Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

As usual this time of year, we have been busy, busy, busy around here. I don't remember ever being this late getting started, or finished with all the stuff that we need to get done. Usually, all shopping is finished before Thanksgiving (hopefully) and everything else gets finished up by about the 18th or so. The only thing I really like to have left during that last week is baking cookies...


This year, well... It's been another story. I just could not get organized. The shopping was done on time, but nothing else was. Add to that, my family up in WV did our Christmas celebrating a whole entire WEEK early(!!!) this year, and you will see why my planning got so messed up. : )


But, I am happy to announce that, tonight (Christmas Eve Eve, as we call it in our family), I have finally gotten caught up. I hope. Everything is finally wrapped. The candies are made (and mostly distributed already), cookies are baked, handmade gift projects are done (as of about two hours ago- no more for this year!), and it is time to sit back and enjoy the festivities. At least for tomorrow.

After that, I will be trying to figure out how to cook an entire holiday meal in my little kitchen. That's a first for me. I've never hosted a Christmas dinner before. Never cooked one either... But, I think I might have a little help with it. Or at least, plenty of advice. Thank goodness.

So, tomorrow will be mostly a day of rest. To enjoy being with family. To eat too many sweets. And to play Santa for my Little Miss.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas, filled with love and joy,


Stephanie

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Two Featherweights Up For Adoption

Yes, you did read that correctly. I have two lovely little Featherweight 221's that are now up for adoption. My husband has just finished listing them for me over at Ebay. (Because he already has the store set up and ready to go...) They are wonderful little machines and they come to their new home with lots and lots of extras. (Or, at least, they seem like lots and lots to me. I have no idea what half of them are even for!)















The first one can be found here:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220708116635&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

(I hope these links work...) It's a lovely little 1951 model.


The second is also a lovely little 1951 model. It also has the Centennial medallion. :)
It can be found here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220708133194&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT


Dang it!! I had a picture of it just a minute ago, but Blogger has apparently made it disappear!! GRRRRR!!!!! I hate it when that happens! (Does anyone have a clue why that happens??)

Anyway, both these machines are really great and I'm sad to see them go... But, I never use them and my room is so cluttered... This is my first move in a long term and probably on-going decluttering crusade. I really want them to go to a good and loving home. If you are in the market for a Featherweight, please head on over and help me out. I don't think you will regret it.

A thank you and some assorted ramblings...

First off, I want to take a minute to say a great big "Thank You!!" to all of the kind ladies who have left me such wonderful comments over the past week or two. Your kind words have warmed my heart, and they are very greatly appreciated. I would also like to apologize for, as is usually the case, being so very far behind in answering my emails... I have tried to catch up, but at this point in the holiday season, it might never happen. Please know that I did read and appreciate your comments, and I am grateful that you choose to read my ramblings (especially when there are so many other blogs you could choose to be reading).


Also, sorry for the lack of pictures this time around, but I couldn't seem to find anything that was not somehow intended for a Christmas gift, or already posted previously. I hope to dig up something interesting to look at for the next post.


Let's see... Oh, yes. I have gotten a couple of questions about the cardinal on the mug rug that was posted on the swap post. That cardinal is from the pattern called "Cardinal Winter Candle Mat" by Annelle's Originals. I found the pattern over here:
http://www.prairiepointjunction.com/woolfeltpatterns.html at Wool Felt Central. They have TONS of cute stuff to choose from. I did make the actual pattern (Christmas gift again) but for the mug rug, I took just one little cardinal and a few holly leaves and sort of improvised. I thought it was really cute... And I'm quite happy that so many others did as well. It gives me hope that my swap partner will be very happy with her gift. When it finally arrives... (Post Office estimated that it should get to her on Thursday, so let's hope they were right and it hasn't been delayed somehow... This international mailing stuff is all new to me. I'm not sure what to think about it.)


Otherwise, it's been quiet but busy over here. I've been trying to get organized enough to do Christmas properly. This is quite an involved month-long thing for me most years. I love to decorate and spend weeks making homemade candies. Then the last week before Christmas is for cookie baking and wrapping whatever hasn't already been wrapped...

