Saturday, December 27, 2014

Trying to Keep Up

Did you have a wonderful Christmas?  We did.  I wasn't ready for it, despite all of the advance notice.  What?  You mean Christmas is on the 25th this year?  yeah, I know.  I should have been ready.  Instead, I'm still finishing up gifts and shipping boxes.  Oh, and there are the elusive Christmas cards...I guess we'll just call it a New Year's letter this time around...

I finished up a couple of projects yesterday.  I made this ornament for my son and his new wife, but was stuck when I needed a purple ribbon.  I never did make it to the store.  Instead, I had a genius idea:  why not look in the box of purple trims?  And there it was:  the perfect ribbon.  The ornament is now in the hands of the USPS, scheduled to arrive (hopefully) on Monday.
The white satin strip on the front came from Penny's flower girl dress scraps.  The back is a dusty lavender Dupioni silk, from the dress's sash.

I finally addressed the latest round of cards for Postmark'd Art.  The theme for these is "Winter."

Hopefully they will arrive safely at their destinations some time in the next week or so.  (Did you notice that the backgrounds were made from scraps from the Advent pockets made back in November?)

Best of the Valley's online entry form is now good to go.  Please consider entering your work.  It is open to all, and it's a very, very good show.  You can check it out here.

Our buddy Roscoe disappeared about 10 days ago.  Someone let the dogs out.  We've been out on almost a daily basis looking for him, but our best guess is that he was dognapped.  If you see him, let us know.
And I guess that's about it.  The Visalia animals seem to have declared a truce, and spend a lot of time chasing each other up and down the hallway.  The pitter patter of tiny feet...

And on that, I'll wish you a premature Happy New Year, as my good intentions to blog have not been accomplished very regularly.  Hey!  That might be a good goal for the New Year.  Goals are good!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Eve

I'm so sorry.  I've been neglecting you.  I've been neglecting a lot of things.  You see, my daughter and granddaughter came for a visit, and I've been spending my time with family.  They leave today, and I'll be back at the sewing machine...and hopefully finishing shopping that hasn't been done and this, that, and the other detail that have been overlooked.

Instead of sewing much of anything other than this:
I've been playing with this:
Last night we got a picture of three generations of women:
Here's wishing each of you a blessed Christmas, filled with family and lots of good memories!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sew Faster! Sew Faster!

Still sewing, no time to post!  Sew faster!  Sew faster!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Lotta Nuthin' ;)

 I had great plans for the past few days, but Friday was blown out of the water.  Or blown up with water.  Or full of water, as in "our power was out for 27 hours."  Not a record for our block, not even close.  I was SO thankful to hear that "beep" of the house alarm as the power kicked back on at 1am.  whew!  Back to normal, and only one day lost.  :)

The outage was caused by the "big" California storm.  For our area it was much ado about nothing, though it did rain and rain and rain.  It was WONDERFUL.  And after all that rain?  We have absolutely no standing water anywhere in our yard.  None of our neighbors do.  Everything soaked into the earth, or went down the storm drain to the ponding basin.  None of it will go to waste.

On Thursday, our guild had our annual Christmas luncheon.  Each group brings their own table settings.  Wendy does our centerpiece every year, and every year it's different.  Don't you just LOVE what she's done with the miniature sewing machines and miniature quilts?  I do!
We gifted blocks to our outgoing President.  The parameters were simple:  12.5", set on point, beige/off white background, featuring a basket.  I put mine off for too long, and the one I finished Thursday morning is too wrinkly.  I will be replacing it with one that isn't quite so embarrassing.  She received quite a variety, and I think her quilt will be delightful.
The buzzards are back.  I'm not sure if I mentioned them.  They've been roosting at the end of our block during winter for the past 3 or 4 years.
They're kind of terrifying.  (He's at the top of a 60 or 70' tree.)

Finally, we have a new lodger at our house.  He started with friends, then made a boo boo on their carpet and was banished to the walnuts.  But another kitty friend who had been banished out there the week before disappeared without a trace.  I think a hawk got her.  Anyway, I thought this guy was too little to be on his own, so I catnapped him.  He seems terrified of the out of doors, but apparently feels really at home in the studio.

Maybe too much at home.

But he hasn't ruined anything yet, so I'm tolerating his kitten antics.  Charlie and Edgar aren't thrilled with him, but he runs and hides behind the washing machine, so they aren't complaining too much.  Whether or not he stays, remains to be seen.  No one has told me I can't keep him...  ;)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Party! P P P Party!

wow.  December is here!  I can tell by my calendar.  Party on Friday, party on Sunday, party on Monday...and it's just getting started.  By the end of the month, I'm likely to be partied out!

All of those parties mean lots of gift giving, big and small.  On Monday, our art group Sew Eclectic had its annual Christmas Feast.  Not everyone was able to make it, but here's our yearly snap for the history books:
We always do some sort of gift exchange.  This year, we exchanged postcards.  Well, most of us did.  Some slipped in a little quilt, in lieu of a postcard.  I don't think anyone minded, especially not the recipients of the quilts!

Here is the bounty that was distributed blindly:
This is the card I drew.  It was made by Beth Shaffer, of Porterville.  Don't you love it?  I love it.  It is the valley, with its rows of crops and the foothills in the distance.  I smile, every time I look at it!
 This is the one I gave.  It started as a snowflake, but morphed into the star.  At the last moment, the little bunny bead hopped into place.  I think he adds the perfect finishing touch.
And in between, I've made a few more heart ornaments.
I have plans for more quick Christmas quilting, but who knows what I'll get done.  It looks like this year I'll have to get it out earlier than usual, because they have a new delivery system in town.  "Brown" is the new green.  ;)
It's great when the sun has broken through, but we've been having a bit of fog.  I wouldn't like to be him on a day like this:
 Or a night like this:  (See how blurry the lights are in the fog?  I was standing on the walkway, about 25' from the house.)
Yes, it's shaping up to be a good Christmas.

Party on!

And don't forget the Reason for the season!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bernina Time

Now that we're back - well, I was back, now I'm gone again - I spent a few quality hours with my Bernina.  I had to finish up this Advent swag for my daughter, before driving to see her this morning.  ( I didn't warn her that I had my camera, so I cropped the pic.)
 I also put together a number of heart ornaments.  Had I the time, I should have embroidered the date on the back.  Oh well.  Next batch will get that identification.
 Each one is slightly different.
 You can't really tell, but the rhinestone buttons are good quality.  I got six of them at an estate sale, and had been saving them for something special.  What could be more special than Christmas?  Not much!
And that's all from the needle for today, folks.  Stay tuned, because I think I'm just warming up!  :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Holiday

Did you have a good Thanksgiving?  We did.  We ran off to the Monterey Bay area - specifically Soquel - for a family get-together.  Our kids gathered from across the country, and we had 5 days in a VRBO home.  If you've never tried VRBO for a vacation, I recommend it.  It was a great base of operations, easily accessible from north or central CA, with plenty of room to play catch-up.  It was great!
 There was a nearby park for Penny,
 and colorful Capitola wharf for the grown-ups.
 The pelicans were out and about on Thanksgiving, scooping up fish with ease.
We went to Santa Cruz for dinner one night, to Johnny's Harborside Restaurant.  As you might have guessed, it overlooked the harbor.
 We even had space to set up a sewing area.  This is my daughter-in-law, hard at work.
 She sewed all day Saturday,
 And before bedtime, she had this fun string of Advent pockets.
Yes, we have much to be thankful for.  I hope your holiday was as filled with blessings.