Wednesday, January 31, 2024

So... much... rain!

Hello, everybody! We've reached the end of January and I couldn't be happier. Rain and gloomy skies have shrouded the month in darkness far too often over the past 31 days. On the rare occasion the sun does peek through the clouds, boy, does my energy level skyrocket and my mood improve. For all of you who live in climates with abundant sunshine--I hope you appreciate each and every day. Will February be any different? Probably not, but at least it's a bit shorter than January... Thank goodness we have this wonderful hobby of making thousands of tiny x's in fabric to help us through the long winters in these northern climates!

Those of you on Instagram  may know that I began a monthly ornament stitch along (SAL) back in 2021. It's proven to be very popular and I've met some great new stitching friends through it. If you'd care to join in on the fun, just use the #12in24ornamentstitchalong when you post a new ornament on Instagram and I'll be sure to see it. And if you'd like to follow my account on IG, you can click here and hit the follow button. 

So, would you like to see my very first ornament of 2024? As soon as I saw this design, I instantly knew I wanted to stitch it on black! This is called "Christmas Card" and is by Crocette a Gogò. I also knew I wanted it to be on the small side so I stitched it "over one" on 25 ct. black Lugana. Most of the suggested threads were used, although I did change the lettering to black.

Christmas Card by Crocette a Gogò

It's just such a happy ornament with that pair of cardinals, the red and white poinsettias, and the tiny Christmas trees and berries. I love it! I wanted to show you a close-up of the topper I added to the gingham bow. I simply cut little leaves (from the back) of one of my dried boxwood wreaths, glued them on to the ribbon individually (using Aleene's Original Tacky Glue), and then glued on the red and white beads. I am not a hot glue gun lover--I find it dries too quickly and leaves a mess. The Aleene's glue allows me more time to adjust the placement of tiny things like the beads and simply leaves a cleaner look, in my opinion.

It's the little details that make ornament finishing really special!

My next finish was a long time coming! Honestly, I have no idea when I actually stitched this, but I'm guessing it was at least 20 years ago because it is stitched on Aida and I haven't used Aida in many, many years. This is one of a series of cute cat designs by Calico Crossroads and is called "" I found it buried in a drawer of old "unfinished finishes" and decided it would be a perfect birthday gift for my middle son who has a black cat (well, his cat, Spike, does have some white on his tummy and paws) and whose job involves a great deal of computer work. My son loved the old-fashioned computer  and that mischievous cat trying to capture the mouse. And look at the calendar in the upper right--there's even a lounging black cat pictured on it! Such a charming little piece... I framed it in a Dollar Store frame--not a perfect fit, but definitely fine for a fun little piece like this! (There is a shadow on the upper part of the frame making it look a little off-center, but in real life, it looks much better).

A long overdue finish of "" by Calico Crossroads

I've also been working on a couple of larger Christmas pieces as I decided I wanted some bigger things to display at Christmas time in addition to all of my ornaments. Hope to have those ready to show you next month! A small Valentine's day piece will be in the mix, too--I try to stitch at least one new one each year.

I know I've mentioned many times how much I appreciate the kind emails and comments that I receive each time I post. Every now and then I also receive gifts from sweet friends who surprise me totally out of the blue. One of these gifts arrived earlier this month from my Instagram friend Theresa B. (tbornsewterry on Instagram) who wanted to thank me for my blog and the inspiration she's received from it. Oh, my! I was speechless as I opened her package which contained two lovely ornament charts, two packs of needles, and eight beautiful overdyed threads--all in Christmas colors. I am still shaking my head in wonder at this gift--it truly touched my heart. Thank you so very much, Theresa!

Surprise gifts from Theresa B.

And from another Instagram friend, Claire, came a very special package filled with the most lovely wool felt in all shades of the rainbow! Claire (blackberryhill1 on Instagram) makes  gorgeous wool strawberries each month and I knew she would be the person to ask about felt for a new endeavor I'm taking on. She not only gave me great advice, but offered to send me some of her wool felt scraps to use! So very generous and kind... Another gift that truly touched my heart. Thank you so very much, Claire!

A beautiful lot of wool felt from Claire B.

A new endeavor... So, why was I inquiring about felt? Well, last December, I became thoroughly enchanted by the darling felt Advent calendar creations on Instagram by "What a Curly Life." You can see them right here on her website, too--and they're free to download (just click on PDF patterns and tutorials)! On Instagram, she also offered video tutorials for each one, too, which will be so helpful. I plan to make this little penguin first. So far, I've only cut out the pieces. I hope to make all of the animals to give to my grandson next Christmas to hang on his tree. He adores animals so I think they'll be a big hit, if I can manage the sewing of them :) Wish me luck!