This year, I'm off to a very slow start. Quilty gifts are not finished yet, nothing is wrapped, the candy molds and tins are not unpacked yet (they got shoved in a corner somewhere during the move...), and I don't have as many decorations out as I normally would like. I did finally get the ornaments onto the tree. It only took about 4 days of looking at a bare tree... And the tree is still pretty sparse. Turns out, most of the ornaments I have are breakable. So, I used everything that was not very fragile down towards the bottom of the tree- in the toddler "danger" zone. And some of the breakable stuff is at the top. And quite a bit of what I would have put on the tree normally, is still in the boxes waiting for next year... I'm OK with that.


Part of the problem with getting going this season is rather unexpected for me. Little Miss has been a Daddy's Girl since- well, basically before birth. But suddenly, she has decided that she wants... me! Constantly. A year ago, I would have been so ecstatic about all of this. Now that she's more than 1 1/2 years old, it's not as great as I imagined it might be. I have not developed the proper skills for dealing with housework while holding a toddler... (My sister-in-law can cook, clean, and wash dishes all while holding a baby on her hip... I've seen it.) I never needed to worry about learning this when she was small, because she always wanted someone else to hold her. Now, it's all me tripping over her, her screaming to be picked up, me trying to cook without dropping something on her... You get the picture. Plus, she's heavy now! It makes my back hurt just thinking about it...

So, we're now trying to work out how to get everything done without too many tears. I suspect that this will be a year with fewer candies and cookies. But that's OK with me, too. I hope my family feels the same way. I'm going to concentrate of finishing gifts and enjoying my family. But we will have plenty of junk food too, don't worry! That's part of what makes Christmas so much fun.

So, hopefully, I'll be back in a couple of days. And with any luck, I'll be able to find something to take a picture of... See you next time!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas must be early... part 2

OK, so here we are. Isn't this table runner gorgeous? I know. Unfortunately, I am not the best photographer in the world (as I'm sure you've noticed)... But I tried.


If I'm remembering my last trip to the quilt shop properly, the fabrics are the 12 days of Christmas by Kate Spain. Does that sound right?
Gorgeous.

This was supposed to show the back. I love the little stripe of ornament fabric down the middle of the runner...

And here are a couple of shots of it in it's new home... Or, this is where it will live until I come up with a place that will show it off even better...
Which hasn't happened yet. Mainly because all spaces big enough to hold it are also low enough for Little Miss to reach very easily. And she's been on an artistic streak with her crayons lately... And that would be so bad I can't even think up words to describe it.




So, yes. It will live here on my table for the holidays. And I will get to look at it every day. And it will make me very happy. :)
(Looking at this picture makes me think I might want to get rid of that tablecloth... :/ )
Let's see... what else do I have to say?
Other reasons that made it seem like Christmas came early:
1. This wasn't the only package that came for me yesterday. I also got a beautiful book that came rather as a surprise. We think we must have ordered it back when my husband was feeling generous, but it was on back order or something. And then we both forgot about it. It showed up yesterday and it's very nice... (Yay! More goodies for me! Speaking of goodies....)
2. This morning I woke up and staggered to the computer to check my usual haunts... And I went to my email... And there was a letter from Monica over at happy zombie
http://www.thehappyzombie.com/blog/ . I LOVE her blog! Everything I have seen there is just gorgeous. And she has recently designed the most fabulous fabric. I just fell in love with it back when she first showed us a sneak peek back in.... April, I think it was. And I've drooled over it every time I've seen it since. You've heard me mention it before in a couple of posts...
Well, she's been having a giveaway. Or actually, it's a series of giveaways. She is giving away charm packs to a few lucky people who haunt her blog. Of course, I've been there every day or so to see the new posts and to comment... It turns out that... I WON!! I was so amazed/excited/ astounded. (I never seem to win anything.) I couldn't even type my address for her in the answering email. (OK, I did type it, but it was really difficult to stay calm that long when all I really wanted to do was jump up and down and squeal with delight... I think the only thing that stopped me from doing exactly that was the fact that Little Miss was still sleeping. And also, my husband might have taken me to the loony bin for evaluation if I started acting like that...)
The crazy thing about it is that I actually won yesterday, and she actually sent me the email yesterday. But, when my husband is home, I don't usually get the chance to check it more than maybe once a day... Obviously, the email came after that. But, I was actually at her blog reading and commenting on her day 5 post. And it never even occurred to me to flip back and see who won the day 4 drawing... Crazy. (I know several people who know me pretty well are now nodding and agreeing that yes, I am generally crazy... Oh, well. They might be right.)
So, basically, that was an amazing way to start the day.
3. Let's see... Oh, yeah. We went to eat with my husband's family at Cracker Barrel for lunch today. It was really yummy, and the company was wonderful. And before we left, my husband got me another piece for my nativity scene... (I think you can see it in the background of the pictures above. Probably not very clearly...) It's a Willow Tree nativity. And it is pretty much completely complete now. I can't think of anything else it needs, anyway. Although, maybe I should check out their website... Maybe they have new pieces this year? Anyway, he got me another set of stars for the other side. I thought it sort of balances everything out a little better. (OK, I'm braced and waiting for the OCD comments that some of my family members are getting ready to make. Take your best shot. Hubby does it rather frequently...)
And, I guess that's really all I have to say for now. Because it is soooo late. And Little Miss is gonna get up soooo early! So, good night everybody. I'll try to bore you some more tomorrow. ;) If I have time... Happy stitching!

