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Big Give Away coming the end of June!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

October Week Two
Winner of Mini Give Away
RJ's Grab Bag
Christmas Challenges

Winner of the Batty cross stitch pattern is Sandy.   Congratulations!  Hope you have alot of fun stitching it up.   Thank you all for entering.   Look forward to more give aways. 

RJ's Grab Bag - a trip to Yellowstone 

Have you been to Yellowstone National Park?  If not, it truly is a place to put on your list of places to go.   My husband and I have been to many national parks but Yellowstone is by far our very favorite.  There is so much to see and do. Yellowstone is so diverse that it is almost like having eight parks in one.  It's truly an experience to be savored.  We like to spend a good week there to get to see all the spots of interest.  Where else can you see geysers, paint pots, hot springs, canyons, wildflowers, waterfalls, historical buildings, a huge lake and fantastic wildlife?  And to make it even better, Wyoming has the best summer weather with lovely days of sunshine, blue skies and no humidity.   I will give you the highlights of each area so you can get a feel for each section.

Lamar Valley is one of the entrance points to Yellowstone.   It is a very pretty area and if you are having a lucky day you will probably get to see some wildlife.  Bears are usually harder to spot but there are many buffalo to see.

How lucky were we to see a bear our very first day!
This was our first herd of buffalo to see.
We got even luckier...we spotted another bear!

Old Faithful is the most popular spot in Yellowstone and also the most famous.   Here there is great lodging in the Old Faithful Inn, the Snow Lodge and the Old Faithful cabins.  This area has the most places to eat and the most shopping for gifts to bring home.  But, the biggest reason everyone is there is to see the grand old dame, Old Faithful herself.   But don't miss the nearby paint pots and some pretty waterfalls.
This is Old Faithful with a rainbow forming behind her.

This is our favorite place to view Old Faithful from the balcony off the second floor of the Inn.

The fireplace is three floors high in the Inn.

This is the second floor.   The whole Inn was made from logs in Yellowstone.   The story behind how it was constructed is amazing.   Don't miss the free tour of Old Faithful Inn.
Here is a nearby paint pot.   They are all different colors.
This is where the cold stream meets with the very hot springs.

The Canyon area is downright gorgeous.   There is an area that they call the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and you will see the resemblance right away.  You will really enjoy the hike down to the lower falls where you feel like you can almost touch the falls.   It's a hard hike back up but there are lots of places to stop and rest.
Part of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Lower Falls


Another view of the Canyon
Mammoth area is another very popular area with visitors.   Here you will get to see the hot springs that have calcified over the years.   There is a mile hike to the top of the hot springs and you get a great view of the area from the top.  The little village offers very good accommodations and dining.  It also has military housing of many years ago that now houses the park rangers.   It's a great area to walk around.   Female and baby elk are plentiful and walk among the people.

Calcified layers after many years.
Mile hike to view the hot springs.   Great view to the village below.

These elk are very used to people being nearby.

Old military housing that now house the Park Rangers.
Hayden Valley is in between the Canyons and the Lake area and this is your best chance to spot wildlife.   There are fields and fields of buffalo and at some time during the day they will single file crossing the street to the other side.  This causes what they lovingly call the "Buffalo Road Block".  You may sit there for a long time but if you are lucky enough to be at the front of the line you get quite a show.                 
 Here is a gorgeous elk.       

This was an unbelievable find...a Mama and her cubs crossing the creek.
Here they are coming out the other side.
How cute are the baby cubs?    
Love his face.

 The Buffalo Road Block begins.  

It's a Grizzly!!!
This big boy took a detour and is coming over to say hello.   
Yellowstone Lake area is by far my favorite place to stay.   It is quiet and serene and the perfect spot to lay your head at night.   It has a beautiful restored hotel, a hotel annex which is more like motel rooms and lots of cabins.   They have the best food in the park with the number one dining room and the only made to order deli plus a diner just a mile away.   There are all kinds of water sports and you can even catch your own fish and have it made to order for your dinner in the dining room that night.  But the very best part of staying at the Lake is most every night a fantastic string quartet plays in the sunroom of the hotel.   For me, a perfect day in Yellowstone is hiking or touring during the day and then relaxing to the quartet at night.   They are four school teachers who come every summer and they will play any kind of music you want.  
Lake Yellowstone is huge

     This is the restored original Lake Hotel.           

The peaceful sunroom where you can look out at the beautiful lake.   It is a huge room and this is where the string quartet performs most nights.   The other nights they have an excellent piano player.           

This is a photo of the string quartet from the Yellowstone website.  This must have been a special day performance because we have only seen them at night after dinner.

The Lake Lodge is right across the street.   It has a big front porch with rocking chairs so you can view the lake.   It also has lots of sitting areas inside and is a great place to play cards in front of two huge fireplaces.

