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.
Posted by Picasa


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!

Posted by Picasa

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!!