Good Saturday morning to you all! Can you believe the last weekend in January has already arrived? What a strange month we've had here in what is normally one of the coldest, snowiest months in western Pennsylvania. It's been quite mild with very little snow, unlike much of the country that has experienced major snowstorms and frigid temperatures. But, it's still been cold enough here that I spend most of my time indoors stitching and reading (well, throw in laundry, and cleaning, and cooking, too!). I've managed to stitch and finish my first two ornaments of the year. Would you like to see them?
For January, I stitched "Rudolph & Friends" by With Thy Needle and Thread. As soon as I saw this sweet chart, I knew I had to stitch it! I mean... just look at that cute reindeer with the bright red cardinal perched on his back. I love the way he's gazing up at the snowman. So sweet! I used 40 ct. Woodland Brown Newcastle with an assortment of DMC and overdyed threads. I did change out the green as the suggested color was just not working on this darker fabric. So I went with DMC 3362 and I'm very pleased with it. To finish it, I added some handmade cording using the same off-white shade I stitched the snowman and snowflakes in: Weeks Dye Works "Grits." I added a simple plaid ribbon for the hanger. A little tip from me--when there is a lot going on in a design (such as this one)--keep the finishing simple! It doesn't need a lot of "extras" piled on top. It just takes away from the overall look in my opinion.
|"Rudolph & Friends" finish|
And since the coming month is going to be a busy one for me with several trips planned, I went ahead and stitched an ornament for February as well. The new booklet by Prairie Schooler called "A Merry Mini Surprise" (Book No. 215) is filled with so many cute Santas and this skating Santa was my favorite of the eight. Mine looks a bit different, though, as I chose to finish it as a circular ornament. I left off the charted rectangular border and added snowflakes to "round" it out. Once again, I used 40 ct. Woodland Brown Newcastle--can you tell I love that fabric for snowy scenes? I changed the two main colors to the more traditional Prairie Schooler shades of DMC 221 and 3362. In this case, since it was a simpler design, I did add a few more "doo-dads" to my finish! I topped it with a larger gingham bow, some dried boxwood leaves (stolen from one of my boxwood wreaths!), some burgundy berries and a silver jingle bell. A quick and easy finish for the short, but busy, month ahead.
|Skating Santa from Prairie Schooler's "A Merry Mini Surprise"|
So, here are the first two ornaments for 2023--only 10 more to go!
|My first two ornament finishes for 2023|
I have another larger winter finish to share with you, but I need to get it ironed and photographed. Can't wait to share it in my next post! I'm working on a couple of smalls for Valentine's Day, too. Every year I say I'm not going to stitch any more, but then the cute love-themed freebies begin to appear and I can't resist. So, hopefully, those will be ready for my next post near Valentine's Day.
Well, another birthday has come and gone... I ended up having not one, but two birthday parties with my family! The first was a surprise celebration when we were down in Washington DC for our belated Christmas on January 8th. And the second was at my middle son's apartment on the 15th (the day before my actual birthday). Below are some photos of my 68th birthday celebrations--I think everyone knows I love chocolate based on those yummy cakes I received! From top left going clockwise, are: celebrating with my grandson in Washington DC, birthday cards from friends and family, celebrating with my "grandcat," Spike, at my middle son's apartment, and a huge decadent triple chocolate cake from my husband.
|Another birthday celebrated in fine style!|
I received so many lovely gifts from my family, but one of my favorites was from my middle son and his girlfriend who found this wonderful large crock. After doing some research, it appears to be a vintage Robinson Ransbottom Pottery three-gallon crock. In the early 1900's, this company was the largest producer of stoneware jars in America. My son found it at Goodwill for a mere $6.00!
|My first crock! Could this be the beginning of a new collection?|
Now, unbeknownst to my son, I had just purchased a small three foot Christmas tree on sale. I wanted a tiny tree for the corner of my kitchen or dining room. I loved the tree when it arrived, but I needed a bucket or something to put it in... Enter the stoneware crock I was gifted for my birthday! Perfect fit! Isn't it funny how things just come together like that sometimes?
