Christmas Feed

Christmas Stitching.

Bob:  Must be very Vermonty this time of year, all that underwear.
Phil: I guess I should take the electric blanket back.
Bob:  Where you keeping that?
Phil:  Under the underwear....
White Christmas

So.  Here we are, fully entrenched in the Christmas season (with only 4 days left!!!  eeeeeek!!!).  I've been dreaming about gingerbread and shortbread cookies all day, every day.  I mean, gingerbread, you guys.  To die.  And you can only have it during this time of year.  I'm all about Christmas in July and all that jazz, but gingerbread in the middle of summer when it's Africa hot out just isn't the same as when you're curled up on the couch under throw blankets binge watching all your favorite Christmas movies.  

Wait.  Africa hot.  Kinda like it is now.  I don't know about where you guys are, but it's been straight up warm around these parts.  Aroundabout now is when we start hitting temps in the 40's (which is when I start to cry, quite frankly, because I hate the cold like whoa), but these past couple weeks it's been in the 60's.  Last weekend, when I went home for my nephew's 1st birthday party, it was a balmy 73 degrees.  73!!  On December 13th!  I was sweating, windows down, for the 3-hour drive north.  Sweating.  And not because it was freezing outside so I had the heat cranked to 90 degrees in my car.  Not that I actually do that or anything.....

Anyhooter.  As expected, I'm a teensy bit behind already on my December Daily album.  I just haven't done anything particularly Christmassy yet.....except finish my cards, plan out my cookie baking extravaganza, and listen to vintage LPs.....so, long story short (too late): I'm boring.  Well, so far this Christmas season, I've been boring. 

December Daily 2015 cover #dd #decemberdaily #christmas

ALSO.  YOU GUYS.  Tragedy struck my lil' apartment yesterday.  

One of my Christmas travel mugs from Starbucks back in the day.....BROKE.  I can't even explain the devastation.  It had pretty foil paper on the inside, and it was just so festive and fun, and you can't get them like that anymore.  Tears were shed.  

Ok, maybe just a tear.  

Ok, maybe not even that, but more like me saying, "SON OF A BIOTCH!" when it happened.  The latter is probably the most believable of all presented scenarios, and may or may not be what actually happened. ("Would you believe....twice around the bathtub?"  NAME THAT TV SHOW!!! <---- i really, really need to lay off the caffeine...)

On the upside, I get to treat myself to a new Christmas travel mug! I was holding off, because, let's face it, my mug collection is out of control.  But, I'm replacing a broken one, not adding to the mug hoarding mess!  #winning

Since I've been majorly slacking on my December Daily (other than to adorn the cover, as shown above), I figured I'd give you a WIP update on the Christmas stitching I've been doing instead.

Ok?  Ok.

First up is the Joy Quaker Sampler.  This shot shows the entire left side, which is tough to get in all the pics I take, since this piece is turning out pretty big, despite the fact that I'm stitching on my favorite 40 ct madness...

IMG_4868

I apologize for it being a smidge dark...

This next one has a bit more stitching in it, and you can see additional motifs across the top.  The colors showed up a bit better in this one, too.  I'm loving how this is turning out.

IMG_4960
I got a bit bored with that this past weekend, even though I was in full hibernation mode and didn't leave the apartment much, so I started on something a little smaller to give me a sense of instant gratification - the next day in the 12 Days of Christmas - Second Day - from Plum Street Samplers.  A bout of insomnia and one Christmas movie later, viola!

Second Day | 12 Days of Christmas | #crossstitch #plumstreetsamplers #quaker

Like with First Day, I used Currant and Blue Spruce to stitch these ornaments.  I'm trying to use up my scraps, though, so I used a different fabric than for First Day.  This one is 36 count, and is definitely a WDW fabric (although I don't know the color name), which I loathe, but whatever.  I need to use up my scraps, so I suffered through it.  Anyone else out there hate WDW fabric as much as me?????  I cannot stand how limp and lifeless this fabric is, and the weave is so loose it drives me insane.  UGH to the UGH.  

Tonight there will be binge baking and hopefully some DD album building before the big day arrives this Friday!  Are you guys ready for this??  I'm so not.  BUT - thank God for Amazon Prime - I didn't even leave the couch on Saturday (ok, I did for mass....4th sunday of advent and whatnot....) and was still able to order the last of my Christmas gifts, which will be arriving tomorrow!  Queen of Procrastination at her best, my friends.  

