STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year! It seems like it was just a couple of years ago that we were welcoming the Millenium...worrying about computers crashing, Y2K, and all sorts of possible tragedies. My hubby was "on call" in case of some terrible crash of all the computer systems at the bank.... of course nothing happened.. except another New Year! And now we're marking a new decade. It doesn't seem possible...
And so, in this coming new year, I hope all your wishes, hopes and dreams come true! May it be a happy and healthy year full of new successes, new journeys, and more time for whatever your creative muse desires.....


A new year,
like a new snow
seems to hold it's breath...
waiting for footprints

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside!!

The thermometer has plunged and we seem to be in the depths of a cold snap - it was -31 last night with wind chill, and that wind was bitter! It howled around the house, blowing snow into drifts in the driveway.... so we huddled down and enjoyed a good game of Rummoli!
Ian and Tiffany have been here since Monday afternoon. Her grandfather was brought down to the Chalmers Hospital overnight on Monday by ambulance, with a suspected heart attack. I was not happy, having to wake her early Tuesday morning to give her that news... But it has turned out better than they expected; it was not a heart attack but rather a buildup of fluid in his only lung. He is feeling somewhat better today, and they may transfer him back upriver to the new Regional hospital in Waterville later this afternoon or this evening, depending on test results. So Ian and Tiff have just left, to return home to Nova Scotia. I expect we will take our tree down today or tomorrow... Christmas is over for another year.... Things are returning to "normal".. whatever that is!
For me, one of the very best gifts I could get would be a good book. I just love to settle down after Christmas with a new "good read". This year my Christmas book was "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett, a New York Times Bestseller. (Thanks Barb!!) It is her first novel, and I sure hope she keeps writing! It was just the kind of book I love- the kind that you find hard to put down. It is the story of three women in early 1960's Mississippi.
Here's the synopsis from the front cover flap: "Twenty-two year old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed"....
I highly recommend this book; it is well written and it pulls you in, right from the first page. Both the characters and the story are so very real, you cannot help but be swept away... Add it to your "Must Read" List - you won't be sorry...


"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." ~ Joseph Addison

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Dinner

Christmas is over for another year.... It's sort of like a wedding - you plan and organize and work for so long, looking forward to the day, then it's over in what seems like seconds! The day flies by much too quickly, for all the work that's gone into it...

I so enjoy Christmas Dinner - it's one of my favourite parts of Christmas. We alternate back and forth between my brothers' house and mine for dinner - one year here, the next year there. This year was my turn. We enjoy the traditional turkey with all the fixin's - lots of veggies, gravy, stuffing, etc. We always have the same kind of salad- it's a layered salad which we now refer to as "Christmas Dinner salad". It's made a day ahead and it is sooo good - I would be happy with just a plate of turkey and the salad - I could easily skip everything else... well, maybe not the Christmas Pudding...

Here is the recipe: of course you can try it any day, not just for Christmas ...

Layered Salad

In your prettiest clear glass bowl, layer the following, in this order:
iceberg lettuce (bottom)
choppped red and green pepper
chopped celery
sliced mushrooms
chopped red onion
frozen green peas, cooked ( I just zap them in the microwave for a few minutes, then drain them and spread on paper towel to allow to "dry off"). The peas are the last (top) layer.
Top with dressing:
1 to 1 1/2 cups Miracle Whip salad dressing mixed with 2 Tblsp. white sugar. Spread evenly over the peas, being sure to spread right to the edge of the bowl to "seal" . Garnish with parmesan cheese, grated cheddar and crumbled crisp bacon. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
I have not listed amounts of the veggies - this depends on the size of your bowl, as does the amount of Miracle Whip I use. This photo was taken after it has set for 24 hours. You can see the dressing starts to permeate the salad- I don't really have 3" of dressing!! It just looks that way....
"Christmas! 'Tis the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial fire of charity in the heart." ~ Washington Irving

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!! I hope everyone enjoys a wonderful day with family and friends, a day of peace and relaxation, a day of joy and contentment.


