Saturday, December 19, 2020

six more days . . .

I found a new and totally fitting way to help celebrate the season of Advent this year, compliments of Jo, over at Serendipitous Stitching!  She hosts a very sweet stitcher's Advent, and today is my day to share!

The idea is to share a hand-stitched ornament.  So of course, I'm sharing two.  LOL!  One is one I've had for years and years ... and it's more of a decoration than an ornament.  This beautiful wreath:
It's a canvas and yarn piece that was done by my Pop.  He was a terrific crafter and loved to work with his hands.  It's a treasure I look forward to putting out every year!

The second ornament is one of my own ... a combination of wool and stitching.
I have always loved this sweet little Santa! But I realized as I was searching for 'the' ornament I wanted to share today, that I generally gift my favorite pieces!  Ah well ... the old saying "Take a picture, they last longer," has some merit.  ;)

The other thing we're to do is share a favorite Christmas book!  So of course, I'm sharing two.  (Maybe it's an old/new thing? Or an over-sharer thing, more likely.)  The first is a classic ... one of my favorite stories to read, The Polar Express.
I enjoy the movie, too, but the book makes me cry.  Every.  Time.  (Happy tears.)

The second book is relatively new and called The Sparkle Box.  
I gifted this to both sets of gr
ands a couple of years ago (and did a book review of here).  It's a sweet story that embodies the message of Christmas.  

So there you have it!  Be sure to stop by Jo's blog to check out the rest of the participants!  

Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 13, 2020

bits and pieces . . .

Right off the bat, let me put your minds to rest . . . 
This got finished, so this could happen . . .
Whew!  All is right with the (her) world again!

It's been a busy week, at work and home.  For the last eight years, we've gone to see The Nutcracker ballet every Christmas season.  This year they didn't do the ballet (go figure).  So instead, I've been putting together something fun to take its place . . .
We'll have a full-blown tea party with all the trimmings, and then watch the ballet on DVD!!  (I've got several versions, of course!) We're all looking forward to that!

Todd & I took a trip downtown one evening this past week to enjoy Tinsel Trail.
It was a lot of fun and there were more trees on the trail than ever before (they had to expand the trail to the other side of the park this year)! Christmas lights make my soul happy! 

I also baked a cake.  Because sometimes you just need to bake.
It's an orange flavored yellow butter cake, with tropical icing.  Not very winter/Christmassy, so I did the strawberry poinsettia flower on top.  It feels a little Mele Kalikimaka, if you know what I mean!  Still, it tasted good!  :)

We've had some glorious sunrises this week out at the camp . . .
Todd tells me we've had some glorious sunsets, too, but I don't make it home in time to see those.  LOL!

We have also enjoyed some glorious weather ... temps in the 50's, 60's and even into the 70's!  We got out and about in the camp on Friday and I got to visit some of my favorite places . . . 
Serenity Pond is pretty no matter the season!
Looking up and down the creek.  The sound of the water babbling is as happy to my soul as the lights! It never ceases to amaze me that I live here. Introducing people to creation; connecting them to the Creator.  It's as apt a mission statement as could be.  ♥

 And my soul needs happy when I start to think too much about this . . . 
Yikes, y'all!  That's less than two weeks away ... and why it won't surprise you that my slow stitching is all about these things . . .
The Piglet ornament is coming along! I hope to finish it up this afternoon, while we enjoy a Christmas movie.  Hand quilting this beauty (table runner) will take a little longer, but I'm going to quilt it simply, so hopefully it will be done in time. Hey ... Christmas *starts* on the 25th ... and goes on for 12 days, right??  Ha! 

Anyway, linking up to Kathy's Quilts and her slow stitching post.  This close to Christmas, I bet there's tons of pretty projects in the works to ooooh and aaaaah over!

Before I go, a quick shout-out to my Alabama Crimson Tide, who finished the regular (like there was anything regular about it) college football season 10-0!!  Roll Tide!


