Saturday, December 24, 2011

jingle bells, jingle bells

Sadly, there's no snow here this year for Christmas.  It's certainly cold & windy, which is the usual for Chicago, but it's strange to not have snow on the ground.  Maybe we'll get some flurries yet! 

It's nice to be home for the holidays and relax around the house with family & fun.  No schedules, no alarm clocks, lots of laughter and lots of hugs - nothing beats being home for Christmas!  Yesterday, the ducks were out on the pond, swimming away; but today there's a layer of ice across the pond. 

Last night mom & I made Holiday Cake and skewered and browned the City Chicken.  Now all that's left is getting the City Chicken into the oven for dinner - yum yum!  This year was a small batch - only 70 sticks. The average is closer to 90.  I like the traditions that come with this time of year - the food, the decorations, the songs, hanging the stockings, etc.  Makes the season a bit more cheerful with the years of memories and repetitions of the traditions of the season.  I'm looking forward to Christmas Mass, now that  we have the new translations.  The new responses still trip me up here and there, but the prayers are beautiful and I'm sure will be especially so for Christmas.

Wishing you & yours a Merry Christmas full of cheer & JOY!

Monday, December 12, 2011

sneak peeks

Interested in some sneak peeks at my current projects?  Of course you are!  That's why you're here right?  Right!  ;)   Well, then you're in luck.

 It's been hard to find time for sewing lately.  Seems it's busy at work and home and even busy while I'm sleeping.  Not sure how that happens, but it does!   This week I've had all the School Blocks come in for our annual School BLock Challenge contest.  It's always thrilling to see what the kids have created and imagined and I'm extra thrilled because this year I have 176 blocks!!  How awesome is that?!  So I spent several days numbering blocks, databasing them and measuring to get ready for judging.  phew.

Then I had to work Saturday with a couple events - cookie decorating with quilt designs - yummy.  Mostly, the kids just decorate as they desire - quilt designs tend to be optional for them!  Afterwards, took my first trip to Bowling Green with N for a fun Christmas Party.  Great time out (even if it was people I hadn't met) & we road tripped to satellite radio's 90s station - talk about a blast from the past!

In be-tween that, and getting my Christmas cards written & mailed last week (possibly the earliest ever) I managed to squeeze in some quilting.  I've got a couple more mug rugs together, a project on deck, a secret project and some swapping interests as well!

secret project
Here's a glimpse of my secret project - can't give it all away yet!  I took some inspiration from a tutorial on Ellison Lane Quilts blog and am just about finished with this one.  It looks awesome and should be done this week.

My upcoming  project will be pretty quick to go together once I have the time to start it without interruptions.  I've seen this tutorial at In Color Order, and wanted to make this star quilt as a mini quilt for my sewing room wall.  At the Houston show I got the idea to use polka dot fabrics in varying colors and started to collect some good colors.  I've got the fabric all lined up and a fun dot fabric in white for the backing and will probably start this in January at quilt retreat.  
don't you just love these dots?!

Lastly, I keep reading and seeing posts about online swaps and want to participate in at least 2 next year.  I discovered this swap, via Flickr, and am excited to be involved!  It starts in January and is an easy block swap: making blocks, sending them in and then getting back the same number of blocks made by other people.  I just have to spend some time making the blocks now so I have a good number to send off come January.  The block is super awesome - we're using this tutorial  by Amy at badskirt blog.  Be sure to check it out!