Saturday, December 31, 2011

Seems Like It's Been Christmas For a While

What with the move to Virginia and then the move to the new house my blogging has been sorely neglected. Also neglected has been some public acknowledgments and thank-you's to some very wonderful people.

I've gotten some great giftees lately and I apologize in advance if I forget anyone...

Way back when I won this wonderful pattern from Michelle at Nostalgic Cafe I had all kinds of plans to make some for Christmas ~ but ya'll know that never happened. Maybe if I start on them now I'll have some for next year. They are super cute! I might even have to buy some of those snow babies to go with them!

I also got to meet up with the wonderful Sandra from Sandra Sews We've been online buddies for a while now ~ she lives in Canada (brrr!) and I was in Florida (ahhh!) but recently she and her equally wonderful hubby drove down to Pennsylvania to visit with some friends and I took the opportunity to drive up from VA to meet her in Hershey, PA.
She made me this wonderful "panty" bag filled with lots of goodies including some embroidered flamingos. She makes the most wonderful zipped bags and book thongs. I'm lucky to call her my friend and so glad we finally got to meet.

Oh, and Hershey, PA ~ I'm definitely going back. Probably in the spring... hit the amusement park, the caverns and definitely the Hershey factory. It's an adorable little town and it really does smell like chocolate!

Also got this wonderful lawn fairy (Tinkerbell of course) from my amazing friend Ann. Someday I'll have to tell you the story of how we became friends.. we still kid each other about it... but anyway... always thinking of others she found this while she was living on the coast of Oregon. It made the move back to Florida with her and at the end of last summer she managed a trip up to VA to visit with her inlaws and brought it up to me. How's that for determined to get a gift to a friend! She has/had a blog but hasn't written in a while... hint hint. Still check it out. She's got some beautiful pics on there. It's called A Day in the Life.

As I mentioned we moved to another house in October... That's a blog all on it's own! ~ but we got some great moving gifts that were completely unexpected. My wonderful MIL sent us this box of amazing chocolate covered fruit. Those didn't last long here at all! Who knew chocolate covered oranges were so incredible?
Our realtor sent us a lovely basket from Starbucks and the most surprising of all was the plant and lovely note from the previous occupants of the house
wishing us well and telling us how wonderful the house and the neighborhood is. We completely agree with them. It's been so nice being here and hope to stay put for the long run. And for those of you that know me, you'll be amazed to hear that the plant is still alive! Mostly cause Richard is taking care of it. I have a notorious black thumb.

I participated in a pin cushion swap hosted by the very talented Jill of Life With Nature Girl. The swap actually has a blog of it's own called Crafty Bits Swap Spot. This is the second swap I've participated in and it's been so much fun.
Laura was my partner this time and she sent me a wonderful package including a calorie-less doughnut. So cute. I didn't take a picture of the complete package that I sent but here's the pincushion I made for Laura.
It's a miniature of the octopus I taught years ago with a stryofoam head for the pins. And if that wasn't fun enough our hostess Jill was sweet enough to make this little set for me
She is so talented and generous! There is no way I could put pins in this. It's too cute. They are siting on my sewing table and make me smile every time I see them.

My birthday this year was wonderful and I will post about the party weekend but wanted to include this great piece of fabric my best ever friend Mary Ann sent me. I'm not putting this into my stash. I'm actually going to make something just for me out of it. Not sure what yet but it sits patiently on my desk waiting. She also sent me the most amazing bracelet that she made. I didn't take a pic of it before sending it back to her to be resized. Silly women thought I had tiny wrists instead of the unusually large wrists that I actually have. Once it comes back though I'll get a pic to show you. It's BEAUTIFUL!

Well ~ I'm sure I've left something out ~ and for that I apologize. I've truly been blessed with some amazing and wonderful friends and for each of you, I am so grateful. On this New Year's Eve I wish you all the happiest and healthiest of times and look forward to many more adventures with all of you!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas with Smooshy

We actually did two Christmas's this year. Jen, Jeremy & Charlie were here a week before Christmas for several days before heading down to Florida to celebrate with Jen's dad in Ft. Lauderdale, as well as Jeremy's family in Winter Haven. I do believe there will be a stop over in Orlando as well.

Since not all presents were going to be opened on our "first" Christmas I put presents under 2 different trees. I put our Florida tree in the formal living room and put the presents for 1st Christmas under that one and presents for the 2nd Christmas under the green tree in the family room.
It was so much fun watching Charlie open gifts. She's growing up so fast and really starting to get into tearing open the wrapping to see what's inside. Next year I do believe we will have to go back to "hiding" gifts until the night before though.
It was so hard limiting gifts for her ~ I just wanted to give her the world. I guess that's part of what being a Grammy is all about. Trust me when I tell you she got her share of toys and clothes and so many things Mickey Mouse, which is her favorite right now. Lots of toys that make fun noises. I'm sure Jen and Jeremy love those!
One of the things I got J&J was a popcorn tin which we broke into immediately and we all munched on popcorn as we opened gifts. I think this needs to be a new tradition and it certainly made Charlie very happy.
The tin itself was a great gift though because it was scene's from "A Christmas Story" which is a family favorite. We've been watching it at Christmastime for years now. I think we can all recite the lines by heart. Actually lines from that movie pop into our everyday conversations all year long! That's just how we roll.
We all got tons of great gifts but the best gift for me was being all together to celebrate and spend time with each other. There was last minute shopping, which also means a ride or two on the carousel in the mall for Charlie.
There were movies to be watched and games to be played. Apples to Apples is one of our favorites these days. I love Banana grams as well.... but all time favorite has to be Scatagories.

