Friday, November 30, 2018

A pair of Prairie Schooler Santas

And here we are on the final day of November! Can you believe it? I don't know where the hours go, to be honest, and often wonder how I managed to get everything done before I retired. I know I made better use of my time and that is going to be one of my goals for next year. Since I last visited you, I've been busy trying to finish up my monthly ornaments and doing some gift stitching / finishing. This is definitely the time of year when I wish I could get by on four or five hours of sleep in order to get everything accomplished that I'd like to! But, no--I need at least seven hours to function at all. How about you? 

With the busy, busy fall that I've had driving back and forth to New York to help out my mom, I turned to comfort stitching in the form of my beloved Prairie Schooler Santas. For October, I finished this beautiful blue guy from Book No. 58 "Old Saint Nick." He is stitched on 40 ct. natural Newcastle with the suggested threads. The chart showed two teeny, tiny gold stars hanging from his right hand which I thought were quite charming. Unfortunately, I looked and looked and couldn't find any that were that small. So where did I find these? Well, I "borrowed" them from one of my Homespun Elegance charts that included them with the purchase. (If I ever stitch that particular chart, I'm not sure what I'll do!)


Once again, I went with my favorite oval shape and used a scrap of one of my son's old flannel shirts to top it off. Pretty cute, eh?


November's ornament is one you have seen before, but I gave it away so I'm keeping this one for myself. I actually stitched two of these this month and am giving one away to a stitching friend as a "Random Act of Kindness"--hope she likes it! This is from Prairie Schooler's Book No. 62 called "Kris Kringle" and was also stitched on 40 ct. natural Newcastle linen using the suggested threads. I think this may be one of my favorites... Oh, who am I kidding--I love them all!


I'm getting quite a collection of these oval shaped gentlemen! Which one is your favorite? And yes, more will be arriving next year, I'm sure!


I only had three entries for the patriotic stocking chart and the winning name drawn from the hat is: 

Elizabeth (busy lizzy)
 

Elizabeth, please contact me (my email is in my "A Bit About Me" profile in the sidebar) and let me know your mailing address... I'll get the chart out to you as soon as possible. Do you think you can have it stitched by Christmas--ha ha! If you didn't win--keep an eye on this space as there will be more giveaways in the future. 

So, how are your Christmas preparations going? I haven't bought a single gift, but I'm way ahead in the decorating game since I didn't host Thanksgiving this year. We had a warm weekend and were able to get the porch decorated, the candle lights in each window, and much of the inside decorated. I was even able to pull out my big white box of Christmas ornaments and start hanging them on the tree on Wednesday.  I posted the photo below on Instagram (if you wish to follow me, just click here: ) and it quickly became my most "liked" photo in the 2 1/2 years that I've been a member of that community. I received so many lovely comments and remarks about these little treasures. I think only a fellow stitcher would know how much patience, time, and love actually goes into each and every one! Yes--this box would be one of the first things I'd grab if I were to ever find my house in some natural disaster! Heaven forbid!


Are any of you avid Amazon shoppers like I am? It's almost too easy to order things, isn't it? A few clicks of your mouse and your order arrives at your door in a couple of days.  Anyway, my middle son told me about a good site to actually check before you click that "purchase" button to see if the reviews on products are real or if they have just been written by the seller (and his or her friends and family). It analyzes the reviews by looking for paid reviews and suspicious patterns and provides a letter grade for each thing reviewed. Last year (before we knew about this site), my husband ordered some socks and they weren't the greatest even though they had tons of stellar reviews. Sure enough, when we checked the site after our purchase arrived, they had an "F" rating! If you would like to check your own Amazon purchases out on Fakespot, just click here to get to their site. All you have to do is copy and paste the URL of the item you are considering buying into the search box and watch for the rating to appear. I hope this helps!

