Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas projects completed

I am finally finished with all of my Christmas preparations. I finished the doggie pillowcases, shown here. I will give them on Christmas Eve to our dogs' breeder and second "mom." She keeps our dogs when we go away, which will be on Christmas Eve. She has over 10 dogs of her own and loves our "boys" as if they were still hers.
I did one final baking project, which was making doggie treats to give to friends who have dogs and also some for our dogs' Christmas stockings. Merry Christmas everyone. This is my last post until 2008. We leave on Christmas morning to go visit family in Pennsylvania and friends in Baltimore. Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Our Christmas trees

I tend to go all out decorating our house for Christmas. I start the day after Thanksgiving. This year we has 2 events at our house in early December, so I had to really work to get it all done. We had a church group here on Dec. 1 and a cookie exchange on Dec. 6 (28 women showed up!). Both events were lots of fun, so all of the work was well worth it.

This is our main tree, and is on our heated, enclosed porch right off the family room. It has the large old-fashioned lights on it and some bubble lights at the bottom. It represents our life together for 41 years!!

This tree is in the same room. The room is our "baseball room" so this is our baseball tree. We split our loyalites between the NY Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals. I don't know what the future holds after the Mitchell Report.....
I was just given 2 more things for this tree--a snowman Detroit Tiger and a small baseball bat pen with Tigers on it. I will be adding these to the tree within a day or two (they need some additions to them).

This is our kitchen tree. It is a metal tree decorated with kitchen/baking items. It has been fun

finding ornaments for this tree. Friends have even helped by giving me some. It's a good thing Frankenmuth is not that far away (Bronner's Christmas shop is there--the largest in the world). It takes a whole day to see everything. Luckily stuff is arranged by category, so I just find the kitchen stuff (or the sports stuff if I want something for the baseball tree).

This tree is in our foyer. It is a pencil tree and fits perfectly by the stairs. I call this our travel tree. We have gone to many, many

places over the course of our married life. We got into the habit of finding something for our tree to remember where we were. A lot of the ornaments are easy to figure out, but some need to be explained (the string of flags from Denmark). Our newest addition is a dolphin in a wreath. We swam with the dolphins in Orlando in October. This is a fun tree to look at and remember the places we went to and the fun we had there.

This is our small family tree at the top of the stairs. On it are ornaments for each of our 7 grandchildren. Plus there are ones of our 2 children when they were young. I also have a picture of my Mom and my grandfather, plus Keith's grandfather. There are kid toys and fun things on this tree. It is at the top of the stairs because that is where we have baby pictures of our kids and grandkids .

This tree is our patriotic/military tree and is in our livingroom. All of the ornaments are red, white or blue (or all 3). I first did this tree right after 9/11 and have been adding to it ever since. One fun thing I did was to add photos of family members in their military uniforms. There are 5 different family members on the tree. I found the red, white and blue tree skirt at a craft fair.
Our white tree is in the diningroom. All of the ornaments are white. I have a large collection of crocheted snowfakes that are on the tree.
Our diningroom and livingroom are at the front of the house. These 2 trees are in the windows and have mini white lights on them They add to the "outdoor" decor of the house.
This tree was added last year and is in memory of our childhood. I had an aluminum tree in our house when I was dating Keith. He was always making fun of it, but then last year said he wanted to get one! It has old ornaments on it (some from his grandmother and some from my parents--on the original aluminum tree!) . There are no lights on it and we do not have the rotating color disk. Last year I used all red balls, but changed to blue this year. I have memories of trees being done in all blue when I was a child (not ours though). This tree is in the family room . There is another tree there by the fireplace. It is a small pre-lit tree on the hearth. There are no ornaments on it--just a star on top.
There are a few other trees in the house--a small mini tabletop tree in the livingrom with mini decorations, a pre-decorated a lit mini tree on the window still of the office, a nd a small tree on the counter in the half-bath.
It does take awhile to get all of the trees done. Then I have the rest of the house to do--the entryway, the staircase, the mantle, the bookcase in the kitchen, tops of other furniture, and my Dept. 56 Dickens Village which is in my china cabinet in the diningroom.
I'm tired just writing this!!

