November 30, 2014

It's That Time Again...

Happy December!!!
After much consideration, I've decided that the theme for our Christmas 
gift giving this year shall be..."Comfort and Joy"

With that in mind, I made out a list, checked it twice, and began my first project.
I remembered a tutorial for hand and neck warmers I read and bookmarked, so
in the spirit of "credit where credit is due", I'm sharing the original post with you. 

Lori Holt at Bee In My Bonnet has done all the work for the tutorial, and I
wouldn't be a bit surprised if you decided to try one or ten of these yourself!
(Just click on her name to go to her blog for the tutorial.)
The main instruction is for handwarmers (which I'll also be making), but she
finishes with the measurements to modify them into the larger neck warmer.
(By the way, you can also pop these in the freezer to use as ice-type packs, too!)

I decided to use Jasmati rice and infused it with a few drops of lavender essential
oil (right in the jar) before filling the warmer. Then, I started sewing the fabrics.
This project took no time at all. I actually used the whole container of rice in this
one, which I made just a bit wider than in Lori's tutorial. I think it will be just right.
  I'm going to add a sleep mask in matching fabric (with a soft flannel on the "eye
side") and then, I'm going to add a candle and other goodies to complete the gift.
I found this pattern on Craftsy by PetitBebeCreatioNZ.
Here's the link (just in case) Best part? It's FREE!!!
And, so it begins...
The Season of Making...and Giving...
Comfort and Joy!

November 28, 2014

Gift Exchange Pincushion...

Next Tuesday is our Guild Christmas Party. We're asked to make a 
handmade item for our gift exchange each year. This year, I decided to make 
a pretty, weighted pincushion. I think the recipient will be happy with it.
This one measures approximately 10" long by 5" wide. I used printed, cotton fabrics,
vintage lace and button, and pretty pink seam binding, which I ruched down one side. 
I didn't sew down the lace over the printed fabric to insert the pair of embroidery 
scissors that I'm including with the pincushion.The pretty pink bow holds them
in place when they're not in use. I filled it with crushed walnut shells to keep it
 from scooting around a sewing table when it's in use. I finished it in about an hour.

Now, it's wrapped and ready to go with me to the party on Tuesday. 
All I have left to do is make a dozen cookies for our after-dinner dessert. 
Perhaps pink iced sugar cookies this year?

November 27, 2014

Tea and Transferware...

Thanksgiving Day is over. The leftover turkey and trimmings are in the refrigerator. Dishes are washed and put away. Today, I'm going to sit with a cup of tea and contemplate the past year, as I plan my strategy for my annual Christmas projects. It's hard to believe that Christmas is less than a month away. I'd better get crackin' soon!
My original Wednesday post was going to tell you about my English transferware and my latest acquisitions, but that can wait for another day. I did manage to find this plate, which was on my "must have" list. I even found a second one (same pattern) in red/white to go with my Memory Lane (American) transferware set. (Thanks, Denise, for starting my Memory Lane set for me. We now have a service for 4 of that pattern with the lovely acorns and oak leaves to use everyday!)

This iconic image of John and Priscilla Alden graced our dinner table yesterday for the first time, and will now serve to remind me of Mom and my first Thanksgiving without her. Don't worry. It won't be a sad reminder, but one of happier days and times spent together.

So, I now have this piece to use with my beautiful, antique Spode set, but I also have other new-to-me pieces I'll save to show you next week. I need to take more photographs first. Today, I'll make that cup of tea, make my lists and count my blessings.

November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Blessings...

 In all things and all ways, remember to give thanks.
This Thanksgiving Day, I am especially grateful for the love and support of family and friends, near and far. I have read all your messages and notes. Although it may take a while for me to respond, please know how much I appreciate each and every one of you.

Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours.

November 25, 2014

I'll Give You A Daisy A Day, Dear...

Mom and me. Summer 2014
I called and spoke with Mom yesterday morning. I wanted to wish her a Happy Thanksgiving and we shared our plans for the holiday. We talked about all those little things we always covered. I told her I probably wouldn't be coming north until spring, but that we'd keep in touch on the telephone until I could see her again. 

We ended our conversation the same way we always do..."I love you, Mom" and "I love you, too, honey". After I hung up the phone, I said it again to myself..."I love you, Mom."
When I got home from Paneras last night, Handsome took my hands in his and I knew something was different. He said, "I'm so glad you had a nice talk with Grace today. I'm sorry, honey. While you were gone, Deb (Grace's eldest child) called. Grace died this afternoon."

I called Deb (who calls me "Sis") and we talked about how I had just spoken with Mom on the phone today. We were both so glad that I had talked with her, and we cried together over our shared grief.

Mom didn't want an obituary. She said she didn't want her life distilled down to one paragraph, but I asked Deb if I could write about Mom on my blog today. She immediately said "yes". She knows I've written about Mom here in the past, and if you've been here regularly, I hope you've come to know this beautiful woman through my eyes.

