Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Here's my Lighthouse Santa wishing you a Merry Christmas!

We're off on our whirlwind tour of kids and grandkids! We're also celebrating our 39th wedding anniversary! My, how time does fly!!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Here's to a "Quilt-y" New Year!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Santa's Sweatshop ... hmm ..workshop is shutting down!

Okay - time to get serious - does everyone realize that Christmas Eve is THIS WEEK! Never mind wondering where the month of December went ... where on earth did 2011 go??

I've been really busy in the sewing room. I made a db4patch for mom. Using the colors that she can still see, yellow, red and blue - well it got nicknamed the gypsy quilt here! Bright! It arrived and she likes it. I told her it was a 'gypsy' quilt and she said she'd always wanted a gypsy wagon!! It's pictured at the KidVille across from the pool in Crescent City. Makes you want to be a kid again!!

Then I finished Mr D's "Jungle Boogie" quilt. It turned out fun! I blanket stitched around the animals, quilting at the same time. It's even labeled! "Jungle Boogie for Mr D from Beach Nana and Mommy 2011"

And I made 3 pair of PJ pants paired with tops found at Walmart. They're ready to wrap. Mr D gets his first pair - I'm afraid they're going to be enormous on him!! But we'll see! I love all the pants, the robot pants are for Mr M ... and I found that robot shirt ... score!!!

I also finished a name banner for Mr D. Miss P and Mr M each have one, they're crumpled in the doll bin!! Maybe, 3rd time is the charm and this one will get hung up!! There is a sleeve on all of them!!

I whipped up a play mat for Mr M. He loves his cars - they used to have an IKEA rug that was a cityscape that they could play cars on. But something happened to it. So I made this panel - it can be put away easily enough. I also tried a drawstring bag to put the new cars and planes in ... not my best work!! But I'm still trying to see if it can work.

The house is decorated ... and the first batch of cookies are given away and eaten!! So the next two days are wrapping presents and baking cookies for the kids. Hope we can avoid them better this time!!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas! Here's to a Quilt-y New Year too!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Few Favorite things at Christmas

There are several traditions we did at Christmas growing up and raising our own children. They are a big part of all the memories that come rushing into the Christmas season. Here are a few of ours. What are your favorites?

Our Christmas tree skirt has a light back so we can trace hands on it each Christmas. It works well to trace it in pencil and then re-trace it with your favorite permanent marker. We only had 'liquid embroidery' but it worked! It's not perfect back there by any means. But you just love looking at it - again and again!

Start with the adults handprints and then add the kid's handprints each year. If you want to add pets ... wet their feet, make their paw print on a piece of paper, draw around it with a pencil before it dries, then approximate it on the skirt! You can cut around the paper and then draw around it on the skirt ... but it's easier than you think to just free-hand it! After a few years, you have a wonderful circle of hands expanding out. I'm now fitting in grandkids' hands around the edges!!

When the kids were small, at Christmas we had 'bedtime' 10 minutes earlier. They ran to get into their pjs, brushed their teeth and then came back down to the tree, turning off all the lights as they came. We sat around the lit tree and each child (I only had 2!) picked a Christmas song for us to sing. It was magical and we parents didn't mind [much] missing the first 15 minutes of our 9 o'clock tv shows!

When I was growing up, my mom and dad would wrap one present without a box and on occasion we would get to sit supervised, 'feel' it and try to guess what it was. I had a hard stuffed poodle one year ... never did figure it out - too many parts sticking out!! Tail, nose, top of head, those weird legs ...But boy, did I rip into it first thing Christmas morning!

There are certain Christmas movies that we watch every year: White Christmas; Miracle on 34th St; and Love Actually. I'd like to find a copy of the "Best Christmas Pageant Ever" cheap. It was a made for TV special and we loved it!!

I still love receiving Christmas cards [nice segue, don't you think??!] I love opening cards from friends and families far away. And I even love Christmas letters!! Short ones with pictures are my favorites, but I'd rather have a really long one that none at all!

