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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Two More Sleeps

It sure doesn't feel as though Christmas is two days away!! I think I'm just about ready....a few more groceries and I think I'm done.  I guess I'd better be done!  Every year at this time I think about how I need to plan ahead and make my gifts more meaningful.  I will get thinking this year about what the recipients of my gifts really need and work towards that.  My friend Kim did just that.  She sent me a gift which was very thoughtful and one she couldn't just run out and buy last minute!  She made me a cookbook of her favorite recipes as well as a few from some other ladies I know.  Then she put it together with pictures of family that I had posted to Facebook.  I teared up when I opened it.  Kim knew I had lost my cookbooks in the flood......
So I hope to be 'that' giver next year and make my gift giving more thoughtful.  

'Tis the season for eggnog.  Every year I buy it and then usually throw it out.  This year I'm having a glass in the morning......YUMMO!  I forgot how good it is!!!  I buy the light so it's not as thick....I remember adding milk to the regular eggnog before.  A little sprinkle of nutmeg....mmmmmm!

We are currently having a brown Christmas.  They are forecasting some snow tomorrow and maybe Christmas Day...we will see as weather can change in the blink of an eye around here.  This was a picture taken on my drive home the other day.  No snow in sight!

The older I get the more I don't mind brown Christmases but I'm wondering if that's why it doesn't seem to be almost here!!!!!  

After writing that last post about Facebook I got thinking about what I expect from it.  What would we write about if we didn't post our vacation pictures or pictures of our loved ones because I do care about those things from the people I care about.  So I guess that's the key for me.....unfollow the people whose status updates I scroll over and leave only the ones I will read!  Simple right????  Soon it will be busy with everyone wishing everyone a Merry Christmas......I send cards!  Hahahaha!!  But incase you didn't get a card from me, I'm taking this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for a wonderful 2015!!!!!!



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Breakfast, the Mail, Another Tree and the Facebook Debate

Whew...long title!!  Let's start with breakfast.  This morning I met up with a former co-worker/friend and a customer from the store.  We had a very nice visit!  Mavis and I have always kept in contact but it was nice to see Liz and hear how she missed me at the shop.  We vowed to continue these breakfast meetings when we could.  A great way to start the day!!

After mentioning I had no mail yesterday I decided to check it on my way home from breakfast (which ended at 11!!) and lo and behold I had a bunch of mail.....and a parcel which was thankfully left in the compartment right there at the community mail box.....and it was a good one!!!  I'm waiting on a Christmas gift for Son1 and another package of goodies for me (again, doesn't everyone shop like that at this time of the year???)....but this was even better!  A surprise from a very dear and special friend!  Peggy (or Pegs as I like to call her) sent me a very nice gifty.  A pair of figure skates ornament, a bookmark, a mug (which I've washed and will be using tomorrow morning!), a lovely velvet bag and....MINT SMOOTHIES!!!!  Pegs lives in Exeter which has an amazing chocolate store, where they make their own chocolates......and she knows I absolutely LOVE their mint smoothies!!!!!  As I do when she's sent them before, I've tucked them in a hiding space to savor when I need a pick-me-up!  These do not get shared!

After enjoying a chocolate I was energized to finally get decorating the downstairs Christmas tree.  It turned out "okay".  The tree is from costco (I'm not in love with it) and has different light settings.  I had it on white lights that fade to color and back to white, etc.  so
here are two pictures...in each color way!
I also think I'm done fiddling with the mantle....now it looks really crowded and not proportionate.....I made the star after seeing the idea from a friend.  I don't know....but it will do and I'm not touching it anymore!

So Facebook.  I am once again feeling as though I need to do a purge of the friends I have on there and even groups I follow.  I feel as though people are either bragging about trips and bombarding us with their photos; posting too many pictures of their "cute", "perfect" kids and revealing how proud or blessed they are; sharing how sick they are feeling or, once again, blessed....and leaving at that.  Or it's a lot of negativity, which is never pleasant to read about.  Also, especially at this time of year, people are patting themselves on the back or tooting their own horns regarding what amazing donation they gave or gesture they just did.  Ummmm do you really do it because it's good and right 
or do you do it for the attention and glory?  So in the new year, as per usual, I will be purging....FB 
"friends", my closets /rooms full of extra stuff, hopefully my body of excess weight and using up 'stuff' like craft supplies, quilting fabric/kits and food in the pantry and freezers!  We've only been in this house two years, the flood took care of some possessions but we now have too much stuff again.  And reading a lot of the stuff on FB is not enjoyable.  So purge I must!  I've already un-subscribed from emails I get so that's a start!  

