Saturday, December 31

A Merry Little Christmas........

Yes, indeed, we had a Merry Little Christmas! And now it's time to wish you all a

Happy New Year!!
I think 2012 is going to be a great year!!! This past year wasn't too bad but it was a bit hectic. Seems we had more visits to doctors than we would like and my husband keeps working and I keep hoping he'll retire. LOL!
I thought I should share some photos from our Christmas before the New Year becomes Valentine's Day!
Lots of pretty papers, ribbons and packages surrounded the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve.............
 and Kaiser the Wonder Beagle tolerated his reindeer antlers..........
but he was more interested in the smell of the ham coming from the kitchen. That's son, Devlin, on the left and husband, Steve, doing the carving.
 The table was ready and I'd share pictures of us gathered round the table........
but I realized they are on my husband's camera and he hasn't downloaded them yet. So, here's the place setting at each place........
I just love these holly dishes that I bought at Target several years ago. Holly is my favorite Christmas greenery. At our old house, I actually had a holly bush and enjoyed real holly. I'm happy with artificial holly and found this velvet holly to surround a very special log.......
The log in that picture came from the birch tree in the backyard of my husband's home and it's been with us for over 40 years. Finally, with the photo shoot for Womeninc looming, I got him to drill the holes for candles!!! The little angels are from an antique shop in nearby St. Peter, MN. I am known for my Dollar store purchases but these angels called my name and I had to have them. They make me think of Christmas Eve programs from when I was a kid in the 1950's and so, they make me smile. And here's the cake we had for dessert..........
I made the cake a few days before Christmas to share with the ladies in our Bible Study group. We didn't eat enough of it so I figured, why make another dessert for Christmas dinner? This was just an ordinary chocolate cake mix topped with fudge frosting. The thing that made it so tasty was the white filling........a jar of marshmallow creme mixed with a container of vanilla frosting and then spread between the four layers. It was as good as a Hostess cupcake. Maybe better. :-)

In the corner of our dining room, I changed from a little green tree to this little white tree. It was a real deal at just $4 a couple years ago. Then last year after Christmas I saw those blue snowflakes at JoAnn Fabrics. I bought every one at ten cents each. As I was placing them on the tree, I decided to count and see how many there were............
and there are 43 which is the number of years my husband and I have been married (our anniversary was Nov. 24th).  I thought that was kind of cool.
After we ate dinner (ham and really thick potato soup with apple salad and sweet potato hotdish, etc.), we gathered in the living room to open gifts. A few of my teddy bears were already there............
Here's the tree in the living room.........my "I have always wanted a gold and silver tree" come true............
 Above is how it looked in the daytime and below, later in the evening.........
It's prettier when you see it in person. The photos just don't do it justice. I began collecting gold and silver ornaments in the late 1990's. Always bought the stuff at 70% off or better. More on this tree in a future post.
There were gifts under the tree and Grandson Jacob was the first to open a really fun gift ...... he got a wallet and thought that was it. We told him he might want to check inside and was pleasantly surprised to find some cash. We couldn't figure out what to get him and thought he might like to shop for something special.
Son-in-law, Daryl, always gets in the spirit and wears his Santa hat.......
and my husband is always being a tease so there are two versions of this photo.......one with and one without those rabbit ears. That's his sister, Linda on the left. She and her husband, Roy, joined us for Christmas this year!
And this is the four of us.......daughter, Collette, Steve, me and son, Devlin. 
We had a very happy Christmas. The weather was so unbelievably mild that I thought we were in San Diego.........almost. :-)
Just a couple more photos.........this little tree is in the room just off the kitchen.........
The ornaments are all from Europe and were bought in the 80's and 90's when Steve's job took him to meetings in Germany, England, etc. Several are from Denmark where Steve's Dad was born. And opposite the tree is Santa.........
My mom had quite a collection of Santa's and when she "downsized" we all took a Santa or two. I chose this one as it's one we bought her a number of years ago. Santa reads (thanks to a cassette) "The Night Before Christmas" as his head nods from side to side. And Kaiser the Wonder Beagle is totally scared when I turn on Santa and he starts to move. LOL!
And this tree is in the basement family room...........
Yes, it may seem like we have a lot of trees but not nearly as many as some folks. This tree is covered in about 400 ornaments that span about 50 years as I have some from my mother and my mother-in-law. I'm going to share more about this tree in my next post. Under the tree are a couple of special gifts from the past. One is my bride doll..........
This pretty doll was my Christmas gift when I was about 10 years old. I saw her in the window of the Gambles Store (department store chain based in Minnesota, check it out here ) and wanted her so much. She had articulated arms and legs so could be positioned in any number of fashion model poses. She wore a sheath-type dress but my mother made her this embroidered wedding gown. She still wears her original white plastic high heels and fortunately, I never cut her hair like I did to so many other dolls I got for Christmas. :-)

