Sunday, January 13, 2019

"Hannah Rose" - Winter Table Runner

While watching the New England Patriots this afternoon, I finished the binding on this winter table runner. The pattern shows using a crocheted doily for the bottom of the snow lady. (The pattern indicates that you could choose to use fabric, but I loved using a doily.)

The pattern, "Hannah Rose," is by Rustic Country HandcraftsI decided to make it using some recently purchased beautiful, deep blue batik yardage along with some other blue fabrics in my stash, and I had just the perfect heart shaped black buttons for the coat.

I added the white tree candle and two reindeer which I had received for Christmas to complete the scene. In fact, receiving these gifts actually prompted me to work on this piece.

I made the squares slightly smaller than the pattern indicated and added a border. Because I had altered the pattern, there were enough squares left over to create another smaller runner for the top of my quilt rack. 

Have a creative, fun week!!!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Mary Poppins Returns - Practically Perfect in Every Way

Have you seen Mary Poppins Returns? It is wonderful!!! Emily Blunt is perfect as everyone's favorite nanny, and Lin-Manuel Miranda simply lights up the screen. In fact, everyone in the cast is perfect. The "Trip a Little Light Fantastic' big dance number is wonderful and though I didn't leave the theater humming or singing any particular tune, the music was perfect for the film. The scenes with animation are truly magical!!!

Did I enjoy the movie? You bet I did . . . every joyous minute of it!!! Go see it today!!!

The original Mary Poppins movie was, I think, the very first movie that my friends and I went to see by ourselves. Of course, my dad drove us to the theater and picked us up, but we were old enough to go without an adult. I loved that movie, and I loved this one, too!!!

If you haven't seen it yet, please do so as it's guaranteed to lift your spirits.

Now, as for the photo above . . . When I was in college, I was given the great honor of becoming my baby cousin Kristin's godmother. I was thrilled and wanted to make something special for her.  I found some books with images of Mary Poppins and inspired by them designed this crewel piece . The umbrella even has a a parrot head!. My dad made the frame for it, and it hung in her bedroom as she grew up and today hangs in her daughter's bedroom. :-)

While writing this post, I had one eye on the John Ford classic, Young Mr. Lincoln, starring Henry Ford playing on TCM. 1939 was a phenomenal year for films. Here are just some of the other films from that year.

Gone with the Wind
Wuthering Heights
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
The Wizard of Oz
Of Mice and Men
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Dark Victory

In case you are wondering, at the Oscars in 1940, Gone with the Wind won best picture, Vivian Leigh best actress, and Robert Donat, best actor for Goodbye Mr. Chips.

Again, be sure you go see Mary Poppins Returns!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Fish Bowl Snowman - First Craft of the New Year

 Have you seen the latest craft craze on Pinterest? It's snowmen made from fish bowls! I spotted photos of them a few weeks back, but since I didn't need any more Christmas decorations, I decided to wait and make one for my sunporch in the new year.  It's a pretty simple craft but fun! In retrospect, I should have gone looking for design elements in early December as the crafts stores had packed away most of the holiday items before Christmas; Valentine's Day items were already on the shelves. Still, I was able to pick up a garland of clear crystals which I put in the bottom of each bowl. I didn't hot glue in any of the items as next year I might find things that I like better. Case in point, the second bowl has a gingerbread house which would be fine in a Christmas snowman but not so great in this winter themed snowman.

I also picked up a fairly realistic looking pine branch with snow which I cut apart. I anchored small pieces by simply sticking them in the garland. All of the design elements were raised up. I used coffee jar lids which I keep on hand to raise up my African violets in their pots. Next I added the snow which was a pain in the neck. I couldn't find the glistening flake type snow, just a bag of these teenie, tiny beads of snow which went everywhere and stuck to everything. :-)

Now I can hear you saying, "Wow! What a swell snowman's hat!!! I wonder where she bought that???" Okay, you might not be saying that, but I'll tell you anyway.  I made it! I had a lid which fit the top of the bowl perfectly. I took two pieces of heavy stock black paper and cut two large circles which I glued together. Then I tackled the top of the hat. I happened to open the refrigerator and spotted a container of Legal Seafood Chowder. Eureka!!! I had the chowder for supper then washed, dried, and painted the container black. I glued container on the top and another lid painter black to fit on the bottom. :-)

Two cute gifts to show you. First, among other things, my "Ladies Lunch" cousins gave me this cute,  (2.5" by 4")  seaglass piece which I have hanging in my kitchen window. If you follow my blog, you may remember that after our lunches, we often go to the beach in search of sea glass. . . Here are my two little cousins, their mom, and me!