I'm heading up to my mom's again on Sunday for a few days, but I hope to catch up with your blogs when I return. She has been blessed with a lot of guests lately. My middle son visited her in mid-November and my oldest son and daughter-in-law will be flying in from California right before they arrive at my house for Christmas. I love how my entire family is pulling together for her! Wishing each of you a very Happy December--busy days ahead, but it's always such fun to be surrounded by the spirit and magic of Christmas. Thank you all for taking the time to visit me today--and a special thank you to those of you who take the time to comment! I do read and appreciate each and every one! Bye for now...

53 comments:

Kate said...

Carol, it was interesting to read about the fake reviews. Your collection of Prairie Schooler Santas is quite lovely and have the perfect finish. Enjoy the weekend.

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

It looks like you are way ahead on Christmas and way ahead of me for sure! Your Santas are so pretty and of course you do such a beautiful stitching and finishing job.
Thank you for the Fakespot info!

Sandy said...

I seriously can't choose a favorite as they are all my favorites. You are the queen of PS Santas.
Amazon does make it too easy. I try to shop locally, but lately I can't find things and I hate driving around to a bunch of different places when that one click is so easy:) I will have to check out the site.
Take care and show us all the decorations soon, but most importantly take care with mom.

Arlene Grimm said...

Love the Santa’s! You cannot go wrong with Prairie Schooler! And I am glad your mama is having lots of visitors. That is always a blessing for shut ins.

Robin in Virginia said...

Carol, I love the additions to your PS Santa collection. And that box of treasured ornaments is fabulous. Have a safe trip to and from your Mom's! Thank you for providing that web site for the fake reviews. All the gifts are purchased minus 2 gift cards and some stocking stuffers, but decorating won't start until around the 15th. Enjoy your weekend!

Barbara said...

Of your oval-shaped ornaments, my fav is (hard to decide) the one holding the ice skates. But I love them all!!

Look at your box of stitched ornaments!!! Oh my goodness! What a treasure!!!!

Happy December to you and a most blessed Christmas to you and yours!

Lynda Ruth Bowers said...

I wish I had that box of your stitching, My little tree would be covered. WOW Great stitching big hugs

Kay said...

I do love these santas, I think it is partly because they aren't in traditional colours.Vvery sweet. x

Katie said...

Oh I am feeling the stress of getting enough done. I keep telling myself breath it will all come together but sometimes I just want to scream and I keep saying I'm tired when I'm sleeping fine. So it's a tired that I can't explain that's for sure. It will come together. It will come together. *breath* Love your new Santa's. Adorable finishes of course. The birdhouse one is probably my favorite since we love feeding birds. Congrats Elizabeth on your win. Enjoy your new chart. I even showed my mom your beautiful box of ornaments. So much love in that box. Beautiful! I'm glad your family is pulling together for you mom. Mom's are special people indeed. Family is special.

Shelly said...

Carol, anything that you stitch is a favorite of mine! Really, I like all the PS Santa's you pictured. As for sleep, I'm not getting a lot and it does affect you. This weekend I will try for 6 hours of sleep a night! Christmas preparations begin this weekend! I'm tired of the season just whisking by. I figure that if I decorate early I'll have more time to enjoy it. Gift buying hasn't begun just yet but I have plans and I think the recipients will like it. I have seen your tree on Pinterest too and there is one word for your tree-Magnificence! I'm not much of an Amazon buyer. I just bought a couple books from there, that's about it. Have a nice weekend!

Oh I have a question for you. I know you have stitched a lot of PS Santa's. Do you keep track of all of the ones you've stitched and haven't?

stitchershel@gmail.com

Vickie said...

Yes, I am one of those who commented on your BIG BOX OF AWESOMENESS on Instagram!! Love your Santas Carol. So glad your mom is doing alright. I need my sleep too. ;) Thanks for the review tip!

butterfly said...

More lovely Santa's I love every one of them .

It's lovely to have your family visit your mother it will help lift her sprit .

Enjoy your time with family , December blessings sweet friend.

Daniela Bencúrová said...

Dear Carol, I like your blue Santa Claus. Ornaments with Christmas theme are perfect! It took a lot of time and patience to congratulate you!
Have a beautiful December!

