Tuesday, May 29, 2018

A month of travel, illness, and visitors (but not much stitching!)

Hello, everyone!  Amazingly, I'm actually posting for a second time this month!   I've been very out of touch over the course of this busy, busy month. I hope you are all well and I truly will do my best to catch up on your blogs next week. I usually stitch every day, but there were quite a few days this month where I just wasn't able to. In mid-May we flew to Florida for my mother-in-law's 90th birthday which was lovely. Not so lovely, was the fact that I must have picked up some very bad virus on the flight home as I became sick with the flu--sicker than I have been in years. It has been two weeks and my voice is just now getting back to normal! Luckily, I recovered  in time for my sister and brother-in-law to visit over the long Memorial Day weekend. And then tomorrow, I am driving up to New York to spend a few days with mom. Whew! June is looking a bit calmer--at least at this point...

After much encouragement from all of you (and many fellow Instagram stitchers), I have decided to go ahead and stitch more little pillows with a bee theme. My latest bee pillow is from Prairie Schooler Book No. 104: G*H*I which is one of the alphabet charts. If you've stitched this one yourself, you'll notice I made a few changes: I stitched pinker flowers, changed the background of the bee square to green, and the main change: I substituted the word "Honeybee" for Honey.

"H Is For Honeybee!"

"H Is For Honeybee" is stitched 'over one' on 28 ct. mushroom Lugana to make it small enough for a little pillow. The finished size of the stitching is just 2.5 X 3.5 inches. I kept the finish fairly simple because there is a lot going on in this design... just added some green cording and a green checked bow. What do you think?

A new finish for my "bee bowl"

Here is a close-up of the bee and words (which would make a nice little pillow all on its own!).

I changed the word "honey" to "honeybee"

I did manage to get my Christmas ornament for May finished up (but, only because I had stitched it last month!). This is my latest finish in Little House Needleworks' Hometown Holidays series and it is called "Main Street Station." If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll know that I am stitching each little building or scene 'over one' on 28 ct. black Monaco which leads to a very small finish. 

Little House Needleworks "Main Street Station"

And, yes... there are more color changes which I specifically chose to complement the grey wool flannel fabric that I had selected to use on the bottom of it.  I'm very happy with the final look--and I truly love how the snowflakes are popping on the black fabric.  

My ornament finish for May

Here are the three in the series that I have stitched so far:  Needlework Shop, Tree Lot, and Main Street Station. I have at least fifteen more to go! But, I am not pressuring myself to stitch them all this year.

Three done--lots more to stitch!

In other stitching news, I received a couple of sweet gifts from fellow bloggers! From Stasi at Bee-mused and Bee-stitching (who may just be the ultimate bee stitcher!), I received a quartet of darling bee charts. Wasn't that thoughtful of her? Thank you so much, Stasi--I really look forward to stitching them as I add to my "bee bowl" this summer!

Wonderful bee charts from Stasi

And all the way from Australia, came this cute gift from Kaye at Kitten Stitching. I had lent Kaye a chart and when she returned it, I found this cute pillow topper in fun pink and black. I just need to find a small pillow insert and then tie the black ribbons around it to display it. Thank you so much, Kaye--that was so very sweet of you!

A cute pillow topper from Kaye in Australia

Giveaway winner... There were a number of you who entered the giveaway for the Theresa Wentzler birdhouse chart so I picked a name out of the hat and the winner is...

Congratulations, Martina! Please send me your mailing address and I will send you the chart as soon as I can. And for those of you who didn't win this time--please keep an eye on this spot. More charts will be given away in the future!

Martina--you are the winner!

The merry, merry month of May...  So, that ends my stitching news for May, but I'd like to share a few more photos of the fun things I did this month and of our garden visitors.

Scenes from my Mother-In-Law's 90th birthday in Naples, Florida. I basically used the same color scheme and decorating ideas as I used for my own mom's 90th birthday party last May!

When my sister and brother-in-law visited from Boston, we hiked at McConnell's Mills State Park just north of us. Such a beautiful day with equally beautiful scenery!

And my husband and I gave them a tour of beautiful downtown Pittsburgh... Clockwise from top left are... The Duquesne Incline, PPG Place, The Pennsylvanian, and me and my husband with everyone's favorite neighbor, Mr. Rogers!

A new-to-me visitor: The Red-Bellied Woodpecker!

