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...


kcenya1950 said...

Congratulations on your retirement, Carol. It is a big adjustment to realize that you no longer have to get up and get out of the house each morning. But the amazing thing is that, at least for me, I have been so busy that I wonder how I had time to work! Quilting adventures have been frequent, and well, I do have a part time job although I have simplified it down to just teaching at two conferences per year and an occasional project.

The damage from water can be devastating. We were flooded when we lived in Tulsa, OK in 1984 and I still have water trauma when it rains significantly -- perhaps that's why we now live in Idaho where the average rainfall is only about 11" per year. I hope that your in-laws are able to determine how to proceed and that the process runs as smoothly as it can for them.



Mii Stitch said...

Hello Carol,
As always it is such a pleasure admiring your stitching and finishing. They all look so pretty and I'm looking forward to seeing your Halloween work too.
I too am having troubles sleeping. I am anxious by nature and can't seem to let my brain switch off and rest.
I do hope things are going to settle for you, especially with your retirement approaching. This is fantastic news! You will soon be so busy, you'd wonder how you've managed before (that what's my parents told me!). I still have a little while before I can enjoy mine.

Vickie said...

Carol! I am so very glad for you on your retirement! It will be a good thing. Truly.
About the sleep. I have found throughout my ENTIRE life when I am worried and up thinking and fretting, I must make myself stop and switch over to prayer. When I completely pray instead, I fall asleep every, single time. It has never failed me.
I am so sorry to learn that your in-laws damage turned out worse than originally thought. It is so devastating, especially at their age. :(
Your chickadee finish is so precious! And yes, I love Santa's robe.♥
Take care Carol.

Sandy said...

Where do I begin? First, the stitching as always is amazing. I love birds, so naturally I love the chickadee. I do love your oval finishes on the PS Santa's. It is a perfect fit for them. That robe is nice and the little bluebird too. I also love your one color squirrel for September.
Now, I am so sorry to hear about the home of your in-laws. That is so hard. There are so many stories when those things come in. We never even hear a fraction of them on the news.
As for retirement, I am starting my 4th fall away from teaching. I taught 31 years. I was very ready, but found it so hard to adjust for some reason. I couldn't turn the switch off from the previous life for a very long time. I didn't even know how to order my days. I feel like this is the first September that it is coming together for me. Granted, I was hit with a lot of turmoil upon retirement..I just have to say it took me a while to adjust. I hope not for you. Enjoy the days.

Ann at Beadlework. said...

Oh Carol, times of change and flux can be tough but they can also bring positive things too. I hope you find retirement a good thing for you and that your sleep pattern returns to being a bit more settled.

Will a stitch said...

Hi Carol. Your ornaments are beautiful and finished to perfection. I still envy that cording!! I know what you mean about the difficulty sleeping. Sounds like most things on your mind will soon be over and hopefully that will help. I have no solution..but if you find one, let me know. Congrats on your retirement!! I retired about 18 months ago from a job of nearly 30 years also. For about a month, I felt like I was on vacation and didn't know what to do. But then the routine fell into place and I can honestly say I love it!! Time passes so quickly and I enjoy every minute of it. So, I hope the same for you as this new chapter begins.

Judy Heartland Stitcher

Robin in Virginia said...

Carol, both of your ornaments are stunning. It would be hard to pick one as a favorite. I am sorry to hear that you have are troubles sleeping. Hopefully once things settle down, you won't have trouble sleeping. Best wishes to you as you finish out your tenure at the library. Thinking of you!

Annie said...

Life just gets in the way all the time, doesn't it?

Love your little birdie ornament from such an oldie but goodie pattern. Great job on the round finish and the gingham ruched ribbon is an inspired touch!

I get that sleeping issue when so many worries are filling your brain. Retirement should take some of that away I hope and give your more time for other things. Hang in there.. you are one of the strongest, most capable women I know.

Cynthia said...

Congratulations on your retirement. I hope you enjoy every day.

Pondside said...

I am so sorry to read about all the things causing you to worry. Nothing can be done about the natural disasters, but all will surely come together for a wonderful wedding and trip to Hawaii!
Like you, I have stitched a pile of PS Santas. I have just bought the pattern for this year's.

Pondside said...

I am so sorry to read about all the things causing you to worry. Nothing can be done about the natural disasters, but all will surely come together for a wonderful wedding and trip to Hawaii!
Like you, I have stitched a pile of PS Santas. I have just bought the pattern for this year's.

Shelly said...

