Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas past and present

An Irish Manger given to me by a very dear friend.

For the past week or so memories of Christmas have filled my mind and heart. Many bring a smile. Some a tear.

This little ornament was painted by my Mom. Dated 2001.

My very first stitched ornament. I had never made an ornament before this. The date on it is 2007.

As I decorated my trees (see the last post) and put up my Christmas village each piece had a special memory attached.
The village is especially dear to me. My Mom always had a village under the tree. I have many photos of her sitting on the floor creating that years scene. As a young child I loved watching the train she had under the tree circling the Manger. One of my treasured memories, though it sounds sacrilegious, was giving the baby Jesus a ride in the coal car on Christmas day! My Christmas village collection started about 10 years ago. And one of the first things was this tree with the people that my Mom painted. (She loved to paint plaster pieces. I think we all have at least one that she painted.) Notice that she painted to dog as close to Irish setter red as she could. Over the years I have added houses to my village. I only wish I could live in a town like this, a pub, a bookstore, a pet store, a sweet shop, a market, and best of all a sewing and craft store! My ideal town!
This is the set my Mom painted for me.

The skaters are cast iron and belonged to my Grandmother.

A couple of very special decorations. These were also plaster pieces that my Mom painted for me.

Last week was also the Christmas get together at my LNS, The Lazy Daisy. We had an ornament exchange. Those are always fun. I have so enjoyed these monthly gatherings.

All the ornaments from the LNS ornament exchange.

This is the ornament I stitched for the exchange.

I also heard that both my partners from the HoE ornament and smalls exchanges have received their pieces. So I can now show what I stitched.LHN's Fa La La I made into a small pillow. Amy said she like it.

And another LHN ornament I sent to Gabi. I like how they both turned out. I just may need to do them again for myself.

Last but not least is the ornament I receive in the HoE exchange. This one came from Ina in the Netherlands. It is just beautiful and looks gorgeous on my stitchy tree. Thank you Ina.

This past weekend and the past few days have been a whirlwind of finishing, wrapping, stitching and mailing. As mentioned in an earlier post, money for gifts is pretty scarce. I love to give but was getting so depressed realizing that I just couldn't do my usual for each and every member of my family. Until I had a brainstorm. And at this point I think it was a nor'easter! I have a largish storage container of stitched pieces that have been sitting there. Some for almost 5 years! Sitting there waiting to be finished or framed. So I thought I would use these. There were more than enough. So between the few ornaments I had stitched this year (9 of those) that were specially stitched for certain people and those older pieces I spent all day Sunday and most of Monday finishing them and making pillows and ornaments. Here are some of them. I was so crazed to get them done and wrapped that I actually forgot to take photos of some so they will have to wait until I can ask for a picture. Even if they read my blog (and I know most don't.) they won't know who gets what.

As you can see Rory was just exhausted after all this work. Either that or he is trying to be a good boy so Santa will bring him something good.

I want to thank each and everyone of you who have left me comments in my last few posts. I appreciate them more than you know.

And just in case I don't find time between now and Friday.........A very Merry Christmas to you all!

Love and stitches


and licks from Rory too


Tricia said...

What a lovely Christmas post and lots of warm memories to cherish. I love your stitching too!! What a blessed time of year! Merry Christmas!!

Margaret said...

What lovely memories of Christmases past. Looks like the LNS get together was fun too. Lots of lovely stitching given and received! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Emily said...

Everything looks great and I loved hearing about your Christmas memories and seeing all the beautiful things your mother painted for you over the years.

Carol's Stitching said...

Gorgeous stitching and I absolutely love your Christmas village! :) Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! Looking forward to reading your blog updates in the coming year.

Witch of Stitches said...

Beautiful ornaments, wonderful village and it looks like you had fun at your LNS stitching.
Merry Christmas to you and Rory!!! XO

Anonymous said...

What wonderful memories, stories, and of course stitching. Rory looks so peacful on the couch...I'll bet he is tired after working so hard on Christmas.

May all your wonderful memories of Christmas past bring both a tear and a we need both in life.

Merry Christmas Kathy & Rory

Nan Davis (from many of your yahoo stitching groups

Katrien said...

Merry Christmas!
Those ornaments are beautiful.

Debbie Jo said...

So sweet of you to share your precious memories of Christmas. I love the all the stitching and I am looking forward to seeing your creations this year. I always enjoy reading your blog and love the stories of your family and Rory.

From our home in southeast GA to yours in New York we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Debbie Jo and Boots

Barb said...

