Tuesday, December 30, 2008

All Brands Sewing Contest

All Brands is having a sewing contest with Nanoo Design Patterns and Sew Sensible Patterns. Here is the flier with the details. All Brands will be selling the patterns on CD in all of their stores as well as online. They also have a great selection of high quality fabric to choose from as well as a large selection of sewing and embroidery machines. I think Aimee and I will be involved in the judging for the winner. This is the email address for any questions: batonrouge@allbrands.com. I am very excited about the contest and can't wait to see what customers create with the patterns.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Favorite Christmas Gifts

We didn't spend alot on Christmas gifts this year but did have a few presents to give out. One present that my daughter and her friend gave to all of us was a card telling us that a donation was made in our names for clean water to those who don't have that luxury. Here is the website. I thought it was a great idea for a gift and love that they have the servant spirit.

Another favorite gift was a note saying that we would have a girl's day out with lunch and a pedicure on December 28th. My two daughters, two nieces and a friend went to a sushi restaurant for lunch. It was raining and cool so we decided to postpone the pedicures to a warmer day. They know how much I enjoy spending time with them so and knew that spending time with them would be more special than a purchased gift.

After lunch, I took my oldest daughter shopping for her birthday, which is December 26th. She turned 30 this year. Wow. I have a 30 year old daughter!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Rough Weekend and Holiday Wishes

Probably won't be posting anything till after Christmas. I will be very busy the next couple of days preparing food for our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations. Didn't get much done over the weekend. My dad went to the hospital and my son was in a car accident. I am very grateful both are fine and at home and we will all be spending Christmas together.

Wishing all of you a very Blessed and Joyous Christmas Season.

Monday, December 15, 2008

My "adopted" grandchild and her Pillow Pal

This is a friends daughter that I consider my "adopted" grandchild. Here is a picture of her with the Pillow Pal I made her for Christmas. She was part of our "Making Treats Day" and stayed the night with me. I enjoyed spending the time with her. After the treat making, we watched a couple of movies - Elf and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Different Christmas Poem

I found this on the All Brands Sew Forum and thought it was worth posting about. So many soldiers will be away from their families this Christmas to fight for our freedom. Please keep them in your prayers and remember them by sending cards and packages.


The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,"
Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers.
"My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son.

"Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Making Treats Day

The last couple of years, my girls and I get together to make treats. This year, my friend and her daughter joined us as well as my niece. Before they got to my house at 10AM, I had already made 2 batches of peanut butter fudge and 2 batches of pralines. Here are some of the pictures.

Lots of ingredients ready to go

Make the cake balls and oreo balls.

My daughter wanted to make some of the snowmen candy wrappers so they did that while we made the cake and oreo balls.

Some of the treats.

Tea Cookies and Suguar cookies. Our artistic skills aren't the greatest but we have fun decorating.

No bake oatmeal cookies

Cake Balls and Oreo BallDipped pretzel sticks

Chocolate Chip Cookies
We had a very productive and fun day and made several trays to be delivered in the next couple of days.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Snowman Candy Wrappers

I saw this cute project on All Brands Sew Forum on this post and decided to make a bunch of them to give out at my house on Christmas Eve. I make seafood gumbo and family and friends come by. I thought this would be a cute "party favor". I made 20 of them. Here are some pictures.

The forum post linked to this blog which has the template download. She has some really cute things on her blog so you may want to check it out.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Snow in Louisiana

For those of you who see snow all the time, this may not seem like big news but for those from South Louisiana, this was BIG. We haven't had snow like this in my lifetime. It was so pretty to watch. Most of the schools shut down and lots of picture taking, making snowmen and snow ball fights.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

More Sewing - Christmas Gifts

My oldest daughter and I had a sewing marathon last Christmas making totes for gifts and enjoyed it so much, we decided to have another Christmas sewing day this year. I like the idea of having this as an annual Christmas tradition.

Although, I have my sewing room back, I don't have it fixed up in a way that I can spread out. I still use the kitchen table when I have alot of projects like this. As you can see, we are messy sewers and have stuff everywhere.

I generally throw scraps and thread on the floor and clean it all up after I'm done. I mainly did the cutting and organizing and my daughter did the sewing. She doesn't sew alot but seems to enjoy it and is catching on well.
Here are the items we made today. We started about 1 or 1:30PM and finished about 6PM. The top row are the ones my daughter made for her friends. She still has the buttons to sew on. I made a couple of bags for gifts but the matching set on the bottom is for me.

The long item is a flat iron holder. I tried 3 times to get the fabric used to cover ironing boards but Hancock's didn't have it in stock so I bought an ironing board cover and cut it up. We were able to make five of the flat iron holders with the one ironing board cover. These are great for traveling and the flat iron can be put away warm since the inside is lined with the fire resistant fabric.

The little bag is just a small lined bag that could be used for makeup, toiletries, pantyhose, socks, lingerie or a number of other items.

We used pony tail holders for the loops to hook around the button. The pony tail holders stretched so it was easier to get it around the buttons and held better than ribbon. I bought the pack that had all different colors.

I wish I had thought about taking pictures during the process so I could post a tutorial. If we make more, I'll try to remember to take pictures and get measurements to post. They were easy and make a great gift.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Babysitting, Shopping and More Christmas Bags

I babysit for my friends precious little girl last night. She is so sweet and such a joy to babysit for. She likes being held and cuddled and I loved every minute of it. I dressed her in my new pattern and followed her around taking pictures. Here are a couple of them.

This was a rocking chair that I had as a little girl. I pulled it out of the closet and she loved climbing in and out of it with her stuffed bunny.

I made small gift bags like this for my co-workers and decided to make larger ones and use them instead of stockings for my grown children. I am not spending alot on Christmas this year and my children love the stockings even though they are adults. I don't have an embroidery machine so I printed their names on printable fabric and appliqued them on the bags. Since I used fabric and it can be reused every year, it's better than wasting the wrapping paper. The fabric was 30% off at All Brands. I think it is 60" wide and I made 8 bags out of 2 yards. The ribbon was on sale at Hobby Lobby for half price ($1.00 per roll). I used two rolls of ribbon. The fabric was about $20 and ribbon $2 so the cost of the bags was about $2.75 - $3.00 each.Here are a couple of pictures. After the baby left, I left to do a little Christmas and grocery shopping. I got home about 1 or 1:30 and started making the bags. I was done at about 4 or 4:30. And tonight I am going to my company's Christmas Party. What a busy day!!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

New CPSIA Regulations

"New legislation is slated to take effect in February that will dangerously affect all small businesses in this country that make and/or sell handmade toys, children's clothing, blankets, cloth diapers, and more..."

Click here to read more and get a website to be able to contact your Representative.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Decorating for Christmas

I've been so busy at work and really enjoyed the 4 day Thanksgiving holiday to get caught up on some sewing and other things on my list. I even managed to get the tree up and a few decorations. Here are a couple of pictures. I really like all the decorations to look at but don't do alot of it myself. Maybe when I get some grandchildren it will motivate me.

Even though I will be busier than usual at this time, I am going to try my best to enjoy all those special moments with family and friends, share my blessings with others and really appreciate what it is all about - Jesus's Birthday!