Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Handkerchief Quilt

Now that Christmas is past, I can share this handkerchief quilt, commissioned by a daughter to give to her mother.

Some of the handkerchiefs were plain with fancy edges, others had fancy embroidery but plain edges.  They were all different in size and most had been used and laundered and were quite thin.  

After first going in a different direction, I decided to use the lower right corners of each handkerchief, usually mounting a plain-edged handkerchief over a fancy-edged one, then mounting that on white Kona.  White because the handkerchiefs were so sheer and Kona because it has a nice sturdiness.  

The state handkerchiefs, Washington and Colorado, I used by themselves because they already had the look of fancy in the corner with lighter flowers over that.  And there are a couple, a gray and a blue and white, that I used a different corner of the same handkerchief.  The pictures with lace were already in the package and I just mounted those over all-lace handkerchiefs,

The size was 32" x 40".  On the back, I added a few handkerchiefs that I didn't use on the front, and I added a pocket for a few more plus any memories added later.

I was happy to receive a Christmas picture including the quilt and its recipient, and there were smiles.   

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Visits

Tomorrow I'll show you one of my Christmas projects, but today I want to share more family time.  Specifically, the day before Christmas Eve, when we went to Cincinnati to a few of my favorite places.  Aaron wasn't too happy about the Findlay Market trip, so he sat part of it out across from the gellato stand, drinking Coke from a little bottle.  I thought he'd be impressed by all the food, but really, only the fish with eyes caught his eight-year-old fancy.  He had a waffle from Taste of Belgium, which is very popular here.

Sweet Nora sat with us while Winnie shopped for spices.  Included in her purchases was beet powder, for dying baked goods without using the bright red dye in the little bottle, you know what I mean.  Winnie also bought some darling little pies for Christmas Eve and Steph bought some goetta.

We had lunch at Taft Ale House, which was busy as always.  A couple of their brews are in cans now, and we came out with Nellie's Key Lime and Liquid Advent.  We admired a few tiny urban gardens on our walk to Washington Park.  Nora had been hoping that the wind and rain would hold off so there could be a bit of park time, and she got her wish.  We all enjoyed being out in the warm weather, and Winnie's dad especially enjoyed sitting outside.

When we got back, Aaron settled in for some electronic and dog time, note that Lucy's paws are on his leg, and Nora went on for some quiet time at home before our visit with Bridget. 

I'm feeling lucky that we can get to these spots that I enjoy in just a few minutes.  When I moved here, I didn't fully appreciate the urban-ness of my neighborhood, which in some ways feels like the suburbs.  Except for parking, of course.  And tiny lots.  And just the smallest glimpse of skyline when the leaves are off the trees, from an upstairs window, standing on a chair. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Silent House

This afternoon the white Subaru with the roof rack went up the hill and around the corner and my house is full of its usual silence.  I am aware today that I live with too much silence, even for one of the most introverted of introverts.

It has been an amazing week.  Above is a Christmas Eve picture on a wonderfully warm day.  Some years it's been so cold and we hustled here and there, bundled up.  Not this year.

Aaron is along after his second sleep-over, the first being Tuesday night when Sarah, Winnie, and Walt came.  Tradition dictates that Nora and Aaron spend the night, watching hopefully in the evening for the first sighting of the car.  By Wednesday, after visits to Findlay Market, Taft Ale House, and Bridget's, Nora was ready for some Aaron-free time and went on home.  

Christmas Eve was a blur of last minute tasks and dinner and church for some and happy unwrapping.  On Christmas afternoon, Sarah, Winnie, Walt and I went to see Sisters.  The audience was laughing and loving it.  I was dismayed that, while Steph had taken Winnie's dad to church, I had taken him to a movie with lots of language and sexual overtones.  Then I realized that he was laughing along with everyone else.

Saturday was the Antique Christmas display at Taft Museum of Art and a fun dinner at The Elusive Cow in Bellevue.  Which brings us to today and the white car going up the hill and the silent house.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Krohn Christmas

I love that the grands are starting to enjoy the Krohn Christmas display, admiring the trains and recognizing the buildings.  Seeing the familiar sights in the permanent displays.

