Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

While Waiting for Santa...

...I have been working on a few things!
This is the center of my Winter Wonderland.  I'm adding the fly stitches between the center stitcheries so I can begin sewing the quilt together!  Have you ever used these stick-on thimbles?  I love them - they can be repositioned a number of times before the glue finally wears off - and they don't slip off your finger!

This is going to be a neck warmer for a very tiny person!  I am "testing" the pattern while waiting for the proper yarn.  This yarn doesn't give the correct gauge, so I will be on the lookout for a little girl who might like to have this when its done!
This wonderful stack of vintage squares was given to me last year by a very dear friend.  I've come up with something to make from it - I'll surprise you later.

This was our backyard on the first day of winter.  More snow is on the way, so Santa will have a clear path to the Squash House!

Speaking of Santa....he brought one present a little early - he didn't want the reindeer to carry such a heavy load on his busiest day of the year.  I love the wrapping - Santa gets more and more clever each year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Beary Fun!

Yesterday I met my friend Carol at her house to help her with a very special project.  Every year Carol shops the after Christmas sales, makes deals with stores on overstock and comes up with some really fun gifts for needy kids to give out the following Christmas!  I knew it had something to do with helping her sew something, but I really didn't know just what! 
When I first walked into Carol's studio this glass of buttons with a spool of red on top caught my eye!  Hmmm...I wonder what we're going to be doing?

Then Carol explained the project!  She had a big bag full of the cutest stuffed bears and wanted to make vests and bowties for them before giving them to the kids!  After all, bears like to show off their new duds, too!  Being the very creative person she is, Carol designed this cute little vest for each bear!  The vest is made from fleece which she had in stash.  She also had this cute fabric in stash, so she decided each vest needed a couple of pockets for the bears to fill them up with nuts and berries!  And of course the buttons finish off the vest quite nicely!  Carol sewed the vests while I stitched the pockets and buttons on them!
Here is one of the bears in his birthday suit.  He looks pretty sad and probably a little cold, too!
Here he is all dress up and ready to hunt for nuts and berries in style!  Carol already had the bowties made, so all that was left was to dress each bear and show them off!

Here is the whole gang!  Blonde bear's vest was still in the making - a pretty blue vest to contrast with his unique personality!  Remember that old song that starts "If you go out in the woods tonight, you won't believe your eyes..."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thanks for the Memories & A Winner!

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed all of your comments about your favorite Christmas decorating memory! I laughed and cried reading them and so many brought back memories of my own! Thanks to all of you who shared your precious memories! I wish I could have picked all of you to win, but the random number generator came up with #35 which is Chris from Miller's Last Resort! Congratulations, Chris! I really loved her memory:

"Some friends made us a beautiful gingerbread house when our kids were little (2 & 3), and I proudly set it in a place on honor in the living room. Imagine my surprise when I got up the next morning and went to admire it and it was gone. Everything!! Even the cardboard it was displayed on. Then I noticed a trail of crumbs on the floor. I began to follow them and they led to the bathroom trash where I found only the cardboard and the paper cones that *had* been icing covered trees. My adorable children had been in bed when the gift arrived, gotten up and found it, and had eaten it all up!!! "

Here is a photo of our small (5 1/2 feet) tree downstairs. There isn't much daylight in this corner, so it was hard to get a good shot. I love this little tree - all the decorations are nature-inspired and either gold or coppery colored. I used to have them on a feather tree in the bedroom - that tree was just never Mr. Squash's cup of tea (wink). Now I really like these decoration on pine - much to Mr. Squash's relief!

I'll be back in a few days. Still trying to round up before and after photos of our Squash House transformation as promised - turns out they aren't all saved in the same spot!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Squash House Christmas & Giveaway!

The Squash House is now decorated for Christmas! I've had a great time this past week figuring out just how to decorate so I thought I would give you a little tour around the main part of the house! I expect it will change a lot next Christmas as I pretty much used what I had in the old house except for a few new purchases. But that's the fun of decorating a new place and I love coming up with new ideas!

Here is my new quilt rack by the front door with a Christmas quilt I made a few years ago. I found the little Santa Train this year and thought it would be a perfect fit for the shelf! There are some other loved little treasures on it as well.

