Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Project!

Don't you think Vivien needs a Christmas Stocking?
One that can follow her through the years?
One that reminds her of her first encounter with design through her curtains, quilt, diaper bag, burp cloths and all the other little projects that those scraps came up with?

So we grab our scissors and eke out the tiny bits of Amy Butler et al, that remains of the First Year Projects.
Squares, approximately 3 1/2 inches, are cut.

Ten squares are made and placed into a configuration like this:

A handy little fabric marker was used to draw a stocking shape from the squarish one made with the little squares...
Fortunately, since the time I was young, I have always cut out, freehand, letters from construction paper. I guess I wasn't patient enough for stencils. Didn't even use a pencil. Just grabbed my scissors and had at it.
Not saying it is perfect, or even good; it's just how I do it.....

To apply the letters, I used Stitch Witchery first then used a simple blanket stitch for embellishment..( I love Stitch Witchery!)

Got into my stash to fill in when I ran out of Amy...
I pressed on some fusible fleece to the wrong side of each sockie..
(Here, you could place a backing and quilt the squares for an added touch..

I made a lining out of gingham, extra long at the cuff so that I could fold it out.
I placed the lining into the stocking, wrong sides together.
Folding the cuff down and adding a contrasting color, a real Christmas Stocking forms..
Cut a smallish piece, about 3 1/2 inches by 1 1/2 inches; sew right sides together, leaving ends open
Turn and place on heel seam at the top on the cuff.
Sew the hanger onto the cuff.
And here it is...
Ready to head off to the fireplace of a little girl in Mason Ohio!!!
(you hear me, Santa??)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Time to Backtrack

The day before Thanksgiving, before setting the table, making the last minute grocery run and before the last of the progeny came home, it was time for a little Thanksgiving craft at the elementary school.
Once a week, I volunteer at one of the many first grades.
I love helping out the very proficient first grade teacher, making copies, cutting out, tearing out, stapling or whatever else I can do to help her concentrate at the task of stretching these wonderful little kiddo's minds.
I love observing, listening and chuckling quietly to myself over some comment made by the usually uninhibited seven year olds.
Even on a day that was a bit willy nilly, I made sure that I took the time to be there to help Crazy Dee make necklaces for the pretend Native Americans in Mitchell's elementary.
A hoot as usual.
Worth every minute of it....
I am thankful for little minds that soak up knowledge and share their thoughts and emotions freely. I am thankful that some of them have school as a refuge to their harried lives. I am thankful for skilled teachers that truly love their students and spend an inordinated amount of time preparing for teaching them.
Having homeschooled all of my kids for a great deal of their schooling years, it is refreshing and comforting to know that bastions of learning exist like this particular teacher's class.
Next to Lovely Wife, she is one of my favorite teachers....



And since I have your attention, can I just share more Vivien stories/photos?
My little girl is very discerning.
Her eyes and hands latched on to this painting, done by her doting mother several years ago.
The bright colors and thick texture appealed to her good design sense..
Interesting, isn't it, that she was so drawn to only one of my paintings of the many in my home, and it was one done by her mama?

And here she spent some time watching the outside, while contemplating a good stand up...
Her little face melts me like nothing else....

Onward to Christmas, sewing for gifts for my faithful customers, decorating and otherwise enjoying this festive season....

Friday, November 27, 2009

Reverie

Can you hear my contented sigh from there?
Can you understand how terribly overwhelmed my little heart is having all 'my people' around me for a generous amount of time?
Let me give you some glimpses of the past few days..

Lots of table time...
Good food, good conversation and lots of laughter...

My favorite people drifting around our home...
Youngest son checking in...

Young Friend Emily...(the one that calls me Queen....)

Most Wonderful Granddaughter with her proper Thanksgiving attire, complete with "I'm stuffed" message on her bottom...

Did I mention that Baby Girl's Hubby did ALL the dishes??!!
Amazing...Without being asked...
Worth his weight in gold...

Multitudinous trips to the grocery. Even the off the beaten path whole foods type grocer to buy all the fixins for a proper Italian Thanksgiving (no, we're not Italian, but sure love the cuisine....)

