Please - come in from the cold and visit with me for a moment - take a break from your Christmas preparations and let me pour you a cup of warm hot chocolate. A very heavy picture post for you all this time that I have been promising to share - so enjoy the Christmas Music and visit with me for a moment. If you want a close up of any of these photos, just double-click on it, then hit your Back Arrow to return to my Blog. Enjoy -
My small 'thrift-store' pewter collection - A pillow I made several years ago -
An antique Santa my mother bought me many years ago when I was a teenager - I hold him near and dear to my heart - A new Christmas display this year - all wooden 'makeovers' finished by me or made for me by dear friends - some that have passed on this year - Remember this 'Illinois find' Firkin?
A counted cross-stitch from a pattern found in a 1980's Country Living Magazine -
Our half bath downstairs -
One of my favorite punch needle patterns I have made -
My great-grand parents were married December 15, 1914 and their wedding portrait hangs in our entry staircase - Our dining area -
View from the kitchen through to the family room -
and back again to the kitchen-
A homemade ceramic ornament from a class I took with my mother when I was a senior in high school. I made a dozen and happy to report 28 years later - none broken! The tree coming home in our daughter's pickup - This year our tree is decorated with 'car parts' - long story.......... I hope this season finds you with loved ones. People keep asking me if I am ready for Christmas and I keep thinking to myself, 'Christmas is more than just THE day, it is the whole season. And I guess I am ready, even though my packages went out a little late and my Christmas cards will be received by acquaintances in January, but, I do know one thing - this is Christmas, the time we celebrate the birth of our Savior, in whom I am incredibly grateful and that is really what the season is all about. So Merry Christmas my friends, and I wish the season's choicest blessings to be with you all. In the immortal words of Tiny Tim, "God bless us, every one!"
What a beautiful weekend! I get so 'reflective' this time of year, as I suppose many of you do. I really ponder the importance of things, and even in the hustle and bustle of this most glorious of seasons, I dig inward. I want to make the season meaningful, for me and others. This weekend we had family for Thanksgiving, I wrote my missionary son a very long letter, and 'putzed' in my home. Yes, everything comes back to home, as it should be.
For the last three years, I have a very special experience on Black Friday. Now I am not a shopper, in fact I detest it. I have one haunt I visit every Black Friday, and I even get to sleep in, because the shop doesn't open until 10 am. This shop is called Heritage Reflections, and every Black Friday they hire a string quartet of a cello, violin, and flute. The three women dress in black formal dresses and play while you shop. I love to shop this day, and this year I bought a bulb. That's right, I bought a flicker bulb, but I must have wandered this shop for a good hour because it felt so quaint. The Christmas decorations were minimal, and in that I mean, greenery and lights only. No blow up Santas, no loud commercialism screaming at you like in a Mall. I feel like I am shopping in colonial America when I am in this shop, like Bob Cratchet from the movie Scrooge. When on the Eve of Christmas as he spends his schillings preparing for his holiday feast with his family, there is a warm gratitude of expression as he scurries through the streets to prepare for the following day. He doesn't stop at ToysRUs, nor is he searching for the latest electronic game. I look forward to this experience every year at Heritage Reflections, and it soothes my soul.
The weeks ahead hold baking, decorating, entertaining, and visiting. On the 8th, an old fashioned Christmas Cookie Exchange along with a book review of Little Women will be held here, and the 11th will bring my 'Finish-It-Friday' craft club to my home from 6 to midnight. Several of my friends are using this time to finish some sewing, crafting, and painting for their gift giving. And on the eve of the 15th, I am hosting the first leg of a Progressive Dinner for 40-50 women, which I am so excited about. I love entertaining for the holidays. From making gingerbread boys, cinnamon rolls, and homemade bread to give to neighbors, along with Christmas music playing in the background while I finish a craft, quilt on a customers quilt, or make dinner in the kitchen, this is Christmas to me. Christmas in the Home. There's no place on Earth I would rather be at Christmas.
Next post will have photos of my home decked out for the holidays and my most requested recipe. Now, if I could just get it to snow in this part of the country.......
The magic of Santa's workshop! This is such a busy time of year for me, but I love it! Knowing so many customers come to me to have their quilts quilted for loved ones and then those loved ones will be waking up to quilts under their Christmas trees in Idaho just thrills me to my quilting fingertips!
This is a VERY short post - please stay tuned during Thanksgiving Weekend, when I will be 'decorating my blog' for the holidays........
Until then -
BLESSINGS to you and your families on Thanksgiving Day!
Fall and Pumpkin Fest is alive and well in Illinois! I recently returned from an 'excursion' with my family, and I can honestly say that family time is always best! From antiquing with the girls, scrapbooking with my favorite cousin, and quilting with the favorite aunt, to family eating, parade watching, and all points in between, WOW, the family in Illinois know how to have a good time! I took a quilt I had been working on to my mother, and she loved it. I finished quilting it just 2 nights before the plane was to take off with me and the quilt in it - nothing like the last minute, huh?
Mother loved it, and I enjoyed making it for her.
While in northern Illinois, we girls took a day trip to Sandwich, Illinois. Small town, but FULL of antique shops. Now I don't get much in the way of antique shops out here in the west, but if you talk to my 'favorite cousin', she literally saw me sprinting across one shop in pursuit of an antique coverlet. I didn't end up buying it, but I was so overwhelmed with the 6 or so I saw that day. My first coverlets ever to lay eyes upon, so it was a ah-ha moment for me. All shapes, sizes, and conditions were they in, but I was googly-eyed at all the treasures in the antique shops we visited that day. Kept looking for firkins, some were 'fake' and others were a little out of my price range; I will keep looking.....
