Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Moving on

So how was your Christmas??? Ours was quiet but nice, we had a leisurely day followed by a yummy Christmas feast. Then whoosh... time to get ready for our after dinner guests! The past few years friends of our Sons started coming over after their day with family, to relax, lol :) We play games, have lots of appetizers, laughter and fun. Jerry and I really look forward to this growing tradition, they are the nicest group of young adults and we really enjoy their company.
Now it's time to think about putting Christmas away. Cleo will miss the tree and excitement. I am however ready to move on, just itching to tackle new and some old projects.

I've brought my rug hooking out, I started hooking this rug nearly 6 years ago, I think it will be a good project to have on hand during the long winter months ahead.

Today I finished my drawing for "March" Annie and will start stitching her up. I sure miss sitting outside to stitch, maybe I should purchase a nice Ott light and bring the "sun" indoors. Wow, can't believe I'm getting so close to a finish on my calendar quilt, only 1 more block to design and then I get to sew her all together!
Tomorrow I'll be running errands all day and Friday cooking dinner for friends.
So I'll leave you all with early wishes for a very Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas to you!

Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, dear family and friends.
We hope your day is filled with the wonder and magic of this very special day.
Magic that gathers memories to hold dear to your heart.
We wish we were with you and not so far away.
Know that memories of you will dance through our heads as sugar plums do,
while we laugh and enjoy your "company" today.

Barbie Jo, Jerry, Jon and Cleo

Friday, December 17, 2010

Santas Helpers

Santa's little helpers, known as Elves to us, what do you think of these; creepy or cute? I have a collection of vintage elves, made in Japan during the 50s they were very popular Christmas decorations. I always thought they were cute, my children however never shared my fondness and thought they were creepy! But it seems to me these Elves regained their popularity a few years ago with "The Elf On The Shelf" children's book. What a cute book, it comes with its own elf who looks very similar to my vintage ones. Of course I bought a copy several years ago for my grandsons. The elf in the story reports back to Santa on whether you've been good or bad! My daughter and her hubby have fun moving the elf around to a different location each night so it can better keep an eye on the boys.

What reminded me of the elves this evening was my daughters post on Facebook earlier today.
She overheard the boys having a serious Elf discussion. Alex (age 6) was concerned "Elfie" was not real. William (age 5) replied " he doesn't even blink and I'm pretty sure he doesn't have a brain".
LOL..... gotta love it!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Baby it's cold outside!

Our 1st blast of winter arrived this weekend along with a visit with our daughter Erin, her hubby and my pumpkins from Oklahoma. We saw our 1st snow fall and bitter cold weather, temps in the teens with lows in the single digits. Definitely weather to find indoor activities. My helpers and I spent a good part of the weekend baking. Friday afternoon we rolled out and baked the cut out cookies. Saturday we made a big bowl of icing, put on some Christmas music and got busy decorating them.

And here lies the end result :) The boys are excellent helpers, we had lots of fun chatting and sprinkling. I won't show you a picture of under the table because whoa... William is really wild with those sprinkles LOL!

Erin and her family had made the long drive so they could attend Jons graduation from KU on Sunday! We are very proud of his hard work and achievement, such a special day. After the ceremony we had a celebratory dinner in Lawrence. And not only did Jon graduate, but William turned 5 and we had a birthday to celebrate besides, a very full day!

Another weekend flown right on by and my house feels really quiet today. Back to business as usual. I plan on attempting one last swoop to finish my shopping this week, I am so behind.

Maybe get a little sewing time in later this week, I have lots of pretty new fabric calling my name. Here's the little tree in my sewing room, gosh I just noticed, we need some tiny lights Cleo! Have a happy week and stay warm!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's me... Cleo!

Cleo here, I am taking over the blog for Barbie Jo this week who is running around like a chicken with her head cut off. More about that later! Well you may think I do nothing around here but sleep and eat, but let me tell you I have been one busy cat! I take this Christmas thing purrrrsonally and have my own decking the halls to do. First of all I had to hang my stocking, right next to my furless brothers where it always goes. I can't wait to see what Santa puts inside it this year. I usually get some catnip mice but I'll tell you Santa, that stuff makes me a little dizzy now that I am getting up there in the years, maybe you could just leave treats, tuna flavor would be nice.

Next I slid Barbie Jo's old vase thing over, the one with the wild earrings, and put this pretty kitten vase there instead :)

Then I went and hung all my ornaments on the tree. You used to get these every year from Fancy Feast labels and a dollar or two. I had to eat a lot of Fancy Feast to get these! Awwwww... this one is cute.

Another Fancy Feast ornament, I love it's sparkly wings, very angelic...... like me.

Then I clipped all the birds to branches, don't you love it's nice long tail feather?

