Friday, August 16, 2019

A LONG Post of Stories

Let's catch up! 

I have been a bit busy inside with the August heat.

I was lamenting the other day about how hot it is!!!
I was trying to throw myself a good pity party. I was thinking how I have always had a love/hate relationship with this month. For many years I held onto summer with all the gusto I had in the first part of the month. I should really say I held onto the summer vacation. August meant back to school and the carefree days of life would be over. 

I remember one particular August when the school district was doing the wishy washy school start time thing that happened about three times in my 31 years as teacher. This particular year, it was decided we would start late in August again. I actually changed schools that year. I would be teaching at the school my kids attended so as a family we were ecstatic. I was giving up a school working at to be with them which was way more important. On the last day before the first day of teachers returning to work, I tossed caution to the wind and the kids and I headed to the beach with all the nonworking Mamas. I had already been working a week to get my new room in order.
It was one of the best beach days of the summer. The waves were super calm which meant we actually got in the Gulf. (Now, that is a whole other story about how I don't get in the Gulf.)

We rode the waves on floats and stayed all day. It is one my favorite memories with the kids...not the nonworking Mamas of whom I was extremely jealous of and really didn't have a whole lot in common with. That is another story of the things we do to each other...nonworking vs working Mamas. 

Anyway with August in the south, life needs to be slow since SITTING  (and I do mean moving other than breathing) on a porch or on a beach is about the only thing fun to do. The roses and geraniums are begging for relief for heat. You see I was complaining in my mind to the high hills!

Then, I read this and I got a kick in the seat which was much needed. Many times it is all about perspective. Here, this Mama was seeing the good things about August. 

Anyway, now that you have survived this story we will catch up with the needle and floss.

I completed all of the carols and 

am about to start some finishing of things.

Once I cut the carols apart, they seemed so much smaller than when I was stitching them. 

I also have continued with some Christmas stitching. 

Another story....

Last Christmas, we were at a friends house and Jeff fell in love with their stockings on the mantle. They have an extra large fireplace which was needed to hold lots of stockings for a blended family. No couple has ever blended their families as well as Mike and Cindy. There were 16 stockings. Every kid, spouse of kids, and grandchild had a stocking. They hung on the wood of the mantle. There is no way to describe the mantle, but it has pieces of wood that stick out almost like antlers which made the perfect holding place for the stockings. They were a neutral stocking and had colorful names on them. She had ordered them and had them done.

Now, let me tell a little backstory on stockings at our house. I hope you like stories, because I love them.

I never had a stocking growing up...maybe no mantle or the fact that I am an only child were contributing factors, but they weren't important to me. When Lindsay was born, she got a really cute pink gingham one and I hung it on our mantle. Along came Paul Allen and Mom found a a green and red patterned one and that is what we went with through elementary school. A refresh on school supplies and candy were items put in them for Christmas morning. When we moved in our current home the kids were in middle school and we were at Lowe's one evening and found some with a  chalkboard. That became the new tradition that are hung with toothpicks in some holes in the stone since there is no mantle.
When Tyler was added to the family, I found a fish for him.

Then along came Katie. So, I tried to just let them die away. Paul Allen who does not like change was not happy about that. Jeff wasn't too happy about it either, so when he saw the ones at our friends house, he was after me to find some new ones. Oh and now the stockings hold candy and scratch off lottery tickets.

One day while on Instagram, I came across this picture.

Source: Instagram

Now, I adored the picture, but I really thought and thought on it and knew that I could not stand that much color and pattern with a ton of stockings. I even have some fabric like that. I was really drawn to that letter and pattern though. 

I realized with lots of stocking I needed something neutral and calm with so much Christmas red. I find that too much red in the house affects my mood. It makes me a little anxious. Probably should do a study on that. I promise it has nothing to do with alabama as a team. Promise, cross my heart!!!!

I thought about this picture... and how much I love everything about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This would have been easy to do with store-bought and having them monogrammed, but I could not get that cross stitch pattern out of my head. AND if they were going to be special at our house, they really should have some cross stitch on them.

Months later, I bought some stockings on Amazon that have a burlap top. I knew that I could stitch on it. I ordered extra for a hopefully growing family. 
Then, y'all that is where I got stumped. I could not find anything like that picture. I stitched so many letters and ripped them out.

One day while watching Misty Pursel on Flosstube... the heavens opened.
She shared a book of a designer that is all over Pinterest but I never really could find a good book in English with her work. It was promptly ordered even though I was really trying to be good on ordering any new "stash." 
It is so wonderful that I feel totally good about the purchase. Besides having the lettering pattern that was just so perfect, every other page of the book has something that I am dying to stitch for Christmas.


Here is a stocking which I will add some ribbon to pretty it up.

Another one...

Hoping to do two a week until I get them all done...8 total.

Then check out some of the pages of this wonderful book.

I see some ornaments for Tucker in the future.

I have seen some of these stitched by  the ladies in my sidebar and they are so pretty.

All those numbers are for the cutest Advent calendar idea. Maybe one of those for Lindsay and then another for Paul Allen if he ever has kids. Stitching until I am 100 years old.

Weeellll if you are still here, I guess I will close this post. I can't seem to get my blogging mojo going ...maybe it will be better in the fall.

I once blogged about so many things...trips, day to day life, thoughts rolling around in this old noggin, and home decor. These days all I am doing is stitching.

I guess stitching friends like it, but I have probably lost any other readers. 
I am sorry!

Question for you that are still reading... do you want the other stuff or should I just stick with the stitching when this busy season of life is over. This could be viewed as a test if you are still readingšŸ˜‚

Tomorrow is another day. Until then I will be trying to keep a positive attitude in the heat.