Hats and scarves

I made up some hats and scarves to donate to the Warm Clothing Outreach drive for
the homeless living in Flint. These were made as I sat and watched Christmas movies
on tv. I am going to continue making these for the rest of the winter. A woman at church heads up the ministry that distributes the clothing.
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These were ordered by my sister-in-law who lives in the Boston area. She is giving the Patriots set to one daughter and the Red Sox set to the husband of her other daughter (our neices). What a Yankees fan will do for family!!! My husband (a die-hard Yankees fan) asked if he could fumigate my sewing machine when I finished these (joking...). I do hope they like their presents.

I made many pillowcases this fall for a craft show and for "gift bags" for the grandkids. I have one more pair to make for the "breeder" who also dog sits our 2 Goldens when we go away. I found a fabric with light brown dogs on it which I am in the process of making up. I will post a picture when I finish them. This is the fabric
There are more, but they got mailed to Idaho as gift bags (full of gifts) for the grandkids!


My very special friend in St. Louis became a grandmother of triplets the end of October--2 girls and a boy. I have known this family for over 30 years and the mom grew up with our kids (she was one of Kelly's bridesmaids). So I made these blankets for the babies. I had to make them bigger because the preemies were 5lbs., 4.5 lbs. and just over 4 lbs at birth (6 weeks early)!! If you look closely you can see the heart pattern in the center of each square. There are 12 squares in all and the blankets were made Caron's Simply Soft yarn. The pattern is here: . I think there is an error in row 14 where it says to repeat rows 3 - 10. I repeated rows 3-13. Otherwise you would
not het the :eyelets" between the blocks. I have made this pattern larger for newborns. It is a fun, easy pattern to do.

Grandma E. (Mimi) asked me to made a pillowcase for big sister Ainsley who is 3. She likes pink and bunnies, so this is what I was able to find and make for her. Now they just have to deal with Cassie, a 6 month old Golden Retriever who wants to be the boss!!


I took an apron making class at the LQS and now I am hooked! This is the first apron I made. It is reversible and the straps criss cross so you just slip it over your head--no tying required. I wore this as a "hostess apron" during the cookie exchange I had here. I plan to make another one for regular use, but will make it narrower.

I made 7 aprons for Christmas gifts this year. Unfortunately I mailed several of them off before getting pictures (I was in a time crunch). This apron was made for Kelly's
birthday (Dec. 15--what a time to have a "baby"--she is almost 40). The main part is a dish towel
with added ties and a pocket. These are so much fun to make. I used this pattern 4 more times!

The one with the snowmen was made for JoAnne. It is not a "dishtowel" apron and is reversible. It was made from a panel. I added the reversible fabric so it would fit better.

The one with the "cherries" on the pocket was made for
Barb and the last one was made for Tiffanie. I made 2 others. One was a dishtowel one and the other was a reversible one made for Roberta. We taught together, so I made her one with Dick and Jane fabric. She was a kindergarten teacher. I sure wish I took a picture before mailing it off to Missouri!

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Thanksgiving morning

It's time to play catch up with all I have been doing. First, this is what greeted us on Thanksgiving morning!! Our first real snowfall of the season. It was very gorgeous, but of all times to come. Keith had decided to grill our turkey on our Weber grill!! I had prepared the rub and the turkey was waiting to be put on the grill. So we did proceed as planned after shoveling off some of the snow.

We had a wonderful dinner with our 2 next door neighbors plus a family of 3 who are good friends. She was in a car accident just before Thanksgiving and spent a10 days in the hospital. So they joined us for dinner (they live close by and are used to the snow so the drive was not a problem for them.

The turkey was so moist and tender! This is now our preferred way to cook a turkey. We "learned" how to do it from our son-in-law--thanks Craig!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

October was a busy month for baby blankets!

This blanket was made for Willamina, a new baby at church. It is very soft and cushy (not sure if that is a word or not). I am working on baby blankets for triplets that were born to my dear friend's daughter in St. Louis. I've know the mom since she was 3--she grew up with our kids. I will post pictures when they are finished (the boy one is done, just have to do the 2 girl ones).

