Monday, December 30, 2019

Monday Mystery

Well, I was so disappointed when we opened our gifts on Christmas Eve.

No, not about my gifts---they were all great. I was upset and disappointed because I bought a gift for Jordan that did not turn up when we were unwrapping.

Last year, I started something new for Morgan and Jordan now that they are adults. Each year, I'm going to give them a Christmas book and a Christmas decoration to start their holiday collection. This year, when we went on our Danube river cruise, I decided that the decorative item was going to be a set of nesting eggs from Germany. As it turned out, I only found one set that I really liked. I decided to give it to Jordan since it was a "small" gift. Coming from Los Angeles for Christmas means we need to keep the gifts "little."

Anyway, I was very excited about the nesting egg because it was so cute! It never turned up. We checked under the tree to make sure we hadn't somehow overlooked something. It was a mystery for sure.

The next day, I got a text from Jordan. "We found it in the hot chocolate box!" I do remember her opening a gift of hot chocolate. What I don't remember was that I wrapped the egg in there! It's not unusual for me to give something like hot chocolate. I like to have a few things I refer to as fillers so that everyone gets approximately the same number of gifts.

I was so happy! I thought I had somehow thrown it away---it was so little.
The main one is two inches tall. Yes, there were 10 nested inside. She loved it!! So. Darn. Cute!

Thank goodness, mystery solved!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Weekend at Sandy's

So, Christmas has come and gone. It was a good one. We started with the weekend before in Atlanta with Sandy and family.

We arrived on Thursday night.
It's hard to get a good picture at night---at least I don't know how. Their house was all lit up and so pretty in person.

On Friday we had lunch and then saw Frozen II. She made a delicious lasagne dinner. After clean up, we had our first (maybe annual) family auction. Sandy had us each bring a $15.00 holiday item. We were each given $50 in play money. Sandy brought out the items one at a time.
 Sandy was the auctioneer.
 We had so much fun with this.

Okay, the pictures are all messed up again, so here goes.
 She always sets a nice table. Festive paper plates make for a quick clean up!
 More auction.
Sandy found the CUTEST mini elf on the shelf. It is so adorable. We all had fun hunting for it. I hid it on the tree right before we left on Sunday. Sandy said they looked several times and almost needed to ask for a hint. Instead, they finally found it in the shopping bag. I'm getting one next year!
 Modeling the Christmas hat that matches her pajamas during the auction.
 Here we are in Elizabeth's room. She had the coolest skinny tree! I've asked her to send me a picture, but she never did.
 My girls and I---me, Sandy, Stephanie and Mindy. Gosh, I've really shrunk!
On Saturday, Sandy had an ugly sweater contest. Butch didn't have one, so instead, brought his ugly robe from 1972. It's a family joke, although color blocking was the style at the time. About 10 years ago, Butch tried to put the robe in good will. The girls saw it, took it out, wrapped it and gave it back to him for Christmas. They all got a good laugh when he wore it instead of a sweater. The contest wasn't really about real ugly sweaters anyway. You'll see below.
These little, edible, rim hugging, gingerbread houses were the first item up for bid during the auction. They are adorable. Stephanie was insulted that they didn't get many bids. As a result, she got them herself and then sent us this picture. They are darn cute. The problem is no one wanted to spend their money on the very first item.
This is one of my favorite pictures. Greg made us winter white cosmos for happy hour on Friday night. Can you see Kid Rock peeking out in the background?
We were told there would be an ugly sweater contest. We had no idea that it would be actually decorating ugly sweaters!

 Sandy made a hot chocolate bar. The hot chocolate is made in the crock pot---soooo delicious!
Sandy and Stephanie don't always think that Mindy helps enough. I've defended her in that she's an early bird like me. She's the one helping early in the morning when everyone else is still sleeping or getting ready, so they don't see her in action. I decided to snap this shot as proof that she does her fair share!
Getting ready to play Rudolph's ring toss---one of the auction items.
Sandy put up this slim tree in her bedroom. Elizabeth had the same one, but decorated differently in her room. They are so cute and festive. They look so pretty all lit up at night!
Butch won the Christmas hat!

