Monday, December 31, 2007
If you or any members of your family are familiar with the 1930's Depression you might find this book particularly enlightening. In my family my brother remembers those times, but I do not, having not been born until 1942. Ha! ......So now you know my age!
At any rate, you can read reviews at amazon.com. It's not your typical warm fuzzy story, but what a great story it is!
I will send this post haste (book rate) to the first fellow blogger who speaks up! That means leave me a comment here and I'll get in touch!
I'm off now with Ashley to have coffee with her grandma who will take her home. Don't know who Ashley is? Click on the picture of the book and see the next picture posted in my photostream at Flickr!
Saturday, December 29, 2007
I haven't participated in a round robin for quite some time, but recently I signed up for one on the CrazyQuilt International list. We are doing jeweltoned embellishment on all black blocks.
This is my naked block that I have ready to send off. Yes, those are all black fabrics. I know some look grey, but I think it's the way the light was hitting them. They are all different textured fabrics from wrinkly taffeta and faille to crushed velvet! The hardest part of making this block was doing the applique of all the patches. The black stitching on black fabric drove my eyes crazy!
The pink stitching I did outlines the 12" square block that I intend to make up into a pillow when the block returns home. I really like the way the piecing turned out on this block. I didn't have as much trouble with the curves as I usually do. I had no plan actually. Before I began piecing I went through the stack of blacks in my scrap sorter and pulled out all the solids. I laid out a few that I was sure that I wanted to include and since some of them had curved edges, things just started to come together. The only hitch in the whole thing happened when I was about 90% done. I moved the block to the ironing board where, with the light shining on it, I discovered a couple pieces of velvet that I had included were actually dark brown & not black!
I can't wait to get started on this RR; jeweltoned stitching on black is one of my favorite looks for crazyquilting. Just this past Spring my Omaha roommates and I each stitched jeweltones on black blocks and then they were all put together. The wall hanging that was made from them was awesome and it went for many dollars at the 2007Omaha Retreat's auction to benefit Breast Cancer Research and retreat scholarships!
This will be mailed off to Japan on New Years Eve day and after that it will make it's way to Australia and then around the USA before coming home.
So, now it's back to making the outfit for my dolly model, Ashley. I must try to remember how to make a little pom pom for her hat by hand because I was unable to find a pom pom maker today at JoAnn Fabrics.
Stitch On! No time to waste!
The hat still awaits a pompom and, since any pom pom "thing" I might have is in storage, I'm not sure but that I should just go buy one of the newer ones I've seen on the internet. They look much improved.... Or perhaps I should try to make one myself without any fancy tool. Will have to decide at some point because I also want to make my granddaughter's doll one of these hats to go with that hot pink poncho outfit I sent her.
The dolly wardrobe was a big hit Christmas morning according to my daughter. Isabelle also got another baby doll from Santa and she quickly figured out that her new baby could wear the same size about as the Bitty Baby. Possibilities are endless now for this Gramma (called Maas by her grands) to endlessly design and sew babydoll clothing!
As for these circle looms, once you get the hang of them, they make a hat quite quickly. At first though I thought I could have knit one with needles MUCH faster; it was a little discouraging. Now I also want to try one for G (dh) from a less bright color using the 2nd largest green circle. He says he would like something in the green color family because he just got a new dark green sweatshirt.
So I guess my stitching vacation is over. After embroidering on those jeans for Isabelee for Christmas my hands were swollen and sore, so I took a week off from stitching. I did a lot of reading, but mostly I was bored out of my head! I live to stitch! Good thing I have a lot of projects lined up to keep me busy!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Mary Frances of the blog Frequently Wrong but Never In Doubt tagged me on her blog regarding something called a Meme I think. So I'm going to attempt to answer these Christmas questions! I'm not going to tag anyone since it's so late in the season, but if you read this and wanna play, leave me a comment below so I know, ok?
1. Wrapping or gift bags? Wrapping... usually. Unless something is odd-sized or I'm in a hurry! I don't mind the bags, but never think to buy them.
2. Real or artificial tree? Artificial and small too - 4 foot tall....after many years of having a real tree. But now we have no one but the two of us and if we aren't going to be here for Christmas, we don't even put up Tiny Tim (my name for the tree).
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually a week before Christmas. I grew up the youngest in a family that never put the tree up until Christmas Eve. I always loved Christmas Eve when it was all about the tree and getting to bed early in my room upstairs where I'd try to stay awake to hear Santa and the reindeer land on our roof. Alas, I always fell asleep despite the noise coming from downstairs. A few years ago I was comparing Christmas memories with my brother who is 12 years older than I am. I told him how I found it hard to put up the tree so soon (a week before) because I loved our family's traditions so much. He laughed loud and hard at me and told me that was no tradition; it was necessity. He said our Dad always waited until Christmas Eve to bring home a tree because they were half price then. Take note because little things you do just might be making memories/traditions that your children will remember.
