Archive for December, 2016

Sisters’ Christmas

December 31, 2016

The Thurs. before Christmas, Sis came over as usual for Craft Day. This time, however, we had a little two-party Christmas party.

Sis and I have always celebrated Christmas together with our mom, aunt and two other sisters. Earlier years there were a lot more family involved, but through the years as kids grew up, moved on, etc., we still got together until it was just the six of us for several years. Now, with time passing, it’s just down to the two of us. But who says you can’t have a party with just two people, right?

And that’s what we did!

We’ve always given each other a gift and I knew she would bring me something even though neither one of us had discussed it beforehand. So I had made some goodies, had my gift ready for her and when she came, sure enough she had brought me a gift as well.

We made some hot peppermint chocolate, popped pop corn, took our goodies into my sewing room where I had my card table set up, and the fun began.

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We opened our cards for each other first. I had made a card with a snowman on the front for Sis. AND she had made me a card in the same medium with an angel on the front. (Do sisters think alike, or what?)

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The one I made was supposed to be stitched with the blanket stitch like she did hers, but I glued it all together before I realized that I should have done the stitching first! DUH! But she loved it anyway. (She loves snowmen!) And we had a nice laugh about it.

Next I opened my gift from Sis.

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I know…..I had a funny look on my face, but I was actually saying, “I LOVE IT!” Sis knows that I love tote bags AND butterflies and I LOVE bright colors as well. She said as soon as she saw it in the Avon catalog, she knew she would have to get it for me. After oohing and ahhing over it, she said there was something else in the gift bag. She had also included a gift card to……wait for it………Hobby Lobby!! I was beyond excited!

Then it was Sis’s turn to open my gift to her.

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I had come across this paisley fabric at a craft show back in the Fall. The paisley print is my Sis’s favorite print on fabric and it’s BLUE, her favorite color as well!

When I bought it, I had in mind to make her a purse out of it. I found a pattern, went through my stash to find a color that would go with it, and made the purse. It didn’t call for any stiffening or lining. It was so flimsy that it wouldn’t even stand up. “She isn’t going to like this”, I said to myself. (I talk to myself a lot!)

So I took it apart. (Not an easy task because I had surged the seams — you all know what I mean!) I ironed interfacing on the bag, made a lining, and ironed interfacing on the lining, then sewed it back together again. What a chore! I guess putting the interfacing on just the bag or the lining would have been enough. It was a little over-kill, I think. But it stood up on its own then!!

And she loved it!

I had also crocheted an infinity scarf for her that I had stashed in the purse.

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Can you tell we were getting a little punchy by now?

Last, but not least, I gave her some Ferraro Rocher chocolates.

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I told her that the only way you should eat one is to put the whole piece in your mouth, take a drink of hot coffee, let it melt in your mouth a few seconds savoring the flavor, then chew it up. So she said, “Well, let’s have one then” and proceeded to open them up.

We got a cup of hot coffee, opened our mouths,

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and savored the flavor,

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We started laughing and I almost lost mine. We were really having fun with those candies! We were having fun with our day!

After we settled down a little, we loaded up some of the goodies, and headed out to the little shop out back to paint. Sis started on a sled that I had given her as a birthday gift several years ago. She had a cute reindeer pattern that she wanted to paint on it.

I had started a jug with a Witch’s hat on it, so I worked on it and finished it!

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While we waited for paint to dry, she helped me base coat some gingerbread men on two cookie sheets that I had also started a while back. More about them later.

Sis had to have her first Christmas without her husband this year. Even though her kids and grandkids were with her, it was hard for her and all of them, I’m sure. Hopefully, “our Christmas party” put a little sunshine and laughter into a most difficult time of the year for her to get through.

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Fall and Birthdays

December 16, 2016

Fall and birthdays go together around our house. All three of my children were born in the last two months of the year. The girls’ birthdays are only a week apart in Nov.

Then comes grandsons. The first one is born on my son’s birthday in Dec. Then grandson #2 was born on his dad’s birthday, which happens to be just two days after one of the girls’ birthdays in Nov.

