Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ten Days?

Has it really been ten days since I last posted?  Needless to say, life has been on a fast pace since then.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving despite the fact that we were missing about five children who had strep throat.  We don’t want all of that spread about with Christmas quickly approaching.  This was a photo of our immediate family – kids and grandchildren.

November 30, 2010 452

We always celebrate our Thanksgiving on the Saturday following as it allows the children to have Thanksgiving with their own families or with their in-laws.  So….I was NOT out with all of the shoppers!! 

Our fourth son and his family were down for the weekend and will be back again this coming weekend.   It is always fun for the cousins to get to know each other.  I think they will be good friends down the road.

November 30, 2010 448

Sunday was cleaning, laundry and putting away the Autumn decorations and Monday was a day of decorating for Christmas.  It seems to take longer each year, but at the end of the day this is what I had to show for it.  I made good headway, but there is still lots to do. 

November 30, 2010 458

There hasn’t been a lot of sewing going on here, but I have been working away at trying to get this stocking finished for THIS Christmas.

November 30, 2010 453

I am almost done.  I just have a few more gingerbread men, candy canes and flowers to fill the basket and a large cupcake with the name on it.

There is much more to share with you, but I must get to finishing up the house, setting tables and starting to cook for our big Christmas dinner this Saturday night.  It is our annual adult dinner party for twenty two people.  I don't know why I planned it just one week after our big Thanksgiving.  Guess I just wasn't thinking right.

I hope that everyone is staying restful and enjoying the advent season.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


It seems as though there is always something going on when they have the Friday Night Sew In (FNSI) with Heidi and Bobbi so I haven’t participated in it for months.  This month’s was different.  I have been trying to get a lot of little projects done and I have been wanting to try one of the mug rugs that I have been seeing.  I LOVED working on them.  They go up quickly and will make the perfect hostess gift for the various functions that we go to throughout the season.

Mug Rug 061
I made a pair of these for FNSI.

The week was busy with a lot of embroidery work that had to get done, but I was also able to get a few other things sewn too.
I had a request for another doll school uniform for a Christmas luncheon being held on December 4th.  I need to finish up the handwork on it, but the main sewing is finished.  They always bring in so much money for the school.

Mug Rug 062

I am still on track for my Christmas Cactus Quilt Along.  The reds look really dark in the pictures, but they are not in real life.  I am loving this project and cannot wait to start assembling the piece.  I think we have about 12 more sets of blocks to do.  We make four of each block and there are 25 blocks.  You have to be really careful to keep them numbered for when the assembly starts.

Mug Rug 057

With a large crowd coming next week for Thanksgiving, I am trying to get things finished up this week.  I will be sending off my blue and yellow swap block to Emily a little ahead of schedule.

Mug Rug 055

We are forecast to get a good winter storm over the next three days.  The temperatures have been dropping throughout the day and we are suppose to get anywhere from one to three inches of rain.  The mountains are predicted to get snow measurements into the feet.  It is a great start for ski season.  It would be the perfect weekend to snuggle up with hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire.  Unfortunately, that is NOT going to happen as we have too much going on both days.  Too bad!!! 

It seems as though our weeks are always full with a large family.  We had the pleasure of attending a concert last weekend for the 2010 Contemporary Music Festival gold medal winners.  The performances were incredible!  Our 12 year old grandson was playing the piano in it and did an amazing job.  If I knew how to upload a video, I would share it with you, but I don't!!  Can you ever teach an old dog a new trick?????  We took my mom and she had so much fun.  To see the smile on her face said it all.  Same grandchild now wants to take up the violin!!!!

I hope you are all enjoying a grand weekend.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Autumn Day Trip

We have had a few cool nights here which is always a sign that the leaves are going to start changing.  One place that both my husband and I love to drive through is the wine country.  It is not only fun to see what is happening in the vineyards, but it is a gorgeous day trip.  On Veteran’s Day my vet husband and I jumped in the car and took off.

It is really only about an hour’s drive to reach the area, but there are some gorgeous sights along the way.  The surf was up and it is always fun to watch the surfers catching their waves.  This is the view from a piece of property that my BIL recently purchased.  They are planning on building a home up there.  Isn’t the view spectacular?

November 13, 2010 445

Can you see the surfers?  They look like little dots on the water.  The beach is a well known surfing beach called “the Rincon”.  We were fortunate to have been able to purchase one of the homes on the point about 30 years ago when real estate at the beach was affordable.  The family has enjoyed many wonderful times there and made some fabulous memories throughout the years.
November 13, 2010 447

It was a glorious day with warm temperatures and clear skies.
From there we headed north and into the wine country.  The leaves on the vines were all changing and made for a beautiful drive.

November 13, 2010 452

November 13, 2010 451

November 13, 2010 461

Do you think they have enough wineries on this one road???  This is the area where the movie Side*ways was filmed.

November 13, 2010 466

You can even see a little greening of the hills starting after our early rains of the year.

We took a side trip up to Figueroa Mountain – a climb of about 4000 feet.  It is mostly a one lane road – some paved and some not – so meeting another vehicle is always an adventure.

November 13, 2010 457

At some points there were even cows on the road!  They were probably wondering what we were doing there.

