Saturday, December 31, 2011

Jumbo Christmas stockings...

So this year my goal was to "... get those stockings done!" I'd bought the pattern, fabrics, batting and threads last year - and of course I didn't quite get there. Although the boys are now 22 and 24 (as in years - not months)  I really needed to complete this so it wasn't technically a "quarter of a century" in the making. (They have had a Christmas stocking of sorts - but I always envisioned the handmade family heirloom that so many people talk about).

The pattern I bought (Simplicity 4842) was not a quilting pattern and I wanted to quilt something on the stockings; so I chose the heels, toes and cuffs. This of course required a few modifications (it always does) such as additional backing to the toes and heels, as well as some extra batting.

I am new to the whole "free motion" quilting concept, so my technique really isn't very good - but I forged ahead anyways.

As I worked away, it became readily apparent to me that the "medium size" stocking was immense. I'm of the mind set that stockings are hung and Santa traditionally puts in a box of pencil crayons, a magazine, a few little stocking stuffers (remember Mattel Hot Wheels?) and a bag of Christmas candies (which in our house has evolved into Holiday Skittles and the annual Christmas Terry's "Whack & Unwrap" Chocolate Orange). As I worked I could see that these stockings could easily replace any need for a tree at all.

Having said that, stocking number 1 was wonderful. Or so I thought. (Click here) Needless to say - stocking #2 is on hold

Friday, December 23, 2011

If I'd only known....

From Christmas past...

Last year I wrote the following optimistic little ditty ...

"...I also decided to make the boys Christmas stockings this year. I've been threatening to replace the plush Teddybear stockings I bought the Youngmen when they were Babyboys (21 and 23 years ago)  - but I just haven't gotten around to it. I suppose tacky plush teddy's hanging by their necks on the pseudo yuletide hearth is a vision I'd like to erase from their memory now while I still have the chance - that way when we all end up in therapy it won't be something that comes up..."

So this year, I pulled out the stocking fabrics, the batting, threads and pattern pieces and began to stitch. I had wanted to quilt parts of the stockings, and I wanted them to be a little larger than the plush bears. Well they are bigger- way bigger - as in ginormous. And not in a good way. I think in my enthusiasm to finally make the Christmas stockings which I had always envisioned over the years, I may have over compensated. So much so, that both Youngmen are somewhat appalled. To make matters worse - there is a whole "anti - new Christmas stocking" backlash in the yuletide air. I've been advised that they "like" their tacky plush teddy bears "thank you very much!"- with ragged hats, threadbare droopy bow ties and saggy bellies that get stuffed each year with chocolates, candies and magazines. 

I do realize that Christmas isn't "all about me" but I was somewhat taken aback when I offered to cut off detach their fluffy little plush heads and stitch them to the new stockings as a compromise. This suggestion was met with unanimous horrified derision. 

And so my elaborate handmade Christmas stocking family heirloom has once again been stifled. 

Another sheepless Christmas begins...

(If you are wanting all the process details of making the dratted stocking please click here).

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Old Guy...back?

Well where the heck did that week go? I barely had time to break out the 2nd tier pizza pamphlets and the Old Guy was home again...

Not that he wasn't missed. But something was different this year.This year I actually got a little c-o-o-p-e-r-a-t-i-o-n from the troops. . And I'm not used to that. Dishes were washed, garbage carried out, snow was shoveled, and shoveled and shoveled again. All without begging, pleading, threatening or bribing (..."How much is this task worth ... two bits? A buck? Two bucks?"). It was a bit like (dare I say it) co-habitating with other adults.

Which is not to say I only value the Old Guy for his ability to wield a grill brush over the BBQ in the middle of winter, or his ability to remember which day the recycle bin goes out. That is not true.

I missed our witty morning repartee, our weekend rounds to the grocer, the butcher. Our evenings over a brew-ski lamenting about our day and relaying the latest and greatest goofball story heard on the radio or read in the paper. The novelty of having the "whole bed to myself " wears pretty thin pretty quick. But most of all I missed him. All of him.

Welcome home Old Guy - we missed you.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Old Guy Gone...

A Bowl of  sheepless handspun

This is my annual Old Guy Gone post... in which I tell my dear readers about all the cool things I'm going to do while the Old Guy has left me for his annual pre holiday sojourn down East to visit family and friends.

Thus far I have safely delivered one DBN (aka dearly beloved niece) to the ski bus, watched Youngman 2 head to work and had an update on Youngman 1's ever evolving revised Christmas Wishlist. I've let the canine in - out - in - out (and so on) 53 times (in which I give him a cookie upon each return). 

I have reviewed, responded, forwarded, categorized and appropriately deleted  all my email. I have tried to open my new digital magazine subscription without success, dialed the 1-800 number for my automated voice message "press 1 / press 2 / press 346 /" -  sent two email complaints and received two automated "we'll get back to ya later" responses.

I've ordered some online gifts (in which no one ever seems to have problems automatically debiting my account).

I've added a seasonal background to my blog (which I hope you are enjoying) and I've taken a walk down memory lane via old online photos that I found in a folder which I  had made at some point in history and managed to inadvertently put in my "financial planning" folder (which is empty because I haven't got around to planning my finances yet - though every year it sounds like a good idea and goes into my "good idea folder" along with various knitting / quilting / and sock projects which will likely never see the light of day either). (This was one v e r y long sentence).

I have drank two gingerbread lattes and scoured the bowels of the fridge for the Wednesday's leftover mac n cheese that I thought was safely hidden tucked in behind the lettuce (which is currently growing a beard). 

It is now 11am and I am beat. I may have to go back to bed - and since I haven't got around to making the bed yet - I think that's my cue...

Am I having a cool time yet?

What type of quilter are you? And opening the box ...

Recently I've become a dedicated "Sewcialite" at my LQS. We meet every Monday and work on our projects. Some of us are prolifi...