Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Stitching on black and cruising down the Danube (Part 4)

Well, I made it--I managed to squeeze in one lonely post for October! To be honest, I haven't had a lot of free time this month, but I pushed through and am making myself sit down, organize my photos, write the post, and, hopefully, press the "publish" button as soon as I'm through with what will surely be a very lengthy missive...

I've missed you this month and I'm way behind on leaving blogging comments and answering emails. I do hope to catch up this week, though, so if I haven't visited your blog in a while--I'll be stopping in to say "hello" very soon. The little stitching I've done this month seems to be on black. I know a lot of you struggle with black fabric and I do, too, at times. For some reason I have an easier time stitching "over one" on black Monaco (which unfortunately is not produced any more--I just happen to have a yard of it that I purchased years ago) than I do "over two" on 32 ct. black linen. I try to stitch on black only in the daylight with a white cloth on my lap to make the holes show up better. Some people use a lightbox underneath, too. If you haven't stitched on black--try a small project at first. You never know--you may become hooked like I have!

Have you changed your mind through the years when it comes to what stitching patterns you like? In this case, I think my tastes have simply matured. When the Prairie Schooler chart called "Angels" (Book No. 42) first came out in 1993, I wasn't attracted to it all (and that is highly unusual for me considering it was a Prarie Schooler design!). But, I recently saw it come up for auction on eBay (for $6.00!) and thought that I might as well add it to my collection. When it arrived, I saw the beauty in these angels--in fact, the whole time I was stitching her, I kept saying to the little yellow angel,  "You are SO beautiful!" (Yes, I talk to my stitching sometimes--how about you?).

Prairie Schooler Angel finish

This is stitched over one on 28 ct. black Monaco with the suggested DMC colors. The only change I made was to her face. I wanted it to have a more delicate look than the original (which you can see by clicking here) so I eliminated some of the black lines and the heavy eyebrows. I stitched the lines representing her nose, mouth, and eyes with more delicate black sewing thread rather than DMC, too, since it is so small (the stitched area is a mere 2​¾" by 1¾") .  Because I wanted the beauty of the angel to shine, I kept the finish fairly simple and added only some handmade cording and a soft yellow bow. I am thrilled to finally have my ornament for August all finished up! Hopefully, I can finish my September, October, and November ornaments by the next post!

Isn't she pretty!?

My next black fabric finish is a freebie from the DMC website which you can find right here. It is a lovely design called "Flowers Bees Love" by Cathy Eliot and is stitched "over two" on 32 ct. black Belfast linen. The bee's wings on the original chart were only done in outline so I created the little pattern of  "veins" to make them look more realistic. What do you think? I just love the colors in this piece--several of the newer DMC colors were called for and they are so pretty!

A freebie bee design from DMC

I'll admit it--this was a tough one to stitch! The long-stitched flowers gave me fits until I realized that no one would know if they were stitched perfectly or not... so, I just did the best I could and I'm very pleased with the final result. I added some cording in the light gold color of the bee and topped it with a simple jute ribbon. The photo below was taken in early October when I still had some color in my garden and I thought the purple and white flowers were perfect to showcase my finish!

"Flowers Bees Love" uses several of the newer DMC colors

My final piece of black stitching is one you've seen before because I've stitched it for my own Christmas tree and for several friends. This one, when fully finished, will be going to another friend. It is from Prairie Schooler's Book No. 51 "Christmas Past," and is stitched "over one" on 28 ct. black Monaco using DMC threads. I plan on finishing this one up soon and will pop it in the mail to an unsuspecting friend. Hope she likes it!

I think this may be at least the fourth time I've stitched this Prairie Schooler Santa!

In one last piece of stitching, I have a change to share with you. Do you remember the way I rearranged the placement of the words on "Miss Bingley's Library" in my previous post? Well, several of the comments on Instagram indicated that they mis-read it as "sexcellant" rather than "excellent" due to the way I had made the stem and leaves curve on the left side. OH MY!! I do not think dear Miss Bingley would approve, do you? After that idea was put in my head, I couldn't "unsee it," so I re-stitched the leaves and this is how it's looking now... Hopefully, this is the final rendition!

A bit of a revision to the leaves and stem for a final finish!

