Sunday, December 31, 2006

I Added about 15 Yards to My Fabric Stash Today

Then I decided to try to get it somewhat organized. I hauled up two heavy bins and folded & stacked by color. Most of what I had I didn't even remember buying.

I sure do envy those of you with sewing studios loaded with pull out see-through drawers. I've seen a few on the net that made me drool onto my keyboard. It's nearly impossible to organize your stash without dozens of those drawers.

Mine is now neatly stacked in see through bins. It does not really work very well because the bins are too deep and the middle fabrics get lost. But it's about the best I will probably ever have.

I also spent a lot of time rotary cutting fabric into strips so it's more manageable when I need it. I even cut up some old clothing that I have had boxed for that purpose for years.

My once empty clean dining room is now full of fabric, an ironing board, boxes, etc. Quilting is a very messy hobby!

Ia anyone going out tonight to celebrate?

I will be sleeping long before the ball falls. I have to be at work tomorrow morning at 6:45 a.m.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

What a Wonderful Day I Had Today

for my last vacation day. I just puttered all day. I did do some very easy cleaning—very easy, compared to what I have done the past two days, which, I do believe, would border on the line of cruel and unusual punishment, had someone forced me to do it.

Today I removed all the combs, brushes, etc. from a drawer in my bathroom and soaked them all in soap, water and bleach. I washed out the entire drawer and put it all back. Then I removed all the stuff from the linen closet and washed down the shelves and the little stair-step shelf things I use to hold my hair products, etc. It was easy and quite fulfilling. There are no stray hairs floating around my brush drawer (at least until tomorrow morning!).

I also puttered just a bit with these old metal TV trays from the 1950’s (?). I decided to remove some pics I had on this wall and hang these. I wasn’t much in the mood, so left it at this for now. I still need to put some ribbon over the wire because I definitely will not leave the wire showing like that! I also need to putz a bit with the inside display. I decided I was not in the mood today, so just left it all.

I also put all my new charger plates away. I had to remove some other stuff to make them all fit on the bottom shelves of this cabinet. Now they are very easy to get at when I set a table.

I stuck a few allium into this green plant just to get a different look.

Since Christmas Eve my sewing/computer room has been so very clean and tidy. It’s been nice, but I can’t create in a clean sterile room, so now it looks like this:

LOL. All those little bags are separating strips of fabric that I use for log cabins. I cut up some more fabric early this morning and had to get them all out to put the freshly-cut strips in.

Then I decided to do a little sewing just because I can’t go longer than a week without creating something!

Until 7 am this morning the orange fabric of these points was the lining of a fall vest that someone (not me) made. The fall fabric (next to the bright orange point) was the outside of the vest. I took my rotary cutter to it and it ended up as this block.

I am posting this late because Blogger would not allow me to add the pictures yesterday.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Everything is Packed Away for Another Year

People are always wondering where I store all of the Christmas stuff I own.

Welcome to my basement, which I fondly refer to as my own little junk store. It is used only for storage and it is pretty full.

This is my Christmas section. These shelves are big (3 feet deep) have been filled for years. I have had to add those large plastic bins way down on the left side.

I don't use all of this stuff every year. I have enough to do a lot of different themes and I only use whichever items fit the theme I've decided on for the season. If I want to do a pink tree, I just go to the boxes with the pink items. It's nice to have such a varied collection.

Sissy mentioned that I need to switch to the new Blogger this week. I can't switch! My blog is too big. Does anyone else have this same problem? My dashboard says I can switch, but when I try, I can't.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

8 Down and 1 to Go

I was just beat yesterday after spending about 6 hours removing, boxing up and hauling the decorations down to the basement shelves. I have everything down, but the main tree which I will tackle as soon as I finish my second cup of coffee.

I am feeling a twinge of envy for Giddy who said she only had to box up one ceramic tree and her house was back to normal. Mine feels bare as a newborn's bottom right now. It's a clean slate just waiting for decorating inspiration.

Tomorrow is garbage pick up day so I plan to spend a little time throwing out junk from the basement.

I am hoping to get everything finished by noon so I can spend some time sewing/quilting.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Forgot to Mention this Bargain!

70% off because it's considered a Christmas item.

