Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The final two and Kauai photos

I did it! I finished my final two monthly ornaments for 2017! Are you surprised? I sure am--I truly thought this would be the first year since I began my blog that I wouldn't get all twelve finished. Anyway, I want to share these last two with you before my annual "Parade of Ornaments" post next time. And since you seemed to enjoy my photos of Maui so much, I'm moving on to some scenes of our visit to Kauai later on in the post.

In my haste to finish my 2017 monthly ornaments, I neglected to take a "before" photo and only have the finished ornaments to share with you today.  I think many of you will recognize this cute couple--"Kissing Cardinals" from the 2014 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue. Aren't they adorable? The lovebirds are stitched on 40 ct. pearl gray Newcastle with a variety of overdyed threads and finished into a round ornament. The dotty gray fabric pictured is what I used for the back of the ornament.

"Kissing Cardinals" finish

And my December ornament is "Silver Bells" which is part of the Hands On Design's Chalkboard Ornaments Christmas Collection (Part 3). This is much smaller than the ornaments shown on the cover of the chart, though--I stitched it "over one" on 28 ct. black Monaco. Because it's so small, I had to scale everything back. I couldn't use the holly leaves or button that came with the chart so I cut smaller ones out of olive green felt and added a teeny button from my collection. I also added real mini-jingle bells rather than stitching them as was charted. I love  how it turned out--so tiny and cute!

Hands On Design "Silver Bells" finish

So, that brings another "ornament a month" quest to an end. I'll have a wrap up post next time so you can see all twelve together.

GIVEAWAY WINNER:  The only other stitching news I have is to announce the winner of the Santa chart giveaway from my previous. I had eleven entries so I threw the names into a hat and picked out the winner:  PAM (Tall House Quilts)! Pam, please email me with your mailing address and I will get this chart off to you as soon as possible.  Congratulations and, if you weren't the lucky winner, please come visit me again--I'll be having more old chart giveaways in the future!

Congratulations, Pam!

Green, green, and more green...  So, on to my photos from what is known as Hawaii's "Garden Isle." Kauai was described on one website as the land of "Emerald mountains, weeping waterfalls, red-rock canyons, jaw-dropping beaches, clear seas and big waves." All-true--it was so lush and green everywhere you looked. But, like our time on Maui, the sunshine was absent most of the time. And like Maui, we also had a nine-hour power outage--I mean what are the chances of that happening on both islands? 


We stayed in an Airbnb that felt very jungle-like  nestled along the banks of the Wainiha River in the remote, more isolated northern area of Kauai. I'll give you a tour in photos if you'd like to come along...


The view from our balcony overlooking the tranquil Wainiha River



One of the few blue-sky days brought this pretty pink sunrise



I laughed when I first saw this "Caution: Falling Coconuts" sign, but by week's end, there were nine coconuts that had thudded onto the ground. They really could have caused great damage to someone if they landed on a head!



There was an abundance of fresh fruit growing right in the yard of the Airbnb--along with these bananas, there were papayas, avocados, guavas, oranges, and mangoes!



The house that we stayed in advised us to close the gate that surrounds the yard and we found out why! We encountered this quintet of wild pigs on the road as we drove into town...



How would you like to run into this fellow in your yard?



On a non-rainy day, we took in the beautiful sights at the Limahuli Garden & Preserve which was just up the road.



Everything grows bigger than life here including the roots on these trees!



Pointy cliffs like these make it impossible to drive entirely around the island



This traditional Hawaiian hale (house) was reconstructed in the footprint of what was once an ancient housing complex.



Another shot of the Limahuli Preserve (and me!)



More beauteous flowers--the bird-of-paradise in the center was my favorite



I believe these are papaya trees full of fruit



Special touches like these stepping stone etched with symbols of plants and trees added a nice touch



Our final day--and a sunny one--took us to the Allerton Garden at the National Tropical Botanical Garden on the southern end of Kauai



Do these Morton Bay fig trees look familiar? Parts of the movie, Jurassic Park were filmed here. You may remember that scene where the hatched dinosaur eggs were found among the roots of these trees.



