Monday, December 31, 2012

One down, 32 left to go...

Geez it was hard to prevent Seamus from sniffing (and moving) this wall hanging.  :)  He is such a diva!  Anyway, a quick finish for when little Lily and Claire have tea parties with their Grandmother, my friend Lori.

Next I am going to focus on charitable pieces that I can donate.  My guilds make premie quilts for the neonatal units and I use up a lot of scraps by making rail blocks.  
I also like using up scraps in other ways.  I made tons of blocks for a child's oncology quilt over the summer and Christmas trees for holiday placemats for Meals-on-Wheels seniors.  
I have a lot of writing work to do this year so I'm actually glad to have projects that are already started and just need to be finished.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The wonderful thing about doing a list...

is that you remember what you have!  First of all, thanks for all the great comments and ideas...I love having fresh eyes look at these things because I really have been at a loss with most of them!

I have another category called "doubles".  A lot of times if I making the effort to make one of something, I do a double because I have enough fabric left and I might as well.
This is a double of a quilt I made for Miles before he was born.  These were left over blocks, I just need to add a border to make it a baby sized quilt.

Double of blocks from Ami Simms pattern that I made for my brother and sister in laws for Christmas...about 5 years ago (or more).  The blocks are all done, just need to make the quilt.

When Helena was about 2 or 3, I made a wall hanging for her new bedroom.  I have a set of three blocks left.  When I found these, I knew just what to do with them!  We are going to our friends' house tomorrow for an "old people's New Years celebration".  Old people's New Years (for oldies like us) means we meet at noon, play pinochle, gab, and head home before it is dark.

Anyway, I'm going to whip up a wall hanging today to take along to their house for their granddaughter (the same little one who said "chocolate is medicine for women").  Will post a pic tomorrow if I get it done! :)
Hugs and have a happy day!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

2013 UFO Apocalypse!

My friend Sandra (of Sandra Sews) and I were talking about finishing things in 2013 and as she put it, do a UFO Apocalypse!  I love that phrase--about the only violence I could ever advocate is annihilating clutter--so here we go!
We aren't making a big blog thing out of this but if you want to join in, just give a holler on the second day of the month when we will (hopefully) be finishing up projects.  I am resigned to say this:  I have 33 ufos to do something with...which I've broken down into various categories that I will post in the next few days.

The first category is what I call:  What to do with it?  Projects that didn't turn out really well or I changed my mind on...but basically, haven't thrown out:

I think the teddy bear I will finish (either as a pillow or a bear) closer to Halloween.  The others...I'm just not sure about yet.  

It's snowing here and is lovely.  Hope you all are having a peaceful day as we are!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas was...

Christmas was as magical as Helena's card tricks...

 As silly as Mile's focus on blowing his whistle...instead of getting his crown off his eyes...

As fun as having Seamus chase you through the house...

And as patient as a big sister who plays "where's waldo" for the gazillionth time:

We hope your day was as grand as our granchildren!  DH and I are going to hang out quietly, watch tv, and recover today :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve

Be safe and merry this blessed eve!
Hang your stockings with care...
 I just uploaded this picture of my son Peter and his beautiful girl, Jessica, from Facebook and absolutely adore it!  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Redwork Quilt Finished

It's grey (again), difficult day to get photos done well plus I'm alone here today.  So anyway, hopefully will be able to get better photos down the line.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Before and After

My husband and I got this cupboard about 8 years ago while on a trip to Plymouth Rock.  I've always wanted to change it but finally got around to it this fall.  I like the way it looks now.  The white goes with our kitchen cupboards so now there is a more cohesive look in the room.  My new favorite things are what is on top of the cupboard.  I got the Christmas card holder and Santa recently at a local flea market.  
I am super happy with the way they look on the old cupboard.  The card holder in particular reminds me of my Nana Betty who loved snowmen and was always doodling them: 
A bonus is that it folds flat!  It is a little hand made treasure and a happy addition to our home!  Have a warm and happy day!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ting a ling, hear them ring!

It's Christmas time in Poodle City!!!
Hey, I was nice this year, no dreadful big costume, no reindeer antlers, just a nice handkerchief and a ball to mark the season.  Seamus rose to the occasion with much gusto:
 Seamus could be a canine super model he loves posing so much:
Not so much with Teddy the Diva, who was having no part of even holding his green ball:
"Don't look at me, I'm not ready for my close up!"

 The diva finally acquiesces to a head shot.  Geez!
Hope your day is merry and bright!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

a fun day

Yesterday, I had some of the youngsters and their moms and grandmothers over for a gift making day.   I didn't really start taking photographs til later in the day but wanted to share a few...

