Friday, December 30, 2011

The End And The Beginning.....

Can you believe we're closing the door on 2011 in just a couple of days?  I still don't know where this year went, thank goodness I blog because I can't remember much about it!  It seems like a whirlwind year.  I've had a hard time getting back into blogging this week, every day has been so busy with visits and family, I'm sure you can relate.  But next week I should be back completely!

I wanted to show you some gifts that I received.  Some very precious friends have blessed me so much....

My sweet O'faigh had sent me some parcels that I couldn't open until Christmas morning, which just about killed me, but it was worth it!

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She knows me so well.  MERMAIDS, a darling crafters apron, and the neatest pencil case I've ever seen - it seems to be made from one zipper!  I frequently carry pencils with me, instead of stitching I draw while I'm waiting at places, and this will keep the pencil leads from breaking!  Thank you sweetie!

Then, my dear friend Sandra also sent me a box I couldn't open til Christmas...oh these girls....

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Look at those gorgeous pouches - a boxy pouch and a tall pouch, each with a little gift inside, and my NAME embroidered in them!  And would you look at the fabric she used?  Is that me or what?  Sandra, they're perfect!

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She sent me the cutest book thong, and the sweetest flower head pins, I've already put them in one of my pincushions!

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Thank you so much Sandra!

Then, Jocelyn sent a card [which is hanging in my potholder, lol] and a little ornament with goodies inside!   A special tea, fabric for a coaster, a candy cane and some very sweet beaded pins!  I wish I had taken a pic of them all.

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Thank you Jocelyn!

Today, I got a package in the mail from Cheryl, thanking me for hosting the Christmas Through The Year - what a sweetie - look at the polka dot wrapping paper, isn't that neat?

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And inside,

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a gorgeous table runner [LOVE that fabric and card]

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and a snap bag!  It's so neat - you pull it open and it'll snap shut.  I've seen tutorials around the web for them using metal tape measures, and it was on my list, but not anymore - I could never do something prettier than this!  The fabric is vinyl-covered, what a neat bag.  Thank you Cheryl!

And speaking of Christmas Through The Year.  Some of you have asked if I will be hosting it again this year.  I've given it a lot of thought, and I don't think I will....I really enjoyed not panicking on Christmas Eve, and I enjoyed looking for tutorials and hosting give-aways.  But I don't think I could do it again.  That's where the End part of my blog post title comes in.  I know I can't do the give-aways anymore [insert VERY sad face, I love doing those], not unless our finances change in the new year.  And the time and commitment it took to do the whole thing every month was a bit of a surprise to me.

I want to go in a new direction this coming year.  And that's the Beginning part of my blog post title.  I've dabbled in designing stitcheries for awhile, and I really do love that, and have drawn up some patterns for applique quilts which I want to get to.  I've decided to focus all my energies into that - creating from my head.  It's something I got away from for a very long time, and it's calling me back.  I'm excited about it, and looking forward to it...I'm hoping for a very productive year!

One last thing, but so important - my friend Jan from Quilter Jan is having a give-away for her 500th post, a jelly roll of Dandelion Girl from Fig Tree Quilts - pop on over and say hello!

My weekend is going to be very busy, so I'll see you all next year - have a very Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's After Midnight, Time To Pick Our Winner!

Well the kitchen is clean, all ready for our baking day tomorrow.  Mum and I will don our aprons and get busy.  Now it's time for Mr. Random Number Generator to do his stuff....sorry, everyone's in bed, nobody to pick from the hat!  And our winner is....

number 6, which is Miss Carrie from A Passion For Applique!  Congratulations Carrie, I have your address and will send your your gift on Friday!  I'd better get there early, lol...

I want to thank you all so much for playing along with me this year.  How I wish I had a gift for every single one of you, for inspiring me, encouraging me, and uplifting me.  I never would have made it through if not for all of you!

Also, this will be my last post until after Christmas, I'm going to take a well-earned break from blogging.  I'll still be checking my emails though!  Can't wake up without my morning coffee-and-email.  So to all of you, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, 
keeping watch over their flock by night. 
 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, 
and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: 
and they were sore afraid.  
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: 
for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, 
which shall be to all people.  
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  
And this shall be a sign unto you; 
Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude 
of the heavenly host praising God, 
and saying,  
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luke 2:8-14

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mrs. Claus Has A Birthday

I hadn't been to my mum's for a few days, but we went over to celebrate her birthday tonight.  She's been a busy little elf!

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Not sure what she's saying in this picture, but it doesn't look good for me, does it?  I thought you might like to see her decorating.  This woman doesn't know the meaning of "enough"!  Here's a close-up of her tree, there are 40 ornaments to the square inch.

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I know there's a tree under there somewhere!  I didn't get a pic of her coffee table, which is a staging area for anything too heavy to hang.  EVERY surface is covered. There are 3 chairs you can't sit in.

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Oh look, here's a place to sit, AFTER we moved things.

