Monday, December 21, 2009

Almost There

It's the home stretch and we're almost there. All of the busy work is done (and shipped out) and I have grand plans for baking today. A few oldies but goodies which include caramels and gingerbread men and a new comer to our cookie plate this year - homemade marshmallows. I'll let you know how it goes.

Some gifts have already been given, because they were much needed - and let's face it, I have a really hard time waiting for Christmas day. This is the slouchy hat available as a free download on Ravelry, altered a little to accomidate the stripes.
Sara got the Twighlight hat - pattern also available as a free down load at Ravelry. I am in love with this hat and the pattern. If you've never tried the fptc, fpdc or bpdc, this is a great hat to learn on. I was twisting the pattern at first, but once I figured out what I was doing wrong, it was a piece of cake. In fact, I have another one on the hook now... and a thrid one planned for myself. Josh's hat is still in ball form waiting to get started. I wanted to make his blue and gray, but wasn't sure - another reason for not waiting until Christmas. Sure enough, he chose blue and gray.

Another present that was never wrapped was this present to myself.It all started last Christmas, with four of these blocks. I didn't really care for the bald angel that was supposed to go on the four side blocks so I ended up pushing the project to the side while I waited for inspiration. I could use the Jerusalem city for a block, but what about the other 3 blocks?

Then while visiting with a friend, she shared a different pattern, by the same designer - Nancy Halvorsen - with me. A little tweeking and rearranging of animals and two more blocks came came to life.

In the end, I used an angel from the second pattern and drew some hair to go on her for the final block.
A little machine quilting and now my Nativity Tree Skirt is under the tree telling it's story. If I don't make it back here before Christmas - Merry Christmas to you!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

You say it's your birthday...

It's my birthday too. (That was especially for Sara, who has just discovered and is completely in love with the Beatles). Another year older, but still on the right side of 40. :)

My dear, lovely, loving husband surprised me by taking the day off of work to spend with me. He has always made a point of making a big deal out of my big day each year since it is just 8 days before Christmas. And, he always springs for the birthday wrapping paper - if you have a near Christmas birthday, you know how sweet that is.

Anyway, we're off to have a fun filled day, I just wanted to share a couple of thrift store finds with you first.All of these were thrifted. The red, wax pine cone, white retro garland and 4 of these amazing brass deer. I do have to admit that I found the deer in a shopping cart, but it was abandoned - I promise. We watched it for at least 30 minutes while D was picking out records and another 10 minutes later to ease my guilty conscience.
While I love the deer, my absolute favorite is this angel. Growing up, we had an almost identical angel on our tree. Our angel had a pretty white dress, and I'm thinking of revamping this one. For now, she's on top of a cabinet watching over the festivities.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A little friendly quilting

A few weeks ago, I received an email from my friend Amy..."So how busy are you?" Never too busy to squeeze in a quilt for a good friend. Her daughter's favorite color is orange and she was looking for an orange quilt for a Christmas. Immediately, I thought of Emily's Stacks of Three pattern which I've been dying to try. It's one of Crazy Old Lady's "2 hour tops", which sounded perfect.
It was a lot of fun to work with these bright and warm colors during the snow storm that passed through - 14 inches or more in two days. And (you shouldn't start a sentence with and) it really did take just over two hours to finish the top.
The quilting was a breeze since I stuck to the meandering/stipple/puzzle piece pattern that I've been mastering.
So there you go, an orange quilt for a teenage girl :) Shipped off to CA, I can't wait to hear what they think of it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merry Christmas

I used to make my Christmas cards every year. It was a lot of fun planning, but a lot of work executing. The first year we moved here, it was late in the year and a handmade card just wasn't going to happen. I went with one of the photo cards that I always said I would never use, and it was on Fuji paper, which was really hard for me since I had worked for Kodak for so long. I felt like I was cheating on them :). Anyway, they turned out really cute and it was super easy, just drag and drop your picture then order. Last year, we went completely digital and emailed our card. It does sound like a cop-out but let me tell you, that was almost as much work as the old cut and paste version. It would help if I knew how to use the program rather than muddling my way through with a hope and a prayer. Plus after living in three different states, you make a lot of friends along the way and you don't want to leave anyone out. And think of all that paper we saved.

All that justification just to bring you our 2009 Christmas Card. Without names or dates - I realized that after I had already sent it out. But, you know who we are and what year it is so....
All of the page elements that I used are available free at Be sure to resize your image to about 640x640 so that it will email nicely. Any larger and it will have trouble going through.

How do you get three kids to smile all at once without goofing around? Take them out in the snow without jackets and tell them you'll stay there as long as it takes. :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

No picture today

Just the addition of one of those cheesy counter thingys. Our 17th wedding anniversary is coming up and what can I say, I like cheese. We've actually been together for 21 years - high school sweet hearts and all- but I went with the official wedding date.

We had a great time doing a whole lot of nothing while our friends were here. We did manage a trip to DI and Ikea, but other than that we "hung out" like the old days and just visited with eachother. I would love to post the cute group photo, but I never thought to pick up my camera so I have to wait for the photos to come via email.

Thanksgiving was spent with our entire family on the couch sick. We all ended up sick, some with strep throat, some with colds and some with both. I'm headed to the Dr. for another visit and my second round of antibiotics. Thanksgiving dinner was a crock pot roast and a frozen pie courtesy of my loving husband :). Hopefully we got "the sick" over with early this cold season and can enjoy a healthy Christmas.