Alrighty, this post is too long and earlier I couldn't keep my eyes open but my shower seemed to have perked me up.  But tomorrow I have a to-do list so off to hit the hay!!!

Goodnight!




Monday, December 15, 2014

My Little Trucks 'n Trees

Hi All!!
I've been following along with the Primitive Christmas Blog Hop over at the Buttermilk Basin blog.....I love everything Buttermilk Basin!!!!!  If you are a lover of wool projects, I'm sure you've got a few of her patterns in your library!  Anyway, the top of the pin cushion I showed you yesterday was the contribution by Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts!  I finished them today!

Here is the link for the PDF pattern. I hope it works!!
http://siterepository.s3.amazonaws.com/900/tree_farm_pinkeep_pattern.pdf

So cute and so fast!  I filled them with the crushed walnut shells but didn't make them super full....I kind of like them as a decorative pillow but the shells give them some weight.  I finished the stitching while watching 90 Day Fiancé on TLC.  Goofy show....but next Sunday we will see who actually gets married, stays or leaves.  Fun fluff I don't have to think about while watching!  :-D

We had no mail delivered again today.  Last week was okay but the week before we had to go to Okotoks to get our mail as our mail carrier was on holidays (or something). I've heard, through FB, people in Okotoks going weeks without mail delivery.  I find it so hard to believe that this can happen.  I had called customer service the week we didn't get our mail, was to get a call back but never did.  I'm disappointed in the corporation.  Very disappointed......I'm hoping we get service tomorrow or I will have to call and see where our mail is this week.

Heard a crash downstairs and wonder what the darn cats did now.....I sure hope Daughter2 finds a place to live where she can have her cats one day!!!!!!!!  Off to check out the damage...........


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Getting Closer!

Almost getting to single digits on the countdown.......I didn't do any baking, I haven't done any wrapping, I've done a couple of cards....and I still have a couple of stocking stuffers to get.  Hubby gets home Thursday night...WOOT WOOT!!!!  I still have to get the downstairs tree decorated too!  Breathe.....there's still time.

But I have been sewing!  Here's a gifty made....I forgot how wonderfully fast and easy rag quilts were to make....and thread-y!!

I made three of these wooly snowmen for neighbor gifts:

I still have to out together this pin keep/pillow.....maybe tomorrow:
I love it!  

Playing when I should be working!  LOL!  But there's time........deep breath. 'Tis the season to be jolly!!!!!!

Friday, December 5, 2014

TWENTY More Sleeps.....AHHHHHHH!

Gotta check my list...I think I'm okay.  Baking next week....cards...maybe while things are baking!  LOL!!  Ah, what gets done gets done...whatever doesn't won't be the end of the world!

Tonight is the big Santa Claus parade!  I can't wait!  Wish Hubby was here but I will still go and meet up with my friend Sue and her Hubby.

Yesterday afternoon Daughter1, Son2 and I went into Calgary to do some shopping......well, it wasn't a long excursion!  But look what I bought for me....doesn't everyone do Christmas shopping like that???  ;-)

It's just the right size to fit under my Keurig and hold my coffee and creamer....and what a great message to have as a reminder every day!  And life truly is crazy good!

I'll leave you with a little Winnie the Pooh.  Have a great favorite day!!!


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December...Let the Decorating Begin!

Well, we are into December....the last month of 2014.  When another year ends it always makes me a bit sad....we still have some time!
But before I show you some decorating, last week I finished my wool Itty Bitty Banner for December and I don't think I shared it with you.

December 1st means I can really start decorating for Christmas.  My boxes came down...which is always overwhelming....and I'm happy to say I didn't put everything out!
                                
