It’s Inside That Counts

Last weekend was the annual bringing home of the tree and all the excitement that goes with. The boys planned to play hide and seek at the lot.  “I have a lost little boy at the information desk.  If you are missing one, please claim him.”  We were and we did.  It was very cold, which Mr. Blandings enjoys because it make me choose faster.  They all seem to look pretty good as the wind is blowing in your face and your eyes are watering.  Next, add 400 ornaments.  Based on Christopher’s tree I decided what mine had been missing was ball garland.  Better.  Needs more still.

The only thing really missing for the tree trimming was the needlepoint ornaments that I stitch for the boys each year.  They were finished yesterday and I picked them up so they could join the party.  When they were little I chose the design but now they get to pick.  The middle chose his turtle, Custard.

The eldest wanted to memorialize the Chicago trip with the Sears Tower.

And the third, “I am not a baby,” chose a Lego.

They’ve had a lot of fun designing them from year to year and they are fast and easy projects.

So these, and the ones we give on Thanksgiving, will someday be packed up to be hung on their own trees.

I’m worried that the tree will begin to be a little bare.

I could stitch for Mr. Blandings,

but it isn’t quite the same.

Anyway, the tree is up, the frames are out, the stockings are hung.  The big fun will be adding stocking for daughters-in-law and grandchildren someday.  “You forgot.  I’m not getting married; I’m going to be a rock star.”  Oh, maybe next year a guitar.  Or some drums.  I think I’ll stop just short of the hypodermic needle.
(“She sure is talking about herself a lot this week.”  “Be patient. She never stays on topic long.”)
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30 thoughts on “It’s Inside That Counts

  1. love love love it all. your ornaments are so colorful and fun, it makes me want to study your tree. i cannot believe you needlepoint ornaments every year… what a special gift. PLEASE don’t change the top here- i love seeing pictures of your house… makes me happy. it’s such a warm inviting house!
    Thank you for sharing with us!!

  2. We did the same for our daughter — an ornament a year as a Chrsitmas gift (those and the ones she made in Scouts, etc. were boxed up for her first tree after college graduation –) and they are now great memories on her tree!

    A beautiful tree and yes, roping does make a difference and yes, I would get more too!

  3. Your tree is beautiful and so personal -I love it! I especially love that each ornament has a special memory behind it. I guess if the tree begins to look bare someday, you could opt for a smaller tree -but I’m sure that won’t be a problem!!

  4. Your tree is wonderful. Okay I showed these to my girls and now, “why don’t you do this for us”. Where do you get needlepoint kits. I used to do it but its been years and I wouldn’t know where to start. I echo the above, I love your home posts.

  5. What lucky sons you have to needlepoint such lovely things for them, to appreciate in years to come. From past posts, I know you alluded to the “crazy” childhood you had, which in my estimation propelled you into being the perfect mother, home-maker, decorator and observer of life-style, capturing it in each and every thing you touch. Your home is so warm and so real. You are doing a wonderful job, Mrs.B, even if there is no one telling you that on a daily basis. I so enjoy your open door.

  6. I love this Patricia. You know I’m a fan of handmade ornaments and collections that evolve over time. Your tree looks beautiful ! Really beautiful in that yellow room with the Le Lac curtains behind.

    So glad you shared. Oh, especially love the needlepoint.

  7. If you can’t talk about yourself on your own blog, where can you? You won’t hear any objections from me.

  8. What precious memories you are creating for your children with the needlepoint ornaments.

    I seem to remember loosing a child or two while tree shopping myself. Happy that yours were found.

    You have a lovely home. I’m so glad that I found you. Nice to meet you.


  9. I think your friends might start requesting a needlepoint ornament now. Very Sister Parish or Annette de la Renta. Perhaps a pagoda?

  10. I love the painting in your family room. Can you post about it someday, like when you are desperate to come up with a topic?

  11. Oh, my! Patricia your tree is just gorgeous!! I love the needlepoint ornaments……so unique!…..I love your home because it is so warm and inviting. Makes me want to come for a visit and share a cup of tea!


  12. cute~! love your stockings, i want a closer look. I had to go back and re-read, I thought perhaps you had done all of the stitching on the ornaments.

    love the turtle named ‘custard’ especially.

  13. Patricia,

    What an amazing woman you are. You needlepoint your kids ornamnets every year! Amazing! They are beautiful. Please keep sharing pics of your home and stories of your life. I love them. They put a smile on my face.

  14. Gorgeous tree!!! And missy – why have we never seen that shot of your fireplace before????? looks great – love that painting!

    my sister in law makes a huge deal of her tree – it has to be perfectly symetrical, etc. etc. so I understand. I’m really getting so jealous looking at everyone’s goegeous trees!!! I WANT one!!!!!

    btw – my b.f. told me that I talk about myself on my blog WAY too much!! “You’re obnoxious” were her exact words!!! haha!!!! But if we don’t talk about ourselves, who will?????

    Your house looks beautiful – Merry Merry!!

  15. Fab needlepoint ornaments!
    Always love pic’s of your house- I agree with Erika- you put so much thought into everything you touch that the warmth and style is inspirational.
    What lucky daughters-in-law you will have!

  16. I’m so sorry I have been MIA – my internet has been down all day. Thanks for all the kind words over what my mother would have called a “kids’ tree.” She did not care so much for the “designer tree.”

    I usually draw out my ornaments now, but if not, I either buy them or have them painted by the Studio here in Kansas City. Studio Midwest is a local company that sells nationwide and has an extensive line of the “toppers,” which are all kinds of tops – jerseys, kimonos, really anything. They also sell the car ornaments and the jack in the boxes. Hand painted canvases or kits are so much better. The machine stamped ones do not always match up with the canvas which can be maddening to the stitcher. Any local shop will be happy to help you get started.

    David – You do not disappoint. I know where to go if I need either balls or ball jokes.

    Patricia – thanks, as always for your consistent support.

    Courtney – a pagoda! Love that. I stitched ( a lot) of monogram pillows for my best girlfriends daughters when they were born. I have to wait for grandchildren now.

    Joni – c’mon. Put up a tree! A little Hanukah bush? Blue and white? One of my best friends had one growing up. No one would begrudge you a little joy and light during the dark (and snowy, I hear) winter.

  17. Oh…Just LOVE your tree! Ours is filled with many homeade ornaments too! But your needlepointing…that is way over the top…how cool!
    Love your blog…your whole vibe! And especially your scentimental tree.

  18. Hi!

    I just found your blog. Wow, it’s wonderful.

    I must be by again to visit soon.

    Happy Holidays!

    Sunbonnet Cottage

  19. Carrie – the walls were painted a very pale, creamy yellow – almost linen white by Ben Moore – then glazed with a high gloss glaze. I’d love to give you the colors, but my painter and I made them up as we went. The first rendition was taxi cab yellow. Glowy terror. My painter, who was growing weary, tried to convince me it was great and would grow on me. He graciously came around and started over.

  20. love the needlepoint ornaments – we do something similar in our house. So many memories flood back year after year as we hang the ornaments. I still have a special one from my childhood – not a beautiful needlepoint one buy very special nevertheless

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