Friday, December 31, 2010

For you

No Reflections

No Resolutions

Just a wish for a very Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ooh La La... and Ta Da!

Yesterday was one of those days... you know the kind, when you start one thing and get sidetracked by something else.

I decided to do laundry. But then realized that I should change the bedsheets too. Then I figured if I was putting clean sheets on the bed, I should make new pillowcases.

Ooh la la. Now I will be dreaming of Paris while resting my head on Paris pillowcases. I love this quick and easy pattern from Sew4Home, but it took me waaay too long to finish these yesterday morning. Because, you know, I kept getting distracted by other things (like the laundry that I still haven't finished).

Once the pillowcases were on the bed, I turned my attention to the #1 priority, what I believe will be my Final Finish of 2010 - ta da! - the Checkerboard Quilt.

AbbyDog was trying to thwart my efforts to pin the binding. Are you going to move, Abby?

Nope, guess not. She was a bit too comfortable (but I was worried that she'd be poked by a pin).

She did eventually move of her own volition, so I was able to finish the job. And here it is:

It's a twin-sized quilt and not meant for our bed - I just put it there for pictures. The OnlyChild is thrilled that it will be big and cuddly and will be on the couch in the living room. I'd better not find it down in her messy bedroom... It's happened before that she's absconded with a quilt or two and I don't see them for weeks (until I muster up my courage and make the dangerous trek into her room).

I need to go and finish that laundry now, so I can pop this baby into the wash and have it all nice and crinkly for display.

What should I start/finish next? How about you vote?

* Snowman in the Woods (this one's been hanging around for a very long time)
* Green and White no-sew swap quilt
* More Christmas strings (for next year, I suppose)
* Dragonfly wall hanging for my sister-in-law
* French braid quilt
* Snowman wall hanging kit that my friend Kim gave me for Christmas

Suggestions anyone...?

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Plunge

Santa came to our house.

He brought awesome presents for everyone (as usual). I asked for two things this Christmas: a globe and long underwear. I got both, plus some other great gifts.

The OnlyChild (a.k.a Santa's Helper) filled my stocking with sewing supplies, including these beautiful fabrics. She definitely inherited her good shopping genes from her father, not me.

Our dining room table was decked out in gold and red for the feast.

Everyone pulled their Christmas crackers and wore the silly paper hats (a family tradition). Here I am with my nephew Chris, who is staying with us for a while. 

Some people can't handle all the excitement so they need to nap.

Others head to the sewing machine at the earliest opportunity.

 I finally took the plunge and started quilting the Checkerboard. I was scared!

I quilted diagonal lines in pale gold thread throughout the main part of the quilt, but I'm stuck on what to do with the borders. I'd better choose a design soon because I'd really like this quilt to be a 2010 finish!

I also did a little embroidery Christmas day, while watching all three Shrek movies, one after the other. Who knew I could sit still that long?

This is a design by Tricia-Rennea, which she posted on her blog as a colouring page. I'm hoping she creates a few more Miss Daphne pictures. They'd make a cute wallhanging!

This holiday is just flying by, way too quickly for my liking. There's so much I want to do before I have to go back to work - Yoga and kettlebell classes, finish this Checkerboard quilt, make a dress with and for the OnlyChild, finish a couple of other 2010 WIPs, make my January ATCs... and I have a bit of planning to do for school too. But I am enjoying just hanging around, relaxing, sleeping in a bit, visiting. Ahhhh... good stuff!

How was your Christmas?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you!

I love having two weeks off at Christmas (at least this year I do). It's hard to decide what I enjoy more - extra time before Christmas or after New Year's. Getting out of school early has definite advantages, such as doing lots of Christmassy stuff in time for the actual day.

Yesterday, Kim and I helped her two adorable girls decorate their gingerbread house. We're not the famous Thimbleanna so our house was pre-made and our decorating was non-competitive. But it was still good, messy fun.

Very messy! Those little ones were covered in frosting by the time we were done, as were the table, the floor, the counter, our clothes...

And then we ate some of it. Kim's going home today and she couldn't transport it five hours in the car.

Last night, I finished the OnlyChild's 2010 cross-stitched ornament.

I love the lamb - but I'm not really happy with the finishing job on this one (which is why I didn't show you the whole thing).

I cut out more snowflakes too. These ones will be stuck to the big window on the stairs once they're ironed and starched.

This morning, I made mince tarts while listening to an interesting playlist of seasonal music that the OnlyChild put on my iPad.