The other day a friend stopped by to bring me this adorable schnauzer Christmas pillow. When you press the corner of the pillow, the strand of lights blink on. How cute is that!

New Year's Resolution: Do more crafts, read more books, take lots of trips, and spend more time photographing, and start/make/finish quilt projects, so that I will have lots to blog about this year. :-) [Note: a friend gave me a notebook and I have begun listing my UFOs and project that I want to make. I stopped after I had filled up a page and a half. At this rate, I'll have to stay hale and hearty until I am 105 to finish them all.]

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Christmas 2018

No photos this time . . . just a recap of the last few crazy, wonderful days of Christmas 2018. It started on Saturday with a get-together at the home of my cousins' dad and his wife. My seven young cousins and their parents were there, and everyone had a great time. All seven children (three families) truly enjoy each others' company.

On Sunday after church, I wrapped a few last presents and settled in to watch the Patriots. Fortunately, this week they won!!!

Two of my cousins were altar servers at the 4:00 Mass on Christmas Eve, so I went to their house early in the afternoon to deliver presents. After Mass, I went with my godchild and her family to the home of her long time friend for dinner. My cousin Kristin has two girls as does her friend and the four little girls are as close as their moms are.

On Christmas, I headed to my cousin Linda's home.  Her two boys had quite a surprise as Santa had brought them an adorable, sweet, white kitten which they aptly named Snowy. Santa had left the kitten in their downstairs bathroom along with a bed, litter box, and food and water bowls. At first, they hadn't noticed the bows stuck on the bathroom door, but when they eventually opened the door, they were thrilled.  Linda's boys are very active and energetic, so it was fun to watch how extra gentle and careful they were with their new kitten. It's hard to resist puppies and kittens, and I loved cuddling the kitten, too! As I was leaving, the older boy, age nine, checked my bag and pockets to be sure that I hadn't tried to smuggle Snowy home with me.  :-) I'm sure Emma would not have approved of me bringing a kitten home no matter how cute it is.  He also face timed me both yesterday and today to tell me about Snowy's first visit to the vet and how he was doing. He truly loves his new kitten. The younger boy, age six soon to be seven, was also excited to have a pet, but he was perhaps equally excited to receive a number of new lego sets.

I hope you also had a wonderful Christmas 2018.

By the way, today marks six weeks to the day since my surgery, and I can honestly say that I am feeling great!!! I am blessed.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Woodpecker Buffet

Now that's a blog post title for you!!!  We've been having some very windy days and the other day a very long limb fell and shattered into pieces when it hit the ground. I couldn't help noticing that the limb had been a woodpecker's buffet, so I thought I would post a couple photos for you.   :-)

Earlier this week after my flute lesson in Norton, I decided to head to The Quilted Crow quilt store in Bolton as I had a ten dollar coupon to use before it would run out on Jan. 2. It's a lovely shop with a lovely selection of wool for wool stitchery. :-) It's easy to pass by a pattern on a rack, but this shop has lots and lots and lots of samples hanging up, and they are irresistible. I came home with three new patterns and a few more things!!!

Now, if you observed that I perhaps spent a tad more than my $10:00 coupon, you would be correct. Merry Christmas to me . . .

When I got home, I noticed my current car mileage 12222.2 miles. How cool is that!

On Wednesday, I went to the Christmas Show at St. Jude's Elementary School in Waltham. Two of my young cousins go there as did their mom and aunt and uncle. As always, it was a delight! I even won a raffle for a beautifully decorated wreath.

