Friday, December 23, 2011

Last Minute Christmas Projects

For some reason, oldest daughter has lately been inspired to be quite crafty. A few days ago, she had an idea for an embroidery project. She drew a Christmas tree, and embroidered it with a chain stitch. Metallic thread made for the perfect star at the top of the tree:

I just happened to have the perfect frame in my stockpile of supplies (thank goodness I tend to buy supplies and materials with abandon.... it comes in handy sometimes....) The frame was just a little long, so she sewed on a couple of fabric borders at the bottom, along with a bit of vintage crochet lace (again, the stockpile comes in handy.)

She has also started a wool applique project. We had an old moth eaten knitted wool sweater which she cut into the shape of mittens, and then added some stripes with wool from my stash:

We cut off the sleeve cuffs from the old sweater, and they became the cuffs on the mittens:

Project is coming along well....

All in all, I am almost ready for Christmas Day. There are still a few presents to be wrapped, company coming this afternoon and a party to go to this evening, then church tomorrow evening (Christmas Eve). Christmas day will be spent with extended family at a crowded, noisy, joyful gathering.
I hope you have a very Merry and Blessed Christmas.

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger." At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him. Luke 2:11-14 MSG

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.... In NYC

In my opinion, Christmas time is the best time to visit New York City. Everything is decorated and there is even more hustle and bustle than usual. The weekend before last, our family hopped on the train and went up for the day. We had a fabulous time.

 There were so many people! You could barely walk down the sidewalks!! This is the intersection between St. Patrick's Cathedral and Rockefeller Plaza.

Grand Central Terminal. Thousands of people! Hence the expression:
"Geez, it's like Grand Central Station in here!" It really was!!

Christmas Tree at Penn Station

 Rockefeller Plaza

St. Patrick's Cathedral

On such a cold and blustery day, it's fun to sit and sip hot chocolate at an outdoor cafe and do some "people watching".

We stopped into M & J Trimming AND Tinsel Trading. Dangerous! Thank goodness I hadn't brought my purse- hubby had to pay for everything so that kept my spending in check! I got some satin ribbon and striped grosgrain ribbon, AND we found beaded trim for Daughter's wedding gown for only $20 a yard- a steal in my opinion (especially after you've seen what the bridal boutiques charge). Afterwards, knowing how much he'd spent and seeing my little tiny bag, he asked, "Is that all you got??"  Yes, I replied, it doesn't look like much but it's a treasure to me.

So that was our trip to the City. Hope you enjoyed "coming along" with me.....

Friday, December 16, 2011

9 Days til Christmas...

There are just 9 days until Christmas.... Most of my shopping is done! I have just a couple of things to get today. Since we are cutting down on Christmas presents this year, there was less to do, so that's a plus. Tomorrow will be spent baking- a lot of people on our list are getting homemade Christmas cookies on a pretty plate- it is one of my favorite gifts to give every year. Who doesn't like homemade cookies? And the pretty plate is a nice gift that lasts for years to come after the cookies have been eaten. Daughters have big plans to make about 12 kinds of cookies tomorrow.... we'll see how far we get!

Yesterday, daughter made mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes from the recipe in my book. I will be doing a talk and sharing cupcakes today at 2 pm at Olde City Quilts in Burlington NJ. Stop by if you are in the area- It is a really beautiful, inspirational shop and it will really get your creativity going! And before that, I am stopping to have "Christmas lunch" with one of my oldest and dearest college friends. So it's going to be a wonderful day!

Speaking of wonderful.... look at this quilt created by Wendy Sheppard using my Joy, Love, Peace, Noel fabric! It is featured in the current issue of The Quilter Magazine. The quilting is incredible.
Happy Weekend, everyone.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Something to make you smile.....

I found this website today and it made me smile!! What do you get when you photograph your dog while they are relaxing on their back, and then flip the photo over?? You get of course!!! (Who comes up with these ideas, anyway??)

This reminds me of a weird family photo album- with photos taken after everyone has had a little too much egg nog- ha ha! If you want to giggle and relieve some holiday stress, stop by for hundreds more cute and funny photos....

Thursday, December 8, 2011

 Oldest daughter is a college senior this year. Every year her college picks 6 or 7 seniors to speak during their Chapel services throughout the year. At the beginning of this semester, daughter applied and was chosen! She thought she'd have until Spring Semester to prepare, but alas, the date given to her was December 5..... so I think she panicked a little and then buckled down and got it done.

Our family went to see her speak this past Monday and she did a phenomenal job!! She spoke for about 30 minutes and her subject was "Creativity" and how we should do everything that we are called to do, no matter what it is, with creativity and excellence. The college president went on and on about what a great job she did... We were so so proud... She really hit it out of the park! Here is the link to the video, choose December 5 Senior Speaker Samantha Steves. (You will need Quicktime Movie Player to view.)
Our family and Samantha's fiance, Jeff

If you are a follower on Facebook or Twitter, then you probably know that I had a little "hair mishap" last week..... My hair has been the same for quite a while, kind of a dark honey color, and I wanted something different, so I decided to go red. I picked out a nice auburn shade at the drugstore and did my hair at home. Whoaaa- my hair DID NOT look like the model on the box! It looked like Ronald McDonald! For about a minute, I thought about trying to fix it myself, then decided to go to the salon and have professional "color correction" done (that's a nice way of saying- "You screwed it up on your own, now we are going to charge you the equivalent of a mortgage payment to fix it for you.") The photo above shows my new shade- very dark brown with auburn. I am still not sure if I like it, maybe I just need to get used to it (it actually looks darker in real life than it looks in the photo.)

Stop by the Aurifil blog and meet the December Designer of the Month- Sharon Pederson. Sharon's palette is bright and vibrant and fun- I'm sure you will love it as much as I do....

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Mail for Heroes and a Project Sneak Peek

Would you like to send holiday cards to our service men and women to brighten their holidays and let them know that they appreciated while they are far away from home? Hurry! You still have time to send your cards to the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program. They must be postmarked by this Friday December 9.

The Red Cross is working with Pitney Bowes, a mail stream technology company, to collect and distribute holiday cards to American service members, veterans and their families in the United States and around the world. The process is very simple and takes no time at all - All you need is a pen and piece of paper to share your appreciation for the sacrifices members of the U.S. Armed Forces make to protect our freedoms. The Holiday Mail for Heroes mail box is open and ready to receive for your cards. 

All of the details can be found here and it is very simple. You can even "order" cards online for only $1.00 each- just choose your card design and greeting, and a card will be sent to a service member. Click here for the details. (Really, how easy is that?? Oh my, I hope Ina Garten doesn't get mad at me for stealing her tag line!)

I finished an embroidery design this weekend. Maybe... possibly... it might be part of a project for my next book. But you didn't hear that from me, OK?

I have also been writing a pattern for my Christmas fabric line called Oh Holy Night which comes out next spring. I am trying to work ahead, so I don't have to do it at the last minute... I am glad I got this one done because it seems like it is taking forever..... I don't have Oh Holy Night fabric yet, so I whipped up a sample using Joy,Love,Peace,Noel fabric.

Funny that I am working on something for next Christmas.... shouldn't I be working on stuff for this Christmas? I want to do some baking, but the honest truth is that if I bake now, nothing will be left by Christmas- we just love our Christmas cookies around here... so the baking will have to wait just a little while.

What are you doing this week to get ready for the holidays? Are you already done all of your preparations, or maybe you haven't even started yet? I am trying to just take my time and enjoy this time of year and not get too caught up in the hustle and bustle. How about you??


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