Hello, everyone! Another one-post month, I'm afraid, unless I can get another one up within the next week and that isn't looking very likely at this point. But, I do have a good excuse... July is our busiest family month for celebrations! Every family seems to have one--you know, the month that is filled with birthdays, anniversaries, etc. What is yours?
I do have a couple of stitching finishes to share with you and another non-stitchy project that I finally finished. This is "Summer" from Little House Needleworks stitched over one on 28 ct. white evenweave. As you can see, I finished this one the same way as I did the "Spring" LHN monochrome piece (which you can see right here). I hope to do Fall and Winter in the same series this year, too.
|Little House Needleworks "Summer"|
Aren't the blues in this lovely? I used the prettiest silk thread from Hand Dyed Fibers (no longer selling silks, unfortunately) called "Rubbed Navy." I found a coordinating checked fabric (another old shirt from one of my sons) which worked perfectly for the background. A simple jute ribbon and pair of buttons completes the piece. For this type of finish, I simply apply a piece of felt to the back--very quick and easy!
|I never get tired of blue!|
And I finished another ornament--this one is for April (yes, April, she said as she hung her head in shame). I actually have all of my Christmas ornaments stitched through July, just haven't had any desire to finish them for some reason. I had to force myself to get this one done yesterday! This Prairie Schooler Santa is from Book No. 58 called "Old St. Nick." I used the called for DMC colors on 40 ct. raw natural Newcastle, but did change his beard to DMC 3865.
|A new blue-robed Santa for my tree|
I have really come to love finishing this series in an oval shape so that is what I went with once again. Matching blue handmade cording and a snippet of fabric (the same fabric that I used for the backing) finish him off quite nicely, don't you think?
|Prairie Schooler Santa from "Old St. Nick (Book No.58)|
I met up with my friend, Lee, for lunch last week and she surprised me with this project pouch! Isn't it gorgeous? She's been experimenting and trying to use up stash and thought this blue and yellow print would be perfect for me. I just love it, Lee--thank you so, so much. And I'm already using it to hold my latest Prairie Schooler project!
|Lee made me this gorgeous project pouch!|
My non-stitchy project was started way back in November of last year when I picked up these pretty tiles on my very first visit to San Diego. My son and his fiancee took us to a Mexican market and I selected these four blue and white designs with the intention of turning them into coasters. At only $2.00 a piece, they were quite the bargain!
|Pretty Mexican tiles|
For this project, I simply painted the edges a dark blue (as I didn't want to leave the raw edges showing) and then glued on some cork backing that I found at a local craft store. And there you have it--some cute new coasters that fit in perfectly with my blue and white kitchen... When my oldest son saw them he jokingly (I hope!) asked if I could make 250 more for his wedding in October!
|New coasters all finished up!|
Along with some stitching, crafting, and just getting on with my normal every day life--there were some family birthdays to celebrate. And birthdays = cake = baking!! Yay! You know that I love baking almost as much as I love stitching, don't you? I don't get to bake much these days because my sons no longer live at home--and I really miss it (and them!). But, my youngest son did come home for his 29th birthday and he requested a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. So, that's what he got. I had never made a yellow cake from scratch before, but I found this recipe and it looked so good that I had to try it. And when topped with this frosting--oh, my rich and decadent--a little piece went a long way! I did make 1 1/2 times the amount of frosting to cover the cake completely.
|Lots of July birthday baking|
My husband celebrated his birthday (he caught up with me as he is 6 months younger!) five days later. So, out came the baking pans once again and I whipped up this carrot cake which my friend Myra posted on her blog several years ago. It is a winner and I've made it many, many times. I cut the recipe in half to make a smaller cake, though. Oh, it is heavenly! Pictured above with the two cakes are some blueberry banana mini-muffins. I used this recipe, but halved it and made muffins instead of bread--they turned out so moist and tasty. That's it for the family birthdays now until December.
But, I do have one more celebration to share with you and it's a big one! Yesterday, July 23, 2017, was our 40th wedding anniversary. It seems like I just blinked and that young 22-year-old couple on the left, newly graduated from college, morphed into the 62-year-old couple on the right--a bit wrinkly, but still smiling! I'm happy to say that most, if not all of our dreams have come true. Oh, there have been bumps in the road--no marriage is free of those, but I can't imagine sharing this journey with any other man by my side. Our three sons are our greatest blessing and, hopefully (fingers crossed!) we'll be blessed with grandchildren in the not-too-distant future. I am truly thankful...
|Then and now! 40 years have flown by!|
For our anniversary celebration, we had a quiet dinner overlooking the beautiful Pittsburgh skyline. For those of you who haven't visited this area, the view of Pittsburgh from Mt. Washington is one of the prettiest of any city around. I mean just look at it... those rivers, those bridges, the wonderful hills!
|The beauty of Pittsburgh as seen from Mt. Washington|
After our seafood dinner, we ordered a very chocolatey dessert and they brought it out on a plate specially decorated for us. We shared this one, but should have ordered one for each of us! Anyway... that was just our little 40th anniversary celebration. The big one is coming this fall when we head to Hawaii--a first for me. I'm counting the days!
|A bit of chocolate to top off our anniversary dinner|
Insta-versary! July also marked my first anniversary of being on Instagram. I was so reluctant to join, but I can't tell you how glad I've been to be there. It really has been a joy to catch up with former blogging friends and meet so many new stitchers from around the world. It is quick and easy and if some of you are on the fence about it, I strongly encourage you to give it a chance. My account (if you wish to follow me) is under caroling55 or you can click here!
And, that's my July! Busy and not quite over--we plan to visit our youngest son in DC later this month as we haven't been down in over a year. He is only 4 hours away, too! Just a shame that we don't get there more often.
I know many of my blogging friends are going through some tough times and my heart goes out to each of you--serious illnesses, deaths of loved one and pets... You know who you are and please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you all for taking the time to visit me--and an extra thanks to those of you who take the time to say "hello!" Bye for now...