Thursday, December 30, 2010

the untitled blog post...

This may well be the quietest Christmas on record...there were 3 of us here on Christmas day; just Mr. O and me and Rose. 

We did however get a chance to see our family Christmas morning through the wonders of Skype and web-cams. Got to watch a bit of the gift opening and got to thank everyone for the wonderful gifts we received. 
I received too many things to list them all, but I was very spoiled.

Sometime before Christmas Mr. O asked me if there was anything special I wanted for Christmas, and I said yes! Lets do stockings for each other. What ever you buy has to be wrapped and has to fit in my I know that takes more thought and time so I expected an argument but none came so off we went to come up with our different stocking stuffers. 
As you know, Mr. O is a runner, so I bought him high carb gel packs for his long runs, a few movies(3),a music cd, some Burt's Bees lip balms,  a hi-tech cold weather running shirt, I knit him an alpaca scarf (well actually half of an alpaca scarf) and of course a Terry's chocolate orange for the toe of the stocking. It was tough but I got everything except the scarf inside the stocking (but it would have fit in if it had been finished...long story but it is done now and being worn). I made our stockings about the same size; well actually mine was a tiny bit bigger but that was not intentional I promise!

So here is what Mr. O had for my stocking: an "Old Nova Scotia Kitchens" cookbook, 2 boxes of scented candles, several different coffee "cups" for my Keurig coffee maker, several kitchen gadgets(lettuce knife, pyrex peeler, kitchen aid spatula, a jar key), 3 movies, yarn, stitch markers, tool for picking up dropped stitches, chalk marking pen, 19 fat quarters, applique scissors, and ferraro rocher chocolates.
Now I am sure you are wondering how he managed to get all that into my stocking...well he cheated! Shame shame! He used 2 stockings! It was so much fun unwrapping everything and he was quite imaginative in his wrappings too. What fun!
All in all I received quite a few quilty things.

We also received a beautiful photo blanket from our daughter and family.

I wonder what keeps you warmer than being wrapped up in family...

I also received many wonderful birthday gifts one of which was a Saskatchewan quilt guild cookbook from my sister.I could go on and on but I won't lest you think I was totally spoiled.

We also received an unwrapped present... a ton of snow !

I took the first shift snowblowing the drive, while Mr. O supervised.

Mr. O took the second and third shifts while I lounged on the sofa eating bon-bons. He even took a break to take photos.

This is what greeted us first thing in the early morning when we opened the front door.

Can't wait to see what the New Year has in store for us!

Happy New Years folks!

Monday, December 20, 2010

I broke my foot...sigh!

But let's start with something a little more positive. I managed to get the last of the parcels posted on Friday. I am thinking I should have bought a ticket and hand delivered them though...$122.00 postage is a little hard to swallow. I sent 1 parcel express post (which was not the fastest option, by the way) but the other 4 small ones went regular mail. I don't know about you, but that seems a bit pricey to me.  However it is so good to have that monkey off my back. I am running so late this year, but I take courage knowing that Christmas will come around again and I have another chance to get it right.
I received a lovely little surprise in Friday's mail...I think I mentioned that I won a give-away from Monika at My Sweet Prairie  

 Here's what I won...

Saturday morning Mr.O brought me coffee in bed. I did get up and take it out to the living room to sip away at though and just look what I saw...

Do you have any idea how long it has been since I saw sunshine like this in my livingroom? We have had so much rain and cloud in the last week or so that I just had to grab my camera and capture this moment.

A little later in the day we received a delivery from the local florist. This brings the count to number 5 in my Thomas Kincaid winter cottages. With the mere flick of a tiny switch there is even a light that shines through the windows.

I had a bit of spare time Saturday evening after getting Rose settled in for the night (NOT!) So I decided to make up a small gift for someone. Hope she likes it...

Making tourtiere tomorrow. Mr. O loves his tourtiere and I have to say it is great having them done and in the freezer...never stuck for a meal! I posted the recipe last year in case anyone is interested. Just click on the magazine page and it will enlarge enough to read.

Since moving to New Brunswick many years ago I have been introduced to the Acadian type of meat pie. Very,very tasty!  I tried making them many years ago. Mr. O liked it, BUT said he preferred the Tourtiere, and because he eats the lions share of the pie I make the ones he likes. However...I have a few dear friends who know I enjoy the Acadian style pie and this weekend were generous enough to deliver not 1 BUT 3 pies to me. Thank you so much ladies!

That leads me to this.....
I broke my foot!

My 1/4" foot that is. I am not so sure I broke it or just plain wore it out but it is broke none the less. I may have to find a quilt shop that sells Janome parts and go shopping...darn!

All in all a good weekend...except for the broken foot of course!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Makin' a list

Actually making many lists. I need them to stay focused. It feels so good to be able to cross things off the list too. Here are a few things I can cross off my list. Finished a few more gifts...

This is a wall hanging about 3 feet long and about 18 - 20 inches wide. Pattern and most fabrics from The Quilt Patch in Moose Jaw, Sask.

Jingle Jolly table runner. Free pattern from on-line. Fabric from a charm swap on-line.

The center block was a retreat mystery project from a few years back. I decided to make it large enough for a throw sized quilt...about 52" square. Hope to get it quilted today. Birthday gift for a grand daughter early in the new year.

This has been a banner week. I have gone out 2 days this week and have to make a trip to town again today. Caring for a 96 year old lady keeps me pretty close to home with little or no social outings in the last 6 weeks. I was able to make arrangements however so that I was able to attend a Christmas gathering of our Tuesday Quilting group.(this is the same group that had the fall retreat in October at a friends camp.) We have not been meeting to quilt as often as we usually do, but hope to remedy that in the New Year. We do however usually find time to squeeze in an evening of fun, food, gifts and even a bit of stitching during the Christmas season. I received some wonderful gifts from my friends this year. Now I fear I am treading on dangerous ground here , because I would hate to forget something, but here goes...

