Saturday, December 9, 2017

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

We had snow Thursday.  Not a lot, but enough that I had to make sure some things got accomplished.  Went out swept off the porch, steps, walkway.  Took treats to the chickens, filled the bird feeders for the wild birds, had to take two 50 lb bags of feed into the chicken house and mix it.  Grabbed 2 gas cans and filled the snow plow just in case.  Snow makes it look Christmasy, right?

First I needed a wreath.  I wanted a real one, so I headed to the local nursery.

I saw this one and knew it was it.  The juniper and juniper berries, cedar, and pine cones reminded me of Oregon. 
I had been contemplating decorating for Christmas--I just wasn't too sure what I wanted to do.  There is a cat, a puppy, and I have heard horror stories.''''  Jeff always talked about wanting to have a John Deere tree.  I knew there were a couple of marbled type ornaments in the boxes, a couple of tractor ornaments that I had gave him for Christmas, but not much else to make it work. 

YouTube to the rescue.  I bought some glass balls, and started playing.

I had used acrylic paint.  Green, yellow, a sparkly green, sparkly yellow, and white.  I was pretty happy with the way they turned out.  They take quite a bit of work, and a couple of days to dry adequately.  Glass ornaments are hard to come by! 

I also saw another using spray paint and a bowl of water. 


I made 12 of these.  I can't quite decide which set I like the most. 

Friday I decided it was time to decorate. 

I have a small tree that is almost 20 years old.  Yes the lights even work still.

Green gingham ribbon, and some gold berry garland.

The ornaments I made, some gold berry picks,  gold poinsettia picks, some silk roses, a string of mercury acorn lights, and a tractor. 

Even a green and yellow tree skirt I found in a bag of rags in the basement.  I had seen a plastic bag and never looked in it.  I finally got brave, and it was filled with sheets, towels and this cute tree skirt with embroidered John Deere logos on it. 

Some snowmen, a cute little deer candle holder, and a nutcracker music box. 

My snowman I made many years ago.  He has been loved, and abused, Lucy obviously thinks he is a good snuggle buddy. 

I recently purchased a nice book case.  Yep not many books, but perfect to hold decorations right now.  My cross stitch stocking, and Jeff's which my mom finished recently.  (Yep it has a John Deere tractor on it.)  Recently I found the John Deere clock (top right bookcase) but I couldn't figure out a way to hang it.  I decided it looked pretty good sitting on the top of the bookcase. 

I found a Christmas cactus at the store recently.  It is full of blooms and it a bright cheery pink.

Jeff has this very cool manger, but no nativity set.  We ended up with these, but I have no idea from where, the box says 2013.  The problem is that it is only Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus.  I would love to have the wise men, angels, shepherds, and maybe a camel, sheep, and donkey.  Oh and of course some chickens. 

Finally I brought out my pillow slips. 

My Cowboy Snowman, complete with paisley fabric, bandana ruffle, and leather fringe.

My poor Santa with french horn, the boys seem to always want to throw this one around and it has been soiled.  I should probably attempt to wash it. 

I think it is time to start to streamline when it comes to decorations.  I will decide what I love, what I don't love anymore or have no sentimental attachment---can it be repurposed, give it away to family, or donate.  

I don't only decorate my house, the furbabies get in the act too.

I saw this cute "ugly" sweater the other day.  It is actually for a wine bottle.  I altered a bit and fit Bobbin perfectly.


I think It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.

















Wednesday, December 6, 2017

I Like Thursday 4

Welcome to I Like Thursday...I am calling this number 4 even though I did a whole month of thankful posts.  Hey its my blog world I can do what I want.  

1.  I like green glass.  I love the old Jadeite stuff, but it is a bit out of my price range.  But,  there is repop now, and some companies like Ball have brought out canning jars in green, blue, and even purple.  

There are people on Etsy that actually melt these repop jars into spoon rests and other things.  I had a spoon rest first.  I decided recently I would like a 2nd for my coffee station. 

2.  I like coffee.  I usually drink the Folger's Black Silk, but it is the holidays and so I decided to treat myself to Starbuck's Christmas Blend.

3.  I love sunrises.  It is a promise of the day to come.  The two oldest boys sleep at my house.  I get up at about 6 so I have some quiet time before I get the boys going at 7.  By 7:30 all 4 kids are here to catch the school bus.  I have to be outside with the 4 year old when he gets on the bus. While I was waiting the other day there was this gorgeous sunrise. 