Speaking of being lucky, I left a comment on Lisa Chin's blog, Something About Nothing, last week and won a quilt book by Jenny K. Lyon. It arrived in today's mail. The title is "free motion Quilting from Ordinary to Extraordinary - 3 Steps to Joyful Machine Stitching in 21 Days." I guess I know what I will be attempting to learn after the holidays. :-)

 Last night, I went out to dinner with friends for our annual holiday dinner. Today on this rainy, windy day, I did nothing!!! I snuggled under my new quilt and took a nap!

Two last photos . . . while shopping the other day this little dog caught my eye. The small one on the left spins around excitedly and plays three Christmas songs when you press its paw. The one on the right spins around equally excited when friends come to visit but doesn't play music.

Here is Emma this morning sitting on my lap and keeping a sharp eye out for those pesky squirrel outside our window.

Four more days until Christmas . . . relax . . . take a deep breath . . . and enjoy the magic of this time of year.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

A Wonderful Surprise

Quilters are the very nicest people in the world, and there are no nicer quilters than the members of the Crosstown Quilters Guild that meet in Weymouth. We had our holiday meeting/luncheon on Tuesday, and I was determined to attend to thank everyone for all of their cards and for the support that I have been shown.

We were having an abbreviated business meeting before the festivities began. The minutes were read, birthdays were announced, and a few other matters were brought up before I asked if anyone else had something to say or share with the group. That's when Maureen, a former guild president, came to the front of the room carrying a bag. Inside was a gorgeous quilt for me!!!!!!!!

Members had contributed floral fabric squares and signed messages of hope, friendship, and inspiration were written on each of the light squares. I had only missed a couple of meetings, so I don't know how they managed to get this created so quickly.

In case you can't read the message on this block, it reads . . . Crosstown, 2018, Quilters, Positive, Hope, Happiness, Friends, and Survivor.  (Survivor . . . isn't that a lovely word . . . )

No words can express how I feel about this beautiful, heartfelt gift. I have read and reread all of the messages.  I am truly blessed to belong to this group of caring, creative, fun, friendly, warm, and generous women.

I thought that I would also show you this photo of Marilyn, one of our most prolific members. The block of the month for December was a mitten. Marilyn not only made one block, she made a whole quilt using the pattern!!! Actually, none of us were surprised since she does that every year. :-)

May all of you be wrapped in the warmth, joy, love, and comfort of family and friends this blessed holiday season.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Decking the Halls 2018

I usually go overboard decorating for Christmas, but for obvious reasons, this year I have limited my decorating. Still, my house is very festive. This lovely arrangement came from my guild quilting friends.

My Christmas quilts are out and my holiday wall hangings abound.

 Yesterday morning I ventured out to do some Christmas shopping for my young cousins, and I also made a quick stop at Michael's where I picked up these white flowers to add to my wreath.

When my cousin Kristin came for Ladies Lunch on Wednesday with her girls and their two friends, they brought up this small white tree from the basement and added the White House ornaments. (I usually put up two big trees: one in the living room and one on the sun porch, but not this year . . . next year.)

They also brought up my nativity set which had originally belonged to my dad's sisters. It's a beautiful set, and it wouldn't be Christmas if this wasn't on display.

Besides Ladies Lunch with my cousins, I also went to a holiday lunch with the Dancing Queens at the Scarlet Oak Tavern on Tuesday. There were ten lovely ladies present. Wednesday night I had dinner with my quilting friends. I know what you are wondering. Aren't you doing too much? No, my doctor said that at this point I have no restrictions, and I figure that I can be just as sore and uncomfortable surrounded by friends as I would be sitting home watching TV. After all, it's hard to keep a good woman down. :-)

Update: As it turns out, I've decided to do nothing this weekend which meant missing a holiday meeting of the Herring Run Guild. Since it has only been three weeks since my surgery, I thought it might be prudent to kick back and do nothing. I do intend to go to church tomorrow, but then come home and settle in to watch the Patriots play in Miami. The Pats have problems playing there for some reason; hopefully, that will not be the case this time.

Have a wonderful week.