Monday, December 28, 2020

Christmas Dessert!

Hope you all had a very merry Christmas! We certainly did. Having a baby around makes Christmas more special. Here's the showstopper dessert I made - Buche' de Noel (Yule Log Cake). I decorated it with peppermint malt balls, sugared rosemary, and sugar 'snow'. And it tasted every bit as good as it looks. Recipe HERE. This may become a yearly tradition.

We put all the Christmas decorations away yesterday and hung a different quilt in the dining room.

When you walk in the front door, you can see whatever quilt I have hanging. I love having a large wall for hanging a big quilt!

I would love to say that Sadie adored her bird Christmas ornament - but she wasn't too interested. She's a bit young to appreciate it, but I know as she grows up she'll love these. 

Yes, I got my hair cut SHORT a few weeks before Christmas. I'm still getting used to it, but I think I like it. So easy!!!

For Christmas, Santa brought me a bit of high blood pressure. Not the present I wanted. I had a physical just before the holidays. So I'm monitoring it at home and will see if I need a prescription after the new year. I've started walking almost every day - typically 45 minutes daily, sometimes an hour. Usually Hubby joins me, but if he's on the golf course I've started listening to podcasts while I walk. Currently I'm listening to The Orange Tree - I really like true crime stories.

I love our neighborhood for walking. It's flat and there are so many options for routes. 

I've ordered some new athletic shoes (mine are getting old), new insoles (Spenco), and an Apple watch to help me with my health journey. And once the Christmas yummies are gone (SOON!), I'll be eating healthier, too. But I've really enjoyed the Christmas yummies! Haha!

I still haven't been sewing! No real reason. But today I will! I promise!

Stay safe!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are all enjoying this special season! We certainly are. I had planned to make more cookies, but we received two lovely gift boxes of yummies - we have enough sweets! 

Today I am cooking though. I have made a garlic cheese grits casserole for tomorrow's Christmas Eve brunch at Daughter 1's home. She will be making a French Toast casserole and Daughter 2 is bringing sausage balls and maple bacon. YUM!

On Christmas Day, the kids will all be at our home for lunch. We are grilling filet mignon and we'll also have twice baked potato casserole, a Christmas tossed salad, broccoli, and yeast rolls. For desert I'm making something very special. I'll share photos next week.

I'm making the potatoes today and I may start the desert. I'm also wrapping presents today. Alexa has been playing Christmas music all day. 

As you can see above, I did finish the latest bird block and I've started the next one. But I got side tracked! I decided I wanted to begin making a special ornament for Sadie each year. I searched Pinterest for ideas and googled like mad. Then I realized the solution was right under my nose. Sue Spargo's Happy Birds! I thought I might be able to make Christmas ornaments from these patterns. 

So I picked one of the early patterns, modified it a bit, and have been obsessed with this ever since! I made two of these birds in mirror image and did the same embellishments on both sides (except I only stitched the year on one side. Then I stitched them together with light stuffing and a cord. The ornament is entirely hand stitched. I hope when I am long gone that Sadie will treasure these.

And here's another photo I took outside so you can see the colors better. Each year I will use a different bird pattern.

When she is grown, she'll have a tree full of birds! By the way, Sadie is 9 months old TODAY! She's crawling and pulling up - on the MOVE! And so much fun!

I really haven't been machine sewing at all, other than making the binding for the two quilts I recently got back from the machine quilter and machine stitching it on to both of them. Now that I've finished the ornament, I will make time to hand stitch all that binding down. 

I've done more diamond painting. The more I do, the faster I get.  This project is almost halfway done. I won't finish until sometime in January, but finish it, I will!

Merry Christmas!
Stay safe!


Monday, December 14, 2020

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies!


I've been baking. A LOT! Last week I made three batches of rolled cookies - sugar, chocolate, and gingerbread! The chocolate cookie recipe was the best! They didn't spread and taste so yummy. Here's the link to the recipe: Chocolate Cookies. I highly recommend it! 

