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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The pre-graduation pictures and thoughts.

This is actually at the end of the graduation ceremony, and it's blurry, but you can see all the balloons falling on the students.

Ok, so last week, Evelyn was on the Wendy Williams show and got to be on the "Ask Wendy" segment! Believe it or not, you have to audition for that and send pictures of yourself and a list of questions you would like to ask. This is the picture she sent to the show. Evy wanted to talk about the future and whether or not she had to focus on a career or could she still "explore" her options, even though she is graduating from college. Well, Wendy is clearly a mom and said exactly what I am always saying, "It's time to focus, girlfriend (she actually called Evy Sweet Peach!!) and get that career started. Exploring was what college was for!" No more Peter Pan, then. Oh well, poor Evy. She was just singing the "I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Toys R Us kid" song to us the other night.

Here she is ready to leave for graduation. I like her pink coat!

Outside of the gym with her cap and gown still in the bag. She said she will miss Stony Brook. I know I still do.

Evelyn's a college graduate today!

This afternoon, Evelyn graduated from SUNY Stony Brook with a BA in English. Here is the gym with the red and white balloons in the front of the seats.
The program. When I went to Stony Brook, they were not doing everything with the school colors. I liked this.
The graduates waiting to be seated.

After the ceremony, the college let thousands of red and white balloons fall from the ceiling. If you click on the picture, you can see it. Since this was a winter graduation, there were less students than normal, but it was kind of nice to have a smaller group (about 1000) instead of the huge number it usually is. Much more intimate. I could see Evy in her seat most of the time and I was close enough to see her get her diploma.
Here she is with flowers from her dad. All done. Next stop, graduate school. She already has an internship/job opportunity lunch coming up next week, so she is on the move!! She has several things in mind, so if one thing does not work out, she will just move on.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

White Christmas this year:)

This is a neighbor down the road with his tractor cleaning his driveway. He is in the street here and you can see that we have not been plowed.

Evy walking to her car to help Rob shovel.

Ken with his snowblower. They put the little cover on this year so his face would not get all burned from the wind and snow.

Penny made this path. The snow is over her head.

View of the chicken coop and pen. I love the snow though and am glad I live in a state that has real weather all four seasons!! It makes the winter seem shorter when you have a lot of snow and have something to do (for us it's the cleaning it up part). It looks pretty too.

You know you're hearty people when this happens!!

Well, that's what I get for being smug about the weather forecast!! We got a real blizzard the week before Christmas!! :)

We even had a Saskquatch (can't spell it!!) sighting.

I think Rob is a living snowman.

Good luck mailman!

Snow is almost as high as the garage. Ken and Rob have been snowblowing and shoveling all day so far. Evy and I did the steps and around the cars across the street. I know it's an inconvenience to have all this snow, but you do feel good being outside and working. Our road has still not been plowed and it's 1 p.m. The mall is closed all day too. So far, I have not had time to sew because we have all been outside, so that will have to wait until tonight when the chores are all done. We moved the younger chickens into the coop with the old timers last night, but cannot let them out of their crate since the older ones will not accept them yet. It's too small to let them all out together anyway since they would have nowhere to hide from their enemy! Once we get the pen shoveled out, then we can try it for a few hours at a time.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A blizzard comes our way, so I sit and sew

Today we are expecting a blizzard, so it was a good day to get errands out of the way earlier in the day and then cozy up by the woodstove and work on some projects that need to get finished before the holiday season is over. I have been working on this table runner for a few weeks. The insets are machine embroidered cross-stitch vintage Christmas cards. They took a long time to stitch out, but they are beautiful.
One of the blocks that I loved and had to make. The borders are from another Christmas quilt I am working on. I took a class and started it in October and I am almost done with it. I thought it would look nice to have some coordinating things in one room.

The middle block of the runner.

