Friday, December 30, 2016

A Few Final Finishes for 2016

I found a few 2016 finishes that I don't think I ever shared on my blog.
I thought that would be a good way to end the year.
2016 has been a rough year and I am glad to see it go.
Although it was a year filled with trials and tribulations,
I must focus on the blessings of 2016:
*our youngest son graduating from high school and starting his next chapter in college
*our oldest son spending a summer on a research fellowship following his passion
*travels with family and good friends
*time spent with my parents and sister - this was the biggest blessing as no one knew that this cherished time would be coming to an end
*and even being with my dad and holding his hand as he passed  on to his heavenly home - although this may be the hardest thing that I have ever done, I know that this was my final gift to him.
Who knows what 2017 will bring?
Actually I don't want to know, but would rather live in the moment
as what is to be will be by God's will.
I am hoping for a very quiet year with time to reflect and look forward,
time with family and friends,
and of course time to stitch and create.

"Summer House Pinkeep"
design by Stacy Nash for Country Sampler Girls Club
This piece is very meaningful to me - stitching on this all through the night while praying fervently for my father and mother-in-law. So many prayers are stitched into this piece. A few little tweaks to include both of our pups and hearts and crosses for the two loved ones I was praying for.
Edged with a vintage rick rack.

"Adam & Eve on the Farm Sewing Tray"
design by Stacy Nash - limited edition kit
I stitched this to commemorate our day at Slagel Family Farms this summer for a farm to table event with three Chicago chefs - my birthday gift from my husband. A perfect memento of that perfect day!
Our bedroom is filled with folk art renditions of Adam & Eve and this is a perfect addition!

I couldn't help myself, I just had to add some of my favorite animals from other Stacy Nash designs.
I tweaked the horse a bit by Eve to look more like a donkey and gave her a basket for her apple (since Adam had a pitchfork.) I really enjoyed squeezing in more animals.
"Toil & Trouble Pinkeep"
design by Stacy Nash for Country Sampler Girls Club.

A quick stitch that I finished for Halloween, but just forgot to share here.

I added rickrack trim and had fun adding a bit of applique to the back.
As I am writing this I am realizing that I've been stitching a lot of Stacy Nash designs,
well I guess I have been for years lol.
I also realized that I have two other finishes that I haven't photographed.
I'll have to do that soon.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
~John 16:33
Wishing each of you a Happy New Year filled with blessings and peace!
Blessings, Patti

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick little note to wish each and every one of you a Very Merry Christmas!
I thought that I would share my Schneeman Folk Art Tree. 

This angel is my tree topper now, but she floats around my home all year long.

Almost all of the ornaments are by Norma and Jennifer Schneeman, but there are a few by Ginny Henson, Stacy Nash and Audrey of Bay Rays Child.

This isn't our big tree, but one we have in our family room.

I think that it is my favorite this year.

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Luke 2:6-7

Blessings, Patti

Friday, December 16, 2016

Chicago Christmas 2016 ~ shopping

A Christmas shopping tradition with most Chicagoans is visiting Macy's on State Street - the former Marshall Fields. I have wonderful memories of viewing the Great Tree with my grandparents and eating at the Walnut Room at its base. Then years of doing the same with our boys and collecting their annual Santabear mugs during our special meal.

This was my favorite window this year - loved the little squirrel and the silhouettes.

My other favorite Christmas stop is this little shop:

A simple old door at The Tree Studio Building - an artists colony built in 1894.
Once you walk through the door, you feel like you are walking into another world!
The shop is called P.O.S.H.

The display immediately inside the door.

Of course I was drawn to this German display.
Be sure to walk to the back of the store to see a beautiful view

Isn't it gorgeous?! 
Especially with the wonderful courtyard garden as a backdrop.

Such sweet details everywhere you look.
I think that I need to go back one more time before Christmas just to take it all in :)
And for a few moments of that holiday peace and wonder that it provides.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
Luke 2:4-5

Blessings, Patti

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Chicago Christmas 2016 ~ Cookies and a Parade

Each year our church hosts a cookie walk.
While the cookies are always wonderful, this year there was an abundance of truly special cookies, many made by my friend Lois. She is so talented!
Isn't this wee mouse with the maraschino stem tail too cute!

And these little piggies - too cute to eat!

A sweet polar bear

and some darling snowmen as well

Some "Nutter Butter" snowmen and reindeer

A reindeer brownie

And an "ugly Christmas sweater" cookie!
I have to admire them for a while before we eat them ;)

After an absence of a few years, we decided to attend the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade.
Here it comes!

Mickey & Minnie Mouse are always on the first float to turn on the Christmas lights down Michigan Avenue.

It's fun to see the giant balloons from a different perspective.

The nutcracker was my favorite.
Of course it was a very windy night, so they had to be kept close to the ground.

Celebrating the Cubs World Series win.
 My oldest son was happy to see Ben Zobrist and his wife, Christian singer Julianna Zobrist on another float. 

And of course the man of the hour with all his reindeer friends :)

 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!  But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.  Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
~Luke 1:42-45

Blessings, Patti

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Chicago Christkindlmarket 2016

I hope that you don't mind that I share the Christkindlmarket every year,
but it is one of my favorite traditions!

This visit was the best! It was 70 degrees on opening night and it was empty!
Can't ask for more than great weather and no crowds.

I think that if you didn't look up at the skyscrapers of Chicago and the Picasso, you could believe that you are in Germany... 

So many beautiful booths of handmade wares.

Beautiful glass ornaments

The Kathe Wohlfahrt building is an absolute Christmas Wonderland, but photos are not allowed.
Their website is here and will give you a feel for the delights inside.

Beautiful hand painted ornaments.

So many gorgeous Russian nesting dolls - how would you pick just one?!

Fun wooden pull toy ornaments.
(Don't be startled by the Krampus masks on the right like I was!)

I think that the paper lantern stars were even more detailed and gorgeous this year.

Gingerbread cookies and sugared, spiced nuts - yum!

German workmanship in wood.

 Beautiful cuckoo clocks.
I am so glad that we have one hanging in our home - the gift of dear friends from Germany.
I love the tick tock and the cuckoo bird who comes out to visit each half hour - so comforting.

Nutcrackers standing at attention and tiny battery operated cuckoo clocks.

The ornament house - one of two.

Each year ornaments from here end up in each of the boys stockings - figural ornaments that represent something that occurred that year.
The majority of our tree is decorated with these ornaments now.

Sparkling and so pretty.

The Christkind (Christmas Angel) attended opening night.

I was so happy that there was no line for the Sweet Castle this night!
I always stock up on German chocolates for the year...
Since it was not crowded, I was able to take photos inside for the first time!

A pretty antique carousel decorated with gingerbread cookie hearts and chocolate advent calendars.

Chocolate Santas all lined up.

Hard candies in every flavor.

A Haribo (gummy) lovers dream :)

I filled my basket with kinderchocolades - don't tell the boys!
(Although I think they are expecting it!)

The next few posts will be other favorite Chicago Christmas traditions.
I get excited each year and can't help but take more photos :)
Thanks for letting me share my fun.

"But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus."
~Luke 1:30-31

Blessings, Patti