Instead of eating out quite so much we took turns preparing meals which turned out really well ~ with everyone pitching in with the clean up. It was fabulous family time.
They will be back up this way mid January before they start back to work at the University. I'm already looking forward to it!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Christmas Tradition

Now that my kids are older and no longer believe in the Jolly Man in Red we put the presents under the tree as they are purchased and wrapped which I prefer rather than having to hide them and putting them out Christmas eve. This has caused some problems though. Curious kids want to touch the presents and try to figure out what's in the packages.

First of all I try to "disguise" their gifties. Video games fit nicely in clothes boxes stuffed with tissue paper and clothes are hiding in shoe boxes, etc. This didn't really stop them though, from shaking gifts and figuring out what's what.

I think I've may have written about this before but for the last few years I have given them all "code" names. The first year I did this they were all given potato names.... Curly fried, Tater Tots, Potato pancake, etc. It has worked like a charm. No one knows who's is who's AND there is no comparing who has more gifts under the tree. I think next year we may do names from "Clue." There is really no end to the names you could come up with. Maybe types of dogs or circus animals... See where I'm going with this?

This year I gave them all candy names. Tootie Roll, Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers and Bit O' Honey. I also added a new element this year. I bought each of those candies and put them on the table. They had to pick which one they thought they were and then find all those presents labeled with their name. Once that was done I then handed out the candy to the correct recipient and it was a bit of musical chairs to find their proper pile of gifts. It added a bit more fun to opening gifts and I think I will do it again next year.

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday, which ever one you celebrate. I'd love to hear about your traditions. I may just have to steal some of them!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

From Our House To Yours

Wishing you the Merriest of Holidays!

Friday, December 23, 2011

McKinley Ann

Yes, I'm back ~ hopefully for good ~ and here's my first big news....
I'm a great aunt once again. My niece Danielle and her husband Jason are proud parents of a beautiful little girl. McKinley was born yesterday at 3:10 pm, weighing in at 7 lbs 15oz and 21" long. Both Mom and baby are doing really well.

I think the one who is most excited is big sister Abbigale! Just look at the way she is looking at her new baby sister. And I know my sister Joey (Danielle's mom) is looking down and smiling on all of them.

Me, I'm excited and can't wait ... in just 3 weeks I will have these three wonderful girls at my house.
Anyway... Congrats and lots of love to Danielle, Jason, Abbigale and McKinley!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Post Number 600!

So Saturday Rich, the kids and I met up with Jen, Jeremy &; Charlie at the 44th Annual Maryland Seafood Festival in Annapolis. We were really looking forward to it. My niece Danielle made Charlie the most adorable little crab shirt and sent me some crab fabric which I used to make her matching pants. Unfortunately that was pretty much the best part of the day.
It was hot ~ I mean Steamy hot. It had been raining for the week prior to the festival which meant the ground was a mess. It was muddy with huge puddles everywhere. Silly me wore sandals. White sandals even! Don't know what I was thinking but they are no longer white! The crowd was insane. The lines for the food (which wasn't particularly good) were longer than the lines to get on a ride at Disney. At least it seemed that way.. and so overpriced. So hot, crowded, over priced, wet and bad food.

I will say the view at the festival is nice. It's right on the Chesapeake River ~ looking out at the scary Bay Bridge. Did I ever tell you I have a real phobia about really high bridges, especially those that curve. Did you ever notice there are always scrape marks on those curves? How scary is that..... anyway, I digress..
Ah, but there were craft booths. That should make me feel better, right? Wrong. I had actually gone with the thought of maybe getting a craft booth next year but for $325. for the weekend I wanted to chat with some of the vendors and see if it was really worth it. The craft booths were equally as bad. Nothing of real interest ~ candles, jewelry and paintings. The booth area was also crowded and soggy even though it was under a tent. People were hot and cranky and I really didn't see anyone purchasing much of anything.... so after all this we decided it was time to go. Poor Richard was drenched with sweat. Julianne was whining that she was going to throw up and Nate was just down right cranky.
Jen made the suggestion that we all get our hand stamped and leave the festival and go somewhere to get a real bite to eat and hang out for a while... which is what we did and that was really nice.
Charlie ~ what can I say ~ I'm so in love with that child. She was being so cute and just screaming with laughter. Keeping us all amused ~ and us doing anything we can to amuse her as well. Through all of this ~ she was a real trooper.
About 5:30 we left the restaurant. Rich, the kids and I went back home.
Jen, Jeremy & Charlie went back to the festival. The whole reason they were going in the first place was to see the concert by "Cowboy Mouth." They said it was much cooler when they went back and that the concert was fantastic. Charlie even got a drum stick and her picture taken by the lead singer. Do you see the look on Charlie's face? How funny is that!

