I had put a special request in to visit "the Cathedral" not knowing that St. Louis not only had two, but that both were basilicas. Silly me. We visited "the new church" which is covered in mosaics and absolutely beautiful. Absolutely, I tell you. And very inspiring for stitching!
From the New Church we hustled to my niece's climbing gym to see her in action --
The girl rocks! Yes, I might have meant that pun.
From St. Louis, I returned to DC, changed luggage and headed to Richmond for time with the nephews.
Their decorating was done -- there are a couple needlepoint stockings you've seen before on that mantle :)
Possibly my primary duty while with The Nephews is making ornaments for their Grandma (my sister). Here's the next Dog of Christmas, Jesus (no lie, but the Spanish pronunciation, please.... The first time they took him to the vet ---in a conservative, Bible-belt Southern town-- in the midst of a crowded waiting room the tech screamed "JESUS" like the Christ child was pretty embarrassingly funny. Possibly it's only funny for those of us who weren't there.). Jesus is keeping the Medium Nephew (I do them by size -- Large/Dad, Medium/first son, Small/young son). company while he does his FIRST NEEDLEPOINT!!!! (That's just the pattern in the pic-- and it was a terrible pattern to try and follow.)
And here we are all done! Ok, I know it's plastic canvas not needlepoint, but hey, he is only 13! And.... busting a gut with happiness..... he said to me about a third of the way through, "Aunt Ruth, can we just do these from now on? I like this." Heee heeeee I have another convert! I think next year I'll try a cross stitch and a plastic canvas with him.
In previous years we have made all sorts of goodies like this bead-covered ball--
And the blue and white foam star below -- pictured with a small part of the ornaments I stitched them over the years (gads, I'd forgotten then tree -- it's a plaid and I did every other block in Fuzzy Stuff which when done on jobelan is not what we call joyful. Oh, and I remember a certain amount of praying going on during that all outlined/backstitched poinsettia wreath... I think the first one I did ended up not meeting. Sigh.).
This was the first year The Small Nephew got in on the action. This is him drawing "Grandma's Christmas apple tree with two branches and two apples." He made Granddad a "red Christmas tree with one branch and a blue bird." It warmed my little heart to hear that a couple weeks before I arrived when they announced to Small that I was coming for a couple days, Medium told him "You get to make ornaments for Grandma with Aunt Ruth. It's cool." Can you feel my smile from there?
My sister and brother-in-law came down for an overnight, and they got to stay in Medium's room. For the special occasion he got out the NASA quilt my sister made him (he's scared to get it dirty so he only gets it out for special occasions).
A chip off the ole aunt block :) :) :) :)
And I can't leave The Newphews' trip without introducing Skip, the world's chillest dog --
Smart as a whip and generally twice as shy of cameras, Skip was unwilling to give up the serendipitous moment when the velvet blanket fell on the floor for him to snuggle in, thus he had no choice but to live with the camera.
Go forth and have an excellent day!
NOTE: The title did not promise the stitching would be current. hee hee