Just two more days and Christmas will be here! Are you ready? I've done all that I need to do outside of preparing meals, although I may make a couple more batches of cookies. Cookie baking is hard for me to resist this time of year! I have a nice supply that I froze from Thanksgiving and made three more kinds on Saturday--honestly, that is plenty! But, it's fun to try a new cookie every now and then and Christmas offers the perfect excuse to experiment, don't you think?
My tree is finally up and decorated...
I do think this is the latest ever! As I mentioned in my previous post, I am considering putting it up before Thanksgiving next year--or at least the day after so I can enjoy the fruits of my labor (also known as my monthly ornaments!) a bit longer. Many of you have seen my tree on Instagram
, but I know some of you just read blogs so here are some photos for you. I'm often asked about our tree so here are a few details for you. It is not huge--about 7 feet tall. Yes, it is artificial--when my middle son was young, he had allergies to real trees so we went with an artificial tree and never looked back. It is not a "themed" tree--it contains a bit of everything. Besides my stitching, there are ornaments from my mother-in-law, my sons' childhood ornaments, ornaments from our travels, and everything in between. The most common question is: "How many stitched ornaments are there?"
Well, last week, I actually counted them as I placed each one on the tree--there are 155
and 95% of them were made over the past ten years. This year, I only put the ornaments I stitched myself on the tree and put those given to me by my stitching friends on the mantel in our family room and up the stairway on the garland (after I moved my current year's ornaments to the main tree). The tree was simply getting too crowded so I chose to showcase them this way. I'll try to remember to take a photo of my gifts on the mantel and up the stairway for my next post when I show you the wonderful presents I received this month...
|2019 Christmas Tree: 155 stitched ornaments!|
|I placed the four Little House Needleworks "Hometown Holiday" ornaments in a cluster. I plan on adding to that collection in the coming year!|
|I really don't have a "style" when I finish an ornament--I just try to make each one special and unique!|
|A wonderful thought to remember as we head into the new year ( and new decade!)|
|The sun goes down and the lights seem to get brighter as night falls... |
|Star light, star bright|
|I spot some of my favorites in this photo! The"Kissing Cardinals" will always be near the top of my list... |
|That trio of snowmen with their carrot noses in the lower left has always been popular! There is one more in the series that I should really stitch soon.|
|Love the reflection of white lights in the windows at night!|
|My childhood Santa looks a bit more ragged every year, but I still love him!|
|Here is a bit of an expanded view of our sunroom where we display our tree each year. This room has the best natural light in the house with five windows, a double door (behind the tree) and two skylights so it is where I not only finish my ornaments, but also photograph them as well. Can you see the snow outside? I took these photos last week when we had about an inch fall one morning.|
I used to have two large Boston ferns on either side of the tree (on the white tables), but they barely made it through Thanksgiving so I had to throw them out. The tables needed a quick little "something" to perk them up. I walked around the house pulling bits and pieces and came up with odds and ends to create these two vignettes sitting on top of a pair of red and white checked kitchen towels.
|A trio of snowmen and a cute red sled top the table to the left of the tree...|
|... and a Santa sled and bearded character along with a big basket of pinecones and mini-apples rest on the table to the right of the tree.|
I do have one new finish to show you today! Well, it's not actually "new" as it's been patiently waiting for me to frame it for at least a dozen years. Honestly, I can't remember when I stitched this one, but it was definitely before I began blogging almost 11 years ago. I ran across these cute little elves yesterday and decided that today was the day to finally frame them--I've even had the frame for years! This is "Be Merry" is by Just Nan and it was stitched on 28 ct. Tea-Dyed Monaco using the suggested threads (because back then I wouldn't have been brave enough to change any of them!).
|"Be Merry" finished just in time for Christmas. I love the beads and specialty stitches in this one. The beards on the elves are stitched with pearl cotton making them look thick and fluffy. I think the gold and burgundy tones in the frame pick up the colors of the stitching so well.|
|My treasured elf was given to me many Christmases ago by my best friend. He is holding a bird in a nest and a small birdhouse. Isn't he special--such character in his wizened face... The bench he is sitting on came from the Dollar Store a few years ago.|
Giveaway Winner... I had quite a number of stitchers enter to win the "Six Busy Santas" chart (does anyone else find that to be one odd name for that chart??) and the name drawn from the hat was...
|Alhana--you are the winner of this chart!|
Alhana, please send me your mailing address (my email is in my sidebar under "View My Complete Profile.") Congratulations--I hope you enjoy stitching the Santas, Alhana--please share your stitching with us when you've finished. If you didn't win this giveaway, please watch this space--I'll be offering more charts in the future. Thanks so much to all who participated!
Who still sends Christmas cards? I do, but I'm afraid it is becoming a thing of the past and I really miss the nice old-fashioned cards... you know--the ones with pretty winter scenes or Christmas-themed pictures on the front. Now, it seems everyone sends a card featuring only their family photo(s) and a printed generic greeting bearing their name. No personal message at all... I guess I'm just old-fashioned--I am always a bit behind the trends anyway :) But, I love picking out cards and mailing them out at Christmas time. These are the three selections that I sent this year. I try to include a personal message and also pop in a photo of our family for those who haven't seen us in a while.
|I couldn't decide which greeting card to send this year so I picked three! Which is your favorite?|
I did get the most perfect Christmas card from my oldest son and daughter-in-law. What do you think? My son said as soon as he saw it, he couldn't resist buying it for me. He said it even looks like me a bit when I have my glasses on (and before I got my hair cut shorter). (Hmmm... not sure how I feel about that)! But, I was supposed to be born on Christmas--hence, my name. My poor mom had to wait three whole weeks until I finally made an appearance in mid-January, but she still decided to name me Carol.
So, how are you spending your Christmas Day? My blog title alluded to a slightly "different" Christmas for us this year. Well, first of all--let's look at the weather... It is going to be in the 50s here on Christmas Day! I don't ever remember a Christmas that warm. No white Christmas in western Pennsylvania, but the warm spell sure has made shopping easier and will be much safer for those of us traveling. The other difference this year will be that our whole family won't be together (insert sounds of me weeping). My oldest son and daughter-in-law will be with her family in Texas and my middle son and his girlfriend will be spending their Christmas Eve with her family. It's going to be very quiet around here.
The biggest difference will be that we won't be eating here--we're taking our manicotti and turkey dinner up to Ohio to share it with my in-laws in their assisted living home. They say the best thing you can give an elderly person (they are 91) is the gift of time. So, this is our gift. I'll miss setting the table and relaxing at home, but I know they'll welcome us. The transition from life in Florida to the assisted living home in Ohio (in October) has been difficult for them. But, we'll try our hardest to make their day festive and memorable!
Wherever you may be spending your December 25th, I wish each of you a blessed Christmas 2019. May it be filled with memories to last a lifetime... Thank you for taking the time to read my words (and, perhaps, comment now and then) -- this stitching community of ours is truly special! Bye for now...
|From our house to yours... Merry Christmas everyone!|