Sunday, December 27, 2020

SAL Slow Progress

Three weeks have flown by and it is once again time to report on my Stitch-Along progress. Between the holidays and my mother's illness, stitching has slowed down tremendously. In times of stress, when I wasn't baking, I did manage to add some stitches to Three Boats. Here is where I was three weeks ago:

I had just recently finished my second page.

Here is where I am now: 

As you can see, I am filling in the sand on the left-hand side and continuing on the tree trunk. Since I am working on this piece sideways (the bottom of the scroll frame is on the left of the photo), I enjoy seeing the photos when posted as I can appreciate the picture itself, not just the individual stitches. 

Thanks so much to Avis at Sewing Beside the Sea for hosting this Stitch Along.

Please take the time to visit the other bloggers below who are part of this stitch-along.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Christmas prep

I am trying hard to get into the Christmas spirit, but it is difficult right now. I have made some cookies: Chocolate Crinkles and Raspberry Walnut Thumbprints this past week. You can find the recipe for the latter here.

Yesterday I made Oatmeal Gingersnaps. I found the recipe in an old Country Woman Christmas book. They are delicious!

I am debating whether to make the batter for my Christmas Butter Cookies. I will be the only one decorating them this year and it seems too much work right now. Sigh.... 

I was trying to complete the finishing on "Jingle as ye enter, Jingle as ye go" and realized that I don't have the dowel needed to hang it. I will get as far as possible, but this probably won't be ready this year. Sigh....

All this sighing is due to the fact that Mom is still in acute rehab at the hospital, but will be returning home on Wednesday. I have arranged to have an aide with her 12 hours a day, but I will probably have to sleep at her place each night until I see how she is doing. I am not sure that I made the right decision in not having her moved to a sub-acute rehab facility, but since it requires a 2 week quarantine alone in a room as well as no outside visiting at all for the entire stay, I just couldn't do that. Mom has been extremely unhappy with not being home as it is and I can visit each day at the hospital. I know she wouldn't eat and would be very depressed at a facility alone and without my visiting during this pandemic. 

I am trying to keep the Christmas spirit by wrapping presents as well as baking cookies. Christmas is going to be quite strange this year.

I did manage to add some stitches to October Morning while monitoring my Math Center extra help. 

I finished the orange for the tree and added some light grey to the fence. I like seeing the progress I am making on this piece.

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. I think I will try to add a few stitches to Three Boats. I may try to finish my wrapping today also.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Advent gifts

Since my daughter and her husband won't be with us for the Christmas holidays, she brilliantly thought ahead and left these Advent boxes when she was here for Thanksgiving for my husband and I to open each day. 

You can see how she numbered each slot to open.

A few of the gifts didn't fit in the box and are scattered around it. It is so much fun cutting open an area to see what treats we will find.

Here are some of the goodies she has given us. 

I hope you can tell that the wine bottles above are the small individual kind.
The Mounds is mine, TicTacs for Hubby.

Tanqueray and tonic for Hubby and the makings of a White Russian for me. 
Fritos for me. Ruffles for Hubby. Hmmm, I wonder why we are gaining weight?
The best gifts of all so far the were the ones below.
Hubby and I spend many a night watching Hallmark Christmas movies! Better TV than pandemic updates and politics.

Last weekend we decorated outdoors.
We are all lit up now and I finally got to display the Nativity scene that my daughter and son-in-law got me last Christmas.
I have wanted one of these for a long time. 'Tis the reason for the season!

I have added some orange to October Morning just above the fence. There is still some more to stitch.
I have been quite busy grading the final exams that I administered this past Tuesday and determining final grades. I haven't worked on any other crafts all week. 
 I have also been going to visit my mother at the hospital for a couple of hours each day. Her health has improved, but she is still very weak and is now in the rehab area of the hospital. Unfortunately, the move from one floor to another has triggered some sort of confusion and she is quite agitated and depressed. I really hope this passes as it is quite upsetting and may affect her ability to return to her home. I may have to consider getting full-time home care for her. We shall see. 

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. I am hoping to spend some time with Three Boats. We did buy our Christmas tree yesterday though, so tree-trimming may be happening instead of stitching.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 6, 2020

SAL Update - Happy Dance!

Since our last update 3 weeks ago, I have finally finished the second of 24 pages.

Here is where I was last time. I had a bunch of confetti stitches ahead of me in that tiny place on the bottom.

Here it is with the second page completed.

