A Christmas Party!

Just recently, I discovered Thrifty Decor Chick’s blog… she’s a gal after my own heart; crafty and thrifty.  I’m sure she’ll be staying in my reader for a long time...  Today she is hosting a Christmas Tree party, and I’m linking up!

When I lived in a house, I had more than one tree, and MANY more decorations than I own now.  But we live in a 1,000 s.f. condo, so we have narrow, artificial, pre-lit tree that stands 7 feet tall–in front of our balcony door:

You can see one of the stockings I made hanging on the mantle there.  My hubby described it over the phone to his mom as “it’s one of those skinny, fake trees, that comes with lights on it; and then Doris adds about 500 ornaments to it.”  He’s probably not that far off.  There are at least five dozen silver glass icicles hanging on the insides of the branches, seven or eight dozen frosted glass balls from Target in purples, greens, turquoise, pinks, blues, magentas, reds–all bright colors.  Then there are the special ornaments we’ve picked out together each year, all German glass ornaments:

The Viola, the black cat, the moon, the dove with the real feather tail…

the House for the year we made our home together, and for 2011, my favorite, a nosegay of roses that looks just like my bridal bouquet from this Spring!

There are some other special ornaments on there, bought from etsy sellers, made by friends or family, given by someone special… but truly the ones we cherish are the ornaments we have picked out in our six years together.  It was the first tradition we decided to start as a couple.

Underneath the tree (you can barely see it in the top photo) sits the nativity from my childhood, in a stable made by my Mom from an orange crate.  I spruced it up with a straw roof and twigs on sides.  I think the figurines are German also, which is where my great-grandparents came from. The angel is one my family gave to my Grandma in the 1980s, when the entire family bought her a new artificial tree and a collection of special ornaments.  When she could no longer stay in her home, each family received their ornaments back, and I got her angel.  I love see Grandma’s angel looking down from the top of our tree.

So, go check out the rest of the party… have fun!

Come back soon, I should have a finished quilt to show you…only four or five years in the making!


Peppermint Twist

A few of my readers have been following my ramblings since I began blogging in 2008, (bless your hearts), when I got the ball rolling by “fessing up” about my UFOs, or as I like to call them, UFQs, UFPs, and USPs. (unfinished quilts, unfinished projects, and un-started projects, respectively). The Valentine Table Runners I posted and sold last week, were part of this UFP post here.

Over the past two months, I managed to get most of the Christmas Quilt top assembled as well, what I’m calling my Peppermint Twist quilt, because of the fussy-cut cornerstones I added:
I love the fabrics, collected over 3-4 years, favorite pieces from various Christmas (and a few non-Christmas) fabric collections. I’m not going to show you the entire top just yet, because I decided after I finished this part of it, that I wanted to add some applique borders to finish it off. So stayed tuned for the final reveal!

I WILL have a Christmas quilt to snuggle under by Christmas 2011…

Oh, Santa Baby…

(with apologies to Ms. Kitt… whom I had the pleasure of meeting about ten years ago…)

Santa baby, slip a bundle under the tree, For me.
Been an awful good girl, Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa baby, a 450 Bernina, too, in Blue.
I’ll wait up for you dear, Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Think of all the fun I’ve missed, think of all the fellas that I haven’t kissed.
Next year I could be just as good, If you’ll check off my Christmas list.

Santa baby, I want a laptop , and really, that’s not a lot, been an angel all year,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa honey, there’s one thing I really do need, The deed to a little quilt shop,
Santa honey, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa, cutie, and fill my stocking with a Charm Packs, and checks, Sign your “X” on the line,
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight.

Come and trim my Christmas tree, with some decorations bought at Tiffany’s, I really do believe in you, Let’s see if you believe in me!

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing, an Airstream, it’s like a home,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight, Hurry down the chimney tonight, Hurry tonight.

****I do hope Santa’s checks his Google Reader this week and finds this humble little post****

Snow Day!

The midwest got slammed by a blizzard this week, Des Moines was blessed was 16 inches of snow, and today, in the calm after the storm, a temp of -3 degrees fahrenheit!!!! Brrrr! I was jumping for joy yesterday when I received news of my Snow Day…

An unexpected day off work = An unexpected day of sewing!

