A blog about my interests, which include crazy quilting and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Something fun, and some you-know-what

Today I don't have a picture of anything I've done to share with you, but I would like to tell you about a fun thing that's happening over on Pam Kellogg's blog. It's called a 'Never Ending Band Sampler Stitch-Along' and is absolutely perfect for anyone who likes to work with waste canvas or even weave fabric...crazy quilters and those who like cross stitched samplers will love this.  Pam will be offering several free patterns each week for us to play with.  This is going to be SO much fun!!  And best of all - there's no pressure...no time frame....no expectation that you have to 'keep up'.   (Have a look HERE to learn about it!).  You can go HERE to see the first pattern she has for us.  I'm joining in with plans to download the patterns and create a wonderful stitch diary for future reference.

Now on to some mumblings for today...

- THESE mittens would be such a cute gift for a youngster.  And wouldn't THESE mittens be wonderful on a Christmas tree...or used as an advent calendar?

- If there's someone in your life that might have cold feet, perhaps a pair of THESE might be welcome under the tree this year.

- HERE's a great way to wind yarn into a center pull ball - without a ball winder.

- THIS is an interesting way to use up your stash I think.  

- You could make THESE for many different uses - perhaps brooches; tree ornaments; or package toppers.  

- If you have an incomplete Scrabble set, perhaps you might consider making some ornaments similar to THESE.  

- Do you have some leftover mason jars taking up space in your cupboard?  Maybe one of the many ideas HERE might be just the thing to make use of them!  Be sure to scroll down to see all the ideas.

- THIS is a really nice crocheted Christmas tree pattern!  You could add beads to it for 'decorations'.  

Today your quote is from Andrew Weil....."The power to heal is in you, and nonetheless there is a tendency in our culture to project onto other people and to want them to heal us"

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Today I don't have a post from me - the tears are too strong

Christmas Story: For the Man Who Hated Christmas
By Nancy W. Gavin

It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years.

It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas. Oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it—overspending and the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma—the gifts given in desperation because you couldn’t think of anything else.

Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.

Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was on the wrestling team at the school he attended. Shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes.

As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler’s ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford.

Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, “I wish just one of them could have won,” he said. “They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.” Mike loved kids—all kids. He so enjoyed coaching little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That’s when the idea for his present came.

That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes, and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed a small, white envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done, and that this was his gift from me.

Mike’s smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year. And that same bright smile lit up succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition—one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.

The white envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning, and our children—ignoring their new toys—would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents. As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the small, white envelope never lost its allure.

The story doesn’t end there. You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree. And the next morning, I found it was magically joined by three more. Unbeknownst to the others, each of our three children had for the first time placed a white envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing to take down that special envelope.

Mike’s spirit, like the Christmas spirit will always be with us.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

and now, for something other than quiet books!

Today I thought you might like to see a project that I did for the 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' magazine, winter issue.  For some time I have had visions of a crazy quilted santa claus dancing about in my head and I finally acted upon it and this is the result...

His beard and his hat were done with crazy quilting and the face was appliqued using an image I found online.  

Hopefully you can see more of the details in the closeup.  I think you can likely click on the pictures to embiggen them more.

The pattern and instructions are available in the Winter 2016 issue of the 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' magazine which you can find HERE.  

And now, for your current dose of mumblings...

- There are lots (and lots!) of small free cross stitch patterns HERE.  Be sure to scroll down to the very bottom of the page where you'll find a list of what she has available. Better pour a cuppa before you go though!

- If you're looking for an easy scarf pattern (and one that would work up fairly quickly) how about THIS?  I love the thought of using some of the beautiful variegated yarns that are available now.

- HERE's another cute stash-busting project that would be wonderful for teenagers or if you want something a little more classic how about THIS one?

- if you happen to be gifting a bottle of any sort at Christmas, how about adding a cute little topper from the pattern found HERE?  They'd also make cute tree ornaments!

- This site isn't in English ( there's a translate feature) but truthfully you don't need it - the pictures are gorgeous and the step by step instructions are easy to follow.  So if you'd like to learn about making silk ribbon flowers, have a look HERE.  