A little penguin ready to be sewn together!

With any luck, my penguin will look as cute as this little guy created by Anabella at "What a Curly Life"! Thank you, so very much for your darling patterns, Anabella!

I also won a giveaway! Shelly over at "An Arizona Stitcher" was having a giveaway for the chart below called "A Christmas Sampler." It was one I had never seen so I threw my name into the hat and was the lucky winner! I do plan on having a giveaway for this chart after I've stitched it, so please keep an eye out for it. Thank you so very much, Shelly!

I was the lucky winner of this cute sampler last month!

Birthdays--for me and my blog! Well, I'm proud to say that this little blog of mine, "Stitching Dreams," celebrated its 15th birthday on January 24th. Can you believe it? I sure can't... What started out as a simple way to document my stitching has turned into a true feeling of belonging in the most wonderful online community! I had no idea, when I began blogging that cold January day back in 2009 that it would lead to the amazing friendships, exchanges, inspiration, and fun that I've experienced over the past fifteen years. Thank you all for visiting me all these years. You've touched my heart in countless ways and I truly appreciate each and every one of you!

And my own birthday on the 16th, although extremely quiet this year, was quite nice. It was so very cold that day that I didn't even want to leave the house, so my husband picked up a wonderful dinner from a local restaurant along with some tasty cupcakes and we had a simple birthday celebration--just the two of us. After dinner, my husband surprised me with a little "Zoom" party with all of the kids in attendance. That was fun and a good way to have all of us together across the miles. 

I want to thank some sweet blogging friends for their kind birthday gifts and cards...

Such a cute stitched snowman card from Gabi in Germany! Thank you so much, Gabi!

Vickie at "A Stitcher's Story" made the prettiest set of beaded pins for me. I know they'll look great on summery finishes! Thank you so much, Vickie!

Robin in Virginia included a sweet set of cross-stitch themed stickers in her card. Thank you so much, Robin!

And from June over at "Butterfly Wings" came a lovely stitched card in my favorite color, some flower buttons and summery beach charts, a notebook adorned with birds, and a little pouch from her home in Devon, England. Thank you so much, June!

So, January comes to an end... And with that, I'll be changing out the corner cupboard in my kitchen to February's red and pink and white. Another year is flying by already, isn't it? Hope each of you has a wonderful month ahead. As always, thank you for visiting and taking the time to say "hello!" I owe a few of you emails and I'll do my best to get back to you this week. As always, if you have a question for me, please be sure to leave your email in your comment so I can respond! Bye for now...

My January corner cupboard all ready for its February makeover!


MartinaM said...

Your new ornament looks great, I love the two cardinals.
The picture with the cat is really funny.
Oh how nice, I've already downloaded the little felt ornaments, I hope to be able to make them next winter.
15 years of blogging, congratulations.
How nice that you had a great birthday, it doesn't always have to be turbulent, even the quiet ones have something special.
All the best for you,

Irene said...

Adprp i tuoi ornamenti, sono una fonte di ispirazione per me, ad avere più cura e a migliorarmi con le rifiniture. Che bello che ora inizi anche a cucire il feltro!

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
you newest ornament finish looks beautiful. I like the little details.
A lovely birthday gift for you son. The cat is very funny.
I'm looking forward to the penguin. He looks very cute.
Congratulation to your 15th Blog Anniversary.
Happy Birthday. It sounds like a wonderful day.
Have a nice week. Manuela

butterfly said...

What a beautiful Christmas ornament.
Congratulations on your 15th blog Anniversary , I have lost count on my one. Hope you had a lovely Birthday .lovely gifts and cards. I love felt work I just brought some new charts for felt. I want to do more this year .
I have also gone back to working on some of my large ones , some are now so near to a finish .
Can't wait to see what large stitch you are going to work on.
Have a lovely week sweet friend hugs June.

Marilyn said...

Happy belated Birthday to you & also 15 years of your blog.
Your ornament is so very pretty.
Love the added detail & love your bows.
The Cat stitch is perfect for your son.
Thanks so much for the wool felt link, I love to do wool felt!
What cute gifts you've received.
I can't wait to your February corner cupboard!
We have warm temps her, so most of the snow is melting, going to be in the 40's tomorrow! No sun for awhile though. :(

Donna Sue said...

