Saturday, December 27, 2014

One Last Post Before the New Year!

I am surprised to find time for one more quick post before we head into 2015. 


I hope everyone's holiday was as peaceful and joyful as it was for my family.  I hosted the family for the gift exchange and dinner on Christmas Day.  The only person missing was my nephew who recently moved out of state but he is in town for the weekend.   We always enjoy the time we get to spend together as a family but with dad's diagnosis of lung cancer and mom's passing a few years ago it just hits the heart just a little bit more.

I want to thank Teresa and Maggee for offering up a prayer for my dad as well as the prayers offered by so many family and friends.  I believe in the power of prayers and positivity.


I did make a few gifts this year.  Right now I can show you the circular placemats I made for family and a friend.  I used a line of French General by Moda fabric.  These placemats are the size of a charger plate.  I'm hoping to make a set soon for my family's use. 

I'm just about to finish the cross stitch piece for a friend.  Again am disguising it somewhat so as not to ruin the surprise.  


I participated in the Advent SAL that Carol (iStitch) designed this year.  It was wonderful to stitch a small section each day and was exciting to see what new design each day revealed.  I will admit to getting a few days behind during the 2nd week but caught back up over the weekend.  The last day of design was revealed was on December 24th.  Will admit again that I have days 22, 23 and 24 yet to stitch but with this next week off am looking forward to finding time to finish this one up.

I did purchase the 2013 Advent SAL in 2013 but never did get around to stitching it.  I will be picking it up very soon now that I see how little time is needed to stitch a finished project.  I'm thinking to start it one January 1 and finish on January 24.  My mom so loved the Christmas holidays and her birthday is January 24 so what a wonderful way to honor her memory by stitching a holiday piece to be finished on her birthday.  Definitely a motivator to get it done!


Rene' is a friend that I met when we started 2nd grade together many many years ago.  The story goes that we were both new to the school and shy so struck up a friendship.  I'm told we two shy girls talked all the time and were always in trouble for it so the teachers put us in desks on opposite sides of the room.  Funny I don't remember this at all - LOL!

When I moved back to Iowa, we started a tradition of getting together for a day of shopping and lunch usually somewhere between the 20th and 23rd of December.  This year's day took us to the Brass Antique Store, to Firecreek for lunch, to Jordan Creek Mall for some more shopping and then a stop by the cemetery to visit my mom's grave and her dad's grave (they are right across the street from one another)   We talked, we laughed, we ate, we shopped - we covered it all.

I had admired this ornament at one of the shops the week before but it was a little too pricey for an ornament.  It was my good fortune to pick this up on our shopping trip at more than 1/2 off the previous price.  Needless to say it came home with me.  As it feels very wintery rather than Christmasy, I'm leaving it up was part of my winter displays.

I bought a few things while at the antique mall.  Most of you know I have a collection of ice skate ornaments for my Christmas tree.  Each year if I find a pair different from what I already have I purchase them.  Walking through the antique store Rene's sharp eyes caught sight of these old rusted ice skates.  The price was excellent so I snapped them up.  I will be using these as part of an outdoor decoration next year.  I'm going to mount them on a swag and then mount onto either a sled or a pair of snow skis for the porch.


While walking through the antique mall I spotted a hatpin holder and commented to Rene' that it would be perfect for holding my counting/marking pins for cross stitch.  The price on it, however, was a bit too much of a splurge in my opinion.  Imagine my surprise a couple of hours after I got home that my doorbell rang and Rene' was standing there with the exact same hatpin holder from the antique mall in perfect condition but she had just been to the neighborhood Sally's (Salvation Army Thrift Store) and picked it up for 99 cents.  It was a savings of $35 over the one at the antique mall.  I think my pins are displayed quite nicely in it!

I received this Needle Nook from Aunt Nanc (hubby's family) for Christmas.  It is perfect for taking on along to classes/stitching get togethers as it has a spot for every size needle you would possible need - except for my petite tapestry needles.  She does amazing work and this is no different.  I love that she uses bits and pieces from the stash that belonged to Bill's mom when making gifts for me.  I also love that she is so confident in my abilities that she gifted me with the pattern to try for myself.  She said she is making another one for herself.  I guess if I get stuck I can always Skype for help - gotta love that!

Wishing you all a 2015 filled with Peace, Joy, and Health!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Merry Christmas!


   I wish all my family and friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Maybe Christmas, the Grinch said, doesn't come from a store - Dr. Seuss.

