Wednesday, November 30, 2011

~ Winter Wonderland ~

As a person who obsesses over Christmas and the decorating possibilities, I had been concerned about my lack of a proper mantle.

What I have is a gas fireplace that sits between my Family Room and my Dining Room, leaving a ... space ... on the top that sometimes puzzles me.

While in the midst of pondering this dilemma, I came across this lovely snow-covered cottage while browsing at TJ Maxx.

I already had several trees (trust me, I'll add to that collection) and the snowy white fabric has been a part of my Christmas decor for umpteen years.

I loved that the cottage was painted the same lovely aqua that my dining room is painted.

I really loved the fact that she sparkles in the light that comes from both rooms.

I just love my snowy little village on my "mantle". Because, let's face it, it was 80 degrees here in the Southland earlier this week, and it was a tad hard to break out the hot chocolate.

Now all I need is Parson Brown and I am good to go.

Linking to Tuesday's Treasures
Linking to Savvy Southern Style
Linking to Coastal Christmas
Linking to Open House Thursdays
Linking to Turquoise Lovin'
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Monday, November 28, 2011

~ Fa la la la Fabric ~

When the bell chimes and it's officially time to get out the goods for Christmas, the first place I go is the closet in my studio and start with the essentials ... Christmas Quilts. 

I taught this little (and I do mean little) number just a year ago.  It is not my own design, it's from a book called Fat Quarter Quilting by Lori Smith.  The fabrics are all my own choice and I changed up the applique on it to add a Christmas vibe.  It measures 16" x 20" and was extremely fun to make.

These next two came from a block exchange quilt from several years ago.  These two blocks were my own.

These next three were from an even older block exchange (bordering on the prior century). The first two pictures are from my own design, filling in the other blocks.

This last one was the contribution of my friend Claudia, who organized (and taught) the whole exchange.  Turns out my friend Claudia has gone and made herself famous among sewing circles, especially those involving machine embroidery.  She is pretty much the Queen of Machine Embroidery and sells her own original patterns here.

Prior to doing that ... she was just The Queen. 

Speaking of quilts and queens and questionsWho won the GiveAway from last week?
Why, Nanette from Freda's Hive, that's who!  Congratulations, Nanette.

I am in the thick of decorating for Christmas, these quilts are just the tip of the iceberg.

And even in Southern California ... this is a mighty fine iceberg.

Linking to Sew Happy Geek

Saturday, November 26, 2011

~ Pillows in Pink ~

While I get over the fact that I ate way too much pie ...

... and spend the day bringing up (from the garage) a kajillion blue bins filled with Christmas Joy ...

... let me show you what I did with my delicious pink fabric.

I made pillows for my living room ...

and more for my bedroom.

The possibilities for mixing and matching are just endless.

Now, please excuse me while I do light calisthenics in preparation for the umpteen trips up and down the stairs.

Possibly interrupted by some bites of leftover pie.

Linking to Home Sweet Home
Linking to Common Ground

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

~ Give me a Hand ~

When my 4 year-old grandson Mr. Gee came to my house last week, he immediately gave me this card. I could tell he had been thinking about that moment of giving ... with pride ... the entire 1/2 hour trip to my house. He made this card at pre-school.

He chose to give it to me.

I am very thankful for him and for a thousand other things.

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving where I don't have to cook the whole meal but I am contributing and spending my afternoon making pies. I can't believe that I am spending my Thanksgiving in California with nary a plane ride (or a 6 hour car drive) involved.  Sigh.

I wish you and yours a beautifully, thankful day.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

~ Ginger Scraps GiveAway ~

In the summer of 2008, I was trying to decide upon a Christmas quilting project, specifically to be taught at Bernina Connection ... the store where I worked/taught in Arizona. One thing led to another and I ended up designing this quilt (above) which measures 37" square.

I found this gingerbread house a much less sticky project than the flour and sugar variety.

It all started here ... on a teeny little notebook ...

... and ended up here ... as an easy to follow pattern (under my former pattern name, simplehappy designs.)

Today I am giving away one Ginger Scraps pattern to a lucky winner along with a couple of red/green fat quarters to get you started.  All I ask is that you leave a comment here on my blog + join up as a follower for chance #2. Make sure I have access to your email address.

I'll announce the winner next Monday, November 28th.

For anyone who cares ... I want it on the record that I did finish my stocking this week.

