Manuela said...

Happy Birthday, Carol.
All your stitching gifts for your friends are so wonderful as always.
I love blogging. I have not FB or Instagramm.
Best wishes Manuela

Unknown said...

Carol I found your blog and love it. I don't have a life would be so boring to others but I love. . .love reading yours. Seeing all your smalls is an inspiration and I love all of them. I love smalls too so there you go.
People come into our life for a reason and a season. Enjoy the ones you have had the opportunity to share and enjoy your stitching with. Others will come I'm sure.
As for snow. . .you can have all of it . .my stitching friend.
Mary Ann

Vonna Pfeiffer said...

Hi Carol, happy belated birthday! I hope your day was fine as ever!
Your exchanges are all stunning, and I'm going to be 100% honest here, I don't know how you do it, I used to and finally after about 5 years did the same thing and stopped exchanging. I would have panic attacks. Life is too short. And I have 4 children that I hope one day will want my things and will remember me, as it has been a huge part of my life - stitching.
You know I'm all over the new and the old ~ I love my blog, I like my IG, I do FB, and I do FlossTube. There are positive things and negative things in every one of those platforms. The main thing: I've made lovely friends on all of them and most don't do all of them and I share different things (for the most part) on each one. The most important thing to me: sharing my love of needlework. You have a wonderful following here and people love you all over no matter where you are. Look at the books people write to you for comments! You inspire...keep it up!

Sherri said...

Happy Belated Birthday Carol! I'm so happy you continue to blog because this is one of my favorites. I've cleaned out my blogging list as so many no longer blog. I get a lot good ideas from the blogs. The other sources are fine, but blogs are my personal favorite. I guess I need more than just a picture. Your ornaments are adorable, so not sure which is a favorite. I do like your LHN Snowy Day. Your finishes are what sets them apart from others. Also like your PS Happy Christmas finish. I've not stitched any of the chalkboard pieces, but do like the look of them. Cute stuff!

Katya said...

Happy belated birthday to you, Carol! Wishing you health and happiness in the year to come, and continued writing of your blog. ( I really enjoy reading it, so...)

Ann at Beadlework. said...

A lovely post Carol, I think blogging will come full circle again. I love the connection that blogging offers.
Lots of lovely stitches and finishes - the PS old world santas are always a favourite.

Katie said...

Wow I just love all your beautiful pieces. Your finishing is just beautiful! I've been watching tutorials and trying to learn how to do them better. I'm hoping to break my sewing machine out this week and do a few. Sure scares me but I want to do it!

I love the blogging community. I joined a FB group and I try to follow along but I just feel like I'm lost in a million posts. Instagram is fantastic but not personal feeling like a blog. I will never leave my blog that's for sure!!

RJ said...

Happy belated birthday Carol! It sounded like a lovely time at your son's. As always I so admire your stitching and beautiful finishes. You are an inspiration to many. I was saddened to hear blogs are on their way out as I'm just about ready to start one. I hope I'm not late to the dance! RJ

Linda said...

Belated Hapoy birthday Carol. Congrats on all of the adorable finishes. great birthday gifts.


Pam in Virginia said...

Carol - I have enjoyed reading your blog for years...although I apologize for being so very poor at commenting. You and Vonna and Faye have taught and inspired me so much about finishing. I have always appreciated your sharing specifics of the fabrics you choose, and any thread substitutions you have made. Your bows and buttons and cording and charms add a sweetness to each of your projects. I joined Facebook last year, not to communicate with old friends, but rather to follow my favorite needlework and quilt shops, guilds, and stitching groups. It's great fun to see how five or six different people have each stitched the same chart, but the end results can differ so much. I hope you'll continue writing your blog, because if you were ever to stop blogging, it would leave me with the same lost feeling I had last week when I learned about Mary Tyler Moore.

CathieJ said...

Happy Belated Birthday! You have some many beautiful finishes and many great gifts.

Mama Joan said...

Love your LHN "Snowy Days" ornaments. I may have to stitch them myself and finish them like you did!!! Your finishes are wonderful. I am now following you on Instagram:) Stop by and check out my Instagram--madebymamajoan.

Karleen said...

Happy belated Birthday. Know what you mean about exchanges. Belonged to some exchanges in the past, but gave up when life took some changes to moving. Love reading your blog. Keep up the good work.

Ellen said...

Happy belated Birthday, Carol! Love your beautiful ornaments, I am also a fan of PS!

I am not blogging much now, too many other hobbies ha ha! I still love reading your post and your stitching is also an inspiration to me! Don't stop!


priscilla said...

