Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm here, I'm here....and Happy New Year! :o)

I hope you're all doing wonderfully and had a nice Christmas. I enjoyed all of the festivities and my hubby and kids spoiled me rotten with gifts. I've been searching on my two memory cards from my camera trying to find the picture I took of the Christmas tree all purdy with all the presents underneath, but I can't find it anywhere. Hmmm, do Santa's Elves do tricky things? :o)

Well, moving on without a photo....the holidays..... They are a blessed holiday for sure, but I always take on too much, how 'bout you? I keep telling myself that I am just one person but I take my 24 hours a day and try to pack as much as possible into it without getting sick because I'm not getting much sleep. I just keep singing with Gloria Gaynor in my head (I think that's who sings it), "I Will Survive!" and this year, again, I got through it all. :o) There was that quick trip to the ER Christmas morning with a bladder infection, but hey, that's not too bad for running on empty!

I had 5 days off work, which was wonderful!!! There were some days I was a slug and watched too much tv and even one day I stayed in my jammies!! I love days like that the most. They just don't happen often enough. :o) I did go into my sewing room once or twice but just to tidy things up a bit. There was no sewing.

The last few nights after work, I've been working on swaps for the Backporch Friends Yahoo group. I went to Moda Fabrics website and my sister walked me through how to download fabric lines to EQ6. It is so cool to play with fabrics that aren't even out yet!!! So, one of the swaps I will host will be using cherry fabrics and a pattern from Quilters Cache called Swapper's Star.
I made the block and plugged in the pretty cherry fabrics. I know people are trying to finish up projects but I'm hoping we get to make this one. If not, oh well, it'll be on the to-do list for some other day.

I get another few days off to ring in the New Year. I hope you spend yours warm and toasty and safe. Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Doing the baking...

I did a bunch of baking on Friday for the family gathering at my house on Saturday. Today I did more baking for the goodie plates I give neighbors and friends. But I'm fading fast from a busy weekend so I turned off the oven and I'm going to find the recliner. Tonight I baked Peanut Butter Blossoms....
...and Santa's Whiskers.
Tomorrow I'll do the sugar cookies and maybe gingerbread if I have it in me. :o) I think I might need to get a few more gifts too. Ohhh, it looks like I need the guy in the red suit to help me out!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I FINALLY DID IT!!! I finished the ornaments that I started last year for my friends and family. They were much more time consuming then I thought and when Christmas was just hours away, I knew I wasn't going to make the deadline. I decided to accept defeat and put them up until 2008. :o( I "thought" I started them early enough but I thought wrong.
But here is the finished product.....

The pattern was free from the internet. The designer is Renee Mullins and I love the way she creates her adorable characters. I might've been able to get these done last year if I had a smaller family!!!! These are the ornaments ready to be signed.

We'll have my family over on Saturday for our exchange and I will give my sister's their ornaments then. We usually do a little something for each other and then do what my OK friend, Linda calls Dirty Santa. You know, the game where everyone brings a gift, you put it in the center of the room and you get a number to pick a gift. You can either open one or steal someone elses. It's fun and with no little ones around, us old folks have to do something for entertainment. :o) I have to do my baking but will just do a few things for the family gathering and then do the rest for neighbors Sunday and next week. Man, I'm excited just thinking of all this frivolity. hehe

Friday, December 12, 2008

Raise your hand if you love Christmas!!

I do, I do! I got some lights on the Christmas tree last night but didn't get finished. After running errands last night and having dinner, I got a late start. I had to use a couple of the strands of lights that are for the tree for some that burned out in garlands in other areas of the house. I have to make a Target run after work and can probably finish with one strand of lights. Maybe I better buy three! My daughter Ashley and her boyfriend were at the house last night and he watched me while I was wrapping the lights around each branch and seperating the layers. Dave said something to Ashley, as for just her to hear. "Man, your mom really puts on the lights yeah?" I kept saying that I wasn't going to have enough lights and I had 4 baggies left to put on. But this mama knows her trees cuz sure enough, I ran out with about a fourth of the tree still to go. Right now it looks like this....

I know the picture is dark but if I put my flash on, you couldn't see the lights. And it's ALL ABOUT THE LIGHTS! lol

My sister asked me yesterday where I get all my mini ornaments. Mostly it's from Gooseberry Patch and craft shows. Then last year, I bought a new set at Hallmark. They are stinkin' adorable and red mini kitchen gadgets so how could I resist? Well, I did resist at first. They were $14.00 (I think). I thought I would wait for after Christmas but was afraid they wouldn't be around after so I paid full price. When I opened the box this year, I was so glad I did. Here are some pictures of them on my little 3' kitchen tree. This is the rolling pin and red handled cookie cutters. (The green handled cutter is from Gooseberry Patch. Another purchase!)

