Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas break...

Well, it's time to take a little blogging break now. I'll still be checking my e-mail, etc.

There's still lots of wrapping to do around here, among other things. Have a look at Trip....I'm hoping that I won't be this exhausted when I'm done!

I'll have more things to share when I return.

I wish everyone a safe and wonderful Christmas!!! I'll be back after New Year's Day...see you in 2007!

coasting along...

Did you see the great coaster tutorial over at allsorts? These are fun, easy and just begging for a hot cup of tea. I found these beautiful Alex Anderson fabrics at my local quilt shop, and knew that the patriotic colors would be just perfect for some people on our gift list.

Speaking of tea...I've got some new teas to enjoy during my gift-wrapping sessions. The last one, Bigelow, says on the back that the other seasonal flavors are Apple Cider, Ginger Snappish, and Eggnogg'n. I'd love to try the eggnog flavor, but can't find it at the stores. :(

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

ok...I got a little carried away

Remember earlier this month when I showed the holiday magazines I'd gotten? Remember that the Cutting Edge had adorable wee ornament/package decorations by the very talented Hillary Lang? Well I started out with two....aren't they cute?!
Then I got caught up in the cuteness and decided to make a few more...well...14 more actually!! (Watch for upcoming info about a cool new-to-me stuffing that I used for these.) Created assembly-line fashion from beginning to end. But I severly underestimated the length of time they would take. Why do I *always* do that????

Regardless, I'm really pleased with them...and they will be gracing many a gift.

warmed up the knitting needles...

Ok, first of all...I don't consider myself a knitter. Haven't knitted in over a year, at least. But someone on my Christmas list wanted their own fashion scarf like one I had made a few years ago...but in a different color. So I got out those long-ignored needles and got to work. This was made on size 13 (9mm) needles; Lion Brand Fun Fur in color "Tropical". Because you can't see the stitches well with eyelash yarn anyway, I did the whole scarf in garter stitch.

Monday, December 18, 2006

remember the recent WIP photo?....

Well, that pile of green fabric became a Chelsea Tote from Lazy Girl Designs. It has seven interior pockets in the circumference. And at one pocket edge, I added a small loop which I slipped a little lanyard clip onto. (A little blurry, but I think you can distinguish what I'm referring to.) This is so a spare key can be clipped in...never be locked out of the car again! This is a feature I've been adding to all my most recent bags/purses. Just seems like a nice "extra" to me.

Friday, December 15, 2006

just like falling off a log...

...a pretzel log. Well, *lots* of pretzel logs. Oodles and Oodles. One end dipped in dark chocolate, the other dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with multi-colored nonpareils. that salty-sweet combo.

Easy peasy....just very, very time consuming (at least for as many as I did). Then to package them up, I got the clear Wilton treat bags from the craft department at WallyWorld. I used a Hero Arts stamp on cardstock, then filled in with colored pencils. Folded down the top of bag, then stapled on the cardstock (shaped like tent cards).


The tree got done last night...sort of. It's sitting there naked, well, except for lights. Ornaments go on tonight...hopefully.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tick Tock...Tick Tock...

Do you hear it? I hear it constantly...tick tock tick tock....Christmas is almost here. I got one package out Monday, and still have one to finish and get shippped. Absolutely nothing is wrapped. Our tree is not yet up, although I did get the living room rearranged a few days ago for it. (If I didn't have a kid...I'd probably skip it this year. That's just how I'm feeling.) I'll be at the sewing machine again today.

I keep getting seed catalogs in the mail. C'mon people! How am I supposed to keep my head in the game, so to speak, when I'm seeing spring in my mailbox.

I feel guilty for making grandiose Christmas plans, then not accomplishing the whole list. Then I feel even guiltier because in my heart I know that's not what this time is about anyway. The true meaning of Christmas gets so lost these days. I hate the commercialism of it. The pressure of it.

I took a break Monday evening and watched Mary Poppins on the Hallmark channel. It's been years since I've seen that and I've been humming Spoonful of Sugar ever since.

Well, Morgan recently got her own little tree for her room. She's been wanting one for many years, and she's loving it. And of course it needed to have pink all over it!

I'll do my best to post again real soon and show some of the things I've made. I really didn't mean to let so much time pass since my last post. Be back soon...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

would you want these knees?!......and sadness...

the knees of a speed skater.....

and on a different note:
I'm so sad this morning upon hearing the news of James Kim. I've been following this story of survival and hope regarding the whole Kim family. I understand that Kati has had a big impact on so many in the crafting/blogging community. My heart and prayers go out to them all.

And let us remember that today is, of course, the anniversary of the attack at Pearl Harbor, too.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

wicked wind!

This past Friday, after a lot of the country got snow, we got that same storm system in the form of drenching rains for first half of day, rapidly dropping temps (71 degrees F at 8am and 29 degrees F by bedtime) and high wind warnings.

