Showing posts from December, 2009

Joy and embarrassment

Our Christmas celebrations included seeing relatives and eating homemade beef minestrone soup on Christmas Eve at my mom and dad's, topped with fantastic parmesan cheese and accompanied by french bread, yum! Then there were hours at home of prepping food for Christmas dinner, wrapping gifts, and the capper of the night, as always, loading the stockings (the kids' favorite stocking stuffer is the gas card Santa brings!).  This year's Christmas morning was a little less traditional this year, being that now two of our children live elsewhere, but they gathered at our house and we opened our gifts in rounds while eating cinnamon rolls and listening to a great CD of classic rock and roll carols.  Grant bought me the Moda GreenPiece BOM I have drooled over and surprised me with a new office chair.  The girls each bought me a book I can't wait to read ("Water for Elephants", and Crazy Aunt Purl's "Drunk, Divorced and Covered with Cat Hair", plus a fr

Merry Christmas to All...

..and to all a very happy and bright holiday!

Wait! I'm not ready!

Christmas is upon us in a few days and my calendar needs a reset to about two weeks ago.  I only just finished writing our annual newsletter and got the photos printed at the drugstore, but unfortunately nothing has yet made it into an envelope...oh, well, it will be better late than never AGAIN this year!! A recent post by Carol made me recall that my Aussie friend Susie bought me two ornaments when we were out shopping, to remember my visit.  Aren't these cute?  The kangaroo is tin and the Koala some kind of plaster or resin.  They are hanging prominently on the tree for all to admire.  My sister has flown in, my youngest brother and his family drove in, my niece is coming, and soon about 18 family members will gather at our house for Christmas dinner.  The house is all decorated and the menu and seating set.  With luck I will have finished up the gift shopping and wrapping tomorrow night...wish me luck!

Dear Santa

The Fat Quarter Shop's blog Jolly Jabber has a wonderful giveaway and I just couldn't resist adding my can do it too by clicking the link here. Dear Santa, I am a Civil War print lover and this collection wows me.  Plus, my older brother has asked me to make him a quilt for his 50th birthday next year and my plan is a bowtie quilt.  I think 50 bowties in this collection's fabrics would be just right!  So, Santa, please grant my wish.  I love you! AnnieO 

...and an Embellishment picture

Jasmine, my Quiltbuddy friend, asked for a picture of what my completed tree skirt looked like.  This shot was an outtake from our annual holiday greeting card photo shoot yesterday so it isn't all tree skirt...just ignore those people in the front! We had some fun yesterday goofing up some pics.  It may be time to send out a silly shot, after so many years of  here-we-are-in-front-of-the-Christmas-tree poses.  We have done a family photo every year since we got married and many people tell us they have us lined up on their refrigerators year by year! 


A few years ago I bought a very inexpensive felt Christmas tree skirt.  I added my own embellishments with fabric bears and trees cut from my stash, simply added with fusible web.  Although I had originally planned to blanket stitch by hand around all the figures, my shortage of time instead led to my using a fine point permanent pen to add a long running "stitch" around the edges of the bears and trees.  But it still wasn't very exciting to look at.  This year's Crate and Barrel holiday catalog showed lots of crafty type decorations using felt circles, like these stockings and especially the matching tree skirt .   I immediately thought of adding circles to my tree skirt, but the idea of cutting out all those suckers sapped my energy.  Then, brainstorm, I thought of precut shapes out of felt!  Off to Michael's I went and after a whole store search, I located some sparkly snowflakes that were sticky backed--perfect!  Two packages came home with me. I scattered

A giveaway plus a great idea shared

Abbey Lane Quilts has a great post about some Christmas tabletoppers that are quick and easy.  After my Halloween Tumbler/Fall tabletopper fun, I would like a Christmas one too, and these are fantastic.  So hop on over and see 'em and check out the layer cake giveaway.  I would love to win!

