Is this really December? 12-5-23

Another nice day today – sunny, no wind, 35-40 degrees and more like this on the way. I am so appreciative not to have to navigate the ice and snow between the house and the barn.

Tomorrow I will finalize our next card recipients – with Norma and Kay there will be 5. I will post all names and addresses. And thank you to everyone who has sent cards in the past – I know these women will all be so grateful to be remembered in what seems to us a small way but in actuality is huge. It’s the season for Christmas cards!

Reader photos:

I know this is such a bad blurry picture but I got it off an ad – can you see that it’s old chairs with greenery all hung up in the shape of a Christmas tree? I just love it on the old red barn!! (I know you can hardly make it out – sorry.)

And now my huge Christmas quilt disappointment – this nativity panel that I loved so much and couldn’t wait to hang. As I quilted it I discovered that it was printed on grey goods that allowed white to pull up to the surface – as if the needle snagged the threads with every stitch. I changed needles, thread, tension – everything I could think of and ended up terribly disappointed. I didn’t even bother to bind it I was so sad about it. I loved the print and I hung it in my living room anyway. It’s an older panel so I probably can’t replace it but I wanted you to see that we all have flops and failures at one time or another.

Look at this ad on EBay – this was made in the past 20 years or so – they’re trying to pass it off as a rare antique needlework folk art sampler! We made these in the shop and sold the frames. No frame from 1832 is going to look like this! I probably have the book they found the pattern in. I hope nobody pays $125 for this – good grief! How can people advertise like this? Excellent vintage condition – ha!

Okay – that was my rant for tonight!

36 thoughts on “Is this really December? 12-5-23

  1. Sandy

    Hi Mary, more wonderful quilts and trees today! I gave Bella a trim today, forgot to put the plastic guard on and now she has some bald spots! Poor girl Then she spotted kinky my sons cat in the car port and tried to bale him up , but kinkywon the stand off with all his hissing! Pity Bella doesn’t like cats! Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

  2. Martha W in WY

    Again, lovely trees. The readers photos are amazing, also. I upsets me too that people pass things off as old. The other thing is when I’ve purchased an item at a flea market and later find that the price tag was purposely placed to cover up a broken piece or some other defect. That really erks me. We had lovely weather today in Wyoming. Had a little wind but, 50+ degrees.

  3. Bonny

    Thank you Mary and each and every one who sent pictures of trees and quilts! The trees make me nostalgic for the 7 ft tree of years past. The quilts always inspire….colors, borders, designs…a rich display of artistry! You never know who a small act can reach!

  4. Amy F

    Thanks for sharing all these wonderful photos! I look forward to the Christmas displays each night when I check my email. That first photo that shows the quilt rack on the wall has piqued my interest. I have a small home so am limited to what I can display, but that rack might just be what I’ve been looking for. My son is a woodworker–I’ll show it to him and maybe he can make me one!

    I am especially enjoying all the needlework and counted cross stitch I’m seeing. My mother did TONS of needlework over the years on top of painting ceramics and quilting. Seeing all these photos of needlework reminds me of all the things she created.

    Hopefully people are researching these Ebay ads before buying. I found some Air Mail postage stamps in my grandmother’s things recently. Thinking they could have value, I did a quick search online. I found identical stamps selling for $2500 on Ebay!!! The next day I called a stamp/coin collector in the area and asked about them. He said they were only worth face value and are very common. I had to laugh when he said he still uses them as postage! So buyer beware and do your research before you buy anything online!

    Have a great evening!

  5. Dianna in Wisconsin

    We don’t have our tree up yet………….thanks for inspiring me to get it done.

  6. Jeanne in Colo.

    Love all the beautiful trees and the decorations on them. On the third picture, to the left of the tree, is a quilt in the background. It looks beautiful. Can we have a full view picture of the quilt please? The barn picture beside another tree is a wonderful picture to be displayed all year. And Mary, the Nativity panel is beautiful too, even though you may see imperfections in the quilting, it is deserving of a binding. The picture on it is worth saving and displaying every Christmas. I love it.
    Jeanne in Colo.

