Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year!

As we ring in the new year, I'm looking ahead. I don't make resolutions, but for the past couple of years I have made a short mental list of things I'd like to spend more time on. I'd like to share this year's list with you in hopes that in the coming months, you may pop in and leave a comment asking me how I'm doing with one thing or another that I'm working on. That way, you help me to remember what I wanted to accomplish.
OK here we go:
1. Leave more blog comments when I visit. I've already been working on this one for a week or so. I know how much your comments mean to me and yet, I visit so many wonderful blogs without taking the time to leave a comment. Now I don't mean to comment on each post of each blog I visit, but when something touches me, I want to let the blogger know.

2. Practice crochet. Learning to crochet was on last year's list and I did make one wonky looking dishcloth and a few granny squares that were actually square. But I don't really know how to crochet. I need lots of practice. If you crochet and have any tips or easy patterns to share, I'd appreciate any help. I want to make adorable things like these.

3. Follow Fly Lady. If you are not familiar with the
Fly Lady site, she helps you get your house clean and organized. I need to spend time on this. I've started this program a couple of times and always fall off the wagon. But each time I also come away with a new good habit and less clutter in my house. Most important to me right now is to reduce the amount of paper clutter in my house. Things like owners manuals for things we don't own any more, receipt for the pizza we ate in 2008, notes with phone numbers but no name, etc. It's paper shredding time!

4. Reduce my fabric stash. This also was on my list last year and I did pretty well with it. Since May, I have purchased very little new fabric and sewed from my stash. I hope to spend more time sewing this year and reduce my fabric piles even more.

5. Pray. Each night after turning out the light, I thank God for the many blessings of the day and ask for his help for myself, and my family and friends. So many nights, I fall asleep counting my blessings. I would like to find another time during each day when I have a few minutes of peace and quiet to pray for God's help for those in need. I just need to decide on the best time and make it a habit.

Each day I receive an inspirational quote from this site. This is one of my favorites.

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending."

---Maria Robinson

Wishing each of you, all the best in 2011.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Post Christmas Post

Yes I finished knitting the slippers for my husband with only inches of yarn and minutes of Christmas Eve to spare. I was happy with this pattern and hubby says they fit great and are so soft. Now I'm torn whether to make the same pattern for myself or a different pattern I found when I went searching for this one.

Our Christmas tree. I usually add red velvet bows, but I was just glad to call it done this year. Now to get it all put away again until next year.

Hubby and son know how I NEED my morning coffee. So look what they surprised me with for Christmas. Very cool!! Now I need to find out if anyone swaps the K-cups that go with these coffee makers. I've got a bunch of Bold flavor cups, from the variety pack, that I won't use. I'd love to try the White Hot Chocolate and the Hot Cider flavors without buying a whole box of them.

And a couple of days too late for a white Christmas but winter has defintely arrived here in Massachusetts.

Here's my sweetheart clearing a neighbor's driveway. Despite our very old snowblower that sounds like it's about to stall out any minute, he cleared our yard and three neighbors. Believe me, prayers were said that the snow blower would keep running as 8" of wet snow is very hard to move.

I hope Santa was good to one and all and that your Christmas was memorable.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I wish you a joyous Christmas filled with family, friends, peace, beauty and love.

To those of you still sewing and crafting into the wee hours of these last few nights to finish those handmade gifts; Let the thread spools spin and the glitter fly! Just don't forget to stop for a cookie break now and then.

**I find that I'm now one of those working up to the last minute. After seeing Twyla's post yesterday over at Two Crazy Crafters, (I hope I win!) I went looking for a slipper pattern that was close to the pair she made for her give away. There are so many wonderful free patterns out there that it wasn't too long before I found just the thing. So if I could find some worsted weight yarn in my stash, I would try to make a pair for my hubby. This morning I went digging into my yarn bin and was surprised to find I had exactly what I needed. So the first slipper is on the knitting needles. At least I don't feel any pressure about finishing on time as hubby will understand.

Update: December 23rd... One slipper complete despite hubby being home from work today. Now that he's going off to bed, I'll get started on the second one. I am trying to surprise him with these.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Apron Swap Sent

Here's the apron I created for my swap partner. Made from vintage fabric, (a flea market find I had been hoarding) and I used a vintage pattern from my Grandmother, then added some deatails of my own to make it extra special.

I also knitted a scarf in one of my favorite patterns.

Then I made a jingly holiday banner. Very fun!

We had to choose a seasonal word and send an item for each letter. I chose SANTA and my items were
S- snuggly scarf
A- assorted chocolates
N- nostalgic holiday banner
T- three tea towels
A- apron
Here they are all wrapped up and ready to pack.

