Sunday, December 21, 2008

The last of the Stitched Christmas Gifts it's Christmas with Jodi, Suzanne, and families. These are their gifts - I know they're going to be mad because we usually concentrate on Naomi (Suzanne's granddaughter) for Christmas, but these were so tailor made for our friendship that I had to stitch them up for them. I think the green one is going to be for Suzanne and the cream/light yellow one for Jodi. By the time they got framed and matted, they're bigger than I anticipated......but I'm very happy with how they turned out. I hope they'll like them!
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Lack of posting / new leaf!

Okay - last but not least....(well, actually, I will have two more Christmas gifts to post, but I don't feel like pulling them out - that will happen later today).

I wanted to take a minute to explain my lack of posting (both here and in my groups!) during the month of December. As is the case for most of us, I get very busy in December. A couple of posts ago I included a picture of the front page of the family calendar that I do for my family. It is truly a labor of love, but it is pretty labor intensive. I'm always a bit delusional in that I THINK I can print calendars and do other things at the same time, but it really doesn't work that way. The calendars take enough concentration that I pretty much have to stay glued to the computer.

Then...add in the stitching stuff, the shopping stuff, and my time in December just seems to evaporate.

This year in particular was hard....I lost a full weekend to an unexpected trip to Brownsville Texas due to the death of my stepfather. I had to be there for my mother, even though she and I have had a rather dysfunctional relationship for the last 10 or 15 years. She and Dave had been married for 35 years in November, and his death, while not necessarily unexpected, happened suddenly. He's had a liver disease (hemochromatosis - the build-up of excess iron in your blood) for most of those 35 years and wasn't doing all that the doctors recommended. He apparently went to sleep one night, lapsed into a coma, and never woke up. He was 76, and my mom is just lost without him. They had a strange relationship, but she certainly misses him.

Anyway - my New Years resolution (heck, not even New Years, more like my post Christmas resolution!) is to be a better blogger and a better group member by posting more often - in both places!!!!

Christmas Ornaments - Quilt-y

These are the ornaments I made for my siblings and my niece and her hubby. The pictures aren't great, I was taking them in a hurry before I packaged them all up. The pattern called for a generic back with the date (if you wanted to) but I made my own backs. IF you look at them, the backs look just like the fronts but with a block that says 2008 replacing the center.

These were a very easy stitch....the assembly took a little bit of time (about an hour per ornament) but my family seemed to enjoy them. We don't really exchange gifts with one another (we do a gift exchange similar to what you might do at work instead - there are just too many of us) but I am the only crafty one, so I enjoy making a little something for everyone.
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Ornament Stitching - Perforated Paper

At long last I have finished all of my Christmas stitching (and more importantly, my assembly of my stitched items!). Heck, I've even given most of the items I stitched out already!

These are the ornaments that I made for my parents and my aunt (my godmother). They are stitched on perforated paper, with lots of beads. You stitch two of each, and then stitch them together back to back. I did one set exactly the way the pattern called for (it was an old magazine) and then the other set I used the same patterns but in different colors. (Hence the two at the bottom that are one red and one blue in the same pattern). If you look at the others you'll notice doubles of each one. They each got one set of 4.

I gave my parents theirs yesterday (we had our family Christmas at my brother and sister-in-law's house). My aunt's had to be mailed to her, so the jury is still out on those!!!

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Family Calendar

Well....instead of stitching much the past week or so, I've been working on my annual project of doing our family calendar. This is the front cover of it. Yep, that's my family - all 34 of us! Starts with my parents and my youngest sister at the top, kind of surrounded (either side, plus next row) with their kids and in-laws. The balance of the pictures are the next generation (my nieces and nephews, including two "nephew-in-laws"). All the way down in the lower left corner are my nieces four kids, including our little miracle, Anthony (second from the left, bottom row). I actually print 11 originals of this calendar because I do one for my parents, one each for six of us "kids" and four for my adult nieces.

Each month has pictures of the people who have occasions that month (birthdays or aniversaries) and the event is marked on the individual day (blue for the boys/men, pink for the girls/women, green for anniversaries, and yellow for holidays). Each person's is personalized to them - saying "Our Anniversary" on the appropriate date, or "My Birthday" for the nieces who don't have an anniversary yet. And the nieces all say "Aunt" or "Uncle" where appropriate....and of course, they say "Grandma" and "Grandpa".

I started doing this in for a Christmas gift for my parents in 2003 (with the first calendar being for 2004) and have done one ever since. I get them spiral bound at Staples (which is really reasonable) and they are always the hit of our Christmas gathering. All my siblings help by contributing pictures.

Anyway - now I'm beading ornaments trying to get THEM done for our family celebration on Saturday. I love my family, but they really messed me up by having our big get together on Saturday!!! LOL