Thursday, December 31, 2009

John's Calendar Quilt

I can now post about the calendar quilt I designed for my son. It was part of his Christmas and I didn't want to spoil the surprise by posting earlier. I knew that I wanted to make a calendar for his office but wasn't sure how to incorporate my quilting into the project. I decided to make a quilted holder for the calendar. I called my friend Susan, a fellow quilter, and asked for suggestions that would be "manly". She suggested this puzzle design. I arranged all the names as if it was a crossword puzzle and amazingly they fit in the desired size. Each letter is a 2 1/2" square. I used my Janome to embroidery each letter. I did multiple letters in each hooping allowing room for trimming to 2 1/2". The remaining part of the puzzle is 2 1/2" black squares. The bottom portion holds a heavy plastic pocket for the calendar pages. Calendar pages were made in Photoshop Elements.
John was very pleased and surprised by his Calendar Quilt. I'm so glad I took time to design a unique quilt for my wonderful son. He can display it in his office. I think you could also use the pocket to display the granddaughters art work or other items. It wouldn't have to be a calendar.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In Loving Memory

Paul Thomas Snow

December 30, 1985
May 12, 2007

We miss you every day. I can vividly remember how delighted your dad and I were when you finally arrived that December morning, the excitement of the entire family, and the time capsule our friends made for you to open on your 21st birthday. When you opened that capsule on December 30, 2006, we had no idea this would be your last birthday on earth. You will always be in our hearts. Happy Birthday Son.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Pink Saturday

I'm posting my Pink Saturday early. I've been busy with Christmas events but wanted to do a post for Pink Saturday. We will be busy until next week with family and fun.

The bear in the photo was delivered by Santa on Christmas 1949. He is now 60 and is a genuine Senior citizen. His name is Mr. Bear. Don't know when he got his name since I was only 18 months old when he arrived in my life. I don't think I had a large vocabulary at that time (but my parents often said I was born talking and never quit!) He is missing an eye and his stitches are very loose. He is still my "Mr. Bear" and resides on the bed in the guest bedroom. I think he is a very lovely bear and I'm so glad Santa choose to deliver such a fine fellow 60 years ago! Thanks Santa. Your elves did a great job.

Happy Pink Saturday and Happy Birthday Mr. Bear. Be sure to check out other Pink Saturday posts. Just visit Beverly's blog. Holiday greeting to all. I'll be back next year!!!!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Las Noches de las Luminarias

Friday evening my DH treated me to a lovely evening at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. We attended Las Noches de las Luminarias. We had a wonderful buffet dinner and then strolled the gardens listening to various musical groups along Luminaria lit pathways. The weather was lovely with only a light jacket required. We especially enjoyed The Hey Boyz (country western bluegrass) and the Bad Cactus Brass Band. All the other groups (total of 12) were also wonderful.

What a lovely way to spend a Holiday evening in the Valley of the Sun when many others were experiencing a white Christmas.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pink Saturday

Happy Pink Saturday

Holiday Traditions

Why the photo of these lovely girls in pink? What do they have to do with Holiday traditions?
Christmas Brunch
My beautiful granddaughters are the reason that our holiday traditions now include a Christmas Day brunch at Mema's and Papa's. As a family, we decided that it was important for the girls to have time with the gifts Santa left under their tree. By having a brunch, the girls have time to play with Santa's gifts for a few hours before leaving for Mema's house and our family gift exchange. (They do Christmas Eve at the other grandma's.)

One of the family's favorite Christmas brunch items is the Green Chili Casserole. The recipe is posted below. Sorry I don't have photo of this wonderful (and easy) brunch dish.

Green Chili Casserole

1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 4 oz. cans chopped green chilies
1 16 oz. pkg Finely Shredded Colby & Monterey Jack Cheese (available at WalMart)
2 cups milk
3 eggs
1 cup Bisquick
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Melt butter in large casserole dish. Put green chilies over the margarine. Layer cheese over the green chilies.
2. Beat eggs and milk together in a bowl.
3. Combine Bisquick and salt. Stir into egg mixture. Pour over the layer of cheese.
4. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
5. Cool slightly. Cut into serving pieces.