I don't know about you, but to me this screams, "Valentine's Day heart cookies!" Posted by Picasa

Guess Where I was at 5:45 A.M. today?

Sitting in the Walmart parking lot with about two dozen other people waiting for the 6:00 a.m. opening!

JC Penney also opened at 6:00 a.m. Oh, what fun I had! I never get to go to the after Christmas sales. I had a nice leisurely 3 hours of bargain hunting. I went to Walmart, Kmart, JC Penney and JoAnne Fabric.

Here's the trunk of my car when I got home at 9:30 a.m.

and here I am checking out the loot. "What's that? Ah, MORE charger plates!" I have been watching the burgundy chargers and they were half off today.

Wrapping paper, TONS of ornaments, boots, p.j.'s, candy, red lights, blue lights and clear lights, cards, goodie gift bags, bingo gifts for next year, 2 gold reindeer.... I can't even begin to put it all down.

Look at those adorable gold/bronze birds (I bought three packages) and all those candy ornies for my candy trees. Oh yea, and some bronze glass balls (bought 3 pkgs. of those, too) and look at that NECCO candy tin full of Necco round candies. Remember those? The empty tin will be great under the candy tree.

Look at the length of these receipts. That will give us an idea of how many treasures I purchased. **grin**

Posted by Picasa

I still have a few days to enjoy the tree, so I put all the new ornaments on. I removed the Burgundy colored balls (which I was only marginally happy with anyway) and put the bronze ones on. I added 19 white poinsettias and hanging things that look like big chunks of ice and reflect the light.

Now I can look at a different tree all week.
Can you see the new birds in the tree?
  Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 25, 2006

Blogger is feeling the Joy of the Season

And is finally going to allow more pictures, so here is brother, Jeff. Quite the handsome devil, don't you think? I didn't get his wife, Veronica (except for the eating photo below. If you really squint your eyes you can see her waaaaaay in the background with the long hair).

And here is me and sister, Delynn. Sorry, Tammy, I had to crop you out. Trust me, you would not have wanted that picture seen by anyone. LOL. I really love this picture of me and Lynnie.
I didn't get a picture of all the food. I was too busy at the beverage counter making the slushes. This is the food area just when we were beginning to set it out. I used my woodland Father Christmas as the centerpiece. The two levels of counter worked splendidly. My mom gave me that linen skirting a few years ago and this is the first time I've used it.

Can you see the gardening tool Santa brought me? Look way in the back against the wall. It's a new short-handled shovel.

The jolly old guy was very good to me and seemed to know just the sort of things I love.

Not one, but TWO new sets of charger plates. One is black metal and the other marbled gold glass. I can't wait to set some new tables. I already have my next theme in mind--black/gold jungle theme. Today I will open that garnishing booklet to see what cute ideas are in it. And look at those Wilton checkerboard cake pans...will that be fun or what!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Vodka Slush Was a Big Hit

It tastes much better after you add the 7-up. So the two things I thought had flopped turned out to be the best two things I made--the fudge and the slush. Go figure!

Here we are (me, my sisters and my Mom) sampling the slush before everyone else arrived. I just used my green wine glasses and did not bother rimming with sugar.

We all thought it was quite delish.

Here is Christina winning the first bingo prize. Note that she also has a glass of the vodka slush. She thinks she looks like she had a little too much of it in this picture, but I think she looks quite beautiful. We had fun with the bingo game.

Here are a bunch of us partaking in the varied appetizers that everyone brought. We had a veggie tray, BBQ cocktail franks, meatballs, hot wings, cheese dip, hot chili dip, shrimp --way more than we could eat. Do notice that just about everyone has a glass of slush. I will certainly make it again.

Here is me and my tall elf helper. He was indispensable during the early afternoon when I thought I would be resting, but still had a ton of things to do. I really could not have gotten it all done without him.
After everyone left we opened our gifts. I LOVE my new computer chair. I am sitting in it right now as I type this.
All in all, the day was a success. It was great to see all the family members I don't see very often. We had just one little child--my two year old great nephew. It's too bad I don't have a pic of him because he's awfully cute! He's my only brother's grandson. I have a picture of my brother below. I have to make two posts since I've used up all my photo space on this one.

