Sunday, January 27, 2013


It’s cold outside today and has been this way for the last week.  From 7 below to double digits. 

Today is a good day to stay in and catch up on projects.  I decided to start the weekend off with a cup of coffee and working on the granny square UFO afghan I’m making for my sister.  It’s been awhile since I worked on it so I needed a brief refresher and pulled out the copy of “Crochet Today” magazine I bought when I started it.  The issue was labeled “Winter, 2008”!  Five years my sister has been waiting patiently for this afghan.  I think this is the year she will finally get it.  I’m giving myself a goal of two squares a day from now till her birthday in April.  Today I counted the blocks and I have 73, I think I need 125 to make it the size that I  was planning originally.

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Jo-Ann’s had a good coupon sale this week and I picked up these very cute felt hearts for V-day.  Not sure what I’m going to do with them yet but I’m  thinking they’d make a cute V-day garland.   Of course the hearts weren’t  originally why I went to Jo-Ann’s but, when I have coupons and there’s a sale, things tend to jump into my cart.  January 2013 winter 058

There were so many people at the cutting tables I gave up the idea of getting any fabric but while waiting in the checkout line I did find another item that I’ve wanted for a long time—a portable iron and the store manager announced that everyone in line at 3PM would get an additional 15% discount!

I finally finished the needle punch snowman pillow that I bought at the Mancuso Quilt Show last August and he now sits in my living room window.  I was afraid leaving him unfinished would mean a longer colder winter ;)January 2013 winter 054 

I had fun making him but I don’t think I’ll be doing anymore needlepunch in the near future.  I used a linen/rayon blend the for the back of my snowman and I didn’t antique him.  I didn’t make his top hat either because  I’m sure his little wool scarf will keep him warm enough!

This morning I made a “slipcover” for Ernie’s bed out of a stretch fleece remnant I picked up at Jo-Ann’s yesterday for 50% off. I got Ernie’s basket at GW a few years ago for $2.00.   I’m pretty sure it was originally a large serving tray but it came with the cushion and Ernie adopted it right away. The original cushion is heavy canvas and in good shape but the color is dull and I wanted a cover that could be removed and washed.

Don’t you love the fabric—Ernie is such a little wildcat!  I think he' likes it.   I’ve seen him using his new “comforter” but so far haven’t been able to get a picture of him IN it.

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Stay warm everyone.  Don’t forget Downton Abbey tonight.   I’ll be back later this week with some hints about winter houseplants!


Saturday, January 5, 2013

A better new year in 2013

I had plans to blog more between Thanksgiving and now, but as you read this post, you’ll understand why that didn’t happen.  I have been reading and visiting your blogs, though and enjoying your holiday posts which picked up my spirits and helped me refocus on the joy of this beautiful season.

In the last month and a half , I said “good-bye” to several family members and a couple of friends who left this earthly home for a heavenly one.  Only one of these was unexpected but all were especially sad and a great loss to their families and friends. 

I lost my brother-in-law, Charlie along with my long-time friend, Geri and a more recent friend, Irma.  I also lost my godmother, Pat, who as you know if you read this blog, was my reason for participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in May of 2011. Pat was 84 and a three-time survivor of breast cancer. She lived her life such that she was loved and friended by many people and lived without regret. Her attitude was always A++ and I never heard her curse, complain, swear, or utter a word that was unkind or unsympathetic to someone else’s situation.  She had common sense and was interested in many things. She and my mom were best friends growing up and talked almost daily on the phone for the last 35 years.  In the last few years the two of them ‘fessed up and shared some of the shenanigans that they got into when they were teenage schoolgirls. 

Pat, Geri and Irma passed away right around the time of the Newtown, CT shootings.  As horrible and sickening as that was, I find some comfort in thinking that God needed some extra grandmothers to help him give love and comfort to those little children newly arrived in heaven.

Yes, for all of us it was a particularly sad holiday season, but there was joy too.  Our family celebrated Thanksgiving at my house with a full complement of family (I had to buy extra chairs) including a few additions and for the first time in 20 years, I did not have a lot of turkey leftovers, LOL.  My friend, Debbie  joined us, as well as Carolyn’s boyfriend, Eugenio.  We saw a look in their eyes and a comfortable affection between them and are hopeful for the future.

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I bought a Christmas tree, my first (indoor tree) in 7 years and put it up the day before Thanksgiving.  For the last couple of years, I’ve wanted a slim profile pre-lit tree and this one not only meets those requirements, it only has three pieces.  I can’t explain the joy that coming home from a hard day at work to a lit and decorated tree has brought me this season.  You can see that Ernie enjoyed the tree too.  His favorite sleeping place during the holidays was underneath on top of the quilted prairie tree skirt I made back in the mid-80’s.

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On December 1st, I hosted the Garden Club’s Wreath Party and we completed all of the decorations for the town buildings followed by a lunch of homemade turkey chili cornbread, tea sandwiches and  of course pastries.  My job was to make the bows and cut greens. The following weekend, Kathy a new member of our club came by to make swags for her local library and a few of her  neighbor’s mailboxes.  While she was doing that,  I surprised Kathy by making  a door decoration for her garden shed.  Don’t you think cute garden sheds need to be dressed up for Christmas too?Kathy's Xmas Shed 002 

I came down with a bug the weekend before Christmas that ebbed and flowed like the tide. It kind of spoiled a shopping day out with my daughters and Calvin. I felt great one hour and deathly ill the next.  It finally made up it’s mind on Christmas Eve and decided to stake a claim so I was flattened and not able to spend Christmas with my family but when you’re that sick you really don’t care what day it is.   Fortunately we were able to make up for it last weekend and I got to spend a day and a half with both my sister and my daughter and Calvin. 

A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!