Friday, December 31, 2010

How Do You Choose?

All those Christmas pictures - how do you choose? Guess I'll just collage these Christmas Eve pictures - I forgot my camera on Christmas day, so that makes it a little easier.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

December 26

Everyone should do this.
Have a good lunch at Rookwood Pottery Restaurant on a cold December day.

Hurry through the parking lot hunched against the cold and wind.

Go just a mile down the road to Krohn Conservatory,

where it's so warm and humid that your glasses will instantly fog up

and there is bright color goodness everywhere.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Post Christmas

For some reason, don't know why, I've been unable to access blogger. When it opened today I was truly surprised and not really prepared to blog. I just tried "blogspot" to see what would happen and was surprised. But, I have words.

It was a wonderful Christmas and it sped by entirely too quickly. Christmas Eve I got off work, delivered some gifts, and loaded up the truck with food and gifts to go to Steph's house. I didn't think that everything would fit in the cab, but of course most of it did. Gift bags squish. I left a few things at home for Sarah and Winnie to pick up on their way through. They got to Steph's about an hour after me. It was wonderful to have Aunt Tina join us.

There was lovely food, good wine, and presents. At one point, Aaron built a fort of presents and was very reluctant to give any up and lose his fort.

Back again for Christmas morning and the Santa unveiling. Nora had asked for a pillow pet, and pillow pets for her and Aaron were in a huge gift bag. She opened her presents and quietly told her mom, "I think Santa forgot my pillow pet." And there it was. In the bag. It was the top-of-the-list Santa gift.

Steph and Mike and family left for Greenville, and Sarah, Winnie, and I went to the movies. Sarah and I have made this a Christmas tradition for at least five years now. We saw True Grit, a good choice, and came home and ate the lasagna which had been baking while we were gone.

The day after Christmas, we met family friends at Krohn Conservatory and Rookwood Restaurant, which are about a mile apart. Great food once again, and the conservatory is always a treat. That night, Steph, Nora, and Aaron came for a sleepover (Nora's hopeful request) and Bridget came over in the evening.

And the next morning, it was already time for Sarah and Winnie to head back to North Carolina. So sad, too quiet after everyone left. It was an eleven-hour trip to get back to Asheville (normally 6 1/2) and I was relieved to get the phone call that the trip was over. Lots of snow in western Carolina and I-40 east was one-lane only through part of the gorge.

I truly love the holidays. I love the preparation and the company and the food and the shopping. I'm never quite prepared for how quickly it goes by and the silence afterwards.

My house is looking amazingly picked up, and I've started on the studio, a little at a time. Putting away something here and there, remembering what I made with it. Getting ready to organize the art supplies. Next year there will be more art, but more about that later.

And later, some pictures. I'm not really sure where my camera is right now.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Early Christmas

Christmas came early last weekend because Helen was in town. Helen, Bridget, and I met at Steph's house for dinner and gifting.

Nora got the cutest cupcake hat,

Aaron opened some Toy Story figures, including his favorite Zurg,

and everyone had a wonderful time.

For tonight, I'm baking jam cake, embroidering one last gift, and using the serger too. Got to find some dinner soon.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I Forget

I forget from year to year just how much I love Chex mix. Twice the cereal, peanuts and pretzels that the recipe calls for. Just margarine, worchestershire sauce, and seasoned salt. Love it.
And I forget just how much I love the last-minute sewing projects, not to be shown here, at least not now. We can look at this pillow that went home with Steph yesterday, however.

Last night there were cookies made at Steph's house, from a mix that Helen gave Nora. I'm so thankful that the kids have a mom who will say "yes" to such things at the end of a long day. Pictures from Steph.

Between the cutting out and baking, there were baths to get rid of the flour-y residue. Then back to the table to decorate the cookies.

I love the concentration on young faces when they are really into creative projects.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Back Up A Little

Back up to last Saturday. It was Nora's family birthday party, on her actual birthday. Dinner and cake and presents. I was so proud of Nora that she didn't say, "No, Aaron, this is MY birthday and these are MY presents and you can't help." Help he did, and they both had an excellent time of it.