You can get a better idea of just how large the roots are with us standing in front of them!



This arbor of golden bamboo was so lovely



An orchid nestled in the bamboo



The Wai`oli Hui`ia Church was one of the prettiest I have ever seen



On our final afternoon we drove way, way up into the Waimea Canyon State Park.



I think you can see why this is often called "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific!" We enjoyed the stunning views with waterfalls streaming down the mountainside. I wish we had had more time to do some hiking there, but all we could do was stop and take in a few of the beautiful overlooks.


Hope you enjoyed seeing my photos from this beautiful part of the U.S. I think we got to see some lovely sights in spite of the rain, flash flooding, and closed hiking trails that we encountered. And we certainly were forced to just stay home and relax when the weather was so terrible. I had been so far behind on my sleep with worrying about the wedding, my retirement decision, and trip planning, that I slept like a baby! 


A traditional birthday treat... My middle son turned 32 last week and, as he has ever since he was a little boy, he requested a "Giant Chocolate Eclair Dessert" as his birthday goodie. I cut the recipe in half as there were just four of us, but it still tasted delicious. My little Santa helpers seem to think it looks pretty yummy, too! I mean, what's not to like about a puffy pastry crust and layers of cream cheese, French vanilla pudding, and whipped topping. Oh, and don't forget the swirly chocolate topping!


Giant Chocolate Eclair for the birthday boy


How is everyone coming along with their Christmas preparations? I still don't have my tree decorated... I was visiting my mom last week, came back home, and will go up to New York again this week as she began having some health issues. But, she comes first right now--she is my best friend :)  I'll get my tree up at some point--even if it is just for a week! 


Thanks so much for visiting today--I know you, like me, have very limited hours to spend online at this time of year. Just want you to know how much I appreciate your comments, emails, and visits! Bye for now...

59 comments:

Sandy said...

Well, I am in love with that cardinal ornament. It is so adorable. You finish them so well! That is my goal....this year - to do better at finishing. A more classic look to them.
The pictures are beautiful even if it was cloudy. I would think a coconut COULD do some damage.
I do hope your mother fares well. That has been hard on me the last couple of years. Mom and I are very close, but the role reversal has been hard. We have had a rough couple of years with losing my step dad and then moving her here. I am hoping she is bouncing back. I miss just being friends.

kcenya1950 said...

So excited as I am Pam at Tall House Quilts and I never win anything! Woo hoo!

Love your little finishes and the Hawaii pictures. I have not been there but my daughter has been many times and just loves it. I can see why.

Have sent you an email separately about the chart

pam

Barb said...

What a great post! The ornaments are beautiful as usual. I am so impressed that you got all 12 finished. I do look forward to the parade of ornaments. Your photos really make me want to go to Hawaii. At times we can get some decent rates from the west coast. About the pigs, it makes me wonder if I would rather run into one of our bears or the pigs. The pigs seem creepy so I guess I will pick the bear. You have good priorities and I will continue to keep your mom in my prayers.

RJ said...

Carol I love your new ornaments so much but especially the cardinals kissing. I have to find that pattern somehow some way! Your finishing touches are perfect as always. Congratulations on getting such lovely ornaments all done. Your tree whenever it goes up will look spectacular!

I enjoyed all of your Hawaii photos very much. It looked so serene and pretty. You will look back years later and laugh at the things that happened and only remember the special times you had there.

Thoughts and prayers for your Mom. RJ

sunny said...

Your pictures are amazing! what a fantastic trip!! Thanks so much for taking us along.

priscilla said...

Love seeing your beautiful ornaments! Both are so nice! Loved all your
vacation pics!

Ann at Beadlework. said...

A lovely post Carol, I enjoyed it all. It's good that you now have time to go and help your mum without worrying about work - one of the many benefits:-)

Arlene Grimm said...

Congrats on meeting your goal!! Isn't it a great feeling??? I am ready for Christmas I think...I am sure I will remember something in the next week that I will have to rush out for!!

