Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Quiet Thanksgiving.....Not So Much

I know over the last several days I have enjoyed several blogs celebrating their families thanksgiving festivities.  I notice that the guest list usually is pretty much adult heavy with maybe a few children.  I have scrapbook pages showing those Thanksgivings too....they contain naps, crafting and ornament making, football, walks....you get the picture.  I am here to share a more realistic Thanksgiving where the children out number the adults in energy, number and bodily functions....yes, you read that right .....I will get to that shortly.

Before we get to the heart of this narrative, I will start by showing our idyllic table, full of pumpkins, pilgrims, vintage wax figures, turkeys and candles.  BTW I have recently been marking our glasses using a rubber band and some kind of label or name tag under it.  I was finding that I didn't want to use my nice glasses any more because we had no good way of keeping track of the glasses over the course of a day.  So I resorted to the solo cups and a sharpie, which we still use on informal occasions.  But this way I can use some of my crystal glassware.  Another thing....these glasses are lead crystal.  You are suppose to wash them by hand, so guess what,  I never used them.  One day I pulled them down off the top shelf, they were dusty and I threw them in the dish washer....Oh My Gosh....they got clean....looked fine...I have been using them for every day ever since.  If they die in the dish washer, they die.

But I digress again.  Because we were short one family and three kids.  I set the big table up for the adults and the smaller table off the kitchen worked for the kids.  Lately we have been feeding the kids first because there are so many of them and then they go off and play while the adult can SIT and eat.  At least that is the plan....

So picture this we had just sat down to eat, I am not sure the "Silver Fox" had taken a bite of food yet, when some how we were made aware of a "problem" in the bathroom.  One of the 6 year-olds had plugged the new "unplugable throne."  And had tried to "fix" it....to no avail.  Let's just say if we had not pulled the carpet this summer when we re-did the bathroom.....it would have come up Thanksgiving afternoon 2011.  So at one point the "Silver Fox" is baling and my son-in-law looks like he is going to puke....finally.... thankfully they got it going again and cleaned up. Then we all could resume our festivities.  But honestly you can't make this stuff up......welcome to the wild and wacky world of our lives and family holidays.  I know this will be one story to remember as we look back......and laugh.  Not the perfect holiday, whatever that is, but it is ours.  :)
Playing the game of Life......

The hidden picture books are always a favorite.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

The "fam" will be coming this way on Thanksgiving Day....there will be 23 of us.  So the baking has begun around here.  I have been making batches of rolls every day for the last several days ......they are all wrapped up and in the freezer.  The recipe comes from the "checkered cookbook".....my pet name for the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook.  I would be the 3rd generation to use this book and recipe.  The house smelled so yummy I could have scarfed down a pan of these by myself..... really....   :)  The basic sweet roll dough....which I let the bread machine mix for me.  BTW, my bread making results dramatically improved when I started using a bread machine to mix up the dough....would highly recommend adding that small appliance to any kitchen.  Mine is VERY old and I am expecting it to die any time during an inopportune cooking moment.  

On the Quilt History List that I have belonged to for years, they were discussing turkey quilts recently and if any one had any or had seen any.  I don't think there are too many vintage quilts out there with a turkey on them.....don't think I have ever seen one.  This one is not vintage....I made it several years ago as a model for a quilt shop where I worked at the time.  And really do not remember who the designer of the pattern was.  A fun fall piece with a good message for us all to remember.  I did just google turkey quilt images and a bunch of quilt blocks were displayed.  My favorite was not a pieced block, but an embroidered one....very fun....check it out.  http://turkeyfeathers.typepad.com/turkey_feathers/2010/11/turkey-lurkey-ties-one-on.html

Here is a wonderful piece of clip art to share with you.  Just a reminder to those that might not know, just right click on it and you should get an option to be able to save it to your computer for your personal use.
This would make a very cute place card at your Thanksgiving table.  I would suggest writing your guest's name with a gold metallic paint pen below the verse.

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving Day!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Little Quilts

I am not sure where this week  went, I started this posting earlier in the week and then promptly didn't get back to it until now.  I finished a couple small pieces last week and wanted to share them with you all.
The first piece is a small Halloween piece, that is totally out of leftovers from another quilt.  Right before Halloween while looking for something else, I opened up a small drawer and wha-la, there they were.  
A very simple layout and I quilted it diagonally with a purple sliver thread.  I would have liked to add more sliver to it, but had trouble with breakage going through the seams, even with all the tricks I know with stitching with that kind of thread.