Of course not all of those boxes were decorations I used on the mantle.  Here is my 2014 Christmas mantle...I think.  I'm never completely happy with it at first!
The black thing that looks like it's holding a necklace is a toboggan.

I also made more pillowcases.....I made two of the sock monkey ones!


So much fun!!!!  Next up, stockings for Hubby and I!  This year the kids are going to buy something small and inexpensive to put in each of our stockings....since I fill theirs!  Hahaha!  I can't wait and hope it's a new family tradition!!!!  
A little more cleaning tomorrow and then stitching with Sue and Deb!  Working on our Yoko Saito houses!  I'll post pictures soon!
PS....As you can see I stayed home....I'll go up with Hubby in the New Year!!



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What To Do, What To Do.......

Hello to all my wonderful followers....whether you do it secretly or have signed up as an official follower.  What a busy time of the year isn't it???  Decorating, shopping, wrapping, card sending (maybe!), baking, crafting.....phew!  Which brings me to my dilemma.  I am contemplating going up north with Hubby when he goes back to work next week.  But I have most of the above to do before the big day!!!!  I have a ton of stuff ordered from online which will hopefully be arriving within a week or so.  I haven't decorated, nor baked, nor wrapped, nor filled out cards, nor crafted.  We would be back some time the week before Christmas.......how soon depends on whether Hubby would work a few extra days or not.  So I would probably have a week to get everything done....is that enough time?  Does it matter if it looks like Christmas exploded in my house with decorations? Does it matter if I do any baking or order it from a friend? Cards.....I could bring them with me.  I sure could use the change of scenery......I've been very down in the dumps.

I'm no longer at the quilt shop and feel very unappreciated, mistreated, thrown out like garbage by the owner.  Long story short, I asked for one day a week, she gave it to me, hired two new staff then said I wasn't needed anymore.  Done, gone, get out, unwanted..... more or less.  I need to get over it, I know I do, but it's not easy.  And I know I will, with time.  So getting out of town would be lovely....but at this time of the year?  Maybe the new year would be better..........what to do, what to do........

I have been in my sewing room and made two more pillowcases.  I used the new-to-me method again except I didn't have a zinger strip.  These are also flannel....and folded up.

I also had a lovely mail day the other day when a set of Yoko Saito fat eighths arrived to add to my collection.

I'll have to continue on with the houses placemat we are doing if I go up north.  I do love hand appliqué.

Cleaned out the garage this morning and now the truck is full of garbage for the dump and my vehicle is full of stuff for the storage locker and Salvation Army donations.  I'll drop those off tomorrow after Ms Morgan does my hair.  It looks a lot better in there....hope it gets Hubby's two thumbs up!

Now off to cut up three wool coats I got from Sally Ann!!!!  Washed and ready to be used for some sort of creation!!
Thanks for listening.  :-)





Sunday, November 23, 2014

Two In One Day!!

Sorry for the second post today!!  Hubby comes home tomorrow night so that usually means a busy week and less time to blog.

I was actually feeling a little punky today so thought I would see if I could get anything done in my sewing room.  After getting the snowman done I proceeded to make some mug rugs.  I had bought another panel and a bit of fabric from the quilt shop up town because I saw it used for mug rugs.  I didn't do the pattern I saw but created my own.  Here they are:

Then I made a pillowcase out of fabric I bought on a trip to the States quite some time ago.  I LOVE this snowman flannel!!!!!  The technique I used was really neat!  
It's from this You Tube video from Shabby Fabrics:http://youtu.be/C7yrDQ7G9so. Very easy!  Here's the pillowcase and a close-up of the flannel:


I was always forgetting how much fabric to buy to make pillowcases....now I can remember 27-9-3!  That will make sense once you watch the video.  I hope the link works!
I'll have some cleaning and some errands to do tomorrow!  Another week....the last in November!  YIKES!!

Oh I desperately need to make a to-do list for Christmas!!!!  I've been doing some online shopping and Hubby and I are hoping to get into the city on Tuesday to do some more shopping.  I don't enjoy the crowds and hustle and bustle of holiday shopping anymore.  I sure hope we can get most if not all of it done this week.  I might be living in a dream world but let me be!  Lol!  I have some crafting to do too....that's what will panic me more so I need to hop to it!  

