Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gifts Received

Homemade birthday gifts from Sara - and the most beautiful homemade video from the Diego and the kids.
Gifts in the mail from my Doll Quilt Swap 5 partner

and from Hungary via my Mother-in-law

Gifts from above

And the greatest gift of all

Merry Christmas to you all!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A December full of Love

Hi there! I'm just popping in to say a quick hello.

Snow fell all day on Saturday and I'm not embarrassed to say that I stayed in my jammies all day long...well, OK, it was a little embarrassing when Melody and Steve dropped by...but I got over it.

This time rather than bringing depression -I'm a sun loving type of mama- the snow brought excitement of the coming weeks. Diego and the kids had a top secret birthday gift that they were working on for me - it's Wednesday- so they banished me to the Room of Requirement aka, the sewing room. Darn, to have to spend all day in the sewing room - I know you feel for me. I worked on a few top secret projects of my own, then everyone came up from downstairs and started conspiring, whispering, asking questions like what is your favorite color, and running off on their own, popping their heads up once in a while to shout "Mom do we have any duct tape?"

And...as if having a birthday 8 days before Chritmas wasn't enough, our wedding anniversary is December 26th, which also happens to be my parent's anniversary. This year we celebrate our 16th and they celebrate their 40th! With all of the gifts being exchanged, we usually just celebrate with a kiss and smile. Sometimes we sneak off for a quick lunch while the kids are coming down from the excitement the day before.

Oh, and our Christmas dinner this year. We are on our own this year, so we wanted to do something a little different that the kids could look forward to. Rather than having a traditional dinner, we are going to have an "Old World" dinner. Something that we imagine they would have had in Jesus' time. Without the fish. So we're going to have breads, nuts, fruits, dried fruits, cheeses and probably a ham. It may not be authentic but it will be a lot of fun.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

First Snow

Yesterday we had our first snow fall of the season. I have mixed feelings about that. It was beautiful to see the gingerbread city with a light dusting of powdered sugar. If it would only snow like that every time, then melt away the next day.
Yesterday was also one of those two steps forward one step back days. I spent the whole day getting things done, cleaning up weekend dishes, grocery shopping, dragging groceries in and putting them away...trying to sew pads in between. Then the kids came home and we went off to buy Sara some winter shoes -you can't wear sandals in the snow- and a couple of pairs of pants. She is 8 and not the shopper, especially when it involves trying things on. The shoes were a surprisingly quick decision, then she side tracked us with a haircut. The pants trip ended up taking over an hour in one store resulting in one pair of jeans, one pair of sweat type pants, a dress for church, a pack of socks and a boys Cars shirt that was $1. What did she want to wear this morning? The cars shirt that she also wore to bed. Luckily I talked her out of it.

With all that work done and much more to do, I came home to an empty Christmas tree. Apparently the dog pulled it over and no one including Daddio wanted to put the ornaments back on. I realized this of course after I was nagging the kids to change into something nice so we could take pictures for Christmas cards. Then it was making dinner, a lot of grumbling by me - which did get the Christmas tree put back together-, eating and family night which involved me dosing on and off during Wall-e...I should never have sat in the seat closest to the fireplace.
Needless to say, there wasn't much sewing going on. The first two pictures of that beautiful quilt are from the last quilt show...and it was not made by me...I do love it though, does that count? I did make the last quilt. It was supposed to be a hot pad about the size of a placemat. I even used that new thermal batting. Once the top was done, and I was making dinner one night looking at the last one that I made and how many stain/burn marks were on it, I realized that I couldn't bring myself to lay hot pots/pans on it. So now it's a wall quilt for the kitchen, hanging on the door to the laundry room.

Can we talk about gas for a minute? I miss cooking with gas. One of the reasons I came up with this hot pad is that I have an electric (said like a dirty word) stove with a ceramic top. I do like the ceramic top a lot more than the last stove with those coils, but you can't leave or place anything hot on it. So when you are done cooking, you can't just move the pot over to another "burner" you have to remove it. I've cooked on a gas stove my entire adult life. You can see the flame and make adjustments as necessary. When you turn off the gas, the heat is gone. Not so with electric. I have burned many o' things these last two years. We have a gas water heater down stairs in the basement, but apparently it would be like moving mountains in order to run a gas line from there to the kitchen upstairs. Something to do with the concrete slab on the main floor - or at least that's his story and he's sticking to it ;)

Oh, and one last thing. It's a small world. The other night at a fabric store, I starting chatting with the girl that worked there-Nancy. As we got to talking it ended up that she was from a small town in TN where my dear friend April moved to about 6 years ago. They knew eachother. So let's get this straight. April and April who both grew up in Burbank, CA and became friends when their kids were small-by the way, sharing the same name with your friend is really fun. You feel like you're talking to yourself a lot of the time and people look at you funny when you share a little story. Like I was talking to April the other day. They think you are talking about yourself in the third person. Or, when you call on the phone, Hi is April there, this is April. Or when we would go out to dinner...hmm, should we give them my name or yours?. Anyway, we both moved away about 6 years ago. April moved to TN and I moved to Las Vegas, then Utah. April met Nancy in TN, who then also moved to Utah. April (me) and Nancy met in Utah and realized that they both new April in TN. Is it just me or is that so crazy?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Doll Quilt Swap 5

This quilt is off in the mail to it's new owner. I hope she likes it. You know, really likes it. Remember that this is version two, since I couldn't part with the original. I did end up painting her cheeks and lips before I sent her off.
The background fabric is from a pillowcase that I picked up at a local thrift store.
So is the backing of the quilt. I was able to get in some more free hand machine quilting and I have to say that there has been some improvement. My stitches are becoming a little more even and uniform. You have to look hard to see it, especially on the front. My goal is to build up enough courage to move on to thread that stands out more, but there is something to be said about subtle - less obvious mistakes!
From all of the books I've looked at and people I've talked to - the only real trick to getting machine quilting down is practice. That and a pair of quilting gloves that you can pick up for under $5.

If you need me, I'll be standing out by the mailbox waiting for my Doll Quilt Swap 5 quilt to arrive.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Welcome December!

No pictures today, I've just been loving the arrival of a couple of new babes. Have you seen this cutie? What about this one? Wouldn't they look adorable in a pair of these? Babies everywhere...well, everywhere except here ;)

Here, there are a lot of top secret Christmas presents being made. It's sad really, Christmas comes and all of the crafting bloggers go underground for a while. I've been spending a little time trying to remember all of the really cute hand-made gifts that were around last January that I just had to make. I was thinking that I might take pictures, then post them over at Flickr with a link on my blog. That way the kids won't see if they happen by while I'm on my blog. I would have to trust the other people on my list not to click on the links. I'll have to think about that.