Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Spur of the moment giveaway...penny rug wool

I was upstairs straightening my wool stash and getting ready to do some cutting of penny rugs, my favorite part. I love to cut them out, anyway I had decided to make a care package of wool for a friend of mine and I thought, "why not make one for a giveaway too while I am cutting" so here it is. I cut 7 inch square pieces of wool that have been washed and dried and felted, well some of them are not quite as "felted" as I would like them to be, but I still use them. They are all different weights and they are all from recycled clothing that has been washed many times. It is coming from a smoke free, pet free house. This would be a nice addition to your scrap pile of wool and they would be great for a scrappy penny rug (may favorite kind to do) There are 18 squares of wool. Please post to be in the drawing and I'll draw the winner mid January sometime.

A fun find and lots of knitting

Ok, I admit it, I am completely hooked on these hats and scarves and knitting. It has been way too addictive for me. It is such almost instant gratification that I cannot put down those knitting needles and looms and I have three and four of them started at once. I have to at least run the sweeper today and do some laundry and there is wool calling me to be felted and penny rug patterns and painting projects and all those beads that I have been picking up for the last three months and throwing on a shelf in my craft room need organized but first just one more hat and scarf and then I'll do something....

This was my fun find in the middle of the chaos of the tree falling on the house. My step daughter bought my old house and when she did we still had three more daughters at home and the house was full to the brim with the "baby" in the attic of our house. (she uses this when she wants pity that we put her in the attic but really she wanted to be there) We had everything extra in storage in the basement and an extra garage so at the time we decided not to empty the attic of my house since it was family there and eventually we would get it done....five and one half years later my "stuff" is still in her attic. When the tree fell, there were only certain ones of us that would perform the acrobatic feats that it took to get to that attic to take the photos of the damage, one being me.
I had the chance to look around a little and found this cookie box that I had painted years ago and forgot all about! It was like getting something brand new. As I prepare my New Years resolutions, that attic is now one of them. I really need to get it cleaned out, my curiousity is peaked. What else have a forgot that I had?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wind damage

This is a pic of my Jenn's house with the tree. It was quite the sight. The tree just tipped over! The carpenter was there yesterday and everything is fixed and back to "normal" as normal as things get around here!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

What was I thinking?

I know better than to say that I am going to have some quiet in my life. That always seems to bring on the most chaotic things in my life...or in this case my kids' lives and that usually carries over into ours, thank goodness that they live close.

Yesterday brought a SIL #4 with a foot injury that required a trip to the emergency room, now while I felt bad about his foot, I was able to have some alone Grandma Spoiling Time with my granddaughter. I don't get enough of that alone spoiling time with her so that was good and my SIL's foot was not broken, another good thing.

Today was to be a day of rest..there have been so few in the last couple of months, it was John's 50th birthday and we had decided on a quiet day at home, watching the Steeler game after church and eating leftovers. Well the saying "When we plan, God laughs" was certainly true here. At 9 this morning our SIL#1 called and with all the high winds, a very large tree had fallen on their house. Luckily my two grandsons were not at home at the time and the best thing is that no one was hurt. Today turned into one of those days that I am so thankful that we live in a small town and I am grateful for the help of so many people that gave up their Sunday (and the Steeler game) to come out and help. Everyone and everything that was needed showed up in perfect timing from the utility companies to people that knew what to do with the tree, a log truck with a boom to lift the tree, a backhoe and the people to put the gas line back in place, the power company to rehook the electric back up, tarps, and even the carpenter that has everything measured and will be there tomorrow morning to do the repairs. It could have been so much worse and we are all so thankful for that. I even had almost enough food in the fridge and with the addition of some really fast sloppy joes was able to feed about 30 people that showed up to help. Is there a cookbook for "Spur of the Moment Cooking For a Crowd"? I think that I could write it! At any rate they are sleeping in their own house tonight, something I would have never thought would have happened at 9 this morning. At that point I really thought we would have houseguests for several days. It would have been fun to have them here, but I am glad that their house is ok and that they were able to be home tonight.

Maybe tomorrow I can rest...I am saying that really quiet and small.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

And now for the quiet

On Friday morning, the day that we celebrated Christmas, I finally finished these stocking that I had been working on. They were a bit of a challenge for me, and my sewing machine broke in the middle of them and had to be torn apart. No one could have been more surprised than me when I put it back together (the third time) and it worked. We had a fun, crazy Christmas full of lots of noise and too much food. I love having all the kids together at once. For as close as we all live, it does not happen that often.

