Friday, December 19, 2014

CHRISTMAS THOUGHTS AND SOME BABY SEWING


Well so far I have been spending the month of December pretty much like I hoped to be.  Not too involved in the hustle and the bustle of the season, as I was close to being completely done with everything by Thanksgiving Day; which included not only all my sewing, but my shopping, wrapping, and decorating too. This was the first time in my nearly 40 years of marriage I have pulled this off and my feelings are, (believe it or not), a little mixed on the whole experience, lol.  On the one hand, don't get me wrong, I am enjoying NOT being stressed, harried, and totally swamped with last minute projects. And I have had myself some slow days and even a brief nap or two.  Which means when it is time for our get togethers, parties, and fun times I am good and rested and looking forward to it all instead of tired and wondering if I will make it through without collapsing. However, on the flip side it seems as if the season has been SUPER SUPER long, and surely Christmas has come and gone by now.  I know that doesn't make any sense, and like I am digging for something to complain about, but it has just been kind of "weird".  And I am not really complaining, just pointing out a fact. It is kind of like I rushed, and rushed, and pushed and pushed, for weeks, to be "ready" on Thanksgiving, and so that might has well been Christmas Day for me.  And all these weeks since then have seemed like...."Why is the tree still up and shouldn't we be moving on into the winter?"  Dumb I know.  But maybe for me, rather it should be or not, Christmas has always been surrounded by hustle and bustle and somehow it just doesn't seem quite right.  I think maybe next year I will do my best to get organized early, but not press sooo much to be  completely DONE by Thanksgiving.

20 WEEK BUMP.  HALF WAY THROUGH...LITTLE SAM TOOK
PIC...PRETTY GOOD FOR 3!


I have spent the last couple of weeks working on some things for Melody's coming baby.  I will be happy when they settle on a name for her, which so far has been harder then they thought.  Melody loves old fashioned, classical type names and so doesn't want anything too trendy or popular.  And yet old fashioned names seem to be pretty popular right now, so this is proving to be a bit of a challenge.  I think they are rotating back and forth between Cora June, and Claire Elise, with Cora having a little more of a pull.  Personally, I love them both and hope they pick soon.  Though I am really NO ONE to talk.  Melody did not receive her name until 4 days after she was born and I was ready to come home from the hospital, lol.  Names are important I think, so I guess it's better they take their time.  I just want to embroider some things
 with her name on it, which I guess is not really as pressing as it seems, lol.  Melody and I both are excited to get going on some little dresses for this little girl, so I am wanting to get the "necessities" behind me so we can concentrate on those.  I have made her 6 self binded receiving blankets so far and nine burp cloths.  I don't really feel like you can ever have enough of either one of those items, and I have such fun making them up.  They are simple, easy, quick, and darling.  They both let me use my decorative stitches as well which not much else does, so that makes it even more fun.  Though I am thinking they might come into play in some little dresses too.  I used them all the time when sewing for Melody now that I think about it.  I made pretty much everything she wore until she was close to 10 years old.  After that I took a LONG LONG break from sewing.  Anyway, some of the fabric I have had on hand, and some I bought new at Joanne's tremendous black Friday sale, but let me show you what I have made so far....

EVERY TIME I LOOK AT I-PHONE PHOTOS I THINK TO MYSELF I NEED TO GET OUT MY GOOD CAMERA, BUT I NEVER DO...SIGH.  THIS FABRIC WAS MELODY'S FAVORITE AND IS JUST AS SWEET AS CAN BE.  LITTLE PINK BIRDIES ON A LIGHT GREY BACK GROUND...LOVE IT!

TRIED TO GET A CLOSE UP ON THE DECORATIVE STITCH USED TO CLOSE THE OPENING, AND TO HOLD THE TWO FABRICS TOGETHER

LOVED THIS BLUE ONE!


AND THIS HOT PINK AND FUCHSIA 

SOO PRETTY

AGAIN, LOVED THIS SOFT PINK AND GREY COMBO

MORE DECORATIVE STITCHES

LOVED THIS FUN FABRIC WITH ELEPHANTS, GIRAFFE'S, AND BIRDS




MORE DECORATIVE STITCHES

WANTED TO SHOW YOU ONE FROM THE OTHER SIDE SO YOU CAN SEE THE BACK OF ONE OF THE BLANKETS, AND HOW IT IS ALL THE SAME PRINT.  DIDN'T REALIZE TILL I WAS LOOKING AT THIS THAT THE PRINT IS UPSIDE DOWN, LOL. BUT YOU GET THE IDEA.  CUTE LITTLE FOXES AND BUNNIES

