Thursday, October 29, 2020

Missing the sunshine

Well,  it's back to the reality of cold, dreary weather for me! Having missed the height of fall color in Pennsylvania while we were visiting my son's family in sunny southern California, I have to admit, it's been a rude awakening of sorts to come back to the rain and gray skies that have surrounded us all week. But, we had a safe trip out and back and a wonderful visit so, for that, I'm extremely grateful. To be able to fly out to visit my baby grandson twice since his birth in July is something I don't take for granted during a pandemic. We aren't sure when we'll see them again, but we sure made some wonderful memories while we were out there for three weeks. More about our trip further on in my post--for now, let's talk stitching!

As many of you long-time readers know, I haven't really decorated for Halloween since my father died on that day six years ago. But, the thing is, I still enjoy stitching a little bit of Halloween here and there. What do I do with these Halloween finishes if I don't decorate with them you may ask? Well, I simply tuck them away in a dresser drawer with the hope that maybe, some day, I'll feel like decorating again! Or, perhaps I won't and I'll just pass all my Halloween stitching on to my sons... 

Anyway, this was such a fun little piece to stitch. It is called "Halloween Screen" and is a chart from one of my favorite designers, The Drawn Thread. I think of all the Halloween designs out there, those by The Drawn Thread and The Prairie Schooler are my two favorites. I used the suggested Dinky Dyes silks for this piece on 40 ct. Woodland Newcastle linen. Love how the colors work so well together!

"Halloween Screen" finish

To finish this Halloween scene, I made a simple pillow with the palest yellow ric rak separating the black accent fabric from the stitching. A yellow handmade cording in the same shade as the moon was added to finish it off. I had to order the tiny button that forms the spider's body from Etsy as I've been avoiding going into stores. It came very quickly in a pack of ten so I have nine more for any future "spider bodies" that I may want to stitch! The bat is done with satin stitches which is something I love about The Drawn Thread designs--the use of various, relatively easy, specialty stitches adds so much to the finished look.

I love the "button" spider!

Another Drawn Thread design that I finally framed after stitching it four years ago was this sweet "Halloween House Sampler."  I made a few changes to the original design which you can read about in this post . I just love this one with the cute little children trick-or-treating at the haunted house. I wonder if they dared knock on the door or made a mad dash for home after spying the ghosts peering out from the windows and floating up from the chimney?

"Halloween House Sampler" ready for framing

 

As I mentioned above, I've been avoiding going into stores to shop (the only stores I've been in at all since mid-March are Trader Joe's a few times and once to Joann Fabrics), but, fortunately, I've accumulated a nice stash of thrifted frames over the past few years. I found a perfect one--except it was a brassy, gold color... Black chalk paint to the rescue! I put on two coats of it and then distressed it a bit. Here's the final result...

It fit perfectly in a 5" X 5" chalk-painted frame

 

Finishing this piece up, reminded me of a third Drawn Thread piece I had stitched back in 2014 called "Full Moon." I actually stitched this one five times--yes, five! I made one for each of my stitching retreat friends... I thought those of you who are new readers might enjoy seeing it and reading about my finish in this post. Finished in a pre-made black box which you can still purchase on Amazon, it is definitely one of my favorite finishes.

"Full Moon" finish by The Drawn Thread

And here are all three Drawn Thread finishes together. They really are such cute designs, don't you think?

There's just something so special about Halloween designs by The Drawn Thread!

 

I have one other finish to share with you--one that has been a long time coming! I first began stitching the Pittsburgh skyline below back in 2016 when my oldest son moved to sunny San Diego. The chart was actually a gift from my former manager at the library who has an Etsy shop right here. I stitched this "over one" on 28 ct. gold Jobelan with DMC 3799, changed the wording and font, and added some birds to the sky. I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

A gift started four years ago is finally finished!

Although originally meant to be a Christmas 2016 gift for my son, it morphed into a 2020 anniversary gift for both my son and daughter-in-law who celebrated their third wedding anniversary earlier this month. Pittsburgh has special meaning to them because that is where they met when she was getting her PhD at Carnegie Mellon University (and, of course, we live there, too!). On the back, I added a message saying that no matter where they roamed, they would always have a place in Pittsburgh to call home. They loved it, I'm happy to say!

All framed up and now sitting in it's new home in sunny California!

