Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Here's a picture of the fabrics I'm using in the New Year's Eve mystery quilt. Darling daughter helped pick out the fabrics. The light color is really a light blue and the dark color is a navy blue. The camera didn't pick the color up very well. I'm still taking the pictures on my phone and emailing them to myself. I really want a digital camera.

The mystery quilt has us making 144 half square triangles ahead of time. I had sewed them on Sunday, then last night I pressed them all. I also trimmed 64 of them...80 more to go! Will get those trimmed up tonight so I'm ready to roll tomorrow when the clues start getting posted. I have to work tomorrow, but hopefully we will get out early.
There is another website group I belong to that is hosting a New Year's Eve mystery. Now, call me crazy, but I am thinking of doing both of them! I think that the clues for the second mystery stay up pretty long, so maybe I'll just pick out some fabrics and see if the mood strikes me or not to make it.

Last night I made tacos for dinner. Usually the next day I make a pot of chili with the leftovers, but I didn't have a green pepper to use in the chili. So I'll go to the grocery store at lunch and then make the chili tomorrow night. Since tomorrow night is New Year's Eve, I think I will just make some snack type food. I'm thinking chili, crackers and cheese, salami, etc. And I still have ham leftover from Saturday. We are going to have fried ham and potatoes for supper tonight.

Darling son is really pleased with the guitar he got for Christmas. It is an electric acoustic. It sounds very nice, with or without being plugged into an amp. He is also happy with his computer. He asked for a new video card for his birthday, which was Sunday. He and his friends put together this computer that he's using from spare parts. Last night about 9 he decided to take it over to his friend's house to play games. He just cracks me up. Since he's 18 now, he seems to be more relaxed.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Post Christmas Post

I joined a couple of mystery quilt groups on the internet. One called apocketfullofmysteries on yahoo groups did a mystery called mosaic tiles over Christmas. It was a pattern created by Dorothy Young. This is a picture of the top I FINISHED. It's hard for me to believe that I actually finished the top over the holiday, but maybe I have found my niche - do mystery quilts! ha ha. Since this was the first one I ever did, I only made the baby sized quilt. It was challenging enough, but I'm glad I did it. This one is done with a focus fabric that is a nursery print, so it will make a nice baby quilt. I should have used yellows with more contrast between them, but live and learn.

The other picture is one of my brother after he found the 'Christmas Pickle' ornament on my dad's tree. He's holding up 2 fingers because this is the second time he's found it. Stinker! I had to put the picture on my blog, mainly because when I told him I was going to he said 'you better not!'. ho ho ho!

I had a nice holiday. My mom and brothers and grandma all came to my house Saturday for our Christmas together. We exchanged gifts and had a nice meal (ham - I'll have leftovers for a month!).

I think my kids liked their gifts. Mostly they got gift cards. My son had a birthday yesterday and daughter has one coming up next week, so we aren't quite finished yet. But things are winding down.

We are going to visit my mom up north this coming weekend. Her Christmas present was tickets to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra. We are going to have a great time. I'm really looking forward to it.

I'm doing another mystery quilt over New Year's Eve. I do have to work that day, but I can at least get the clues and do them when I get home. I'll be off for five days, so I'll just pace myself and get the top done as time permits. Darling daughter helped me pick fabrics for it. She has a good eye for color.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve Eve

I loaded up the bags with the kids gifts, all individually wrapped. My darling daughter came home and told me I was evil - she couldn't even see the packages to try and guess what they are! ho ho ho!

I'm down to making lists of what I need to do tomorrow and Friday. I don't have all the little things and groceries I need bought. Friday I need to get more for when my mom and brothers visit on Saturday. But I want to wait until Friday to shop because that's a payday.

We had spaghetti last night for supper. I put together the sauce in the crock pot before work. Some of the sausage I used was leftover from pizza making Saturday.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Another day closer to Christmas...

Here's a picture of the quick bags I made for my kids. I wrapped all their little gifts and then put them in these bags.

