Friday, November 30, 2007

Holidays are coming

Sunrises this time of year tend to be more intense & spectacular. Yesterday morning this is what it looked like from my kitchen window at 910 a.m.
I put some decorations on the Bear tree , including the tree topper that John Jolman (my friend Kathy's husband) made for us.
This is the other tree. We have bigger ones, but I didn't feel like putting a bigger one up. In fact I gave one of my larger trees & some of my decorations to my youngest son Corey, this week. I'm to the point I want to pare down all this "Stuff" we've collected.
Speaking of collections, I have the mice on top of the bookcase.
My parents photo stands next to the tree.
The Sugar Town set that Warren gave me, just fits in & on the new TV cabinet.
I love having Warren's art work on the walls for the holidays.

Tired Santa is my favorite.

Today I worked on some place-mats, as a favor for my friend Joan, one of the elderly ladies who volunteers at the hospital. She has macular degeneration & can hardly see anymore, yet she still comes & works at the hospital for no pay, & very little glory. She had bought some fabric & wanted to make place-mats for her son & his family when her eyesight suddenly went bad, so I put them together for her. Nothing fancy, not even worth a picture, but it did get me into the studio today. It seems like all I've done lately is decorate for the holidays, so this felt like a treat to sew even a little bit.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Getting Ready For the Season

I've been in a holiday mood this week. I worked all last weekend, & then just Tuesday, & had the rest of the week off. Sunday Judy & I had time to kill between cases, so I cut snowflakes & she made a paper chain, & we decorated the inside windows to the private recovery room.

Tuesday I snapped a picture of the view I get every day at lunch. I sit on the window ledge in the hallway just to see some daylight, as there are no windows to outside in our Recovery Room.
The Break-room is an inside room too, & it's always noisy with TV blaring, & people complaining about work, so I opt for the more peaceful window to outside.
Thursday we went to Mindy & John for our traditional Thanksgiving. It was quite a crowd, & the food was excellent as usual.
Here's a toast from Mindy.
Around the house I've been getting ready for Christmas. The Bears are back at the top of the stairs to great us when we come upstairs.
Yesterday I worked on a lampshade. This one used to have a shirred cream colored fabric on it, that had gotten splattered & dirty. I ripped off the old fabric, & used Textile Medium to decoupage tissue paper on to the old shade.
I like how it turned out.
This morning we woke up to some fresh snow. We had a good base of snow that all melted on Wednesday, but today we got some more. It's been a much warmer winter for us so far this season.
I spent some time polishing up the copper pans & cookie cutters this morning. I like to make them shine for the holidays.
I also hung up the winter blues quilts in the dining area. The Star quilt was made by my friend Kathy Harte. I made the snowflakes.
The little ceramic tree made by a sister-in-law is in the kitchen, along with my Gingerbread Ceramic Santa made by my big sister Vicki. My friend Trace made the Wise-woman saying.
Snowmen by my pal Kathy Jolman are above the door.
The windows are loaded with fused glass by Mindy.
Outside the front window Warren hung up the bird feeders. We're hoping the bears are fast asleep now.
Now I'm enjoying a cup of my favorite Tea in my new Snowman mug that my DH just bought for me.
I love this time of year. My daughter Michelle will be coming for a few days next month. I'm looking forward to seeing her. I want to have all my decorating done before she gets here. Guess I better get going! Happy Holiday Season!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thank you all, so much for your kind condolences. I'm touched by all your words. Aunt Ethel gave us one last gift, this past Monday. We went to the funeral home, to make the arrangements to take her to Florida, & when we went through the paper work that she had filled out over 10 years ago, we realized she had requested that there be no funeral, & no viewing. She wanted an immediate burial. We were able to make her arrangements to fly her back to Florida, & we didn't have to go. We could hardly believe it, but it was what she wanted, so she flew out Tuesday night, on her favorite Delta flight, that stopped in Salt Lake City, then on to Tampa. When the funeral director told us what flight he had booked I couldn't help but laugh. That was the flight she always tried to get whenever she used to come visit us. Warren wrote her obit, & we sent memorial flowers to her church in St. Pete for this next Sunday. Someday I'll make a quilt in her memory.
Today we got a surprise visit from one of my oldest friends, Loisann. We were in Kindergarten & First Grade together. After that we were intentionally separated by the teachers, until 7th grade. We had had way too much fun together, & didn't always get our work done because of it. From 7th grade on we were locker partners, & best friends.
About 10 years after graduating high school, Loisann called me to say they were being moved to Alaska. Her husband was military. They ended up buying the house next door to us. When he retired from the Air force the went back to the midwest, just outside of Chicago. She gave me this little plaque today, & it seemed so appropriate...
Here she is trying out my purse. It went so well with her sweater.
Randy, her husband had heart surgery since we last saw him. They both looked good. On the right is Becky, she is a friend of theirs, & former owner of a quilt shop in Eagle River.
This evening I went to another quilter's house, Pat Simms.
She was showing us a quilt she's working on. Pat always works very improvisationally. I love her work.
Here she was looking at some shirts that had been dyed & discharged & batiked by Linda Weatherwax. I found it ironic that someone with wax in her name does batik work.
These shirts were all purchased at a 2nd-hand shop, & then reworked. They were really beautiful pieces, 100% silk or good cottons. The 2 long banners were formerly king-sized cotton sateen pillow cases that she took apart, then batiked.