Mom lived her entire eighty six years with decency and poise. She taught me more about love and life in the forty one years I've known her than anyone else. She loved me like her own children and often referred to me to others as her "third daughter". It was another of her gifts to me. She left this life as she lived it...quietly and with dignity. She simply fell asleep in her chair.

Her children, Deb, Damon, Dion and DeeDee, their families - and her "third daugher" - now mourn the loss of her light in our lives. There will be no fanfare on her passing. She didn't want that. So, I'll honor her the way I always have, by continuing to be the kind of woman who would make her proud.

Her favorite flowers were daisies. I would send them to her on every special occasion or holiday. When we were together, I would remind her of the words to the song...

"I'll give you a daisy a day dear, 
I'll give you a daisy a day.
I'll love you until the rivers run still,
And the four winds we know blow away."

She would have had a delivery of daisies today for Thanksgiving. Perhaps I'll order some to deliver here, instead, in her memory.
This is how I'll always remember her.
January 23, 1928 - November 25, 2014
Rest well, Mom. Until we're together again...I'll see you in my dreams.
  Love always, 
Your Third Daughter,

November 24, 2014

Tuesday With Tag - Public Service Announcement #5 - Thanksgiving...

Hi, Everybody!
It's been quite a while since I've done a Public Service Announcement. I
figured the upcomin' holiday would be as good a time as any for my next one.

Holidays can be dangerous for your dogs, cats (sigh) and other pets. It's easy
for us to get into stuff when you're busy payin' attention to your family and 
guests. I'm askin' you to think about these things ahead of time to keep 'em safe.
From DVM (Doctors of Veterinary Medicine) Multimedia
Let's start with #1. I admit I have trouble with this one. I like bein' close in case somethin' hits the floor, but Mom makes sure I'm backed out of there when she has to move hot pans from the stove or oven to the sink or counter. She said she doesn't want to trip over me, or spill anythin' hot on me. Good thinkin', Mom!

#2. There are a few things Mom lets me have, but she's careful not to give me rich stuff. Kessie had pancreatitis for the last six or seven years of her life. She had to take medicines every day and sometimes had to go to the vet because she had bad belly aches. I don't want that to happen to me or my friends!

#3. Do we even have to discuss this one? NEVER leave alchohol around where your pets can reach it, and never, ever knowingly give it to them! (Did I say "never"? I mean it!)

#4. Don't let your dog or cat be a garbage animal. Mom freaks out whenever she reads about dogs gettin' into garbage. Come on, you guys. Take the garbage out and put it in the bin. After all that food, you're gonna need the exercise!
Web image from ASPCA Poison Control Center
There are foods that can really be harmful - and even kill your dog - if they eat it. I'm not gonna go down this list. If you've gotten this far, I already know you can read it yourself. (You can click on the picture to make it bigger.)
Web image (Not responsible for Pilgrim cat)
Don't worry, though. It's not all bad news. There are actually things that we can have! I'm tellin' you, a few of these are personal favorites! I'm quite fond of sweet potatoes, beans, carrots and apples. But remember, just like for you, its possible for us to have "too much of a good thing". "Moderation" is best.

I'll be hangin' out to make sure I don't miss any of the fun on Thanksgiving. I want all my friends to have a good time, too. I might even be back again later in the week to say, "Hi". You just never know!

Just in case, I'll wish you a Happy Thanksgiving now.
Image from
I hope you, your loved ones and your pets have a 
Happy and Safe Thanksgiving
'til next time...
"Wag Like Ya Mean It"

November 23, 2014

These Will Be So Sweet...

I have all my supplies and I'm ready to start. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, here's a link to a previous post from last week that will explain. (Punkin Patterns "Sweet Tooth Pouches")  Don't worry. I haven't eaten all the contents of these two bags, but I did purchase confections that I love...just in case.

I took the bags apart, got out some iron-on vinyl, and chose zippers, leaving only one more decision. What to use for the linings?
I dipped into my fat quarter stash to choose fabrics that I thought would work with the designs on the candy bags. I chose dotted fabrics for the Tootsie Roll bag design. I haven't decided yet, but think I'm leaning toward the red and white.
I chose this "chocolate" fabric for the M & M's bag. After all, aren't these candies crunchy on the outside with melt-in-your-mouth chocolate on the inside? Who wouldn't love that?
This is my first Thanksgiving week project. A little something simple to get back into the studio. I'm thinking these would be great gifts for my Paneras girlfriends' gift exchange. I could make lots of different ones in a short amount of time and, because some of the ladies are knitters, others love to crochet and others yet like quilting, these could be the perfect solution for holding tools for their varied interests. 
What do you think?  Do you like this sweet solution?
(I could even put some of the actual candies into a little ziploc inside!)