Hubby despises Brussels sprouts.
But he allows them when they are cooked with chestnuts and pancetta and Sicilian olives...Beautiful color, huh??

Part of Vivien's Holiday apparel...Cute. Adorable. Temporary. Miss Viv hates bibs...

The goal.
The meal.
The quietness of all of us savoring the food.
My voice stilled by the overwhelming gratitude that fills my heart.
My precious people.
The extraordinary blessing that each of them are in my life.
The fact that we have reached this point at this time in our lives.
Grateful. Thankful.
Thank you Lord....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Amazing Thankfulness

A new era of my life and a new depth of thankfulness occurred on March 9th of this year.
Seeing life through the eyes of my granddaughter, has allowed me to experience life with a novice viewpoint.
A perspective not checked out for many years.
Fresh, innocent and pure.
From the wonder of her first grape, pictured below, to the quizzical look of just what the heck is a dog doing in the house, I love it.


As you can see by my countenance, my unbridled awe of this little girl that has completely stolen my heart, taken me to that young mama place of many years ago, allowed me to see my very loving proficient daughter take on a new role that becomes her, it is through her that my life has been renewed and restored.
She and all her cousins to be, are my future and my new life.
And I am thankful.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mail Bag!


Here she is!
The winner of the mama's collection First Ever Giveaway Bag Extravaganza!!!
Got this in my email yesterday with a lovely note:

....' the bag is already one of those items that just makes me happy to see it....!'

My Goal!! To share the comfort and fun of creating! Enjoy! (Psalm 92:4) Thank you God!!

Then I got this note as well:

....Wow, what a fun batch of burp cloths! We've enjoyed going over the details (pretty ones, I might add) of each one! I detect a theme- yellow, turquoise, sky, flowers, and personal homey touches -lace, initialing and oh, so feminine-- I love it!......

Imagine a new mom of a five day old little girl, having the presence of mind and TIME to thank me for the gift that she received less than 8 hours before....Wow...I am humbled and impressed! Thank you, Rachel, for the gift of new life......

Then this morning:

...."Gracie just went down to take her first nap of the day...and I tried to use another blanket to wrap her in (wanted to wash the Nana quilt to bring to Chicago) but she cried and wailed and screamed until I wrapped her in her Nana quilt and she rubbed her cheek on it and fell asleep as I was humming. She has a very, very strong connection to this blanket ....just like her Nana......'

Sigh..

Dare you even ask what I am thankful for this week?
Thank you Lord.....The Author of it all.......

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Randomness


In a recent blog, soulemama shared the love of the way the light during this time of year, colors her home in a golden hue.
I agreed.
The autumnal light goldens up the home and gifts you with that glow for the shorter days of winter.
When I took this photo of my dining room, it was to try to capture the warmth that enters, usually while I"m making supper.
It's like a beacon, beckoning the family to gather and report in with each other at the end of another day....
Love it...

On a completely different note, the photo above is of my dear cat, Stella.
Stella's story is comical enough for a blog of it's own. Sufficient to say, this photograph pretty much sums up Stella. She loves to sit in my fountain when it's turned off, hoping to catch a thirsty bird. Not too obvious, huh? She also thinks that she is totally invisible. She 'sneaks' up on birds in a densely thick green garden hide out, convinced that the birds cannot see her. There has been occasions that I have heard flocks of birds snickering at her.
Now that the fountain is closed for the winter, Stella is non plussed. Even though she has her pick from countless comfy, quilted, pillowed cushions, the Silly Thing is perched, for the whole afternoon, in a tarpaulined concrete fountain top.
Stella.

Upon a visit to our local laundromat, I came across this warning.
I love living in a small town where there is no end to handmade signs like this. I actually have enough photographed to make a small book.

And speaking of laundromats, do you know what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving? That I own a washer and dryer!
Whenever I have to visit a laundromat, I am made aware, again, how quickly I take for granted the incredible blessing that such appliances afford.
Thank you God. Let me not take these things for granted.