Now if I had been on the ball this morning's sunrise was even better--alas no picture.  But what is great about the sunrise, the west side of my house, is still in dark because the house is preventing the light from reaching  the trees on the west side.

When it first starts to hit the giant oak, it takes on a blush.  I don't know if you can see it, but I love watching the play of colors and shadows across the tree as the sunrises.  A hint of pink to

4.  I love learning new things.  Recently I learned a term called "the blue hour" which is defined per Wikipedia as:

The blue hour (from French l'heure bleue) is a period of twilight in the morning and in the evening, during the civil and nautical twilight phases, when the Sun is at a significant depth below the horizon and when the residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue shade.

OK really there is a civil twilight, and a nautical twilight too?  So much to learn in this lifetime.  

5.  
I like this series called The Greenhouse Mysteries by Wendy Tyson.  I also have my sweet Bobbin posing by my book.  The stories take place in a small town called Winsome,  Pennsylvania.  I like the lead character Megan Sawyer who has returned home to help her grandmother after he husband was killed. 

6.  I like doing charity work and giving to charity--Please understand I am not tooting my own horn.   I have always felt like I have always been so blessed I want to pass it on, ever since my kids were little.   

The small church that I had attended after Jeff passed did a food bank once a month.  We got our food from a warehouse.  What was available was always changing, but didn't always help.  We would get cases of peanut butter, but no crackers or bread.  So I would run up to the bread outlet the day before the food bank and buy 50 loaves of bread, as my part as my part.  One time they had cans and cans of spaghetti sauce--I ran to the local discount store and bought 4 cases of macaroni.  

Quilting has opened some doors for me recently.  One church I attended, I noticed a couple of women there that had been guests at quilt guild.  I stopped to talk to them and was invited to a sew day.  They make simple quilts--just squares laid out in either full twin size, enveloped, turned and tied with yarn.  I helped for a couple of hours one day, and in that short time I made several new friends.  Tuesday two of the ladies invited me to go with them on a delivery run.  We drove to Flint to a Mission Church in a very run down area, and donated over 60 quilts.  They were thankful, but asked if we had any more we could spare?  Unfortunately we had donated all of the quilts which had been made in the past 2 months-  except for some baby and toddler quilts that had been earmarked for another charity.  They told us they had over 500 families sign up asking for assistance during the holiday.  They really needed bedding, quilts things to help keep them warm.  It is humbling the number of people in need.  

I grabbed a tag off of a giving tree. The kids on this giving tree have a parent who is currently in prison.   I was told that the limit for each person is $25 even though they have several items on their list.  I mean if they need shoes, a decent pair of tennis shoes is at least $30.  I went shopping and I had some coupons.  Imagine my delight that I got 3 things on my young ladies list for $28.  I don't think it will be the end of the world that I went over a couple of dollars.  

Being able to give back means so much to me.  Remember to give back to your community to help others not just during the holidays, but all year long.  

Check the other I Like Thursdays at Milo's (um I mean LeeAnna's) blog Not Afraid of Color.




Sunday, December 3, 2017

No Sewing to Show

I survived the 30 days of thankful posts.  I will admit it was tough at first but it got easier as I went along.  But obviously I went dark for a few days to recover.  :D

What have I been up to? 

Well, with beautiful weather to work outside.  Fighting with a tractor to get it started and get it into the barn.  Samantha my youngest daughter and I tried to start it.  No go, then we thought maybe we could pull it with the truck into the barn, but the truck won't fit out the other door it is only 75 inches wide and the truck is 78.  Then we thought maybe if we took the brush hog (gigantic mower deck) off the back we could pull the tractor to the other side of the barn and push it in.  Got the brush hog off, with a minor incident with a stabilizer bar hitting me in the thigh.  Yep that was going to leave a bruise.  Finally we gave it up. 

I worked on some Christmas gifts, can't show because my daughter stalks my blog.  Muah!  Love you Becca. 

A group of ladies from guild got together to prep for a class in January.  I mainly went for the camaraderie. 

Saturday night I took the boys to a parade in a small town named Ida.  I wish I had got more pictures but we were on a float.  Let's just say that the high school, grade school, and middle school parking lots were packed with floats, bands etc.  This tiny town swells to over 50,000 people for the Christmas Light Parade.


Xander with his blinking antlers.

Gabe being a goob with is flashing necklace.

Our float, and float with some people.  We only had about 20 boys participate from the pack of about 100.  But we had a great time.  It wasn't too cold and hanging out with scouts is a blast. 

Did I take advantage of some black Friday deals? 

Yep!