Last but not least I placed my tree skirt under the tree. Years ago I used to climb the tree. Then I went through a period of nesting on the bottom branches which would explain why they are droopy now. Lately I am content to just lay on my tree skirt and gaze up at the twinkly lights and shiny things.

I also braved the crowds yesterday and did a little shopping. Now I ask you, who would not want these darling little socks!

And then I changed my food bowl to something more festive. Doesn't food always taste better in a pretty bowl? Perhaps a nice Christmas place mat underneath would add an extra nice touch don't you think?

And now I am all worn out. Sheesh, typing with your paws really does take a long time.
So whats Barbie Jo all in a dither about? Well..... her daughter & Hubby and Grandsons from Oklahoma are coming to visit. She calls them her little Pumpkins but quite frankly I don't see what all the fuss is about. To tell you the truth they make me nervous. They are very fast and I have to worry about getting my tail stepped on and stuff. On the other hand they are kind of fascinating and I like to watch William play with his trains. William by the way turns 5 on Sunday, Alex is 6!

And Sunday is going to be a really big day here, no not just because it's Williams birthday. It has something to do with my furless brother over at KU. Hmmmmmmm.
So anyways, that's the scoop for now.
Oh, and before I go I want to congratulate my fur cousin in Dallas who had 5 fur babies yesterday! Phew, now that sounds like a lot of work.
Off to find a pile of blankets...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Are you ready???

Fa la la la la, la la la la! Are you in the mood yet? Christmas is bearing down upon us now, full speed ahead, ready or not here it comes!
I made a little progress this past week, how about you? Out came the Christmas totes, unpacked my treasures one by one. So fun to see them, after a year in hibernation it is like renewing old friendships.
One of my favorite decorations is this very old head vase. A Howard Holt design popular during the 50's I love the whimsical look of all his pieces. Isn't she darling, love those earrings and little pearl necklace, she makes me smile!

The tree is up but bare of ornaments. I brought those boxes down from my closet today. I mostly decorate my tree with German glass ornaments and balls, but have a box of home crafted and special ones that are mixed in. Gotta love a "raisin man" :) Our son made him over 20 years ago, and can you believe those raisin eyes are still in place! Doesn't this picture look like a good puzzle picture? Tomorrow I will be "dressing" the tree.

And getting the treat boxes ready to mail and wrapping gifts! My sewing table has now turned in to the gift wrap station and is covered with boxes, paper and ribbons. I love to wrap presents, I love to make them look special and fun or pretty!

This afternoon Hubby and I did a little shopping, the next 2 weekends are only going to get more crazy out there so we decided we had best do as much as we could today. We had a lot of fun and conquered a good portion of the list. On the way home we stopped for dinner at the new Chinese Buffet. Eeeeeeek! I'm telling you... only for the love of my Hubby cause I am just a plain old roast beef and potatoes type girl! His plate did look pretty though... if you like things with antenna and beady little eyes and all LOL!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and thanks for stopping by. I have a busy week coming up because next Sunday is going to be a VERY special day........

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Phew.... that was one crazy week! I have been on a roll, lots of company and cooking and such, all good :) Last Monday our daughter and her little family drove up from Dallas. Remember those stockings I was in a rush to finish for the boys? Well I got them done in the nick of time for their visit. Aren't they cute? I added vintage gift tie-ons to the bow for a little extra "me" touch. I love vintage doo-dads!

The boys did well with their long car drive and were ready to explore Grandmas house and release some pent up energy upon arrival. That same night our nephew also arrived, he was driving cross country from PA to Colorado and we were delighted to be a brief pit stop on his way.
Tuesday we decided to get out for a little while and took the boys to Union Station in Kansas City to see the automated Dinosaur exhibit. ROAR! Lots of these there!

And then there was the train set up which was hard to capture because it was such a large exhibit and dark but fun to watch dozens of trains going round and round.

Our visit was short but sweet as my pumpkins left Wed morning to continue on to Iowa and more family. But no time to sit and batch arriving for Turkey Day! Our son came home for the weekend from KU and brought his room mate as well. We were a small crowd for Thanksgiving, just the 4 of us LOL, but we had our usual full blown dinner, gotta have those leftovers!
And now my house is quiet, I can hear the clock ticking. I think it's saying Christmas is coming and I better drag the totes up from the basement. And oh my, I just heard the Hallmark Christmas movie is on tonight.... it really is sneaking up fast people!

I had another finish last week, February Annie is ready and on my web site. Won't you be my Valentine Cleo????? I just love getting cards in the mail, don't you? Especially ones with big red hearts on them :) Floss colors used were: Black, #3607 ,#938, #598, #414, #317, #899,
#581, #817, #167 and #758 if you are interested.

I have a new stack of fabric sitting on my cutting table, hope to get some sewing time in this week. Hmmmmmmm... what will it be?