Happy Birthday Carol! Love all your ornaments.. every one of them is gorgeous ! It has been so gloomy here too . Ready for some white snow or sun!

Ginny said...

Happy belated birthday! I faithfully read your blog, but I don't comment, nor do I do so on most of the blogs I read. I have read many times that blogs are going away, but my opinion is that it depends on what type of blog. Cross stitching blogs may be, but theological ones, for instance, are still there in abundance. I can see that Instagram would be much easier for stitchers, but it just doesn't work for some subjects. (I recently - reluctantly - established an Instagram account, but now that I know more about their Terms and Conditions, I may delete my account.) Anyway, please keep sharing - I am always inspired by others' stitching and finishing.

Nicole said...

This is my first comment here, but I've been following your blog for some years now! Please don't stop blogging; it is so much fun to see each new post, with your inspiring finishes as well as your travels :-) Anyhow, I just thought to pop in and let you know how great your blog is to read. Have a lovely evening!

Barb said...

A very happy late birthday to you! It sounds like a nice family celebration. I have never gotten into too many exchanges or even SAL. I totally agree with you . Plus I find myself doing more bigger projects. I don't want to have to stop and worry about deadlines. I'm glad you are staying with blogging. I feel like we actually make friends on blogs. I don't get the same feeling from Facebook. Besides where would I be without your amazing pillows to inspire me!! Wonderful as usual!

Jennifer said...

Happy birthday and happy blogaversary to you Carol! Lovely ornaments that you stitched for your friends - sorry to hear about the one that didn't show. Blogging sure has changed over the past few years - I think Facebook, Instagram, and maybe Pinterest (which I am not on) probably have a lot to do with that. I still have a list I enjoy reading and it seems a few of the blogs I enjoy have restarted themselves this year. I am doing my best to leave comments so that the bloggers know someone is reading! Hope you have a sunny February- we had snow this weekend too and I was thrilled to see the sun on my way to work this morning - even if it is cold! Hope you have a great week!

Cindy said...

Happy birthday, Carol! I will be turning 62 in March. I can't believe it really. My mind says 25, but my body says 62 at least! Ha! Love seeing your finishes. I've not done any exchanges for stitching. I sometimes do swaps in paper crafting. It's fun but I wouldn't want to do it very often. Like you said, it can get stressful.
Have a great week, my friend!


marly said...

Happy belated birthday! We went through the same SS questions of figuring out how much you lose by waiting.... or not waiting! I gave up and gave in. Such a pleasure to read your posts Carol. Always beautiful projects, attractively displayed, family updates, and kind words. A real treat these days!

Preeti said...

Belated happy birthday, Carol:) Love the gifts you sent and received. Your corner cupboard is looking pretty.
I have done only few exchanges and that too were a bit of stress when it comes to the deadlines. I have decided to be ready with gifts and then try for exchange.

Berit said...

Speaking of nostalgia, your blog's "header image" for this month really makes me think of those early days. Thank you for this, and all the years of cheerful friendship and encouragement. Glad to hear you had a lovely birthday celebration, though the day was shanghaied.

Lisa V said...

Hello dear friend, lovely finishes as always.
I don't do as much exchanging as I used to, I was quite prolific at one stage and even ran my own group, but not anymore. With me not stitching anymore it will probably put an end to it altogether, but I am just enjoying my Amigurumi now and have been selling off my stitching stash.
I don't blog much anymore either, it's sad really how it has changed over the years, but like you I have some amazing friends because of it.
Take care

Gabi said...

Happy belated birthday Carol and happy blogaversary!Wishing you health and happiness!
It is always a great pleasure to read your posts and see all the beautiful stitching. So please, keep on posting.
62 is not bad, you are best aged. Turn the number and you are 26.
Think you had a wonderful birthday with your love ones.
Take care and greetings from Germany

twinpeakprimitives said...

Happy Birthday Carol ♥♥♥ with all my heart, I wish, this age to be the happiest you have ever lived ♥♥♥

As per your finishes; nothing can be said than only a "perfect"

All my very best

Marilyn said...

Happy belated B-Day!
Congrats on 8 years blogging.
I do hope you continue.
All of your gifts you sent are so pretty, and the ones you received as well.
Love your little Snowman collection. :)

The Knitting Cross Stitcher said...

Happy Birthday Carol for last week, and happy blogversary too.I have enjoyed seeing your beauiful stitching for others and the lovely gifts you received in this post.