And a brilliant Blue Jay who really is way too big for this suet feeder!

I want to extend a warm welcome to all of my new followers (especially Pam, who I was lucky enough to meet when I sat next to her on my flight down to Florida--she was a cross-stitcher/knitter! What are the chances of that!). Thank you all for you wonderful comments on my stitching and my house in my last post--you are so kind! I'm truly thankful for this wonderful community of cross-stitchers--aren't we the lucky ones? Happy June to you all! Bye for now...


Sandy said...

First of all, your stitches are lovely as always. Love the honeybee one. Your mother-in-law looks wonderful for 90. My mother fell trying to move plants in for the storm on Sunday evening. I have had a very long two days, so just popped in saw your post and I thought I would read. I will not be posting any time real soon as she will be in rehab starting Thursday. She has a hospital stay until then. It is going to be tough for her to bounce back, but she is a fighter.

Barb said...

What a great post. So sorry to hear about your getting so sick. That has happened to me a few times. I flew and then got quite sick. I'm not sure how to avoid it. As you know, carol, I have to fly to see my family so that's what I do. Your finishes are wonderful as usual. I love that Little House series. They make the cutest ornaments!! I also enjoyed your photos. The party for your MIL looked like lots of fun and lovely pink decorations and cake. I hope you get all better and have a terrific June!

Arlene @Nanaland said...

Oh I love your beautiful finishes Carol!! Isn't it fun to use our own thoughts about colors? The worst thing about flying is breathing that air...it seems I hear of so many who get sick after a flight. Congrats to Martina. Teresa Wenzler patterns are just too intricate for me but they are beautiful. Loved seeing pictures of Pittsburg.

Robin in Virginia said...

I love your Honeybee finish, Carol. You are off to a good start on your bee bowl. Your LHN ornament is darling. Sorry to hear about your bout with the flu. Glad you were well enough to enjoy your sister and BIL's visit. What lovely goodies you received! Have a safe trip to and good visit with your Mom

moreofhim said...

So glad you're feeling better! I love all your stitching. So beautiful! I haven't stitched much this month either but hope to get back into my daily routine. I love seeing the birds you get to see!

Blessings - Julie

Ginny said...

Thank you for continuing to blog. I know a lot of long time bloggers have gone to Instagram and/or Flosstube, but I do enjoy reading blogs. There's something about being able to linger over the pictures and carefully read the narrative that is enjoyable. Have a great time with your mom! As I recall, she lives in the Finger Lakes region, which isn't far from me - depending on which Finger Lake we're talking about.

Shelly said...

Wow, Carol! The Hometown Holidays/LHN are pretty on a neutral fabric but gorgeous on black fabric. The colors just pop. Nice bee stash gifts from stitchy friends. Kaye is just a great person! As always, a great PS finish and FFO. Hope you get to take life easy in June. Safe travels to see your mom!

Kate said...

Such beautiful pieces, Carol. Honeybee is a real cutie.

Sandra said...

Beautiful new stitching projects! So glad to hear that you are over that horrid virus that you contracted.

Manuela said...

A wonderful post.
All your stitching finishes are so beautiful.
Hugs, Manuela

Tips said...

Next year I will start a year of bee themes. This year I started collecting motifs.
Your christmas pillow ist so cute. I love it.
The pillow topper is so nice too.
Because of the new DSGVO in Europe, I changed my blog to private. I hope, I sent an Inviting messege to you. If not, let me know.
Waving greetings Larissa

Marilyn said...

Honeybee turned out so cute, the trim is perfect.
The hometown series is looking great on black also.
Your MIL's party looked like fun for her.
Sorry you were sick.
My husband just got over Food poisoning, it's not fun.
Great bird pics.
The Jays here are big also and can't sit in the feeder too well.
We put peanuts in the trays and they fly down and grab on.......or 2.
Have a great week!

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

Your finishes are always beautiful; thank you for the inspiration. Enjoy your time with your mom!

Irene said...

90 anni? Sembra così giovane ed è bellissima! Meravigliosi i tuoi ricami, come sempre li cuci benissimo. Spero che tu ora stia meglio :)

Preeti said...

Hi Carol, Your ornaments are looking beautiful and perfectly finished! Your MIL looks very happy in the party:)
The gifts from your friends are lovely! Most of my travels include flying but so far I haven't been sick. You can consult your physician for preventive medication if that happens repeatedly.

