Wednesday, December 31

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all my family and friends, near and far! May this coming year of 2015 be just the best ever! My husband and I are staying in on this cold night and plan to watch a John Wayne western. So very glad to stay in out of the wind and cold! I fixed tacos for supper and I reminded him, or I should say I helped him to recall, that 46 years ago we ate tacos in Old Towne in San Diego on New Years Eve. At midnight, the bells rang out across the city because it was the start of San Diego's 200th birthday and a year of celebrations (1969). I can clearly remember being at the window, hearing the bells. My husband......uh, no recollection at all. LOL! And I am not surprised. 

Tomorrow I will announce the winner of the giveaway that I posted about earlier in December. I'll be tossing all the comments into a basket and my Random Number Man will draw a winner. See you then. Have a wonderful evening wherever you are! 

Tuesday, December 30

Looking back..........

Earlier today, I was tagged in some photos that were shared on the Deep Valley Quilter's Guild page. I hadn't seen them before but after commenting on a post, the admin Cathy shared the photos. They are so much clearer than my own photos. I am thinking I either need a new camera or perhaps I just need to learn how to better use the one I have. LOL! Anyway, on a cold night in January of 2011, I presented a program to Deep Valley Quilter's Guild in Mankato. It was cold but not quite as cold as it's going to be here tonight. It's a three quilt night tonight! I filled baskets and boxes full of wooly things and quilts to take along to the meeting.....

That's my "Eggs-a-blooming" penny rug on the upper left and on the right is my "Patriotic Stars" penny rug (and purple Grand Champion winner at the Sibley County Fair in 2009) and one of my favorites is that "Irish Blessings" penny rug. The gold "coins" that surround the penny rug are cut from some vintage wool that my mother-in-law gave me many years ago.

I had lots of small pieces to display and inspire............
I love to make wooly pincushions and needlecases and scissors cases and covered boxes and.....the list goes on! My fascination for fabric and wool projects began when I was a kid. I still have Barbie doll dresses that I made in the late 50's and these little donkeys that I made in the late 70's.........
The donkeys were featured in a December issue of Woman's Day or Family Circle in the mid 70's. For a long time I saved the issue but I must have given it away as I can no longer find it. The gray wool is another piece of wool that my mother-in-law Ora gave me. There was enough that I made a gray cape with a hood and then the scraps were used to make the donkeys for my son Devlin at Christmas. The mane on the donkeys is real scraps of mink from an old hat. They were seldom played with but they sat on the top of my son's chest of drawers for many years before they were packed away. Now I get them out just at Christmas.

There was a picture taken of me on that night. I look really happy and I was. I had begun to have some health issues but I was loving the chance to share how much fun I have when I stitch! I've only done a couple programs since then as my health issues and other family health issues just sort of multiplied. But I've been stitching........and I've been drawing.........and I am making plans. I've got a program to do in June and looking forward to "Quilts in the Valley" with my brother Doug on the first weekend in October. I'm excited to host some "Wooly Gatherings" at our local library and our quilt group "Sew and Share Quilters" is having fun making blocks for our Christmas quilts. If you live nearby and want to join us, please leave a comment and I'll get back to you with info. And if you are interested in a program on wooly things or quilts, please let me know. I have a new planner and it's just waiting to be filled with lots of fun stitching plans!
And's time to grab that good book I got at the library yesterday, crawl under that stack of quilts and stay warm and read!
Have a wonderful New Year's Eve! Stay safe, stay warm (or cool depending on where you are!) and be happy!

Monday, December 29

Old tree, new life.........

This afternoon, I met Mary and Arlene from our Friends of the Library group and we took down this big old tree at the library. You may recognize it as I shared about the tree early this month when I summed up our Silent Auction event. We bought this tree in 1993 at Seasonal Concepts in Minneapolis. It was huge for our house in Prior Lake but there was a corner where it worked out. But when we moved here, it didn't fit so well. And it sheds pine needles as if it was real. But, there was still life in this old tree so we used it at the Henderson Library to collect books for the local toy drive. Last year we must have collected close to 100 books but I didn't get an exact count. This year there were 75 books when I counted. And then today, I found two more when we dismantled the tree. LOL!
I am hoping that next year we can collect 150 books on and under the tree!!!