October brought several surprises to my mailbox at just the right moments. Three sweet stitching friends surprised me with little gifts that certainly brightened a difficult month. The first one came from a stitching friend who wishes to remain anonymous, but it is one of the most special gifts I've ever received. Just look at this personalized notebook she sent me! My blog name is beautifully inscribed on the front--even using the exact font "Papyrus" that I use in my header (the font my sons always make fun of me for using--not sure why!). And on the inside, is my name and a little notepad for keeping all of my stitchy notes in one place. I just love it (along with the chocolate and tiny scissors that she included). She wrote that she wanted to thank me for all the time and effort I put into my blog and for the inspiration I provided--not only the stitching, but also through my words. My friend, I was extremely touched by your gifts and thoughtful card. Thank you so very much!

A personalized stitching notebook, chocolate, and scissors from one of my sweet blog readers

This little notebook will come in so handy in keeping track of my stitching notes. My full name is inscribed on the inside, too!

When I was up in New York visiting my mom last week, this wonderful package arrived from sweet Stasi at Bee-mused and Bee-stitching blog. If you aren't familiar with Stasi's blog, please pay her a visit. She has stitched and finished the most amazing collection of smalls I've ever seen! I had admired her teeny-tiny Halloween finishes done on ribbon, which you can see in this post, and she sent me not only the chart, but some of the ribbon to stitch these miniatures on. Stasi, you know how much I love tiny things and, when I get back into Halloween stitching, these will be first on my list. Thank you so very much, my friend!

A darling Halloween chart and the 40 ct. ribbon to stitch the little cuties on from dear Stasi!

And last, but not least, one of my sweet Instagram friends, Claire, from one of my "must-travel-to" spots, British Columbia, Canada, sent me the cutest charms and some lovely seam binding ribbon to use in my "beautiful finishes" (her words!). Just look at the variety of tiny charms--hearts, snowmen, bunnies, reindeer, angels, sewing notions--why there is even a bicycle there! I think I'll have to stitch something bicycle-themed for my husband... I've so enjoyed getting to know Claire through Instagram and if you'd like to follow her and enjoy her beautiful work, just go here. Thank you so very much, my dear friend--you really made me smile! Instagram is a wonderful way to discover new stitching friends and see beautiful work from all over the world. I'd love to have you follow me--just click here!

Finishing ribbons and a variety of charms to make my finishes pretty from dear Claire!

A few more stitching goodies found a new home with me this month, too, because--guess what? I got to visit a real live cross stitch store! Oh, it was like heaven as we have nothing in this part of Pennsylvania and to see and touch charts and fabrics and threads in person is such a rare experience. I hope those of you who have a local needlework store appreciate it and support it? I loved the visit two stitching friends and I made to The Crafty Ewe in Broadview Heights, Ohio. It was almost a two-hour drive for me, but well-worth the trip! Here are just a few of the items that snuck into my shopping bag that day... 

Some new stash from my visit to The Crafty Ewe in Ohio

The photos below show just a fraction of the lovely models and goods on display at The Crafty Ewe... And the ladies working there couldn't have been nicer.  I know I'll be taking another roadtrip to Ohio!

It was SUCH fun being in an honest-to-goodness real-life stitching shop!

A sad farewell... Many of you remember our friend Liz at Sunflower Fields Pattern Co. blog. Liz was a wool artist, quilter, cross stitcher, author, and a generous friend. Sadly, her daughter posted on Instagram that Liz succumbed to a fast-moving liver cancer and passed away on October 21, 2019. We had exchanged Christmas ornaments just last year and I'm so grateful to have a little piece stitched and finished by her hands to place on my tree. I told her daughter it will have a place of honor each Christmas. Although I never met her, I'm sure we would have been true friends in real life. I'll miss you, Liz--thank you for all your inspiration and your online chats and emails. And thank you for making this world a happier and more colorful place with your beautiful designs. May you rest in peace...

The ornament dear Liz set me last Christmas will have a place of honor on my tree for years to come.

