After a busy, busy end of November, I feel like I finally have some time to get started on Christmas preparations... Yes, I said "get started!" I know many of you are already done and can sit back and relax and enjoy the beauty of this season. But, when it's my turn to host Thanksgiving in late November, it puts me way behind. And when you factor in a required appearance at jury duty last week, I feel like I'm playing catch up. But, that's okay... I am definitely not decorating as much this year, baking as many goodies, or even sending out as many cards. This is my "off year" as my oldest and youngest sons will be spending the holiday with the families of their respective wife and girlfriend. And, yes, that include my grandson which, I have to admit, makes me a bit sad. Sigh... I totally understand and accept this though. We did the same alternating holidays schedule when my sons were little, too.
So, what was the first bit of decorating to go up? Why my Pottery Barn cubby, of course! This year I decided to showcase some of my ornaments stitched on black and I just love how the display turned out. I tucked in a few vintage figurines and also added a sprig of holly here and there. Would you like to see a few photos?
|The December 2022 Pottery Barn cubby filled with some of my favorite ornaments--all stitched on black|
I'll give you some close-ups of each section as it is hard to see the details of the finishes in the overall picture above.
|So, do you have a favorite? I love the Five Golden Rings in #9, but all of them are very special to me. As you can see, I placed Prairie Schooler Angels on each side of my mom's special place of honor (in the center cubby) to watch over her.|
My Pottery Barn cubby is hung on the wall just inside my family room--right next to my kitchen, so I walk by it many, many times a day. I can even see it sitting right here at my desk as I write this post. Below is one more photo that shows it on the wall above my dear maternal grandmother's pine table. Right before I was to be married in 1977, Gram had me come to her apartment (she lived almost directly behind my parents on the next street over) and asked me to pick out "anything I wanted" as a wedding present. I chose this sweet table as I loved the spool legs and arms. I still remember stripping and refinishing it out on the driveway under the guidance of my father (who had refinished many a piece of furniture before he married my mom!). It's held up very well and I still think of my sweet Gram B whenever I look at it. How she would have loved knowing I made all those little Christmas ornaments in the cubby above! She could work wonders with a needle and thread! The open door beyond leads to our sunroom where my naked tree is lit, but not decorated--hopefully, I'll get to it very soon!
|Looking into the sunroom where my Christmas tree is waiting patiently to be decorated|
I'm often asked what the designer is or what fabric I used for the ornaments in the numbered cubbies so I put together this helpful list for you. If you click on the link for the number of the ornament you are interested in, you will be taken to my original post describing my corresponding finish. Hope this provides a bit of inspiration to all of you ornament stitchers out there!
#5 Prairie Schooler "St. Nicholas II" (Book No. 36)
#13 My dear mother's silhouette--always the center of the cubby
#17 Schoolroom Samplers "Nutmeg Santa" from the 1997 Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue
#23 Plum Pudding Needleart "Let It Snow" (in 2013 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue)
#25 Hands On Design "Silver Bells" (in Part 3 of the Chalkboard Ornaments Christmas Collection)
Thanksgiving 2022... Well, another Thanksgiving is in the books and I have to say I feel like I'm still recovering. But, we had a delicious feast and it was so good to see extended family again. No Covid cases sprang from our gathering--and for that I'm extremely grateful as there were 19 of us (one guest couldn't make it at the last minute). Here is a small collage of our day showing the table and some decor. It always amazes me that you prepare for the feast for weeks and it is over and done with in a couple of hours! But, it's a wonderful holiday to just eat and chat and enjoy others company without the pressure of gift-giving. Plus, who doesn't love Thanksgiving dinner leftovers?
|Scenes from Thanksgiving 2022|
Jury Duty... Okay--is there anyone out there who actually enjoys being called for Jury Duty? And how is it handled in your state or country? Here in Pennsylvania, we are called in for possible jury selection, but if we are not picked, we don't have to return the following day. I know in some states you have to serve over a two-week period and can be selected for multiple juries! This is the third summons to Jury Duty I've had over the past 30 years and I have never been selected for a jury. This time, I wasn't even interviewed by the lawyers as I was seated at the back of the room (for 8 grueling hours on VERY uncomfortable slat-back wooden chairs) and they were questioning possible jurors from front to back. The case to be tried was going to last 7 to 10 days, but I heard one lawyer say it might last through Christmas. Please, no! Thankfully, I managed to avoid being selected as I can't think of a worse time of year to be stuck in a courtroom day in and day out. And, as I said--those chairs! My osteoporosis is mainly in my spine and I know that my poor back couldn't have stood much more of that hard, very uncomfortable chair.
Gingerbread goodies... One nice thing about being called down to the city for Jury Duty was getting to see the amazing gingerbread house competition which was in the lobby of the building. There were over 200 entries and what fun it was examining each one. Below are some of my favorites...
|Over 200 entries were in the city's annual Gingerbread House Competition. I wonder how many hours (and how much flour and sugar!) went into making these beauties?|
There were all sorts of entries from simple to elaborate in every age group from young children to adults. Each one was so sweet! I especially loved the gingerbread sewing machine that is in the center of the above collage. Here is a better look...
|This prize winning gingerbread sewing machine was made by a teen in the 14-17 year age group! Don't you love the string licorice thread and all of the buttons and dials made of candy--so cute!|
We had a wonderful time during my grandson's visit! It just makes me shake my head in awe as he continues to absorb new words (both in Spanish and English as he is being raised bilingually) like a sponge. He and his mom and dad stayed for a few days after Thanksgiving so we got to relax with them (and they got to help us clean up!). We also visited my middle son and his girlfriend in their apartment a couple of times and below is one of my favorite photos of my grandson, "Mister B," with my grandkitty, Spike. I will miss him so much at Christmas, but thank goodness for FaceTime!
|Mister B (almost 2 1/2 years old) adores his uncle's cat, Spike|
So, what's up next? I'm in the middle of finishing my final monthly ornament(s) for 2022, a few gifts are being stitched, and I still need to get the tree decorated. Christmas cards haven't even been started yet, but I'm fine with that. I'll do what I can, but I really want to relax and just enjoy the spirit of the season over these next 2 1/2 weeks. I hope you can, too! Take care now, my friends! Thank you for visiting me today and for all of your wonderful comments--I love to read them! Bye for now...