Tuesday, November 26, 2013

One Small Step

toward Christmas decorating was taken today....in the studio.

Top of the bookshelf, some glittery wrapped cardboard cones keeping one of two unflowering poinsettias company.

Love my very vintage pine cone elves displayed on my pin cushion shelves. I'm going to have to prowl eBay for some more of these guys. They are my favorite vintage pieces.

 Winter pincushion at the ready.

Tossed a tree in the back of the little metal truck I picked up at Target last weekend. Love.

 Can't decorate without putting up the little studio tree.

It's decorated with little fat quarter stacks....

 Pincushions,mini floss hanks, tiny thread spools...

 Polly Esther...my treetop angel...

 An abundance of stork scissors...

Button snowmen....

And a garland of twine sandwiched between buttons.

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas and I now have an environment conducive to finishing up a couple of holiday projects.

How are your holiday projects coming along? Have you made something for yourself?

Friday, November 22, 2013


It is almost 7 p.m. and I have given up the ghost, thrown in the towel, and cried 'Uncle!' in the quest for the missing Thanksgiving shopping list.

On Wednesday evening the hubs and I sat down with the grocery store circulars and mapped out what we needed to buy for Thanksgiving dinner and who had the best deal...between Safeway and Giant. The plan was to take that list to Wegmans and comparison shop.  At the bottom of the list I added some spices I needed to refresh.

Yesterday I went to Whole Foods. I took my list. I got all excited about the bulk spices (where you can buy what you need for 67 cents instead of $5.89 in the bottles in the spice aisle). I came home, I crossed off the spices, and I tore the sheet off the shopping list pad it was attached to. That's the last I remember.

The pad is in the drawer, the list is nowhere to be found.

I've been through the recycling....twice...in fact, the last time I even went so far as to open EVERY freakin' page of the newspapers in case my list had slipped between the pages of a section while the paper was on the kitchen counter.

I analyzed what I purchased at Whole Foods yesterday...nope, it wasn't attached to the jicama, nor was it in the onion basket. It didn't stick to the bags of salad in the crisper in the fridge. I didn't accidentally slip it into the spice cabinet with the bags of spices, and it didn't find it's way back into the reusable grocery bags.

I've been through EVERY cabinet and drawer in my kitchen on the off-chance it fluttered into the colander before we put it away...or maybe it drifted into the napkin drawer....stuck to the Teflon potholder? Nope.

I made peppermint bark this morning...not in the parchment paper box, and it's not stuck to any of the baking sheets I used. Not in the oven either. (Nor the dishwasherr, for that matter).. Not in the pantry where it might have found itself stuck to the almond canister.

As disgusting as it was (and my friend Ann reminded me that it's YOUR garbage), I went through a wet, though thankfully only a quarter full trash can in my kitchen...no luck.

I had wrapped stocking gifts last night...It wasn't in any of the bags, it didn't get rolled up in the wrapping paper, doesn't appear to have found itself wrapped with something (I felt all of the little gifts). It's not stuck to the tape dispenser.

It's not in yesterday's mail, or my work paperwork. I didn't carry it upstairs in a stack of magazines. Checked my pockets, my jacket pocket, the hubs' pockets....not there either.

The dogs don't look guilty, and there's no wads of paper in their beds or their toy baskets.

It's not under the coffee maker, or the Cuisinart, it didn't flutter under the refrigerator, and it's not in the car.


Obviously, I can be quite tenacious, but I've been on the quest for the missing shopping list, on and off, for the past 10 hours. It's time to admit defeat and accept the realization that, at this point, the only thing to do is just pick one grocery store and go and buy what we need (after spending another 30 minutes or so thinking about just what it is that I need).

Sometime around Easter, I'm sure we will find this elusive piece of paper stuck in some strange place that it never occurred to me to search today. Sigh!

Onward and upward...we're having a quilting bee at my house tomorrow morning at 9 and we're making Triple Dresden tree skirts. I need to refocus. And I really need to refresh my cocktail.

Happy Friday night!

(Oh, and yes, I even took the shopping list pad and tried to shade it in with the side of a pencil lead, in the hopes that the impression from writing the original list would show up---not happening.)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Let the Vacation Prepping Begin

I've managed to stitch together the blocks of 6 horizontal rows. Once the last 4 rows are together I need to press the seams on each row and then sew the 10 rows together. Then it's on to assembling the 160 3-1/2" blocks that make up the diamond units. Not likely to happen before I leave next week, but I would like to have this center finished and off the design wall and out of the light.

In the interest of over-achieving, I did kit up the 4 remaining pieced blocks for the Jingle BOM quilt. It's just so much easier to cut out what is needed to make the necessary HSTs and QSTs and have everything ready to sew when I get to it.

Likewise, I've kitted the 4 remaining applique blocks. All the little berries are made, everything cut out and fused to freezer paper to make the hand applique go quicker. The designs are inked on the backgrounds with Frixion pens (inside the actual finished shape to be certain you never see the ink--I'm not sold yet on the total disappearing never will come back thing....when you least expect it....).

Everything I need to take this show on the road is inside one sturdy zipper bag (this is an Eleanor Burns large project bag) that I can grab and go. I toss this in my carry-on tote and I slip it out and put it in the seat pocket before I slide the tote under the seat. Once we have survived take-off, I disengage my nails from the armrest, and start to stitch. My scissors attach to me (pull cord on a magnet), and other than the actual block I'm stitching, everything else stays zipped in the bag. This way, nothing goes flying every which way on a bumpy ride, and I don't accidentally drop some crucial flower petal or bird wing between the seats.

Having it all in the one bag also makes it easy to pull it out in the airport, take it with me to the games (I'm a bleacher stitcher), and I toss it in the car for the 4 hour drives through Alligator Alley (though mostly I'm not sewing... I'm looking for actual alligators on the side of the road (I have yet to see one) and wild boar (seen a lot of dead ones) and updating my Facebook status through the strangely named (Okeechobee) towns).

Now, if I can finish those 4 small blocks and the large center medallion on this trip,  I will actually be able to finish this quilt for Christmas. Imagine that....I optimistically ordered the fabric for the setting triangles and the border yesterday so that it will be waiting for me when I get home.

Enjoy your weekend!