Yes, indeed, we had a lovely Christmas. From Thanksgiving when my brother and family, and my mom and our family gathered to Christmas with my husband's sister and our family.......it was really lovely. Seeing so much family for the holidays hasn't happened like that in a number of years so it was a sweet gift.  I hope your Christmas was also happy and that your new year is, too! Sometimes, I find it hard to believe when I realize it is 2012. Can it really be 12 years since the Millennium?!! Time flies so fast. And speaking of time, it is just two hours til the clock strikes midnight and the new year arrives here in Minnesota. I think it's time for a snack and a cup of cocoa. See ya tomorrow!
Sandi


Sunday, December 25

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Twas the night before Christmas and all through our house................
everyone else is asleep and I'm here at the computer. LOL!  I am taking a few minutes before I head off to bed to wish you all a....................
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

We enjoyed a lovely Christmas Eve with family. Our stockings were hung on the stairway with care and after dinner and our gift exchange, we checked out the goodies that are always in our stockings.


Yes, it was a lovely evening and now it's time for bed.
Hope you all enjoy a lovely Christmas Day!

Wednesday, December 21

Christmas decorating and more........

Twas a few days before Christmas and all through our house, every nook and cranny was decorated, even the front porch...............
Something is missing, though.........no snow! I had to use a scrap of quilt batting to surround my front porch tree and make it look like it had snowed. This is Minnesota in December and snow has been a "no-show". I added some bears in a big shopping bag with a message to Mother Nature to "Let it Snow"..............

However, all she provided was wind! Look at the ribbon on that wreath! It is blowing straight north!
All she brought in the way of snow was a tiny dusting on my vintage sleigh..........
But just because there is no snow, doesn't mean there is no JOY. I added my stockings and filled them with fake gifts. That wind will blow them into the woods before Christmas day. Maybe Santa will tuck some real gifts in those stockings as he passes through Henderson. I believe it could happen!
So that's what the front porch looks like and it's what greeted these two young women...........
That's Katie Honnette (left) and Jessica Sauck (right) and me in the middle. Katie is the Editor in Chief of Womeninc magazine and Jessica is the Photography Editor. They came to photograph the Christmas trees and decorations in our home. Kaite interviewed me as Jessica began snapping photos. The one above was taken by my husband after we had finished touring from tree to tree. :-)  The article will appear in the December 2012 issue of Womeninc.  I had so much fun decorating and preparing for the photo shoot and then sharing the stories of the decorations and ornaments. I look forward to reading the article and seeing their photographs (which I know will be better than what I can take) and, yes, I can wait patiently til December of next year to read the article. That's because, as we all know...........time flies sooooooo fast and there are only 369 days til Christmas 2012!!!
In my next post, I can give you a peek at what they saw. Oh, and note the green grass you can see through the window on the left. I don't recall ever seeing green grass in Minnesota in December!
Back soon. Must finish my Christmas cards and get them in the mail before Christmas day..........
Sandi

Monday, December 19

What's on the line is taking a vacation........

and will return on Monday, January 2nd. Between now and then, I'm going to share a few photos of Christmas decorating and other projects. I have been busy the last few weeks decorating all about our house because ...........well, I'll tell ya tomorrow. :-) Until then, here's a little something that I included in my decorating scheme this year..........