Vickie said...

Your stitching is perfection Carol. I love your Hometown set. What a lovely gift from Stasi! And Kaye! Love the celebration for you MIL. :D Aww, I love Mr. Rogers. I always have and always will.❤️

Sherri said...

Carol, I think your Hometown Holidays ornaments are my favorite of all of your ornaments. Believe me, I love all of your ornaments and I take great inspiration from them. What fabric did you use to trim the ornaments? As Rome is burning around my house, I need to put these on my list to stitch. How fun to sit next to a cross stitcher on the plane. That's happened to me once. Your pictures are great; thanks for sharing.

Katie said...

You have been busy busy but being good busy is better than bad busy. Sorry you caught the icky on your trip back. Every time we go to Florida my son gets some kind of illness. The air down there is just so different then Indiana I guess. The honeybee piece is just perfect of course so is the finish. Main Street Station is just the same. Beautiful and fantastic. I just love the set you've created. You deserved the wonderful gifts you have received. Thanks for sharing your other photos too. Congrats Martina! Love your bird photos.

diamondc said...

Carol: I am so sad you have been ill, last year I had been ill for a month, it was horrible, I hope you are completely healed.
I am in love with your new finished designs, they are wonderful, your finishing ideas are brilliant.
Lovely photos of the outdoors.
Your gifts are lovely.


Tricia B said...

Of course I LOVE your PS H is for Honeybee pillow! Two of my favorite things - 1. Bee themed stitching and 2. Stitching finished by Carol! I am so sorry you were sick! But, glad you were able to celebrate your mother in law’s birthday with her. I am looking forward to seeing more of your bee finishes, especially since your June js so free. Enjoy! and thanks for sharing!

marly said...

Oh that bug has been nasty! Glad you're better.

What sweet little florals! The colors and presentation are as nice as your mom's, you should be a party planner.

The Hometown Holiday series really do pop on that background and the trims are ... as always ... perfect.

Annie said...

Quite a whirlwind! The birthday party looks so nice with your decorations. I'm sure your MIL loved it.

So sorry to hear you had to go thru the flu. But glad you managed to recover for the holiday weekend and a drive to your Mom's! You certainly bounced back!

Love your bees. And the LHN series is looking wonderful on the dark fabric.

Take care and drive safely.

Stasi said...

Wow..anther great post. First off, you know I love the Honey Bee piece--perfection!!!I have that series and will have to visit it. :) I do love the way you are finishing the LHN series...may have to 'borrow' that idea! Sorry you got sick on your flight home (BTW, your MIL looks great for 90), I've started to wear some immunity boosting essential oils when I travel and they seem to help.
Ahhhh...Mr. Rogers.. a favorite of me and my girls. I heard they are making a movie about him with Tom Hanks..not sure it can be pulled off, but if anybody can do it, he can!
Have a great visit with your Mom!

Linda said...

Congrats on your beautifully stitched pieces and finishing Carol. I really need to come visit and get finishing lessons. I so love all of your finishes. I am so envious of you. Maybe someday.


Daniela Bencúrová said...

Dear Carol, sorry you have a flu. It was in the winter.
Your H is great with change!
I love bee designs!
Congratulations to your mother, it looks great!
I can not imagine so many travels - Florida, NY, huge distances for me :-)

Cindy's Stitching said...

Your pieces are just beautiful. I love the bee pillow. I am sorry you got sick, I always wear my mask on the plane and always will, they use recycled air on the planes and that is why people get sick. I honestly don't care what I look like. You really captured great pictures of the birds. Love the blue jay. I hope you have a great trip to see your mom. I went to buy mr.rogers stamps and they were sold out.

Kay said...

I do hope you are back on top form soon. I love your little bee design and also the christmas finishing is beautiful, in fact all of your finishes are always of such amazing quality. x

Natureluvr57 said...

Love all your stitcheries! So happy Bees are so hot right now. Sorry you had the flu. I had the flu the last week of March, couldn't drive myself to the doctor until 5 days later. I was dehydrated and lost 20 lbs in that one week! The following week I was still very weak and my stomach still felt like I had a long clawed alien that had tore it apart the previous week-very raw and painful. It took me probably 2 more weeks to feel more like myself. It was a nasty bug.

Susan Lankford said...

