Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ring it in...hello 2012!

2011 was a good year and in many ways I'll be missing it.

For the holiday we did a little travel to see family which was really fun, but we saw old friends too and had quite a busy time.

For Christmas my DH gave me a new drop spindle from Golding Fiber Tools which I knew would be pretty.  It is crazy or maybe just a leap of faith to purchase a spindle without trying it but people say that these spindles are very nice.

I was thinking gee, they are beautiful, and I'm sure they spin well, so why not try one.

Well, let me tell you...they are certainly worth all the fuss people make over them.  I am not sure my other spindles will be getting much love from here on out.  Sorry!!  This Golding is my new best friend for spinning.

I did not end up finishing the sewing project I was working on for the kids before the holiday but I DID finish it just in time for our road trip.  More on that next time with some photos.
I was looking through my posts from last January to see if I was crazy enough to make any resolutions.  I may have been smart enough not to do that.  Whew.  No guilt.  That was smart. 

If I were to resolve to do anything differently this year, I think it will be to try and enjoy the ride.  Things seem too busy these days.  Time seems to be rushing past at a faster pace now that the kids are getting a little bigger.

Okok and I'll confess that in the deep dark recesses, I have a personal hankering to buy a little more Japanese fabric...I'm thinking it would be fun to pick it out myself in Yuzawaya.  We'll see if I pull that off.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The stockings are hung...but I'm still sewing...

Are you still trying to finish up those Christmas gifts you decided it was a good idea to make? 

I'm sure you are smarter than that.

Really, who on Earth would still be sewing on Christmas Eve Day??!!

Only the crazy people.  OK so count me crazy.  The last minute is sometimes the only minute that I have.  Who knows if I'll finish or not, and I actually don't mind if I don't make it.

In the end, the kids will have a cool hand made gift - eventually.

Hope your holiday plans are cooking up beautifully.  I'm still here with my needle and thread...and loving every moment of it.

The above patchwork ornament was made for my sister's new baby who is celebrating her first Christmas this year.  She's like a living doll.

Merry Christmas!! 


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Little Elf Under My Tree

I took a few photos of my little one playing with the Thomas train under our tree.  He loves to operate it even though sometimes it comes off the tracks and he needs a little help to get it going again.

This time of year we try to cut over to some Christmas themed kids books during evening story book time.  Even though Velveteen Rabbit was first published in 1922, it starts off with the rabbit's arrival in a Christmas stocking, so I like to re-read it.  So timeless.  My older one just loves it.  

I'm about to start to play with my patchwork ornaments.  Most of the shopping is done now, and the time for resting with family feels like it's getting nearer.   I'm looking forward to not having to wake up early, and to have little boys bouncing around in my lap.

Busy times for my friends these days:

My friend Sharon of Knits are for Kids is off spinning up a very colorful storm.  Check out her latest hand spun yarn here, and her flickr stream here for some beautiful photos.

My friend Susan of So Sue has been off taking in the sunshine in Hawaii, but managed to tear herself away from the beach to review some local quilt shops for you here. She's also been doing some beautiful paper piecing (adorable).

On my to-do list for an eventual trip to Southern California is to stop in at Down Home Country Antiques as Dawn of Collector With A Needle mentions.  You know I'm a sucker for an antique quilt.

When I was reading this post at Quilting with the Past, I got interested in making some knit ornaments from the "55 Christmas Balls to Knit" book.  I have some yarn imported from Norway that would be perfect for these.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Going In Circles

We just had our end of the year party for my knitting/quilting group.

It was a blast.  There is always an exciting white elephant exchange where beautiful and coveted items are lovingly exchanged and stolen and re-stolen among friends.

We had a nice warm dinner, and some naughty but nice ice cream and key lime cookies for dessert.  

Even some charming husbands joined us, so it was a nice way to basically wrap up our creative year.

I ended up spinning some yarn for the exchange, and it went to a very good home.  That's me at my Matchless wheel above, spinning around and around and around

Photo by my beautiful and talented photographer-sister.

I'm always curious to see what people do with my yarn.  I'm still learning about how it will turn out as a garment.

It feels like Christmas is only around a week away.  Oh basically is!  I'm ready to spend some serious time with the kids.  That's what I'm asking Santa for. 

Did you ask for anything special this year?

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's begining to look a lot like...well, you know

Our household spent the greater part of the weekend decorating for Christmas.

- Lights on outside of house: Check!

- Christmas tree:  Check!

- Stockings hung by chimney with care: Check!

It's full steam ahead towards the holiday season, my favorite time of the year.

We had our monthly gathering of my small quilt group last weekend and I took a photo of the beautiful ornaments that my friend Carol made (above).

She has been making these for friends since the 1970's or so I believe.  She's promised to teach me how to make them, so I'm very excited about that.  I secretly wonder if you could use very thin handspun yarn instead of DMC floss...but maybe I should walk before I fly here.

Anyhow, thank you Carol for the beautiful ornament (she gave me the red one shown here, and I have a couple others from past years) and for allowing me to photograph these beautiful creations.

I love to make patchwork ball ornaments, but have been a bit behind in making them for the kids every year.  Didn't manage to make any last year...wondering if I'll end up having a few spare cycles this year to come  up with a few.  They take me around 3-4 hrs each, but they are hand pieced and quite relaxing to sew up and even more fun to stuff.  Time to break them out methinks. 

Hope that the spirit of the season is bringing some extra happiness your way.