|My new little tree has found a home!|
I also received some very generous and thoughtful birthday gifts and cards from stitching friends! Thank you all so very much--I am very blessed for sure!
|June P. sent me a lovely birthday package including a PS chart, some fabric, an angel bookmark, and some pretty ribbon. Thank you so much, my friend!|
|Vickie N. sent a sweet snowman chart! Thank you so much, my friend!|
|Jen P. sent a lovely blue themed package including floss, a charm pack of fabric, a pretty snowflake tin, candy, and a sweet thread holder with a cardinal charm! Thank you so much, my friend! |
|Charlene sent an amazing package loaded with black and navy fabrics, a sweet Paddington Bear chart, and a rainbow of DMC floss. Thank you so much, my friend!|
|Gabi sent a sweet stitched pair of snowmen all the way from Germany! Thank you so much, my friend!|
|And a belated Christmas gift arrived from Nathalie in France: two sweet ornaments and a pouch for my stitching accessories. Thank you so much, my friend!|
For me, everything comes at once, doesn't it? Christmas and my birthday fall just three weeks apart! I often wish my birthday was in the summer to spread out the gifts a bit, but... I'm just thankful to still be here celebrating another year of life.
Giveaway time... I know, at this point in the winter, many of us are growing weary of the cold, but this cute chart might just cheer you up! I was given this chart called "Winter Time" from New York Dreamer by Janet in Texas to pass along in one of my giveaways (Thank you as always, Janet!). Aren't those cardinals adorable? And, of course, I love the blue and white theme. I own this chart myself and really do plan on stitching it some day (along with at least two million other charts :) Is there anyone who would like to win it? If so, just follow the guidelines below. I'll pick a name from the hat and announce the winner in my next post.
|If you would be interested in winning this chart in the giveaway, please follow the guidelines below...|
To be included in the drawing for the chart, please...
1) Specifically mention that you would like to win the chart in your comment
2) Be a follower in my blog's sidebar (to the right)
3) Make sure to leave your email address in your comment
4) Answer the "Getting to Know You" question below.
Getting to Know You! Hmmm... what question should I ask today? How about a favorite quote? Do you collect quotes or thoughts that you like and might help guide you through life? I have a running list that I add to from time to time and one of my favorites was one I just recently added. "Success is measured by how you make those around you feel." Think about it... Don't you want to go through life giving others a kind word and making them feel good about themselves? Just a simple compliment such as "I love your earrings!" or "What a great haircut!" can make someone's day--and those words don't cost you a penny. Try to be kind to others... it really isn't that difficult. We truly need more kindness in this world of ours! Now it's your turn... What is one of your favorite quotes or guiding principles in life?
I'll leave you with a couple of wintry photos from this past week. I think this was the only snow we had all month! It was just an inch or two, but it sure was pretty! Most of it melted by the following day--I sure hope that's not the end of our snow for the year.
Our lone January snowfall! Looking out the upstairs window at our back yard and pond.
|Our home looking so cozy in the snowy late January landscape!|
So, what are your plans for the coming month? I'll be heading someplace warm for a few days in early February which should make for a pleasant change! Of course, I'll be taking my stitching--isn't that one of the best things about our little hobby? It's so very portable. When I travel, I take only small projects, so I'll be sorting through my charts today trying to find a quick and easy chart. Or charts--I always pack way, way too many. You'd think I'm going to be gone for a year rather than just five days--ha ha! I'm sure you understand.
Thank you all so very much for the wonderful comments on my last post--it was great to hear from so many new folks as well as my long-time commenters. A gentle reminder--if you ask me a question in your comments, please make sure to include your email address so I can get back to you. That's it for today! Stay warm--and happy stitching, my friends! Bye for now...