Sunday, July 29, 2012

Birthday Surprises

I just celebrated one of those big birthdays this week. You know, one of those where you move from one number where you have been for a decade to a new number where you hope and pray to spend another decade. With the help and love of family and friends, my birthday was a wonderful occasion this past week.

My incredibly sweet Andrew and Anna treated me to a surprise stay at the Ponte Vedre Inn and Club at Ponte Vedre Beach, FL last weekend. I didn't find out what was planned until I was about to take the exit off I-295 to their place. Andrew called just in time and re-routed me to Ponte Vedre which is about 15 minutes from Jacksonville. I arrived to find myself already checked in to a fabulous beach front room with this incredible view.

The beach was literally at my doorstep! The weather couldn't have been more perfect. Hot and humid - but what do you  expect when at the beach?  I hadn't been in my room more than 30 minutes when my next surprise arrived - my brother! Andrew had gathered our small family together to celebrate my birthday weekend.

We had a fabulous meal at Ruth's Chris Friday evening and celebrated again with more friends and family at another surprise dinner on Saturday night. The surprises just continued throughout the weekend! Saturday we drove up the coast to Fernandina Beach so that I could make a stop at The Bristly Thistle.

I enjoyed seeing Michele's great shop as always and her beautifully stitched pieces that are displayed around the shop. I added a couple of canvases to the stash - Mehitabel, one of the Creepy Characters from NeedleDeeva, and one of Kelly Clark's Heritage Series Christmas ornaments. We finished up our trip to Fernandina with a tasty lunch across the street (the name of the restaurant escapes me) where I had a fried green tomato stack (tomatoes, goat cheese, and red pepper jam) and pulled pork spring rolls. Delicious!

My needlepoint companion for the weekend was this cutie pie from Melissa Shirley:

I am using a stitch guide by Carolyn Hedge Baird for the little July 4th girl. Carolyn has written a wonderful stitch guide for each of the children in this series. I believe the series came out a couple of years ago but are still available. I have a companion piece that has a little boy dressed like Uncle Sam holding a flag. I can't wait to stitch her curls and the big blue bow in her hair!

Continuing with the patriotic theme, my July 4th Parade canvas, stitch guide, and threads arrived from Amy's just in time for my birthday. I love it!

I want to put this on the stretcher bars - now! - but won't let myself until I am much further along with the Christmas parade canvas. But this was the incentive I needed to pick up the Christmas parade and get back to work on it.

I spent my Saturday working on Santa's coat. It is stitched in a lovely Bargello pattern. I'll post a better picture next week. Night time lighting leaves a lot to be desired. See that beautiful wooden, handcarved laying tool at the top of the canvas? A very special stitching friend sent that to me for my birthday. I will treasure it for many years to come!

Not only did I receive my July 4th Parade canvas this week but my Melissa Shirley Bloom canvas arrived as well. I bought it specifically as a companion piece to her Whimsy canvas which I purchased earlier this summer from Bestitched. The flowers within the letters are the same as those in the Whimsey canvas. I love the background stripes which are in pink, peach, and cream. Lots of fun to look forward to with these canvases!

And last, but certainly not least, I finished the Sunflower & Berries canvas! I absolutely loved this project. A NeedleDeeva canvas and a Robin King stitch guide make for a perfect piece of needlepoint. Robin's class at In Stitches in Atlanta in April was so much fun. I learned a lot and also got to meet so many of my blog and Facebook friends at the same time. Let's do it again!

So, that was my birthday week. Pretty good, wasn't it? I love my family and friends for making it such a special one!

And now the Olympics are here! Let the marathon Olympic stitching begin! What are you stitching during the Olympics? Can we reach the finish line on some of our projects?


  1. Melinda,
    How lucky for you that you have such wonderful friends and family. Something that should be cherished very close to the heart.

    Your stitching is beautiful as always and I am so envious of all of your new canvases to stitch. Happy Stitching and Here's to the next decade of family, health, prosperity and needlepoint!

  2. What a grand birthday for a grand lady. Thanks for posting about the Sunflower and Berries, too. It's an honor to see the photo as part of your Header. Makes me pleased. So, Happy Birthday, dear Melinda... Happy Birthday to you. Hugs, Robin

  3. An Olympian Birthday! Looks like it was absolutely wonderful. The location, the company, the food, and the stitching. Oh, my goodness. You are one blessed lady. Here's to the next great decade of Melinda's Good Life!

  4. What a wonderful way to celebrate your birthday! Your son and daughter-in-law are the best. The Sunflower and Berries turned out fantastic. Yes the the stacked beads in the sunflower are awesome, but I especially like your stumpwork strawberries. Happy Birthday!

  5. Hi Melinda,
    Could not think of a person more deserving of such a Special Birthday. Andrew is a very special son and Anna is also a special "daughter". You got your wish of the beach a d then to be surrounded by all the people you love made it even more special. Your 4 th of July is so cute. Congratulations a finishing the Sunflower and Berries. You did a wonderful job stitching this piece. It is just spectacular. Stephanie said it right, you are one blessed lady.
    So glad you had. Wonderful Birthday Week.

  6. Melinda

    As always your Stitching is perfect. Thanks for sharing your birthday celebration with us. You have a wonderful family and how nice to spend that time with them. Your son is very special and that is truly because of you and Anna is a sweetheart. Your a very lucky lady

    I look forward to seeing your new canvases as they are stitched. Don't you just love those Parades by Lizx of Tapestry Tent?
    Your blog made my Sunday a little brighter.

    Sue V

  7. Happy Belated Birthday, Melinda. It looks and sounds like you had a fabulous one! Congratulations on completing the Sunflower and Berries canvas. It is beautiful. How are you finishing it again? I have a very British Santa to work on during the Olympics. He is a Kathy Schenkel canvas and has a stitch guide with it. I found him on I have one more week before I have to go back to work, so I need to get as much stitching done as I can! Happy Birthday and Stitch on! :) Shawn

  8. Glad to hear you had a such a wonderful birthday celebration on our fair coast. Ruths Chris - the Ponte Vedra location is always a good choice. The PV Inn is a great place to spend time. Loved seeing your completed Robin King class piece. Nice that you got in a visit to FB and Bristly Thistle - always something to catch your eye there. Hope you will keep in mind to come and join one of our stitch ins next time you are in our area. Cheers and happy stitching - Melody