Cathy H. said...

My hear skipped a few beats when I saw your box of ornaments! What a wonderful collection!! Treasures indeed!

My favorite Santa would be the top right one: Santa in the blue coat with snowmen on it! I love snowmen!

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and thanking you for encouraging me to stitch ornaments this year!!

C Reeder PhxAz said...

Such inspiration! PS is on my list for 2019 for sure. Waiting to use my left arm again after heart surgery. Having fun looking and kitting things in anticipation. So glad everyone is rallying for your mom. Best wishes as you travel.

Sandra said...

What beautiful stitching. They're all so lovely that it's difficult to have a favourite, but I do love Santa with the crescent moon and golden stars! That Christmas stocking pattern is gorgeous! You have been diligent!

Angie said...

I love your box of ornaments! Carol, found your blog not long ago and have really enjoyed looking at your pretty finishes, especially your wonderful over one on black (!!). You are definitely an inspiration! Thank you for sharing.

LoriU said...

I love your starry blue Santa! If you need those stars, Homespun Elegance has an Etsy shop that the designer runs, and she may have them!

Thanks for the tip on the Amazon reviews. I am sure that will come in handy!

Stasi said...

Carol, lovely, lovely Santa ornaments......aren't PS Santas the best? Your oval shape really finishes them off so nicely. Hoping to get some decorating done this weekend, but have started some shopping. Thanks for the Fakespot info; I have bookmarked for future reference.
Safe travels and hope you find your Mom in good spirits!

Pamela said...

Great ornaments! Thanks for the info on the fake reviews.

Meg said...

Carol, I'm so glad your mom is having lots of visitors. That's really nice! I hope her health continues to improve, and I hope your roads are safe with all the winter driving you're doing.

Thanks for the FakeSpot recommendation! I'd never heard of it before. Checked out some of my most recent purchases and was glad to find most of them received "A" ratings. One thing my husband ordered that wasn't as great as it was touted in reviews, received a "D" rating. Will be sure to use this going forward.

I love your box of stitched ornaments! I think I will store mine that way when I take the tree down. I have been wrapping all of mine in tissue paper, which is a good way to protect them, I guess, but when I go to decorate the tree, I have NO idea what I'm grabbing out of the box, so decorating can be a little challenging! Anyway, it makes total sense now why your finishes are SOOOOO gorgeous. Look at all the practice you've had! Dang - that is a lot of work!

Your PS Santas are sweet. Glad you stitched some for yourself.

Have a great week and safe travels!

Hugs from Idaho -
Meg (livetostitch.blogspot.com)

Jill said...

Love your PS Santas. I have not seen see the blue St. Nick. Your box of stitched ornaments are eye candy. Stitching is great therapy. I need to make time for it. Appreciate the tip about FakeSpot especially at this time of year. I'm a fairly new reader. Not yet on Instagram.

sandi s said...

I love your ornaments!! I love stitching Christmas ornaments too. Hugs,

MartinaM said...

Hi Carol,
If you suddenly have a different schedule, then you have to change first. I notice it already on my vacation, that everything runs according to another rhythm. Yes sleep I need enough, otherwise I'm just tired and grumpy, get nothing done.
Sweet he looks, your blue Santa, and I like the oval shape well, you get it so smooth, without wrinkles on the sides. I also like the November Santa with his birds.
Thanks for the link from Fakepot, I keep buying from Amazon, and that definitely helps.
Good trip to your mother and all the best for her. Nice that the family cares, that warms your heart.
Wishing you a great first advent.
Hugs Martina

Gabi said...

Hello again, what lovely ornies.I can't choose which one i like best. I love them all. TPS is one of my favorite designers. You collect your ornies like I do and I think, I would also grab my boxes first. Hope my grown up kids will keep them.
Good to hear that your Mom is fine and has many visitors.
Have a happy pre-christmas time.
Hugs from Germany

maxi said...

