Friday, November 30, 2012

The Pineapple Express has arrived! Last night the second of 3 storms arrived and it has been raining all day. According to the weatherman Sunday will bring the biggest storm, like we need a bigger storm. It was a good day to work on my wool snowman penny rug, if it keeps raining I'll have it finished in no time.

DH and I were going to go to the craft fair in Mariposa today but canceled our trip because of the rain. Last year there were some unique items and I've been looking forward to going for weeks. If the weather clears up I'll go tomorrow.

My Christmas memory for today are felt ornaments my sons made me over 25 years ago. I told you my Christmas tree was special, it holds precious memories--some of which I'm sure my sons would like me to lose.

I love all the details. Did you know that Santa had blue eyes? Also this Santa knew the importance of staying in shape well before being buff was in style.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Tree

Decorating is done! Wow it's a lot of work and I couldn't have done it without my DH's help. Thank you D.

When I was growing up finding the perfect Christmas tree was very important and it took hours. I carried this tradition into my marriage. My DH was so patient, we would go from tree lot to tree lot to find our perfect tree. I remember one year after spending hours looking we went back to first lot and bought one from there.

 I'm sure D was delighted when we bought our first artificial tree it took a lot of drama out of Christmas. Although putting it up meant almost building it from scratch:

The picture above shows my Brother and his wife putting the tree together. My SIL is from the Netherlands and this was her first American Christmas. I can't imagine what she thought when she saw our tree coming out of the box and realized it had to be put together. 

When I was a young girl I remember thinking my Grandparents were old because they had such a small tree. According to my own standards this years Christmas tree means I am old.

We downsized when we moved from our last home and this included our Christmas tree. This tree is very special because it holds a lot of memories. Most of the ornaments that are on it have special meaning. From now until Christmas I'll be sharing some of these memories with you.
Here's a closer look at the tree:

The oldest thing of mine on the tree is a stuffed mouse that was given to me by my best friend when I was in the 7th grade.

I do not ususally hold onto things so it's a miracle this mouse has survived all these years. He has been with me since I was 12.

The oldest thing on the tree is D's favorite ornament from his childhood:

May you be blessed with wonderful memories as you decorate your home.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nice surprise, a big mess and a treasure.

D and I went down the mountain to do a Walmart run, not my favorite thing to do. Afterwards we stopped at Wendy's for lunch and ran into my youngest Son. We got to spend his lunch hour with him. It was such a nice surprise, it made my day.

When we got home I decided to start decorating inside the house, this is the during picture-what a mess.  I ran out of steam so it still pretty much looks this way. When I get it pulled together I'll post the "ta da" picture.

One of the things I love about opening the Christmas boxes is finding all the treasures. Today I found:

Spot from the old 7-UP commercials. We got Spot when our family toured the 7-UP distributing center in Fresno. I'm not sure what year it was but it had to be in the early 80's.

All in all a pretty good day.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Busy Day on the Mountain

Spent the day raking leaves, getting the golf cart ready for winter and decorating the outside of the house. We're suppose to have several storms coming the next few days so we thought we'd better get our outdoor work done.

First we got the garland, wreaths, lights and bows up.

Then we got the golf cart winterized.

We weren't the only ones that have been busy. See this lovely Oak tree.
Take a closer look, the woodpeckers are storing acorns in it.


After an early moomrise

It was finally time to turn on the Chistmas lights and enjoy our hard work.
"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..." Maybe tomorrow we'll work on the inside of the house.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Look what I learned to do!

Can you tell I've been working on my blog? I've learned how to add buttons from other bloggers sites and a blog list. I've also figured out how to rearrange the items on the sidebar. It took most of the morning but I think it was time well spent.

The blog list shows blogs I'm currently following. You can click on them and they'll take you to that blog.

Last week I discovered Blog Hops.

Click on the Holiday Lane, Pillow blog hop button to join the fun.

It will take you to a link of bloggers who took the pattern shown here and made it their own. It is fun to see the different ways people interpret this pattern.

One of my favorite pillows so far comes from Linda at
Her pillow comes with a poem and I'm sure it will be a family treasure for years to come.

I copied her post here to give you a taste of what the hop has to offer. Enjoy!

Reindeer Games

Twas the night before Christmas and all down the lane...

The reindeer were playing their games....quite insane!

Poor Santa had just started out down the flue

when "middle aged spread" made it too hard to do!

So there he stuck fast while the reindeer, in glee,

Were as naughty and mischievous as they could be!