HERE IT IS AGAIN

NICE SELECTION OF THESE HEAVIER BLANKETS.  THEY CAN BE USED FOR SUCH A MULTITUDE OF THINGS.  FROM, SWADDLING, TO LAYING ON THE FLOOR TO PUT THE BABY ON FOR TUMMY TIME ETC, IN THE CAR SEAT, AND ON AND ON.  THEY ARE A LITTLE WARM FOR THE TIME OF THE YEAR THIS BABY WILL BE BORN SO I INTEND TO MAKE HER A FEW JUST SINGLE LAYER ONES THAT CAN BE USED MORE FOR SWADDLING, AND FOR A NURSING COVER ETC ON A HOT SUMMER DAY.  SAM AND LUKE STILL USE THEIR BLANKETS LIKE THIS FOR VARIOUS DIFFERENT THINGS.  MORE PINK IN THE PILE THEN I INTENDED FOR THERE TO BE...OH WELL, LOL
And as for the burp cloths I wanted to make them a little different then I have in the past so went on a search through Etsy and Pintrest to come up with some ideas. (isn't it wonderful that such things exist to help us out?)  I settled on a VERY similar way I have done them in the past, and yet a little different.  I cut them into 10 by 20 rectangles, and then layered them with different coordinating fabrics for 2 different looks per burp cloth.  Then I put a single layer of plain white flannel (I KNEW that dollar a yard white flannel would come in handy someplace, haha) in the center to make them more absorbent.  Then I drew two straight lines down them (in the pen that erases when you hit it with the iron!) and quilted the fabrics together with decorative stitches.  Soo fun.  I even have a stitch that is actually little baby carriages.  Then I just used yet another decorative stitch to sew all around the perimeter of the cloth and finally clipped the ends for a fringed look.  I think they are darling and will no doubt be put to lots of use.  It amazes me (and I mean AMAZES me) that they sell 3 of these type burp cloths on Etsy for 44 dollars! And that's without decorative stitches!  Crazy...and yet, I guess it is what it is. They didn't cost me more then a dollar or two per piece, and I am grateful that it makes it easy to have an abundant supply.  I am going to make maybe 3 "fancier" type burp cloths ( I know...I know,  kind of dumb when they are used for spit up, lol) with maybe some applique and embroidery on them, but like I said, I am waiting for her name.  After washing and drying them to get the fringe to come out, they look a lot more quilted then my old ones as well. Let me show you these....













THIS IS JUST ONE LAYING FLAT..THE OTHER PICTURES SHOW YOU THE FLIP SIDE  YOU CAN SEE DECORATIVE STITCHES BETTER HERE TOO


MORE DECORATIVE STITCHES
WHOLE STACK...DON'T TAKE UP MUCH ROO
Yesterday I had a lunch and exchanged gifts with my girl friend Cindy.  She always gives me the MOST beautiful ornaments, and this year was no different.  Let me show you...

ALREADY ON MY TREE...ISN'T IT PRETTY?

Tomorrow we will pick up my youngest sons 3 oldest kids to spend some "Christmas time fun" with grandma and grandpa.  I am taking the two girls to see the Nutcracker at a local college, and my youngest sister and her son are going to join us.  We are going to go somewhere fun for dinner first though we haven't decided where yet.  Hubby will hang out with JD no doubt doing something that involves some football, lol.  They will all spend the night then and go back with us when we go down to church on Sunday.  We are all looking forward to it.

I just wanted to give you a quick (I know this is WAY too long already, sorry!) little praise report however before I close for now.  Yesterday, Melody's husband Mike was kicked in the face by a cow! Very scary considering these animals weigh over 1200 pounds!  I imagine kicked just right it could have easily killed him.  As it was he was VERY fortunate.  He did fracture some bones in his face, and his one eye was badly scratched.  But the doctor feels with time and a little medication he will be as good as new soon.  Meanwhile it doesn't look nearly as bad as I feared it might.  He didn't even bruise very badly.  Still kind of swollen, but back at work the next day.  Taking it much easier then usual, but still pretty good I am thinking.  Thank you Jesus for watching out for him.