And here is where I am as of yesterday. There are just a few more stitches on the tree trunk.

 I had hoped to stitch some more yesterday, but my mom fell in her bathroom on Friday afternoon and is now in the hospital at least until Monday with dehydration and a UTI. I managed to put up my Christmas Village as the visiting hours are limited, but I wasn't up for stitching. 

Thanks so much to Avis at Sewing Beside the Sea for hosting this Stitch Along.

Please take the time to visit the other bloggers below who are part of this stitch-along.

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Virtual Cookie Exchange

 It's that time of year again. Welcome to the Virtual Cookie Exchange and blog hop hosted by Carol at Just Let Me Quilt. I am excited to share a favorite Christmas cookie recipe with you that I make each year as well as a family tradition and a quilt too.

I will start with the tradition. When I was first married, 35 years ago, I started collecting the Department 56 New England Christmas Village. For several years either my husband or my mother would buy me a new piece as a Christmas gift. Originally I would put the village under the tree each year. Since we have a real tree this was a tedious last minute chore as my village grew larger. Eventually, we purchased a television/sound system cabinet whose broad top was perfect for my village. We no longer have a TV in that cabinet, but it still serves as the display case for my village which is now one of the first decorations that I put up each December. 

I try to make the set-up just a bit different each year. It makes me smile just looking at the photos.

Here it is when it is lit up at night.

The quilt that I am sharing this year is my first, and so far only, attempt at redwork.

This usually hangs on the wall that you face as you enter the front door of my home just below the railing that surrounds the second floor landing. I made it several years ago and am quite pleased with how it turned out.

Finally, the cookies. Isn't that why you came to this exchange in the first place? Each and every year, we make decorated Christmas cookies as a family. I make the simple sugar cookie dough, chill it and then roll it out. We all participate in the decorating. This pic of my son and daughter decorating and using the cookie cutters is from a couple of years ago.

Some of the cookie cutters I inherited from my grandmother, some were my mother's, some are ones I have collected over the years. You can see them piled up near the flour jar. We usually have quite an assembly line going. Decorating requires brushing on beaten egg white and then sprinkling with colored sugars, nonpariels and perhaps some sugar trees or stars and the like before baking.

Here is one batch right before baking.

As you can see, we get creative.

Here is the recipe if you would like to try these yourself. They are delicious.

Christmas Butter Cookies

Ingredients:   1 Cup butter, softened (I use salted butter)

                    1 Cup sugar

                    3 eggs, separated, save the egg whites for later.

                    2 1/2 cups sifted flour    

                    1 tsp. vanilla

        1. Cream butter in a large bowl, gradually beat in sugar.

        2. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition.

        3. Slowly add sifted flour.

        4. Add vanilla.

        5. Divide dough into two rounds and wrap each in 

            waxed paper, chill at least 1 hour.


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

2. Roll chilled dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Use your favorite cookie cutters and place on a Silpat lined baking sheet (or plain cookie sheet). 

3. Brush each cookie with egg whites that have been whisked. 

4. Decorate with colored sugars, nonpareils, or other small sugar decorations.

5. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes. Watch the cookies, thin ones can burn.

These cookies can also be cooked prior to decorating with icing if preferred. Just eliminate steps 3 and 4 of the decorating and make the cookies a little thicker. Decorate with icing once cookies have cooled. 

Be sure to visit all of the other blogs that are participating in this Cookie Exchange.

December 1

Creatin' in the Sticks

Doreen – Just Let Me Quilt Guest

Bumbleberry Stitches

Home Sewn By Us
Quilt Schmilt

Food for Thought

Life in the Scrapatch

Ms P Designs USA

Just Sew Quilter

Cathie's Craftworks

Cynthia's Creating Ark


December 2


Karen's Korner

Sew Many Yarns

Selina Quilts

Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life

Days Filled With Joy

Words & Stitches

Just Because Quilts


December 3



DayBrook Designs

Karrin’s Crazy World

Samelia's Mum

Songbird Designs

For The Love Of Geese

Stitchin At Home

Dreamworthy Quilts

That Fabric Feeling


December 4

Just Let Me Quilt

Quilt Fabrication

Seams To Be Sew

Happy Cottage Quilter

Pumpkin Patch Patterns & Quilting

The Darling Dogwood

Kathleen McMusing


DesertSky Quilting 

I hope you enjoyed your stroll through these wonderful blogs. I know I will be collecting some new and delicious recipes to make this year and in the future.

Thanks for stopping by!