Margaret said...

I was going to ask how your mother was doing and then I read the last paragraph of your post. I do hope she's ok and that you are ok too. Congratulations on finishing all 12 of your ornaments! Looking forward to seeing them all together! Love your Hawaii pics too. Those mountains are amazing, as is the canyon -- I had no idea such things existed! We were only ever to the big island, thus my ignorance. Sorry you had such bad weather. And two 9 hour power outages. That's nuts! Happy belated birthday to your middle son! Safe travels to your mom's. I hope she's doing ok.

Robin in Virginia said...

Carol, both your ornament finishes are lovely, but I think my favorite of the two is the cardinal pair. I totally enjoyed the tour of Hawaii through camera's lens. I am keeping your Mom in my prayers for a return to good health.

PS I don't have my tree up yet and unless I get a Christmas adjustment, I think it will be my wrought iron tree that gets decorated.

Stasi said...

Carol, I love both your ornaments but especially Silver Bells. I bought two of these Hands on Design ornament patterns and started to do them on black perforated paper thinking I wouldn't have to do the background and they'd be an easy finish. But....I think I like your version so much better!!! I like tiny too and yours is adorable!!!
Your photos of Hawaii are beautiful, definitely on my bucket list! Thanks for sharing!
Hope your mother continues to improve and you're right...that's more important than decorations!!!
Stasi

*-* said...


Oh the two last ornaments are delightful, Carol. You must be thrilled to have that challenge completed. I enjoyed the lush forest foliage & the greenery from you garden trips. It is amazing vegetation, I guess the soil conditions are full of the right components to make them thrive.
My Christmas tree won't be up this year, sadly, however we will enjoy other trees while spending time with family.
That looks like a delicious celebratory birthday cake for your middle son. I can almost taste it, from the photo.
Kay.

Katie said...

That Cardinal ornament is just adorable. I should definitely grab that magazine and mark that page. Thanks for sharing your beautiful travel photos. Your pictures sure show some of the beauty that is Hawaii. Glad you were able to get lots of rest. It would sure feel good right now haha.

Srividya said...

Beautiful pics!

Cindy said...

Cute ornaments, Carol! I am surprised that you were able to get all of them finished this year since you have been so very busy! I really loved seeing your vacation pictures. I have heard about Allerton Park there, as we go to the Allerton park in Illinois. (Both by the same man.) I hope your mother is doing better. Have a great week!

Preeti said...

Your ornaments are lovely, Carol! I loved seeing all the pics. Glad to know you had a great relaxing outing and that helped having a satisfactory sleep as well. The cake looks delicious !

MartinaM said...

Hi Carol,
Congratulations, that you made it with all 12 ornaments. Your last two are really nice. The kissing cardinals, but also the silverbells. And beautifully designed.
So many beautiful pictures, thank you for sharing them with us. I particularly like the magical flowers.
Wow, what an interesting cake, sometimes even after years the children still love what they remembered from their childhood.
With us, the tree tradition is decorated only on Christmas Eve, but it remains well into January.
Big hugs, Martina

Kay said...

I really like the chalkboard ornament. I do think you are brave stitching it on black and one over one!!

Irene said...

Meravigliosi gli ornamenti e che belle foto! Auguri per tua mamma

Justine said...

Beautiful ornaments Carol. Your finishing is so inventive! Love them both and looking forward to your annual parade.
Thank you for sharing your holiday photos, the island looks amazing!
Sorry to hear your mum is poorly, you are both in my thoughts and prayers. Hope you find time to look after yourself too x

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
the last two ornaments for 2017 looks wonderful. The little kissing cardinals are very cute.
Thanks for sharing the photos form your Hawaii holiday.
On Saturday we will buy our christmas tree and on December 23rd we will decorate him.
Hugs, Manuela

Bekca said...

Thank you for sharing all of your beautiful holiday photos. Despite the weather, it still looks like an amazing place. Sending lots of good wishes to your mother, I hope she feels much better soon.

Glenna said...

