Monday, December 27, 2021

Christmas Cheer

 In our part of the world Christmas Day is most often gray and wet. We actually had a white Christmas this year! It began about mid-morning on Christmas Day...

One little rosebud on my Queen of Sweden bush.

 But kept falling the rest of the day and overnight.

It got even deeper after this photo was taken. We're seeing some of the lowest temperatures I remember ever experiencing up here too. It was all of seven degrees Fahrenheit when I got up this morning. Thank goodness our power has not failed! The sun is out now, and while the snow looks heavy and wet I doubt it will be melting away soon. The real problem is the ice underneath the snow. One branch of that rosebush has been frozen to the porch railing. We had to work to get the patio door open at all to let the dog out this morning too. 

We're hoping the roads will be made safe for travel by mid week so our daughter and her family can drive over for our delayed gift exchange. We haven't spent any real time with those grandgirls in two years, for obvious reasons. Our son and daughter-in-law in Arizona set up a Zoom call so we could see the newest granddaughter in action. That was delightful. 

The gifts I received this year were diverse and thoughtful. I was very impressed that my good friend and my sisters-in-law all thought to provide me with safe bar soaps. I'd run into difficulties finding my favorite brand and variety of bath soap in the fall. C~ made a friend through Ravelry who makes soaps specifically for people with MCS. She ordered three bars and a bag of "coffee grounds" for me. The two darker bars have coffee grounds in them (I'm not sure why or what benefit they may offer) and the bag contains shards or off-cuts from when the bars are made. It will be fun to try them out. 😊

The box with the snowman on the lid was chock full of little bars of my favorite soap.

There was also a little box of pins with cute little bird toppers that didn't make it into the photo shoot. The stack of books was very welcome as I'd run out of things to read. Having a lightweight paperback in my hands may keep me from trying to sew again too soon. Brand new paperbacks seem to be safe for me - so far, knock on wood. I sure miss being able to check books out of the library though. That's the best way to discover new authors and genres to read in my experience. And far less expensive! 

The poinsettia plant was a late arrival from my husband. He's been suffering from insomnia and overlooked it when he was rounding up the gifts for under the tree. The poinsettia represents a professional flower arrangement to be delivered each month for the coming year. Woohoo! That really lifts my spirits. 

Oh, and how could I forget?! James felted up a couple of toadstools for a friend of his, then went on to make this for me!

 I wish I could capture the texture better for you. There's real dimension to the log on which the mushrooms are "growing." The leaves surrounding the picture were leftovers from an Oberon costume he'd made some years ago.

He did a very neat job of the back of the piece too. Better than I'd done with an embroidery I left framed in the hoop I used to stitch it!

As we approached Christmas I thought my arms were improving and had hope of being able to pick up a needle again soon. I don't know if the holiday activities have aggravated things or what, but I'm having more pain again which is very discouraging. I'm desperately hoping I won't have to have surgery for a multitude of reasons. Crossed fingers, positive thoughts, prayers on my behalf are all encouraged and welcomed. 😁

Monday, December 20, 2021

Full Stop

 I  made some additional progress on the new quilt top out of the Parts Department. Built a couple of 12" blocks out of 6" parts and then sashed the blocks with scrap strips to mimic the Chinese Coins columns I intend to put between and on either side of these three columns.

But now I seem to be suffering from a flare of carpal tunnel syndrome. I tried a bit of needlework...

And had to quit due to the shooting pain up my forearm. This was meant to be my ATC for week 50 of the #52tagshannemade project. My hope of having a complete set of ATC's by the end of the year has evaporated. I am determined to fulfill the final prompts eventually, it just won't happen this year, darn it. There won't be much, if any, progress on quilts in the immediate future either. Both arms are acting up actually, the left less than my dominant right side, but enough to keep me from using either to the extent I normally would. {sigh} This is NOT FUN. 😒 I am feeling more like the Grinch this Christmas than Sally-Mae Who (or whatever her name is). 

May your holidays be brighter than mine this year! ❤️

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Scrap Happy in December

 How is it possible that we are halfway through the month of December already?! Having just finished up what's absolutely necessary in preparation for Christmas I turned my attention to busting some scraps. 

First I sewed up these 3" (finished) half-square triangle units.

And then I sewed up another batch. 

 There are over 100. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them yet. 

The destruction wrought by a spate of tornadoes through the central US over the weekend spurred me to get out blocks from my Parts Department to see what I could pull together for a potential donation quilt.

 Pondered them overnight, dug out some parts I'd made that I could turn into a few more 12" (finished) blocks, and arrived at this point:

I'm thinking I will build this quilt in a strippy format (vertical columns). These pieced blocks will be the focal columns and I'll use the leftover 6" Chinese Coins strips friends in my local guild made for the four alternate columns. It remains to be seen how well that will work.

I now have blocks for these three columns but still have to decide what to do about sashing them. 

 It will definitely be fabric I already have on hand. I have fabric that's been donated from another quilter's stash I can probably use for a back... but let's not get ahead of ourselves! 

This scrappy link party is hosted by Kate in Australia and Gun in Sweden with participants all around the globe. Everyone posts in their own time zone on the 15th of each month if/when they have something to share. There will be inspiring projects in an assortment of mediums. 😊

KateGun, Eva, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Claire, Jean, Jon, Dawn, Jule, Gwen, Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L,
Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Bear, Preeti, Edith, Debbierose

And if I don't get back here again before the year is over, I hope all my readers have a safe and happy holiday season! 🎁