Monday, December 7, 2009

What's been going on...

Surprise surprise!....
it's finally on its way!

Exactly a week ago (November 30)...
it left...
all the way to Portugal...
It should arrive between 6 to 10 days
(at least that's the time table the USPS website told me).
Hopefully it will arrive well and in time!
Also, two days ago, we had the first snow of the year!
Check it out!

I don't think we had more than 2 inches,
but still it was pretty cool!
I just thought I would share with you so you could enjoy it too,
specially you guys back there in Portugal!... :0)
For the cats however
it wasn't fun at all!

Can you tell?... lol...

between the snow, taking care of J, preparing the package to go,
cleaning and cooking, I've been busy
remodeling a little bit our bedroom.
I bought an electric fireplace,

which reminds me a lot of the salamandra
(Portuguese word for these kind of real iron wood burning fireplace)
I had on my classroom
when I was teaching in a country rural area close to Viseu (small city in the middle of Portugal)...
Lots and lots of cold...
it wasn't a good experience I assure you!
I've also bought some drawer towers to better organize
and easily access J's medical supplies.

The curtains I had made for the bedroom initially
were OK,
but not really keeping the draft out...
So, I had some insulated old curtains
(which I really don't like the pattern at all)
but, till I get the money to buy fabric to make new ones,
I used those old ones
after I changed them to fit these windows and hardware.
This is the final product.
The Poohs on the wall...ah!!!!!.... that's my secret magnetic wall...
They're actual magnets that I printed out from the net and laminate.

I have been busy also with my sewing ands crafts,
mainly speeding up things for Christmas,
but I'll tell you about it on another post.
With this one,
I just wanted you to know what's been going on...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Deck the walls and watch the vultures!

Thanksgiving is gone.

I remember when I used to cook all day long,
tough for J and me mainly,
for the kids some times also
because he always loved this holiday...

As an European,
Thanksgiving is not part of my cultural heritage,
but, like everything else, I grew up fond of it because of my husband.
And we both did have a good holiday.
I kept messing with J all day long wishing him Happy Thanksgiving
and he kinda kept giving me the evil eye
because I was not leaving him alone.

I didn't cook this Thanksgiving day,
but I did finish
putting up
my Xmas decorations.

As years go by
my Christmas stash grows bigger too
mainly because of the things I make,
like this tree skirt:

I made it years ago out of white felt and Xmas cut outs felt applications,
all hand applique.

Also made some of the Xmas ornaments,
like this crochet balls,

and some old Xmas cards glued on an old CD like this one:

Some snow people,

made out of glass jars, Styrofoam balls and old socks.

Of course,
all my friends are part
of the Holiday's spirit
so they're all here celebrating with me:

The Teddies...

... and Purpurina...
... can you see her?,
hanging out with all the fancy porcelain dolls.....?
...the Bunnies ...
... and the Xmas quilt I made last year...
and the Xmas pillows I made out of tapestry place mats...

... and the Xmas quilted table runner I've made for my coffee table....

... and the purple granny squares Afghan covering my rocker cushions...

... and the medallion crochet afghan and pillows on my couch....

And when my Christmas tree was done,
I went outside,
to check out the decorations I had put up the day before...

... and just look what I saw!

Flying around in circles,
not one, not two,
dozens of vultures,

... and lots of them already roosting on the trees for the night,
like big dark ripe fruits hanging from the trees!

At night time
I went back outside...

... and took some pictures of the fruit of my work,
my pride and joy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Totally tutorials

Today I just wanted to leave you all a quick note to tell you
that my napkins holder tutorial
from November 2nd
was posted by Dotty of totallytutorials.

It's a wonderful blog and I am one of her followers.

She does a really good job
by collecting all the comments and posting
all these free craft tutorials on her blog
just so all of us
can have a real easy access to it!

I was very proud that my tutorial was posted on her blog and
I want to thank her so very much for all her trouble and good job!

Sweet little girls and the softness of softies

Lately I've been kinda obsessed with softies.
Some of
the blogs I follow and sites I visit
have wonderful
fabric dolls and monsters and robots and animals and things
and everybody is calling them softies.
So will I from now on.

And because I fell in love
with lots of those beautiful soft cuties
out there,
the patterns I design look a little bit alike the ones I liked the most.
That been said,
I want to tell you about this dude, Nutmeg.

Nutmeg is not mine.

Today I will not talk about my own creations,
I want to tell you about my niece E.

She is (almost) a 11 year old who enjoys to make things like I do.
This last weekend she came to visit
and ended up spending one night and one day with me and J.
And when she visits
she likes to make stuff with me.
We make lots of things together
that I might tell you about sometime later on.
This weekend she saw the softies I had made
and asked me to help her make a reindeer
(she looooves reindeer, as she lets me know numerous
And so I told her I would, but she better make a sketch so I would know exactly what she wanted and be able to draw the pattern.
So she did.

This one is Rudolph (later on renamed Nutmeg).

That's her sketch and I used it to draw this pattern, following her directions and approval.

I did cut the pattern pieces and machine sew it for her.
And then she stuffed it
and blanket stitched the face and the eyes
(she had done it before but I'll tell you about it some other time).

She's a sweet (almost) 11 year as she's always reminding me...
who enjoys a bunch of things
but above all
she is very sweet and kind
and I really enjoy her company.
Plus, I know J enjoys it very much too, and makes me feel really good
that E talks to him and about him,
and about the things she remembers before all this happened.
She has always enjoyed to spend time with us
and we both love her very much.

There... almost finished...

... and done!

Lovely Nutmeg is ready for all the loving and cuddling a little girl has to give!

Great job E!

PS: E was the one who wanted me to write this blog about her; why don't you take some pictures and post it on your blog?,
she asked me.
So I did.
Hopefully it will be of her approval... :0)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rag coasters, Felt coasters & Xmas Gifts

I've been working on my Xmas gifts
(only 36 days left...),
finishing some stuff and starting some new projects.

Outside fall is everywhere.
I love the way my gardens look
with the berries and the autumn colors...

Tough the leaves are almost gone on some of the trees and bushes,
my maple tree still looks astonishing.

Inside, and besides caring for J like always,
have been doing some more stuff for gits this Xmas.
Using the same technique as in here,
I made some rag coasters
and tried to play with the colors a little bit

and that's how they came out.

I've also finished the cards

for the gift baskets sets with the crochet slippers
(peek this older post).
Now they are ready to go!

Made some little fabric pouches,
not sure yet what for,
but I suspect it will be for something to add to my grandson gifts;
he used to love treasure boxes filled with all kinds of little precious things.
I think he still does so I'm fixing him one for Xmas... :0)

I've found some leftovers from last
The pet rocks!, do you remember those?...

I know, I know... old stuff, but I reckon the kids still enjoy it!
I had made some for last Xmas and I think they're cute.
I've also printed a little wee card, got the sayings from somewhere on the net...sorry.... don't remember where...:0(

which goes in the pouch with the rock
(which as you can see I had previously golden paint sprayed and glued some hair, eyes and mouth).

Another project I've been working on and already finished quite a few is the felt coasters.
For this one I've cut some felt circles,

a little bit larger than some old CD´s,

used some embroidery floss,

cut some felt applications
and needle felted it on the felt circle.

Did some stitching around the motif

(didn't forget to put the old CD inside)

With a blanket stitch, stitched it all around
grabbing the two felt circles together to enclose the CD inside,

et voilà!


and flowers!

What do you think?, I think I really like them! :0)