Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011 Christmas Tree

For the past few years, I decorated the tree with mini white lights, eucalyptus sprigs, and rusty/rustic ornaments.  Well, this year, I changed it up!

When Mr. Inspiring and I started our Christmas shopping, one of the first stores we went to was Lowes, so I could get some tomato cages for these trees.  That's when I was stopped in my tracks and decided that I would change the decorations this year.

When I was little, we ALWAYS had to use those BIG (C7) colored strands of lights, lots and lots of colored ornaments, and TONS of tinsel, hung one strand at a time....  ugh..........  EVERYBODY else had cool trees............  Why couldn't we??

Yep, I'm talking about the lights.  My dad loved the tree this way ~~  I suspect because I think I remember my grandma's tree decorated along the same theme.  Well, there were were, in Lowes, Thanaksgiving weekend, in the Christmas decorations, and I'm just standing there, staring at the boxes and boxes of the C7 lights.......  crying.  Even this morning, the tears are starting.   Those lights were so much a part of Christmas with Daddy......  And Mr. Inspiring really doesn't like those lights..........  He remembers his grandma using them, but the paint was peeling off the bulbs and they didn't really have distinct colors......  (You know the ones I'm talking about....)  We didn't buy them that day.   We went to Menards a couple of days later.  And got 6 boxes of them......  I love Mr. Inspiring!  He knew how my heart was hurting and how much I miss my daddy.

The first picture was taken early one morning last week, and the other was taken this past Saturday morning.  I've been playing around with the shutter time and the aperature settings.......  Trying to understand all those settings...   Did I mention I have blond hair??? 

Anyway, if you look close at the first picture, you can see that I've got my tree sitting in a wash tub.  (not sure which blogger I saw first doing that, but I loved it!!  so ~~ Thank you!!!)  That wash tub was my dad's.

I still used my eucalyptus and my rusty/rustic ornaments, but I added a bunch (A Bunch) of handmade ornaments.  Daddy would have loved it.  (sans the tinsel....  yuck!!)

This January 9, Daddy will have been gone 5 years.  I miss him so.  This tree is helping me feel like he's all around us this Christmas and that's good!!

Thanks for visiting!!  Merry Christmas!!

Hugs ~~ Suz

Sunday, December 18, 2011

2 Quilts Finished Today!

I spent part of the day finishing up a couple of my quilts that I'm giving as Christmas presents.

The first one is one I made with Countdown To Christmas by Sweetwater.  I think the pattern is called the 1600 quilt..... 

I machine quilted it, just straight-ish lines down the middle of each strip with red thread.  The material that I used for the backing kept stretching on my and annoying the crap out of me.  When I was finished quilting it, it was puckering soo badly on the back, and then I noticed a spot on the front that was puckering pretty much, too.  UGH!!! 

At that point I decided to suck it up and just keep going.  I used the Polka Dot fabric from this line for the binding and it really was the perfect material from the line to use.  After I had the binding on it, I washed it (In cold water with a bunch of salt added to it to help keep the colors from running....) and then I dried it.  And when I took it out of the dryer, I fell in love with it!  It's perfect.  The material shrunk up just enough that the puckers I saw are now just part of the lovely quilty crinkliness.....  mmm...   Yep!  The quilt is perfect and I love it!!!

I hurried up and wrote on it just to make sure I DO give it to the intended recipient!! 

The second quilt I finished was the t-shirt quilt for #1 son.  It turned out wonderfully, too!  And I love it and I hope he's surprised and loves it as much as I do. 

It came out of the dryer with wonderful crinkliness, too.  I really didn't think it would, since it is made out of
t-shirts, but it did!! I used black flannel for the binding.  It's wonderful!!! 

So - - I don't think my Counting Christmas Candy is going to be done for Christmas.  The fabric I'm using between my blocks is the same kinda stretchy fabric I used on the back of the first quilt in this post.  And it's making my rows wonky........... so I'm going to be unstitching and restitching........  Oh, joy!!  I'm off work between Christmas and New Year's so.... maybe I'll get it done that week........

