Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Slowly

Thanksgiving was late this year.  I am busy at work this year.  I probably have some other excuses for not being ready for Christmas...I never really am.  But slowly some things are getting done and what doesn't get done just doesn't get done.

I wanted to buy more presents for the girls but I have waited too late.  They really shouldn't mind getting surprises in January and February, should they?  After all they are awesome mature adults who understand that their mother is a little overwhelmed :).

I started with wreaths and then got stalled.  I have made some cookies and I have finally decorated the tree.

This wreath is new this year.  My friend, Kathleen, made it from tin can lids and vintage balls.  I think it is beautiful and that she is really talented.  And I am a little jealous.

I did make a few new tree ornaments.  It is one of those things that I like to do...that keeps me from doing those boring mundane household chores.  These ornaments were made from patterns from Betz White.  They are all fairly easy...the instructions sometimes said to glue but I decided to sew....glue didn't seem to hold.

There is more to do....presents to wrap, cakes to bake, and a few more gifts to buy.  Getting busy!!!

Monday, December 9, 2013


A couple of years ago I decided that I needed to work on my stitching...embroidery...skills.  When I was in high school...many, many years ago..I was pretty good.  My Navy issue bell-bottom jeans were covered with every stitch imaginable.  Unfortunately, the class at the Visual Arts Center that I signed up for was cancelled.  So when I found an online "Autumn Stitching Club" at Wild Olive (for only $5) I decided to sign up.  The patterns are really not my style.  Cute would be the description.  But it forced me to  practice and I now have a finished product.  I love finished products.  And I now love hexagons.

So what in the world will I do with this?  Well, my younger daughter, Joanna, is a preschool teacher in Brooklyn.  And I think it would be the perfect addition to a preschool class.  What a great conversation prompt and what a great way to introduce the seasons.

So I have also signed up for the Winter Stitching Club.  Jo, look for more stuff for your classroom!!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad

Less than a week before I had not finalized our Thanksgiving menu.  I knew we would have the old stand-bys...turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, etc....but I was looking for a new side...and not sweet potatoes.  I had considered brussels sprouts and I had considered a kale salad.  While doing something in the kitchen on the Saturday before  I was sort of watching the live Thanksgiving special on the Food Network.  They were making a kale and brussels sprouts salad.  Hmmmmm...

So that was added to the menu.  And it was a hit.  With most people.  It has shredded brussels sprouts, chopped kale, endive, almonds, gorgonzola cheese, and bacon with a mustard viniagrette.  Yum!!  The recipe is here.

I plan to make this for Christmas too.  I will leave out the bacon and add dried cranberries, I think.  There are a few vegetarians in the Christmas group and the red & green colors will be quite festive.  I may sub fennel for the endive too.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Finished Stitches

Several weeks ago Wendi Gratz of Shiny Happy World started a project that she called Finished Stitches.  In the course of years designing embroidery patterns, she had accumulated quite a few finished projects.  So she offered to give them away to her loyal blog followers.  The only thing that she asked was that recipients make the piece into a  "finished something."  For the cost of shipping I nabbed one of her projects.  She plans to award prizes and one of the prizes will be for Fan Favorite.  The voting started on Wednesday and so far I'm not doing too well.  So if you love me and want to vote for my project this is the link.  And no matter how cool you think that baby mobile is, be strong.

I made my piece into a tote bag.  I know, not that original.  But I gave myself a new fabric.  So this tote is made from corduroy and upholstery scraps that I had in my stash.  The only thing that I bought to finish the project was fusible stuff.  I used this pattern.  The first time I used it I received a compliment...and I am quite fond of all is good.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Summer It Rained

It rained a lot this summer.  It rained so much that things grew in my yard (but not necessarily in an orderly fashion).  So before the summer is gone I wanted to document the summer it rained and things grew in my yard.

Like marigolds and lantana.

Like tomatoes...although the plants that I planted fed the squirrels more than they did us.  But the volunteer plant beside the house (I have no idea how it got there) has become a tomato-making machine.

This impatiens also volunteered.  

The crepe myrtles were pretty again.

There were so many butterflies.

And my favorites....the sunflowers....only two plants grown from seed.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Jonathan LivingInSanFrancisco Seagull

The last pattern for the Six Months of Softies was a seagull...really, a seagull?  It was bad enough that the fifth one was a raccoon (gross little..well, not so little...rodent).  Seagulls are just disgusting.  They are especially disgusting when they are scavenging two hours my Target parking lot.

But I made it.  And making it was pretty painless.  And it turned out soooo well.

The body is made from a $1 fat quarter.  The wings are made from Bill's old shirt and my old skirt.  I have no idea where I got the red flannel.  I sewed the eyes on because I thought I might give it to our great-niece...and I did....although it was pretty hard to part with (I really need to get over this).

So this is Jonathan LivingInSanFrancisco Seagull ready for his trip to Asheville, NC to meet up with the lovely Camille (8 months old...the cutest baby ever).  Camille will take him to live with her right outside of San Francisco and I hope that they have a lovely life together.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rodent With A Hat

I finished the fifth softie in the Six Months of Softies club.  I almost didn't.  It is a hand-sewn raccoon.  I really don't like raccoons at all.  I didn't find it the least bit charming.  But the whole purpose of doing this project was to make myself learn some new things so I charged ahead.

It had a bazillion pieces so cutting it out was even challenging, not to mention keeping up with all the pieces.  I was determined to not buy any new felt for this and thankfully that worked out.  I would have made a green raccoon if I had to.

The head went together pretty easily but then things got confusing...for me.  So I moved on to the accessories for a break...hat, backpack, fish.  But eventually I had to go back to the rodent.

Finally he was finished and is even a little more appealing than anticipated.  I am, however, looking for a home for him.  Raccoons can not live least not inside.