Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Photo Review

I usually do a review, just to get myself thinking about the new year, and what I will be deciding will be my new goals.  Reviewing helps me get in the right frame.  Hope you also enjoy the review!  (Of course you can go back to any of my posts for more information on any of these subjects!)


Hubby and I seem to always gravitate to the beach in January.  It's quiet and restful after the holidays.  Planning to go again in  January 2014.


In February, I closed my Etsy jewelry shop and prepared to reopen in April or May with a new product.  Anyone remember this little sneak peek?


In March, I worked on new products--mini art quilts, and yo yo hair bows for my new shop and the Spring Craft shows, respectively. New works in progress, but the best event in March was the purchase on my daughter's first home.  It was so exciting!  And we had Christmas there this year!  Yay!


April brought a a string of quilt shows with a friend, collegiate softball for my Granddaughter and my new shop opening! The quilt shows further inspired me on to art quilting. Did I say that I have since been asked to teach a class on art quilts!  Yay! (The one shown here is not mine but inspires me!)


May has mother's day, and hubby bought me a new camera!  I used it for a tutorial and got the largest traffic to one of my posts for a napkin tutorial that I did.


June came and went with lots of work for me making aprons!  And using my new camera!


July was the vacation month!  I went to my hometown to see my mom, sister and brother, and then went with hubby to Sisters Oregon for the big outdoor quilt show!  Such a fun month, I'm adding two pictures!

Hometown soda fountain/ice cream shop


The biggest thing that changed our lives in August was that my granddaughter, Kayleigh left the USA for Taiwan as an exchange student!  She will be gone for one year!  We miss her!


I was quite busy in September with more apron orders, and preparing for my hubby's sisters and my mother's visit.  We went to Seattle:


October was filled with more aprons -- one for my DIL shown here; a class on curved piecing for a journal cover; and lots of preparations for Christmas products--my new line of Christmas stockings (which I will show you in the November review!)


November brought two of the best experiences of the year!  My acceptance into a big juried show that I just loved!  I presented my new line of crazy quilted Christmas stockings, including my boot stockings and they were a hit!  My best seller for the holiday season!

And the Operation Christmas Child campaign.  Gift boxes for children around the world thur Franklin Graham's organization, Samaritans Purse.


All the year mostly gone, I decided to make mason jar gifts for all my (huge) family!  Lots of fun ideas and I think they were a hit!

Now, on to the New Year!  Hope you have a great holiday and are anticipating
a wonderful 2014 year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Winter Fog

When I was young, I lived in an area that almost never got snow.  We had rain, although not very much of it; only about 2 inches per year . . . but we had fog! And, no . . . I didn't live on the coast!  (more about that in a moment.) It was a mostly foggy dreary winter for us. It wasn't like Carl Sandburg's famous poem:


The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

In our town, the fog never moved on! It was there all winter, and WOW! was it cold, since the sun never shown for days and weeks on end.  It was not the normal fog that most people are familiar with and are used to creeping in early in the morning and then leaving ("moving on" as Sandburg puts it) like it does on the coast ("harbor and city").  This wintry fog is a phenomenon in the San Joaquin Valley in my home state of California.  It's due to a temperature inversion, and  is called "Tule fog"-- pronounced tu-lee.  It forms after the first good rain fall in Autumn and it stays, because of the high pressure patterns of our weather, all the way through to March, sometimes! Here is a bird's eye view of the huge San Joaquin socked in for the nearly 400 miles of it! If you are familiar with the California coastline, you can probably distinguish the San Francisco Bay area, although I lived in the southern tip of the valley.

Picture from Wikipedia Tule fog article
Sew, earlier this year when I made my art piece, called Emerging Foggy Spring, shown here, I knew exactly what I was wanting to portray. (Here is the original post of the making of this piece.) (Also did another post a couple of years ago, of a foggy acrylic painting that I did.)

Now, I am wanting, pondering in my creative thoughts actually, to design an embroidery piece that embodies fog!  Such a challenge, but I'm up for a challenge! Of course I will share it when I am finished! What do ya think?  You up for a new challenge in your new year? Hope this post sparks some of your own creative juices!

Note: This is actually a blog post for my favorite Etsy team, the Blogging Business Artisans! Why not go on over and see what the other members have come up with--it might just inspire you!