POOR MIKE

Well that's it for now.  I hope you all have a wonderful week-end and our enjoying the joy of the season and are NOT frantically trying to finish things up.  Blessings to you all!  Debbie




Sunday, December 14, 2014

CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS


Well what a wonderful week-end of celebrations this has been.  For those of you who have been following me for a while you know that my precious mom passed over into heaven's gates a year ago last May, and last Christmas was our first one without her.  I wanted to start a new tradition that would celebrate her, and so I invited my brothers, sisters and their significant others to our house for dinner and time where we could all just reminisce about mom to our hearts contents, as only someone who has shared your childhood and memories could.  So in keeping with our new tradition, we had our dinner on Sat. night.   Everything about it was just sooo nice.  I prepared a prime rib and made baked potatoes will all the fixings.  Then together they all brought a delicious salad, tasty green beans, rolls, and pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and a stunning cheesecake.  Needless to say we had more food then we ever needed to eat, but oh my goodness it was SOO good.  I get to set my table up with my Christmas china and crystal which is something that just screams mom to every one of us.  How mom loved a pretty table.  After a very leisurely dinner we retired to the living room in front of the fire and opened presents and spent the next few hours sharing stories of our pasts and laughing and enjoying one another.  I am privileged to have 3 sisters who are pretty much my best friends as well, and two brothers.  One of my brothers lives in Arizona and so far he hasn't made it to one of our new gatherings, but we did talk to him on the phone for a while.  I got such precious and nice things I have to share them with you.  First, my sister Danae made all of us girls the MOST beautiful and special thing.  My mother had a HUGE HUGE love for costume jewelry and had just a ton of it it seemed.  Some of it she wore just all the time and we can hardly look at it without thinking of her.  And yet, for me, I am not much of a costume jewelry wearer.  So it was pretty stuff I could look at once in a while, but other then that what are you going to do with it?  Well, my sister took that jewelry painstakingly apart, divided it into piles, and then fashioned it into BEAUTIFUL designs that she glued together in a pictures and framed them for us!  Now we have honestly to goodness heirlooms that we can not only display and enjoy, but pass down to our daughters as a cherished memory of mom.  Let me show you mine...


THIS PIC DOESN'T BEGIN TO DO THIS JUSTICE,,,,SOOO PRETTY

And then I'll just show you some if the other nice things I got ..

SHE ALSO GAVE ME THIS DARLING NEW ORNAMENT

MY SISTER DIANE CROCHETED US ALL THESE DARLING LITTLE ORNAMENTS

FROM MY SISTER DONNA,,,SOO CUTE FROM YANKEE CANDLE


DIANE AND I

JUST ABOUT READY TO EAT,,,HUBBY LIGHTING CANDLES

THE TABLE

OUR LIVINGROOM PRE-PARTY

ANOTHER VIEW

ANOTHER VIEW INTO FAMILY ROOM

And then...  Hubby and I have been attending a dinner house Christmas play every year since  I can remember.   For the last few years we have trading off which grandkids join us for the event.  This year it was Cody's and Jeffie's turn. We went to the matinee as it is easier for the kids to make it through.  It was honestly such a fun time.  Cody is also at such a fun age to enjoy all the magical fun of Christmas and was such a good boy.  Jeffie was lots of fun too but boy is he ever starting to grow up. He and I share a very similar sense of humor and found ourselves exchanging smiles and knowing nods a couple of times.  The food is always outstanding but honestly between last night and today I am going to have to make up for it in the next few days.  Let me show you the pics from this. 

AS WE ARRIVED   THE BOYS AND GRANDMA

JEFFIE AND I PLAY A COMPETITIVE GAME OF WORD SEARCH WHENEVER WE GET THE CHANCE...HE JUST BEAT ME AGAIN....HE IS GETTING TOO GOOD FOR THIS GRANDMA!  LOL

CODY SIPPING HIS JUICE OH SOO CAREFULLY

THE BOYS AND I AS THE PLAY WAS ABOUT TO BEGIN

JEFFIE'S DESSERT.....BERRY PARADISE!  SOO BIG

DIGGING IN

HOW DARLING IS HE?

SOMEONE TOOK OUR PICTURE FOR US...NOT SURE WHAT SHE DID TO THE CAMERA...OH WELL, YOU GET THE IDEA

All in all it was just a wonderful  weekend that will go down in the memory books and I am just so grateful.  Still have a few more grandkid plans to get to before Christmas which include sleepovers, nutcracker tickets and Christmas light displays. But I intend to spent the next couple of days at least RELAXING and re-charging, lol.  Hope you are all enjoying this season as well as we celebrate the birth of or savior!  Blessings to you all Debbie 


Thursday, December 11, 2014

A LITTLE CATCH UP....


It's Thursday morning, Dec. 11th and time is whooshing by.  I have caught up just a little bit, (not really but a gal can dream right?) and so I decided I would put up a quick post.  I have decided I have just got to get into the habit of doing "quick" posts versus "long and involved" not only for my sake, but for anyone who might chose to read this as well, lol.  I am just such a gabber.  But I will try my best.  Let's see how I do.

