Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tired Santa...

Well, as you can see, Santa above is totally pooped from the festivities of Christmas. Although good times were had by all, it's now time for a quiet and restful New Year's Eve.
I received some festive and pretty ornaments that just made it in time to be included on the Christmas tree...I love the primitive snow man above...
And my Dutch cousin sent me a couple of Delft Blue ornaments...aren't they cute?
So here's wishing you all a much better New Year...I am so done with 2009, I can't even tell you. Let's hope next year improves in all our situations, especially where jobs and the economy are concerned. Anyway, now to decide which Olliebolen recipe to try...depends who will help me eat them!! These Dutch fritters are traditional for New Year's Eve, but are very fattening!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Cooperative Effort on Christmas

Oh, my, what a nice Christmas we had! Above you see the dearest gift I received today...a group picture of my kids organized by my kids!! Such a wonderful surprise! I am touched by their cooperative effort to get this picture accomplished! My parents received one too and were absolutely thrilled like Frank and I were!!
My homemade blankets were a hit as well as the scarves and afghans that I knitted and crocheted. My Dad below was gleefully pointing out that his afghan was full of holes! So funny since when my Mom got her afghan first, he was joking that it wasn't going to be her afghan for long when they got home...haha!! The next gift opened was his afghan so no stealing allowed!!
Dinner was very delicious! Will and I brined the turkey with maple syrup and herbs with the salted liquid! Boy, did it ever turn out well!! I think we have a new tradition!!!
It's always a source of suspense for me, so when Christmas goes this well, it's so very memories to cherish with everyone having a great day to remember!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Last Minute Christmas...

I went to Joanne's today in search of another fleece panel. Most are either too childish or not the right animal, but found this one with the deer that I thought looked really nice. Luckily, the fleece panels were 50% off! We added another guest for Christmas dinner, and wanted to give him something a little more special than a box of chocolate, although I still have it as back up if he doesn't like the blanket! Anyway, came home and whipped this latest blanket up and was glad that there was ample of the green backing fleece from my stash!
The other blankets and presents are all wrapped and under the tree...
With a stern Santa being protective of them...
And Maggi the dog looking as though she's ready to open them all up!! So I think I'm more than ready to have Christmas here already with homemade presents under the tree, and all the fixin's for dinner...even hunted down some inexpensive Maple Syrup at Trader Joe's for the brine we're going to try on the turkey...I can't wait to see how it's going to taste!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Yes, my fingers were busy!! I made scarves with pom poms, and scarves without...
Afghans with huge hooks and four strands of yarn in Holiday Homespun...
and in more everyday Homespun Elegance colors...
and I crocheted two scarves in different colorways...
And I think both my mom and cousin would faint that I actually used my mom's old sewing machine to sew up some fleece blankets...this one is with an Impressionist panel...
and this one is of Doggies with footprint backing...
And another panel of a painting backed with blue...
and I finally made the huge plaid blanket that I promised months ago! All four are so soft and comfy!
So I better get wrapping!! I hope everyone likes their homemade presents made by me...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Time is here...

Whether we're ready for it or not! It seems to me that Christmas comes faster every year...too fast for me to really enjoy it like I used to, but I managed to get the tree down from the top of a bookcase in the garage, and then decorate it with just the special handmade ornaments or the ones that bring back the best memories.

I needlepointed the above St. Nicholas many years ago, and below is one of my very favorite ornaments that I nicknamed the "Nut Boy" since his butt is made from a nut. He makes me laugh every time I bring him out again, and I have fond memories of the late friend who made him. Vella, we still miss you! And I hope to see a "sign" from you this year by way of another up-side-down Christmas tree that you so love in some shopping display somewhere!
I also got to set up the Jim Shore nativity...I'm not very religious, but enjoy this nativity set very much. Very whimsicle, and I added the hanging angel this year...well, actually last year in an after Christmas sale. It was like opening a present! I love angels!
And here's the tree that almost killed me...I think had I brought the whole thing down in the green bag, it probably would have, but I opened the bag and brought each piece down one at a time...actually, two big pieces. I'm glad it's all set up for me to enjoy...I hope others enjoy it too despite these economic times. I nearly didn't put up a tree at all, but it was nagging at me. So I did it.
I hope Christmas finds everyone with their families...and that next year will be a better year for us all...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Seaside with Santa Cruz Side Trip

