Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Quilt of the Year

I finished the batik tumbler quilt last night.  Here it is before washing.

And here it is in all its glory after a trip through the washer and dryer.  It is SO soft and touchable.  I want to keep it.  But no, it is going to go to Mr. Muddling's sister, the last sibling of his who has not received a quilt from me.  Can't have that, can we?

It really did turn out well, and I'm so pleased with it.  I hope she'll like it.  We'll have to wait until next week to get it off in the mail since we didn't get that done today.

We did, however, get all the rest of the Christmas decorations taken down and put back up into the attic.  (He says I'm a slave driver.  But I was right there working, too.  When I pointed that out, he said that was because I was his slave.  Oh, brother!  How can you be a slave driver and a slave at the same time?)

Outside the front door, the wax leaf begonias are still blooming their brightest.

So far we haven't had to bring them inside, but it's just a matter of time.  I'm going to enjoy them out there while I can.

Outside the sewing room window Claude is having a bite to eat.  It's good to see him back out there.

We're almost done with 2011.  It has been a really good year and a really terrible year.  I just have to try to learn from the bad and rejoice in the good.  And pray that 2012 is a good one for all of us.

I hope you have a wonderful year, full of joy and gladness.

Hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's Over

Christmas, that is.  Making the Christmas quilt for my Texas sister?  Nope, not yet.

Of course it made perfect sense to me to start a new one - a tumbler from some of the batiks I've been collecting.  After all, the Go cutter does such a good and fast job of cutting.  Right?  I've got the first six rows of this one sewn together now.  You can see there were only two at the time this was taken.

And then the leftover strings from all the cutting I've been doing lately kept talking to me.  (Yes, I know, but I kept thinking about all of those scraps piling up in the closet.) So last night I started on a string quilt I've been promising Mr. Mudding for some time now.  And no, he does not need another quilt, but he wants one and since he pays for all this.......

Seriously, do you think I need an intervention? 

Nah!  We're pretty much all that way, aren't we?  There is always something new and different or even tried and true that we want to make.  And it's fun.  If it ever stops being fun for me, I'll probably stop doing it. 

And this mess?  This is the scrap bin (all right, one of the scrap bins).  Honestly, it looks like there's more in here now than there was when I started last night.  And I made twelve 12 inch blocks!

I've been a little concerned about Claude.  I hadn't seen him at all yesterday or today.  He got spooked pretty badly by tree trimmers hired by the electricity company last week.  They had chain saws and they were all over our back fence trimming the trees in the yard behind us.  Then there were all the people shooting off fireworks all around us the past few days.  I can only imagine how traumatic it would have been for a cat who lives by his wits as Claude does.  But late this afternoon I was sitting here reading blogs and looked out the sewing room window and there he was!  What a relief.  I went out to feed him, but he was a lot more interested in being petted and told what a good boy he is and how much I've missed seeing him.  He's gone again now.  Apparently he's found a good place to lay low till all the noise is over.

My Sweetie, Mr. Muddling took the Christmas tree down yesterday, so that is done.  Yippee.  Now we just have to get the rest down and put away.  It would be really nice to get the garage cleared out enough to get my van back in there.

We're almost done with 2011.  It seems to have flown by, though there were definitely some less that fun times in there.  I'm believing that 2012 will be a much better year for all of us!

Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I Know I Said I Wouldn't, But....

What can I say?  I've got pictures and I like to share them!

We had Christmas early at our son and daughter in law's house.  What a beautiful tree!

And isn't that fireplace pretty?  It was a good day to have a fire - rainy and cold (well, cold for us anyway).

I finished their quilt very early this morning (though I did manage to sew through my finger in the process - no major damage, thank God!).  They liked the fleece on the back.  This one gave me a bit more trouble.  My friend Wanda says that's because fleece is a knit.  Makes sense.

Yes, he is a silly one, but we love him!  (There was a bit of fighting over whose the quilt was.)

We all had lots of fun and lots of good food, too.  Sorry, no pictures of that.

 I was pleased to see Larry and Ruthie acting like a normal brother and sister,

but that didn't last long!

Nikki was very pleased with her Fat Kitty, especially knowing that G'ma had made it just for her.

Going back in the den now to open our "at home" presents and have a little late supper.

Hope your Christmas is everything you want it to be.  We have church in the morning and will be there celebrating the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry, Happy, Busy

I saw this cute fat kitty somewhere last month.  Sorry I really don't remember where.  Anyway I bought the pattern and thought I would make some for our girls.  This one is the only one I got made.  And if you look, you'll see why I don't do a lot of embroidery.  I'm not good at it.  At all. 

But, it's still cute, and on Saturday, it will go to live with our granddaughter.  We're celebrating Christmas early at our son's house (Yay! I don't have to cook!)  Nikki just had her twenty-first birthday this week.  Totally unbelievable.  She was like another daughter when she was younger.  Her mom (the best daughter in law in the world) works and Nikki stayed with us until she went to school, and then after school for many years.   There are not that many years between her and Ru and Mary, so they were more like sisters than aunts and niece.

Beneath Mr. Kitty are some blocks I'm working on for a new quilt.