Happy Birthday to you and blog! My birthday is in 3 weeks. I made the same cardinal wreath & put it next to a photo of my parents...cardinals are a sign from heaven.
Cold here too & getting some stitching done since I'm retired now for only a month...yeah! Can't wait to see your February kitchen is decorated now.

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

Happy birthday, Carol - both you and your blog. I remember years ago my cousin and I would email (no texting in those days!) when we would find a good stitch blog; and, of course, yours was one of them. I always look forward to the end of the month knowing you'd have a good post; thank you for continuing to do this for us. And I appreciate your letting us know about a blogger as well as Instagrammers you follow. So fun to start following someone new! Have a great February.

Vickie said...

When I saw the Christmas Card I thought of you right away! The finish is perfection. :) is really cute Carol. It is timeless and a fun gift.
You certainly received lovely gifts! You are LOVED. :)
Your birthday celebration sounds like a wonderful day really.

Katie said...

We had a lot of rain but I swear the pond hasn't went up enough. So we sure still need more.

Just love the Christmas card. So beautiful on the black fabric. Love the touch you added with the ribbon and pretty berries and leaves you added. I remember those fun cat charts. This one is just Purrfect. Great gifts. You are an inspiration so I'm glad you were treated so kindly. I love your felt penguin. I'm curious about felt kits too. They seem so fun. Happy Birthday to your wonderful blog and you.

Have a wonderful February. Hugs my friend.

Stasi said...

Carol, I so look forward to your always feels like we're sitting down and having a nice chat. Your ornament finish is so sweet! I remember that cat series...they were very popular!
You certainly received some lovely gifts....stitchers really are generous souls!
Hope your February is not so gloomy!

Robin in Virginia said...

Love the cardinal ornament you stitched, Carol! So elegant! Your corner cupboard looks very wintry. What fun gifts you received!

Isabel para ALROMASAR said...

Some fantastic gifts, Carol
I love the first Christmas embroidery.
Here the day it rains is a party.

Sandy said...

Your little ornament is adorable. I love cardinals so those always catch my attention. Those little felt animals will be so cute for Little B. You know you are one of our favorite bloggers and I am happy to hear you had a warm inside birthday.

Clare-Aimetu said...

Happy Birthday and Happy Blogaversary. I love your ornament and have found you on Instagram. What lovely gifts and cards you have received.

Carol in Texas said...

Carol, what a treasure you shared in the website of What a Curly Life!!!! The felt patterns are precious! No wonder you want to make the animals for your grandson. I want to try the gnome for my daughter-in-law who made gnomes for their outdoor Christmas display. I guess I need to spend more time on Instagram! Along with the time I spend on Flosstubes, that should take up all the hours of my days!!!!! I hope you get some sunshine soon. This week in central Texas has been gorgeous…..beautiful sun every day and mild temperatures also. I do know how lucky we are and I appreciate each gorgeous day. I love your blog and look forward to each visit with you!

Kathy H. said...

Hi Carol,
Thank you for another wonderful post and I always look forward to reading them and marking where we are on the calendar. For a long month, January went by fairly quickly, although one week in there did seem to drag a bit with the cold. We've had snow regularly, and currently it is a winter wonderland as the temperatures haven't warmed up enough to melt it off the trees...maybe later today or tomorrow we will see some melting.

Your January ornament is so sweet and I always marvel how you are able to see to stitch on such tiny count. Your ornaments and finishing are always so lovely. I seriously cracked up when I saw your cat on the computer stitch...that is adorable. What a fun design, and I do remember those big clunker computers in my classroom that spit out all that paper. How far we have come!

Good luck with your felt animal ornaments, the penguin is so sweet and I am sure your grandson will treasure them.

Happy February, stay cozy and enjoy the days staying lighter a little longer and some nice stitching time. Congratulations on 15 years! :)


Christel said...

Dans notre région de France, le temps a été bien gris et même très froid en ce mois de janvier. Je suis heureuse qu'il s'achève, le mois de février ne me plaît pas vraiment mais comme vous le dites il est court. J'espère qu'il sera ensoleillé. Nous avons déjà un perce-neige dans le jardin, les autres ne vont pas tarder à s'ouvrir. Cela fait du bien de voir des fleurs..
C'est un premier très bel ornement pour cette nouvelle année.
En rangeant mes tiroirs il y a quelques jours j'ai retrouvé des grilles que je n'aie pas encore brodées de la série des Meooow de Calico Crossroads. Des modèles rigolos. Sur les 4 chats de la maison nous en avons deux noirs, Tahiti et Théo.
De futurs petits animaux en feutre. Je suis certaine que vous y arriverez sans problèmes et qu'ils seront grandement appréciés par MisterB.
Vous avez reçus de beaux envois remplis de trésors.
Amitiés de France,

Barbara said...

