Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012

2012 is coming to a close. I'm having my usual low-key night watching New Year's Rockin' Eve Celebrates Dick Clark.

 Blessings for a wonderful 2013.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

Saturday, December 22, 2012


A couple weeks ago, I happened to look outside and saw this huge bird. As I was trying to get the first picture from inside the house, it moved and I only got the tail.
Then it went further into the yard.  I think it was a Cooper's Hawk. 
All I know is that it was huge, and there wasn't any other wildlife around...
...except this squirrel that I saw in the tree next to the feeders. He wasn't moving at all and didn't for several minutes even after the hawk flew away.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Blizzard of 2012

Our first major snowfall of the season dumped over a foot of wet, heavy snow on Central Iowa. What a beautiful sight! The not-so-wonderful part of it is that it started as what I like to call thick rain and now everything has a sheet of ice on it.
Schools were closed. Businesses were closed. Interstates were closed. 
I was one of the lucky ones that didn't lose power. There was only one time throughout the day that it flickered, but that was it. 
The spiral tree didn't survive the weight of the snow. It had one section of lights that wasn't working so I'm okay with losing it. I'm just glad I hadn't gotten around to putting a new one out yet.

The trees are really weighted down. This evergreen usually reaches almost to the house. I only lost a few small branches from the front trees. 

Schools were closed again today, but work was open. 
Enjoy the white Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Annual Christmas Candy Making Day

A couple weeks ago we had our annual candy making day. This year we had a new idea...candy mice! There are several videos online that we found.
They were really easy. All it takes are cherries with stems to dip in chocolate chips, Hershey's Hugs, and sliced almonds. 
After you dip the cherry, lay it on its side and place the Hug. Then place the almonds between the two for the ears. The chocolate acts as the glue to hold it all together. 
 Then dip a toothpick in the chocolate and  give them eyes and a nose. They turned out really great!
We also made lots of other things, but I guess the only picture I got was of the peanut butter balls.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

No Room at the Inn

After hearing about the No Room at the Inn Nativity Festival for the past couple of years, I finally got a chance to check it out. What a fabulous way to start out the Christmas season. The nativities are absolutely beautiful.
There are many sizes.

There are wood ones, glass ones, ceramic ones, and many more.

They're made by locals and as far away as Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, and the Holy Land.

The volunteers said there were over 400 throughout the church. Table after table was filled.

Friday, November 16, 2012

It's Blooming Again

I'm so excited to see my Christmas cactus bloom again this year.  It has lots more buds than last year.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Handmade Birthday Project

After I made this bag a few weeks ago, I realized I had enough fabric left to make a smaller version for my sister. Perfect timing since her birthday was coming up.
 This one still had the coordinating fabric band, but it was only at the bottom instead of the top and bottom like the other one.
And of course, it was easier to sew the second time around. 
I use mine all the time. I might see if I can find some quilted holiday fabric and make another one. But that might interfere with the last post I wrote about all of the UFOs I'm going to finish this winter. So many projects, so little time!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


A few days ago I was in my sewing room and decided it needed a little bit of organizing. Things seemed to have migrated from their assigned place. While I was doing that, I found several unfinished objects (ufo) in the cabinets. 

So my goal this winter is to finish most, if not all, of them. I have the fabric bought for a new quilt so I'm going to try and hold off on it. But it's so exciting to start something new.
There are a couple of flannel baby blankets that need the binding finished, a full size quilt that I need to decide if I'm going to tie or have machine quilted and then the binding sewn on, a crocheted afghan to finish, and a wall hanging that needs to be hand quilted. I can already tell you that the hand quilting project is probably the one that I'll procrastinate on the longest. Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Boy Baby Quilt

I've made a few baby quilts over the years, but the majority of them have been for girls. Now it was time for a boy.
I found a really cute design, and decided to use red fabric as the contrast rather than a dark blue. The quilt shop had the perfect red in their Thomas the Train line. I made strip sets of the two fabrics rather than cutting individual blocks and then sewing them together. Such a timesaver. 
I tie almost all of the baby quilts I make. My mom helped me make this small quilt frame several years ago.
The first layer to go down is the back of the quilt, then the batting (cotton low loft), and finally the quilt top. Sometimes it's quite the process getting it all square on the frame by myself, but I eventually get it.
Then comes the tying. I usually use embroidery thread but have also used 100% cotton yarn. As I get each couple of rows done, they're rolled around one side of the frame to keep the fabric tight.

(Wow, the color is off on the walls. They're really bright yellow/gold.)

After the top is tied, the edges are trimmed up and the binding sewn on.
A name tag on the back finishes it off.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Flower Bag

Several months ago I decided that I wanted to make a bag. I had seen several cute ones in stores and on some blogs. I searched for the perfect (easy!) pattern and some quilted fabric that I liked. Finally found both...and then it just sat there. A few other projects got completed but not this one...until a couple weeks ago. 
I hadn't sewn from a pattern since high school home ec. It all came back like it was yesterday.
After putting a binding on the front and back pieces, it was time for the handles. They were really long, and I had quite the time getting them right side out because the fabric was so thick. I worked on the first one for almost 20 minutes until my frustration level was quite high. Did some searching on the web and found several ideas to help. The second one took less than five minutes!

Next it was time for the bottom. The curves seams took me awhile, but I finally got them.
I love it. It's the perfect size.
This was a great project. Nice to do something different than sewing quilt tops where accuracy is so much more important.