Sunday, December 27, 2015

last dash to de-stash, plus a delightful Christmas . . .

Hahaha!  Who am I kidding?  There was absolutely no change in my stash report and there wasn't any hope that there would be!  So the overall is a net USE of 22.5 yards, which is a personal best on the end total . . .
Of course, neither my usage or my enhancements are really very high -- check out that 6 yards of enhancement.  What?!?  I'm actually rather proud of that number! Going back to work really put a bit of a damper on time in the Nook (much less having time to shop for fabric)! I certainly will not complain, though, especially in light of these numbers:

2015:  +22.50 yards
2014:  -22.25 yards
2013:  -48.00 yards
2012*:  -144.25 yards

Um.  Yeah.  Since each year starts fresh, that's an accumulation of 192.0 yards of fabric over the past four years.  Whoa.  It's definitely time to destash . . . there's not room for me to do anything in the Nook but store fabric!!  Especially when you consider that 2012* is the first year I started *recording* my stash, but definitely not the first year that I started collecting it. Eeek!

Of course, I say that knowing that on New Year's Day, I'll gather with my Stitchers etc. group and we'll have brunch and then hit the annual sale at the LQS, Patches & Stitches.  We're doing a block swap this year and I had planned on picking up some fabric for that.  Hmmmm.

I hope everyone had as lovely a Christmas as we did!  We spent Christmas Eve with Joc and her family.  We went to Christmas Eve service with them at their church, and then went out to dinner at Bravos.  Todd and I had never eaten there before -- it's relatively new -- and it was very nice. Everley has learned a new face (and learned that it makes people laugh), so she practiced looking at all of us in her funny little frowny face . . .
She pretty much entertained us until her dinner arrived! From there we headed back to Jocelyn's house and got there just in time to see Santa Claus making his rounds through the neighborhood on a fire truck!  Ellie and Evey just thought that was the grandest thing, and Ellie's eyes got round as plates as Santa shouted from the truck, "You children better get home and get to bed.  I'll be coming to your houses soon!"  Haha! We did head to the house then, and Joc read the Christmas story to Ellie . . .
And something about Christmas Eve -- even Leia was compatible and wanted to hang out with the family.
And allowed some Ellie loving to happen, too!

Christmas morning was filled with some lovely surprises!!  I got quite a number of happies, but I'll share just a few:
A new super Hex N More ruler I've wanted for a while!
A new electric kettle!
Four place settings of the Christmas accent plates and mugs to add to my china and make it Christmassy!   (Just cuz I live in an RV doesn't mean I don't like china!!)
A beautiful tea book.  My husband really spoiled me this year!  I also got a beautiful wool sunflower table topper kit (from the Merkels), a box of 50 wonder clips (from the Panters), a new workstation light, some wire toppers for my mini-quilt stand, and some DVDs to add to my collection! Plus this beautiful tea strainer from a sister . . .
Isn't it perfect with my teapot??  And this lovely monogrammed scarf from a sister:
Of course, it was 70+ degrees Christmas day -- the only hope I have of wearing it is inside, when Todd sets the A/C down to 65!  LOL!  :)

And then the pics started rolling in of grands . . .
Oh gosh, aren't they all just precious??!!  

Today will be another quiet one . . . I may get a head start on hand-stitching some ornaments for next year, what do you think?!  Perhaps I'll work on that navy "Let it Snow" ornie today, just to get a jump on 2016!
Linking up to the stash report on Patchwork Times, Slow Stitching Sunday on Kathy's Quilts, and Feline Friday (on Sunday) on sarah did it!

Enjoy a blessing-filled Sunday!


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

hollydaze . . .

Saturday/Sunday came and went and I just didn't get to blogger.  I really, seriously thought -- for some strange, unfathomable reason -- that this past week and weekend was going to be slow.  I thought wrong!

I don't have the pretty image, but based on my last paragraph, it should come as no surprise that my stash is unchanged.  Nothing in, nothing out, and a total balance of 22.5 yards used for the year!  It'll probably stay that way . . . though since I'm off next week, I plan on spending some time in the Nook and maybe I'll use a little more!

I got the sweetest, heart-warming/melting letter in last week's mail . . .
I'd sent cards to Sawyer and June with pages to color.  I'd asked if maybe they'd color one and send it back to me!  Can you tell which is Sawyer's and which is Junes??  LOL!  In addition, Sawyer wrote the most precious letter to me!!  
Since he asked about Sebastian, I was only to happy to visit him at our neighbor's house (which is where Sebastian moved when the Panter crew moved to Irvine) and grab some video and pictures to share with the kids!