So, that wraps up the stitching portion of this post... I know many of you will be leaving me here, so thank you very much for visiting me today. For those of you who are going on the Danube River Cruise with me--let's set sail... If you are interested in reading the first three parts of the cruise, please click here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

The Danube River Cruise resumes... When we last got together, we were in Austria and today I have two new Austrian destinations to share with you: a small village and a big city--guess which one I preferred?

 Dürnstein, Austria

Dürnstein is a small medieval town, but is one of the most visited in the Wachau Valley region. It is known for apricot products of all kinds--there are entire stores that sell only apricot related items: candles, jams, candy, lotions, and even wines. We picked up some apricot candy, schnapps, and jam to take home for gifts.

The beautiful blue and white baroque belltower of the Dürnstein Abbey is a prominent landmark on the Danube River. In the distance, high on the hill, lie the ruins of  Dürnstein Castle built in the early 12th century. It is best known for being the prison of King Richard I (Richard the Lionheart)  of England who was captured while returning from the Third Crusade in the year 1192.

Although we didn't go into the iconic blue tower, it is possible to tour the abbey for a small price. As you can see, the clouds lifted from the time of our arrival and we enjoyed a thoroughly delightful afternoon exploring this quaint town.

By late afternoon, the crowds had dispersed and we enjoyed wandering around the cobblestone streets, admiring all the nooks and crannies of Dürnstein.

Lots of yellow houses, fabulous flower boxes, and charming curved streets--I think I could live here!

This was my favorite view of the Danube from Dürnstein.

I've always loved cemeteries (at least by daylight!) and I find those in Germany and Austria to be especially enchanting. 

I love the way the flowers are planted in square beds at the foot of each gravestone--all so perfectly tended to!

Such a peaceful spot for your final rest...

My husband and I were the only two exploring the graveyard that day making for a very peaceful visit. The crumbling remains of the Kunigunde Church sit quietly watching over the flower-covered graves.

Look if you dare! Yes, these are human bones... In this graveyard, the graves are not purchased, but rented for ten years. Then the skeleton bones are exhumed, cleaned, and placed in this "bone room."  Glad we weren't visiting at night--it was quite an eerie sight!

After quite a bit of walking on a 90° day, we decided to stop in at a beautiful little cafe called Kuenringerhof. With its lovely lace curtains and views of green grapes growing on vines outside the windows, it was perfectly charming!

While at the cafe, we enjoyed a tasty apricot strudel topped with vanilla ice cream.

At the end of a relaxing afternoon in Dürnstein, my husband descends the steep hill back to our riverboat. Time to go to our next destination!

Surprisingly, the next stop on our journey was one of my least favorite cities. I can't explain it--there was a lot of beauty there, but it just didn't touch me in a personal way... If we had had more time there, it might have, but I guess I am just a small town girl at heart:

Vienna, Austria

Vienna is the largest city and capital of Austria. With it's worldwide reputation for being a center of art, music, and fine culture--it is known for having one of the highest qualities of living in the world.

We began our tour of Vienna at the Volksgarten, a public park which is part of the Hofburg Palace.

Being centrally located in Europe, Vienna has quite a mixture of architectural styles.

Intricately carved statues and stonework abound.

I thought this scene of the filigree ironwork arching over the horse-drawn carts was so pretty.

This is the Spanish Riding School where the famous Lipizzaner stallions are trained. Unfortunately, each July and August they are taken to their summer stables in rural Austria so we saw no horses the day we visited.

One of the delightful flower markets!

One of the most iconic structures in Vienna is the Gothic St. Stephen's Cathedral, more commonly known as Stephansdom. It is the most important religious building in Vienna.

Just look at that gorgeous ornately patterned roof! It is made up of 230,00 colored tiles and is so steep that it is rarely covered in snow.

Inside St. Stephen's Cathedral

Of all the places on our trip, this was the one I was most looking forward to visiting: Schönbrunn Palace, the summer home of the Hapsburgs. With over 1400 rooms, it is considered Austria's premier tourist attraction. I still remember the photos my parents shared of it when they traveled there in the late 1960s.  Sadly, on the day we went, it was unbearably hot and crowded as we passed through the rooms making the whole experience quite miserable. No photos were allowed inside so my aging brain remembers little of what I saw.

