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Christmas 2019

30 Dec
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Zeke and Skeeter as Rudolf. Skeeter says he is happy because his antlers are green.

This year I scaled back our Christmas activities and celebrations, because I was sewing a wedding dress for my niece, and because my husband begged me not to torture him by lots of dragging him places every night for “big productions.”

Despite the great reduction of my grand plans, I still:

Helped two friends with packing or cleaning their houses because they were moving.

Spent at least 48 hours working on the wedding dress. I drafted the bodice and sleeves myself because my niece wanted sleeves (good for her) and a sweetheart neckline–neither of which were available in the bridal store or in the big 4 patterns available at Jo-Ann’s. I’ve finished the bodice now, and it fits her perfectly. I’m so happy about it. Just 2 layers of organza left to sew up for the skirt, which already has 2 layers of satin and lining.

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Skeeter helps mommy draft a body block

Kept homeschool going …kind of…math and history were not shirked.

Participated in our annual “Light the World” Christmas concert which required many many hours of practicing the organ and some hours practicing singing.

Recognized St. Nicolas Day and St. Lucia Day and Las Posadas with special food and treats.

Held a piano recital for my 25 students.

(They were fantastic. The biggest thing that went wrong is I was 5 minutes late and had to set up all the keyboards while the families of the students –who were all early– waited on me. Some of the parents jumped up and helped me, and we were ready to go in record time. I swallowed my embarrassment over being late and began. The recital was under 45 minutes, despite the number of students, and they all performed gracefully and well. After it was all over, my shame over being late began to well up again, but I told myself there was nothing I could do to change it, and refused to think on it any longer. I really have the best group of students and families ever.)

Attended my good and talented friend’s Family Christmas Concert.

Attended Tamale Pie’s violin recital, and accompanied her solo.  Dream come true.

Hosted my family for a Christmas party after Banana Cream Pie’s baptism. (And didn’t get a single picture)

Managed to have Christmas presents for all the children and the resident Captain despite this being such a small budget year, AND got all the presents wrapped before Christmas Eve so that we didn’t have to stay up until 2 am wrapping on Christmas Eve.

Made this felt nativity for my mom.

I drew up the pattern 11 years ago, and have intended every year since to make it for my mom. I can’t believe it’s really been that long. Last year I finally bought a new package of felt, so this year, I could make it! I altered the pattern some, including adding an angel, and I need to update it for my Etsy shop now.

I watched over half a season of Project Runway and a 4 hour movie while I worked on these cuties.

Puzzled on Christmas Eve with the girls, who love to put together puzzles while waiting for Santa just like their mother and mother’s mother before them. That Map of the World had 1500 pieces NOT fully interlocking. It was a beast.

 

Extra Christmas bonuses:

2 of the 3 cars we own broke down in December, but we were able to get them fixed (one new alternator, one new gizmo thingy) and get everyone to work, college classes, and music lessons without serious difficulty.

My dad came over and helped the resident Captain put a door on the Girls’ bedroom. I’m so glad they have a door!

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My awesome sister, Mary, is going to make bookshelves to go in the hallway next to this door for me for Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Shelves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Pink Kitty Is The Important Thing.

30 Mar

I made this doll in December and gave her to Banana Cream Pie for her 5th birthday.  

Banana Cream Pie burst into tears, threw the dolly on the floor and screamed at me that she did not want this for her birthday.  

None of my other children have ever acted like that.  

So I put the dolly away, thinking maybe I’d give her to someone who’d love her, a niece or a friend’s daughter.  But not ready to part with her yet.  

Banana Cream Pie found dolly the other day and said, “When are you going to make her a pink kitty? You said you would.”  Did I?   

She pestered me all Sunday afternoon until I sat down with some felt and made a pink kitty.  Now  dolly is acceptable, I guess.  

I’m pretty sure a pink kitty by itself would have gotten as good or better reviews. I’m still asking myself if it’s my fault that I have an ungracious child. Nature? Nurture?  Who knows.  

I actually have pieces for 4 more dolls cut out, but not the heart to make them up yet.  You can find the pattern free over at Make it and Love It, but I can’t guarantee you child will love it.  I sure think it’s a cute pattern.  The only alteration I made from the instructions was to make the doll hair out of flannel instead of felt for durability.  

Ornaments for Grandma

30 Sep

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June 30th was my Grandmother’s 83rd birthday.  For the past 34 years she has handmade a Christmas ornament for each of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Here is a link to a post by my cousin in 2006 showing the ornaments up to then.  Grandmother had 13 children, and so her grandchildren and great-grandchildren number over 100 now. That is a whole bunch of ornaments that she makes each year.  I think she begins working on them in January.  This year one of my cousins suggested that we all make her an ornament for her birthday.  My siblings and I were out of the information loop until about 2 days before the party.  When I found out about the plan, I instantly felt that Grandma, who had been a kindergarten teacher for more than 15 years, would most love ornaments featuring original artwork by the littlest kiddies.

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Thanks to the miracles of internet, scanners, and email, I had all my siblings who live far away send me pictures of their children’s drawings.  I printed them out on fabric and backed them with felt.  Cegan helped me and we got them all put together in time for Grandma’s birthday.  I think they turned out super cute and the kiddie pies were all excited to make something for Great-Grandma.

