Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Break

It's time for long evenings bathed in the twinkly lights of the tall Christmas tree, board games, stories read aloud and a couple of cookies. Our tree, all covered with wonderful memories, baby shoes that both girls wore on their itty-bitty sweet feet, ornaments from the different places we have made our home, gifted ornaments from lovely friends--ahhhh. :-) When I was a little girl I would sit and squint my eyes at the Christmas tree until the big bright lights would get all blurry and the colors would meet in long streaks all around the tree. This picture above has that same blurry quality to it, I still like to squint at the our lighted tree-some things will remain the same. :-)
Have a beautiful, peaceful Christmas and holiday break. Thank you for visiting my little blog and I'll see you in the New Year!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Feeding the birds--Check!

I am so glad that my husband feeds the birds around our house. He gets out in the snow and ice to fill those feeders up. Boy, oh boy, if it were up to me they wouldn't see anything like a regular feeding. I do love seeing the birds dip in and out of the trees tho and land on our feeders for a little someum, someum. :-) I caught a little of the icey sparkle on the trees out front yesterday.

Check out this woodpecker! It has been visiting off and on for a few days. His red head and stripey back--so pretty. :-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Paper Dolls

I made up some of these paper dolls to add-on to packages this weekend. They could also be used as ornaments.
First I printed off pictures of the dolls. Then I cut out a piece of wrapping paper, 8 1/2 x 11 or so, for backing. Carefully cutting around each doll, leaving a stitching margin of a 1/2 inch approximately. I cut out a similar size of the wrapping paper for each doll and put them wrong sides together. I then stitched around the outside of each doll--leaving a small opening along a straightaway for stuffing. Carefully place a small amount of stuffing into the opening with a bamboo skewer and push into the doll, continue until the paper doll is slightly stuffed. You can then sew up the small opening and knot the loose threads at the back of the doll. I used a small grommet at the top of each doll and threaded a bit of red/white yarn for the hanger.
Alternatively, you could stitch around the doll leaving the bottom open, stuff and then stand them as decoration. It doesn't even need a bottom. I did this with pictures of Santa a few years ago.

More outside pictures....

Em's snow angel all crusty with ice. :-)

I know I posted about the snow last week, well the weather is still the big news around here. We had a bit of fevered sickness over the weekend, all better now, and then yesterday a school snowday. We did get presents wrapped and sent out at the post office-phew! The sun has come out this morning and the ice is very pretty-sparkly and shiny.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The neighborhood is frosted

Lovely snow!!! It was so pretty coming down yesterday afternoon. We sat watching it as Em read The Story of the Nutcracker Ballet for her reading homework.

Those poor birdies are going hungry right now.........

Snow on holly--so beautiful. :-)

Colors of Christmas

Paper tags and cards, ribbons and a glittery Santa. I love all the flowers on the tag-shaped cards and the pretty embroidered ribbons. I can hardly wait to start doing up packages with these goodies. I also like the idea on Liquid Sky Arts to stitch up wrapping paper into little envelopes to put your present into--very pretty.

Just three little houses that are darling--found these at a local Farm & Fleet--you just never know where you will find sweet little things. :-) They are from Kurt Adler, here.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Happy St. Nicholas Day!!

This is a Hungarian postcard that I found at this site. My girls found some chocolate coins in their shoes this morning. Oh, happy day! :-)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas Markets

A little flaxen-haired girl with her gingerbread. I love the edging at the bottom of her yellow apron. She is made by Werkstaetten Flade of Germany and figurines from this company can be found at The Wooden Wagon. She reminds me of the Christmas Markets in lots of German towns that are in full swing right about now.
The gingerbread hearts hanging in this booth parents would purchase for their children who would wear it hanging around their neck. On the heart in icing, the words "Ich Liebe Dich" (I Love You) :-)
I loved living in Germany. Our house was near a wooded park with lots of paths that had a little nature park in the center where we would visit the stern owls, grubby boars, and even a few grazing buffalo. Sundays were family days, stores were closed and lots of families take walks together or visit each other's homes. I still sometimes forget that stores are open here in the states on Sunday. :-)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Used Books AND Free Shipping

I found out about Betterworld.com, a cool site to look for used books that has free shipping--they have new books too (usually priced a little higher than Amazon). Betterworld.com gets its used books from libraries mostly so it is for reading copies of older books not anything collectible. I was able to find a used Cath Kidston book, Vintage Style, Christmas in France by Corinne Ross, The Doll House by Rumer Godden and three Patricia Wentworth mysteries that are out of print all for about $22.00. Ya just can't beat that! :-) The free shipping part is for a 4-14 day arrival time, however you can pay to have it arrive sooner. I was especially thrilled to find the Wentworth books because they are just such "cozy" mysteries and kind of hard to find.
You can also feel good because Betterworld.com funds world literacy with its profits--find out more from their website.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Postcard from a valley

