Saturday, December 28, 2013

'Til Next Year



I know a lot of people keep their Christmas decorations up well into January, but I am not one of them. My entire house is decorated for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving. I so enjoy sitting and gazing at my Christmas tree and all of the other special decorations. Some that were made by my Mother, and mean the world to me. But--- as soon as Christmas is over, I am ready to have my house back to normal. I need to redecorate and polish furniture, and vacuum the pine needles. It's always a hunt for all of the needlework and watercolors and other framed treasures. They spend Christmas under every bed in the house and some large chairs with skirts.




 I also take a whole evening working on the next years calendar. Writing in the birthdays, and how old each person will be. Copying in the "Bee" hostess on each special Wednesday. Book group needs to be inked in as well. My new journal is already purchased and begun. This year, I also bought a book just for lists. You know, books to be read, quilt and knitting projects to be stitched. Garden ideas and wish lists. I plan on doing a bit of drawing in my journal, and some other embellishing. I have new pens and some rubber stamps waiting for me. I'm really not an artist, but I can copy some cute drawings. We'll see how it goes...
While I'm tinkering away, there are a lot of Christmas cookies to fuel my chores. Of course the good diet won't be re-installed until after January first. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Bee Fields







I did it! Bee Fields is done, finished, complete...and in time to wear to my nieces wedding. I still love this shawl, but there was a lot of time when I sure didn't love it. In fact I strongly disliked it (dare I say I hated it). I just had the most difficult time with mistakes. There are still mistakes in it, where I missed them until it was too late to go back and have a do over. I tried to catch them as I knit, but sometimes I had one slip through and it wasn't worth starting over. It took me just over a year to finish. A year of stress, while we went to doctors appointments and treatments and lived away from home and family. 

Anyway

I love, love, love it, and I can't wait to wear it! 
I've already cast on and begin knitting on my next lace project, but first I am going to start the quilting on Sugar Kisses for Madi!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Merry


Today is Christmas Eve. My favorite day. Everything is beautiful and ready for tomorrow. The cookies are all baked, and the dinner treats are waiting for the oven. I can sit by the tree with hot chocolate and peaceful Golden Retrievers. Well, one peaceful Golden Retriever. I think the girls could use a bit more time away from a sparkly tree and packages. The music is playing, and maybe just one glass of wine...

The traditions that we started more than thirty years ago when our first son was a baby continue. Even on the years when I think it's all just too much, they continue, because in the long run it's those traditions that make our Christmas so special. I hope with all my heart that Christmas is very Merry for all of you. We'll get back to our projects in a few days, but until then I hope you have a peaceful and happy holiday!



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sugar And Sparkle


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Some sugar and some sparkle and some lovely Christmas music from my Pandora Radio. Do you have Pandora radio on your Kindle? I love it! You type in an artist, and Pandora creates a radio station with artists similar to the one you typed in. I have a Christmas station that plays Nat King Cole, and Johnny Mathis and Bing Crosby. It's heavenly, delightfully fun music. The music of my youth and nothing about Grandma getting run over by a reindeer.




I wasn't going to bake this year, but I just don't think it's Christmas without all of the tins full of cookies! Crunchy, buttery, chocolate, spicy cookies are one of the delights of Christmas. I have a whole list of treats that I only bake for the holidays. We each have our own favorites, and I've selected some of everyone's. I'm about half way through this years selections. I also baked Gingerbread with lemon glaze for dessert last night. It was yummy. My niece is getting married on New Years Eve, and if I don't stop baking and eating, I'm not going to fit into my dress. The M&M's I ate for lunch today didn't help. Let this be a warning... Don't let your doctor put you on Prednisone a week before Christmas! I stay awake all night thinking up goodies, and then bake and eat all day long!

I need to get back to my knitting and quilting projects. At least they are calorie free. Now, back to work... 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

In The Bag



 
It's almost like a heat wave up here... My dog run has thawed out, and I can walk outside without hanging on for dear life to keep from slipping on the ice. It's still cold and snowy, but the pavement is thawing. It's a good thing! 
 
Here is a peek at Bee Fields in the plastic bag where it has been residing for almost a year. I've had the pattern for years, and tried to knit it when I downloaded the pattern. I couldn't figure out how to cast on, much less tackle the lace knitting. So, it sat and waited for my skills to catch up with my need to have this shawl. Finally, a year ago, I gave it another attempt. It started out piece-o-cakeish. Then reality struck, and so did the mistakes... I ripped out and started over, this time with a lifeline. Slowly but surely I made progress. Progress with mistakes. I soon had two lifelines and they are both well used. In fact, I think I've probably knit this shawl three times with all of the un-knitting and re-knitting. At least I get my moneys worth from buying the yarn!
 
I hope to have it finished and blocked by Christmas. Wish me luck...
 
Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Good morning. We have had a foot of fluffy, soft snow. Now it's inches of crunchy, hard ice. I had to drive in it yesterday, and I was slightly nervous, but had no issues. When we moved to the mountains, I would not drive in snow. Not no way, not no how. Now I only drive if necessary. Otherwise I just snuggle down with my knitting and quilting. A good movie and a few Golden Retrievers, and I'm just happy as a clam.





 My house is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, as they say, and as many sing. I'll spare you the noise of my singing, however. The house is decorated, the stockings are hung. The cards are mailed. The gifts are wrapped. This morning four loaves of brandy filled fruitcake are baking in the oven. My kitchen smells incredible. Spicy and just a little bit like brandy...

I've been knitting every chance I have on "Bee Fields". I'd really like to wear it to my nieces wedding on New Years eve. We'll see if I make it. I will post a photo soon, with all of my ugly life-lines showing, but knitted lace really looks sort of terrible until it is blocked. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Family Fun






We have had Thanksgiving with three of our Grandchildren, a surprise birthday party for two of them, and I've just had my girlfriends here for a quilting party. My house is now decorated for Christmas and I'm finishing my shopping. To say I've been busy is an understatement...


Holidays with children are the most perfect days ever, and I just feel so sorry for people my age that don't have any. They are truly missing out on the joy of family. My house gets messed up and there are cake crumbs and cookie crumbs to clean up, but the hugs and kisses and fun just can't be replaced.


I have been stitching on the last two squares of "Sugar Kisses" for my Madi's quilt. I can hardly wait to give it to her. She is so excited to have it hanging in her room! There is nothing more fun than to give a hand quilted gift to a family member. I know that she will have it to remind her of me for years to come.





 I'm sure that other members of my family think of me with love every time they look at one of my quilts. I have asked one member of my family to please return my quilts, but she has refused. She says she wants nothing to do with me, but apparently she wants to be reminded of me on a daily basis by looking at my art. Pretty strange if you ask me, but she has a habit of taking things that don't belong to her. I shouldn't be surprised, but I'm always surprised by unkindness and selfishness.
Well, back to my holiday planning for my beautiful Grandchildren! We are expecting a lot of snow this weekend, so I'll be building a snowman and sipping hot chocolate...