Thursday, December 28, 2006

Nativities



I made these little Nativities for a few people this year. They are really easy to make and I think they're really cute. I'm sure you could figure out how to make one from the picture, they are basically just mini clay pots and wooden heads. The babies are little game piece shaped pieces of wood. So you just paint them and find some cute fabric for their clothes, and I used that natural moss stuff for the hair, and voila- instant, inexpensive Christmas gift/decoration!
So as always we had lots of fun and food, and now don't have enough room in our house for all the new stuff! I think I slept for a couple of days straight after Christmas to recover. I finished a denim quilt I made for my brother Christmas eve pretty late at night. It turned out nice, it was just patchwork squares, with lots of pockets. I tied it instead of machine quilting it to save time and it looked pretty good. Our sibling gift exchange theme this year was "inexpensive and homemade." This project definitely fit that category as I got a great deal with my Joann coupon for backing fabric, and for the batting, and all the jean material was recycled. Unfortunately I forgot to get a picture of it before my bro left for NY, so I guess you'll have to imagine it in your mind!
So, I never even started my Christmas quilt I wanted to do, but I think I'll still start it now for next year! I decided that I'd like to try getting it quilted by someone with a long arm machine instead of just stitching in the ditch myself, so that will be my plan for sometime next year. I have a friend who has been practicing stippling and machine quilting designs herself but I really don't know if I am brave or artistic enough to try that.
Hope you all had a great Christmas too!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Stockings Were Hung...



12:20 AM, oficially Christmas Eve! We haven't even started wrapping yet. Some things never change...

Santa!



For a couple of days before our church Christmas party he talked about nothing else- Will Santa's reindeer be there when I see him? How will he get there? Will it be Christmas Eve? Then the big moment arrived- Santa burst into the room with a jolly "Ho Ho Ho!" A look of abject terror crossed my little guys face! He ran to me and gripped me around the neck, digging his nails into my skin. "I need to hide," "I need to get out of here," he said desperately. His Dad took him out into the hall to calm down. First he agreed to get in line and wait to see him, if Dad held him. But, at the last minute he overcame the fear and actually sat on Santa's lap! When asked later what is scary about Santa, he answered "The beard." Ironic, seeing how my husband has a beard too! I think he likes the idea of a Santa he never sees bringing presents more than Santa himself. The Santa threat totally works on him too, at least for a few days. As in- Go pick up your toys if you want Santa to come! Today my husband told him that if he didn't get in bed soon he'd have to call Santa. He walked over and picked up the phone and pretended to dial and the little guy was like, no, no!! and jumped right into bed.
He is a true believer, albeit a nervous one!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Oh Come Let Us Adore Him!




Quite possibly my favorite picture of all time! It was taken in 2003, the year my 4th son was born and we lived in Phoenix. He was about 3 months old in the photo. I borrowed these costumes and little wooden cradle from friends and dressed my sweet little boys up as shepherds come to adore the "baby Jesus." This photo brings back cherished memories of my boys when they were little and is one of my favorite posessions. I always display it in a frame at Christmastime.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

We Love Boston Children's Hospital


We had a bit of a trauma this past weekend. We took one of our sons to the ER and discovered that he had appendicitis and needed surgery right away. We actually took him to Mt. Auburn hospital first where they treated him and then told us that they didn't really have facilities to treat children, so he would need to be moved. So we got to take our first ambulance ride to transport our son to Children's Hospital downtown. It was a long couple of days, a night spent in the ER, then waiting during surgery very early Sunday morning, then on the floor all day Sunday and Monday while my son recovered. His appendix looked really "nasty" according to the surgeon so he required an extra day in the hospital for more antibiotics and observation, but luckily it had not ruptured. So, it was quite an ordeal but he is now recovering nicely and has even managed to get on playstation today which is a sign that everything is getting back to normal! He also kept food down today for the first time in four days or so which is a relief also.
So, I just wanted to say that these hospitals rock!! Our treatment at both was prompt, thorough and extremely professional, from the nurses, to the surgeons, ER docs, EMT workers, residents, and right on down to the janitors and orderlies who served us. We were treated with nothing but kindness, respect and the best medical care you could ever imagine. I am extremely impressed with both of these places and very grateful to all of their employees for making a difficult situation as easy and stress-free as possible. It's not easy to turn your boy over to a bunch of strangers as they wheel him into an OR, and basically put his life in their hands, but they really put us at ease. This was our first experience with a serious surgery for one of our kids and it really went as well as it possibly could have. He should be all set to go for Christmas, and we're so grateful to these hospitals and their great employees. Of course, we know there were much higher powers at work watching over and blessing us through our ordeal also. We're extremely grateful for His good care as well.
Health is a blessing, I hope you have yours. I'm sure we'll get lots of nice gifts next week but our favorite will always be our wonderful children and family, and our faith.
Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