Look at how itty-bitty the cookie cutters are!

There were also red handled untensils, a clear measuring cup, a container that looks like the old sugar container like at soda fountains and coffee shops.

I know the picture is blurry but look at these teeny measuring spoons. Can you see why I couldn't resist????
Have you had enough? Oh, maybe just a few more....... I also bought a cute set from Gooseberry Patch. It was jam jars....
...little canisters....

...and a little cocoa mix!

Oh, that was so fun. I can't wait to get home and see my little toys all over again. :o)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hustle Bustle

Man, I don't know about you but I am definitely feeling the holiday pressure. I think I've got it figured out though. I put in 8 hours a day at work, stay up til about 11:30 on most nights. That gives me about 6 1/2 hours to do the things I normally do - eat dinner, catch up with my hubby, check e-mail, sew or craft something, sometimes throw in some laundry and housework but I usually save that for Saturday. Sounds like the good life to me. But in December, it all goes out the window. We add shopping (which usually means 'wrapping' too), decorating, making gifts for others, not just buying Christmas cards but the addressing, writing a little note, etc., baking, buying a tree, decorating the tree.....ACK!!!! It's no wonder the primary person who does these things gets a little stressed, cranky and sometimes gets sick.
I'm 51. It took me that long to figure this out. LOL

I've not touched my sewing machine in a couple of weeks. I think I miss it more than it misses me but I'll be back in the sewing room pretty soon. Last night I did some wrapping of the gifts I've gotten so far. If I don't, my kids will go through the bags when they come to visit so it HAD to get done. :o)

My boss was going to Crate & Barrel and I had seen these cute bowls in the catalog. I had her get me a set and she came back with a few extra goodies - a cute snowman dishtowel and chocolate covered marshmallows. Yum!!!
And because I refuse to show yet another stage of those blasted ornaments that I'm still working on (and you can't tell my progress anyway), here are pictures of some of my favorite decorations.
I got this Santa last year at Joann's. I think it's fun to have quilty decorations around the house.
I have a 4' tree in my dining room. I have cookie cutter-type ornaments on it. I got these little aprons at Gooseberry Patch last year. I think they are so cute and usually leave a couple hanging up all year!

I went to a craft show a couple of years ago and got these little mason jars filled with seeds. You insert a mini light in the top and they hang from your tree. They look so cute on this little tree.

Did I say "cute" in each of those descriptions? LOL I love to decorate for Christmas. My kids give me such hard time about it. But that's okay. I do it for me and I really hate taking my decorations down in January. But I guess if we had these things up all year, they wouldn't be so special. I hope you are enjoying the holiday season so far.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What the heck have I been doing?

Yeah, I know my last post was November 18th. My sister even commented that she keeps looking but there's nothing new! So this is it......

This is from Thanksgiving. Our pre-meal snacks to hold us over before the 'real' meal.

Hard to believe anyone would have room for turkey after all those yummy goodies but we did. I couldn't find any big turkeys at the market so got two fifteen pounders. I have the new double ovens so that worked out just fine. Here they are "unstuffed" and ready to be sliced. the look kind of pitiful but they were delicious!

I hit Michaels Crafts with my mom on Black Friday. Got a few gifts and some great deals. They weren't too busy so we didn't have to wear any body armor, thank goodness!! lol You never know with these people on a mission. They can get kind of scary! Later that day we went out to visit my SIL. Her son and his family were here for the holiday from Missouri.

THEN...on Saturday, I got my mom busy unpacking decorations and I put them up all over the house. I still have boxes stacked by the back door to go back out to the garage but I feel good this is done!

My middle daughter needed to finish a quilt for a co-worker's baby shower so she came over on Monday. I helped her piece the back and sewed up the binding for her while she quilted it on my Juki. She did a simple snowball/nine patch block design in pink and black. It came out very cute.

Now, I've got projects all over for Christmas. I'm knitting a scarf for my boss, the woman who has everything and if she doesn't have it, she can buy it for herself. She's the worst to buy for!!