Well, for those of you that don't know my husband, he loves to tease and BS about things. Anyway, late Friday afternoon, he was outside making sure everything that could possibly be secured down, was. He rushed back inside and yelled that Morgan's trampoline had just flown away. I, of course, stood my ground and said that I was not falling for it. But he started yelling about how we needed to go catch it, and rushed back outside.

Imagine our surprise when he was completely serious! is where the trampoline normally sits:

And here is where we found it:

Here are some limbs that didn't fare well:

So after retrieving it, Lee decided that he'd better weight down the legs with cinder blocks!:

Now that's wicked wind!!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

gettin' into gear...

Oh wow...December 1st already. I'm behind this year. I prefer to be better prepared for Christmas by this time, but it just didn't happen this year. So I gotta step it up a bit.

I love magazines, but especially during the holidays. Sooooo many great inspirations. The Quilts and More has a really cute handbag that I've GOT to make. Hillary of Wee Wonderfuls has adorable ornaments/package decorations in Cutting jingle bells are ready and waiting.

And the Martha Stewart Holiday Handmade Gifts...oh my...where to begin??!! So many great things in there. I love the first paragraph of the Editor's Letter:

"It's the thought that counts. In the hectic run-up to the holidays, I find myself coming back again and again to this powerful bit of conventional wisdom for some much-needed perspective. The thoughtfulness behind an act of giving really shines through when the gift has a personal touch. Even the humblest offerings - a recycled tin packed with home-baked cookies or a bar of handmade soap tied with a soft washcloth and a snippet of satin ribbon - are real treasures because they're from the heart, and the hands, of the giver."
I'm trying to be realistic and honest with myself as to what I can really get done in time. So, there will be some editing of my holiday to-do list, I'm sure.

Well, back to the sewing machine!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

the season's official start...

Monday night was Clarksburg's Christmas Parade. Once again, we were involved because of the model railroad club. Thankfully, the weather was good...not too cold, and dry. (Although I was really glad I had worn my wool socks.) Morgan helped carry one of the trains, and I helped to carry the banner. The clubhouse was kept open for all the foot traffic to pop in and check out the displays. Lee stayed there mostly, because that morning, he'd gone to the doctor (strep-type throat and brochitis).

These photos were taken while still waiting in the line-up.

Anyway, it was fun. The parade-goers (the little ones especially) loved seeing their favorite Thomas the Tank Engine characters. This year was the best so far, because we were much further up in the line than previous years. So after we got done, we actually got to see the rest of the parade.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ollie and I want to welcome all you new visitors!! site meter has exploded lately!!! Seems as though a lot of you have been visiting me from Anna Maria Horner's blog, and also from Maria's One Hour Craft. Hello to you!! This little blog is still just getting off the ground, but I'm so glad you've stopped by. Please take a minute to leave a comment and say hi...I'd love to hear from you.

Please meet Ollie. (Morgan thought it should be a girl, but the name Ollie popped in my head as soon as he was finished, and it's stuck.) He's my first attempt at a tiny teddy, and he's certainly not "heirloom quality", but I think he's bear-y cute!! Heehee!

Ollie is thread jointed, so he was quite happy to pose for his first photo shoot.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

she went to skate and became a Viking warrior princess...

Night before Thanksgiving, we went to SkateWorld.

A man who visits a few times a year came by, and made balloons for kids all evening long. His name is Gilbert Adams and he is a 3-time world champion balloon artist. He's currently setting up a website, and you can check it out so far here.

After the skate session, we had an opportunity to speak personally with Gilbert. Very interesting fellow. He spent several years in both the Air Force and the Army, and is a Desert Storm veteran.

p.s. - hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

being thankful...

Tomorrow, November 23, is our Thanksgiving holiday here in the US. Being such, I'd like to take a few minutes to list just a few of the many things that I am so thankful for:

* a wonderful husband, who's alive and well today

* a great daughter, who's so intelligent, creative and beautiful (inside and out)

* eyes to see with, and hands to create with

* a home filled with love and laughter

* great family and friends

* our family's favorite hangout - SkateWorld

* my electric blanket

* our cats - Elsie, Earl Grey, Izzy and Trip

* our dogs - Ben and Skye (although maybe not Skye so much...because she's going through a rotten phase lately!!)

* tea, tea, and more tea

{{{Thank you, Lord, for all your many blessings.}}}

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Monday, November 20, 2006

yummy fabrics and buttons...

A recent shopping trip yielded some good finds. I went to a local quilt shop and got several gorgeous fat quarters.

And I also took a short trip up the interstate to a shop in Fairmont I've never been to. It is mostly upholstery fabrics and foams, but on one side they have an interesting selection of quilting fabrics, stencils, and other interesting odds-n-ends. Found some good fabrics there, too. Ooooh, and they have two large plastic tubs full of buttons, by the piece or by the pound. It was heaven sifting through all those buttons! I really could have spent even longer, but my time was running short. I managed to find several of the red/white buttons in two sizes, and couldn't pass them up. And I thought the ones with the black and white honeycomb design were really unique. Can you believe all these buttons only cost me 19 cents?! Definitely won't be my only trip to that well-kept-secret!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

won't you join me for tea?