Carol...I always treasure reading your blog! LOVE the honeybee stitch and your Christmas ornaments are adorable...someday I hope to try the same finish...they are lovely!
Your events are always so interesting...wow...your mother-in-law looks great!
So sorry you've been ill...glad you are on the mend. And I see retirement is keeping you very busy!

Hugs, Susan

Karen said...

Sorry to read that you have been so sick. Honeybee and LHN are both beautiful!

MartinaM said...

Hi Carol
yes - you can not need such sudden illnesses. I hope you feel really well again.
Very nice are the changes to your honey motive. The colors harmonize very well with each other. And the finish is perfect.
I already embroidered Main Street Station, but to see it on black fabric, I find it very interesting.
I have won? Oh that makes me very happy, I'll get back to you. I send you my adress in an other Mail.
Beautiful pictures of the festivals and excursions and very interesting the two bird pictures.
Big Hugs, have a good Time,

Ann at Beadlework. said...

I'm glad you're feeling better Carol, lots of lovely stitching, as always:-) I love your mum's tiara - what did you think of the one worn at the royal wedding - I thought it was stunning. Congratulations to your mum on achieving such an amazing milestone age.

The Knitting Cross Stitcher said...

I love your H for honeybee Carol.I love to see bees in our garden,I love their buzz too.
Your Christmas ornament is pretty.
Sorry to read you've been poorly.I got a cold after our Berlin trip,but nothing as nasty as what you describe.My step mum lost her voice two weeks ago and it is still not right.
Your pictures of your outings are gorgeous.How wonderful to spend time with your sister and brother in law.
Your mother in law looks like she had a great time,what a beautiful cake.
Lovely bee charts and a sweet gift from Kaye,so thoughtful.

Lili said...

Such a beautiful pieces, Carol!
Love the H is for honeybee pillow, the bow is adorable!

So sorry that you have been sick, hope you feel better soon.

Brigitte said...

Your May really sounds very busy, Carol. I'm so sorry to read that you were ill for quite a while and of course I hope that you are completely on the mend by now.
I still remember the festivities you prepared fro your mom's birthday. And I'm sure that your mother-in-law was just as happy as your mom was.

Oh my, that bee theme seems to be very addictive. And I can easily see why. There are so many beautiful charts out there, like the Prairie Schooler one. I have a weak spot for their alphabet patterns, they are just gorgeous. I once stitched the G = garden pattern for a friend whose name is Hazel and who is a big garden fan. I changed out the words on the bottom into Hazel's Garden. It was such a fun stitch.

Meg said...

Hi, Carol! Seeing your latest post in my inbox made me smile! Always such a treat to read about your latest endeavors. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been sick, but glad to hear you’re on the mend. Cold/flu season seems to have been especially bad this year. Your bee pillow is darling, and I love the simple finish. I was wondering why your cording looks so much better than mine, so I revisited Vonna’s tutorials and found that I was using too few strands of DMC to begin with! (I was following the directions on the back of the cord maker.) Anyway, I just love the way you’re finishing the Hometown Holiday series as well. I’ve been tempted to start stitching over one to make things ornament-sized, but I have been having to do so much frogging lately that I don’t quite have the courage yet. Frogging is really hard when the stitching is one over one, don’t you think? Lovely party and Philly photos! Have a great weekend! Hugs from Idaho.

The Crafty Creek said...

Love your bees cross-stitch, I've a bit of a weka spot for anything with bees on as we used to keep bees in our garden when I was a child, I used to help my mum with the hives...until I got stung!!

butterfly said...

Hope you are feeling much better Carol , sounds like you have had such a busy month.
Your stitching yet again is so beautiful ,love the bee hives , and your Christmas stitching is looking fab , it really stands out on the black.

Always lovely to visit your blog you always inspire me .

Enjoy your weekend.

jeffsrose35 said...

What a fabulous month you have had and you made the best of getting sick on top of it all. You are such an inspiration to me and every time you post it definitely puts a smile on my face. Thank you so much!!!

Beth said...

Hope you are well along the road to recovery. Your bee skep finish in charming and the Christmas ornament series is a delight. I am glad you are continuing to see new birds. I'm going on a birding trip (1 day) to central Oregon and should get some new to me birds there.

Penny said...

I hope you are feeling much better, now! Your finishes are always so beautifully done and make me want to dust off my sewing machine. : ) You have some lovely future projects courtesy of Stasi. And what a beautiful cake and decorations for your mother-in-law's birthday! You definitely have a knack for that type of thing. Hope you had an enjoyable visit with your mom. : )

Julie said...