First, I wanted to tell you that we got the estimate back for my car and it is going to cost 4000.00!! to fix it!  Can you believe that?  Goodness I didn't think it was that bad, but the reality of it was the trunk was involved, the back bumper, the back door and the wheel cover.  Such a mess, and things are just sooo costly.  Anyway, the mechanic told me after I told him a little bit about it and how the woman was saying I hit her etc., he laughed out right and said, "yeah right....no mechanic anywhere would have ever bought that story.  This car was definitely HIT."  Anyway, it should be done on Christmas Eve and I will be very grateful to get it back.  I don't do a lot of driving during the week, but we do use "my" car for "our" car on the week-end so therefore we drive it a lot.  The rental is OK. It will get us from point A to point B, but it is not even near as comfy as my car.  And these days I am all about comfort versus how it looks.  I am grateful that I haven't seemed to have any residual soreness or anything for the accident.  Two days of slight discomfort and it seems to be behind me. Thank you Jesus!  (this story was TOO involved, I will try harder!)

And I FINALLY finished the tree skirt!  YAY!!  I know I have been talking about that tree skirt for weeks, and yet just kept pushing it to the back burner.  I picked it up from the quilter on Tues a whole day sooner then she promised.  She did a wonderful job as always, and I am soo glad I went this route. Then, I did cut the binding on the bias.  Why in the world I had that as such a big deal I am not sure because it was a non-event.  Maybe just because I had never done it before.  Anyway, I whipped that up and then had to cut down the center of the quilt and make a small circle to go around the tree. I was somewhat terrified to do this as of course it could have ruined the whole thing.  And because I want to always give credit where credit is due, I have my hubby to thank for the size of the circle I cut.  I would have made it MUCH MUCH bigger!  lol.  There were no instructions on this as of course it depends on the size of your tree.  I was going to use a small dessert plate as my circular template and hubby got VERY emphatic that it would be too big.  When he pulled out our smallest little dessert bowl to use instead, honestly I thought he was nuts.  But for whatever reason I went for it and he was 100% right.  Had I used what I had chosen it would have been WAY too big and therefore unusable.  Sooo, after the cutting was done I sewed the bias cut binding onto it and then spent the next couple of hours attaching it to the back by hand.  When it was all done I put a button and button hole on it so it could close (you could use velcro, snaps, ties or whatever but I chose a button) and somehow crawled around (I don't do this well with these knees) and got it under out tree. It fits!  Good thing it inadvertently got made smaller too.  However, to me it does seem a little  too small.  Truthfully I think it's just because our past ones have been sooo large.  There really is no more floor space for this one had it been bigger, so I guess it's perfect.  Let me show you....



FINISHED QUILT BEFORE THE CUTTING!

THE BACK...CAN'T SEE THIS VERY WELL HERE BUT I HAD HER USE GREEN THREAD.  LOVED THE WAY IT CAME OUT!

CLOSER LOOK AT SOME OF THE QUILTING

CLOSE UP OF THE BINDING

ALL DONE...CAN YOU SEE THE RED BUTTON I USED TO CLOSE THE CIRCLE?  (LOOKS LIKE A SMALL CIRCLE DOESN'T IT?  LOL
AND THERE IS IS....AS YOU CAN SEE BY HOW CLOSE IT IS TO THE FIREPLACE THERE REALLY ISN'T ROOM FOR A BIGGER ONE I GUESS.  NOW I JUST NEED TO GET MY PRESENTS WRAPPED AND UNDER THERE
Other then that I have been trying frantically to finish up all my quilted ornaments as most of them will be given away by Sun.  And in all my spare moments Melody and I are trading pictures of darling little girl clothes.  She wants bloomers (soo popular for baby girls right now) and rompers and little dresses etc.  I told her to just pick out fabric and send it to me and I will make it.  Don't know whose having more fun with this.  I guess you'd have to know Mel to know how out of character this is for her, lol.  She is NOT a shopper.  She is super conservative how she dresses the boys both in quantity and price,  She HATES fabric shopping (I may have burned her out as a little girl, lol, just maybe!) but she is LOVING this.  Suddenly she is looking at fabric and imaging all kinds of sweet little things.  I am sooo happy for her.  This little girl is going to be soo loved, and sporting LOTS of homemade goodies.  I've learned to make all the super popular hair bows etc., too, but I will save that for another post.

OK, I didn't do really well, but honestly I tried.  I type super, SUPER fast so it goes quickly for me, but it still takes soo much time.  I am off now to Joannes for yet more pins for my ornaments, and to dream over patterns there for a certain little girl.  I have alot going on the next 3 days so I will not be posting again until next week.  I will be visiting as usual.  Hope you all have a good week-end! Blessings to you all!  Debbie   (one last pic of sweet Vinny!)

SHARING HIS LUNCH WITH RUDOLPH....LOVE IT AND HIM!