November 13, 2010 453

November 13, 2010 454

November 13, 2010 456

I loved how this tree looked like it was busting out of its bark.

November 13, 2010 459

These gates might look familiar to some of you who watched the Mich*ael Jack*son trial on television.  This is where the media waited to get a photo of him as he left Never*land Ranch each day to head to the courthouse.

I always have a hand project that I work on in the car when we are driving.  This time was no different as I wanted to finish up this months Raggedy Ann and Andy BOM. 

November 13, 2010 472

I have been working away on my blocks for the Thread Head Quilt Along too.

November 13, 2010 470

Lastly, I got caught up on the Christmas Cactus Quilt Along blocks.  Each block requires making four identical blocks, but the are really just nine patches and go up quickly.

November 13, 2010 467

November 13, 2010 469

November 13, 2010 476

This week I have a large order of embroidery work to do so there won't be much quilting to show in my next blog.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Inching Closer

As we inch closer and closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas I find myself trying to be more organized.  Somehow this year has slipped away from me and I gasp each time I look at the calendar date.  I think of all that I have left to do and then I head off to my sewing studio and spend my time merrily playing around.  I am not sure it is helping the situation any, but I do feel better after stressing about all that I have to do.  SIGH!!!

Have you heard of Thearica’s Pincushion Swap?  If not, you need to check it out and sign up.  Time is running out and it sounds like it will be fun.  A little pincushion is an easy project and can be done up in a hurry.

Last year I saw a beautiful quilt design of a Christmas Cactus done by Sandi at Piecemeal Quilts.  I have always loved the flower and recall my grandmother having a gorgeous pink one in her house.  She would have it moved outside each summer and then placed inside and upstairs in a big bay window for the winter.  Well…this year there is a Quilt Along for the pattern and I just couldn’t help but join in on it.  It has just started and is certainly not too late for anyone to join.  Check it out on my sidebar.  These are my blocks so far….four of each.  I can’t wait to see it all together.


I have added another two blocks to my Thread Head Quilt Along as well.  It, too is growing quickly.  I did change that screaming yellow one out with something a little quieter.



It really looks like that is all that I have done, but it was a busy week.  Our son and DIL were in FL for the weekend and we were busy being surrogate parents,  There were soccer games, volleyball tournaments and doctor appointments that occupied most of the weekend.  Life is never dull with nine children around.

The weather has definitely changed from our warm days into a real fall feeling.  It was only 39* when we got up this morning so I think it will be a colder than normal winter for us.  I am already not liking the darker evenings, but I do love the mornings being lighter. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What to Do...What to Do....

Oh, the dilemmaa I am in!!!  I am afraid that I know the answer to my question already, but what would you do if you had this in your house?

Halloween in our neighborhood was absolutely dead!!!  We had a total of eight trick or treaters - in three groups - come knocking on the door.  We had a couple of dozen last year and around double that the year before.  Since we get so few, we had purchased the big candy bars for those brave enough to walk up to the front door.  I got two boxes to be on the safe side and now have most of them left.  I did send one off to our grandson who is in college in FL so that helped somewhat.  Now...what to do with the rest is the problem.

We are always blessed with the kids and grandchildren on Halloween.  They all come here for a quick lentil bean soup dinner and then head off for trick or treating.  We so enjoy seeing the little ones in their costumes and our neighbors are thrilled to see the kids as well.

With November here and the holidays quickly coming, I have been trying to get a jump start to stay current on my projects.  I was able to finish the last barn block and now have it sewn together.  I really did enjoy this project and loved all of the blocks.

I have been working on the current two blocks at the Thread Head Quilt Along.  As well, I started auditioning some of the background blocks to see what it will look like.  The yellow one may need to be redone as it looks too yellow to me, but I will wait and see.

Two fall pillows were made with the win of the embroidered blocks.  Best get them finished so I can enjoy them this fall.

Although our temperatures this week have been very un-fall like, one can sense that fall has arrived.  The colors on the hills are taking an autumn hue later in the afternoons and the hours of light are greatly reduced.  Two evenings ago we had the worst commotion of noise in the yard.  Apparently a flock of cackling crows decided to descend upon us.  Oh my!!!  It was like a scene out of the movies.  They were everywhere - on rooftops, in trees, on the lawns and flying in the air.  It was a perfect fall scene.

The lack of heat has apparently sent the heat loving creatures to places they do not normally appear.  This was on my floor on the cold and drizzling Saturday. 

It almost gave me a heart attack because I seriously thought it was a snake.  I don't mind the lizards, but look at the length of this thing.  I did manage with the help of a whisk broom and dustpan to get it caught and released outside.  I am sure he/she lived to enjoy our 90* + temperatures this week.  That should be more to its liking.  The poor old cat is constantly looking for a ray of sunshine this year too.

I also won the Green Fairy Giveaway of Breakfast at Tiffany's fabrics.  I will have to do something really special with this fabric because I was fortunate enough to have actually had Breakfast at Tiffanys in New York a few years ago.  It was a fabulous experience and one I will cherish for my lifetime.

It's another glorious day with high temperatures and I'm putting the top down in the car and running my errands as I enjoy the sunshine.  Have a great week.