You have been blogging about 2 weeks longer than me. Your posts are always a delight to see.

That one B/W cross stitch finish with the cat reaching for the computer mouse is especially cute!

Kay said...

I love your January Christmas design. I have been reading your blog for some years now but have no idea how long, thank you for continuing to share your stitching. X

Sue Noetzel said...

I love the details on your ornament finish. Very creative! I struggle with the details of the finish. I get the main ornament put together and then can't decide how to embellish it. You provide so much inspiration in this area.

Happy birthday!

diamondc said...

Happy Belated Birthday Carol:
My birthday is the 26th of January, it was a very quiet day I was ill with food poisoning.
Your ornaments are lovely the cardinals are so sweet.
The cat design is a hoot.
The penguin is so cute, I am looking forward to seeing him finished, thank-you for the link.
Lovely gifts you have received.
OI am looking forward to seeing the corner shelf with the red, pink and white display.


Faith... said...

I appreciate the sunshine and warmer weather each day; even in the summer and especially when I see big snowfalls on the news. Your first 2024 ornament is spectacular! I also am not a hot glue lover, and think that Aleene's works just fine!

Love, it is adorable and I am so glad your son loved it too. Wish you lots of luck with your new endeavor! Those little felt ornaments are very cute and Mr. B will probably enjoy a set.

So glad you had a wonderful birthday and I can't believe your blog is 15! So many wonderful post and the beautiful stitching we have enjoyed over the years! I would like to say thank you for sharing all of this and your family with us.

Kathy in Colorado said...

I just discovered your Blog! I loved hearing about your January stitching. I hadn’t joined the 2024 ornament challenge, but will start in February. Your first ornament is so cute.

When you talked about the stitchy kindness you received, I learned about other stitchers I wasn’t aware of. I’ll be checking them out.

Looking forward to hearing your future adventures adventures and meeting more stitchers!

Jennifer said...

Happy Birthday Carol! Sounds like it was a great day (even if extra cold!) and hope the year ahead is filled with happiness for you and your family. Love your ornament finish and the framed kitty - my daughter would love that too! It has been sunny here for two days and it really is glorious, still a little cold, but I don't mind with a quilt on my lap, just enjoy seeing the sunshine outside. I switched over my snow/snowmen pieces for lots of pink and red yesterday and will be hanging up the red and white quilts today - it's such a cheery way to get through February!

Carmen said...

Cuantas cosas bonitas y hechas con mucho amor!!

Leonore Winterer said...

Personally, January was a really good month for me, got tons of stuff done - now I just need to keep the momentum going through the year! Your had a great start with your ornament, and that computer cat is so fun.
Did I already tell you happy birthday? Can't hurt to say it twice, so happy belated birthday! Looks like you have lots of fun stitching and crafting plans for the year, I love that little penguin.

Maggie said...

It was gloomy here too in January but so far February has been no better, so much wind and rain with only a few nice days.
Thanks for sharing the website for those cute felt animals, I have downloaded a few, I think the kids will love them, and I'm certain yours will turn out just perfect :-)
A belated Happy Birthday, it sounds like you had a perfect day.
Such a lovely ornament for you first of the year, already we are into month 2 and I haven't made one yet!
Enjoy the rest of the month x

Shelly said...

You're welcome, Carol! The is so cute and framed perfectly. You're kind of famous, I've heard the Colorado Stitcher mention you and your ornament SAL! Congratulations on the longevity of your blog. It was one of the first I found! Happy February❤️

SueH said...

Congratulations on 15 years of blogging Carol. I know exactly what you mean when you say were did those years go because you saying that made me go back and look at how long I had been at it and it was July 17th 2007 when I first started blogging on Sue's Krafty Kards. That blog is still live but I've not posted on it for many years.

Belated birthday wishes. It looks like you received so lovely pressies.

I love your Christmas Ornament and would love to be able to have a tree like yours, it's so pretty. Alas, sadly my little flat is way too small, so I'll just have to enjoy yours from afar!

Happt Stitching! Sue x