Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hello 2012

Hello 2012,

Today is the last day of the year and I think I am ready!!

Last night I had my semi-annual sock matching party. In the past this was a New Year's eve tradition but I did it a day early. Yippee!

I have always had a hard time telling the boys clothes apart. Between hand me downs, stray clothes from random friends, 4 big boys and their dad, I really don't know whose stuff is whose, especially socks. ( I never had a problem with Jillian clothes) This has been a struggle my entire life. Now that my children are grown and this shouldn't be much of an issue, Right?  I guess this is where my lack of housekeeping skills also plays a part. I would rather quilt than clean!
Kids have moved in and out, taking only what they "needed" and the leftovers remained so I once again have orphan socks. One year I cleaned the entire house hunting for any lost socks so I could get ready for the upcoming sock matching party. Once I was sure they were none of those little devils hiding, I packaged up all the pairs and took them to Goodwill. I bought several pairs of one style sock, all the same size, that ALL the males in my household would wear.
Makes perfect sense.
Or so I thought, then one little pesky stray sock makes it way into the cycle and here we go again. All the kids were here for the holidays, they live local so it is no big deal if they do not take all of their belongings ---- More stray socks.
For years, Gary was in bed early for New Years Eve because he had to work at 3:00 in the morning. My big event was having a sock matching party, tricking some of the kids to help, setting all the clothes back an hour and ringing in the New Year.
You may wonder why I set the clocks back an hour?
I live in the central time zone  which gave me options on which channel to watch the festivities in Time Square. The ball would actually drop at 11:00 on one of the channels. I would let the kids stay up to watch the ball drop, blow their noisemakers, drink apple juice in plastic champagne glasses and GO TO BED.
This gave me a full hour of silence and reflection, not counting the I'm thirsty or Jarrod hit me interruptions.
An hour alone when you have 5 kids and a husband that works from home was sheer heaven.
TIP: Don't count the socks becasue the numbers could be overwhelming. I think about cutting quilt pieces for the newest project. If a quilt pattern requires 1,890 pieces, how eager are you to jump on in and tackle the project? I don't count, I just start cutting. (or folding if talking about socks.)

These are the remains of my sock matching party.  A dozen or so remain sport ankle socks tied with the one lone black sock. One more laundry cycle and if their mate doesn't magically appear these guys are gone!!

Closets are Cleaned
I guess once a girl scout always a girl scout.  Always be prepared was my motto in my closet as well.
Monthly bloating? better keep that bigger size of pants.
Laura Ashley dresses may come back in style, better keep it just in case.
Never know when you may need a pair of bowling shoes, or a pair of railroad coveralls for a Halloween costume?
Well that is all gone except I did keep the bowling shoes.
I tend to shop for clothes like I shop for fabric. I like plaids, florals, textures and patterned pieces which I have learned doesn't make for a very versatile wardrobe. You can use a beautiful floral print in several sewing projects, but the gals at work would certainly start to wonder if my washer was broken if I wore the same floral shirt too often.
So I de-cluttered the closet, bought all new thin coated hangers and even some little clothes divider tabs like they have in the dept store. You know the kind that separate the mediums from the larges?  Just write on the tab and hang it over your clothes rod to keep the short sleeve blue shirts separated from the long sleeve blue shirts. Yes, I  know I must be sick.
  This obsession will pass but I thought I strike while the iron was hot.
Wait there's more.... If you hang all your clothes with the hanger going backwards on the rod, once you wear them, hang them up in the right direction. The next time I am ready to purge, I can quickly see the garments I haven't not worn all year.
The clothes that the hanger is still backwards on the rod. I am trying it!!
Imagine trying to purge your fabric stash with this approach. The fabric you haven't used in a year, purge?!! Goodness NO! Fabric is better aged, it  will not go out of style like my high waisted pants or the Laura Ashley dress I  had since high school.
The dress did make it into my fabric stash. It was 100% cotton, imagine that!

TIP: Once your side of the closet is all pretty, you might as well go ahead and tidy up the hubby's side. I didn't organize his with dividers for long sleeve or short sleeve but it is color coordinated.

Outdoor flood lights (you know the ones too high to reach) all have a bright shiny new bulb in them. Tall kitchen cabinets cleaned. Thanks, Jarrod.
Christmas is all put away and I even have Valentine's towels in the guest bath.

 Some one please take my temperature!

I think I am ready for 2012. Let's make it a good one!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

good laugh
 You may have seen on my pinterest that I have started pinning these creative pictures featuring the heart throb Ryan Gosling. Whoever thought of this is brilliant. Go over and check them out for yourself.
Wouldn't these be great as posters for your craft/sewing room.
I wonder if he is getting handmade gifts under his tree.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Ugky Sweater Party

Today is the annual Moda Christmas party. Lots of fun and merriment will be had by all. No Christmas party would be complete without the UGLY Christmas sweater competition. Please remember that ugly is in the eye of the beholder. Do not take offense to an ugly sweater that may be your favorite pretty sweater.
I have my own version of the history of the ugly Christmas sweater but I turned to Google and searched....
History of the Ugly Christmas Sweater and found this article by Martha McCarthy .

'Twas the Night Before Finals: The History of The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party...

Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties originated like the Post-it note: by accident. No, a 3M scientist was not goofing around in a lab, but the birth of the legendary Ugly Xmas Party tradition was one big fat accident. It started with elementary education teachers. They began sporting the sweaters like it was their job. This had a trickle down effect...slowly but surely infecting soccer moms, soccer grandmoms, art and music teachers, retired people, volunteers, PTA-goers, thrift store shoppers and the racks of Kohl's department store. Ugly Christmas Sweater Fever (as it is clinically referred to) had reached epidemic proportions.

No one died, fortunately, but this huge mass of people were really really ridiculously confused. For some reason, they thought they looked good. Really good. Super stylish. Cute as a button. Hollidazzlin. But no, they were sadly mistaken.

They looked hideous. For a long time, the non-Ugly Xmas sweater wearers remained in the closet. No one wanted to make the first move to alert these sad souls of their super sad situation.

A flip switched somewhere around 2007. Many attribute it to white people*. White people and their undying thirst for theme parties. One college co-ed sported a said sweater to a regular Christmas party. Everyone loved "Ugly Sweater Guy." Next thing you know, people are calling their elementary education teachers, their soccer moms and their local thrift stores in search of a sweater to wear to the next party. They know they've seen they must track them down.

Well my story started about 2005. The day after Christmas my sons insisted on going to the mall for the after Christmas sales. This should have been my first clue that something was terribly wrong.
We always went to Dillard's to meet up with one of the ladies that worked in the school counselor's office. (Mrs. Neinhiser you never knew what an influence you had on this whole ugly sweater phenomenon.)
The boys rushed to find Mrs. Neinhiser because she knew where all the over sized , glittery, shiny, tacky Christmas sweaters were. The boys would very strategically go through racks of  bargain priced sweaters, planning their wardrobe for the following year.

This became such a trend that the dept stores no longer had any Ugly Christmas sweaters left. I guess the ugly stuff sold at full price. We spent many years hunting the thrift stores looking, looking and looking for UGLY. Imagine that we didn't find any Ugly!!
acrylic sweater for 75.00 from

Now my crew is quite the crafty bunch and they are not afraid of a hot glue gun, rotary cutter or even using one of their brothers cashmere sweaters to create their own version of ugly. These sweaters included ornaments, bells and even lights. I wish I had some pictures to share of their sweaters but....
they would not allow me to have evidence of all the things they used of mine that they shouldn't have messed with. Am I the only one with such "creative" or sneaky kids?

This trend has certain grown. It was even covered on the Today Show this morning.
Have no fear, my boys no longer have to scour the thrift stores. There are plenty of websites where they can buy brand new Ugly "tacky" Christmas Sweaters.
Look what one of my sons will be wearing this year.  I don't think I am going to borrow this sweater for the company party this year.

What's the next trend?

Ugly Christmas Ties?

DISCLAIMER: No Moda company sweaters were shown in this blog posting.

and this just in from my husband

Monday, December 5, 2011

Life isn't fair, but it's still good

Written by a woman on her 90th birthday
This is something we should all read at least once a week!!!!! Make sure you read to the end!!!!!!

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio .
"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come...
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Quilting From Little Things Tour

I am honored to be included on this blog tour along with such a diverse and talented line
 up of fellow bloggers.
Thank you, Sarah for including me.
I have known Sarah and her family for many years. Her passion for quilting
and teaching has always been apparent in everything she touches.
Material Obsession by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke
Sarah's first two books, Material Obsession one and two,  hold treasured spots on my bookshelf
and I can't wait to add her newest, self published title, Quilting From Little Things.


Sarah's newest book, Quilting From Little Things, is a feast for the eyes with
brightly colored quilts, brilliant photography and
close-up detailed pictures.

Click here for a look.

You may wonder about the name of the book....Quilting From Little Things.
Sarah's passion for teaching continues in this book by clear detailed illustrations and instructions to make a "dolly quilt."
Sarah teaches a new technique, how to practice it and accomplish the technique
 by making a small doll quilt. Then move on to using the same technique
to make a larger version with your new skill set.

The techniques include projects from beginners to advanced including
 paper piecing,
 foundation piecing, set- in seams
 and more.

This quilt is my current obsession.
Feathered stars have always been on my to do list.

Funny Story:
I had a piece of paper hanging on the wall behind my sewing machine with all of my UFO's. On the top of the page, I had written, TO DO LIST.
Sometime, I am not quite sure when, my husband had added the words... in this lifetime. Do you have a to do list of quilts you want to make that is longer than any one lifetime?

This quilt has moved up my perpetual do list.
I am actually waiting for a new Christmas 2012 fabric line to arrive any minute
 because this is the quilt I am going to make.

One more comment about Sarah and the quilts in this book.
Sarah's color sense and combination of fabrics is inspiring. There is an international flair
(after all she is from Australia) to the combination  of scale, color and design.

Ask for this book at your favorite independent quilt retailer.

Thank you for stopping by, now hop on over to see what the prolific Monica has to say...

Friday 2nd December:
Saturday 3rd December:

Sunday 4th December:

If you are just joining the blog tour, please visit my fellow bloggers that have posted earlier in the week.
Monday 28th November:

Tuesday 29th November:

Wednesday 30th November:
Camp Follower Bags


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