Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Home for the Holidays

I was fortunate to have my sister, my son and my niece here for Christmas Day. My son lives in Portland, OR, so he only comes home once a year. My sister lives so close to me now and her daughter came from elsewhere in CT to spend the day. It was so nice to be able to entertain her for a change.

Yes, I made Santa Claus martinis again.

The day after Christmas Kurt and I went to the Bronx Zoo. Neither of us had been since he was in third grade and I was a chaperone. It was a cold, damp day and a lot of the animals were missing, but we did get to see some interesting ones in spite of the weather.

Of course the weather didn't bother the polar bear. He was very active, roaming all around his large enclosure and carrying this scrap of paper around. He dropped it a couple of times and then would pick it up and roam some more. Maybe it smelled like fish? Anyway he was quite entertaining.

 We tried to do as much as possible inside the buildings to stay out of the cold. This huge tree made from origami elephants was intriguing.

"nuff" said

After the zoo we went to nearby Arthur Avenue. If you are from anywhere in the NYC area, you know that Arthur Avenue in The Bronx is famous for its many restaurants and shops specializing in Italian food. Who doesn't love Italian? Well, we certainly do. My son is a foodie and likes to cook so after our delicious lunch we perused a few of the stores. We brought home some pastries, and pasta and  other delectables.

Kurt, at the far end of store that specialized in pork. Check out all those dried sausages hanging from the ceiling.

It was a fun couple of days. He goes home tomorrow. It was so good to have him here, however briefly.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

And all through the house......

Here's a little tour of my house all decked out for Christmas. I love to decorate for the season and I start right after Thanksgiving so that I can enjoy it for the whole month.

Front door

Living Room tree

Dining Room. The first time I ever used a red tablecloth and I love it.

Side table in dining room using a few of my glass basket collection.

Kitchen table

Family room tree with all Santa ornaments.

Powder room. Its red walls are perfect for the season.

Santa cookie jars in the kitchen. Don't have them all out yet.

Succulents brought in from the garden decorated for Christmas.

Santa on top of the armoire in the family room

Christmas quilt hung over the foyer.

Santa teapot sitting among part of my blue and white teapot collection

Christmas quilt hung over the mantle in family room

Santa and sleigh on hall table.

Mercury glass trees on coffee table in Living room

End table in family room

Kitchen window sill over the sink. Yes, I really loved those sparkly lanterns and I bought three.

Pantry door in kitchen
Santa quilt over couch in family room.

Baker's rack with part of Santa collection.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Holiday Cheer

I had a few friends over for a Christmas luncheon. Here we are sampling the Santa Claus martinis I made. They were so cute and very delicious. The glasses were rimmed in flaked coconut and the drink was vodka, red apple schnapps and cranberry juice.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Finished wrapping

A preponderance of stripes and dots this year.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

New Book

I order quite a bit on line, especially at Christmas, so I wasn't surprised to see a package at my door, altho I didn't recognize the sender. When I opened it I was delighted to see a copy of Martha Sielman's latest treasure, Art Quilts International-Abstract and Geometric. According to Martha's introduction she received more that 1,300 entries from 461 artists. From these she chose 97 gallery and 19 featured artists. I am one of the gallery artists.

 Pat Pauly, another gallery artist, had her quilt Mummy Bags Influence, on the cover.

I am on page 51 with my quilt Salsa City. It has always been one of my favorite quilts and I'm so glad that it was chosen. The photography is good (although I did have my issues) and you can see all the free motion quilting. The colors are also true, often a problem in publishng.

I must confess that I haven't had time to read it. I have flipped through it briefly and now I'm going page by page and then I will go back and read it all, especially the interviews with the featured artists. I see a lot of familiar names and some that are new to me.

Wouldn't this make a nice gift for someone interested in art quilts? It is available on Amazon.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

New Santa and Clumsy Accident

Every year I try to find a Santa ornament for my family room tree, which is decorated only with Santas and red glass balls. If you've followed my blog at all you know that I'm big on Christmas decorating. This tree (one of two) is 7 1/2 feet tall so there's always room for one more. I was disappointed that none of my usual haunts had a Santa to tempt me, so I was thrilled to find this one yesterday in TJ Maxx. It is handblown in Poland,where they make some of the best glass ornaments and are usually quite pricey. This one was at TJ prices, so I was extra pleased.

This is an Italian Santa. Behind him is the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a little hard to see in this picture, and the Italian flag. He carries a basket of fruit and has a jaunty Italian cap on his head. I have been to Italy and the Leaning Tower, so it has some meaning to me. He is getting along very nicely with the other Santas, some of them from other countries, too.

And now for my clumsy accident. Some of you may be lucky enough to live in a state where you can't pump your own gas, like New Jersey, but here in Connecticut we have to pump our own. It is very hard to find a full service station and if you do you pay a premium price. I get my gas at Costco, the best price around. Yesterday while putting the nozzle back in its cradle I somehow dropped it and it fell right on my toes. Yes, that big heavy metal thing! I saw stars! The roaming attendant came over, picked up the nozzle and asked if I was alright. I really didn't know, but I told home it really hurt, which it did! I then proceeded to a scheduled luncheon and a few errands . By the time I got home several hours later and was able to remove my shoe and sock, this was the pretty sight.

I had this fat little purple sausage for a toe and purple bruising on the top my foot and on the bottom of the toe (it's actually much more purple there). I immediately put on some Arnica gel, which is great for reducing bruising and iced it as much as I could. I was sure it was broken, since I couldn't move it very much at all. Today I did go to the gym with my trainer and we only did upper body and ab exercises. I think that the big heavy sneakers that I wear to the gym were good for it. I think it kept it stable and now I'm not sure if it is broken. Not too much you can do if it is, other than taping it to the next toe, which I will do tonight. Glad I got my pedicure the other day. I don't think I'd want anyone touching that toe for awhile. Oh, yes, that toe is a hammer toe. I was hoping that the nozzle would have flattened it out, but it didn't. It's as hammer as it ever was.

Now back to writing out my Christmas cards.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Grab Bag Treasure

Today we had our regional Surface Design Association holiday meeting. We had a grab bag where participants were encouraged to contribute something hand made. I was so delighted with what I received. It is a gorgeous handmade journal by Charlotte Hedlund. You can see more of her beautiful work on her website.

Being a big blue and white person, the colors could not have been more perfect. I know nothing about making books, but I could see the work that went into it.
It is perfectly square, but my photography makes it look skewed. It isn't. She included a little note inside telling what everything was made of.

The cover, made of indigo cave paper. Remember it really is square, about 6 inches.

The book opened out flat, face down so that you can see the whole design.

Endpapers are ecoprints on cotton rag.

Even the spine is a work of art.

What did I contribute to the grab bag? A set of my shibori napkins in blue and white.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Silk Scarves

I had enough left over from each fabric after I cut out my silk wraps, shown here, to make one scarf. I backed each one in a coordinating fleece. As I like to say, elegant on one side, warm and cozy on the other. I will be taking these to the Brookfield Craft Center, too.

The Craft Center is a great place to do some holiday shopping. I always pick up a few gifts while I'm there. Everything is handmade in the USA and many are from local or nearby artists. I also have some of my Garden Studies there. Stop by if you are in the area.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.