4. When do you take the tree down? At least by New Year's Day! Usually G removes the ornaments while he is watching football games and piles them in a chair and I wrap and box them up.
5. Do you like eggnog? LOVE IT! In fact I just had a glass because today I got the results back from my bone density scan. There's only a slight change from 5 years ago, but the doctor made a note that I should up my calcium intake. So, instead of just the 2 chocolate calcium chews, from now on I have to work in a couple other milk products daily. I also still love the stuff off the grocery store the best!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Wow! It's hard to pick just one. I'd say it's a toss up between the Flexi-Flyer sled I got when I was 7 or 8 or the Terri Lee doll I got when I was 11 or 12. The sled was great and on Christmas Day my dad even took me to the local park to try it out. The doll was his doing too. I had asked and asked for that doll, but before Christmas my Mum took me to look at and buy a parakeet & cage, which I also wanted. She thought I was too old for dolls, so when I opened that box on Christmas morning and found that doll, my Mum stared daggers at my Dad, but he pretended not to see.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, but it's not on display this year because it's in storage. We usually display it in this wonderful hand carved (by G in college) small cabinet which is also in storage this year. The nativity set itself was my Mum's but we have added to it over the 40 years we have been married. Gosh, that's a long time!
8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I don't recall anything but I DO recall one Christmas when I got nothing at all from my mil. We had all gone up to a Lake Tahoe cabin for a snowy Christmas and she gave G a desk set of letter opener & magnifier and each of the girls these pink parkas with fur around the hoods that they absolutely refused to wear. Me? I got nothing, nada, zip, zero. Perhaps she thought the desk set was for both of us, but my name was NOT on the tag! Truly never figured that one out cuz we had a fairly decent relationship all things considered.
9. Mail or email Christmas cards? We sent no cards out last year because we were traveling in Texas. We also thought we'd be sending out wonderful newsy cards this year with our new address. Well, house didn't sell; that didn't happen. So, this year I did up a Christmas letter and sent out about 35 to family and old friends. So far we've only gotten less than a dozen cards. Guess everyone crossed us off their lists last year when they didn't hear from us. I will mail out electronic (Jackie Lawson?) cards tomorrow to close friends who we may not see before Christmas.
10. Favorite Christmas Movie? "The Christmas Story" ....I always wanted a BB Gun and a train set, but my parents told me those things were for boys.
11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Since our girls are all over the map, if I can't make them something, they get a gift card from somewhere. This year I mailed the packages out on December 20th. The one for Atlanta made it there in 2 days! Amazing, huh?
12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Yummmmm! Ham, this baked pineapple souffle and the potato dish made with Potatoes O'Brien! Oh and fudge & Italian Pizzelles too! Just made a batch of Pizzelles last evening. Will probably have to make another so that we can eek them out until about the end of January. Wonderful with coffee!
13. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear lights on the tree. No lights outside, but we normally have blue icicle lights all over the house. ....Yup, those are in storage too!
14. Favorite Christmas song? "Here comes Santa Claus" definitely. When I hear it I feel like I'm 7 years old again. Back then we sent letters to Santa and he was on the radio station every night at 5 p.m. That song was the one they played at the beginning of the show. All this month, in the car I have had the radio tuned to an all Christmas music station and in the house on the computer I have XM Holly station playing that comes through AOL. Our stereo, alas, is in storage. Are you sensing a theme here?
15. Travel at Christmas or stay home? This year we are staying home, just the two of us. There's a slight chance that our eldest daughter may come down out of the mountains just for the day to see us. Next year, although we don't know where we will be, perhaps we will go to Texas again so we can see our two youngest daughters and their families. They are married to brothers and one lives in San Antonio along with the brothers' parents who are also our friends.
16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Used to be able to, but am out of practice.
17. Angel on the tree top or a star? There is nothing on the top of Tiny Tim. He is pre-lit and from the outside the neighbors can't tell he has no ornaments on him. Truly a cut-back Christmas here. Somewhere in storage there's an angel that we've had for 40 years!
18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning? Oh, always Christmas Morning. And we always took rotating turns opening one gift at a time going from eldest to youngest. It takes all morning but we don't start until we have the morning food on the table and then everyone just waits on themselves. For G and I it was a big shock the year that we turned out to be the eldest and had to go first. The reality of it all was overwhelmingly sad.
19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Shopping, crowds & rude people. And stories of decoration vandalism.
20. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme or color? Nope, but the tree used to be mostly things the girls made in school or special ornaments to commemorate achievements. Next year I hope to have enought crazyquilted ornaments to dress TT to the hilt. I may even give our elderly angel a makeover with a white cq skirt!