Today I finished a center piece for my Live Simply frame.  The December one was a cute little gingerbread man...which doesn't go with my winter/Christmas decorations.....so I made the January one:



I want to make a few bowls for Christmas gifts.  I finished another one the other day from the jelly roll I used for the first one:


I was having a bit of trouble with my machine....I'm hoping third time lucky and the next one goes smoothly!

Son2 is home now for a bit.  That means many things.....I love my son but "Slobby" might have been a better middle name for him!  :-). Anyway, remember in a past post me mentioning that he wasn't going to cut his hair until January????  Well, he changed his mind and I put a text into our hairdresser, Ms Morgan, and she got him in the next day!!!  He wouldn't let her trim much of his beard, except up by his sideburns, but he looks human again!!!!!!

Well, I'm working in my sewing room while watching the western final of football...Go Stampeders Go!!  Best get back at it!



Sunday, November 16, 2014

I'm "Bowl-ing"!

The weekend is a half an hour from being over and it was a really good one!  Yesterday I took a Bali Bowl class at the quilt shop.  It's the third time Charlene has taught it at the shop but the first time I could attend and I'm really glad I did!  My sewing machine that I take to classes/retreats did not cooperate though!!!!!  I was able to get the cording prepared but it would not let me sew the bowl together!  Grrrrr!  But my home machine worked beautifully and a bowl was created!  I can tell you, there will be more bowls in my future!!!!  Charlene has made over 200 and I can understand that as they are addicting!!!!!!!!!!


Today my Dad arrived.  He had been in Banff for a convention on the weekend.  First order of business....shopping in Okotoks at The Red Barn!  It has a collection of antiques/vintage/rusty bits and new giftware.  It was busy there today as Santa was set up for pictures with kids and their families!  Here are some of my finds:

The springs are nice and big and rusty.  I'll be checking out Pinterest for ideas on how to use them for the holidays although I have a couple of ideas in my head already!  The lamp is older and is even filled with fuel ready to go!  Yikes!!  That may get emptied soon.
The fall decor will come down this week and I'll start to put up winter stuff but Christmas will wait until the first week of December......maybe!  I'll likely get all the boxes out and figure I may as well git 'er done!!!  But it is a slow process....it takes time, and although every year I say I'm going to pare it down, it never seems to happen.
Tomorrow Dad leaves for a week in Edmonton and it's Son2s 24th birthday!  He may or may not be home tomorrow....probably Tuesday, so we can celebrate then! 


Friday, November 14, 2014

A Great Week!

Today is Friday....already!!!  I have made my to-do list and must get cracking!  Tomorrow I'm taking a class at the quilt shop on how to make the coiled fabric bowls.  It should be fun and I hope it inspires me to create lots of them!!!  Great way to use jelly rolls and 2.5" strips of scraps!

Last night Sue and Deb came over for some stitching.....Deb really wants to make a Yoko Saito project out of her Houses, Houses, Houses  book and needed some help getting started.  It's hand piecing and hand appliqué which Deb hasn't done.  So we figured three heads were better than one!  And who doesn't need an excuse to get together!!!!!!?????  Earlier in the day I had made a spice cake with cream cheese icing to serve to the gals.  It...was...delicious!!!!!!  Here's a piece I am enjoying today!

All from scratch so I was pretty proud of myself!  Hahahaha!

The other night we had the most beautiful sunset.  
Look at those mountains....hazy looking.  The colors were amazing.  Yesterday morning was pretty too.  Love the blue sky...and there are those mountains!

The sun is shining again today...it's another nippy one but it is the middle of November...in Alberta!
Off to tackle that to-do list!



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Another Blog Hop

Here's another blog hop to follow and get some great ideas for quick and easy crafty gifts!

                            http://stitchinbythelake.blogspot.ca/2014/11/twas-night-schedule.html

I did a bit of sewing this morning.  I had bought this flannel from the quilt shop to make a pillowcase.    Well today was the day...I grabbed the fabric and the old pattern I have and whipped it up!  Cozy, cozy flannel and I love me some chickadees!!!  Next up, some hand stitching...first a binding on a quilt that was gifted to me in some craft supplies and then some blanket stitching around small appliquéd letters....an old UFO that really needs to be finished!


