Sunday, October 29, 2023

A cute Halloween finish

It's a cool, dreary, rainy afternoon here in western Pennsylvania... The perfect kind of day for stitching, but before I settle down in my stitching chair, I thought I'd drop in and say "hello!" Our weather has gone from sunny, summer-like weather just five days ago to today's more typical late October/early November gloom. But, I have an upcoming visit with my grandson to look forward to, so that helps keep me going through all the sad news and events that the world is dealing with on a daily basis. It's been an extremely difficult and sad month, that's for sure...

But, how about a cute Halloween finish to bring a smile? This sweet design by Luminous Fiber Arts is called "All Hallows' Eve" and is stitched on 40 ct. raw natural Newcastle linen. I did make a few color changes--mainly to the moon. I wanted more of a golden moon so I used DMC 729 and 680. I also added a few leaves in the same 729 color (at the bottom of the design) to the charted orange ones. 

My finish of "All Hallows' Eve" by Luminous Fiber Arts

I filled in the eyes of the bird and cat using DMC 729 and added gray (WDW Porpoise) and a bit of white to fill in the moon's eye. You can see the eyes better in the photo below.

Isn't that mischievous black cat the cutest thing?

That stack of grinning pumpkins just makes me smile! I am definitely in the "cute Halloween" camp--anything scary or gory is not my idea of fun. How about you? I know some of you don't stitch Halloween themed pieces at all and I've definitely slowed down since my dad passed away on Halloween in 2014, but I still like to stitch at least one design each October.

These adorable cat scissors were a gift from a long-ago blogging friend.

I framed the piece in a simple black frame found at Goodwill for only $2.00. Well, it didn't start out as black or as the right size for this design! My dear husband cut it down to fit perfectly and I painted it a matte black and there you have it. This will be a gift for my three-year-old grandson who loves both kitties and pumpkins and is so excited to be going trick-or-treating in just two days.

I love it when I can find a thrift shop frame to use in my finishing. Thank you so much to my husband for resizing it for me!

Here is a closer look at the frame. Notice our stunning Japanese maple with its leaves turning the most beautiful crimson color in the background outside the window. 

I'm almost caught up with the finishing on my ornaments for September, October, and November so I'll share those with you next time. I need to get busy and finish up some Christmas gifts and, perhaps, start a Christmas sampler next month. I feel like I'll have some extra time this year since we're not hosting Thanksgiving. I'll miss seeing our sons, but it's their year to spend Thanksgiving with their significant others' families. 

I only had a few entries for the monthly kitty chart... I was surprised there were so few, but I know people just aren't reading blogs as much as they used to. My readership statistics are way down and it does make me question why I keep writing my blog. Of course, I love having a record of my work, but I can also do that in a private blog and not put myself out there for the world to see. I actually got a horrible comment on an older post last week that was just filled with the word "DIE" repeated in capital letters over and over. I mean, what's the point of that? Honestly, it hurts and things like that definitely have me questioning the future of Stitching Dreams...

Anyway, the winner of the kitty monthly chart is...

 KATIE in Indiana!

Katie--you are the winner of this cute chart! Please contact me with your mailing address and I'll pop it in the mail this week. Hope you enjoy stitching these kitties!

With a frost forecast in our area last week, I made sure to run out to the garden and cut some of the last remaining blooms. Just look at these gorgeous hydrangeas and pretty lavender colored dahlias. Not exactly the colors of fall, but I sure have enjoyed the brightness and cheer they brought into my home last week. 

My favorite flowers!

These pale lavender zinnias are so delightful! I photographed them looking down on my white kitchen counter and love the effect.


My middle son found another old crock at Goodwill and surprised me with it when he visited a couple weeks ago. He gave me the large one on the left last year, the front middle one with the cow is from my mom, and his latest find is on the right. I love how they look grouped together holding some of my houseplants.

My trio of crocks--all gifts!

And here is one last photo to showcase the beauty of fall (which has now almost disappeared with the rain and wind we've had today!). I went out to retrieve the mail from our mailbox on Thursday and as I looked back toward the house, this was the sight... Isn't it a pretty scene with the fluffy fronds of the perennial grasses and the bright orange leaves adorning our maple tree? 

Home sweet home!

It's hard to believe there are only two months left in 2023, isn't it? How I wish time would slow down. The older I get, the quicker the days pass and I often seem to have wasted the day away. Does anyone else do that? I honestly felt that I was much more productive when I worked! I really need to examine my usage of time--maybe 2024 will be the year to remedy that. Thank you so much for your visit today--I truly hope November is a kinder month for all. Bye for now...

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Cooler days and a sweet fall finish

October is definitely here as evidenced by the much cooler temperatures and the rainier days this past week. I've been a bit laid up with a cold so staying inside and nesting was perfect for me, though. My whole family visited last weekend and I'm sure I caught one of their colds. But, it was worth it--it's always fun to spend precious time with my sweet grandson. It's been a week since I got sick now and I'm almost feeling "normal" again. I just seem to get more tired after doing chores like laundry or cleaning. Anyway... I have nothing to complain about in light of all the horrific things going on in the world. It's all just so very sad...