Wow what a 'wonder'ful post Kathy. your family and friends will be so touched by your gifts, and if they are not refer them to me! as they are special gifts that cannot be bought, with a twinkle of your caring heart in each.
Now Rory ,you have no time for lazing on the couch ,there are things to be done. Just do not go near the chocolate at Christmas it is no good to dogs.Have fun you both and take a jar,put a white paper doiley around it, a tealight sits in it and a ribbon adorns the rim and there you have a rememberance candle for your window sill. I have 3 on mine ,just to say we wish they were here.
Hugs and thoughts at Christmas.
Barb and Ollie dog.

Shelley said...

Your village pieces are beautiful. That is awesome that you have pieces your Mom painted. Wonderful memories to have each Christmas.

All of your stitching looks fabulous.

Merry Christmas to you, Rory and Rosie!!

P.S. love the holiday card. it turned out great :)

gracie said...

I am glad there are others who like myself had a few tears this year with pictures a wonderful and Rory is simply just handsome....Merry Christmas from my house to yours.

Kay said...

Your Christmas card is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your decorations with us they all are so wonderful, your mom was quite the artist. Every year money tends to be tight here as well so for the last 3 years I have made all the gifts for family and friends, it is a lot of work but in the end it is worth it as well, homemade gifts always rock! The exchanges you sent out and received are gorgeous! Happy holidays!

Mylene said...

A wonderful post, kathy. Everything looks great!!

Merry Christmas!

blueladie said...

Kathy, as usual I enjoyed reading all. Your Christmas village is beautiful and more importantly treasured. All of your stitchy presents to be are so special! I would be THRILLED to get any of these. Times may be rough and money short, but our stitches are beloved. TFS! hugs, Cathryn

Meari said...

Beautiful finishing and decorations, Kathy.

Merry Christmas to you, too!

Nancy M said...

You have quite the village filled with warm memories!! I'm sure it takes you back every time you get them out. I can't believe you had all those wonderful designs just laying in the drawer. It's a good thing that things are tight this year so that you thought to use them and give them new homes. They look awesome! Merry Christmas to you and Rory too.

Trecie said...

loved seeing your village and hearing about the items your mom painted. I know they are real treasures. What a brain storm, looks like you made a lot of wonderful gift to give. The picture of Rory is adorable. Have a wonderful Christmas. Meows from Rosie's fan club

Jan said...

OH such lovely finished things, you have a big heart, Kathy, to want to give these precious finishes away to your family and loved ones. I am sure that they will be so touched by your generous heart!

I also love what you have I am off to read your previous posts, since I have incognito of late!

Have a blessed and wonderful Christmas, Kathy!

Cyndi said...

Oh I love your village! Such nice memories. And getting together at your LNS looks like so much fun.
Merry Christmas to you and Rory.

DJ said...

Wow, Kathy! You've been a busy lady!! Your decorations look wonderful (I have a village I usually set up too, but didn't have the energy this year will be different!) and I hope the memories warm your heart this Christmas. Thanks for sharing your memories with us. *Hugs* Merry Christmas!

Rita said...

Everything is beautiful.

Merry Christmas!

And This Little Pig said...

MeRrY ChRiStMaS Kathy, Rory and Rosie! Lovely stitching Kathy, my you have been busy. I think Rory was just exhausted from all those finishes. He looks so adorable in your Chrissie card. Love all the ornaments, wish we had access to a bigger range of ornaments, says someone who has don absolutely no decorating this year apart from the Office tree (which is mine anyway) Have a Safe and Happy festive season.
LiBBiE in Oz along with Meah, Quincy, Evie and the cats!

Vicky said...

What a wonderful post and love the pics of Rory that you put on the card at the bottom of your post.

Merry Christmas to you and Rory :)

Rhonda Polk said...

looks like you are to have a busy holiday, love the photos that you shared with all of us.
hope you have a very merry christmas & happy new year !

love all your stitching items too, so beautiful, nice work.

Fiona said...

such a lovely christmas village and i love how much it means to you, lovely idea to use up some of your finishes as presents and such lovely ones they are to, I'm sure they will all be cherished. Merry Christmas Kath & Rory xxx

Anonymous said...

Kathy, what lovely memories you have of your Mom and all the ornaments she painted for you.

Love all your stitching stuff.

Want to wish you A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year.


Gabi said...

Gorgeous stitching. Love all of it. Your decorations look fantastic. I share your love for Christmas villages.
Wishing you and Rory a Merry Christmas

Kathy said...

What wonderful memories you have! Your village is beautiful!
You have created very special gifts for your family, and I know they will be treasured.
I hope you and Rory have a very Merry Christmas!

omashee aka Barb said...

Kathy, what a wonderful post. I love all the village pieces, especially the ones from your mom and grandmom. I know everyone will appreciate the stitched gifts. So much more personal.
Happy Christmas to you and Rory and Rosie. Watch out! I may show up on your doorstep. Hugs

Roberta said...

