Happy 2020, everyone! I hope your new year is off to a wonderful start... I have a feeling this year is going to be a good one (even if I am turning into an official "senior citizen" when I turn 65 on my birthday on Thursday)! As usual, my husband and I turned in early on New Year's Eve--we have rarely made it 'til midnight in recent years. But, for some reason, I couldn't get to sleep that night and was still lying awake at midnight when the fireworks began exploding outside and cheers from revelers burst into the previously quiet night. Suddenly, somewhere in our neighborhood, a tuba began playing the familiar refrain of "Auld Lang Syne." Yes--a tuba! It wasn't played well or loudly, but it brought me comfort and I truly felt like my dad was there wishing me a "Happy New Year." You see, that was his instrument--he played it not only in the high school band, but also in the army band in Fort Lewis, Washington in 1946-47. I smiled contentedly as I finally drifted off to sleep in the wee hours of January 1, 2020... it is going to be a good year!
|Dad playing his tuba (sousaphone) in the army band at Fort Lewis, Washington circa 1946 or 1947.|
Before I share the stitching gifts I sent to friends around the world, I want to thank you for your wonderful comments and emails you sent in reply to my last post. I truly felt the love and feel so blessed to be a part of this wonderful online stitching community (a fact that I've stated many times over!). I was so touched by your "thank yous" and your kind words... If you get a chance, read through the comments from this last post--I think you'll feel uplifted, too!
So, let's get things started--I sent a lot of gifts for Christmas 2019 (and, as always, wish I could have sent even more!) and they were all well received. I'll share the photographs and the designer and any other pertinent information in a little parade of finishes...
|This Prairie Schooler Santa is now living in Virginia at Stasi's house! He is from Book No. 62, "Kris Kringle" and is stitched on 32 ct. sage Jobelan with the suggested DMC colors. I love the snowmen on his robe, don't you?|
|This smiling snowman has now made his home across the pond in jolly old England with June. This is a freebie available on the "Stitching, Tea, and Me" blog post from July 15, 2016 (or I have a link to it in the "Favorite Freebies" list in my sidebar under "Snowman's Quaker Christmas"). This cutie was stitched on 32 ct. flax Belfast linen with Gentle Arts thread in the color "Crystal Lake."|
|You saw this last year when I stitched three of these Homespun Excellence ornaments called "Jingle, Jingle!" One stayed with me, one went to Robin, in Virginia, and another went to Cindy, in Virginia. This was stitched on 40 ct. vintage country mocha Newcastle linen with DMC threads which were changed to a Prairie Schooler color palette.|
|Two more cards were made from the Hands On Design "Cranberry Christmas" chart. These were also stitched on 40 ct. woodland Newcastle using DMC threads and are now living with two German blogging friends: Manuela and Martina.|
|This 2018 Prairie Schooler annual Santa is now making his home with Meg in the lovely state of Idaho. I changed a few things on the chart--leaving off the words "Let It Snow" and adding more snowflakes instead. Isn't that little bunny adorable?|
Whew! That's it--well, almost. I did stitch an ornament for my middle son, but didn't quite get it finished in time for Christmas. Oops! Well, I'll share that with you (and him!) when I finally get it done... I truly enjoy making ornaments for gifts and I'm sure you'll be seeing more in the future!
I received a lovely gift of my own from my blogging friend, Jennifer at Quilting Mom's blog. Just look at this beautiful Christmas project bag she made for me! She wanted to thank me for the inspiration I've given her and made me a little bag for my monthly ornament stitching. As you can see, Jennifer, I'm going to fill it with future Prairie Schooler projects shown on the right. That was so sweet of you--thank you so very much! If you aren't familiar with Jennifer's blog, please go visit her--she does just about everything in terms of beautiful needlework and I find her work to be very inspiring, too!
|Thanks so very much, Jennifer! Your beautiful project bag will come in so handy for helping me to organize my ornament stitching!|
I've been doing a bit of winter decorating for the months of January and February. I love the soft simple blues and grays and whites of winter, don't you? After the hustle-bustle of the holidays, I relish the tranquil, sparse decor that I use in January. It seems to clear my head and be just the thing I need to start the new year with a clean slate...
|This corner of my kitchen cupboard always make me smile with the With Thy Needle and Thread January Wordplay finish and sweet Marjolein Bastin sled.|
My son and his girlfriend invited us over for an early birthday dinner on Sunday and I got to visit with my "grandcat," Spike. Can you see why he is named Spike? He has a large "spike" of white fur running up in between his eyes. I do miss having a cat around the house, but with our travels at this stage in our lives, it is easier to not have a pet. But, at least I can see him now and then!
|My grandcat--Spike! Such a love...|
|Speaking of cats, we finished the 1000 piece "Holiday Cats" puzzle that we began on Christmas Day. It was such fun and I think an annual Christmas puzzle is in our future.|
And what could be better than a sweet baby photo! My youngest sister sent me this picture of my great-nephew, Oliver, reaching for the ornament that I stitched for his first Christmas... How adorable is he?!
|Little Oliver looks like he wants to take a bite out of that gingerbread man!|
Do you like biscotti? I've always wanted to try making my own, so I found a recipe for Double Chocolate Biscotti on the "Once Upon a Chef" site that had great reviews. Oh, my--it was very easy and tasted amazing--so crunchy and chocolatey. Just perfect with a cup of tea or coffee (only I don't drink either so I just eat mine with cocoa or water :) For the recipe, just click here: Double Chocolate Biscotti. I think I may add some almonds next time and experiment with different flavors this year.
|Double Chocolate Biscotti satisfies any chocolate craving!|
Giveaway... I thought it would be fun to start off the new year with a small giveaway... Since we are getting NO snow here in western Pennsylvania this year, perhaps a snow chart giveaway will bring some our way (be careful what you wish for, Carol!). Honestly--I don't ever remember a winter like this--it was 70° here on Saturday. Unbelievable... Anyway, if you would like to win this cute chart (just two pages pulled from a magazine--not the whole magazine), 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 what you are most looking forward to stitching this year. For me, I'm looking forward to adding to my little ornaments stitched on black in the LHN "Hometown Holiday" series. I plan on starting one this week and hope to add a couple more this year. The drawing will be open until January 29, 2020 and I'll announce the winner on my next post.
|If you would like to be included in the drawing for this chart: 1) specifically say so, 2) make sure to include your email address in your comments if I don't already have it, and 3) tell me what you are most looking forward to stitching this year.|
And, that's a wrap--my first post of 2020 done and dusted! I thank you for stopping in today, for your kind comments, your inspiration, and your friendship. Let's make this a wonderful stitching year, my friends! Bye for now...