Can't wait for parade of ornaments-wouldn't be Christmas without them. Loved the two adorable ornaments and the lovely Hawaii pics.

Vickie said...

I love these two ornaments! So very cute. Excellent finishing my friend. Have a safe trip. I am still praying for your mom.❤️

Patricia Dee said...

As usual, two more wonderful ornaments. Congrats on getting all 12 done. Looking forward to seeing all 12 of them together.

Love looking at your Hawaii pictures. That is my dream spot for a vacation. I've wanted to go there for the last few decades.

Sheryl S. said...

Another wonderful post and gorgeous photos, Love your latest ornaments and the Silver Bells piece. Amazing photo of the enormous tree and wild pigs. What a great holiday dispite the weather,

La Comtesse said...

Hello Carol, very nice your blog!
The Christmas ornaments are nice and the photos are spectacular!
Hugs from Italy!
Loredana

Anonymous said...

Your ornaments are delightful as always. I especially love the kissing cardinals. But the way you changed the Jingle Bell one is so creative. Love it. The photos of your Hawaiian trip are beautiful. Such a memorable occasion. Have a blessed Merry Christmas and a healthy and Happy New Year! Hugs!

marly said...

You've shown me the beauty of this area and I enjoyed the tour. Most times all I see photos of is the beach! Hope to see that fabulous tree of yours and the parade of ornaments. Wishing you safe travels and no snow as you visit your mom.

Linda said...

Congrats on the beautiful ornament finishes Carol. Love the vacation pics.

Linda

Kate said...

Beautiful photos, Carol. Both of your ornies are quite lovely but I love your kissing cardinals! Methinks stitching on black fabric would be a challenge. Happy Christmas!

Meg said...

Wow! Kauai is like another world compared to where I live. I’ve always wanted to go. Hmmmm. May have to start trying to convince my husband we need to go on a warm-weather vacation. (He loves cold places like Oregon in winter and Scotland.) The little jingle bells on the “Silver Bells” ornament are a genius touch! Keeping you and your mom in my thoughts and prayers.

Marilyn said...

Great ornaments, congrats on finishing your 12.
Kauai is beautiful!
That dessert looks pretty yummy. :)
I hope your Mom feels better soon.
Marilyn

Christine said...

Fabulous ornaments, I especially love the chalkboard one.
Kauai is just beautiful

sandi s said...

Your ornaments are lovely! The pictures of your trip are amazing, what a beautiful place. I really hate to get bonked with a coconut. ☹️ That would hurt. I hope your mom is doing better. I don’t have my tree up either. Hugs,

Jennifer Davis said...

I love the silver bells ornament..I now have to order the pattern. thanks so much for sharing!

Mii Stitch said...

Congrats on finishing the last two ornaments for this year, they look super, as always!

Mary said...

Carol, I'm glad your going to NY soon to see your Mom, that is more important that decorating.

THe HAWAII photos are amazing, so glad you took a photo of you by the roots so we can see just how large they are.

Love, Love that cardinal stitch!!! Your finishing is perfection....

Cindy's Stitching said...

Cute ornaments Carol. Love the pictures. Your sons cake looks so good, made my mouth water. Merry Christmas.🌻

Jackie said...

Please let me know how your mom is doing! I know you must be concerned!

I always love seeing your ornaments! You're such a gifted stitcher and finisher. Using real jingle bells is such a good idea!

LoriU said...

Beautiful Hawaii photos! I love your ornament finishes. Especially the one in your header.

Lili said...

Your ornaments are very pretty, Carol!
Hope your mother feel better soon.
Beautiful photos too from your trip.

butterfly said...


Love your last two ornaments , love all the exrtas you added.
Wonderful photos thanks for sharing , you will always love this place now with a memory of this beautiful trip .
Hope your mother is much better .
Have a good week.

diamondc said...

Merry Christmas carol: Your ornaments are beautiful and the finishing is so perfect for them both.
Love the vacation photos, its a balmy 24 degrees here in Minnesota, brrrrr.

Happy birthday to your son and congratulations to Pam on winning the design.

