Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's a Family Tradition

6 month old Tad sitting up. Isn't he a sweetie!
 We had a wonderful Christmas, but we're not done celebrating yet. Tonight we are going to a friend's house for dinner, and then more Christmas tomorrow with my niece and her family. Of course, Tad will be here with his parents, and Eric. Justin is in D. C. interviewing for jobs. (Good luck, Justin!)

Tad was just 2 weeks old the last time Justin saw him!
Rick was sick on Christmas and didn't go back to work until Wednesday. Now I've got his bad cold. But we are not surprised. At least one person in our family has been sick during the holidays for as long as we can remember. We can tell stories of kids spending Christmas Day in bed, or Thanksgiving on the sofa. It's a curse, I tell ya. Maybe if I sleep this afternoon I'll be well enough to do what needs to be done. Wish me luck!

I want to wish a Happy New Year to all my blogging friends! Can't wait to see what we come up with in 2012!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cookies and Candy and Bread, Oh My!

I've spent the afternoon finishing up the cookie baking to add to the candies and quick breads I made earlier. I've cut back on the cookies this year to just these three family favorites: Mexican Weeding Cakes, iced sugar cookies, and Santa's Whiskers.

I really enjoy making candy (and eating it!) so I made caramels, chocolate and peanut butter fudge, and cashew brittle. Our youngest son, Eric was helping me with the brittle and we were laughing and having a good time, and I forgot to chop the cashews up. I just poured them in without thinking. It's all Eric's fault!

The fudge recipe is from my late mother-in-law. I'm not sure where she got it, but the recipe is called "The $350.00 Fannie May Fudge Recipe" I don't know if that's true, but I can tell you it's the best fudge we've ever had and we buy fudge where ever we travel just to check.

I made two kinds of quick breads: cranberry orange, and applesauce. These are for gifts and snacking this weekend.

So, I'm just about finished with the preparations. Tomorrow I'll make pies, and wrap the last gifts. Sunday we will have a buffet that we can munch on all day. Baked ham, biscuits, veggies, fruit, cheese. All very simple.

I hope everyone is getting things done and can relax and enjoy this wonderful time with family.  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tag Swap Goodies

I wanted to show all the wonderful tags I received from the swap hosted by  Elizabeth here.

So many fun and creative tags. I love them! Thanks ladies. Let's do something like this again in the spring, OK?
(Sorry, I forgot to get a picture of the ones I made.)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Home Tour

I don't know about the rest of you, but I like my house more during the holidays than any other time of the year. With the trees, lights, decorations, and good smells, it is so cozy and comfortable.

As I was finishing up the major cleaning (to be ready for the messes to be made this coming week!) I was admiring the afternoon light coming in and how beautiful everything looked bathed in the glow. You know I'm not a photographer, so I can't capture what I was seeing. Just use your imagination!

Family room, part of kitchen.
Sam wanted to say hello.

Up until last year, the cabinets were dark green. I'm still deciding whether I like them:)
Counter display with Christmas cards. Love to see everyone's growing families.
Our bedroom. Lots of local artists' ornaments here.
Living room.

Favorite Christmas books.
Rick made this hutch for one of our first Christmases.
Can you believe that I got this church at an antique store for $7.00?
Now up the stairs...
The upstairs, with my craft room and guest room is done in pastels. This tree has tiny glass ornaments.
Well, that's the end of the tour. I hope you enjoyed it. We try to go on a holiday tour every year. One of my favorite houses to see is our state representative's. It is over the top for Christmas, just like the lady herself, but so fun and so much to look at. Not my style, but I enjoy it anyway, you know?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Some Decorations

I'm having  trouble getting some good pictures of the decorations in the in the kitchen. So bear with me...

This is our nature tree. It's one of those twiggy trees and I put handmade nature related ornies on it. There are some carved bee skeps, seed covered balls, and birds nests. I need to dry some orange and apple slices. They look like stained glass when the lights are shining through them.

I made this guy last year from a tutorial by Linda Albrect, I think.
Nativity made by my step sister about 25 years ago.
I made this Santa from a pattern in Create and Decorate.
I put a strand of battery lights in here. Got the idea from Elaine at here.
We have been having problems with our Christmas lights this year. They worked fine when we put them up, but one by one, they are going out. So guess what I'm doing today? Taking all the ornaments off the tree in the living room, replacing the lights, then redecorating. My husband is putting new lights on the greenery around the porch doors. Hopefully we will be fine for the rest of the season!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

New items in Etsy shop

Just a quick post about some new things available in my etsy shop, here. I have a few new clothespin bags, hand embroidered to match vintage look fabric.

I especially like the chicks, which come from an old transfer, that match that chick fabric.

I also have some new lavender scented sachets, made using vintage hankies.

Any of these would make great gifts. I will be including a handmade tag in each order!

We are having a busy day today. My husband and I are going to a home tour - six old houses decorated for the holidays. Also cookie baking, and dinner with the kids. How is everyone coming along with the preparations? Have a great Sunday.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Decking the Halls

I've finally finished the decorating and thought I would first show this little cabinet in our entry hall. It was easy to fix up with some greenery, berries, and  vintage candles.

My husband made the little Noah's Ark toy.
Poor little tree melted a bit :)
I made those little houses a year or two ago from an online class offered by Lisa Pace. Lots of fun!

More of my cross stitching. I can't remember the company, but they've come out with a new Santa every year since forever. I haven't done one in a while, so I need to get caught up!

I'll be back later to show our kitchen/ family room.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Stockings Were Hung....

We don't have a chimney or mantel anymore (we used to have a woodstove) so I hang the stockings on various pieces of furniture in the living room.

Years ago I was into cross stitch (and I mean, really into it!). I made these stockings for Rick and I in 1987.
These are hung on the dry sink that Rick made.

I made the boys quilted stockings with cross stitch accents. But sadly, they got stained while being stored in the attic.

I made Tad's stocking last weekend. I used a design in an old Debbie Mumm book.

Now I'm going to go work on some clothes pin bags for my etsy shop. I'll let you know when they are ready. They'd make a great gift for your "green" friends!

Have a great weekend with all your holiday decorating, crafting, baking, and shopping. Sheesh, what a busy time, right?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know that almost everyone is either eating or cooking their Thanksgiving feast right now. We are having a late dinner, so I'm taking a quick break before I go clean up some of the mess I made this morning.

We are having a small group this year, just Andrew, Alison, Tad and Eric. I miss my oldest son Justin, who is in Europe, but he will be home for Christmas.

We will be having a very traditional meal: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry relish, green salad, and rolls. And for dessert, apple and pecan pie with whipped cream and ice cream. I made an apple and pumpkin pie on Monday for Rick to take to his shop's Thanksgiving lunch.

My husband likes to make little pies with the leftover dough.

Then two more pies yesterday.

My favorite pie is chocolate pecan, but everyone else likes plain pecan. So when I made these I made a little one with chocolate and we ate it last night. So good!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day with friends and family. I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed being a part of this wonderful group of bloggers this past year. Thank you for all of your sweet comments and ideas!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Finished WIP

 Don't you just love finishing up a Work In Progress?  I do, because I'm a little OCD about not starting a new project until I'm finished with the old one. (I did sneak in the fall quilt.) So I'm very happy to have finally finished quilting this Irish chain quilt that I started earlier this summer.

And, like usual, I quilted it within an inch of it's life! I can't seem to help myself. Though I know I could make a lot more items if I didn't do so much quilting or even had it machine quilted. Oh well. I'll just keep slowly turning out the quilts. Now which one do do next?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sandhill Cranes

On Tuesday we decided to drive an hour north and see the sandhill cranes at their migration stop. It is such a spectacular sight! Thousands of these huge birds converge for the night in one place after feasting in the harvested fields.

It's hard to tell, but the field in the background is just full of birds. We were standing on a viewing platform and for some reason they were landing farther away this year.

I guess the deer knew they were safe because they congregated here also.

We could hear hunters in the distance, but the deer didn't startle.

Tad, his parents, and great grandma were with us.

We had a great time with the other bird watcher. As it started getting cold and dark, we made our way back to the cars and dinner at The Whistle Stop, part diner, part train museum.