I know it will hold that many books because when it sat in our basement family room in 2010, it had almost 500 ornaments on it! That was the year when a local magazine came and did a photo shoot but due to circumstances beyond control, they were never published. I decorated a silver and gold tree for our living room that year, something I've always wanted, and it was very pretty. But.........nobody in my family liked it. They wanted the traditional "every branch covered in ornaments that have meaning tree". And so, that's what I do now. Not sure what I'll do with all those silver and gold ornaments I bought, almost all of them "on clearance", but they might find their way into future projects at the library. ;-)

And speaking of projects, I am working on one that will involve this stocking..............
More info to come later this week or on the weekend. I have some fun stuff in store for this year on my blog. I am so excited to be blogging regularly again!
Right now, though, I am headed to bed with a good book that I picked up at the library. We have extra quilts ready as the weatherman says it is going to be the coldest night since last March! Not to worry here. Plenty of quilts to keep us warm!

Sunday, December 28

Quiet Sunday.........

Yes, it was a quiet Sunday. And after all the busy-ness of this past few weeks, that was just fine. Several folks were not in church this morning, probably still doing some Christmas gatherings. Those of us that were there, got to celebrate this dear man's 90th birthday. Well, actually when you read this on December 29th, he'll be 90. This is Bert Karels, a WWII veteran, one of the kindest, nicest guys I've ever met. He is a fellow Iowan, perhaps that's why? ;-)

There was an awesome selection of cookies that Bert's wife Arline shared. They were from the bakery and they were yummy! Bert has such a positive attitude and so does Arline. Having people like this in my life, makes me so happy, feeling so blessed! I have met the best folks since moving to Henderson. Small town living is the best, in my opinion. Another dear friend is Lisa Mathwig. I met Lisa when I discovered her jewelry booth at local events here in Henderson. I love the Papparazzi necklaces and buy several for myself (they are just $5.00 for necklace and earrings) and as gifts. My mom loves necklaces so she has several of them now. Lisa says I'm one of her best customers. :-) She also does custom signs and last spring I was going to buy three small signs on canvas that said "Dream", "Hope", "Believe".... but instead, Lisa gifted them to me! I have come to know her Grandma when I visit a nearby assisted living facility and I've come to know Lisa because I buy from her every time I see her at an event. Maybe I am a good customer. LOL! So, I liked those signs so much that I asked her to make two sets for me, one that would be for Collette, one for Devlin. No hurry, I said. A week before her last sales event in December, she sent a message......"be sure and stop by when you come to the craft show, I have a gift for you". Now I thought it was probably a piece of jewelry. So when I stopped by, I bought jewelry, of course, and then she handed me a long thin package and said "Don't open this til you get home". And I followed her instructions! Was I surprised when I opened the package. Wrapped in tissue were two signs with just the words I wanted. I almost cried! She gave me a gift that I could "gift" to my kids. How cool is that?!! So, I gave them to my kids and told them the story behind the signs. They were both impressed and thought it was very thoughtful of Lisa to do this. Me, too! Thank you, Lisa!

So, those words are ones I plan to live by this coming year. I have a Dream......I Hope I can fulfill it........I Believe I can do it! More on what it is as the year unfolds. In the meantime............I took the day off. I had my feet up quite often, wearing these fun socks that Collette, Daryl and Jacob got me for Christmas. I got several pair and they are the most comfortable socks I've ever worn, and warm, too! They are all I wanted from them. I have much, don't need much. I enjoyed some chocolate while I had my feet up. Aldi's makes a great hazlenut chocolate bar and all I asked for from Devlin was "buy me lots of chocolate bars". I gave up CocaCola but there is no way I am giving up chocolate. LOL!

The warm socks are going to come in mighty handy as the temps are headed down to the single digits here in Minnesota. I have just one errand to run on Monday and otherwise, I will be staying in and staying warm. Must go take down the big tree at the library and pack up the very last of the ornaments until next year. All my Christmas stuff here at home will be up til the end of the month. Once I get this place decorated, I love to enjoy it. Sometimes I just sit on the couch and look at the tree and the ornaments. It's a fun stress-free trip down memory lane.
Well, there is still time to do a little tidying up here in my sewing room. I will be "tidying up" for the rest of the week and into the next week. Boy did I make a mess this holiday season. ;-)
Happy Monday!

Saturday, December 27

Deju vu.........

