Saturday, December 5, 2009

SinterKlaasavond




In the Netherlands, Saint Nicholas Eve is Dec 5th traditionally and this is when the children leave their shoes by the door or the fireplace with a carrot or hay for the horse and they will receive a present in them by morning! My husband is Dutch and he can remember doing this when he was little.
Supposedly, SinterKlaas wears a white bishops dress and carries a big book that tells whether the child has been good or naughty for the past year! ;)
Well, I guess you could say we have participated in a partial SinterKlaas Eve today as we went to the outlet stores and shopped till we dropped for presents. In between we ate chocolate covered something in between meet-ups. We both had White Chocolate Mochas with whipped cream and chocolate chip cookies this afternoon. This gave us the sugar and energy to get through the crowd at the big Walmart in Dawsonville. This one is the super, duper of Walmarts!
We lingered in the pet section of the store for a good 30 minutes, met up with a lady who started a conversation and she told us all about breeding chichi's. She used to do that and she loved them. She gave us some tips on some of their behavior issues and all, then we moseyed over to the book section and browsed through the magazines and books.
We passed many cars with Christmas trees strapped to the top today! The rush is on at the stores too!
My weakness at the outlet mall is the Ann Taylor outlet store. I honestly have an adrenaline rush when Ann Taylor has sales and they were really having some good sales today.
I even got stopped by a state patrol once for speeding and they asked me what I was in a hurry for and I told him, Ann Taylor is having a sale! It was not an impressive response but it was truly what I was thinking at the time.
So, yeppers, Body Guard went with me but we would keep meeting up at different times. He had some shopping to do too. And I think he likes analyzing all the people and profiling the shoppers in a crowd! LOL
We are home and trying to take care of the furbabies. They have loads of energy now as we are low on energy.
Hope all are having a great weekend enjoying the rush of the season or even better sipping on a cafe mocha with extra cream and white chocolate.
Jennifer

Signs of the Season

Well, it was a silent night here until Abbie started chirping a while ago. We both stayed up late to find some snow. But only a few flakes. I think the ground is a bit too warm to stick plus as I write this the sun is beaming.

Angels are among us. I just know they are and I hope each and every one of you has a busy angel today!

I did clean out more old pocket books and put more change in the jar. I'm excited over leaving this at someone's door this Christmas! I'm also excited to read those books Sandy sent me and listen to Andrew Bocelli. His voice is angelic in and of itself!
I have a busy day planned including trips to get a hairtrim and do some shopping. I really have most of my shopping done. But......you know how it is around Christmas! There's always a place or two to stop in an say Hi!
And also I got out my Christmas cards to start addressing for tonight as well. I love to send Christmas cards out. I found a few this year to send from a thrift store. They are quite old but still as cute as ever.
So, a busy Saturday for me.............stay safe out there shopping. On the news 2 nights ago in Atlanta at one of the malls, a man dressed all out as an elf, stood in line for Santa and when he got to him, he told him he had dynamite and was going to blow him up! What a nutcase. He didn't of course after they checked his bag but he is in jail. I'm sure Santa is very nervous now.
So, stay safe out there in this season!
Talk later...
Jennifer

Friday, December 4, 2009

Around the Christmas tree tonight are true blessings



The forecast for North Georgia is 50% chance of some snow flurries early in the morning, like 3am-6am, then clearing by noon. The clouds on the way home looked like snow clouds were forming. In the distance on my left as I was driving through the mountain roads, the most beautiful sunset ever. It was the most layered, orangey, bright beautiful sunset I've seen in a long time. To the right were snow clouds forming and gray. A strange but beautiful ending to my day of work.

We're hoping to see, even if a little, of the white stuff in the morning!


Bodyguard said, "you've got a big package here" when I walked in. Oh my, I went through it in so much excitement that I didn't take a picture of how beautiful they were wrapped when in the bag. Each one was wrapped neatly and separately so the joy of opening each one was pure excitement, like Christmas morning!

We were both amazed at the thoughtfulness and the absolute kindness of someone I've never met before sending 2 books and a CD. When I saw the CD I couldn't believe it! Sandy from New Jersey sent me these wonderful items, 2 of Jason Wrights' books on the Christmas Jar AND a Andrew Bocelli CD! His Christmas one too! Body Guard instantly said, someone is looking after me. I love Andrew Bocelli. His music just sings to the soul. Sorry, I'm not good at opening packages neatly......;)



Sandy sent me a beautiful card too and she said she would be going to a concert to see him this weekend! OH MAN! I can't believe that! I'm so envious! What a gracious gift, Sandy! Thank you, thank you thank you!!! And it couldn't have arrived on a better day for me. How in the world did you know I love Andrew Bocelli? Are you an angel?