The next two grandsons were born in March (what’s this all about!), then the last two were born in Nov. and Dec., again!

Sis was born in Dec. as well as our sister who has since passed away. (My MIL’s birthday was also in Dec.)

So as you can see, the Fall has always been very busy for us. Not so much anymore, but when we were younger and all together more often, we had lots of get-togethers and birthday parties. Plus Thanksgiving and Christmas. (I miss these get-togethers!)

Grandson #5 turned 13 this year. BIG birthday. Teenager! Bittersweet however because he was diagnosed with scoliosis earlier this year and was scheduled to have surgery just ten days after his birthday in Nov.

Even though they live in KC, Hubby and I decided to drive up to see him for his birthday. We took the family out to eat, gave Grandson his card and “money” which isn’t a favorite gift right now. He wants “STUFF”.

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So the next stop after supper was to Game Stop so he could spend his money and get some “STUFF”. That made a happy camper.

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The next morning after an outing to a favorite breakfast spot, I “helped” his little brother, (who is showing a big interest in cooking), to make a “cookie cake” for the birthday boy.

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I hope Grandpa and I helped to make his 13th BIG day a BIG day for him. BTW, he had his surgery and is recovering well and getting better every day. Praise God!

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Sis and I have always recognized each other’s birthdays — for many, many years — well, forever. When Mom, our aunt and our other two sisters were alive, we’d have birthday parties at Mom’s house whenever one of us had a birthday.

Sis and I still get together to give each other a gift and share some fellowship. This year, however, I wanted to do a little more for her because she lost her husband this year and I didn’t want her to be alone on her birthday. Her kids have been very supportive and in fact, her daughter was going to take her out to eat for supper that evening. But both her children had to work ON her Day. So I invited her to spend the day with me.

I went to her house to pick her up — but first is the opening of gifts. The Christmas mug is a mug cake (a little cake cooked in a mug in the microwave.) I knew her kids would give her a cake (in fact, she got two cakes!), but I wanted to try this. It turned out ok, too! I’ll have to make one for me one of these days.

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Sis loves garage sales, flea markets, and antique malls. So that’s where we spent the day — at an antique mall.  It’s a huge place and even has a little tea room where we had lunch and a to-die-for dessert of apple crisp with ice cream and cherry cheese cake.

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Oops! We had the dessert almost eaten by the time I remembered to take a pic.!

We looked and looked and yes, bought some goodies we just couldn’t live without to take home with us.

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The place closed at six and guess what! Yep, we were there till almost six. Ha Ha! (It’s kind of a private joke with us that everywhere we go, we look so long that they practically have to push us out the door to get us to leave!)

Several times on the way home, she thanked me for a wonderful time and kept saying that she had a great time. Well, I had a great time too and it makes me feel good as well that I helped her through what I know would have been a difficult day for her.

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Grandson #1 got a cookie cake again this year.

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We also found out that his brother, who has been going to school up north, is moving back here! In fact, he’s already here as I write this. He’s lived away from here for a long time, but is on his own now and chose to move back. We haven’t seen him yet, but I’m sure that he’s been busy getting moved and settling in. We’re excited!

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The last birthday for us this year will be Grandson #6. His birthday is two days after Christmas. We’re making another trip to KC for Christmas so we’ll see him soon. I always give him an extra gift so he’ll feel like he’s having a real birthday. Maybe he’ll want to make another cookie cake only for himself this time!

Wall/Door Decorations

December 16, 2016

Sis and I were not liking the way the instructions said to use wire to hang the letters and the star. We decided on leaving the wire off the snowmen and attaching the “JOY” and the star in a different way. Sis came up with just gluing the letters on the front of the snowman and gluing the star to one hand. On the other hand she added a Styrofoam “snowball”.  Cute!! I love the snowball look.

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Meanwhile, I came up with the idea of using silver string to run the word “JOY” from his hand down one side of the snowman and the star from the other. I had to spot glue them to the snowman so they wouldn’t turn.

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I think they both turned out cute.

