'Stay, stay at home and rest. Homekeeping hearts are happiest.' ~ Author Unknown.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

~It's the Most Wonderful Season of All......~

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.......

Blessing on your Christmas Preparations,


Thursday, November 19, 2009

'Tis a peek thru Santa's Workshop Window....

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!


P.S. Homemade is best!!!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

~ Antiquing and Fall in Illinois! ~

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:

The sisters:

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.

Live Simply ~ Simply Live!