 I received some edibles...

There is pepper jelly, grape jelly and do you see that little white box? If you look hard you can see little brown crumbs in the bottom of the box...that is all that remains of a gift of home made maple cream filled home made chocolates. I said I would share them with Mr. O and I did...he got 1, and I got the rest. Hey! I shared...

Also received some do-ables

a little wool sewing bag kit, a wonderful reference/instruction book of embroidery stitches and a fat quarter to add to my stash.

I also received a wonderful assortment of use-ables

a bar of pure cocoa butter from Olivier

Orange Cantaloupe bubble bath in the cutest is a christmas bulb!

One of the gals in our group is always teased because she gathers up our little scraps and says, " I can use that"...and true to her word she made all of us a zippered bag with some of the scraps! Clever huh?

Our artist in residence gave some of her art work in the form of water color note cards and gift tags. Also got some of the cutest little embroidery scissors.

I even received an early birthday gift!

Mr. O and I gave this little gift to all my friends. It was a bone folder attached to a fat quarter. I say Mr. O and I because Mr. O made all the bone folders in his magical workshop. I know a bone folder was originally made of bone, but these ones are made of aromatic cedar; all lovely and smooth and scented of cedar. I use mine all the time for finger pressing and turning points and corners inside out.

I received some wonderful gifts but the the best gift of all was being able to go out and spend an evening with my friends. We are the best group of gals. I really mean that. We have been a group for about 10 years now, and I mean how may times do you see a group of 12 women as close knit as ours, with no back biting and bickering at each other. Women who are there for you in every situation, who listen to your troubles and try to help carry the load. We are truly unique! Many of us would have never crossed paths had it not been for our interest in quilting. How blessed we are!
Thanks ladies.
p.s. I even had another meal prepared for me by one of my friends! I am really starting to get spoiled. Thanks Anne and Mr. D

Friday, December 10, 2010

Do you see what I see...?

Not too much to report in the finishing department today. Been too busy running the roads. I do hope to remedy that today however. Want to see what I see in the mornings from the window by my computer?

Makes getting up at 5:30 a.m. worth it; don't ya think?

I have accomplished a few things these last few days. Let's see...

1. Made my fruitcakes. (well the dark ones anyway..light ones this weekend.)

2. Finished knitting my scarf.

3. Sewed the binding on another table topper. (Pictures to follow at a later date, when the hand stitching is completed)

4. Took out a few seasonal decorations.

5. I have a hat half knit and a wall hanging that I started cutting out last night...78 2.5" blocks! Much to yet to do...have a wonderful day.

Oh! I almost forgot to share some news...I entered a give away draw on a Monika's blog,
and she informed me last night that I won! Yay me!  Check it out here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Movin' right along...

That would be the days; not me. I seem to take so long to get things done, but I am making progress, so I will show you a few things I have been working on.

(this was not staged; I was working away and next thing I knew Mr. O was taking a pic)

I have been working away at a few Christmas gifts. A set of placemats all pieced and quilted; 2 complete

and 2 patiently waiting for their binding.(hopefully today)

I pieced and quilted a table topper for another gift.

Do you have any idea how much mess I can make in my sewing room, making a simple table topper like this one? I pulled out 28 different fabrics from my stash. Well, once they are out you need to measure and cut they are stacked on the side of the table waiting to be returned to the shelves...
That's another thing I really need to do today is tidy up a bit...I like to tidy between projects, but I have been a bit slack in that dept. lately. ( Hey folks, just keepin' it real! Not so real that I am going to show you the mess

I also made binding for this...
Taa- Daa!!

Did the hand sewing this weekend and it is done!

I used a lot of the leftovers to piece the back too. 

More than once people have said," did you know some of your whites are a bit yellowed? Well yes, I do know...I looked for those kinds of whites .My first thoughts when I saw this quilt a few years back was that it looked very old, scrappy and sort of having a feel like the woman who might have made it years ago used whatever she had available..whites, off whites, ecru, all kinds of reds; not from a "kit" or a "collection". That was the look I was striving for, and I think I did it. 
I hope to start another one after Christmas. Not the same pattern, but the same style. It is this one...
I have already starting collecting the fabrics, which is why I was able to pull 28 tan and blacks for the above table runner.

Fruitcake baking is a little late this year, but the fruit is all cut and ready to be added to a batter later this afternoon. Probably make a light fruitcake tomorrow. I am trying a new recipe this year; anxious to see how it turns out.

Let's see...what else have I been up to since we last met? Oh yeah, I have been waiting for a back order of yearn for scarves since early October, but thought maybe I couldn't hold out any longer, so I am making this scarf in white instead of the color I originally intended. If the one I am waiting for comes in this week then I guess I will make another one. Check this out.

I am so blessed. A friend who knows I have been carrying a heavier load these days made supper for us Thursday of last week. A wonderful steamy pot of Italian soup, and a orange rhubarb loaf. Another friend added the fresh rolls and voila! my supper was ready. Thanks girls; it is much appreciated.

Also had friends stop by yesterday for a visit and came bearing gifts, a rose for Rose, a fruit tray, a seasonal plant and a beautiful digital photo frame. If I ever start in to whining about how tough life is, please remind I have no call to complain. I am more than blessed...

Busy, busy day today. I gave the elves the day off so I have lots to get done. 

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