Monday, December 17, 2018

christmas ornament swap . . .

Greetings!! It's been so CRAZY!  I love this season so very much, but it is time consuming, ya' know?!?

Stephanie, over at The Enchanting Rose, hosted a sweet ornament exchange this year, and I participated in it!  I was gifted to by Deb, a non-blogger, who took some time to get to know me (via my blog) and really found the perfect little ornament for my tree . . .
Isn't that precious?!  A s'more snowman! Just perfect for me!  In addition, she added some fun little happies to go with the ornament:
What a happy package!

I had the privilege of gifting to Cindy at Creations by Cindy -- who, funnily enough, had gifted me in a prior teacup exchange!  So it was fun to be able to shop and gift her!
I chose a snowflake ornament (funny how the theme of both what I was gifted and what I was given was snow!) and a few little happies to go with it.  

This was a fun exchange and I so appreciate Stephanie for hosting it -- linking up to her blog for the swap exchange!

In other news, I went with Ellie and Evey to see . . .
We did the (home)school field trip performance, and it was a lot of fun! The director came out during the intermission and talked to the children about ballet and introduced some of the performers. The girls enjoyed the bird's eye view of the stage and being able to see the orchestra.
The girls took turns sitting next to me . . . and afterwards we went to lunch at a girlie restaurant. Terrific day!

The next weekend I watched the girls while their mommy and daddy went on a date.  We made ornaments!
Aren't these fun?!  They did such a great job making the dough, cutting them out, and painting their own ornaments (and handprints) Even Edith wanted in (and got in on) the action! "Cook -- I cook!"
These are such sweet sister. It's a joy to have them close.

And then there's these three . . . 
Gosh I wish I could be doing Christmas fun things with them!  Look how grownup and beautiful/handsome they are ... I miss them so.  :)

On the homefront, I did get the RV decorated . . . 
Yay!  I love turning on all the Christmas lights and the fireplace and just sitting quietly.  It's my favorite place to do my quiet time!

And I decided yesterday that I wanted to make something to gift to my co-worker ... tomorrow.  LOL!
So I've been busy working on this, too!!

Enough for now . . . if I don't make it back here before Christmas, have a very merry day!

:)

Sunday, December 02, 2018

to sum it up . . .

It was a very quilty week! On Sunday and Monday, I finished up the seven hexie flowers that needed whipping together . . .
All forty-five flowers (and parts thereof) were together, stacked and ready to "landscape" my garden!

Monday was a dual purpose day . . . a quilty friend of mine and I headed to visit 3 Hens and a Chick, a local quilt shop in nearby Athens. 
Sarah's one of my co-conspirators in the Quilting Intrigue Club at guild and we've been ironing out the details for our guild's mystery quilt, which we'll introduce (fabric requirements) at this month's meeting. I actually picked out fabrics for the quilt while we were there (I've got to stay at least one step ahead):
The yardage on the right is for the mystery quilt. It's QT Fabric's Whisper (with the exception of the middle piece which was Oasis Fabric's Romance). Isn't this line yummy???!!! It's whimsical and sophisticated, all at the same time. I'm so excited to work with it! The fat quarters on the left were ... well, just fun finds (an in case you couldn't tell, I was already scoping suitable oranges for 2019's pumpkin projects)!  ;)
I mean gosh, there were a lot more shelves in the shop than the one that held the Whispers line. I had to browse shop them all!

From the quilt shop we headed into the square in Athens and stopped for lunch at the local tearoom. 
Aren't our spiced chais fun??

I had commitments after work on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings; generally I wasn't getting home until after 9 p.m., so not much evening stitching until Thursday -- I don't have to get up for work on Fridays -- so when I got home Thursday, Todd put a movie in and I started working on my 'gardening'!

Friday was a kicked back day.  Todd and I went out and had an early lunch and did some shopping. I also did a little grocery shopping so we'd have 'game day' food for the SEC Championship game on Saturday.  Sausage balls and pigs in a blanket! Plus I got ready to celebrate the Advent of Christmas with the Advent teas the Merkel family had gifted me with for my birthday . . . 
A different tea for each day leading up to Christmas! I thought it would be fun to hang a week's worth of them (and prudent, so I wouldn't forget) over our coffee/tea station! Do you want to know how hard it's been to wait over a month to start trying these teas?!?  :)

Through the weekend I've worked in earnest on the Mod Flower Fall project . . .
This sheet has been SO helpful through every stage of this project. I've now whipped up ten of the sixteen rows, and stitched the first four rows together. 
I don't think ... even though I knew the dimensions from plotting it out in EQ ... that I am prepared for how BIG this is going to be. LOL!  Just these first seven rows are over 4' in length. I'm stitching up the rows individually, first.  Then I'll stitch the rows together in sections ... and then finally I'll stitch the sections together.  I think that'll make it the most manageable. 