And last, but not least...
Miss Kitty, our 15 year old cat who has a mild case of dementia...
Miss Kitty now forgets where her litter box is.
Sometimes she forgets that she is not allowed to jump on the counter tops and lick thawing chicken..
The other day, she was MIA for over 12 hours. Very unlike my little homebody. I was weepy and remorseful for pitching her out after peeing in the dining room. I just knew she had met her demise, lonely and sad...I was bereft...
Then, leaving for errands, she prances in the front door, hollering at me for her dinner/breakfast/lunch....
Oh, Miss Kitty.....My little Phoenix......

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Baby Necessities


A fairly new friend at our fairly new church just had her sixth child.
A little girl named Elizabeth Hope.
I believe she may have been born at home.
I know that a sixth child may need some new things of her own. Lots of hand me downs, I'm sure...

So I think that mama's collection needs to contribute some new spit up cloths.
A fancy spin on the mundane and practical.

I think Elizabeth will like these.
Welcome to our world, little girl...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Oxymoron: Diet Comfort Food



Okay.
What is it about Fall that brings out the carb laden entrees of the world?
And if there weren't enough recipes guaranteed to put more pounds on before
The Holidays, I decided to go ahead and add to the mix.....

This little ditty swam around my brain today...
Seems like the more ingredients that I knew were evil to me, the more I kept adding...Rebellion in Cooking??

Mac and Cheese Comfort Casserole

1 box of macaroni, cooked till just tender
1 lb of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup shredded mozzarella
3/4 cup skim milk (the diet part! go ahead! use whole milk, cream, milnot!)
1/4 cup of butter (the most conservative guess I could give you!)
3/4 crushed potato chips
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
1 tbs fresh parsley
2 cans tuna in water, drained (divide up the somewhat empty cans between the two cats)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp dried onion flakes
1 pkg of bagel chips (not in the recipe; I just munched on them while I cooked...They would be good crushed on the top in place of the potato chips)

Drain macaroni.
Add butter and stir well. Add cheeses. Stir even harder. Add milk and celery and spices and tuna and soup. Mix well...

Pour into buttered (!)casserole dish or lasagna sized pan.
Cover with some Parmesan, cheddar and crushed chips.
Place that little celery leaf that you were going to through away, in the center and pop into a preheated(325) oven..Bake 45 minutes....

Rich, hot, carby and comforting....

New Recipe



Sausage Soup

1 lb smoked sausage, sliced into 1 inch pieces (hubby says smaller?)
4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion, diced
2 turnips, peeled, diced
1/2 head of cabbage (or more if the head is small)
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
3 tbls. butter
2 tbls. sugar
2 tbls fresh parsley (how much longer will it last before the BIG frost??)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 cups of bouillon (I take five cubes beef bouillon, 5 cups of water and cook in the microwave for 5 minutes)

Saute potatoes, onion, turnips and carrots in butter till a bit tender; stir frequently to keep from sticking.
Add the bouillon and stir well....Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Then add the sausage and the cabbage, sugar, pepper and parsley and simmer for 30 minutes....

Serve with crusty bread or corn bread muffins.....

Yum......

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Collections


You may wonder, just what does mama collect?
mama collects that which pleases her.
Those things that speak to a space in your soul where you find comfort.
Things that trigger a feeling, a place, an essence that you would define as yourself.

For many years, I have sought to create a place of peace, a recreation of a home life, a domicile of comfort for myself, my family and all that would drift into my halls...

For me, this doesn't come by ordering from a catalog. This essence comes from taking things that have already been proven through use of another generation, another home; a kindred spirit of the past... Taking these things that bring joy and embracing them for the next generation.

I love my collections, whatever it means for that day. I have gathered things that I had no idea would grow into a collection but by mere virtue of their wonderfulness, the numbers would grow.. Baskets, patterns, fabric, generic McCoy pottery, odd little animal sculptures, candlesticks, quilts, books (always books!) china, stoneware, towels, bowls, platters, odd jewelry, lamps....you get the drift; nothing in particular, just what appeals and what works toward the goal of the essence.

