It's been an entire month since my last post! Did you miss me? I know I missed a lot of news in the cross stitch blogging world and I hope to catch up with each of you soon. Although I returned from visiting my grandbaby in California over a week ago, jet lag and problems with a vaccination left me with little energy and no desire to sit down and write a blog post. And no--not "that" vaccination (my Covid vaccines were both fine)! It was a pneumonia vaccination that I got last Friday which left me with a very swollen sore arm, a rash, fever, chills, and general tiredness. But, I'm finally feeling normal again so here I am!
Our visit with Baby B in San Diego was delightful and I'll tell you about that further on in this post. But, first, let me share the very limited stitching that I've been working on. I had finished my Christmas ornament for March before our trip to California and it's a good thing, because I got virtually no stitching done while out there. I was just too busy (trying) to keep up with one very busy 9-month-old! This pretty design is by Ewe & Eye & Friends and is called "White Christmas."
|Ewe & Eye & Friends: "White Christmas"|
Don't you love the soft colors? Such a peaceful, simple looking finish. I used Sulky 712-1071 thread (just one strand because it is thicker) for this and stitched it on 30 ct. blue Murano linen. I did make a few changes to the design--mainly by making the windows on the house symmetrical because I knew they would have driven me crazy as charted! Who else feels the need for symmetry in your life? I also changed up a few of the motifs at the top and substituted a snowflake in the center top motif where you were supposed to stitch your initial. If you look closely, you'll notice a number of specialty stitches which really add to the charm of this design!
|Love the specialty stitches|
My other finish is one that I've stitched before for myself... a little freebie from Kissy-Cross that can be found right here. This was stitched "over one" on 28 ct. black Monaco using the following DMC colors: 223, 224, 3053, 611 and ecru (for the little Smyrna stitched bunny tails).
|A little spring freebie|
I finished it into a flat oval, added pink cording and a double pink and white gingham ribbon topped by a pink button. This was a quick and easy piece to stitch and makes a cute gift! It traveled to California with me and is now happily living with my oldest son, daughter-in-law, and little grandson. I try to give them a new little Easter finish each year so, someday, they'll have enough small stitched pieces to fill an Easter basket.
|This cutie is now living in sunny California!|
I do have a much larger finish which I'll share with you in my next post... I recently had a lovely package from my friends at Twin Peak Primitives which contained this very sweet kit called "Stitcher's Soul Journey." This is a limited edition kit which can be found in the TPP Limited Exclusives Etsy shop. It came with the chart, a canvas project bag with beaded zipper pull, fabric, threads, wooden thread holder, and a little bag of extras that included nail files, a mint, and some tea and honey ( I forgot to photograph the bag of extras!). Such a wonderful kit!
|A beautiful kit from the twins at Twin Peak Primitives|
I've made a start on the design using 40 ct. Woodland Newcastle and some overdyed threads that I'm substituting for the DMC threads. I'm really enjoying stitching this sweet piece!
My friends, Nurdan and Nursun, from Twin Peak Primitives, also included another very special item in their package--this sweet knit monkey for my grandson! Isn't he darling? This cheerful monkey came all the way from The Netherlands and I can't wait to introduce him to my grandbaby--I know he'll love him! Thank you so much for your wonderful gifts, my friends--you are both so thoughtful and kind!
|A baby gift for my grandson from the wonderful ladies at Twin Peak Primitives!|
I received some other wonderful gifts as well including this pretty card from my long-time stitching friend in Germany, Gabi. Isn't the bunny adorable? Thank you, Gabi--I'll be putting it out with my Easter decor for years to come...
|Sweet Easter card from Gabi in Germany|
|A lovely package of Easter treats from Nathalie in France|
I also won an adorable chart in a giveaway from blogging friend, Stasi. I love the little leprechauns on this piece--so playful and impish! Thank you so much, Stasi--I look forward to stitching this to add to my St. Patrick's Day display.
|Giveaway win from blogging friend, Stasi|
Giveaway winner... There were a good number of entries for the St. Patrick's Day Holiday Hoopla chart and even though there can be just one winner, I enjoyed hearing all about your various collections from those who entered. It really is fun getting to know a bit more about my readers and stitching friends--thank you for your answers to the "Getting To Know You" portion of my blog! The name of the winner for this chart is...
MARILYN (from Wisconsin)
Congratulations, Marilyn! Please send me your mailing address and I'll get the chart on its way to you!
|Congratulations to Marilyn--you won this St. Patrick's Day chart!|
|If you would like to win the chart for the daffodils in the blue and white vase, please follow the directions above. Good luck to all!|
I'll leave this giveaway open until April 29th--good luck to all who enter!