I participated in a lot of exchanges in the early years of being a part of a couple of stitching forums,before my blogging started, and while I enjoyed each one I came to realise thst I found the deadlines loomed large in my stitching life.I received,and I hope gave pleasure to the recipients when I did participate.
Having read previous posts you have a busy year coming up Carol and your stitching should be pleasurable without being stressful.
I too, miss old blogging friends and sometimes wonder how they are,are they still stitching?
Our Instant world dilutes deeper connections with each other.What do we all do with the extra minutes we save.I think we can still end up metaphorically and literally running to get everything done.
I hope You have a good February and plenty of lovely stitching.

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

Happy belated birthday! I truly love your blog - the content is always so inspiring and interesting (like when you travel). I usually want to stitch every item you show!

I especially appreciate the fact that there are no ads on your blog. So many of the young bloggers want to earn money - no problem with that except I don't have the time to wait for ads to load and all the junk that goes with blogs for profit. There are only a few blogs that I care to read (yours is one), and they are most often blogs with no ads.

I hope this year is a very good year for you. Again, happy belated birthday.

Julie said...

Belated birthday wishes to you Carol.
I don't do IG or Facebook and much prefer to read blogs at leisure and enjoy the slower pace of that. Your blog always has something lovely to see, this time its not excpetion with the lovely ornaments you sent out to celebrate Christmastime. What a shame one of them went missing as it headed to the UK.
The postage costs are getting so silly now I think the joy of sending a small something has passed even just to send a thread to another UK'er here costs so much as it is thicker than the 5mm rule for a normal stamp and if you do send and forget you then get penalised and the receiver has to pay an admin charge to be able to collect the envelope.
I love the PS santas and each time I see them think I really must do one... but I never do!!
love and blessings xx

Jenn M said...

Happy Birthday!
Wonderful ornaments as always. I can't believe you stitched an ornament a week for a year - I'm still trying for one a month and I am already behind for 2017!
Take care,

Mini said...

Belated happy birthday Carol. Hope you had a good time on your special day. Happy blogaversary !! Eight years is a long time and shows how much people like your blog.
Call it synchronicity or what that minutes before you posted yesterday I was looking at your first post, as I'm always interested in knowing how and why people started blogging. And I noticed that I couldn't recognize many of the names in the comment section.
I have been blogging for only 2 years and many of the bloggers I follow have stopped posting which is sad.
I have a FB , Instagram and Pinterest account but I always prefer blogs . I don't know why I find blogs more personal and feel attached to my blogger friends.Call me creepy but I check on people when they don't post for a few months.

About the exchanges, feel free to do what makes you happy. As I'm pretty new to concept of exchanges and SALs, I'm always looking forward to engage in these.

Your stitching is beautiful as always. You are loved by your friends that's shown by the lovely gifts you have received.

zachssister said...

Thank you, Carol, for keeping up your blog (and for sharing your work and life with us). Blogs are much more personal than the quick forms of social media. And stitching is not something suited to instant gratification... I know it takes time to write it and photograph everything, so thank you!

Please consider showing us how you store all your supplies (or let us know if you have done this in the past)... I love taking on new projects, but the charts and stash are taking over!

Will a stitch said...

Hi Carol. Happy belated birthday! And happy blog anniversary!! I can remember when I first found your bog and it took me awhile to figure out how to comment on your beautiful stitching and finishing. I still envy your perfect finishing!! Every blog post is full of perfection: family, traveling, stitching and finishing. I appreciate all the time you devote to your blog and every post you share. You inspire alot of us to have...stitching dreams!! thank you.

Enjoy your snow...we have only had a dusting so far!!

Judy Heartland stitcher

butterfly said...

Hi Carol I am back now thank goodness.
You know I always love your blog with all the beautiful stitching .
The gifts you stitched are beautiful , some of my gifts are in interspace somewhere too.
I have allot of catching up to do now .
Hope you had a wonderful Birthday , I think cross stitch is coming back again I know of a few new ladies .
Like any hobby they come and go .
But I will be stitching for years yet I still love it

Sally said...

Happy Belated Birthday Carol. You received some beautiful gifts.

Your gifts for friends are gorgeous. I just know they will treasured.

I understand about feeling stressed. That's partly the reason I cut down doing birthday gifts and also the increased postage costs. I still stitch a few birthday gifts though.

I am envious of your snow! Apparently February is going to be a little mild so no snow for at least the next month! Even though we got a dusting the other week it's not enough for me and my camera lol!!

Melissa said...

A double congrats to you on your blogoversary and your birthday! I see lots of lovely gifts sent and received. Lovely stitching, as always, of course.

You are right about how people have disappeared or "moved on". I understand how things are as I am now one of those who are moving on. (I only regret that some of these people have not returned my charts!)

We all thank you for keeping up with your blog and your beautiful stitching!

Unknown said...