Merry Christmas
Catherine

Lesley said...

It is great you finished all your ornaments Carol.They are both beautiful.
I thoroughly enjoyed your photos,the flowers were so pretty and views breathtaking.
Sorry to hear about your mom’s health but very glad for you that you can spend a lot of time with her.

Tricia B said...

Thanks for sharing more Hawaii pics! I loved them! Even overcast it looks gorgeous! Also love your silver bells ornament! Over 1 on 28 is something I want to try in 2018. I hope your mom is doing well enough for your whole family to enjoy the holidays. Looking forward to the big Christmas post with all the ornaments! 😊

Nurdan Kanber said...

Carol, I am amazed by this great post. So many wonders such as the roots, stitchery, view (just a feast of eye) You look more gorgeous than the rest by the way ♥♥♥

Have a wonderful weekend.

Hugs

Maggee said...

You got the ornies done, despite how busy it has been for you this year--congrats!! Lovely and inspiring as always! Such a great 'tour' of Kauai you shared with us! It will be the only way I see Hawaii, so it was enjoyed! I love the picture of you two by the roots... wow! And now I am hungry after seeing that Eclair! Yummy! I have my tree up this year, but it is differently decorated this year... I will eventually get around to blogging and share pictures. Just so far behind! Thanks for sharing with us! Hugs!

Daffycat said...

What an awesome post. I had to stop in the middle and tell Dash about falling coconuts and all the fruit in the garden!

Beth said...

Silver Bells is a wonderful ornament. Thanks for sharing your vacation photos - the flowers in Hawaii are amazing, and that church - so dear.

Cathy H. said...

Congratulations on finishing your ornaments! I know you would have been a little bit disappointed to break such a wonderful tradition! Can't wait to see them all on display. I always feel that if my tree goes up late, I can leave it up extra long and enjoy it for the same amount of time!

Cathy H. said...

I forgot to say how much I enjoyed your pictures from Hawaii! It looks like a beautiful, peaceful place! The flowers are stunning!

Penny said...

A couple of lovely additions to your ornament collection! Those kissing cardinals are sweet! I've enjoyed your Hawaii photos - such a beautiful place regardless of the weather. I have to say those wild pigs don't look the least bit friendly. I definitely would not like to run into one. : ) I've been keeping you and your mom in my prayers. Sending hugs and wishing you safe travels.

Gaye said...

You were right where I stayed for 2 weeks this summer!!!! I could have moved right in to Kauai in a heartbeat - I left 122 weather in Phoenix so the island was total bliss!! Our photos are amazingly similar but you look cuter!!

Your stitching ideas and finishes are so clever with such careful attention to detail, you inspire us all. Now that careful attention is needed by one you love so dearly. May you have safe travels along with healing hearts and mind. Thoughts and prayers.

Jennifer said...

Way to go getting your last two ornaments finished - love the cardinals and the real jingle bells! Looking forward to seeing your ornament parade - that’s one of the things that first brought me to your blog! Kauai is beautiful - I might have to add another trip to Hawaii back to my list after seeing your pictures. Glad you had some time for relaxing on your trip and hope your mom is doing okay.

Lillie said...

Both ornaments are lovely but the cardinals are so adorable.
Thank you for sharing the lovely photos of Kauai, I have never thought of Hawaii as my tour destination, now I must. Look like you have picked a good homestay, hoped you get to enjoy the fruits too. I definitely wouldn't want a wild boar in my yard. The church is indeed very pretty. Your Giant Chocolate Éclair sounds very delish. My belated Happy Birthday wish to your son !

Brigitte said...

Yes, you did it, and you have my full admiration. I have never managed so far - started often but always fell by the wayside. Big sigh. Maybe one day ...
So wonderful to see all your great pictures from Hawaii, these pictures full of green trees and meadows and flowers in all colourways. Whereas here all is white because covered with snow and the weather is grey. That must be paradise over there :)))))

Andrea said...

Wonderful ornaments. Great holiday photos too. No I don't think I would like the coconuts dropping or the piggies.

Dr Eka said...
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