In fact, I love this CD so much that me and the BodyGuard danced to one of his songs just a minute ago. I love this man. Well, I love both men! LOL




This CD is so uplifting. I love his music so much that in 2000 I bought an Italian dictionary to try to interpret some of his lyrics. Sandy, you are an angel. I just know you are.


I'm listening to him right now while I"m writing this.




Sandy, you are a special treasure and I don't know how I can tell you how much you lifted my day.


Here are the other listeners too! We went out tonight to try a new place to eat and then came home to play with the puppies. I really wanted to get them posing still right by the tree in their Christmas attire but they weren't cooperating.
Ren was a little grumpy tonight. He says "this is my 17th Christmas tree!"

The sweet lump of sugar here is still amazed at the ornaments......well, some of them are about as big as she is.


In my lap she plops all the time.

This couldn't have come on a better day.
I was at work today and my cell phone got a message which I didn't get until I was finished for the day. Actually, there was no voicemail message, it just said I missed a call. I looked at the number and I really panicked because I figured out finally it was my dad. He never calls me unless somebody has died. Of course, I thought that something happpened to Brandon and I really didn't know until we got home that this was indeed his number.
BG called him back and he answered and said, "oh, no, I dialed the number by accident." Oh, he's talked to Brandon alot of times while he is in Afghanistan and even though I was at the begging stage to let us know just that he is ok, he will not do it if he hears from him. So his accidental call was indeed not only a put-down and a shame for his own daughter, he didn't leave a message so that we wouldn't think of all the awful things that could have happened in the meantime.
My hubbie asked me tonight what did I want for Christmas and I really feel like Abbie is my Christmas. But what I really, really want is a letter from my son and that really doesn't cost anything. Maybe I should be specific and say a positive letter from my son, as his last one was full of anger.
If not, I know he will have to deal with his own karma in his own way, just as my dad should be dealing with his one day and I will deal with mine and my daughter will deal with hers.
I think the sad part of Christmas holidays is that almost all families have family members that are toxic or dysfunctional, even though we don't want to admit it. And it's hard really, to get through it. Maybe it's the economy this year, or I don't know what, but I'm seeing alot more people who are quite frankly depressed during the holidays.
I don't know why it's different for me but maybe this is the first holiday I've really admitted the falseness of Christmas's all along with my family. I've in some ways come to peace with the fact that if they can live with their hatefulness, then that's not my problem anymore.
I'm just kind of sad that I made it my problem for as long as I did in my life.
So, Sandy, your gifts were angel sent and delivered to me at a special time.
Back to more Andrew Bocelli and a cozy fireplace~~~~

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Miss Abbie and her new found toy

Her eyes look green and I couldn't remove it in my picture folder.......but maybe that's the reason she is shredding her paper lately.........I couldn't resist getting her picture today while she was totally giddy with a pair of men's tube socks all in a ball there. She played with them longer than her chew toys. They were the pair that Body Guard took off last night......I will digress........

either way, she says, socks are a cool thing! It's way better than her tearing up potty paper to shreds due to separation anxiety.
Her hair is resembling a lamb at this point! A lamb with a lion personality.......too funny.

A Few things to cause happy dances~~~

You know, mail can change a day from misty, gray blowing rain to sunny with just opening a package! ;)
Yesterday was a gloomy day indeed indoors and outdoors. Many, many issues to resolve in such short time but this morning after a 10 hour hiatus of sleep (which is extremely unusual for me), I am opening my mail to find this:

Northanger Abbey pattern by The Sampler Girl. This will definitely be a 2010 stitch. I'm going to stitch this for a special friend.

She had a Thanksgiving sale so I also got this piece of material, Jane Austen fabric which will back a pillow lovely for the above pattern!
And I was oh so grateful for the free chart she put in the package. Yesterday I had troubles printing it all on one page so, there ya go! Another happy dance!

yep, I'm guilty in the first degree of having too many scissors this year. Santa may leave me with a lump of coal this year for this one reason!
I got these scissors from her as well and already they are my favorite of all. I really, really liked the Tudor rose scissors which are very similar but silver in color. I know I will love these because they are shorter and will travel with me well. My fingers are small and these fit perfectly. You can pop over to her website and order a pair of these Kelmscott scissors for you or would be great as a giftie for a stitching friend.



Here's another find this week. I did a happy dance in Target when I found this. It is green frosting with the little bitty Christmas trees and other candies to sprinkle on top. Vanilla flavor. What a great find for a Christmas cake!