You may think you have seen these photos before.............

and yes, you did! My last post showed tiny glittery snowflakes on these same things and this is all the snow that accumulated......only about 2"! Makes everything look so pretty though. I'm guessing there will be more snow before winter is over. :-)  Cold temps moving in this week but that's okay. It's warm in my sewing room!
I did every bit of laundry and really tidied up the house today. In the morning, I'll be off to church and then I am spending the rest of the day in my sewing room. It looks like a summer storm blew through here and there are craft supplies and projects all over. Must get it cleaned up because I am planning something fun for January. I'll share on January 1st. In the meantime, have a lovely Sunday!

Friday, December 26

A brown Christmas but snow is on the way..........

Late this evening, I let Kaiser the Wonder Beagle outside for his evening constitutional and I was surprised at the glittery snow that was beginning to cover everything! It looked just like glitter! It was sprinkled on my little chair that last night held my Santa Bear (and in spring and summer holds my flowers and in fall holds a pumpkin or two!). This is an old Sunday School chair that was going to be tossed and I brought it home because it brings back good childhood memories.

Sprinkles of glittery snow were on the fake Christmas gifts that sit in my planter boxes. I pulled out my fall mums and the indentation in the dirt was the perfect cradle for fake presents!

I never got my old wooden sled down from the garage as without snow, it would look strange sitting on a bed of rocks. So I left my red wagon and the old lawnmower that my brother, Doug, gave me last summer. I added some of those fake flowers that I grow so well and made them look a bit festive. There is just the slightest dusting of real snow in my little red wagon.........

I wonder how much snow will be there by morning? The best part of this snow is that it came after all of our family holiday travel. Nice to know that we have no place to go. I will be in my sewing room. All day. :-)

Thursday, December 25

Merry Christmas 2014

It was a Christmas without snow and I missed that made travel easy and we had a great day. Here's a little collage of a very nice Christmas day at our house. Warmed my heart. I was happy all day long. :-)

And tomorrow, I think I will sleep in and do nothing for the day. Well, almost nothing. There's a bit of laundry and tidying up that needs to be done. Both Devlin and Daryl have to go back to work but Collette is on vacation this week. She is doing much better, sort of. She has a cold and that is not a fun way to spend Christmas Day. Jacob is also on vacation. He was so happy with his Christmas gifts. Steve is on vacation because he is retired. In that photo above, he is unwrapping a "MyPillow" from his sister, Linda. We both got one and in a few minutes, I am going to give mine a try. I've seen the TV commercials and if this pillow works as good as they say, then I will be one happy sleeper. Going now to test it out............. ;-)
Have a relaxing weekend!

Wednesday, December 24

Christmas Eve.......

It's Christmas Eve and it's a time for memories of Christmas past..........this Santa is reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to a group of furry friends. He is one of many Santa's that my mother collected. We bought her this one sometime in the 1990's. I only recently remembered that there is a cassette tape in the back of the clock and so Santa really does read!

This creche scene is also from my mother. This past weekend I took a small creche scene to her for her room at the Care Center. This one, though, is quite large. I don't have room to display it at home. The camels are about 10" tall. Many years ago my mother owned a ceramic shop......Hillside Ceramics and these are pieces that she did in her shop. This photo is from last year when I displayed the creche scene at church. 

Tonight, I went to the service at church and it seemed so strange to go out on Christmas Eve and there is no snow. Inside the church, though, the Christmas lights and the message didn't need snow. The closing carol Silent Night was as sweet as ever on Christmas Eve.
If you are celebrating Christmas.......may it be peaceful and happy, joyful and full of love!

Tuesday, December 23

And I'm decorating just one more little tree..........

I think everything is wrapped and ready for Christmas Day. That's when our kids will be here. I have a couple little things left to finish but I'll be able to get them done tomorrow/Christmas Eve afternoon. Tonight when all was done, I decided to decorate a little tree in the family room off our kitchen. This little tree reminds me of the first tree that Steve and I had in our apartment in San Diego in December of 1968. The tree went with us when he was sent overseas for duty at Fuchu Air Base near Tokyo, Japan. That little tree may be long gone, but the memories are still in my mind. :-)

I took the photo above with my Nexus tablet. I love that it captures the light. The photo below was taken with my camera and flash. The lights don't look nearly so pretty. I bet there is a setting on my camera that would give me better Christmas tree pictures. Maybe I can figure it out by next Christmas. LOL!