Here's our letter this year! Short and sweet as always. And the names have been taken out to protect the 'not so innocent!'

Happy Holidays from the Boyds

Oh, my - another year just sped by! And a new grandchild joined our family! A&J2 had Mr D in April and he is a true camera hound! He sees that little red ‘focus’ light headed his way and he is all smiles!

Miss P started pre-school this year and loves it – she just missed the cut-off date for kindergarten. Mr M is so busy being 3 that you need an appointment for a hug! Although he is always available for ‘crash cars’.

We had snow and sleet on the coast, and saw our first tsunami up close and personal. We went down to Palm Springs for some fun ‘n sun in February. We came back too early and were surprised by twenty inches of rain in the month of March! Webbed feet were all the fashion!

There was lots of golf, lots of quilting, time spent with good friends - it was another wonderful year on the Oregon coast with kids and grandkids close by.

Wishing you and yours the best in 2012

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December has arrived! - and we're off and running ...

I don't do as much Christmas shopping and sewing now that we're retired. First, I live in a really small town and there is NO shopping! If the local Fred Meyers doesn't have it - we apparently don't need it!! So we often give money to the kids to buy what the grandchild needs/wants. Easy-peasy, but I do miss the 'thrill of the chase' sometimes!

Small town post offices also have their own special challenges! I haven't been in the post office for months when there wasn't a l*o*n*g line and more than one clerk at the counter. And don't ask for special stamps - they are available online!!!

I have no secret pals nor small sewing group to make presents for. Yes, Scrap Happens, I'm missing you - as usual!

End result?? No looming deadlines! And that's a good thing!

I think I mentioned that I hadn't made a Christmas stocking for J2, A's wife. I swore I had - this is where lists DO come in handy!! When I checked back the last few years - on my list of finished projects each year ... nada!! So when I made Mr D's stocking; I also made one for J2.

A sent me a picture of his stocking ... good thing - I'd forgotten that rendition! The theory was put a plain Christmas tree on the front of the stocking to be decorated with appropriate buttons each year. Never did it!! LOL! L&J had the same stockings, they each had 1 button on them. So, my mission, should I decide to accept it, was to sew buttons on finished stockings! ICK! There's really no room to work with them.

So here is how I did them. You will notice, there are no hands pictured in these steps. I was sewing during naps and no one was available to hold the camera. PLUS I looked down at my cuticles ... water aerobics is not kind to hands!! You will not see my hands demonstrating anything any time soon!

Start with 'findings' aka very small buttons! I got these at JoAnn's and they are the same buttons I used on "8 Tiny Reindeer" last January. Cute, nice colors and just big enough for clumsy 59 year old hands to hold on to!

I used quilting thread - figuring it was strong - and 2 needles!

Thread one needle; don't knot it; take a stitch thru the front of the stocking where you want the button placed. Start from the top and end on the top.

Thread the second needle with the other end of the thread. With each needle, in turn, go up thru one hole and down thru the other hole. Do not go into the fabric of the stocking. It helps to use 'opposite' holes for each needle's 'up' stitch. Pull on your threads until the button is tight against the stocking.

Now, unthread one needle - it's easier. Tie a square knot with the thread under the top edge of the button. Then tie another square knot under the bottom edge of the button. That's it! cut the threads as close under the button as you can.

Give the button a tug - it seems secure. Of course, it could unravel later - I just did these. They seem sturdy enough - time will tell.

Mr M and Miss P show you that they do look better 'decorated'!! Notice those really cute glasses Miss P is wearing?? Not real!! Her doctor said she needed glasses. They went to the eye doctor, talked about the great glasses she could get ... but she didn't need them! Very disappointed, she was!! So when Mommy found this 'fake' glasses at the mall - Miss P got them!

They look like such angels, don't they. They had just 'hip-checked' each other up and down the entire length of the cupboard!! Jockey-ing for 'top dog' position? While I was trying to get a picture ... guess I'm lucky they are not just a blur!

A holding Mr D in the same room got a glimpse of his future parenthood!! We both had to act like we weren't giggling!! Happy Holidays!