I look forward to January and February more and more each year. The shop is slower and there is more time to stay at home and nest/rest. I have tons of projects that I want to do and a few that I need to do. Mostly I like the rest and break from the busy time of the year which for us is March through December.
This is a pic of my daughters and stepdaughters on Christmas Day in a break from being a rock band. What fun that game was for them...I just don't have the coordination for it.
I have so much to be thankful for this year and I count my blessings daily for all the big ones, but I would like to also list some little ones that happened the last few weeks.
1. A good haircut, thanks Bryan, I am sure that you are back in the warmth and sunshine if you are reading this! Wish you could come back in six weeks!
2. A 25 cent sale at Goodwill two days before Christmas when I ran in before dinner with friends and came out with four bags of wool! What a find!
3. A gift of warm knee socks that I have been looking everywhere for...thanks Tina!
4. Finding the "green" scarves of recycled plastic bottle yarn from Natalie over at Tins and Treasures. The girls loved them! Thanks Natalie, I love mine also.
Tomorrow is John's 50th birthday. Now we are both "in our 50's" and I am so glad that he is now getting the AARP envelopes also. He can't make fun of me any more. He wants to spend it at home watching the Steelers, of course.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone, hope that your day and the days to come bring family, friends, rest and peace and that you also have time to remember God's greatest gift to us.
Have a blessed holiday!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And out of the chaos....

Ok, I am going to admit that all I want to do is work on these hats I love making them and the process is complete relaxation for me. It is almost like reading a book at bedtime. I start working on them and the stress of work and the holidays just goes away. (Several times I have fallen asleep with the loom still in my hands) I have another one to find a donation spot for them.

One stocking down and 2 more to go. The other two are well on their way and they should go easier now that the "prototype" is out of the way. That is one of the problems of not having a pattern, the mistakes that you make trying to figure it out. I am really happy with this, although I will be hitting the quilt shop soon for more fabric, with another grandchild on the way and the happy prospects of more in the future, I need to make sure that I have lots of this fabric on hand to make more each year. (Would it be too much to ask to have to make two next year?...c'mon girls!)

These stockings are ones that Jenn gave me and needed something done with the names. They have been the biggest challenge. It was so tight and I really fought my sewing machine with them...I have the scars to prove it, I tried to hold too close and the little thingie that holds the needle in came down on my finger and cut it. The process was sew, rip, sew again, bandage my finger, sew, rip and sew again. Sometimes my kids think I am a MAGICIAN!!!!!

This is the wool that I picked up at Goodwill the other day, all felted and ready for January projects. Hmmmm, what will I make? I love the feel of the wool, all fluffy and soft. Can't wait to "start" something else. I love to start new projects.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Crafter Chaos

I think that I have crafter's ADD. I got this bright idea that I wanted to learn to knit in 2009 and I bought this book, a kit and these looms at Michael's yesterday. Now that is all that I want to work on and I really need to get those stockings done before Christmas. Yes, that is a kid's knitting book but really it is always good to know your mental abilities and I felt sure this would be the easiest way to learn for me and I already made that dishcloth. A few mistakes, but I really like knitting.

This wool was my "find" when I cruised Goodwill yesterday morning. The black is 100% cashmere and I have never tried that for penny rugs, but I love the feel of it. I have to cut these up today into something manageable. I wash them whole to felt them and then cut them apart.

These are the stockings that I worked on all morning before church. I had the idea in my head and didn't have a pattern, so far so good. That does not always work well for me. The red ones are the ones that Jenn had for the boys and they need the name "fixed" on them. Not sure what I am going to do with those yet.

This morning was the cantata at our church and it was excellent. A wonderful moment to pause and usher in the Christmas season calmly and to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, God's Gift to us of our Lord and Savior.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A few more off the list

These are three more items that have been on the to do list for an embarrassing long time. It really feels good to have them done and it is really starting to clean up my painting area. The sled is for my step-daughter, it was from her maternal grandmother's house. It was in such bad shape that I kept putting off what to do with it. The signs were for an order that I have had for close to a year. Why did I not do them in the middle of the summer? I was not as busy then. or was I? Procrastination!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Made my list, should have checked it twice...