Have a wonderful Monday!  Thanks for stopping by!!

Hugs ~~ Suz

I'm linking here:

Fresh Poppy Design

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Handmade Christmas Ornaments

The theme for this weeks linky over at Funky Junk Interiors is Handmade Ornaments, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorites.

First, I want to start with the ones that my grandma made in the early to mid 70's. 

I wish I had the patterns that she used for the beaded ornaments.  Aren't they beautiful?  She used fishing line to hold them all together......  and they're tight, too!  She painted the piano and poinsettia one in 1976. 

Here are some pictures of ornaments I've made, mostly this year.  The first up is one that I saw last year over at Today's Fabulous Finds.  Such a cute idea.  The printable is mod podged to a big paint stir stick.  How clever is that????

The next one was adapted from the book page star ornament.  Mine weren't so much star shaped and I used old word search books........  The glitter is so sparkly!!

The following 2 ornaments I adapted from something I saw on Pinterest.....  I spend WAY too much time over there!!   Anyway, I drilled a small hole all the way through an unused wine cork and then just had some galvanized wire and added beads and the hangers........  Easy Peasy!!!  The beads really reflect the light!!

I might be behind the times a bit, but I FINALLY tried the floor cleaner and glitter ornaments.  They are just too stinking cute!!  I love how they don't drop glitter everywhere!!

Well I was going to add pictures of ornaments I've made in years past, but blogger isn't wanting to cooperate with me right now. 

Thanks for looking and let me know if you'd like more details on how to make any of these.  I'd be happy to share!!

Merry Christmas!

Hugs ~~ Suz

I'm joining these linky parties!!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What's Going On?

Tomorrow, I will be celebrating my first blogoversary....  I had hoped to be able to have a give a way.  Well, THAT's not going to happen this week.  But.... I do have something in mind.  So, I'm shooting for an end of the year or a happy new year give away.  It WILL be fun!

I just wanted to check in and let you all know I'm still alive!  I've been working on some Christmas gifts and decorations and I've been spending a lot of time with my family.  It seems that every weekend Mr. Inspiring and his sister are coming up with fun things for us all to do....  And besides - - Isn't that what Christmas is REALLY about??

We are also in the middle of getting our 36' x 48' shed built, and Mr. Inspiring likes to go and check the progress every evening after supper.  If he's this way with the shed, I can only imagine what he'll be like when we start building our house!!  I'm glad he's excited, though!! 

I promised myself last year that I would not stress out about Christmas this year.  And, actually, I haven't.  I've only got a handful of things that I need to finish. 

While we were digging out our Christmas decorations, I saw some windows that I had up in storage.  And I remembered that I had some looking glass paint.  And I remembered seeing a post where someone combined the two, plus a spray bottle of water, and voila ~~  I came up with this for my bathroom.  Sorry about the fuzzy picture....  I've been playing with the settings on my camera.......  I'll post more pictures when I have it all together!  I've got a couple more windows ~~ I could do a tutorial if anyone is interested??

Anyway,  I cleaned up the window.  On the backside, I spray a little bit of water, then painted it with the looking glass paint (Krylon.... awesome stuff, but it does stink!!)  When it was dry, I wiped where I had sprayed the water.  Then I taped music and script scrapbook paper to the back.  Added a picture hanger and hung it up!  Mr. Inspring loves it. 

I'm in the process of making a W to hang from it, too, but I just haven't finished it yet.  I'll post when I have it all done.  But here's a sneak peek!

Hope your December is going well.  I'll check back in soon!

Hugs ~~ Suz

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Tomato?

Every year, from Thanksgiving to New Year's day, my hometown has Avenue of Lights set up in one of the parks.  Last year, when we went through, I saw some of these Tomato Cage lights.  How awesome is that?  So simple and so pretty.

