Tuesday, January 4, 2022

And so a new year begins...

Happy January, my friends! How is everyone faring in this, the very first week of a newly minted year? I've seen that many of you are getting snow, but, here, it's just green grass and sunshine this week. Such a strange winter so far--we've received nothing more than a dusting of snow that quickly melted. I'm beginning to think our whole winter will be like this. 

I fully intended on one last post in 2021, but with my grandson and his parents here for two weeks, I just had no free time. I took the advice my own mom gave me when I was a busy young mother--sleep when the child sleeps. I went to bed early and at least laid down to rest when "Mister B" napped. I'm feeling all of my 67 years (well, I'll be 67 in 12 days!) and now fully understand why you have kids at a young age! Whew! But, oh we had fun! I am just amazed at the words he is learning to say every day--big words like pinecone, candle, tunnel, twinkle... I love just watching his little mind at work. We danced and sang and had the best time with him. Such a smiley, happy little soul!

Needless to say, no stitching was done at all during the visit--oh, how I missed it and it made me realize (even more) just how much of a stress reliever it is for me. Luckily, I do have some ornaments that I made for the youngsters in our family to share with you today...

Three ornaments for three dear little ones!

From left to right, I'll give you the details on each ornament seen above... The sweet rabbit in the Christmas stocking is a freebie called "Remy Rabbit" from Brooke's Books that you can find right here. It looks quite a bit different from the charted design as I left off the border and the number 18 (it is part of an Advent calendar so all of the designs have large numbers on them). I also changed a few of the colors and made it into an oval by adding various snowflakes. This is stitched on 40 ct. water green Newcastle which is fast becoming one of my favorite fabrics for ornament stitching.

"Remy Rabbit" freebie by Brooke's Books

Many of you will recognize this JBW Designs gingerbread boy ornament as it is one I've stitched at least five times before! This cutie is stitched on 32 ct. black Belfast linen with DMC threads. I did fill in the gingerbread boy with DMC 167 rather than just outline him as was charted. I also stitched the little baby's name rather than the words "Baby's First Christmas." I added red beads for the holly berries and a miniature white pompom to the tip of his cap. Such a cute ornament for a baby's first Christmas, don't you think?

The 6th JBW gingerbread ornament I've stitched!

And finally, my grandson's ornament this year is designed by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery and can be found in the 2017 Just Cross Stitch Ornament magazine. It's called "Snow Much Fun at the North Pole" and is stitched on 40 ct. water green Newcastle linen with DMC and Anchor threads. I changed the base to green and white and stitched my grandson's name (which is blurred for privacy) in the white band. I also added some different snowflakes than were charted. The little penguin  got a white mini pompom added to his hat, too.

A little penguin for my little grandson!

My grandson opened his ornament while sitting at the kitchen table with us before breakfast and as soon as he saw it, he pointed to the little tree sitting in the center and said "Tee, tee!" He wanted me to hang it up on the tiny tree--so cute! So that is where it stayed until he went home, taking the ornament with him for his family tree. 

"Mister B" knew right where he wanted to hang his new ornament!


I have additional stitched ornaments that I sent out as gifts in 2021, but I'll share those with you in the next post. I received many lovely Christmas packages from wonderful stitching friends--thank you all so much. Here are the photos of them (in no particular order)...

A beautiful "Cricket Collection" mitten from Stasi (stasibbee on Instagram)

A darling cardinal ornament and acrylic "Stitch Starter" and case from Robin (robin_in_virginia on Instagram)

A beautiful Joy-filled ornament and some Jelly Bellies from Georgia (georgiawireman on Instagram)

The sweetest ivory colored wool strawberry and some floss cards from Claire (blackberryhill1 on Instagram)

A darling blue and white sewing tray, cute Santa chart, and some candy from June

A sweet stocking ornament made from a vintage hexie quilt from Vickie (stitchingvickie on Instagram)

A trio of beautiful cards from three friends in Germany: Left to right is a TIAG angel from Gabi; a lovely blue wreath from Martina (martinas_allerleihobby on Instagram); and a pretty quilt star from Manuela (manuelas_flowergarden on Instagram)

A truly lovely piece of hand embroidery made by my new friend from the Czech Republic, Eva

A darling "With Thy Needle and Thread" ornament from Cindy (cindyderosa on Instagram)

A lovely French cross stitch magazine and some finishing supplies from Nathalie

A luscious skein of red silk thread and a Santa Claus waxer from Cindy (cindycstitches on Instagram)

I have been blessed to "meet" so many wonderful stitchers from all over the world! Thank you one and all for thinking of me at Christmas time... I will treasure your gifts and think of you whenever I look at them! I also want to thank those of you who sent Christmas cards--I loved hearing from each of you. As I've said many times in the past, stitching friends are the best!