Christmas is more than a day in December
It's all of those things that we love to remember
It's carolers singing familiar refrains
Bright colored stockings and shiny toy trains
Streamers of tinsel and glass satin balls
Laughter that rings through the house and it's halls
Christmas is more than a day in December
It's the magic and love that we always remember
~M.E. Miro

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The smells of Christmas...

I can't believe I have not posted since last Friday. The days are flying by; I have been so busy I don't know which way to turn...
Winter has arrived.. with a vengeance the last few days... it has been snowing for 24 hours now.. it's piling up! But oh is it pretty! I was out for a short walk this evening, doing yet another Christmas errand and it was so beautiful! Peaceful and quiet, large lazy flakes drifting down, little snowballs forming at the toe of my boots as I kicked the snow - it's the perfect snow tonight for making snowballs or snowmen.... I wish I had time to go out and play!

I have spent the last few days in the kitchen. Today for example, I have made the Christmas Pudding and accompanying Hard Sauce, 2 batches of Peanut Brittle, 2 pans of squares, one batch of Cheese Spread, not to mention meals. And I still have to do a layered salad. I am tired, to say the least....

But the house smells so good these days. I think one of my favourite "smells" of Christmas is the smell of shortbread baking. I do two different types of shortbread cookies - the usual kind, and the other we call "Cinnamon Sticks". It is just a shortbread dough that is rolled into small logs about the size of your little finger; when they come out of the oven, while hot they are rolled in a cinnamon sugar mixture. Yummmmm... Definitely a family favourite. Here's the recipe:

Cinnamon Sticks
2 cups flour
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 cup soft butter
Sift together dry ingds. Mix into softened butter, blending well. Form into small logs, about the thickness and length of your little finger. Place on cookie sheet. Bake at 325F for about 20 minutes- until they just begin to lightly brown. While still hot, roll in a mixture of 1/2 cup white sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon. These keep well - if you can hide them!! Makes about 5 dozen.
I hope you are all ready for Christmas. Take time to enjoy it with your family and friends. Wishing you all the warmth and joy of the season. From my home to yours, best wishes.
May the spirit of Christmas always shine in your heart and your home...

Friday, December 18, 2009

More Christmas Stitching...

Last Friday I promised to show you more Christmas cross-stitching. Here are two Santas that I made years ago. They were from kits - I can't even remember who they were by; I'm quite sure it was NOT Mill Hill as there were no beads involved... Anyway, I love little kits like this in which everything you need is included - the perforated paper, the floss, needle and pattern/directions. These Santas each measure about 5" tall. They were fun to do and I've been hanging them on my little Victorian tree in my livingroom ever since.

Mill Hill has a new series of Santa kits out - "Arctic Circle Santas". Each Santa is accompanied by an animal. I have purchased one and have the other two on order. Lapland Santa is with a reindeer, Nunavut Santa with a polar bear, and Greenland Santa with a mountain sheep. I hope to have them all ready to show you next year!
These other ornaments were also stitched on perforated paper, but aren't from a kit. They are from a pattern leaflet called Warm Wooly Mitten Stuffers by Need'l Love. Shown here are two of the six designs. They are shown stitched on fabric on the pattern, but I took the easier option, using the paper. I have two other patterns by Need'l Love which I would like to do as well - little tiny stitched stockings. Maybe I'll add them to the list for next year.

