Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Two new Valentine finishes and an unwanted visitor

Happy Valentine's Day, my friends! Half-way through February already--how can that be? For a short month, it's already been a busy one here. I've been stitching away on a couple of sweet Valentine's pieces and just finished the second one  yesterday. I try to add at least one piece to my Valentine's collection each year and was very pleased to get two finished this year. Now, looking at these, you might think I'm a pink, lace, pastel type of girl... Nope--not in the least, but, for some reason, I do enjoy making these sweet little treasures when February rolls around each year. 

My first pretty-in-pink finish is by Erin Elizabeth Designs and is called "Valentine Tier." Just look at this adorable tiered tray! There is so much detail in this one and it took me longer to finish it than I expected (even though the final stitched piece only measures 3 inches by 4.25 inches)! It's stitched on 40 ct. burch Newcastle using the suggested DMC colors. But, I didn't always use the colors where they were suggested... For instance, I stitched a gray roof rather than the suggested brown.

"Valentine Tier" by Erin Elizabeth Designs

The main change I made was to the flower centers. I had the entire thing stitched with the suggested black flower centers, took a good look at it, and ripped them all out! They just looked too dark to me for a sweet Valentine's design. So, I replaced the black centers with the palest pink color. I also used Smyrna stitches for the birds' eyes, the doorknob, and the sprinkles on the cookie and on the whipped cream topping on the mug of cocoa. My final change was to add straight stitches for the birds' long skinny legs rather than the charted cross stitches. What do you think? It just makes me smile each time I walk by it!

I changed all of the flower centers to pale pink.

My second February finish is a wonderful freebie by The Drawn Thread called "All You Need is Love." You can find the chart right here along with a number of other great free designs! It's stitched on 32 ct. white Belfast linen, but I chose my own colors as I didn't have any of the suggested Gloriana Silks in my stash. I went with Dinky Dyes silks instead and used the following colors: Dandenong, Wild Cherry, and Raspberry Ripple (using the light pink for some of the hearts and the darker pink for others). And for the light green leaves, I used Needle Necessities 142 (the lighter portion of the thread only). 

"All You Need is Love" by The Drawn Thread

What I loved most about this piece were the specialty stitches; on this small design there are at least a dozen specialty stitches! Below is a close-up so you can see them a bit better. Rather than my usual corded edging, I chose to do a beaded edge with the palest pink beads. I find beaded edges to be so lovely, but, for me, they take so long to complete! My go-to tutorial can be found right here on "Snippets and Stash" blog. 

I love the specialty stitches!

Unfortunately, I've been so busy this month, I never did get any of my other Valentine's stitching out on display! Shame on me... All those hours of making little pink and red x's through the years and I left them sitting in the drawer. Oh, well--I'll be sure to get them out next February. At least I have these two new pieces to brighten up the day!

So many shades of pink...

I also stitched a card for a friend who is going through some health issues. This is called "Buttercup" by Nickyscreations and can be found in the April 2017 issue of Just Cross Stitch. I used 40 ct. platinum Newcastle with the suggested DMC thread (although I changed the birds' legs to DMC 420 and the centers of the flowers to DMC 832).  I sure hope it brings a little sunshine into my friend's day!

A cheerful card for a friend

So, I mentioned an "unwanted visitor" in the title of this post. I'll bet most of you can guess what it was, can't you? Yes, Mr. Covid reared his ugly head and visited my husband on February 2nd. He's quite sure he got it on the plane ride home from Florida at the end of January because he tested positive just five days later. Thankfully, it was a mild case and he only felt bad for a few days. And, even better--I avoided getting it! We slept in separate bedrooms, used different bathrooms, and pretty much stayed on opposite sides of the house during the daytime. This was the second time he had it--and I escaped contracting it both times. I'm sure I'll end up with it at some point, but so far, I've been very lucky! How about you? Have you had Covid yet?