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This is a wreath I made for her years ago, she was gluing some loose ornaments on before we hung it.

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The fireplace.

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This is my favorite ornament - she makes these out of light bulbs!

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And look what she got for her birthday!!!

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Just kidding.  That's our friend's little girl, Arianna.  Mum had a great birthday, and we ordered pizza and had cake and ice cream too.  Our friend with the little girl works at Tim Horton's, and brought 2 huge bags of donuts and bagels and muffins too.  Let's hope I don't get a call that she's gone into a diabetic coma!  I know my brother will do his best to eat it all before she does though.

Seriously, I LOVE my mom's decorating, she's so over the top and loves Christmas SO much, she makes it even more fun.  I have no clue who all the stockings are for...there's just her and my brother!

I have to show you something else.  Fiona from BubzRugz sent me this photo of a quilt she finished for Christmas, but couldn't blog about.  It's GORGEOUS.

Didn't she do a great job?  I LOVE the colors in this!!  But gee, would you look at the green in that pic?  Yes, it's summer in Australia, and I for one am so jealous!

Tomorrow at midnight is our give-away for the Christmas Club, our final draw!  Can you believe we've been at it all year?  Remember to link up at this post if you're finishing up at the last minute!  I'll see you all tomorrow night!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Did You See This??

These awesome clouds rolling across the Alabama sky...I've never seen anything like it!  Saw this pic and just had to post it.  You can click on the link below the  image to read all about it.

Two more days for our final Christmas Through The Year link party!  Link up on the Strut Your Stuff post so we can all come look.  I'm really enjoying all of your creations!  I'll be pulling a winner Wednesday night [December 21st] at midnight my time.

If you'd like a darling tutorial on what to do with all those Christmas cards you get, Michelle from The Raspberry Rabbits has a great idea!  So keep those cards and check her out!  This would be a great after Christmas project!

I put my sewing machine away today, because I'm done, and also I don't want to get tempted by any darling tutorials I find this close to the big day. *G*  I know myself - I'll see something and try to rush to get it done in time!  Nope, this is a stress-free Christmas, I have a baking day coming up with mum and holiday parties to go to.  I want to enjoy them!  I hope you're having a stress-free holiday too!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cold Feet....

because I got my socks blessed right off today!  Remember that darling Teddy that my dear friend Midge was giving away to celebrate her birthday?  Guess who won?

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Yep, lil' ol' me.  I opened this delicious parcel that came Royal Mail and my heart was instantly captivated.  Do you know I have never owned a teddy bear?  And now I have one made by the sweetest and most talented bear artist ever!

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And look at the card, it's Midge's puppy Freya Rose Blossom!  That has to be the cutest card ever!  Oh Teddy, you have stolen my heart completely.

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He's completely jointed, and oh so tiny -

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He likes to sit here and look at himself, or else his favorite mum -

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to keep up with her doings, you know.  Along with the rest of the Soggibottom gang...

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Midge, he's making himself right at home, we're having lots of fun getting to know each other and he sends you hugs!  Hugs to Freya and Frankie de Tabby too!  Thank you darling girl!

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But that's not all.  Oh no.  A big box came also....

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My darling friend Kelly from I Have A Notion had a give-away as well, and I won that!  I almost fainted when she emailed me, and almost fainted again when it came this morning!  Talk about a stuffed box....

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It quite takes one's breath away, doesn't it?  Have you been to Kelly's store?  I guarantee you'll not find better customer service!  And if you're thinking of making a purchase of some new gadget, you'd better go read her reviews - she does a fabulous job of making sure things work, lets you know if this is something you need or not, she's so real and honest.  I just love her!  I've purchased from her myself, and I highly recommend her.  Kelly, thank you so much, I love everything in my box and I still haven't caught my breath!

Of course, Ted had to inspect everything too...

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And he quite approved.

One more thing.  I'm almost done with the give-away gift for our December link-up.  A snack mat and mug rug, just have to finish the binding on the mug rug....

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I was going to do that tonight, the boys are going to a hockey game and I'll have no interruptions.  Instead, I'm going to read the books from Kelly!  Binding can wait when there's excellent reading material!

And now, Ted and I are off to have tea - see you soon!

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December Strut Your Stuff!

Five days left to complete your Christmas gift and link up to this post, can you do it?  I'll be taking pics of our give-away gift in the next couple of days, I hope you like it!

My gift for the month I've showed before, the pillowcase for my brother.

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Not much of a gift, but I got him a pair of jeans too.  Can't make those.  At least, *I* can't.

If you've made a gift this month, even if you've never participated in this club before, you can link to your blog post below to be in the give-away.  If you can't post about your gift, because the recipient reads your blog, email me with the picture and I'll post it here, and add your name.  I can't wait to see what you've made!

The give-away ends on midnight, December 21st!  Good luck!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

More Tutorials And Where Is My Brain?

Have you seen it?  Wandering around in the cold and rain?  Send it home, please.