Friday, December 04, 2020

it's beginning to look a lot like . . .

By this point in the year, I'm usually running around like a chicken with my head cut off ... with no relief in sight!  But if there's been *any* silver lining from covid, then I would have to say it's the relief of a lot of the hustle and bustle that usually hits this time of year. Our social commitments, which typically fill our December calendar (and wear me out), have been cut to a fraction of what they normally are. I'm thankful. Am I alone in my thinking on this?

We did enjoy a healthy, happy Thanksgiving.  We ate dinner al fresco at the pavilion and there was quite a spread!
Two turkeys, tons of sides and a dessert table.  I was impressed!  I was also incredibly thankful for our weather that week.  Mostly sunny and in the upper 50s/lower 60s.  Just glorious!  It's hit or miss in North Alabama for Thanksgiving, so we really lucked out!  Seriously ... just four days later it turned very cold and we had our first snow of the season!
Like I said ... hit or miss! It was only a dusting, but it was pretty and made everything sparkle.

Mostly my stitching came to a grinding halt through Thanksgiving week. I still need to get to work on the Piglet ornament! Then it was brought to my attention that Edith noticed that both her older sisters have Neesey-crocheted scarves, but she does not.  
Uh oh!  She determined she wants a rainbow scarf.  So that is now a priority! I did pick up the yarn . . .
After getting Edith's approval, of course (I gave her choices). This will be my weekend, most likely, and my slow Sunday stitching, to boot!  It's so very cold here now ... baby girl needs a warm scarf around her neck! And there may be enough for me to do a headband ear warmer for me! *wink*

For Christmas for us, Todd and I decided to go ahead and put some nice patio furniture in our newly screened in room . . .
I'm so pleased! We even got to enjoy it for a while before it turned too cold.  
Now we're looking at heater options.  LOL!

Right now I'm in the Christmas-movie-a-day/savor the season of Advent/match Christmas outfits to Christmas earrings & jewelry/online Christmas shopping-tracking-wrapping mode.  'Tis the season . . . fa la la la la!

*Edited to add the link to Kathy's Quilts and her slow Sunday stitching post.  Check it out!! 


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

ticking away . . .

Time, that is. It's just been so busy!

Last Thursday I headed to Nashville (or thereabouts) for a two-day women's leadership forum.  
It was terrific, but they'd condensed it from a three-day event, without cutting anything.  So it was two 12-hour days of conference in 36 hours ... and bookended by a 2.5 hour drive!  I think I'm finally able to actually *think* about some of the things I heard.

Also, I came home to a finish . . . 
Our screened porch! Todd even got the carpet laid.  I'm so thrilled! They really did a great job on it, and our weather has been so stinking pleasant, I'm going to get to enjoy it through the end of the month!  

I was only able to show the binding of the quilt I shared last week, because it was going to a dear friend who's battling cancer.  It was delivered to her last week, and I wanted to show it off here  . . .
The ladies in our stitcher's group are so super talented!  I love the camaraderie and friendship we share!

I had some fun happies in the mail, from my favorite Californians . . .
Isn't that sweet?  It made my Veteran's Day all the happier.

Ellie and Evey are working hard on their Christmas ornament project.  
Each year for the last four, the girls have made ornaments and then sold them. They use the proceeds to shop from the catalog of Food for the Hungry, to purchase things like seeds, animals, tools, medication, water purification, shoes, Bibles, and more! I love that they get so excited about picking out their gifts.  I'm very grateful their parents facilitate this for them!  I've already ordered mine.  *wink*

The camp hit peak color, and then it was gusty and rainy, and easy come, easy go!
But I have to say, this is one of my favorite sights!


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

ebb and flow . . .