Sig


Christmastime Is Here!

Hello my friends!!  Did you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving???  I hope you did, filled with friends, family, good food, and even better wine.  Or maybe some mulled spiked cider instead.  Or maybe both. 

Yummmmm.

We spent the Thanksgiving holiday at my sister's house, where she had the prettiest table set, and fantastic food for us all to eat.

IMG_4496

Hi Bean!

After the ridiculously delicious dinner, it was time for dessert, of course.  Since my sister's birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year, and my mom's was Saturday, and my bro-in-law's was last Sunday, I had some serious baking to do.  I made a three-layer apple cider cake for my sis & bro-in-law, and a Hershey's special dark chocolate cake for my mom.  There was the obligatory pumpkin pie, too, but....cake.  Filled to the brim with gluten and sugar, per my sister's request.  Ha.

IMG_4507

If you know anything about me...at all...you know my seat at this dessert table was the one with that coffee pot at my right hand.  Duh.

Black Friday was spent in downtown Philly, doing the tradish Christmas stuff down there, like seeing the light show in the old Wanamaker's building.  I am eternally eight years old when I see this show.

Light Show at Wanamaker's in Philadelphia #Philly #christmas #wanamakerslightshow

I live for this time of year, but it's still nearly impossible to believe that Christmas is right around the corner again already.  I'll be doing another December Daily album like I have the past two years.  I will do my best to provide regular post updates as I build my album, but bear with me as I finish making my Christmas cards and start prepping cookie batters - I may fall behind some days. 

You're all shocked, I know.

It's like I get distracted by shiny objects or things I unearth in crevices in my craft table or start a new cross stitch project when I have three going already or something like that instead of finishing blog posts.  Not that any of that ever happens.  Ever.  

Never.

Ahem.

Pardon me while I go find my mug of mulled cider...wherever it is I left it....and curl up to watch some Christmas specials...

Sig


First Day. | Cross Stitch

We're officially in the Christmas season, which makes me beyond giddy.  I mean, Thanksgiving is fantastic with all the food and pumpkin pie and all....but, Christmas.  

Lately, I've been stitching some seriously big pieces, and I needed a break from all that.  So, I decided I needed to incorporate some smalls, like ornaments, into my WIP rotation.

Enter, Plum Street Sampler's fabulous Christmas freebies.

First Day | 12 Days of Christmas by Plum Street Samplers #christmas #12daysofchristmas #crossstitch

Have you guys gotten on this wagon yet??  Paulette has the first six days posted on her website - she's posting them all as freebies! (fun fact:  the twelve days of christmas are actually the twelve days after christmas, leading up to the epiphany, not the days before christmas...)  I'm a huge fan of her designs, and these are no exception.  

She doesn't have specific colors listed in the charts, she just says to use red, green, gold, and black.  This one only calls for red and green, so I used the same two I used for Quaker Christmas II - Currant and Blue Spruce.  They're superb Christmas colors, and I have a ton of them left over, so it's a great excuse to use up some thread in my stash!  

I'm so far behind already, but Christmas comes every year, so here's hoping I can get all twelve all done by next Christmas!

Sig


Monday Catch Up.

Did you ever get so behind in reading your blog roll that you just went through each one and cleared the feed without reading any of the articles?

No?  Just me?  Ok.  Well....I just did that.  Last week, I fought what I call The Trifecta: ear infection, sinus infection, and bronchitis.  All of that at the same time.  I'll let you know when that's fun.  When I was able to sit upright for longer than 35 seconds, I made chocolate chia pudding, because, priorities.   And chocolate heals all ailments. 

Since I'd been out of commission for so long, I had wayyyy too many posts in my feed.  So, I just deleted them.  It was liberating.  Now I can start the week fresh with new blog posts I'll (hopefully) have time to read!

I wasn't able to do much last week, being laid up on the couch and all, but I was able to make some serious progress on two of my pieces.

First up, Shores of Hawk Run:

Shores of Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings

That house was killer to build, and the stone cliff made me want to drink heavily after I was done, just so I could see straight again.  It doesn't look like much...but 40 count is a beast when you're filling in all those squares.  

