Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wasn't that a party?

We had a lovely Christmas! This year, Santa urged us to give each other a treadmill. This meant that we did little presents in our stockings. Even so, they were fun presents. I got a truly bizarre music box that not only plays 12 of your Christmas favorites, but also generates a pretty snow storm.
Tilda bird lavender sachets
In addition, my children gifted me with a new clear sole embroidery foot for Berni -- the better to do some FM embroidery projects this coming year. They also gave me some of the new Clover quilt clips to help keep bag layers together.
Bless them, they have become really good about just going to the quilt store and having a look at my wish list.
She liked the bag!
My little owl cushion and garbage bag for Aunt Rita was greeted with delight, as were the lavender sachets I made for my choir friends.
I used the artwork offered in Tilda's Studio. I scanned the pages and then printed them out on ink jet fabric. Then, I sewed all around them to make the sachet bags, including a ribbon hanger. I filled with with lavender and a bit of toy filling. I was pretty pleased with them. They are so cute that I made some for myself, and will put them together after the festivities are over.
At the very last minute, I also made a couple of headache relief eye masks. These are filled with flax seed infused with oil of spearmint and oil of lavender. Keep them in the freezer and they are fantastic at soothing away those pesky tension headaches -- or those caused from having way too much fun at New Year's parties...
Speaking of the New Year -- here's hoping we all have a great 2012!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas finishes

Intense concentration
Visions of sugar plums
My daughter and her housemate from school made a graham cracker and candy village this past weekend. Isn't it cute?
I made this garbage bag/pin cushion for my Aunt Rita's easy chair. I included a little pocket in the pin cushion so she can store scissors and/or crochet hook. They are forever getting lost in the chair cushions.
Cosy chair tidy
I also made her an owl pillow, from a pattern shared with my by partner in all fabric crimes, Sandra 
I am putting the machine away today -- really taking the sewing room out of the dining room -- to make way for the Christmas feasting.
My wish for all my blog friends is that you have a wonderful holiday season, the happiest of New Years, a full fabric stash, and endless inspiration! Merry and bright!

Comfort and joy

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A bushel full of fun!

Apple in progress...
Friday Night Sew-In at Sandra's house was a lot of fun. 
We were joined by Susan and Dave (well, Dave didn't do any sewing -- he did the driving).
Filling in the produce
I finished up a few little apple and pear pincushions from issue five of Mollie Makes.
It is a UK Magazine that has a lot of fresh, fun and funky ideas for crafting/making/thrifting/home decoration. I just love it, and now that I can get it in digital form for far less than the printed copy, I love it even more.
As usual, FNSI involved a lot of laughter, some screaming at the embroidery machine -- which I gave up on eventually -- and a lot of lovely fellowship with kindred spirits. It was like a Christmas gift before the official celebrations.
We even managed to get some things finished.
I am now plowing through the very last few things on my list.
Then, I can put my feet up and read until the end of January.
Even doing nothing sounds like a plan at this point of the year!

Ta da! Pincushion fruits!

Susan's little houses. So sweet!

The machine worked for Sandra -- and only Sandra

This is her tall zippered pouch that has embroidery within

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Festive FNSI Finishes

Bags-- not rocket science -- but useful
Once I vaccumed the carpets within an inch of their lives, cleaned the bathrooms, got the guest room ready, and took the sewing room out of the dining room, I got to work on my gift bags.
They are pretty basic, but I have a lot going on this weekend. They are designed to be sturdy enough for the recipients to use them to cart their shopping or gifts around during this festive season.
I used heavy duty iron on interfacing to give them some structure. As usual, it took forever to measure and cut. Construction was a breeze -- I even got the turning-the-lining part right this time -- for some reason I always get a brain freeze over that part!
I am having weekend guests, some will be staying others will be coming and going. In there somewhere is a turkey dinner. Yep, I am CRAZY.
However, once the gingerbread cookies were baked and the turkey was stuffed and set to roast, I decided to sit and post my FNSI finishes (such as they were), Now I am enjoying the potpourri of the cooking, and looking around to see what other did on FNSI.
I hope that whatever way you celebrate this day -- and at all times of the year -- is filled with fun and love!
Oooo, too bad the Internet isn't available in Smell-o-vision...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Big tree -- lotta sap...

We get our tree from a local  family-run tree farm
The sawing begins

I know, you're thinking: oooo pretty!
And it was. It's truly a winter wonderland here in the northern end of southern Ontario this week. It was the perfect day to get the Christmas tree.
The little place we get our tree is a family owned farm just 20 minutes north east of our place. The prices are still relatively reasonable. A big plus is that the owners prune their trees all summer long so that they have an actual Christmas tree shape when we come a huntin' for the perfect tree.
Mr. HH had to do all the heavy lifting on his own, we had no kids to help us this year. I did help tie the tree to the car -- after all, I know my knots.
Right now, the tree is resting in the garage in pail of sugar water so that the trunk doesn't seal itself and is able to absorb water throughout the Christmas holidays.
This day -- the day we go to get the tree -- always reminds me of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I love that movie.
Among my favourite scenes is when Chevy Chase takes the binding off the tree and the branches spring into the room, taking out a window.
His comment: "Big tree, lotta sap." Never fails to make me laugh, no matter how many times I have seen that movie.
Tomorrow, our tree comes into the house and goes in to the stand -- hopefully, with little drama. Then, the real fun begins!

Tying it onto the car

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Little houses by the hearth

Hung by the hearth
It's been pretty busy around here. I had company this past weekend. My cousin and I went to the One of a Kind craft show in Toronto. I didn't find many things to buy. I found the prices were astronomical -- but there were some very talented artisans featured. I saw some interesting ideas, and picked up a a lamp work pendant and matching beads which I hope to turn into a necklace for me before Christmas.
As I tidied up before my weekend guests arrived, I found a little stitch kit that was included in an issue of Cross Stitcher, one of my favourite UK needlework magazines.
I finished them today.
These little elf houses included cross stitch and sewing and were a lot of fun to put together.
I am somewhat cheered by the thought that I have several Christmas gifts ready. However, I need to get some gift bags done to package them up. The question is -- when will I get them done? Hopefully before Sunday, when the first of the recipients come for our annual get together with some former colleagues who became our dear friends.
Tomorrow, Mr. HH and I will tromp out into the woods at a local Christmas tree farm to get the family tree. As empty nesters, we find this a bit of a weird errand.
Hung by the hearth II
We used to have a kid stand beside our top two tree choices and then assess them using a very scientific ene-meene-miney-mo method for picking the perfect tree.
Last year, we had just our son and a digital camera to compare number one and two. This year, who knows how we will decide? Also, the tall son is away at school. How will the tree get attached to the roof with just short me and tall Mr. HH?
I suggested that we could just go to the tree lot by the grocery store. The rest of the family made growling noises at me.
So, tomorrow morning, off to the woods we go. I'll keep you posted.
On the stairway garland
The tree goes up before my daughter and her housemate arrive home from university on Saturday. The girls have a week off before they write their final exam of the term. So, rather than sit around their house and worry about the impending exam, they decided to come home and have me feed them Christmas cookies.  These are cookies I have yet to bake. I will likely do so as soon as I get the house tidied -- yet again -- and ready for the next round company.  I hope you are having a merry time, and take the time to enjoy some relaxation in the midst of this busy season!