This is our main tree and the skirt I made for it. Would you believe the skirt is too small and I made the large one? Gives you an idea of how large this tree is - about 7 feet! There is also a tree downstairs but since there isn't a lot of natural light where it stands I couldn't get a good photo. If we have a sunny day before Christmas, I might give you a peek!
These are also new finds from the recent local Christmas craft fair in town and also the consignment shop, which I found isn't just for clothes anymore!
Here is the upstairs mantle - again all new purchases. I bought the pine bough and didn't realize it was a lighted bough until I unpacked the box - bonus! Even Miss Sophie has her own stocking in the center!
Below the mantel are some cute little holiday buckets filled with holly from our yard and matches to light a fire - another consignment store find!
I think I'd previously shown you this santa table runner that I made a couple of years ago - I decided to use it on the coffee table this year.
I've had this Christmas Village for a long time and love putting it out each year. In the old house we had it in our entry which wasn't visible from anywhere else in the house, so I'm now happy that it has a great new spot on the sofa table right in the middle between the living and dining room! Although small, each piece has a specific reason for being in our village!
Here are the garden and quilt shops - two things very near and dear to my heart! See how the postman is delivering more boxes of fabric to the quilt shop? Santa has also been there, after first stopping at the garden shop!
I photographed these in various lights, so this picture of the wine shop is a little dark, but you can click on any of them for a closer look. Since we live in Washington wine country and also have a very dear friend who lives in the Napa Valley, we thought we should definitely have a wine shop!
At one time we thought about someday building a log cabin, but didn't, so why not add one to the village? To the cabin's right is Barnacle Bill's boat house - Mr. Squash's favorite shop in the village! In the back is the lighthouse that watches over the entire village. We both love lighthouses and have visited many, including one just like this in the Outer Banks! You are all welcome in our little village any time!

And since it's the season of giving, why not have another giveaway! This is for a charm pack of Lumiere de Noel by the French General, and a 5-pack of Mary Ellen's Best Press, each with a different scent! The rules are very simple: Please leave a comment telling me your favorite holiday decorating memory. Please do not blog about this and you need not become a follower, but in order to qualify, you must either have a blog with contact info, or if you're commenting without a blog, a way to contact you back. In my last giveaway there were many of you who thought that your blogspot ID automatically contained an email address, when it fact it didn't. So please check that I have a way to contact you! I'll pick a winner on Monday evening!Good Luck!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Winner & the Littlest Snow Shovelers!

We have a winner today! Using a random number generator, number 23 emerged as Kathy, of Troublesome Creek Quilters! Congratulations Kathy! I have emailed you, but in case you see this first, please send me your mailing address! Kathy commented that she would really love to remodel their master bath and make it into one large room rather than two separate rooms. I really had fun hearing what so many of you would do if you decided to remodel parts of your house!

The other day we heard a very loud knock at the door. I didn't see anyone through the glass at the top of the door. I assumed a loud knock would be someone big! When I opened the door, a darling little girl dressed in a pink parka was holding a large show snovel and her two friends - one even much smaller were outside, nearly finished with shoveling the driveway and sidewalk! She wanted to know if they could shovel for $1.00 total! I mentioned that it looked like they had nearly finished, so Mr. Squash and I proposed that we give them each $1.00 to finish the job! I couldn't resist snapping a quick photo of them hard at work! I'd say they really have the entrepenurial spirit at a very young age!

I meant to bring you some more before and after photos today, but we got sidetracked with putting our two trees in their stands over the weekend. It turned out to be nearly a day-long job - one that we don't want to repeat, so we decided to take yesterday off and rest! Please come back soon as I do plan to post more photos and - oh - have another giveaway (after all, it is the Christmas season)!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Squash House 1 Year Anniversary & A Giveaway!

Today marks our first year at the Squash House! It's been quite a year - and every day was worth it! Mr. Squash and I are very happy here - we feel we landed in the right spot! I thought this month I would bring you some before and after photos of how we've transformed the Squash House! I might even throw in a giveaway here and there, too - starting today!

This is what our kitchen looked like before and after our transformation. We kept the original footprint, but added 1.5 inch thick butcher block counters, Marmoleum flooring, new cabinet doors, drawer fronts and hardware, new sink and faucet, a beach-glass tiled backsplash, new lighting, paint and of course, all new stainless appliances. I love it all - the only thing I would do differently next time is have a darker stain on the butcher block, a gas stove (gas was not available when we did the work), and I might think twice about stainless appliances - they are so hard to keep clean! You might be able to get a better look by clicking on the photo. The "before" is something I enlarge from the real estate listing, so it will be a bit blurry.
I've been busily decorating for Christmas - something we had no time to do last year as we were mired in boxes and unpacking. I had to have this Jim Shore music box! I've got it right inside the front door on an oak secretary. When switched on it has little lights around the sleigh! I wasn't going to get it because of the price, but I got on Google and was able to find a seller who shaved a very considerable amount off the retail price! It pays to go to page two and three of Google searches when you really want something!

Okay - now to the giveaway - a charm pack of 12 Days of Christmas and the Lil' Twister Tool which is a fun way to make pinwheels! Perhaps this will give you some inspiration for that last-minute gift, or you can make something for next Christmas! In order to qualify, you must either have a blog with contact info, or if you're commenting without a blog, a way to contact you back. So please leave a comment telling me what remodeling/updating job you would love to do in your house! I will pick a winner at random this coming Tuesday, Dec. 7th!