Hey Carol,
i like all die TPS Santas and your finish is so cute!
Happy Stitching
maxi

Marilyn said...

What's not to love about a PS Santa?
My favorite is the one with the Moon & Stars, so pretty, love the blue suit.
I used to buy those same starts at JoAnn's, they were made by LaMode buttons, not sure if they have them anymore though.
Love that huge box of ornaments!
Thanks for the Fakespot link, interesting.
Have a great weekend!
Marilyn

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
Wonderful Santa finishes. I like them all.
Have a nice journey to your mom and a nice weekend.
Hugs, Manuela

Deborah Hillyer said...

Hello Carol. Your ornaments are so lovely. Do you stitch all of the PS Santas over 1? Happy Holidays to you.

Tips said...

I love the Santas. Last year a friend of mine sent me four Santa ornaments to my birthday. Now they are in a metal basket with a golden glas ball and some paper stars.
Waving greetings Larissa

Faith... said...

Love the Santas and how you finished them!

Linda said...

As always, love all of your gorgeous finishes Carol. Your box of stitched ornaments is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

Linda

Natureluvr57 said...

Enjoy your time with your Mother. My mother is going to be 86 in February and I'm grateful for every day. I lost my Dad in 1995 and still miss him dearly. I lost my precious dog this July and no more dogs. Life is so precious. I love the blue coat Santa with the cardinal and mittens. I love the big box of home made ornaments. I retired on Valentines day in 2009-I can't believe it's almost 10 years. The only bad thing...I didn't have to pay for healthcare but a few years after I retired they began to charge us. Not the worse thing but now we don't even have that plan to choose from-we have some horrible plans to choose from. Then the company thought "How can we make it even worse", well when I'm 65 I will be kicked to the curb to shop on my own for a plan. This is a big corporation still making billions in profits, not a small struggling company so I say shame on them. Other than that and of course all the aches and pains I now have, I love retirement. Next year I'll be eligible to start SS but not sure if I will or not. I don't buy many gifts but had that all wrapped up in July. With the passing of my dog, I'm not really in the mood to bake all the cookies and desserts as in the past so I'm not sure about that part of the holiday yet. I still feel blessed to have time to spend with loved ones and do some crafting and I wish you a blessed Christmas and many blessed days with your loved ones.

Mary said...

I just love all your PS Santas, I'm partial to the Santa dressed in green as it's my favorite color and he is holding birds and I'm bird crazy!

Have a safe trip and enjoy the time with your Mother.
I'm behind in everything, being away for a total of a months time has done me in! I doubt I'll ever catch up.

RJ said...

Carol have a safe trip up to your Mom's. I know you will have a great time visiting.

I love all of your PS Santas. The shape is wonderful and I like that you used pieces from your son's shirt to dress it up.

I look forward to seeing your tree. I have so much work ahead of me. RJ@stitchingfriendsforever

rosey175 said...

Hah, this is the time of year where I wish the days were twice as long so I could sleep twice as much! I suppose each accomplishes the goal! I absolutely need between 7-8 hours of sleep on a very regular schedule or I get all out of whack.

Loving your beautiful PS finishes. The little stolen star charms are very cute. I wonder if Mill Hill makes something similar? They sometimes include charms which remind me of this. Glad you're keeping one for yourself for your Box of Importance (which is fantastic, by the way)! I think the Blue Starry one is my favorite because 1) blue and 2) stars! It can't go wrong. :D Also as a random side note: You will have some new PS to add to the box -- you were the winner in my giveaway (the post isn't up yet though)! \:D/ Just send me your address and I'll have it out sometime... soonish!

I'd rather not think of far behind I am on Christmas. The house is decorated. Still have to get a tree and do all the shopping/finishing. Thank goodness for Amazon! I use camelcamelcamel a LOT for purchases which helps to know if you're getting a deal or a jacked-up price. Fakespot is new to me so thank you for that!

Lili said...

Your Santas are so very beautiful! You can find the tiny stars charms on etsy.
The box is amazing, Carol! So many beautiful treasures!