So, that's about it for tonight. For all those children who celebrate Christmas, tomorrow is a special day, that day when you behave really well to insure that Santa leaves just what you want under the tree. ;-)  And then it's Christmas Eve and service at church. I love the thought of softly falling snow on Christmas Eve as we head to the church...........but that is not going to happen in Minnesota this year. There is not a drop of snow on the ground in our area (southwest of Minneapolis) and only light rain fell most of the day. Temps will be above freezing so travel will not be difficult for folks in our area. As I head down to the church, it may feel more like early spring than winter!
Blessings to all of you on this coming Christmas Eve day!

Monday, December 22

What to do with all those Christmas Cards?

Today, I finished all of my Christmas cards. I put most of them in the mail but some were finished to late to make it into today's mail and won't go out til tomorrow morning. Odds are that they will not get to their destination by Christmas. I remind's the thought that counts. :-) Just like the collection of Christmas books that I have, I also have quite a collection of Christmas cards. In the first years of our marriage, I didn't save every card but I kept a lot of them. Some of them found there way into decoupage projects like this one in the photo below. This is one that we received in the early 1970's and it wasn't long after we got it that I decoupaged it to a scrap of wood. I hang this up every year. My daughter especially remembers this one. That floral design around the baby Jesus is definitely 1970's.

If my memory serves me right, this was a card that my mother and dad sent to us. It just brings me joy when I see this. I love the message, I hum the song, I think of Christmases past and remember the JOY. And I look forward to more Christmases full of JOY! This is just the most wonderful time of the year. :-) So, what do you do with all of your Christmas cards? I have thought about making a large collage of the ones that I like best. However, I have a lot of them that I really like. LOL!  Am thinking of what I might do that would be a special way to preserve some of them. An idea will come to me.........
Tomorrow it's time for making a special treat and listening to Christmas Carols. Hope you are enjoying some special tradition for your holidays!

Sunday, December 21

A Christmas Party!

Yesterday, I was making lots of fudge and preparing gifts to take along to Iowa for a visit to my mother, Mary. Today was the Christmas party at Grandview Care Center and I can officially vouch for the fact...........we all had a GRAND time! There were lots of family, friends and staff members that made this such a grand time. Santa always makes things grand and he arrived just a few days early so that he could hand a gift to each of the residents............

He had a very helpful assistant........this hard-working elf is being directed to the person who will receive the gift in that blue gift bag.
My mother, Mary, is all smiles because she got a gift bag full of warm socks and these really awesome furry lined knitted socks. She will not have cold feet this winter.
While we waited for Santa to arrive, Alice Johnson played Christmas carols and I led the folks in singing so many of the old favorites.........Joy to the World, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Away in a Manger and Silent Night. Everyone joined in on Silent Night and it sounded so pretty.
When all the gift giving was done and the carols were sung, the pastor gave the blessing and then we all headed to the dining room. There was a delicious array of punch, cold cuts and crackers, little cream puffs and cheesecakes, nuts and peppermints, and my fudge. I didn't get a photo of any of the food because we were too busy eating. LOL!  It was a lovely day. We were so fortunate that the weather was so cooperative. It is mid-December and the temp was near 40 above! That is so unusual for this time of year in the upper midwest!
Day is done now, and what a blessed day it was! Time now to get some rest. There are just four days left until Christmas. The weatherman is beginning to mumble about snow possibilities. I am just hoping and praying that it is not too much snow and that all of us can safely travel to and from to see our family and friends.
Have a great Monday and an awesome start to this special week!

Saturday, December 20

Favorite Christmas Books!

I have quite a collection of vintage Christmas books. I love to get them out at this time of year and just sit down and read passages and look at the pictures. Do you have a favorite Christmas book that you love to read?

The book in the photo above is one of many annuals that was published by Augustana Publishing in Minneapolis. The stories are wonderful and the artwork in the volumes is always beautiful!