My uncle playing Santa

My last remaining uncle by marriage (he was married to my dad's sister),  passed away last week at the incredible age of 101. What a life he led--definitely part of  "The Greatest Generation!" He survived the Battle of the Bulge during World War II (during which 90,000 Allied soldiers were killed) and was the last remaining WWII veteran in the southwestern New York county where he lived his entire life. I grew up in the same small town as all of my dad's siblings and their spouses and this particular uncle was the one tasked with playing Santa each Christmas Eve for my Grandparents' 21 grandchildren! Down the stairs he would come, sleigh bells jingling, with a big sack of gifts--one for each of us. Even in my late teens, I still looked forward to that annual tradition. My siblings and I still get a big laugh about the hilarious (somewhat scary, truth be told!) Santa costume he wore each year. So, here's to my uncle and all the other brave veterans out there! Thank you all for your service...

My youngest son and his girlfriend, otherwise known as the "world travelers" of our family are visiting Oman for ten days. Oman?! I had to look it up on a map to know exactly where it is. I knew it was in the Middle East and, of course, immediately went into "worried mother mode," but my son assured me it is one of the safest countries in that part of the world. He's been treating us to some breathtaking photos and I think you'll agree, the scenery is stunning. I'm sure I'll never travel there, or to many of the places they've visited over the past three years, but it sure is fun traveling vicariously through them! 

Just a few of the stunning photos my son has sent from Oman

And my little grandson did a bit of traveling of his own as well... he and his mom and dad went to Disney World for a few days. I thought he was a bit young to be going, but he did pretty well. He was scared of The Haunted Mansion and the interactive "It's Tough to be a Bug." But, he adored the roller coasters and the costumed characters. Here he is getting acquainted with Goofy at an Animal Kingdom breakfast (my daughter-in-law reported that it was the most expensive meal the three of them had ever had together!). Next time they go, we hope to go with them!

Mister B meets Goofy!

So, what has been keeping me so busy this month? I've been working on redecorating two bedrooms! And the large one (ours) involves removing wallpaper. Ugh! Never, ever am I going to put up wallpaper again! We hadn't done anything to update our bedroom in over 25 years so it was definitely past time. So far, we've removed the wallpaper border and some of the wallpaper below the chair rail. We also decided to purchase a king-size bed so we've been shuffling beds around as well as other furniture. The new mattress arrived and we love it! Right now, it's just placed on the floor as our new king-size bed frame hasn't arrived. Hopefully, soon! There have been a lot of trips to various stores, searching online, returning things that didn't work out, etc. But, it will be so nice to have things updated when we're all done. We're in no hurry--I haven't even picked out paint colors or linens yet. But, we'd like to have it mostly finished by the time spring rolls around. 

Hope each of you has a wonderful Valentine's Day! I'm hoping for some chocolate later on--hint, hint to my dear husband. Maybe I'll make a special dessert, too. Thanks for stopping by today--and a special thank you to those of you who take the time to leave a comment. I truly appreciate your support! Bye for now...

♥♥♥ Happy Valentine's Day ♥♥♥


WollwunderPeTra said...

Auch dir einen wunderschönen Valentinstag heute.
Wunderschön sind deine Stickarbeiten für den heutigen Tag geworden.
Oh, ein Besuch in Disneyland war bestimmt ein Erlebnis für den Enkel.

Hab eine schöne Zeit. Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland sendet

Melisa- pinkernpunkinquilting said...

Chocolate and a special dessert sounds fabulous. Mr.B. looks so sweet meeting Goofy. I bet he had a grand time. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your uncle. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. What a blessing to have him in your life that long. Your 2 new Valentine stitches are beautiful, Carol and are finished perfectly. Enjoy your day, sweet friend. Hugs.

Gabi said...

Happy Valentine's dear Carol. Your stitching looks wonderful. Pretty in pink, the little cushion is adorable.
Sorry to hear about of the loss of your uncle, but memories remain. This nobody can take away. And 101 years, what a blessing.
Mr. B and Goofy, how exciting. I remember the time I visited Disney World with my kids and mom in 1992. We had a lot of fun.
Have a happy day, hugs,

MartinaM said...

We don't celebrate Valentine's Day at all, so I love seeing all the beautiful patterns even more. How magical the little cake stand is, so many pretty details. a great pattern.
Your second finish is so cute too, and the beads make it really classy.
Your girlfriend will definitely be happy about the card.
So far, all 4 of us have been lucky and no one has been infected with Covid - although - maybe we had it too, without any symptoms, there should be.
I hope your husband is well again.
Oh dear, 101 years ago, he had a life full of experiences, good and bad.
A nice experience for Mister B. A trip like this is always something special.
enjoy your Valentine's Day

butterfly said...