It's fun to look back on the past year and remember what you've stitched, isn't it? So many memories and times and places are attached to each piece. On Instagram these were my most liked photos--that Pottery Barn cubby seems to rank pretty high! I'm about ready to change it up for January with some smiling snowmen so I'll share that with you in my next post. 

In 2021, my Pottery Barn cubby and Christmas ornaments were liked the most on my Instagram Top Nine!

Once again, I am leading a monthly ornament stitchalong (SAL) on Instagram! If you'd like to join in on the fun, just post your finished ornaments each month using the hashtag #12in22ornamentstitchalong. It's a great way to meet new stitchers and be inspired by their work. We have stitchers from all over the world participating--France, Germany, Belgium, Russia, Spain, The United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, The Ukraine, Canada, the United States, and more! There is a wonderfully supportive stitching community on Instagram so if you want to join in and follow me, you can do so right here! There is no pressure to stitch all twelve ornaments--just do the best that you can. Even if you only stitch one ornament, it's better than having no new ones to add to your tree, right? Just imagine how happy your tree will be come December with some beautiful brand-new handstitched ornaments hanging on it!

Are you interested in stitching an ornament each month? If so, join in on the #12in22ornamentstitchalong on Instagram--the more the merrier!


Christmas, although still wonderful, wasn't my best as I came down with some sort of stomach flu or food poisoning the afternoon of Christmas Eve Day! UGH--DOUBLE UGH! I had to go right to bed very early that evening and couldn't even help my little grandson set out milk and cookies for Santa. And after spending most of the early hours of Christmas day sick to my stomach in the bathroom, I was in no shape to help cook our traditional big Christmas breakfast. So we postponed it a day and just opened gifts on Christmas morning which worked out fine. My little grandson, "Mister B," was a bit confused by everything, but he loved all the wrapping paper and boxes! Here is my favorite photo of me reading his new cat book to him--a gift from my middle son and his girlfriend. I'm back to normal now, but it took a few days to get my strength back and my stomach to calm down. On the plus side, I think that was the first Christmas ever that I didn't gain any weight!

I could sit and read to my sweet grandson all day! He absolutely loved his new cat book from his uncle!


New Year's Eve was quiet here--we all ended up watching the movie "The Proposal" (again!) in honor of sweet Betty White who passed away that day. I am still shocked that she didn't make it to 100, but what a wonderful life she had. I am always rather sad on New Year's Eve for some reason and really think about and miss my dear mom and dad that day.

Happiest moment of the year... It's been our tradition for many years to go around the dinner table and talk about our happiest moment (or one of them!) of the year that is just ending. What would you pick? Mine was something that happened on our first visit to my grandson's new home in Maryland in early October. When we arrived, he was napping, but as soon as he woke up his mom went up to get him. As she was carrying him down the stairs, he caught sight of me, gave a little squeal, and began kicking his legs madly. He reached out to me and practically jumped into my arms. I think that was when I realized that he truly knew who I was and knew I was someone special in his life. Just thinking about it now, makes me smile :) What would you say is one of your happiest moments of 2021? I'd love to hear about it!

So, that's it--my first post of 2022! I want to thank all of you who have followed me for the past 13 years! My blog will be entering it's 14th year later this month--can you believe it? Have any of you read along since the beginning in 2009? I think there might be a couple of you out there :) I also want to give a warm welcome to all of you new followers as well--so glad you are here. It warms my heart to know you find my little old blog interesting enough to visit. Wishing you every happiness in this new year! Bye for now...


SnowySticher said...

Love the ornaments something that I plan to try this year

Barb said...

