Saturday, December 31, 2011

And A Happy New Year!

Thanks to E's Craftroom Creations on FlickR for this wonderful vintage image.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From my house to yours,

May you have a holiday filled with friends

and family,

Peace and


Fun and


Music and


Sweet smells




A big thank you to all the generous people around the world that share these vintage images for all of us to enjoy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Are You Ready?

Well, it seems that the month of November has nearly slipped by and it's time for Thanksgiving. Yesterday, I took my Mom to finish her shopping as she is preparing Turkey dinner for 20 people at her house on Thursday. Yes, I said 20 people! And my mom just happens to have turned 79 years old just 2 weeks ago. I hope I'll be up to hosting family and friends when I'm her age, after all, that's what Thanksgiving is all about.
This morning, I donned one of my favorite aprons about 9:30 and by lunchtime I had one apple pie, two pecan pies (one is already in the freezer, saved for Christmas) and a pumpkin bread cooling on racks. After a quick lunch, I mixed up a cherry cheese pie and stuck that in the fridge to chill. Tomorrow, I'll make my cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese to go in the crockpot for Thursday evening's meal. You see after feeding 20 people a huge meal at lunchtime, more family will arrive at my parent's home for an evening buffet. Mom is planning on about 30 for that meal.
Everyone helps out with food and clean-up. The women have always taken turns on helping with the dishes after dinner. Last year my sister-in-law made some comment about why didn't the men do the dishes this year. So they did!!! As I always tell my son, you don't know if you don't ask.
Sending you my wishes for a blessed Thanksgiving Day spent with your loved ones.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Halloween Trick

Saturday afternoon, October 29, 2011: Since they were predicitng snow, we spent the morning and after lunch cleaning up the fallen leaves from the dozen trees in our yard. Later that afternoon, huge snowflakes begin to fall. Snow in October or early November is very unusual for us.
At 6:00 P.M. we lost power. We woke Sunday morning to a chilly house and this...

Absolutely beautiful but the heavy, wet snow brought down countless trees and branches. Power was out all over the East Coast.

We had branches down onto our deck,
and onto our patio roof and blocking the back stairs.
Branches down in the front and back yard.
The worst was this Beech tree. Half a tree fell mostly into our neighbor's back yard.
My prayers before bed Saturday night had been answered and there was no damage to our house and we were safe. In fact, I saw very little damage to any houses. The trees had fallen away from houses. Truly a miracle.
Thanks to the tireless work of tree and power crews, both local and from across the country, we had power back on Wednesday at 5:00 P.M. That was 4 full days and nights with campstove meals and candlelight board games. Luckily, we have town water, though cold, was readily available. My parents and siblings all have well water... no electricity, no pump, no water. They do heat with wood and have generators. We do not have a generator, but we are blessed with kind, generous neighbors who ran a power cord from their generator to our house. We swapped back and forth from running the furnace to running the upright freezer.
These pictures from Sunday morning don't really capture how beautiful it was. The sky was an incredible bright blue and the sun made shadows everwhere.
The kids were disappointed that Trick-or-Treat was cancelled but were not so sad about having a week off from school.
There were some deaths following the storm, mostly people who brought their generators, gas grills and propane heaters inside. And some who thought that since their house had no power, neither would the downed power lines.
We were blessed with a week of sunny weather and spent hours cutting and hauling brush to the curb for pick-up. It's not all cleaned up yet, but it's under control. Anything big enough for firewood will be shared with family and neighbors who heat with wood. We pray that the winter weather yet to come will not be more of this.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Playing Catch-Up

As promised, here are some of the crafty items I've recently made. I guess the best way to do this is start with the newest and work my way back. That nephew of mine that got married in March is going to be a Daddy come December. So, a baby shower gift was planned as soon as I knew it was going to be a boy. I found the adorable, vintagey, little boy print and knew a quilt would be just perfect.

I love pinwheel blocks! I finally finished this up less than 12 hours before the baby shower, but everyone loved it.

Here's the back.

Next up is a Trick-or-Treat swap I sent out last week. I've been hoarding Halloween fabric (mostly Fat Quarters) and I knew it was time to cut into some of them...

so I made this tiny owl ornament

 and then this Trick-or-Treat bag. I had a bit of trouble sending that bag away.