Bridget's nephews introduced Bop It to Nora during the Smokies camping trip last June. She loved it and was so happy when one for her came out of Bridgie's bag.

The kids with Grandma Janice -

It's been a busy time, not many projects. I did do this work sample, Dakota Todler World. It's a jumper that I picked up at the thrift store. Sometimes I look for something specific, but sometimes I spot something that I know would be perfect for embroidery and that's what happened here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Last Minute Stitching

After a last big push, I'm ready for the Christmas things that I love. Those little last-minute projects that don't take long but that satisfy my creative urge during a busy time.

Some Christmas postcards. I saw little ones in a magazine and made them about twice as big.

Christmas napkins done on my serger. I'm grateful to have a serger that's so easy to thread and that tells me just what settings to use. Like for a little rolled edge on pretty Christmas fabrics that make lovely napkins.

I used these fabrics to make winter pillows for the grandkids. Just love those little snowmen. I'm going to have a hard time waiting 'til Christmas to give them to the kids.

One nice thing about waiting 'til the very end for these projects is that the Christmas fabrics are all on sale. Seems like I'm dashing to the fabric store every day or two. Good thing it's close.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Stolen Pictures

Well, this first one isn't stolen, thread baskets before they went in their box to travel to North Carolina on Wednesday.
But these next two, how could I not? Steph took the kids downtown today to see Santa at Macy's, to have a downtown lunch, and see the trains at Duke.

Nora has always been a bit reluctant to jump on Santa's lap, but this Santa graciously left his chair and came to her. How wonderful. Her brother has never had any Santa's lap reservations.

Today was a sick day for me, and no, I didn't call in sick to go downtown but spent the day at home in and out of bed. I'm glad that the end of the day feels so much better than the beginning.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Best Kind

It was the best kind of snow yesterday - temps around 30, nice accumulation on the grass but roads and sidewalks still warm enough to just be wet.

Snow on lavender -

Snow on rosemary -
Nora's birthday party for her friends was yesterday at the gym. A week early, but things get busy quickly as the December weeks go by.
I lifted this picture from Steph - it warms my heart because I could never do a cartwheel, even on my best day.

Here's the gang. Aaron's at the far end, 'cause little brothers just assume that they're included too. He was able to keep up just fine with the other kids during the gymnastics part and of course enjoyed the cupcake and ice cream part.

And the sweet birthday girl, 6 next Saturday.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cutwork Angel

Last night I pulled up to Lowe's garden center and got 8 bags of top soil for weight in the back of the truck. I've been meaning to do it for the past week, and snow in the forecast for the weekend provided the incentive I needed. I'm so grateful to have it done. One of these days I'll have a little red Subaru or at least a rear wheel drive vehicle, but for now the little truck just keeps rolling along.

The angel is Viking's free design for December (see their website.) Linen and cutwork. Lots of stitches, but no color changes, water soluble stabilizer. The gold is nice, but I almost wish I'd done it in blue instead.

Last night I made Christmas brownies with peppermint patties and dark chocolate. Not much sugar or flour. Very yummy and I'm happy to have them in my freezer. This weekend I'm hoping to make a lasagna and freeze that. The first year of working retail I learned well - do things ahead of time.

Tonight I'm meeting friends in Bellevue for their Christmas walk. We'll be visiting the gallery where my quilt guild has a show and other stores and galleries as well. Hope we have time to stop at the bead shop, but dinner sounds even better.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Best

Once the tree is up and lit,
the time for gift projects is shorter and my projects are quick ones. I enjoyed planning these huge towels for Nora and Aaron

since I like to tell them they're my best girl and best boy.

My best boy got sick at school yesterday and had to come home, where he threw up again. He told me on the phone last night that he threw up on his mat at school but that he tried to spill in the spiller bucket at home. I love his descriptors.