Monday, November 30, 2009

Advent Banner

I've made this Advent banner for church with purple suede and sheers. Yesterday was its first day to hang. And yesterday was the day I finished it.

It represents the four Sundays of Advent, with our individual paths coming together as we journey toward Advent. The stars represent God's activity and purpose in a world of confusion and chaos.

In the afternoon I went to Steph and Mike's and found Nora in bed, recovering from being sick the past few days and watching Frosty the Snowman. Note: why is it that I am always challenged by the remote and didn't know how to replay Frosty for Aaron but that he could take the remote and do it himself? He's two, just.

Steph and I took the kids to Target and Frisch's - they really needed some time out of the house.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Fill-In # 152

Friday Fill-In time. My answers are in bold.

1. Wait, wait, don't forget the Bath and Body Works coupon. I love those things.

2. That first bite of Thanksgiving dinner, followed at once by the second bite of Thanksgiving dinner, is awesome. With all the food on my plate, it's hard to decide what the first bite should be. For me, I think, it's cranberry relish, the real thing with oranges and walnuts. And the second bite - sweet potato casserole.

3. The trouble is that I never get enough sewing/quilting time. Never. Even if I sew all day.

4. My sister and my daughter Sarah both live many miles away. I think of both of them every day.

5. With a faint pop the storm door closed ten minutes after I came home. I was startled until I figured out what it was.

6. My attic store space is shadowy and ominous at night. I always hope there isn't a squirrel or a mouse hiding there. Nevertheless, I went in last night to get my Christmas tree ornaments and there was neither squirrel nor mouse.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to using one of those Bath and Body Works coupons on my way home from work, picking up Aaron's Christmas present, getting Advent candles for church, and getting purple serger thread for the Advent banner. Tomorrow my plans include sewing on the Advent banner before and after work, and Sunday I want to finish a Martha Pullen sewing/embroidery project.

Happy day-after-Thanksgiving Friday, everyone.

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. This turkey didn't quite make it but it got as far as the sashing.

It was a wonderful day with friends and Mike and family. Nora and cousin Lindsay are getting ready for the meal. Nora always enjoys the cousins - she and Aaron are the little ones and the older cousins are so good about playing with her.

I especially enjoyed driving across town to see my young friend Carrie from Berea and her family. Carrie is pregnant, due in three weeks, and has a basketball belly. She and her husband are thinking that the baby will be a girl. Carrie and I lived together in the Ecovillage at Berea - when she moved in her little boy Tzuriel was two - now he's seven and and it was so fun to see him again. Wish I'd remembered to take pictures.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

On the Wall

On the design wall -

several embroideries for the Wizard of Oz quilt. There's a little tin man yet to come and a couple of larger designs.

I have the simplest (and most portable) design wall ever. It's a 5' x 5' piece of pegboard covered with white fleece held on with clothespins at the edges. The pegboard is sturdy enough to prop against the wall.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins.

1. We need mindfulness and thankfulness and I'm glad that people's thoughts will be turning in those directions this week.

2. I glanced at Aaron's two-year-old picture this morning and it made me smile. I love his earnestness and his playfulness and his outgoing nature and his cute red hair.

3. If you want almost anything you need to set goals. And if you want happiness, you need to be happy.

4. It's very foggy this morning because of all the moisture in the air. So nice after a dry couple of months.

5. Massachusetts has a proposed 5% sales tax on elective cosmetic surgery; I think I'd vote "no" just because it seems so artibrary.

6. Glad families and safe travels make for a happy holiday.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to just resting, tomorrow my plans include getting a start on the Advent banner for church, even if it's just laying out the fabric, and Sunday, I want to enjoy the Thanksgiving service. And the good meal afterwards.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Some New Things

Finally, a couple of new projects. This linen bread cover is a free Husqvarna Viking project for November. You can find it on their web site.

I just knew that when I snatched up the last of the summer linen (for half price) that there would be projects for it. The bread cover is lined with linen too and has a wonderfully crispy feel. I love that I can do the scallops with my "new" sewing machine.

This little quilt is a work sample and is embroidered with Anita Goodesign Santas For All Seasons. I didn't have time to do all the Santas, although that would be glorious, so I chose the ones for November, December, January, and February.

I got the fabric at IKEA some time during the summer, just because I liked it, never really thinking that it could look like a snowy background. Here are a couple of the little Santas - November,
and January.

The quilt is 29" x 37".

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Leaves and Rain

Yesterday I raked the leaves out of the driveway in a couple of sessions. My driveway slants downward and I've learned the oh-so-hard way that if the drain at the end is clogged the basement will get wet if there's a hard rain. While the driveway isn't totally leaveless, I got out enough leaves to make a nice pile. It rained pretty much all day today so I was glad I did it. When I got home I noticed that the leaf truck had been by, so the leaves were gone. Good timing. As for all the rest, I hope I will be able to mulch them with the lawn mower.

Hard to get a good photo, but I got these lovely little pictures from my sister. One says "cherish life" and the other says "love divine."

The tag reads "Primitives by Kathy. Original designs in the tradition of Pennsylvania German folk arts of Fraktur and Scherenschinitte with a bit of whimsy." I just love them.

I have a very nice piece of fraktur - I'll get it out and take a picture. I don't think I hung it up after the move and I need to do that.

