Well, another Christmas has come and gone (all too fast in my opinion !!! ) ..... and I'm POOPED !!!
As usual, most of the handmade gifts I intended to sew/quilt did not get finished ..... there was the "Holiday Houses" quilt, a couple of table runners, some hand/wrist warmers out of softy cozy fleece, and a few different projects using chalkboard fabric. Oh well ...... I'm going to still work on these Christmas projects because Christmas isn't over at my house until I say it is !!!! (I don't care that I already saw Valentine stuff out at some stores ...... I don't care that the radio stations stopped playing Christmas music on Christmas Day at midnight ......jeeze !!! What ever happened to the 12 Days of Christmas !!! ...and our Christmas tree will stay up for quite a while yet ..... I just got the darn thing up and decorated 5 days ago .....so I'm gonna sit and look at it for a month ! ..... or until the poor thing falls over). Anyway, Santa's helper (aka Me) hit some good pre Christmas sales and got.......
....a boat load of fun fabric pre cuts !!! (these are all already spoken for ...... at least 3 graduation quilts on the horizon ..... I have big (unrealistic) plans to get them finished in time .....)
.....and Santa actually brought these !!! (well, my sister .... so another of Santa's helpers !) .
So, I think I'll put on some Christmas music, plug in the Christmas lights on the tree, light a fire in the fireplace, look through these fun magazines and sit and enjoy the Christmas season ...... cause it ain't over til I say it's over !!!!!
As per usual, all of my brilliant Christmas sewing ideas are not finished .......some barely started ..... and most are just a scribble on a piece of paper . So, here I am again, sewing like a lunatic at the 11th hour (well, it's not quite the 11the hour ..... but check back on Christmas Eve at 11 PM and I'll have a crazed look on my face sewing on a mission just like the Grinch).
Oh well ...... back to work ! (still have to decorate the Christmas tree and wrap everything too ........ oh, and maybe bake a cookie or two ...... slice and bake here I come !!!)
I love houses decorated for Christmas .... especially when there's snow. But, as you can see in this picture I took of our house a couple of days ago with just a wreath on the front door , I haven't yet mastered the art of "exterior illumination" like .....
Clark Griswold !!!
Anyway, instead of working on our real Christmas house, I 've been playing around with this "Ready Set Snow" layer cake by "Me and My Sister Designs" from a year or two ago.
Decided to make some fabric Christmas houses . Silly me thought I came up with an original idea, but looking through pinterest and a few blogs, I realize this idea has been around the block a few times . What might put an original spin on it, though is I plan to do this as a Quilt As You Go quilt ..... since my right shoulder is now shot due to work ( physical therapy is a joint killer after 33 years !!! ) and also due to repetitive motion injury of the same shoulder caused by machine quilting 3 big quilts and 1 baby quilt within 2 months. So, I now have to break quilts down into small, manageable chunks to machine quilt ...... it's my new mission in my quilting life !!! Will keep you posted !
OK back to working on houses ..... fabric and real (might go outside and wrap a string of lights around the porch railing ! Clark has inspired me !!! plus we look like the Grinch house of the neighborhood ! )
Today, instead of putting away pumpkins and all things Thanksgiving, I wandered around our quaint little town of Jim Thorpe, Pa. This weekend and next weekend are Olde Time Christmas here. It was snowing ...... making the scenery look like I was in Bedford Falls ...... I was waiting for George Bailey to come running down the street looking for ZuZu's petals !!!
There were very few people as the afternoon wore on due to the weather .......
....... a few were waiting for the last Santa train to come back to the station .....
.......and these hearty souls played wonderful Christmas music for crazy people like me who stood out in the snow to listen.
Ho Ho Ho !!! There he is !!! Santa is back at the station !!!
After I sat on Santa's lap (and don't think I didn't !! ) , I took a walk around town to look at the beautiful shops all dressed up for Christmas.
Isn't that pretty !!!
.....and this is Race Street ...... looks like Europe I've been told (I've never been to Europe so I wouldn't know)
.... Well, NOW I'm starting to feel like it's Christmas time !!!! Getting a little more motivated to at least put the pumpkins away and put up the Christmas tree and a wreath or two !
What a GREAT idea !!! In my 30 plus years as a home care physical therapist working with mostly senior citizens, I have had the honor of treating many WW II vets (many left the local high schools when they were 16 or 17 to join the military); I have heard their first hand accounts of what it was like to be the "wild teenagers" of the town back in the day (jumping off the bridge to land in the coal cars of the passing trains ...... CRAZY !!!); heard about how their families had 10 or 12 kids, their dad worked in the mines and was injured or killed, and the oldest had to quit school to support the family ...... working in the mines . I have heard many stories from hard working retired nurses , teachers and doctors (my 84 year old dad being the #1 retired doctor in my life ...... he has done it all ..... delivered babies, been the family doctor for a lifetime of families, made house calls in all kinds of weather and at all times of the day or night, been the first one on an accident scene, worked the ER ). And I have heard stories of being young and in love and dancing to Benny Goodman and The Dorsey Brothers; stories of being the first daughter of immigrants who was determined to go to college and then move to Philadelphia to an apartment with other young women and work in a big city hospital far away from home (my 83 year old mother's story). I love hearing their stories about their younger days and have learned a great deal from their life experiences ...... they deserve our respect and most of all friendship and time. And, to their credit, Craftsy is partnering with Wish of a Lifetime to help send some deserving seniors home ........ home to their hometowns where they were young, home to a granddaughter's wedding, home to visit family and friends. Because , as we know , there's just no place like home !!!! Craftsy will donate $5 for every class purchased to Wish of a Lifetime through December 11th. So, zip on over there to Craftsy and sign up for one of their great classes (which you will LOVE !! ) ..... and in the process you will be helping to keep a deserving senior citizen from being lonely this holiday season.
