Saturday, November 18, 2023

Thankful for life's simple things

Happy Thanksgiving week to all of my friends here in the United States! I'm sure those of you who are hosting the feast on Thursday are busy shopping for ingredients, prepping what you can in advance, cleaning the house, and crossing things off your to-do list. I have to admit that I've relished the extra time I've had this year without any obligations at all for Thanksgiving. I've spent time bringing  Christmas decorations down from the attic, organizing card lists, planning menus, and even buying a few presents. I'm hoping that by the time December rolls around, I'll be able to just sit back and enjoy the beauty of this special season. Without a doubt, this is the earliest I've begun preparing for Christmas. How about you? Are you holding off until after Thanksgiving (as I usually do) or have you begun checking things off your list of holiday tasks? Or are you one of those rare people who have everything already done?

Before I get to my stitching, I just want to take a few moments to thank all of you who left supportive comments or took the time to send an email urging me to keep on blogging. Some of your comments left me a bit teary-eyed and all touched my heart. It wasn't just that one horrid comment that I received that has me thinking about signing off... there are many things that have been bothering me over the past year. January 2024 will mark 15 years of blogging for me--pretty good I'd say, as I've seen many blogs come and go during that time. But, I'm tired of adjusting to the changes to the Blogger format, fed-up with how difficult they've made it to comment on certain blogs (including mine I'm told!), and just kind of worn out. I'm getting older--I begin my last year in my 60's in two months.  For now, I'll keep going, but there will come a time when I'll say adieu and I promise--absolutely promise--that I will let you know and say a proper goodbye. 

I've never been this far behind in my monthly Christmas ornament challenge! But, I'm almost caught up and I thought you'd enjoy seeing my two latest cuties. For September (yes! I'm that far behind!), I stitched "Merry Christmas 2012" by The Victoria Sampler. This is one of the charts that can be found in the 2012 Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue (on page 71). It is stitched on 28 ct. dove gray Monaco with DMC threads. Although there wasn't a ton of stitching involved, this one was not my favorite to stitch... Do you see all those tiny reindeer and the sled carrying Santa? All are stitched over one. I love the final effect, though, and the sweet snowy town that they are flying over. To make it an oval finish, I added many more snowflakes. I like the blue checked backing fabric--it's nice to have an ornament now and then that doesn't scream red or green, don't you think?

"Merry Christmas 2012" from the 2012 Just Cross Stitch ornament issue


October brought yet another blue ornament and one I've wanted to stitch for many years. Just recently, a friend lent me her chart so I was finally able to check that one off my list. This is an older design by The Trilogy called "Secret Snowdrift." It's stitched on 40ct. woodland brown Newcastle using a variety of overdyed threads and DMC. I just love the six snowmen being blown about by the swirling snow--and check out those two little penguins peeking out! Adorable! This originally came out in kit form and I believe you can still purchase it. There is a lot going on in this piece so I kept the finish simple--the back is a blue flannel material from one of my son's old shirts and the blue cording is tied in a simple bow at the top. I also added a silver snowflake charm for a bit of sparkle. What do you think?

My finish of "Secret Snowdrift" by The Trilogy

Here are my September and October ornaments all ready for my tree... Just two more to go--can I finish by December? Yes... I... Can!

September and October ornaments for 2023


Since we aren't hosting Thanksgiving this year, I only put out a portion of my Thanksgiving stitching for a small display. The sideboard next to my kitchen table is perfect as we get to enjoy these pieces while eating our meals. I already posted these next photos on Instagram and some were surprised that this was just a "portion" of my Thanksgiving stitching. Yes, I only put out the easily accessed pieces this year--the ones I keep in an old dresser drawer in one of my guest bedrooms. The others are in boxes piled high in a closet and I was simply to lazy to get them out this month :)

Thanksgiving display for 2023

How about some close-ups? If you have any questions as to what the names of certain designs are, you can go to this post last year where I named all of my Thanksgiving pieces. Links are provided to each finish so you can learn more details. 

My favorite piece is the large Prairie Schooler turkey in the brown frame.

So, tell me... do you have a favorite? Mine is that classic Prairie Schooler turkey surrounded by the fall leaves  the last photo. I just love him! But, that tiny pouch stitched on black is a close second. Do you stitch for Thanksgiving? I try to do a piece or two each year, but, unfortunately, wasn't able to add to my collection this year.

Although we aren't hosting Thanksgiving, my husband and I were both craving pumpkin pie! That is a must-have for the two of us each year--along with pecan pie. But, I'll let you in on a little secret--I hate pie crust! I hate the taste of it and hate making it even more! I've never had a pie crust that I like and often leave most of it on my plate and only eat the inside of a pie. But, I've found a perfect solution--a crustless pumpkin pie! And a delicious one at that... It was so easy and saved so much time (and aggravation!) when compared to rolling out and transferring a tender pie crust into the baking tin. I found the recipe on the site "Cupcakes & Kale Chips" right here. I know this will become my new go-to for holiday desserts; in fact, I plan on making it again for Christmas! Give it a try and let me know what you think...

A yummy crustless pumpkin pie and an older (2005!) fall finish: Bent Creek's "Leaf"

I think you know by now that it's the simple things in life that I treasure... time with my dear family, a good book, the way the sunlight plays in autumn, a piece of music that moves me to tears, the smell of something yummy baking in the oven, the feel of the fabric as my needle and thread weave tiny x's while I sit quietly stitching. When we visited my little grandson earlier this month, I enjoyed another of life's simple things--something I hadn't done in many, many years: jumping in a big pile of freshly raked leaves. I think you can tell from the smiles on our faces how much joy this simple act brought us all. 

One of life's simple pleasures: jumping in the leaves with my sweet grandson

So, look for the simple things in life--they're all around you and bound to bring a smile to your day. I wish each of my U.S. friends a blessed Thanksgiving with friends and family. Through all the discord and disasters and discontent that the world has experienced lately, we still have much to be grateful for right here in our own back yards. And, as always, I'm so very thankful for the friendship of my fellow stitchers over the years. Whether a new reader or one of my oldest friends, I appreciate each of you. Bye for now...

Mister B (that tiny speck in blue in the lower left corner!) flying a kite on a beautiful autumn afternoon in Maryland