On Saturday evening, Sandy, Greg, Stephanie, Nicky and Mindy went to the Yacht Rock concert. That was really the purpose of the visit to begin with. Look who they ran in to!
Malinda and Drew (not in the picture). Malinda and family have been best friends with us since 1987! They spent the evening together. This was Sandy and Greg's first yacht rock concert. I don't think it will be their last!

We had so much fun for the weekend that we're talking about making it an annual event! I know it's a lot of work for Sandy, but it sure was fun and relaxing for us. Butch said it best, "Barb, Sandy "out-Barbed you!" And she did!!! I always prided myself in making all holidays fun and festive for the girls growing up. We were a game playing family and had many activities and surprises. Sandy has definitely taken it to the next level!!! (OMGosh---with that line, it reminds me that The Bachelor starts next week!)!

Anyway, I need to up my game!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

It's Christmas Eve!

It's here! Christmas Eve! Let the festivities begin!

It's not too late to do your napkins "cutely"---even if I did mine last week!

I thought I would share an easy napkin fold just in time for the holiday. This is called the "envelope fold."
 Lay your napkin print right side down if there's a right and wrong side.
Fold on the diagonal.
Take one side to the middle.
Take the other side to the middle. You can match them tip to tip. I slightly overlapped mine.
Do that again---take one side and fold it in to the center.
Fold the other side in.
Fold from bottom to top just below the "flap" of the envelope
Fold top down to complete the envelope. They look really cute on the plate

Side note about these napkins. Years ago, when I chaired our church women's club annual fashion show fundraiser (year after year), I got the bright idea that we'd make napkins to use at the luncheon and then sell after. And when I say "we"--I mean those wonderful ladies that can sew!! Anyway, we did this for several years and they were always a hit. They were always sold out prior to the luncheon. The best part, the buyers took them home that day so we didn't even have to wash them! I'm still using them---I have 3 different sets.
I've got all of my napkins ready to go. Only the one set is folded. the others are in napkins "rings" even though they aren't rings---the ones in the back are ceramic Christmas trees. The ones in the front are in a metal, sparkly sleighs.

I'll be doing 3 meals in the dining room: Christmas Eve breakfast, Christmas Eve dinner and then Christmas Dinner. My most favorite thing to do is set the table. I'll be sharing my table photos later.

Send me some pictures of your table and I'll post them here!

Monday, December 23, 2019

A Few More Christmas Things

So, this year, I've really been enjoying Christmas Party on Spotify. It's some traditional Christmas songs and then unusual and new songs. There's a variety of artists to keep it all interesting. One morning a song popped up that I never heard before. All of a sudden, the chorus was "don't shoot me Santa!" Butch and I looked at each other. It's a song by The Killers. I don't even think I know who they are. I guess I shouldn't be surprised they would have such a dark song with such a dark name. Still, it was kind of "catchy."

Did you see Brad Paisley Thinks He's Special? I think you could probably still find that On Demand. I really liked the show. Mindy hit the nail on the head. It was like one long advertisement for Nashville. I loved that. It's so much fun seeing places you are familiar with on television. Plus, there were lots of stars!

Did you catch the CMA Country Christmas this year? It's not too late---you can still get it On Demand too. Anyway, there was a group on there that I never heard of before. For King and Country were so good. Makes me want to see what else they have out.

During the holiday season, I love driving around and paying attention to Christmas decorations. Well, something caught my attention that I thought was so weird. As I was driving by a neighborhood of duplexes, I noticed that one side was all decked out while the adjoining stair was completely unadorned. It looked really odd. Wouldn't you think the enthusiastic neighbor would discuss it with the plain neighbor? Maybe the plain neighbor doesn't celebrate. Still it looked so funny. Sort of like the neighbor next door to Stephanie and Nicky who they called Bob Villa for all his great projects. He's moved now, so no more need to keep up with the Joneses/Villas!

Somebody is getting a surprise!
 Thanks to Amanda for making this for me! So creative and clever!

 St. Louis riverfront.
I still miss my hometown at Christmas. There's no place like home for the holidays. I'm not going to lie. It was much less work when we went there!