We can't have Christmas without mince tarts. I usually make the first batch in early December when we make the meat pies, but I didn't have leftover pastry then.

I wonder if these will last long enough to put one out for Santa on Christmas eve. When I was growing up, Santa (or Father Christmas, as we called him) always got a mince pie and a small glass of liqueur. Cookies and milk? Ha!

Tonight is Mr. P's staff Christmas party. They don't do the typical office party; this year we're going out to dinner, then on a sleigh ride. Then we're all staying at a fancy hotel at Fort Edmonton Park (a heritage museum/park). It should be a good time...but I hope it warms up a bit. Brrr, Baby it's cold outside!

I'm going to take a very short break and try to stay away from the computer for the next couple of days so I can get the last-minute preparations done and relax a bit. I wish you all a very happy Christmas. XO

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

It's time for:

A little Christmas shopping. I'm all finished now (except for a few stocking stuffers), thanks to online shopping, short trips to the dreaded mall after school on weekdays, and handmade presents.

Wrapping presents and carefully placing them under the tree so that DerbyDog can step all over them.

Visiting with the neighbours, who loved the Snowflake table runner I made for them.

Cutting out paper snowflakes to hang from the lamp in the dining room.

Sewing a tea towel for my friend Sandi. A fleur-de-lis to commemorate our trip to Paris this past summer.

More sewing - back to the Christmas strings!

Visiting with my friend Kim who is up to visit for a few days. We decided to make mittens out of felted wool sweaters.

I picked up one sweater at Goodwill; she bought about a hundred. She has much more faith in our abilities than I do.

Am I the only one who finds it strange to sew on someone else's machine? Kim has a Janome that she loves; I prefer my own familiar Bernina.

This was a nice, quick project and fairly easy.

A little handsewing of the fleece lining completes the project.

New mittens! I can't wait to make another pair... back to Goodwill for more sweaters.

Oh... and I did some marking yesterday. Well, not just some marking - all of my marking! This is good for me, because I can now enjoy my Christmas vacation. This is also good for you, because you won't have to listen to me complain for two solid weeks, like last year.

Tomorrow, Kim and I are going to Costco. Yikes!

The OnlyChild picked out the pattern for her cross-stitched ornament last night, so that's one more project that will have to be done this week. There's always lots to do - I'm just thankful that I'll have some time to do what I love this year!

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

There have been some Christmassy things happening around here lately:

Tea towels made as gifts for my colleagues.

Sugar cookies made (but not iced - I ran out of time).

Some more Christmas decorating.

And present-wrapping.

But you're really here to find out who won the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway, aren't you? 

Now, I know some giveaways got thousands of comments, but I'm happy that there were 160 comments. That's waaayyy more than I've ever received on a post before, and some of these nice people even decided to follow my blog! Thanks!

I loved reading about your Christmas wishes. There were lots of people hoping for fabric, sewing machines and quilting supplies. Some wishing for family members to recover from illness or come home for the holidays. A few who asked for peace and quiet. There were also some responses that had me chuckling. The vast majority, though, wanted nothing more than to spend Christmas with their families and other loved ones. And isn't that what it's really about!

I knew it would be hard to choose a winner based on the comment, so I used the Random Number Generator:

The Random Number Generator says #9 won!

That is Jen, who wrote:

oh! I didn't know you were participating. Cool!
All I want for christmas is good weather so that I can go visiting to my extended family and EAT really good food! :)

Congratulations, Jen! I hope you will enjoy your little prize!

Thanks again to everyone who dropped by and played along. I do hope you'll return some day.

And, on another note:

WOOOOHOOOOO! Today was the last day of school! We are officially on VACATION!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Are you here for the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway? Go to this post.

It's an absolute blizzard outside my office window (yes, I'm blogging from work...). It's crazy! The snow has been falling since yesterday afternoon.

Last night, as I was walking home from yoga class, I wished I'd brought my camera along. All that snow. All those Christmas lights. Beautiful! Maybe I'll go for a little walk tonight and snap some shots so you all can share in the loveliness. (I think it's lovely now, but ask me how I feel about it in March.)


All this snow calls for BOOTS! How about PINK BOOTS? You can win a pair of the most wonderful boots from The Shoeologist.

But don't take my word for it. Go over and have a look for yourself.

Monday, December 13, 2010

All I want for Christmas is...