Thanks for visiting today. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas. For more holiday traditions visit Beverly at How Sweet the Sound.

Vintage Christmas Apron

Matilda is ready for Christmas entertaining. Isn't she a lucky lady (mannequin) to be wearing this lovely apron! I found this wonderful vintage apron at Goodwill. I just love it. I think it must have been a kit. Kit probably included the netting, felt, ribbon, rickrack, beads and sequins. I hope my photos show the detail of the bell embellishments. It's obvious that someone spent hours and hours attaching sequins with beads. There is also a piece of the silver rickrack on each bell.
I always wonder about the history of things I find at thrift stores. Do you think someone actually wore this lovely little apron? Did someone spend all those hours making it as a gift? Did the recipient appreciated the hours it took to make it? How did it end up at Goodwill with a 99 cent price tag?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chalkware/Plaster Nativity

Look what I found at Goodwill today. I love the pieces. They are rather large and heavy chalkware or plaster. Don't have any idea of their age. Joseph had an accident at some time and lost his head. It has been glued back and you can see the breakline if you look closely. Since they are to be displayed on the front porch, I'm not worried. Both Mary and Joseph had a few chips. I repaired them with Sharpie pen. What we do without our Sharpies!

Snowflakes in the Studio

I've been busy watching my Janome 11000 as it makes these lovely snowflakes. I am able to get four snowflakes in each hooping with the 8" square hoop. Now I will soak them in water to remove the wash-away stabilizer and air dry. They will be included in a few of our Christmas cards this year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monogram Pillowcases

I continue to work on Christmas gifts. This is a set of monogram pillowcase for my niece and her hubby. This year one of my goals was to make better use of my embroidery machine. Many on my Christmas list will receive items that are embellished with machine embroidery. I have both an older Bernina embroidery machine and a Janome 11000. I love the Janome because it allows me to download directly from the computer. My Bernina does excellent embroidery but I'm limited to a design card.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Grocery Totes

My friend found this pattern at a quilt shop recently. I spent a few hours this weekend making these Reversible Grocery Totes. The pattern is by Penny Sturges and goes together quickly. The pattern calls for either Cotton Twill Tape handles or fabric handles. I didn't have any twill tape so I made the fabric handles. Tote can be made from 4 fat quarters if you have twill tape. If you make fabric handles, you will need 1 1/2 yards of one fabric.

These are perfect for those little gifts that require mailing. My friend mailed one for less than $2.00.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Pink Saturday

Beverly of How Sweet the Sound has selected the theme for this week's Pink Saturday - "Favorite Holiday Decoration". This little angel was on the top of my very first "family" Christmas tree in 1970. I believe I purchased her at Revco Drug Store. When new she had lights attached. Over the years the lights quit working. I took them off but saved the angel. As I was looking through my decorations, I realized that she is one of the oldest family ornaments in my collection. She will be passed on to my son at some time in the future.

To see more Favorite Holiday Decorations check Beverly's blog. Merry Christmas and thanks for visiting my blog on Pink Saturday.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Joy Full Tree

Our tree is now decorated. I finished this lovely tree yesterday afternoon. I decided to use off white poinsettias and copper ornaments. I purchased some of the ornaments at JoAnn's 60% off sale and others at Dollar Store. Berry Garlands were also from JoAnn's. It is our JoyFull Tree. No arrangement would be complete without a few "Snowmen". The snowman on the wall is painted on a cabinet door. I purchased him at a boutique a few years ago.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas

It's beginning to look like Christmas at our house. The snowmen are now on display. Over the years my collection of snowmen has grown to include a variety of the little men (and some women). Many are gifts and others were purchased by our family. This year most of the snowmen are displayed on the hutch by the t.v. Others are sitting around the room. I still haven't decorated the tree. I'm trying to decide on a theme. I'll probably go with red and white like last year. Decision will be made by Thursday. For now the tree sits with lights only.