I am SO ready to deck my halls!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

~ My Chest of Dears ~

Several weeks ago, while browsing at TJ Maxx, I came across this lovely chest, which frankly had my name on it.  It was on sale for a hefty amount which furthered my belief in it's destiny.  I remember thinking "Why do they need to put this on sale?"

After getting it home and out of the car, I found out why it was on sale.  One of the legs was very wobbly and basically became unattached in the process of my struggle to get it out of the car.  Ultimately my daughter and son-in-law fixed her up good as new. Thank you daughter and son-in-law.  You guys are the best.

Oh, how I love this new addition to my home. I love the way she mirrors the color and the basic shape of the chest I have in the guest room.

I love the very textured wood top.

I really love the decorative painting ...

... from every angle.

But let's be honest ... what I love the most is the bevy of beauties that sit on the top.

I just love a story with a happy ending.  Don't you?

Linking to: Common Ground

Thursday, November 17, 2011

~ Pink, Pattern, Perplexing ~

Something weird has happened to me over the last week ... I mean seriously strange.  If you know me at all, you know that I'm a blue and white kind of gal.  With a lot of white and a smidge of green thrown in.  I work with a lot of color in my quilting, and want more restful colors in my home.
Or so I thought.
About a week ago I picked up the December issue of Romantic Homes. There was an article in there about a woman who decks her halls with vivacious candy colors ... abundantly.

I don't have the space or the energy to put that much decor into Christmas, but I could NOT for the life of me get those colors out of my head.  Since I did have Christmas on the brain, I thought I would test out some brighter colors with my Christmas decor.
But ... something in me didn't want to stop there.

I have a file of room pictures and admittedly, most of them are ... white. Except for this tiny bathroom from Country Living that intrigued me the moment I saw it and saved it.  I thought it was the landscape pictures (I'm a sucker for landscape pictures) but then I realized that it was the contrast between the greens in the art and the pink on the wall. And the pattern. I was shocked to realize how attracted I was to that pink on the wall. And that pattern.

Tonight I stopped in at Home Fabrics to browse and was astounded to see this fabric ... a pretty close resemblance to the wallpaper in the bathroom photo, if I do say so myself.
Oh, I bought it all right.  And it will become pillow slipcovers before the weekend is out.

What is happening to me??

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

~ Wrap Music ~

The first thing I have my eye out for when the Christmas Spirit hits ... is wrapping.  I guess this makes sense since I'm a woman who loves fabric and pattern and color.
It started last Wednesday when I went to Shinoda's with a friend and came back with these three delightful beauties, seen above.

Next ... Target of course ... where I picked up my Can-O'-Tags for a measly 5 bucks.

I love how the colors match my three dotty spools of ribbon.

Next ... Costco, naturally ... where I picked up the giant roll of wired ribbon for a song.  I was particularly enamored of this sheer white with the delicate red/white border.  Yum.

I picked up this roll of wrapping paper at Stein Mart.  It seriously spoke to me in the store and I seriously answered by saying, "Of course I will take you home." 

Did I mention that I also picked these mini-rolls of paper up at Target for $1 a piece?  I get these every year and find that they are so much easier to wrap small gifts with that the big rolls.

Don't get me wrong ... I haven't even begun to think about what I will actually be wrapping.  I'm a girl who likes to do her Christmas shopping when the stores are crowded and Christmas is in the air ... in December.

But I will admit to listening to some Christmas music.
How about you?

Monday, November 14, 2011

~ Design + Wall ~

Yes, I worked on the stocking this week and no, I didn't finish it.  I still need to do the "cuff" with the machine embroidered name of Granddaughter #4 ... Grandchild #5.
You can see it hung here on the design wall in my somewhat small miniscule studio. The little design wall I was working with worked fine for the individual placement of blocks, but when I put the quilts together, I need something bigger.

Then I found this absolutely stellar idea in an issue of BH&G American Patchwork & Quilting.  First, I bought a flannel backed tablecloth.  On the non-flannel side on the top, I reinforced it with duct tape.

Then I hung two hooks over my closet door (a space going totally unused when space it at a premium here) and cut slits in the table cloth (through the duct tape) to correspond with the hooks. Voila! A new design wall.  I can take down my "wall" quite easily, although I will admit to just leaving it up and pushing it aside when I need to get in the closet.

I am not gonna lie:  the reason I didn't finish the stocking is that I only do this machine embroidery stuff about once a year and I just didn't have it in me to experience that learning curve once again.  I will absolutely have it done by next week at this time.

And I'm counting on you people to hold me to it.

Linking to
Linking to The Girl Creative
Linking to Creative Me Monday