There were some beautiful gardens at the palace as well, but sadly, our time was very limited by the river cruise company--we only had an hour or so to explore and we needed much longer. Overall, the visit was a disappointment--but one I blame on lack of time and planning on the part of the cruise line rather than the palace itself.

Well, that does it for the fourth installment--only two cities to visit and then we fly home. Can anyone guess where we are headed next?

I'll leave you with some of the beautiful images of fall that I spotted while out for a walk at my mother's senior living community in upstate New York.  The colors weren't the best this year due to a hot, dry spell this summer and fall, but they were still quite pretty... I even ran across a large (to me!) snake sunning himself on the sidewalk. Of course, I backed away slowly (after screaming in alarm as I almost stepped on him!).  That pretty gazebo and little footbridge are on the walking path that surrounds my mom's place and in the background you can see the senior living community itself. It's such a pretty setting overlooking one of New York's beautiful Finger Lakes.

Fall in upstate New York

Once again, I did no Halloween stitching this year. My dad died five years ago on Halloween morning and I haven't felt the same about the holiday since. I do hope to get back to it one of these years, though, as I miss seeing all of my little Halloween stitched pillows. But, for this year... it's straight on to Thanksgiving! I hope you enjoyed my post today and I thank you for your visits and wonderful comments and emails. I'm so proud to be a part of this supportive online community that we have with our fellow cross-stitchers. I wish everyone could be so lucky, don't you? Happy November! Bye for now...


Shelly said...

I'm the first commenter! Woohoo! Carol, your finishes on black fabric are wonderful. I saw the price for the PS book as $6,000, not $6.00! I had to go back and reread that! I thought boy, Carol really needed that book! Do I talk to my stitching? I sure do, things like Doggone it! and Behave! This might be the first time I've ever seen any stash you have bought. I see some designs I would like to have. I enjoyed your visits to the two places in Austria. I think you are headed to Linz or some place in Germany. Happy Wednesday to you:)

MartinaM said...

Oh, I realized that my taste has changed. I have liked the Santas of Prairie Schooler for a long time and currently I love the motives of Brenda Gervais and Blackbird Design.
The finsih for your angel is very nice again. Also your next pattern is very nice, I really feel like trying on black fabric, the colors are so beautiful.
Thank you for taking me on your trip again, Vienna is still one of the places I really want to see.
even your autumn pictures are beautiful. Thank you for your great post.
Big Hugs, Martina

Gabi said...

Hello Carol,
what a lovely post and yes, my taste also changed. But TPS is still my favorite. Your stitching on black is awesome. The colors are bright.
Must try... but the eyes!
Thanks for sharing your trip to Austria.
Have a great day.

butterfly said...

Wonderful stitching Carol ,love the stitching on black makes the stitching really stand out .
Nice stash ,I bet you can't wait to start them all.
Wonderful gifts from friends too.
Beautiful photos of you trip .

Time keeps running away from me, I am still playing catch up too.
Have a lovely Autumn , keep posting I really love your posts and always want to stitch more afterwards , I just want more time ha.
Big Hugs.

Manuela said...

Hallo Carol,
ein wunderschöner Post.
Deine fertigen Stickereien sind wie immer soooo schön. Der Engel ist ganz bezaubernd und auch die kleinen Blumen einfach nur schön.
Und der kleine Santa ist goldig.
Auch bei mir hat sich die Liebe zu den Stickmotiven geändert. Mittlerweile mag ich die Motive sehr von Blackbird Design, Brenda Gervais und demnächst möchte ich etwas von Cottage Garden Samplings sticken.
Ein Besuch in einem Stickladen in den USA ist etwas ganz Besonderes. Als ich vor einigen Jahren in der Nähe von L. A. in einem war, war ich total erschlagen von der Auswahl. Schöne Vorlagen hast du dir mitgenommen.
Schöne kleine Geschenke hast du bekommen.
Wien ist eine schöne STadt, aber man benötigt Zeit. Wir waren damals 4 Tage in Wien um alles in Ruhe besichtigen können. Schloss Schönbrunn ist wunderschön und auch die spanische Hofreitschule ist sehr sehenswert, allerdings sind die Eintrittskarten schon Monate vorher vergriffen.
Hab' eine schöne Zeit und bis zum nächsten Mal.
Big Hugs, Manuela

Kay said...