  7. Rhoda Ebersole

    So sorry for your nativity scene piece – just a lovely picture. And your rant about the sampler is well deserved but someone will buy it that is the problem.
    Such beautiful Christmas trees. We did get some
    Minimal outdoor lights done today as it was almost 70 here and no cold north wind. My landscaper came with his crew and trimmed the back patio area- all the bushes, trees, rose bushes and it looks like a million bucks back there. A bottle tree is getting so tall but he said well that is what trees do- they grow. They did it all and cleaned up all the branches and leaves in one hour. No snow here in Las Vegas today.

  8. Sharon G.

    Mary – All the photos are so pretty and there is so much variety. Would love to have a poinsettia and a tree this year, but not with two 2-year old cats in the house! Can’t even imagine what would happen with those two rambunctious felines and a tree! LOL

    This is my rant this week. The window in my sewing room broke last Thursday. It’s 30 years old. I opened it on a rainless and windless day to air out the room. As I walked out of the room, the window fell – shattering the plastic sill. No glass broke, but the sashing was worn and a rod fell out of the side of the window frame, too. With only photos I took and the dimensions I gave them, a window company came up with a $2,226 estimate to replace the vinyl window! If I want them to replace it, I have to give them 50% and wait until mid-February for delivery and installation. I’m still in a state of shock!

    I don’t know if I ever said but your den photos of the needlework are wonderful, Mary. I should look through my old steamer trunk to see what treasures are in it.

    I found another rock to add to the collection. It’s white and was sitting in my husband’s office on a shelf. I’m surprised I didn’t see it before today.

    Take care everyone.

    ~Sharon G. from WA

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sharon – I replaced a couple windows using Replacement Windows by Andersen – it was painless and not all that expensive really. I think your price is highway robbery!

      1. Kathy in western NY

        Sharon and Mary,
        We too had windows replaced this year from renewal by Anderson and wished we had done it sooner. More airtight and our house is quieter from road noise. They were excellent from beginning to end and we could even pick a date to have them installed once they were made. It was all on our terms.

  9. Ginger S

    Great trees and quilts today Mary. I loved the old chair Christmas tree. How clever. I must admit that i wasn’t sure what i was looking at at first. But then you explained it and then I could see it. Very creative. Looking forward to sending cards to the ladies.

  10. Kathy in western NY

    Thank you for another fun post to see beautiful decorating for the holidays and more gorgeous creations. It means so much to see such pretty photos and even the one with the barn and chairs so I appreciate you telling us what it wa so I understood it then. I love seeing needlework samplers! I have my grandmothers work framed so will send you that picture.
    We woke to a light covering of white snow on the ground. Friday going to 50 and 55 Saturday. I am still picking fresh parsley in my herb wheelbarrow!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – oh, I wish I could get a better picture of that barn with the chairs! I just loved it and wanted you guys to see it!

  11. Vicki Ibarra

    I agree with Amy about the quilt rack in the first picture. What a lovely way to display so many quilts! I have quilt rack envy. Laugh. I used to be able to show my father a picture of something made of wood and he would make it. I have a large, oak single quilt wall frame on one wall that I truly love. If he were still alive, I would show him that quilt rack and put it on the opposite wall. I think the tree with white and gold decorations has a delightful quilted white tree skirt. Wonderful trees and quilts all around. And the eye glass cases keep coming. I have saved your directions, Mary, so that I can make a small project when I don’t have enough time for anything bigger. The first one I make will be for my phone. My new phone is just a tad longer than my old case.

  12. Fran

    Scammers everywhere!
    Loved the Christmas display. Trees and other ways to celebrate and decorate are wonderful! Quilts too! I love how the quilts were hung over what looked like a bookcase–wide and tall. It’s Christmas celebration in my little home town tonight. I will try and get my lights up on the outside. They do rides through town to see the lights tonight. I saw a wonderful display in Branson while on my bus trip last week. Our bus driver drove through twice. We had to pay for this but worth it.

    SW Iowa is having warm weather which is great for walking. But we are extremely dry.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Fran – very dry here, too, and I wonder when we’ll finally get moisture in any form! My grass is worn thin in the yard and literally breaks off.

  13. Viv in Idaho

    Good morning!
    The trees and quilts are beautiful this morning. The quilt hanger in the first picture is such a great way to display the quilts.

  14. Jill Klop

    I’m sorry about what happened with your panel. I think I’ve had something similar happen now and then but never knew the cause. I always assumed it was time to replace my needle. Can’t say that I ever did and saw better results though. Thanks for the warning about buying ‘antiques’ on eBay. It’s a good reminder to do a little research before buying!