Pretty finishes and I think the PS Santa's look great as ovals. I really do need to sit and finish some things up which makes a perfect segue way into not being able to sleep. I have no good tips to sleep. You've read about my recent job accident, well, I worry when I can return to work, the finances and whatnot. So I've been waking up every every morning at 3am! It's frustrating, isn't it? The frustration just adds to the pile of whatever is worrying you. So yes, I do that too! Sorry to hear of your mothers possible health problems though. That's a tough one. As for our kids? Worrying about our kids is a lifelong thing isn't it? Happy Retirement! You were very lucky to have a job that you loved. I look forward to all the stitching you'll be doing!

Hope everything settles in the coming month and that your mothers health has turned around for the good. Carol, I have found that writing all your worries down in a journal or something like that kind of helps. I do that right before bed. It's like emptying your mind and transferring it all to paper. I should take my own advice! Take care:)

Arlene @Nanaland said...

Carol, i can see why sleep eludes you! That is a lot of stress at one time. I think you will be happy with your decision to retire. ( More stitchy time) When I am fretting, my stitching always calms me down. I call it my holistic Valium. Irma has impacted so many people that we know. My sis in law lives on Big Pine Key where Irma made landfall. Her house is still standing and the living quarters are ok but they cannot get back in until electricity and sewer are back in working order. The things we take for granted. I am sure your mom's health is at the top of your list and I understand that as well. My mom is 87 and she is on my mind a lot. Prayers for your and your family my stitchy friend.

Melissa said...

Carol! First, congratulations on your upcoming retirement! It is a big transition in one's life. Everyone handles their retirement in different ways. I'm sure you will find your own. On top of that, there have been lots of things around the world that are troubling lately so I can understand the restlessness. I'm so glad your son missed the sad mess that is down in Mexico right now. It was hard to watch the news last night.

On a lighter note - I love the little chickadee singing its song! We love chickadees and have lots around here!

Take care!

MartinaM said...

Hi Carol, as always, I am delighted to see what you show for beautiful embroidery. I love the little bird, and how you have processed it.
And I find your September motifs quite charming - I also love squirrels, how they jump so funny in the garden.
With great concern I have tracked the news of the hurricanes and prayed for the people who have been so bad. What people have built up over many years is destroyed in a single night. I hope your familie is doing well.
Yes - a farewell after so many years of work is certainly difficult - I can understand that well, but you have earned it, and you can enjoy the years now to the full, your children and grandchildren will surely look forward to it.
I wish you with all my heart that soon you will find the rest again to sleep quietly and well.
Big Hugs, Martina

Barb said...

You do have a lot on your plate. First, I try to decided what I have control over and what I do not. This is a very important list. Then, only those things I have control over do I really try to concentrate on. Other things I still worry about but really try to put them out of my mind. I try very hard to live up to a Bible verse I stitched, "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be happy in it." Really all any of us have is today. Now more practical advice, when I can't sleep, I stop trying and read for a bit. It often is the right solution. I have the same problem, I fall asleep and then wake up. Sometimes a take 4 deep breaths in and let them out to the count of 4 . That also helps sometimes. I felt very sad when I retired from teaching but now I really love having time to do all the things I love.

Mavi. said...

Querida Carol, lamento que tengas problemas para conciliar el sueño, espero que pase pronto y que los problemas se vayan solucionando. La salud de tu madre es lo más importante. Una pena que la casa de tus suegros pueda perderse, son tantos los daños causados por el huracán que las noticias asustan. Me alegro que el viaje de tu hijo a Mexico se demorase. Ya verás que llega el vestido de novia, pero los nervios son inevitables. Yo me jubilé el año pasado, este año de jubilación ha sido estupendo, trabajé durante 38 años así que me podía jubilar a los 60 años y estoy feliz. Me gustaría participar en el sorteo de los gráficos.
Preciosos tus bordados como siempre y deseando ver todos los Santa juntos.
Muchos besos.
Dear Carol, I'm sorry you have trouble sleeping, I hope it will happen soon and that the problems will be solved. The health of your mother is the most important. A pity that the house of your in-laws can be lost, there are so many damages caused by the hurricane that the news scare. I'm glad that your son's trip to Mexico was delayed. You will see that the wedding dress arrives, but the nerves are inevitable. I retired last year, this year of retirement has been great, I worked for 38 years so I could retire at age 60 and I am happy. I would like to participate in the draw of the graphics.
Precious your embroidery as always and wishing to see all the Santa together.
Many kisses.

sandi s said...

Your going to love being retired!!! I'd like to win your patterns, that pumpkin is so cute. Hugs,

Karleen said...

Enjoy the beginning of your retirement. It will be the beginning of a new step in you life.

LDR said...

Dear Carol,
I hope your worries soon melt away -- I can relate to the sleep issues as I have some worries too. It seems like the 'perfect storm' (no pun intended) of life changes and world troubles. I enjoy your blog very much. Your chickadee ornament is particularly pretty and an inspiration for finishing some that I am working on. All the best to you & your family!