Beautiful stitching, as always. I don't enjoy stitching on dark fabrics but I really do like the results. I am so jealous that you managed to get to a real cross stitch shop, they are like gold dust!

Maggie said...

Love all your recent finishes Carol :-) I'm glad you enjoyed visiting a real brick and mortar cross stitch shop:-) I am very lucky as I have a shop very local to me, although I don't know any other for miles around. The Nimble Thimble where we meet up is just over an hour away, so not local.
I did smile when you mentioned the placement of the letters on the Miss Bingley piece, I noticed it on Instagram too but I thought It was just the way I was seeing it, lol
Loved seeing the photos from your trip, we have never been to Austria, although it is somewhere I want to go one day but I would like to go in the Winter rather than the Summer, just got to persuade my husband about that, lol

Marilyn said...

First of all, I love, love, love that stitched piece on blue on your header.
All of your finishes are beautiful, as usual, but that Angel!
She IS so very pretty.
You found some great stash, don't you love those Blue Flower designs?
Sorry to hear about your friend's passing.
I love all of the pics you posted about your trip, so pretty.
My husband would've loved that Apricot Strudel.
His Aunt used to make Strudel, & he misses it so very much.

Kate said...

You are fortunate that you can stitch on black - I actually have a problem stitching with black (and white) floss. ^^ I love the Bee and Flower finish - thank you for the link. All of these finishes are beautiful.

Margaret said...

Your black background finishes are so gorgeous! I'm partial to angels, so I love that angel especially! Glad your tastes have changed. lol! Lovely gift from friends as well. And of course I enjoyed seeing more of your river cruise! It does sound like your experience in Vienna didn't go down as well as it could have due to circumstances. Such a shame. But my armchair view was wonderful, and I loved the little town as well. Thanks for sharing with us! I'm finding vicarious armchair travel to be just my speed these days. lol! So sorry to hear about Liz. You've reminded me I need to post for October too. I'd better get a move on!

Arlene @Nanaland said...

Carol I passed on those angels as well back in the day but yours has me rethinking it.:) Some people must have their minds in the gutter is they thought that said Sexecleent. Oh My Goodness.lol You got so many pretty gifts....the stitching community is the best. And I am very sorry to hear of the passing of your friend. I always wanted to visit Austria just to try all the pastries and coffee. We used to order a Gevalia coffee at Christmas called Winter and it was of Austrian origin.

KrissKross said...

Thank you for another great blog post! I am always in awe of everything you stitch from the count (28 count BLACK (!!!) over ONE (???) and your finishing. I adore the changes you made to Miss Bingleys; library! I would love to stitch it as you did for one of my daughters 0 an avid reader and fan of all things Jane Austen. Thank you for making my cross stitch world more beautiful! I am thankful for you!

Stasi said...

Carol, your angel is so serene and lovely...she truly comes to life on that black fabric.
Your trip looks amazing, but I have to ask, if you did it again, would you go the riverboat cruise way or do the trip yourself. It sounds as if you didn't have the time to truly visit and enjoy some spots. Looking forward to the rest of your recap.
Thanks for the shout out and hope you enjoy the chart when you are ready!

Robin in Virginia said...

What beautiful finishes you have created with needle and thread! I did chuckle because while I love PS designs like you, there are several like that angel chart that I just wasn't taken with so they never came to live at my house. Kindred spirits! I like your revised library piece. What lovely goodies you received from fellow stitching friends! Carol, I enjoyed seeing your trip pictures. Thank you for sharing them will us.

Barb said...

Hi Carol - oh I was so happy to see your new posting today. I know everyone loves your blog and seeing what beautiful work you have created. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful stitching pieces, (and for reminding me that it’s okay to make changes to a design!).

Thanks, too, for sharing all the gorgeous photos of your Danube river trip! They are so beautiful and so special - it is really great to see them and appreciate the beauty of other places in this world. What a great trip you and your husband got to take!

More to you later ...

Happy Autumn to you and your family!

Barb R.

Sandy said...

