Christmas Tree Progress

Well I decided I was feeling better and I desperately need to get a few groceries so ran a couple quick errands, did a load of laundry and then spent a good about of time staring at the tree trying to figure out which strings I need to cut out of the Christmas tree to get ride of the ones that were burnt out and also the string above them that flickered at will.  tree


Note there seems to be three large branches in about the middle that are dark – there are actually more and then about the next foot of tree up from that had a case of the flickers.  So I pulled to very top section off (which was above the flickering and lit up correctly) and the I got out my trusty scissors and made a few snips but most of it was time consuming untwisting and unwinding.  I have to say, they really had those lights securely wound into the branches — a little better than they needed to! LOL I was about to call it quits and decided I’d do two more branch sections and finally found the end I was searching for.



This is what I ended taking out of the tree – that’s a lot of lights for the 1/4 or less of the tree that I took them off of.  I did NOT put that many lights back in but here it is – in all it’s light glory with ALL the tree lighting up and nothing flickering.   I still need to go back and fluff a few more branches but its ready for when I decide to pull out the ornaments.


lit  But that’s too much work for one day and I’m not in a hurry to get the tree decorated — I’ll enjoy it just glowing in the corner for a while.

One thing I did get in the mail this week was FREE yarn!  Eat.Sleep.Knit puts scratch off cards in all their orders they send out.  Sometimes it’s $5 off your next order or higher dollar amounts, sometimes there’s kits of various types or a free hank of Malabrigo yarn of your choice.  Before their Black Friday sale I had sent in three tickets to be added to my account – two for money off next time I buy andone for free yarn.  The free yarn I chose was piedras colorway.  It’s a little washed out in the flash but pretty shades of greens, browns, burgundy, grays, golds — lovely fallish colors.  Gotta love free yarn.


Saturday Morning Wanderings

It was off to breakfast this morning with a friend and we were headed to one of our “usual” breakfast spots.  She’s very predictable; she always goes the same route to certain places from my house.  We headed off in a different direction — still a correct way to go just not her usual way.  We were busy talking and all of a sudden she realized where we were and asked “why did we come this way?”  ROFLOL  I was NOT the driver but she knows I take perverse pleasure in waiting to see how long it takes before she realizes what she’s done.  Yes – it is not the first, nor will it be the last time that happens.

Eventually we got to the restaurant and then  to the german bakery (yum). They actually had some of their oh so delicious christmas cookies out so we sampled our way through the store but I didn’t come home with any.  A great crusty loaf of black forest sourdough and some baguettes (since they were two for one). I’m going to have to chop the baugettes in half so I can get them in bags and stick  them in the freezer.  The across the street to the Bruce Company, a greenhouse that turns most of their patio furniture part of the store into christmas wonderland with more decorated trees than I cared to count.  We go every year to pick up a few new ornaments and comment on the really bizzare ornaments.    So later I’ll take a picture of my new additions for my tree this year — three new ornaments crept into my bag.

Then on to the quilt shop followed by the grocery store.  The blue fabric I bought last week is just too bright and I have a certain shade stuck in my head and nothing else seems quite right to me.    The flash is lightening them a little but that’s the blue I wanted for one leaf quilt (the larger one I want to make) and the other two fabrics are for the smaller leaf quilt I’m working on and I should have left overs to make a few blocks for the Batik Block Swap too and once again I just remembered I forgot to pick up the background fabric for that block swap. Dang!  But did earn a new gift certificate at the quilt shop so that was a bonus!

I’ve still got Madison Square Garden laying on the sewing table about half pinbasted so I want to get that basting done this weekend so I can get started on the quilting. and have room to work on some other stuff.

But I’m getting closer to finishing that first Candlepower sock and really want to work on that instead this afternoon so the pin basting will wait for a while.

These are the socks I put on this morning and whenever I wear them they make me laugh.  The legs of both look like one another because there’s a different stitch pattern on them that stopped any pooling.  But I do like that bright blue sideways vee on the other foot. 🙂

Christmas Day

Well let’s try this one more time. I have not idea why the first post came out blank – I could see it! Santa’s elves must be meddling!

  Happy Christmas Day!  This is a little design I was playing with this morning in EQ – I may have to put it on my “need to make next Christmas” list.  Plus I was playing with PSP and found the “buttonize” effect which makes it look kind of like a 3-D button — I may have to go back and change the rest of the buttons in the sidebar and “buttonize” them. I already did the 12 in 2012 button and added Judy’s UFO button the same way.