Jill at emeraldcottage said...

Goodness you have a lot going on. Sorry to hear about your in-laws' house, how dreadful to have that happen, I can't imagine. Hope your last week at work is good, and not too tearful! 30 years - wow what a long time!
Your Christmas stitching is so lovely, I adore how you've finished the little "Joy" birdie.
I love the idea of doing a decoration a month, I'm definitely doing this next year, in fact I might start with the rest of this year!
I'd love the Autumn stitching charts, my email is
Have a lovely weekend,

Daniela Bencúrová said...

Dear Carol, your stitch is always beautiful!
Congratulations on your decision to retire. I did it in the summer. They did not find any compensation for me at school. They asked me to come back. I've been working again since September.
Sleep is weak in our age. Even I wake up at night and think about life for two or three hours. Even evening tea does not help.
The weather is bad. Hurricanes, earthquakes, sad! The threat of war. I'm very sad about it.
I wish you beautiful autumn days!

deb said...

The chickadee ornament is delightful! Love the notes swirling around him - beautiful finish. Santa came out quite nicely as well.

Ah, fall! Don't you just love stitching squirrels and acorns and pumpkins? I really need to finish Jane so I can get on to some other fun stuff.

Retirement!! How lovely for you!!! (can you tell I'm so looking forward to doing so myself? have several years to go...) Would love to chat with you all evening about fun stuff to do, and feel I'm being far too brief, but boy, am I excited for you!

*-* said...

Oh Carol! Sending you enfolding hugs.
I do know that feeling of waking & ruminating, mine usually last foe about 2 hours.It is so frustrating. Your stitching as usual is beautiful. I do love the wee bird pattern from 1992 & the PS ovals are equally lovely. Do you do those over 1, or are they smaller pattern charts?

I do love those sweet wooden squirrels. Oh, how I wish we had them where I come fro, in Australia, however we are blessed with wonderful, unusual creatures.

I'm so sorry for your In-laws, along with all those suffering from the chaos from Mother earth. We see the news coverage & feel so sad for folk.

I trust all will settle for you very soon.

Linda said...

Congrats on your upcoming retirement Carol. Sorry to hear about your in-laws house. Great finishes as always.


Von said...

Oh my, so much going on in your family, topping it off with your retirement! That will be wonderful for you, I think, giving you time to do what you need to do for yourself and others. It's exciting and I hope you will keep us updated as you transition to retirement.

Goofin' Off Around the Block said...

It looks like you've gotten a little bit of stitching done, and they are absolutely beautiful little pieces. I can see why you might have difficulty sleeping right now. You have so much going on in your mind. I have difficulty sleeping about 1/3 of the time. As silly as it may sound, I have learned not to embrace those sleepless nights and just get up and be productive when I am having difficulty sleeping. I work from home and set my own schedule, so I have learned to be flexible. I actually slept better after I made that decision because I don't toss and turn and stare at the alarm clock. Everyone is different, so you need to try things until you find what works for you. In the meantime, I'm sending my thoughts and prayers to you. Best wishes! Andrea

Tricia B said...

Carol, beautiful stitching and finishing! I'm so sorry you're not sleeping well! I've had about 3 months of interrupted and greatly reduced sleep so I feel your misery. Mine is menopausal but I can see how stress would be very difficult. I hope you find some rest and peace very soon. Retirement will be great, I know it. You seem like person whose life will be very full with or without a job. Maybe we can all exepct more blog posts! As always, thank you for sharing your lovely stitching and lovely self with us!

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
your stitching and finishes are wonderful as always. The little bird ornament is very cute.
Your autumn decoration looks beautiful.
Wenn so viel im Leben passiert, kann ich die Schlaflosigkeit gut verstehen. Ich hoffe deinen Schwiegereltern geht es gut.
Die bevorstehende Rentenzeit ist ein ganz neuer Abschnitt in deinem Leben. Du wirst andere Dinge finden, die dir Spaß machen, wie die Hochzeitsvorbereitungen deines Sohnes, oder auch irgendwann viel Zeit für deine Enkelkinder haben.

Have a nice weekend and best wishes, Manuela

Marilyn said...

More pretty ornament finishes!
Love the Sunflowers!!
I hope everything gets settled for your son's wedding.
I too, have trouble sleeping at night.
Like you said, I can fall asleep, but wake up and lay there for hours.
Sorry to hear about your in-laws.
Congrats on your retirement.
Take care.

twinpeakprimitives said...

Carol, hello.

Sorry to hear a lot of topics and events that caused you. For this reason, you should not be surprised to have a sleeping problem. I was in a similar situation. The things is continueing still but I've been released the sleeping problem and able to overcome the stress.