Darn Blogger won't let me post any more pictures, so brother, Jeff, must remain faceless. It's getting past my bedtime anyway so I guess that's it for tonight.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Remember the Candy Cup?

It became one of the bingo prizes.

Tammy has barely opened her prize and already she is checking her card to see if the word she just heard could be marked off.
Brenda has a big smile after her win.

See that green ribbon around her neck? Well, a few years back she, my sister Delynn, and I went to Las Vegas. It was Brenda's first time in Vegas and within an hour she won a $500 jackpot and they gave her that ribbon. I tried the whole week to win a jackpot worthy of a ribbon, but I never won one. Even though I ended up winning more than Brenda, I just could never get the coveted ribbon. It has been a big joke between the two of us ever since. Almost every Christmas Brenda shows up with her ribbon around her neck. Last year the three of us went to a casino for the weekend of my birthday and darned if Brenda didn't show up with that ribbon! She has such a good sense of humor.

I Seem to Have Overreacted a Bit Last Night

My fudge set up beautifully! I guess it has to be refrigerated longer than 3 hours. It is very tasty--soft enough to melt in your mouth, yet hold it's shape. It just may be the "best ever". Yes, I've already eaten fudge this morning. It is Christmas Eve day so I think that is O.K., don't you? LOL.

I've already made up my tray of brownies and fudge for tonight.

I just made Tea's sweet and sour sauce for my meatballs.

I think it will be a hit, too. Later I will throw the sauce and meatballs in my Nesco to simmer for an hour or so.

I have this chili dip all set to go into the oven.

It is the most delicious stuff and so simple. You just dump in a can of Hormel chili (no beans) and then dump some cheese on it. Heat in the oven until the cheese melts. Sprinkle some diced tomatoes, black olives and onions on the top. Serve with big sturdy corn chips for dipping.

I am getting as much done as I can early this morning, so that I can clean a little, then sit and relax until the party begins at 4:00 p.m. My computer/sewing room is a diaster, so I must tidy it up before people come over.

I bet you are all busy today, too. I hope everything we are all cooking, turns out tasty!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Right in the Middle of Making the "Best Fudge Ever"

my nearly 30-year old microwave oven died. I heard a crackle or two, smelled a bit of smoke and saw a tiny flame near the bottom of the oven door. I immediately ran over and shut it off thus losing my timer which was set for 9 minutes. The fudge recipe said to boil "for exactly 9 minutes." I use the microwave as a timer because it's more precise than my oven timer which is not digital.

I had to guess at how much longer I needed to boil the fudge. I don't think I guessed correctly as it has not set up quite hard enough yet. It's been in the refrigerator for three hours.

Then I had to trudge on out to Home Depot to find a new microwave. I had one picked out, went to the register, wrote the check and then DH noticed that one of the little rubber things on the bottom was missing. They did not have another one of those rubber things. They had no other white microwave. If I didn't find one tonight, I'd have to wait until at least Tuesday to get one. So off we went to store number 2 where we did finally get one. I hate shopping.

I have not had a good day today. The cheesecake bars I made with the pumpkin bread crumbs are only marginally successful, the fudge didn't harden, the microwave died, I tasted the vodka slush stuff and don't really like it, and my legs ache.

I probably should have spent a little more time tasting the vodka slush...

Red Rose Quilt Block

I made this one last night. There are 28 pieces in just the red rose section.

This is my pinky fingernail to give you an idea of how small some of these pieces are. Quite by chance, my nail polish matches the rose color. Some days things just work out. LOL.

It's amazing what can be done with paper piecing! I like this block a lot. I am thinking it may make a very nice border for my next quilt. I think I will begin making dozens of these just to have them ready when I need another border. If I used it for the outer border (for a king-sized quilt) I would need about 80 of them. Hmm, that's a pretty lofty goal....maybe I will use for an inner border which would require a lot less of them.

Here are a couple of the potholders I've been making and the big trivet thing (to put large hot pans on) I made Thursday. I like them hanging on the china cabinet in my kitchen. I guess this really should be called a chicken cabinet since that is mostly what I have in it.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Ahhhhhhhhhh, Relaxing with my new Stay at Home Socks

They are so cuddly and warm.

It is late Friday afternoon.

I am off work now until Jan. 1, 2007.