This is definitely a quilter’s church — can you figure out why?  The steeple is actually a rose of sharon block with one of the ends removed.  It makes a very nice steeple I think.  Here’s a close up of it.

  It’s a sunny day  here but when I opened the door I found this……

  Poor Sam the Snowman has been accosted during the night!!! At first I thought perhaps he got into a fight with some pesky squirrels but when I stepped outside I realized it’s dang windy out there and he got blown over.  He’s upright again but I may need to bring him in for a while if he topples again.

It’s been a lazy morning here so far.  Think I’ll refill my coffee cup, grab some coffee cake (which I tasted yesterday and it turned out very good) and then head to the sewing room to hook up a dvd player to the tv and watch some movies while I slog through UFOs.   Judy has issued her UFO challenge for 2012 (she did it last year but I didn’t participate)  but plan to give it shot this year.  The problem won’t be finding 12 ufos to put on my list — it will be deciding which of the multitude to put on my list!


Time for a little relaxing

Whew! I’m pooped.  The baked goods are all put away – most in the freezer.  Put the icing on the coffee cake I kept out for me.  Dinner was yummy. That’s all put away and the kitchen finally cleaned up.  I got the tv put together.  Here is where it ended up – at least for the time being.

 It’s a little bit high if I’m sitting at the table sewing but when I’m sewing I usually just have it on to listen to. But I’ve been eyeing up that wide windsill.  I ususally hang a quilt in front of those blinds on a tension rod since that room gets very little sun in the winter and it usually is just too cool for me to work in if there isn’t something over those blinds.   If the sill is wide enough, I may just move it there.

If I leave it where it is, there’s this problem.  This fabric was all on that shelf the tv is now on and it would need a new home.  Guess I’m going to have to do a lot of sewing so I use up some of that fabric!

 It has been a long a busy day and I can’t believe it’s already after 9 p.m.  Time to put on my jammies (yes I did actually get dressed at some point today!), snuggle up in a chair under a quilt and watch the end of It’s A Wonderful Life and knit…. until I let myself break into the Christmas gifts under my tree.

A Blessed Christmas Day to all.


Baking Bonanza

  The freezer is going to be full and some of the coworkers may be treated to coffee cake on Tuesday morning at the office.  From left to right there’s coffee cake with struesel on top, one with toasted coconut and struesel, round one with just toasted coconut and a little loaf of cinnamon swirl bread using the last of the sweet dough.  The the rolls (which have darker brown spots on the top — why? because the little buggers were getting too brown on the bottom and not done enough yet so I flipped them over).  Not pretty but they’re just for me and I tasted a bit of one and they are yummy wheat rolls for those leftover ham sandwiches.  Then there’s a loaf of wheat bread and lastly, it’s pineapple casserole waiting to go in the oven in a few minutes.  The ham is in there now and since I’ve gotten through the day on half a grapefruit and coffee and a few crackers — just too busy to eat — I’m starting to get hungry smelling that ham baking.

The coffee cakes still need their powdered sugar icing drizzled on top to finish them off.  All that took longer than I planned but I still made a small dent in the sewing room — and lived to find my way back out again.  The table is now cleared off, which is good.  Especially since I may need it to pile other stuff on as I move furniture around in that room.

I still can’t decide where to put the tv.  I may sacrifice the top shelf of one of the fabric shelving units and set it up there out of the way but need to pull the tv out and put it together to see if its too wide to go there or not.  If not there, then I need to unload the entire bookcase so I can move it to a different spot, away from in front of the window, so I can put the tv on top of that.  In the meantime I’ll continue with a bit more cleaning while I contemplate the possibilities.  Plus I need to take the legs off the slate table (which is outside on the patio in the summer) since I need room to move the treadmill back into the sewing room.  Unless the smaller table fits next to the design wall since I don’t need the little tv that’s in that spot anymore and it would be handy to have a table right next to the design wall to lay stuff on.  Hmmmm….. decisions decisions…time to get back to the decluttering – or maybe put the tv base on it to see how wide it all is and how large a surface the base needs.

Oh and a final decoration photo — my icicles.  It would be much prettier with a little snow to reflect off of but that too will come soon enough.


Happy Christmas Eve

 I was outside this morning (in my jammies no less) testing the new camera.  Yep I love it.  Yes, I decorated the birdhouse on the fence that I have across from my door.  The wrens need a little holiday bling too. 🙂  Notice it is not a “white christmas” in the background like usual.  A few stubborn flakes are in the shady areas but no snow this year.