Merry Christmas Kathy and Rory and Rosie. Just have to start off with how much I love the Christmas Card, it is just perfect - so darling!!!

Now what a great idea to give so much of yourself as you Christmas gifts this year. All those projects where there for a reason.

Love the village scene and all the painted plaster pieces from you Mom. Truly something very special.

Do enjoy the rest of the week and wishing you, Rory and Rosie a very Merry Christmas.

Catherine said...

Beautiful things!
Merry Christmas to you, Rory and Rosie!

Anonymous said...

from one Kathy to another Kathy Merry Christmas and I enjoy reading your blog Sincerely
Kathy B in Ohio p.s. I am also a dog lover I lost my darling ChaCha who was a havanese so now I have a new baby whose name is Sophie and she is a Shizu not my princess but I am just happy to have her

Maggie O said...

WOW Kathy. What an effort. that must feel good and what great gifts. Whoever gets what will appreciate it and treasure it like you do yours and your Mum's painted pieces. All beautiful. All the very best for 2011!!

Charlene ♥ SC said...

Lovely setting for your Christmas stitching! Everything is beautiful. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Terry said...

What lovely stitching and finishing! Your family will adore their homemade gifts.

Love the card you made with Rory's pictures.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday. Will be thinking of you and Rory.


Shirley said...

What a lovely post. So many pretty things. Your gifts are beautiful and I am sure the time and effort you put in will be appreciated.
Happy Christmas

Irene said...

What a wonderful post. Your villages look so nice and the stitching is just great.

Ranae said...

Awesome post!
"Happy 2011 Stitching"

Vonna said...

Ellie wants me to tell you Kathy that: #1 - Rory is a doll baby! and #2 Kathy is Katie's nickname that we call her to make her mad! LOL! :)

Now Ellie's Mama wants to say: I love your village...I used to put one up until I had 40 little fingers picking up my people and my cars and the flower carts and the trees and rearranging them into their own Mama had to put them away until the 40 little fingers aren't interested in rearranging Mama's town. :)
I so loved to see your treasured momentos and your precious memories Kathy! Your finishing is gorgeous and the recipients are sure to be proud to own your handiwork. God bless and Merry Christmas!

Carolyn NC said...

What beautiful and treasured memories! Wonderful stitching and exchanges, too. Merry Christmas, my friend!

sheri said...

Christmas brings such strong memories, doesn't it? You are lucky to have so many lovely treasures from your Mom and Grandmother. They are with you always.

Your stitching is gorgeous and I really like your finishing techniques. You have turned your stitching into truly special pieces. That nor'easter you had was a doozy!

I may borrow your finishing idea for my Fa La La ornie (One of my 2011 projects)! Oh, and that Irish Manger is adorable!!!

Merry Christmas!!!

Rebecca (Becky J) said...

I just loved reading your post. I have a Village I put up during Christmas but where we are living now I have to wait until next year so I can put them up, when we get the addition done. I would love to know where you found the patterns for your Christmas gifts. I would love to do some for my family and close friends. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Alice said...

Have a blessed Christmas with family and furry babies Kathy. I hope for you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011.
All my love.

Daffycat said...

Merry Christmas, Kathy, Rory & Rosie!

Jane said...

A lovely heartfelt post Kathy.
Your christmas village with all its memories is just gorgeous, I don't think I would be able to pack it away each year, it would have to stay out on display 365!
All the stitching is beautiful and so many of my favourites amongst them ~ the recievers will be very lucky people.

Dani - tkdchick said...

I hope you had a Merry Chirstmas! What a lot of lovely memories you have wrapped up into your Christmas decorating!

You made a bunch of lovely gifts! I bet they were all well received!

Siobhan said...

What a great idea you had, Kathy!! I am sure everybody loved their gifts that much more, knowing that they came from your heart and hands. I love your decorations and other stitched pieces! I hope you had a good Christmas.

Parsley said...

I love all your Christmas decor but especially the ornaments of Rory!

Heidi said...

I hope your Christmas was joyful and magical Kathy! Love seeing all the beautiful stitching but was touched about your mother's village under the tree when you were a child. I have special memories of our village and my mother and sister made me one just like it when I moved into my own home. I get it out each year and thank my mother all over again. It is now also a special treasure from my sister since she passed away back in the 90s. I create a new story around the village for my blog each year. You can see it if you look back to my Christmas eve entry on TheCranberryChronicles. It is just a little something you and I share...the love of a Christmas village...

I wish you everything good in 2011 especially those things with needle and thread!

Hugs from Holland ~

Ann H. said...

Looks like you and Rory had a great Christmas Kathy! I love your little village too. It's extra special because your mom made some of them for you.
Happy New Year!