These photos were taken last Thursday. It took me 30 minutes of freezing out on the deck, and I had my heaviest long winter coat, stocking cap and gloves on!! Waves are tricky!
Those that look good, fizzle out. The sneakers - well you don't always get them at their peak. AND the best ones are when you've given up and turned your back! You should see the ones "that got away"!!
For those who don't remember our view ... This is Rainbow Rock Island. Just north of our deck. It's 100 feet tall!
Yesterday was our Woolies Christmas party!! Whoo-hoo! It was such fun and we all got sewing done too! Bonus!
Time to reveal one of my favorite gifts to give: Christmas ornaments that are also adapted to be a gift card holder! And as I mentioned last week, Gift card holders also hold a package of needles!
This is one of my favorite Christmas patterns! I've made meadows of snowmen over the last years! I've only made the Snowman Head ornament! I'm sure the other projects are just as easy - and when I've "ornamented" the world with this one, I'll try them!!
Two finished ornaments from past years on top. First you have to sit around and make faces!! You could use buttons for eyes - but it's easy to machine blanket stitch wool circles and the nose. The mouth could be beads as well as the hand stitched Xs in the pattern. Make that grin a little crooked for Holiday charm!
After the faces are made :) Blanket stitch them down on the large background piece. I've noted that next time I'm going to make the background a skootch bigger and trim it back later. It would be easier to add the back piece. No, the hat has not been added yet!
This charming guy has a ski type hat on - pick any color! Trust me, it will look like Christmas even if it's not red or green. This year I added bright color brims and I like them!
Machine blanket stitch hat and brim. It's easy to chain stitch this project. I made 12 this year - 8 for the Woolies and 4 for various other friends!
The leaves (don't wonder why - just add them!) are easy and fast. Just a simple straight stitch down the middle of the leave. Note that the black background has the horizontal leaf space coming off the hat. Start with that one and then add the 2nd one pointing to the face
Machine blanket stitch the berry and you're done with the front. they each have their own little personality! One year, I was out of shower caps and P a cruise fan collected some on her travels, just for me!! I made her this ornament but added a "shower cap" over the hat. Made me laugh the whole time I was working on it! She loved it too! Personalize as needed!
Now you want to add a wool back - copy the large background piece again. Good thing about wool is that it is reversible! Now is the time to add the back pocket for a gift card. This is my addition to the pattern. I use a hotel key card + a quarter inch. Now is the time to pay attention, hold it up against the other piece, make sure to match the edges.Check the back against the front, and sew the pocket on the correct side of the back.
As I mentioned, both hand needles and machine needle packages fit in this pocket! Win-win!
Here we are, during the short break in the rain! I told everyone that they could re-gift the snowman without hurting my feelings; and they all said, "But would you make me another one then??" So I think they were a hit!
I mean really - who can sleep in this storm! The wind woke me up at 4 am. That is hard to do. Number 1 - I usually sleep very well!
Number 2 - My ear is stuffed up again. :(
Number 3 - we live in a "middle" condo - 2nd floor, condos on all sides of us. But winter storms can sweep in from both the 'window sides' at once and this is that kind of storm!
We also have been known to be in our own little micro-climate out here in Paradise overlooking the ocean. Brookings Weather station says that we've gotten .02 inches! Not out here! Maybe the wind blew their rain gage over???
I skipped water aerobics - the drive to Crescent City is too scenic!! In other words, tall trees line the hwy and I'm a big chicken, it's a 40 minute drive and we have to start at dawn this time of year. Hmm, possible hazards in the dark??? Sewing day for me!
But first!!!! I handed off the refurbished Advent Calendar to DS on Thanksgiving. That brought up the subject that DD doesn't do one for Miss P and Mr M. When I got home I looked on my Pinterest "Advent Calendar" board (doesn't everyone have one????) and found a Random Act of Kindness Advent activity. I gathered all the activity suggestions (around 200 between all the links!) and emailed it to DD. Hopefully, she'll get it going. You cut out strips of paper with the activity written (typed) on it, put them in a jar, box, basket, bowl ... and have the children draw one out each morning. That night they report back if they were able to do it. Then you can staple the paper onto a ribbon and create a banner or garland to remember doing these. Cool!
