I am always SO HAPPY when Christmas is in the rear view mirror!! Most of that stems from the fact that Frank is no longer here and the other is the commercialization of it all. That is NOT what Christmas is all about. So that's behind me now and we move forward--thank heavens!
My sister and I were born on practically the same day--she's the 1st and I'm the 4th so we usually do our family birthday dinner together. This year as many times before, we're going Japanese. I think everyone is able to make it this year so we'll be celebrating on New Year's Day! Yippee!! Now all we need is a Cowboys win before dinner. HA!
Not by leaps and bounds or anything near that but it HAS doubled and that's saying a little something. I'm liking this so far and got a bunch of 1/2 yd. red and green cuts from Fabric Shack (they were only $4.98 a yard so not bad for additions to the stash). My friend Judy thought she might like to do some trees but has never paper-pieced so I told her I'd show her how. I did mention that most people either love or hate paper-piecing..not much in between!
because there's only a very tiny little tree lot. But it IS a start and I'm thinking I might join in on Judy's Quiltathon beginning Jan. 5. If the weather's as gorgeous as it's been the past few days, maybe not. We'll see.
Here are our family photos for 2016. Those tall hats and antlers kinda interfered with those on the back row. Of course the first is our silly pose and the second is supposed to be the serious (even though we left our 'costumes' on). My baby was missing this Christmas since he was on a cruise that his friend won the last time they cruised together. I hate it when someone's missing :-(
And then my nephew came up with a goofy game for us to play. It was pretty funny but not as funny as the game at Thanksgiving (with those things in our mouths!!). This one had a wrapped gift (very SECURELY wrapped with LOTS of tape and no loose paper) and involved a hat and pair of silicone cooking mitts plus dice. One person began rolling two dice while the person next to him tried to don the hat and mitts and attempt to get the package unwrapped. Most of the time, we'd no sooner get the hat on and the dice roller rolled a double and you had to pass to the next person. I didn't think we'd EVER get the paper even remotely off the package but finally by #1 son got most of it and my nephew got the remaining off to end the game.
I got this cute pattern on Craftsy (that place is BAD and TEMPTING!) and I needed to try just one block. If I remember correctly, there are 36 trees in the finished quilt so it'll be awhile. But it's paper-pieced (thank HEAVENS) and not too many pieces. There will be red and green trees naturally. Sure hope I can get it done by next Christmas (yeah, RIGHT!!!). LOL
And this was one more that I'd intended to include with my last post. I just LOVE the candles and the colors. Would be a beautiful wallhanging for the entryway.
Every year I browse through Pinteret and other places looking at Christmas quilting stuff. There're always things I haven't seen, whether it's new or I just missed it, that catch my eye and I think "oh man, I need one of these"!! That's where all these UFO's come from. Must.stop.now!!
Isn't this the cutest? Snowglobes..what a great idea!
These little faces..every year I say this'll be the year I'm going to make mine. I even have the pattern. GAH!
I'm really liking the Christmas trees in the bed of red pickups. But this is really cute--bringing home the Christmas tree!! And pretty much all neutral except the red splash of the car and bird!
Oh MY! A spin on the jelly roll race quilt only strips are different widths. CUTE!! Easy too!!
Presents, mittens, cups of hot chocolate..what could be better? Well, lots of things I suppose but this is so cute!
much but do occasionally pick up the hook. I bought this kit on craftsy and I cannot tell you how long I've been working on it. I could probably use it this coming Sun. and Mon. (although I most likely won't leave the house!!!) but doubt it will be done by then. Besides, it doesn't match any of my coats--HAHAHA (sigh). I'm only posting it here so I can link up with Judy.
I bet you thought I was talking about Christmas and yes it is! But that's not what I was referring to (though frankly I'll be glad when it's in the rearview mirror). I decided a week or so ago to get back to work on the fall disappearing 9 patch and yesterday (because the cleaning gal is coming today), I got my rear in gear and finished the last seams and decided it's big enough for my purposes without a border.
My goal the next 2-3 weeks is to get backings made for several tops needing quilting so I can get them to the 'done' stage. This one I'll stay stitch around the outside edges so the longarmer doesn't have to worry about the seams coming loose. This one's definitely not a fave of mine but it's finished and, depending on the size since I haven't measured yet, it COULD become a donation. We'll see. And upon further inspection, I've noticed I didn't sew all the blocks and rows together so the pattern doesn't show. Oh well, tis the life of a disorganized quilter.
I was zipping home from dinner this evening and ALMOST home when this beautiful house caught my eye so I had to go around the block for a better look and a picture. It was so cool that all the windows were outlined.
But then, as I was going around the block, I spotted this one!!! Talk about mega lights (and I'm betting a mega electric bill!).
