Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Pixies are here!!

When we got up this morning there was a surprise... the Pixies had arrived during the night.
We could tell because of the trail of Pixie dust making a path to their door and their little red tricycle was parked next to the baseboard.
I wonder what they're up to behind their door (with it's beautiful crystal knob)??
Maybe they're sleeping. That was a long trip on a tricycle!!
Maybe they're planning Advent surprises.
Can you see the trail of Pixie dust they left behind??
Gabby Cat hasn't discovered the door yet. I wonder how she'll react??
I wonder if she'll be able to hear Pixie-whispers from behind the doors??
Only the Pixies have the ability to pass in and out of the door, so Gabby can't peek in.
They are very thoughtful and caring little creatures and although we may never see them, we will always know they are there.
If you'd like a Pixie door to welcome the good little folk into your home, I'm attaching the label off the package for you to Google.

I wonder if the Pixies will come out to watch our Green Bay Packers play the Dallas Cowboys tonight??
Maybe they'll just listen from behind their door.
This is a wonderful time of the year to dream and wonder. There's magic in the air!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

So much to share

We got home from Phoenix, Arizona last night... a Wonderful time was had by all!!
I haven't downloaded my photos yet... this was emailed to me from someone else's camera.
This is Wendy and I with her 9 month old West highland terrier named Wyley who loves to give kisses. He just had a haircut so he's not all fluffy like he usually is. But what a cutie!!
I loved every minute of our 8 day visit.
I was such a good NON-shopper... the word "HOMEMADE" kept going through my head. I found soooooo many ideas for things I want to make. Many for Christmas.
The trees below are my first project.
They're so whimsical and allow for so much creativity and originality. Fabric, wool, or felt... beads and sequins... trims... jewels.
I'll share mine when they're completed.
(Click on the picture for a closer look at details)
I'm off to unpack and get the wash started. Then I can start my 'tree project'.
It's so good to be home and back in our routine.
Love to you all!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Adios Amigas!

I have been so lax in blogging this past week (sorry to the faithful) and today and tomorrow are scheduled tight... so I'm going to post my 'goodbyes' until November 28th. Tuesday morning we take off on good old American Airlines to Phoenix Arizona.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to get on a plane and have it just take you to your destination!! Actually... we only change planes once... in Chicago at O'Hare Airport which is HUGE!!
And you're thinking, "Oh, big deal!"
Let me remind you that Boyd's leg is in a cast. Ah-ha... now that sounds more challenging doesn't it?
Things we take for granted... like walking from point A to point B... suddenly seem such monstrous undertakings.
Yesterday, after several hours on the phone trying to talk to a 'human' vs recording, Boyd actually talked to a lovely lady who will not only have a wheelchair or electric cart waiting for him... but also changed our seats to 'bulk head' seats... no one in front of us. Yay!!

And then we're off to Phoenix to spend over a week with my daughter Wendy, fiancee Darin, Darin's parents Barb and Oz, and my 2 new grand dogs.
I feel bad for Boyd as there is major shopping about to take place for the 3 of us females and because of his cast he can't go in the pool or the hot tub. We did rent a car so he can go explore the deserts, etc. As a geologist this is as exciting to him as shopping is to Wendy, Barb, and I.

For those of you who don't live in the US, the day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year.
My darling daughter and marathon shopper, Wendy, suggested we do something she has always wanted to do... go to the stores at 12:01 am. Many stores do crazy events like that on this biggest of all shopping days. Oh, the stories I will have to share when I return!!
So, goodbye dear friends. You may not celebrate Thanksgiving in your country but it's a wonderful day to be with family and friends and share your blessings.
Wendy and Darin (who's a golf pro) have invited any of the other golf pros that can't go home because of their jobs, to join us for our Thanksgiving celebration.
Isn't that sweet?
Love to you all,
PS My other daughter Kristin will be in St Louis with her friend Chad and meeting his family for the first time.
Trivia: I went to the same high school as... OPRAH WINFREY!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

FUN fabrics!

I saw this site... in the back of the new Threads magazine.
It is full-to-the-brim with fabric for children or adults who like whimsical and/or fun themes.
Since I made the 'jammy bottoms', I've been looking around for fabric for another pair.
I wore the 'frog jams' yesterday with a black tee.
I was so comfortable and could even answer the door... or take a nap.
Anyway... I found this site and drooled! So many fun, fun fabrics and good quality too.
I love the 2 fabrics below with metallic thread... no, not for pajamas... ouch!
But they show the variety of bug-related fabrics they have.
They'd make lovely throw pillows, jacket, vest, etc.