Also linking with Create-with-Joy  today!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Man's Mason Jar Gift Recipe

Although these jars were for all the grown guys--SIL's and sons--in our family, these would also make a great recipe to take to a New Years eve gathering!  My hubby likes to make his own trail mix recipe for TV snacks.  He has definite proportions that he likes.  So he printed the recipe, made it and filled the jars for the guys of our "Mason Jar Christmas"! (See previous posts.) Recipe shared below.


Andy's Custom Trail Mix

  • 1/2 c. Santa Fe Mix 
  • 1/3 c. peanuts
  • 1/3 c.. pretzel pieces
  • 1/4 c. roasted almonds
  • 1/4 c. Corn Nuts
  • 1/4 c. M&M's
  • 1/8 c. craisns
  • 1/8 c, Pecan pieces

Note:  The Santa Fe Mix is a pre-made mix of peanuts, corn nuts and several small chili flavored crackers, including chili lemon sticks and sesame sticks.  It is slightly hot with the chili powder flavorings. If you cannot find Santa Fe mix at your local store, you could use small cracker pieces and use chili powder, onion powder, garlic, and paprika to season.  I don't think it would be quite the same, but you might find a combination that you like!  Be creative~!

Mix all ingredients together evenly.  Makes 2 cups

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Gift and a Disappointment

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas holiday!  I've been sharing my various mason jar gifts (see previous posts) for my Mason Jar Christmas! I know it is the day after, but I still wanted to share some more of my mason jar gifts--maybe you can use one of the ideas for a future gift!

These were for my older grand girls, Colleen, Courtney, Taylor, Kayleigh, Madison, Cassandra, Alessandra,  and Hope:

These are filled with sewing notions for the beginning sewer.  Tape measure, pins, needles, needle threader, safety pins, thread and seam ripper.  All are pink because I want my grands to remember to take care of themselves (as I am a breast cancer survivor.)

But . . . and there is a "but".  I have said in my blog profile that I share disappointments. So here goes: I followed several Internet blog instructions for this pincushion lid.  But, most instructions did not say what to stuff the pincushion with.  Being in a hurry (Christmas and all), I stuffed it with what I had which wasn't the best.  Also, most instructions did not explicitly explain a good way to attach the pincushion in a way that the lid would fit onto the jar again. There was not enough clearance left for a tight fit.  They look nice, but are not functional enough. Suffice it to say, that I will be replacing the lids of all my grand children's gift jars as soon as I have redone them. And I will share, hopefully, the solution.

Sharing a few more mason jar ideas in the next post. Happier ones!

Monday, December 23, 2013

More Mason Jar Gifts!

As I said yesterday (be sure to see that post), this is a Mason Jar Christmas, so here are the ones I have for the little grand boys!  Bug Jars!

They are filled with gummy worms, and lady bug playing cards!  They come with a magnifying glass and personalization.  And of course a screened top:

These will go to Indy, Roman, Paddy and Owen.  Ok, now, that covers nine of my youngest grands . . . Tomorrow, on to the older grand girls!  This is fun!

Linking today with Inspire Me Monday! Join the party!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mason Jar Christmas!

I've enjoyed looking at all the mason jar ideas on Pinterest these past few months.  So, I decided to make this a Mason Jar Christmas! We have a very large family and to keep the costs down and still cover everyone, this seemed like a good idea!  I've been talking about it among my online friends and they wanted to see what I have come up with.  I hope my family doesn't decide to take a look at my blog before Christmas!! :)  I will take the next few days to show the various jar contents.  Today, the jar for all my littlest grand girls:

I made bath mitts from terrycloth and scraps of fabric in different colors  and a bit of elastic.  Super easy!

I bought some cute little soaps from another Etsy seller:

And packed them in the jar with  rubber duckies taped to the top. Added bows and tags and there you have it!

These will go to LaRaya, Bella, Vivi, Ada and Jubilee!  Aren't they cute?

Hope you're holiday season is going well!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Dinner Party at the Manor

Been busy, busy, with Christmastime here.  No time for blogging . . . but I went to a dinner party and thought you might enjoy the experience with me.  So I will share the pictures as they tell the story!

The setting:

The dinner:

The people:

Us (hubby and I):

Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas season too!