Hi Carol,

Happy Belated Birthday from Nebraska! I liked seeing all your snowy finishes in your corner cupboard. It's been a largely snow-less winter where I live as well and I am maybe one of the few who LOVE winter and cold and snow, so I have been missing out on the snowy fun this year. I want to add many of those little snowman finishes to my own pattern stash - they are so cute! I'll have to look back through your blog and identify the patterns! That's one of the real benefits of blogs - it is like a diary and it's nice to be able to search back through it and look back through the pictures of all your pretty finishes. Thank you for putting in the hard work of keeping up your blog. I know it must take up a lot of time!


Karen said...

Happy Belated Birthday and Happy Blogiversay , Carol!

You are right, stitching should relieve stress not add to it. Do away with those things that create stress.

I have to admit, I don't understand people who give up stitching to move on to other hobbies. I've been stitching for 40 years. The only reason I would give it up would be because I just couldn't do it any longer.

Lili said...

Happy Birthday, Carol!! And happy blogversary too!!

Lovely stitching! Such pretty birthday gifts! Love your "snow" display!! ;)

Weel, I pretend to keep with my blog for many years ;) It's my cross stitch diary!!

Happy February!!

Cathy H. said...

Happy belated birthday! I love seeing your stitched pieces and how you so creatively finish them. I especially love the snow scene in your header! I've notice a decline in blogs I follow, too and that makes me sad. I miss them. I enjoy dropping by your blog!

Beth said...

Congratulations on your birthday and that of your blog. I have not yet become an Instagram follower - I spend too much time on my blog feeds and Facebook as it is. I think that you have to pick and chose your social media, so I appreciate you sharing the charming snowman cross stitch display photo with us here in blogland!

Brigitte said...

Although it's already February I wan to send you some happy belated birthday wishes! And congratulations on your eighth blogaversary.

This Christmas ornies that you sent out to your friends are all gorgeous. Such great stitching and finishing. And you are right, the finishing skills grow very quickly the more you do finishing :) And your finishing skills are fantastic.

I can understand you on your birthday exchanges. I stopped doing exchanges many years ago when I realized that I only stitched for exchanges and Round Robins, and nothing more for myself. So I reduced the amount of exchanges and after some disappointing experiences with RRs I stopped these completely. And when our custom office had me on his radar (I don't know why) and I had to drive there to collect the exchange packages that I received from overseas countries I stopped exchanges, too. So, nowadays I stitch the occasional gift for friends and that's it. And this doesn't give me any kind of stress.

I also hope that you stay with your blog for many more years to come. I always love to see what you stitch and I love to read your family news. Yes, blogs have become a bit of a nostalgic thing and I also miss some of the people who just disappeared from the blog world. I'm sure I would discover them if I joined FB or IG. BUt I won't. Visiting blogs just keeps me busy enough and I love to leave comments and answering to comments - if my time allows it. And for each blogger who disappears there is a new one whose blog looks promising. So I hope that blogging stays alive for many years to come.

Patty C. said...

Belated birthday wishes .. a lovely visit .. as always!!

Andrea said...

Sending belated Happy Birthday wishes to you. Happy Blogaversary too.
Wonderful stitching finishes. Love the display in your corner unit.
I think FB and IG is great for people with smartphones and the like. Me, I just have my laptop so I'm going not going far from my blog.

Christina said...

The LHN Snowy Days finishes are so cute - I do love a circular finish! I'm very tempted to try a few of the chalkboard ornaments. You say you didn't like the soft fabric? Well, I love soft fabric! I HATE stitching on permin and other stiff fabrics. I find myself scrunching them into a ball to try and soften them a little!

KrissKross said...

Happy birthday, Carol!

As always, I love your latest blog entry. Your stitching is so beautiful as well as your photography. Thank you for adding beauty to the world. I feel like I make the same comment each time you blog, but please know I am sincere! It is a thrill each time to see an email in my inbox saying there is a new blog post from Stitching Dreams!

May this year be filled with joy for you!


Irmeli said...

I wish you a warm belated birthday congratulations.

All your works are beautiful and again so perfectly finished.
Your "snow" corner display is so pretty, it is a really delight to the eye.

I can never get enough of your beautiful blog and I hope you will continue update here in blogland. I'm one of those who not have facebook or instagram.

Tricia B said...

Happy Birthday and Blogversary!!! One would never know that you were not always a top notch finisher! I think you are probably being overly self critical 😉 I especially LOVE your finishing choices! Th ginghams you use are so perfect. Everything looks beautifully done. I also cant believe it took me 3 days to notice your post! You are a favorite ❤️💜💙💚💛

Sheryl said...