These half square triangles came from cutting off the excess triangles when you add a smaller square to a larger square and stitch from corner to corner as shown.  Then you trim away on the dashed line and press the triangle away from the square.  Probably my fav method to add triangles to a square.  The only problem with this method ......you end up with all of these triangles....if they are very small they go in the pet bedding bag to be recycled there.  But if they are bigger than that I have a hard time tossing them.  :0
Here is the latest challenge quilt on the small quilt list by Kathleen Tracy.  I must say it didn't look like much until I added the borders.

Challenge #13 Four Patch
I added a tiny flange border border first, then I drug out some "old" (probably the '80's) border prints and added those with mitered corners.  I did quilt it by machine using the quilting stitch across the diagonal, making a nice secondary design, before adding the red binding, which really adds the 3rd border.  Very sweet!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Boy Baby Quilt

Enjoyed a baby shower recently for one of my niece's who is expecting her first baby in January.  I have seen similar quilts in the latest quilt magazines, and I always love doing scrap quilts.  This one was a great one to pull out the 2 1/2" strip drawer....yes I said drawer.  I have drawers for strips starting at 1" all the way up to 5" and every 1/4" in between.  Is this a problem that I could share that tidbit of information and it doesn't bother me what anyone thinks about that????  But I digress.....Any hoo..... I  pulled all of the blue and yellow strips that I thought would play well together.

Then I found a basket full of novelty samples, that someone gave me a long time ago and I cut up several of those to add to the mix.  I love to use novelties in all of my quilts.  It is like finding a surprise picture in the piece.

I quilted it with a simple all over loop 't loop.  And to make the binding scrappy.... I used some of the leftover blue strips and pieced them together to do the binding.  I did cut them down to 2" wide instead of 2 1/2".  A very simple, fun piece with a lot of possible color variations to make it your own.  :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

Words cannot adequately describe the sacrifice and commitment that it takes to serve in our nation's military.  I just wanted to take a moment today and honor that debt that we often times take for granted today. 

This little piece of clip art reminded me of the day our son-in-law got to come back home from Iraq to the cul-du-sac.....and the warm reception he was greeted by neighbors, friends and family.

The emotions are still so unbelievably fresh as I gaze on these moments in time.

Thank you Shane for your service and sacrifice.   
Thank you Lord for bringing him back to us safe and sound.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Mail and packages.....I don't know about you, but I love getting "good mail" and packages....especially surprise ones.  In this day and age of electronic every thing, this kind of mail is hard to come by.  Every fall I get this little box in the mail.  It is always a surprise when it comes, not because I don't know what it is, because I do.  But I kinda forget when fall rolls around and all of a sudden it shows up in my mailbox.  Oh yes, it is October and time to get the new book for next year!!!!
Back to the beginning..... about 17 years ago, I received a book offer in the mail from the Michel Design Works wanting to know if I wanted to purchase a diary for the coming year.  The glossy insert of sample pages was VERY enticing.  I wondered if my appeal for the pretty book was enough to get me to write in it EVERY day.  Could I keep up or would I get bored with the whole thing?  I really was not sure.
So I thought, I will give it a whirl and order one.  And guess what?  I did fill it out every day......365 days.....for 17 years.

You can see how stuffed some of the books get by the end of the year.  I probably should find a better place to keep them, they are just stacked in the corner of my bedroom.  I don't want them too far out of reach because I refer to them often.
My only regret is that I didn't do this earlier when my kids were small.  Oh the things I know I have forgotten.  I am lucky to remember what happened yesterday.....really.  I have a better record of the grand kids than I do of my own girls.  Which there is some benefit to that too....as the moms are so busy, I know....  been there, done that.
So the book for 2012 has arrived with the potential to hold a lot of activities and emotions that ebb and flow through the days and nights ahead.  Every year I do a mental discussion do I want to do another year, so far the answer has been yes.

There is a place to write down appointments and a modest space to journal every day.  There are special two page spreads with prompts to direct your writings for special holidays and includes extras pages in the back for special occasions and birthdays.  There is also a page to make your very own index for each book.  I include photos, newspaper clippings, ticket stubs and other mundane paper items in each book.  I have even glued in extra pages in some of them to include special items.  I write about my cooking and lack there of recently, entertaining......haven't done much of that in 3 LONG years (but hope to get back to that soon), my sewing quilting projects, silly things the grand kids say or do....naughty things too.  It is what it is.

I will just tell you the artwork and quotes included on each page are beautiful.  I did notice recently that Barnes & Noble had them, at least at our local store, it was not a hard bound book.  But if you wanted to leaf through one, you could see it there.  I am including the website below, if you want to order your own copy and start a new tradition for your own family.  You won't be sorry.