I did this in two different ways.

1. Conscious breathing (there are techniques)
2. Dive into spiritual issues for developing awareness and enlarging my vision. (This is very detailed - hard to fit here)

I would also recommend "the anise or chamomile tea" for your insomnia problem. Try not to sleep in the day time. Moreover when I go to sleep, I make a sound of wave or rain to not hear my head sounds. Routine sounds make a lullaby effect on me. I am able to see plenty of beautiful dreams as well.

For "Breath techniques" there is plenty of video on YouTube too.
For example,

As per your finishes; they are both fabulous♥♥♥

Have a wonderful weekend

PS : Do a to the Earth changing our lives and events are changing dramatically! Do not worry,everything is happend for some certain reasons! Just accept them with whole heart!!!!!

maxi said...

Hello Carol,
your retirement is the beginning of a new part in your live, enjoy it!
All your litle things in this post are so nice, i like the santa and the round squirrel pinkeep very much!
happy stitching

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

I'm sure once you get used to retirement, you will wonder how you found time to work. What a blessing to be able to know that you can afford to!

So glad to read that your inlaws and your son are safe. God provided well for all of you.

Missed your posted and checked almost every day. Glad to see you are back. I always love your work and your posts.

sunny said...

Retirement is awesome! I hope you love every minute of it. I'm sorry for all the troubles keeping you awake. I hope everything is resolved soon. I LOVE both of those patterns, and would love a chance to win them. Happy weekend!!

Margaret said...

Oh Carol! No wonder you haven't been able to sleep! Yes, I tend to the same sleep habits when I'm worrying. No solution to offer, I'm afraid. :( But wow, you've really been directly touched by these natural disasters. Thank god your youngest wasn't down in Mexico for the earthquakes! And your in-laws' house. I'm so sorry. This summer has been overwhelming and scary. I hope you are happy in retirement. I think I remember there was a reason for your decision so that it happened sooner than you'd originally planned. Lots of hugs to you. I hope that wedding dress has shown up by now! Yikes! Hope you can settle down now and relax and stop worrying. Love your stitching, of course. Beautiful as always!

RoseHeck said...

Hi Carol,
I'm interested in those charts. They're right up my alley!

Carm said...

Hope things get better for you son. My grand daughter was married last Oct it was a wedding and rehearsal full of problems! So I hope yours goes much smoother!!!
Congrats on the retirement. It will be hard to leave after 30 yrs. Time to rest and do thongs for yourself.
I would love a chance to win the patterns Thanks,

Christine said...

I love how you updated and finished the ornament 'joy' ~ great job on all your finishes! And congrats on your retirement.

And congrats on retiring! I think people with hobbies like stitching do best in retirement. And if you miss the library, you can always volunteer. Enjoy the time off to relax and take naps!

Susan Lankford said...

Carol, I'm so sorry about your recent anxiety, but as you unfolded all the issues, I can certainly understand. Many lie awake at night with imagined worries, but yours are quite real. And I'm sorry for your in-laws and whatever losses they incurred in Florida.

Your Santa and sweet bird are beautiful...glad you've been able to get in a bit of stitching. And I always love your finishing. I'm just getting started with that and it's hard for me!

Congratulations on your retirement! It's so refreshing to hear how you loved your job. Actually that will give you a lot of satisfaction as you retire...regrets over an unsatisfying experience are much harder to live with...

Hugs, Susan

Jenn M said...

After hearing all that it's no wonder you can't sleep! I hope your Mom is OK, and that your in-laws can salvage some parts of their home. Thank goodness they have another place to live if they can't. Retirement will be an adjustment for sure, but you have been feeling ready for it ever since your boss retired a while ago. It's changing your thinking that us the hardest part: you will no longer "be" a librarian, but a retired one. Thirty years at that job will have certainly shaped your identity, but change is good, and required for us to grow into all the wonderful possibilities there are.
Weddings can still happen without the dress; that part is out of your control but a sympathetic ear to the bride to be is in your control. And trips? Well they can be post-poned if the timing isn't right even though it usually hurts the wallet a bit! I hope you can get to Hawaii and relax and stitch next to those turquoise waters, whenever that may be.
In the words of Julian of Norwich, "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well". This is the quote I say over and over when I am up in the middle of the night.
Hugs to you at this time; and beautiful stitching too!

Mary said...

Carol, Congratulations on your retirement!! It's a big lifestyle change but I have a feeling you will adapt very well to it. I found that taking Calm by Natural vitality helped me with my sleep. It's a magnesium supplement. Melatonin is also helpful. Good luck with that, nothing worse than waking up and mulling over the stresses in your life. I also try to think of all the good things in my life instead of what is bothering me, that helps too. I'm so sorry to hear of your inlaws home, I hope the repairs don't take too long.