It's cold out there but the sun is shining.....a pretty winters day!







Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mojo?

Today was a very nice day.  I shoveled snow, cleaned floors, baked a dessert, had Deb pop over for coffee and was my guinea pig and tried the dessert, then Sue came over to sew.  We set up at the diningroom table and worked on a block Sue signed us up to do for Darlene at A Needle Pulling Thread quilt shop.  I made a block I knew was going to be too small (they were to be 12 1/2" unfinished) and put a small border on it.  Sue made a block which the pattern said 12" finished.  Now wouldn't that mean 12 1/2" unfinished??  Nope, turned out to be 12" when done!  She's going to find more fabric and make another one.  Mine will be sent off!  Here's our production: (my block is on the table in the front)
Sue is holding her not-quite-finished block.  We both decided we need to do more piecing so that maybe one day we can turn out a perfectly square, exactly the right sized block!!!  (It will never happen for me in my lifetime!!!  Sue will likely have much better luck!)
Can I say I got my mojo back???  Hmmmmm not sure about that but tomorrow I might try again.  I think Thursday the fall decor will come down and be put away so that Friday can be a big cleaning day and I can contemplate winter/Christmas decor that will start to go up in a couple/three weeks.  That's a much bigger job!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Christmas is coming........

I thought this looked like it might be fun to follow along.  Makes me think if I want to craft for Christmas I'd better hurry and get my "craft on"!!

                     http://thermoweb.com/blog/welcome-to-the-handmade-holidays-blog-hop/

Winter has hit southern Alberta (again!!) but I think it might stay this time.  Wish it didn't come overnight again!  Hubby was out clearing the street with the quad but he's left for up north so I hope we don't get too much snow before he returns.  :-). I have the fireplace on today.....I'm thinking it will be a great sewing day!  Gotta find my mojo!



Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Couple of Finishes

I spent Thursday in my sewing room as I wanted to feel as though I accomplished something this week...and I did!  Block one of A Patchwork Year BOM is complete (I forgot to grab block two from the store yesterday)

I love it!!!!  So fun to do, especially the stitching....all one color!

Then I had an apron that I was commissioned to make. 

Doesn't look as good without my model but she wasn't home!!

This weekend is a hockey weekend.....Daughter2 played last night, plays tonight and tomorrow.  Whew!  Hubby goes back up to work on Monday and I have a long to-do list this time and not of sewing unfortunately.  I do hope to fit some of that in though.


Monday, November 3, 2014

The Snow

Well, it's still here.  A lot of it melted off the streets yesterday....trying to shovel was a killer as it was so wet and heavy!!  A neighbor came and used his snowblower and cleared the driveway....we have some fantastic neighbors!!!!!  I managed the front steps and a walkway to the sidewalk!

Yesterday (it was a dull day but eventually the sun came out!)

Last evening.....I thought it was a pretty sunset.

This morning!
The geese are still here!!  I thought they had packed up and moved south but not yet!!

Hubby is home tonight!!  It's his birthday tomorrow.  I asked where we could take him out for supper and he said he just wanted quiet.....I think just to be home.  So home it is!!!

I'm off to find today's purpose!  It will likely involve some vacuuming and a bathroom cleaning!  Hahaha. Fun times!!!!!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

November!!!!!!

Okay...why is it that I cannot believe how quickly time goes....and every year seems to go faster than the one before?????  November 1st today!  A mix of rain and snow.....and yesterday was +18C!  Nuts!!!!  Here is our daschund Zoey loving life in front of the fireplace this morning:

Yesterday was Halloween and my boss asked if I would dress up.  I needed to be comfortable enough to wait on customers so this is what I came up with:

Hahaha!  The helmet lasted until the first phone call then "clunk" so it came off for the day!  Lots of fun and the store was very busy yesterday!!!!


Earlier in the week I made an Apple Spice Bundt Cake....it was delicious and I took some to the shop and also shared with my friends.  That way it doesn't sit here and get eaten by only me!!!


My Aunt Helen in Ontario gave me instructions on making cauliflower soup.  She uses a hand held immersion blender, which I had to go buy!!!, and also got the ingredients......I haven't made it yet!!