Visited the 'Red Geranium' in Sandwich also, and personally, I am making a prediction here that this shop will be in the Quilt Sampler Magazine in the not too distant future. She had a wonderful shop that had both primitive goods and quilting fabrics. OH, TO DIE FOR!!!!!! Wonderful shop! Highly recommended! Still, I kept looking for firkins.......
Went around the corner and there was another intrigue...... This beauty was 'Two Sisters' and since we had two sisters on the trip, my mother and favorite aunt, they got their photo taken......
Also a destination shopping experience! A cute sign met us on our entry into the store....
Bought a wool blanket here for $15, what a deal, saw a few antique coverlets, but no firkins.
Saturday dawned, and went to a few craft shows, and what would happen to be found?
A FIRKIN!!!!! Finally, wanted to find a firkin, and found my version of one, $7! I think this one is calling out for red paint...... It matches my other one perfectly.
Also went to a quilt/basket shop in Claire, Illinois. I get such a kick out of this shop's name:
She had some reasonably priced wool that I was looking for. And I can't tell you how beautiful the burning bushes were back there, along with all the fall foilage. This tree is 'multi-colored.' How does that happen?
And the crowning point of the trip was the Pumpkin Fest Parade. Time for traditional pictures on mother's buckboard wagon, and check out the 150 pound pumpkin my aunt grew:
And the cousins in attendance this year:
I had a good time with family and now back to my real world. Yesterday was spent in my home, where I feel comfortable and love to be domestic. Laundry, a little bit of cleaning, and in general putzing around the house was the order of the day. I did manage to bake a new recipe of glazed pumpkin pecan bread, and it was yummo!!!! Time to end. Just like vacations, time goes by so fast. But the memories are what we have to get us through until the next 'excursion' day. I am blessed to have both wonderful family members and memories.
Whoa! it feels so good to have a working computer back - actually it was our external modem that died. I blog on a Mac, so normally I don't have 'issues' - I can really blame it on the modem. And it is SO very blustery and wet here this evening, but oh how I love it!!! Nothing like soup in the crockpot when it is raining and cold outside.....
I have been busy! Have had my laundry soap 'bucket' done for awhile. It is kinda cute sitting on my dryer holding my laundry soap. Who wants to see a Tide box? My laundry room is right off my kitchen, so it gets a lot of foot traffic and I just had an inkling one day to do something about the Tide box that was obstructing my view - have you ever noticed how BRIGHT a Tide box is? It can cause you to loose sleep at night! Ugh - this is definitely more primitive friendly. Bright vs. Bucket - hmmmmmm.....
Also, I have been working on a shelf I bought clear back in mid summer with a 40% coupon from Michaels. It holds my woolens in my sewing room and I love the colors - the shelf is Olde Pewter from Old Century Colors and when you organize by color all that wool - it became very 'hue friendly!' I hardly use any other brand of paint these days. The colonial paint hues are just gorgeous! Anyway, here it is 'Before' - I almost forgot to take a photo and remembered as I started painting it:
And here it is in my messy (can you say "Christmas Projects") sewing room:
I am hooking a rug that is a Maggie Bononomi design, and will be looking for a few more green and blue wools. This room probably looks a little familiar from one of my posts clear back in 'March..ish'. It became my sewing room and yep, gets quite a bit of use. My kids are getting older, sad to say, so when Friday and Saturday nights come around and Sarah, my daughter, is either working at the pizza parlor or out with friends, you can find me in here. Our son David is on a two year LDS mission, so he is not living at home at the present. I have always made it my policy to wait up for my kids to come home from a late night out, and it is easier if I am working on a fun project. An added plus is that my kids know I am waiting for them, so they know not to be late! So needless to say, this is my 'hang out joint.'
Makeovers I still need to paint, including 8 wooden bowls that are next in line for a makeover - meet the laundry/makeover room:
So much to paint and so little time. No more thrift store shopping for me until I get this pile under control!!!!!
Do you ever have something you put out on the horizon so you have something to look forward to? It could be a shopping trip, or a day with the girls, or maybe you really look forward to a day trip with your husband. Once a month I drive to Kuna, Idaho and quilt from 6 until midnight with some very fun ladies:
I so look forward to my quilting nights. There is food, giggles, and things accomplished that I can't get done at home. I am also planning a trip to Sycamore, Illinois next week for Pumpkin Fest and quality family time with relatives. I will have a special post on that later. We all need to create our 'escapes'. Promise yourself one, even if it is to the bathtub for a really quiet, hot soak in the tub! In this economy, SIMPLE PLEASURES RULE!!!!
Last but certainly not the least, look at these beautiful quilt blocks my favorite aunt found for me at a garage sale this summer! Aren't they the best? Don't know how I am going to finish these yet, but there are 13 of them:
I can hardly wait to start in on these beauties after the holidays. I can see them appliqued on some really tea stained muslin or darker tan fabric, or even on a simple shirting. Can't quite decide yet. I need time to let this decision stew in my mind.
That's all for now ladies. Hope all is well in your neighborhood and you can see the blessings in your life. It is time to hunker down for the Fall and Winter - all kinds of projects await!
I am a displaced early American born about 200 years too late! Actually, I do like my indoor bathroom facilities, but envy the simplicity and commonness that filled the days of the colonial women. Hard work, but they would and did find joy in their day!