Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas, IHSW, More Gifts, & One Last Exchange

I trust that everyone had a happy & blessed Christmas!  Our's was filled with love, peace, contentment, & way too much food as shown by the extra 5 pounds showing on my scale! That's okay though ... it's Christmas   : )   I received some lovely gifts from my sweet babboo & will show you some stitching gifts in a moment.

I noticed this year that way too many people were saying they would be glad when Christmas would be over.  In fact, I wished one woman a Merry Christmas & her response was a sour "I'll be glad when it's over!"  Although I understand that not everyone is surrounded by happy circumstances at this time of year, it's still the time we celebrate the birth of our Savior!  Of course it's possible that these people do not give any thought to that   : (

I know that many of you are waiting to hear what Christmas book John chose to buy & read to me this year.  It is The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg, illustrated by Richard Cowdrey.  It's a lovely story about a man who comes to a small pioneer town to open a store.  The townspeople wonder what type of store it will be.  A little girl knocks at his door to ask if he needs any help & discovers he is opening a candy store. While helping him unpack a crate, she finds a package of candy canes.  She has never seen this candy before.  This is when the man explains the meaning of the colors & shape of the candy cane.  Afterward, they visit every townsperson to share the candy & story with them.    
This year we had not one book, but two!  A small wrapped package came in the mail from Jo with instructions to open it on Christmas Eve.  Inside we found a book titled Jesus' Birthday Party.  This is a delightful story of the birth of Jesus, hilariously told from the point of view of the inkeeper who just wants a good night's sleep   : )   John & I thoroughly enjoyed it!  Thank you again Jo   : )
Last weekend was IHSW.  I made sure to take some stitches in my Dames of the Needle ornament which I showed you in my post on December 4th.  Here it is then ...
... & here it is now.
The color of the fabric in the bottom photo is truer to life than it appears in the top photo.  I didn't add all these stitches last weekend, but I did stitch the snowman hat & nose on the right as well as the hat & what you see of the snowman on the left.  I had to frog two branches of the tree because I had added one stitch more than I was supposed to & I couldn't fudge the snowman to accommodate it.  I'm really enjoying stitching this despite what to me is the fiddly-ness of it   : )

A few more gifts I sent have been received.
This was a freebie & I don't remember where it came from.  If anyone is familiar with it, please let me know   : )
Fabric:  32 ct evenweave (I think)
Floss:  Gloriana Luminescense 
Stitched for Vicki
Finished by Myra
Designer:  Foxwood Crossings
Designs:  Snowman - Snow Friends Sleds
Quaker - Quaker Sleds
Snowman stitched for Kevin
& for Robin (no blog)
Quaker stitched for Annette
Finished by me
Designer:  LHN
Design:  Peppermint Twist
Fabric:  32 ct linen
Floss:  DMC
Stitched for Sharon
Finished by Myra
     Designer:  Pine Mountain Designs
Design:  Let It Snow
Fabric:  14 ct blue Aida
Floss:  DMC
Stitched for my friend Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota

There's a wee bit of a story behind why I chose to stitch this for Mary.  When I lived in Bismarck, I would wake up on wonderfully cold winter mornings to find it snowing!  I would then call Mary & when she answered the phone, I would start to sing "Oh the weather outside is frightful ... let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"  Yes, she thought I was crazy.  She undoubtedly still does   : )

My exchange package for Sarah finally reached Dubai   : )   You might remember seeing in my December 8th post the lovely ornaments & other goodies she sent to me. Sarah does not celebrate Christmas & instead wanted an exchange package with a patriotic theme.  I sent her a Bent Creek kit called Land of Liberty, a My Big Toe needle threader, & I stitched a pinkeep for her from a design by Country Rustic Primitives ... Liberty Hanging Pinkeep.  I stitched this on osnaburg fabric using DMC floss.  I stuffed it with clean sawdust & finished it myself.   
I received a few more gifts as well.  Vicki sent me this delightful Christmas Joy ornament.  I know you will be as bowled over as I was to learn that this was Vicki's very first attempt at finishing an ornament! I think she's a natural, don't you?  
I received this wonderful tea bag holder & some delicious tea from Sally.  Sally shares my love of tea   : )   The holder is stitched from a design by The Little Stitcher.  

