Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last Day of the Year

On the last day of the year, a very short walk at Devou Park.  Very short because it was cold and windy.  A quick visit to the museum there.  The best part of the museum visit was a temporary exhibit of photos from the Kentucky Post in years past.  

And then, a late lunch at the Elusive Cow in Bellevue.

Crab cakes and onion rings.  And a lovely Bell's Winter White, brewed in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Tonight I'm looking over my goals from last year and starting to work through my new ones.  It takes more than an evening.  So far I have some good goals but no real stretches.  And I want some stretches.

I admired my 2014 Pinterest board.  That was a good idea, and I'll do that again.  Most of my projects are given away and I enjoy having a visual record of what I've made.  There are lots of nice things there, but . . . nothing dazzling.

It's in the creativity area that I'm dry right now, and that's the area where I'm having trouble coming up with goals.  I want to be really great at something, or at least a very, very good generalist.  

Monday, December 29, 2014

Corn Husk Nativity

Tomorrow will be the day to take down this corn husk nativity that has been on the communion table at church during Advent.  My mother made it many years ago, at least 30, and it has held up so well.  I know she would be surprised and pleased to know that it was displayed at a church in Cincinnati.

My too-quiet house is slowly returning to its normal state after the holiday fun and visits.  I am not a quick flurry of getting everything done kind of person, but a bit at a time person.  A little putting wrapping paper away, a little putting dishes away, a little thank you note writing.  Bit by bit. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Tall Buildings

After the Macy's Santa visit last Monday, we went to the top of Carew Tower to admire the city views.  Here's Aunt Sarah with Nora and Aaron, who's acting silly.  The three of them opted out of the tiny elevator that goes to the top two floors, and took the stairs instead.

And here are tall city buildings at the Holiday Train Display at the Museum Center, seen today.  Steph and I took Nora and Aaron and a friend for each of them.  Lots of other people had the same idea, and the parking lot was full.

There have been quite a few fun holiday things, but I think there is time for a couple more.  Like maybe the Taft Museum, no kids.  There are just so many nice things to do during the holidays.    

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Completed Puzzle

It was unplanned, but one day during this wonderful holiday week, this 1000-piece puzzle was started.  Through sickness among all of us here, a happy holiday, and mischeviousness of one of the dogs, the puzzle was completed just before the trip back to North Carolina.  Except, of course, for the one missing piece, which appeared nearly chewed in one of the dogs' mouth a few days ago.  We just didn't know which piece until today.

Nora loved it and declared that it should be put together with puzzle glue, and that will happen. Perhaps a tiny picture of Milo will fill the gap where the missing piece belongs.  Maybe it will hang in Nora's room.

I am so sad that everyone is gone.  It's the same every year.  My house is too quiet and my heart is aching.  Family, all of them, are so precious.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Macy's Santa Visit

Sarah and Winnie and Winnie's dad are visiting and the time is flying by much too quickly.

Ah, yesterday.  Thanks to our friends from Aberdeen for lunch and a nice visit at the Eastgate Frisch's.  It was so fun to catch up and to just sit for awhile.  We were neighbors back in the day.

Later in the afternoon we took the kids to the downtown Macy's.  We know that the Macy's Santa is the real Santa because he's there every year.

After the Santa chat, it was time for the letters.  Here's Aunt Sarah helping Aaron.

I especially enjoyed seeing Aaron write his letter because he did not take to writing easily.  There were years when he wouldn't pick up a pencil or a crayon.  He said if he needed something written or colored that Nora could do it for him.

And then those letters go in the box.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Krohn Conservatory at Christmas

Now for some peeks at the actual holiday display at the Krohn.  As soon as I went into the holiday area I could feel that I was breathing more deeply and relaxing all over.  In just a few minutes I had my flower fix, and there was more, and more.  Absolutely wonderful. It was hard to pick out just a few pictures to show you.  For you non-Cincinnati folks, the buildings are Cincy landmarks.

I wish you could all come and visit this.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Outside the Show

Yesterday I went to the Krohn Conservatory for their holiday show.  Trains and poinsettias and coleus and many other flowers, an amazing show once again.  I'll share a few pictures soon.  But some of the loveliness came from outside the main event in the big greenhouse.  Like the orchids, above, in the orchid room.

In the foyer were ornament displays from the gift shop.  All silver and crystal on this one.

Bulbs for sale.  Just look at those sprouts, how hopeful is that?

The display of carolers was between the orchid room and the bonsai display.  This is just a few of the cast of characters.

And this bonsai bougainvillea with its pink blossoms was take-your-breath-away awesome.  Between all these AND the holiday display, it filled my heart. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Quilt Panel

An older friend was downsizing her condo and shared her amazing stash with many of her friends.  I took mostly solids, but I did get this panel for a baby quilt.