While we were trying to figure out how to finish our snowmen, we started cutting out some big stockings that were to be wall decorations as well. We had three of them, but they were two-sided because the directions said to sew them together to actually make a stocking. But we’re rebels and we decided that we would sew them together like we did the snowmen with a plain backing and the batting between. So instead of three stockings, we now have six.

The stockings however, weren’t as time-consuming as the snowmen so we had them all sewed together in one afternoon of crafting. I couldn’t get them all in the pic, but here’s a few of them.

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We put plain red fabric on the back of five of them and I used all I had, so I found a piece of Christmas fabric that had a red background for the last one. Then we added a little bow to the dog’s hat and some jingle bells around the collar of one of the kitties and down the ribbon on the other one.

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If you have it hanging on the front of your door, you’ll hear the jingle bells when you go in or out!

On the fabric panel with the directions, it had a little picture of the stocking to show what it would look like when finished. I cut them out, backed them with a scrap of the red backing and “glued” them together with Wonder-Under. Now we have three little ornaments for the tree! Sis took one home, so I only have two in the pic.

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Breaking Out The Sewing Machines

December 12, 2016

After the witches were finally finished, we decided to bring our sewing machine out of retirement and sew on some snowmen door panels. I remembered these pre-printed panels of snowmen that I’d bought on clearance and had in my stash, a long time. With Christmas and winter coming, I thought that would be something we could make and decorate our homes with for the season.

So Sis brought her sewing machine over and we did some sewing.

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At first I wasn’t sure where we’d have room to set her sewing machine up. I thought of the kitchen table, but then she would be in the kitchen and I would be in my sewing room. What fun would that have been?!

Then I remembered my grandmother’s old treadle sewing machine. I opened up the top, put a board over the hole, and she set her sewing machine on it. Worked perfect!

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We sewed all afternoon and finished them for the most part. Sis made one and I made two only because I had three panels and since we were sewing, I thought I might as well make them all.

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The star and the word “Joy” are separate and the instructions said to use wire to string them between the hands. Not working! So we’ve been trying to come up with a better way to add them onto the snowman. A work-in-progress.

We had a couple of “show and tells” that day as well. Sis brought over a little pretty that her son’s girlfriend found for her at a thrift store. She had commented that it was “just you”.

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It’s a little wooden scoop with a sewing room decorated on the inside of it. How cute! Now she needs to find a place to hang it in her sewing room. 🙂

My show and tells are a couple of other projects I finished in my little shop out back. This is a couple of bottles that I painted a tall and skinny house on. (I don’t know why, but I love tall and skinny designs.)

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The other project is painted on the front cover of a tablet. Three of these tablets came in a magazine holder that I bought at an estate sale. I bought the holder to put some of my magazines in but didn’t need the new tablets. So I’m painting on them! They’ll probably go in my sale next Fall.

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I LOVE the silhouette look!

Witches — Finished!

December 2, 2016

Yes, we finally finished the three witches a couple of weeks ago. I have to admit that they turned out rather cute. For witches.

We got the vests and little frogs made the week after the dresses. Aren’t the little frogs cute poking their heads out of the vest pockets?

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The following week, the witches got their hair, hats, and brooms.   We had messed with the hats for so long, trying to get the cobwebs sewed onto the hats, that we didn’t have time to make the brooms. Those cobwebs were difficult to put where we wanted them on the hats!

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See the little spider hanging from the tip of the hat? 🙂

After Sis left, I worked on the brooms. She had brought some sticks from her yard to use as the broom handles. When I went to cut them down a little, one of the sticks was dried out and practically came apart in my hands. Suddenly I had ants falling out of it! I smashed all the ants, then took the stick outside and disposed of it. I found another stick in the yard, took it inside, turned the oven on and stuck all three sticks in to bake for 30 min. That would take care of any more ants or other varmints, I thought!

After the sticks cooled off, I proceeded to make the brooms. They all three went together like clock-work. And now the three withes are finished!!

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As I said before, I think they turned out pretty cute. The only problem is, we’ll have to wait until next year to display them. What am I going to do with them in the meantime?