Monday, November 30, 2009

Onto December and November Schnibbles

It's very hard to imagine that tomorrow is the beginning of December.  I really do not know where the year has gone.  They seem to be going faster and faster all the time.

We, like so many others, had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Our family celebrates it on the Saturday after Thanksgiving which allows everyone to go to in-laws or do their own thing with their families.  Our family celebration was made ever more thankful with the announcement that our daughter and SIL will be adding another wee one to their family next year.  All were thrilled with the news.

While others of you are busy raking leaves, this is a messy time of the year for the palm trees.  They grow these nasty nuts by the gazillions and need to be trimmed up to keep those little buggers from starting new palm trees throughout the yard.  This crazy guy was hanging from one tree whilst swinging to the next for the task.  It absolutely made my knees weak.  I doubt that I could even climb the ladder that high.  They look so nice now.

Can you see the huge cluster of nuts hanging from the back tree on the right?

I did manage to get my November Schnibbles quilt finished and quilted to display while it was still autumn.  I am looking forward to seeing the Parade of Schnibbles tomorrow morning and to seeing what our next pattern for December will bring.  I am hoping there are not as many HST as this month.   



Quilt Taffy has a Giveaway each Thursday and I happened to win the holiday fabric ( one half yard of each) of your choice giveaway.  I selected Valentine's Day as I know that I won't have a lot of extra time for quilting in the hectic month ahead.  Look at this great fabric.

Earlier this fall Karen did an "I Spy" swap for 5" squares.  They were all returned this week and I am simply amazed that there were NO duplicates from the 100 participants.  As well, Karen enclosed an adorable chatelaine to wear around your neck while sewing.  She made them and they are fabulous.  I will definitely be using it when I am working on my various projects.  Thank you, Karen.

I also managed to finish up the quilting on my Panda quilt in time to present it to our newest granddaughter.  I have made a quilt for each of the grandchildren and enjoy seeing many of them still using them. is onwards to December.  The house is starting to look as though Christmas is coming.  We have a big Christmas dinner here on Saturday night for twenty people.  Tomorrow is menu planning and shopping, but I must get all the autumn decorations put away for now and transform the house into something magical.

Be sure to join Heidi this Friday night again for a sew along.  It is great fun to sew or craft with others in spirit and then log on Saturday to see what everyone has done.  I'm not sure what project I will tackle this Friday yet.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday's So and Sew

Did everyone have a good time at Heidi's Friday Night Sew In?  It was a great idea and inspired me to pick up the needle and thread and work on a project that has been sitting, and sitting, and sitting.  I made some great progress and am actually glad that I now have more drive to finish it up.  It was ...........


A Christmas stocking.  As you can see, I still have some work to do on it, but it is definitely getting there.

The past week I have been spending a lot of time at the sewing machine and loving every minute of it.  I took the patched border off of my Twelve Days of Christmas quilt and replaced it with a solid border.  It looks so much better (I think).  I got that one quilted and bound....another project done for the Joy in the New Year Challenge.


I also got my Schnibbles quilt pieced and ready for quilting.  I tried doing it in autumn colors since I figure to have it finished this weekend and ready to display next week.  It is still autumn....right????  The way time is flying past, I am never sure these days.


There were certainly a lot of HST in this little project.  Deary me!!!!!

Then I worked on several items for the grandchildren's school auction.  One of the biggest selling items each year has always been the 18" doll uniform that matches what the girls wear.  The school kindly donates an old and torn uniform and I transform it into something usable again.  This year I made two.  The bidding got so fierce last year that I ended up making two and they got the money for both which was agreeable to both bidders.


Then I made a small Nativity hanging with the machine embroidery.


I signed up for six completed projects for the challenge and I have completed five of them.  I have another quilt that I want to finish up and I would also like to get my Fall Swap quilt done soon. feels so good to check all of these off the list.  That will definitely bring JOY to my life.

The weather has been delightful this week.  I know we need the rain, but I love working in the yard when it is so warm and pleasant.  I decided to establish a morel mushroom patch.  I grew up eating and loving them, but I refuse to pay $27/lb. for them at the store.  I ordered my spores and then went to visit a friend of mine who lives up in a canyon near here.  Her property is covered with oak trees and I needed some of that for mulch.  We enjoyed lunch together and then went to collect my mulch.  This is what we encountered as we rounded the corner of her garage. 


They were not a bit afraid of us either.  Needless to say, she is a frustrated gardener.  My flowers, on the other hand have no threat from deer.  The roses have been gorgeous and continue to give me vases full of flowers.


My Nosegay quilt came back home this week.  I had dropped it off this summer at my cousin's next farm neighbor, an Amish woman, to do the hand quilting.  She did the most amazing job on the quilting.  I do hope that the pictures show her perfect work.  The fabric that I used in the nosegays was fabric from my grandmother's stash, which I inherited.  The green fabric was only 36" wide and I feel so lucky to have been able to use it and now to have it quilted.


Other things that have gone on this week was a little bread baking.  My sister has been wanting to learn how to make bread and the sweet gal who helps my mother in the daytime also wanted to learn.  So bread making it was............