Christmas must be early... part 1

I've done it again... I've taken waaaaayyyy too long between posts. It's not that I don't have anything to talk about... Well, ok. Sometimes, I don't really have anything even remotely interesting to say. I'm actually a pretty boring person, and I'm ok with that. Most excitement turns out, in our experiences, to be bad. (Trips to the ER, serious illness, robberies, etc... No, not with me personally, but friends and/or family members. So we really like boring.)

But recently, I've been pretty busy. With the holidays so near, I'm sure everybody is sort of scrambling around, trying to get things done. That's what's been going on around here. Mostly, I've been trying to get organized and start all the seemingly millions of things that I like to do for Christmas. And mostly, I don't seem to be accomplishing all that much... But that's alright. It's only day 4 of the month- for a couple more hours, anyway... I still have time.

I had to break up this post into two sections, because- for some reason that I don't understand- Blogger will only let me load 5 pictures per post... So without further ado, allow me to present... Yesterday's Mail!!



At first, I was a bit confused when my husband handed this to me. He told me it was from Montana, and wanted to know what I ordered... I thought about it really hard, but couldn't remember ordering anything. And then, it dawned on me- my Secret Santa Swap was here!!
As you can see, I was way too excited to even think of waiting until Christmas. I ripped the package open before I even remembered I had to take a picture. This is what I found inside:

Aren't they cute? And I love love love the little gnoma clause tags! And I know you can't read them, so I'll translate. The larger package with the pink is for me, "the queen" and the one with the blue is for my husband "the queen's consort". :) I love that! The small square package was labeled "for Little Miss". And the post card was gorgeous! (Have I mentioned that my husband loves Montana? It's his favorite state, and I think he would like to move there. If all of our families weren't back this direction, he would have tried it already...)
It turns out that my swap partner, Wendy from http://http://why-knot-kwilt.blogspot.com/ , is not only talented, but also very kind and thoughtful! So, Christmas came for everyone yesterday, and we enjoyed it very much. Thank you so much, Wendy!!
I have to confess that when I was going through the posts over at
http://http://cottoncharmquilts.typepad.com/charmingchatter/ , I saw her post and drooled... But, I told myself "Self, do not get your hopes up! It's probably not yours!" But, it was!! Oh, you want to know what was in the packages, don't you? OK.



This gorgeous little mug rug was all lovingly wrapped up in my husband's package. Isn't it wonderful? I love it! And so does he. I'm pretty sure it got broken in this morning with his cup of coffee. (Fortunately, it did not acquire any stains in the process. I inspected it when I realized he'd been using it. ;) )
Thank you Wendy. It's lovely. Truly.


And this is what was in the package for Little Miss. Isn't he cute??





Here they are together. She really seems to like him, and it was so kind of you to include my family in your swap. Thank you Wendy!
Well, that's my allotment of photos for this post. So, now I'm going to have to start another so I can show you what was in my package. Stay tuned. I'll be right back.