Our girls came over Saturday (plus one son-in-law and sweet Sadie) and we had fun decorating cookies. I made Royal icing and we colored it in a variety of hues. (Don't forget - you can click on the pictures to see them bigger!)

We had such a fun day and this will now be a yearly event! Lots of laughter and smiles! I had a hot chocolate station set up, along with snacks. 

The guys and Sadie picked up lunch and after eating we moved on to Diamond Painting. Have you done this? I was familiar with it, but had never tried it. Daughter 1 brought us each a kit. There is a little tool included. The 'canvas' is printed with symbols and is sticky; it's covered with a clear plastic sheet that is peeled back as you go.  You dip the tool into a small wax sheet, pick up a 'diamond' and press it into the correct square on the 'canvas'. It's a lot like counted cross stitch. The numbers assigned to the 'diamond' colors are the same as in embroidery floss; i.e., black is 310 in both. 

Here's a small section.

Yes, this will take some time, but is very relaxing. I usually put together a puzzle at Christmas, but this will replace the puzzle this year. I have it on the dinette table so I can work on it a few times per day. 

I've done a bit of sewing - only handwork though. Almost finished with my latest happy bird. And I'm picking up two more quilts today from my long armer friend. So I should have two more finishes by the end of the year.

Stay safe!!!

Monday, December 7, 2020

Two More Quilts Finished!


Appalachian Autumn! All I had left was to hand stitch the binding and that happened Saturday and Sunday. Of course, now the Fall decorating season is over and we moved into this quilt was folded and put away for now. We'll enjoy it next Fall though!

I am MOST excited about this finish - my Christmas Row Quilt. All it needed was a bit of big stitch quilting and I finished that Sunday. Some of my friends made many of these rows so this quilt is really special. I still need to pin the bows on the wreaths (second row from top). I was determined to finish this before Christmas and I did.

I'm knocking out my UFO's. I still have two quilts with my long armer friend, so I should have two more finishes before long. 

What I'm reading:
I've been better about reading this year. For a long time after my mastectomy and associated surgeries, my brain was in a fog and I had trouble reading. I have read various modern novels recently and enjoyed them to a limited degree. For over a year now I've been thinking about those classics I read when I was a young teen. Those great books of old!

I remember my mom taking me to the library, particularly in the summer. I would see the placards with 
lists of recommended books for teens. Little Women, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights. The Iliad and The Odyssey. Yes, I was that teen. I would read the listed books FOR FUN! Can you believe I read The Iliad and The Odyssey for fun???? Yes, I was a nerd. But a well read one!

I decided it was time to go back in time. So for the next year, I plan to read some of these old classics. I have started with Jane Eyre. And I'm loving it!

Better go - Sadie will be here soon!
Stay safe!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Bullseye Quilt Finished


I finished this binding on my Bullseye quilt. This top has been finished for a LONG time. I'm so glad I finally got it quilted and finished. This is a fun little lap quilt.

And, we hung my Santa Claus quilt! Before our house was even built, I had studied the plans and picked out this wall in the dining room to mount a curtain rod to hang seasonal quilts. We've been here more than 8 months...and we finally hung the rod. The quilt went up this morning. I'm happy. And now our Christmas decorating is complete.

I haven't sewn much this past week - not sure why. I guess I've been busy with other things.

I did sign up for the Virtual Quilt Festival. I have really enjoyed it - and today is the final day. I've been able to view all the quilts, shop the virtual vendor mall, and even take classes. All my classes are on free motion quilting. 

The nice thing about the classes is that they are recorded and I can watch them anytime until December 12. I have 3 classes today - but I don't think I'll watch any of them live. It's football Saturday! 

I've already learned some new tips. And I discovered some new notions that I have already ordered. It has been the next best thing to going to Houston.

I'll share my new finds in another post soon.

Stay safe!