Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thou Shalt Not....., Etc.

New commandment at our house--enforced by the manufacturer's design:  Thou shalt not put anything on top of the washer or dryer--'cuz if you do, it will slide right off!  Reminds me of those German toilet paper roll hangers--where there's a metal plate enforcing the rule that the toilet paper must unroll from the top toward the front!
 Amidst warnings of approaching snow storms, we made a grocery run yesterday.  By the time we left the store seven miles away it was snowing, so we thought it would hit our community within 30-60 minutes.  Didn't happen.  This morning we awoke to less than an inch of snow.  We're told more is on it's way. We'll see.  The high winds arrived last night and are supposed to be worse today.  It remains to be seen if they'll be accompanied by snow.  In any case, it is icy out there, so I'm glad to stay home and work on this:
 This project has been years in the making.  When my niece Barbara announced that she was expecting a baby at the end of January and Nola's room is being decorated in Mardi Gras colors (yes, she's being named for New Orleans, LA), I knew it was high time to get these blocks into quilt form.  The almost baroque design of the printed fabric does remind me of the French Quarter with all those ironwork balconies and French history. Problem was, I hadn't worked on it since November and couldn't find it.  My sewing room has had a partial reorganization--not that there's any visual evidence of such!--but I couldn't find the quilt pieces.  Fortunately, they turned up under the cabinet under the extension of the Singer 66 treadle in the living room.  They're put together and pressed.  The red plexiglas triangle is to make the triangles and half triangles that square up two edges.  Just need to go get some yellow green fabrics from my hand-dyes.  (I hope to get back to hand dyeing fabrics after school gets out at the end of May.)
Obviously too cold and windy for breakfast outside this morning--so I improvised and had coffee and the last of Sweet Teen's scones at my 66--same view, but a lot warmer!

Monday, December 27, 2010

More Pretties...

When we pulled out these so we could take turns reading aloud Christmas Eve...
 I found these.  The Country Living is the January 2005 issue--I'm pretty sure I had never read it.  The Victoria magazines are May and June of 1995.  I've had so much fun reading them.  I loved escaping into Victoria and was shocked when Hearst abruptly stopped its publication.  Phyllis Hoffman DePiano is now publishing it as Bliss Victoria.  They've recaptured a lot of the essence of the original, but I do love the originals!
Several years ago I picked up a size 6 100% linen dress at a thrift shop for $1.00.  Yesterday I finally got around to converting the bodice into a pillow.  Love those delicate mother of pearl buttons and the pin tucks!  And now that my daughter is a Sweet Teen, I'm hopeful it will survive in good shape for a few years (unless her klutzy mom spills something on it).
I also appliqued a rescued doily onto a rescued yellow linen napkin and turned that into a pillow.
The sweet kitty in the center belonged to my father as a baby or toddler.  I'm guessing his mother embroidered it because the stitches look like hers.  About 30 years ago I pulled out the kapok stuffing, gently hand-washed the kitten, and re-stuffed it with polyester.
They all look so happy on the love seat.
My mother had probably a dozen of these elves back in the 70's.  I ran across this one in a magazine--no source listed.  My mom's were all red.  Matthew, who lived next door in Hudson, IL,  loved to visit; at two-and-a-half he made up wonderful stories about the "elfess".  Great memories sparked by a photo in Christmas Cottage, another of Hoffman Media's publications.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Peasoup Outside; Pretties Inside

 Because we are a bit beyond a 2,000 foot drop from the Sandia Mtns (and, undoubtedly, as well, for other reasons I can't explain), our area is prone to fog.  This morning it's quite thick, and has been accompanied by frozen snow--teeny tiny seeds of snow.  (This is where I could use some of those dozens of nouns the Tlinget have for accurate descriptions of snow.)

Inside, our little tree is decorated with ornaments that haven't been out of storage in the last several years (attributable to the fact that we traveled for a couple of years and Sweet Teen dislikes Christmas).
I love, love taking out ornaments I've collected over the years and revisiting the memories of the people who made or gave them or where I collected them.  The two hats (one is the circular ornament to the left of the little hat) were crocheted by my mother about 20 years ago.  I made the macrame ornament when I was teaching in Peoria, IL in the late 70's. (I made six, so I'm thinking the others are in other ornament boxes.--I used to put up three to five trees--one for almost every room when I lived in AZ.)
I have three violet and teal cloisonne ornaments that were a gift from my sister around 1980.
I purchased several of these cloisonne fish on my first trip to China.
I love pretty wired ribbon bows on ornaments; love the extra shots of color and "fluff" they add to a tree.
One year I saved a lot of the short ends and leftover plies of embroidery thread from cross stitch and stuffed them into glass balls as memories of that years' cross-stitch projects.  Since I started quilting with Fil-Tec Glide thread, I've been saving short pieces from the starts and stops in quilting to stuff into balls--thinking I'll use them to decorate a wreath in the sewing room--but haven't done so yet.