and nothing like a little panic to throw me into high gear. I checked my list of what I needed/wanted to get done for Christmas and realized that there was a lot more than one project a day that I needed to finish. Wow, a lot more than actually two a day. So I guess it is time to eliminate the "wanted" and just go with the "needed" I had both of these projects started so I decided to finish them. They are both for daughters' Christmas presents. The tavern board is interchangeable. It was not made that way, I bought it at Michael's and had John router the other side so that I could paint both sides of it. I am such a procrastinator, I need to paint really fast for a few days.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mucinex, Vicks and Robitussin and some wrapping

Once again this winter I have been hit with the cold and flu bug. Our house just can't seem to shake it once and for all. I did manage to wrap a little yesterday when I could not go to work. In between medicine comas and naps I would wrap a few gifts here and there. I took some pics of my ornaments on my tree. I must confess that my Christmas decorations could border on kiddy middy...I love glitz and glitter for Christmas. After all the years of "special" ornaments, with our new family five Christmas' ago came a tree all done is red and white and silver. This year I received as a gift some beautiful hand-blown glass ornaments from my friend Linda. They are carefully placed out of the reach of our active toddler grandchildren. They are a perfect addition to our tree this year.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Love those penny rugs! and double trouble!

Double trouble is probably not the right term for this little guy. He is so absolutely loveable and this would just be double the loving on him. This is Logan, my grandson, and I snapped this as he was looking at me in the mirror last night. I loved the expression and I love this picture of him. He is such a little sweetheart.

I finished this scrappy penny rug this evening. It is for my step-daughter Dianna. I love doing these but think that I have exhausted giving them away to family members. Maybe I should think of that for a giveaway....hmmm, something to think about!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Packages to mail and homemade marshmallows

These are my packages ready to go to the post office this morning. I had the best of intentions yesterday to have these out. Isn't it funny how you have your day all planned out in your mind and things can just go awry? I had planned to keep my granddaughter yesterday so that my daughter could meet a friend for the day and shop without diaper bags and car seats and of course my main motive was to spoil that little girl. I had plans to take her to work with me in the morning and come home in the afternoon and let her nap and I would get these boxes ready and then she and I would go to the post office. (Really no thought as to how I was going to get all of this and her from the car to the post office though) Well John is still sick with this cold and flu bug and could not go to work and that meant that I had to cover things there yesterday. So off to work Gracelyn and I went. She was so good though and thanks to Aunt Jennifer and Nana being there to help we actually had a functioning, productive day at work and squeezed in a little play time also.

Homemade marshmallows

I made some of these Sunday, easy to make and so fresh tasting!

2T unflavored gelatin (2 packages)
1/4 cup cold water
1 t. clear vanilla
1/2 t. salt
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. boiling water
powdered sugar

Butter an 8 x 8 inch square glass cake pan, set aside
Put cold water in small measuring cup. Sprinkle gelatin into water to dissolve.
Pour into mixing bowl and add vanilla and salt. Set aside. Boil sugar and water to soft ball stage (238 degrees on a candy thermometer) Pour syrup slowly over the gelatin, mixing on high speed until mixture turns very thick and white. Color with food coloring if desired. Pour into a buttered pan. Dust with powdered sugar; let stand overnight. Cut into small squares. After cutting, dust with powdered sugar again.

Hint: After much debating, we turned these out onto a cutting board yesterday and used a chef's knife to cut them. I tried a steak knife and a bread knife and finally the chef's knife cut them best. Careful with the food coloring, I added it while the mixer was running and this morning I will be trying to wash the green spots out of my hair.

We are having an ornament swap at my painting group and the other packages are the ornaments ready to go out also. I took a pic of all of them and will post them when they all receive them. Now off to catch up today...tis the season!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Announcing the winners!

The winners of the giveaway are BurttBunch and PammyJo. Congratulations! The first one to contact me gets the choice so make sure that you indicate the choice of giveway when you email your address to me!

Thanks for everyone for entering and for listing it on your blogs. It was very nice to see the response to the giveaway!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Local treats and a good disinfecting

