Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Look Back at 2012

It is week 52 in my series "This Week in 2012".  I only missed posting a weekly follow-up two weeks; one while I was on vacation and the other last Sunday, before Christmas, when I was up to my ears in Christmas prep. For the final week I thought I would end the series by showing you all the projects I made in 2012. I know there are a few missing and a few I still can't show you, but you can see it was a good year for productivity.

Quilts Completed

2012 quilts
I already have four quilt tops ready to baste and quilt in 2013 and have started a fifth and sixth one.


2012 swaps
I was glad I kept swaps to a minimum this year and really only signed up for the ones where I knew there would be great challenges and lots of talented people to get to know. I also received some lovely gifts in return. Through the year I also received some "just because" gifts from generous and talented friends.

Quilt Alongs, BOM, and Bees
2012 bees, bom, qal
The same goes for Quilt-alongs, Block of the Month and Bees. The people are the best part of these groups. The bee I started, Stitch Tease, has been full of secrets and great friendships. I was so happy to meet Danny, Dianne and Katy in person this year and look forward to meeting Susan, Hadley and Helen in July. That leaves Annabella...someday soon we will meet. But for now we talk on the phone and email a lot.
I finished the year of the New Bee on the Block and also joined Modern Stitching Bee, where there is the possiblility for great friendships to form and lots of talent.
I learned to English Paper Piece and hope to finish my Hexie MF quilt before  we get too far into the new year .
Home Dec
2012 home dec

Pillows, pillows, pillows...such a simple thing to make and they really pack a punch. I think the hardest thing I ever made was the Not So Spring Deer pillow...not because it was a difficult pattern, but because spatially, my brain can't think in reverse, backwards and upside down. I think Nova's fabric bowl pattern is brilliant and I know there are more of these in my future.
Purses and Bags

2012 purses, bags and clutches
I know, I know, I am a little obsessed with making purses, bags and framed clutch purses...but they are so fun and make a great gift. I'm running out of people to make them for but will need to make several samples for the class I am teaching, in March, at The Sew South Retreat.


2012 food

I always like sharing the recipes I have made that I think are really good or that I have tried for the first time. I especially like making things with fruits and vegetables picked from our garden.

The year had some wonderful highlights and some sad moments, too. Looking back, family gatherings top the list as do celebrating our anniversary in Poland in June and my 60th birthday, in July, surrounded by family and friends. Meeting Tacha in Berlin, Dianne in Vienna and all the wonderful new friends at Sewing Summit definitely deserve a mention. We said goodbye to our sweet bulldog, Maddie. She was the sweetest dog ever.

It is with great sadness that we also had a few friends die this year. We are so grateful for the friendships that we had with them and the love and good times we shared.
I thank each and every one of my readers for coming to my little corner of the blogosphere and taking the time to read and comment on the things I care to share with you. Writing this blog gives me great joy. I love sharing my projects and little bits of my life with you.  In return, you all inspire me and challenge me to go outside of my creative comfort zone. I only hope 2013 will be a good year for all of us and I look forward to meeting more of you in person.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Week in Review

I don't know about you, but the last week was a rush to the finish. I didn't take the time to blog nor did I respond to your lovely comments or even leave a comment on the blogs that I read. We were blessed to have #1 son and his family here for 5 days before Christmas and also celebrate with the rest of the family, my mom and a few friends, over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Today, I am staying in my PJ's all day and just recovering. To top it off I have been fighting a bad sinus infection all the while trying to make a nice Christmas for everyone.
So today I give you our week of Christmas with a lot of photos and a few words.

After a day at Disneyland he just could not stay awake for our annual Strabuca (aka glamorous grannies and their families) family get-together. 

But he really liked his remote control car he received from the party.

My daughter-in-law arranged for she and her kids to perform a Christmas program at my mom's senior living facility.

My cute grand kids all dressed up for their uncle's wedding.

Cutest flower girls ever!

I finished the hoop ornaments for each of the grand kids.

Prepared our traditional Christmas morning breakfast (crepes) for our Faux Christmas morning with #1 son's family.

