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Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 2008!

The last few days have found me putting the bigger items away from Christmas, and while I am anxious to have it all in it's proper place, I am still enjoying the tree and many of the snowmen that are still out. I'd like to have everything away by the 7th, since that when Hubby and I go to Anguilla, a small island in the Caribbean.

Today I had all kinds of plans to sew and to clean, but a phone call changed all that. My "tween" grand-daughters needed party dresses for a family New Year's Eve party at the Radison Hotel. Their mom, my daughter, has had the flu and just couldn't get out. So, Oma got the special treat of shopping with these delightful girls! They each knew exactly what they wanted, and even though we tried on every single thing, they still walked out of Macy's with the original ones they had chosen.

The shrug was the hardest thing to find, but find it we did! It's hard to believe that this young lady is the little girl I used to hold in my arms 12 years ago!

This is the first dress she tried that she liked, and I liked the price, too! It was 50% off the original price, then an additional 30% off on the special sale today, and THEN another 15% off by using my Macy's card. It has little silver sparklies on it, and the satin trim at the neck and hem make it a special dress that's not too prissy for this conservative 10 year old.

It must be true that the older you get, the shorter you get. It can't be that these little girls are growing up so fast! Since the 10 year old's first dress was so inexpensive, we also got the second choice, too. Now, she just has to decide which one to wear tonight!

Ballet slipper type shoes finished off the outfits, and we did all this from about 11:00 am to 3:30 pm - which also included a quick burger at the mall. Then we went back to my house for a little bit of alteration on the straps of the champagne colored "gown", some pictures and some hugs. Opa whisked them off back to their home so they could get started on their manicures. Hopefully their mom will be able to go to the party tonight. They've taken a hotel room, so I don't have to worry about them being out with all the crazy drivers, and she can rest if she needs to, when she needs to.

This old lady? She's staying home, snug and cozy with Hubby, a pizza and a glass of bubbly at Midnight.

May there be light and peace for all of in this coming special New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Holidays

Our Holiday Open House has come and gone. Because it was also our 27th wedding anniversary, Hubby ordered these flowers for the table centerpiece as a surprise. They are STILL beautiful today!

We had about 100 people here (give or take 2o or so) in the course of 5 hours Sunday. I had planned on taking pictures, but then got too busy to get them done! We had a chocolate fountain that was a big hit, and we went through a flat of fresh strawberries, four fresh pineapples, 2 bags of marshmallows and a lot of pretzel logs! Besides the fun stuff, here's what else was offered:

8 lbs brisket (none left)
5 lbs sliced turkey (1 lb left)
8 lbs meatballs in spaghetti sauce (8 balls left)
8 lbs cocktail weiners in BBQ sauce (none left)
Paula Deen's Nutty cheese ball (none left)
White Chocolate Raspberry Cheese ball (1/2 left)
hot artichoke dip (1/2 left)
Apple chips and dip (all gone)
Sweet pepper dip (all gone)
4 large jars Olives with Garlic (none left)
4 cans black olives (1 can left)
7 dozen Christmas cookies (none left)
6 gallons of cranberry juice and 3 gallons of apple cider all gone
9 bottles of wine

My dining room is all nativity scenes and angels. This is the Hallmark nativity I received last year and it's on the sideboard. The top of the china hutch is filled with angels nestled in the green garland that has ribbons and lights.

This is my favorite nativity scene which is about 30 years old. It sits upon my Granny's Martha Washington Sewing Cabinet.