I know it seems early to be wishing you all holiday greetings through the new year but that ugly "C" word (cancer) has reared its' ugly head in our family and we just never know what each day is going to bring.  I hope you will all join me in my prayers for my father who has been diagnosed with lung cancer.

I want to thank my BFF's (Beautiful Friends Forever) who have been so understanding of late when I don't have time to call, stop by, return letters, or schedule lunches.  I appreciate your love, understanding and support.  You understand in times of family crisis there just isn't always time or energy.  I love you all dearly!

 I finally managed last Saturday to quickly put up our Christmas tree and I do mean quickly.  I was finished in a couple of hours this year as opposed to the usual 6.  This year I didn't have to string the tree with lights which shaved hours off the decorating process.  I also did not put all the ornaments on  this year.
This is my favorite ornament I own.  It was purchased on a trip to the Tacoma Dome many years ago with my dear friend, Wendie.  It was the biggest holiday bazaar I had ever been too and it was overwhelming to say the least.  I chose one special ornament to purchase and it was quite a splurge for just the one.  It is a day I treasure the memory of with my friend who lives so very far away.

These are just a few of many of the other ornaments that I love to put on our tree.

Yes - I still seem to be able to add an ice skate ornament each year that is different from any I currently own.

The angel wings are in memory of my mom.

I am still working on Christmas gifts and am plodding along fairly well.  I managed to take all of this fabric.

Pieced it together into 14 projects.

Added batting and a backing and quilted them all.  Now I am ready to start my binding on them all.  I must work quickly in order to make shipping deadlines. 

I signed up for the Christmas SAL with Carol at iStitch and up until last night I had managed to stitch each day's design on the day.  An unexpected and particularly long day at the hospital with my dad left me too exhausted both emotionally and physically to pick up the needle.  Tonight I hope to stitch days 12 and 13.  Wish me luck!  It has been nice to have a surprise waiting in my email in the morning when I get up and to complete stitching it by the end of the day.  Looking forward to getting caught up tonight.

I was doing some Christmas shopping the other day and happened upon this adorable bird sitting on spool with needle and thread.  Well at 50% off I just couldn't leave it on the shelf so home it came.

I've been wanting this book for quite some time and it finally popped up on Amazon in the United States at a reasonable price a couple of months ago.  I received it very quickly even coming from overseas and have enjoyed a very quick look through it.  I am looking forward to when I have a bit more time to really check out the projects and how they are constructed.  I get to use my crochet hooks on some of the projects.

I will try my best to post again before the end of the year with some completed projects but if I don't make it back before 2015 -

I wish you all Peace and Joy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Oh What A Week!

I took a moment tonight as I arrived home to snap a couple shots of the amazingly bright moon with wispy clouds floating by.  Honestly the pictures don't do justice to how beautiful it is out tonight.  I could sit on the porch and just look at if only I had the time.


I signed up for Carol's ( Christmas SAL.  Starting on December 1 and going through December 24 you will receive a piece of the sampler and at the end of the 24 days you will have a completed sampler.  This year she is stitching along with us so the design is a complete surprise.  I know the end of November she had a few slots left open so there still might be time to participate if you have an interest.

   I've managed to stitch days 1 and 2 on time which with daily trips to the hospital is surprising.  I anticipate a late evening to get day 3's stitching done.  It is really relaxing to sit down and stitch such a small design and have a finish with things being so hectic.

I'm still plugging away on Christmas gift for a friend.  Again disguising the photo so it will still be a surprise for the friend who will receive it.  It is actually stitching up quickly when I do get time to work on it.

These beautiful fabrics will hopefully very soon become some Christmas presents for family and friends.  Thinking a weekend cutting session.

I had a spare 45 minutes yesterday so I did a quick little bit of Christmas decorating.  I put up the little white tree with pink lights that I do in my mom's memory who passed from breast cancer.  She loved the Christmas holidays and her decorations were truly magical.  It is where I acquired my great love of decorating for the Christmas holiday.  I decorated it with things she would have loved and topped it with an Angel.

This little Santa's workshop and white ceramic trees with red lights (my mom's favorites) were made by her.  They are truly treasured pieces for the entire family.
Bill managed to get the outside lights up but I'm not sure when the Christmas tree will make an appearance - maybe over the weekend.

I did manage to finish reading a book.  Yes, I managed to squeeze in my morning workout at the Y and Festive in Death by J.D. Robb was my treadmill book.  I love her series of mysteries with Eve.  

I wish I had time for more but have much more work to do before my day ends.

Happy Stitching!