I've got ornaments to finish, crayon bags cut out and waiting for assembly, shopping to do, etc., etc. But it feels good to have the things done that have happened already, like the decorating. SEE!!! I've been so busy, blogging was the last thing on my mind! Hope you are finding time to "play" this season.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I finished the extra blocks I wanted to get done to make my 16 blocks (from a swap) into a nice sized lap quilt. I love all of the blocks. The colors are so rich and the fabrics are wonderful. This was a good swap. I have a lot of things to do with the upcoming holidays so unfortunatley, I'll put this one away for now. :o(

And my buddy Carolyn sent me this cute little pumpkin she made. She used an antique spoon for the little stem and it's made out of wool felt. It's lightly stuffed and so cute. I put it right in the center of the coffee table. I needed a little something for that spot and this was perfect! Thanks Cracker!

Blog Contest...

Sweet Liberty has a cute blog and is having giving away some goodies to the lucky winner. I hope it's me!!! :o)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

California Fires

I live about 10 miles from the fires that are taking place in Yorba Linda and Anaheim Hills (CA).
These pictures are from my front porch looking across the street. The last photograph is the same direction as in photograph #1 but 3 hours later.
Still seeing lots of blue skies. The Santa Ana winds are good for one thing. Cleaning the air. Not a good time for fires.
Directly across the street from me.

This photos (below) is behind my house at the same time I took the other pictures. It's about the time the fires in Yorba Linda and Anaheim Hills were starting. This blue sky didn't last long.
This is at about 3:00 p.m. today.
This is at about 5:00 p.m. The air is thick, smelly and the ashes are everywhere. I watched the news and saw some beautiful homes burn down like match sticks. It is so sad. I can't imagine people leaving their homes, sitting in a hotel and watching the news to maybe see their home burning. It's got to be awful. God bless the firemen fighting these fires and the families who have left their homes and don't know what they'll go home to.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Coffee and Cream

I hosted a swap on Backporch Friends this month. It was a small group of ladies that participated but the swap was a success. These are the pretty Bear Paw Variation blocks that I swapped out. Aren't they yummy?

Have you been to a quilt shop lately? Well, for some reason, I haven't been shopping in a while. I guess if you read some of my prior posts, you know things have been a little crazy. Well, I headed over to my local fav shop, Cozy Cottage and picked up some goodies. I want to make a few more bear paw blocks to get a 4 x 5 setting so I picked up these two fabrics. And I saw this great pattern for a chubby charmer! They had a sample in the store and it's such a nice big bag, I guess I'll have to make me one......someday!

The beige fabric is a Thimbleberries but I don't remember who makes the brown fabric. But it has little cherries on it. Who could resist that!??
I guess I better go through my charms and see if I can come up with enough to make that bag. I don't think the charms will be the problem. I don't know if I have enough fusible fleece. Well, I better get. The girls are coming over for sewing night. I gotta clean off a space for somebody else to play. (I kind of hog my space that way!) :o)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Catching up - crazy busy weekend

First things first. Thank you to anyone and everyone who ever served in the military of the United States of America. Thank you for my freedom! Thank you for your bravery. I wanted to make sure to say something in appreciation before I got to yackin'.

Now onto my very busy weekend.......
My mom was at my house for a few days before she went to make her rounds with my other two sisters. This gives my kid sister a break. My mom will be back for Thanksgiving....which will be here WAY before I'm ready! lol

This is Sara on the left and my mom on the right. Sara is my friend, Nora's mom. I met Nora in the 2nd grade so we've known each other for-e-ver which means our mom's have known each other for some forty some odd years too! When Nora heard my mom was coming over, she thought it would be great for them to see each other and visit since it's been years since they've seen each other. You never know when you'll get another opportunity to get mom's together again so it was a photo op. :o) Sara is 74 and my mom just turned 80! We should all be so lucky to look this good, huh?
After my sister left with my mom and Nora and her mom left, little Ashley, my surrogate granddaughter, came over. I barely had time to wipe the crumbs from lunch off the table! Ashley and I made home made playdo from the cookbook I've had since my 20-something year old daughters were in preschool! It's got some good "food" recipes in it too but I like having a place to look for recipes for fun stuff like playdo and goop. Ashley loved it and it helped me have some sit down time. Man, she wears me out!
Okay, so all of that was on Saturday! I KNOW!!! LOL That's how I felt too!!! Ashley stayed the night and her parents picked her up on Sunday. Thennnnn, my oldest daughter, Kelley came over to play! We got Kelley a gocco printing machine for her birthday in May but she hadn't made time to play with it. (I tried to find a link but they were all sites that had them for sale. If you're curious, you can google it.) Well, with a little prodding from me, she brought it over, unpacked it and drew a little picture to print. Here's the machine and her little elf drawing.
Go check out Kelley's blog to see what they look like printed. They're so cute! Once you draw your design or copy something from clipart, you can ink up the mat and print about 80 copies. So it's something she can use to make cards and maybe sell some of her designs.