Prancer hung over the eaves for a wreath

While Dancer looked on in sheer disbelief!

Donner and Blitzen and Cupid played "Tag"

While Comet, how awful, dumped Santa's big bag!

Poor Rudolph sat quietly, shining his nose,

And all of the others - well, goodness! - Who knows!

While children were dreaming all snug in their beds,

Visions of bedlam filled Santa's poor head!

When morning came finally to Holiday Lane

Nobody dared fuss or even complain.

They pulled poor old Santa right out of that fix

By removing some mortar and quite a few bricks!

The reindeer had all flown back home quite ashamed

And knew that for all that they'd done they'd be blamed.

But Santa made up for the mess when he gifted

Each person, who smiled as his spirits were lifted.

"Happy Christmas to all", he said with red face,

and then he was gone without leaving a trace!








Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wool felt projects

I'm so excited, look at the right side of my page, I have a FOLLOWER! Marty an experienced blogger has been kind enough to follow me. Check out her beautiful blog at: Hopefully someday my blog will grow up to look as pretty as Marty's.

I've been playing with wool and wool felt the past few weeks. I already posted a picture of my Pumpkin Valley Pillow which used felted wool and some cotton fabric as the backround. The next two projects I've finished were done using a wool and polyester blend. I decided to use the blend because it's cheaper and I wanted to practice before I start my Snowman mat.

The first project is a candle mat: (the backround is gray as shown in the middle pic, not sure why it appears blue in the other pictures).

You can see I still need some practice on my stitches.

My next project was a "cheater" (eye glass) holder. I made it bright on purpose so I as long as I put the glasses in it I'll be able to find them. I made up the pattern myself. I love felt because it doesn't unravel.

blank canvas
doesn't look like too much yet

I told you it was bright.

I feeling brave so I'm going to start my snowman mat, it's made out of wool. Hope I can get it done by Christmas.
The blank spaces will have hats as well. I will stitch down the hats and then add the snowman's faces. I'll post more pictures as I go along.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Coarsegold "Mall"

Today was "Small Business Saturday" so I went to the Coarsegold Mall to shop. There are several new businesses that opened and I had fun talking to the Owners.

First stop was a new Antique/collectable store, cute stuff.

Next was "Common Thread Collective"
Front View

Side View of Common Threads

Karen Kane is the owner of Common Threads Collective and has only been open a few weeks. Her vision is to have work from area Artists displayed in her shop but she isn't quite there yet. I love what she has down with the patio area and the side yard and look forward to seeing her shop evolve.
Final stop was Sugar Ladies Antique store, another cute shop with a very friendly owner.
If you're ever in the area stop at Coarsegold Village and check out the cute shops, I only took pictures of some of the new ones there are several others in the village. The Village is located on the northeast corner of Highway 41 and Road 415. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday with the Alpacas

This weekend is the 8th Annual Christmas on the Ranch, at KT-Lee Ranch Alpacas in North Fork, CA. I've always wanted to visit this ranch so instead of going Black Friday shopping I spent part of the morning hanging out with the Alpacas. They are very curious, this was the greeter and watched everyone who drove in.

Fun Alpaca facts:
-they are from the camel family
-they come from South America
-they are raised for their luxurious fleece and are shorn once a year
-they have one baby a year
-they live approx 20 years
Young Alpacas


KT-Lee Ranch is on the east side of Bass Lake, so on my way home I stopped at the Bass Lake Christmas Craft Faire. The weather was perfect, bright blue skies and almost 70 degrees.
Bass Lake, CA Post Office
I enoyed my Mountain Black Friday, I had the moon roof open in the Mini, Christmas music playing, driving through the pines, life is good.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New food find

Happy Thanksgiving week! D and I will be going to my Son's home where my DIL will amaze us with her turkey cooking skills. She says she loves to cook the turkey and it shows. I am taking my world (or at least family) famous chocolate pie, it is a family tradition.

My food find:

I tried Fleischmann's "Simply Homemade No Knead Bread Mix" this weekend.


Everything you need (except a little bit of flour) comes in the box and it is ready in less than an hour. The bread turned out well, it's a rustic looking loaf but it tasted great. NOTE: there are directions on the side of the box on how to make it in a loaf pan.