I love your Valentine stitching so pretty so my style.
Happy to hear Covid is now gone now I have only had it twice the first time was 2019 before we new what it was, and I
Love your stitching , so pretty. Good to hear you are both better.
I still have to put up with long covid , I also did get it again but very mild.
Sorry to here about your Uncle , he was a brave man.
I have only two aunts left now it's so sad when family pass on.
Your little man must have had a wonderful time at Disney World.
Your bedroom will be lovely , we took all our paper off and just have plain walls in different shades I love it.
Have a lovely week and Happy Valentines , Hugs June.

Irene said...

Buon San Valentino, Carol! Che belli i tuoi nuovi ricami, grazie per lo schem afree e il tutorial, li adoro! Vedrai che avrai due camere bellissime, vale la pena! Un pensiero e una preghiera per il tuo caro zio ♥

Marilyn said...

Your pink finishes are all so very pretty.
I'm so sorry your hubby has Covid again.
So far, we've escaped it.
What great memories of your Uncle.
Mr.B is really growing!
Have fun re-decorating.
Happy Valentine's Day!

qubasket said...

Just discovered your blog and enjoyed your post. Started cross stitching about a year ago again and your pieces are lovely.
Peggy and

Stasi said...

What sweet Valentine finishes, Carol! I especially love the Drawn Thread one...she has always been one of my favorite designers.
So glad Mr. B enjoyed Disney and the roller coasters... he is very brave for his age!
Sorry about your uncle, but what great memories you have of him.
Have a great rest of February!

Robin in Virginia said...

I love your newest Valentine finishes especially the tiered tray, Carol. How fun for Mr. B (and his parents) on the trip to Disney World! I am sorry hear read about your uncle's passing. Enjoy the back half of February.

tami D said...

That tiered tray is beautiful! What a work of love.
We have Covid going on around here. I’ve had it twice. Neither time with horrible symptoms.
Although I have just celebrated the 1 year anniversary of getting released from ICU when I had multiple embolisms as a
result of having Covid.
Good luck with your updating bedrooms. Every time you walk in after it is done you will smile!
Happy Valentines Day.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol, Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours! I love reading your blog and seeing all of your pretty stitches. Both are so cute and I, too, stitched the one by Drawn Thread this year. I like to do beaded finishes but they are time consuming. Thanks for the link to the tutorial. Lucky you for avoiding Covid, twice! We have both managed to avoid it here, too, but have had close calls! I’ll be starting the same bedroom project in the next couple of weeks.....removing wallpaper and painting. Love my wallpaper until it comes time to remove it! Your little grandson is so cute and I’m sure he loved Disney World. Have a wonderful day! Cherie in WI

Jackie's Stitches said...

Just love your sweet valentines finishes! I just love a beaded edge though I don't do them often either but they are SO worth the effort.

Glad you managed to avoid the dreaded virus. I think my sister is the only other person I know who hasn't had it.

You've heard of scope creep when it comes to remodeling a room right? :)

Anonymous said...

Carol, I forgot to add my sympathies at the passing of your uncle. What wonderful memories you have of him and wonderful that he had such a long life. We appreciate his service to our country. Cherie in WI

Anonymous said...

Happy Valentine’s Day, Carol! Your two new Valentine stitches are so sweet. The tiered tray is speaking to me! I’ve only stitched one thing on 40 count, so not sure if I will tackle it on 40 count. Yes, I did get Covid after a trip in Oct 2022. Pretty sure a couple in our group “shared” it with me! Luckily it was very mild. Only a dripping nose for a few days. We took our daughter to Disney World at 7 and all she was interested in was the pool and the Disney characters! Looking forward to seeing your newly redecorated bedrooms. We’re slowly replacing furniture since our house renovation last summer. New chairs an ottomans arrive in March for our master bedroom. Still trying to convince hubby to switch to a king bed. Happy stitching!
Rita Heindel

Cathy H. said...

Happy Valentine's Day to you! Your new pieces are delightful! I didn't put out my Valentine pieces this year either. I was not too busy, mostly too lazy!
I know Mr. B loved Disney World. Getting to meet the characters in person is so exciting for the little ones!
Good luck on you redecorating! Taking it slow is a great idea.
I'm sorry you lost your uncle. He sounds like he was a strong and wonderful man.
Happy Stitching!