  This is Sam the Snowman who stands sentry at my door.    And the giant ornaments hanging from the deck above my door.

Let’s not forget the little christmas tree I put up rather than the large one this year.

It’s sitting on top of Granny’s old treadle sewing cabinet.  Along with a few of my favorite Santas.

And the final photo – enough playing with the camera —

the new sock I started on last night.


Now off to do a bit of baking.


Guess what?

 Yes, I did finish one of the socks I was working on.  But the Guess What? is more about — look at the photo. It was NOT taken in the dark.  Daylight (or lamplight in this case) but not in the dark.  One of my bosses gave me a lovely new camera for Christmas today. 🙂  It takes lovely photos  – I managed this without reading the book.  But I ‘ve got to sit down and figure out all its buttons and gadgets and change the photo size so I don’t have to resize them so much since they start out monsterous in size.  But I love it!! It’s about half the width my old one was so nice and slim to stick in a pocket or purse. And no more taking photos in the dark to try to get the old camera to work.

And the sock – I love this pattern.  I made the top of it a bit longer than normal due to where the pattern needed to end so now I’m just a bit concerned I may run out of yarn on the second sock. Oh the horror – can’t have that. And I love the color so, tho I said I was ordering no more yarn before the end of the year due to my recent major yarn binge – I ordered another hank of it to make sure I have enough just in case.  And well, it’d be a waste of good postage money to just order one hank when I can order a couple for the same amount of postage — so yes, a few more coming my way.

But my plan is to wait before starting the second sock. You never know with hand dyed yarn if different hanks will really look similar in color so if worst comes to worst and they not as close in shade, I could make two new socks out of the new yarn and then use the yarn form this one to do the toes so that the legs look the same.  Plus that’s just a very good excuse to start on a different pair of socks!  So I shall be perusing the sock book to see what pattern I want to try next and decide what new yarn to use.

Christmas will be lo key here – my family is spread across the country – so I’ve got a plan to pull out all the christmas movies and work my way through them while knitting or sewing or working on a new pattern.

I’ve decided (I think) where I want to put the new tv in the sewing room but before I set it up in there I need to clean that room – looks like a hurricane has hit it. But we’ll see if I’m really that ambitious tomorrow or not.  Have to clean it before being able to move furniture around in there and that may be just too much work. 🙂


Christmas shopping is done!

A friend and I headed out for breakfast at 8 this morning, stopped at the German bakery – most disappointing since this was the first year I can remember where they didn’t have all their christmas cookies available for taste testing. Darn!  But some great bread came home with me nonetheless and also a sweet treat.  Next weekend they start their buy one bag of cookies (they are little cellephane bags of a dozen or two cookies in each) and get one free so we may have to go back and check the selection out then.  The dark chocolate covered butter cookies are my absolute favorites.

I had three presents to buy and knew what shops I “might” find them in.  And I found what I wanted at each of those stores…. plus … well plus a couple extra things.  The only extras I bought at the quilt shop were some more spray adhesive to layer small projects with, a large refill of Best Press, and some rinseless soap that I can’t remember the name of for knit items.  Everything else I bought there was for a gift. AND this quilt store also has lots of lovely yarns but I did not even glance over into that area. LOL

We stopped at the Boston Store since my friend needed to get one of her gifts there.  I found a little 3-D star that will be perfect to use for the topper of the little christmas tree I’m setting up this year.  I didn’t want to have to dig thru all the ornaments for the big tree since I’m not putting that one up this year to find the topper I usually use and found the perfect thing.  Also got a nice big latte mug (since none of my cups hold enough at home) – in the Fiestaware christmas line – white mug with christmas lights on it – very cute and nice heavy mug so it will keep the coffee hot.  So many of those large hoiday mugs are made of that thinner ceramic that chips easily and doesn’t hold the heat in so this one was perfect – especially since it was on sale.  I may soon have to make myself a latte and try it out – I’m ready for a coffee break.  That shopping is exhausting! LOL  But actually we got in and out of places pretty quickly.

Then we finished up at the grocery store so I’m all set.  Cleaned out the fridge when I got home, wiped it out, restocked it.  So after a bit of coffee break, I’ll finish setting up the little christmas tree.  I set it up last night, fluffed it’s branches and put some garland I had about on it so just need to put the box of tiny ornaments on it and the topper.  Then back to a bit of pattern writing I need to get finished for Hoffman California — and it’s even timely since the fabric collection I’m working on the pattern for is a Christmas design – for next year’s fabric.

