Monday, December 11, 2017

Weekend activities!

This weekend we got a little snow storm, so we stayed in and relaxed and I worked on a new project. I was going to finish it Sunday but the kids decided they wanted Christmas pictures, so our plans changed.

Of course we dressed up Bill as Santa and of course one child decided he was not having any of it, lol.

Once Santa was out of the picture, Alex was fine. And I had to take a lot of photos to get some that had everyone looking somewhat normal, but we got a few nice ones.

And then we went outside to get a few, and a few I made into cards so they could print them out at home. This is my favorite.

And Nick and Bean were thrilled to be outside, lots of fun to be had.

 And inside Alex was being silly, he has such a happy personality and I think he is taking lessons from his brother, on face making.

Nick decided to stay with us while his parents went shopping. We had plans to shop too, but I decided to go to Jamestown and enjoy some outdoor time with Nick, even if it was freezing out. The island got less snow so I knew were could walk around there.

We walked around till my fingers were frozen, then headed to the lighthouse. We did the short loop and enjoyed watching the surf crashing on the rocks until we were freezing again. It was nice to get out, even if it was cold.

Today I finished up a few presents and cards and that will be it. Now I will relax and enjoy working on my own projects and making things for my house, for next Christmas.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday Finishes!

This week I made a new project and finished one I had started. The first one is a design by Kathy Schmitz for her, One Stitch at a Time Club. Each month she sends a new design to stitch, for two dollars, a month. I decided to join since I love her stitcheries and it is fun to get something new each month. There were a couple, I never did, but I still have the designs that I can do another time, but I do love ones I can make for the holidays and ones I can give as gifts. You can also buy the designs for a dollar more, after she releases them, if you want to buy individual ones.

This one I made for me, loved the design and I happened to have a little hanger and christmas clothes pins. Perfect to hang on my peg rack. She had three words to choose from and I love to use Joy, though I did the word myself, so not the best layout, but good enough for me. I used her crackle fabric and then antique medium, love how it came out.

Another piece I finished was a quilted wall hanging with a design by Cheri Saffiote. This was a free pattern on her Facebook page, Quilts by Cheri - Friendship Group. This will be a gift and I wish I could have gotten a better photo, but the lighting is bad in my house and it is freezing outside. The wool textures don't show up as nice or in true color. It is a little wonky and I used scraps for the border, not perfect, but made with love.

I added the words in the upper two areas to fill in that space. I also received a wonderful gift from my friend Karen. She had made a top with sailors and never finished it, so she gifted it to me with the backing, so I can make something for my beach room. I love it so much, I may make a quilt with it, or a wall hanging, something fun to work on.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. We have snow coming in tomorrow, so it will be a stay at home day. I will finish up cards and things and then I can enjoy the rest of the season and work on new projects for fun.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Weekend this and that!

can't believe Christmas crept up on me again. This year is the first year I felt like decorating more and I love having the house lit up, especially when the kids come over and see it. I got a pencil tree this year, since a large one would get in the way of the tv, lol. I also have smaller trees around the house, as well as garland and string lights.

I found a new thing this year, string lights with remote control, I love it. I can use one remote and turn them all on at once. No more walking around and flipping switches.

Here is my tree, I put ornaments that are more prim and given to me, by friends, over the years.

And since I do not have a tree topper yet, I decided my kitty was prim enough. When we redo the basement into a family room, I can put up a bigger tree and do a tree with all my kitty ornaments and topper.

Another thing I needed was something to put on the sled, under the buffet table. I had this puppy I got for Nick a few years ago and he loves it, so it was perfect to put there and he and Alex can play with it, when they come over. The problem is, Bean is scared to death of it, so he will not go in that area and hides by my feet. Tonight I decided to put it under the tree, he is still afraid of it, but it won't keep him from sleeping on the couch, but it does keep him away from the tree and bothering me to play ball while I am trying to relax, so a good solution, at least for Christmas.