Every tree, and every heart, needs a singing bird.  This one sings only in imagination, but it's there in the branches anyway.

Crocheted angels were things my mom loved to crochet.  Unfortunately, she starched hers with a commercial product that when washed turned the angels (and anything else) gray (and can't be removed).  I still prefer homemade starch since it can be washed out when the years add layers of dust to the pretties.

I do hope Sweet Teen gets over her dislike of Christmas.  A lifetime is a long time to dislike what for most of us is a highlight of the year.  My favorite celebration is Easter, but Thanksgiving and Christmas are tied for second place.  Sweet Teen is willing to take part in social outings that have to do with Christmas, but that's because she has relatively high social needs. However, I had to give firm instructions that she will sit with family at church services--her friends are welcome to sit with us too--some attend without family.  I'm glad that at least she appreciates the important part of Christmas, the gift of Jesus, but even the peaceful, traditional, orchestral, piano, and jazz Christmas CD's in which I find great comfort and peace just make her feel "sad." However, she did just say that she might put the "peppy" tracks from Amy Grant Christmas CD's on her i pod.

Christmas cookies, some sewing projects, and, hopefully, some quilty stuff on the agenda for me today...and a trip to the grocery store for the eggs I forgot to buy yesterday.....

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Is A'Comin.....

 For the first time in decades, I purchased a real Christmas tree--to the benefit of an out-of work roofer who moved here from SC.  I always have a problem deciding what to put on the front door since the space between door and screen door is so narrow.  Here's a branch and a couple of twigs I removed from our little tree (it's just over 3 feet tall)--Looks like it's working better than anything else I've tried in the last few years.
 A kind of Christmas present to myself.  This sweet little lamp was a thrift shop find several years ago.  I'm sure it originally had a similar chimney, but when I picked it up, it had only the original socket inside.  Yesterday a friend helped me pick out a new socket and I picked up the white chimney so I could use a compact fluorescent.  The extension cord I purchased to rewire it was too thick to go up through the bottom.  Fortunately, today I found some wiring left from an old science kit--not as nice as the white, but at least it went up through the bottom.  So I lit it so I can see if I need to be concerned about heat from the bulb. So far it's staying cool.  I loved the little curved edge base because I thought it would make a perfect place to drop rings or earrings before dropping off to sleep at night.
Thirdly, here's sweet teen the night of her Christmas Concert.  (It was for school, so I'm sure they called it something else.)  Out here the bands have not only marching uniforms but also concert attire.  Black satin.  It was about an inch short.  I was told to lengthen it.  Having spent about seven hours hemming it by hand last year (no machine stitching allowed),  I said no thanks. This was taken a couple of days after her latest haircut--and doesn't represent what her hair usually looks like--I'm gently reminding her that she needs to learn how to style it with her flat iron. She's had a little more practice so her hair usually looks a bit different now--but I don't have a more recent photo.

Two more days of school and those looooonnnnnnggg commutes for me, and then I'll have a few days off.  I'm dreaming quilting--although I really need to finish decorating the tree--something Sweet Teen won't do since she doesn't like Christmas.  And I haven't quite decided how I'll finish it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Winter Wonderland???

 Beautiful--despite the fact that a few seconds later as I looked toward the highway, I inadvertently touched a branch and it jumped snow down my neck!
Over twelve inches here--still coming down.  Therefore, unplanned personal day from school--we have two more days next week before "Winter Break" begins--it's still Christmas Break in my heart and mind.

Hard to believe that it was 65 degrees Wednesday afternoon!

It took me a loooooonnnnnnng time to make the commute last night--and despite the five inches of snow we had at home, I really thought the worst that would happen is that I'd get to work a couple of hours late.  That's not in the cards for today.  The snow shovel was still in the shed out back.  Alex plunged into it--sweet teen that she is--and shoveled a path to the house and a path down the drive so we could get the garbage can to the street, in case the garbage truck makes it.

It's pretty---but cold!

Friday, December 3, 2010

EQ Christmas Freebie

Since I'm not accomplishing much in dora's quiltland, I'm passing this link on to you: a table runner or wallhanging that's free to EQ7 users at this link:

If you're not an EQ7 user, I hope you still enjoy just looking at this pretty creation.  (It's been available for a couple of months, but since I'm not keeping up with much except miles and miles of driving, I thought you might enjoy this.--Earlier this week there was a fatal accident that kept I-40 closed for hours; yes, that included my morning commute.  Traffic was redirected to old Route 66, where it clipped along at 5 mph then 2 mph and then stood still.  Since the roads were dry, I was able to turn around and take a substantial detour over a winding mountain road--so I'm guessing my 70 mile a.m. commute became 100 miles, but at least I got there.  Some co-workers said they'd have turned around and gone home.  Since my work ethic wouldn't allow me to do that, I just found a way to get there anyway.)

Stay warm and dry, friends.  And may you have time for some fun holiday creativity of some sort--as long as it's pretty and fun!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...