I also have to figure out which closet I stuck the wrapping paper in the back of – no rest for the wicked. 🙂

More sock yarn… and other stuff

My order from discountedbrandnameyarns arrived earlier this week.  Here’s the latest sock yarns to be added to the stash. 🙂

I really like the one on the left – it’s called Spring Frost – blues and grays and just a hint of mauvey tones.  Heck I like them all but that’s my favorite of the three.  Thank goodness the  moratorium on buying yarn doesn’t start until the first of the year since I just got a sales notice and some yarn I’ve been drooling over has gone on sale so there just might be one more box of yarn headed my way.  But if your a sock knitter – be sure to check out the 12 in 2012 challenge button on the sidebar.  There’s a good number of knitters who will be joining in the challenge.

Today was the office Holiday so after as crazy busy as the last couple of weeks have been, it was great to head out of the office for the afternoon for hors de ouvres, cocktails followed by a delicious lunch and relax for a bit.  I’ve been at the law firm 25 years so it was longevity bonus time and there were prize giveaways.  Everthing from two rosebowl tickets and airfare (the local WI Badgers are playing) to TVs, those nifty Krupps single cup coffee makers, Ipad, restaurant gift certificates, etc.  I’ve never won anything all the years they’ve been doing the drawings and this year my name was drawn first! Sacriledge as it is to say I’m not a football or badger fan, I passed up the tickets (which the second winner who is a big fan won and was very happy I passed them up) and I shall have a new big flat screen tv for my sewing room!  It was a great day! So I think some of that christmas bonus and longevity bonus just might have to buy some of that sale yarn as a Merry Christmas to me gift. 🙂

EQ Boutique has just added my latest pattern available for sale — Deck the Halls.

There should be a new Christmas one added in a few days.


Holiday Fun

Well I puttered with a bunch of stuff accomplishing not a lot and the rain slowed to a drizzle so I decided to venture out to do an errand – top of the list – buy soda.  I can live without coffee for a while if I have to but no soda in the house – oh the horror.  I also wanted to buy some new lights to hang outside since they were on sale.  Lights have a hard time surviving the winter outside.  Even tho they are outdoor ones, the cold really does them in.  Last year I had lovely icicle lights hanging from the deck above my door. The kind that hang down in shorter and longer separate lengths.  Well the winds blew them around so much and they were so frozen from the cold that I think the wires inside must have taken a beating and they died out and individual lights broke so they hit the trash at the end of the year.  Plus it’s hard to get them to hang down nicely when you are putting them up in freezing weather — those plastic cords seem to free into place and not give.

Today, if it weren’t raining, would be a perfect day to put them out.  I actually have the door cracked open to let in some fresh air since it’s so warm out (okay warm for Wisconsin for this time of year) and I would be able to put them up without freezing fingers and just wearing a sweatshirt.  But alas it started raining again so I’m hoping it will be warm tomorrow – hence part of my excursion to the store.

  I now have a different kind of icicle light – they look like indivdual icicles instead of just the little white lights hanging down on cords.  I don’t know how they will fair but I think they will be really pretty once I get them up.  Oh and that little tinsel tree with the bright colored glass baubles on it — heck I couldn’t pass that up.  It will be cute either on the end of my kitchen breakfast bar or maybe on my desk at work – definitely an impulse buy but a cute one.   I got a new timer for the lights to put outside so no more fumbling with the door key when I get home in the dark since the lights will have turned themselves on at dusk – which is good since yet again I forgot to pick up a new light bulb for the outside light.

These were another impulse buy but they were just too cute.  Skaters all decked out in their litle knitted outfits and felt pants witih wooden skates.  I got one of each color and appears I have three girls and one boy.  How do I know – shame on you I have not been peeking under those pants!! 🙂  The girls have little braids sticking out of their hats and of course the boy is in blue.  They would look cute on packages but I may just send one or two out to friends who I know are knitters just for fun.

Since I need to pull the winter clothes out of storage in the back of the closet, I may drag out the tree which is also in the back of that closet and set it up tomorrow.  It’s prelit, so may just enjoy it for a week or two with just the lights before I get around to decorating it.  But I’ve got to rearrange furniture in the living room first for a place to put it so we’ll see how ambitious I am tomorrow.

In the meantime, – finally on to making those border blocks for the quilt.  Time to get down to some serious sewing!