Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Green Christmas

No the grass is not green here in Iowa. We have had plenty of snow for a picture perfect White Christmas. I decided to take a page from son Anthony's book and go green with my gift wrapping. I wrapped my gifts in fabric instead of paper. (Lord knows I have more fabric than gift wrap.)

Anthony's gifts are wrapped in Adoring and Crazy 8.
His gifts are quite large so the 45 inches was great.

Abby's and Deb's are wrapped in Holly Jolly, Merry & Bright and Lollipop.
Not only will there not be any paper going to the landfill
but they will have a nice little stash of fabric. It is like a gift wrapped in a gift.

I have a huge bag of ribbon instead of bows.
Bows get crushed after awhile. The ribbon
you can use year after year.
In my case you my have to iron it from time to time.

If you are one of those people who's ribbon looks like this.
This is what I have to say to you…

I try to be organized but I am way more creative
if I am surrounded by "creative clutter".

Son Anthony wrapped wooden gifts
to put outside under his ditch cedar tree.
He will be able to use them year after year.

He used wire to put shape into his bows.

He cut the tops off of pine cones and glued them together to make a bow.
I think it is cool. I will have to try this next year.

Abby made this out of fabric scraps when she was about nine.
It is one of my favorite decorations.

This little shelf/cubby is made out of an old chair.

Our 1890 house has plastered walls.
I like to use old window frames to hang things on.
This way the nail hole is in the old frame and not the wall.

From my heart,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas at the Farm

This past weekend was my family Christmas.
I was so organized. I had my camera packed so I would be sure to get plenty of pictures for blogging.
However, my camera battery was dead! Sooo no pictures. Once again I will have to illustrate.

This year at the Fisher Christmas there were some changes. For the first time ever there were no grandchildren present. Three of the six are married. They are all out of college and have big boy/girl jobs so it is hard to get everyone together.

The last time we were all together was Thanksgiving 2008.
Since then our daughter-in-law Deb
and great grandson Beckham have joined the family.

As we drove in the yard I noticed another change. For the first time since they have lived there, Dad's Happy Holidays sign and his waving snowman were not in the yard, nor were there Christmas lights around ALL sides of the house. They had an ice storm Thanksgiving followed by the nasty blizzard that went through the mid-west. Not a good environment for two 82 year olds to be out hanging lights. It was bittersweet - the end of an era - yet I was glad Dad made the safe decision. (We do not need another broken leg!)
From here on the Fisher Christmas was pretty much as usual.

One of the big questions always is - which Christmas stockings will brother-in-law John be wearing?
Will it be his Santa ones?
His Reindeer ones?

This year he wore his Ho Ho Ho socks.

How many pounds of leftover ham will there be?
Mom had bought an 18 pound ham - for 8 of us.
She called me on Thursday to see if I thought
she should buy a turkey breast too.
No Mom, I don't think anybody will be eating
more than 2 pounds of ham apiece.
Mom always makes homemade buns for our evening ham sandwiches.
Believe it or not, we had enough leftover ham to make sandwiches.

This year she made the buns in the shape of a tree.
Next question - how many batches of cookies will Mom make?
More than I have made in my whole lifetime.
Mom always sends home a plate of cookies with everyone.

Aren't they pretty? And oh so yummy too.
Sadly, Mom did not pass her wonderful baking gene onto me.

Every year at Thanksgiving Mom makes ginger molasses turkey cookies.
Come Christmas time she makes reindeer.
We all love these cookies.
They are a very thin cookie so it is okay to eat more than one.
My niece Erin - who is a size 2- has determined
that three reindeer cookies equal one regular cookie.
So it is okay to eat a dozen or more of them.
After many years of eating reindeer cookies
we have discovered that some people eat their cookies different than others.

Our husbands all start with the head.

We three girls all start with the tail followed by the legs, saving the head for last.

Who will eat the most popcorn balls?
I usually win this one.

The very last thing we do at the Fisher Christmas is eat Mom's red velvet cake.
Yummy - just the perfect ratio of frosting to cake - half and half.

Wishing you all the best and the happiest of holidays.
Remember it's the holidays - also known in my book as the eat as much as you want and don't feel guilty holiday.
Eat, drink and be...guilt free.

From my heart,

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A New Generation

I have fallen behind on my blogging because I have been busy with the next generation. No not a new generation in the family but a new quilt generation. I have just finished generating the quilts for my Christmas and Fall 2011 lines of fabric.
Here is a sneak peek.

Panel for my Fall line. I named the line Grand Finale.
Fall is when Mother Nature gives us one last spectacular
show of color before everything is put to bed for the long colorless winter.

A few of the prints from the line.

Charm Pack pattern. #520 Glorious Fall.

No link yet as these will not be available until May 2011

A few of the prints from the Christmas line named Reindeer Games.

The quilt using a Reindeer Games Layer Cake.
#526 Rockefeller Rival.
One Layer Cake will do both the front and the back of the quilt.
Plus the yardage for the borders and backing.

The panel.
I really could use these guys right about now.
I have not even started decorating.
Now that I have my quilts generated I can start decorating tomorrow.

Daughter Abby has her decorating done.
Since I don't have any decorating pictures I will show you some of Abby's

Her tree - looking so lovely against the blue walls.

I think Bentley has his eye on that pretty pink bulb.
Her tree shirt is from my Just Jolly project book.

Love those blue spiky things.

More pretties.

Abby also had time to make potato soup.
Mmmmm. Looks yummy.
I will share her recipe.

Abby's Potato Soup
3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

I am off to start my decorating.
I am sure Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen are waiting at the door to help me string the lights on my tree.
Maybe I will make them some of Abby's Potato Soup.

Happy Decorating.

From my heart,

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Quick Gifts to Make

Happy Thanksgiving to all. We will be celebrating Thanksgiving at my parents farm. We have so much to be thankful for -Dad's broken leg is healed, Mom is cancer free and we have added a new daughter-in-law to the family. Life is good.

I am comfortably settled into my fat jeans

and ready to take on the Thanksgiving feast.
12:30 cannot come quick enough. Yummy!

Now that Thanksgiving is here, we all know how quickly it will be Christmas. (Just 30 days away!)
Do you need a quick Christmas item for your house or a quick gift? (I think we would all agree...handmade gifts are the best to give and receive.)
Although there probably is not time to make an elaborate pieced quilt I have plenty of projects that are doable. Pictured below are several gift or decorating items that can be made in 1 day or less.

My newest pattern - just designed yesterday.
#WA 122 Cheers!
This pattern features three different wine bottle covers.
It only takes about an hour to make each one.
They would make great hostess' gifts.

#109 Christmas Hang-Ups
You could make one of these tags to tie around the wine bottle
or make some to use as gift tags.

Kit 501 Owlivia
We have kits available to make this little cutie.
Everything to make Owlivia is included except the stuffing.

PB1026 Holly Jolly

PB1026 Holly Jolly

#247 Snowbound

#194 Merry Merry

#274 Criss-cross

#301 Jitters

#406 Not for Napping
These pillows use some fun vintage pins.
You can find the pins at thrift shops, on ebay or etsy.

#502 Oopsie Daisy

Here is hoping you all are having a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Hope you find time to make a few handmade gifts this holiday season.
From my heart,