Craftsy had kits on sale.  I got this one, it has ombre fabrics in it.  Can't wait and it is simple.  Just a bazillion HST. 

And I got a pack of charm squares as a gift with purchase.

Dawn had shown the pattern by Buttermilk Basin.  I decided I wanted to make it in wool so I ordered the kits. 

I found some more chicken fabric.  I may need to quit buying chicken fabric and start making my chicken quilt. 

And this fun text fabric in apple green.  Obviously the picture does not do it justice.

I also saw this 1/2 yard bundle of Sugar Pie by Vanessa of Lella Boutique Manufactured by Moda. 



What am I going to make with it?  I don't know but I loved the flowers and the colors. 

Finally back to the parade.  The float directly in front of us had country western singer Colin Raye.  I had seen him about 20 years ago at the county fair. 

I totally forgot about this song.  Listen to the words. 






Wednesday, November 29, 2017

November Thankful Day 30

 I made it every day for 30 days.  Some items I found something new every day, some items I didn't.  But what I do know is that I shared a lot of wonderful memories.  I had a tough time choosing what to be thankful for on my last day.  Not that I didn't have anything, but it was a toss up between being thankful for times of trial because they make you stronger, or memories.  I decided I would choose.....

 30.  November 30- I am thankful for memories.  As we age our mind tend to forget.  I mean come on how many of us have walked from one room into the other to do something and totally forgot what we went to do?   As I wrote each one of these posts, looking for pictures, they each one triggered a memory of a time, place, sometimes a scent, or sound.....some brought tears for my/our loss, but many brought smiles.



29.  November 29- I am thankful for nature

28. November 28- I am thankful for my sense of humor
Come on you have to admit that you have to have a sense of humor when one of the neighbors erects a pirate ship on their pond.  Complete with crows nest, sales and jolly roger. 

27.  November 27-  I am thankful for baking
My cookies from when I participated in Carol at Just Let Me Quilts virtual cookie exchange.

26.  November 26-  I am thankful for Kindness

25.  November 25-  I am thankful for Cell phones, and the ability to call long distance

24. November 24 - I am thankful for Quilt designers that share QAL, SAL, and mystery quilts. Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt

23.  November 23-  I am thankful for Jeff
This is Jeff holding Finn the day he was born.

Jeff playing with Cayden.  This was the first time that Cayden met Jeff, and he was fascinated by him, and we laughed and laughed at how he instantly took to him. 


22.  November 22-  I am thankful for chickens

21.  November 21-  I am thankful for Family

20.  November 20-  I am thankful for my Heritage

19.  November 19-  I am thankful for flowers
I love columbine.  For some reason my pink ones didn't come back but I have loads of purples.



18.  November 18-  I am thankful for blogging and the friends I have made

17.  November 17-  I am thankful for quilting

 I had made this Christmas table runner, at least cut the parts out and they hung on my bulletin board for a couple of years.  I finally grabbed it and finished it.


16.  November 16-  I am thankful for Calder's Dairy and Egg nogg

15.  November 15-  I am thankful for my options to worship

14.  November 14-  I am thankful for my Kindle and all the books that I have the opportunity to read, and the local library.  I can listen to my Kindle while sewing.  I have read over 140 books so far this year. 



13.  November 13.  I am thankful for Lucy the cat.


12.  November 12--I am thankful for Bobbin

Bobbin helping me while pressing my fabric


11.  November 11  I am thankful for my tenacious character to get things done.
When Jeff was busy working pushing snow I had him walk me through a crash, no not that kind of crash, course on how to use the plow.


I don't do too bad when I do it.

10.  November 10--I am thankful for fall.


9.  November 9 I am thankful for saved items.  Maybe I should call them hoarded items.
This is a gate to a chain link fence.  I have two of them one for each of my roses, and they love climbing it. 


8.  November 8--I am thankful for music.



7.  November 7-- I am thankful for the Boy Scout organization.


6.  November 6--I am thankful that I can shop online.

5.  November 5--I am thankful that I could get new doors in my home to add more light.

4.  November 4.   I am thankful for coffee.

3.  November 3.  I am thankful for the roof over my head.  I love falling asleep to the rain on the standing seam steel roof which is over 150 years old.

2.  November 2.    I am thankful for the fact my feet hit the floor every morning, whether I want to get out of bed or not.

1.  November 1.  I am thankful for every morning I wake up--too many people don't get to see the light of another day.  Thinks about it how would you act if you knew that today was your last day on Earth?  Today is a gift.  Tomorrow is not promised.