So... how did you do with the Christmas Carol Quiz? (see it here) Here are the answers.....
1. Oh Come All Ye Faithful
2. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
3. Silent Night
4. Joy to the World!
5. Deck the Halls
6. Angels We Have Heard on High
7. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
8. Jingle Bells
9. O Little Town of Bethlehem
10. Little Drummer Boy
11. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
12. White Christmas
13. O Holy Night
14. Walking in a Winter Wonderland
15. We Three Kings
16. Away in a Manger
17. Go Tell It on the Mountain
18. We Wish You a Merry Christmas (and so do I!!)
"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." ~Charles Dickens (Scrooge, in A Christmas Carol)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Hanging of the Garlic

No, we're not an Italian family. Neither are we obsessed with keeping vampires at bay. But each year we have to "hang the garlic"! Let me explain.
As I've told you earlier, I seem to decorate for Christmas in a certain "order" - some things are first to be put out, other things are always done later. When my children were younger, we always held off on putting up the trees until just days before Christmas, since once they were up the kids would be bouncing off the walls knowing that Santa's arrival was not far off... Along with the trees, another "leave it till the last job" is putting the garland on the stairway. I always get my hubby to help me as it is one long piece and much easier to handle with four hands rather than two. I don't know why it's always been one of the last things to be done, it just has. And once it's up, it seems like it's "OK- we're ready now. Let Christmas begin!"
One year, when Laura was probably about four, she asked when we were going to put up the garlic? I said "the garlic"??? "Yes Mummy, the garlic. Can we do it now?" I was stumped as to what she was thinking of... Finally she said- "You know, the garlic on the stairs, with the bows." I then realized she meant the garland. We have called it "The Hanging of the Garlic" ever since...
So, today, I Hung the Garlic!!
Let Christmas begin!


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Music Quiz

Music is one of the aspects of Christmas that I enjoy the most. Tonight was our Ladies Choir Christmas Concert Dress Rehersal. It is such a thrill to sing in this choir of almost 100 voices. I can't wait for Sunday afternoon - the concert is sold out- 1000 tickets! We've even sold the seats we were going to occupy! There is a nice mix of sacred and secular pieces, old familiar carols and new ones you've never heard before.. We will sing in English, French, Spanish, Hebrew and Maliseet! Our audience is in for a treat!
I must give credit to my daughter Laura for this lovely photo of holly in the snow...
I thought some of you might enjoy this Quiz.... Can you identify these well known Christmas Carols? I'll post the answers in a few days...

1. Move hitherward the entire assembly of those who are loyal in their belief.

2. Listen, the celestial messengers produce harmonious sounds.

3. Nocturnal timespan of unbroken quietness.

4. An emotion excited by the acquisition of expectation of good given to the terrrestial sphere.

5. Embellish the interior passageways.

6. Heavenly beings from exalted surroundings.

7. Twelve o'clock on a clement night witnessed it's occurence.

8. Tintinnabulation of vacillating pendulums in inverted metallic resonant cups.

9. Small municipality in Judea southeast of Jerusalem.

10. Diminuative masculine master of skin-covered percussionistic cylinders.

11. Omnipotent supreme being who elicits respite to ecstatic distinguished male persons.

12. Natal celebration devoid of color.

13. In awe of the nocturnal timespan characterized by religious consecration.

14. Locomotion through a geographic state of fantasy during the season of nature's dormancy.

15. The first person nominative plural of triumvirate of far eastern heads of state.

16. In a distant location the existence of an impoverished unit of newborn children's slumber furniture.

17. Proceed forth and make declaration upon a specific geological alpine formation

18. Jovial yuletide desired for the second person singular or plural, by us.

Leave me a comment and tell me how many you could solve. Tomorrow I'll tell you about the "Hanging of the Garlic"...
In music there is harmony, in harmony there is peace.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Collections...