Hello Carol, i'm catching up on blog reading too, it's been a strange May month here, not a lot of crafting happening.
Hope you are having a lovely time with your mom and she is doing well.
What a great party you created for MIL
Love the tiny over 1 on 28ct, and on black!!! you get the stitchers gold star for that one LOL
Nice places you visited when family came to visit you
Take care x

Andrea said...

Sorry to hear you have been unwell, hope you are feeling better now.

Your mother-in-law looks so well for 90. It must be something in the water over there, both of you and DH's family look spritely for their age.

The bee pillow is just delightful. I'm going to look forward to seeing all of your bee-inspired projects. I miss seeing your displays.

The Christmas ornament is another beauty. This series looks wonderful over 1 and on black.

Hope you have a good week.

Stoff und Nadel - Jutta's Blog said...

Dear Carol,
oh, the virus should have stayed at home, I really hope you're fit again.
Thanks for all the nice photos, my favorite is the May Christmas Pillow, it looks great on the black background.
Have a nice Sunday, Jutta

Margaret said...

That's amazing that you sat next to Pm on your flight! Small world! Sorry you got so sick. That's the problem with flying on planes, I think. I got very sick the last time we went to London, and I hadn't been sick in years before that! Love your bees, and your xmas ornament too. Hope you are totally recovered now!

priscilla said...

Love the Hometown Holidays on black .. such pretty finishes! Glad you are feeling better .. Love the bees!

Jennifer Davis said...

So sorry to hear you were sick. Your finishes are just darling! Love your little gifties! Can you share who the designer is for the Sunflowers! NW-03 pattern that is adorable. Thanks again for sharing!

Sheryl said...

Lovely stitching as always Carol, love the Honeybee piece and also the ornaments of the Hometown Holidays series, gosh sounds like you have quite a few more to stitch. Your mum in law looks very well for her age and what a wonderful cake and decorating.
Hope you are feeling better now.

Leonore Winterer said...

What a busy month you had, but still some very lovely stitching and great new charts too :) I'd love to see you stitch the Sunflower one.

rosey175 said...

Yuck, I caught a disease the last time I went on vacation as well. I guess new parts off the country carry new bugs! At least it wasn't the flu though! Your Honeybee pillow is a sweet finish. I love the little Hometown Holidays ornaments. They are looking great on the dark fabric!

Jennifer said...

Great stitching', finishing, and what neat gifts! Hope you had a nice visit with your mom. Love the pics of Pittsburgh, they brought back good memories of our visit there several years ago!

Daffycat said...

Oh my, such wonderful stitching. I love how nicely you change out colors to match your finishing plans.

Harriet said...

Carol, I do love that Honeybee pillow! You have had quite a month. Sorry you got sick. Seems like the viruses get stronger every year. That 90th birthday party must have been very sweet. You are a good photographer too—that picture of the covered bridge could be in a magazine! And your Hometown Holiday series is going to be amazing. Love it so tiny and on black. Look forward to seeing what you do next!

Kaisievic said...

Carol, first of all I am so very sorry to hear that you have been unwell but glad to hear that you are one the mend. Next, as always, I am in absolute awe of your gorgeous stitching - over one at that - and your finishing is exquisite as always. Love the changes you made to the PS design, I think that I may have that in my stash, so I may copy you a bit if that is okay. Loved seeing the pics of what you have been up to and Happy 90th to your dear MIL. Lastly, so glad that you like the pillow topper, I thought it was rather cute and I was so grateful that you lent me the PS design. hugs, Kaye

Jackie's Stitches said...

I seem to love each of your Hometown Holiday's project more than the last one every time! They're gorgeous on that black!

Your blue jay looks very big!

RJ said...

Carol I'm so happy I am able to visit with you tonight. I have missed you and all my blogging friends so much. I love all of your new stitches...gorgeous as always. I love your village on black...they are so pretty and the finishes are perfect. I have so many posts to catch up on but will enjoy doing so. Hope you have a lovely weekend. RJ@stitchingfriendsforever

Meari said...

Your bee pillow is so adorable, Carol! The finishing is so nice. I have the same LHN chart in my stash to do. Again, you have another wonderful finish!

Looks like your mother-in-law had a great birthday. 90, Wow! Good for her :)