Saturday, December 21, 2013

Light Show!

Every year we take a short visit to a town around our state to view their Christmas lights and displays.  This year was no exception as we traveled to Marble Falls, a small town in Hill Country, just north of Austin.  How can you not enjoy these local festivities?! 

It was a fairly cold evening for Texans--we decided to wait in our car until the lights were switched on--time for the magic to happen was 6PM.  We waited along with many others and since it was a Monday night we knew it would be a light crowd.
We waited and waited--6:15 came and went; about 6:20 a small car drove up to the entrance, a gentleman dressed in a red sweater hopped out and ran over to the gate--he pushed through with authority and then we saw him--inserting the magic key into the electrical box--he threw a switch and the whole lake front lit up!  Music poured from the trees and walkways!  The Walkway of Lights was officially open!

This is FREE! Donations are accepted and refreshments are sold halfway through your walk.

What an enchanting evening!  A walk through gleaming light displays

It was a full moon night as this photo shows--bright and beautiful on this clear winter night

A stroll through delightful tunnels of lights and near the end is where Santa lets youngsters climb into his lap and be asked "What do you want for Christmas?"  Ahhh, the magic of the time! 

 
 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Traditions!

Traditions...........................a special event or happening--one that keeps on, keeps on!  At our house, we have several traditions during Christmas time.  At all begun when we left college and took our first job, away from our families.  We set up our own traditions--we wanted to make sure our kids had special happenings in their lives, traditions for their childhoods and when they leave the nest, they set up their own traditions.

One tradition that has continued, even though they have flown the coop is making office gifts!  Every year, we go through this and over the years we have learned ways to shorten the process.
Our recipe comes from this book, a gift from a sister-in-law many moons ago--yes, a gift that keeps on giving.  Every year the amount we need has increased.

We have made notes to make sure we have the right amount of ingredients on hand--but, who looks at the recipe before shopping??  It's all from memory now--and the memory is getting weak!

This year, the son says he needs 30 jars for his office staff--off to buy 3 cases of quart jars and all the sugar, flour, chips, nuts, etc.  Certainly don't want to do what we did the first couple of years--run to the store half way through setting up the jars!
all the ingredients are set out and I found these nifty funnels several years ago that really help

Then you need fabric squares to make jars really pretty--usually I have fabric on hand--this fabric had aged nicely so was perfect to top off the jars.

All layered and sealed!  Son and I worked in harmony--it is something he definitely can do!  He even cleaned up the kitchen afterwards! 

And now, all the jars are ready for giving-- first, must print the label with directions on how to mix up--in all the years we have made these jars, never have we had a jar for us to mix up! One year, son decided not to give the jars and he had his staff asking=="where are the brownie jars?  We really like them!"  Now, this has become a tradition for his staff.....
Are you making your own special traditions with your family?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

OFF AND ON THE QUILTERS RACK

Back from the quilters.................
I had this one my blog this summer, but here it is back from the quilters long arm--thanks Sandy--

She did a simple star pattern--perfect for this Quilt of Valor
The binding is finished; quilt is folded; pillowcase is ready for presentation to Quilt of Valor recipient--just need to do the label and sew it on
 
Here is another one from Sandy's long arm.  This is the Bonnie Hunter quilt I worked on all summer--

I like the swirly leaves--now to decide on binding fabric--but, it can 'age' as I mull over the fabric

I have been working on this quilt for some time now--maybe, two years..............

First, all the embroidery on the blocks--
The center section was the easy part to do and the border was a snap!!
 

I enjoy doing handwork at times.  This pattern is from Crab-apple Hill

It is #313 Hocuspocusville!  Don't even get me started looking at their patterns!!

Here is my patriotic quilt I made this summer--it was featured on another blog post

Now, it is back from quilters long arm--thanks to Judy M--she used the star pano pattern

Here is one from the stash bin--it had been resting for many years and finally, it was time to finish it and get it quilted--well, it's not actually finished yet.  I want to add prairie points to each end--working out a way the points will stand up and not fold down.

Not your traditional Amish quilt, that's for sure.
 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Weavers' Holiday!!