Today your quote is from Ediwn Osgood Grover...."Santa Claus is anyone who loves another and seeks to make them happy; who gives himself by thought or word or deed in every gift that he bestows;  who shares his joys with those who are sad; whose hand is never closed against the needy; whose arm is ever outstretched to aid the weak; whose sympathy is quick and genuine in time of trouble; who recognizes a comrade and brother in every man he meets upon life's common road; who lives his life throughout the entire year in the Christmas spirit"

Would that we could all be like Santa Claus.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Finished book!!

The quiet book is finished!  I really don't think it should be possible to have so much fun making something, but this project certainly fits into that category.  I'm almost sorry that it's done!

The cover (above) has pictures of our grandson, son, and daughter-in-love.  The back cover (below) is a Mr. Potato Head, waving goodbye.  The pattern for him came from HERE.

The pages measure approximately 11" square which seems to be a good size overall.  If you ever plan on making one of these books, I would recommend not trying to sew the spine with your sewing machine....not that I would know that the needle would snap and leave the sharp point lurking within the confines of the book...why, no, I wouldn't know that.  I ended up hand stitching the spine using dental floss (and my handy dandy pair of pliers!).  

Now a few mumblings...

- There's a pretty crocheted snowflake pattern HERE

- Another really nice knitted hat pattern HERE and another one HERE that would be perfect for a teenager.  And go HERE for some of the cutest kids hat patterns (most are free).  

- And a pretty (and easy!) scarf HERE.  

- For those of you that like simple classic clothing designs, how about this knitted sweater?

- For the sheer cuteness factor, THESE are such fun!  Perfect for stocking stuffers perhaps?

- For those who don't knit or crochet (or want a little break to try something else) THESE would make fun Christmas gifts too.

- There's a cute crocheted angel ornament pattern HERE.  

Those ought to keep you busy for a little while!

Today your quote is from Paul Gauguin...."I shut my eyes in order to see"

Monday, November 28, 2016

Almost done!

These are the final two pages for inside the quiet book (tomorrow I'll show you the covers).  

I decided to add something to the inside of the flap that opens to show the inside of the house so I added the lunch plate...just so he would have something to see when he opens it.

The truck below has a zipper across the top and inside are felt transportation pieces (boat, bus; truck, car, airplane, and train).  

This book has been so much fun to make and I know I could go on and make a lot more pages, but it would be totally unwieldy if I did!

Here's your mumblings for today...

- There's a free set of cross-stitch old world Santas HERE.

- HERE's some links to some pretty knitted hats....perfect for Christmas (or any time) presents.

- There are links HERE for at least a hundred crocheted snowflakes.  

- If you happen to have a baby to knit for on your Christmas list, how about something from HERE?

- How about a really pretty crocheted poinsettia?  It's HERE.  

- THIS is a really nice knitted hat.  Wish I had seen this pattern before I made the one for our #1 son!

- The CQJP (Crazy Quilt Journal Project) for 2017 is open and taking registrations.  You can find more information HERE.  Please note that the registration and information areas are along the top of the site.

- There's a really cute crocheted Christmas tree pattern HERE.  

Your quote for today is from Mother Teresa...."Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless"

Friday, November 25, 2016

A couple more

Today it will be a quick post, but thought I'd pop in to share two more pages in the quiet book with you...

This page is a barn, and the X's are flaps that open up
to reveal farm animals beneath...

And this page is just shapes that are
velcroed so he can remove and replace them...

Today's quote is from Barbara Bush...."To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there"

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Another page

Here's another couple of pages in the quiet book...

The above page has textures that he can feel.
Below is a page idea I found on the 
internet and translated into my own

The airplane and the car move back
and forth on a ribbon.  

- There are a bunch of links here for making flowers - depending on the colours you use perhaps they'd look great as ornaments, or as decorations on hats, etc.

- There's a really cute knitted snowman pattern HERE.  

- How about an adorable tuffet pincushion?

- THIS isn't a free pattern, but it's oh so adorable (and useful too!).  

And - I want to wish a very happy Thanksgiving to my friends in the United States!

Today the quote is from Meister Eckhard...."If the only prayer you say in your whole life is "Thank you," that would suffice"