It is always such a joy to see all of your beautiful ornaments!! I also loved hearing about your time with that sweet little boy. It reminded me of similar times with Caleb and Hannah. So sorry you got sick. That happened to me when we were visiting in Germany one Christmas . No fun! We have had rough weather with snow and freezing temps which make for icy roads. Laurie and I had planned several fun things to do on her school break and most had to be cancelled! Well, let's all hope for a healthy and happy new year!

Sandy said...

The stitching community is truly the best! I am so happy I found your blog. I was not there in 2009. It is funny because I was all into teacher blogs at that time. That consumed me. I had no idea there were blogs about homemaking and stitching. I didn't discover them until I retired in 2014. I will say yours is one of the few that I have gone back and read every post much like reading a book. I would just remember where I left off and go back and read some more.
Oh for 2021 moments. I have so many and they all involve grandsons. It is truly a perk of growing old to be a grandmother. We are blessed.

Vickie said...

I love the three ornaments you made the little precious people in your life. Wow! The lovely, special gifts you received are just wonderful. And your happiest moment! :) :) :) Love that so much! My happiest moment that I can think of right now off the top of my head would be going back to church after such a long time away. And we went back to the church we are at now, that offers all English speaking services! Our former church did not have it. We struggled. Our first Liturgy here, I was so overwhelmed with joy I cried. The cathedral is gorgeous inside. The people are great. The priests are great. We are happy.

Sandra said...

You've certainly enjoyed your little grandson over the Christmas period! You made some beautiful ornaments for little ones. My favourite is the white rabbit in the stocking!
Sorry to hear that you were not well over Christmas. What a good idea to postpone the celebration by one day!
Now you can get back to your beloved stitching again! Have a wonderful month of January, snug in your home and doing what you love to do the best!

Melisa- pinkernpunkinquilting said...

It sounds like you had a fabulous holiday, Carol especially having your grandbaby there for a visit. Your ornaments are gorgeous. I think I will have to stitch the rabbit for my grandson. I am so excited that you will be hosting the Christmas SAL . I am so excited. Thank you for all that you do. You are such an inspiration to me. Hugs.

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
welch ein schöner und langer Post.
Die drei Finishes für Familienangehörige sind wunderschön und niedlich.
Es freut mich für dich, dass so viele zu Weihnachten an dich gedacht haben und dir Karten und kleine Geschenke zugeschickt haben.
Ich werde versuchen bei Insta an deinem SAL teilzunehmen. Das erste Motiv für Januar liegt bereit zum Sticken.
I wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Hugs, Manuela

Marilyn said...

The kids ornaments are so cute.
Great ornament gifts you received.
I'm glad you got to have family for Christmas, but oh, so sorry you were sick.
Muster B has really grown!
That photo of you & him reading is a treasure.
I guess my favorite thing in 2021 was that we went to my nephews for Christmas Day, it was so much fun, they have 4 dogs!
Happy New Year Carol!

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

I think I maybe one of your followers since 2009 as I started reading blogs around 2007. Anyway, I've so much enjoyed reading about you and your family and seeing the beautiful stitching and finishing. Thanks again for all the inspiration! I am working on my first 2022 ornament and will try hard to finish 12 this year.

So glad you had a lot of time with your grandson. I see how my grandkids are growing so fast. I miss so much those little people, but now I get the best hugs now from my grandsons. And my granddaughter curled up next to me on the couch on Christmas Eve; I love her so much. Frankly, I hope you get a bunch more grandchildren!!!

Have a great 2022. Much happiness and joy to you and your husband.

Jackie's Stitches said...

So sorry to read you were sick Christmas Eve/Day but it sounds like Plan B worked wonderfully! I sounds like you had a wonderful holiday with Mr. B! Happy New Year Carol!

Robin in Virginia said...

Totally enjoyed reading your first post of 2022, Carol! The trio of ornaments for the special littles are precious. You received lovely goodies from your stitching friends. I am sorry to hear that you had a stomach bug or something around Christmas, but glad to hear you are over it. So happy that you had a wonderful visit with Mr. B (and his parents). I don't think I was there in 2009, but in all honesty, I can't remember when I stumbled in.

One of my happiness spots of 2021 was being able to gather at Thanksgiving and Christmas with family.