Jen sent me a little wool applique pillow with a holly design & also a little punchneedle pillow featuring a pair of ice skates.  Jen is extremely creative & I think she designs 99.99% of the things she makes so I'm sure these 2 pillows were stitched from her own designs as well.  I am forever encouraging her to market her designs.  I think she was blessed with a real talent!   

I had hoped to leave you with some photos of our Christmas tree.  I actually took a few photos on Christmas Day but they turned out a bit blurry for some reason.  I was going to try again today but time got away from me.  Hopefully I'll be able to share some tomorrow.


Parsley said...

Lovely stitching! Hope your Christmas was special.

Robin said...

What lovely gifts you received as well as gave, Shirlee! Thank you again for my sled ornament. Both of your Christmas Eve stories look very interesting and what a wonderful tradition you have.

Enjoy the weekend!

Robin in Virginia

capecodgirl565 said...

I am with you Shirlee. I love Christmas and look forward to it with much anticipation. It is not only the celebration of the birth of Jesus, but a wonderful family time and a time to reaffirm one's faith. Who wouldn't love it? I think those wishing it were over have lost the true meaning behind it, which is sad.

Stitchy Mc Floss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dani - tkdchick said...

Your IHSW ornament looks adorable!

Wow what wonderful ornaments you've stitched and given away! How generous!

Jennifer M. said...

Beautiful gifts both sent and received. :)

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

So many wonderful stitchin' gifts you gave and received!!!
I so like the tradition of reading a book on Christmas Eve.
Hope you have a wonderful New Year and create many new memories!!!
Prim Blessings

Lumiruusu said...

Hello Shirlee and Thank You visiting my little blog. You have sent and recived lovely gifts -they are all very stylissh ! I think that red and white "Mystery ornament" could be a freebie design of the French designer called "Grilles de Maryse "
I have also stitched some of her Christmas Ornaments ant they exactly same style. Of course I can not be 100% sure but this would be my guess...

I had also very lovely Christmas and we singed together Christian Christmas carrols in my MIL.s house and my son read to us the Chapter 2 From Evangelium of Luke

Annette-California said...

Beautiful beautiful ornaments you stitched and gifted Shirlee. Love the books you got to read on Christmas eve. It's still the holidays as today was the 3rd day of Christmas. Love celebrating Jesus's brithday. Thank you for my lovely Quaker sled ornament, I love it.
Enjoyed all your photos.
love Annette

butterfly said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas dear friend , lots of lovely gifts and love all your stitching .
Love your books I love little books like that I would always read them to the GC but I loved them really !
hugs to you and DH.

Sarah in Stitches said...

Glad you had a wonderful Christmas, Shirlee! :D And thank you again so much for the exchange presents, I loved them!

Shebafudge said...

I love both the books you received for Christmas this year, they both sound like lovely stories.

What a wonderful selection of ornaments both given and received. Glad you had a wonderful Christmas. xx

Vickie said...

What a beautiful Christmas you had Shirlee. Love both books. =)
Fabulous gifts you gave and received! I am most impressed with Jen's ice skates!

Myra said...

Lovely gifts Shirlee! Those books look delightful...I want to read them both too. :o)

Vonna, The Twisted Stitcher said...

My goodness, such lovely treasures both given and received! I love that ice skates ornament!

Roberta said...

I've heard others say that many people were cranky this year. It seemed like with Thanksgiving coming so late everything got crammed into a much shorter time frame for us procrastinators and that can be stressful. Lovely ornaments! ~Roberta

Dawn said...

Wonderful exchanges as always Shirlee! Everything is beautiful. So glad to hear of your Christmas books.

Kevin said...