This weekend we picked up our DVD tapes. I was surprised that we had good video still, but it does not do well on large screen televisions. Bill and I watched them when we got home and it was fun to see the kids when they were little, one had our first halloween and Christmas at our new home.

This clip is Danielle and Billy at our Neighbors, she was like a grandmother to them, but passed away a few years back. Danielle had a witch mask, but she was getting hot wearing it.

We also did a little shopping, a few outfits for the boys and a few toys, we are keeping it simple this year. One fun thing we found was indoor snowballs, so we got a small box for Nick and a large pack to give the kids who spent Thanksgiving with us. They will be spending Christmas with all of us, so I got some stockings at the dollar store and I can put snowballs and some candy in each one, a little gift for them too.

The nice thing about shopping is getting down to the beach. We were able to get a nice day for walking and enjoying the views.

We saw this boat go by and at the same time, hundreds of cormorants came flying by. I guess they were chasing a school of fish.

We watched as it went by the sun, love the effect on the boat and the colors when I shot into the sun.

This guy was by himself, the tide was out and just starting to come back in, so I caught the waves coming up on him. We walked along the rocky beach and I found a few pieces of glass, it was nice to get out in the fresh air and get a little exercise. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Time for me to get busy with cards and presents, so I can get them out this week. I have a few projects to finish, so those will be done by friday, then that will be it for gifts. I will be making things for fun and maybe a few gifts and items that I can hide as surprise gifts for those that find them.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Friday Finishes and a free pattern!

This week I have been busy cleaning up after the holiday and decorating for the next one. I find myself more in the mood this year, I put out more of my decorations and more lights. I think the kids will love seeing all the decorations and lights when they visit, kids do make the holidays more joyous and I am blessed that I can spend as much time with mine, as I want.

I decided it was time to make one of my patterns from Buttermilk Basin. I love the cut out shapes and they fit nicely on the wall, in smaller spaces. I changed mine up a bit, adding button eyes and snowflakes instead of stars.

Another thing I wanted to try  was an ornament that I saw in my Craft Gossip mail. I followed the link and there was no pattern, that I could see, so I made up my own. I found a similar shape and made a printable, and printed it out on card stock. It isn't real clear, but good enough to print and cut out. I had some music note paper and cut that out in the same shape and glued it on with Elmer's craft stick glue. I used buttons and a button carrot nose, as well as a scarf, all done with the same glue. I wasn't sure if it would work, but everything is staying in place. With the snowflake button, I sewed that on with a thin quilting needle. This was a fun and quick project and you can use different types of paper and items that you have around the house. Great for the kids too.

I am posting the template, that I used. It will print out clearly and you can easily follow the shape, to cut it out. This can be done on a wood cutout, as well, most craft stores carry them. Another option would be to use fabric. Or if you want it to be more prim, you can spray it with walnut spray or add glitter, lots of possibilities. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Wanderings and Working on!

We had a nice weekend, and of course we had to take advantage of that, and get out for some walks. Since we went on a no dog walk, we decided to go somewhere with Bean, then we decided to take Nick too.

We took them to Tillinghast pond, which has a nice walk around the pond. It wasn't as easy as I remember it, but then again, we had Nick who I watch like a hawk with all the rocks and tree roots, lol. Then Bill put on Bean's short leash which is not a good idea on walks when he needs to explore back and forth. I am not sure who got tired out more.

Nick loved hiking, loved climbing rocks and jumping over trees that had fallen. On hills I worry about him falling on a sharp rock or sliding down an embankment, so I told him grandma needed help because it was hard to walk up the hills. After a few times, he would see a hill and turn around, and say, let me help you, I don't want you to fall, lol. The boy warms my heart, he is so caring for his age.

He and Bean played at the picnic area.

Here is a photo at the beginning of our hike, and one near the end, quite a difference in his expression. Actually he would not sit still for a nice photo and then said, I have to go to the bathroom, so that is, I have to go look.