This nativity was purchased in Dresden Germany in 1971. I added the angel this year for balance. It's remarkable that the pieces are still in perfect condition, considering how fragile they are and how many times they've been moved! The glass trees are from Murano, Italy and are about the same age as the Dresden nativity. I ran out of room in the dining room, so this scene is set up in the living room along with all my other angels.
The hearth room is all snowmen. There's about 50 more snowmen sitting in the bookcases on either side of the fireplace, and on top of the TV armoire.Even the Christmas quilt on the wall (about 80" square) has snowmen in the center of Terry Atkinson's Lucky Star pattern. I love this pattern, and I especially love how happy this quilt makes the room!I miss my mother a lot. She was always yakking away, full of ideas and hints. The last picture I have for today is one of her best hints of all times. This silver punch bowl was purchased in Germany in 1970. It's very large, and the edges of it and the tray are very intricate - translated to very hard to clean. After the second time I asked my mom to help me polish it, she suggested this trick. Wrap every inch of the silver in Saran wrap very tightly. Leave nothing exposed. Then put the item in a dark plastic bag - I just used a navy blue laundry bag. It actually does work. Absolutely NO tarnish to clean!!!!! Now, it's all packed and ready to go the next time with no cleaning!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday, safe, with family near, and many pieceful blessings for the New Year!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Winter Wonderland

I had every good intention of cleaning the old stewdio (formerly my mother's apartment downstairs) today. Instead, I've spent most of the day getting all the Christmas cards addressed and ready to be mailed tomorrow (if we can get out). The reason? Alas, we were woken at 4:30 this morning with our automatic generator starting up, which means only one thing in Kansas this time of year: no power. For once, the weather guessers had it right, and the rain, sleet, and freezing stuff started right on time yesterday afternoon and kept going through the night. It's still coming down now, and if the temperatures stay where they are, we won't get much more than rain. All it will take is one or two degrees lower and we'll have a bigger icy mess than this morning. By the way, the power to the neighborhood grid came back on around 1PM, so they won't be calling us to camp out tonight, I guess:)

Here's what it looked like outside at my bird feeders. Poor babies! You can click on the pictures for close ups if you'd like. And don' t those poor cardinals look cold?
This is my husband's attempt at keeping the squirrels out of the premium food. If you look closely in the platform feeder, you'll see that the squirrel is smarter than hubby thinks he is. We had 11 cardinals at the feeder at one time today plus all the other birds of winter: woodpeckers, nuthatches, juncos, wrens, and chickadees.

All the white stuff on the ground is ice, not snow - and here's how thick the ice was at about 2 PM today. This is the view to my right as I sit at the computer.
And as I looked out while waiting for the pictures to load, this is what I saw. I guess we have a day crew AND a night crew at the feeders:

I thought you might like to see the transformation in my stewdio . I've put away the sewing machines, the books and the fabrics away for now, and I've replaced them with our snow village, the tree and some other decorations. All this has to be done, including the downstairs organization before this Sunday when we have our big Open House. We've decided to do all the food ourselves, too - what were we thinking? All these photos were taken without flash so you can see the details a bit better. More decorations another time.

The Christmas tree
The snow village - the snowflakes on the window glow in the dark!

This is the first Christmas wall hanging I ever made.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Time Warp

My goodness! Where has the time gone? Last time I was writing about Thanksgiving, and now it's almost Christmas. Would someone please stop the clock for a couple of days so I can get caught up?

The most exciting news is that one of my pieces, Phenomenal Woman/Inside Out was selected as one of ten pieces to hang in the State of Kansas Governor's office until April. AND mine hangs right beside the desk where she works.

You can see the all the pieces that were selected at the Kansas Art Quilters Web Site. I am quite honored to be sharing space with these talented artists!

I've been busy meeting some commitments I made a while back. I managed to get TWO sweatshirt jackets completed. The first jacket was for Linda, who is making a pair of merino wool hand knit socks for me as a trade. She doesn't like to sew, and I don't like to knit so this is a good trade, I think! I know she looked pretty happy with it on when I gave it to her on Monday!

The other was for some Christmas $$, and it was sent out yesterday to Texas for a Christmas gift from a daughter to her mother. I hope they like it as much as I do!

Of course, I couldn't sew these successfully without my little helper elf, Stephen. He thought he and and his alligator were going to sew, and he was so proud of himself! He loves the straight pins, and he tells me there is just a certain way they should be aligned in the pin cushion. He is quite good at handing me the pins I need, and he loved putting them back in the cushion as I was sewing, too. Now, whenever I sew by myself, I feel there is something magical missing!