Yesterday was a very stressful day at work, DH was sick and we all know how men are when they are sick and he was just not the happy go lucky, caring guy that he normally is. Our three year old grandson had a bad experience at the dentist and we were all upset over that. (After a little close checking on the dentist we have found out that there are many complaints lodged against him) We had deliveries to be made at work and I decided that I would make them and then do my running and errands so that I would not have to step outside today. I was driving up Route 66 (not the famous one) to Clarion, PA and there out of nowhere was this quilt shop that I had not seen before. I passed it and tried to turn around and in my excitement just drove through the field to get there, (not totally uncommon in the area that I live) I walked through the door and there were women in there talking and laughing, fabric everywhere and a lovely gazebo type area in the middle of the building. It was clean, warm, tons of samples and patterns and books and all the fabric was so organized and my favorite Matchbox Twenty song was playing on the radio in the background. Now my first thought was, "Is this a hologram?" then, "Did I fall asleep and am I dreaming?" and then the final one, "Did I fall asleep and hit a tree and die and this is heaven?" But then I looked around and there were no paintbrushes or wood or yarn or wool so I knew that I was not in heaven because those things would have to be there also. I bought part of my Mom's Christmas present and this fabric that I have no idea what I am going to make with it, my quilting skills are limited but I am thinking Christmas stockings for my babies to have at Grammie's. Anyone with any ideas. please let me know. Anyway, the quilt shop is called Sew Elegant if you are ever in the Clarion Area or traveling on Route 80 through Pennsylvania it is only a few miles south on Route 66 at the New Bethlehem exit. Their website is I think that finding it was a gift from God yesterday, the stress melted away when I walked in the door. You will love it! The other local treat of the day is the pistachio muffins at DiMaio's Market in NuMine, PA. I love them!
I have proceeded to tear apart our bedroom this morning and am Lysoling and Cloroxing everything. I am tired of passing this cold bug around and hope to rid our house of it. Nothing like a good cleaning and airing, even if it is way too cold to air things out!
Don't forget to sign up for the giveaway on the post about the giveaway. Tomorrow is the drawing. I will notify both the winners and the first one to contact me back gets first choice.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Gift Recipient! and a big project finished

I finally finished all these pieces last night and have them varnished and ready to be packed back into the box for transport to Jenn's house. Whew! Please excuse the painting counter background but I did not want to move them AGAIN! Jenn was here last night and I showed them to her and she was really surprised and excited. I want her to be able to display it this year and wanted her to help us (John) decide what to build for her for a display for them. I suggested plexiglas with those two precious, overactive, ball throwing, wrestling, little boys and John wanted to build it behind chicken wire like the band in the movie Roadhouse, but seriously, now he has to build something this weekend for her and then she can display it. One of those special moments when truly the gift is in the giving!

Thanks everyone for signing up for the giveaway and for posting it on your blogs. It has been fun to "visit" each of you!
Can't wait to see who the lucky winner is!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Two Giveaways

Ok, these are my two giveaways. This is fun to make up your own rules! I will enter you in the drawing if you add a comment and if you mention this on your blog, I will give you three more entries, but you have to let me know in a comment that you mentioned it otherwise I am not sure how I would know?? Hey, it's my first giveaway and I am not sure how this works. When I draw the winners, the first one to contact me gets the choice of which giveway they want and the second one gets the other one. I will draw this on Sunday? I hope that is enough time for a giveaway, I feel like such a beginner here. If I am not doing this right, please let me know. Oh and the quilt is not part of the giveaway and I have a few more items in the stash for a surprise!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Made it, sort of?

Ok, I am counting my 30 Projects in 30 days as done...this backdrop for the Christmas play at the church is going to be #29 and I finished 12 of the pieces to my step-daughter's nativity so I am counting that as #30. I will take a pic of that later. This backdrop is 8 feet can't tell that from the pic and we (the woman in charge of the play) and I painted it yesterday morning. These other pics are the cloths on the windowsills at the church. It was hard to get a pic of them. Now in celebration of that and one month of blogging I think that I would like to have a giveway...can anyone tell my the official "protocol" for doing that? Are there any rules for that, official or unofficial?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Project 28 and More Decorating

This centerpiece is Number 28 in my 30 day challenge, only two to go and if I don't make it at least I got this much done and it kept me from procrastinating everything that I wanted to get done. I painted this tray and put the pine cones in it, they were from a recent trip to a friend's camp. I had the the candleholders but decorated the candles with rusty tin snowflakes that I found in my stash. All of the other projects are things that I have painted in years past other than the quilted wallhanging. My mom made that for me last year. I painted the nativity wreath years ago and I still really like it, my kids don't like it so I hang it right inside the door that they use when they come here. It was so much work and I guess that I am going to have to will it to someone just so that they don't burn it or sell it at a yard sale for one dollar someday. The snowman collection is getting a little out of hand. I have them everywhere usually but this year tried to control it to my dining room. Everything is finally cleaned up and I can sit and enjoy it all this evening.