Wednesday, December 29, 2010

odds and ends

The kids got their colored pencil rolls, and really liked them!  I'm glad we had our quiet little get together a couple of days ahead of Christmas, I think they would have gotten lost in the shuffle otherwise.

Rhett was coloring with his up on the table, so you only see his leg in the second picture.

On Christmas day, I went over to Robert and Angela's before heading over to Nolene's.  Robert and Rhett were assembling a Lego Harry Potter project, and I think I see a budding engineer in Rhett.  He studied those pieces, and was really intent to get it right.

These were two of the 4 or 5 bags they had to assemble, but it was nap time right about here.  :)

I haven't accomplished as much the last week or two as I had thought I might, but I've gotten a little done here and there.   This is a mug rug I made.  A mug rug is a coaster with room for a snack.
And I made an ironing pad for a tv tray for niece Tammy. Now that she's graduated, she'll have a bit more time for her quilting.  I got one a couple of years ago, and just love it, but I couldn't quite figure out how to get the elastic casing in nice and neat.  So, I used ribbons for ties.  This should actually work out pretty well, because it can be modified to fit the size of the tv tray. 
On another note, I had a home improvement project put in a couple of weeks ago.  I've wanted a pergola type patio ever since I moved in, and talked to Chris about it last Spring when he put in my fence.  It finally worked out to be a convenient time for both of us, and he and his helper put it in the week before Christmas.  When Spring rolls around, I'll either paint it or stain it, though I'm leaning towards paint for now.   This space should be much more usable now, especially with the railing going around it.  Gives me more peace of mind with the grandkids playing out there that they won't be so apt to fall off.

That's it for now.  Have a good week, and if I don't get back before the weekend, Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

happy birthday, brother John!

If I write nothing else today, I must take time to say happy birthday to my brother John. Hope it was a good day!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

those lazy, hazy, crazy days of....December!

After I finished the hustle bustle of getting Christmas gifts done, this month has been a bit laid back.  I've worked another puzzle.

Ashlynn's pre-school had their Christmas program recently, and that was fun.  All the little 2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds took part in the singing.  The lighting wasn't the best in the room for pictures during the program, but that's ok.  They were all so sweet, and all were dressed in their pj's.

 Rhett joined her in the last picture.

And here's my niece Tammy.  She graduated from Texas Women's University on Friday!  It's taken a lot of work over the last 4 years, but she made it, and we're all proud of her.
 Over on the HGTV quilting/sewing forum, we just finished up our Secret Santa Stocking Swap.  There were over 60 of us participating.  We each put up a wish list, names were swapped out by the coordinators, and everyone got busy.  The stocking was to be made by the person swapping, so no store-bought stockings.  My Secret Santa was Wiley in Arizona, and she did great.  I got not one stocking, but two!  She managed to tuck in 4 redwork embroidery patterns, 5 fq's of landscape fabric (rocks, woodgrains, birds) for a landscape quilt I want to come up with, a template for A School of Fish and the pattern that goes with it, a rotary blade, some flower head flat straight pins, and a spiral memo book.  Very nice.
 I was Secret Santa to Downsouth in Georgia.  This is what I sent her.  Fun to make and prepare, and I'm already looking forward to next year.  :)

Of course, I've been babysitting Elise.  I'm off the next two weeks since it's Christmas break and David will be home with her, but I did get to watch her last night.  She's at the age that she's always coming up with something new, a lot of fun.
 That's it for now.  If I don't get back on here before the end of the week, Merry Christmas to all! 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

the puzzle

I never have tracked how many hours it takes to put together a puzzle, but I've thought for a long time that when you break it down by hours versus cost, it's a very low cost entertainment.  And when I figure that this one came from a garage sale, very reasonable indeed.

I took this picture when the puzzle was quite far along, though I guess that's pretty obvious.  Probably about 9:30 or 10:00 last night.
These were all the pieces left at this point:
Well, with only those few pieces, I finished it last night about 10:30 or so.
I've taken it down now, and will probably hand it over to brother John to have a go at it.  But, the table is still up, and most likely another one will be started within a couple of days!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

these hands aren't idle

I have found that I'm spending a lot of time on the computer, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I shouldn't use the excuse of "I don't have enough time" in other areas of my life if I can make so much time for the computer and computer games.   (Chuzzle comes to mind rather quickly!)

I enjoy working jigsaw puzzles, but haven't had one out in quite awhile, so this week I set one up.  I like the 1000 piece version, and this one has a cute little theme of things from the 50's. If I remember right, I came across this one at a garage sale!  Heck of a deal!
 I pretty well approach most puzzles the same way, pulling out the edge pieces first. 
 I don't always manage to find all of the edge pieces at the beginning.  Usually there are one or two that will show up later in the process.  This time I lucked out, and I had them all. 

Now that my borders are set up, I can start filling in.  You know how it is with puzzles, there are several areas that are pretty easy to find most of the pieces.
So it's started.  I'm already enjoying it, as I knew I would.  This morning when I got up, instead of going straight to my computer, I sat down with puzzle and 30 minutes flew by just real quick.  Now, I didn't do all of the above in 30 minutes, but it's not a's a process.

Yesterday I got together with a few friends for what has become a monthly sewing/craft session.    Kay was working on panda ears for her grandson's music program coming up next week.
 Linda took time from the hand stitching on her dresden plate project to help Carolyn get familiar with the sewing machine.  She's working on a ruffled tote bag. 
I was real pleased with the progress I made on a couple of wall hangings.  Sorry, no pics of me actually doing something!  It was a nice day, and made me think of the old time quilting bees, and how the ladies would come together to quilt and visit.  It's a concept that still works.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

secret sister revealed!

I've been a part of the Secret Sister swap on the HGTV quilting/sewing message boards for the past year.  This month was our "reveal", and we finally got to know for sure who our sis is.   I was glad to have my suspicions's Quiltygal in Kentucky!   She's been more than generous all year long, and so considerate...never late and paid attention to what I liked/wanted.   

Yesterday I checked the mail 2 or 3 times, thinking her package would arrive, but sigh, it didn't.  So about 6:00 in the evening I settled in for my evening snooze, er, resting time watching tv.  I heard a tap on the door, and lo and behold, I got mail!  UPS actually.  ;)      In the package was a nice little Christmas card introducing herself and enclosed was a picture of her and her hubby.   She also included a snowman tin with homemade cookies inside (yum!); a scrapbook-type recipe book for me to write my recipes and include photos and comments about the dish; and knowing how I like the little French chef kitchen accessories, a set of 4 dishtowels and a 7 piece set that includes pot holders and dishcloths as well as more towels.  Thanks Audrey, aka Quiltygal. 

On the flip side of this, the secret sister I sent to was dtigger!   Here are a few of the things I sent her over the year.  I couldn't post pictures earlier because she could have figured out my identity, but here they are.  Mainly I'll show the ones that have things I made in them.

Can you guess that dtigger is a fan of Tigger, from Winnie the Pooh?  On the right is a journal and the journal cover I made for her.   One of these days I'll make one for myself.  The Bon Appetit was a little kit I put together with a pattern and the fabrics to make it.

Since she likes dragons, one month I made a pillowcase and embroidered a little dragon on it.  I really like that one.  Who knew I'd be embroidering dragons???

And recently you saw my little oven witch with her dangly legs.  Well, dtigger got one of those too, along with some other Halloween goodies.
And, I made her one of the redwork Santa's that I've posted about.  Here's hers:

What's next on the agenda, after all this excitement?  Well, the Secret Santa Stocking Swap is in the works, and we'll be opening those on the 18th.   I'll keep you posted.  :)