Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Shop Till You Drop

Today Elizabeth and I shopped all day long. Our day began with breakfast at IHOP and then bargain hunting at various stores. Our main purpose for shopping was the fabric stores; I needed some fabric for a future quilt as well as more backing fabric for my fussy cut quilt. Sadly we did not find what I needed.
However, we did find some nice 75% off Christmas deals. This double mug set cost me $3.75 after the discount. I will be using the mugs for a gift basket;
The kids will eat the chocolate and I plan on putting assorted teas and homemade cookies with the mugs in a wicker basket.
I found an unexpected bargain at the grocery store today; cheese marked 50-cents per package. It normally sells for $3.59 per package. I bought 11 packages and will freeze it until we are ready to use it in cooking.
Elizabeth received a gift card for Barnes and Nobel Books from Aunt Eva, Uncle Barry and Cousin Richard. We searched all over the store looking for just the right book.
After much discussion we decided on a handmade leather journal with lock and key. Elizabeth was very excited about this purchase.
Our final stop was Little Caesars for a quick and easy dinner.
We are so tired I think we will sleep until next year! :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back To Quilting Pt. 3

All the quilting is finished now.I decided to try my hand a echo quilting for each fussy cut block.
Some of the blocks came out pretty good;
And some are just so so.
But since this was my first time trying echo quilting I am pretty happy with it.
Tomorrow I will need to buy some more of the backing fabric for the binding; I hope the store still has some in stock.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Back To Quilting Pt. 2

I completed about 80-percent of the quilting today; all I lack now are the blocks.Today, Belinda at Brown Dirt Cottage , called the quilting Long and Loopy; this is a perfect name!
I love how the quilt feels; it is so heavy!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Back To Quilting

Today I dug out my fussy cut quilt top and ironed it; Next I pieced a back;
And began the quilting.

I hope to get all the quilting finished pretty soon because I have an idea for another quilt.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Budding Photographer

One of Elizabeth's gifts this year was a small digital camera; it measures approximately 2.5" x 3" and will take 40 pictures before you need to unload it on to a computer.She has been having so much fun with the camera and I love seeing what she thinks is "Picture Worthy".

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Nice Lazy Day

Today was a nice lazy day; it began with presents around 8 A.M. Then a late breakfast of french toast and hot chocolate.
For Christmas dinner we went to my mother-in-law's home and spent the rest of the day visiting.
It was dark after we got home so some of the chickens roosted in the Mulberry tree.
It sure felt good to do absolutely nothing all day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I Love Christmas and all that it means.
I hope you all enjoy this wonderful day with family and friends.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Gingerbread Boy

Elizabeth worked on her first handmade tree ornimant today. I cut out the pattern and she began placing the buttons where they looked best.
Once the button placement was decided she stitched them on and made the nose and mouth with embroidery floss.
After that she began stitching the front and back together.
Here is how the gingerbread boy looks before his stuffing.
And here he is all cozy on the tree.
Elizabeth is so happy with her little boy and has given him the name Daniel.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Little Stress

I have always heard working with leather is difficult because most mistakes cannot be fixed. So, on Thursday, when I was asked to put a name on a leather guitar strap I wasn't too sure if I wanted the job.Most places are not able to even begin a job for at least 6 to 8 weeks; and since the strap was to be a Christmas gift I held my breath and decided to give it a try. As the machine was sewing I sat and watched each stitch until the name was finished.

I am very pleased with how it came out and now my heart is beating once again!

Friday, December 19, 2008

May I Brag a Little?

Jonathan received a wonderful letter in today's mail. He has been accepted into the Honors College at Tech.
I am so proud of his accomplishments!

A Christmas Gift

This old armoire was given to me a few years ago by a friend. I had wanted to use it as a closet but there wasn't enough room inside it so I had been using it for storage. One day Pat and I were talking to a local antique dealer about selling it and during the conversation we decided to turn it into a gun cabinet for Jonathan. Pat took out all the old hardware and built the inside to house several guns.
He also built two drawers at the bottom to hold accessories.
Jonathan discovered the newly remodeled cabinet in the storeroom last night by mistake. We were hoping to keep it from him until Christmas day but it was just too big to hide.
It was easier to hide his gifts when he was younger!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More Christmas Goodies

Along with the other Christmas goodies I have already mentioned I like making peanut brittle; the recipe does not work in all microwaves so I am not able to share it. Fudge; the recipe is located on the Kraft Marshmallow Cream jar.
And party mix; the recipe is located on the Chex cereal box.
My packages are now all packed and shipped! It sure feels good to be done with most of the cooking now. (I say most because I will still need to make a few more items for local friends.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Full Production

My kitchen is quit full of goodies being baked, cooled and packaged as I am getting all my items ready for shipping tomorrow.After the boxes are dropped off at FedEx I should be able to slow down a little.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Memories

For the past several days we have been slowly bringing out our decorations, setting up the tree, adding the lights and then the ornaments . Each year as the ornaments are unpacked they bring back fond memories.

One year, I believe in 1981 when I was in high school, my mom had a neat idea to make Ginger Bread men, women and houses out of cardboard and fabrics. At the same time we did the gingerbread decorations I also made this stuffed Santa and colored him with magic marker.
These beaded ornaments were made by my grandmother but I am unsure of the date.
Pat's aunt made this snowman from dough. He has such detail and is so cute; unfortunately his little metal hook, at the top of his head, no longer stays in place so he cannot hang on the tree any longer.
Jonathan and Elizabeth do all the hanging as I unwrap each ornament and we talk about where they came from, who made it or who gave it to us.
Elizabeth was very interested in the ornaments Jonathan made when he was little. I told her we would make some so she would have her own homemade ones; but this will probably not happen until after Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thank You Grandma!

Elizabeth received a package in the mail today from Grandma in Missouri;A pair of handmade pink socks.

Gift Exchange

Tonight I will be attending a Mom's Night Out Dinner and Gift Exchange. Usually I make kitchen towels as my gift but I wanted something more fun this time.While digging through some of my patterns I found this cute snowman pillow.
He was so easy to make and so cute I am planning on making a second pillow for myself.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Another favorite gift giving item is chocolate chip cookies. I can make a batch of cookies for around $1.50; one batch makes 5 to 6 dozen cookies. I use the Nestle Toll House Recipe found on the back of the package.
The chocolate chips is the most expensive part of the recipe but I stock up on them after Christmas when they are 2 or 3 bags for a dollar and store them in the fridge or freezer to be used throughout the year.
The cookies are bagged in 1-gallon plastic bags and put in the fancy paper bags just like the caramel corn.
One batch of cookies makes two gift bags.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Caramel Corn

Another cost effective gift is caramel corn; I can make a double batch for less than $1.

Caramel Corn

8 cups popcorn
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons margarine
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Begin by popping a large batch of popcorn; I like making this in the hot air popper so it will be light and fluffy. Remove all un-popped kernels and put popcorn in a large roasting pan.
Combine sugar, margarine, corn syrup and salt in a medium size pan; bring to a boil on medium high heat; boil hard for 5-minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat; add baking soda and vanilla; stir well.
Pour over popcorn and gently stir to coat evenly; bake in a 300 degree oven for 15-minutes; stir and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Place on wax paper to cool.
Now I put the popcorn in gallon size plastic bags and seal with tape;
Then I place this in a Christmas bag to make it pretty.
I stock up each year on these fun Christmas bags when they are marked down to 5-cents each. One caramel corn filled bag cost me less than 40 cents!

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