There was no skipping over the travel post. Like you I am intrigued by all the small villages. I actually follow a blog in France that has me far more interested in the small towns than Paris. I love the little cobblestone roads and such. That grave yard with the bones is making me think...I will leave it at that.
I love your little free flower chart with the butterfly. It turned out so pretty. I really think that is just what I am feeling these days about all the comparing. We should love what we stitch and not put it up against others. It made us happy doing it and it mattered to us. I have a space pattern picked out to do on black in the coming year. The gifter of the notebook hit the nail on the head when she said how much inspiration in stitching in words are in your blog. I can't wait to read it when I see it pop up. I once loved comic sans font and read an article on it and I haven't been able to use it since. IT was something or other about it being childish. I didn't think so, but now it is stuck in my head. There is all kinds of research on fonts and people's fondness for it and readability. Have a wonderful week.

Ursula S. said...

Carol, stumbled upon your blog and was thoroughly enchanted. I’ll be back frequently. I think you and I were on river cruises at about the same time and chuckled that we had the same reactions to the Palace and it’s grounds. It was like going to an un-air conditioned Disneyland. Too many people, too much heat and no time. You’ve inspired me to try x-stitching on black. The contrast is beautiful. Thanks for your suggestions!

Cathy H. said...

Beautiful stitching and finishing once again! I haven't stitched on black in a very long time! I'm not sure my old eyes would let me, but you do inspire me to try! You received such wonderful gifts. I especially love all those charms! The pictures of your travels are wonderful! You've taken me to places I'll never see in person! I enjoy strolling through cemeteries as well, but I'm not sure about those bones! That's just weird to rent a plot fo 10 years and then end up in a bone pile! Looking forward to seeing some fall stitching projects of yours!

Diana said...

Great stitching! I tried stitching on black without success.
Would like to know what design is your header of your blog?

Vickie said...

I love your little finishes you shared today Carol! I love PS angels so very much!! I enjoy your vacation installments so much. The cemetery... not so much. I enjoy cemeteries. I think when I get buried in one, I want to stay put, thank you very much!!!

marly said...

So sad about your stitching friend. Seems we are all being touched more often by this disease.

I sold my Angels chart, did not feel the love, but do like yours. But black over one? I can see why it may be easier on that fabric though.

So enjoying the photos, buildings, and streets. What a difference from our modern country. I am geographically challenged so I have no idea what's next! But I'm anxious to see it.

Craft Ewe is not near enough to our Cleveland Clinic route or I would ask to detour if Carole could take sitting in the car. It's a very long and exhausting day when we take her to the doc there. Maybe one day.

Your mom's residence has beautiful surroundings! I hope she is doing well.

Faith... said...

Sorry for your loss Carol.

Yes my tastes have changed a few times over the years. Sometimes I get rid of the charts and sometimes I just hang on them for whatever reason or another. Beautiful vacation pictures!

Ann at Beadlework. said...

Lovely reading your post Carol, so many things you've shared with us - both to enjoy and reflect on too.

Christel said...

Que de jolis ouvrages brodés pour ce moi d'octobre. Comme vous lorsque je brode (mais c'est très rare) sur de la toile foncée, je le fais à la lumière du jour et en mettant un linge blanc en dessous. Vos modifications sur l'ange et l'abeille sont une très bonne idée. Je trouve que cela embelli le sujet brodé. Je crois que comme beaucoup au fil des années, mes goûts changent au niveau des créateurs... Mais je reviens toujours comme on dit souvent à mes premières amours.
Désolée pour la perte de votre amie Liz. Qu'elle repose en paix, elle sera sans nul doute heureuse de voir que vous pensez à elle et que vous prenez grand soin de son Père Noël brodé. Elle vous sourira de là-haut.
Merci pour le partage de votre croisière. Je ne connais pas du tout l'Allemagne ni l'Autriche, même si ça n'est pas si loin de chez moi. Cela m'a permis de découvrir et d'apprécier les paysages, les villes. C'est très joli mais me laisse une impression d'austérité, de froid... Les ossuaires c'est toujours impressionnant. En France les emplacements pour les tombes sont loués également. Lorsque la concession arrive à échéance et qu'aucun descendant ne souhaite prolonger la location les os sont exhumés et placés dans la fosse commune, mais il est rare que les os soient visibles. Vous verrez des ossuaires à Paris en visitant les catacombes. C'est très impressionnant. Vous aimez visiter les cimetières, alors si vous venez un jour en France, prenez le temps d'aller à celui du Père Lachaise ou du Montparnasse à Paris. J'ai visité le Père Lachaise et j'ai été très impressionnée par le calme, la sérénité qui y règnent alors que c'est une plein centre-ville. C'est comme si on était dans une bulle.
Je vous souhaite un beau mois de novembre.
Amitiés de France,

Claire said...