It can be frustrating for those living with me.
I have no reason for the attainment of these things.
I just know that these things need to live with me.
A typical conversation will go like this:

Me:" Ooohhhh I love that turquoise pitcher!'
Hubby: What would you do with it? Don't you have one like that? Where would you put it?
Me: Don't know. I have three like that one. Don't know. But it just needs to be with me...

Outcome: Sometimes it comes home with me; sometimes not. But I always take the chance that it could come with me......!

My advice?
Seek for those things that bring you joy; collect and enjoy and share and use. Have an open mind to sharing things as well to help out someone else and their essence....Hold these things with an open hand and get joy in giving them as well as collecting...I once gave a young friend a pair of pair of turquoise vintage lamps because she liked them so much. I still smile thinking of her using them. I smile when I see them peek in her blog every now and then...

That's part of the beauty of possessing the essence; you cannot help in sharing it; that's what makes it so glorious...!

Collect, enjoy, share......

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More November Birthdays!

One of my Fleur de Lis friends turns 90 years old on the 25th.
She is amazing.
She is currently crocheting an afghan for each of her grandchildren. (great grandchildren?)
She is poet; not only writing her own, but memorizing and reciting them word for word.
And other poetry as well.
She has a rapier wit; sharp as a tack.
I wanna be like her when I'm 90.
(notice I said when, not if....:D)
So Fleur de lis' monthly hostess took us to the local Mexican restaurant for a bit of a change.
Twelve ladies of age, including the three nonagenarians that grace our group.
Our chuckle to each other and the staff, was that we came there for the good margaritas. Too funny.
When one of the waiters asked one of our ninety year old treasures, how she has lived this long, she put up her hands in the air and simulated a little hoochie koochie dance! Hyssssterical!!!
I secretively notified the waiter that we had a Birthday Girl in our midst, knowing that a rousing Spanish version of Happy birthday, loud noisemakers and a HUGE sombrero awaited the celebrant. Did I mention that it also included a bit of a slap of whipped cream off the dessert tortilla, onto the unsuspecting Birthday Girl's face?? (gotta admit; I was a bit nervous about that part.)
So, when we were all finished with our fajitas, burritos, tacos, chimichangas, the rascally waiters approached our Young at Heart Birthday Girl with great gusto.
It was video worthy...
BG enjoyed it thoroughly. She kept the sombrero on for quite awhile then proclaimed it hers and said, 'well, they gave it to me; I'm keepin it!!'
We all watched as she paid her bill, with the hat on, and confidently, with her cane(she's had three hip replacements) marched out the door...
She did it!
What were they going to do? Tackle her??
She knew that they would not bother her.
She is ninety and spunky.
Too funny.
Gotta love being ninety.....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Catch Up Time!

Back home.
Busy, busy week with Hubby home, Sister visit, Eldest Son/Lovely Wife visit and a quick visit with Baby Girl and Harry Beast.
A nice Sunday afternoon walk brought this little piece of antiquity in Eldest Son's neighborhood. Great color for a hydrant, eh?

mama always wants to cook for her people...
The favorite spaghetti sauce with carrots, celery and bacon? So Good.

We saw this flash from the polluted past...
An actual lady actually burning actual leaves...with a can of gasoline nearby...Really? Wow.

Just a grand walk/talk with Baby Girl and Lovely Wife and the silliest boston terrier you'll ever meet...my granddog....

Lovely Wife got to pick the restaurant for our November Birthday Celebration....Good, good choice, LW!
The Creation Cafe in downtown Indianapolis (www.indycanal.com)
New with an old warehouse vibe..
Awesome food and with outdoor seating in November, more's the better

And with chairs like this, could the food be bad? I think not...

Fun time....Good croquet game too, Eldest Son!!! Wow..First AND Third place!!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

AND THE WINNER IS!!!!


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The winner of the First Ever mama's collection Giveaway Bag is my new friend
and commenter, Ashley!