We came home one day and a buffalo was grazing on the cabin lawn right across the street from us.
Came home another day and he was standing right in our parking space in front of our cabin.   This is very unusual for them to come into the housing area.   They are massive creatures!!!
Roosevelt area is more of a primitive area for lodging.   It only has cabins that are very rustic and you must share your bathroom.    This is more for the young people who want an inexpensive place to stay.   It's worth a ride out there though because they have a western theme and their dining hall makes barbecue and steaks for a nice change of pace.  Wildflowers are plentiful in this area too which is a very pretty sight. 
The wildflowers are so pretty up in the Roosevelt area

Closeup of the wildflowers

This adorable cub was enjoying the wildflowers too.   We drove by and saw him on the side of the street.

And the last area in Yellowstone is called Grant.   There is some lodging and a dining room but that's about it.   It does not have much wildlife (sometimes elk) or any other attraction.
This elk is enjoying an afternoon snack.

I hope you have enjoyed the tour of Yellowstone and that you will consider a trip there.    It's an awesome place that I think you and your family will enjoy very much.  Happy trails!!!                                                                        

Christmas Challenges

RJ's Santa challenge

I chose Santas Revisited by Prairie Schooler.   I really love the sunflowers and birds in this stitch.   I used all over dyed threads that I chose instead of the called for colors.   These Santas are really alot of fun to stitch.   I'm getting closer to having enough to fill up my dough bowl.

            Closeup of Santa with sunflowers and birds              
Santas Revisited
by Prairie Schooler
35 ct. Weeks cocoa linen
over dyed threads that I chose


Mary's Ornament Challenge

I chose LHN's Pine Tree Inn for my Christmas Challenge this month as I wanted a quick stitch.  I made a small change to the original pattern which I really like.   Instead of a fence on both sides of the house, I stitched a tree on both sides and substituted a small heart button instead of stitching the heart.

Pine Tree Inn with added trees and heart button

Pine Tree Inn
by Little House Needleworks
28 ct. Zweigert Cashel raw linen
called for threads

Hope you are all enjoying a lovely fall.   It is such a beautiful time of the year. Thank you so much for coming by for a visit.   We always appreciate hearing from our stitching friends.   Next week we will be doing our "old ornaments made new".   RJ and Mary

            Autumn colors remind us we are all one dancing in the wind
                                           Lorin Morgan- Richards


  1. RJ, thanks for the photo tour of Yellowstone. What a gorgeous place with all that nature has to offer! Both of your Christmas stitches are fabulous. Mary, I like the additions you made with the trees and the heart button. RJ, I stitched the sunflower Santa for a friend and I really should stitch it for me. Maybe in 2018! Congratulations to Sandy on winning the giveaway!

  2. Merveilleux post!

    Une belle promenade.
    Un avant goût Noël,j'aime beaucoup PS ,les broderies sont merveilleuses

  3. @RJ-Thank you for the beautiful pictures, it must have been a wonderful trip. Especially I love the pictures with the bears.
    A Santa with sunflowers I have not seen - looks beautiful.
    @Mary - also great looks the motif of LHN - I'm curious what it will be.
    Happy Stitching - Martina

  4. Lovely Christmas stitching ladies! I love the snowy trees Mary. RJ thank you for the photos. I would love to stay at that hotel, it looks gorgeous. Maybe one day!

  5. What a fantastic trip , and wonderful photos thank you for sharing.
    Love your Christmas stitching you both have such talent .
    Also love the materials you are going to use as the backing.
    Enjoy your week.

  6. Hello RJ,
    thanks for the many wonderful photos from your holiday.
    Your little Santa is pretty.
    Hello Mary,
    I like your christmas stitching.
    Best wishes Manuela

  7. Wow, I'm so envious! If there is a place in the world I'd love to visit, Yellowstone National Park is definitely it! A must on my list of places to see. Looks absolutely wonderful.
    Great stitching too girls, you have been busy with your Christmas projects.

  8. Loved your photos..thanks for taking us on your trip it was wonderful ❤️ Stitching is delightful but I am really drawn to the Prairie Schooler & Floss colors 🌻🌻

  9. Maybe one day I will get to Yellowstone. I have visited New Mexico and Nevada and it is so different from the South. One of my best friends says Yellowstone is a favorite spot of hers as well. Love your ornaments girls. I have that Sunflower PS. I am hoping to stitch it and use it in my home next summer. I have to tell you girls a hint I saw on a stitching site on Facebook. Someone took two shades of DMC...cut them the same length then took a strand from each and it worked like the overdyed without the cost!! I have already used the idea and I think I like it.:)

  10. I should have clarified...two shades of a similar color DMC.

  11. Oh RJ, I must thank you. We had wanted to go to Yellowstone many years ago as a family, and then my accident happened, and I have a permanent hip disability, making so much hiking impossible. :( I enjoyed such wonderful photographs of the many different areas I never got to see. Thank you!
    What a neat, different Santa RJ!
    Mary, I like the many pine trees surrounding this red inn. :D

  12. I love your photos of Yellowstone. We took a family trip about 12 years ago there. Hubby and I have said we need to go back without the kids. They were in high school and all they wanted to do was stay home with their friends at the beach. They were a dud!!! Maybe this time we will stay at one of the lodges.
    I love both stitches. I am a big fan of anything by LHN, but I am going to have to do some PS soon. I need to get on eBay and find some oldies.