Hi Shirlee,

I love seeing all your photos of ornaments you've made for others (LOVE the snowman sled you made for me!) and all of those special gifts and ornaments you received. I've never "finished" an ornament before, but I'm hoping to change that this coming new year. How wonderful that Jo sent you a book to add to John's tradition!! I love that he does this, by the way. I think I read the candy cane has a religious symbolism to it, correct? Glad you had a blessed holiday and many good wishes to you, John and your family for a healthy and happy 2014.

Linda said...

Gorgeous exchange gifts Shirlee.


Jules said...

So much loveliness!

Julie said...

So many lovely stitched ornaments to see in this post and two super books.
Christmas for me for the past 30 years has been a sad time, but this year for some unknown reason I felt peace, calm and blessed and have enjoyed everything that has come along.

stitchersanon said...

Well, I went shopping on Christmas Eve and wished every single person I met a Happy Christmas...and got it back so I think you were just unlucky...or perhaps I was so happy I just scared them and they were too frightened to say 'Bah Humbug' lol.
Glad you had a good Christmas...Have a very happy new year!

Kaisievic said...

Beautiful gifts, Shirlee, you are such a beautiful stitcher. I am sorry, nothing has arrived here in Oz from you yet although the post from the U.S. and Canada has been very tardy of late but usually does arrive eventually.

jennifer768 said...

Shirlee,love the gifts that were exchanged both ways! Such a talented and generous lady you are my friend! So glad that you liked the things I sent. Thanks for all of your kind and encouraging words.Have a blessed 2014 dear friend!Hugs,Jen

Minnie said...

So many beautiful gifts sent and received. I wish you a Happy New Year!

Sharon said...

You must be a wonderful friend to stitch lovely gifts and to receive lovely gifts! Love your blog!!! :)

Sherry said...

Everything is wonderful! Looks like you had a beautiful and fun Christmas!

Carol said...

You were like Santa Shirlee this year--so many wonderful gifts you made for your friends!! I just love what you sent me :)

John's book tradition is so special--he sounds like a keeper to me!!

Wishing you every happiness in 2014, my friend :)

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

Gald you both enjoyed the book. The Legend of the Candy Cane sound very interesting. I just looked and you can get secondhand copies in the UK for not too much money!

Beautiful ornies in this post too.

And Yah Boo to the grumpy woman! If you don't like all the bother and fuss then don't bother with it. My friend goes away somewhere sunny every Christmas and has a lovely stress-free time.

Chris said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful holiday Shirlee!
What lovely things you stitched for friends. What wonderful gifts that you received in the mail too.
I am so thankful for my stitching friends.
Happy New Year!

Sally said...

Wow what beautiful gifts you stitched Shirlee. I love my ornament. It is so pretty. Thank you again.

I guess some people just don't have the Christmas spirit. I love Christmas, all the anticipation and spending precious time with my family. I hate it when it's over! I think all the Christmas traditions and family time are being killed off by Christmas Day online sales a nd shops opening on Boxing Day so people have to work. I wish it would go back to when shops started sales on 2nd January and didn't open for 2 days over Christmas.

Happy New Year my friend.

Trace4J said...

Happy New Years Eve SHirlee
Ive been off the computer to truly slow a bit and enjoy Christmas with my family.
Alot of work but love too.
Love your new books and beautiful stitches.
Love & JOY

Catherine said...

What sweet stories and goodies!

Simply Victoria said...

The Legend of the Candy Cane is a wonderful story. John picked well. Thanks again for my pretty ornament. All the others you made and received are lovely.

Anne said...

Such wonderful gifts you made Shirlee!! Each one is very special. Love the ornament you are working on. Another one I have been thinking about doing but I don't have fabric that colour!! I love the exchange you did with Sarah from Dubai. She is so sweet! I think it's adorable that John gets you a book to read to you. The story is lovely. I hear people say that too and I find it strange. I like the season to go on...and it is for me :D I'm sure Sophie loved her catnip mice!! Titus enjoys those kinds of toys too!! Hugs