Wishing you a fabulous New Year!

Isabel para ALROMASAR said...

The ornaments have been beautiful and everything you received looks ideal. Have a Happy New Year.
Hugs from Spain

butterfly said...

Oh Carol so sorry you did not feel well over Christmas .
Hope you feel better now It happened to me once , it's not nice .
But looks like you had a great time with your little one .
Love all your wonderful gifts .
And wish you and your family a lovely New Year.

Kay said...

Such lovely ornaments, your finishing always really makes everything look so beautiful and professional. So sorry that you were ill over Christmas. We had a different to planned Christmas as my daughter and her partner tested positive for covid just a few days before Christmas. I think that many people had plans go astray. Happy new year to you, thank you for sharing your stitching on your blog. X

Anonymous said...

Oh what a beautiful posting you have shared with us, Carol! (except for the part where you weren’t feeling too well on Christmas Eve/Day. I’m happy to know that you are feeling better now!). Your grandson is truly too special, so wonderful and adorable. He really is incredibly precious and I know you must really feel lucky and blessed to have Mister B. as your grandson. I truly love the photo you shared of him sitting on your lap while you look at the cat book - perfect!
The Christmas ornaments that you stitched are so wonderful and I’m always impressed how you make changes that truly make these ornaments your own special designs. The stitched gifts you received from many of your blogging friends are wonderful, too. Thank you for sharing those with us.
I love your “happiest moment” - what a very joyful moment you had and a very special memory you will always remember and treasure.
Best wishes to you and your family for a very happy and wonderful New Year!

💕 xoxoxo Barb R.💕

Mylene said...

Hello Carol, those three ornaments are soooo cute and beautifully finished. I so admire you on stitching on black fabric, i find it quite difficult stitching on dark fabric.
WOW! so many lovely ornaments/goodies from your stitching friends. I would like to join in on the SAL, i think a good inspiration for me stitch an ornament every month.
Sorry to hear about the stomach bug, i hope you are fully recovered by now.
That is a precious picture with your grandchild and good to hear you all had fun during their stay.
Happy New year and best wishes for 2022!

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

What a wonderful post full of Christmas feelings and memories for the future. Even though you weren't well, you seem to have made the best of it. Of course, the little grandson makes that much easier too.
I love his Ornament on his little tree, that should become a tradition for each year.
I'm not sure when I discovered your blog but it was probably via one of your Christmas Garland display posts.

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

A little research reveals I discovered your blog when I was the runner up to the Craft Media Blogger of the Year 2017 and you were the winner!
What a nice way to discover each other.

Christel said...

De nouveaux beaux, très beaux ornements pour les enfants. Vos finitions sont toujours de très bon goût et mettent en valeur vos ouvrages.
Belle réunion de famille pour les fêtes. BabyB est tout mignon. Merci pour le partage de la photo avec votre petit-fils. Dommage que vous ayez été malade mais vous êtes guérie maintenant c'est ce qui compte.
Noël s'est fêté en famille pour nous aussi. Quel bonheur de voir notre petite Lara défaire ses cadeaux et assurer la distribution des autres à mes fils, ma belle-fille, mon mari, mes parents, ma soeur, mon beau-frère et ma petite nièce Mathilde. Nous avons passé un nouveau merveilleux Noël.
Au réveillon du 31 nous devions dîner avec nos amis qui habitent à 2 maisons de la nôtre mais malheureusement le Covid s'est invité chez eux, tous les deux positifs. Nous ferons un bon repas de fête plus tard courant janvier.
Le 1er janvier nous nous sommes reposés.
Quel beau moment heureux vous avez eu avec BabyB.
Plusieurs moments heureux pour moi, chaque fois que ma petite Lara vient passer quelques jours à la maison... Comme vous je suis un peu fatiguée après mais ça fait tellement de bien de les avoir nos chers petits..
Je vous souhaite tout le bonheur du monde pour cette nouvelle année. Joie, sourires, bonheur, sérénité et bien sûr la santé.
Amitiés de France,

Jill said...