  13. Thank you RJ for the fabulous tour of Yellowstone--I immediately turned to my husband and said "we have to go"!!! What time of year did you go..recently?
    The Christmas pieces are both darling--looking forward to your finishes!

    1. Hi Stasi! We love the summer to get out of the heat of Florida. We like late July or early August before the string quartet leaves to go back to teaching. RJ

  14. What a great post. I love the stitching but even more enjoyed all those wonderful photos of Yellowstone. You make me want to pack up and go right now. Thanks so much for sharing.

  15. Thanks for sharing all these gorgeous pictures of Yellowstone National Park. I have been there several times but we never had the chance to see a grizzly. But all the wildlife there is just breathtaking. And the scenery overwhelming.
    Love your PS Santa with the sunflower. He's my favourite.

    Mary, Pine Tree Inn looks so inviting surrounded by trees. It would be a nice place for a vacation, wouldn't it?

  16. Oh wow what an amazing place Yellowstone National Park looks. Your photos are fantastic.

    Love the PS Santa and Pine Tree Inn. You both choose gorgeous designs to stitch.

  17. I am excited to win the giveaway. I will make good use of it!!!

  18. Wow! Yellowstone is gorgeous!! Love your Christmas design choices. I stitched Pine Tree Inn this year and love it.

  19. What an adventure this was, amazing! I feel a citizen of a very tiny gnome country (which is true of course ;) compared to the enormous nature grounds you visited.
    I wouldn't feel comfortable near that buffalo I guess, but who knows he's just a good fellow ...
    Lovely pictures and again lovely Christmas stitches.

    Have a good weekend, dear friends!
    Love, Carolien

  20. Thank you for the beautiful photos from your trip! What a great place!

    Very pretty stitching, RJ and Mary!

  21. Looks like a fantastic trip RJ!
    Ladies I love both of your ornaments!
    Congrats Sandy!!

  22. Your photos of Yellowstone are fantastic - and it does look like a lovely place to visit. Both of the ornaments are very much to my taste (but I have to admit to being quite fond of anything Christmas).

  23. Great post, amazing wildlife, but did you see Yogi Bear and Booboo?
    Lovely work on the ornies. I like the changes Mary made to her one.

  24. Hi RJ and Mary....

    RJ...I loved your pictures of Yellowstone! Do you know when I was about 10 years old the only place I wanted to go was to Yellowstone to see Old Faithful! Oh yes that was my dream! I have been to Yosemite but Yellowstone is still on my wish list! After seeing your lovely pictures I have decided two things....1) a trip there is an absolute must now and 2) I WANT A BABY CUB! I can just see my families look when I say I want to bring one home with! Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures!
    Your stitching is lovely as well! Oh yes there is just something about those Prairie Schooler Santas that make me smile every time! I love your choice of threads!

    Mary.... your stitching is lovely as well! Little House Needleworks is my comfort stitching and I love the ornaments that I have stitched over the years. Main Street Station and My House from the Hometown Holiday series are on my list this year! I am also working on the Family Sampler! The trees that you added are perfect and I just love how it looks. It reminds me of the mountains in Northern California and the lakes here in Southern California where Scott loves to fish! Thank you for making my heart smile today!

    Sending lots of hugs and love to you both!

  25. Great stitching. Love the PS Santa.

    Wonderful photos of Yellowstone. We had, I tnink it was 4 parts .. the 4 seasons, a programme about Yellowstone here in the UK. If I'm not mistaken I saw it was repeated on one of the many channels. It's one of those programmes that gets repeated and repeated and I never tire of watching it. Loved the photos, especially of the elk. The buffalos look really scary.
    Have a good weekend both of you.

  26. Yellowstone is such a pretty park. You certainly saw lots and lots of wildlife - more than I ever have there and the wildflower meadow is stunning. Some of the vistas at Yellowstone are so perfect that they do not seem real. Nature at her most magnificent.

  27. Awesome blog, i always enjoy & read the post you are sharing!
    Thank for your very good article...!

  28. Your pictures of Yellowstone are fantastic! It's high up on my wish list of places I want to go, and now I want to go even more :) Fab stitching too!