Hopefully I (and you) will get all our doings done in time for Christmas.

You can see that Bruno really feels the pressure.  LOL!

I don't think I'll post again till after Christmas, so for now I wish you the very best Christmas EVER!  You are precious to me and to the Lord.

Hugs and kisses and love,

Saturday, December 17, 2011

What A Glorious Day!

Today is a gloriously beautiful day, like one of the best of Autumn, even though it is past the middle of December.  I'm just enjoying it, no matter the date!

See that lonely black fig up there?  There are a number of them still holding on the fig tree by the chicken yard.  The birds are happy and when the figs fall and a chicken finds it, the chickens are happy, too.  Because one chicken never gets to keep it.  There is always at least one run, tackle, fumble, run before the gobble.

I moved one of the plastic garden chairs over to Claude's side of the yard and sat out there with him for a little while.

It's such a pretty and peaceful bit of solitude, and I like to be in it when I can.  We have some much colder weather due in next week, so I don't know how long it will look like this out there.  Have to enjoy it while it's still here.

We had a lovely surprise earlier today when Mr. Muddling answered the doorbell.  My sister and her husband sent us this beautiful Christmas arrangement.  As you can see, Joseph (Chloe, of course, but we call her Joseph because like him - anything that is done, she has the doing of it.) had to inspect it.  I couldn't get a very good picture of it inside.

So I took it out in the back yard where the light is so much better.  Isn't it a gorgeous thing!

And just look at that gerbera.  I don't know why it's so hard to get a true picture of things that are red, but these are a brilliant red.  There is no pink or orange to them, even though it looks like there is in the photos.

There are a couple of pretty little dogwood flowers in the flower bed behind them.  I don't think they are supposed to bloom until Spring.  Everything is a bit confused in the weather right now.

I had a complaint from Bruno.  He's pretty tired of me going on and on about cats.  What about me?  So here he is, my almost constant companion and friend.
(He's actually looking out the back door here, itching to get out there and chase Claude!!)

We're getting close, people!  I mailed off all the Christmas cookies last night.  Glory to God!  So glad that is done.  Hope your doings are getting done.

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, December 15, 2011

How Tacky Can You Be?

Apparently, if you are me - pretty tacky.  Here is my feral friend Claude.  I really like Claude.  We've had to take our time getting to know each other because Claude has been hurt in previous relationships.  I know this because the end of his tail is gone and what is left has been broken in several spots.

Anyway, as I said, I really like Claude, and even though there is no way he would consent to come into the house (even if Chloe and Jack would let him), I don't want him to suffer in the cold.

So behind those shutters in front of my sewing room window I have contrived a snug little spot for him.  The front has to be open.  Confinement issues.  But it is dry and sheltered and he seems to be content with it.

I know this because I can see him down there.

See that nice indentation?  That is Claude's spot.  I see him there often when it is cold and wet out there.  It makes me happy.  And if I am tacky (which we all know I am) it is my back yard and no one else needs to see it.  Mr. Muddling is fine with it and he's the only one who could tell me no.  I love that about him!

On the other side of the back yard, the fig tree has lost a lot of its leaves.  Miss Ru told me today that it looks and feels more like fall here today than winter.  Technically, it is not winter yet.  Not until December 22.  But this is Houston.  Houston weather plays by its own rules.

The Angel's Trumpet was hit pretty hard by the last cold snap.  I thought the top of it had died, but some of the flowers surprised me and came back to life in another bout of glorious bloom.  Now that's a happy surprise!

I have the little snowman on the counter in the kitchen encouraging us to drink more water.

So many things to do and so little time left in which to get them done.  Guess I'd better get cracking!  Hope your preparations are all going well.

Hugs and kisses,

Edited to add:  Is anyone else having trouble with blogger?  Half the time I'm having to reload pages to see the pictures and commenting is really a challenge.  I've tried.  Honestly.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's a Gray and Gloomy Day Out There

 So, naturally I figured that the best remedy for that is to turn the inside Christmas lights on again.

These little bits of light and cheer just make me happy.  And I have Christmas cookies to make.  So happy is a good thing.

These are also "Happy-Makers".  Mary and Cass bought these for me while they were here over the weekend and they are still beautiful.  This lily has opened fully and smells divine!

I got the apple core pieces for my Texas sister's Christmas quilt up on the wall last night and the first two rows sewn together. (Excuse the quality of the photo, please - gray and gloomy day.) This time I hung the fleece up first and I'm working from there so I know exactly the size I want the front to be without having to stop and measure.  I don't like to measure.  (Could be the reason I have surprises in my work.  LOL!)  The pink-y/red paisley you can see in spots is the backing.

I thought I'd mention, too, that I made up a big batch of the rosella cordial and served it in this cute snowman beverage jar I found this year.  It was a hit!  The rosella bush is a goner from the last freeze, but I have seeds.  I will definitely be planting this again in the Spring.  It's just exciting to me to grow something in my own back yard that I can use to replace something that is purchased and full of preservatives.

Off to start baking now!  Hope your preparations are moving along well!

Hugs and kisses,