Friday, September 22, 2017

Stitching Christmas In a Time of Transition

Good morning! It's been a while, hasn't it? Yes, over a month has passed since my last post... I haven't felt much like posting--or even stitching--over the past couple of months so I'm sure hoping that things turn around. So many concerns are worrying me right now and I can't seem to settle and just stitch. I'm having a lot of trouble sleeping, too, which complicates my daily life. But, after next week... things should be a "bit" calmer for me.

As I mentioned in my August post, I am WAY behind on my monthly Christmas ornament stitching, but I do have two to share with you today--a chickadee for May and a PS Santa for June.  This sweet chickadee design appeared in the 1992 issue of Better Homes and Garden's Christmas magazine. How adorable is he?!  Of course, I made a few changes to the colors to update them from what was charted  25 years ago. I also added another musical note and changed the coloring of the word "Joy" to black.

My ornament for May

This cheerful bird is stitched on 40 ct. pearl gray Newcastle linen. I thought the shape of this design would make a perfect round ornament and I'm really pleased with the final look. Some black and white gingham ruched ribbon, bow, and hanger finished my ornament for May off quite nicely. I like a simple, clean look to my ornaments--especially when they have a lot of detail like this one. What do you think?

A joyful finish

I seem to be stitching a lot of Prairie Schooler Santas this year, don't I? I have fallen in love with the oval finish for these handsome guys and here is my latest: a red-robed, bluejay carrying Santa. Isn't the detail on his robe wonderful?

I wonder how many PS Santas I've stitched?!

This one, like the other oval Prairie Schooler Santas I've stitched this year is simply finished with red handmade cording and a tiny gingham bow... I may have to go back and restitch some of the other PS Santas that I finished differently over the years so I'll have a complete set of oval finishes (or maybe not!!). We'll see...

Don't you love his robe?

I've also stitched a sweet Halloween design, but I'll wait to share it with you until after I've finished it into a little pillow.  September, to me, means squirrels and sunflowers and I thought this display perfectly captured the feeling of the month... We had a wonderful variety of sunflowers this year in our garden (thanks to my dear husband who patiently planted the seeds and then covered them with mesh so the chipmunks wouldn't gobble them up as they have in years past). I wasn't crazy about the brown sunflowers when they first bloomed, but I ended up liking them when paired with the traditional yellow variety.

Squirrels + Sunflowers = September!

Fall stitching, anyone?  I'm giving away these two charts from an old Cross Stitch & Needlework Magazine from October 1997.  Although they are very different styles, the patterns are printed back-to-back so I can't separate them. If you are interested in giving these charts a new home, just let me know in your comments. This is just three pages torn from a magazine--not the whole magazine. If more than one person wants them, I will do a drawing.  PLEASE, PLEASE make sure to include your email in with your comment--I won't be trying to track anyone down if they haven't included their email address... Also, just so you know, I will be folding this up and mailing it in a legal sized envelope to save on postage. I'll announce the winner the next time I post...

If you are interested in winning these charts, please leave a note in your comment!

So, why haven't I been sleeping? Just too many worries running through my mind: my son's upcoming wedding in October (his fiancee's dress still hasn't arrived at the shop for alterations!), our trip to Hawaii (which is far from being planned!), my dear mom's health, and all of these natural disasters that are plaguing our world.

Unfortunately, Hurricane Irma took a personal toll on our family with the flooding (and possible loss) of my in-laws' home down in Naples, Florida. The water was 8-12 inches deep throughout  and with the heat and humidity and no power to run fans or air conditioning, the mold and mildew began quickly taking over. Fortunately, my husband's parents live up north during the summer months so  we didn't need to worry about evacuating them. They've had workers in to remove the carpeting, tear out the drywall, etc, but only got power back yesterday after more than 10 days without. At this point, no one is sure if the house is worth saving or if it will be torn down. It's just heartbreaking to watch all the damage the hurricanes have wreaked along with the earthquakes in Mexico (where my youngest son was scheduled to go for work next week--thank goodness it wasn't this week!). 

I can fall asleep just fine, but I'm waking up and ruminating about everything under the sun for two-three hours each night--UGH!! Do any of you have this problem? If anyone has any advice for me, I'd love to hear it!

And then there is one last thing that is on my mind. But, it's a biggie: I've decided to retire... In fact, I only have one week of work remaining at the library. There have been a lot of tears since I made up my mind earlier this summer--and I know many more will be coming next week as I say goodbye to a job that I've loved for nearly 30 years. I'll fill you in on how I fare in my next post...

Thank you all for stopping by today--I so enjoy reading your comments! And I truly appreciate the time you take to read my blog posts and say "hello!" Bye for now...