Does it get any better than this?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I Got My Stockings Out Today

I made this quilted one quite a few years ago. See that nickel covering that center square? The square it is covering is made from 4 pieces. That's how small these pieces are. I must have been masochistic back then!

It was back in the days when I was trying my hand at miniature quilts. I could never find a purpose for the mini quilts so I stopped making them.

Where Did My VACATION DAY go?

It's a good thing I cleaned those cupboards early because that's about all the work I really got done today.

I spent a bit of time this morning making 4 of these tree log cabin blocks. I enjoyed that. I watched Regis and Kelli (Kelly? I have never been home to see this show before, so don't know how she spells her name) while I sewed.

Regis, Regis, Regis..........What were you thinking when you came to work today?

That suit is bad! And "bad" doesn't mean good as it does with the younger generation.
I kept thinking that color must be some joke, but if it was, I did not hear the punch line. It makes me shudder just to look at that lime green suit!

At about noon, I went shopping. I did not get back home until 3:30pm. I had to buy little gifts for the Christmas Bingo game, I went to Walden and bought a book for myself, I went to JC Penney and bought a little gift for a co-worker and 2 shirts for me, I went to a dollar store and saw these for only $1.00 each......that's .50 for one, so I bought 7 of them for me..... Ho, HO, HO, Merry Christmas to me. I bought more for myself than anyone else! Geez, how could I resist these for .50 each? I can even use them for fall decorations as the color is fallish. I would just kick myself next September if I didn't buy them! :)

After I got home and put the gold hanging things on the tree, I started to make this alcoholic slush stuff
You make a simple syrup and add orange juice and lemonade and 2.5 cups of Vodka. You refrigerate it overnight and then freeze it, stirring it every couple of hours until it forms a slush. Then you just keep it frozen until you want to use it. You plop a scoopful into a glass, add some 7-up and voila! it's done. I think I will borrow some margarita glasses from work and add sugar to the rim when I serve these on Christmas Eve. I used a peach-flavored Vodka as that is what I had in the cupboard. It all sounds sissy enough for me and my family to enjoy. What I really like is that any leftovers can be kept frozen for another time.

I had to go to the grocery store this afternoon to get the OJ, etc. I had a list of stuff I needed. Do you think I could find that list when I got there? I searched my purse twice in the parking lot and could not find it. I also went to Gordon Food Service and had their ad, but could not find that either so I didn't know what I was supposed to buy once I got inside either store. It was frustrating and I silently thanked DH for doing the majority of the grocery shopping. He does it so much better than I. When I got home and carried all the bags into the kitchen, guess what I found? The list and ad were both still sitting on the desk. I just was not meant to be a shopper!

Vacation Day

Here it is 6:30 a.m. and I don't have to go to work today. I suppose many would take the opportunity to sleep in, but not me. I am just one of those people who do not "sleep in". I am up between 4 - 5:00 a.m. every day. I tend to wake earlier when I don't have to go to work. Like today I was up at 4:00 a.m. I LOVE to get up in the morning. Mornings are my energetic time. My mother is the same way. When I hear others talk about how hard it is to get up in the morning, I am very thankful that I inherited this wonderful trait. On the flip side, you will almost never find me awake past 10:00 p.m.

I tell you all of this so that maybe you will understand (and not think it is totally WEIRD) that I have already completed these odd tasks by 6:30 a.m.:

I took everything out of my tupperware-like container cupboard, washed the cupboard out, tossed some items and put the keepers back in nice & tidy.

I have removed everything from this lazy Susan cupboard and washed it all out. I have not put everything back in yet because I want DH to check all the screws and adjust the door.
I have one of those pull-out wastebasket cupboards and have taken it all apart and washed it down with bleach to disinfect it.

All in all I am feeling pretty good because no matter what else I do today (which may be nothing), I have already accomplished a couple of chores.

Oh, guess what I found in the tupperware cupboard?

The Pringles can! Well, actually it's a Lay's potato chip container. I guess when I cleaned the other cupboard, I moved it here and forgot that I did it.

Anyway, I obviously don't need it now, so it got the big toss along with a few other lidless containers.

Now I have the whole rest of the day to do whatever I want! I wonder what I will want to do...............
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