I just LOVE this idea !!! I came across "Tie One On Day" on the blog of the apron queen herself EllynAnne Geisel
Today, on Thanksgiving Eve, "simply wrap a loaf of bread or baked good in an apron and tuck an encouraging note or prayer into the pocket; then present your offering to a neighbor, friend or person in your community who could benefit from your gesture of kindness. Tie One On – and put the “give” back into Thanksgiving."
Zip on over to EllynAnne's blog to read all about it ......and she's also having a pretty great give away !!! ......and PASS IT ON !!!
Thanksgiving is just a few days away. Both of my boys are home (one is home from college and the older one is home from his new job many states away from us). I am happy and thankful to have my boys home !!! I am happy and thankful to be having Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year with family and friends ...... happy and thankful that we have a nice home in a wonderful small town ...... happy and thankful that my younger son is a very talented and creative chef who is more than willing to swap my boxes of instant stuffing, jars of gravy, and cranberry sauce shaped like a can for the real home made stuff !!! (all my instant stuff will go into the local food bank).
Natural disasters and any type of hardships or illnesses affecting people and families are difficult no matter when it happens, but I would imagine that it's even more difficult during the holiday season . Faith over on her blog Fresh Lemons Quilts
has a special Community Giving page listing how quilters can help various groups (including the people affected by the recent devastating tornadoes in Illinois). So, zip on over there and see the list .... then pass it on !!!!
OK ... I KNOW Halloween is over ....which seems to signify the IMMEDIATE start to the Christmas season ..........HOWEVER, in an attempt to take one holiday at a time, I am DETERMINED to make/finish a fall/Thanksgiving table runner FIRST !!! Poor Thanksgiving ........ it's already shoved to a shelf or half a shelf along with the left over Halloween stuff at Walmart, etc. AND how about all those Christmas movies on TV back to back already !!! They can't wait until after Thanksgiving ???
So, in my Grinch-like revolt on too much Christmas too soon, I'm having fun playing with a Sandy Gervais autumn charm pack from a couple of years ago . This ADORABLE pack of acorn stickers from the scrap booking dept was my inspiration. HOW CUTE ARE THEY !!!!!!
Well, if I want this to be finished for Thanksgiving, I should get back at it ...., it needs some backing, batting quilting, binding .......
hosts an online quilt festival for quilt bloggers. This is to keep us all entertained while the big gigantic Quilt Market is going on that we all apparently are NOT attending ..... Anyway, there are alot of categories and alot of beautiful quilts to see !!! Quilts will be "displayed" from Oct 25 through Oct 31st; then voting for favorites will be from Nov 1st through Nov 7th. (with GREAT PRIZES !!!!!)
Every October , for the first 3 weekends, our little town of Jim Thorpe, Pa puts on the "Fall Foliage Festival". This is an extremely popular and well attended event. Since today was the very last day of this year's festival, and being the Queen of Last Minute, I decided to get some last minute pictures before it was over. Much of the activity is in the park at the train station . There are craft and food vendors and train rides.
Mauch Chunk ...... the original name of our town ..... now known as Jim Thorpe.
As you walk up Broadway, there are some really beautiful old Victorian homes (now shops and restaurants).
LOVE this colorful little garden !!!!!
...... LOOK !!! There's my ride !!! After all , I am the Queen of Last Minute (aka the Queen of Procrastination) ..... I just have to dig around in my purse for my spare tiara so they know I'm the queen and they'll give me a ride ....... HEY WAIT !!!!! RATS !!! I guess I just have to keep walking......
.......OK, well anyhow, isn't this a BEAUTIFUL old house !!!! This is the Dimmick house , built in 1857 and it's FOR SALE !!!
..... more fun shops along Broadway.
......not quite Victorian, but the Mauch Chunk 5 & 10 is left over from another era and is a VERY popular stop for tourists and locals ....... kind of like the original Walmart.......I always find all sorts of fun and practical stuff in there!
.....and here's a quick view of some of the shops and restaurants along Race Street. Looks like a street in Europe somewhere doesn't it? (I've never been to Europe , so I wouldn't really know .... but that's what I've heard when eaves dropping on other people's conversations ......)
Hope you enjoyed that very quick visit at the very last minute !!!! Before you know it, the pumpkins and fall decorations will be coming down, and as soon as you swallow your Thanksgiving turkey, the town will be all decked out for "Old Time Christmas" . (Which is just BEAUTIFUL !!!! ).
About 3 years ago I designed this quilt block, "Fight On Sister" for a contest at my local quilt shop . It became part of a quilt that was raffled off with the proceeds going to Breast Cancer Awareness / research. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I wanted to offer the pattern for this quilt block for FREE ...... FREE QUILT BLOCK PATTERN to anyone or group who would like to use it as a fundraiser project for Breast Cancer Awareness. If you are interested, please leave a comment or email me. I will gladly share my design/pattern with you. .......and how about those pink leopard print high top sneakers !!! Pretty snazzy !!!
......this beachy last quilt of summer stands out on this dreary overcast autumn day ......
.....and as we watch the leaves turn and begin to fall , marking the end of one season and celebrating the beginning of a new one ......
.......I am amazed that , unlike the leaves that will eventually disintegrate , this quilt has not ...... disintegrated that is ...... the poor thing has been sitting around for FIVE years waiting to be quilted/finished !!!! I started this quilt for my best friend Beth's __th birthday 5 years ago ...... so now it's FINALLY finished !!!!!