Thursday, December 29, 2011

Quilt Projects

I decided, overnight, to make Strapping Young Lad a bed-sized quilt.  He has several quilts in varying sizes that I've made him...but none that cover him and his bed entirely.

So I took my time designing a sampler quilt with blocks wrought with meaning, colors and fabrics chosen carefully to convey my message. 

 And I am taking my time with it to ensure that it is "Just right", but in the meantime I decided to throw together a different, very quick quilt for his bed. ( I have "overachiever" problems that I sometimes am able to squelch, but, alas, was unsuccessful this time...)

This is the pieced quilt backing for the Quick Quilt, which I like very much.  I threw in fabrics that have personal meaning to me and will for Strapping Young Lad as well.

This is the quilt top.  I used the Escapade pattern with the Posiedon fat quarter bundle from Rober Kauffman.

Sometimes I feel like all the stitching might swallow me up, when I'm working on a big quilt.  My quick quilt became "less quick" when I decided to heavily quilt it.  No matter,still chugging right along on it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


My Cookie Decorator.

He's fond of the colored sugar, as you can see.

It seems that I have a tradition that I didn't realize I had..every Christmas I have my picture taken with  my "babies" on my parent's stairs.  We do look a bit "posed"; but at least everyone's eyes are open, hhmm?

Unlike her Momma, Baby Girl really enjoys time spent in front of the camera.  ...
Also loves to say "Cheese!"

"Gummaw" remarked that Strapping Young Lad looked like he should be attending an event titled, "Stoltzfus Duck Roast", with this outfit...

Or Something.

Maybe your Christmas was Merry.  Maybe it wasn't as Merry as you wished for.

A little something to feel Merrier about, from John 1:5:

"...The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it..."

The light being, of course, the Babe whose birthday we celebrated.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Grape Cordial Recipe

So, last year, I posted a recipe from my sister-in-law for making homemade (alcoholic) grape cordial.

This year, there were enough grapes at our cabin that we felt free to try our hand at making grape cordial.

We did, of course, use my sister-in-law's recipe.

(Some comments from our experience:

- We didn't need to prick the grapes with a needle since nearly every single grape had a split skin from picking it off the vine.

- I used the sugar syrup recipe, not the honey recipe, since I was advised that the honey will make the cordial cloudier.

-We used a run-of-the-mill, inexpensive vodka, but the results are...delightful...)

At any rate, I have several little crystal cordial and liquor glasses in varying sizes that I've always wondered what to do with them...but they were my Mema's, in addition to being so pretty, so I've kept them around.

Now these glasses have a purpose around here...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Manly Hardware Wear

No pun intended.  It just didn't sound right to say "manly hardware jewelry."  The phrase felt contradictory.

At any rate, Strapping Young Lad and I (and "Gummaw" at intervals!) have been laboring on a Christmas craft that involves much page-folding, a great deal of spray paint, and pine cones.

 (By the way, I pictured an idyllic scene picking pine cones with Strapping Young Lad with our white enamelware-farm-buckets, but pinecones are tough buggers to get off of the tree, in the event that one is not willing to wait for them to fall off naturally..and, of course, we were not waiting...).

So while we had the spray paint out for our incredibly-long-drawn-out-Other-Project, Strapping Young Lad had the idea to paint one of his treasures (a very nice washer, actually). 

And while we were at it, I thought it might make a nice Man-Necklace when paired with a dashing, striped ribbon in complementary shades. :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

50 Year Old Long Johns

Yes. It's true, they are about 50 years old.

My family and its members are dedicated to our quality pieces of clothing.  Clearly.

My Dad popped in the other day and asked if I would be so kind as to repair his long john pants.  He volunteered that his Dad bought them for him when he was 15, for hunting.

I said, "Absolutely, of course; I can repair them."

He smiled and said, "There's no hurry...hunting season is over."

Ah, Dad.

(Sometimes Goodness can't be bought "new".  It must be repaired.)

And here they are...with a new inseam panel, nylon patching and an overhaul on the quilting...ready to go to work again. 

 Not too shabby for 50 years old...

Here's to many more hunting seasons in a great pair of long johns, Dad.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Part 2: The Newest Family Member

Yes, like I said in "Part I" gets better.

So I bring this poorly-pieced -together mutt, "Buffy", home... and give it a little space, lavish a little affection when it feels safe enough to come up to me, and simply invest some time in her since she's brand-new to our home.

So the day after we got her, I tied her out in the morning sunshine.  I'd already let Blackberry out to bask wherever she chose in the rare sun rays (Berry would NEVER run off), and I tied Buffy because I assumed she might run off.

Minutes later, I went out to check on her, after my Dad called informing me that my new dog was loose and he'd seen her trotting up the road by his house... and she had slipped out of her collar.

The Men-In-My-Life (Hubby and Strapping Young Lad) were gone for the weekend, so after that, I mostly laid around in despair and amused Baby Girl. 

My Great Rescue of the Unwanted/Unloved had gone terribly awry.

I grimly reflected that at least she had been safe, sheltered, and fed before I adopted her.

To make a long story short, one "Lost" newspaper ad later, I got to meet all of the good folks in this township as they called to tip me off as to where they had seen her.  No one could catch her.

One dog warden, one dog trap, and two weeks later, my rescue dog was, once again, rescued.

Since then, we've managed to establish a nice eating and bathroom routine for her, and she actually prefers our company to that of her crate kennel now, which is quite an accomplishment.

And she now carries her tail up and curled.  Instead of tucked.

So perhaps this will be the Great Rescue I had hoped for after all.  I would hate to be hasty though...

 (This is your obligatory Blackberry's mug in here..)

Friday, December 9, 2011

O Christmas Tree

 This picture doesn't do it justice, but I do believe that this is the prettiest Christmas tree we've ever had. 

We've always gone and chopped our own tree, and this year was no different. 

We marched down to the horse pasture.  Meanwhile, Strapping Young Lad scampered back to the house for Something Important, and Baby Girl took a few falls while narrowly missing random piles of manure. 

At this point, Baby Girl became so overwhelmed with exhaustion that, in between screeches, I told Hubby that I was going back to the house to put her to bed.

Hubby forlornly said, "I thought this was supposed to be a family activity..", as I left him and his hand-saw alone in the pasture to secure the family Christmas tree. :)

Ah yes, and so it goes.

At any rate, I do love this tree. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bear's Bag

Last December I was a "blogging fool"....

This December, I have a fleeting thought about a post and then promptly dismiss it.

Meanwhile, we have been busy with Important Things...
Take this sleeping bag for Bear, for instance.

One of the blogs I follow, the Sewing Dork, did a post on softie sleeping bags.  You can see hers here; I showed it to Strapping Young Lad to see if he had any interest in making one... he, of course, did, and I was fortunate enough to have some funky monkey scraps in my stash to appease his requests.

This was fast and easy to make; and Strapping Young Lad did much of the sewing.  A good project to start him out on...

He was not pleased that the "right" sides of the fabric face "in" while sewing.  He was convinced I was ruining his Bear-Bag.  I explained about sewing so that the ugly seams are inside with the "wrong" side of the fabric...finally, in exasperation I told him, "You're just going to have to trust me."

He was relieved when the it all turned out "just right." :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Poplar

This poplar tree grows wild at our cabin.

Over time, I have admired it so much, it inspired me to order and plant (well, dear Hubby planted) 5 poplars in our front yard at home.

It is the tallest tree; therefore, it really takes a beating in the Wind. 

 I wonder if it feels alone, even though it's surrounded by other Trees?

Yet, still it Stands.

My favorite Tree.