As you can see, Hubby's Hand pulled the name out of Dixie's toy basket. (Hubby was quite ready for bed thus the bedside drawing:D) Dixie
was not real sure why her toys went missing for a time and being the overseer that she is, made sure the drawing was on the up and up.
(kinda like that accounting firm for the Oscars but not....)
Anyway!
Congratulations Ashley!
Let me know how to contact you so I can get this mailed off quickly!

Ah.....What a nice week......!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day Six , tick, tick, tick....

Day Six of Giveaway Bag week!
Day Six of Hubby's Week Off!

So, we are off to Indy to visit Eldest Son and Lovely Wife.
Much to report on this Big Gathering of The November Birthday Girls Celebration but today is all about the Birthday Girls....

Can't wait till tomorrow night and the drawing~~~~~ :D
See you then!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Day Five of Bag Giveaway and What the Heck Happened to Day Four??

Remember, Hubby has been off for the week.
And a Week of Spoofin is a whole lot more busy than a Day of Spoofin.
So where is Day Four?
In the annals of our memories.
There were walks with my Sewing Room Assistant and our photographer.....

There was a wonderful visit with this little fuzzy guy and his people,
aka My Eldest Sister and Her Wonderful Husband. They live another state over so it's a bit of a hike, but the time that we spent there was oh so worth the trek. We had a lovely, lovely visit. Snippets of their neighbors, aka my niece and several of her four sons with a brief drop in by the nephew in law.
Could it be that the sweet little niece that came to our family when I was 16, is now 40 and starting to empty her very full nest? Wow.

And then there was the mundane.
Leaves to contend with, both on the ground and in the brand new gutters.
I took this photo of Hubby on the cliff of our roof to enrage our children further about his antics when there is no witnesses or protectors hanging around.
I'm sewing and he quietly, like he does this every day, exits the window and proceeds to use his broken Gutter Getter to roust out the infernal products of our abundant tulip tree.
Evidence, kids....Your Papa is still stubborn as ever.....

Then there was babysitting.
Just a brief spot with the 2G's so their mama could make a doctor visit.
Grant and Mr. Pat read many books and Miss Grace, the brand new walker, listens in. We thought we should all go to McD's when mama got home.
Just more fun. The 2G's mama spelled out F-o-l-l-o-w t-h-a-t b-i-r-d, a secret Christmas gift, to wit, Grant replied with gusto, 'Follow That Bird'! The Big Bird Movie...!!!" Not quite three.....

Ta Da!!!
Almost completed and really fun, The Giveaway Bag!!!!!
Again, I thank you and all your kind comments....
This has been such fun for me; already planning the next Fun Thing of Interest on My Blog....
Tell me what you think of the First Ever Giveaway Bag...
and maybe ideas for the next event?!
Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day Three of Giveaway Week!

Well now.
What do we have here?
Looks like a pretty dandy shell of a potential Giveaway Bag, eh?
Gotta confess, couldn't work too much on it today.
Lotsa spoofin today. Hubby off and all.
But my mind keeps going there and improvements are being made all the time!
Just wait!

One spoofin trip involved fabric shopping.
Hubby's idea.
Yeah, you heard me right.
And not just any trip to JoAnne's.
No, no. This in Southern Indiana and our fabric stores find themselves in far away spots with county roads involved.
For instance: The Fabric Hideaway in rural, rural Haysville.
You have to depend on their large signs and mileage markers to get there.
But you're glad you traveled there and persisted.
Large new barn on this family's property, housing an amazing amount of all kinds of fabric and some limited notions. When I asked, 'Do you carry any interfacing?' Her quick hopeful answer was, 'Not Yet!!'

You really must go to www.fabrichideaway.com. If you're enticed to order a new bag, it takes one yard for most bags; more for totes.....:D

Yeah, that 's what I'm talking about!

AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT I FOUND IN THIS FARAWAY FABRIC MECCA?
YELLOW BUTTER SOFT SUEDE!!!!
Oh yeah! I'm talking wonderfully soft and sooooooooo good...
The mind is zooming ahead on plans for that beauty...!
I would love for it to be the first bag on my COMING SOON Etsy shop!!

You really must stayed tune, no?

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