Saturday, in between the Texas vs. Oklahoma and the Alabama vs. Georgia games (Roll Tide!), I went out into the Nook for a bit of machine sewing.  I stitched together the first pole twist valance, backed and turned it.  It still needs to be quilted, but I love this look!
It'll be fun to have it hanging over the window across from where I sit, so I can SEE it. I also did some teeny, tiny blocks for the matching mug rug.
I was channeling my inner rogue quilter for this bitty thing -- 1-1/4" HSTs!!  I've got fabric cut for the second valance, and I still need to work on the matching runner.  But I'm confident after finishing the first one that it'll all stitch together quickly!

Today's slow stitching will definitely be back at the hexie flowers ... making that garden grow! Linking up with Kathy's Quilts for that.  May your Sunday be filled with blessing and rest ... so you're ready to face Monday and a new week!!

:)

Sunday, November 25, 2018

the weekend of thanksgiving . . .

This is going to be a culmination post ... covering the long weekend which isn't really over, because we get Monday, too -- but that will be for another day's post.

Wednesday was pie and prep day. I love pie and prep day! This year's was particularly good because I found the *best* pecan pie recipe. Pecan Pie is Todd's favorite, and for years I've struggled to find a recipe that felt no-fail and tasted delicious.  
This year, thanks to Genius Kitchen and PCrocker, my search is over. I admit that I made a few changes right off the bat ... because I've never met a recipe that I couldn't tweak ... but I don't feel they were terribly significant. The recipe calls for 3/4 cups each of light and dark corn syrup. I had light only, so I used 1-1/2 cups of it and instead did 1/2 cup each of white and brown sugar, instead of the 1 cup of white sugar.  I upped the 1-1/2 teaspoons of vanilla to a solid 2 teaspoons (I mean, c'mon) and used pecan halves instead of coarsely broken pecans. And it was stellar. Five stars from Todd!

Thanksgiving day was beautiful here in North Alabama!  Sunny and the afternoon temps were in the low 60s, which was great, since we were eating al fresco!
Todd had a lovely fire going in the fireplace, and we had tarps up on both sides of the pavilion to keep the breeze at bay. I cook the turkey at the oven in the pavilion ... because turkeys do not fit in the RV oven! It means a lot of back and forth for basting, but I do believe it was worth the effort . . .
Oh yeah! He was pretty spectacular! We had a lovely spread and something about mid-way down the buffet must have caught Ellie's eye--I'm pretty sure it was apple pie!
I love that we share the day with family! We missed our California crew very much, but got to spend some FaceTime with them. ♥

Friday was Turkey Soup day. This is a time-honored tradition that dates back to at least my childhood and it's one of my favorite Thanksgiving foods!
I had a bit of a mishap with the process, which I won't go into here, but we recovered nicely and had soup to share. (Along with homemade bread and semi-homemade eggnog!)

Saturday was a play-in-the-Nook day and Iron Bowl day! Roll Tide! Mary of Needled Mom had shared a photo of a Twisted Pole runner she'd made.  I found the pattern source at Vicki's Fabric Creations.  Vicki is incredibly talented; she had created the pattern and very sweetly emailed it to me.  I plugged it into EQ (see comment above regarding tweaking recipes) and then resized it for a window valance. And then again for a mug rug.  I'll be all Christmas matchy-matchy!
Runner - 36" X 16"
Valance - 37" X 11"
MugRug - 8.5" X 5.5"
I started the process yesterday and got all 48 of my 2-1/2" HSTs cut for the first valance; now to trim them to size! 
It is a process. But making them was really easy -- I used the 'eight-at-a-time' method (as described on Blueprint). So stitching them up was quick. 

By 2:30 it was time to come in for the Iron Bowl! Roll Tide!  I admit that I struggled a little bit to stay with it in the first half. I was a little anxious! But the second half was a little more relaxed. Enough that I was able to work on whipping up some hexi flowers. 
I've made a LOT of progress this week--all things considered--and only have seven more flowers to go!
Whoohoo!!  I'd love to finish those up today -- perfect slow Sunday stitching, no??  In no time I'll be connecting flowers!

Enough from me . . . linking up to Kathy's Quilts this morning . . . be sure to stop by and see what others are working on this lovely Sunday!

:)