Sunday, December 21, 2014

And Now For Something Completely Different

Hello and Happy Holidays! I'm hoping this finds everyone ready for the Christmas home stretch.  Mercifully, my office is closed for the next two weeks and we have no big plans for the time off.  So other than cooking some decent meals and walking every morning, I intend to stitch my way into the next year. Sounds like a great holiday vacation, doesn't it?

So after finishing off Miss Sarah Tuel a few weeks ago, I was ready for something completely different....something with silks, vibrant colors and no over one stitches anywhere.  Now the logical place to start would have been to choose a project from my stitching bucket list, right?  And maybe I did, even though I didn't officially add this sampler  to the roster.  This likely candidate has been biding its time - fully kitted, I might add - in my stash for a shameful length of time. To make the announcement official, I started in on The Scottish Band Sampler from Scarlet Letter.  

Talk about a big change of pace for me, being much more the faded color, American school girl stitcher that I am.  But the SBS has been on the brain - and in my stash - ever since I saw it finished by one of the ladies in my old stitching group.  The eyelet bands and flame stitch bottom glowed to the point that it was hard to take my eyes off them.  And somehow the jewel tone greens and reds even of the border and top alphabet seem a lot like those in a festive holiday piece.  How could I resist?

Around Thanksgiving, I did also showed a little more love to Mary Goodburn, who I started earlier last summer.  Don't know how well you can see it on this picture of the chart, but she stole my heart with her little ship at the very bottom. 

While Miss Mary is much more in keeping with my typical sampler style, she has a bit of a personality problem.  With all her muted putty, dove and faded pink alphabet letters to this point, she quickly becomes a very dull companion.

 I'm sure I'll wander along with her off and on because she's so straightforward she's easy to take up with  whenever the need for stress-free business arises.  Maybe the pace will quicken with her once I'm done with the top alphabet portion, but getting to that point is putting me fast asleep!

One of my favorite things about the holidays in Florida is that all the seasonal plants that are usually found blooming on table tops and wind sills up north actually thrive outdoors down here.  Jim brought this hanging Christmas cactus home last year and as soon as it was done blooming, we stashed it on a corner of the patio and completely forgot it.  The only water or attention it ever received was what came its way during summer rainstorms, and yet here it is in full glory again as of this morning.

I've been thinking a lot about my mother lately and wondering what the next year will bring for her as she turns 86 in January.  It seemed very special this year to give a  place of honor to my nativity set, which is always the centerpiece for her Christmas season. 


I love you Mom! Wherever the star leads, I know you have the faith to follow it.

Merry Christmas and as always, thanks for taking time to stop in and say hello.  God bless us, every one!


Krista said...

A beautiful holiday start, Mary!! I can see how it was hard to resist. Your blooming Christmas cactus is beautiful! Your nativity is lovely, the carved pieces are so nice. I remember my Mom and Grandmother both having a set. Merry Christmas!

marly said...

Big difference in the two pieces, both of them fabulous in their own way. I get the urge for COLOR! every once in a while too, and your choice is stunning.

Barb said...

Your vacation plans sound very good to me! I do think your new sampler start is beautiful with the colors, very bright and pretty. I do like the designs on the other samper. It might just have to grow on you.

Merry Wind Farm said...

Hi, Mary, The Scottish sampler is just beautiful!! The colors are so rich, and I love the little curly cues on Scottish letters. Is that a Christmas Cactus? I could never get one to bloom.
Merry Christmas,

Sheryl S. said...

What very lovely designs. Like your holiday plans although I'd skip the cooking. Happy Christmas

Margaret said...

OK, that Scottish Band Sampler is another on my todo list. You seem to be tempting me all over! Love this one -- and you've gotten so much done on it already! I can see how Mary might be a bit boring. lol! I definitely would be having a hard time in that section too. Wow on your Christmas cactus! It's wonderful! And the nativity set is wonderful. All the best to your mom. My dad is about the same age. Happy Christmas!

Melissa said...

I love your new starts! The Scottish sampler is bright and beautiful!

I love that nativity set too. Can you find such lovely things around nowadays or is it purchased from a few years ago? I would love to find one!

The cactus is gorgeous. It is amazing how plants just know when to do its thing!

Merry Christmas to you!

woolwoman said...

The Scottish sampler is quite a change but sure is lovely. I bet you enjoy it a lot. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas vacation and get lots done. Cheers Mel

Carol said...

Such a fanciful alphabet in the Scottish sampler, Mary--it's looking wonderful.

I love your nativity set and the simple carved figures...

Merry Christmas to you and I hope 2015 brings much good health and happiness your way!

Lois said...

Love your choice for a new start Mary - such wonderful, vibrant colours! Mary will be the perfect one when you want to tone things down a little!! Have a lovely Christmas!