This is Gracie and Lily who played with the doll houses I had put out besides their crafts and playing in the attic.  I feel good when kids don't want to go home, makes me feel like I did my job properly :)
 Fun for the ladies as well.  These are some of the grandmoms....
 Katie and Natale had fun too although the little girls wanted them to do everything with them.  :)
 Lilly had some of the best quips of the day.  This is Jess, my son's longtime girlfriend, who was told by Lily that "chocolate is medicine for women."  What a hoot!
We were all grateful to share a day together with the girls before the holiday madness ensues.  Hope you had a pleasant Saturday too.  Now today...I think I'm just going to stay in my pajamas and watch holiday movies :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Surreal and Unimaginable

I always try to keep things light on the blog, no matter what is happening in my life or the world.  It's almost impossible today as we all mourn the loss of 20 young children and the innocence of so many others.
Today there are number of children coming over today to make presents for their loved ones.  I'm focusing on them and praying silently for the children and their families who are enduring unimaginable pain.  Hugs to all...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Santa Claus is coming to town...

Have you ever noticed how kids act out this time of year?  I heard more hooting and hollering at the store yesterday than I have in a long long LONG time.  It reminded me when my son Peter and his friends, Jana and Jessa, were young.  Linda (my best friend) and I were always perplexed by what had gotten into our normally well behaved children.  I'm sure its the anxiety that goes with this time of year.  

Adults aren't only the ones feeling stressed and pressure.  Imagine remembering NOW that Santa "knows if you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sakes".  Anyway, I found myself sympathisizing with the kids more than the grown-ups, it comes with Nana territory.

Speaking of Nanas--my Nana Betty gave me the little sewing girl you see on the header.  I've been pulling things out with the thought of "use it or lose it" and I love this little girl.  In all the years I've had it, I've never displayed it (fear the boys might break it).  Now I just want to live with the things I cherish.  

Well it's cold as heck out but the dogs are bugging me for their walk.  Guess children aren't the only ones who sense the anticipation this time of year!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's St. Lucia's Day!

 When I was a kid, I read books about Sweden and how girls served their family coffee and baked goods.  I wished I could live in a little cupboard bed, wear a white gown and participate in the festival.  Never got to do it but have warm memories about whatever book it was...
It's a beautiful and sunny day here in Pennsylvania, have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What's in the sewing room...

This is a redwork sham that I love, especially in the winter.  The line is actually from "Hiawatha" but it still seems apt this time of year.  I was thinking about bringing in some greenery when I remembered it.  

Additionally, I put some of my penny dolls out.  Special shout out of thanks to Martha at Q is for Quilter who told me about museum wax, one my favorite things to use when displaying fragile pieces.  I just love these dolls and am so grateful to be able to put them out now and then:

How is your decorating going?  We are doing much less as we get older and especially because all of the work is on my shoulders; my husband tends to get home about mid-December every year and just wants to chill.   Anyway, I'm off to make gluten free cookies for him!  Have a great day!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Danish Ribbons (a sorta tutorial)

Last night I started making some Danish Ribbons for the kids.  I'm not sure where this craft came from.  One day...about 50 years ago, a lady gave my mom one of these for us and my mom began making them every year.  Now I am making them for the grandkids and some of the young 'uns coming next weekend.  The ribbons are fun way to mark off the last ten days of Christmas and helps with the extra energy that kids have this time of year. Most of all, it's just fun!  

This is so easy to make that I hesitate to call it a tutorial but here goes:
You don't need a lot of things to make one of these.  The only thing I had to buy was some Christmas candy and 3.25 inch wide ribbon.  I like the ribbon with ridges.  I used about 30 inches of ribbon for each project.  You'll need a thinner ribbon for the hanger and double-sided tape is optional but REALLY helpful; I always have this kind of stuff around.

 I also used some recycled Xmas cards for the top of the ribbon where the child's name goes (thanks Pam!).  

Leave some ribbon at the top above the card (about an inch).  I punch two small holes at the top of the card (one on the left, another on the right). 

 Use permanent double sided tape to attach the card (about an inch from the top),  You need to be able to pull the ribbon down and see some card so you can thread your skinny ribbon:
The holes allow you to string some skinny ribbon for the hanger.  I do find that putting a piece of the double sided tape on the knots makes the whole thing stronger.  Then I cover the knots with the  ribbon flap and trim the ribbon from the top of the card.
The poem is attached next.  I just printed it out on card stock and taped it on!  Here is the poem:

Far away in Denmark, the children will have fun
To mark the days to Christmas, each day they pull off one!
Start from the bottom and work up towards your name,
The last one comes on Christmas and ends our little game!

Then all you do is attach 10 pieces of candy.  I like to sew mine on because I can.  By the way, my mother still likes to make these for her friends' grandkids but she uses plastic canvas and ties the candy on.  When we were kids, she used to tape the candy on ribbon...but not good if the tape loosens and your dog eats your candy.  But really---you can really make them anyway you like.  
The game always starts on December 15.   Anyway these are our what we call "Danish Ribbons". Enjoy!