It seems we all have "special collections" that we like to put out at Christmastime. One of my favourite collections is one of children's Christmas storybooks. I have always been a reader and a book lover, and there's no finer gift for a child, in my opinion, than a good book. I prefer to give books rather than toys if I can. So over the years with my own children I have collected some favourite children's Christmas books.
I have already told you about the new book "No Room", illustrated by a friend of mine. It is a lovely story, told in rhyme, with a message of caring and compassion. You can read more about it here. If you cannot find it locally, there is still time to order it from Amazon... I may be a bit biased, but I think this is a wonderful book, and suitable for any child over the age of 4 or so...
Here are a few other favourites: of course The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg is an awesome book, and one most everyone is familiar with these days. The animated movie with the many voices of Tom Hanks is one of my favourites at this time of year - the animations are so amazing I must say I now find the book rather pale by comparison, but the story (and message of believing) is still wonderful.
I have to admit, what really attracts me to a children's book every time is the illustrations. I've long been a fan of Jan Brett, and her story The Wild Christmas Reindeer is one of her best, in my opinion. The illustrations are exceptional - the detail is amazing, and there is an "added bonus" on the side of each page with a "countdown" to Christmas Day by Santa's elves. It's a charming story about Teeka, the young girl who looks after Santa's reindeer. Her job is to bring the reindeer back in from the tundra where they have been since last January and get them back into training for their Christmas Eve journey.
My other favourite for younger children is Rocking Horse Christmas by Mary Pope Osborne, illustrated by Ned Bittinger. This is a lovely (nostalgic) story of a boy and his beloved rocking horse. Time passes and the boy grows up, but his horse never gives up hope that he might be ridden again one day.
The House of Wooden Santas written by Kevin Major of St. John's Newfoundland, won Mr. Christie's Book Award for Best Canadian Children's Book. The illustrations are actual photographs of wooden Santas, hand carved by Imelda George of Arichat, Cape Breton. There are 24 chapters in the book, making it the perfect "countdown" bedtime story. I can remember reading it to my two - it was an immediate hit. It is more suitable for "older" children - maybe ages 10 and up or thereabouts. It's the story of nine year old Jesse and his Mom, a single mother. She decided life might be easier if they left the city and moved to a small seaside town, where living costs would be less and she could support them with her wood carving. Jesse misses his friends and hockey. He doesn't like his new school, and Christmas is coming, but if his mother can't sell enough carvings to pay the rent, they might not even have a Christmas. It's a wonderful story about belief in oneself and others, and belief in the spirit of the season. I would highly recommend this book if you have children or grandchildren the age of 9 or 10 and up.
Although my kids are older now, I still put these books out, in the livingroom, and I'll no doubt find them sneeking a peek through some of these favourites over the holidays....
What storybooks are on your shelf this Christmas?
"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents". ~ Emilie Buchwald

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Victorian Noteables

This is a one day class, scheduled for Saturday May 1st. After an exciting but tiring week of Quilt Canada, this is the perfect class for the final day. A fun-filled stress-free day, in which you are guaranteed to finish a project by day's end! And - all the supplies you need to bring will fit in your purse! Everything else required will be supplied! What more could a gal ask??

This class is your chance to explore the basics of Crazy Quilting without a large investment of time or money. You will piece two small blocks, by machine, then embellish by hand with embroidery and beading. These will be mounted into cards by days' end and you will have two elegant notecards to use for someone very special!

All conference classes requiring machines will have machines provided (by our sponsors), if you don't wish to transport your own. All materials for this class will be provided in a kit. Kit Fee of $12.00 is payable in class. Kit includes two cards and matching envelopes, patterns , all fabrics (top quality silks, taffetas, moires, batiks and cottons), ribbon or trim, embroidery threads, beads, beading thread, and all required needles.

Check back here after January 23 to see more card photos, plus photos of students work from this class.

If you have any questions regarding this class, feel free to contact me at mailto:hubbard2@nbnet.nb.caPlease put "Quilt Canada" in the subject line.

Tiny Treasures

This one day class will be held on Friday April 30th. A sewing machine is necessary for this class; machines are being provided for all conference classes by sponsors, if you do not wish to transport your own.

