Thursday, December 22, 2011

How My Hallmark Ornament Collection Got Started

When I was a teenager I had a penpal named Lori from Pennsylvania.  We were penpals for 3-4 years and each year she would send me an ornament for Christmas.  I lost touch with Lori a long time ago but I still have the ornaments that she gave me.  Above is a picture of "Spencer Sparrow" the Hallmark ornament that she sent me in 1979.  Isn't he the most festive sparrow that you've seen?  He doesn't look 32 years old - does he? 

Since 1979 I have added many Hallmark ornaments to my collection.  Below is a photo of some of my Hallmark "ball" ornaments that I display in a bowl at Christmas.  These are just a few of my favorite things......

This will be my last post before Christmas so................Merry Christmas to You. 

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for he shall save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)

YAY! I won!!!!

My friend Beth at My Heartstring had a contest to celebrate her 1,000th blog posting.  The prize (actually it is prizes since she had 14 winners) was one of her cross-stitch patterns.  The drawing was this morning and........I was one of the winners!!!! WOO HOO!!!!  I won a pdf pattern of my choice - and my choice was "With My Needle" - you can view the stitched pattern here

You can read more about Beth, her patterns and Etsy shop on my 12/14 blog posting.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Model Stitching

If you have ever purchased a cross-stitch pattern before, you usually will see a picture of the completed design (also known as a model) on the outside of the pattern. The picture lets you see exactly how the design will look once it has been stitched. That means that the design has to be stitched by someone before the actual pattern is published. Sometimes the pattern designer might stitch the design or he/she may have a "model stitcher" do the stitching.
Two or three years ago I started following a blog written by Beth Twist who designs cross-stitch patterns under the name of Heartstring Samplery. I don't remember now how I became acquainted with her blog...I probably linked to it from someone else's blog. Anyway....long story short....I "answered Beth's call" for someone to do model stitching for her. I stitched a sampler for her last year. If you would like to see that sampler (Poppy Maye Russell sampler), you can view it here. Beth also has an Etsy shop that you might like to visit.
This past spring Beth contacted me again about stitching another model. This particular pattern would be stitched mostly in one Why black? Because it is a silhouette. I finished the stitching last month and the pattern has now been released. Below is a picture of the completed design that I stitched. If you check out all the cross-stitch patterns on her blog, I'm sure you'll agree with me that Beth does some fabulous crafting!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Around The House

Here are a few more pictures - This first one is my "nostalgia" Christmas table. There's an old hankie with Christmasy flowers embroidered on it, an old skeleton key, some red and green buttons in an old bottle, wooden spools with red and green thread, and a tiny card that says "Christmas Greetings". I don't remember where I "found" the tiny card but you can tell that it has some age on it. And....look at the book on the left - it has a collage of old christmas cards and postcards on it. I found it at Home Goods and it's actually a box that looks like a book.

And then I have my mini tree decorated with lots of Hallmark miniature ornaments.......

............and a Santa table - I found the paper santa (standing by the lamp base) at an antique shop in east Tennessee. The back side has advertisement for a now-defunct Savings and Loan. The other santas are different Hallmark ornaments that I've collected over the years. There is a small santa mug that was in an auction box and lastly, the photo in the back - me and santa (circa 1969).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Our New Tree!

It was actually snowing quite a bit earlier today. The flakes are no longer falling but the sky still has that snow-promising gray look to it. We had some light flurries early last week. Seeing snow in late November/early December makes me wonder if our winter is going to be filled with it.

A few years ago we gave away our Christmas tree. It seemed like too much trouble to drag out the 6-foot tree and ornaments only to put everything away again in a few short weeks. So, for the last 7 or so years we have not put up a Christmas tree. I did display some of my favorite ornaments and decorations around the house.

This year I got into a "we need a Christmas tree" mood. I finally found the perfect one at Target. It is a 4 1/2 foot tree that doesn't look "too fake". It was also 1) pre-lit and 2) on sale!

The Christmas tree was also going to be a *new thing* for the cats. I wasn't sure what they would do......ignore it or try to climb it. For the most part, they ignore it; although it is sitting in front of one of *their* windows. Here are a few pictures...............

Our old house has tall ceilings so a 4 1/2 foot tree could easily become "lost"; so I sat it on a table to give it the appearance of being a bit taller.

Toby isn't going to let a Christmas tree keep her from looking out the window..................

..........and Tater takes his turn under the tree.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Crafts

Here are 2 pillows that I stitched several years ago.

I cross-stitched this Christmas ornament for a friend. I finished stitching it last week. The pattern was in the 2011 annual ornament issue of Just CrossStitch magazine. In the magazine, the ornament was mounted in a mini tart pan. I could not find a mini tart pan so.....I bought a large bottle cap at Archivers. I mounted the ornament on foam board and glued it to the inside of the bottle cap. Cording was glued around the edge and a red ribbon hanger was added. After I took the picture, I did glue a tiny red button to the bottom center of the bottle cap. I knew that my friend liked squirrels so when I saw this pattern, I knew that I *had* to stitch it for her.

This is the second cross-stitch ornament that I have stitched recently. The ones that I stitched were very quick and easy to finish. I would like to continue stitching ornaments throughout 2012 and (hopefully) have a few to put on my tree next year. Wouldn't a tree decorated *only* in handmade items be adorable?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Giveaway

Barbara at To Stitch or Not to Stitch is having a giveaway. Check out her blog to see the cute pattern and supplies that she is giving away. While you're there, take a look at some of her stitching projects..............very nice!