21. What do you leave for Santa? When we are with the grands we HAVE to leave eggnog and pizzelles cuz that's what Santa likes, doncha know? (and all the cats do too!)
22. Least favorite holiday song? I can't think of any I don't enjoy. I grew up singing in groups and choirs in church and school and love all the music. There's so many new ones now too. I especially like "Mary Did You Know" that is new to me this year.
23. Favorite ornament? Well, with this post, I have included a picture of 4 ornaments that I just adore. For many reasons but mostly because they were made for me by my stitching students. Alas, I actually couldn't find my very favorite which is a cq old fashioned ice skate complete with curled blade.
Let's say it together now....."It must be in STORAGE!"
Merry Christmas to you All!
Remember! If you wanna do this "meme" let me know by leaving a comment!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I just could NOT send that poncho to San Antonio for my granddaughter without a matching outfit to got with it. I had the hot pink Kona cotton handy for the pants and found some white seersucker for a blouse. The picture of what's under the poncho is below this text.
The pocket on the shirt is made from another funky print I had bought with hopes to use it for a dress for the baby doll, but, alas, time has run out. This evening I'm wrapping things and packing up the boxes that I'll take to the post office early tomorrow morning.
Picture me breathing a sigh of relief!
Later tonight I'll clean up the doll sewing mess I've made and refold all the fabrics. Then it's back to the purses I'm making for a couple family members who we may not see until after Christmas.
I look forward to getting back to my redwork stitching AND I must construct an all black crazyquilt block for a round robin called "Jewels on Black" that starts in January.
Merry Christmas & Stitch On my friends!
Well, obviously the doll clothes making bug has bit me! Last evening while watching a couple rare new programs on tv, I sewed up this little tote and pink poncho for my granddaughter's doll. Just when I'm getting in the swing of making doll clothes, I have to quit and get all this in the mail.
If you'd like to see the other outfits I made for the doll, just click on this picture and you will find yourself in my Flickr picture site where you can see a dress, a pants & shirt outfit and a nighty.
This little tote was on a preprinted panel for 18" dolls. I must have made the outfit (robe & pj's) for one of my other grandgirl's American Girl doll a few years ago. I found this in a box of doll clothes things.
The pink poncho was an afterthought and the poor doll won't have anything to match, but I have some pink fabric for pants which I will send to my granddaughter after Christmas. .....unless of course I get another spurt of energy later today! LOL!
Stitch on my friends! Hope all your holiday preparations are going well. I hope to get to a little baking tonight!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
We had a great time at Olive Garden. We all had the Soup,Bread and Salad special and it was wonderful as usual. My favorite is the Zuppa Toscana soup and it turns out several others like this one best as well. One member had never had it but fell in love with it. Since I have the recipe, she called me last night to get the recipe so she can serve it to visitors this week!
Afterwards we adjourned to Laura's beautifully decorated home for our Angel exchange and dessert. I have posted a few of the angels that were exchanged. As far as the members go, if you click on the picture, there are names to put with our faces!
Fran and I both love Kitties and so when I drew her name a few months ago for this I just knew that I had to make my angel a kitty-angel!
I'm happy to say she was delighted with "Miss Kitty" as I dubbed her. She was fun to make and, as Fran said she liked traditional Christmas colors, it was a simple piecing from out of my piecing scrap box. The threads used are mainly silk pearl and mainly J.Walsh ones at that. I have just learned today that my favorite shop, Needle in a Haystack in Alameda California, is no longer going to carry this line of thread and is closing it out at half price! I need to take inventory and make a call to Alameda!
The beads I used came from a multi-colored box of little containers of seed beads that I purchased at Michaels Craft Store before all my other beads went into storage. The starburst jewlelry-like item on the front is a piece of broken jewelry from a bag that I got at a garage sale this past Fall in Sedona, Arizona.
Miss Kitty's eyes are 2 black Swarovski margarites that I put on with the gold backing side up using a black seed bead to anchor them.
I was very happy and surprised at how this turned out because I was just winging it with a vague idea in my mind. It turned out so well that I may just have to make one for myself!
We all love her cross stitch work though and still wonder how she gets so much done when she still has children at home and also has a full time job as a secretary for a school Principal.
I sat next to her last Saturday at our holiday party at Olive Garden and I think I now know her secret! Shhhhhh....don't tell, but she confessed to me that she has a HOUSEKEEPER. My friends: she doesn't have to do housework! Boy! that would sure make MY life easier!
Andrea is a wonderful and prolific beader and we all lust after her lovely beaded ornaments. The wings on this angel are all beaded and I don't mean on a foundation! They are soft & flexible to the touch and the whole thing is just lovely.
The crazyquilted angel body isn't shabby either - great piecing & stitching!