This will be a fun-filled day of "working small" and learning techniques to improve accuracy while producing a Miniature Quilt - and I'm warning you right off the top - miniatures are addictive! Because everyone's definition of what IS a miniature is different, YOU will choose how small you wish to go. I am not going to tell you that you have to do a 2" block or a 1 1/2" block or whatever. You will make that choice... You may even be happy making 3" blocks. Also you will choose the design you wish to make. There will be lots of choices although I will suggest that you start with a block which is not too complicated. Depending on your skill level, you might choose something fairly simple like a Rail Fence, Shoo Fly or Churn Dash. Or perhaps a Four Patch or Nine Patch or one of their many variations and combinations. If you are a little more skilled you might want to try a block like Bear Paw or Anvil. If you know how to paper-piece and would like to try something really tiny, I will have some patterns and paper foundations ready for blocks like Tiny Log Cabin, Woven Hearts and a few others. You will also decide how many blocks to make- you might want to do just 4 for a really small quilt. Or 9. Or 16 - whatever you like!! It will be a stress free day as you will please yourself in regards to your project. And while you're having all that fun, you will be learning valuable techniques for the precision work needed to produce a successful Miniature Quilt.

You will pick up many tips for accuracy in your quilt-making, which are applicable to "regular sized" quilts too, of course. You will learn to make perfectly accurate half-square triangles with the use of Thangles. These will be provided in class, in 1/2", 3/4" and 1" sizes. There is a Kit Fee of $5.00, payable in class, to cover the cost of Thangles, and patterns which will be provided.

For your borders, you will learn to make precise narrow flat pipings of 1/8" or less, and how to stitch a straight accurate 1/8" wide border.

The quilts you see pictured here are just a few of the samples you will see in class to give you inspiration and ideas. From the top: Bear Paw (15 1/2" square), Log Cabin ( 11" square) One Fish, Two Fish, Green Fish, Blue Fish (fish size: 1 1/2") and Blue Spools and Bobbins (block size: 2" sq.). See others in my Gallery of Miniatures on my Blog and watch for new additions over the winter... I hope you'll join me for one of the most fun-filled classes you'll ever take!

Feel free to contact me at if you have any questions regarding this class. Please put "Quilt Canada" in the subject line.

Festive Elegance 2 day class

This is a two day class, to be held on Wednesday and Thursday, April 28 - 29. No sewing machines are required for this class; all work will be done by hand. This class is scheduled to be held in a room with stair access only- i.e. no elevator, but as you will not have to transport a machine, this should not be a problem. This class is geared to the Intermediate quilter and beyond- i.e. it is probably not suitable for beginners, unless you have some hand embroidery experience. There is a Kit Fee of $20.00, payable in class.

When you register for this class, you will receive along with your Supply list, a pattern for the base of the stocking. You will be required to piece this fabric base, following the provided directions, and put the three sections together, at home, prior to the class. That way we can get right to work on the fun stuff - the embroidery and beading. The pattern is for a Christmas stocking, roughly 19" tall by 11" wide.) You are not required to do the stocking - if you would prefer to do another shape, such as one or several blocks, that is fine with me. As long as you come to class with a fabric base to work on, we'll both be happy! The photo you see at left is a stocking base with just the "beginnings " of embellishments added- one piece of ribbon, a lenght of tatting and a piece of lace. This stocking is "in progress" - you can follow it's progress on my Blog and once it is done, I will add a photo here. This just gives you an idea of what your fabric base would look like. You can also see photos of other stockings made by some of my previous students by looking at the Gallery of Student's Work on my Blog.

Our 2 days of class time will be funtime - playtime! You will learn to embellish your fabric base with a variety of laces trims and ribbons of various sorts, hand embroidery, silk ribbon work, and beads, buttons and charms. You will be able to pick and choose to make your piece unique - you do not have to use every technique or apply every type of embellishment. Hand embroidery stitches taught will include: straight stitch, buttonhole, herringbone, chain, detached chain (or lazy daisy), french knot, cretan, chevron, and featherstitch. You will not only learn the basic stitch for each, but also some variations, and if you are an experienced embroiderer, I will have a number of Stitch Samplers to give you ideas for how you can vary and combine stitches for a more intricate look. You will learn to not only vary the look of your stitches with the use of color, but also with the weight of yarns/threads (thin threads against heavier) and with texture- dull threads vs. shiny, smooth threads against fuzzy, etc. Variety is the key!