Nancy M said...

I haven’t commented lately, because I haven’t visited your blog lately. I get sucked into the “instant” instagram thing! Of course your box of invaluables is AWESOME! I need to read you older posts to catch up on your mom. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea earlier this year and started wearing a Cpap in March. I was having 33 episodes an hour and am now down to about 10 per hour. I used to say I couldn’t function on less than 8 hours. But now I know I was never getting deep sleep. So I’m not as tired anymore and actually wake up when the alarm goes off and not hitting the snooze. I actually came to your blog tonight looking for a particular finish I thought you did on North Pole Express. I put a search in and didn’t find one. But now I’m just glad I came to catch up!
Merry Christmas!
Nancy

Sweet Sue said...

hi carol, your ovals are so precious, lovin on them more and more each time you share them, good for you. thx for the tip re fakespot, good to know. enjoy the season my friend!

Irene said...

Ah Carol, adoro Prairie Schooler e adoro come li hai confezionati! Grazie per il consiglio sui siti fake!

Christine said...

Wow, your Santas are just gorgeous! Thanks for the info about the fake reviews site

Vicki said...

Oh my, I love the photo of your box of ornaments!

Julie said...

More beautiful santas to hide in that beautifully filled box after the festive season. Not sure I could pick a favourite, they are all so lovely. They make a great collection.
Wonderful that you will have son and DIL with you to celebrate this year.
love and blessings xx

Rachel said...

I absolutely need at least 7 hours, especially lately. I don't know how people do it with less! I am in love with your Prairie Schooler Santas. The flannel scrap is the perfect addition to the blue Santa--I think he's my favorite so far! I also have not purchased a single present, nor have I decorated! Everything is just going so fast this year. Hope you're having a lovely week!:)

Jennifer said...

Great PS finishes, and I know what you mean about this time of year - in addition to being super busy at home, work is busy for me too...but only one more week and then I am off for two! Hooray! So glad everyone is checking on your mom, how is her pacemaker doing? Hope that you have a nice Christmas Carol! Can’t wait to see your annual ornament parade :)

Beth said...

Carol your two new PS Santas both 'sing' to me - I love the color blue, and as you know, am passionate about birds. What wonderful additions to your amazing collection of stitched Christmas ornaments. I am hoping for lots of photos of your decorated tree. I need to get on Instagram as I'd love to follow you.

Leonore Winterer said...

I love your PS Santas. especially in those colours. Goes to show that Santa doesn't always have to wear red!

Sheryl S. said...

Wonderful Santas Carol, great stitching and lovely finishes. Amazed to see your box of ornaments and of course we can all appreciate the many hours of work that went into creating each one. You sound well ahead with your decorating, I haven´t even thought about it yet. Glad to hear your mum has had a lot of visitors and will have more before Christmas, Happy December.

Penny said...

I think it is impossible to have a favorite Prairie Schooler Santa. : ) Beautiful finishes, Carol! And oh, that wonderful box of ornament goodness! I haven't had much time for Christmas preparations, but that seems to be the same every year - somehow it all gets done. : )

I'm sure you are looking forward to having your son and daughter-in-law home at Christmas. I know you will enjoy your visit. You and your mom have been in my thoughts. Hope things are going well for her. And make sure to take care of yourself! Hugs!

Margaret said...

I'm so behind on my commenting! Yikes! Love your Santas! It's amazing to see all your ornaments together like that! Wow! The fake reviews thing -- wow! OK, I'd better check some things out here. lol! Thanks!

Ann at Beadlework. said...

Your box of gorgeous stitched ornaments is just a sight to behold - so many to choose from and so many lovely memories in each no doubt.

Bethan said...

Your prairie school santa collection is great - my favourite is your October one. I really enjoy the blue and stars! Thank you for the review spotter tip! x

Claire said...

Such beautiful finishes, Carol! How wonderful to have all of those labours of love to bring out each year! Everything is just so exquisite! Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and thank you for all of your inspiration this year. Merry Christmas!