Happy New Year Carol! Such lovely Christmas ornaments for gifts. It's no fun having a stomach bug at anytime and especially Christmas. Glad you were able to have it a few days later especially with the 'lil guy. I empathize as our family had illness on the holiday and Christmas gift exchange will be this weekend. All is well now and that is much to be grateful for. Wonderful stitched gifts you received and what fun to have some from all over. Happy stitching in 2022!

Stasi said...

The ornaments you created are adorable and already loved!!!
Sorry you were sick over the holidays, but glad you're on the mend..never a fun thing. One year my whole family got the stomach flu the day after Christmas while visiting my parents out of town. It was terrible being sick, but worse being sick somewhere other than home.
Last year was another blur but the happiest event I can recall was attending an in person needlework retreat and seeing my stitching buddies in person.

Mary - Lecoeurceltique said...

Oh dear Carol, what a shame that you were poorly at Christmas. I hope you continue to feel better.
I love the three ornaments you stitched and how you've personalised them.
You received a beautiful selection of gifts.

Kyle said...

Your posts always warms my heart. Happy New Year.

Vicki said...

Happy New Year, Carol!
Mister B is just the cutest little boy, I know your visit with him was everything you hoped it would be. There's just no adequate word in the English language for how awesome Grandkids are, is there? Looking forward to reading your posts this year and seeing your stitching projects. (And, as always, I'm completely envious of the Pottery Barn cubby shelf, I think I'll look for one online now!)

Alhana said...

What a beautiful bunch of stitched gifts you got for Christmas, Carol. They are a nice addition to your collection. :-) I am glad to know you recovered from that stomach bug in time to enjoy the holidays with your family, your grandson must be the greatest joy for you. The picture of you two together is just lovely!
Happy New Year and all the best for 2022!

MartinaM said...

Wonderful ornaments for the three little ones, and you've chosen the penguin just right.
Have fun with your new stitch a long, maybe I can do something that I can show there.
Such a beautiful picture, with your grandson, you can really see your pride. IM very happy for you.
There was no special happy moment, but many small ones. I am grateful that we are fine and I make the best of everything.
i wish you a nice january, Martina

Mary said...

That is just the sweetest thing that B wanted to put the ornament right on the tree, he is growing up so fast and so smart!!
I just love the Rabbit for Margot, I hope to be able to stitch that for the new grandniece that will be arriving soon. I was going to ask what color linen but glad you answered it, I think that is such a soft pretty color for Christmas ornament.
I was so disappointed dear Betty White didn't make it to her 100BD. Its a tribute to her life that she passed too soon!
Carol, I got sick the morning of Christmas Eve and I was hosting it! I'm sorry to hear you got ill also. My sister had to quickly shop for dinner and host. I did send over a double batch of tiramisu that they all love.

I'm going to do my best to keep up with 12/22, I think it's a great idea.
Have a wonderful year!

Irene said...

Che grande è diventato tuo nipote! Pazienza se hai ricamato poco, la famiglia è più importante di tutto. Il mio momento più bello del 2021 è stato proprio il calore della mia famiglia attorno a me.
Buon anno Carol!

Clare-Aimetu said...

A super post to start 2022 sharing all your beautiful stitching. Such lovely gifts you received. Time with family is far more important than a needle and thread, you've made some precious memories for you and your grandson.

Mary G said...

Thank you for all the time, energy, and enthusiasm you put into each of your blog posts, Carol! I am in awe of your stitching talent and find your work and words so inspiring. I truly look forward to reading your blog posts each month. Happy 2022!

Unknown said...

Hi Carol,

I always love reading your posts and thoroughly enjoy all the beautiful pictures you add. I recognize you put a lot into this and what a wonderful diary you have of your stitching, traveling and family. I'm sorry to hear you weren't feeling well on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and had to laugh when you said at least you didn't gain any weight this year. How special you had your family there and your adorable grandson, he is a cutie, and I love the picture of him on your lap as you read to him! Your stitching is always so beautiful, along with your finishes, you are a true inspiration! Happy New Year to you.

Kathy (kmah20 on Instagram)

Shelly said...

Looks like a wonderful Christmas you had! Hope you're on the mend. Beautiful gifts from stitchy friends. I just might have to join in on the Instagram ornament SAL; we'll see, it's been awhile since I've done anything on IG. Take care!

Katie said...

