Wednesday, December 17

Christmas pins!

I'm pretty sure that I have shared this little quilt before but I like it so I am giving it a re-run. LOL! This is the final little quilt in a series of twelve small wall quilts that I made in 2000 to celebrate the Millennium.................

I was never quite happy with it because I made my wreath shape just a bit too boxy. I was always going to add some appliques and never did. Then a couple years ago, I had a bright idea......"decorate the wreath with all your Christmas pins, Sandi!" And so I did! I hang the quilt from the little quilt rack/shelf in our family room next to the kitchen. When I want to wear a pin, I just go to the quilt and pick the one that goes with whatever I'm wearing. One of these days, I will make another version of this quilt and get that wreath in better shape.
Speaking of "better shape"..........I'm a little "off" today. Have had a nagging heading that went away in the afternoon then came back after supper. Could it be that I have been doing a little too much Christmas decorating and stuff, just need a rest? Could be. I took a nap after I ran some errands this afternoon and felt really good when I woke up. Now I'm thinking my best bet is just to go to bed is only 10:30 here in Minnesota........and perhaps when I wake in the morning, I will be rested and ready to go for a great day. I need to finish my Christmas cards tomorrow so that will be a relaxing chore. Then some final shopping on Friday and I'll be ready for Christmas! :-)

Tuesday, December 16

Something old, something new...........

When we moved into our house in 2006, one of the things I really liked was the staircase in the entry/living room. We had a fairly small house before this one was built but we chose to build a two story with plenty of room for our kids to come and stay and other family and friends to visit. We moved into our house on December 16 which is today. That first Christmas in our house, there was no time to decorate. Collette and Jacob set up a small tree in the family room off the kitchen so that we would have a place to put gifts. On our second Christmas here, I could hardly wait to decorate our big tree and then put lights and garland on the railing. So, for six years, I put up the garland and adorned it with pretty ribbons and bows but this year............I just had to do something new. And I did it with something old! The "something old" are the velvet stockings. My son Devlin, found them at an estate sale of a lady who had brought them from Europe. They were perfect for doing "something new" on the stair railing! And to make it all look even more festive.........I hung every felt ornament that I've made and some from my mother, Mary, all along the garland. The Santa in the photo below was made by her in 1972 and sent to our daughter Collette when we lived in New Jersey. I've been making felt ornaments for years, taught them in classes at the library, in community education, at church and just for fun. Almost all the ornaments are my own design except the few that my mom made. Enjoy the photo parade...........

The teddy bear in the stocking above is named Harry and was just a dollar at a thrift shop. He made a trip through the washing machine and got a new velvet ribbon so he looks like new, too!  The bear in the photo below was only fifty cents at a garage sale. He also got a trip through the washing machine. His doll friend is from my mom's doll collection. She was made in Italy and has a molded face and felt hands. She is reminiscent of a Lenci doll.

This teddy bear is very special. I bought him about thirty years ago when I went along with my husband when he had a business trip to Germany. He has the little yellow tag that identifies him as a Steiff bear.

Because I liked the little Steiff bear so much, my husband brought me two more Steiff friends, a white poodle and a dachshund, when he made other trips to Germany. 
 I tried to get a photo of the stairway but didn't do a very good job.
These three ornaments are some of my favorites done in felt. I have never made a gingerbread cookie but I have made a number of them from felt. I am not fond of real candy canes but I love making miniature ones from Fimo clay and they are decorating the felt cookie tree. I love hearts and if they are plaid, even better!
My three favorite ornament done in wool are the star, snowman and Christmas tree in the photo below. I designed them a few years ago and have enjoyed teaching others how to make them.
So that's the end of the photo parade. I have a little more decorating to do in the next couple of days. Half the fun of decorating is just putting up stuff that reminds me of past Christmases and I enjoy the trips down Memory Lane! If you would like a copy of the Star, Snowman and Christmas tree pattern please tell me your favorite ornament and I will send the pattern to the first six people who comment. :-) And remember that everyone who comments in December will be entered in a drawing for a surprise gift (drawing to be held on December 31st).