We did 3 miles over rough terrain and he does really well, I think we need to get him a pair of good hiking boots for next year. Sadly we both started feeling sick when we got home, and Nick was throwing up all night, guess we were at the verge of a stomach bug and over did it.

We decided to buy a pencil tree, fits perfectly in the corner without taking up too much space. I realized my cat ornaments are heavy and bulky, so I am going with a rag tree. Today I made rag candy canes in a red check and then I will do mini rag balls with yellow and maybe blue, depends on what I have in my stash. For the candy canes, I took two chenille stems, folded them over and twisted them together, then wrapped a long piece of homespun around them, quick and easy. I used a glue stick to tack down the end piece.

I will add a few primitive ornies too, I have a few that were gifted to me, over the years and they will go  perfectly with the rag look. Now I have to decide what to put on the top. Maybe I can make a raggy angel?

Friday, November 24, 2017

Holiday Weekend!

I guess you could say I have been busy and enjoying my company, since I didn't get many photos. We had a house full and everyone doing their thing, especially the kids, so it was hard to get anyone to stay still for too long.

I rearranged the dining area and made room for everyone at the table, a bit snug, but we all fit.

Today was a nice day, a bit cool, but a nice day to get out for a walk. I wanted an easy day, and no stress, so we went to the bird sanctuary. I love the paths and the beautiful views of the pond and ocean.

Coming through the back path, I almost bumped into this deer. She was standing at the edge of the path and seemed used to people. I also noticed when I looked at the photo that she has a large hole on her back left leg, so I will send it to them, not sure if she caught it on something or a coyote tried to get her.

On another path I hurt a racket and discovered two squirrels, running up and down a tree to gather more leaves for their nest. Hard to catch them, they run at top speed, back and forth.

Back at the center, they have a little porch with a bench. A great place to sit and relax, while the critters enjoy the feeders and bird baths. It was a nice way to spend the day and we stopped at some small local gift shops, but nothing worth bringing home.

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and a fun weekend planned. I am working on my stitchery and decided on what projects to make for me, for Christmas.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Weekend shopping!

This weekend was cold and windy, so no walking on the beach or hiking on hills, and we need to get ready for Thanksgiving, so we went shopping.

The problem is, I never found anything that I was looking for but I did find a few new things for Christmas, lol. On Saturday we went to the shop to drop off our tapes, which was housed in an old mill. If you are ever in the Mystic, Stonington area, it is worth a visit.

It is called the Velvet Mill and hours various businesses, including crafts and antiques, as well as, a brewery that has kegs for tables. On Saturdays in the winter, they have an indoor flea market with various food vendors and crafts. A great place to spend a few hours on those cold days.

I didn't find anything interesting, but I knew there was a thrift store in the area, so of course we stopped there and I found a few things to decorate with. The nice thing about thrifts is I can buy things for a couple of dollars and not feel bad when I get sick of looking at them.

Here are the items I found, 2.00 dollars for each item. The ornament has a little girl in a bed with a kitty, I couldn't resist that. The small creche is perfect to add to my collection and I can add some items to it. The tree is a two piece wooden tree, not sure if I should leave as is or prim it up. I do like the fun look and maybe decorate around it, to have something the kids would like.

On the way home we stopped at the antique store, I needed some more lavender. They have a section with new items and lots of booths, so of course we had to walk around to see what was new. I didn't see anything else that I wanted or needed, but I thought these mini cast iron stoves were nice, I know someone who collects them, but too pricey for me.

On Sunday we went to the Bees Buzz, another antique barn with booths that has new and old items. I was thrilled to see a new vendor who had roving, and wonderful curly locks that I can use for sheep or beards. They look yellowed in the photo.

Another vendor sells handmade pottery and I love the coloring, but there is never anything I can use. This time I spotted a toothbrush holder and it is something I need and beautiful blue/brown hues to match my bathroom colors.