Over the weekend, Peter and I visited Frank and Kara up north in the San Jose and Seaside City areas. Kara suggested we visit Santa Cruz as a little side trip, and it was so nice...such wonderful Fall like weather...a bit chilly, but sunny enough that we enjoyed ourselves.
The sea lions were sunning themselves under the pier and looked so content.
I'm just loving the views from the beach...and the good sea air!
Peter and Kara trying not to laugh at the camera...the pier behind them is where we had our walk.
The next day, we explored the beach in Seaside where Frank lives. We celebrated his birthday a bit with a nice dinner the night before, and breakfast that morning that Kara cooked. She made a very yummy quiche! Above, you see us enjoying ourselves on a bench.
Here Frank is enjoying the company of Kara and Peter.
And here is the lovely view. The waves were crashing and it was a wonderfully clear day!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Holiday Homespun Afghan

My latest project which I started, believe it or not, just last night! Works up so quickly on the larger hook (S-35/19mm) and holding together 4 strands of Lion Brand's Holiday Homespun. It has just a little bit of sparkle in it...just enough to make it shine a bit without over powering. You can find the pattern at Worth signing up for so you can have access to oodles of free patterns!
The pattern consists of the simple V-stitch. Crocheting with 4 strands takes a bit of getting used to, but after awhile, it's a piece of cake!
I just love it!! I thought I would bring it to a stitching social I'm going to on Saturday, but it might be done by then!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Beatrix Potter Sampler Finished!

I finally finished Needleprint's Beatrix Potter Quaker Sampler!! I am so happy with it...I love the colours of the Viki Clayton hand dyed silks...and I loved the adventure of stitching in a Stitch A Long. It really helped keep me on track.

I used the lightest shade above for the elegant flowers, while below I used the bolder hand dyed of Everlasting...

Now you are about to see the last three motifs that I stitched to complete the sampler...the lower right hand corner. I always like to start in the upper left hand corner of anything I stitch...for some reason, it's a nicer "ride" going from left to right, and then from top to bottom.
Now you see the finished will be awhile before I can get it framed, but I am glad with how beautiful it turned out. Stitching Beatrix was a perfect escape from my daily life, dealing with empty nest syndrome, and the doldrums of the economy.
I'll miss it...but onward to knitting scarves for the holidays!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Beatrix Potter progress...

Although this has been a busy month with a visit up North, and painting the room, I did manage to set aside time in the evening to stitch on Beatrix Potter. It's such a good de-stress-er, and I so enjoy picking out the colours as I go...above decided to do a combination of two contrasting hand-dyed silks, and I like how the carnation has center stage.
The swan had my attention since it was easy to miscount, but I won and it turned out beautifully. The quaker motif below was a treat to stitch and for some reason, simply flew off my needle.
Since it's Halloween, I got out my spooky witch scissors fob!
Below, is my progress as it stands now...only three motifs to go in the lower right corner. My plan is to keep going and get it completed prior to the holiday season since I have lots of knitting and crocheting to do!! No shopping for me this year on our meager budget, but I have plenty of yarn, and able fingers.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Banana Dog and Saved Roses...

Ahhh, what we put our doggies through! But Maggi, don't you remember all the attention you got when the kids came to the door trick or treating last year and saw you in your Hot Dog outfit?? Just wait until they get a load of're going to have lots of fun...promise!
I know right now, it doesn't seem all that a-peeling!! Ewwwww!

I also was busy painting today. Every time I paint, it's always with this "here's goes nothing" feeling since I have to relearn all over again what to do next. This time, it was an experiment about how to save the rose border that I stenciled over ten years ago when I was making Kara's sweet little girl's room. So I sectioned it off with some blue painter's tape and started painting with this pretty "Summer Green" color hoping it would all work out...well, it did!The neighbor's must've heard my yell of glee when I started pulling off the painter's tape! Turned out so well that I couldn't help but do a little happy dance!! Now to pull the room together!!