November 22, 2014

Sunday Scripture...

Thanks, Abby! (Little Birdie Blessings)

November 21, 2014

The Massage Sure Helped...

Image by Martta Wendelin
Thanks to my friend (and massage therapist), Krisann.
 I so appreciate your healing hands.
I'm feeling 100% better - and planning my next project.
I'll tell you all about it next week. Don't want to rush things. Right?

November 20, 2014

The Corgi's Bored...

My poor boy.
Dad's gone for a few days and I'm absolutely no fun right now.
(I'm much better, but not up to Tag's activity standards.)
He's taken to watching episodes of "Unique Eats" on The Food Network.
I'm sure he's planning just what it's going to cost me in doggie treats...
and he'll be well within his rights to make such demands. I owe him big time!

November 19, 2014

A Warm Gift From Cold Illinois...

Not too long ago, I received an email from one of my blog girlfriends asking for
my address. I knew there was something on its way to me, but didn't know what.

Then, late last week, the package arrived and I was so wonderfully surprised!
My friend, Gloria M. sent a parcel loaded with the most beautiful, luscious wools!
She sent me lovely large pieces of earthtone, neutral and warm colors that I can't
wait to use in one of my projects! I'm positive that I'll create a little something
 for her to show my gratitude, too. Can you even imagine such a generous gift?
  Tucked in with all these fabrics was a bag loaded with decor acorns!
(You know they went right into my fall-themed arrangements, don't you?)

Receiving these gifts from Gloria caused me to pause to contemplate how
truly blessed I am. Not only am I surrounded by the love and loyalty of my
own family, I am also gifted with the best of friendships in my life. 
Then, when I began blogging, I never quite understood the depth and longevity 
of the new friendships I would develop through my writings. (I was surprised
that you would even take time out of your busy days to read what I wrote!)
Dear Gloria is one of those friends, and I hope the time comes when I'm 
able to visit her in her home state of Illinois so I can thank her in person.

Thank you for these wonderful, thoughtful gifts, Gloria. Words are never
 enough to adequately express my gratitude for your kindness. Please
 know that you'll be in my heart whenever I use these fabrics, as well as
 each and every time I look at the colorful acorns you sent my way.
Thanks, and thanks again, my friend.
Blessings to you and yours,

November 18, 2014


Wellness in Duitsland image
Not best, but feeling better.

I need to remind myself to be grateful when I feel wonderful.
Tomorrow will be a better day. I'm looking forward to it.

November 17, 2014

Tuesdays With Tag - Now You See Me...

 Hi, Everybody!
I have to show you the newest addition to my wardrobe.
 Dad and our next-door teenager, Tim were out workin' in the barn
over the weekend. Tim works for Dad for extra pocket money, and
I sometimes get to visit with him, too. Anyway, last weekend he was
helpin' Dad sort, toss and organize, so they found all kinds of stuff.

Dad found somethin' cool he thought I might like. Imagine that!
 It's actually the huntin' vest that our English Pointer, Major, used to
wear to protect his chest from heavy cover when he went out with Dad.
It's only a little too big in the chest for me. Otherwise, It fits like a glove!
 You're not gigglin' at me, are you?
Come on. I think I look fabulous in camo!

I kinda blend right into my surroundings. Well, I would if we
were sittin' in an autumn woodland in Wisconsin. Not so much
in the lush palmettos and palms of South Florida, I guess.
 So, Mom said she'd take it in around the edges for me so I can wear it 
when we're in Wisconsin - or when we go for workouts at Mr. Mike's. 
He'll really be impressed with my new duds.

I've gotta get goin' today. Mom's still a little under the weather, so I'll
be her service dog today. I'm multi-talended, after all. Keeps me busy.
I'll be back to chat again next week. 'til then...
"Wag Like Ya Mean It!"

November 16, 2014

Not What I Expected At All...

Web Image
Funny how a little thing like your back can turn your day around...or in my case, a whole weekend! It sure isn't what I expected for my weekend, at all!

I wasn't doing anything silly (like lifting something heavy), but my back went into crazy spasms on Friday. By Sunday, I couldn't take it anymore, so Handsome took me to the ER where I got a couple of injections and an Rx to relax my muscles.

I guess I should send a thank you note to my father to let him know how much I appreciate inheriting his back issues. Oh, yeah. I can't tell you how much I like having three days of back spasms. NOT!

Needless to say, I didn't spend any time at all in the studio, but I did manage to do a little more organizing of my embroidery designs so I'll be ready to start working on my Christmas gifts (hopefully) very soon!

If you have a spare prayer or good wish for healing you can send my way, I'd sure be grateful. I'll be back on Wednesday, and am planning to have something fun to share. No one really wants to read about stuff like this - and I certainly don't like not having something creative to share!

Good thing Tag is here to write his Tuesday post. He was working on it over the weekend, and I think you'll enjoy it.