Pine-scented candle also from Target, helps keep the house smelling nicely like Christmas, or........at least it counteracts the poopie pads from Abbie right now! LOL


Yesterday my dear friend at work, Debra, gave me these. She makes Dat'l pepper sauce and sells on ebay, as well as her own website. I usually get a couple of sets of 3, which she will make and cater to your liking, for gifts for family or friends.
Debra uses the Dat'l peppers from St. Augustine, Fla, where she grew up, to make this special sauce. I got a group of 3 in honey mustard, hot, and mild. If she is not working, she's making Dat'l pepper sauce. I will tell you though that if you get the Hot, it will be HOT!
Her website is: dixiedatil.com





I'm doing a little inventory on my stash to see what I may need before making a trip to the big city soon. I think I'm low on linens. I also found out that Michael's craft store still has DMC floss for 35 cents a skein so I was jumping for joy there! Everytime I think I must have every color of DMC, then I run across a pattern that calls for it. It's almost like going grocery shopping! Even if I make a list, I usually forget at least 1 critical item I needed. I know there's always substituting colors and I do that occasionally but the Virgo in me wants to do it just right, so there ya go!

But, that's what keeps Walmart in business because when I drop in to get groceries or food items, soon I'm over to every other department looking at other stuff. Bad girl! ;)

Today it's nice and sunny outside for a lovely change! That's another reason for a happy dance. I have several things to catch up with on this day off but hopefully tonight I won't fall asleep over my laptop and wakeup the next morning.

I heard yesterday that there is a 50% chance of snow on Saturday here!!!!!!! We'll see. I'm crossing my fingers! I love snow.

Well, sipping the rest of my coffee and finishing up my morning routine here.

Talk later,

Jennifer

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesdays are good!

Today is Wednesday and I'm leaving a short note on lunch break. It's gray, blowing rain outside and cold. I brought my stitching in a bag in the car but will not get enough time to run put a few stitches in during lunch break. I can't wait to be off tomorrow because I plan to stitch some from the Kitty Kringle Christmas pattern booklet by The Sampler Girl.


Yesterday, while I was near a quilt shop, I browsed through to see if I could find an alternative to Weeks Dye flannel that is called for in her Christmas booklet. I love the color and online it's kinda pricey if I ordered including shipping so I found a flannel the same color and houndstooth citranella green that is almost exactly like the Weeks fabric but it's another company, which I cannot remember now......Anyway..
I got a half yard for about 1/4th the price of the Weeks flannel! I was excited about that.
I had a couple of DMC colors I needed while I was there so I picked them out too. I should be completely ready to stitch tomorrow on my day off.


I did start another sampler and haven't stitched enough yet for a pic. It's Clara's Christmas Dance by The Sampler Girl. I had this one for awhile and I think I've about waited too late to stitch it but maybe, just maybe, I will be done with it by Christmas!! It has some pretty, pretty colors in it.
I also have a good book on my nightstand, Wednesday's Letters, which I started and the first chapter is sad but I know the book will be a quick read and a good one.
I'm amazed at how many responses and new people I'm meeting with the Give-A-Way! I'm so excited to see who will get these beautiful scissors and box!
Your comments have been so gracious and I do appreciate you, every one!


Well, back to work, enjoy your Wednesday and stay safe.

Jennifer

Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Madness

I don't know if you saw this article on the latest news but this is absolutely unthinkable. They are using animals as well as children for suicide bombers now. What has this world come to? You can read the article below:


Animals killed in suicide attacks Afghanistan
SunMonday 30th November, 2009

In their latest ploy to cause maximum damage to international forces stationed in Afghanistan, the Taliban is using donkey suicide bombs to attack British troops in southern Afghanistan.Recently, a senior British Army officer and six other military personnel survived an attack when a tethered donkey laden with explosives was detonated as their armoured vehicle passed in southern Afghanistan.“We’d spotted the donkey tethered to a tree as we were on our way down south to monitor an operation that had been going on that day, but thought nothing of it. There are donkeys around everywhere,” The Times quoted an officer, as saying.Troops in Afghanistan have been attacked by a boy with a wheelbarrow full of explosives and a bicycle with a bomb attached, but the explosion south of Garmsir in southern Helmand province is thought to be the first using tethered livestock.