Both of your stitches are wonderful, I love the check ribbon on Joy and love the PS Santas done with the oval finish. Your finishes are always so inspiring.

Looking forward to hearing how you are enjoying your retirement! Mary

AnaCristina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AnaCristina said...

I am sorry about your in-laws :-(
Congratulations on your retirement!
I love your stitches and I would like to take part in your give away but I live in Brazil. If it could be, I want to take part.

marly said...

Well I can see why a good night's sleep is eluding you. Seems like several situations are not settled and wondering/worrying about the outcome is hard to stop. My sister has had this problem for several years, tried Valerian and Melatonin which worked for a bit. But she is worried every night that she will be up in an hour, and bingo, she is! It's almost impossible to rid the subconscious of worrisome thoughts, but when all is settled, you will have a good rest. Until then, take a few naps.

Congratulations on your retirement! Many people question that decision and lose sleep over it, but I don't know of anyone that was sorry. Best wishes to you!

Please do not include me in your offer but thanks!

Jennifer said...

Well no wonder Carol - with such a big life change coming, that alone would be enough to keep you up. Add all the other things and no much to think about. I have two friends who had water in their houses in Houston due to Harvey and a former neighbor in Puerto Rico who we just heard from this afternoon (she is okay, but her house has some damage - don't know how extensive yet). I told a friend the other day that it seems a bit like Armageddon with all this weather, I sure hope the storms, fires, and earthquakes all settle soon. For sleep, I have a couple friends who swear by melatonin (although I've never taken it myself), and I have used Ambien when I travel to Asia - I usually still wake up in the night, but with the meds, can get back to sleep quickly and sleep well. I hope that the dress arrives, the house repair in Fla starts soon, and your last week at work is memorable in a good way. The best of luck to you as you adjust to the new schedule in your life and hope you are able to get back to your stitching in the way you want. Your finishes are lovely as usual - that chickadee is just wonderful! Have a nice Sunday and a good week ahead!

Christine said...

Congratulations on your retirement!
Beautiful ornaments as always and your September display is gorgeous

The Knitting Cross Stitcher said...

Hi Carol,lovely to see your post:)
When you love your job retirement is not as easy to decide as when you cannot wait for the chance to retire.I am glad you have enjoyed your job at the library for so long,and I am sure you will establish a new life routine over the coming months.
I love both your stitched pieces and yes,Santa’s robe is beautiful.I think the nordic type designs,trees deer etc are so pretty.
I am sorry to hear of your concern over your mom’s health and other worries.I think we live in turbulent times,nature made and man made. and your lack of sleep will not be helping..I have had experience of that in abundance.Some of it I definitely put down to my age.
Take care Carol and I am looking forward to seeing your Hallowe’en piece.

Lili said...

Hello Carol! Such a pretty Christmas stitching, your ornaments are so pretty!

Love your September display!

So sorry for your mother's health, for your in-laws and others worries... Hope you find peace and hope you can sleep better soon.

Carol, congratulations on your retirement!
Take care,

Beadou16 said...

Hello, Carol,
Je suis française et j'aime beaucoup tous les ornements de Noel, j'ai décidée de coudre moi aussi une modele de Noel tous les mois, pour l'instant j'en ai fait veux bien aussi le
Otis des écureuils, j'ai une amie qui les "invité chez elles" ils viennent manger des mix jusque dans sa cuisine.. Et voudrais bien lui broder un écureuil, j'espère etre la gagnante, ,
Tout ce que vous brodez est merveilleux et j'adore votre blog
Beatrice de France

Preeti said...

Hi Carol, your ornaments are so beautiful !!:) The sunflowers look great, I have been struggling with pests on my plants but I hope I will get some flowers in few month's time.
Sorry to hear about your mom's health and the damage caused to the property of your in-laws. But we always need to thank God for saving from the bigger loss. I do feel anxious sometimes and find difficult to sleep. Earlier I had sleep apnea due to sinus but then it's gone after surgery. I don't think medicine is a solution. Try yoga pranayama (breathing exercise) or any deep breathing exercise before going to bed. Also, I always make myself think that tomorrow is Sunday because most of the time I am worried that if I sleep late I might end up sleeping only for 4hrs . So I just lie to my mind that tomorrow is Sunday and that I don't have to worry about next day's schedule, the alarm takes care of next day. Funny, but that works with me. And then I read until my eyes feel tired to sleep. Just read and try not to think about tomorrow, just by thinking the tensions aren't going to disappear. The next day the worries and targets again appear but atleast the night was peaceful. Sometimes it is overwhelming when too many things are on the list but everything falls in place at the end, I have experienced that and you have seen more life than me so you might also feel the same.

