Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pictures of Christmas Gifts

As promised once the gifts were opened by the kids and Mom and Grandma I would post pictures.  Here we go!

This is the end of one of the table runners, each of the ladies got one of these, you can see all four of them below!

  Middle son wanted a 'Bronco' pillowcase so I sewed one up and am very proud that I did 'french' seams in it - it turned out very well I thought.

The daughters in law got these homemade sewing kits that match the purses and wallets I made for them last year.  These were easier than I thought and I put stuff in them I need on a regular basis - like safety pins and stick pins.

 I forgot to take pictures of the scarves I did with the Red Heart Boutique Sashay yarn that does up so frilly but they turned out well each of the females got one of those and the oldest and youngest boys who work security got black knit scarves (not frilly!).  Hubby has saved patches for years and decided to give them to the boys on hats this year so we sewed them on plain hats we found.  Altogether we had a lot of fun thinking up ideas and putting things together and we hope they all enjoyed them (they are polite enough not to complain anyway!)

I did take pics of the table runners during the process and am going to try my first tutorial for those who are interested.  (soon!)

I am making project lists and grocery lists and trying to get all things organized to begin the hibernation fun!  I love having lists and checking things off them.  The weather is cooperating by remaining frigid, several days in a row not over freezing!  This is project time!  I'm even trying to get a handle on next years Christmas gifts so as to get ahead of the curve.  I am going to go now and practice my new crochet skills some more as I discovered the baby yarn!!!!  It is sooo awesome that I simply must do a baby blanket but I have to get better first - so I am doing dish cloths - with frilly edges!  At least no one will know how silly I am being!  (smile)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Hope your Christmas was Merry!

The company is gone and the leftovers in the fridge, the kids all got a phone call and we are both showered and ready for bed - Here's hoping you all had as lovely a day as we did!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Slow Living Essentials - November/December

December always goes by so quickly and I seem to have issues slowing down and enjoying it!  I love the Christmas season and hate missing it in all the hustle bustle of the getting ready.  Today I braved the Post Office (could have been worse) and mailed all my packages for family, now I breathe a great sigh of relief and relax and enjoy!  This monthly review has become a really pleasant activity, so I am starting here.

Nourish -  It is cold and soups and stews are de rigueur, I am enjoying using the product of the garden in the kitchen now that the garden is covered in snow!  Homemade bread and rolls are a wonderful way to help heat the house!  (OK that may be an excuse for homemade bread which I love) Those onions that I cried over in August are in little baggies and are wonderful soup seasonings and no crying now!  :)  I froze them in ziploc bags and made them thin so I work out of a bag and break off a chunk and throw in the pan - hubby's idea actually and a good one.

Prepare -  We are preparing for a long hard winter now, the cold started a whole month earlier than usual and seems to be settled in, the wood is loaded on to the back porch so that we don't have to walk to the shed but about once a week, the quilted curtains for the kitchen are making a difference and it just feels warmer when it looks warmer!  (playing head games with yourself and  Door curtains are in the works now that Christmas crafting is done.  Oh and we leave the water running just a trickle to keep it from freezing!
The scotch broom covered in hoar frost!

Green -   This year we felt we made real strides in keeping down the waste - our compost pile is happily steaming in the back yard and we very rarely fill our trash barrel.  Our wood stove is so efficient that we hardly get any smoke at all and there is no smell of smoke in our house.  We hardly use paper towels and paper plates and plastic water bottles at all these days - they are saved for trips and the like. 

Grow -  Still no actual growing but seed catalogs are out and garden planning is getting done.  I picked up the complete set of "gardening made easy" binders and all the cards that went with them at a yard sale (these were about $60 new and I bought them both for $2!) and am having too much fun reading all the good advice and clever ideas.

Reduce - I almost spent more on shipping my Christmas gifts than I did on purchasing materials!  I knew shipping would be about $50, I planned accordingly and using coupons and material from my stash I did all my Christmas gifts for about $100!  That's 3 sons, 2 daughters in law, one husband and my Mom and Grandmother.  I am very pleased.

Create -  All of the family got homemade gifts this year and there were days here recently that I did nothing but craft to get it all done.  Pictures of projects cannot be shown til after Christmas!  (family members do read the blog!)

Enhance -  Another year here in our community and deepening of friendships has taken place.  I look back on the quality of  and criterion for friendships over the years and am amused and interested in the differences as I age - there were the friends who all had kids the same age, the work friends, and now the friends who are done with children, enjoying grandchildren, getting together for quilting circles and I am blessed by the strength of these friendships - mostly through the church - which gives us all a deeper connection I think.

Enjoy -  At the tail end of my Christmas prepping my friend and I went to the mall (Sees candy store and Hickory farms!) It was fun to see the decorations and hear the music, and now that my preps are done I am enjoying the sights and sounds and smells of the season.  We will have company for Christmas - others like us who have no family in the area and are not traveling - everyone is bringing a dish and a board game!

I have also enjoyed this blog activity and am grateful to Christine at Slow Living Essentials for the forum!

Hoar frost on the big pine tree by the house!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Busy, busy, busy!

I have really fallen behind in my posts here in the last few days.  Once Christmas gifts are finished I will be better I hope.  Since we are not going to visit the kids and my Mom is with her Mom I have to ship my gifts - but first I have to finish them!  I am nearly done and will post pics after Christmas so as not to ruin the surprise.  Of course there are the choir practices for the church program/drama, the parties for the groups and clubs (quilt club tomorrow),  having friends who will be gone for the holidays over for dinner and getting ready for our company on Christmas added to the handmade Christmas gifts that have become a tradition.  I am not complaining!  The bustle is kind of fun and we really don't do much that we don't want to any more!  We have added one more activity that I am really looking forward to this year - hubby is a new deacon at our church and this year we will be going out and delivering food and gifts to families in our community for the church.  I guess it is tradition for the board members to do this and they say it is very cool!

The handmade gift tradition has been fun for hubby and myself.  We spend a lot of time thinking about something that we can do for each that will be appreciated and used.  Making things by hand has sort of eliminated the tendency to give a lot of 'junk' - don't have that much time!  It has also eliminated our horrible tendency to over spend on Christmas gifts - good intentions, lovely motives, bad thing to do!  We actually plan our gifts and then make lists of things we need to get, we shop early for supplies, and enjoy the whole process - except for the one thing that always gets left for the last minute!  This year I had planned a gift for the girls that is breakable and when we decided not to travel to see them I had to scramble for a replacement!

So a big thank you to those who continue to read this even when I fall behind and I will be posting more as I finish things up and have time to breathe and enjoy the season.  We re definitely enjoying our "White Christmas" as well - it looks like the 8" of snow may not melt before Christmas day. (yes it has been that cold!)  Okay - back to work - making cookies for tomorrows quilt club party!

Our flamingos don't seem to mind the snow!!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Been Expecting This!

The weather channel app said it would snow about midnight and there it is!  Temperatures around 10 degrees or -12 for the Celsius group!  There is wood on the back porch, the wood stove is cheery and warm and there are 2 warm quilts on my bed - where I really should be.  I was doing Christmas gifts in front of my computer and got hooked on another BBC History program.  This one was Neil Oliver and the history of Scotland, which is where part of my genealogy on moms side comes from.  I must admit the BBC History you tube channel really sucks me in!  They do a lot of awesome documentaries. (if you are into that sort of thing and obviously I am)



There is a strange quiet with falling snow!

We love our little stove!

I will go to bed now, will say a prayer for those in areas harder hit than we are, there have already been fatalities from the cold and ice.  Grateful that we are ready and don't need to go out, we will stay home and be safe!