I have a very cute fall finish to share with you today... As soon as I saw this chart, I ran to Etsy downloaded it, printed it off, and began stitching! This is called "Pumpkins" and is from a Polish designer. You can find the chart right here in her "Cross With Me" Etsy shop if you are interested. I used the suggested colors and stitched it on 40 ct. vintage country mocha Newcastle linen. I did have to outline the upper left pumpkin in a darker tan color as it just wasn't showing on the fabric.

Such a pretty fall piece

I love the  simple beauty of this piece and it will be nice to have it on display from September through November, don't you think? I had a barnwood-look frame in my stash that my daughter-in-law had given me and it was just perfect. A very simple finish, but I love it! The trio of pumpkins shown on the sides came from a local pumpkin farm that we visited with my grandson last weekend. He loved the tiny pumpkins the most and picked out four of his own to take home with him. And while at the farm, he insisted on pulling the big wagon (complete with his four mini pumpkins) all by himself. I wish I'd taken a photo of him, but I bet you can picture it! I'm sure his mom and dad will be buying a bigger pumpkin to carve for Halloween in a couple weeks, too. He is so excited and already has his costume--he's going trick-or-treating as "Chase" one of the Paw Patrol pups that are so popular with toddlers.

My finish of "Pumpkins" from the Cross With Me Etsy shop


I am not a fan of the evening darkness that is creeping in, and I know it will get much worse when we change the clocks on November 5th... But, we've been having dinner by candlelight each evening to combat the darkness. I put together this cozy looking display for our kitchen table. (I already shared this photo on Instagram and one of the comments was that it "looks like autumn on a tray!" I love that!).  The front piece of stitching is from an old Just Cross Stitch magazine (I'm not sure of the exact date, but think it was in 2006 or so). I stitched it "over one" on 28 ct. black Monaco way back in 2015. You can read more about my finish in this post. And the "Season of Plenty" piece in the back is by Little House Needleworks and was stitched way back in 2009--the year I began my blog! Have any of you been with me since that first year? It seems like such a long time ago... If you'd like to read about that LHN finish, check out this post. How about you, do you light candles for dinnertime in these darker months? What's in the center of your dining table?

Love having dinner by candlelight in the fall and winter

Giveaway time... Today's offering is perfect for all of you cat lovers out there! Or for those of you who enjoy monthly designs. It is from an old Leisure Arts magazine (I'm sorry, I do not know which issue) and is called "Purr-fect" Holiday Wreath. A cute kitty is featured in twelve small monthly designs that you can make into little pillows or simply frame and change out the piece each month. Would any of you like to enter this giveaway? If so, please follow the guidelines below and I'll announce the winner in my next post. (Please note: The three pages are torn from a magazine and will be folded and mailed in a legal sized envelope to save money).

I'm having a giveaway for this chart of 12 monthly cat designs

To be included in the drawing for the monthly kitty charts shown above, please...

1) Specifically mention that you would like to win it in your comment 

2) Be a follower of Stitching Dreams (in my blog's sidebar on the right)

3) Make sure to leave your email address in your comment if I don't already have it

4) Answer the "Getting to Know You" question below.

Getting to Know You... Since Halloween is nearing and that usually means spooky and scary stuff, today's question is: "What is one of the scariest things you have ever done or experienced?" For me, that's an easy one... It was the hike in the jungle that my family did when we visited Panama in 2018. Honestly, I thought we were going to die--I still get anxious just thinking about that trek. Looking back on the photos in the piece I posted about that horrible experience brings back all sorts of feelings--none of them good! If you are new to my blog and would like to read about my "hike from hell," check out this post. Now it's your turn--what is the scariest thing you have done or experienced? I'd love to get to know you better!



I have some welcome news for our stitching community, too. Do you all remember the pretty patriotic finish I shared back in August called "Land of the Free?" Well, the designer of the chart, Willow Hill Samplings, has reopened her Etsy shop--you can find that chart again right here. Go check it out--there are so many cute designs available!

Blog commenting problems... and a possible solution? Recently I've had trouble commenting on certain blogs. Not all, maybe three or four of the ones listed in my sidebar. Interestingly, I've discovered that I have no trouble at all if I use a different browser. I normally use Firefox, but, for some reason, it refuses to let me comment on those few blogs. I've had others tell me that they've had trouble commenting on my blog as well. So, give another browser a try--I used Chrome the other day and had no trouble at all leaving a comment on those certain blogs!

It's SUCH a gloomy day here so I think I'll just post this and go sit and stitch the rest of the day away. Hope your second half of October is going well so far. Honestly, this year is just speeding by way too quickly for me! Thank you, each and every one, for visiting me today and for your kind comments and emails. I appreciate them ever so much! Bye for now...