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Archive for December, 2010

Festive and Free

The other day I was out in the yard and thinking how I would love to go out and buy some pine garlands, wreaths and poinsettias to decorate the porch and window box. Since it is almost Christmas and these types of things can add up to a lot of money, I knew this was not an option. Just then, I saw some red berries and green leaves growing wild across the street and decided to go chop some of them down and use them to decorate with. We ended up with a large vase full of these branches on the table by the front door then I stuffed the window box with the remaining branches and left over pine from our Christmas tree. It was fast, festive and free!!!

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Extreme Measures…

I won’t deny that our family is a bit quirky. In fact, I believe that most families are. Life is too short not to laugh at the small stuff. One example that comes to mind was when we were first married. I kept hanging my robe on a hook that was right over Jeff’s bath towel . Every time he wanted to use his towel, he had to remove my robe first. He asked me nicely several times not to hang my robe there but I kept on doing it… not to be irritating but I just didn’t know where else to put it. One day I went to hang up my robe and guess what?! The hook was gone! Jeff just solved his problem by removing the hook. I laughed so hard at his common sense solution and had to admire his wit. The other day I was reminded of another example as I wrapped gifts with a pair of Fiskar scissors weighed down by a motorcycle lock. Everyone kept borrowing Jeff’s scissors and not returning them to his desk. His first solution was to tie one end of a piece of twine to the scissors and then the other end to his computer but that didn’t last long because Avery needed them one day and simply cut the twine. The next step was to attach this cumbersome motorcycle lock to the scissors. It usually helps them to stay put but I was desperately searching the house for something to cut wrapping paper with and these were all I could find. Today Jeff found his scissors on the dining room table (I had forgotten to put them back on his desk). I wonder what his next solution will be…

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December Sunset

This spectacular sunset happened a few days ago. I was out front taking pictures of it when a man pulled his car over, hopped out and started taking pictures as well. We both commented that we had never seen anything like it. The colors were so deep and vivid. In the bottom picture you can see a patch of rain on the mountain. Simply beautiful!

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Par Avion

This tote is for my friend Lisa who moved to England earlier this year. I have known what fabric I had wanted to use for a long time but I think that figuring out how to get it to her was kind of putting me in a limbo. A few weeks ago I found out that another friend was going to visit Lisa and I asked her if she would be willing to pack it in her bag. She agreed so I gave it to her on Monday. As far as I know, the tote is up in the air somewhere headed towards Lisa’s home. As for this fabric, I am crazy about it!!! I found it at Alameda Antique Fair months ago and it was love at first sight. In it’s former life, this fabric was three sets of curtains and three valances. The splashy color and style reminds me of illustrations from the 60’s and 70’s. Love. Love. Love!

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Yes, I do love to decorate for Christmas… I even travel quite a distance to help my friend Carrie decorate her house each year which has become a really fun tradition. For our house I found two new items to add to the holiday mix. The runner is just too sweet! I love the little rick-rack ribbon on the packages (glad I didn’t have to sew that on myself!) which I found last winter for around three bucks. I forgot about it so it was fun to pull it out of the Christmas box this year. The second thing are these wonderful hand painted glasses (set of six). I have never felt glasses that have such a satiny feel. These are so soft that you just want to keep filling them up so you have an excuse to hold them. The kids are drinking plenty of milk and water each day out of these glasses.

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My friend Margaret asked me a while ago if I would make a Christmas pillow out of her old holiday sweater. I have had it in the back of my mind for about nine months so I figured I better get to it so she can enjoy the pillow for at least a week before Christmas. First I used double sided fusible interfacing to stabilize the knit then attached that to some white cotton. The body of the pillow is made from some thrifted beige twill type cotton. I stitched the knit part on to the twill then finished the sides with red ball fringe. I also took some extra pom poms off the fringe and sewed them to the tree for some dimension. The pillow form that I used was from a thrifted Pottery Barn pillow. It is down filled and only about $3.00. The back of the sweater had a decorative trim around the bottom so there was enough to make a “bonus” pillow. This one was stuffed with some fiber fill that I had in my stash. I am hoping to give these to Margaret today!

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A Perfect Day…

. Today was a gem. I got up early, dropped the kids off at school and made a b-line Yountville in Napa Valley to meet up with my wonderful friends Lisa and Brenda. We toured an exhibit at the Napa Valley Museum of Art (more on that later) then ate lunch at a scrumptious little French Bakery, laughed until we cried, were awestruck at the wonder of our natural surroundings and thoroughly enjoyed each moment. Here are a few pictures of this “picture perfect” day… p.s. This little blue bird was sitting inches away from Brenda’s red sleeve!

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