Christmas Cactus

I love my Christmas cactus, well, both of them. One of these times I need to transplant them into larger pots in hopes of getting them to grow larger - my aunt has a big wonderful one that I always admire. But for now, I am always amazed and appreciative that every year at about the same time they bloom happily despite whatever neglect they may have suffered throughout the year. The one on the left is a lovely soft pink and the one on the right a soft red. A Christmas cactus is the only house plant that I have or want.

Probably I could take the plants to a nursery and have them potted but I'd still be a little nervous. They seem to like their probably-not-so-good soil and tight quarters. Guess I need to do a little Christmas cactus research. Or, maybe - Sarah, do you know?

Below is a Martha Pullen work project, a lumbar pillow. The instructions called for linen, but I couldn't find black linen this time of year. Linen would have really helped in making the fringe on the edges, but I just pulled out about half of it in the tightly woven fabric and called it a day. It looks fine.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Little Time

Yesterday was my first day of feeling well again and I spent alot of a little time. A little time at church, a little time with Steph and Mike's family, a little time at the fabric store, a little time getting my hair cut. All with a little resting time in between.

Nora went to the fabric store with me and told me she'd been there before. She liked the cutting table, liked putting the bolts of fabric on it, liked the snip of the scissors as fabric was cut. She is my granddaughter.

At some point, seems like long ago, I left my camera at Steph and Mike's and was glad to get it back. There were pictures of Aunt Tina's birthday that was several weeks ago, but it's surely not too late to say,

Happy Birthday again, Aunt Tina.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Fill-In # 150

Friday Fill-Ins. Answers are in bold.

1. The last band I saw live was at a Berea convocation. I miss those convocations, the speakers, the music, the plays. Good stuff. I knew I'd miss them, and I do.

2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is a good meal with everyone relaxing and enjoying themselves. Parades in the morning, football in the afternoon, lots of good, good food. People taking time to think about being grateful.

3. My Christmas shopping is about half finished. I know I've made lots of things and I hope I'll be happy when I get them all out. I'm looking at a pretty little quilt right now, finished last February.

4. Thoughts of feeling better fill my head. This has been a sick last two weeks, but through it all I've been so grateful.

5. I wish I could wear strappy little shoes. Flip flops. But I can wear hiking boots and that's just as good, most likely better.

6. Bagpipes always remind me of a winter funeral I attended years ago. At the end, as people were filing out of the church, bagpipes were playing Amazing Grace. So mournful.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to more rest, tomorrow my plans include going to work for the first time in two weeks, and Sunday, I want to get my hair cut. I'm way, way past due.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Think I'm Better

I think I'm better. Today for the first time in the past ten days I feel . . . well . . .normal. I'm smart enough to know that this feeling won't last all day, but for now it feels wonderful.

I turned on my sewing machine and sewed a pillow form together. That very simple thing felt so good. Of course, I had to cut out one of the rectangles three times to get it right, but still, I've done it.

Next for me is figuring out what to eat. While my belly wasn't actively sick, nothing sounded good, nothing tasted good, still doesn't. So now what? For the past couple of days I've been able to get back on vitamins and I can feel my body responding happily. I've been careful to eat cheese for calcium. I guess the thing to do is go for more complex carbohydrates and fruits/veggies other than bananas. A trip to the grocery store sounds a little daunting so there will need to be some careful planning.

Lessons learned from this? I need to let that process. I'm sure there are some.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Flu Goes On

The flu goes on. I gathered up my energy yesterday and went into the library, picked up five new books from the front "bestsellers" collection and left. Tried to not breathe on anyone. Back home ten minutes after I left. It will be interesting to see if any of the books are good ones.

I don't know when I last went this long without sewing. Sometimes I pick up a Quilting Arts Magazine and glance through it. That's it.

I did get the veggie sandwich and ate half for lunch and half for dinner. Not a good idea. I'm sure that the sandwich itself was lovely, though, and I'll try it again one day. For now, the only thing that tastes really good are those crazy peanut butter crackers that come in packs of four. For some reason, I had quite a collection of them. (Actually, the reason is that sometimes after work, if I'm really hungry, I'll run into the Family Dollar where I work and buy a multi-pack, eat a pack or two on the way home, and stash the rest in my cupboard.)

The coughing is less, fever is less, progress is happening. Sometimes I feel really old. Most times I feel really healthy to be able to tangle with this.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


It had been about five years since I've had one of those illnesses that knocks me completely down but I guess my number came up and I got the flu that's going around. Lots of fever and coughing but no bronchitis or pneumonia. I've very, very grateful for the pneumonia vaccine, by the way.

I've had a completely broken thermostat, but this morning it feels as if it might be a little chilly in the house, which it is, so maybe repairs are happening. I'm off work until next week so I have time to recoup. Feels as if this would be a great time to sew, but I have no energy for it.

Last time I was really, really sick I kept thinking about one of those Oogle Dogs from Gatlinburg, which is something that, when I'm healthy, I'd never ever eat. Now whenever I'm in "town" on my Smokies visits, I walk by and check out the grilling onions and peppers and wonder what on earth I was thinking. I'd pictured them with tomatoes, too, although there are no tomatoes in the real thing.

This time I keep thinking about the veggie sandwich from the new pizza shop in town. With fries. I've never even had one, just seen it on the carry-out menu. It could be very ordinary but it sounds like the most wonderful thing. And fries? I almost never eat them but they sound fabulous.

So, here's the deal. If I feel reasonably perky in early afternoon, I'll put in a carry-out order and go out for about fifteen minutes. Maybe I'll order a salad too.

We'll see, because much as I think about food I really have no appetite at all. Strange.