I also finished The Night Before Christmas from Prairie Schooler:

The Night Before Christmas by Prairie Schooler #crossstitch #christmas

I stitched this on 32 count Smokey White, which is actually a painted linen vice overdyed - the smokey effect is only present on the side it's painted on, rather than variegated through the entire fabric.

btdubs - I'm sure most of you have heard by now, but after this year, the ladies at Prairie Schooler will be retiring, and they will not be reprinting those designs already in print.  So, make sure you get your hands on whatever graphs you want, because once they're gone, they're gone.  This, friends, is precisely why I hoard cross stitch graphs - you never know when one of your favorite designers will retire and you won't be able to get their graphs ever again.  And because, well, some of them I just can't pass up and need to have.  

Ahem.  Moving on.

I don't know about you guys, but have you been watching True Detective?  Are you as completely and utterly confused as I am with this season??  Please tell me I'm not alone.  I finished watching last night's episode just exhausted from trying to piece everything together.  There are only two episodes left and literally no answers.  It's like I'm watching LOST again - every week there are 42 new questions and no friggin answers.  GAH.

Anyhooter.  I'm off to go grab my 5th mug of coffee (yes, 5th) and hopefully make it through this Monday in one piece as I come down the home stretch of recovery from The Trifecta. 

May your Monday be full of sunshine and an endless pot of coffee!! Sig

 


What a whirlwind. | Scrapbooking

And just like that, it's December 30th.  Christmas is over, and we're gearing up for the new year.

2014 is gonna go out with a bang, and 2015 is gonna be wicked awesome.  You heard it here first.

But, before we get that clean slate on 1 January, here's a peek at my full December Daily album.  I had a lot of fun making this album, mainly because I decided to stop hoarding all my Christmas paper and embellishments.  They're not doing any good laying around in my bins, so I did the best I could to use most of what I had for this project.  I'm actually really, really proud of myself - I didn't buy any new Christmas paper before OR after Christmas.  THAT takes an insane amount self control, my friends.  Hooooo boy.

I'll start where I left off in my last post about DD --

Day 9:  kiiiiinda lame, since I have no pic for that day, but I like the tree printable on the facing page...

IMG_1045

Days 10 & 11:  Day 10 is from the Anthropolgie store in Rittenhouse Square.  It's one of my absolute favorite buildings of all time - they kept most of the original architecture intact from this house when they converted it to a store.  It's absolutely stunning inside.  I took this from the ground level floor, looking down to what used to be the kitchen in the basement, where they have their  home goods section.  Day 11 is the gigantic tree in the Liberty II building in Center City, one of my favorite trees to see each year.

December Daily 2014

Days 12 & 13:  I'm eh about Day 12, but what can ya do.  I may switch this up, I may not.  The pic I chose is the light show from the old Wanamaker's building - now Macy's.  Day 13 is the wreaths in the arches at Macy's, which are in the area of the light show.

December Daily 2014

 Days 14 & 15: Day 14 is of the tree and the tops of some of the shops in the Christmas Village in Love Park, right outside City Hall.  Day 15 is a snap of the handmade gift tags I made for all the gifts this year.  Just a simple stamp on a kraft tag (that I cut out using my Cricut, but you can use pre-made tags) that says "I'm dreaming of a white christmas" with red glitter embossing power, and red baker's twine.  Boom.

December Daily 2014

Days 16 & 17: Day 16 is all about the Santa display at Pottery Barn.  I wanted everything on that table.  Day 17 is a little stitching I've been doing when I should be doing 47 thousand other things.  (yes, i stamped directly on that photo of my stitching - Staz-on ink works on any surface!)

December Daily 2014

Day 18:  Day 18 gets a two-page spread.  It's the day my nephew was born! I'm an honorary aunt to many of my friends' kids, but this time I'm an aunt to my sister's first baby!  Welcome to the world, Carrick James!

December Daily 2014

Days 19 & 20:  Day 19 is when I was able to see the baby - the day he was born, I didn't get the chance to see him, but when I went back the next day, I was able to see him and hold him for a while.  Day 20 is the ornament I made for him for his first Christmas.  It's a Prairie Schooler design, from the Christmas Tree Farm chart.