I made the multi grain loaf and served it with chilie, it would also go with soups and stews. It made great toast, the toast was a little skinny but very good. There are four flavors, Multi grain, Country white, Italian Herb and Stoneground wheat. It was so fast and easy I'm going to keep a box or two in the pantry. I found it at Walmart but I'm sure major supermarkets will have it as well.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

New technique and fun find

I tried working with wool felt and loved the texture of it. It is easy to applique because it doesn't fray. Here is my completed pillow.

I went to the Wool Club meeting at Quilters Paradise on Wednesday and met some very knowledgeable women. They gave me some tips on how to improve my stitches and how to tack down the pieces before there stitched down.  Some of the ladies were working on wool rugs. One lady was working on a 6' circular rug for her husbands office, I can't believe she's going to let people walk on it. I liked this group and will probably go back next month.
Today D and I went to some antique and thrift stores in Oakhurst. We found an old portable Singer sewing machine:
We got it for $20 because it didn't have an electrical cord but it did have all the accessoies. We figured that even if we just used it as a decoration it was a great buy. I went on line and found that it was made in 1929 and I was able to find an electrical cord on line for $12.00 that D think will work. I'll let you know if we get it running.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Drama at the Activitiy meeting

Last week I was busy, working in the yard, taking an on-line class, attending the communities activity meeting, and going to my first Quilt Shop Hop.

The activity meeting was an eye opener, lots of drama and very entertaining. The big item on the agenda was wrapping up details for the fast approaching Christmas gathering. This year they've decided to do an Open House Cocktail Buffet from 5:30 to 9:30 instead of a sit down dinner which is enough to cause an uprising in the community. They had decided to just have tall tables positioned throughout the room for people to have a place to set their plates and drinks as they STAND and visit with others and not to have places for people to sit. It was brought to the Committee's attention (like they don't know) that there are a lot of elderly people in our community and they need a place to sit. It was suggested that there be tall tables as well as low small tables with chairs around the perimeter of the room for those that want to sit. The audience was told that the President of the committee had made the decision on the tall tables and since she wasn't in attendance no decision to make changes could be made.

Other drama:

A new wreath with lights had been purchased for the clubhouse. One outspoken lady was concerned that the cord would show. She would not let it go, they must have spent 10 minutes discussing this. They promised her they would disguise the cord. It's going to get ugly at the club house decorating session if they can't hide the cord to her satisfaction. I'm planning on helping decorate so I'll let you know if more drama ensues.

It was suggested that a local quartet perform at the Christmas open house. The same outspoken lady was horrified. She said she had heard them practice and they were awful. People responded that the quartet had performed at the wine tasting and they were fine. Again Miss Outspoken would not let it go, I'm not sure what the outcome on this one will be.

Upcoming drama:

Miss Outspoken will be leading the Activity committee next year. D and I may attend more meetings for the entertainment value. It's almost good as watching the Real Housewifes of ...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fall yard work

Worked in the yard this morning, swept leaves off the porch and out of the gutter, with our trees this is going to be an ongoing battle for many weeks.

These are only two out of our 9 trees and they still have plenty of leaves for us to deal with.

I pulled out the last of the marigolds, I love those flowers they last for months. I left in some of the zinnias and the vinca. One of the reasons I left the zinnias is that there was a huge bumblebee enjoying them and I wasn't going to interrupt him.

On my patio my ever blooming hydrangea is still blooming. I should have taken this picture before I trimmed it, it had about 6 other blooms that were fading. It's in a pot out in the open so I think I'd better move it next to the house soon.
I also have a oak barrel full of these orange flowers that have bloomed all summer. I'm not sure what they are. I've planted them before and I love them. I guess when I buy them next year I should pay attention to their name.
I'm off to our wonderful nursery in Oakhust to get pansies so I'll have some color to look at this winter.

Monday, November 5, 2012

What I did with my extra hour

I was up early yesterday morning due to the time change. What to do? I went through some patterns I had purchased and decided to make a small purse. It has a pocket in the back for a cell phone and pockets inside for drivers license, credit cards some cash, and lipstick.

Here is the back with the pocket for the cell phone:

And the inside, it has three differenct size pockets:
I can see it being used while traveling or on date night.
The pattern and directions for this purse was printed on both sides of a letter size piece of paper and laminated. It's good that I like puzzles because it took some deciphering, especially when it came to turning the pockets to the right side.
Now I'm working on a wool felt appliqued pillow. I've never worked with wool before so it's another adventure.
Tomorrow I'm planning on attending our communities activity meeting. I'm not sure how involved I want to be, so I hope I won't find myself volunteering for too much.
Also want to enjoy the warm weather while it lasts.