The top block. She is really pretty when you see all of the colors used. These designs are hard because you have to use so many gradations of the same color to give it a realistic look. Well, I should get a lot done this weekend since we are prepared for the snow and plan to stay in tomorrow too. The mall closed at 5 in preparation for the worst to come, so will amount to nothing!! I'll tell you tomorrow!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Santa came early!! A lazy Susan to celebrate!!

I asked my dad to make me a lazy Susan a while back, so I knew it would only be a matter of time before one headed for New York from Florida. Well, a week ago, this box came in the mail with BIG directions that I was NOT to open until Christmas. (My kids and I are naughty when gifts come in the mail for birthdays and holidays...we just cannot wait!) However, I did not open it even though I thought I knew it was a lazy Susan.

On Thursday, my mom sent me a text telling me I could open it that night. Oh boy, I could not rush home fast enough. By the way she was talking, I knew it was not just a run-of-the-mill lazy Susan. I was so sure that it would have a chicken or rooster carved into it, so I tore that box apart like I was Edward Scissorhands!! Can you imagine my total shock when I saw this instead? I almost fell-out with excitement. On top of that, I was heading for a quilt class within minutes of opening this amazing masterpiece. I quick called my father and let him know how crazed I was and that it was on its way to be fawned over by other people who would totally appreciate the hard work and detail he put into it.
Look, even the sides have intricate designs!! The girls at the quilt shop were in awe of this, and told me I could NOT use it on the table for actual FOOD! No way! LOL

In case you are not familiar with the design, it is called Lone Star and is made of 60 degree and 45 degree angles when it is made into a quilt. All of these pieces are separate pieces of wood that are not forgiving like fabric (which I have been known to steam and stretch into place when I had to), so everyone was stunned at how perfectly the edges matched and how each edge butted up against the next one exactly.

Today I got my dining room cleared of fabric and thread and other crafting stuff and placed lazy Susan in her place of honor on the table. We are having a dinner party again this week, so our friends will be able to admire it. I will probably cover it with a placemat though when I put the butter and salt and pepper on it. Isn't it awesome to have a retired dad who is a master woodworker?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A couple of chicks stopping by

Yesterday was a cleaning/sewing/cooking day at the homestead. This is an embroidery design I bought on Thanksgiving day (online, of course) and worked on it a little all day long!! It is a cross stitch design and it really looks handmade. The machine started going crazy at the end, so I was getting frustrated with the thread breaking every few seconds, but finally it was done. There are 5 pictures in the pack, so will make them all and use them in table runners and mats for the dining room.
Well, you know how I have one hen who thinks we are friends (we are!!) and that she can come in whenever I have the door open. While I clean house, I leave all the doors open so things can air out and the dogs can run in and out. Lucy always comes in when the door is open.

She is checking out the cleaning job in the bathroom!

Inspecting the floors. She found a few crumbs!

Eventually Lucy invited her friend Ethel in for a quick walkabout!! I had gone out to clean the chicken coop and there they both were just milling about like they thought I should be cleaning my own darn house, not messing around with theirs. When I get Lucy out and close the doors, she will go around the house and look in every window and door to see if there is a way in. In the winter, she will sit on the woodpile and just stare inside at us. She is a laugh riot!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Gift containers for the holidays

When I was visiting with my friend Bev a few weeks back, we made the nicest gift containers using paint cans (you can buy them at Home Depot or Lowes), vintage pictures and GLITTER!! Oh my, how I love glitter!!
Deb came over for the day today and we made soap (a really different blend with grapefruit and lime essential oils and ground oatmeal---will be a great pick-me-up for the long winter ahead), went to lunch and then we made these cans together. The best part is all the glittering we did. Deb loves glitter too, and went to town on her pictures. They are so Christmassy!!
This is a small paint can with a gorgeous picture on it. Deb will put a puffy bow on the top of the can.
This is a bucket I did with birds and holly and bells. I loved this picture and had to use it. I got all of the pictures online when I looked for free vintage Christmas clip art and cards.

