Les Muguets Day (May 1st)

I wish all of you much happiness on Les Muguets Day (even though I am a little late). In France May 1st is the fest of Les Muguets. One gives a bouquet of Lily of the Valley to one’s friends. I made this bouquet for a friend of mine. It is a free pattern from Ellen Maurer-Stroh. It was done on 32 ct. lamb’s wool linen with DMC threads.    The little pillow turned out to be about 4″x4″.  My friend really enjoyed receiving it. I love having small little seasonal decorations for the home. Don’t you? And all the small cross-stitch patterns are perfect for quick completion and almost instant gratification.

2015 April Karen's Work - Lily of the Valley 005

2015 April Karen's Work - Lily of the Valley 007

2015 April Karen's Work - Lily of the Valley 008

2015 April Karen's Work - Lily of the Valley 009

I DID finish my needlepoint Lily of the Valley Collage, but it is not framed yet, so I will save that one for the next post.

Thanks for always visiting.   Amities, Averyclaire

It’s My Birthday…Yesterday!

When one gets to be an “older” woman….one prefers to pretend one’s birthday is just another day. However, secretly I am deeply grateful to my friends and family who went out of their way to make this a very special day.

I received some lovely emails today from some dear friends all the way from France and Belgium, a lovely note from my son and his wife, some from my nieces, many from needlework and quilting friends, other long-time friends, and sisters, Barb & Bonnie, Barb even sent me a some special internet gifts. And there were lots of special phone calls too and a video message from my new 4 month old granddaughter, Maya. I am SO humbled and grateful. Thank you to each of you.

I share with you some photos of other gifts I received in addition to the beautiful Eiffel Tower scissors and books I showed you last post. The other gifts must remain anonymous! Shhhhhh…I’ll never tell….Smile.

My SIL Judy, and friend, Kay, sent me this lovely teacup bouquet to brighten my day. Thanks again, Judy and Kay.

And what a surprise when Southpaw Stitcher made this lovely pincushion for me. It really says a LOT! Thank you so much Pat…yes, friendship DOES grow.

And My friend Jodi equally surprised me when she presented me with this lovely pincushion (filled with sand) handmade by a friend of hers. This one came all the way to me from Washington state. And isn’t this a beautiful card. Thank you Jodi…how kind and thoughtful to think of me while you were away!

I still do some computer work at home for the Augustinian priests and brothers and my boss, Fr. Mike, thoughtfully, sent me this plant with lovely lavender flowers along with a promise of prayers and Mass celebrated in my honor. Thanks so much…I miss all of you.

So you see…..amidst all the “to do” that one really doesn’t want to remember that one is ANOTHER year older…..it is really nice to be remembered. I SO appreciate all of the good wishes and prayers and gifts.

And I plan to keep on celebrating my birthday all month long. After all it comes only once a year….so celebrating for one full month is certainly in order!

Gratefully, Averyclaire

Happy Thanksgiving

For all of my blogging friends I am grateful on this  special day.

For my family…my husband, my children, my grandchildren, our extended families and ALL of our friends, we are grateful.    We are grateful to be alive and well right now and happy.  And we are grateful for our times of trial and illness which help us to see our days in a different light.  I am even grateful for the job I sometimes wish I did not have, as so many people today have no job and desperately need one.  I am grateful for the men and women who are serving in foreign countries to try to keep our world a safe place for all of us.

But most of all, I am grateful to God for the gifts of love and friendship he has given to each one of us.

In Gratitude….Thank you my friends, Averyclaire

PIF Gifts Mailed to Recipients

Here are two gifts I made and finally completed for a Pay It Forward.   Last Fall I received a Pay It Forward award (a lovely temari ball) from Jane at World Embroideries and now after eleven months, I have finally sent my Pay It Forward awards to the two people who won them on my blog.   For Anne at Nanouanne, I made a needlework biscornu.   I forgot to take a photo of the biscornu I made, but Anne took a lovely photo of it and she is letting me use her photo for my blog.

biscornu

And for Karol at  Rosebud’s Stitching I made a small Amish Friendship Basket Wall Hanging.   I forgot to take a photo of Karol’s finished gift as well, but here is a photo of one exactly the same as I made for Karol…only Karol’s had a different binding.AmishBaskets