The first picture is just beautiful and classy. The second is like 'can we cover ALL the bases and make people stop and stare' kinda display. I did stop and stare and think they did cover all the bases. There's a guy around the corner from me that did a Halloween display to music and now he has a Christmas one. I'll have to try and get a video. (I really should've zoomed in a little more to get the full effect..oh well)
I've barely been doing anything quilt related but a little so that's all you'll get today. I'm still SLOWLY working on my fall disappearing 9 patch but won't show anymore until it's ready for quilting. But I DID see a pretty quilt and wanted to make a few blocks as a reminder. And this is what I've done--
We had such a fun day yesterday with lots of yummy food (my son even made his own turducken like turkey except it was a turchickage..turkey, chicken and sausage). As always, WAY too much food and tons of leftovers. We really need to cut back on our dishes and only one or two desserts!
We took our serious and silly pictures and had a couple of good ones
And then we played this hilarious game where you had to put this piece in your mouth (NO, we DIDN'T have to share, we each had our own), try to read from a card and everyone was supposed to guess what your were saying. It was SO FUNNY..we were dying laughing. Of course, P's and B's seemed to be among the hardest. My elder son, my nephew and me (I look like I was REALLY trying to convince someone of something..HA).
This would be such a cute table runner on the holiday table but I don't hostess anymore. That's been turned over to the younger peeps. YAY! We'll be having Thanksgiving at number one son's and my designated dishes to bring are the ham and sweet potato casserole. I'm cooking the ham this evening in the crockpot and will take it over in a foil pan and just reheat. WOOHOO!
I love this little quilt and most likely have the pattern SOMEWHERE as I bought most of her patterns (she had a monthly set of them and they are all adorable). Maybe one of these days I'll make a couple of them.
But then there's STILL my turkey quilt yet to be finished. I love that one too and need to make it a priority to get it done!
Our port of call was Roatan in Honduras but I went over to Little French Key. It's a beautiful private little island and has gorgeous beach areas, lot of chairs, hammocks, loungers, etc. in sun, shade or some of each. They have snorkeling, paddleboards, horses to ride, kayaks, etc. They even have a small 'zoo' of sorts but most were not exotic--there were goats, chickens and roosters, bunnies. Stuff we see on farms, at the fair, etc. There was a leopard but think he went into his house before I got a picture. There were 3 of these little fellows and they looked so lonely. No clue why each was in a cage all by himself. There was this one who interacted more than the other two.
Doesn't he look a little sad?
This is the area where we docked--think this is owned by Carnival and there was a chair lift you could hop over to the free beach. I should've just done that. Would have been much cheaper than Little French Key. Oh well...
I spotted this on the other side of the ship. No clue what happened here!
I promise I'll get back to some quilting content before too much longer but for me, I want to keep track of travels and quilts! So you must suffer along if you want. Our next stop was Belize and we took a GREAT excursion to the ruins at Xunantunich (don't ask me how to pronounce it). They were beautiful and one HUGE pyramid. In order to get to the ruins we had to take a little hand-cranked ferry across a very small river (no clue why they don't just build a small bridge).
GROSS! A termite nest in the tree!!
Did I climb up there? Uh, NO--they didn't have handrails back then. Besides, I don't think my knee would've made it up very far. I do need to remember to take my walking stick with me when I travel.
The little hand-cranked ferry across the river. This tour took ALL DAY..we got off the ship and straight to the bus, driving 2 hours to get to the ruins. Got off, spent about an hour or so at the ruins, back on the bus, drove to a restaurant for a meal, back on the bus driving non-stop back to the ship. Not even a few minutes to shop as when we arrived back at the port we were hurried onto the tender since we were among the last back onboard.
I didn't get many pix in Cozumel I guess because we've been there so many times. I think next time I would just like to do an all-over tour to see the entire island.
My aim is to always try to find one cache in each port. I fail more often than not but this was the one port I DID make a find. WOOHOO! This pix was taken to send to the cache owner as proof that I found it since I didn't have a pen with me to sign the log.
And this was a bunch of the ship staff setting up for the Seuss bash. I've never figured out the whole Carnival/Seuss collaboration but there's lots of Seuss stuff on every cruise! I didn't attend--off doing something else!
As we were making our way down to the port, I wanted to grab a few caches along the way. I'd checked out what was in our path and this first one was a virtual. There is no actual cache container but takes you to a place where you must provide answer in order to claim a find. This was an old one room school museum and, of course, was closed since it was Sunday. But I managed to get the answers one of which asked what the original color of this school house was (it was green) and the name and number of the school (at top of bldg. in first pix) and who owned that second building where haircuts were given (League City Ice Company).
The second cache was located in this old cemetary where many of the founding members of the town of Dickinson, TX were buried. I found it rather odd that so many were Italian names and had immigrated here to form this town since my DH's father had immigrated alone to the U.S. at the age of 9!!
There were some beautiful grave markers that have somehow survived the vandalism that is rampant in cemetaries--so sad.
I've been on an ocean tour aboard the beautiful Carnival Breeze. We had a wonderful time (son and I) and the weather was as near perfect as it could be!! Apparently there was an intestinal sickness going around the ship (I heard several were quarantined to their cabins for a couple of days) that apparently also affected some of the performers so that the entertainment was not completely up to par. But stuff like that can't be helped. For today, I'll just post a couple of beautiful sky shots I took
and THEN I'll post some photos of places we visited and some of the exciting geocaching adventures we experienced. HA!!