Have a happy week all!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A gift that keeps on giving

Can you believe it, how is Christmas creeping up so fast again! I started my shopping yesterday, I have to admit mine is pretty easy anymore, with our families so scattered I now send gift cards. Sometimes I feel that is a cop out and I miss the fun of buying toys for the little ones. But for many reasons, shipping being the number 1 factor, cards are a great way to go.
Today however I wanted to share a home made project I made for family and friends several years ago. It was a lot of fun and if you are looking for a little idea, this was my all time favorite gift. I made recipes books for my family and friends. The books were special because the recipes were theirs and I added their picture to it, so it was a combo recipe/picture album.
Add some cute Christmas dish towels, bright red or green utensils and you have a very nice gift.
First I collected the recipes from my friends and family. Now the really fun part was looking through all my old photographs and choosing one to put with their recipe! I loved looking at a picture of my Grandma while making her potato salad, or my Mom making her wonderful Christmas cookies, brought back a flood of warm and wonderful memories.

And see, even Cleo shared her favorite recipe: Party Meatballs and they are delish! Recipe given below, a purrrfect appetizer for your holiday party!

I am sure there are various ways to do this but to make a recipe book like mine you will need:
a small album (8 x 8 size) with top loading plastic page protectors (usually comes with 10 pages) enough for 20 recipes.
copy paper, a computer with a design program and printer
Hubby made a master template for the page using a program such as InDesign. The design area was scaled to fit within the plastic page inserts and to include an area to type the recipe and place a scanned photo. Subject photographs were scanned and saved. After typing a recipe in the master template, the photo to match the recipe was scanned into the template and saved for each individual page. Each recipe page could then be printed as many times as needed to assemble your books.

2 lbs ground meat ( I use ground sirloin)
2 Eggs (slightly beaten)
1 Cup Bread Crumbs
2/3 Cup Milk or Half and Half
1/2 tsp Sage or Poultry Seasoning

Combine all ingredients and blend thoroughly. Make into small balls and brown in skillet that has had 1 Tablespoon butter added and melted. Pour off all fat.

Special Sauce:
3 (4-1/2 ounce jars) Apricot Baby Food
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Ketchup
1 Cup Vinegar
1 Cup of favorite Barbecue Sauce
1 tsp Salt
4 tsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp Ground Ginger
Garlic Salt to taste

Mix ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often. Pour over meatballs.
Simmer for 15 minutes. Keep hot to serve.

YUM! I'm getting hungry and dinner time is sneaking up, best get cooking!
Enjoy your week :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Knit one, Purl one

My goodness, these days are blowing by as fast as the leaves are falling! Can you believe it's November, yikes, and that means December is soon to follow. I've been working hard to release this new pattern- "Reindeer Helpers". You sure can tell Santa is in the panic mode because he recruited those silly reindeer to work in the gift wrap department. This cute pattern is now available on my web site and you can find all the details there.
The weather has been gorgeous here in Kansas. We're getting a wee bit spoiled with bright sunny skies and 70s and oh how I wish it could stay this way all year long. Sunday we drove down to Lawrence/KU to take our son the birthday boy out to lunch. You surely must know by now I never get tired of a trip to KU. Not only do I get to see my boy, they have an amazing choice of great eateries and lots of fun shopping. Love it, love it, love it! Sadly I did not get to visit my fave fabric store this trip, I was hoping to stop in and pick up a selection of reds, pinks, dots and hearts, for a Valentines Day project I have in mind. But by the time Jon finished his BIG lunch we were running short on time. Awwww, but look how happy he is :)

This weekend I spied my knitting tote hanging from a peg in the laundry room. In it is a UFO that I have been knitting for 2 years, the second stocking for my twin Grandsons who are now 4! Well, they do have stockings, just not one of these gigantic stockings I have made for each of us since we were 1st married. So much to Cleos delight, the yarn ball is out once again and I am bound and determined to finish up this week, see I'm already down to the toe part!

Knit one, purl one, back to it, enjoy your week!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Another Finish!

Another pattern finish: "Be Merry", this new runner is fast to make and Christmas is less than 60 days away. I know you don't want to hear that, and neither do I because these days are flying by way too fast! Button eyes, carrot noses, gingerbread men and candy canes tucked under their little twig arms, these snowmen really make me smile. Brenda quilted this cutie for me, she worked her usual magic adding that finishing quilty touch to my design. You can now find the pattern on my website.