On to our latest southern California venture... Once again, we flew out and quarantined in an AirBnB before moving in with my son's family. I have to admit, this quarantining during a pandemic while in another city is not fun. I mean all we could really do is go for walks--lots and lots of walks! At least we got our 10,000 (++++) steps in each and every day. Our AirBnB was located just across the street from Mission Bay so there were miles and miles of boardwalk to spend time on. I'll just share a few of the photos I took with you...

When you fly into San Diego, you fly right over the city which provides a great view of the buildings, water, and boats. It's a bit scary to be honest--you are so close to the buildings!

 

Sailboats on a foggy San Diego morning

 

You can barely spy the paddleboarders and palm trees through the mist

The sun usually burns through the fog each morning leading to a beautiful blue sky before noon.

Ah... that's more like it! Birds and boats and bright blue skies!

We did manage to take one outing with my daughter-in-law and grandson while my son worked. Wearing our masks, we went to the lovely San Diego Botanic Garden (which was named one of the country's top 10 botanic gardens in 2019 by USA Today) for an afternoon of fresh air and sunshine while being surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers. It was so nice just to get out of our rental house and do something that felt normal again! There were very few people there so we felt safe and just relaxed and enjoyed our day. I've added a few photos from the garden below... 

My husband and I were dwarfed by this large tree

 
Just a few of the exotic flowers we spotted at the San Diego Botanic Garden


A pretty señorita covered in succulents in the Mexican themed garden


Often called a "Century Plant," this Agave Americana typically lives only 10-30 years and near the end of it's life, it finally blooms!

Strolling under a shady canopy of tall bamboo

That gazebo looks like a perfect place to relax, doesn't it?

After we moved in with my sweet grandson, it seemed to be one fun celebration after another... First of all, we celebrated my husband's retirement! Yes, as of September 30, 2020, he is no longer a working man (except for all those projects I have lined up for him around the house!). Of course, we couldn't have a real retirement party with the pandemic going on around us, so we had to, once again, resort to a surprise party via Zoom. Our sons joined us this way and all of our siblings sent cards. We do hope to have a real party one of these days, though--he worked so hard for 43 years and none of us would be where we are in life without him! 

Happy Retirement to my dear husband... it's the start of our next chapter together!

My daughter-in-law celebrated a birthday with a small socially distanced party in the park and received many lovely flowers and gifts. This birthday cake made of flowers was especially pretty! And, as mentioned above, my son and daughter-in-law celebrated their third wedding anniversary just three days later. Such a fun time of year for the young family!

A no-calorie flower cake! So lovely!

 

We also took the baby on his first trip to the pumpkin patch (more for us than him, obviously!). The sun was so bright that the poor little guy had his eyes closed in every single photo that we took outside, but we were able to find a nice, shady spot inside a tent to take a few photos with his eyes open. Look how big he's grown!

The cutest little pumpkin!

We even got to eat at a restaurant! Well, outside, spread far apart from others, but again, how nice to feel normal again for even a couple hours. I hadn't eaten at a restaurant since March 13th--seven months ago! It was lovely to sit outside, relax, and chat over good food while making funny faces and noises at Baby B to get him to smile. Speaking of the baby, you can imagine that I'm feeling as though I left a piece of my heart in California. I mean--just look at that precious little face... I cried when I left him and I just hope he doesn't forget us--although at this age I know he will, even with FaceTime. He's changed so, so much since our visit in July and just rolled over for the first time on Wednesday. He'll be four months old in just ten days--unbelievable how time is flying by...

Almost four months old already!

 

We arrived home to a few autumn colors still putting on a show in our front yard and that made it (just a bit!) easier (not really!) to leave the little fellow. With the rains this week, many of the leaves are now down--we'll be raking this weekend!


A bit of fall foliage was still remaining on our trees when we returned

So, there you have it--another California trip in the books. We are still keeping our fingers crossed that my oldest son's family will move closer to us one of these years! That trip across the country is grueling and I know as we get older, we won't be able to get out that way as much as we are able at this age...

Giveaway Winner... I had only a few entries for the two charts that I offered in my last post and the winner's name drawn from the hat is...

Jennifer Davis!

Jennifer Davis... you are the winner!