This photo is one I took on my way into work this morning, it’s alongside my car, a snow drift (not a man-made pile of snow) the black band at the bottom is the dashboard of my VW Beetle.

I sewed all day, never stepped outside, didn’t even get out of my pajamas all day. Now, that’s the definition of a good day, my friends. What did I sew, you ask? I finished the stockings that I bought fabric for LAST December….

They are made with red velvet (the real stuff), white fleece, and various bright Christmas fabrics, all from my stash, and most of them from Michael Miller. The Prairie Points were a fun way to dress them up without detracting from the velvet…

I lined each one with a bright, fun fabric as well…

I made my own stocking pattern, since I dislike the shape of many patterns I see. They need to be wide enough to at least squeeze a book or DVD down in there!

My sweetie thought I should embroider our names on them, but I didn’t want to go that far, so I found these little sterling silver photo frame ornaments and appliqued our initials, the frames hang just in front of the stockings on our hooks and really dress up the mantle!

There was another project I worked on after these, but you’ll have to wait to see pics of that one! Not quite finished yet!

Happy Holidays, a blessed Advent, and safe Winter travels to you and yours! And, to my readers Down Under, I hope you are enjoying your warm temps and spring blossoms!


Pieceful times

I mentioned yesterday that I’m trying to find the Peace in the Season, and to that end, I decorated my new home, just enough, to add cheer and excitement to the everyday surroundings. And, of course, I always find some peace in piecing
This was my set up in the living room last night, piecing a new quilt for the shop while I watched Biggest Loser. I always love the sight of a pile of chain-pieced blocks…it provides me with such a sense of accomplishment!I’m making the Shoeboxes quilt out of Terry Atkinson’s Time Out Quilts Book. Super fast, easy, and oh, sew, cute!

One final note, December has finally arrived, and by that, I mean the December temperatures! Yesterday, December 1st, our temps were in the 60s (Fahrenheit!). Our average November temp this year was 47.2 degrees! WAY above normal. Today, it’s in the low 30s, and I finally wore my new scarf from Jan to work today along with my lovely “new” upcycled mittens (made from old wool sweaters). It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…


I love a fresh start. Y’all know I believe in resolutions, I make them, I take them seriously, and I try my best to keep them. In 2008, I made four big resolutions, and kept 2.5 of them up to the present day. The 1.5 I didn’t keep, I made great strides on and improved in some way as a result. This January is full of fresh starts. Yesterday was a great day in America, full of hope and optimism. How long can the momentum last? Whose to say. But considering the complacency and animosity of Americans over the past decade or so, in comparision to the optimism, joy and hope of this week, and this month…we’ve come a long way. But since this is not a political blog, and I would be found out as a phony pretty quickly if I tried to pretend it was…I’ll leave it at that.

Last week I took down the Christmas decorations. It’s always a little bleak in the house after the tree and sparklies go away, isn’t it? I just couldn’t bear to see it all go back to the basement. So, I redecorated the little tree, a 3.5′ artificial, with all of my snowman ornaments.

It seemed fitting, since Des Moines has been seeing snowfall and accumulation about every other day this winter. I love this guy here:

He has wings made of feathers, and the sweetest little carrot nose! My snowman tree goes well with the snowman wallhanging my Mom made for me eleven or twelve years ago, and sent to me when I was living on the East Coast. I’ve always loved snowmen, and I was collecting angel ornaments for my tree at the time. And snowman angels? Even better!

I love the guy with the plaid coat on…it’s made from a scrap of plaid fabric from one of Dad’s shirts. My Dad passed away January 1998, not too long after this quilt was made. Mom made all of Dad’s shirts, and they were always plaid, short-sleeve, button down shirts. This little snowman reminds me of my Dad every time I look at him.

I have to show you where Maggy spent the afternoon while I was packing up ornaments, garland, and baubles:

I took this wreath off the door and set it on the floor while I was getting boxes out and organized. She settled right in, and even took a nap there while I was busy working away.

Isn’t that what it was made for?