I also have a number of craft and decorating books. My favorites are the ones that have no cover art but are filled with ideas for vintage holiday crafts from the 50's and 60's. There are wonderful straw ornaments that you can make in the Homespun Christmas Crafts booklet from Better Homes and Gardens. During the time I worked at Murphy's Landing (open-air history site), I picked up the book on Christmas in Williamsburg. The decorations are just amazing! There are wonderful old stories in the Treasury of Christmas Stories. And for everything you ever wanted to know about Christmas, I love that book Holly, Reindeer, and Colored Lights. That's my second copy of that book. A certain dog ate much of my first copy. Yep, it was Kaiser. I usually keep all the books in a couple of decorative Christmas boxes but if I leave one out, Kaiser lays in wait to eat a corner off the books. Obviously, I don't leave them out much anymore. He also ate the corner off my beloved copy of Twas the Night Before Christmas!  As much as I love these books on history and crafts of Christmas, the really treasured books in the boxes are the books my kids received for Christmas when they were kids. The dates are marked inside....1971, 1972, 1976, 1982, 1985........... It's a wonderful trip down Memory Lane when I sit down to read these books. I've pulled one of them out to read this year.....called "The Happiest Christmas of All" because I think we are going to have a very Happy Christmas!

Along with Christmas story books and craft books, I have lots of caroling books. I like to display them at Christmas time. The artwork in some of the old, small caroling booklets is just beautiful. I love the artwork of the young girl singing that is on the Christmas Carols book in the photo below. Takes me back to Christmases when I was a little girl and we would sing and read our parts at the church Christmas program.
Christmas memories are such a joy to relive. I realize that not everyone celebrates Christmas and you may celebrate Hannukah or Kwanza, etc. The thing that they all have in common is family. Think about it. No matter ones religion, the common thread is that families gather together. Soon we will gather with our family and more memories will be shared. Sweet. Life is good. :-)
Have a lovely Sunday!

Friday, December 19

Christmas Cards!

How do you display your Christmas and holiday cards? Some times I have taped them to the back of the kitchen door and sometimes I line them up along a shelf. And sometimes, they just go in a basket. Well, this year, I had something new to display our cards. And actually, it's a vintage piece that is too fun not to use!

This very long, tall Santa was in a big cardboard packet and there were two of them. I was thinking this might have been in stuff from my mother, but it could have also come from one of my many visits to local thrift shops. LOL! Either way, it is a fun way to display cards. I gave the other Santa to my daughter, Collette. There are pre-cut slots in the body of Santa so that cards can be inserted at an angle. As of today, there is no more room for cards on Santa. Guess I will tape the rest of the cards we receive to the kitchen door!
Today we ran errands, did our grocery shopping and bought stocking stuffers. There is one more little item I need to make and then we are ready for the kids to arrive on Christmas Day! I finished almost all of our Christmas cards and they will go in the mail tomorrow (Saturday) morn. I decided to skip the Christmas letter this year. Not even going to type a note. Instead, I'm writing just a bit in the cards, more personal and like I used to do so many years ago. I'll finish up the cards tomorrow and also make some more fudge. I only make fudge for Thanksgiving and up to Christmas. It only tastes good at this holiday time of the year. I'm so glad that Kraft Marshmallow Creme makes it so easy to make! I think I'll go have a piece of fudge right now.......... :-)
Have a lovely day!

Thursday, December 18

Fluffy the Snowman.......

Meet "Fluffy the Snowman"..............
If "Fluffy" looks familiar, it might be because I first shared him on my blog in January of 2009. I had this idea to start another blog that would be all about Christmas ornaments. I posted the tutorial for "Fluffy" but that was the only ornament I did that year. That year was probably the start of some of my health problems and while I tried to juggle things, it really didn't work. Perhaps this coming year will be the year that I do an ornament each month. We will see. I'm already planning to take most of the month of January off and re-group. Going to pretend that I have "gone south" but I will really just be here in my sewing room. I love this idea. Makes me happy just to think about it.  :-)
It also makes me happy to know that I got all my Christmas cards addressed this afternoon. My husband thinks I should include a little letter but I'm not in the mood to do one. I suggested he could write a Christmas letter but he wasn't interested. Maybe tomorrow I will put a little note together that I can put in each card. I'll let you know tomorrow evening if that materializes!
And before I forget..........what if you would like to make "Fluffy the Snowman"? Just go here and you will find a detailed tutorial for how to make this snowman ornament. It's just quilt batting scraps, styrofoam balls, bits of felt and glue.......Enjoy!
Happy Friday!!

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!

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