The bags were really really simple. I took a half a yard of Christmas print material and folded it in half, selvedge to selvedge. I stitched up the sides, adding a tie about 5" down from the top on one side. Then I just finished off the top by folding over a half inch and stitching a quarter inch seam. Super, super easy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Evening

The day did not warm up much at all and the wind has been terrible! I didn't leave the house after church or the store.

I was able to get the binding sewn to the top of darling daughter's signature quilt. Then since it's so cold, I thought it would be a great time to have that quilt over me and sew down the back of the binding. I got one and a half sides sewn, then had to quit to start dinner. I may do more, but probably not tonight.

Dear hubby just came in from outside and said it really feels good in the kitchen with the oven on. We are having breaded chicken patties, mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn for dinner.

Sunday Morning

It's four days before Christmas and I am ALMOST done with my shopping, no where near done with my wrapping, and haven't even grocery shopped for Christmas dinner. Argh.

We haven't had any snow or ice the last couple days. However, right now it is only 5 degrees. brrr. I only have to go to church this morning, then to dollar general for laundry soap. Then I'm in for the day.

Yesterday I cut the fabrics for the Christmas mystery quilt. I'm thinking about picking out the fabrics for the New Year's Eve mystery today. My sewing room is upstairs, where we don't have heat vents, so I think I'll have my daughter leave her electric heater on and put it in the doorway between the sewing room and her room. That should make it a little more tolerable up there.

Friday night I was sitting in my favorite chair watching t.v. when I heard this real loud crash. It sounded like wood breaking. And it sounded like it was almost directly over my head. Now, I could see all the animals in the house and I knew that none were upstairs because the door is kept closed to up there anyway. When I went up, nothing seemed out of place, and there aren't any trees on that side of the house, so I am really baffled as to what the noise could have been.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Marley, My Son...

Here's a picture of my son playing Marley's Ghost in the school play 'Scrooge has left the building'. He did a fantastic job. I'm so proud of him. I didn't know he could act as well as he does.
Last night's beef stew was good. Tonight I have stuffed peppers cooking in the crock pot. I think over the weekend we may have homemade pizzas. I'll have to go pick the ingredients up tomorrow, probably on my lunch hour.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mystery Quilt

Oh, I'm getting so addicted to quilting... I joined a couple different quilt groups over the past week. The reason I joined is because they were both hosting 'mystery' quilt projects over the holidays. I've never done a mystery, but have always thought it would be fun. So I picked up enough fabric (like I didn't have enough at home already) to make a baby quilt for the Christmas Eve mystery. I'm going to force myself to shop my stash for the New Year's Eve mystery. That's my compromise...hee hee. This is a picture of the fabrics I'm going to be using.

Darling son is going to be in a school play tonight. He's playing 'Marley's Ghost'. I'm looking forward to going to the play tonight. He's a senior in high school and this is the first time he's taken theater.

Darling daughter took her last final for the semester today. I'm sure she's relieved...I know I am! The weather has been real cold and we have a lot of ice on the roads. She can get a break now for a while before she has to make that drive back and forth to school in January.

Last night I made a seafood stir fry for supper. I think it was the best stir fry I have done in a long time! I used shrimp and mock lobster from Aldi, plus a frozen stir fry mix also from Aldi. I doctored it up with onions and celery. I also added some spaghetti noodles that I put in the skillet with some margarine and crushed garlic, then some soy sauce. It was pretty good eats.

Tonight I have beef stew cooking in the crock pot. Looking forward to that - something warm on such a cold day!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Icy Roads and Chicken Stew

Once again, the local news channels overestimated the severe weather. We do have icy roads, but no where near the amount of ice that the t.v. was predicting. I know it's better to err on the side of caution, but the news around here always presses the panic button when any kind of hint of bad weather comes along. It's become a standing joke around our house that the grocery stores must need to sell more bread and milk. To be on the safe side, though, my darling husband drove our daughter to her college this morning. She has one final to take today and one on Wednesday then she is done with her first semester of college. Wow.