Congratulations, Jennifer... Please email me with your mailing address, (my email address is in my profile on the sidebar) and I will get the charts out to you next week. Thank you to all who entered...

New giveaway! For this giveaway, I've collected small pieces left over from the cording I've made through the years and am offering them to one of you (U.S. entries only due to shipping costs). There are 20 pieces of red, gold, green, and blue cording in lengths varying from five inches to thirteen inches. They would be perfect for adding as hangers to Christmas ornaments or embellishing a finish in some way. They are not long enough to go around a stitched finish (unless it is a teeny, tiny one!). To enter: 1)Please specifically mention that you want to enter the giveaway, 2) Provide your email address if I don't already have it, and 3) Answer the "Getting to Know You"  question below in your comment. This giveaway is limited to my blog followers only. I will draw a winner and announce it on my next blog post (hopefully, in mid-November). Good luck to all...

If you would like to enter this giveaway, please follow the directions above.


Getting to know you... It was such fun reading about whether or not you liked your name in my last post! Many of you, although not crazy about your name, preferred it to the alternatives your parents were considering when they named you. So, what shall we talk about today? How about: "If money were no object and everyone was able to travel safely again with no pandemic in sight, where would you travel? Would it be someplace close-by or somewhere more exotic.
 
My answer... I've always wanted to visit New Zealand! That was going to be our destination once my husband and I both retired, but, of course, COVID put a hold on those plans. The thought of that excruciatingly long trip worries me, but it is my dream to go there and spend a month before I get too, too old. From the photos I've seen and movies I've watched, the landscapes and natural beauty of New Zealand look absolutely stunning... so, hopefully, one day! Now, it's your turn. Where in the world would you like to travel? I'd love to get to know you better!

On to November... I know that many of us are feeling trapped inside as the cool weather moves in and the virus keeps raging around us. I'm especially thinking about my friends in Europe as new lockdowns begin. I'm sure our time is coming as well... I am so thankful to have my indoor hobbies to keep me relatively content. I can't imagine being someone who didn't have things like stitching, quilting, and reading to turn to during these trying times. 

Thank you all for stopping in to visit me today and a special thank you to those who take the time to comment. I truly appreciate (and read!) each and every one.  I owe so many of you emails and will try my best to visit with you soon. Don't forget to enter the giveaway if you are interested! Take extra good care now, my friends! Bye for now... 

38 comments:

Sandra said...

Beautiful stitching and I do like the pale yellow moon and the cats! How wonderful to enjoy your gorgeous grandson again! He is a beautiful baby!
Your husband looks far too young to retire! You're going to enjoy this part of your lives so much together - especially when a safe vaccine has been found for this terrible Covid-19 virus. We are experiencing a second wave over here in Europe. Some countries, like France and Germany are in lockdown again - I think that Switzerland should do the same...
Stay safe.

Meg said...

What beautiful stitches, Carol! The Drawn Thread and PS are my favorite Halloween designers, too. The house sampler almost looks like a study for When Skeletons Dance. I love the swirly twirly branches. And talk about a perfect frame.

Gorgeous photos of San Diego. And your grandson is too precious. Those eyes just melt my heart.

Congratulations to your husband on his retirement! You’ll have to be his guide on making the transition. Lots and LOTS of honey-dos will be GOOD. I remember when I “retired” (in my case, chose to go on disability) it was hard to go from the Go! Go! Go! mindset where my days were structured to the freedom of doing (mostly) what I wanted to do. Lots of to-do lists helped me.

I don’t need to enter, but good luck to those entering your lovely giveaway. If I could go anywhere, it would be an Idaho backcountry trip in a tiny plane. I love flying, and my dad had his own plane when I was little—a WWII Navion. Then I would go sailing in the WA San Juan Islands with my dad (yes—the adventurer!) in his sailboat.

Take care, Care, and have a wonderful weekend! Thinking of you.

Gabi said...

Wonderful stitching again. I like the little cushion with the haunted house.
Great pics of San Diego but the most beautuful is your little grandson. Gorgeous. I believe that this little boy melt your heart.
Well, where would I like to go to? There are a lot of places. I like, France (it'near, can go by car), Canada, New Zealand, some places in the US and I would like to see the Marquesas Islands. Years ago I won a trip to Tahiti and that was a vacation you never forget. But the flight, 22 hours!
Congratulations to your husbands retirement. Enjoy the time together!
Have a wonderful weekend and stay safe.

butterfly said...