Monday, December 15

Kindred Kwilter's November Christmas Meeting :-)

Well, it is blowing outside and maybe sleeting, snow is supposedly on the way. Yesterday, while we were out Christmas shopping, the Minneapolis area broke a record of 49 degrees that had stood since 1923.....we hit 51 degrees! And I can tell you the numbers are going to be reversed very soon. High tomorrow will only be about 25. And that's just how it goes here in Minnesota. :-)
I've been so busy lately that when I woke this morning, I was excited that I had no place to go, nothing on my list that absolutely had to be done today. And so, I didn't really do anything until after lunch. That was when I started fiddling with the garland that I wanted to hang along the railing. One minute all the lights worked and the next minute......not! I replaced some bulbs and thought all was well. Carefully took the garland around the corner to the stair railing and plugged it in again and ..........lights didn't work in the middle of the garland. So, I was preparing to take the whole string off and put on a new one, when suddenly they all worked. I decided to secure the bulbs along that stretch and skip adding a new string. By the time I got that hung in place, it was time to fix supper and so I didn't get the finishing touch added to the garland. Will do that tomorrow and post photo tomorrow night.
In the meantime, I thought I'd share photos from our November Christmas meeting of the Kindred Kwilter's of Le Sueur, MN. We were to bring a mug rug for a little gift exchange. I had been so busy with the library set-up that I was up late the night before our meeting to finish my mug rug. I used some sewing themed fabric that was in the collection of fabric that I got from my dear friend, Cindy. I liked the end result and one day, when I have time, I'm going to make one similar to this for me. I didn't use a pattern. That's the fun part of making a mug rug. They are so small that you really don't need a pattern. Just start cutting a few strips or squares, sew them together and see what you come up with!

And here are the gift bags filled with the mug rugs for the exchange.............
Each bag was numbered and we all drew a number, then went to the table and found the bag or wrapped package with our number. And here are the smiling faces of our members and the lovely mug rugs that we all received!

Since I was taking the photos, Sandy Rapp, held up my mug rug that I received. But then someone said we should get a photo of me with the mug rug, so here we are..........
Toby Pharr is on the left and is the leader of our group. Next to her is Margaret Griep who is our treasurer. I'm the newsletter editor. After our little mug rug show, we all enjoyed some sweet goodies. We don't meet in December but we are all looking forward to our meeting in January. And we are hoping that this coming winter will not be as cold and snowy as last year. We had to cancel the January meeting and I think the one in March. Oh, well, there is always quilting to do at home. :-)
All for now. For my local friends, take care if you are out and about tomorrow morning. It is going to be very slippery on the roads and sidewalks!

Sunday, December 14

More Christmas tree photos.........

Last night when I had put the final touches on my tree and did the final clean-up, I took photos with my tablet and with my camera. As you know from yesterday's post, the photos taken with my tablet are not true to color. However, they look really nice. This photo is true to color but the lights don't show up as much on the tree.......but they show up in the reflection of the window! I couldn't post this photo last night because my computer died but this morning Steve took a look at things and discovered it wasn't a problem with my computer. For some reason, my power surge protector, shut down. He's not sure why but all is well now and I'm just glad it wasn't anything more serious!

In this next photo, I took a close-up of this section of the tree for good reason......See that cross-stitch ornament in the center? It was made by my husband's Aunt Lillian about 30 years ago. She was in her 70's then. This week, we got her Christmas card. Yes, Lillian is still sending cards and little notes at the "young-at-heart" age of 101! Lillian is the younger sister of my husband's dad/my father-in-law, Edmond Andersen. He was born in Hals, Denmark in 1909 and came to the United States with his parents and younger brother Karl. Another favorite ornament among those in this photo are the blue ornament we bought on a trip to Denmark and the three little painted rocks next to the gingerbread fellow. We were at a market area where there were stalls of crafts and foods. The little rocks "caught my eye", in part because when my kids were young, we had a lot of fun painting rocks. I bought three of them so there could be a Papa Rock, Mama Rock and Baby Rock. :-) The little German dolls came from the Black Forest area of Germany. I could tell you where every ornament on my tree came from or who made it. In the year 2000, I documented all of them and gave each ornament a number on a little tag. They tell a story of the years of our family! I need to add the ornaments I've bought since then. There were over 400 in 2000 and I can't help myself......I've added at least a half a dozen every year since then. I could write a book, and maybe I will.
So with the tree decorated, and Steve feeling better (the cold and cough are almost gone) and Collette doing better, it was time for some shopping. I had a list and went to meet son, Devlin, for a little Christmas shopping. We got lucky. We found just the right gifts for everyone on the list! Couldn't believe it! Plus we had a great lunch and nice visit. Then I brought everything home and did the gift wrapping!
This last photo is a little order to leave the house today, I decided I had to set up a barrier to keep Kaiser the Wonder Beagle away from the tree. He likes to eat the tissue paper out of the gift bags. I have bell ornaments around the bottom of the tree that I can hear when I'm home but when I'm gone and Steve is here with him, Kaiser kinda gets in trouble. Ask me if he ate a travel size bar of Dove soap this past week. Yep, he did. And so while I was away shopping, I was taking no chances that Kaiser would eat tissue paper or worse yet, an ornament! Granted, I can't leave this up all the time, but I am thinking that I will move both footstools to the center of the room to keep him out of trouble. That is, I will try to keep him out of trouble. ;-)

Tomorrow, I'm going to decorate the railing along the stairs. I got a great idea that is different from what I've done the last few years. Pictures will come when I'm done. :-)
Have a great Monday, an awesome start to the week!