Now I just have to wait for my favorite part of the swap, hearing from my partner when she receives her swap package.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Peppermint Christmas Tags

Well, they are finished and on their way to Elizabeth. Twenty-two tags, miles of adhesive, tons of paper, hours of cutting. They've been chalked, glittered and flocked. There were a few changes along the way from my original idea sketch. As always, I had to simplify my excessive details. But I am very happy with the finished tags. I hope all the wonderful crafters in this swap enjoy my creation.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fruitcake Lovers Unite

It must be the Christmas spirit getting into me a bit early. I just registered for another swap. This time I will be sewing a fabulous holiday apron for Shawnee's latest Flirty Apron Swap. Click on the link in my sidebar to get a look at the wonderful aprons being created by 50 swappers! Here's a sneek peek of the planning stage.

And here's my Peppermint Christmas tags in progress. I don't even want to think about how many pieces I've cut and glittered. But it will all be worth it when they are done.

Then while blog-hopping everyone's Halloween posts I visited Diane at Sideroad Stitcher. On Halloween, she was baking fruitcakes, which got me thinking that I really should make fruitcake this year as my parents and I enjoy it. Well, Diane and I got to chatting about fruitcake recipes, stories and memories and I thought it deserved a post.
First off, how many of you are fruitcake lovers? And how did fruitcake get it's bad reputation? According to Wikipedia, "Some blame the beginning of this trend with Tonight Show host Johnny Carson. He would joke that there really is only one fruitcake in the world, passed from family to family."
Over the years, I've tried a number of fruitcake recipes. Most of them were quite good, one or two, not so good. But I've never been able to come close to the dark fruitcake my father remembers from his childhood. If his mother had family recipes when she passed, I never saw them. My dad only remembers that the cake was very dark, made early in the season and kept wrapped in brandy soaked cheesecloth in a tin for a couple of months. Other than that, it is a mystery. So before I give it another try, I thought I would ask my bloggy friends if they might have a beloved fruitcake recipe or tips that they would share. I would be ever so grateful.

And just in case I don't get a chance to post again before Thanksgiving, I hope you all enjoy a wonderful holiday.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hallowen Garland


I finished my little paper star garland and wanted to share.

I showed the first completed star a couple of posts back. Here are close-ups of the other three.

I hope you all have a spooktacular Halloween.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Crafting in Red

I love the look of craft supplies gathered together.

Stitching in red.

Papercrafting in red.

Happy Rednesday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Two Last Aprons and More

These last two aprons are from Retro/Vintage patterns. I can never keep track of how old something is to qualify as vintage. I hate to think that something printed after I graduated from high school falls into that category, but... could be.
This blue apron is from Simplicity #9209, from 1979. I've managed to buy this pattern in three of the four sizes that were produced. I love that I only need a yard of fabric and it makes up very quickly.

This apron I made from a mail order pattern that I'm guessing is from the 1960s, judging from the artwork. I really like the lines on this pattern, very slimming.

Once again, a couple of my favorite bloggers have inspired some new crafting. I missed out on all the fun Halloween swaps going on as I just couldn't commit to them at the time. But I still was yearning to make some cute paper craft with a few of the adorable images I've saved from FlickR. A vintage looking Halloween cat in a star was spotted a while ago on Paula's sidebar (at Paula's Palace of AltAred Art). Then, on Tuesday, Elizabeth (at Bluebird Papercrafts) blogged a tutorial for making Christmas paper stars. That was just what I needed to get me going. So, I dug out the glitter, pipe cleaners and glue gun and came up with this. I have three more in progress and hope they will be strung up before Halloween.

Today, my son asked to go down the street to one of our favorite indoor flea markets.He hurried in ahead of me while I stopped to read a sign taped to the propped open door. Unfortunately, the sign said that tomorrow would be their last day. One of the first booths I came to had mostly Autumn/Winter holiday decorations. I nudged in next to a woman who was looking for a price on something and saw a piece of vintage fabric on the table in front of her. I asked if she wanted it and she told me no. I unfolded 2 yards of the cutest Christmas snowman fabric ever! It was not marked properly with the sellers ID but it did have a sticker on it that said $3.00. It was coming home with me. You can probably see if you enlarge the picture some yellow staining, but I'm hopeful it may wash out. Even if they don't, I'm sure I will get an adorable Christmas apron from this piece (if I can bear to cut into it).

I guess he's not actually a snowman or is it a she? Doesn't matter, does it? Love, love, love it!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Aprons and More

These two aprons are made with my own patterns.

I'm seeing more and more of this vintage Halloween print. I'm not much for putting on a Halloween costume, but I'd love to wear this to pass out treats.

You can't go wrong with vintage roses. Wonderful colors on this fabric.

I was lucky enough to get in on Elizabeth's (Creative Breathing) Christmas tag swap. Wow! These swaps sure fill up fast! If you're not on your blog soon after it's posted, you've missed your window of opportunity. The only reason I hesitated at all to sign up was the number of tags to make. 22 in all!!! That ought to keep me busy.

