A Little of This and a Little of That

Hey there, blogging friends and neighbors! The hubbub is over for another year. Sometimes it feels a little like jogging...the best part of jogging is stopping. Who's with me on that?

We spent Christmas Day recuperating from Christmas Eve. It's always been our family tradition to open gifts on Christmas Eve, and then we used to have a big dinner on Christmas Day. Now we have two lovely daughters-in-law who also have families, and so we've moved the whole celebration to Christmas Eve so that they can celebrate Christmas Day with their families. It always worked out well for Mike and me. We celebrated Christmas Eve with my family (where the tradition originated) and then Christmas Day with his. No hard feelings...ever...just the two of us, very busy whenever we trekked home for the holidays. As for our current family, last year we gave up on the gift exchange in favor of planning a family weekend together. In June of 2016, we're planning a trip to Rockaway, Oregon on the Oregon coast. The house is reserved and our calendars are marked. We were talking about it at dinner on Christmas Eve, and we're all looking forward to it.

Speaking of dinner and Christmas, here are a few family pictures. Mae was looking so pretty that evening. She had her hair in a kind of fancy braid, and she has the most beautiful hair to begin with. She gives me raging hair envy.

Mike was explaining something with great gusto here...some project he's working on. That's his "red dirt shirt" from our Moab trip in September.

Here are Valerie and Matthew. Valerie is always so photogenic, and the two of them together just make me smile. Their personalities and interests are very well suited to one another.

Here's another of Erik and Mae, married 6 years now. Hard to believe that much time has passed.

By the way, Santa brought me the newest version of my Nikon point and shoot for Christmas. I've been a very good girl this year. It's the Nikon Coolpix S9900. Here's the picture from the website.

This is the third version of this camera I've had, and I really love it. This new one has this cool feature where you can open the viewing screen and rotate it. It's so helpful when you're trying to take pictures of things down low...or things up high...or selfies (which I hate)...or anything that requires you to do something other than stand erect.

I had this feature on an old Canon point and shoot. The camera wasn't a very good camera, but I really loved this feature, and I missed it when it was no longer available. Now I'm just happy as a clam to have it back.

Okay and "Happy as a clam." You know I can never write something like that without having to consult The Google about it. Here's what The Google has to say about the meaning and origin of "happy as a clam".

Okay...now that we have that settled, I can move on.

So, as I was saying, we spent Christmas Day recuperating...and as for me, I spent the day doing a lot of sewing. I've moved the hoop again on Hocuspocusville, and now the whole bottom half is finished.

It's hooped up again and I spent a little more time on it this morning. I like doing that "feather stitch" and so I was working on that quite a bit. Most of my embroidery is usually back stitch or stem stitch, and so it's fun to add something a little different into the mix.

The fabrics I ordered a couple of weeks ago arrived on Christmas Eve. You might remember that I bought some of this blue tree fabric just because it caught my eye. It was so much prettier in person, and this picture isn't going to do it justice. If you look carefully at the top of the image, you can see that it has a little silver sparkle in it.

Although I had some solid blue binding strips cut for "Whose Woods Are These?" I changed my mind and used the blue trees for the binding on my little quilt. And it's all finished now!

My friend Marei and I were messaging back and forth about this quilt this morning. She made the Christmas version for me. We were discussing how it might not be too hard to turn those trees into hearts with a little imagination and a lot of half square triangles. Then it would be a Valentine's quilt. And I might just give it a try...because I don't already have enough half-baked ideas floating around in my head.

Oh yes, and here's how the quilt looks from the back.

When I laid the quilt down to take its picture, Smitty was johnny-on-the-spot to inspect it.

He's been a little forlorn without Gracie around to pester. Quilt inspecting was a quiet affair yesterday. He misses having her to discuss his findings.

As I was telling another friend this morning, he's still a pretty rambunctious kitten type, even though he's almost four years old. On the other hand, he has moments when he sits quietly, as if deep in thought. He's seemed much more pensive the past few days, and he stations himself at various points in the house where he can survey the most real estate at a time. He seems to be watching and waiting for her to come back from wherever she is. It's a little pathetic, and we've been giving him a lot of love and cuddles. In that vein, he found a way to get comfortable on my lap while I was sewing on this binding...a little awkward, but we made it work.