I am also working on baby hats to sell at a craft show on Nov. 10. The main things I will be selling are my novelty pillowcases. I made 22 this week, which were added to my other 11. We are leaving for Orlando early tomorrow morning (wedding on Sunday, then a week to "play.) so I won't have a whole lot of time to sew when I get back.....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Exchange package

I received this wonderful exchange package from Jean in Ontario, Canada. It took awhile to get here and then even longer for the post office to tell me I had to go and sign for it! She made the beautiful doily in the center. She loves doilies, and I do also, but I don't make them. Thread crocheting drives me bonkers. The basket design is gorgeous. I am imagining fruit in it for fall! The pot holder/hot pad is wonderful. My picture doesn't show the details too well, but it is crocheted out of cotton in a varigated pastel print. The small white "thing" is really a tiny angel (not attached, just placed there) that I will save for my Christmas tree. The other 2 items are candles. One is a miniature ice cream sundae that smells delicious. The other one is purple and has pictures of some kind of melon on it.

Jean sure did a great job of spoiling me. Thanks so much from across the border!
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dick and Jane Purse

I found this wonderful Dick and Jane fabric at the quilt shop and decided to make a small purse for myself. In my first attempt I cut the blue fabric the wrong way, so I had to go get more fabric--WRONG! The shop was out of it. I tried 2 more places with no luck. Then I even tried some quilt shops in St. Louis, with no luck either. When I got home I even tried to find the print online and came up empty handed there also. I was beginning to feel that it wasn't meant to be. Then last week I went to a quilt show at a local church where they had some awesome quilts on display. There were some vendors there and I found the fabric!! The vendor was from the other side of Michigan. I was elated.
Having taught first graders to read for many years I really wanted this print. There were other options in the Dick and Jane line, but this is my favorite.
The front of the purse has a zipper with an inside large pocket. The back of the purse just has a large pocket. This is the perfect purse for carrying to craft shows, the farmer's market and any other place where I like to have my hands free.

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New baby blanket

This is the newest baby blanket I finished for baby Willamina, born a few weeks ago. I used Caron's Simply
Soft, double stranded, in soft pink and a size N hook. I found the pattern here: . It worked up
very fast and is soft and cushy.
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Monday, October 08, 2007

Blanket for Mckenzie

This baby blanket was made for Mckenzie, born October 1.
I used Dazzelaire yarn which is no longer available. In fact, I had to hunt some down on eBay just so I could finish the blanket. I love the feel of the yarn--so soft--i wish they still made it.
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St. Louis

I spent 4 days (and 5 nights) in St. Louis where I got to spend some time with 4 of our 5 grandkids. It was lots of fun. The cousins don't get to see each other very often because 3 live in St. Louis, and 4 live in Boise, Idaho! I hope they remember each other, even if it is from pictures.
Siblings--why couldn't they get along this well while living in the same house!!
A trip to St. Louis would not be complete without a trip to Ted Drewes for frozen custard, and their famous concretes. We had just enough time before heading to the airport to make a quick stop. Cory slept through the whole thing!!
This is a view of the side of the building--the front is where the lines are. Business was brisk because it was in the 90s and it was October 7!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Ghost dishcloth

I made this for my friend "Ghost" and gave it to her when we met for lunch. It was a beautiful day so we ate outside and then sat and talked and crocheted and talked. Great way to spend time!!
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Hats for Lil' Troopers

These are the hats I sent to Lil' Troopers for military babies. I did another pumpkin hat, but forgot to include it in the picture. There will be 250 babies born at the military hopsital every month for the next few months--a mini baby boom! I will be making Christmas hats next.
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Thursday, September 13, 2007

September shawls

I just finished this shawl and gave it to JoAnne for her cousin in New Mexico who has numerous health issues. I used Cotton Ease which I got last year when it was being "discontinued." The color is called pistaccio and seems to fit the Southwest. I got the oattern here
This next shawl was made for my friend Karen whose brother died over the summer. Digital photos are always a surprise to me. This shawl is NOT purple, but a rosey mauve. I used Plymouth Encore Chunky Bulky Knitting Weight yarn and a size L hook. The pattern is not available for sharing. I have not given it to Karen yet because she is on a fabulous knitting tour in New Zealand and Australia for 2 weeks!! But this should keep her warm when she gets back to Colorado. I
love this pattern and will make more shawls using it. I will try ww yarn next time. The pattern is on this web site

Scarf for the military

I don 't remember when I agreed to make a scarf for a deployed military person. The message got lost in my inbox with all of the trips I have taken. Anyway, I found the message, made this scarf and sent it off. I only wish I had time to make more, but the deadline is this month!
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Recent projects finished

These are some baby hats that I crocheted and sent to Lil' Troopers where they go to military hospitals for families of our troops. I love making baby items and they are very much needed.
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