You always write such lovely posts Carol.
Your little ray of sunshine GS brings you so much love I can see that.
Congratulations to your husband .
Hope he enjoys his new jobs around the house and garden.
Your stitching is just beautiful and also the finishing .
I hope you get to NZ in the years to follow .
I have been to many wonderful parts of the world but now there is only one place we both love , that we go to most years and hoping we can get back a few more times .
Hope you are now settled back home .
Being a home bird I don't mind staying in with my hubby all winter we have fun
and love the time we have together .

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
your three Halloween Stitching are very beautiful. I love them. The spider button is cute.
Lovely photos from your grandchild. He is very cute.
Wir würden gern wieder in die USA fliegen. Ich möchte gern an die Ostküste und Städte wie Bosten und New York besuchen bzw. den Indian Summer erleben.
Ich bin ebenfalls sehr froh, dass ich ein Indoor Hobby habe. Ich kann mit den erneuten Lockdown light hier in Deutschland sehr gut leben. Ich hoffe nur, dass die Zahlen dann wirklich wieder runter gehen.
Have a nice time and until next time, Hugs Manuela

AmyS said...

Lovely pieces as always, Carol! So nice to read a little more about your visit in California. If I could travel, the only place I want to go right now is the San Francisco Bay Area, to see my mother.

Marilyn said...

All of your Drawn Thread finishes are so pretty.
I have stitched Full Moon & put it in a tart pan, but It disappeared somewhere & I can't find it!
That's a great piece of Pittsburgh for your son & wife.
Gorgeous pics of the Gardens.
Baby B is so darn cute.
I hope you get to go to New Zealand.
I would love to go to France......& visit some of the gorgeous cross stitch shops!
Marilyn

Stasi said...

Carol, your Drawn Thread Halloween pieces are so cute....I love The Drawn Thread and her use of specialty stitches too! Your blak frame "hack" worked out perfectly!
Oh, those eyes....baby B is just adorable.....I'm sure you are missing him terribly. San Diego is such a lovely place to visit, so definitely a win-win.
Hubby and I have been trying to plan a trip to Ireland for awhile, but "life" keeps getting in the way. After that I'd love to visit Australia/New Zealand and Iceland, and have always had a dream to drive across our beautiful country.....stopping at needlework shops along the way.
Hope you have a nice weekend--are you doing trick or treat in your neighborhood?

Robin in Virginia said...

Beautiful Halloween finishes you shared, Carol! I am glad you enjoyed your time in San Diego with Baby B and of course, his parents. What fabulous pictures you shared! Best wishes and happy retirement to your husband.

There are so many places in the US to see that is what I would want to do if I had unlimited funds and enjoyed traveling. Of course, I would love to stop and visit with the stitching pals I have made through the years and also check out the cross stitch shops along the way.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear Carol!

Mary's Thread said...

I was so happy to find your post this morning! I love The Drawn Thread too! My favorite finish from the set is your round box. I will have to find that design and make it up! The round box is perfect. Now I have put it on my Amazon wish list! :) It looks like you had a lovely trip to San Diego! Your grandson is adorable! And how much he's grown! He's a charmer! Now...your question...where would I go? Paris! My husband and I have had a plan to go there next year for our 20th anniversary...but we are afraid that might not be possible and it will have to be postponed. So, fingers crossed! Paris is my favorite city in the world. I did my study abroad there, we were engaged there (very romantic on husband's part!) and we have returned a dozen times since then (we lived in Europe for a time so most of the trips were when we lived there). It has been 12 years now since we've been back and I'm just longing to go! And that's a long answer! I would love to win the cords! I could use them! :)

Kay said...

Your stitching and finishing is always beautiful. I am glad that you had a lovely time away seeing family, everything is much harder these days and so we miss out on family and good friends more when they don't live close by. If I could travel anywhere with no financial restraints it would be to Canada. When I was a child I read Susannah of the Mounties and loved it (I eve named my daughter after it), my all time favourite book is Anne of Green Gables, and my favourite crime series is by Louise Penny and set there too. I would travel around visiting all the locations of the books. I would also love to travel around Italy for the food, history, and scenery. x

Sandy said...

