Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

Goodbye to 2010 and hello to a New Year. I'm not one for New Year's resolutions, but I pray that the joys of 2010 will continue and that the lows of the past year will not continue for 2011. 
My wish for everyone is that they will achieve their goals and always reach a little further to find joy in life.
I have enjoyed this new part of my life, blogging, and through blogging I have rediscovered my love of quilting, cooking and lit a fire in me for photography. 
Be safe and see you next year.
love, di

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

a new toy

I received a digital SLR camera from my husband. So I will be practicing with it for a while. Here are a few photos that I think look pretty good. Learning a new "language" (Camera) will be difficult, but I know the results will be worth it.It has so many cool settings. There is even one for "food". Love it!
Thanks, Honey!















Miss Maddie

quilt journal #5


This was the fifth quilt I made. It was from a book called Fat Quarter Quilts. Looking very Christmasy, I use the quilt to anchor a Christmas display of the Nativity in my living room.  This was a pretty simple pattern.  I was still in the novice phase, but wait until you see my next quilt. I'll keep you in suspense...but I am still amazed that I created it so early in my quilting career! Let me just give you a hint..."paper piecing".

Christmas re-cap

Well, I am back after all the Christmas celebrations. I trust everyone had a blessed and safe holiday. For all my friends in the mid-west and eastern United States and Europe...stay safe in all this bad weather you are experiencing. We are bracing for another rainstorm here in southern California. The threat of mudslides in certain areas is high and we are traveling tomorrow, so keep us in your thoughts as we drive to visit our son in Arizona.
I am so excited to have our Christmas celebration with our one son and his family who does not live near us. I need some Jack, Sam and Davis hugs and kisses.
We had a wonderful Christmas Eve with our traditional Polish food of mushroom soup and Pierogi. Here are a few photos from Christmas eve.
Oplatke is a Polish tradition on Christmas Eve

the table is set

Cookie tray, "no sneaking cookies before dinner"
















 We opened gifts with Evan and Kyle and Julia and then after everyone left Christmas Eve, we went to mass at the Polish Catholic Church. It was a beautiful service and we always enjoy mass at Pope John Paul II Center in Yorba Linda.



Christmas day we went up to our sons for breakfast and to see what Santa had brought for them.
Then we came home to relax and get ready for everyone to come over again for Christmas dinner. I always forget to take photos after we get busy with dinner, but there here are a few.














Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Just discovered a new blog and FB page

http://simplecasualliving.blogspot.com/

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=26183274924

So inspiring. What makes me happy is seeing true beauty created by God...natural wonders, and then trying to bring that inspiration into my home and my life.
This type of decor is so calming and peaceful.
Please check them out. They also have a great give away going right now.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I've been sooo busy

I have been crazy busy shopping, baking, wrapping and stressing.
So much so that I forgot to post my 4th quilt in my series. So here it is.
May 2003
 After attempting to teach myself to quilt I finally signed up for a class at Material Possessions in Lake Forest, CA. (they have since changed owners and names)
This was an Irish Chain quilt. I picked it from the class choices because it seemed the most difficult at the time for me. I loved going to a class and seeing all the ladies with their major talent. It was truly inspiring.
I like the colors of red and white in this. It sort of looked French Provencal to me.
I put it on the mantle in our bedroom this year for Christmas to set up a little Christmas mood for Paul and I.




Here's what I have been up to the last few days. 
Making flower arrangements.

Last night was our annual ST-RA-BU-CA Christmas party. The name comes from the first two letters of each of our last names. A friend started this about 16 years ago. Just an informal gathering of four families that are best friends. We started with our original families at 23 members, but now with children getting married, having babies and the addition of boyfriends and girlfriends we are at 47 people. Last night we had 40 of the 47 in attendance. What a crowd and so much fun. It is so heartwarming to see "our kids" with "their kids". Brings back so many memories.
The Parents

Our kids and their spouses or girl/boy friends

the next generation, our precious grandchildren

My husband holding the newest member of the group, our friend's granddaughter.

Baking.
Fig cookies  still need a lemon glaze drizzled on them

I think these might be my boys' favorite cookie

the cute apron I wear, from my son, Brent

still need frosting

Today I baked cut out sugar cookies (still need to ice and decorate them tonight).
My friends and family know we have a very prolific fig tree so I am always on the lookout for any recipe using figs. A few years ago I found a great recipe for Italian fig cookies. They are so delicious. They taste sort of like a Fig Newton, only better. So I made those today as well as Homemade Marshmallows and Reese's Peanut Butter cup cookies. 
Tomorrow I will finish up by baking another 3 or 4 kinds of cookies and then I can start on the Polish mushroom soup for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner.