Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hide and Seek

 For a couple of weeks now my little craft room has looked like this.

 In order to make room for Christmas the house has to be emptied of all my WIPs.

 Somewhere in this mess I have several projects that I want to work on.

Now I have to figure out where they are.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December Daddio Update

Daddio's been hard at work cutting strips out of his ginormous Christmas material stash.

All year long, every time we go shopping, he comes home with something new. He knows what he likes and he likes Christmas.

 We are putting them together into a large and rather wonky holiday log cabin quilt that is far from being finished.

The results of his latest lung scans were not good but he's not going anywhere until that quilt is finished. I'm putting my foot down and someone up there better be listening because this quilt is for ME-damn it.

Monday, December 29, 2014


My little snowman bag is mighty happy and so am I.

 On December 26, 2014 at about 11 pm, my Advent Scarf was a done deal.

 The morning of the 27th it got a soak...

 ...and a good stretching.

 I ended up completing thirteen days instead of the the twelve out of the twenty four I had intended. It's plenty big.

 I had this much leftover from my second skein.

 I used this size of beads and this size hook to attach them and they worked perfectly. I am documenting all of this so that next year I can just get to knitting instead of wasting time fussing about with all the details.

Speaking of next year, I am putting all these things back into the smiling snowman bag-including the yarn for next year so I won't have to go looking for anything. This way I can start on time for a change and maybe, just maybe, finish up on the 24th with everyone else.

 All the stress and fuss was worth it. In just 22 days I managed to complete this thing of beauty bum thumb and all.

Of course all the credit goes to the designer, Kristen Benecken, who since 2010 has hosted the Advent Scarf KAL on Ravelry. If you can count, decrease stitches and make yarnovers you can do this. Seriously. The hardest part is keeping up. Even the beading is a piece of cake.

 It is goose pimply pretty if I say so myself but it's real value is in the memories I made while working on it. It nearly brings me to tears remembering the good times and not so good times of this holiday season. Silly old me.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Loot

  I really raked it in this year. Santa by way of my dear family was very generous. Daughter found these sheepy pj's. I could live in these all winter.

 Middle Sister gave me new Crocs to add to my colorful collection....

 ...and not one but two gift wrapping stations. I intend to stuff them both.

 Little Sister crafted these sweet little guys. They are too cute to get stashed away.

 Dear Daughter in Law gave me my favorite peppermint bark. I'm trying not to eat it all before New Years.

 Every year the kids and I put out a list of 5 things we would like to have to simplify shopping. This year I only asked everyone to gift me their favorite DVD in order to expand my collection. The Mister came up with these. I am more than suspicious that these were NOT his all time favorites.

 Daughter came up with these. Now they make sense given her love for ice skating.

 Her Hubby gave me these along with a download of The Interview. I've already watched Die Hard and I can honestly say as silly as it was, I did enjoy The Interview.

 Son and Daughter in Law gave me these. I have to wonder about those two. Knowing them, I was expecting science fiction and subtitles-but I guess it takes all kinds.

Middle Son didn't surprise me at all with his choices. I got a Jason Schwartzman triple play and I couldn't be happier.
I usually watch movies while I sew and since I have 12 more costumes to make plus three enormous backdrops, I am very grateful for them all.
Thanks everyone!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Big Christmas Purge

 I blame it on a big cup of Starbuck's Holiday Blend. Very early yesterday morning I couldn't stop myself from shelving all the Christmas doo dads. This year I intended to stretch the holiday out until the weekend but I just couldn't do it.

All the little things that were in my way had to go. I have things to do and Santa isn't a part of it anymore. Not until next year.

 Purging also means organizing all the nooks and crannies that the stuff has to be squeezed back into. It was a massive undertaking.

 Taking apart the Santa puzzle took forever. See ya next year fellas.

I traded the Christmas smells in for some Warm Woolen Mittens-which does not smell anything like real wool mittens.

 Daddio's holiday table runner was traded for a sampler I made ages when I was learning to weave. What I really need is another quilted table runner for winter that is not holiday themed. I need to get on that.

 Those three red and green towels I slaved over all last week are tucked safely away with the rest of the Christmas linens and I can't wait to get something else on the loom. First I have to get the trees down but that is a job for another day. I ran out of gas about noon.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Stick a Fork in It

 On the 23rd of December I made the plum pudding.

 While it was steaming, I cut the loose ends off my THREE Christmas towels that were indeed very much done in time for Christmas Eve dinner.  I had no idea I had enough warp for three but when I got to the end of number two on the evening of the 22nd I realized I still had a way to go. I was not happy but I learned then that you can weave a towel in a day. I wanted those towels done and the loom put away by the 24th and I did it. Yay me.

 On the 23rd we also took our annual trip to Homestead Gardens with Daughter.

 Several new ornaments/kitty toys followed me home.

 We came home to light the last of the Hanukkah candles...

 ...and feast on latkes and applesauce while the Christmas Eve lasagna was baking in the oven.

Around midnight I was cleaning up the last of the cookie mess and counting the minutes until this holiday was history. I love the holidays but man was I tired.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Visions of Sugar Plums

 The title of this post should be" A Christmas Miracle" because for the first time in my entire life (and I'm pretty old) my spritz cookies were a success.

 Right after the soap making, The Mister and I set ourselves to making sweet treats for gifts. The process was similar. There was lots of chopping and mixing.

 We had never made bark before so we gave it a go first.

 It was a perfect day for it. It was cold and dry so instead of stashing all the trays in the fridge we just sat them on the deck to cool.

 While we were waiting I looked up spritz recipes and reluctantly mixed up a batch. I used the hand mixer to get the dough fluffy this time around.

 Someone said the secret was to put your trays in the freezer so the cookies will stick instead of bunching up under the press as mine always do. Think of the flagpole scene in A Christmas Story (ouch) and it makes sense.

 Look at that. Perfect little cookies. I also did not roll the dough up into a tube to shove it in the press but instead kept it soft and just spooned it in.

 Eureka. I have a tin of perfect little spritzes.

 In addition, we made coconut thumbprints...

...and Hello Dollies.

The bark broke up nicely except for the one that I put mini M&Ms on. The candies all fell off so I melted it down again and added toffee chips. Yum.

Now it's time to go slice the fruitcake, pour a glass of nog and pop It's a Wonderful Life in the DVD player.

 Before I go I want to wish a belated birthday to Grandson who turned two on the 21st.

The poor little guy was very under the weather for his big day. Lucky for him he gets another go at this present thing today.
Merry Christmas!