Daffycat said...

Oh my, that chickadee is really adorable and I love the b&w check ribbon you used in the finishing. The Santa is really sweet as well! Your Christmas ornaments are always so nice.

When I was a girl we spent many a vacation in Colorado. I LOVED the chipmunks! Some were so tame they would sit on your lap and eat right from your hand! Not so cute when they eat your flower garden before it even starts! Clever idea to cover the beds with wire until the seeds grow. Beautiful sunflowers.

Sweet Sue said...

hiya carol:) such a cute finish! lots going on there ~ as always i wish you the very best with everything. congrats on your retirement, you've earned it, along with some solitude. tylenol pm can do wonders for restless nights;) xo

Cindy's Stitching said...

WOW. No wonder you can't Sleep. We all go through these times. I get up and stich or go through my stitching patterns keeps me busy on something i enjoy. I thought you were waiting a couple of years to retire but i do not blame you. Enjoy the retirement. You can stitch when you want. The wedding is exciting and I am sure that is pressing on your mind. Sorry about your families house. So many people affected, Fla is known for the hurricanes and damage. I hope you find some peace and comfort Carol. Huggs.

Beth said...

Wonderful stitching - I like to look at my older magazines once in awhile to see if any of the designs are 'true' all these years later. I really like all your squirrel stitches. No wonder you are not sleeping - so many changes in your life - weddings, retirement - goodness. You'll just need to give yourself time to find your balance once again. I think you are one of those people who will absolutely thrive in retirement!

Beadou16 said...

Bonjour, Carol, j'ai oublié de laisser mon adresse mail dans le commentaire précédant,
Beatrice de France

Cathy H. said...

Congratulations on your retirement! I'm sure it will take some getting used too, but I'm sure you'll find plenty of wonderful things to fill your day. Hey, more stitching time! Love your little Chickadee, so cute finished. And, of course love the Santa! Hope you find a way to get more rest!

Brigitte said...

Again such wonderful stitching and finishing to be seen on your blog. Both ornaments are just beautiful. I have always loved this little PS Santa because of his robe. Aren't they sweet, the reindeer and trees? Such a nice idea of the designer.
So sorry to read about the damage to your in-laws home in Florida. It's so devastating to read about all the damage done by the hurricanes, and also the earthquakes in Mexico. So many people losing everything. I hope that your in-laws' house can still be saved.
I can relate to your problem with seeing throughout the whole night. Happens to me , too, on times when something keeps my mind busy. What I do to fall asleep again might sound funny but I think of one or more of my stitching/quilting projects that I am working on or that I am going to start in the near future. That calms me down and I can continue my sleep. Sounds funny, doesn't it? Lol.
Oh my, you are going to retire!! How cool is that. After a short time of getting used to how to organize your days you will love it, love it, love it. I retired four years ago and it is still a great feeling to get up in the morning and to think about how I want to spend the day. The best thing ever.

Unknown said...

Congratulations on your retirement! You will be out of sorts at first, like a long weekend vacation, but you will find your way, believe me. The stitching will keep you busy, that is what has kept me from pulling my hair out. I'm working on stockings for my 4 grandbabies at the moment, one down, three to go! LOL. Hoping to get them all completely finished by Christmas, but I don't think it will happen. But I'm going to give it my best shot.
Love the little pumpkin pattern in your giveaway. Would love to be entered in the drawing for them both. My email is

Maggee said...

Hi there! As usual, the stitching you have shared with us is really cute, as is the finishing! I have a PILE of finishing to do, but have put it off for months and months and done zero! I am getting close to diving in tho... I have had more sleepless nights lately also. So much going on in our worlds... But glad to hear that you will soon be retired from working at the library. You will not be retired from life, and will soon find that you are so busy! So sorry to hear that your Mom's health still worries you, and I pray it will improve! Also I am sure the wedding dress will arrive, if it hasn't already. What can be said about the hurricanes that hasn't already been said. Glad your in-laws were NOT there when it happened. Belongings can be replaced. My heart breaks for the islanders that have been devastated. Take care of yourself... too much worry is damaging. With BIG HUGS, Maggee

LoriU said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your in-laws Florida home.

Congratulations on retirement!! I for one cannot WAIT to retire. Four years from next Tuesday! That is when I will be 60 and hope to retire! Well that's the plan at least!!

CathieJ said...

