Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Turning the page...


What are your thoughts as this year comes to a close? What are you thankful for? What do you wish had gone differently? Are you one to make resolutions? How will you celebrate this new year, this gift of new beginnings?

I am thankful for so much. I am thankful first and foremost for my husband and children. I am thankful for my faith. I am thankful for my health after a hiccup or two in that arena this year. I am thankful for the people God has placed in my path. The wonderful opportunities to see, taste, smell, feel and hear the goodness of God all around me. And even on occasion to recognize that goodness within me.

What do I wish had gone differently? Well besides the desire to be a size 5, that we all know is never going to happen, I can't say that there is much in the way of regret in my life right now. I will take that as a good thing. Oh sure I wish I had gotten the closets cleaned out, that I had come closer to that size 5, that I had done a better job at house keeping or saved more money but those aren't what I would call regrets.

Resolutions, I don't do well with that concept. Perhaps goals is a better way of looking at it. I am not usually a list maker. I always have a sense of the list trying to tell me what to do, and that frankly ticks me off. I didn't say it was "normal" just one of my quirks. So what are some of my goals?
  • To eat more healthy instead of wishing I was a size 5. I would like to conquer my sugar addiction.
  • To re-decorate my bedroom. It is a depressing place right now.
  • To travel. Don't know where, I would love to go abroad. Maybe this will be the year.
  • Speak more kindly.
  • Spend more time in prayer.
  • Be more thankful. If there is one thing I really wish I could change about myself it is to be more of a "glass half full" kind of person. It isn't my innate inclination so it is a constant challenge.
  • I would like to re do the whole house really but will admit that it sounds very overwhelming.
  • Take a photography class.
  • And as always, sew more.
  • And to finish more of the UFO's hiding in that cabinet. They are trying to be quiet and coy but I know they are in there!
It has been a good year, albeit a relatively quiet one. And that is a good thing. So what are your reflections on 2008 and what do you look forward to in 2009?

A few of my blog haunts have posted a year in review. Imagine my shock and dismay at Summerset over at Pins and Needles who sewed this list:

  • 33 Tops, Blouses, Shirts
  • 13 Skirts
  • 15 Dresses
  • 9 Jackets or Coats
  • 9 Trousers or Shorts
  • 10 Miscellaneous Items
I mean whoa nelly!!!!!! That is 89 items. And many of hers are not lightweights. The cowboy set alone that she made for her son is amazing. But I am not her, so below is my meager showing for my sewing year in review.


Updated: I guess I must have had a slideshow here originally. In looking back, whatever is there is gone. So I replaced it with a photocollage of my year in review.

5 Wee Care gowns
2 Wee Care bonnets
4 Silk Ribbon Embroidered Make Up bags with matching Kleenex holders
2 Doll Dresses
2 Daygowns
2 Rompers
1 Embroidered Bib w Matching Embroidered Hanger
1 Lace Jacket w Pintucked Dress
1 Hemstitched Bonnet
1 Felt Candlemat
20 Embroidered Needlebooks

For a total of 48 items. Not too shabby for a partial year. I don't have pictures before March of this year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Twennie



Happy Birthday, you are missed.

"What is a friend? A single soul in two bodies."
Aristotle


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fatal blog surfing sickness averted



I found the blog. Whew, I'm not losing my mind as quickly as I first thought. The Nester at the Nesting Place is where I first found the post about garland. She is even having a Garland Show and Tell.


Warning: Blog surfer sickness may ensue!

Enjoy, I did.

Christmas at our house



I have talked before of the blog surfing sickness. Well I have it. And I have an advanced case I think. And one of the most critical symptoms is not being able to find a blog again after you leave it. I came across a blog that had a tutorial on mantle garland. Hers looks loads better than mine I think. Of course since I can't find it again it could be a memory problem. Maybe mine looks just as good as hers and I don't know it! It was a lot of fun to do.