What is it about black cats and moons? Those patterns always stop and add in an owl and I am buying it. All of the stitches are so cute especially the first one. I really need to shop for old frames in the thrift stores. There are tons there. I am going to start paying attention that is if I ever go shopping again. I too limit my outings. Lindsay wants to go to Fairhope next weekend. It is an older downtown that has been revitalized and has cute shops. I think we will go early and I will do a lot of strolling Tucker that is if he will stay in the stroller these days.
I know you loved seeing that baby. Thank goodness for FaceTime and I know a new mommy is worried even more than maybe a second baby.
I am not a huge wannabe traveler, but my bucket list outside of the USA is to start at Normandy and walk Jeff's dad's trail into Germany. I really don't care about Paris, just the countryside. Of course, I would like to see where we lived in Germany (as a baby) and head down to Switzerland and Austria.
The cool finally made it to the northern Gulf Coast today. I actually have on pants and sleeves for the first time.

Georgia said...

Hi Carol, I would love to enter your give away of the cording. Your work is beautiful. my email is gmwireman@reagan.com

As for travel, one of my goals has been to set foot in every state in the United States. The only ones left are New Jersey, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alaska and Hawaii. There are many places I would love to revisit ie the Grand Canyon, and Glacer National Park, And the badlands of South Dakota. And we have family & friends in Oklahoma and New Meico.

Thank you for sharing so much on your blog you have so many great ideas.

Vicki said...

Great stitching! Baby B is one handsome little guy. I know it's so difficult to go off and leave him. Thank goodness we live in an age when we can visit over the computer. Makes a huge difference.

MartinaM said...

A great finish for your Halloween motif, as always it looks perfect. I have to admit that I've never stitched a Halloween motif before, I don't even know - how long do you leave it as a decoration? Autumn motifs are longer.
I also like the raven on the pumpkin very much.
Wonderful pictures of this park, thank you, I get jealous of the wonderful weather and sunshine. It is often very cloudy and wet here.
Congratulations on your husband's retirement, after so many years he really deserves this.
Baby B is really cute and you can really see the joy and pride in your grandson. I wish you from the bottom of my heart that you can fly to him again soon.
Oh, I can answer that very easily - to Rome. We actually wanted to go this year, but the virus thwarted our plans, but I would like to travel there one day. But Vienna, too, has to be a wonderful city with its old imperial history.
Take good care of yourself until next time. Martina

Maggie said...

Aww your grandson is beautiful, I can very well understand how hard it is to leave him.
I love all you Halloween pieces, and as always they are stitched and finished beautifully.
These days I'm not much for traveling but if I could I would really like to travel all around the UK in a campervan taking in all the different cities and the beautiful countryside. If it were another country I'd prefer it to be a cold one, Norway or Austria in the Winter would be lovely.

Jacqueline said...

Your stitching and finishes are beautiful .
I would like to visit Greece.

Vickie said...

I am so happy for Tim. Now you and he can relax and enjoy so many things together. Your grandson is positively GORGEOUS! I would be crying too!
It is my dream to some day make it to Hawaii. :)

Tricia B said...

Love seeing your darling grandson, Carol. He is the cutest!!! You know i love your stitching and finishing, always top notch. New Zealand is our favorite place that we have visited. It is worth the long flight! i have 2 trips I really want to do - the Fjords of Norway and a safari in Africa. one day..

Faith... said...

So glad you got to visit Baby B again. Hopefully this crazy pandemic will go away one day and you will be able to fly to your heart's content to see him. He is a pretty handsome fella!

Sorry Halloween has such sad memories for you. I do hope that you will feel like decorating again in the future. I think that since your Dad loved your stitching he may like to see your pieces displayed instead of hiding in the drawer.

I LOVE your skyline piece. It looks great. Congrats to your husband on his retirement! You guys certainly had lots of celebrations in CA! Hope you get to go back soon to see that precious baby.

Barb said...

As usual, all the stitchng is lovely. My Mom passed away on the 4th of July. It is difficult when a loved one dies on a holiday. For several years it was such a sad day for me. Then I decided she would want me to be happy so now I celebrate her on the fourth. I never forget but I do celebrate. It just takes lots of time. Mom died in 1976, what a day for her to go. The whole country was celebrating the bi-centennial! What a cute baby. I am so glad you got to have time with your family. Congratulations to your DH. We have really loved being together in retirement so I wish the two of you the same! Not sure where I would go , probably either Alabama to see the grand children or Scotland, maybe even New England in the Fall. I think it is one of the prettiest places I have ever seen.

marly said...