It's crazy crowded there this time of year, and I thought that a Monday afternoon's crowd would be light, but I guess that's relative.  Still, it was easy to get around and take a few pictures.  And we had a nice walk from the overlook where we parked.  It was a foggy afternoon and the grands loved looking at the river.

Love Nora wearing her scarf.  Usually she isn't big on fashion statements, but this suits her.  It meets her requirements of nothing too low cut, nothing too high maintenance, nothing too fancy.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Real Santa

Yesterday the kids and I went to see the real Santa.  The real Santa is at Macy's downtown.

If you have any doubt, just look at the grand's Santa pictures over the years and it's always the same guy.  Not a helper, just can't be, because it's always the same Santa.

There were some interesting requests - a girl Elf on the Shelf to go with the boy elf.  A light-up football.  Santa said he wasn't sure about the girl elf this year because it's almost time for the elves to return to the North Pole, but maybe next year.

I remember my first Christmas in Cincinnati, the first year that both kids saw Santa.  It was a warm day, just like today.  Nora wore a brown sweater and sat on the step in front of Santa, no Santa's lap for her.  Aaron was three months old and he was willing to sit with Santa.  Throughout the years, that hasn't changed, although Nora is now willing to stand close.

After the Santa visit, there is a place to write requests and drop them into a post box, just in case things were forgotten when the pressure was on.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas Quilt

I just might have a gazillion things to do these days, but this morning I put the binding and sleeve on this little quilt, just because quilting helps center me, calm me down.  Also, it's a Christmas gift, but that's another story.

I just love these little Riley Blake holiday prints.  I had a weak moment when my grand guy was admiring them and I wanted to just give the quilt to his family.  Nevertheless, they will be going to the post office this afternoon.  I think.

My tree is still not adorned.  I need to get that finished so I can get the big ornament tub out of the living room and back into the attic.  Then I can move back the tubs that I had to move out to get to that big one.  And then there will be room to wrap.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Festival of Lights

Sometimes you just have to take my word for it.  This is my family at the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo.

We've been there numerous times before, but never when the temperature was so mild and it was actually very enjoyable to stroll around.  This weekend's visitors were advised to come early or late in an attempt to manage what are expected to be record crowds.

There are lights everywhere, and people are happy.  At the large pond, the music of the year is the Star Wars theme, and lights flash to the music.

On the way home from work today and stopped at the grocery for some seasonal beers and I found Braxton Storm, which isn't really seasonal but is brewed in nearby Covington.  Very nice.  Of course, I have to sample now and then, and my favorite so far is Sixth West Christmas Ale, brewed in Lexington.  I really love the craft beers.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Basketball Now

Saturday was the first day of a new sport for the grands.  They have played a lot of street basketball but never on teams.

Nora was so nervous but by the end of the game she had a smile.  She wanted to wear her jersey to school today.  And she was very pleased that there was a Wednesday night conflict with her fifth grade concert and basketball.  The concert would never come out on top.

Aaron did not have a great day.  His team lost 19 - 4 and he was pretty upset.  He is a very competitive player and foresees losing every game this season.  I didn't get a picture of him with his uniform, but here he is at Nora's later game.  He brought his basketball just in case there would be a chance to shoot some baskets and his football just in case someone would want to play.

I'm sure he felt a little better yesterday when his beloved Bengals won.  As game day approaches, he starts to worry and quotes reasons why his team may or may not play well.  His dad can't say that he never pays attention to what his dad tells him.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Table Topper

This table topper, Which Way, by GE Designs, is my favorite new pattern.  I like the quilt as you go, just sew and put on the binding.  And I like that it uses a charm pack, which I sometimes can't resist because the fabrics are so pretty and coordinated.  For you non-quilters, a charm pack is a collection of 5" squares, and it's a good way to use a design collection you love without spending a whole lot.

Snow on the roof tops and cars this morning, and that's ok with me.  We've had the longest and best fall that I can remember.  It should warm up this weekend, which will give me a chance to swap out the outside lights on my railing.  There are now two sections out, and it's time to replace.  The new lights on the inside tree are the same style, only larger, and I'm hoping for better luck there.