Next weekend is a large craft fair at Sturbridge Village and I thinking about going, but they charge to get in. I do not understand that, I am going to buy things, so why do I have to pay to shop? I can go to a prim store or the vendors and buy from them without an extra fee, money I would use to buy something, so I am not sure if it is worth it? One of the vendors will be Sassafras Hill Primitives, her booth looks wonderful.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are hosting the family and friends and I am sitting here wondering how I am going to get this house clean and cook food in three days, ugh. I work well under pressure and good at hiding dirt if I have to, lol. May you all be blessed with friends and family or a nice quiet day enjoying some stitching.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday Finishes!

This week has been slow and I was working on one of my stitcheries. Then I decided to make a pillow for my beach room and yesterday, I spent most of my day, working on it and finished the pillow top and today I was able to sew it up.

It is a design by Kathy Schmitz for her One Stitch Club, and I made a small pillow but this one is 18" square and a start for my pillows in my beach room. I wanted to use blue jean appliqué with rough edges, but not sure if they will fray too much, I used iron on fusible, so maybe I need to do the larger ones without?

I changed the design up a bit to fit the size and kept it simple, I don't want the pillows to be basic, this one is more than I planned. The others will be a simple blue jean appliqué shape in the same style pillow, in a 20". I saw similar ones in a store and they were asking 60.00 for one, so it is nice to be able to make my own.

I am also working on a stitchery by Cheri Saffiote, a freebie pattern for her Facebook Group. I am making this as a gift and later I will add the names to it, but for now I need to finish the main stitchery and then decide on a border.

I hope you all have a nice weekend. I found a place that will take our old VHS tapes and put them on disc, so we will start out with a few at a time. It is only 10.00, but I want to try a few first and these I know have our kids on them, the rest we will have to sit and watch to see what is on them.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Weekend Wanderings!

This weekend was cold, way too cold to be out long, so Saturday we went out shopping for Thanksgiving table items. Well, I never did find that, but I found some new lights to decorate with, one fall set, and a set of bottles with sand and shells, as well as sea glass, for my beach room. And I decided it was time to get a tree and Michaels had pencil trees on sale, perfect for a small space but nice and tall, so I can enjoy decorating it with my kitty ornaments.

Sunday was not as cold, so we decided to take Nick to the owl sanctuary and walk around the shops at Mystic Village. But, he was having so much fun exploring, we decided to stay there longer and pay the fee to go inside too.

Nick helped me hide rocks along the pathways.

He loved walking on the boardwalks.

We walked up to the balancing rock and gave it a push and got goofy.

He really loved hiking on the paths and we let him lead the way, so we ended up on a longer path that took us on the outskirts of the sanctuary and back to the beginning. I was teaching him about path markers and we followed the red ones. Rocks seem to be his favorite thing now, he wants to climb them all.

Inside we got to look at the displays, watch a man feed the turtles something that looked like grub worms and they had a play area for the little kids. A nice respite from the cold.

We decided to get some apples on the way home, then I realized we had to drive out to go up to the orchards, but Nick was tired and fell asleep for the ride. Picking is over, but the store has apples from the orchards that they keep in cold storage, so I got a couple of bags, love eating fresh apples.

I realized it was almost time for the sun to set, but we couldn't make it down to the ocean in time and I was watching it as we drove home, I was hoping I could catch it as it went down over the farm, but it had gone down already and getting dark. I took a photo of the barn area,  you can see the last of the sun rays on the hay. I had to lighten it up a little, the sky was darker.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. This week I started a new project, from one of Cheri's free designs.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday Finishes!

This week I did some rocks and a stitchery and actually cleaned up my sewing room, so I can get to all of those projects I have been wanting to do.

I had four rocks that I base coated, so it was worth finishing them, for now this will be the last batch. I am having a hard time keeping my hand steady for small areas and with the rough surfaces, it just take me too long to do a decent job. I have been wanting to make heart pillows for breast cancer and I have a few finished mini stitcheries that I can gift with, so between that and Christmas quilting, I think I will be busy enough.