O Christmas Tree






And a few other decorations at my house.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Unfinished Projects Finished!






I started both of these projects about 8 years ago, and then for some reason they have sat in my craft box unfinished ever since! So last week I decided to finish them up. I especially like this quilted star garland that I have hanging over our TV armoire thing, I was happy with how it turned out. I made some ornaments to match it too. As you can see, sheep are also a main theme in my holiday decorating! The mini quilt was almost done, I just had to hand quilt a tiny bit more and sew up an open seam. It's not pieced, its just a design printed on fabric, but I think it's cute. I love to decorate and make Christmas stuff. Is all of your shopping and crafting done? Mine is getting there!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Bowmania!







Here are some of the lovely ladies who came to help make bows. The Wreathmaking Party was great! I had such a fun time. We had a really great turnout, and the program was really nice. I especially liked the Japanese song where a bunch of little girls from church dressed up in kimonos and sang with some Japanese ladies in our ward. The food was really great too. My friend who was in charge of it made some really yummy tortilla wraps, and crab dip, and some awesome mini cheesecakes with blackberries, and a LOT of other really good food. Plus, we had a chocolate fountain which was yummy even though it malfunctioned slightly! Here is my wreath from the party. I was so busy in the kitchen all night that I asked my sister to make my wreath for me, and she did a great job. Maybe I'll just have her make mine every year! I was still kind of jet lagged as I didn't get in from Phx until 1 AM the night before, and was at the party cleaning up until midnight or so. The next day I crashed at about 6pm. It all finally caught up with me!
To me, there's nothing like the smell of fresh pine at Christmastime!

Heart Quilt







This is the quilt I made for my sister-in-law's wedding. Her colors were pink and chocolate brown so that's what I used for the quilt, and I love the combination!
I collected fabrics for several months before the wedding. I started the quilt about 3 weeks before leaving for Phoenix, so I had to rush a bit. I was up until 2 AM more than one night getting this project done!
This quilt is a Buggy Barn pattern called "Heather." I thought the heart design was perfect for a wedding. I love Buggy Barn patterns because of their "crazy" method of cutting and piecing. It's really fast because you stack the fat quarters, then iron freezer paper traced with the pattern right onto the top fat quarter and slice right through the pattern to cut out your blocks. Then you shuffle some of the pieces to get the variation in the blocks. It's a real time saver! If you like to quilt and haven't made a BB design, you should try one! They have a great website with all of their patterns and books on it. My next quilting project is a BB star quilt out of Moda's Mistletoe Manor Christmas fabric which I LOVE! In my book, you just can't get any better than pink Christmas fabric! At this point it may not be finished until next Christmas though.
This is also the first quilt that I signed. I've seen people write on quilts with permanent marker, which I just don't think I could bear to do after all of that work!
So, to sign this quilt, I embroidered a little dedication with their names and the wedding date and my name on it in one of the bottom back corners of the quilt. I just drew on the quilt before it was bound and backstitched the words. This probably isn't the technical way, I'm sure there is some sort of washable marker or chalk I should have used but I think I've explained how I like to kind of just make due with whatever's lying around, especially late at night!
I've read several articles and watched episodes of Simply Quilts about how you should always sign your work for historical reasons so future generations will know who made the quilt. I agree because I have a couple of old quilts that aren't signed and we're not sure who made them, and it also does make it more personal and special.
Happy Quilting!

Friday, December 01, 2006