Both items were made in friendship.   I chose a quilted piece for Karol because she is an expert needleworker and is not a quilter that I know of.   And for Anne who does lovely quilting and is an artist in many areas including Art Trading Cards, I thought to make a cross-stitched piece because I don’t think she does cross-stitching.   I just wanted their gifts to be different.   It was a fun thing to do to send a surprise in the mail.    Amities, Averyclaire

Good News

P6270037It was a long week, but the news is good.    They have removed all of the cancer present at this time.   Perhaps there were angels watching over us.    My DH will begin chemotherapy in September.    It will last for seven weeks and then once a month for a year.    It is a long road to complete recovery.    And always looming over one’s head is the possibility of a reoccurence.    But we are grateful for today and are hopeful for the future.

I confess to having a meltdown this week.   I think I cried for five days straight.   The emotions of the past months finally came out and wouldn’t stop.    But I am fine now.   And we are planning a two week vacation for ourselves soon.    I need to be away from work and we both need to be away from doctors and hospitals.

Life is different now.   It is what it is, but it does not mean that we cannot enjoy life and each other.    I look forward to our time out west for a bit of rest and relaxation.

Thanks for all your notes and emails.   I am grateful for your friendship.    Averyclaire

Happy Spring…Happy Easter

Girl with UmbrellaHappy Spring…Happy Easter to all. On Sunday, my daughter, son-in-law and their two children, and my son and his wife and their two children will be coming for dinner. I am happy to have them and have been already preparing for the day. It is good to be busy with things I love.

Fabric BoxMy two days off were most enjoyable. I spent the first day with my two good friends, Joan and Pat. They are the kind of friends that support you…no matter what! We attended a workshop given by Barb Pelowski on making small boxes from fabric. The boxes are made with mat board inside and out. The mat board is covered with thin batting and fabric. The box was easy and fun to make. And best of all, it was simply fun to be with Joan and Pat all day long. I know now that I need more time with my friends and will have to fit it into my schedule somehow.
Fabric Box Inside

Cute little box…yes? Perhaps for jewelry, a sewing box, little desk items, etc.

Yvette giftsJust wanted to share with you a surprise gift from my friend Yvette, who lives in Switzerland. It came in the mail totally unexpected. She is such a lovely artist. She painted the beautiful handmade card and knit the lovely socks for me. She included a box of special sharp pins and a pretty calendar of gorgeous mountains. There were also two DELICIOUS chocolate bars (they were gone before I could take a photo.) Thank you again Yvette. What a delight!

Can’t help but take a moment today to reflect on how important friendship is in people’s lives. I know I cannot do without my friends and I treasure them and their friendship. A special thank you to all my friends. I am so LUCKY. Amicalement, Averyclaire

Unexpected Gifts

Today I received some wonderful unexpected gifts from my special friends in France. Maggy sent me a belated Christmas package. Inside were LOVELY rose napkins rings

Rose Napkin Rings

A beautiful needlecase
Needle Case

With the tiniest button I have ever seen!!
Open Needle Case

So “couture” !!!
Needle Case 2

And a wonderful and colorful table mat with six coasters…I think the fabric is catalan fabric from southern France.
Table Mat and Coasters

She also included a French Magazine, “Marianne”…for me to practice my French. It has the most wonderful news articles from all over the world. And I can see what some of the French are thinking about the U.S.!! She is truly my sister on the other side of the world! Thank you Maggy….I love them all..!!!!
Marianne Magazine

And my good friend Elisabeth (who visited me here a few years ago) sent me a belated birthday gift. She did a crazy quilted Needlework Design Journal. I have never seen one. It is lovely and so unusual.
Needlework Design Journal

Her stitches are the tiniest ever! on the front and on the back!
Back of Needlework Design Journal

And the inside has a place for me to design my OWN needlework! How great is that????!!!!
Inside of Needlework Design Journal

Last, but not least, she sent me some handmade Belgian Lace. I can’t imagine the patience it must take to make something so intricate. Thank You Elisabeth…what a delightful surprise from a very special friend!!!
Belgian Lace

What delightful surprises for my day today…totally unexpected, but VERY much appreciated. There are some days when I am just simply DOWN. And today was one. These far away packages made me smile and I felt the warm hugs all the way across the ocean! My dear friends, I cannot thank you enough.

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