Congratulations on your retirement! I am sure you will find your stitching mojo again. I too have had bouts of not sleeping, usually when there is upset around me. The nighttime ruminating is the worst. Perhaps once your son's wedding takes place you will be able to sleep through. I also think it has to do with the time of life. We have to not only be concerned about our children, but also about our parents. Our decrease in hormones doesn't help either. All my friends seem to suffer with it from time to time. I wish I had some advice, but once you retire I would say just get up and do what you want in the middle of the night as you don't have to worry about going to work the next day . That is what I did during the summer and it worked.

Irene said...

Oh Carol, un abbraccio forte forte! Vedrai che le cose si sistemeranno, tornerai serena e potrai dormire. Congratulazioni per la pensione!

Justine said...

Great advice Barb!

Justine said...

Sorry to hear of your sleep troubles Carol - no wonder when you have so much going on! I have always had similar problems. I find trying to remember my stitching WIPs in the order I started them always seems to calm me down and send me off, but if I'm really worrying about something I can be awake foe hours. Everything seems worse at night too!
Your in laws were lucky not to be in their house, sorry to hear that your family has been affected by this disaster.
Good luck for your retirement, I'm sure you will soon be wondering how you found time to work! And there is always volunteer work if you are interested.
Lovely stitching as always - your autumn display is beautiful!

Lillie said...

Fabulous ornaments finished Carol. I am so sorry about your Inlaws home affected by H. Irma and all the worries and concern that are currently on your mind. I wish you well and hope everything will work out. Sunflowers are such happy flowers, congrats on your retirement, I am sure you will enjoy the freedom and lots of wonderful time to do all that you been longing. Take care!

Julie said...

So sad your family have been affected by the recent weather troubles.
As I type this (being behind on blog reading again) you will be almost on your last day at work .... enjoy your retirement, I hope having more time at home to relax will help with the sleep problem too.
{{hugs}} to you as you deal with mums health issues
Hope the dress has arrived by now and one problem is solved for you.
Two super ornaments, simply beautiful

Southpaw Stitcher said...

Carol, your two ornaments are perfect, and I love your little Autumn display. So sorry to hear about your trouble sleeping. I experienced more trouble sleeping when I had a job than after I retired. At least when you're retired you can sleep a little longer in the morning and won't have to go into work exhausted. Happy retirement! I'm guessing that you will love it almost as much as I do.

Jackie's Stitches said...

You know I'm so excited about your retirement! You're going to have to tell me how great it is once you have a few weeks under your belt. :) Congratulations!

I just love when you use black in your stitching and finishing. There is something so classically elegant about it and I'm drawn to it each time you feature it. I LOVE the simple finish of your PS Santa for the same reason. You have great taste Carol!

Sally said...

Your finishes, as always, are gorgeous Carol. You are such an inspiration.

Congratulations and your retirement. Enjoy every minute! My sister in law retired from teaching this year and says she keeps just as busy and is loving it.

I am so sorry to hear that your family have been affected by the hurricanes. We have been following on the news over here and the devastation is awful.

I hope you manage to get back to a decent sleep pattern soon. It is so hard when you can't sleep.

Penny said...

No stitching for me right now but looking at your beautiful finishes make me anxious to get back to it. Your sunflowers are absolutely gorgeous - my favorite flower. So many things going on in your life I can certainly see why you might be having trouble sleeping. It is so hard (impossible?) to turn things off in our heads when it is time to sleep. I wish I had a magic solution for you, but unfortunately, I seem to operate in a fog most of the time. : ) Very sorry to hear about your in-laws home. I can't imagine dealing with that kind of devastation. And your mom - extremely difficult to see our parents struggling - keeping you both in my prayers. I can imagine there would be a mix of feelings on retirement but kind of exciting to embark on the next part of your life journey. Wishing you all the very best, Carol!

Kate said...

I love your chickadee, Carol.
Regarding your sleeplessness I've been there, done that and have no solution to suggest.
Enjoy your retirement - it's going to be more fun than you expect.

Andrea said...

Happy Retirement! You are going to wonder how you ever had time to go to work.
Sorry to hear of your family troubles, it's never easy.
Love your 2 Christmas projects, always a pleasure to see. Your Autumn display is wonderful.

Hilda said...

My dear friend,
I am so sorry to read all about you sorrows. And I am sorry that I almost missed this post (haven't been on blogger for two weeks and now that I was, I did not see your post ... sorry).
Now you are retired and I already send you my congratulations on Instagram. Of course it is a big step, but I am sure you will enjoy your life, when you will have so much more time for other things.
But - some other things you simply can not change or even controll.
I had such a time too, when I had problems to sleep. My best help was a vision of something very beautiful in the future (for a very long time it was our house, that wasn't built at that time). I focused all my thoughts and may whole mind on that. Imagined how I walk throuhg the house, the garden, how I am happy in it. That helped me feel more confident and calm.
Sometime it is just necessary to take away your attention from all that bad things, that you cannot change and concentrate to something really happy, you can controll or influence ...