I've started on the new Block of the Month at the quilt shop...A Patchwork Year.  I've made progress on the stitching:

I'm having fun!!!

Ugh....looking out at the snow coming down does not make me want to drive to Calgary to Daughter2s game this afternoon...........but as Daughter1 said, I have to get over my fear!  Oh to be young again!!!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It's Just Not Fair

You know how there are periods in life where a whole bunch of sad things happen at once?  When nothing makes sense and you begin to think that life isn't fair?  Well, that has been the past day or two.  My son and his girlfriend lost a dear friend to cancer last night.  She was 27 years young.  My heart breaks for her parents (she was an only child), her finance and all her many friends and family.  When cancer strikes and you fight hard but are told the battle cannot be won, well, it makes no sense and does not seem one bit fair.  There were a couple of other deaths of people in my home town in the past day or two.  Much older than 27 but still such a loss just the same.  And then there is the terrorist activity and the poor young soldier shot down today....24 years young.  This happened in CANADA!  This stuff doesn't happen here!  How fragile life is..........how precious each day is.  It makes me sad, yet we should celebrate each and every day and find that "happy"!  We need to be reminded of that...even when we don't feel like being happy.....because once a day has passed, we don't get it back.  Life is too short not to find our "happy" in each and every precious day.

Sending Hubby off this week was hard.  I'm not sure why but it was.  I've kind of wasted a good part of the week away although I did mange to find some "happy".  Monday I met my friend Sue for lunch by her place of work...which is also by a quilt shop, a country decorating store, Homesense, Winners.....after lunch I did pop into the quilt shop and country decor store.  I'm glad Sue invited me for lunch...we had a nice visit and I had some retail therapy before heading home.  Today I found my "happy" in my sewing room where I made this little table topper.  

I also found out today that my friend Kim is flying down to see me in November!!!!!!!!  I pray the weather is nice!!!!!  We have some shop hopping to do!!!

Tomorrow I go to work, and Friday and it's my turn to work Saturday.  I really hope she finds more staff soon.  

So what is your "happy"?  I hope you find it today...and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.......

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Well, another family-filled weekend has come to an end!  It was so fantastic!!!!  Love having everyone here.  We drew names for Christmas so now we look ahead!

Friday I managed to run to Okotoks for a couple of things and got a message from our security system that the power went out.  When I got home I realized this had happened:
The people laying the sod in the back hit them with something.  All I could think about was my two fridges full of food!!!  Power was restored about 3 hours later!

It was a beautiful week and weekend....we had visitors to the lake....a lot of them.  These were a few:

Son1 arrived on Saturday and I made him an angel food cake....his favorite.  I thought the candles were going to burn the house down!  Hahaha!

Here is a close-up pic of one of my grand-dogs (I have 2) and both love their grandma!!!!  Here is Leela:

Son2 loves his video games.....and found a Nintendo 64 on kijiji and met the guy in Calgary on Sunday.  So here's some pretty intense playing by our 4!

LOL. Oh they were funny........he picked up more games yesterday.  Our sons sure can grow the beards!!!!!  Son2 has decided he will not cut his hair for a year...which will be January!!!!  Ugh!  We told him he looked like a homeless man!!!!!  Does he care?  Nope!!!!!  But he sure can make a yummy perogy casserole and made this yesterday for our Thanksgiving meal.  Our neighbor Maureen wanted his recipe!!

We had an amazing meal with our neighbors who don't mind the dog/cat hair and will even do dishes!!!!  Once again I am reminded of so many, many things I am thankful for:
- a husband who is hard working and sacrifices for us by being away for two weeks at a time for work.  He's also an amazing father and husband.
- four fantastic, wonderful children whom I am so proud of!  I am thankful they live close enough to be able to come home on special occasions or whenever they want!
- fantastic neighbors and friends near and far!  What would life be without friends???  I would hate to find out!
- good health.....my own, my family's, and my friends and neighbors
- our home which is big enough to accommodate lots of family, friends and neighbors even though it doesn't really matter....we would make them fit anyway.
- having a hobby that I love and being able to do it often.....everyone needs a hobby or an interest of some kind.

Life is good.