So....that has been my week.  I am trying to stay out of trouble and keep healthy.  I read about so much sickness out there and I feel so bad for those that have gotten this junk.  The bug sounds dreadful, but I did hear that the cases have decreased this week.  Yeah!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Friday Night Sew In

Want to put a little pressure on yourself, but have fun at the same time?  Check out this fun sounding evening.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Inverness and St. Andrews

One last vacation blog if everyone can handle it...... then I will move onto other things going on in life. 
As I said in a previous post, we took advantage of the wonderful trains that are so easy use in the U.K..  On Sunday we boarded our train with no particular destination in mind.  The trip was so delightful that we took it all the way to the end - Inverness.

Along the way we were able to sit back and enjoy traveling through the Scottish Highlands.  I was on the lookout for some Scottish cattle (the big furry sort), but didn't not find any.  We did see many, many sheep and the scenery was just gorgeous.  There were clouds nestling right in among the trees and the autumn colors were so warm.

We passed many small towns and villages along the way, including this charming one that is within view of the Firth of Forth.

When we arrived we had to find a place to eat (of course).  There is nothing quite like the Sunday meal at the local pub.  This was no exception with the Sunday "roast."

Can you tell how delicious this was?  It was so cold outside and to sit down to roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes and veggies was the perfect solution for warming the body.

The castle on the hill in Inverness. 

View from the castle grounds.

Looking the other way.

Of course there were some very interesting cemeteries to walk through and read the headstones.  It is amazing how many families lost small children in those days.

The next day we headed off to St. Andrews, the golf capital of the world, I'm sure.  We were able to walk the Old Course and watch some pretty good golphers having a frustrating day swinging a club at a little white ball.

The city is also know for it's university - the oldest in Scotland.  It sits in the heart of the city and anyone can walk through at any time.

This was a wedding that was taking place (on a Monday morning).  Check out those cars.

How would you like to study Logic and Metaphysics in this building?  The back of the building is on the Firth of Forth with spectacular views.  Guess it would be great for that daydreaming student.

They even had charming little gardens around each building.
From there it was onto the castle at St. Andrews. 

The castle sits on the Firth and is amazingly well preserved after so many years in the elements of the sea.  The marker to the castle stated, "George Wishart 1513-1546.  A powerful Protestant preacher, he was betrayed to Cardinal Beaton, brought here, put in the sea tower, condemned for heresy and burnt at the stake on 1 March.  His friends conspired against the Cardinal, and on 26 May gained entry to the castle, killed him and hung his body from the battlements, then together in the castle they created the first congregation of the Protestant Church in Scotland."

Walking through the town, one can sense the antiquity of it all from the size of the doors of the residences.  People must have been much smaller back then.

A few blocks further on our walk we came to the cathedral at St. Andrews.  Again, the preservation is amazing, but this was a massive building.  What was once the inside of the cathedral is a cemetery which reveals current tombstones. 

This wall with the curved doorways was the midpoint of the building.  You can sense the size of it in total.

One memorial that we particularily enjoyed was this one.  The caption below it was precious.

Anyone want a haircut.....check out the freebee that goes with it.....

After a delightful trip we did have to return home, but we did it in style.

Thanks to a medical emergency (which is another whole story) that I volunteered for on our last flight back from London, we were able to fly home First Class.  What a treat that was!  This was my very own little cubicle - a chair and a footstool that actually folded out into a real bed.  I was able to sleep soundly for the better part of the flight.  I wish I could do this on every flight that I take.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Meeting Baby A and M

We had the joy of finally meeting our newest granddaughter this week. Our #4 son and his family came down to introduce us to Ms. A. She is just the sweetest little girl - so delicate and feminine.

She has the brightest eyes. thoroughly "in the pinks".

Another new addition to the family is our grandchildren's new mare, Martini. The name will be changed, but they are calling her "Tini" until a better name is chosen.

With a birthday so close to Halloween, Grandma could not help but make a cake appropriate for the holiday.

The birthday girl - a big four year old now.

Great Grandma took her and two of her brothers out to lunch to celebrate the day.

Of course we also celebrated Halloween this past weekend. Our tradition is that the kids and grandchildren come over for a soup dinner and then go trick or treating around our neighborhood. This year our neighborhood was completely dead. We had just one group of six kids that came to the house. Very strange! We don't generally have many trick or treaters so we get the kids the big candy bars. Now I have a ton left over - even after sending a lot home with the grands.

Those candies of my cousin look really exciting.......

but........he won't let me have any. Boo hoo.......

I'll have to just look too cute for words. It was also my 1st birthday this month and my mommy and daddy threw a Halloween costume party for all my cousins.

The chicken and the egg.

I had to play a little "catch up" on the treat bags. I have more to add now for next year.

I was the lucky winner of Pea's Halloween Giveaway last month. Pea is always the most generous host for giveaways and this one was no different. I wore the socks all week (of course I washed them in between wearings) and got so many compliments on them. The napkins were used for our soup dinner to the kid's delight. Each of the items was just darling and will be used for many years of decorating. Thank you, Pea.

I was also the special winner of Em's Giveaway. This darling quilt was personally made by Em and it is adorable. She even made little carrot nose buttons out of clay. I can't wait to hang it up in my house. Thank you, Em.

Now it is on to Thanksgiving. There is already so much out there for Christmas and I really hate to see it so early. Am I the only one who feels that way? I would like to just enjoy each holiday as they come.

As the weather cools down for us (from the 90s last week to the 60s this week) I always get the urge to start cooking cool weather foods. Tonight we are going to have a turkey with all the trimmings. I love turkey and all the leftovers. How about you? Of course we will have the big turkey dinner here later this month with about 70 people so this is just a "dry run", as they say.

Now....onto getting the turkey ready.