This is always a special time of the year--love the gatherings, swapping of handmade gifts, good food, good friends, celebrating the reason for the Season!  Recently, WOW (Way Out West) Weavers held their luncheon.  We swap gifts and the idea is to have something handmade--not necessary by you.  There are so many options for this gift giving.
I'm sorry I didn't get photos of all the gifts, but this was a nice combination--hand woven washcloth with handmade soap.  This gift was made by one of our newest weavers--Sharla!


It's a nice waffle weave--great going Sharla!

As we are waiting for our meals to arrive, we have some show and tell--first up is Tracy's samples for her color/weave workshop she is doing in Florida in January

She warped eight different looms for these samples--unbelievable!

Don't you like the color selections?

 
She also had this linen fabric that she will use for wearable

 

Barbara had more shadow weave towels to show--definitely a WOW feature!


I think I heard her say "I'm finished with shadow weave--for now!"



Absolutely Brilliant weaving!!

Linda brought this tiny bird ornament--it is one that she received 20 years ago as gift.
She received this before she was a weaver.

We think it is overshot--can't you hear the little fellow chirping "Merry Christmas"

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Misplaced.............Mislaid......Missing..........Misdirected??????

I haven't been in the sewing studio for at least two weeks and today I decided it was time to forget all that other 'stuff' on my list and get to sewing again--let's see what is there to finish up? Oh, yes, it's the first of the month and Sindy of Fatcat Patterns has posted the next blocks for the monthly quilt along.  These are always fun to do and quick to complete, but today when I went to look for the background fabric--it was nowhere in sight!!
Here is what I'm using for the background on the doggies' blocks

I know I have couple of yards left and you would think if you are working on something, a smart person would put that fabric right where it can be readily found!
But, about a month ago, my sewing studio was looking like a disaster--
 
What would make it look better and easier to see?  Of course, nice neat bins!  In the time I had I straighten up these bins--doesn't it look wonderful?  All neat and organized!

Well, some of it looks pretty good--but, you can't imagine what the top of the bins looked like before I cleaned up..............and I know, I saw some of that star fabric in the stash, but where did I place it?

I have this fabric for the fishy blocks

See, it's right there in the middle of this stack!  But, where is that star fabric?? My mind is racing and I'm searching--okay, we'll need to go back through all that fabric that I had neatly sorted through--Wait,  I have another thought.................
Use this one which I found on the top of the stash stack--then maybe, shortly after I've decided to use this fabric, that star fabric will come out of hiding--?  How could I have hidden the star fabric in such a safe location??  Or did it just get up and walk out of the studio?? Oh Bother--as Winnie the Pooh would say!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

For a Friend

My Colorado knitter friend, Judy, has given me more than just knitting advice and companionship but also friendship. It is always a pleasure to spend time with her when we are in our summer residence. She is 'in the know' about local knitting or quilting shops, fiber events and sewing gathering. I can always count on her to get me involved.
This past summer she asked me if I could spin her very expensive Qiveut fiber into lace weight yarn.  She bought this in Alaska during one of her many traveling adventures.  When a friend asks, I'm always willing to at least try my best.  So, I tucked this precious little bag into my baggage and brought it back with me to Texas--of course, I promptly forgot about it!
Until we unpacked--and it hit me--I need to come up with another fiber that would work with this, as Qiveut is one of the warmest fibers in the world and it is best blended with another fiber.
I went through all my stash--llama, alpaca, wool--with no luck!  None of these I had on hand would work.......

But, luckily at our guild sale, another fiber friend pointed out this lovely blended and carded fiber--looks perfect for my project.  I took it home and was quite pleased that it worked well with this..............
Carded Qiveut--!  Yes, I hit the jackpot--to the spinning wheel I went................ 



Spinning nicely!

Two bobbins later and I have finished plying................


On the skein winder it goes........

I think it turned out nicely--I liked the subtle colors throughout the yarn

But the question was--would my friend Judy like these little bundles of fiber?  Off in the mail they went and I waited..........keeping my fingers crossed that the package would arrive in good shape, hoping that Judy would at least like the fiber.  Then came the text--She said "it is beautiful! and I like it very much".  OH, sign of relief!  So glad I could do something for my friend Judy.