I finally finished the machine quilting on darling daughter's signature quilt. I even cut the binding strips yesterday. Hopefully I can get it done before the end of the year. When I quilted it, I used the old Singer. It really worked well. Once that tension mechanism was cleaned, it made a world of difference. And since I've been using it more, I have learned a couple of tricks. If I pull the thread to the right of the needle to clip it, it doesn't break or pull. It's a little thing, but it sure does make a difference.

I put together a pot of chicken and dumpling stew for supper tonight in the crock pot. That chicken looked so good surrounded by all the veggies and with spices and such over it I wanted to take a picture! Okay, so I'm weird! All I'll have to do when I get home is put the dumplings on top of it and supper will be done.

Last night we had Italian Beef in the crock pot. That was a hit, too. I have the fixin's for beef stew, so I'll be making that some time this week.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas is getting closer...

I love having a real tree for Christmas! Especially because my darling husband puts the lights on for me.

Yesterday I had to go to the dentist at 11, then had to take the dog to the vet at 2. I didn't go back to work after those two ordeals. I did get my Christmas village of lighted houses set up. I love it. This is a picture of the first lighted house I received. It is a little church and my grandma gave it to me years ago. See the little angels carolling next to it?

I did a little bit of hand quilting a couple nights ago. Just a few of the hearts on Tennessee August. It's always a matter of time or not being too tired when I get home.

Last night I made a hamburger stew for supper, bread in the bread machine, and tapioca pudding in, of all things, the crock pot! Everything was pretty good. I think I cooked the pudding a little too long, but it was still good.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday blahs

I am not a big fan of Monday's. The best parts of this workday were lunch hour and quitting time. I didn't get any quilting done last night. Been kinda in a slump with my sewing. I'm not pushing myself, and I figure I might get more in the mood after the holidays. If I get in the spirit and sew, fine, if not, no pressure.

Last night darling daughter made shrimp alfredo, garlic bread, and salad for supper. It was very good. Tonight we are having cheeseburgers and fries.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday hike through the trees

We made our annual trip to the Christmas tree farm today. This year it was darling son's turn to pick out the tree. Darling daughter had a few suggestions on which one to pick, but ultimately son won the race! That's part of dear hubby on the ground checking out where to start the cut on the tree! He and son cut the tree, then the tractor and hay wagon came around and took us back up to the barn to have the tree shook and baled. This is the last year this particular tree farm is going to be in business. It's sad for us because it holds many years of memories, and the people that run it are extremely nice. But their kids are out of college now and have moved away so they don't have the help they need, and they are getting older. I understand, but it's still sad.

I haven't done much sewing lately. Just haven't had time. Been doing a lot of cleaning and de-cluttering to get ready for Christmas. I need to get my lighted house display set up. This week I'll work on that. I kinda got sidetracked this weekend. Darling son decided he wanted the computer desk from the kitchen so I had to clean it all off. Our computer at home died, so I wanted the desk out of the kitchen anyway.

Maybe today I'll do some hand quilting on Tennessee August. It will be a good day to have the quilt over me, because it's cold!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Post Thanksgiving Post

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. The leftovers aren't quite all gone, but they are getting there. We had a nice holiday. I made a big dinner on Friday for our group. We had gone to relatives on Thursday, but I like to make dinner. I was able to hold my cousins 3-1/2 month old baby a lot while we were visiting. He is such a good baby!

I worked on darling daughter's signature quilt. I have almost all of it machine quilted. Just two more sides of the borders and it will be ready for the binding. I'm tempted to put it in a box and give it to her for Christmas! She probably wouldn't appreciate that, though...hee hee.

I have received some nice music themed fabric from friends that I am anxious to get cut into squares for my son's signature quilt when he graduates in May.

I made a beef roast Sunday afternoon for dinner. When it was cooking, I also put together some ham and bean soup for dinner Monday. Tonight we are having rueben sandwiches. I have the fixin's for chicken cacciatore in the crock pot. I may throw that all together tonight and let it cook during the night. And I might even sneak in some leftover turkey meat in the dish...