This last was a lovely silk scarf, from new silk.
Ruth Simpson was wearing green, & it looked lovely with her outfit.
Tomorrow I hope to spend some time cleaning up my studio, & packaging Christmas gifts for mailing.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


A friend once told me that when you hear an owl hooting it means change is coming. We've heard the owl almost every evening for a couple of weeks now. Early this morning Auntie Ethel finally passed away, quietly & peacefully. For this we are very thankful. She was 94 years & one month old. She lived way beyond what the doctors thought she could, though we had no doubt she wouldn't go in a flash.
This picture is one I took when she was 89, & she hiked a 3 mile hike with us. This was the 1/2 way point on the hike. A year later, Alzheimer's was starting to take its toll, & she had to move in with us. We had her here in our home for 3 years, until she became too ill, & required 24 hour care, then she went to the assisted living home where she was one of 4 or 5 little old ladies, & she enjoyed the company of most of them. Aside from her failing health, her time there was pretty happy.
Her passing means we will be flying to Florida to take her back to be buried by her husband Jack.
Around the house I've been painting furniture,
and a new shelf built to accommodate the new refrigerator that we're waiting to come in. We removed a row of cupboards, & Warren built these shelves, then I painted them. The new refrigerator will have cabinet doors that match the bead-board walls here.
My youngest son Corey is back in town for the winter. He stopped by yesterday to take some of the things we were storing for him to his new apartment.
Maybe when we get back from Florida I'll be able to get back to my quilting & have something fun to share.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Alaska Night Northern Lights

I worked Monday, Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday this past week, so there's been no extra time for creativity. The kitchen project is waiting on me too, but I've caught Warren's head cold, & felt too washed out yesterday to bother doing anything when I got home from work. I felt better today.
I went to "the Dark Side" (JoAnn Fabrics) today, & bought a chunk of foam to make a cushion for the top of the coffee table now that the TV no longer sets on it. We grew used to the foot stool for a coffee table, so we're going to use the coffee table for a foot stool. Now does that make sense?
We put the new console table upstairs under the TV, now I have to get the piece next to it painted to match. Hopefully I'll have enough time & ambition to get it done sometime this week. I'm working the same schedule, plus have a dentist appointment on Tuesday, & Calendar Girls Thursday, so I fear it'll still be waiting for me on Saturday.
I went to an Irish Dance show tonight. The girls were great, & I sat right down in front, & studied the solo dresses to see how they're "supposed" to be made. It was an interesting variety of dresses, & I started sketching ideas while I watched. I didn't get any photos because The camera wouldn't go without a flash, & flashes are a no-no. Wouldn't want to blind a dancer & cause her to fall off the stage.
The Northern Lights images are a couple that I took in October in my yard, a few years ago. I was using my Nikon SLR camera when I took them. I just found them on a disc & thought I'd share them with you.