I finished up my Noel tree. I hate it. I'm thoroughly not pleased with it; after Christmas, I will cut it out and do something different with it. But I knew I wanted to hang it in that space, so I just went ahead and put it up.
Part of the problem is that I stitched it on muslin -- I should have used a quality thread count white cotton.  *sigh*  I didn't know I was going to fall in love with the final stitching so much.  And I couldn't find what I was wanting in the red trim, so I made my own out of satin ribbon.  Mistake. Aaaah well, I'll frame it or something.  Lesson learned. The ray of sunshine is that I'm pleased to see that the "NOEL" does stand out enough to make sense.  LOL!

Sunday was a busy day -- we had our Christmas party in Sunday school.  David is our pastor's son, and I love that little fellow!  Here he is showing off his "King of kings" crown we made!
After Sunday school we had worship -- and our choir performed our Christmas cantata.  It was good music and I love singing, so that made it a good morning! Then Sunday evening, Todd and I went to see the Living Christmas Tree at Huntsville First. I'd never been before (and I'm not sure why), but it was fabulous!!

My sister sent me a pattern for another cute wool ornament . . . and really, it was so cute, I got right to it:
Isn't that one precious?  I saw it done in navy and red, too -- I think I may give that combo a try as well!  The pattern can be found by clicking HERE.  :)

We've had rain, rain, rain.  Since overnight on Saturday, we've had rain.  You know what happens when you have that much rain?
The creek rises!

In the likely event that I don't make it back here before Friday . . . a very warm and Merry Christmas to you!  May your celebrations be filled with laughter, love, family, and friends. Mmmmwah!


Sunday, December 13, 2015

stash report and *so* much more . . .

This past week has been so busy . . . probably the busiest of the season so far!  And even though today has been busy too, it was good to stop and celebrate my favorite Sunday in Advent . . .
The Sunday of JOY!

My Stitcher, etc. Christmas party was Tuesday evening and that's where the nominal change in my stash report occurred.  (And can you believe we're at week 50?!?)
The bottom line didn't change, because there was an even exchange of fat quarters. We do an ornament exchange and the "wrapping" is a fat quarter of Christmas fabric.  Here's mine ready to go in Christmas plaid (with a bonus yo-yo candy cane ornament):
And here's the pretty fat quarter I received:
I also received a darling little teapot ornament from my darling friend Kari:
Isn't it sweet?!  I opted to 'spruce' up my tea corner with it, instead of putting it on the tree. This sweet little thing may stay out year 'round!

With regard to stash, thanks to all of you who share input on de-stashing.  I've got thirteen days over Christmas, and I have decided for sure to spend at *least* one of those in the Nook, sorting and reorganizing (and de-stashing)!

I had a little time to get in some handwork in spite of the busyness.  For example, the yo-yo candy cane ornie was finished, and I stitched up another wool tree . . . this one in pinks, white and red.
I think I like this one even better!!  The white and blue one I gifted to our hostess on Tuesday.

I also will be working on some more felt poinsettias.
I've always done these in regular craft felt, but I think they'd be pretty in wool felt. I may have to try one out. The hardest part of finishing these is trying to decide which button to use for the center! I'll probably do a little slow stitching on those to carry me through my Sunday evening!

Wednesday we had church and packed Lunches of Love, Thursday we had our MSC missionary Christmas dinner, Friday I finished wrapping anything that had come in late, boxed it all up and got all my out-of-town gifts in the mail!  Whoa!  Is this really me?!?  Ha!  Speaking of gifts for out-of-towners, we also got to do a little FaceTiming with this crew . . .
Their first California Christmas tree!
Sawyer and June were busy 'working' on colorings for us.
Liv was happy to blow kisses to Neesey and Pawpaw!

Saturday was an outing to Miss Mary Bobo's, in Lynchburg, Tennessee.  A group of ladies from Wears Chapel have now made this trip two years in a row!  
The food is always excellent, and it was fun to walk around the square of Lynchburg (home of Jack Daniels), too!