LOVE that Halloween Screen design and especially on that fabric. I'm going back to click on the link to the black box, another gem!

The garden looks to be an amazing place and the blue skies made me miss summer even more. I'm sure you enjoyed it but that sweetie would make gray skies blue any day! Yes he has grown.

Congrats to your husband!

Andrea said...

Beautiful stitching, DT designs are wonderful. People seem to shy away from the speciality stitched but they are still only putting the needle up and down in the fabric, just not always in 4 corners of a square. Plus DT include a diagram to follow.
Happy Retirement to your DH. I'm sure he will wonder how he had time to go to work with all of the jobs you have lined up!!
So pleased you have got to see your grandson, son and daughter-in-law. He's precious.
I have never been on an aeroplane and don't plan to either. I was planning to go to the Lake District (UK) this past June but obviously couldn't. I would love to go back there as it's been a few years since I've visited. Now we are on lockdown again I can't even see us going next year. (Reality I'm afraid).
Take care.

Sheryl said...

Beautiful stitched pieces Carol, I especially like the Halloween Screen finish, so pretty with the yellow cording. Also another favourite is Full Moon, finished with an ideal frame.
Love the flower cake and the Pittsburgh stitchery. Hope your husband enjoys his retirement. Beautiful baby. Congrats to the winners of your charts

Lillie said...

Beautiful stitching and finishes as always, its always a joy to look at your stitching so inspiring . Thank you for sharing those lovely photos of your trip. The cake is simply fabulous.

Melisa- pinkernpunkinquilting said...

What a wonderful post, Carol filled with so many pretty photos. I loved your Drawn Thread Halloween pieces. I am so glad you was able to visit your grandson for a few weeks. I know you were thrilled; he is so adorable. I think that if I could go anywhere in the world, I would go to Alaska, Washington and Oregon . Those are the last 3 states that I need to visit to have all 50 . I so missed my trip out west this summer. Well I hope you have a lovely week . Stay safe and warm and hope you get in lots of stitching.

Barb said...

Oh it was so nice to find your new posting and truly enjoyed all the pictures you shared with us - especially that adorable Baby B! He is positively so precious! It reallly was nice that you and your husband got to go see him and your son and DIL again so soon. Hopefully, you will get a chance to go back fairly soon or they will come for a visit. I can believe that you are missing him (and them!) so very much.

I love your Halloween stitching, too. They are so fun and festive- great for this time of year. The Pittsburgh stitching is pretty special too. Have you stitched anything Thanksgiving related? I loved see the photos from the San Diego area (so beautiful) and the flower cake.

Congratulations to your husband on his retirement- may he truly enjoy it and all the fun things to come.

The Knitting Cross Stitcher said...

Carol,all of your Halloween stitches are so pretty.I love seeing stitching at this time of year because orange and pumpkins feature.
The botanical gardens you visited are beautiful and reminded me of botanical gardens we visited on holiday in Madeira a few years ago.
Your little grandson is so gorgeous.I saw him on IG and it was so lovely to see him here too,he is a handsome little fellow.
I hope your wish is granted and your son and his family move closer to you both in the future.
We keep in touch with our younger son and his family by video because they live abroad,Our grandson who is 3 today has seen us on screen since he was six months old which is when they moved abroad and he chats away to us now and asks us to show him things in our home especially his grandad's model tractors and his dad and uncle's farm toys.He sings for us and dances.We miss them all very much but are so thankful for modern technology.It is one year since he came here,too young to remember much.We look forward to the day we can all travel again.
I would like to visit Gothenburg,Sweden.We have holidayed in Stockholm but my Swedish ancestors emigrated from Gothenburg to Thurso in Scotland at least 250 years ago.I have visited Thurso twice,I love highland Scotland too.Maybe,one day:)
Lesley x

Mary - Lecoeurceltique said...