Christmas Kitchen and New Curtains

This year I decided to decorate my kitchen and breakfast nook in a red and white snowflake scheme. I purchased the fabric at Hancock's in E-town, Kentucky. I sewed the curtains last week. They look great with the vintage green tile behind the sink. The bowls were a gift from my sister and the tins are from JoAnns.
Decorations in the breakfast nook continue the snowflake scheme. The potholders and towels were pruchased at Old Time Pottery in Indiana. I visited the store for the first time in the fall. What a wonderful store filled with all kinds of great holiday items. Many of the other items were purchased at JoAnns. Of course Queen Julia reigns over the entire table from her perch on the wall. You can read about Julia here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fabric Chirstmas Cookies Arrived

This year Norma of Fabric in Altered Art 2 hosted a fabric Christmas cookie exchange. You can read about my cookies here. Our cookies were mailed to Norma and she packaged the cookies and mailed back to us. She included the following recipe:

Hot Batch of Christmas Cookies

Made with delicious cotton fabric dough, appetizing frosting of gel medium and acrylic paint, sprinkles of lovely little beads, paper dots and paper words. Then baked to perfection with a nutmeg or brown acrylic paint.

Fat Free, Calorie Free and Sugar Free! Enjoy

Thanks to Norma for a wonderful swap. They are the perfect addition to my tablescape in the breakfast nook.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Flat Doll Trade

My Last Trade in 2009

This is my flat doll for the Holiday Flat Doll Trade on F.A.T. (Fiber Art Traders). She is a combination of three different images. Arms are from one, and face and legs are from Dover images. The inspiration for this doll was the delicate green leaves that I received recently from Gretchen (also a FATie). They reminded me of skirt. I then set to work designing the doll. The bodice is a piece of vintage jewelry. Requirements for the swap were that the doll include something green, metal, and a button. There is metal on the jewelry, the button is in her hair, and her skirt is green. Now I wait until the first of the week to find out the name of my trade partner.

I displayed her on my breakfast nook tree just to see how she would look. She was fun to make. Maybe next year I will make some ornaments from my collection of vintage jewelry.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pink Saturday

Happy Pink Saturday.

Don't you just love this little Pink Melody Tote by Deb-u-Teen! I couldn't resist it when I saw it at a local thriftstore. It brought memories of growing up with my older cousins and aunt. They wore bobbie socks and penny loafers, listened to their 45's, and danced in my grandma's parlor.

Which brings me to my "Favorite Holiday Memory". Each year at Thanksgiving and Christmas our large extended family would go to Mama's and Papa's for the day. The women would cook a huge meal, the men would do men things (go rabbit hunting or talk about farming) and the cousins (all 20 of us) would entertain ourselves. The younger ones would play games. Some would slide down the banister or bang on the piano in the hallway and some of us would get to watch the older cousins while they listened to their record player and danced. I was only in elementary school and they were in high school. I would sit and watch as they danced thinking that someday I would be old enough to wear a poodle skirt, loafers and dance!

I'm so thankful that I grew up in a large family. Family was important and we took time to be together as a family. I miss my mama and papa and my mom and dad. Now our family is making our own memories with the two dear granddaughters.
Thanks to Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for inviting us to describe our favorite holiday tradition as we celebrate Pink Saturday.

Christmas Santa Cookie Jar

I've decided to feature some of my favorite Christmas items. I found this vintage cookie jar at a thrift store in Payson, Arizona. He was dusty and dirty but I knew I just had to have him. I brought him home and gave him a good cleaning. Now he looks like new. He is manufactured by Carolina Enterprises and dated 1973. He looks great on the table in my breakfast nook.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

"Julia" Queen of the Kitchen

I received this lovely doll from my friend Norma. She was part of my wonderful Stocking Swap package from Norma. The Stocking Swap was arranged by Cathy on Fabric in Altered Arts 2. In addition to my stocking, I received this doll and many more wonderful fabric-related items. I have named my doll "Julia" Queen of the Kitchen. She is currently displayed among the red and white snowflake items on the wall in my breakfast nook. She reigns over the kitchen in her lovely red and silver outfit. I am extremely lucky to have received a doll made by Norma. I will cherish her. To see Norma's post of the swap click here.