Saturday was Faux Christmas morning.
They love their new books.

and clothes

and Disneyland passes.

a jar of $1 bills put a smile on his face.

earphones bring a smile

and a funny t-shirt, too

all dressed up and ready to fly to her other grandparent's home.

a few last minute gifts finished.
This clutch, with a gift card tucked inside, was for #4 son's girlfriend.

Julianna's fabulous pattern made #4 son very happy.

Noodlehead's open wide pouch had a gift card inside for a friend's daughter.

Flowers arranged for the dining room table.

Scones and homemade jam delivered to the neighbors.

our tree at night

The cookie tray

Traditional Polish Christmas Eve meal of pierogies and mushroom soup

Mr. Romance and #2 son.

The pierogies were delicious this year and so was the soup.

new record holder, he ate 22 pierogies!

a friend made balloon hats for the kids.

Opening gifts

Opening their stockings 

my mom loves word search puzzles

Paul's new readers will help him read his new book

Excited about my new book

Our church looked so pretty and festive.

the tree and train layout

Christmas is coming to a close

We had fun

Our 6 year old grandson was so excited with his dad's reconfigured old iphone made into an ipod for him to play with. He had so much fun taking photos and texting us from the other room. So cute!
The end of a wonderful Christmas.

I hope your Christmas was a joy.
I look forward to 2013.
I have lots of projects planned.

I thank you all for your friendship, comments love and support.
I hope to meet many more blog friends in 2013.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas

 From our family to your family,

no matter what language you speak.

Merry Christmas.

I'll catch up with you next week.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pillowcases for Sandy Hook Elementary Students

As I sit here waiting for the first group of family to arrive to celebrate the Christmas holidays, I am struck by the thought of those other grandparents who will not see the joy on their sweet grandchild's face this year. My son and daughter-in -law are on their way right now and I can hardly wait to wrap my arms around their four children, and see the excitement of Christmas tradition on their faces, or to watch the joy in their eyes as they play with Papa's train layout.

While I baked and wrapped and got the house ready for their arrival today, I took some time away from me time and made these two pillowcases. One for a boy and one for a girl.

This group was started on Flickr {and Facebook, I believe} and they are trying to get a pillowcase for each child and each teacher made and ready to be delivered after the Christmas break is over. I know we're all busy, but these two were made in just over an hour. I would have made more but I usually don't buy "yardage", just fat quarters or half yards, so these were made with what I had on hand.

If you have a few minutes please join the Flickr site {list of tutorials on the site} 
sew up a pillowcase or two or more and send them off to :

Quilters Corner 
312 Danbury Rd 
New Milford, CT

As Good as SaraBeth's

I love New York City. When our son lived there, while attending New York University Dental School {2001-2005}, we visited he and his wife several times a year. One of our favorite ways to start our day  was to go to SaraBeth's for breakfast. The food is really good and we especially enjoyed the freshly made scones and the jams and preserves that started SaraBeth in her business. We would stock up with several jars before heading home, until I found that it was sold here in some specialty food stores and markets.
This weekend I made a jam that I think is as good as one of our favorite SaraBeth's and I thought I would share the recipe with you. I have tried making this combination before and it never tasted just right until now. Maybe it's my new copper jam pan.

It is such a pretty color and the flavors are bright and delicious.

Golden Jam
2 pounds of tangerines, chopped fine {peel and all}, seeds removed
1 pound dried apricots, chopped fine
1-16 ounce can crushed pineapple, packed in it's own juice
8 cups water
4 cups granulated sugar

Mix everything but the sugar it a large,wide mouthed pan. Bring to a boil, and then continue to keep at a medium boil for 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Add sugar and continue to stir until sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook at a medium boil, stirring every 10 minutes, until the jam is very thick and of desired consistency. Mine took about 60 minutes. As the jam gets thicker you should make sure the heat is not too high and it does not burn, but stir continuously, until done.
{At this point I used my immersion blender just to break up some of the bigger pieces of fruit and to get a better consistency}

Pour into clean, sterilized jars and top with lids. Process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool over night before storing. 

I had it for breakfast on top of my French Toast.

Now I need to learn how to make scones.