Your kit will include a variety of threads to supplement what you bring. This is for the benefit of all (the more variety the better!) but especially for those who may live in an area where they cannot access much other than cotton floss. The threads will include a good range of colors (both solids and variegateds) in a variety of fibers and weights- cotton perles, twists and flosses, silks, rayons, wools, etc. As well as the threads, your kit will include all the needles you will require ( sharps, crewel, tapestry, chenille and beading needles), a needle gripper, beads and beading thread, several laces/trims, a charm, and several colors of silk ribbon. I guarantee you will be happy with your kit contents. I like my students to feel they have gotten their money's worth. I may also have extra threads available for purchase. (Once the kits are made up, I will add a photo here so you can see what is included. I will likely not be doing the kits until March.)

When you register for this class, you will receive, along with the Class Supply List, the pattern for the fabric base and detailed step by step directions to follow. There are lots of suggestions to aid you with fabric selection, and other tips to help you. And if you have trouble, I am only a quick email away! :)

I will make additions to this post, as we get closer to Conference time. I will be adding more photos and a simple tutorial to help you piece your fabric base. In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me by email at Just put "Quilt Canada" in the subject line.

We're decking the halls...

Can you believe Christmas is less than 2 weeks away..... eeeek! But I feel I am making fairly good progress. My shopping is probably 75% finished, most of the decorating is done and my goal for today is to get the annual Christmas letter written so cards and greetings can go out early next week. I always feel like a huge weight has been lifted when that job is complete! I don't do a huge amount of baking, since yours truly ends up eating too much of it anyway and Lord knows I don't need any more extra pounds. One good day in the kitchen will take care of that. And I always leave wrapping till the end....
Isn't it funny how tradition becomes so much a part of Christmas? You don't think people notice things, but when you don't put out a certain ornament or decoration, someone says "Well Mum, we HAVE to put that here because it's always here"... I guess we truly are creatures of habit! And now that I think about it, I even tend to decorate in the "same order"... There are certain things which always come out first.. Maybe that means they are the favourites? Among the very first things I put out are my Christmas quilts and cross stitching. I guess because I spent a good number of hours making them, I want to enjoy them for as long as possible. The kid's stockings are always among the first things to be brought out. (I'm not sure I'll ever part with these, when Mark and Laura have their own homes and families...) You can click on these photos for a closer look...
My collections of angels and santas are also at the head of the list. The angels go in the kitchen and the Santas are in the livingroom, mostly on the piano. My teddybear collection (which is out all year around) is arranged on the stairway, one or two on each step. They look more festive when we get the garland, bows and white minilights on the banister. What are your favourite decorations ?
Tomorrow I'll tell you about another special Christmas collection I enjoy...
"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time." ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, December 11, 2009

Here comes Santa Claus

Here he is.. Santa Claus himself. He is the last one I'm doing in the series of Mill Hill beaded Santas. There is one more actually, named Kris Kringle, but I don't care for the design, so this is it! This makes five different stitched beaded Santas. This one is # MHCSF 15. I used white on this one for the beard; I think I prefer the cream, but this one will be unique! Again, I changed the hat colors from what the pattern called for.

I hope to get a few more of these ornaments made, for some special friends, but I'm hoping to keep these five for my own tree, as I have been making these for 10 years now and have never kept one for myself ! You can see the others here, here, here and here. Which one is your favourite?
Next Friday I'll show you some other cross-stitched ornaments I have made.
Santa Claus is coming to town...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mailbox Surprise

Don't you just love opening your mailbox these days? It seems each day brings a Christmas card or two now; we love hearing from all our friends and getting caught up on the news. But today I got a special surprise when I opened my mailbox- a small package! You know what they say- good things come in small packages!!

