Thursday, December 29, 2011


The dictionary says there is no such word, but that's what my son and I spent a couple of days doing during his short stay here for Christmas. I moved here ten years ago and was so delighted to have a big, clean, dry basement in which to store things. It's great to be able to have ample room to store my many Christmas decorations, cooking things that aren't used that often, vases and plant containers, paper goods from Costco, packing boxes and other things. Packing boxes, did I say packing boxes? Well, that 's one thing that got me into a lot of trouble. Since I had the room, I couldn't bear to throw away a good packing box and I ended up with a huge mountain of them, much more that I would ever use. Besides, I usually roll my quilts and send them in telescoping Uni- boxes. So my son, Kurt, broke down all the boxes, put them in piles and we bundled them all up in twine to put out for recycling next Monday.
Then we tackled the many boxes of things that had not been opened since I moved here, most of them filled with either my son's or my late husband's stuff. Lots of things went in the trash or recycling and three station wagons full went to Good Will. I have a lot of fine tuning to do down there, but it is soooo much better now. My house is very neat and tidy and uncluttered, but my basement was always a huge source of embarrassment if anyone went down there. We won't talk about my studio. That's another whole story.

My son's best bud from college, Will, was here very briefly, just overnight and a short time today before they both left for NYC for a concert. That's him on the left. He is just as nice as he is good looking! They have been best friends since freshman year of college and although they live very far apart, they still remain close. Kurt was his best man last year at his wedding. So for a short time I had two burly young men to help me. They carried the metal two-drawer filing cabinet from the basement up to my second floor studio. I couldn't believe how heavy it was, even though it was empty. They also took the heavy cabinet that housed the video equipment to Good Will. Kurt had previously taken the turn table and other equipment. I don't know why I ever moved it here in the first place since I had no room for it in this house. It had been the basement all that time.

I loved having Kurt home, not just because he is so helpful when he's here. We have a good time together. We went to see "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", ate pizza at Peppi's, the new branch of the famous one in New Haven, that he had been wanting to try. It was delicious! He cooked dinner one night for my sister, my niece and me (he's a good cook) and we just had fun hanging out together. I sure wish he didn't live on the other side of the country. Portland is very far from Connecticut!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

And unto us a child is born

Lest we forget the true meaning of this beautiful season, I want to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a New Year of good health, peace and happiness!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Living Room Tree

If you remember my blogging about my living room tree last year, you would think that this is the same one. But it's not. My former tree was called a pencil tree, very skinny and tall, a good fit for my small room with high ceilings. It did a good job for ten years and then it, too, started showing its age, so I bought this new one. It's only 6 1/2 feet tall, but also quite slim and a good size for the room. It's decorated the same with all white and silver and gold ornaments, rather fitting for the somewhat formal room.

The new artificial trees are so much better today. They are pre-lit, pre-fluffed, pre-shaped and so much easier to assemble. And they look so real, that sometimes even when you go up and touch them it's hard to tell if they're real or not.

How did that Santa get in there? Well he is dressed in white after all, so I guess he can stay. All red robed Santas belong in the family room and kitchen. Just a reminder that he's watching in this room, too, so be nice!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Santa, Santa Everywhere!

I have been collecting Santa ornaments and other Santa decorations for years. I have put up a Santa tree for several years. It was a four foot tree that I put on a table and it was just covered with Santas. This year the little tree was showing its age so I bought a new 7 1/2 foot pre-lit tree, rearranged some furniture in my family room to put it in a different place and bought some plain red balls to add some sparkle. I am so happy with the results.

Be sure to click on the pictures for a bigger view.

There are all kinds of Santas. Many are glass.

Some are yarn or needlepoint or quilted and several are handmade.

Can you see the one with a sea shell beard? it's amazing that there can be so many variations on the same theme.

Of course there has to be a Mrs. Claus. Actually there are several Mrs. Clauses.

There are Santas on the mantle under my quilt. I made that many years ago when I did traditional quilting. I even hand quilted it with gold metallic thread.

Santas on the baker's rack, where everything else gets put away to make room for them.

Santa flower pots on the window sill over the sink.

Santa on top of the armoire that houses the TV.

A Santa quilt over the couch, also made many years ago from a pattern. It's called "I Remember Santa Claus Skating on Mistletoe Pond"

And a Santa snack bowl that I filled with pine cones and little red balls. I love the expression on his face.

There are a few more here and there. So you'd better be good at my house if you don't want coal in your stocking. Santa is always watching!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas party

My good friend, Claire, and I so often show up at an event or church dressed in a similar color palette that it has gotten to be joke. So that when she arrived at my Christmas party last night in her gold outfit, a perfect pairing to my silver outfit, I had to get it on record.
This was my first big party in this house where I have now lived for ten years. I love my house, but it's on the small side and I never thought I could have a big party. Last year my neighbors down the street had a New Year's Day party for 30 at their house, which is the exact same layout as mine. I thought that if they could do it, that I could do it and started planning way back then for this get together on the Sunday before Christmas.
I also had about 30 people and served heavy hors d'oeuvres, desserts and wine. I was so concerned about having enough food that I had way to much. I will plan better the next time. My guest list was a little heavy on the female side, since so many of us at this age are widows (as I am), or divorced, but there were several husbands there, too. I love to decorate for the holidays and this gave me a good excuse to do it. I meant to take a lot of pictures at the party, but I was so busy that I forgot. I'll take some pictures of my trees and post them later this week.
I think that everything went well and all had a good time (at least they said they did). I hired two high school girls to help me and that made a big difference. It enabled me to enjoy myself and mingle with the guests, periodically checking in with them.
Now to get to putting things away, washing the wine glasses, getting the furniture back in its proper place, etc. etc. But it was fun and I'm so glad I did it. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Masters Art Quilts vol.2

What a pleasant surprise it was to receive a copy of this book in the mail last week to be considered for review or mention on my blog. I had purchased the first volume from Amazon, when it came out and Martha had asked me to review it for Amazon, so I guess that 's why I got this one gratis.

As for this book, the second volume, I loved it! It is a beautiful book that presents the work of 40 artists, selected by curator, Martha Seilman. Each artist had ten pages to showcase their work, presenting about a dozen quilts, with a well written introduction by Martha. About half the artists were from the United States and the rest from many different countries. Some were names I knew very well, such as Jan Myers-Newbury, Paula Nadlestern, Dianne Firth, and Laura Wasilowsi. Some were artist's whose work I had seen once at a big show like Quilt National and was glad to see more of, such as Mirjam Per-Jacobs and Nelda Warkentin. And so many more were artists that were totally new to me and I was so happy to discover.

I flipped through it quickly at first and then allowed myself to digest it at leisure over a few days (my lunch time reading). It's a fairly large book at 415 pages, full of sumptuous photography and I thought the price was quite reasonable at $24.95 list price, and much less at Amazon. I think it would be a welcome addition to any art quilter's collection, perhaps a Christmas gift for your best quilt buddy or yourself.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

conversation rock or talking heads