Then I read that RAKs helps whenever life is hard. It's a good activity to get you out of your own head and focusing on someone else. Sounds like a good activity for me too! So I printed out my research and took it to my small quilting group. We decided, "No pressure" but lets see how many we can do? That was Monday night. Tuesday I was under the weather :( but I DID unlock the door for my DH who was coming back from a golf weekend. (He really hates trying to guess which locks need to be unlocked while balancing all the stuff from the car!)
Yesterday I went to the PO. Poor planning on my part! Our poor little PO has been under siege this year. We lost our auxiliary office in Harbor. AND they downsized our Main PO - both deliveries and the staff! It was a double whammy. We only have one truck out of this burg with mail - 11 am. That's when the truck brings the mail too. (Which adds a day to delivery time right off the bat!) We already live at the edge of the world, Trust me, delivery was already slower than molasses!
The line was long, just one clerk working, some jerk in line was talking loudly on "this is why we have road rage ..." When I got to the clerk I thanked her for keeping her calm and always being friendly even with a line in front of her the entire day. I bought my stamps, sent my package and managed NOT to kick that guy in the shins on the way out!!! I count that as double points!!!!
Here is the kid's advent calendar post that started all this! Follow her links to add more choices.
OR you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you my research!!
We had a fun Thanksgiving. The dogs were fascinated by the 2 yr old and kept trying to herd him into a corner! Luckily Mr K was NOT intimidated - he has an older brother!! But whenever he sat on the floor, the dogs came running to clean his face!!! It was a giggle-fest on Mr K's part.
Then trying to arrange a photo opp with that many people - well, we got some good ones, if you like blurry!!
Look at the lower left corner - Mr M is much faster after his first year of baseball!!
Here is everyone but my daughter, who is the photographer!! Happy Holidays!! (I held the "photo bomber" in custody!!)
Tomorrow is my first Christmas party and I'm so excited! It's our Woolies group and we exchange presents! As a good friend in NE said, "this is my favorite Christmas - presents from people who "get me"!" It will be a fun day. This weekend I can show you what I made for them! Had to keep it a surprise, you know!
Other sewing lined up:
Finish a name banner for a new baby; and the flannel blankie that goes with it
Pillowcase 3 other flannel blankies for the Brookings Baby Shower
Quilt an I Spy baby blanket.
Hmmm, not too Christmas-y but this is all to clear the way for the last of the Christmas gifts that need to be made!! PJ pants for all kids in my life! and another secret gift for my small group.
Where on earth did this year go?? How is it possible that this week is Thanksgiving?
This is the first Holiday season without Mom and I have to admit, I'm not doing so well. There I admitted it. I'd hoped it would be easier, but I guess it is what it is - I'll just have to buy Puffs Facial Tissue in bulk this year! And try to avoid the Christmas specials and commercials!
Mom loved the holidays - every opportunity for a big production was welcomed. She calmed down in her later years ... but boy-o-boy growing up, holidays were crazy!
First was Halloween - and Mom belonged to a "Social Club" - the Lenox Club. Lenox was the name of the street everyone had lived on at one point or another. Most of the members were family and longtime friends. Most were ancient!! Mom and Dad were some of the youngest members! And they had a Halloween party, complete with costumes. In fact, you hoped your costume was good enough that no one would know who you were! And I remember some weird costumes, because of course, you had to organize it from your closet or go thrifting for it. No store-bought or rented costumes ever considered!! I thought all parents did this! Below is one of the costumes!! Mom hated that this photo existed - I can just hear what she'd say about being on the blog!! (insert my evil laugh here!)
Then Thanksgiving - the whole family got together, and being a Nebraskan family, the Husker game was always playing. We planned around a lot of football on TV. But the TV wasn't on during dinner. I remember sitting across from my nephew (just 2 years younger than me); because we got into too much trouble sitting by each other! I remember putting black olives on our fingertips and trying to give each other the finger without being caught! HS age - it was fun!!