So that's about it from the Three Cats Ranch for this Christmas season. There's just one more thing I want to know: Do these pajamas I'm wearing make my rear end look fat? And, more importantly, does this new camera make my pictures look fat?

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Betty said...

Sounds like a very nice Christmas for you and your family. Smitty does have a bit of a forlorn expression. I'm sure the extra loves and cuddles are comforting for him and for you and Mike also.
The new fabric is perfect for the binding on your "Woods" quilt!

Kate said...

Glad you had a very Merry Christmas. This is the second year we've done the relaxing thing on Christmas Day. We used to spend Christmas Day driving my in law's, but with My Guy's mother's passing last year, there is no one willing to host Christmas for the whole family. Hope Smitty isn't pensive for long, though I'm sure he misses the other quilt inspector.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Oh, I really like that tree fabric and super for binding. This turned out to be the most lovely project - not just because it's blue mind you. Oh, Smitty - my Bella still gets that 'lost look' and I believe she still misses her twin sister at times (6 yrs now). I had the Eve with my kids and the day with Mom and some siblings.

Beth said...

Ah, poor Smitty. We've seen some changes in behavior at our house, too, since we've lost the three siblings and their mom over the last 14 months. It has been especially hard on our, who is the last remaining sibling and has the strongest "herding" instincts. He would always position himself so he could watch all the entrances and exits, and I felt that he wanted to be sure no one else was going to sneak out while he wasn't paying close enough attention, as if that was why the others has "gotten away". In the last three weeks, since his brother died, Nick has taken to coming into the bathroom with me and looking behind the shower curtain before I take a bath. I don't know what he thinks is lurking there, but he doesn't want me getting in the tub before he reassures himself that it is safe. And since I understand how the world can suddenly feel like a shaky place, I thank him in an upbeat tone and then listen to him settle in just outside the door, where he will sleep until I come out of the tub.

I think you chose the perfect binding for your table topper: hooray for a great finish!

And isn't it wonderful to see Mike looking so good? If he is like my sweetheart, he probably isn't thinking about those awful days when he was very ill, but when I saw him looking hearty and engaged and just so darned well, I remembered and was thankful. Nice way to end the year.

Lynn - JnL4God said...

Been trying to think of a witty comment about your camera and fat pictures but can't - that's really rare for me. :) Glad Smitty, Mike and you are giving each other lots of loves.

CathieJ said...

So glad you had a nice Christmas. Smitty is making sure you understand him and give him the attention he wants. It looks like you are both getting your way. You are stitching while cuddling. Your quilt is so pretty.

Susan said...

Glad you had a nice Christmas and I can't say if the new camera or your PJs make you look fat as I can't see your rear end or much of any other part of your body :-)

Give Smitty scritches under the chin for me.

Deb said...

Great choice using the new tree fabric for the binding on your beautiful Tree Quilt. I am just starting the same hand embroidery block today. You have a lovely family.

Sarah Poulsen said...

I love your HocusPocusville quilt. The tree mini quilt just went on my list. It looks wonderful in blue! Sending lots of love to your sweet kitty. Are you thinking of getting another kitten to keep him company?

Barbara said...

Sarah, your settings are at no reply, and so I can't reply to you personally. The answer to your question is yes, we are thinking of getting another kitty, but not until after the first of the year.

Dar said...

I really like the tree fabric for your binding choice too. It adds just a bit of sparkle to the whole top. Was so sad to read about Gracie. I lost both of our furr babies in each of the last 2 Decembers, and I still get teary eyed thinking about them. I know Smitty is wondering where she is. I think he needs another little girl to pester so he has a companion again. It is so hard losing our pets. Happy New Year to you all.

Sue Laughton said...

The new tree fabric looks fantastic on Whose Woods Are These! I am liking striped bindings more & more & more!
I can't believe I got so far behind on Cat Patches again! Working full-time has been causing me to nap a bit when I get home most days, so I haven't been very productive.

Michele said...

I do like your tree quilt and love that it is blue instead of red and green. I feel so sad for Smitty but am guessing that at some point he will have a new buddy in the house to torture.