Oh Carol it is all so beautiful! I sure have enjoyed travelling down the river with you, too! What a lovely memory you have of Liz. I remember when she was stitching that Santa. She was a lovely friend and I miss her, too. Your writing always makes me feel like I'm right there with you. Thank you for all the work you put into your blog. It's just so delightful. Happy November❤️

Ele said...

What a lovely holiday you had! Thank you for sharing those beautiful photos, Austria is really enchanting
Have a great weekend

Christine said...

Beautiful stitching and finishing - the angel on the black fabric is just gorgeous!

Barbara said...

All of your stitching, travels, and photography of both are so inspiring to me. WHERE.DO.YOU.FIND.THE.TIME??? (smile)

I've not yet done a Prairie Schooler Santa but have wanted to for a long time. There is a patriotic one in my stash of patterns that I hope to get stitched up before July 4, 2020. How's that for goal-setting??

Sandra said...

Stunning stitching throughout, as always! I do have a soft spot for your first image of the Prairie Schooler Angel, especially in the finished version with the braiding (picking out the colour of her robe) and the cream ribbon. You're so talented.

I would love to see your travel journal in a separate posting from your stitchwork, so that I may better appreciate them!

Alhana said...

You stitched on black pieces are just lovely, I have never tried working on black before but the tip on having a lamp undereath sounds on point. I love your angel rendition and the changes you made on the library piece, although I am one of the few who didn't notice any S- spelling (maybe because English is not my first language?). The gifts you received are great, your stitching friends are just amazing. :-)

Thanks for sharing the Austrian stage of your cruise, the scenery is breathtaking. The bones picture at the cemetery gave me the chills though. I'm looking forward to the next installment —heading for Budapest next, perhaps? Until then, Happy Autumn!

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

Dear Carol,
a wonderful post from beginning to end.
I realized that my taste has changed, too.
How great your embroideries look on a black background is something I have to try.
Such beautiful gifts you've received, I'm happy for you.
I would have liked to accompany you to visit the embroidery shop ;-)
And I also like your holiday photos, thank you very much for the effort you put into writing and selecting the photos.
Have a nice weekend, Jutta

Anonymous said...

Hi...this is Susan Lankford...(using anonymous because I have so many problems trying to leave comments on Google). Love your black Monaco stitches and finishes! And the personalized notebook is AMAZING...what a sweet and thoughtful present...

Of course your travels are always so interesting and beautifully photographed...you are having quite the retirement. Good for you for really enjoying yourself, Carol!

Donna said...

Such a lovely angel, Carol! It looks so beautiful on black and your finishing is so pretty. I’ve loved all the pictures of your trip down the Danube. Thank you for all the work you put into your blog.

kcsguys said...

Well this was a treat, reading your blog is always worth waiting for! I love your stitches and finishes, black is always a color I gravitate toward in clothing and accessories, but not as much in stitching as it can be tricky, but you've mastered it. I think I already commented that my tastes are always evolving, too....I blame people like you and others on Instagram that introduce me to new and beautiful patterns that I might otherwise have not known existed! The internet can be a beautiful (and expensive) place.
Loved seeing your visit to upstate NY, as, I live there too .... Autumn is always so pretty.
Your trip photos and descriptions make me wish I could travel along with you. What beauty you have been blessed to see.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful blog. I know others love it as much as I do.... especially after seeing the lovely gifts you received! You are a special and lucky lady.
Be well and keep sharing your beautiful Stitches and life!
Kathy ❤️

Sweet Sue said...

hi carol, yes your angel is a very pretty girl:) sweet of you to include both stitching and strudel, prolly my top 2 fave things ever! thank you for sharing...