Now don't think the rest of us just milled about during the games on TV. Oh, no!! There was a planned craft activity, attendance was mandatory - all hands on deck.
There were Mr and Mrs Santas; and I remember variegated crepe paper wreaths - we had to cut the paper in strips, wrap it around a dowel and using a kid's block smash it hard into crinkled curls. Shiny Christmas balls were added. It took alot of curls and we had to make one for everyone!! I guess that's where I got my sweat-shop training!
Then there was the year of sequined wax fruit. Lord help us!! We had to thread the sequin on a straight pin, then pin it into the wax fruit. Why or why I ended up with the banana, I don't know - but that sucker went on forever. My fingers were dimpled for months after that. I don't know why we couldn't hammer those pins in - it would have been easier. I remember just gold sequins on ours. There is a reason no one does this anymore!
But the piece d'resistance was the turkey carcass breast bone made into a Santa's sleigh!!! Don't look at me like that! Ours was glittered!! My DH told me he really did reconsider marrying into my family after that project was brought up!! (I don't blame him!) And yes, it was stuck into styrofoam!
And Christmas - well, it was spectacular! There was a flocked tree that children were not allowed to help decorate - there was always a color theme. Probably why my children always decorated the tree and there was a multitude of ornaments on it.
There was chili and hoagies on Christmas Eve, a tradition we still follow. That informal set-up is a good plan. It takes into account those who have to work or travel that day, Christmas Eve Church services, some go early and some go late; and keeps it all casual and welcoming! But we did open family presents on Christmas Eve.
Then Christmas breakfast. I remember setting the table watching Art Linkletter's Tour of the Holy Lands on TV??? I don't remember what we ate, but I remember setting up 6 ft long tables so we could all eat together. Christmas dinner was later in the day so everyone could go to the In-laws and come back.
Here's an assortment of Christmas photos in no particular order!!
Christmas - waiting for Santa to come. At the farmhouse, I was in HS. The dogs were always part of it too!
I think this was in our basement on L St. I was in elementary school. Not pictured.
Farmhouse - the aftermath!!! My nieces.
L St porch on a mild Christmas. I'm the dark haired girl in a twin set!! It was the 60s! Very fashionable!
L St basement - must be after Christmas breakfast but before presents. I'm in the red sweater, but don't you love those matching cowboy shirts my nephews are wearing!! Grandma and Grandpa Grant on the couch.
Everyone dressed up, we were going to church later. At my sister's duplex house on 33rd! My nieces and nephews with me.
When my Sister moved to Waverly, Christmas happened at her house. My DD posing with the Great nephews and nieces.
My dad posing with the first Great-grandchildren!
Lined up with our favorite presents! A little too cold out for adults to come out!
Christmas Eve - I'll grow into those jammies - maybe by next year!
At Farm with our oldest dog - Paddy O'Shea he was brought home on St Patricks Day as a puppy.
Thanks for reminiscing with me. Next time - favorite presents to give!
Today I'm celebrating - I mailed the box to Nebraska yesterday morning! Inside were the wedding quilt, three doggie blankets and four Christmas stockings!!! Now it's all up to UPS and I can relax slightly before continuing on my pressing To-Do list!!!
C and I are walking twice a week. And oh my - we've had some epic "Oh my goodness" adventures!
We went to Cape Ferrelo. A favorite viewpoint. Walked down to the beach, lost the trail, so ended up guessing wrong and followed a deer path :( up the bluff. I tripped over a blackberry vine (they are so sneaky!) But the biggest problem is I came down in a mound of blackberry vines! OUCH!
It was terrible - I had the stickers all over me, and lots in my hands. No glasses with me, so I couldn't even rest my hands on anything without driving them in further!!! Then we got to the top, and discovered a very large wind had come up! Truly, it was Keystone Kops take a walk!!!
C discovered this definition: Adventure: Something that seemed like a good idea at the time!