I am sorry, my English is not good enough to tell you what I mean, I hope you will understand it anyway.

I am sure the wedding of your son will be amazing - and your trip to Hawaii will bring you some relaxing moments!

Am thinking of you, my dear friend, and sending you embraces and all my good thoughts!


learner said...

'This is my first time to read your posts and admire your needlework. I love all of it, therefore I am subscribing to your posts. You are a very talented lady. Thank you for sharing a bit of who you are with the rest of the world. You put "JOY" in my day today.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Congratulations on the retirement! I am sure that by now you have settled into a new routine and the sleeping problems are no more.
The only times I've had bad middle of the night insomnia was during both pregnancies. I just gave up trying to sleep and read a book for an hour or so then drifted off again.
Sorry to hear about your in-laws' house, I hope it is able to be salvaged, thankfully they weren't in it at the time.
Love your autumn themed basket.

butterfly said...

Hi Carol looks like a change of life for you.
You will be fine once things settle down .
Love all your Autumn display and Christmas stitching .
You will enjoy retirement , it takes a few months to settle.
How lovely for your son and girlfriend to have a Autumn wedding .
I am sure it will all go along beautiful.
I had a time where I had a bad sleep pattern , but I am fine now I read a few pages of my book and then i am gone.
Well I am still playing catch up after a week from our holiday , lots of washing ironing and putting things away.
Try not to worry about things and take time to relax, even 10 mins lie down in the afternoon with a book is good .

Sam I Am...... said...

I am new to your blog and found you on Pinterest when I was looking for some Halloween stitchery. I love your projects and especially the way you frame them. Congratulations on your retirement and I hope you can relax and get some rest! I am retired and gave up worrying a long time ago! I control what I can and the rest I leave up to God. I sleep great and if I awaken early I just get up and start my day....I take it as gift of more hours. I will be back to visit your lovely blog. I'm just getting back into cross stitch after a long career in computer science...I probably have those magazines from years ago! LOL! Have a great week!

Audrey said...

Just found your blog from a stitching friend! What fabric did you stitch your Prairie Santa on? And how do you do the oval finishes? Is there a template for the oval or do you use something bought from a craft shop? All of your finishes and stitches are lovely. Congratulations on your retirement. I have 2 1/2 years left (not that I'm counting ha ha ha!).

ricketyjo said...

Hi Carol. Congratulations on your retirement! I hope you will be busy and happy and able to enjoy it.
I'm sorry to hear that you haven't been sleeping well, sounds like everything has just all come at once. Hopefully some of the things like wedding preparations will be done with soon and that will be one less thing, but its horrible when you can't sleep because you are too busy THINKING, isn't it? I hate it too. I think it sometimes helps just to avoid watching the news and reading headlines etc and trying to focus on happier things, which I know is hard, but maybe give it a try and see if it helps. And then stitching so I don't have time for thinking and binge watching period dramas while I stitch. Those are the things I do. I hope some of the things that have been on your mind will be resolved soon. xx

priscilla said...

Such pretty finishes Carol! I love that black and white check ribbon for the border! Congratulations on your retirement .. so sorry you can't sleep with all the "stuff" going on! Hope everything calms down for you!

Sheryl said...

Oh Carol, I wouldn´t be able to sleep well with just one of the problems worrying you, all quite serious worries which I hope will be resolved soon. (I sometimes listen to antistress music on my ipad when I can´t sleep) Great idea to retire now and although it will be very sad leaving after so many years, I´m sure you will enjoy having more time for yourself and your family.
Pretty Autumn stitching display.

valerie said...

Hi Carol! I'm so very behind on reading blogs. I was so surprised to see you retired on IG. I love your recent finishes and those sunflowers are gorgeous. I can understand there is so much on your mind and I am sure the wedding will be a hit. My dress didn't arrive to the shop until 3 weeks before the wedding. I was a basketcase but it all worked out. I can't wait to hear all the details about the wedding! So sorry to hear about your in-laws home. There have been so many natural disasters. Now we are dealing with the fires in NoCal. They are still far from us but the wind is bringing the smoke to us and Tim has a friend who lost their home. Congratulations on your retirement! More time for fun and stitching! :)

Unknown said...

Hi Carol! Congratulations on your retirement! Hope things are better for you as you begin to enjoy your retirement but I believe you will be busier now than ever! Love your new stitch projects! I suffer from insomnia but I always play an audio book and that gets me to sleep again, eventually….

Love the charts you are giving away! Would love to win one!

Hazel said...

Super finishes Carol. I hope that things have started to settle down now. x