This is totally insane. I sure hope the President's speech and unveiling of his plan for Afghanistan tomorrow night at 7pm is going to be strategic in managing this craziness.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Stash Sunday

The long weekend is at a close and the night is still young at 10pm; however, I have to say today was the most productive of the days. I took all my threads and whatever was in and around my stitching chair and sorted and sorted .........I sorted and labeled and rechecked to see if I had duplicates so much that I watched 4 complete Lifetime movies with it in full spread all over the living room floor! That was 8 hours! They were back to back incredibly good Christmas movies. All with happy endings! But the first one was so sad in the middle. I cried every movie. The third one I watched had Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams in it. So, so good.

I got my Santie out for this year. I had a patient 4 years ago give me this. She painted it meticulously as a gift. She was a sweet, sweet woman who actually the day I told her of her probable ovarian cancer, just smiled and told me she would be back to give me a "Santie Claus". She did 3 months later at Christmas. She died 6 months after that. Sad story but I have to put it out as long as I can. She painted this on small gourds of some sort.
These Dutch shoes were the Body Guard's when he was little and attended the Dutch Tulip Festivals in South Holland, Illinois. I can't imagine seeing him in this..........


This is my DMC box. I use the bag system. It needed alot of attention and this afternoon I got it in order. The box was a wedding gift from BG he had made for me for my threads. It has so much sentimental value that I will always keep the baggie system to put in my special box.


Now, I can pull my colors for some stitching without having to think twice about if I need that particular color or not.


The area is quite improved from this morning. I have one basket for my stitching supplies, qsnaps, frames. and the other one has all my specialty threads in floss bags but on rings according to company/brand. One for Weeks Dye, Anchor (I never use it), Crescent colors (it's full, full), and Gentle Arts Sampler threads. This is a random thought but one day, I want to upholster this chair in a colonial williamsburg blue. Just random here. You know what, I got an estimate to have it recovered and it would be almost as much to just get a new chair? Now, this is totally off subject.........anyway.


Filed away my patterns..........the most recent ones so and put in big holders underneath to get ready for stitching non-Christmasy ones after the holidays.

And this picture is.......well, this is my hubbie, feeling better now, obviously, joking about his light he found while he was tootling around the workshop. While I was watching Lifetime movies and sorting stash, he was in the workshop. I think he might have had a pain pill here.......LOL
Honestly, can you believe I gave him this one Christmas? He loves flashlights and I was about to run out of ideas for kinds of flashlights.
He is giving Abbie a little halo here.............:0

So, are ya ready for Cyber Monday? That's what I keep reading about and hearing. I guess I will be spending mine catching up at work from 4 days off. And that my friends, is usually busy, busy with the office closed for several days.

The one true, must-see this week is the President's speech on Afghanistan at 7pm, Tuesday night. I will be there for sure in my stitching chair listening to what his next agenda includes.

I hope you have a great Monday morning!

Jennifer

Projects for the day...hmm...month

I'm pulling colors for this pattern by The Sampler Girl. It's a sweet pillow and will be placed by my Christmas tree this year. I have to get busy with it now though. It's called Clara's Christmas Dance.



Bodyguard and I always have a change jar. At the end of the year we take it to the bank and it's usually a good sum amount to help pay for a weekend trip or getaway. It'a huge jar. But my start this year is for the Christmas jar. It won't be full but maybe half by then. Christmas Eve will be fun to drop off somewhere around here.

This is an ebay find. I was ordering to put in with the giveaway because it also has scissors but the quality is not so good so I got different ones. I need to work on it to keep my scissors in.

There is thread and 3 inch banding that comes with it as well.

I have some pretty Christmas fabrics I accumlated from remnants and fat quarters from a couple of quilt shops this year. This is just a long remnant.



Remember this Fat Quarter? I'm going to first, iron! Then sew into a pillow for our sofa. I love the Dutchy blue colors and I am going to use the long remnant of red holly to go at the bottom.


Last night I started this. I emptied my sewing baskets by my chair and then went to bed..... Not a good thing to wake up to. How did this all fit in there? And this is not my entire stash but just those recently acquired items. I'm into organizing threads I've dropped in there over my last few projects, so that I will not repurchase those in particular. I found some zipper bags or just plain zip lock bags to organize my linen and patterns together, if I've already got the linen.


Here's Scarlet. She is placed in a bag with a DMC thread organizer for 72 colors. I think she has more than that but I figured this would be a good way to keep threads for her project.

At least I"m at the bottom where my q-snaps and hoops are located.


So, this is what I worked on late last night. I couldn't decide exactly what to do with this. I decided not to do it as a pillow but a little hanging and sew jingle bells on the fabric ties to the hanging and at the bottom. The back of this is all red dot material like the banding. This is a freebie design from The Sampler Girl.

So, what do you sew your jingle bells on with? Sewing thread? or Floss?

Gadget

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