Saturday, December 13

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!

Our Christmas tree is completely decorated and  there are even a couple of gifts under the tree. I was glad to finish and and took this photo with my tablet, but also took photos with my camera. I did a little baking and then went up to my computer to load the photos and do my blog post. computer seems to have died. Since it's nearly midnight, I don't think I'll wake Steve for help. Hopefully, he can fix the problem in the morning. Typing a blog post from my tiny tablet is not exactly easy. I'm going Christmas shopping with my son, Devlin,Sunday afternoon, so Steve will have all day to figure out the issue. Hope it's something simple!

Friday, December 12


Our Christmas tree is fully decorated! It's about 9 feet tall and I think there must be 500 ornaments on it. I have kept almost every ornament from our 46 years of marriage plus a few from my mother and my mother-in-law. It's a tree that is laden with memories and I love it!
The "Believe" ornament in the photo above carries a really special memory of a dear friend, Dorothy Woestehoff. She passed away from cancer in March of 2011 but at Christmas in 2010 she had her daughter shop for ornaments for each of us that were in Bible Study together. She had her husband John deliver them. Dorothy was a delight. She was so cheerful even in times when most of us would find it hard to be cheerful. She had a very strong faith. When I see that "Believe" ornament on my tree, I am reminded of her faith and her kindness. It's an ornament that I don't put away, though. I hang it in my sewing room where I can see it all year round. Dorothy would like that. :-)
We are going to have some warm weather this weekend.........temps in the 40's and that will feel like spring here in Minnesota. Now that the tree is up, maybe I'll get my frozen pumpkin off the front porch and replace it with a Christmas wreath. I'm so slow at getting things decorated this year that I will have to leave everything in place til Valentine's Day. Then again, I usually do that anyway. LOL!
Have a great Saturday!

Thursday, December 11

Birthday lunch and lots of pretty things..........

Today, I treated my good friend, Sue Kraemer, to lunch for her birthday. Her actual birthday is in October but we have both been so busy that we couldn't find time to get together. Today worked for both of us so we met at the Henderson RoadHaus, enjoyed a great lunch, and then got caught up on chit-chat. Yes, we did. One of the things we talked about was the upcoming craft show at Minnesota New Country School. It's this Saturday and we both plan to be there and see what lovely and tasty things are for sale. After that, Sue will head over to the shop "HeArt of Henderson" that she owns with Lisa VonLehe. (And so will I as I have just a teeny bit more Christmas shopping to do!) The two of them really have a knack for doing creative things and bringing creative folk together! Sue has been doing these awesome framed chalk pieces. I bought a small turquoise one that says "Happy Holidays". There is something about that color that always reminds me of when I was a kid. Could it be the turquoise and white polka dot gathered skirts that my mother made for me and my sister Judy? Yes, it probably is. Anyway..........these chalkboard greetings are just really cool!

Lisa has been making signs with vintage designs and decoupaging them to old bits of painted wood. I bought one of these for a gift for someone. Cannot tell you who.....

This little nook is filled with all sorts of goodies from wood-turned seam rippers to pottery to jewelry! There are over 40 artists/crafters who are consigning goods at the shop!!

If I had a granddaughter and she had one of those 18" dolls, I might just be tempted to buy some of these darling outfits. The little fleece footy pajamas are so cute!

Something new are these lovely gift boxes! Such a pretty way to give a gift!

And this corner of the shop is one of my favorite spots. I have bought several of Lisa's crocheted potholders and coasters. I have plans for some of the coasters.......they are going to become pincushions!

And last, but not least............something good to eat! Lisa's daughter Melanie does the Maple Syrup and the jellies. The cranberry jalapeno jelly is so good when you plop a spoonful on top of a Ritz cracker that is smothered in cream cheese. Just ask me how I know. LOL!

I am almost finished decorating our Christmas tree. I've only been working on it the last three nights. During the day, I've been wrapping up details on the church and library silent auctions. That's all done now, except for just a couple details at the library. And so on Friday, I will definitely finish the tree. I've been "on the go" so much lately so it is nice to have a whole day at home! Talked to Collette tonight and she continues to improve. Her husband Daryl is great at taking care of her and juggling his job and all the other family stuff. Life sure gets busy and sometimes totally crazy. And that's just the way it goes. 
Happy Friday!

"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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