Although I was planning to see each of them again for our Christmas gift exchange (I just don't have everything ready yet), Mary brought my Christmas gifts to lunch - a gift bag full of special goodies. I started opening some of the smaller packages first - they included a adorable little notebook, a glass ornament, and a squirrel cookie cutter...and there were two larger packages to open too! She gifted me a wonderful book - The Gentle Art of Stitching: 40 Projects Inspired by Everyday Beauty by Jane Brocket - Mary knows I absolutely adore sewing/quilting/stitching/crafting books...and this book is the perfect addition to my library. The projects range from Sashiko to Crazy Quilting to Vintage Embroidery to Stitching on Felt (to name a few) - it is a great collection of handwork projects with lovely photos...and full of inspiration. As I reached for the final package, I immediately realized I saved the best for last - Mary had stitched and framed a BEAUTIFUL cross stitch piece for me - it is absolutely perfect and I had to choke back tears when I removed the tissue paper. So much thought went into this gift - from the colors and frame she chose - to the design (which contains many of my favorite things...and of course squirrels!)...I couldn't wait to get it home and hang it (close to my stitching nest where I can admire it daily)...it is so very special to me. The design is "A Sheltering Tree" by All Through The Night...isn't it fabulous?! I am so very touched by this heartfelt gift - it is the first framed cross stitch that I have ever received...and knowing all the hard work and love that went into this piece warms my heart.
Spending a few hours with my dear girlfriends was just what I needed and I finished my day feeling happy and blessed (even with a migraine that arrived late yesterday afternoon). The gift of friendship provided me with a little clarity and a new perspective.
Today I will get to work on my Christmas list - better late than never - Christmas cards and stamps are on the table, ready to go...and I will try to work on a few more of the gifts I am making (provided my headache subsides)...
On the sewing machine front, I do have a little update...I took it back to the tech last Monday and had the belt put back on, hoping it would hold for regular sewing....and yep, it was the exact same belt problem...the parts are on backorder (of course they are)...but she was kind to put the belt back in place. I have been able to do some sewing (no embroidery until the parts are replaced) - I managed to get a special order of 25 needlebooks completed (that was a HUGE job). I am being extra gentle and trying to keep the belt in place as long as possible, as there is no estimated arrival time for the parts needed (of course there isn't). I am hoping to finish a small pile of Etsy items and a couple Christmas gifts...and if I am super lucky I can work on a special project for AccuQuilt. I do have a back-up machine, but it doesn't have all the "bells and whistles"...and this little experience has definitely taught me that I am a sewing/embroidery machine DIVA!