Julie said...

Catching up here too. So many lovely things to see. X

Katie said...

Another wonderful Carol post. Love all the stitching!! Just beautiful. Yes I talk to my stitching. It's okay haha. Great gifts. You definitely deserve them all. You are a wonderful person indeed. So glad you got to visit the stitching store. They are always nice to see in person. Lovely photos of your trip. The bone room story and picture was fascinating to me. It seems rude to do but if the family knows ahead of time I guess it's okay. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. Having a loss like that would make the day less fun to celebrate.

Leonore Winterer said...

I'm sorry to hear you've had a hard month - hopefully things are looking up right now. Your stitching does look lovely, though. I love the flowers on the back, they are so bright and lively!
What lovely gifts you got! I'm not sure why Papyrus has such a bad rep, as I am quite fond of it myself, but I guess Papyrus and Comic Sans are a bit overused, as many people tend to turn to those whenever they want to make something look 'fun' or 'fancy'.
Your stash haul is awesome - I love the Drawn Thread flower charts you got, and that Mini Pumpkin one too. I totally understand your excitement as I don't have any good stitchy stores near me as well!
It's always sad to see one of our blogger friends leave forever. It's nice you have that beautiful ornament to remember her by always.

I still enjoy looking at the pictures from your cruise - especially now that it's cold and wet and altogether miserable outside, and your picture are so nice and sunny! I've never been to Dürnstein, but cemeteries look like this all over Germany as well. The 'renting your grave' thing is pretty common place as well. I'm not sure about the exact amount of years, but basically you make an initial payment for a minimum number of years, then you can extend it by a couple of years at a time to keep visiting or maybe have someone else buried in the same lot later.

I was a little disappointed to read that you didn't enjoy Vienna as much, as it's probably my favourite city ever (well, except for the one I live in, thankfully), but I can see how small towns appeal to you more. You should definitely come visit me in Freiburg some time!
Did you know that the famous roof of the Stephansdom was almost completely destroyed in WW2? Apparently, the people of Vienna, although impoverished after the war, collected the money to reconstruct it among themselves. At least that's what out guide told us back in 2008.

LoriU said...

CAROL CAROL CAROL!!! You went to the Crafty Ewe and didn't tell me!! That is my local shop!!!! OOOH I would have driven over and met up with you for sure!!! Next time you go you HAVE to let me know!!!

I did not realize your dad passed away on Halloween morning - just like my mom 3 years ago!

Can't wait to see you try out that miniature stitching on ribbon!!

Bethan said...

I love that you have stitched more than one piece on black fabric, even though it is a pain to work with. Thank you for the tip of using white fabric on your lap whilst stitching, I shall certainly remember that if I do ever use dark material to stitch. I'm sorry to hear of your friend's passing - sending you and her family many condolences. Thank you for sharing your trip to Austria. It looks wonderful x

Jennifer said...

Sexcellent library made me laugh out loud this morning and almost spit my tea across the room! Haha! Glad someone saw it and alerted you! Lovely stitching on the black - I do a little, but much prefer lighter colors of linen. I did get a magnifying lamp a few months ago and it has made such a difference - May have to try black again now with good light and magnification! Lovely pictures from Austria - I’ve been close so many times, but never have made it there. Hope your mom is doing okay and that November has been a little better month for you. Happy stitching and look forward to reading your last cruise installment!

Irene said...

Oh Carol, anche i miei gusti sono cambiati con il tempo, credo anche di essere migliorata con il ricamo. Che brava che ricami sulla tela nera!

April said...

Hello Carol,

My, this month is slipping right on past me! I saw your post and was going to comment, and then poof ** two weeks go by!
Your finishes are amazing. The PS Angels never appealed to me...until I saw yours. Lol! Stitching them on black with the softened features make her beautiful as you said. I love the other finish as well!
I am enjoying your posts about your trip-such gorgeous scenery! I would love to go, but alas, my husband is not much for travel overseas. We had a friend who worked for the UN in Vienna many years ago. They begged us to come stay with them, and they would show us the sights. Sigh...oh well, we've got cool postcards from them :)
Lovely area where you sweet Mom lives--I hope she is well :)
Have a great rest of your week!