CarolE said...

Happy Valentine's Day! I love your little Valentine's Day finishes. And thank you for the link to finish them off with the beads. I always like to see how you finish off your cross stitch pieces.
Your Uncle-in-law must have been an amazing man and I am glad you have wonderful memories to cherish.

Shelly said...

Happy Valentine's Day, Carol! Pretty finishes and yes, I can see how beading around a piece can be a time buster. It's like the last time I ruched ribbon around an ornament, it took an hour and a half! I hope your hubby is feeling better. I've had covid twice. The first one was terrible, I lost my taste and smell for 3 months and the congestion lasted a lot longer. The 2nd bout was pretty minor. Sorry for the loss of your uncle, he sounded like a really good person. Take care🙂

Anonymous said...

Happy Valentines Day! I love your new finishes❤️ I’ve tried linen several times and still can’t get the hang of it. I’m happy to hear your husband is better! That stuff is no fun!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful stitching and finishing! Enjoyed reading your post. Hope you received some chocolate. Take care! Happy Valentine’s Day.

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
zwei wunderschöne Finishes zum Valentinestag. Die Etagere sieht einfach toll aus, mir gefallen die vielen kleine Details. Auch das zweite Finish ist wunderschön, vor allem die vielen Spezial Stitches machen es zu etwas Besonderem.
Disney World ist ein Traum. Wir waren vor vielen Jahren dort. Meine Kinder haben sich immer angestellt um Autogramme von Mickey und Co zu bekommen.
Mein aufrichtiges Beileid. 101 Jahre ist ein gesegnetes Alter.
Viel Kraft für die Renovierung des Schlafzimmers.
Big Hugs, Manuela

Sandy said...

Wallpaper evokes all the angst for our generation I think. I had it in my two previous homes before the current. In both of those I picked out the patterns and liked them, but I am sure by now I would have wanted change. In our current home all of it was picked out by my mother-in-law that I adored, but oh my- the powder pink and baby blue was pulled down as fast I could get it down. So much scraping over 2 summers. I swore I would never have it again. I see it making a comeback and I find myself thinking how cute it all is, but I just can't go back down that road again. Paint is good enough for me.
The V Day stitches are so cute and some years holidays just pass us by and I have learned to accept it. I do what I can and move forward.
Great pics of the family.

marly said...

What beautiful photos. My cousin was a world traveler for entire summers (teacher), even alone which never bothered her. Nice trip for Mr. B, always loved Goofy.

Glad your husband's case was mild. Some here are very very ill for weeks and others, a few days of meh.

What a lovely card, I'm sure it will be treasured and I hope your friend's situation improves.

Jutta said...

Hello Carol,
oh, beautiful stitcheries for Valentine's Day and so lovingly arranged, you are a master of good photos.
I also managed not to catch Covid from my husband last year, we seem to have good immune systems now, don't we?
My godfather is also turning 101 this year, unbelievably, he is still in good health.
Mr. B and Goofy is my favorite again, thank you for this interesting blog post. Have a nice weekend, Jutta

Kay said...

Such beautiful stitching. I forgot to get out my valentine pieces this year.
I have had Covid twice, the first time I caught it in hospital when I was in for surgery. Sadly, it’s still around. My mother in law died from it just last week, on top of her other health conditions, it was just too much for her.
Thank you for sharing your lovely posts. X

Carol in Texas said...

Carol, as usual I loved your new finishes. You have a real talent for choosing lovely charts and stitching and finishing them perfectly!!!!! I do like your two new pieces, but the one that caught my eye is the little bowl of hearts to the right of your blog message. What is that pattern? It is precious and it is finished beautifullly!

Our photos said...

You have a beautiful blog with many Links, Thanks Suzi

Katie said...

Oh I love your Valentine finishes. Makes me wish I had done some haha. Every year I wish I did more haha. I'm having a lot of fun working on my bigger pieces though. Your two are just perfect! I love a beaded border and yes it takes longer but soooo adorable. You know what the 3 of us never got covid. I never even thought we did. Who knows why it seems attracted to some and not others. Wow gorgeous photo of Oman. Tell them Hawaii looks the same haha.