Welcome to Giveaway Day hosted by Sew, Mama, Sew!

The prize I'm offering is a handmade (by me) quilted notebook and matching tea wallet.

All you have to do to enter this giveaway is to leave a comment in which you complete the statement in the title:

"All I want for Christmas is..."

One entry per person, please. Anyone can enter (just make sure I have a way to contact you) and I'll ship wherever you are. The giveaway will be open until December 17. I will pick a winner randomly on that day and ship by December 20.

Once you've entered here, make sure you check out all the other participants in Giveaway Day.

Giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who participated!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Frosty the Snowmen...and other weekend shenanigans

Another busy but productive weekend.

I finished the Snowflake Table Runner yesterday morning.

I love it! If I had a rectangular dining room table, I'd make another one for myself.

We put up our Christmas tree and added the **new** lights we bought Friday night. Here it is unadorned.

The ornament I bought in Paris was the first to go on the tree.

Then we filled up the tree with the rest of the family ornaments. As you can see, we don't do "theme" trees. It's a hodge-podge but every decoration has a story behind it.

I still have to make the OnlyChild's 2010 cross-stitched ornament. I wonder what she'll choose this year.

This afternoon, I baked a special treat to give to my students tomorrow.

I found this Melting Snowman design here and I've been wanting to try it for a long time. Since this is the last week before holidays (Hallelujah!), I thought I'd like to do something special.

So cute... and not as hard to make as they look (especially since I used a cake mix for the cupcakes... shhh... don't tell).

Other than that, my weekend was filled with laundry (lots of laundry), Christmas-card writing, a teeny bit of shopping this morning with Mr. P (including the grocery store - ugh), and some knitting. This is the kind of weekend I love!

Don't forget to pop by tomorrow and enter my giveaway for Giveaway Day!

Giveaway Day!

Tomorrow is Giveaway Day!

Sew Mama Sew is hosting this event and I'm participating along with tons of other bloggers.

Come back tomorrow morning, bright and early, and enter to win a handcrafted gift!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Let me sew, let me sew, let me sew!

Ohhhh...the weather outside is frightful.
But Bernice is so delightful.
Since I've no place to go,
Let me sew, let me sew, let me sew!

Last night was the Friday Night Sew-In. And, after running around town looking for new Christmas tree lights with Mr. P, I finally sat down to do something at around 7:00 pm.

Some of the projects I worked on are Top Secret and, therefore, cannot be revealed just yet. But I did make some progress on a table runner for my neighbour, inspired by Vanessa's tutorial.

I wanted to make the snowflakes random, each one different, as Vanessa suggested. That plan just didn't work for me.

See... uuuuugly!

So I went to the computer and printed out a snowflake colouring page. I was able to customize the size for my needs.

It was fiddly to appliqué, with all those round bits on the ends; I should have thought of that when I chose the pattern, but I was in a hurry to find something that worked. My go-to snowflake pattern that I've used a few times before was a bit too large, and it was time for something different anyway.

I got all the appliqué done (it took me until 1:00 am) and now just have to hem the edges.

I used Kona cotton in Straw for the background. I love it - I'll definitely be ordering more of that fabric!

So...what did you do on Friday Night?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Don't forget!

Tomorrow night is the Friday Night Sew-In, one of two planned for December.

If you want to join in, just visit Heidi and sign up. It's a great way to get things done...and to commit a little time to doing what you love to do!

What will I be working on tomorrow night?

How about one of these for my awesome neighbour, Shannon?

Or I could finish another Seed Scarf (but that wouldn't be sewing).

Or I could make another tea towel - I do have a pink and green Santa towel ready to applique.

Whatever I end up doing, it will be nice to spend the evening at home, working on Christmas projects. That is, after we decorate the Christmas tree. Mr. P is waiting patiently for me downstairs because we're going to pick one out right now!

Gotta go...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

One Baby Quilt - Finished!

I can breathe a sigh of relief now. This quilt actually will be delivered to the recipient before he graduates from high school.

Kidding... he's only a few weeks old.

Still, though, it took me far too long to finish this quilt. Two months for a baby quilt? Ridiculous!

I just need to pop it in the wash before it can be delivered.

Now onto other things. I have a couple of Christmas gifts still to finish then my project for over the holidays (fingers crossed I don't get a huge pile of marking like last year) is the Checkerboard quilt top that I finished in February, all spray-basted and ready to be quilted.

Please help...I have no idea how to quilt that one.