In any case ~ I, for one, won't be going back next year!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Been Playing and Creating

In addition to the stuff I made for the Panda Swap I've actually been working on a few other things.

I have a customer that wants to give coaster sets to her "card group" for Christmas. She liked my coasters but asked if I could come up with a design that showed more of the main fabric and less of the accent fabric. I came up with this design ~ and gave her two different fabric combos to choose from.

Just waiting to hear what she thinks of them.

I also have another customer who loved my football wallet for her husband but wanted something a bit bigger to hold his football tickets. My "regular" wallets measure 4 1/2" wide by 3" tall. She wanted 6" wide by 3 1/2" tall. A little simple math and it was done. Here's a pic of the larger wallet along side the regular one.

Now what else to do... combine the two ... New style coasters in football fabric!
These will go in the Etsy shop

And on a completely different note... I've been playing with beads too. I made this necklace a couple of months ago. I'd like to find a few more pieces like this owl.

I also recently purchased a couple of these little scrabble tiles from Jesse Janes Etsy shop. She has some adorable stuff you should check out. Anyway... I made the red and black necklace for my very pregnant niece and of course, the flamingo for me. I also have a couple of other tiles I haven't played with yet.That and a bunch (and I do mean a bunch) of elastic beaded bracelets have been my vice of late!  Hope you are doing
 some fun stuff as well.

Time for me to get back to the sewing room.  I'm doing a craft fair on November 4th.  Better get my butt in gear!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Panda Swap 2011

So last month Julianne and I participated in an "on-line" swap. The theme of the swap was Panda's.
Basically you send your info (age, likes, etc) to the swap host ~ in this case Jill of "Life With Nature Girl."
She then matches everyone up and assigns partners. Julianne was matched up with a 14 y/o girl living in Louisiana. The rules of the swap were simple. There should be at least one handmade item with all other items being panda or the black & white theme. The hunt was on for panda fabric as well as other themed items. Here's what we ended up sending..... Hot pink was one of the colors Julianne's partner said she liked with black and white so we went with it.... I made the Panda travel pillow and Julianne made her some pink/black/white beaded bracelets. We also included a little stuffed panda, a panda charm, and a little panda bag. Some black/white/pink school supplies (notepad, pens & wipe off board), some fun socks and topped it all of with pop rocks!

And here is what Julz got from her swap partner... a cute crochet panda, a panda timer, necklace, and a bookmark. Lots of fun stuff like boa's pink/black/white nail polish and a giant "J" covered in glittery peace signs.

It was a lot of fun and the best part is that we got to meet some new friends.

As a "thank you" I made both Jill and Nature girl some matching screen bags with the left over panda fabric. If I do say so myself, they turned out pretty stinking cute. I hope they like them.

And now we can't wait for the next swap.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Letter From Charlie

Hi Mom and Dad,

I wanted to let you know how my stay with Grammy and Grampy went. It's been a little crazy lately. I know we were all a little excited moving from Florida to Maryland. I'm still not exactly sure what is happening. The first few days with G&G in Virginia was great. You and Daddy were there with me and Grammy took us to do a lot of fun things. We went on the carousel which I love...

And then we went on the train through the mall ~ I really liked that.

But then you and daddy left for Maryland so you could get our apartment set up for me and I stayed in Virginia for a couple of days. That's when everything changed. A few days with my favorite Grandmother ~ I knew I was going to be spoiled beyond belief ~ Man was I wrong!
Grammy says I'm old enough now to start earning my keep. First on the agenda was sweeping the floor. They have a lot of wood floors!

And dusting ~ man that fireplace is messy!

After that there were dishes to unload. Auntie Julz showed me how she does it.

We also went to do some grocery shopping. I thought I'd get some rest at last. Riding around in the shopping cart is always fun ~ but I was wrong again. I tried to explain that I couldn't see over the top of the cart to know where I was going but Grammy insisted that since I could walk, I could push the cart.

The final insult came though the next day. Grammy was going to the nail salon to get her nails done. Auntie Julz and I went with her. I thought maybe I'd get my nails done or maybe even a pedicure. I was so excited when they walked me towards the pedicure chairs but instead of putting me in the chair where you GET pedicures, they directed me to the chair that the techs use to GIVE the pedicures. What the heck ~ isn't there some kind of age restriction on becoming a nail tech???

Seriously mom ~ did you know Grammy was this much of a task master? And how many more days till I can come to Maryland and rest with you and dad?

Love, Charlie

Disclaimer: No Smooshy's were harmed in the making of this blog!