I love making Button Fairies and yet I had never made one in a Halloween theme. So here she is...

And lastly for this swap I made a SPOOKY banner. It's difficult to photograph the whole banner,

So here it is, 2 bits at a time.

And here's the whole swap package with a handmade card and a few more treats tucked in. I tend to get carried away with holiday swaps. My swap partner was thrilled. And that makes me happy.

Have you seen enough yet?
Okay, you asked for it....

I did one other swap this fall and it was for an Autumn theme, handmade, or decorated tea towel. When I think of tea towels, I think of redwork style embroidery. I found an embroidery design (shared by one of many generous people on FlickR) with cornstalks and pumpkins. Just the thing for fall.

My swap partner loves chickens, so I added this pair from a different embroidery design. I thought it all worked out nicely. And here's the whole swap, including the required Autumn recipe and a bonus hand knit dishcloth.

Here's a few more dishcloths I knitted over the summer.

And some more knitting....
Slippers, tagged up for my craft show.

And a bow knot scarf in Autumn colors.

Well, that's all I have time for right now. I know I have a 4th of July banner that I haven't shown yet. Also a couple of new aprons were sewn up. I'll try to find those pics to share real soon. Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Back to School

After homeschooling my son for the past 7 years, he has begun his Freshman year at our Regional Technical Vocational high school. This is such a huge change for both of us. My natural born Night Owl is not cheerful when I wake him at 6:15 A.M. but he doesn't give me a hard time. He doesn't complain about PB&J for lunch every day. He is fighting to keep up with Algebra 1, but is making good grades. He doesn't like carrying 25 pounds of backpack to and from school during acedemic weeks. And the first two days were completely overwhelming in every respect. But...
He has loved U.S. History and Technology class since day one. He enjoys the small classes and is getting to know his classmates and teachers. And most afternoons when I pick him up, he has a smile on his face and tells me about his day. He likes school and is doing well with all his classes. He is doing so much better than I dared to hope for.
A quote from Winnie-the-Pooh keeps rattling in my head, "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. I'll always be with you.”

Now, how am I coping? Well... After almost 8 weeks, I still think about him many times a day, hoping he's having a good day. I'm learning that he is more mature, sensible, responsible and resiliant than I give him credit for. I am so very proud of him.
To keep myself busy, I am back to, trying to get some routine in my day and bless my family by slowly clearing out the clutter and keeping up with the chores. I have also been crafting and sewing. I hope to soon load in pictures so I can share all my recent creations.
Also, I've begun Crochet School with Dana over at her blog, Crafty Minx. Right now, I am a few lessons behind but I'm so excited to have someone show me the basics of crochet. If you've always wanted to learn to crochet, check out the step-by-step lessons that Dana is sharing with the world for FREE!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

By the Sea

It's just not Summer without my family's annual day trip to Rockport, Massachusetts. My favorite part of the day is the little bit of time we get to spend at the beach.

I was mad at myself that I brought my handbag along when I meant to leave it in the car. But as it turned out, I wouldn't have had my camera or any pictures if I had done that.

My nieces and nephews are all grown up and in college (except the oldest who is away in the Army). I was glad they all joined my son and I at Front Beach.

Well, they didn't exactly 'join' us: we just happened to be in the same place at the same time. It was more like they didn't mind that I was there as long as I didn't do anything embarassing. All the other adults had headed for the park or more shopping.

Not me! I get this one chance a year to be at the ocean and I need to get my feet wet. There's nothing like the sand, salty water and sun.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hey, Hey...

It's the Monkees!

We had a great time June 10th at Mohegan Sun Arena seeing 3/4 of the original Monkees. Davy, Mickey and Peter put on a great show with nearly all the seats filled.
In this first picture you can see Mickey playing drums and Peter to the right while Davy is on the front of the stage, to the left of the guitar player.

They played, sang, joked and Davy danced. I was impressed with their energy since they are a couple of years older than I am.
Here's Peter and Mickey. Since Mike wasn't there, Peter sang most of his songs. Sorry it's so blurry but they really didn't stay still for a moment.

I do apologize for the quality of my 'contraband' pictures but as you can tell from this last picture, we were hitting our heads on the ceiling up in the next to the top row.