The picture above is the end result. One thing I love about this picture is not only the garland but the glare of SUNSHINE. We haven't seen sunshine except for a brief 10 minutes on Friday in weeks. Weeks. So while it might be bitter cold outside, 8 degrees, the sun is shining and the sky is blue.

Back to the garland, the picture below is just one side. The goal is to add to the garland and add to it until it will hold no more. I probably could have added more to mine if I had tried, but since I didn't want to glue anything into I was afraid it had reached its holding capacity.



Here is a glimpse from our tree. Why don't the light cords fade into the background when you take a picture the way they seem to when you are admiring the tree? Oh well I digress as usual. This is just a tiny portion of the tree. Our tree is like the garland, it is added to and added to until it can hold no more. I am an excessive personality in case you hadn't caught that drift yet. But I love my tree. I miss the tinsel, but other than that I love it. In this small snapshot I can see 40 plus years. There are a couple of ornaments that hung on my tree as a child and teenager at home. There is a teddy bear sporting a yellow bow that I bought on a Sunday afternoon when DH and I had left our oldest child with a babysitter the first time. There is a glob of glitter and cardboard my son made in boy scouts, there is the toy soldier my best friend made years ago, there is a needle pointed Santa my mother made when I had just two children. I see a "vacation" ornament from a trip DH and I took to Myrtle Beach SC a couple of years ago. There is a cardinal I just purchased this year while visiting my daughter for Thanksgiving. I see a Madame Alexander ornament by Hallmark that is part of the collection for my youngest daughter. And then I see a couple of the Lenox ornaments I have collected for several years.

If you have read this far you are a glutton for punishment or a relative. :) I hope you enjoy your tree as much as we do. Every year my husband says, "I think this is the prettiest tree we have ever had." And then he recounts past trees and what he liked about them.




I am off to get the rest of Christmas out. The nativity hasn't been put up yet. Then I have a few more jobs to do and Christmas will be "ready."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I do still sew

Even though it hasn't looked liked it in two weeks. These are gifts I made for some friends in my Tuesday Cursillo group. Less than $10 can be made into a nice gift. I stitched silk ribbon embroidery on silk dupioni. I made each person a silk kleenex cover and a ditty bag. It can be for makeup, medicine, coupons, illegal drug paraphenalia or what ever they choose. I don't think they will do the drug thing. :)

For the Kleenex cover I used one I had received as a gift as a template.


For the bags I used the cover pattern in Inspirations magazine Issue #58 as a base for the pattern. I don't know about you but I seem to be on this kick lately that I am going to one up the design or the directions. It has bitten me in the ankle every time. I am an instructions kind of gal and just need to resign myself to it. The brown and pink bag I stitched 3 times because I thought I could do it better/different, something. I didn't want seams on the inside. I am sure there is a way to achieve that, but I couldn't work out the geometry and or physics in my head to make it work. So the bag that I liked the embroidery the best I hated the construction the least. Isn't that always the way?



I have one more set to do, this one will be for my spiritual director. In addition to being a spiritual director, a speaker, teacher and a nun she is a fine arts artist. Since it reminded me of watercolors the bow is done in a ribbon I wouldn't normally choose. Just a teeny bit more embroidery to do and then I can construct it. We have bad weather coming, so it is my project tomorrow to finish it. Maybe the geometry can resolve itself by tomorrow. I doubt it though. Then it is onto a t shirt quilt for youngest daughter.



Do you keep all of your supplies in pretty, neatly organized drawers? Me either. But even this homely old box I love. It is not something I would have ever made, bought or been drawn to but it belonged to my best friend and her mother. So like most of her craft things, it came to my house after they died. Her mother loved glueing "stuff" to other "stuff." The quilted fabric on the box has to be 30+ years old and the box a whole lot older. The glue is beginning to let go in places and even though it is really really ugly, I love it. I even kept the old pair of Eva Lou's glasses I found in the box in there with my silk ribbon. I have no use for the glasses but its too soon to be able to get rid of them. Maybe one day.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Too cute,

funny pictures of cats with captions


Back to the sewing room where I belong two weeks before Christmas!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

About that looking like Christmas



It is certainly cold enough here to be Christmas. 14 degrees this morning. Yowzers! Last night my boyfriend and I braved the cold and went to the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows over in Belleville, IL The website doesn't do it justice. Every year they have a Way of Lights that is beautiful. We have lived here over 12 years, every year saying we are going to go. Well it takes us a while but we finally went. Just beautiful. We had entertained the idea of seeing the lights on a carriage ride. So glad we didn't do that last night. Wicked cold!