We love Disney. Yes it's expensive but amazing memories.

Good luck with your remodels. I know it's a pain but I bet you will love it for years and years to come.

Also sorry for the loss of your Uncle.

Faith... said...

What a beautiful Valentine header you have there Carol! I love the Valentine Tier piece you stitched. So pretty and great changes. See what I mean about taking longer than expected!! All You Need is Love is so delicate looking. Sorry about the Covid bug. I am sure it was unwanted but thankfully it wasn't that bad and you didn't catch it. How beautiful Oman looks beautiful. The water is so clear! They really are some travelers and now Mr. B is getting in on the action! Good for him. I am glad he had a great time. Enjoy your remodeling. I too hate removing wallpaper and swore to never use it again and so far I have kept that promise! I hope your new furniture arrives soon so you can get everything finished so you can relax and enjoy!

So sorry to hear about your Uncle. WOW 101 is remarkable.

Leonore Winterer said...

Oh, your new stitching is so pretty - I'm like you, the soft pinks and white aren't usually my style, but I do appreciate them in the right context, which Valentine's absolutely provides.
I'm glad you escaped the Covid virus yet again...I got it twice so far, and had a couple more close calls, and if I never get it again, I won't be sad about it!
Visiting Disneyland with a small child must be a truely magical experience. I hope you get to go with them next time.
Lastly, good luck with your bedroom renovations! I'm sure the rooms will turn out great, you gotsuch an eye for colour and composition.

Kgirl said...

I've never heard of Oman.....stunning photos! Mr. B is sure a cutie. I'd brave WDW for him. Beautiful finishes. I love how you change patterns to make them work for you! I wish I had your vision. Can't wait to see what you do with your new rooms. You have beautifull taste.

Chris said...

Such beautiful stitching I'm quite jealous because of an arm injury I can no longer stitch, but love to look at it all in blogs. Sorry about the uninvited visitor glad your husband wasn't too bad and what a great age for your uncle, wow what he must have seen in all his years,

Kathy H. said...

Hello Carol,

Your two February pieces are so sweet and before I even read your words, I thought how much work went into that Valentine Tiered Tray, it's so tiny, but lots of detail and color changes. Two lovely additions to your collection!

Sorry your husband had Covid and good news it wasn't a bad case. When we flew home from Italy after the holidays, the amount of people coughing and seriously hacking around us was almost scary and my husband wound up with the flu and a sinus infection. Last time he was sick was probably well over 10-12 years ago, so we both thought wearing a mask while flying might be a good idea moving forward.

I was also sorry to hear of your Uncle's passing, always sad regardless of the age. Love the picture of him playing Santa, lots of precious memories for sure.

Your son's travel pictures are gorgeous and reminded me of when we lived in Saudi Arabia for 7 years. Many beautiful areas, and we swam and snorkeled in the Red Sea which was clear and abundantly full of sea life before a lot of development ruined parts of the reef. Saudi was very strict, but we did travel a fair amount and have amazing memories of our time in the Middle East.

Hope your home projects are going well. We are also using these winter months to get a few things done in our home. Our family room has a lovely new coat of paint and the dining room is in the process. My husband has been doing the painting while I have done a lot of the prep work and deep cleaning. He rented scaffolding to fix the seam on our vaulted family room ceiling which was a chore and a half, but came our looking great! Our downstairs half bath is next and that is going to get a new floor and vanity, along with some paint, etc. Before you know it, we'll be outside once again and our focus will be the yard and garden until next winter when we tackle another indoor project!

Take care, enjoy the last few days of February.


Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

You have been busy! Lovely Valentine stitching and at least your blog header is decorated seasonally!
I love the tiered tray design with the changes. I’ve also stitched the Drawn Thread and really enjoyed all those speciality stitches.
Glad you avoided the virus again. I’ve had all my boosters and seem to have been lucky so far.

Anonymous said...

I love your Valentine stitches- they are both so pretty! I'm sorry to hear your husband had covid, but that's so nice that you avoided it. We are glad to have avoided getting it so far. That sounds very fun to be redecorating bedrooms, that will be so nice to have that finished when spring arrives. I'm very sorry to hear about your uncle. He sounds like he had an amazing life.