The Granddog meets Russell

Elaine came over with her 9 week old Boston terrier puppy, Scully, last Sunday.  It was his first meeting with his Uncle Russell, our Australian Shepard (9.5 years old).  Russell responded mostly by ignoring him but alternately rushing the little pup and barking a lot.  Not too friendly, but Scully didn't mind a bit--he barked and leaped at Russell just the same! Scully watching Elaine kick the ball... ..and scurrying away as Russell brought it back. More scampering ahead of Russell. My favorite action shot--ears flying! He's small but unafraid for the most part, our little Granddog. Here he is dragging around Russell's big bone, nearly his same size!  Elaine said she has already taken many photos of her dog, but I sent her some of these anyway, they were so cute! Her boyfriend's parents are happy to dog sit anytime, and Erica is also a dog nanny for her sister, so Scully is well sorted while his people are at work.  Elaine said Scully needs a quilt,

Coral Sea for Two

Upon making my plane reservation for Australia in September, I started looking for a quilt pattern.  I knew it had to be simple and striking and I wanted it to be blue and white.  I pored over my books and magazines and found what I wanted in a very old issue of American Patchwork and Quilting from 2000.  It called for 7 different solid shades of blue but that just wasn't enough for me--I wanted all the colors of the sea!  I found a gorgeous pack of Robert Kaufman hand-dyed fat quarters at my local fabric store and with the addition of one more off the bolt, plus a tone on tone white, I was set.  The directions called for making a template for the triangle-rectangle and then cutting out 252 of them in white.  Gulp.  Luckily after cutting a bunch I realized I could not flip the template.  Okay, set those mistakes aside.  I cut a couple of blocks out of the blues and then decided to make a sample block.  Oh, my, this was a fussy star!  Good thing I made the sample as I would have end

Australia Travelogue, Part V

Wednesday, Nov 16, Port Douglas: sunny, hot, with a calm wind. I made breakfast tacos and we enjoyed a leisurely time at the table. Susie and I had planned a walk with Jonesy (her Cavalier King Charles spaniel) but ran short of time and off we went to collect her Aunt Wendy and head to the marina to meet Jon, first stopping for provisions.  Their boat was gorgeous, three levels, with a roomy lounge and kitchen, two large cabins downstairs, a bunk room, 2 baths and even a washer and dryer!  All beautifully fitted with wood trim and fine metal. The bridge at the top was loaded with every technical tool/toy one could want, and surrounded with a clear vinyl cover that zippered off if wanted.  We set off for MacKay Island, about a 1 1/2 hour trip.  This was the marina view from the front of the boat as we left: I thanked Jon for ordering the perfect weather and asked if he had had to put in for it far in advance?  He said, "Oh, yes.  There's always a queue!"  It was a glori

Crazy week, still sick, sorry no blogging!

Just a quick post to say the crazy work week kept me from finishing my Australia Travelogue.  Tomorrow I'll get to it, I promise, since I will be getting home EARLY on a Monday for the first time in many months, as job #3 is Erica's purvey now, yay! And I am STILL sick!  Mostly I'm sick of blowing my nose, popping my ears, and coughing, although my energy level seems okay and I am sleeping better.  Two weeks of this cold is more than plenty, thank you.  I have yet to purchase a single Christmas gift, though I did get to some decorating today and Grant put the Christmas lights up on Saturday while I was out.  The wreath is on the door and the mantle and kitchen decorated.  More tomorrow, really!  I have trip pics, crafty pics, granddog pics, it's a photo explosion about to happen...

Australia Travelogue--Part IV

Tuesday morning, 11/17 dawned sunny and hot again, just gorgeous for our plan for the day, the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway .  Another drive to Cairns for Susie.  It was really nice being a passenger and getting to read signs like "Overtaking lane ahead.  Consider followers", and speed limit signs of 80 or 100.  Susie bought my ticket and we boarded the gondola for the trip up into the rainforest, above the canopy. The information pamphlet Susie read from indicated that in order to avoid disturbing the rainforest too much, the towers had been airlifted in.  Amazing!  As we rose to the first tower, a large white cockatoo flew over the gondola. The rainforest used to cover all of this area all the way to the sea, but has been cleared for settlements and sugar cane fields.  Most of the fields had been harvested a few months before I arrived so the plants were short. Most of the housing has metal roofs and are light colored, so different from home!  Susie thinks it may