Lovely needlework Carol, both given and received, Congrats on your two birtdays, eight years blogging is a long time and a lot of stitching done, I hope you will continue for another eight or more years, always a joy to see your work.

Penny said...

Happy birthday, Carol!!! And happy blog birthday, too - I'm so very glad you still connect with us here. : ) Your stitching and finishing are always beautiful. And I am such a fan of the pieces stitched on black! Snowy Day is adorable and again so beautifully finished! And what goodies you received for your special day. So far our winter has been a bit of a disappointment in the snow area - I mean if it's going to be cold we might as well have some snow. : ) Maybe we will make up for it this month - but nothing too crazy, hopefully. : )

Unknown said...

Happy Blog Birthday Carol! Because of all the beautiful work you share, I have finally decided to make ornaments in the hopes of having a tree as lovely as yours one day. I have made four now, boy it doesn't take long to become hooked. Thank you again! Elizabeth

Kay said...

Happy birthday. I love reading blogs for inspiration, they are more personal too. x

Pam in IL said...

I'm late, but I'm still saying it -- Happy Birthday! Love your blog and all that you share. The friendships we've formed through blogging are so special and meaningful. Hopefully blogs will be around for a long time to come :)

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

I think I've said it before, you are the queen of finishes. I just love them all...couldn't for the life of me pick one I liked best.
I am new to blogging, just three years now and I love it. I've seen two blogging friends have to stop due to health reasons and I miss them. But I absolutely love blogging and meeting up with people all over the world. Since retiring, it is my new pleasure and it goes without saying, inspiration galore!

Mary - Lecoeurceltique said...

Carol, a belated Happy Birthday. You received some beautiful gifts.
I love your finishes. They are a delight to look at.
I'm quite a recent blogger (2014) and love reading them. I would miss yours if you stopped. I find them much easier to keep track of who is working on what and I feel that I get to 'know' the writers in a way that other social media doesn't allow.

Justine said...

Happy birthday to you and your blog Carol! There are always so many beautiful finishes in your posts and like many others I am inspired by your blog. Please don't give up!

I have made many friends through blogging, I've only had a blog for 3 years and I was made so welcome by this community. Bloggers come and go but I'm sure it will keep going. There just isn't the same connection with FB, instagram etc.

Wishing you many more happy years of blogging!

Kaisievic said...

Carol, wonderful long, chatty post, my dear - I do so enjoy those and that is one reason why FB and Instagram will never really be as good as blogging. Lovely, lovely gifts both given and received and I do always love seeing your superb stitching and finishing. I know what you mean about stitching not meaning to be stressful- I try not to let it get like that and often end up giving up what seemed to be good ideas as they just become too much and no fun! Happy belated birthday and happy blogaversary - please do keep giving us pleasure with your wonderful blog. hugs, Kaye

Melinda Forbes said...

I really hope people will continue to blog. For me it is easier to stay focused with blog reading. I really get to look at the stitching pieces we share, and the pictures - and it is easier for me to go back to a blog then on line,

love your ornaments. they are beautiful. I agree with you about that fabric. I am doing a serious of 12 Year in Chalk designs, and for the last few I have switched out the fabric. It was difficult for me to stitch on also.

Southpaw Stitcher said...

A belated happy birthday! Love all of your finishes, especially the ones on black ground. I avoid stitching on black though, because of eyesight issues. All of your gifts are so sweet, too.

Meari said...

You always make such beautiful gifts. I can always count on coming to your blog for inspiration! I love the interactions I've made through the blogging community. Although, I've been contemplating whether I want to continue or not because it doesn't seem like there's as much interest. I probably will, though.

♥ Nia said...

Ohhh I missed it! again! I missed your bday... I think I always miss all January birthdays :( sorry sweetie... that said...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! :D hehehehe

Yeap, I'm here again, this time really trying to be back on the blog world... but it's not easy.. as you said, bloggers who stopped posting or stitching, blogs that just disappeared...
I think I need to be on blog, on facebook and also on instagram! Looks like that's the way to reach everyone these days! ohhhh but we do miss the old times on the blog world =) the connections... it's not the same on fb or other social media!
I've been trying to get used to FB and I will soon start instagram too. But I do intend to continue on blogger too. It's a different community, a whole other way to post and keeo record in time. I still love it and I miss it so much :D

Today I've been reading blogs and admiring so many lovely works.. I think I will stitch something tonight! hahahah just a litte start from 2 hours or something, just to feel the happiness of stitching and finishing :D

Huge hug to you my friend!! You will read more on my blog soon ;) I'm here to stay :D