I took 16 stickers out of my hands with tweezers. I was still finding them days later.
Ahh, but other days, it's glorious. At Harris Beach Park there is a huge tidepool that's hanging around. Great photo opps!
The tide pool
Path down to the beach
A view point around every corner!
On to quilting business!! Here are some closeup photos of the wedding quilt quilting - C, my friend called it "Spotlights", I like it!
Quilting done by walking foot. I don't really like very dense quilting, the challenge is to make it "even" throughout the quilt.
The borders were quilted with one of my favorite motifs - ice cream cones. Hmmm, one of my favorite foods too!!! Coincidence?? Probably not!
Also in the box - Christmas stockings. A pair for the new couple and one for their dog! Dogs can't read, so I just add a picture of a dog on it. I find all stockings go together if they are the same size. It's a theory that works for me!!! Don't spoil it!
The stocking that is different is the Caroler that is for my niece - the mom of the groom. She has this H*U*G*E mantel and there is a caroler for everyone one in the family hanging from it. I started making them for her in the early 90s! 4 children, 2 step children, then they started marrying, then grandkids started coming ... she doesn't do dog stockings! (Thank goodness!) But there are 16 (hmm, seems like more ...) stockings all made at different times, and they all match much better than expected!! They even hang at the same angle!!! A Christmas miracle in my opinion!
Three doggie blankies. These started when my sister thought that everyone should get baby blankies and those with only "furry children" should get them too!! So, being the good sister I am, I made them for her for HER Christmas present. Oh my! Our family 'goes thru' a lot of dogs!!
These are easy - just 2 lengths of dog-ish fabrics, and using my sewing machine alphabet I make a long ribbon repeating "Sit! Stay! Good dog, (insert the dog's name here)" and applique it on top of the whole cloth fabric. I sew them together like my receiving blankets with some flannel as batting. They are sturdy - I've only lost one to the dog chewing it up!!! BUT I always emphasize I don't do repairs to dog blankies!!! Just so they know!
I also taught myself a lesson yesterday. Have you ever had that project, or in this case a repair, that you had an "easy" fix in your mind. But you can't find the right notion, supplies or 'some such' for it???
My DS wanted the old felt-Velcro Christmas advent calendar for his boys. Yes, it was a great feeling that it would be passed down. But the felt was in terrible shape, the slightest vibration sent all the velcroed 'ornaments' to the floor. Trust me, with 2 and 4 yr old boys in the house, there are vibrations!! Lots of vibrations!
So I sewed wool over the tree and the numbered boxes, where the velcroed ornaments hang until their turn. They used it last year, but I still needed to find some numbers and apply them. Never found them. And I "refused" to think about it any other way. ALL YEAR!
Well, it IS November and I didn't want to be responsible for this calendar not becoming part of their tradition. So after reading how we should use our own handwriting - not just computer fonts transferred for labels, I wrote each number in the correct box and took it along to my "Woolies" meeting yesterday. Being entertained by everyone, I outline stitched the numbers with wool thread all day.
I resisted the books being passed around, nose to the grindstone and it was completely done by the end of the meeting. It only took me 4 hours!!!! It's a little 'folksy' and I'm not wild about the 2s but I like it. I can't believe I put it off for a year when it was that easy!!
Ladies, learn the lesson from me!! What are you putting off??? It feels so G*R*E*A*T to get it done!! So GO DO IT!!
I'm pleased to announce that the Wedding Quilt is DONE!! (and the crowd goes wild!) The happy couple picked their colors ... teal, grey and purple. Oh dear, I had to go shopping!!! And I think I became attracted to teals and greys! Not good news for my stash storage or budget!
I thought I had a quilting plan, but when CY, a friend who is also an excellent quilter, saw it she suggested highlighting the diagonals. I quilted it myself on my DSM (domestic sewing machines for the non-quilters in the group!) It was harder than I thought it would be!!
I have a pretty good setup for quilting. And although I have done free motion quilting, I do prefer walking foot quilting.