Thank you Carol for such an enjoyable post. Your grandson is gorgeous. I'm not surprised that you want to spend so much time with him.
I enjoyed looking at your Halloween stitching.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

I love your spooky stitching, the frames are all perfect. I've been painting cheap frames black this year too.
The baby is adorable, those chubby baby legs! And his beautiful big eyes. I am so glad that you got a visit in. We are locked down again. I managed a trip to a town 10 miles away in September and that was it.
Where would I like to visit? Like you, New Zealand sounds wonderful. I love the climate, the countryside, the language and their Prime Minister. Right now, anyway that has handled the pandemic well is top of my list! I have some blogging friends in NZ too, it would be lovely to visit.

Jennifer said...

I love your drawn thread pieces Carol - I’ve never stitched one of theirs, but think I will have to seek out some of their designs. I like the idea of having some specialty stitches in between the cross stitches. Loved reading about your CA trip and all the celebrations - I bet you are just the best grandma and I am sure it is hard to leave him - you’ll have to work on the sons who live closer to you to get going! We’ve had a few meals out and I just love it, especially when there is outdoor dining and well spaced tables. I’ve always taken eating out for granted and won’t ever again! When the world opens up again, I want to see Macchu Picchu - I went to Peru a few years ago and loved it, but didn’t make it there, so really want to go back and see it. In the US, I really want to go see one of my best friends in Florida - we love to stitch together and sure are sad not to have our annual get together this fall. Hope you’re getting the same surprising warm and sunny weather that we have here - it is nice to have fall stretch out a little longer!

April said...

Hello Carol,

All of your stitched pieces are beautiful and finished so perfectly.
What a nice trip and beautiful pictures you shared with us from California. I can see why it would be hard to leave that darling grandson. What a handsome little guy. I'm sure you and your husband beam with pride. Congratulations to your husband on his retirement. May you both be able to enjoy your time together and hopefully travel if covid ever gets out of here.
As far as travel for myself--Lately I have this obsession with the Eiffel Tower. I would like to see Paris, but also go to Mulhouse, France, and tour the DMC floss factory. We have so many beautiful landscapes here as well. I would definitely like to go out West at some point.
Have a nice evening,

April

Claire said...

Oh Carol, such a happy, cheerful post. Thank you for all of your beautiful photos and happy news. So glad you got to hold that precious grandson again. He sure is growing!

Leonore Winterer said...

Hi Carol,
I'm so glad to hear that you got to take another fun trip to visit your precious grandson! Hopefully, with your husband retired now, you'll be able to have lots more fun visits once this pandemic craziness is over. Which brings me to your question...right now for me, I am much more concerned with the environmental consequences of 'just for fun' travel than the actual cost of the trip, but I so, so want to visit Japan again! We went for a little over two weeks in 2019 and it just wasn't enough. I want to see the southern and northern isles and everything in between! I'd also love to visit Venice and Amsterdam before they get taken by the rising sea levels.

As usual, your stitching is wonderful! I don't do a lot of Halloween decorating myself, just because it's not as big of 'a thing' over here, but I love the colours on motifs on Halloween stitching and will sometimes do some myself!

Katie said...

I might be too late to enter but if not please enter me into your wonderful drawing. I sure hope your adorable grandbaby moves closer to you soon. He's sure adorable. So glad you were able to have a wonderful trip though to visit him. Lovely photos. I love your Halloween pieces. Just beautiful finishes as always.

Stoff und Nadel ... Jutta’s Blog said...

Dear Carol,
how nice, there are so many news here on your blog! I am particularly pleased that you have visited your sweet grandson despite the pandemic, wow, 4 month, yes, how he grew up.
I can well imagine how hard the farewell was full of tears. Thank you so much for the great photos, for your interesting report, your Halloween embroideries have become wonderful!
Continue to be careful and healthy, all the best, for your husband, too,
Jutta

Cathy H. said...

Another delightful post! I love your Halloween stitching. I don't decorate for Halloween any more either. Your grandson is absolutely adorable! I know you time with him was precious! As far as traveling, I would love to go to Switzerland. I'm fascinated with lakes amd mountains.

An Arizona Stitcher I said...

Well, Happy Retirement to your hubby! How wonderful! Baby B is getting big. Pretty soon he'll be as big as you! Wonderful Halloween stitching Carol.

I would love to go to London and the British Isles. I want to spent a Christmas season in New York City, fly to Fiji, and take an Alaskan cruise.

Take care Carol!