Monday, December 31, 2012

Adios 2012

There have been years I couldn't wait to see come to an end.  2012 wasn't like that but I am ready to turn the page in the calendar and start over again.  I'm always so sad when Christmas ends that the quicker we get back into the swing of our normal routine the better. 

We did have a great Christmas despite the (self-imposed) stress that December started with.  I'm used to having a very productive Thanksgiving break.  The major decorations are up, sewing gifts are well under way, shopping has started, and I'm feeling in control.  This year, instead, I had company.  That bonus week we got between Thanksgiving and December was lost to double time at work.  Then the cold hit.  That horrid hacking-cough-cold.  I was wiped out for a solid week.  Then the stress hit.  So much to do and time was getting short and I never felt ahead of the game.  Finally, as the kids started coming home the weekend before Christmas, a calm came over.  Phew.  I think the kids would agree that they had a nice Christmas too. 

Once I felt like Christmas was under control I hid out in my sewing room.  I took Merry, Merry Snowmen to my quilter when she mentioned having my Old Fashioned Christmas quilt done in a week.  So, I wore myself out finishing The Great Pumpkin, hereafter named: The Killer Pumpkin.  I'll elaborate on that name change when the quilt comes back and is ready for its debut.  I'm in no rush to see that thing again so don't hold your breath.  In the mean time enjoy Old Fashioned Christmas.
It was a kit that used this very cute fabric as the focus fabric.  It's surrounded by fussy cut pieces from a coordinating fabric.  Check out the wonderful snowflakes in the quilting. 
I love everything about this fabric. 
And on the back...I found this neat paper doll fabric.  I had a variety of paper dolls when I was young.  I think what I liked best about paper dolls is the detail in the dolls and the clothing.  The colors were so vivid. 
I am going to make a couple of New Year's resolutions but I'll post about those tomorrow. 

Until then...Happy New Year. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

There we have it, the countdown is complete. 

A few more snowmen caught my attention this morning while I was getting the dining room cleaned up and the table set. 

These little fellas are sitting in front of a Sue Hillis piece.  Her Christmas colors are always so bright and cheery.  ('Fellas'....that's my grandmother speaking thru me!)

I have a few more Jim Shore snowmen tucked on a book shelf.

Along with a couple wooden ones. 

The house is festive.  We are just awaiting the arrival of the oldest daughter.  I will rest easy when everyone is under one roof for a couple days.

Hope your Christmas is Merry & Bright.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Let it Snow*man.

I like snowmen.  I rarely stitch them but I like to decorate with them.  I think the vast stretches of white don't lend themselves to stitching, however, I am working on Lizzie Kate's 6 Fat Men from last winter....

The snow stitches dont show very well and take a lot of time.  It's still cute. 

I made this wall hanging a couple years ago.  Recently, I visited a quilt store with the same pattern made up in a different charm pack...mine was from a kit and mirrored the pattern's fabrics...but the look was totally different made with different charm packs.  I'd love to make another but can't find the pattern!  Naturally.  I could probably use the finished product to guide me along if I was so inclined. 

 I favor snowmen in either groups of represent my family...

 or in groups of my own kids. 

I have some singles, too.  This guy from Brazil...even when I travel I like to bring home snowmen. 

I bought this next one on the hottest day of the year at a candle shop in an amusement park.  My husband're buying a candle?!  Think it will still be a candle when we get home? 

My newest snowman is a Jim Shore design.  I love the candy cane and matching quilt pattern on his body. 
If the snowman isn't too Christmassy he can stay out all winter. 

I've enjoyed seeing every one's posts of their decorated houses.  Mine is coming along.  I'm slow this year.

Happy Stitching. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Memories.

My friend Lee recently wrote a beautiful post about her Christmas memories.  She got me thinking about my own memories of Christmas.  I grew up in the 60's when Christmas wasn't so commercialized.  Nobody decked the halls in the style we do now, we didn't hear Christmas carols for 7 full weeks before the 25th, or get run over with nonstop commercials.  I can't remember anyone on my street putting up lights on the outside of their house nor can I remember anyone putting up their tree before the Thanksgiving left-overs were gone. 

What I do remember is how exciting it was to stay up a little late on a school night when a Christmas special was on.  I'm not sure if my favorite was Charlie Brown or The Grinch.  We only got to see those shows once a year...not every other day and twice on Sunday if we own the DVD.  As a young working professional, living hours from my parents, a group of similarly situated co-workers had a gathering at one of our homes to watch either Rudolph or the Grinch because they had cable and 'got' the channel that it was on.  It was just a little trip down memory lane as we all started negotiating our adult lives...newly away from home during the holiday preparations.  I am sad that my kids have lost the opportunity to experience that little thrill. 

Another memory involves a count-down to Christmas present my grandmother made.  My birthday is in early December and on my 9th birthday a box arrived that included the candy laden count down wall hangings.  There was one for each child in the house.  It was long and thin and had 24 peppermint candies tied to it.  We were to eat one candy each day working our way to the top where a Santa button perched.  That was the COOLEST thing I'd ever had!  Number involved candy.  Something we rarely got. (I sound like a kid who grew up in the 30's or something but really, we never had candy in my house.) And second, my mother bought 2 bags of peppermint candies each year so we could refill these lovely count down treats.  I have such vivid memories of watching the line grow shorter and shorter as the month wore on. 

I'm pretty sure that's where my love of advent calendars comes from.  When my kids were little I stitched this one. 
Every year, at Thanksgiving, I tie on the new candies and the kids take turns snipping them off.  There is an extra basket of candies for everyone else.  I'm not sure how much they'd miss this if I didn't do it.  It wasn't until supper time today that anyone cut the very first candy off.  I bet I do it more for myself than them.  The proof will come when the last child flies the nest and I'm still tying those candies on.
A couple years ago I made this one.  It's from JBW Designs.  Each day a new little picture gets attached.  This one grows fuller as the month goes on. 
I am going to make my first stitching resolution for next year.  I'm going to get this pattern out and work in it throughout the year...doing 2 or 3 parts each month so I have it for next year. 
It's another one where you add to the picture each day to count up to the 25th. 
If feels like a realistic goal.  Mostly I keep my stitching promises.  Here's hoping this one is manageable, too. 
Let's hear what you remember. 
In the mean time.... 
Happy Stitching.