Here I am in the dining room of the apartment. DH ordered a very large table when we moved out here. He wanted something large enough to still have room for a meal when I was in the midst of a project. Thank you, dear heart!!!
I have a portable sewing table that I can adjust the height, so with my acrylic 'sewing machine surround' (which increases the space around the needle so your quilt can be spread out a little more) the quilt moves smoothly onto the dining room table. You don't want gravity to pull it this way and that, distorting your stitches!
Note that the foot pedal cord is wrapped around the leg of the table. That's to keep me from tripping on it or losing it way under the table!!
The ironing board keeps the majority of the quilt off my shoulders and off the floor while I'm feeding it through the machine. Looks pretty spacious, doesn't it! But then you add the quilt itself!! Not so much room now!
The chairs help to keep the quilt from falling off the table. Trust me, that quilt goes every which way as you work with it.
The view from the other side, Hard to believe I use every inch of space!! In fact, when I'm quilting, I encourage DH to go on a golf trip - and he runs for the door!!! It's the biggest mess you ever saw ... for days!!!
I have a 6.5 inch harp (opening between the body of the machine and the needle. It's bigger than I've ever had before, but you have to squeeze the quilt through that opening during the process and trust me ... I think it's like mud-wrestling an alligator!!
Ahhh, but the end result is oh so nice!! Don't you think?? DH thought we'd better have a shot of it with our ocean behind it! And yes, this is our view!! Life is good!
I needed to go up to Portland to pick up my new glasses. So I planned an adventure with Miss P and Mr M. I love having 1-on-1 time with them. Or is it 1-on-2 time?? We can really get things done!
IKEA was having a "Design a Stuffed Animal" contest. So Miss P and Mr M each designed some adorable animals for it. Then we packed up and went to IKEA to turn them in. BUT we went by the MAX or as I call it - the train.
Other than the rain, we had an awesome day. Believe it or not, we sailed down Scholl's Ferry Parkway without a single red light!!! Not sure that's ever been done before!! Got to the Beaverton Transit Center lickety-split. Bought the tickets and the train was there! So far so good!
The train we got on goes all the way to the airport so we didn't have to change trains downtown or anything! We had a great view out our window and it's always interesting to see a big city from a different point of view! Sorry - I still can't take a focused picture when the train is moving!
It took an hour to get to IKEA, and although that is longer than driving (some days!) there's never a guarantee that you won't run into a traffic snarl in Portland!
We got off the train and walked across the parking lot to IKEA! Found the Customer Service desk and turned in our drawings. Then we went to check out the stuffed animals. The contest is a yearly event, and we saw the latest animals. Too cute! And we went over to the usual toy department. I had promised that we could get one stuffed animal each. When asked I said $15 max ... but I didn't see that 4 foot shark that was under $15!!!
Mr M immediately decided on the shark and he's so cute ... what Nana could resist? He promised that he would carry it and take care of it!
Miss P has a little harder time picking. She likes to pick the perfect new animal to fit into her other animals at home. She picked a snake, no, a polar bear, no, the shark, no, the Huskie, no the dachshund, and on our 3rd trip through, she settled on the Mamma and Baby Elephant. Good choice!
We bought a few little things that Nana wanted and headed thru the checkouts then stopped for a yogurt cone. I thought we'd done wonderfully time-wise but it was later than I thought. Mr M was still eating his yogurt cone and it was still raining, but we had to head for the train. So Nana carried the shark, Mr M is a little too short to carry it thru rain puddles anyway!! He was done with his cone by the time we got to the MAX platform, and we didn't even have time to throw away the napkin and the train was there.
Back in Beaverton, it was still raining, hard! We had a bout a 3 block walk back to the car. I had a shark under one arm, dragging two (a little whiny) kids by the hands down the street. I do believe I may have looked fierce enough that no one was going to mess with me!!!
Later that day, Miss P wanted to write stories rather than color. What a great idea!! So we wrote and drew pictures of our day. Too fun. She wasn't done yet, but the last paragraph she wrote ended with "And then we had to put up with my brother's shark!!!"