So do you ever get in a place where you've been sticking to a good blogging regiment, and it's time to blog and you think, "I just can't." Not because of some emotional duress or physical stress. It's just not there.  That was me this weekend. I've been trying to post at least once a week—because I enjoy going back and reading my posts and seeing what I was doing—and any posts beyond that are just a bonus.  The months (and the years) when blog post offerings are slim make me sad (in retrospect), so I try and be diligent about it. And I love Saturday/Sunday posting because of Kathy's "slow stitching" link-up posts. It gives me the extra push to get 'er done, you know?! Anyway, this weekend my "umphh" was lacking.  C'est la vie.

Last week we started a project on our deck . . .
Turning it into a screened room! We're grateful for the help of a dear friend.  Hoping to have it finished by the end of this week.  So exciting!! It'll be nice to be outside but preserved from the mosquitoes.  :)

On Friday the weather was so glorious, Todd and I got out on the boat for a day on the lake.  That's a rare treat in November! 
Really, it was a stunning day.  By late afternoon the clouds started to slowly creep in, which made for a fantastically beautiful sunset.
I couldn't take my eyes (or my camera) off of it . . . I didn't want to miss a single change of hue! 
My captivation paid off.  Check out this cloud formation . . .
Do you see the eagle, flying over the lake?  I was amazed at how long it stayed in that shape ... until it was dark and it couldn't be seen!

Saturday I got up and spent the majority of the day working on the binding of a special quilt . . .
I got to put my new magnifying floor lamp to the test.  I *love* this thing!  I can wear readers, but they bother my nose/sinuses and give me headaches, so I much prefer this new lamp!  It was a big happy!
Got the binding finished up late Sunday afternoon.  Now it's been delivered.  Whew! But I do enjoy stitching up a good length of binding!

After all that pink though, I was seeing pink spots!  It was time to change things up a bit . . .
That'll do it! 

I continue to prep for the season (winter) that I'll be working on my Hospital Sketches blocks in wool.  I'm really looking forward to it.  Even more so with this sweet bundle of wool that just arrived . . .
Aren't those soft, yummy colors?  Hand dyed wool is so pretty!  I got these from a shop called Quilting Acres. Her bundles are terrific!

And finally, who would I be if I didn't include the current Christmas countdown?!
But this time, I'm also going to share a link that came to me via email today.  Lots of fun, hand-crafted ornaments and easy-to-stitch-up things to be found. Now's the time I start thinking about hostess gifts and little things for stitching pals and granddears!  It's from All People Quilt.  Enjoy!

See you Sunday?  LOL!  Your guess is as good as mine.  


Sunday, November 01, 2020

rabbit, rabbit . . .

And just like that, it's November.  WOW!

Thursday evening after work I headed to visit the grandgirls and spend the night.  On Friday we made our annual visit to Tate Farms . . .
It was hard to get a photo of everyone together!  We were full out in motion for our three hours there! But it was a fun day.  :)

Saturday was bright and beautiful!  What a fabulous day for Halloween ... and June Madelyn's birthday!
We got to facetime with her and sing her "Happy Birthday" and watch her open her presents!  June is eight!  I miss them all SO much! ♥

I also took some time to make another apple bundt cake.  We've got a social thing (outdoors) this afternoon, and this is my offering.
The cake smells so GOOD!  And of course, topped with fall sprinkles! *wink*

I spent some (most) of my birthday Etsy money and my 'gifts' came in this week.  I'm so excited!
I got a number of assorted bundles of wool.  I'm going to get working on my Hospital Sketches in wool, soon, and I wanted a nice variety of wool to pull from.

I also got this really sweet Piglet ornament kit.
I think I'll make it and let Joc give it to Evey.  She will be so excited (I hope)!

One last purchase . . .
Pictured with my Give Thanks stitchery!  I adore themed "accessories"! So it came late, but the needle minder is so darling, I was happy to stitch with it yesterday (and will continue to stitch with it this evening, with some slow Sunday stitching).  I also got the most darling pair of owl embroidery scissors, and those I'll use year-long!

Linking up with Kathy's Quilts today and her slow stitching post.  I leave you with one last look at October . . . 
Spooky and beautiful; the blue, full moon!  Have a great day!