These were done with some free clip art images, that I found. I like to make items that make people smile and hopefully these will. If you are interested in joining my group on Facebook, it is called DSmiles4miles, no pressure, just a group for those who want to make things for others and spread happiness to others.

Another item I finished was a little pillow for cat lovers. It is a free design from Quilts by Cheri, a Facebook group. I think it is a great gift idea for a cat loving friend.

And a reminder to find joy in your life, even in the simple things.
We are getting into the colder temperatures now, but we still plan on exploring, just less time outside. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Weekend Wanderings!

I hope everyone had a good weekend, though it was over shadowed by the sad news on Sunday. My heart breaks for the families in Texas.

With so much sadness in the world lately, I do enjoy hiding my rocks and hoping it will bring a smile to the people who find them and a little happiness in other's lives. One thing that really made me feel good is that not only do we help others who find them, but also those who hide them.

Usually we take Nick on one day and he loves finding rocks and I have to tell him that he can only keep one and rehide the rest, which is hard for a four year old. This weekend we found a rock and he checked it out and then put it back in another place on the bridge. Then when we came home, I remembered I had found a heart shaped rock that had gold in it, and he loved it. Then he came over to me and said, I want you to have it, he is finding joy in giving to others now and that warms my heart.

Another story with rocks is that a neighbor loves to find rocks when she goes out and last week, she found one with an angel. She really didn't want the rock, but something made her take it and then she remembered me and bought it over. This rock is perfect for my room and she will sit there for awhile and someday, I plan on giving it to someone who needs it more than I. It says, "Your wings were ready, but my heart was not". Something simple as leaving painted rocks can touch so many others. If you are interested in joining in, you can go to my Facebook group, DSmiles4Miles. It is not just for rocks, but any type of gifts that you can leave in areas you visit, or gifts that you can give to others, to bring a smile to their day.

This is the rock she found, and this is my memorial table for my daughter. The angel is the one we had at her grave, until the stone came and the rocks are hearts and special items I find on the beach.

We took Nick out Saturday and I really wanted to go further up north but I needed to keep it to a few places with Nick along. We drove straight to the falls, no sight seeing or stops, so we could have more time enjoying the area. The falls were running full force, I tell Nick to smile and I get the grimace, that and I think he was a bit nervous being so close to the falls, lol.

From there we walked along the path and through the covered bridge.

Then along the river path and through the woods, a great place for a little boy to play and explore.

From there we went across to East Haddam, I wanted to see the oldest Bell and the Nathan Hale Schoolhouse. The school house was placed on the hill, over looking the Connecticut river, so it is more of a park like setting and another place, Nick could run around.

He went and set in the car with Bill while I took photos of the church and graveyard. It was hard to get a clear shot of the bell, but it was originally made for a Spanish Monestary in 815AD. A sea captain found the bell and used it as ballast for his ship and eventually it made it's way to East Haddam.

Then it was off to the castle. At this point, Nick was getting tired, so we took a quick tour around the castle and then a short hike into the woods. I really wanted him to go in the tunnel, which is part of the old mini railroad trail. The original owner of the castle, built a track around his property and had a small engine and cars to take his guests for rides.

Nick was nervous and couldn't wait to get out, then he said, lets go again.

We had a nice walk around the path, back to the car and by the time we got back, his energy dwindled. I decided he needed something to eat and we got him a meal in the next town, but by the time the food came out, he was fast asleep. So he got a good nap on the way home and was full of energy again when his parents came over and we had dinner together.

Sunday was another cloudy day but the rain held off and we were able to take a drive to the ocean. I was dragging, so a relaxing few hours on the beach was just what I needed. I found a few heart rocks and sea glass to add to my collection. Today I crashed, mostly resting and hoping I get my energy back tomorrow for all the ideas that are running through my head;)