Why, oh why, do we love Halloween so much! Why couldn't we love something in summer so all our Holiday decorating isn't the last 3 months of the year!!! Oh well, I do love it!
Here's some more pictures of the Halloween quilts - with the grands!
Don't you just love that 'spontaneous' zombie hand coming up from the back of the quilt???? I love elementary school age! They are so-o funny! This was the second skeleton quilt - and I like the calm of the checkerboard compared to the disappearing 9patch. These quilts were tied after quilting around the panel. I love a tied quilt - it molds around your body so much, keeping all the heat close!
I imagined these quilts being brought out in the Fall and used until after Halloween. Washed and hidden away until the next fall. When I mentioned that to my DD she said, "I don't think that is going to happen, mom. We're still dragging out the baby quilts to sleep with when we don't feel good!!" Oh well!
Both strippie quilts were quilted with a walking foot on my DSM. If you enlarge the picture - you can see it. They turned out well!
Strippie quilt. Note there are 2 Orange fabrics in the one on the left. I may have been a little 'stressed' working to deadline. I lost one of the black fabric strips on my black wool design wall!!! Imagine my surprise when I walked back into the "Staging Area" (no longer a sewing room! No room to sew in there!!!!) and spotted it after redesigning the quilt! Sometimes I truly miss my mind!
This 4 yr old face - doesn't it just melt your heart????
The skeleton is about the size of a thinner 4 yr old??? I really wanted these pictures of the kids standing next it it. It won't grow, but they are all shooting up like weeds! Note "Nap Anatomy" was made with disappearing 9patch blocks. It's chaotic! Perfect for a Halloween quilt, but I did do checkerboard for Mr Bones, the second one.
Parental units with the kids! This was the only time that Mr K, 2 yrs old, stood still for a picture. The rest of him are just blurs!! (Hope for better luck next visit!) 2nd skeleton pictured with the Portland bunch. Hmmm, I didn't change those sizes, I must have taken the Portland picture with "square" on the Ipad! Trust me, the quilts are the same size!
And at long last - a finished UFO! I took this class in fall 2014. Adapted from a pattern that had the pumpkin stems/leaves hanging off like penny rug flaps. I didn't want to deal with that fussy work and my table is big. This 17 x 43 runner is a better fit for me.
The pumpkins are hand appliqued using blanket stitch, the strips were couched and I used warm and white batting. It's sturdy! I machine quilted it with my DSM. I can't hand quilt through all those layers. My mind thinks I'm 30 but my hands feel like they are 90! I'm starting to get picky about what I do by hand. AND it wouldn't have been done - back to the bottom of the UFO pile for sure!!
At our babysitting gig, DD left me the homework assignment about our 1st graders' heritage. Asked DSIL where his family is from "Dunno! somewhere in Europe?"
Hmm, deadline looming, must be boy-ish or Mr M won't do it. Well, okay then - how about England and we can make a Buckingham Palace guard! Off to JoAnn's for some felt - which thankfully was on sale. You'd be so proud of me! Two grands in tow, into JoAnn's - and coming out with ONLY what was needed for this project! It may have been a first!
Miss P - my 3rd grader - was involved in all the conversations; the shopping and then she (because she wasn't allowed to do the project for Mr M - which they both would have preferred!!!) made her own person. She had a "Peace" t shirt; jeans and very stringy embroidery floss hair!
Mr M cut out the paper patterns we drew on the Flat Stanley type doll. He placed and glued clothing, drew the face, designed a gun and sewed on the buttons! Those weren't going to stay put glued! Of course, all with my help and supervision! It took a couple of hours, but turned out really good!
At the end, the funniest thing happened. Miss P turned to me and said, "Gee, when I did this project, I was Swedish! Can we have different ancestors?" YEP! Remembering that would have saved alot of texting and anguish. Oh well, I believe we were working closer to Christmas that time. DH does have Swedish ancestors and we liked the idea of candles on her head!!!
Did I mention he has the same teacher!?!?!? Hope she has a sense of humor!