I couldn't resist this for a second time.
My brother, the Elf on the Shelf! I don't think this will ever get old!!

Okay, it's all starting tomorrow!! Are you ready!

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Needlepoint Update

Last weekend, I was on a roll. I use the library as a staging area during the holidays.
The boxes were piled up. Once I opened them, I had stuff everywhere.

Since I finished my wrapping, it was time to get the library cleaned out and the wrapping box re-organized. One thing lead to another and the next thing I knew, I was cleaning out the cabinets in there too. Basically, all that's in them is empty boxes that I "might" need someday and my needlework accessories.

I decided that I wanted to get this bag in the cabinet.
 It is bulging at the seams with fibers and threads. It was way too tall to fit. I decided I needed to go through and clean out.
I have them sorted by colors on rings. It took me two full hours to do it!!! I did get to watch a Christmas movie that was pretty good---Holiday Calendar on Netflix. Pretty predictable, but still good.

I was so happy to get this done. I have a small shopping bag FULL of stuff I'm giving away to another needlepointing friend. I got that big bag to fit in the cabinet. One less thing sitting around.

So while I'm talking needlepoint, I thought I would share my lates project.
 This is called "It Takes a Village."
 This project is part of a club where you get the stitch guide and fibers for one shop a month.
 We started with the bank right in the middle.
 I've finished the bank. It took about a week. I started the club late, so I have 3 others to catch up. After Christmas, I'll have the time to really spend with it.

Now, it's back to Christmas.
 You might remember this Christmas train I did several years ago.
 They are some of my favorites. Well, Christmas came early for me this year. I never expected to get these back before Christmas. I certainly don't need them yet.
 The Easter train is by the same designer. I love how they turned out!

 The pictures don't really do them justice. The wheels are completely beaded with a Pom Pom in the center. There's also a Halloween train that is pretty awesome. Connie has it, but hasn't worked it yet. I'm still thinking about it.

Back to Christmas--again.
 I'm getting to display this 3D Santa for the first time. I finished it last January. The Noel is pretty old-well, I guess not that old. I finished that in 2009. I don't always remember to sign and date everything.
 And then there's this. My pride and joy.
 It was so much fun to stitch.
 Love this nutcracker in pink and green.
 Snowman family. The little boy has baseball bats for arms and baseball buttons.
 This is the pillow that I made for Victoria.
 Some little stand up Santas.
 This is the pillow that I made for Jordan that was stollen. Morgan has asked me to make her a Christmas pillow. Jordan has requested another to replace this one. And then Mindy mentioned that she doesn't have a Christmas pillow either. Luckily, I have a few years before Elizabeth will be ready for one. I'll have my work cut out for me this year.
 I did this old-fashioned Santa for Sandy several years ago.
 Love this star Santa.
 This is one of my favorites too. I made this one for Stephanie.
I've given this one to Mindy---so, technically, she does have one.

Knowing I have so many pillows to make, I picked this canvas up when they were on sale in October. Once I finish the village I have going, this is next in line.

Another early Christmas present. I never expected this to be ready. I do love Halloween!
 This is one that Mindy finished. I picked this up from the framer recently.

Now the following pictures have nothing to do with me or my work. I just thought they were gorgeous.
 I belong to Needlepoint Nation Facebook group. These were so stunning that I wanted to share them.   And that mantle....
 I just love the non traditional Christmas colors. The stocking holders are needlepoint too.
 Since these do not have names on them, I'm assuming that this person just made them because she/he loved them.
 They are quite detailed.
Lastly, I thought this Santa was pretty spectacular. I'll be thinking long and hard before I tackle anything with a lot of fur. I've watched Connie struggle with hers. It will be fabulous when she gets it done, but she's stalled at the moment. Hopefully, after the first of the year, we'll get back to going to Nashville Needleworks every Tuesday. That keeps us motivated! And then, of course there's lunch involved!

So that's what's happening in my needlepoint world. Remember how I keep preaching that our kids don't want our stuff? Well, I'm happy to say that this is one thing my "kids" do want. In fact they want to talk about it when we're all together to make it clear on who gets what!