I've known my mother all my life.  And every year she has a birthday.  Do you think I could remember it?  I KNOW when it is, December 20th, yet somehow I managed to forget this year.  When I remembered the other night, I panicked - somehow I had forgotten about making her a gift!

I took her to get her new meds the other night, and she was scrambling in her tiny wallet for her medical cards, cash, etc.  I had made her that wallet, and it's far too small for all she has in it.  She had cards falling everywhere, trying to get to just one. I found this tutorial online, from ThatDarnKat, and decided to make it last night.

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I LOVE IT!  It has 8 credit [or other] card slots on the bottom, a bill pocket and two extra pockets on top.  This might work for her.  I had a heck of a time figuring out the pockets from the instructions - in the end, I just did it my way, and it worked out.  I went into the comment section and looked at other blogs that had made it, and one said the bottom pockets needed to be 4 inches from top to bottom, so I made my folds according to that.

And now, more tutorials.  Amanda at Krafty Panda made the cutest little wreaths!

And Val Spiers has some applique drawings for you, they're so sweet - boy has she been busy, check out her other posts!

Debbie from Woolensails has two adorable cross-stitch designs for you!

And Stephanie from Peas in a Pod has the most brilliant link for hot chocolate on a stick - love the packaging and it sounds delicious!

From Completely Coastal, she shows how to make a beach ornament - I have some pink sand from Bermuda, and I would love to make this - you'll have to click the link, I forgot to ask permission to use her pic.

So how are you coming with your Christmas gifts?  All done?  Close?  I'm pretty close myself, just have a couple of small things to quilt and bind.  I've been slacking - either mum or my oldest son has given me a cold, and I'm taking it easy.

I read a post last night that really spoke to me, on Paratus Familia blog.  Money is so very tight for so very many of us, and this post reminded me that gifts are not what Christmas is about.  She shares a very touching [and humorous] story, check it out if you find yourself panicking about gifts!

Til next time, be well, be happy, be blessed!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Snapshots From My Mailbox

Hi everyone, I hope you've been busy, I know I have - although I have to confess, I took some things I was making off of my list, crossed them out and wrote "cookies" instead.  WHAT a relief.  I did promise I wouldn't panic this year, didn't I?

After re-writing my list, I took a few days off.  I thought I would sort through my totes and find all the gifts I'd made this year.  Um, they weren't there!  I was missing FIVE. Which meant nothing for my aunt.  Horrors!  That was a bad few days.  I'm happy to report that I remembered my son had taken one of my totes to use as a footstool - sure enough, they were there!

Other than a few days off from sewing, I've been getting the mail.  And I want to show you what some lovely friends have sent.

The first is from my dear sweet friend Carrie from A Passion For Applique.  Look at this lovely bundle, all wrapped in vintage Christmas paper!

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Gorgeous vintage cookie cutter, a lovely potholder, and vintage Santa fabric....

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When I emailed Carrie to thank her, I told her I'd been looking for something to hold my Christmas cards, and the holder she designed for me was perfect!  She emailed me back that it was actually a potholder, lol, but it would work for Christmas cards too.  Yes, I am notoriously incompetent in the kitchen, and now everyone knows it.  Bet I'm the only person in the world who hangs her Christmas cards in a potholder, lol!  But hey, that gorgeous potholder won't get dirty!  I would have to hurt anyone who got a drip on it.  Thank you Carrie!

Next is from the Swap Queen Cheryll, at Gone Stitchin', what a doll -

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Two really gorgeous and clever ornaments, and a calender diary for the next two years, that fits in my purse!  She wanted to thank me for hosting the Christmas Through The Year.  Thank YOU Cheryll, you're so sweet!!

And then my precious O'Faigh, from Oldbury Cottage.  She said she found this fabric and thought of me....

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Well I love anything ocean and mermaids, and when I saw it, I immediately thought of these vintage mermaid designs I have - how perfect is this!!

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Thank you sweetie, it's just perfect and I can't wait to get started!

This one came today, and brightened up my day like you wouldn't believe.  From my dear friend Shell at The Raspberry Rabbits....

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Thank you Shell, I adore this fabric, and I'm going to design something perfect for it!  You are a sweetheart!

So other than getting the mail, and frantically searching for lost gifts, I haven't done much.  Mum is sick again, she had to call the dr. to get some antibiotics today.  Meijer's has a list of FREE antibiotics, so we went there....and the doctor called in the wrong one.  We'll be going back tomorrow.  As I was drying my hair, getting ready to go, I decided my hair was getting too scraggly at the ends and I was going to cut it.  I only meant to cut an inch....but cut five....there's a bit of going back and forth from side to side to even things up, you know?  That's ok, it's better than it was!

I hope to have a few completed gifts to show you in a few days.  I've also been picking up pencil and paper - I have five new projects in my notebook.  Applique quilts, and stitcheries both.  Gosh I'd better get busy!!

I'll be back in a couple of days with more tutorials for you, it's not too late!


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