I don't remember when I started following your blog but I'm sure glad I did. My happiest memory right now is Jeremiah and me getting to learn how to lay cement. At our family campground in our barn we put down 6x6 sections of cement by hand. It was a learning experience and a TON of work. What memories though. So sorry to hear that your Christmas had the memory of being ill. Not exactly fun. But sounds like the goods outweighed the bads. Have a wonderful 2022! I'll be here reading every post.

Faith... said...

Those are beautiful ornaments you stitched (as always) for the little ones. So glad you had a wonderful time with Mister B and the family for the hospitals despite being sick. I hope that you are all better now. You are a lucky lady to receive so many beautiful gifts from your friends. I will be looking forward to your 12 in 2022!

Rajani Rehana said...

Beautiful blog

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

Dear Carol,
your new post is wonderful again, balm for the soul.
So pretty new ornaments for your family, very nice gifts....all the best to you and your family and I especially like your sweet grandson.
Thank you for your comment on my blog, hugs, Jutta

Mayte said...

Buenos días, espero que ya estes mucho mejor.....tu nieto es dulce y muy guapo, tu arbol de navidad me ha dejado extasiada, veras, como sabes soy española, aqui la mayoria vivimos en pisos, y no todos podemos tener esos arboles tan grandes, tu casa es preciosa, MI ARBOL lo cortamos entre mi marido y yo, y es de palets, me ahorra espacio.....

Toda tu decoracion es maravillosa.....feliz 2022

Mayte said...

Una curiosidad cultural
En España la celebración grande es la Nochebuena, cuando se reune la familia alrededor de una mesa a cenar, luego aqui la Navidad es mas tipico salir quien pueda a comer a un restaurante, tambien con la familia....

Cuando yo era pequeña, solo teniamos regalos el 6 de Enero, que es cuando venian los Tres Reyes Magos, con el tiempo hemos incluido la mañana de Navidad a Santa Claus o Papa Noel, que es como lo llamamos los españoles, sobre todo por comodidad de los padres, así los niños pueden disfrutar de sus regalos mas tiempo, las vacaciones escolares empiezan el 22 de Diciembre hasta el 7 de Enero....

El 5 Enero en todas las ciudades y pueblos españoles se celebra la Cabalgata del Reyes Magos, la mas antigua de España es la de Alcoy, pueblo cerca de donde vivo, y que este año fui a ver, aunque mi hija tiene 11 años y ya no cree me gusta ir a verla...

Si quieres busca en google, Cabalgata de Reyes, Alcoy....

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Carol,

🎂 🎁🎊🎉🎈

Best wishes to you for a happy, fun, very special day and for a wonderful year ahead!

❣️💕❤️ Barb R. 💝

Jennifer said...

Happy New Year Carol and hope that you’ve had a good start to 2022. We had a happy Christmas too and I love reading about your grandson and his excitement - we have kind of moved past that with teenagers…they are still grateful and have a little excitement, but not quite like their younger years. One of my happiest moments of 2022 was at the Grand Canyon at sunset - seeing my kids really enjoy the beauty of nature and watching my husband work to get great photos. It was a really neat night. Love your ornament stitching as always and love the gifts you received. I may not read quickly, but I have enjoyed your blog for probably 6 or so years now - I can’t remember how I found it but sure am glad I did! Thank you for continuing to share and wishing you all the best in this year.

Eva said...

Dear Carol,I´m sorry to read about your health problems.We had this problems too.Vladimír since Christmas and I was ill since 1st January.Hope you are OK now.
I think to be grandma is best time of life for every woman.I love this very much,that we can "only" love our grands,we must not educate them...I have 4 great grandboys now.They have many grandmoms around them.This is different from own grandchildren.We are in a big love with my grandchildren-they are adult.
I wish to you and whole family very nice year 2022
with love Eva from Czech Republic ☺ ☺ ☺

Leonore Winterer said...

Happy New Year! I'm glad to hear you had happy holidays with your family, even if you were a little sick. Happy to hear you're feeling better, too. Loved to see all your ornaments, and the lovely cards and gifts you received!
My happiest moment of the year...I think that was my birthday, because so many of my friends came together, got me a lovely card and a wonderful gift and even made me a video with little messages! I felt truly loved that day.