Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I know, I know, a lot of people put their tree up right after, or even before Thanksgiving.  But this is the first year I've chosen to do just that.  Reason being: I thought it would be great to keep the children occupied on Wednesday before the holiday.  And it did!  Even with the four year old and "Let's get to the next thing NOW" 7 year old, it went pretty well.  Fastest I've ever gotten a tree decorated.

And, hopefully, great memories for the children!

Oh, they loved their PJs, by the way.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


As usual, my Christmas cactus is off schedule!  But at least it waited until almost Thanksgiving to be in full bloom this year instead of being its usual Halloween cactus!
This year I decided to make the best of it.  My son and his family from New York will be arriving tonight for a couple days to spend the holiday with us.  I had planned to give them their Christmas presents while they are here instead of mailing them next month.  So I decided:  go with the flow of the cactus and have Christmas at Thanksgiving.  They can decide if they want to open them while they are here or take them home unopened. 
To help keep the children occupied tomorrow, I might even get out the Christmas tree and have them help me decorate it.  (Quite early for me, I usually don't do it until St. Nicolas day (December 6).

One of the gifts under the cactus includes these neat little coasters that I made the other day.  I fussy cut the poinsettia fabric so the bloom would be centered on the back of some and the quarter of the fronts of others.
Criss-Cross Coasters are the quarter squares.  The triangle ones are made the same way except you fold the top four pieces on the diagonal and place the triangle points in the corners of the backing.
Fun and easy to do!

And these are the PJs for the 4 New York grandchildren.  All the fabric just happened to be from my quilting stash.  Imagine that!

Oops, I guess it's time to leave the computer and start making my pies!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Hmmmm, challenges:  I guess one for me lately has been getting here to keep my friends up to date on my handiwork.

So here goes:  My current knitting project has been rather slow going as it has an intricate "feather and fan" stitch.  Wow, I "tinked" (took out stitch by stitch) and "frogged" (rip it, rip it) countless times before I was finally able to "see" how my current row stitches were supposed to be placed in case I lost count.  I finally have all the pattern stitches done and am now working on the sleeves that will shortly be placed on the sweater and knitted in stockinette stitch along with the yoke.
I must say that, even though it has been a challenge, it's also been quite rewarding.  

On the quilting front, a challenge was to use a donated panel of "heavy equipment" prints that were placed in a way that they could not be cut out in rectangles without cutting in to a nearby pattern.  So I cut out rather wonky pieces of fabric and then had to figure out how to sew them in to easily useable blocks for a quilt.  With a few "y" (well, not quite "y") seams, I was able to do the trick.  Luckily I had leftover pajama fabric from previous years that worked out quite well for sashing and backing for a pre-teen or teen boy.  This quilt, along with a couple others, will be taken to my Project Linus drop off site tomorrow.

In the meantime, my husband has been having a challenge of his own:  catching the critters that are digging up our yard, including moving the neighbors landscape border's river rock in to our grass.  When it was warmer and he was still mowing, he had to move the rocks one by one out of the grass so he could mow.
This one is a "GOTCHA":
Finally after some smart critter was able to remove the bait from the trap without "tripping" the door, we caught one of the culprits.  He is seen here in his cage in the trunk of the car right before his trip down the road a couple miles to be released.
There's at least one more that's been busy digging again.  Not sure if it's this guy who has found his way back to us or if it's one of his friends.  I just went out to check the trap -- and it's empty yet AGAIN!  Phooey.  Maybe tonight we'll have more luck.

In the meantime, I'll keep plugging away with my knitting and quilting.