Mr. Inspiring has an aunt that lives in Kentucky, and we only really get to see her at Thanksgiving.  She is so crafty and always, ALWAYS makes something for all us girls.  That's usually 7 of whatever it is she's making for that year.  Other than my mother-in-law (her sister) no one makes and gives her something back.  Well, I started returning the favor a few years ago and it's so much fun! 

This year I made this Christmas tree for her.  All it is is a tomato cage, 200 mini lights, a ribbon and some jute.  I wrapped the lights around the cage.  Then I wrapped the ribbon around it and tied it off with jute.  She LOVED it!!  She plugged it in as soon she got it!  Yay!! 

This is a SUPER EASY project and inexpensive.  The tomato cage was $3.50 and the lights were purchased on sale for $2.00 a strand.  So that's $7.50.  I already had the ribbon and the jute!!

(I'll have to take pictures of the adorable snowman she made me and post them up for you!!  I'm telling you - - She is T-A-L-E-N-T-E-D!!)

Thanks for looking! 

Hugs ~~ Suz

I'm linking up here:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Counting Christmas Candy

I just wanted to post what I've been busy working on lately. 

I've got 3 quilts in the works, and have another one and a blanket in mind.....  It's official - - I just simply lose my mind this time of year.

First up ~~ Counting Christmas Candy

I was inspired by this quilt that Heidi made and is now available over at the Moda Bake Shop!

I am using the Sweetwater Countdown to Christmas fabric.  When I purchased the fabric, I got 2 jellyrolls - my first jellyrolls I ever purchased.  When I saw this pattern, I thought that I could do it....  I love sewing the strips together and then cutting out the shapes and sewing them back together! 

When I first laid it out, I laid the blocks out like she has them and I just wasnt' sure if I liked it.  Then I spun each triangle, and voile!  Counting Christmas Candy!  They remind me of peppermint candies...... Ok - so I don't know why, but they do....... 

I'm also working on a t-shirt quilt for #2. 

There are shirts on here from when he was just a little guy playing t-ball, some football, some soccer, all the way up to his men's baseball league shirt from last year.  Ms. C has a t-shirt quilt that a friend of her's had her grandma make, so I'm making this one just like it - no sashing and hand quilting.  I used Crayola washable markers to make my lines.  Hopefully it will come out!!

Ms. C's quilt has flannel on the back, so I had Mr. Inspiring take me to HL last weekend and got some black flannel for the backing.  Then, when I was hunting around in my craftroom, I opened a box that I hadn't opened for a while and found this:

This fabric has a 'copyright' date of 2000 and that sounds like the year I would have purchased it.  I was going to redo his room in all baseball and Cardinals.  I only made him pillowcases with this fabric.  I had almost enough  to do the back so I just made a strip of the black flannel and ran it down, off-centered.

When I found the fabric, I knew I HAD to use it.  He's always loved the Cards and now that they've won the world series....  well..... I just HAD to!!  The quilting is going rather quickly and I should have it finished up this week.  I think I'm going to use some of the flannel for the binding and call it done!

I've also got my first jellyroll quilt basted and it's ready to quilt.  I think I'll end up machine quilting it - stitch in the ditch.  I've been practicing stippling, but I'm not comfortable with it yet.

That's what I've been doing!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Hugs ~~ Suz

Linking to these parties......

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Winner! Winner! Winner!!

Thank you everyone for all of your wonderful comments on my post for the Ghastlies Blog Hop!!

With Mr. Inspiring's help, I have a winner for the book cover:

Kelli from Kelli Bear Haven

Kelli - please send me an email with your address and I'll send your book cover to you!!

Also, as an extra surprise, I'm going to give away the Ghastlie Casserole Cover!  I'm making more for Christmas and no one in my family is really into Halloween.  So - - what do you think?

Anyone interested in winning this?

Leave a comment today, and I'll pull a winner tomorrow morning and let you all know who won!!

Have a super wonderful Saturday!  Mr. Inspiring and I are going to the FABRIC store today!!  I'm stocking up on some Christmas material needed to finish some quilts!!  YAY!!!

Hugs ~~ Suz