this little stuffed dog is one I got when I was in junior high. He's been around a lot of years and looks pretty good for his age.  LOL!  You can comb it's hair and it looks so cute. It reminds me of the real dog we had, a pomeranian named Henry the Eighth. What a cutie he was!  Ah, yes, Christmas certainly conjures up lots of fun memories. Well, some are not so fun. I remember the year that we got our son a model train for Christmas. My husband was cutting some piece of it with a sharp knife as he worked to assemble the set. He managed to cut himself so badly that he had to go to the emergency room to get stitches. One year a snowstorm kept us from getting to Iowa to visit our folks. We were in our four wheel drive Blazer and my husband was sure we could get through the snow drifts. Finally, he gave up and we turned around to go home.  It was not a good night to be on the road. We've never been caught in an airport or had anything worse happen so most of the memories are, in fact, fun or at least........memorable. :-)
Busy day today.........working on some gifts for friends and then helping another friend with a gift project. The Christmas tunes will be turned up loud today!! Have a good Monday. Back tomorrow with bunches of pictures of Christmasy stuff!
Sandi

Saturday, December 17

And the winner of my sleigh full of goodness is.....

Angela Moore!
She is the lucky winner of the prize I offered.....my "sleigh full of goodness".....in Michele's Quilting Gallery Blog Hop.  So many bloggers participated and I was amazed at the number of comments. Wish I could send everyone who commented a little something but that can't be. Just one winner and I've sent the winning e-mail message to Angela and just wait to hear from her! You can find Angela's blog here ........ Angela*at*Home !! 
Congratulations to her and a big Thank You to all of you that shared such wonderful Christmas memories. Angela shared this memory......

"Gosh so many but most memorable was the piano and that's when I discovered santa was mom and dad."   Made me smile. Almost all the comments made me smile and a few brought tears to my eyes. Reading some of them brought back memories of dolls and toys that I had forgotten about. Again, thank you so much for sharing!

And now, if you are reading this, take note........come 2012, I am making a challenge to myself and at the end of each month, I will be offering a little prize package to one of my blog readers. So what is my challenge? Wellllllll...........gulp........I am not going to buy any quilting fabric for the entire year of 2012. Yep, I really mean that. I'll have more details on this challenge and a chance for a preview prize package giveaway on December 31st. Be sure to stay tuned or pop back then and find out what you might win and just why I would challenge myself to not buy any fabric for a whole year!

It's a busy time right now and I have barely managed to blog but soon that will change. Lots to blog about and this week, I will share some fun stuff. Off to work on some Christmas gifts now. Have a great Sunday!!
Sandi

Monday, December 12

What's on the line? Oops......nothing.......

That's right, there is nothing "on the line" today. I didn't have a photo of a Christmas quilt so I thought I'd share a couple of creative projects. The weekend after Thanksgiving, my daughter and I did some crafting. I had purchased some various sizes/shapes of glass globes at the Dollar Tree store and we decorated them with ribbon and those foam glitter sticker things you can get at craft stores (Michael's was the source for the trees). This is the candle globe that Collette made...........

You could use any container and glue ribbon in place and add stickers. I have some that are in gold and white. Photo coming later. :-)  They were easy and fun to make!!!
The other project we did was decorating glass and plastic tree ornaments. We added pizazz with some glittery fabrics and ribbon.  Here's the mess/creativity pile we were working from...........
I'll show you how to make these in a little tutorial this weekend. In the meantime, I am busy this week with a number of activities.  Singing "fa la la la la" and all sorts of Christmas songs as I decorate! :-)
And, speaking of Christmas songs..........yesterday afternoon, I got another early Christmas present when my son, Devlin, treated me to an afternoon recording session. I sang, he did the recording. When I was "flat" he told me so and I would sing the song again. I like an honest critic. :-)  He's going to create a clip of a couple of the songs so I can share it before Christmas!  I had so much fun singing. I wish I could do it more often!!
Could be freezing drizzle in our area today. Glad I have no place to go. I'll be busy decorating and glad to be warm and cozy in the house! Have a great Monday! And, if you have not entered my giveaway for the Quilting Gallery Blog Hop, please check my last post. There is still time to enter!  I have loved reading all the comments that tell of favorite Christmas gifts. They are so, so sweet!
Sandi

Friday, December 9

A sleigh-full of goodness!