Then I came back to work on Monday to rest!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :o)

Monday, November 3, 2008

New Dishes and more....

Does this mean I have to cook now??? lol I got new jumbo glasses for the man who likes "manly" sized diet Cokes. And look at these littel ramekins. They were on clearance at the Crate & Barrel outlet.

And I got generic white dishes. I just haven't been able to find anything I really LOVE. Well, let me clarify that. I have found dishes I love but I'd have to sell my house to own them so I went the budget way. I found these "cafeware", also at C&B outlet.

You see, the mister likes to go to the Indian casinos and gamble and the misses likes to keep her money for more important things like fabric, or um, dishes! lol So, I got these and a cute cup cake stand, cooling racks and a few other goodies. And he got to gamble. Actually, he did very well and paid for all my purchases. All I can say is it's a good thing there's no casino close by! I'm sure his habit would be much more dangerous if that was the case. Kind of like me living within five miles of six different quilt shops. Oh yeah, I do!!!!!

And just so you don't think all I do is shop, I did sew a little "thing" together the other night. My artsy daughter Kelley, asked me about printing on fabric. We talked about several options and she grabbed a bit of artwork from her computer and we printed it on a Printed Treasures label page. And just so the little artwork didn't go to waste, I put some borders on it and stitched in the ditch around it. Cute little...um, I dunno, coaster? Hey, it's an original bit of art. :o) I told her she should draw a little Christmas elf or something and we could do small ornaments for Christmas. Good thinkin' huh? :o)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Carving!

We're at the 'tween stage. We're 'tween grown daughters and no little grandkids yet so we do what we have to do. Here we have our youngest daughter Ashley. She's usually a sweet girl but in this picture she looks like a "Slasher". lol (Can you picture that sound from the shower scene of Psycho? Eee Eeee Eeee)

We don't even have a cool carving kit at our house. We just used old paring knives. "Slasher" carved her pumpkin to look like a little vampire. Our middle daughter Stephanie shared the good deal she found at her grocery store and brought over four pumpkins last night. That was sweet of her, yes? :o) But there's no picture of Stephanie because she had to bake cookies for work and stop at Target, etc. She practically threw the pumpkins in the house and left. She's one busy young lady.

Here I am emptying the ooze out of my pumpkin. Ewww...pumpkins are so squishy inside.

My photos are always out of focus when I turn off the flash but here's the front porch. Now we're just waiting for the little trick-or-treaters.

Hope you have a safe and chocolaty Halloween!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cards n' stuff

My buddy Neena and her granddaughter came over to make cards and little spiders for Halloween. It always looks like such a mess when we get started. Eeek.

Neena has gone Frankie-crazy. Below is the little guy she made on a Milk Duds mini candy box. My oldest daughter loves Frankie so Neena left this for her. This guy is only about 1/2" X 1". I wouldn't have the patience for a small candy box. A small quilt block yes, a small candy box, no. Guess we have to pick our poison huh? :o)

Here are all our little goodies. The little buckets are from Target's dollar spot (2 for $1.00). They were fun to make so I think I'll send one to my mom and a couple of sisters, my surrogate granddaughter, etc.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wicked....third time's a charm!

I thought going to the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood earlier this year to see the play Wicked was a chance of a lifetime, so I don't know what it means that I've been fortunate enough to go see it three times! This last time I got to go in style! My boss Donna, treated me and our part-time gal Becca to the play, plus we got to take our daughters. Now, having Becca's daughters and my boss's daughter go was great for them, because they're young ladies, but for the boss to include my daughter's, who are adult women, was above and beyond. They were so excited!! It was pretty amazing. Donna rented a Hummer stretch limo similar to this one. We met at her house. Wow!! Pretty cool huh? Here are Kelley, Stephanie and Ashley checking out the limo.

They don't let you take pictures while in the theatre but how am I supposed to post a blog without pictures??? So I broke the law and snuck this shot of the stage curtain. This picture is how close we were to the stage. Not only did we travel in style, but we were in row F. ROW F PEOPLE. lol That's 6 rows back from the orchestra! It was awesome!!

The show was excellent and we walked around the corner to get out of traffic and give the limo driver a place to pick us up. I took this picture of the Capital Records building to show you how nice a day it was. It was a beautiful day in ol' Hollywood. Ahhh, what a day! Check out the Wicked website and see if it's playing somewhere near you. You won't be sorry.