  15. Joy in NW Iowa

    I also noticed the quilt hanger in the first picture! Love it!

    The scammers are so busy! They Try everything! I would shop around and investigate another avenue for that window! Yikes!

    Enjoy the beautiful weather!

  16. Kim from Wi

    So many wonderful trees and I love all the different ideas with decorations. I need to get my tree up and I might just go simple with our ceramic one and a few ornaments. My mom passed away in November (Osage, IA), and we are dealing with her funeral and her belongings, so the time is slipping away to do much more.
    I look forward to the new names to send cards to, what a lovely idea to share some cheer with others.

    1. Colleen in Central Oregon

      Kim, so sorry to hear about your mom. It’s a tough time of year to lose someone. Hugs to you.

      1. Kathy in western NY

        Kim, didn’t you recently move from TN to be closer to family? Unless I am thinking of someone else here. I am very sorry you recently lost your mom. Holidays can be tough for many reasons and it’s been a bright spot seeing all Mary’s readers decorating and quilts.

        1. Kim from Wi

          Kathy, yes, I did move from TN to WI to be closer to my mom and our children. I’m so glad I did, and I had many wonderful times with my mom before she passed. She even came to visit us, and we took a wonderful ride on the lake that is close to our home. Her passing was unexpected.

  17. Susan K in Texas

    Beautiful trees and quilts again. I’ve so enjoyed this Christmas show.
    I’ve got a crazy mail story for you. I got a package the other day that felt really light. It was empty except for the air packs. The bottom hadn’t been taped well. I tried to figure out who shipped it as it only said “shipping manager” and had an address in Ohio. Much checking and found out when it shipped then could see what I ordered. It was supposed to be a fat quarter bundle of whites and a charm pack. I ordered from a company in Washington state. Apparently they use a warehouse in Ohio to ship things. I also emailed the post office.
    We live in a suburb of Dallas and the post office is busy and not always helpful. But I received a phone call and email from a very helpful and friendly gentleman about my package. They looked around and didn’t see the fabric. I’m sure it fell out of the bottom of the package way back in Ohio the way it was taped.
    Long story short they are resending the fabric. The lady I talked to said the packers have quotas and time limits so are rushed in their handling of packages. It makes one wonder how many mistakes are made and how much it eventually costs the company. And I’m sure their employee turnover is high as who can work long under that stress.

  18. Sherri Huff

    Mary, Love all these Christmas trees and quilts! I think your panel is still beautiful, bind it and enjoy the peacefully scene!

    Yesterday was 71 here…we need rain in Central CA!
    Wishing all a Joy filled and Blessed day!

  19. Sharon Geiger

    The photos of the trees and quilts were a visual feast!! Sorry about your panel but you did the right thing by hangiing it up anyways!!! We had beautiful fluffy snow yesterday but then turned to rain and the white-ish ground turned back to drab.

  20. Tina W in Oregon

    It’s been wonderful seeing all the beautifully decorated trees and other decor. I’ve not put up a tree since our dog’s tail would take out half the ornaments! And they’re mostly the old Shiny Brite ones from the 50’s. We had a 67° day yesterday in NE Oregon but it’s supposed to rain soon and get colder, turning to snow later this week. On the coast, they’re experiencing what they call an atmospheric river of rain which is causing major flooding with another system moving in this weekend.

  21. Jackie in NY

    Wow such great photos today! I love all the tree pictures, quilts, and even the village scene. Thanks for the reader who sent the photo of her cross-stitched tree skirt and ornaments! It’s great! I especially love the quilt with all the Mill Hill ornaments- what a fantastic way to display them! I’m sorry to hear that your Nativity panel quilt didn’t turn out as you had hoped.

    1. Susan K in Texas

      Thank you. That is my tree skirt and ornaments. I forgot to put my name on it. I made it back in 1993 when my eyesight was much better.

  22. brendalynne1

    really interesting group of entries. thank you.
    the eyeglass case i gave to a friend as a hostess gift was immediately determined to be a much needed cellphone case. recent phone update was just a bit wider and longer than previous case but this was perfect. I have since made some with two colors and they make a very interesting display. they were happily received and going to be phone cases as well.
    thank you

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Brendalynne1 – that’s a great idea! Smaller and it could be a small bill holder with a closure or business card wallet. So many uses.

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