Several weeks ago I won a "contest" of sorts on Pat Winter's Blog Gatherings. She was working on a small crazy quilted item and asked her readers to guess what it was going to be. She gave us the dimensions and the clue that it would "be useful for many outings".... Here is what we saw. My guess was a carrier for a bottle or flask; actually with winter coming I was thinking flask- for Hot Chocolate or Cider of course! One other lucky reader and I were correct. (The other reader was "more correct" than I with her guess of a water bottle carrier.) So today in my mailbox was my prize - a "Bliss Kit" from Pat. It contained some lovely hand-dyed 7mm silk ribbon, 4 of Pat's Victorian images and two little bead packs. Thanks so much Pat!! I can't wait to use your "goodies"... I wonder what will be in my mailbox tomorrow?
There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." ~ Edith Wharton

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow...

I'm back!! We have had major Internet problems since late last week. I wrote a post on Sunday morning but couldn't get the pics to load, and then couldn't get back on to my Blog to post... There were trucks in our area working on the lines, and since neighbours were also having troubles, I just assuned that was it. But the work is done, trucks are gone, others were no longer having difficulties, but we still were. Emails would not send, websites would not open... MOST frustrating! Anyway, after two calls to Bell, we're now back in business. Who knew that your modem and router could get "out of sync"? And the "fix" was as simple as unplugging both, waiting a few minutes and then plugging them back in, one at a time... The things you learn!!!

Anyway, this sort of seems like "stale news" now....We had our first significant snowfall on Saturday night. Yes we've had a few snowfalls before this, but they didn't last - it either just melted off or was "rained away"... But this one was beautiful - soft fluffy snow which covered the ground and trees, turning the outdoors into a "fairyland"... I love the first snowfall... As soon as Christmas is over, I'm ready for spring and warm weather... but for now, it's beautiful. And now we have another storm on the way - heavy snowfall warnings issued... so we're hunkering down tonight. Think I'll pick up a good movie, stock up on popcorm and hope the power doesn't go off...

I received a wonderful gift from a dear friend on Friday afternoon - what perfect timing.... She made me an entire new set of crocheted snowflakes. Shown here are 15 of the 21 I received - aren't they beautiful? And every one is different. She gave me a number of these 19 years ago, for our first Christmas in this house and I hang them every year. However they were starting to look yellowed, so it was time for new ones. I hang these in my two kitchen windows each year, on the day of the first good snowfall and they remain there until the snow is gone in the spring. I love them - they're one of my favourite decorations, and I often think of my friend Joy when I look at them... Thanks Joy, for such a wonderful gift from the hands of a special friend. (This is the same special friend who made the beautiful smocked eggs you saw here at Easter).


A snowflake is winter's butterfly....

Friday, December 4, 2009

Here's St. Nicholas

St. Nicholas is done! He is the fourth in my series of cross-stitched and beaded Santas. They are from kits from Mill Hill - St. Nicholas is # MHCSF16. If you have not been following my progress on these Santa ornaments, you can see the other three here, here and here. I enjoy working on these in the evenings when I am finally able to sit down and relax. This is the only stitching I have managed to get done this week.
It has been a frustrating week- we have waited all week for bloodwork results for Laura, to find out this morning that everything came back negative! Of course that is good news- nothing seriously wrong; however she is still not feeling very energetic and is still sleeping more than 12 hours per night. I guess she is just worn out... I continue to plug her full of fresh fruit, yogurt, smoothies and as much other healthy stuff as I can manage.
I have accomplished very little it seems, this week. Appointments and other routine stuff that has to be done is taking up too much of my time!! I'm trying to get some Christmas things done, but not a lot of progress yet. I'm hoping next week will be better! I'm teaching a class tomorrow, so after that- full steam ahead on Christmas!!! Hubby and I took a quick trip to Moncton yesterday. We purchased tickets a month ago to attend The Living Christmas Tree Show - it was amazing! If you live in my area and have never been, you really should check it out. It is quite a show- excellent music, fabulous costumes and of course a wonderful Christmas message of what the season is really about.
Christmas is about HOW you spend it, not how much....
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