Then today, after church, I met Jocelyn, Ellie and Joc's mother-in-law, Marilyn, at the Von Braun Center for the matinee performance of The Nutcracker!
Ellie was really excited to see it again and told us her favorite part was the Mouse King!  She really was entranced with the ballet and watched through the whole thing quite intently!  I think this year was even more enchanting for her, because she's been taking ballet lessons!
And she was able again this year to wear the pretty little Nutcracker dress that I hand-embroidered the "E" on!  In another year or two, Everley will be able to wear it, too!

I'm linking up to Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts.  And I'm off to see what little stitches I can make before bedtime!

Have a fabulous week!


Sunday, December 06, 2015

'tis the season . . .

It's been a busy, but happy week.  We got out the Christmas tree at work and decorated there . . .
I love decorating the work tree . . . that have big HUGE ornaments, and I love to tuck them in here and there.  Plus, since the RV tree is tiny (20"), this gives me a little bigger playing field! 

I finally finished up Mr. Snowbuddy.  I'm *so* pleased with the final product:
Isn't he just festive and handsome??

I should have moved on to the wool final snowman I have . . .
He'll be a doozy!  But I felt like playing with something a little smaller, so I pulled out these two mini yo-yo ornament kits I picked up in Paducah a couple of years ago . . .
The yo-yo's whip together quickly, and in no time I had a finished wreath:
My *intention* was to finish the candy cane, next, but I got distracted on the internet and came across a darling wool ornament tutorial on Camellia Rose (by way of Buttermilk Basin):
Yes, I was so enchanted with it, I had to stop what I was doing and make one for myself (see above)! So now I don't know whether I'll be making mini yo-yo candy canes, white wool Christmas trees, or a big ol' woolen snowman for Slow Stitching Sunday . . . but I've got options!

Of course, the day isn't really a 'slow' day.  This afternoon we're headed out for an adult Sunday school class party.  It's Mexican (food) themed, and I think we're going to have a great crowd!  
I've made guacamole and Mexican Wedding cookies for my offerings.  *Spicy*!!  But we'll be home before seven, so I'll have some quiet evening time to sit and stitch.  :)

My stash report hasn't changed a whit since last week.  
Again.  More often than not this year, that's been the case!  I need to get into my stash and thin it out a bit.  There's a lot there that I'll probably never use. What do you do with fabric you know you'll never use? I'd love to hear some ideas!  I'll be linking up to the stash report at Patchwork Times and to the Slow Sunday Stitching linky party at Kathy's Quilts.  

That's it for me this week.  Our Stitcher's group has its Christmas party on Tuesday, we have our MSC Missionary Christmas dinner on Thursday, our church ladies' Christmas dinner at Mrs. Mary Bobo's (in Lynchburg, Tennessee) on Saturday, and then Joc, Ellie and I are going to the Nutcracker on Sunday.  'Tis the season, right?!

Have a blessing-filled week!!


Wednesday, December 02, 2015

a review -- the sparkle box . . .

When Worthy Publishing contacted me with an opportunity to review a children's Christmas book, I jumped on the opportunity.  Being a lover of all things Christmas . . . especially when they're faith-based . . . I  looked forward to reading the story and determining if it was indeed a 'grandchildren' worthy tale.  In the case of The Sparkle Box, I was not just not disappointed, I was thrilled!
The Sparkle Box, written by Jill Hardie and beautifully illustrated by Christine Kornacki, grabbed my heart with the first read.  I sat in my car in the post office parking lot after receiving it--I couldn't even wait to get home--and as I read through it, I knew this was a story I wanted to share with my grandchildren.  This was a story I could see becoming an annual read for their families and a beloved part of our Christmas season's traditions.  The message -- that when we do for those less fortunate than ourselves, we do for Jesus -- is timeless and integral to the spirit of Christmas!
The true test came as I presented the book to granddaughter Ellie, on Thanksgiving.  She loved having it read to her and was as intrigued by the pretty "sparkle box" as was Sam, the story's main character! They've already put their sparkle box (which came with the book) together!
While I was gifted a copy in exchange for my honest review, I purchased a second copy of The Sparkle Box, so that *all* of my grandchildren could enjoy the story! 
I plan on purchasing a third copy to keep at my house -- it was that darling!
I highly recommend this book . . . it should become a Christmas classic. It's wonderfully written, the illustrations are gorgeous, and it touches the heart.  Five stars and two thumbs up!

Joining the "Bibliophile Files" linky party at sarah did it!