The top picture is of the outdoor amphitheater. Not the best picture. And it is taken from incredibly far away. But it was beautiful.



There was a room full of Christmas trees decorated to represent different countries. The first is from the Lithuanian tree. Loved the ornaments. Not sure what they are made from but they were cool looking. The next is the tree for Greece. Loved the candles and it was trimmed with holy cards. Would never have thought of that. And the third is the tree for Ireland with the 12 days of Christmas.



This is just one of the few pictures that I got outside because just as we got to Bethlehem, the camera battery died. Isn't that just the way of things? So what are you doing to celebrate the season? My next project is to whip out some small gifts for the girls in my prayer group and for my spiritual director. Our tree should arrive next week.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

How do you say yum?



With a 40 year old Pyrex bowl filled with fresh from the oven banana pudding. That is how. I have been craving old fashioned banana pudding for weeks. Finally broke down and made one. Can't wait for it to cool enough to eat. Nothing fancy, just the recipe that has been on the side of the Nilla Wafer box for as long as I can remember. I know some make it with jello pudding but that has never been my preference, I like the scratch custard better. And my favorite part is the soggy wafers. You could almost leave out the bananas as far as I am concerned. Ahhhhh

Friday, December 5, 2008

Are you kidding me?



As I have confessed previously, I am an Internet shopper. And like blogging when you click on one link it often brings a plethora of other choices to the fore. This is what I stumbled upon at Overstock.com. I mean really? And we beat our chests and lament over where are we going wrong in today's world? I think this is a perfect example of someone having lost their way. Do I even want to meet the person that thought this was okay let alone amusing, entertaining or socially acceptable? Part of the description is:

  • Anonymous effigy design can represent anyone you please.

  • Now I will admit to having a quirky sense of humor that is sometimes less than reverent but this goes wayyyyyy out of bounds if you ask me. You didn't but I am letting you know my unsolicited opinion anyway. And we wonder why children are bringing guns to school and parents are killing each other over youth sports.

    Monday, December 1, 2008

    Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas...



    Ahhh first snow. Just a tad. But it was a surprise this morning. It was really the best kind of snow. On the grass, but not the sidewalk or road.

    Christmas has many faces;



    This beautiful picture of our neighbor's front yard. Almost makes you think of a Christmas card doesn't it?

    Or...


    the pile beginning to accumulate in the front room. I have a confession to make, I am a dyed in the wool internet shopper. I save gas, time, aggravation and usually money as well. And the biggest advantage, I do it in my pajamas. So as I said, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. We just returned from out of town last night, so I need to get out my Advent wreath. Our tree will arrive in a couple of weeks. (Yes I order it as well.)

    We went to our #2 daughter's home for Thanksgiving this year. If everyone is not careful, I could get wayyyyyyyy used to sitting in a chair and stitching while the kids make dinner for a holiday! We had a wonderful time, everyone was there. DD did a great job with minimal intervention from her mother. Older daughter did desserts, boys did the multiple runs to the store and baby sister helped clean up. You just couldn't beat it.






    What mother doesn't like the look of her kids in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner? And smiling while they do it. Notice that brother isn't washing, drying or wearing an apron. He gets away with it every time! Unless you tell him he has to help clear the table before the Texas vs Texas A&M game. Then he can sling some dishes in record time!

    I hope your holiday was wonderful. I didn't get a chance to wish everyone a wonderful holiday. Hope it was warm and blissful as you took a moment to reflect on what you are thankful for. I know mine was. And what am I thankful for? Well those smiling faces above are a big part of it.