Michele over at Quilting Gallery is hosting a Blog-Hop Party and oh, what fun you all are going to have as you visit all the blogs that are participating!! There are over 200 blogs that you can visit!  The list will be available tomorrow, December 10th and you'll find it here...........
Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways


And what do I have for you? Well..........I have a sleigh-full of fabric goodness to share with you all that will take off from Minnesota and land in your driveway, maybe in time for Christmas!  The fabrics are from Jacquelynne*Steve's Christmas line called "Peace.Joy.Love.Noel!"  There are six fat quarters in the sleigh and you also get the fabric panel that the sleigh is sitting on!

Just leave your name and e-mail contact and you can have a chance to win it! And you know how I love to hear a story in your comments. Please share the best gift you ever received as a child. :-)
A lucky winner will be drawn on December 17 at 6:00 p.m. CST.  If you are the winner, you will have two days to reply with your name and address. If I don't hear from you, I will draw another name.
Comments begin now!! Remember to leave your e-mail link so that I can contact you if you win!!
Sandi

Thursday, December 8

An early Christmas Gift!

Yesterday I took a little trip to St. Peter, Minnesota to visit this little shop.......... Knit*&*Sew*World  ...........
Just look at those machines in the window with bows on them. Don't you just love a good window display?  I headed through that green door to pick up my own little sewing machine gift.  As I mentioned before, my husband bought me a Laura Ashley Innov'is-2000 by Brother for a Christmas/anniversary gift. I still can't believe he bought it but then again, I have been making a good case for a new one for a couple years now. I guess he was listening better than I thought. :-)
So, here's the new baby in the house.....
I named her Mazie, short for "Mazerati" because she is truly like driving a Mazerati after sewing on my basic White sewing machine for years. Actually, I haven't a clue what it would be like to drive a Mazerati but I don't even care. I'd rather have this sewing machine! We took it out of the box, read the instructions, and we both tried out the machine. It sews so smoothly!  My husband was impressed that it can thread the needle. So am I because ye olde eyesight isn't what it used to be!  I am definitely going to enjoy working with this machine.  I'm so happy, I took another photo so you could get a good view of her long, sleek lines...........
My son asked what my first project will be..........I told him that I'm pretty sure it will be new kitchen curtains and then after that "the list is really long". And on that list will be a project with this fabric....................
All of this pink deliciousness was in my mailbox when I got home from picking up my sewing machine. I ordered it from Hen*and*Chicks*Studio, Heidi Kaisand's new shop and retreat center in Conrad, Iowa. I shared a photo of these fabrics a few weeks ago but when I opened the package..........they were even prettier than in the photo. And there was a nice thank you from Heidi for making the purchase. She's designed her own line of greeting cards, very cute!  I was also surprised when I saw who the designer was for this fabric. It's Lori Holt over at Bee*in*my*Bonnet blog. I love all her designs but I have been so busy that I've not done much blog reading lately and so had no idea this fabric was her design. I'm going to have fun with a spring project that I have in mind for all this pinkness.  Watch for it to reappear sometime in February!
Here's something that won't last til February...........Ferrero candies.............
Our kids, Collette and Devlin surprised us with an anniversary gift..........that sweet treat and a gift certificate to Charley's in Mankato, MN. We're going to wait til after Christmas to use the gift certificate but we are enjoying the chocolates now. I thought I really loved the hazelnut ones but those silver ones are coconut and they are ....... to die for!! I put dibs on them and let Steve have all the ones with the dark chocolate and the almonds (his favorite). Thanks to our kids for thinking of mom and dad!
So, are all of you ready for Christmas? Our gifts are ready but not wrapped. Plenty of time for that. The decorating is more than half done but still lots to do. I am busy trying to finish a couple of trees and other projects because a local Minnesota magazine will be taking some Christmas decorating photos in our home next week. I'll share more on this project later. Right now.........I'm off to hang more ornaments on a little white tree I set up in our dining room.  Singing Christmas tunes as I work.......... "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas............."
Oh, and be sure to stop by on Saturday for a visit. I'm participating in Michele's Quilting Gallery Blog Hop.........check out the info here.  I've got a sleigh-full of something special for one lucky winner. Oops......that's a clue. Come back Saturday and find out what will be in that sleigh.............
Have a great day!
Sandi

Monday, December 5

What's on the line at Christmas time?!