There were six blocks, which allowed me to piece the back, which I always love.  I hope the family of some tiny but mighty premmie girl likes it. 

My friend also gave each of us a mug from her travels, and mine was from Holmes County, Ohio.  It has a picture of an Amish buggy.

At twenty years older than me, this friend is still taking classes and learning the embroidery software.  Learning all sorts of new things.  She is a role model for me, I hope I can do the same.

Last night I dreamed (probably because it was raining) that I opened my front door and there was a whole stack of Amazon packages on the porch getting wet.  One had fallen to the sidewalk and was so wet that it opened.  Obviously there is too much shopping going on!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Between Parties

Nora and Aaron stopped here between downtown Christmas parties to get ready for party # 2.  Lucky for me, because I got to see them in their finery.  And do one last quick change on Aaron's pants.  

One thing I really enjoy is family mending/alterations.  Nora dropped off two pairs of jeans with holes in the knees, which are now fixed.  For you Viking sewers, check out stitch A:32, perfect for jeans repair.

Their second party was at Great American Ball Park, with the ever popular but mischievious Gapper in attendance.  I heard that he stole a bite of Nora's cheeseburger.

Baby quilt group is this morning and I'm furiously machine quilting to get ready.  I just might be a little behind on baby quilts.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Nora Is Ten

Sweet, pretty Nora is now ten.  Her family party was Friday, and she so enjoyed it.  Usually she's a little on the quiet side, but during this party she sparkled from one end to the other.  During big gatherings she will often find a quiet spot for recharging, in typical introvert fashion, but not this time.  She loved her cake, her gifts, the whole evening.  And for the first time, she wore earrings with a little dangle. 

She had a little party with friends the weekend before.  Four friends, plus Aaron and parents, went tubing at Beach Mountain, across from Kings Island.  It's the first year for that location.  Even though it was a rainy morning there was plenty of "snow" in the afternoon.  Aside from the tubing, there was a spot to just play in the snow, and I heard that the girls enjoyed that.

This school year has been a good one for Nora.  I love the arrangement in her school - there are three fourth grade classrooms and each teacher teaches a different subject for all the fourth graders.  The kids are in a home room where they start and end the day.  And this year there are art and music teachers who work throughout the district, so once a month there is a week that includes those in all the grade levels.

***I went back to read this blog and noticed our pictures beside each other.  Maybe, just maybe, that little girl looks kinda like me.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Lost Alligator

Behind the Fresh Market, on my way to church, I spotted this alligator, rather deflated.  It would be fun to learn the story about how it got there.  There are a few feet of space between the building and the sidewalk, and there it was.

Also on Sunday was Maggie with a Bengals outfit with an orange tee and hand-colored sign.  She doesn't look a bit happy.  Can't blame her, it wasn't a good day to be a Bengals fan.

I can't believe that on this morning, instead of hemming pants and working on a gift quilt and wrapping gifts, I've been online fabric shopping.  It all started when I was looking up a chocolate cake recipe for Nora's family party tonight and somehow went from there.  I got some fabrics that will make great baby quilts and goodness knows that I'm way behind of those.  It's so easy to twist my arm with sale Riley Blake fabrics.

Last night was my work Christmas party and it was so nice to just sit at a great restaurant and eat lovely food and chat.  My boss is a wonderful hostess and I have great co-workers.

OK, I've really got to get going.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Gift Card Holders

These quilted mugs are gift card holders.  They are in holiday colors but can be made throughout the year in any colors.  They are Viking's December project, and you can find instructions and free embroidery design here.  I was making them away from home and spent too much time trying to turn the little cup handles inside out.  Back home again, it took only a minute with the Dritz Quick Turn. That's a tool I use a lot.

It seems like I have lots of projects these days.  Tomorrow I'm teaching a paper piecing class with the Tall Trim the Tree pattern.  I'm looking forward to doing a few sections of the tree today so folks will have something to look at to help them along.  I got the fabric yesterday and am looking forward to starting.  

Rainy again this morning.  I'm reminding myself that it's raining, not snowing.  I can remember seeing blue sky one day this week.  I guess that's December.

I've moved my studio tv downstairs to my bedroom to see whether I enjoy having a tv in my bedroom.  I've hooked up my new Fire Stick and it's working well.  So far I've watched a few things on Netflex, which seems to get the most use when the grands come.  They also enjoy playing Minecraft on the Fire TV.  I'm glad I have something they can enjoy when they come.  I don't want them to think that there is nothing to do here.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Let It Snow!

Oh, not really about the snow, but this Anita Goodesign banner is cute anyway.  It isn't a fast project, but it's a fun one.  And the snow guy is definitely cheery.  Until the putting-it-together part, it's all done in the hoop.  The bottom edge measures 28".

It would look all the better with a few sparkles, too.