Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Trying to get going on a more regular posting/journaling schedule...and wanted to show a couple of things...most of the things I made for Christmas gifts are gone and not photographed...:-(...too much hurry...but I've got a couple of pics, anyway...I think I probably made more gifts this year than I have in a while, and it felt pretty good....and the response has been good, too....(I mean, we all know whatever we've done is less than perfect, so it's really nice when someone is really tickled to get it because you made it)
The above were sachets made from cocktail napkins from AllAboutBlanks - I used a Crabapple Hill pattern for the monograms and then filled the sachet (in a separate internal sack) with really good quality dried lavender flowers purchased online. Getting the stupid ribbon through was probably the hardest part of all. For some reason, these oatmeal napkins were easier to deal with - the fabric was tougher and the grosgrain ribbon was easier to use. The first 6 I made were with white linen napkins (sorry - they got wrapped before the camera came home) and I used white satin ribbon - talk about a royal pain!! But, boy, they all smell GREAT!!
This below was for a special friend...got in a real hurry at the end, and, man, is the quilting pitiful, done in a hurry that morning before work...however, I know she won't care. She loves anything I do. (don't know if you can tell I did a bit of coloring with colored pencils...have only used crayons before...this was a bit softer and more subtle)
She's called me Sparky since I've known her...and it just kind of tickles me....she's a great friend and huge encourager just in terms of being a friend and also in my ladies' class and being Beth's running coach - she's a few months older than me and finished her 50th state marathon in October. She's run more than 50 marathons, but she also did the whole "all 50 states" thing, too. Wow! My hat is off to her! She's one cool chick.
On the way back home from East Tennessee the day after Christmas, we stopped in Crossville to revisit a quilt shop I discovered there a couple of years ago making the same homeward trek. It's a really, really neat place just off the interstate. They have a "men's room" - as in, tv, recliners, sports and hunting magazines, etc. to keep the men happy while the wives browse and pet fabric and shop. Kinda cool, huh? Got a special Christmas gift from some of the girls at the office of $$ to spend, so....I couldn't disappoint them, right? Right??? In addition to what's shown, I got several white-on-white pieces and an absolutely beautiful parchment-looking fabric to go with all sorts of things. Those 3 civil war repro blues are to die for! And, the 30's things ALWAYS call my name - these charm packs were just too cute to resist. And the other one has some absolutely beautiful fabrics.
(oh - and sorry for the mess on my cutting table - frantic Christmas leftovers)


  • that I AM so blessed
  • family and friends
  • living where even a recession leaves us richer than most of the world, and the richest part of all is our freedom to worship without restraint of any kind

Monday, December 29, 2008

I hope everyone has enjoyed good times with family and friends. The times of togetherness are so much more important than the gifts, however much fun those may be.

Before the season is completely gone, I thought I'd stick in a few pics of our very first band concert! Our Christian school is in its 8th year and we added band this year! My sweetie, who was a band director/chorus teacher before joining his dad in the utility construction business, has 2 beginning band classes. He's a contractor in the morning and a band director in the afternoon. He is really loving being back with music and kids, and the kids really love him, too.

One of the moms brought hats for everyone...and the band was the hit of the evening, which was the annual RCA Christmas program.

Managed to catch my 2 sweeties just before things got underway....he got Beth to play keyboard for a special little percussion thing the drummers did before they got to the Christmas numbers. And all 3 of us had sung some carols with a few of the older kids before the program actually began....I think that was designed to distract folks from all the pre-program excitement and quieten things a bit so the precious little teeny ones who were first on the program could be heard. Without an auditorium yet, we have to do things in the gym, which makes it a bit more difficult, but it was a great evening all around!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

This picture may not look like much (not a very good picture, admittedly), but it has much meaning for me. The little clay orchestra around the tree was hand-made in Honduras by native craftsmen and brought to me by a dear friend who goes there on annual mission trips. Wish I had closer pictures to show the detail - the conductor has a tiny baton (that has miraculously not been broken in the years I've had the orchestra and packed it up and gotten it out and packed it up and gotten it out) I have fun arranging them differently each year, although I always start out with placement as the instruments actually would be in an orchestra, and then space limitations force me to get a bit creative. There was no firing of the clay, so the figures are quite fragile. She has brought me several figures similarly made. The scarf on the stereo top was made by my great-grandmother, who crocheted the edging. There is a tiny mended place on one side where a patch was put under a hole. The figure on the right is Scrooge, a director's gift after we did A Christmas Carol the first time...you can't see the whole thing, but it has a candle holder to the right of the figure. Doing the play was a wonderful thing and the actor who played Scrooge is a very dear friend. I was the Ghost of Christmas Present as well as assistant director. (and Scrooge and I reprised those roles this year and had another wonderful time)

That was way more detail than anyone probably wanted to read, but my point is that this special time of year is about special memories - treasured memories that we revisit and new memories that we are making. This is a very special time in our journey.

More wonderful memories...this sleeping Santa candle is over 50 years old...he sits on a piece of dead cactus from beloved relatives in Texas...the little sack of presents was made by my mother over 50 years ago to go with Santa (corduroy with a bit of glitter) and there are tiny packages that she fashioned with cardboard and wrapping paper in it. The hurricane candle holder in the middle she bought for me the year Beth was born and it's been used every year since then. The dresser scarf was another made by my great-grandmother. There is something special about every item on this table. Each one alone can bring a warm feeling and a smile - put them all together and they're powerful stuff!