On to my California visit... Many have asked if I felt safe flying with Covid still rearing its ugly head. Well, it was a very different experience from when we flew last in October. This time, the airports were more crowded and noisier, the planes were fully packed (not a single seat was empty on any of the four flights we took), and, although everyone still wore masks, there was not the sense of silence and fear onboard that I'd noticed on flights last summer and fall. Since my husband and I are both fully vaccinated (my daughter-in-law and youngest son, who was also visiting, are, too, and my oldest had his first shot), we felt quite safe. I have to say how impressed I was walking around San Diego and 98% of the people were wearing masks, except at the beach.
Seeing the baby in person again was a delight, as you can imagine. It took a few minutes, but he soon recognized us as those "two old people" who talk to him every night on FaceTime! He felt totally at ease with us and we spent lots of time just making him smile (he couldn't stop laughing when I had the hiccups one day!), dancing to '70s rock music with him, singing "Wheels On the Bus" many, many times, taking him for walks and to ride on the swing at the playground, enjoying his "old man face" where he sucks in his cheeks and looks like an old geezer who forgot to put in his dentures, watching him cruise around the furniture and pull himself up on every available surface, and finally, just cuddling with him (when he would let us as he was mostly interested in being down on the ground exploring every single thing he could--much like his father was at that age!)
Not only did we celebrate my oldest son's 39th birthday, but also the baby's first Easter. My youngest son was able to fly in to be with us, too. Baby B quickly viewed him as much more interesting than Gramma and Grampa and they soon became best buddies. Here are a few photos of him in his darling smocked Easter romper adorned with wee embroidered bunnies and playing in his little tent. Such a sweet, sweet boy! ♥♥♥
We took the baby on his first trip (and ours!) to the renowned San Diego Zoo. It was a bit different visiting during Covid as many things weren't open, but we spent a few hours enjoying the exotic and unusual animals along with some old favorites. I'd love to go back when it is fully opened and we have more time--it's quite an amazing zoo!
|Pretty in pink|
|Glad my skin isn't as wrinkly as this elephant's--yet!|
|Clockwise from the top left: a pair of cuddling camels, a Chacoan Peccary from South America, an Okapi from the Congo, and the always recognizable elephant|
|Clockwise from the top left: a Secretary Bird, a Takin from China, the delicate flamingos, and Southern Gerenuk from Somalia|
And then there were the lost wallets... Saying goodbye to the baby was hard, but since he will be visiting us next month here in Pennsylvania, it wasn't as hard as it might have been. Unfortunately, a nice goodbye was not to be had. An hour before we were to leave for the airport, my husband couldn't locate his wallet. Oh, we turned my son's apartment upside down, looked under every cushion, and behind every door. We looked through suitcases, pockets, even the baby's toys! It was nowhere to be found. Panic set in as we weren't sure he would be allowed on the plane without his driver's license as identification. Finally, deciding we had nowhere else to look, we went to the airport to see what could be done. My husband had to go through a special screening at TSA and they asked him all sorts of questions and dusted all of his electronic devices. But, he was allowed on the plane for what was to be a long, depressing trip home. He was so upset with himself as he dwelled on all the headaches this would cause trying to replace his credit cards, insurance cards, and license.
When we got home late Tuesday night, we were still on California time so we decided to unpack our suitcases. I was in the closet hanging up some clothes, when I heard my husband say: "There's my wallet!" I thought he was joking, but as I walked into the bathroom, I spotted it--just sitting in the middle of my open suitcase! WHAT?!?! We think what must have happened is after taking the baby for a walk my husband changed from his jeans into shorts. He, most likely, folded up his jeans and didn't notice that his wallet fell out of the pocket right into my open suitcase. I was doing laundry and placed the pile of clean, folded clothes on top of the clothing already in my suitcase without noticing his wallet sitting there! Even though we both felt around for it during our search, it is small and was packed squarely in the middle of piles of clothing. Whew--crisis averted! So, the moral of the story is... always know where your wallet is the night before you fly out! (And, it's good to know that you can still fly even if you do lose your driver's license).
That's not the end of our "missing wallet" story, though. My youngest son arrived in California from Virginia on Good Friday and was staying in a nearby hotel. He went for some coffee at a local shop and when he got back to his hotel, guess what? No wallet! Of course, he called us right away and my husband and daughter-in-law went out to help him look for it. They carefully retraced my son's steps, but--no luck. Unbelievably, just a bit later, my son got a message through Linked In from a wonderful, honest young man who was also visiting California from the state of Virginia. He had found the wallet and used my son's ID to track him down through Linked In... Oh, happy day! It's so nice to know there are still good and honest people in this world. All's well that ends well--we'll certainly always remember our missing wallet weekend!
I'll leave you with a photo of some of our cheery daffodils that I placed in the lovely vase my daughter-in-law gave me when we were in California. She knows me well--blue and white always make me smile! Thank you all for visiting me today--I hope spring is warming up your part of the world and that even though this is such a busy time of year, that you're able to carve out some stitching time. It truly is good for the soul... Welcome to my new followers--so glad you're here! Bye for now...