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It turned out my mom had a plan for us all along, so we also made button ornaments to represent each of us who are grandchildren and too old to be good at making cute drawings.  We also made button ornaments to represent the great-grandkids who were too little to draw or didn’t submit artwork.  (My mother contributed 12 children and 24 great-grandchildren to the total of Grandma’s progeny, so we had no small number of ornaments to make.) My girls and Cegan’s boys helped make the button ornaments, and those all turned out super cute, too.  I have to admit that I had been skeptical because anything I’ve ever tried to make with buttons was never as cute as the picture promised it would turn out to be.  But my mom is good at picking the right kind of buttons and these all looked even better in real life than they do in the picture.

My grandmother is one whom I look up to and try to be like as I strive to become a better person and a better mother.  Here is a picture of her when she was a young mother in 1954:

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Here is a picture of her from when I was growing up and she was teaching kindergarten at the school I attended.  When I was in 5th grade, I got to go to her classroom for a few hours each week to be her helper.  I loved it so much.

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To one who bears the sweetest name,And adds a luster to the same,Who shares my joys– Who cheers when sad–

The greatest friend I ever had.

Long life to her–   For there’s no other–

Could take the place of my dear (grand)Mother

"Oh, the cleverness of me"–a handmade nativity

8 Feb


I made this little nativity set because I wanted one that my kids could play with. My aunt says I need to make a pattern up for it and I am working on it. I hope you all are excited. It is just acrylic felt and DMC floss. I am working on making the bottoms flat, so they stand up better.


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Three Kings

Holy Family

dialogue between me and my son:
Boy: “Mom, why is there yellow around baby Jesus’s face?”
Me: “Well, I wanted to show that he is from Heaven and special, so I gave him that golden halo.”
Boy: “Why does the wise man have yellow around his face?”
Me: “Umm, well, because he is a king, so he has a golden crown, plus, I like yellow and purple together.”
Boy: “Why don’t the other wise men have yellow, too?”
me: “Sigh. I don’t know.”




I teach the 14 & 15 year old young women at my church. Wednesday night we had a program where we talked about “Be the Girl of your Dreams.” We needed a castle, so I volunteered to make one. I took an old sheet, a sharpie marker and some acrylic paint and panicked. Luckily, my sister, Mary, came over and she gave the the courage to start. I sketched out what I wanted on paper. She suggested that I add in some random stones and said it looked great. So I took a deep breath and attacked the sheet with the sharpie. Then she helped me paint it. We mixed a little water with the paint because the sheet was soaking it up so fast. I am really proud of how well it turned out, even though it was pretty much all luck. The best part is, that now I have the sheet forever for when my kids want to play dress up. Lots of paint soaked through onto my table. Luckily, MOST of it washed off. *whew*

Last of all, I know yesterday, I said I don’t like to put in too many links because it gets overwhelming. I know when I go to other people’s blogs and the link list is a page long, I am like–how could I ever visit all those?
But I had to update my link list because it was woefully short. So, I added some links and I added a description of each one so you all could make better decisions about which ones to try. Rest assured, these are my most favorite blogs, nothing so-so here, only the most marvelous here.

All about Food

9 Jan

For New Years, You must eat black-eyed peas for good luck. I made Hoppin’ John Soup last night and it was TAS-T-EE.
Here is my recipe. The best part is, that this soup tasted alot like a chicken casserole recipe that I got from “The Sweet Potatoe Queen’s Book of Love” called Death Chicken or Zipadee-do-dah Chicken. But that recipe oozes cholesterol. It has cream of chicken soup, tons of bacon, and skin-on chicken pieces. My soup is pretty low fat and good for you! If you changed the bacon to kielbasa, it would probably be South Beach diet worthy.

Zipadee-Do-Dah Hoppin’ John Soup

Brown 4 strips bacon in a pan with about 1/2 a small onion.
Drain one can black-eyed peas and 2 cans white beans.
Add 1 quart of chicken stock
1 tsp thyme
sprinkle with cayenne pepper
add 1/2 cup white rice and 1 cup water (or 1 cup already cooked brown rice)
simmer 15 minutes until heated through and rice is soft.

It is so simple, yet sooo tasty.




And I thought I would give an update on the felt food for christmas.
I made 8 pancakes (with butter and syrup), 4 fried eggs, 8 slices whole wheat bread, 4 puddles each of peanut butter and grape jelly, 8 tomatoes (or salomi, your choice) and 4 lettuce leaves.

I drew (drawed?) the patterns my self and just top stitched everything together. I added a little stuffing in the pancakes. If I can figure out how to post a pdf file then I will share the patterns I made.

**I figured it out! Here are the patterns I drew for felt food.
Bread & Fried Egg
Pancake and More

You can also find some cute patterns at Cherrymix.com

Freakin’ Awesome Felt

6 Dec

This is made by Lilly Bean for Mahar dry Goods So I saw it yesterday and now I am debating because
I was going to make felt paper dolls for my girls for Christmas. But this is amazing. Here is another lovely I found amazing Are you drooling yet?