Hello, hello! I fully intended to post again in November, but we were away (more about that later) and I simply ran out of time. So... Happy December! Can you believe it? I know I say this every year, but where on earth has this year gone? It makes me sad that, as I get older, the years seem to be flying by faster than ever. Does anyone else feel that way?
The last two weeks have been busy ones, but I did manage to finish my final two ornaments for 2023. Yay! I turned to my favorite comfort stitching for my November and December ornaments: good old Prairie Schooler. I just find such peace each time I sit down to stitch one of those designs. I think it may be the classic themes and the fact that they are charted for DMC threads. The finished product looks just like the photo on the front of the charts and that isn't always the case, as we all know!
For my November ornament, I chose the 2012 annual Santa, in this case "Postman Santa." (Here's a little known secret for you--probably one my family doesn't even know... When I was a young girl, I used to want to work in a post office and deliver the mail. I guess I liked the idea of sorting and packing up the letters and then making sure they arrived at the correct house. So now you know a funny little fact about my childhood!). I used 40 ct. vintage country mocha Newcastle with all of the suggested threads, although I always use DMC 520 for the green on these annual PS Santas (rather than the suggested DMC 501). Isn't he cute? I just love all the details in this one. He even has a letter in his hand that says: "Dear Santa, I was good." And on the list that is peeking out from behind, some little boy or girl is asking for a doll and a drum.
|2012 Prairie Schooler Santa finish
December's ornament is one I've intended to stitch for years. The thing is, I knew that border would take forever! Finally, I just decided it was now or never and dove in... I stitched this ornament 'over one' on 25 ct. moss green Lugana with most of the suggested threads except for the red (I used DMC 221--the classic Prairie Schooler red) and the green (I used DMC 936).
|Love that border, but it sure took a while!
This design can be found in Prairie Schooler's "O Christmas Tree" (Book No. 82). At five inches square, my finish ended up a bit larger than I like my ornaments to be, but I still love it! The little topper of greenery was cut from a wreath, hot-glued to the top of the ornament and then I snipped "berries" off a garland and glued each one in place. Simple, but pretty, don't you think?
|O Christmas Tree finish for my December ornament
So, for all my long-time readers--you know what comes next now that I've finished all twelve ornaments, don't you? Yes! The next post will bring my annual "Parade of Ornaments"--hope you will all drop by.
Life catch-up... Thanksgiving was a bit different this year with none of our sons coming home so we decided to spend it in Florida! My husband wanted to check on his family home in Naples (the one badly flooded from the effects of Hurricane Ian in September 2022--you can read about it in this post). So we decided to spend six days in the little apartment above the garage which was not damaged. We got lucky and were invited to spend Thanksgiving dinner with my husband's younger brother and family who were also visiting their condo in Naples. It was delicious and so good to catch up everyone.
Unfortunately, I had ear problems the entire time we were in Florida. I'd had a sore throat the previous week and then when we flew down on the airplane, my right ear gave me all sorts of problems. No matter what I tried, it wouldn't "pop" all week! My hearing was significantly reduced in that ear and everything sounded as though I was underwater. The official name of this condition is "ear barotrauma" and boy, was it annoying (and quite painful every now and then). Ironically, when I flew home on Wednesday, my ear finally "popped" and I could hear again! I was still having pain off and on, so I did go see the doctor on Thursday morning. Sure enough, I have an ear infection. I can't even remember the last time I had one--or the last time I took antibiotics. So, that's what I'm on now--hope it clears up completely and that is the end of this saga. If any of you have preventative measures I can take for the next time I fly, I'd love to hear them. This is a chronic problem for me, but it's never been this bad before.
Even though I wasn't feeling my best, I felt a bit better just being in the sun and warm weather. Naples, Florida is truly one of the most beautiful cities in the United States and I thought you might enjoy these photos (especially those of you who live in the north like I do and are definitely feeling the cold of winter moving in).
|Naples Beach on the Gulf of Mexico
|So many pretty flowers were in bloom!
|I love the yellow feet on this pair of Snowy Egrets
|On one of our walks we passed this giant metal sculpture in front of a garage. If you look closely, you'll see it is little figurines joined by their hands and feet.
|Oh, that blue, blue sky--so nice when you've flown in from the wintry northern states!
|Love the layers in this sunset photo I took on Monday evening.
Sadly, everything wasn't picture perfect... When you walk around Naples, there are still many of the smaller ranch-style houses (like my in-laws' place) that are sitting there vacant and unlivable since the hurricane. Once the estate is settled, my husband's family house will be sold--they won't be rebuilding. I can't imagine going through the worries that potential hurricanes bring year after year. We did go inside and it's not only heartbreaking, but rather creepy. The rust is taking over anything metal as you can see on the top of the dryer in the lower left. The mold has gotten worse, the few remaining pieces of furniture have started to warp and curl. I cried as I wandered from room to room--it's just beyond sad that this was once a home. I'm so glad my husband's parents never had to see their home in this condition...
|The sad state of affairs a year after Hurricane Ian hit my in-laws' family home
I hate to leave you on that depressing note so I'll share one last photo that always brings me a smile this time of year. This little pair of Santas making a gingerbread house has been a part of my Christmas decorating for many years. In a previous post I mentioned that one of my sons' favorite antics was to take one of the little striped candy canes on the table and put it in Santa's mouth to make him look like he was smoking. I guarantee you that when all three are here for Christmas, I will glance over and notice that one of them has done that again. Just one of those funny family "traditions" that happen each year.
|This cheery scene in my kitchen always makes me smile. I just bought that cute set of towels at HomeGoods.
Hope your December is off to a great start.. I'm way behind on my blog reading/commenting since I was away for those six days, but I'll do my best to catch up this weekend. I know that some of my stitching friends are dealing with serious problems or illnesses and I want to send a big hug out to each of you. You know who you are... and I hope you know my thoughts are with you. Thank you for visiting today and be sure to stop by for my annual "Parade of Ornaments" in my next post. Wishing you a wonderful weekend--hope you are relaxing and enjoying preparing for Christmas. I know I am! Bye for now...