These two buckets have the same winter scene on them. Deb's is the one with the gold ribbon. She used a lot more glitter on her picture, but it is not over the top. It looks great. I am working on some vintage embroideries with my machine tomorrow. There are some really beautiful designs out there,and I am making a table runner tomorrow with a few. Thanks for the great ideas for the paint cans, BEV!! We were inspired!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Of course I have an inflatable turkey on the yard!! This guy is so cute that I just had to have him.

This is the second to last wool embroidery block that I had to make for the quilt I have been working on all year. The last block is for Christmas and will be finished by this weekend if I try hard. Then I can put it all together and viola!! It's been a joy working on this at night while I am watching tv. Handwork is fun.

This morning I made this guy on my embroidery machine while I was watching movies and the parade. It's a towel for the kitchen. It's just for display though and will be put away this weekend as I get ready for Christmas. It's 2:30 pm and I am still in my pajamas!! I've got the turkey in the oven and the bread rising, so pretty soon I'll have to hit the shower. No one is coming over though so it will be us and the kids for dinner. I actually like that though since it keeps it all so easy and simple. Ken and Rob are fishing at the ocean (Rob is feeling pretty good already), so they are having fun too. Evelyn has to work on Black Friday, but is home doing homework for college now. Her boyfriend came over already to watch the parade and have bagels with her. Now she is hitting the books!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wisdom teeth OUT!!

Doesn't Rob look like Santa??!! Only one month to Christmas. He even has the red clothes. He had all four wisdom teeth pulled today and the doctor said they were really impacted and hard to take out. So far though, he feels pretty good. We went to Borders while we waited for his prescription (for pain that will inevitably come VERY soon) and he got a new cook book (Alton Brown) from the tooth fairy. My mother reminded me that the tooth fairy needed to arrive some time today. His white beard is a towel with ice packs in it. He attached it to his head with a belt so that he could play his video game. Clever, isn't he? He has to eat soft foods for a few days, so Thanksgiving has to be a mostly mashed potato and pumkin pie event. Oh, he does not know I am posting this on my blog, so SSSHHHH!! I told him I was sending the picture to nana.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thankful pilgrims

I started this pilgrim wallhanging last week when Kenny asked me for one. There were no patterns available, so I looked online for some coloring book pages. Believe it or not, it was hard to find a picture that was not goofy or silly in some way. Eventually, I came up with this idea from a picture I saw on some clip art page.
Here they are with their faces and bodies outlined with black thread. I used a tight zig-zag stitch to make the outlines and contours on the clothes and hair.

Then I made some leaves and put them on the top and bottom of the pumpkin. They are three dimensional and have fabric on both sides of them.

The last step was to add an orange binding, which frames it up nicely. Overall, I am pretty happy with it. Since it was a make-it-up-as-you-go kind of project, there are some little mistakes, but no one else would realize it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A few recent projects.

I went to see my friend over at Bee Haven Acres last weekend and brought this reversible apron I made for Bev. She is the apron-making queen (even had one in a magazine!!), but I know it is still always fun to have someone else make us one! This is the Christmas side.

Evelyn came to the quilt shop when I was going for the fabric and she loved the little penguins skating on the ice.
This is the autumn side. The tan has wheat-like images on it. The big pocket has owls and pumpkins. Evelyn picked that out too. She has even told me that she would like to make an apron one day when she is done with college (in December she will graduate!!)

Today I took a class at the quilt shop on this folded star design. I did not buy ANY fabric for the class. Spent a few minutes in the attic going through my enormous stash and came up with these colors. Loved the way they came together. I had to leave the class early to attend an 80th birthday party for my neighbor, but came home later and finished it. It's in the frame and everything!
Kenny asked me for a Thanksgiving wallhanging with Pilgrims on it, and since there is no pattern available, I found some ideas from coloring books (always handy with easy designs) and created my own. It's almost done, but I am not sure how it will look! Maybe I will be able to post it tomorrow night. Or not!