Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Hibernation Day

Happy Thanksgiving, stitching friends!

The holidays this year are sneaking up on me. I'm still stitching a Halloween project! And tomorrow is Thanksgiving! Holy Hannah. Part of it is that Thanksgiving is early this year, but the other part, for me, is that my mom is in Cuba right now, and will be flying back to Idaho the day after Thanksgiving.

This is the first year in a long time I have not spent the holiday with her, and it just feels weird. She will be spending Thanksgiving day in Miami with her travel buddy, Carol. I hope they have a great day! I will definitely miss her but am looking forward to her photos and stories when I see her Friday.

While my mind is still on Halloween stitching (I'm working on "When Skeletons Dance" by The Drawn Thread), I did finish a winter-themed project today. It's for my dear husband, Shawn, and it's probably my most favorite project.... ever.
This is Shawn, in 2000, after an especially dirty day on the ranch. It was a hot, dry day and they were working cattle at the "dippin' vat," a set of community corrals owned by their cattle association. (I have no idea why they call it the dippin' vat.) He was sweating and the cattle were stirring up dust, and I just could not resist the opportunity to snap a photo of my beautiful cowboy. Oh, those blue eyes....

So, why the random photo of him covered in dirt? Because it reminds me of how hard he works, and it really does relate to my cross-stitch project.
Shawn's family owns a 1,000-acre cattle ranch in central Idaho, and the ranch has been in their family for four generations. The above photo is Shawn and his dad, Terrence. Terrence passed away eight years ago on November 19, so this time of year is especially hard on Shawn, his mom and his sisters. Terrence was a great guy, with a big, booming voice, an irreverent sense of humor, and a big heart.

We lived in a house on the ranch then, and Shawn and his dad worked every day of the week, often putting in 12-hour or longer days. Shawn and I would get away maybe four weekends a year, and we would travel to Boise to stay with college friends and get in some movies, shopping and dining out - all those things we didn't have access to in a town of 500 people.
Here we are back in the day, on one of our trips to Boise. (We look different now - Shawn is a lot more grey and I'm not so skinny anymore!) I loved our trips to Boise because I got my cowboy all to myself for a whole weekend.
When we lived on the ranch, I looked forward to rainy weekends in June the most. If it was raining in June, that usually meant lightning, and that meant it wasn't safe for Shawn to be outside moving pipe. So, he would come inside and we would spend the whole day together watching movies, snuggled up together in a big overstuffed chair, listening to the rain hit the windows.

And that brings me to my most recent finish, "Hibernation Day" by Heartstring Samplery. Thanks to Beth of Heartstring Samplery for personally responding to my email (WOW!) asking for help with the alphabet to personalize the sampler. She is awesome!

Hibernation Day
by Heartstring Samplery
Stitched on 32-count natural linen by MCG Textiles
with called-for overdyed threads

I love the snap of winter air
and snowflakes on my face
How snowdrifts make the world
disappear without a trace

I'll take a day dressed in pajamas
in a room without a view
If I can spend the day
curled up next to you

Let's have a hibernation day,
me and you

Sorry about the huuuuuge photo, but it was a really long finish! I found this vintage-looking shutter at Michael's and did a happy dance when I pulled out my measuring tape to find that it was the perfect size for this sampler. (Don't you just love it when you find the perfect thing to finish a project?) I finished it Priscilla & Chelsea-style, lacing the stitching on 3/16" foam core, then mounting that on homespun-covered chipboard. I used magnets and washers to attach it to the shutter, then also used a magnet/washer combo to attach the bow and greenery to the bottom so I can reuse the shutter for another project if I want to and change out the embellishment.
I really like the variegation in the overdyed threads Beth chose for the project.
This sampler just nails the way I feel about my days with Shawn. Now that we are living in Boise and he is a teacher, I still look forward to our "hibernation days." Spending the day with him, no matter what we're doing - watching TV or movies, running errands, grocery shopping - is hands down my favorite thing in the world. He still works two or more weekends a month at the ranch - a 500-mile round-trip drive - so those hibernation days are still precious and few.

So this Thanksgiving I think I am most thankful for time. Time with my family, time to stitch and enjoy good days, and the time you take to visit me here. Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving and wishing you lots of hibernation days with those you love.