I almost passed out while tending to my flowers the other day, so it is real OR I might just be getting older.

Story telling is over. (Today I acted like those little kids who start telling a story in class and go on and on and you keep trying to gracefully interrupt them and get things moving along.)


  1. I totally agree with you about the heat!! It has been a bear. Today the humidity is a little better so I will try to get a walk in this afternoon before dinner. I love the plain stockings with the initials. We never did stockings. My kids all do them. I grew up in a house where we each got a paper lunch bag with candy and oranges and apples. We did not have a mantle. So I just never did it here at our house. If I could change things I think I would go bak and do it I love the tailored pretty. I am a color girl so I go kind of wild at Christmas. I just started working on Adeste Fideles. I am doing the strawberries I watched a Beth Twist tutorial so I think I can manage it. Girl, I will read whatever you write.:)

  2. Oh, I want the other stuff too! I enjoy reading about all that you are stitching -- those stockings are just perfect and that book looks fabulous -- but I really enjoy reading about the other stuff of your life as well and I hope you will keep writing about your thoughts and just everyday life.

    I grew up with stockings -- an orange in the toe and whatever fun or useful things could fit in them too. (My hubby did not grow up with stockings or even a Christmas tree, but he loves the stocking custom.) With our own kids, we do not have a mantle but we did have some wrought iron hooks next to our wood stove and we always used those to hang the stockings from.

  3. I'm with you on the heat and I don't live in the very deep south. Your carols are looking good; glad you got the stitching on the ones finished. We didn't have a mantle so the stockings were propped on the couch. I like the stockings you found and that lettering you found is perfect. We do stockings here instead of gifts as we both tend to buy what we want when we want. I will read and enjoy whatever you put up on your blog. Blogs are yesteryear's pen pals!

  4. loved you story--
    and that does look like a delightful book--
    luv di

  5. I can't stop giggling, Sandy! Of course I stayed with your post! I am not a stitcher and never will be, but I do enjoy seeing your projects come alive!! You have a gift! I like that you mixed in some stories, so do continue entertaining us!! :) xoxox

  6. I say you should blog about what makes you the happiest! We’re happy with all of it !!
    Stockings are adorable and I love that your sons didn’t want you to change the traditions!

  7. Stitching is SO interesting...I love all of the Christmas designs and ideas for stockings. I do so many on nature, and then I wish I could just do a hodgepodge. Maybe we need a hodgepodge day! heehee! Enjoy your weekend. Ours is WET! But I'm decorating and getting my house in order so I'll be ready to get out when the sun comes out! Happy weekend!

  8. Sandy, I want it all because you lead an interesting life and I learn things from you all the time that encourage me, not just with regards to stitching but also the ways of people, relating to others, home decor, and gardening, nutrition, etc.

    Be very sure you continue to blog about your cross stitching because I love your projects. This book you have reviewed for us — I may have to order it for myself.

    I love your new stockings. I may have to make new ones for us now that we truly are committed to remaining in Florida. Maybe our initials with sea shells or something.

    As for the heat — it’s definitely not just you!! Very hot and tropical downpours of rain every. Love the rain when I can stay indoors to watch it, but there are times when we have to get out in it.

    P.S. on the subject of the color red at Christmas. I am much like you. We have a beautiful red and green plaid tablecloth that just makes it Christmas for my husband. But by the day after Christmas I am ready to pack it away for another 11 1/2 months!

  9. Sandy: You may have had a heat stroke, please be careful and yes I like the stitching and other stuff, who said a Blog has to be just about stitching.
    I love the stockings you did they are beautifully simple but very elegant.
    Beautiful Christmas book, so happy you found one.
    I hope you get a brake from the heat.
    I was not envious of the Moms who went to work the first two years after retirement but now am, I do miss the patients and doctors I had the pleasure of working with for 23 years, oh well it is what it is.

    Have a beautiful weekend.


  10. I am a casual reader of your blog and all I know is I was originally drawn in by your beautiful photographs. Then I clicked around and saw lots of fun projects (you inspired me to put together Advent calendars of sorts for my three grown sons last Christmas - not that what I came up with in any way resembles yours from a few years ago, I think). While I'm currently smitten by cross stitch and am a lover of crochet, I suspect I'll pop in here any time you post, for whatever reason you post. For right now, though I'm going to go check out this book. ;^) What incredibly sweet designs!

  11. I love your story telling, not only about cross stitch but anything. Like trips and books and nature and.... thanks for sharing. I love this book. I will look it up. AriadnefromGreece!

  12. Sandy, I can totally relate to that last paragraph. You tell all the stories you want to. You blog about what you want to. We'll be here. I feel you've done an excellent job balancing your stitching with what seems like a very full and interesting life. Love the stocking story, and I'm looking forward to your FFOs. Have a cool week. Judy

  13. You are so crafty! We had homemade stockings when I was growing up and I wish I still had them! Ours came from Walmart. :) The kids love them, but there is just something about homemade.

  14. Sandy, I want it all!!! That is what I love about blogging versus Instagram, you really feel like you know the person behind the blog.

    LOVE the photos of the simple stockings and your version of them. You certainly have been accomplishing a lot of stitching projects this summer. I love those advent calendars too, that would be a great one a week project.
    Please be careful, working in the heat puts a lot of stress on your body. I had a dizzy spell one day this summer and it really scared me.
    I want to hear about swimming in the Gulf, I love it when I go down to Florida. I just love the warm water!!

  15. Sandy I so enjoyed your stocking stories. I love your final choice for your family stockings. I really like the simple look of just a monogram so much. The advent calendar is something I've wanted to do for some time. I always love hearing about you and your family...don't ever stop. I'm catching up with all of your back posts this week as I've been gone. RJ


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