They specialize in all types of bugs including but not limited to ladybugs, dragonflies, bees, and butterflies. They also have other critters like frogs, geckos, and snailsAnd don't forget dinosaurs, monsters, and farm animals too!

(Click above categories for a sample!!)

Aren't they adorable??
And many of them have coordinating fabrics.
By the time I got to the end of the site, I was ready to make a child's quilt.
A close friend of mine has 3 little boys and I saw so many prints that would make great pillowcases that I know they'd love to sleep on. Hmmmm... Christmas?

Off to eat oatmeal and drink tea. I got up at a ridiculous 5am.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pajama Bottoms

Kristin in her Hue pajama bottoms.
"Pajamas are often worn as comfort wear even when not in bed, and are also sometimes worn as a fashion statement. In North America, some people (mainly young females) have started to wear pajama pants in public as fashion. In China, it is not unusual in the late afternoon or evening, to have adults wear their pajamas in public around their local neighborhood."
~ Wikipedia

These are 2 of my favorite pajama bottoms
(pulled right out of the drawer all wrinkly).
These jams are made by HUE and I took the photo to show you the leg detail.

My daughters always pull on their jammy bottoms in the evening for comfort or to run a quick errand in the morning... to Starbucks for that "I need some coffee, NOW!!" cup.

Next week we're going to Arizona for Thanksgiving, shopping, and planning Wendy's wedding.
Her future in-laws will be there with us and I can't wait to spend time with everyone... including my 2 new grand-dogs I haven't met!

So... I made some jammy bottoms that I can pull on in the morning and not have to rush into getting dressed for the day.

My husband calls me "Froggy" and suggested I get some fabric with frogs on it.
My favorite quilt shop had this fabric combo in their children's section.

I traced a favorite pair on paper and made them in muslin as this is a non-knit fabric and I knew the "back end" was going to need some tweaking.
I used French seams so there aren't any open seams.

They fit great!!

While I was in the quilt shop I saw this fabric calling to me.
I love the colors and the border print.
How perfect for wide cuffs on another pair.

Sooooo... they're 'in process' at the moment.

If you're not a sewer and would like a pair, Inspireco has something similar on her site that she is selling. Check out her October 29th post.
I don't have her address as I am writing this, but she's on my link list on the right side of my blog. She calls her pants/tops "Muu Muus" and describes them as "play clothes"
I love that!!
Remember... Make it or buy it handmade!!
Off to sew and to return overdue library books.

Friday, November 9, 2007

I feel so blessed

Yes... today is the big birthday day. I love birthdays and savor every minute of the day.
Boyd woke up early to make a birthday cupcake... fat-free and Splenda. Really tasty and made with loving hands. We shared it with cups of tea. A lovely way to start the day!!
What's in the packages?? 2 pair of Birkenstocks... my lifeline to comfort. Brown and light blue (a chambray color). Good timing as we're going to Arizona in another week and it's been 90 degrees in Phoenix. Thanks Boyd-o for everything!
My girls each sent me gift certificates to the Fat Quarters Shop. I can't wait to go browsing and see what's new! Thanks Kristin and Wendy!
And a VERY SPECIAL PRESENT... a phone call from Nicolette in the Netherlands.
We talked for an hour and I enjoyed every minute. She has the most beautiful voice and has almost a British accent mixed with her Dutch. I look forward to a wonderful year ahead with her in my life and all you wonderful, kind, and creative blogging friends.
How easily we can reach around the world for comfort or to celebrate.
Life is wonderful... isn't it?
I'm posting a photo of one of several books that arrived yesterday.
This book is wonderful... my favorite!
It has so many ideas for whimsical and contemporary crewel work... and it sparked so many new ideas in my head.
I was up until 3am practicing the stitches and getting ideas for projects. It felt so good to hold that wooden hoop in my hand again after so many years. So familiar and comforting... like mashed potatoes.
Love and hugs,
We were going to go to 3 quilt shops out-of-town, but considering it's after 12:30 and I'm in my jams, I think we'll go another day and go see 'American Gangster' with Denzel Washington. Munch popcorn and sip icy sodas.
Sounds good to me!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A unique and must-see movie

Almost every evening after dinner, Boyd and I watch a movie/DVD.
Last night we watched 'Ratatouille'.
Normally I'm not a big fan of animated films... but this was charming!
A rat named Remy dreams of becoming a great French chef despite his family's wishes and the obvious problem of being a rat in a decidedly rodent-phobic profession. When fate places Remy in the sewers of Paris, he finds himself ideally situated beneath a restaurant made famous by his culinary hero, Auguste Gusteau. Despite the apparent dangers of being an unlikely... and certainly unwanted visitor in the kitchen of a fine French restaurant, Remy's passion for cooking and his friendship with his boy pal Linguini, soon sets into motion a hilarious and exciting rat race that turns the culinary world of Paris upside down.
Charming, charming, charming!
And... my husband enjoyed it as much as I did.
It's a movie for everyone!