An upside down quilt, that's what's on the line this Christmas time! Yes, my quilty friends, I designed it, I hung it, took the picture and now quite sometime later I go to post the picture and here it is ..........upside down!


I took this picture more than a year ago when I decided on a nice "end of summer" day that I would take pictures of all twelve of the quilts that I designed in 2000. This was the twelfth wall quilt in the series called "The Millennium Quilts".  This one is called "Holiday Memories". I just can't believe I hung it upside down! I plan to hang it this Christmas and I can promise you that it will be hung right. I'll even take a picture and share because I have some plans for that plain wreath part on the little quilt. Give me a couple days, though. It's a little busy here. Lots to do with company coming again at Christmas, decorating to do for a special event, Christmas cards to write and toss in a couple doctor appointments. And then........that new sewing machine my husband bought me should be here any day now and I can hardly wait to get it. I have several gift projects that need to be finished before Christmas. Oh, how I would love to finish them on that new machine!
So are any of you feeling like you could use one of Santa's Elves if they were "for hire"?  I think I would like one that would follow me around and when I go from one room to the next, the elf would tell me what I came into that room to get. LOL!  No elf here so gotta run.............
Have a great Monday!
Sandi










Thursday, December 1

A very special Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving this year was very special at our house. My brother, Doug, his wife, Sandy, and their daughter, Sue Ellen came for Thanksgiving. And they brought my mom, too!  Our kids were here, too........ Collette, Daryl, Devlin and grandson, Jacob. We were so fortunate that the weather here in the Midwest was so mild because it made travel super easy! While I was happy to have family, I think Kaiser our Wonder Beagle was even happier. He was very fond of Sue Ellen and she was fond of Kaiser. She has a feather in her hair and it's hanging in Kaiser's face and he doesn't even mind!
Here's part of the crew after they arrived on Thanksgiving Eve. Chatting around the kitchen table are my mom, brother Doug, husband Steve and son-in-law Daryl..........
and chatting in the living room were sister-in-law Sandy and daughter Collette (I was looking down from the upstairs landing when I took this picture).......
There were lots of folks who needed a bed and we managed one for everyone except grandson Jacob. I asked him if he'd mind if I made him a bed of pillows and quilts in my sewing room.  He likes my sewing room because it's cozy and it has a TV and my computer is in there so he didn't mind a bit. Here he is ready for bed watching some sports program as I took this picture.
Husband Steve got up first and started the turkey. He took over the "turkey baking" duties several years ago. I like this a lot as I prefer to bake pies and make sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes. Don't ask who forgot to make the gravy. Daryl made the green bean casserole. What did people eat with their turkeys before green bean casserole became a staple in a Thanksgiving menu?
While the turkey was cooking, we enjoyed visiting. Jacob was on the computer and so Sue Ellen needed something to do. I found her something she thought was fun and it saved me time! She is adding decorative glitter highlights to my Christmas cards!! How cool, right?!!
Turkey was ready so we all sat down to dinner..........son Devlin, then Doug, Sandy........
my mom, Mary, me, Collette and Daryl........
then Steve got his camera and took some pictures...........
And where are Jacob and Sue Ellen? They ate in the kitchen and were finished almost before we started. :-)
Collette and Sandy did most of the clean-up which I thought was great!
It was a toss-up for an afternoon movie.........."It's a Wonderful Life" or "Christmas Vacation". You can see on the TV screen that "Christmas Vacation" was the winner. That movie is so funny!

And what about Kaiser? Well, he was searching for crumbs underneath the dining room table........... LOL!
It was really great to have family spend the holiday and for everyone to travel safely. This mild weather we are having is really not that common for Minnesota in late November.  I wonder if it will last til Christmas? One can hope............
Next post.........good news!
Sandi






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