How about a hike through the woods? Feels good when the weather cools off, with the crunch of all those leaves underfoot and woodsmoke from a nearby home is caught in the air. I love this little valley with its rock shelters, hemlocks and even a stump left from old growth forests of long ago.
I've gotten a lot of my Christmas stuff out now and I need to spend some quality time in the basement stowing the autumn/Halloween decorations--so much for the hike idea. :-) I will have to get out and enjoy the sunny skies tho--so bright blue today. Have a good one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Beautiful crisp evening

Snapped this picture outside last night! Gorgeous isn't it? You can see that my neighbors have begun putting their Christmas lights up--very cheery. We had a beautiful sunrise this morning, all pink--it even turned our back patio concrete pink, but the two pictures I took came out blurry, so there you go. Must have been me shivering in my slippers that shook the camera.
Have a fine day everyone, we are in for a WINDY one here. :-)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Colorful embroidery--Hungarian style!

OK, here is what I found....at least a tiny bit of beautiful Hungarian embroidery. My favorite is above--a pillow cover of black linen and embroidered with colorful flowers, green leaves and dots.
I started googling just the words folk art and Hungary and found some interesting stuff. There seem to be two major areas of design influence in Hungary, one in the Kalocsa area and one in Matyo (Mezokovesd). I used both of these words to look up images from Google and found websites that way as well. One great site I found, which most of the pictures in this post are from, is here. The products for sale are a pretty reasonable price, too. Of course, for me it was important that the site was in English. :-) If you want to embroider your own doily there is a pattern similar to these pictures in the library of Piecework Magazine here.
Thank you Sweet P for leaving me a comment. :-)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Folk art for Christmas

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend! Mine was super, lots of family, lots of laughs and hugs, just what I needed, not to mention the food--thank you Mom, Dad and all. :-)
I have been wanting to post about the December Country Home for a week or so but waited until after Thanksgiving. I do love the cover with its soft green, faded reds and the stripy "fabric" along the binding. In the middle and back of the magazine I am attracted by the cloth ornaments but especially the felt work on the star in this picture and the felt decorated stocking below that is in the food section. I looked up the source here and spotted this little embroidered box at the same site.
Looks like the Christmas ornaments from Martha Stewart Everyday. The appliqued stocking is called a Siofok stocking from Hungary........hmmmmm I googled about Hungarian folk art and my next post is about what I found.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A little plum pudding

My pictures are a little dark--sorry--but I whipped these babies up to tie onto Christmas packages along with a paper tag with a picture from Mrs. Beeton's cookbook showing a plum pudding. I used a wool/acrylic felt that got kinda wrinkly and shrunk when I washed it. Made a nice texture for the pudding. :-) Yummy plum pudding!
I can't forget to thank Laura at Cupcakes for Clara for inspiration to make up my own puddings.

From my nest to yours.....

The weather pushing through is a rain and snow mix and we are heading home to Ohio for Thanksgiving with family--yeah!!! We are so lucky to be able to travel home this year.

Here's to a safe trip for everyone traveling this holiday and a wonderful Thanksgiving for all! :-)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

The girls and I went to see this film yesterday and it is charming. There is a young actor, Zach Mills, who plays Eric who just is so sweet. He nails the part of a young boy/child so well, earnest and trusting. I liked it much better than Willie Wonka which I thought was too weird and kind of scarey for young kids. (I do like Johnnie Depp--just not as Wonka) I loved the mostly unexplained Bellini, a circus? character who lives in the basement and writes the story of Mr. Magorium's life in books from which pages are shown during the film. The pictures/sketches are wonderful.

One more bag

This is a bag that I made last month. When I made it I attached the handles to the lining before I put the lining into the outer shell. I liked how that worked out--more finished looking. I used a little square of the lining fabric--red ticking--and embroidered a motif similar to the upholstery fabric on the outer shell before stitching the square to the outside for decoration.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

So many bags

All of these yummy bags are from the Japanese store Curly Collection with a website here. Even though it is all in Japanese, the pictures are fun to look through. I love the take they have on the matryoshka's--all sparkly.

Another mail delivery

This time the mailman brought two books that my sister sent me. They are volumes 1 & 2 of Fun and Thought for Little Folk, published in 1912. They have some of the cutest illustrations. Thank you so much Sis!!! :-)

I want a house like this!