And, just like that, the first month of the new decade is over! How was your January? I've had a busy month between visiting my mom for five days and getting caught up on lots of doctor's appointments. It's always such a relief to have those out of the way, isn't it--those routine exams for this, that, and the other thing? Luckily, I checked out just fine (other than having to have a worrisome growth removed at my annual dermatology appointment) and I feel good to go for another year! I hate going to the doctor (even though my dad was one!), but I forced myself to get caught up with my various doctors this month and it is such a good feeling.
How is your stitching coming along? I've been working on a "behind the scenes" larger project which I hope to have finished to show you in February. When I'm doing a large project like that, I need to stitch a smaller project at the same time and my finish this month was another of the Little House Needleworks Hometown Holidays designs. May I present... the Firehouse, my ornament for January! This one, like the others in the series, is stitched "over one" on 28 ct. black Monaco. I used a mixture of the suggested threads and some of my own choices--when you stitch on black you have to make a few color changes to get the stitches to show up.
|Little House Needleworks "Firehouse" finish|
The Firehouse joins the other four in the series that I've completed so far: Tree Lot, Main Street Station, Needlework Shop, and Grandma's House. (You can click on each building name to get more detailed information on these previous finishes). I had been using the Woolies Flannel checked fabrics to finish the others, but there was no coordinating shade of the rust color so I used a different Woolies Flannel pattern and think it blends in nicely. Do you have a favorite so far? I am a blue girl, so Grandma's House is mine. I still have 14 more in the series to stitch and all I know is, I need to do more than one a year if I'm ever going to finish them by the time I can no longer see well enough to stitch on black. So, you will be seeing at least one more finished this year (hopefully!).
|My village is growing!|
|Five down--fourteen to go!|
I also have a long ago finish that I finally framed! Yes, "Winter Circle" by The Cricket Collection was something I began in 2007 and finished stitching and beading in 2010. So, where has it been all these years? Stuck away in some dark, airless drawer (with way too many other "unfinished finishes!"). You can read about my 2010 finish right here. I'm embarrassed to say, I even bought the frame back then so it was just pure procrastination on my part that "explains" why I never got around to framing it. But, in a way, I'm glad I waited--I have learned so much about framing since then and I'm sure I did a much better job on it in 2020 than I would have done in 2010. As always, I used the framing tutorial that you can find right here on the With Thy Needle and Thread site.
|Finally framed after ten long years!|
I debated about whether or not to chalk-paint the gold frame, but in the end, decided to leave it as is--the snow people are so elegant with their top hats, turbans, and pretty feathered hats. I think they deserve a fancy frame, don't you? My finish is stitched on 28 ct. summer khaki Lugana with the suggested threads (because ten years ago, I would never have been brave enough to change even a single color!). Just look at these cuties--do you have a favorite? Mine is the little chap in the yellow, maroon, and gray argyle sweater, but I do love Little Miss Red Riding Hood, too.
|Isn't this the best-dressed group of snow people ever?|
Here are some individual photos of each one so you can see them better. I think they would make very cute ornaments, too...
|The attention to detail in this design is amazing!|
|Do you have a favorite?|
When I was visiting my mom last week (who, at 92, is doing very well--thank you to all who ask about her!), I enjoyed seeing the older cross-stitched gifts that I have given her through the years. This is one of my very favorites... "Outside My Window" by Lynn's Prints which was featured in the 2005 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Magazine (stitched on 28 ct. glass blue Monaco with the suggested threads). I gave this to my mom and dad for Christmas way back in 2008 because I said it reminded me of the snowy winters in the tiny New York State village where I grew up. After my dad passed away in 2014, cardinals took on a new meaning for me so this piece is especially dear to my heart.
|"Outside My Window" stitched and given to my parents in 2008.|
Blog Anniversary! Interestingly, I stitched the cardinal piece shown above once more time and featured it in my very first blog post on January 24, 2009. So, yes, Stitching Dreams just celebrated its 11th anniversary a week ago. Who would have thought? I never dreamed of the ways writing a blog would open up my world: new friends and new experiences have walked through my door and my horizons have certainly expanded. There are very few readers still here from when I began blogging in 2009, but a few of you have been with me the entire way. So, I want to give a special thank you to all my readers--both old and new. Your wonderful, heartfelt comments and kind emails have encouraged me to keep stitching and to keep blogging.
Another birthday has come and gone and I'm officially a senior citizen now. Bring on the discounts--I've earned them, right?! It was a quiet birthday, but I received many wonderful greetings from family and friends. I loved reading your cards, emails, and messages--thank you all!
|There is just something so special about receiving a card in the mail!|
I received two lovely birthday gifts from stitching friends which I want to share with you, too.
|June, in England sent a pretty garden-themed chart, some floss, and a bee charm for my birthday. Thank you so much, my friend!|
|Karen, in Indiana, made this lovely needleroll for me. She says she has a collection of 50-75 of them! This is my first needleroll and I will treasure it--Karen's stitching and finishing is flawless--thank you so much, my friend!|
Giveaway Winner... As you'll recall, I had a cute snow chart to give away last time and the name drawn from the hat is...
|Mari K. is the winner!|
Congratulations, Mari! Please email me (my email is in the sidebar under "A Bit About Me") with your full name and mailing address and I will get the chart off to you as soon as possible. I hope you enjoy stitching it!
New Giveaway... And, in honor of those cute snowmen I showed you above in "Winter Circle," I have a new giveaway for the Glory Bee chart (shown below) called "Mr. Shivers" (don't you love that name?). This is an actual chart, not one pulled from a magazine. If you would like to win it, please: 1) specifically say so in your comments, 2) make sure to include your email address if I don't already have it and 3) tell me your favorite snack food. I have to admit I'm addicted to Hershey Kisses with almonds--to me nothing beats the chocolate / nut combination when snacking! The drawing will be open until February 12, 2020 and I'll announce the winner on my next post.
Sharing a recipe... I hope some of you had a chance to try the Double Chocolate Biscotti recipe that I posted in my last post. We froze some and it is just as good coming out of the freezer as it is fresh. I'm down to my last piece now--will definitely be making more. I thought you might like to see another (bit healthier!) treat that I make at least twice a month. I've posted other granola recipes in the past, but we keep coming back to this one as it is so easy to make and has fewer ingredients than many.
|Bet you can't stop with just one bite!|
I found the original recipe here, but changed it up a bit so here is a copy of my version (you can click on the photo to enlarge it). I love it with yogurt, my husband likes a spoonful on his fruit and cottage cheese concoction, and sometimes, I just pop a handful in my mouth for some quick energy during the day. Hope you enjoy it--let me know if you try it!
I hope February will be a nice, short month for all of us, because you know what follows... S-P-R-I-N-G! I can't complain as we have had a real non-winter here... haven't even had to shovel snow at all. I have noticed a distinct improvement in my mood compared to previous winters, too. The milder weather has found me smiling more and having more energy. I love it! So, that's it for January 2020... Thank you all so much for stopping in to visit with me today and a big welcome to my new readers and to you first-time commenters. So glad to have you join us! Happy stitching everyone! Bye for now...