Ahhh, the weekend. Made cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Mmmm. Then while the oven was already hot, I made some cherry chip cookies.

As they were coming out of the oven, Morgan was setting up a teeny tiny tea party. See the cherry chips on the plates?! Even some Littlest Pet Shop guests joined us.

Morgan went to her first speed skate practice today, even though she had the jitters about it. She did great, and now she can't wait to go back next time!

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

that BAD puppy!!!

Oh, my poor chibi kitty. She was finished just recently, and I hadn't gotten around to taking a pic of her. Then today, while I was out, she fell victim to a vicious and senseless attack. She was damn cute, too. I still haven't found her eyes.

Friday, November 10, 2006

hug a veteran

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day. I believe that everyone who serves in the military deserves our respect and gratitude.

Lee's father is a Cold War veteran, and my father served in Viet Nam. I'll be hugging a veteran tomorrow, and I hope you will be too.

Someone passed this video along to me today, and so I'd like to share with you here.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Well, there was a recent article about sewing becoming trendy once again. Which got me thinking....when was it ever untrendy? Really. The article mentioned the societal changes of the '60s and '70s, and I'm sure that had a big impact, but I've always known people who've sewn and quilted. And I've been doing it for many years now myself. I really think sewing is a wonderful and magical thing, and it will never be "untrendy" with me. Anyway, you can read the article here.

This all got me thinking about my own sewing and where it began. And as I thought about it more and more, I realized that I had forgotten the *true* beginning of my sewing. Home Ec in junior high. We had to make a simple alternating block baby quilt. I sewed mine on my mother's old green and white machine. This big and bulky beast only does a straight stitch, forward and reverse. Plain jane. I even remember when she bought it at a yard sale when I was about six or seven. That machine still lives today. I don't think my mother ever uses it, but occasionally my father does! (Go Daddy!!)

Well, my seams didn't match perfect on every block. And somehow I managed to machine quilt this without a walking foot, without too many puckers. The beast did a simple but effective job. And I got an A+.

Sadly, it didn't even get used much when Morgan was a baby, because of the blue. (People always commented that she was a cute boy, even when she was dressed in pink from head to toe. Argh!)

So I thought now would be a good time to document it with some digital pics. Hmm...I really do love this quilt.

Monday, November 06, 2006

she's such a doll....NOT!!!

Wanted to switch gears a little and do something I've never done before...make a doll. There are some adorable dolls out there, and this one on angry chicken's blog caught my eye. (I've never been fond of raggedy ann, but this one is really cute.) So I found this free doll body pattern, and got to work on her last night.

I was hoping that she would come out well enough that we could include her in the shoe box for our Operation Christmas Child package.

Unfortunately, she's frightening! I mean she's really bad!!! Lee said we'll be lucky if she doesn't come back to haunt us when I discard her! I made several mistakes on this poor doll, and she's deformed in more ways than one. I didn't even bother to stuff her. I have to say, though, that I sure learned a lot from making her.

To spare you, I will not post a picture. I don't want to be personally responsible for causing anyone nightmares! Instead I'll post pics of two things that are cute.

This is Ben, our golden retriever. He's about 7 years old. (He was still growing back his fur from his summer haircut in this pic.)

And this is Skye, half pomeranian/half beagle. She's almost 8 months old.

Friday, November 03, 2006

drum roll, please.............

ta-da!!!! Here is the Jedi costume that I was all wrapped up with (for what felt like forever...sorry, Honey). I made everything here except the pants. Inner tunic, outer tunic, cloak, belt, even boot covers. The boot covers were made the night before Halloweeen...bought the pattern, came home and got right to work on them. They are just a "make do" for now because he couldn't find appropriate boots. The belt was actually finished about 15 minutes before leaving for trick-or-treating because I ran out of matching thread and had to get more that afternoon (thanks Shirley...glad you were there!!!).

Oh, btw...he grew the beard specifically for this costume. And after this photo shoot, he went into the house and proceeded to go back his old clean-shaven self! Yay!!

Btw - I loaded these photos on the small side, for those of you on dial-up. Just click on a photo if you'd like to see more detail in a larger pic.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

she can see clearly now....

Well, Morgan inherited my bad eyes. She mentioned last week that things on the chalkboard and overhead project have been fuzzy. When I spoke with her teacher about it, she said she had recently noticed that Morgan was getting up, or leaning in, to look at things. We took her for an eye exam Monday evening and her vision was 20/40.

Yesterday after school we went frame shopping and at the fourth store she found what she liked the best. An hour later....she was seeing great!

It's hard to tell in these pics, but the frames are a gorgeous purple metal. She was in a silly mood...can ya tell?!?!!