This is the image I've chosen as my starting point for my tags. I've got some cute paper to go with this and I bought a container of white flocking. I'll have to experiment with that first since I've never flocked anything before.(that didn't exactly come out right... LOL) I'm not sure where I'm going from here but it will come to me.

Freshly Made Aprons

On Tuesday, I took the time to put each newly made apron onto my lovely vintage dress form for a photo session. After putting everything away I was ready to load the pics from my memory card onto the computer. But... somehow the memory card reader had bent one of those little metal prongs and it would not read the card. Grrrr! So yesterday I made a trip to the office supply store for a new memory card reader and I am once again a happy blogger. I have quite a few pictures, so I will post a few at a time over the next week or so.

These three are all from the same new Simplicity pattern.

My favorite feature of this pattern is that the neck and waist ties are one long strip that feeds through a casing on each side from the top of the bib to the top of the skirt at the waist. Click on the picture to enlarge. This makes it very adjustable for different sized cooks.

The green cupcake apron was cut as a size Small and the red floral and the blue check/cherries aprons were cut as a size Medium. Now, I am an XL and had no trouble wearing the size Medium.

I've had request at my craft show to make aprons for men and boys. I think I will use this long strap through a casing to make a couple of BBQ style aprons in more manly fabrics. My next show is the weekend after Thanksgiving so I'll give it a trial run then. Has anyone else sold men's aprons? I'd love any input on this.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I wanted to say "Hi!" and share this sweet vintage Halloween card for you to use in your personal craft projects. Click on the image to enlarge and save to your computer.

In case you have noticed my absence over the last weeks, I want to let you know I am fine. I have been stressing and worrying over some issues that life has dumped on me all at once. None of it is life threatening or anything we won't endure. God will provide, one way or another. Most issues have been resolved or are getting better. And since my favorite season of the year is upon us, I decided it would be a shame to waste more time being depressed and gloomy over things that I can't change. I need to get some joy back into my life. I need to spend time doing things that make me happy. I have been sewing aprons (need to take pictures) and working on some other craft projects that I hope to share with you later.

One thing I had been missing was time reading (something other than curriculum for my son). So I got online and searched for a nice light mystery that I might enjoy. I quickly came upon some reviews and a Halloween/mystery category. Perfect!! "Death of a Trickster" by Kate Borden sounded like just the thing. Hopped over to my library's website and picked it up Friday. I finished reading it this morning and I'm ready to read the other two books in the series as soon as I can get my hands on them.

I've got more sewing planned for tomorrow but I will be checking in on all my favorite bloggers to see what's new.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Accuquilt Go Give Away and Rockport, Mass

Wow! Don't miss your chance to win a Accuquilt Go. Karen, over at Sew Many Ways is having a give away for the Accuquilt Go Fabric Cutter. I saw this demonstrated at a quilt show this past Spring and it immediately went on my wish list. If you'd like to see projects Karen has made with her Go and get your chance to win your own, head on over to Sew Many Ways You've got until September 1st to enter.

Last weekend my family met up in Rockport for our annual day at the shore. There are dozens of little shops and restaurants up and down the streets. After going each summer for the past 25 years, I don't spend time in the shops. I want to go and put my feet in the chilly Atlantic Ocean. My son and I spend an hour or so walking the beach and picking up sea glass and shells. That's my favorite part of the day. There is one shop we visit before leaving and that's Tuck's Candy. My son gets Jellied Fruit Slices, hubby's favorite is the Swiss Chocolate and I fill a bag with my favorite flavors of Salt Water Taffy.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Backyard Beauties II

The Daylily season is quickly coming to a close in my yard. I wanted to share a few more of the dozens of varieties I have. I love purple and these big blooms are a riot of color.

The pearly pink of these blooms is so soft and lovely.

Click on these to enlarge them. Can you see the 'diamond dust' on this one? It actually sparkles in the light. It shades from yellow to peach to pink, all in one blossom.

The other night my son had something banging against his window screen. Hubby and I had already gone to bed but I was awakened so that I didn't miss out on the gigantic moth. Ryan had gone out to the back yard with his butterfly net and captured the creature banging on his window. He needed me to get something to put it in. The moth seemed calm in the large container we put it into. Ryan kept the moth until the next night. My son found that he had a Polyemus Moth and the wing span was approximately 6 inches across. He took a couple of pictures of the moth in the container but they're not great. I brought out the camera when he was ready to release the moth. It stayed calm and crawled right onto Ryan's hand.

Ryan loved the feathery antenna. The body actually looked like it was covered in orange fur. I love this shot. (Doesn't my son have gorgeous eyes?)

And I forgot to add this to my post on the Apron Tags. Just a little embroidery I designed and stitched on a tea towel for our hostess, Cindy. I think I may stitch this design again.