Monday, November 5, 2007

My 'Birthday Week' begins...

My birthday isn't until Friday, but in our family we have a 'birthday week'.
It just means that you get pampered a bit more than the ordinary.
After a full-to-the-brim day and all is quiet in the house, I love to poke around online.
Tonight I went to and read reviews on stitching books.
I found several that I NEED (LOL)... well it is my B. Week!!
But, I really do want to start doing some embroidery work in the evenings when we watch movies, football, cooking shows, and so on.
'Doodle Stitching' had great reviews from the novice stitcher... like me!!
And the cover intrigued me.
Doodling is so popular in Scrapbooking and I can see it applied to sewing, too.
'The New Crewel' was a 'must have'. Not only good reviews but the cover with the whimsical trees grabbed me. I adore anything whimsical!

Everyone's been raving about this book. I'm anxious to curl up with a cup of tea, the book, and
our soft sofa.

'Colorful Stitchery' just inspired me to add some stitched embellishments to some plain pillows in our house. I want to see what else it has to offer.
Boyd just brought me a cup of peach flavored white tea. It smells so good!
Mmmmm... tastes good too!

Do you have any favorite sewing books that you'd recommend?

Have a great Tuesday!!

Not for advanced quilters!

I finished this bag today... finally!!
I'm learning with each project I attempt and I keep trying new-to-me techniques.
This was an easy to make no pattern bag... just lots of squares and rectangles.
It's lined with a coordinating fabric and has inner pockets.
This was my first attempt at lowering those 'feed dogs' and trying free-motion quilting.
I just jumped in and did a circular design (resembling a beanstalk) down the center of each fabric strip.
They are very abstract, but I'm happy with the total effect.
I'm anxious to make a Christmas bag now. I sketched it and can't wait to cut the fabric tomorrow so I can play with 'free-motion' again.

I'm always more interested in the process rather than the product.
And this was fun!!

Make it a good day...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Love, love, love polka dots!!

And look what I found in the Pottery Barn catalog that came yesterday...
Polka dot towels for the holidays for my bathroom... it's also the guest bath.
I just love these and will order them as soon as I finish my 'post'.
And these are adorable. They are a MUST!!

These are fun, too. But I may make something on this order. Maybe white appliqued circles on my red napkins, or do a small silk screen, or embroidery work. Have to think about this one for a bit.

This table runner is perfect for our table, but I can easily make one.
I don't want to buy anything that I can have fun making. Our home has so much red in it that these (other than the towels... because I really enjoy changing the bathroom seasonally) items will be wonderful touches year round.
I'm off to the phone to place my order as they tend to run out of stock quickly.
And then off to the fabric stores/quilt shops as I'm on a sewing frenzy.
Have a wonderful weekend with your loved ones.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Stockings, stockings, and more stockings!!
As soon as my calender is flipped to November 1st, I start making lists of things I need to do and make in preparation for Christmas.
Christmas begins at our house on December 5th Eve when St. Nicholas comes to fill stockings that hang from the fireplace mantel.
(If you don't have a mantel, use a door knob... be creative)
So now is the time I think about those stockings. Should we continue to use the stockings that we've had since the girls were born? Or pass them on to them and have new stockings this year?
Should I make them or buy them?
As I was looking through catalogs, that arrive in stacks each day at this time of the year, I found the oodles of pictures of soooooo many varieties.
Here are a few of those pictures that I'm posting for inspiration if you're a sewer, knitter, or glue-user.
And if you're a shopper, they are all from...
I love the use of hooks to hang the stockings on the wall.

How creative and interesting to hang stockings from an old ski.

I hope you enjoyed the 'eye candy', got inspired to create a stocking, shop for a special one, or dig through the Christmas stash to bring out the
memory socks.
Let's share traditions from our families and our countries as we approach these holidays.
It's such fun to learn how others celebrate.
xoxo, Joni