While I'm waiting on the Reindeers, (runner#3) to arrive in the mail from Brenda, I tackled some baking. Pumpkin cookie cut outs. Oh my, these cookies are a lot of work and make a TON, but so cute and yummy! I'll be taking most of them to my "Pumpkin" at KU this weekend (I just know he loves to hear he's my little pumpkin" but for a batch of these cookies I know he'll deal with it :)

And I hope to spend a little time drawing, sketching up February Annie, I know some of you are waiting on her. Speaking of Annie, check out my Annies that Kelly at Cotton Charm Quilts stitched up..... so cute!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Getting Back In The Groove

The 1st part of October was a busy month for me. Decorating for Fall, preparing for company and my turn to host Bunco at my home. Wednesday was super hectic, a day in the kitchen preparing my Bunco goodies, we girls love to eat! And..... our dear friends of 30 plus years were flying in from Buffalo that same evening! My excitement level was very high!

Our friends arrived safe and sound, here we are off gallivanting, this picture shows a portion of Kansas City in the background on a beautiful sunny day! The weather could not have been more perfect during their visit, blue skies and high 70s.

Our friends came bearing gifts, little bits of Buffalo we crave and still miss, a Bocce pizza,

SPONGE CANDY for Barbie Jo :)

Webers mustard and Canadian jam for Jerrys toast, how sweet is that!

We spent our days together cramming in a little bit of everything. Golf for the boys, a little shopping, some lovely dinners out.
We visited the Kemper Museum Of Modern Art and the National WW1 Museum in KC. This museum is a must see, beautifully done inside and out.

And now our friends have come and gone, we sure are going to miss them! It's time to get back in the groove for me. I finished writing the pattern for this lovely table runner which will be available on my web site this weekend. Brenda added her special quilting touches to my runner, you may be able to see them by clicking on the picture. Little loopy loos inside the jumbo rick rack, wavy lines inside the bells flow with their movement, I am always excited by the lovely way she finishes my projects. This pretty runner is fast to make, simple piecing and applique, rick rack and button embellishments, it looks beautiful on my antique sideboard. A nice gift, the Christmas countdown is on!

I will be at the computer most of this week writing up the directions for runner #2, pictures to come soon! Runner #3 is now in Brendas hands for quilting, I can't wait to see what she does to this one :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Back away from the computer!

Seems I've been on a little blogging break and here it is October already! Annie and I have been busy working on several projects and sometimes the only way I can truly focus is by trying to stay away from the computer! Unless I'm writing patterns of course. A new Annie has arrived and as promised here she is. What else would Annie be doing in January but ice skating! She is all bundled up in her fleece scarf and hat with the long tassel. She wears wooly long striped stockings and the mittens her Grandma knitted for Christmas. I did forget to snap a picture of the floss colors I used but the DMC color palette is as follows: #817, #3807, #598, #597, #581, #702, #938, #3607, #317 and #758.

Today was an absolutely beautiful Fall day here in Kansas. Bright sunny skies and in the 60's. Jerry and I drove to Lawrence to visit our son at KU. It seemed everyone was on the road today. Our leaves have not turned yet but the frost warning for tonight will probably start that process.

Jon had his room all spanking clean for our visit :)

Thats my boy, hmmm, I think we need a bigger desk. Cozy huh! I think I mentioned before, Jon lives in an old house on campus, over 100 years old. It is subdivided into 6 apartments. When we left Jerry turned the door knob to leave and it came off in his hand... we all looked at each other and laughed LOL! College life, gotta love it!

After visiting an antique store in downtown Lawrence we had an early dinner at "The Burger Stand At The Casbah"- WONDERFUL! Great food. Hugged my boy good bye and headed home.

Cause we have work to do! I got a new lap top that needs to be set up... so excited!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Better To See You With My Dearies!

Are these not the sweetest!! New glasses and a new look for Barbie Jo. Getting all spiffed up and updated for my big birthday this weekend, and I do mean big, like it has a zero in it LOL!
Seriously, I have been long overdue for new glasses, this weekend Hubby led me by the hand to the Eye Dr's for my exam and then patiently waited while I made my decision for frames. That is the hard part isn't it! So many choices. As you can see I chose a deep purple, my favorite color, my eyes are now back to 20/20 and gone are the granny glasses YAY!

I have been a sewing fool these past 2 weeks. Completed my table topper and sent it of to my fabulous quilting friend Brenda for quilting. Now it's back, bound and ready for some pattern instructions. Table runner #2 is just about ready to mail off to Brenda and then I can begin the last runner. Phew. In the midst of my projects my "Quilters Dream" sewing machine decided to have a meltdown and became this quilters nightmare. Lucky for me I have a back up while it's off being fixed. I'm sewing on my Hello Kitty machine! It lacks many of the fancy bells and whistles but is purring right along with me :)

I finished one more Annie, this one in red work as a pillow, my collection is growing. And so is my quilt as I just finished stitching January Annie... Whoo hooo! I'll post a picture of her later this week and she will be available soon.

This fabric is sitting on my cutting mat, my choice for my next table runner. I love these candy cane stripes, pink, raspberry and green, yum!

Speaking of yum, it's time to make dinner, better run.