  December Daily 2014

Days 21 & 22: Day 21 is a snap of a house in my neighborhood whose lights are the rosary, and they have a manger scene below.  I've never seen anyone do anything like this, so I had to get a snap.  Day 22 is a snap of the cards I made this year.

December Daily 2014

Days 23 & 24: Day 23 is hot chocolate and White Christmas.  The best Christmas movie ever.  I have to watch it at least 46 times during the Christmas season, including on Christmas Eve.  Day 24 (Christmas Eve) is a pic of the altar at my parish church before the vigil mass. 

December Daily 2014

 Day 25: My mom and I went to my sister's house this year for Christmas, since it was only a week after the baby was born, and that way she didn't have to go anywhere, especially since she's not supposed to take the baby out in the cold.  I took a quick pic of the tree and mantle and of the table, and she sent me the one of my bro-in-law with the baby in his Christmas bib. The facing page is a quote from one of my favorite Christmas movies - Christmas Vacation - and I thought it needed a place in this album, so I used it as the final page.  Clark's freak out is so great.  My other favorite line?  "Why is the floor wet, TODD?"  "I don't know, MARGO."

December Daily 2014

That wraps up my December Daily for 2014!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas (if you celebrate)!!!  What are some of the traditions you have?  Did you do anything new this year for Christmas?  Did you do any Christmas crafting?  

Sig

 


Mini Treats.

Today marks the second of two office Christmas parties.

It's the best day in the office.  Ever.

Food all day long.  Not even kidding.  From the second we all walk through the doors until the second we leave, it's wall to wall food.  Breakfast, lunch, desserts, snacks, you name it, we're eating it.  It's a bit ridiculous, actually. Throw in some holiday trivia games and a gingerbread house building contest, and it's a good day.  Then, it's off to happy hour to celebrate the season.

Remember that insane gingerbread cake I made last week because I was dying to have some?

Well, I made it again for the party, but this time as mini loaves, so I can give it to my friends.  Food gifts are the best.  And if it's gingerbread?  Total win.

  gingerbread mini cakes

Have you had your office Christmas/holiday parties yet?  Do you make food gifts to give to your friends and/or coworkers?  What do you make?

Sig


This month is already flying... | Scrapbooking

It's hard to believe we're already at 8 December already.

I mean, really.  There are only 17 days left till Christmas!!  I need to start binge watching my Christmas specials.  I still have some saved on my DVR from last year - 'Twas the Night Before Christmas (anyone else remember that one??  The one where the clock stops and the mouse and the clockmaker have to fix it so Santa knows it's Christmas????), The Grinch (the original cartoon, not the Jim Carey version), It's a Wonderful Life....I need to watch them ALL.

I also need to watch White Christmas as many times as humanly possible in the next 17 days.

Each day has kinda flown by, but I have managed to keep track in my December Daily album.  Much of it routine, but that's ok. 

December Daily Days 3 & 4

Day 3 was just a day where I didn't feel particularly like I needed a photo, so I journaled what I was feeling.  There are some pretty awesome things happening this Christmas season, so I took this time just to jot it down in my album.  I also got my first Christmas card last week - I decided this year that, instead of saving my cards in a separate album, I'd incorporate them into my DD album as I get them.  Much easier that way.  Day is kinda hidden...because I forgot to slide the card over and take another shot...(sigh)...but it was the day I sat in Starbucks and wrote out all my Christmas cards.  (yes!  they're out! they're mailed! i can barely believe it myself!! check your mailboxes!!)

December Daily Days 5 & 6 foundation pages

 

Days 5 and 6 are just foundations pages at the moment.  Day 5 has journaling for that day, but I didn't print out the picture I wanted for that slot up top.  Same goes for Day 6 - I have the pic, just didn't print it yet.

December Daily Day 7

Day 7 was all about this PHENOMENAL gingerbread cake I made.  I was busy cleaning and purging and gathering clothes to donate to Purple Heart, and took a break for a smidge to bake.  I'd been craving gingerbread for days, and I decided to just give in and bake.  I much prefer darker gingerbread, and was skeptical of this recipe when the batter turned out pretty light.  However, it baked up super dark and moist, and OH.MY.GOD is it good.  I made it gluten-free, saved a couple pieces for myself, and took the rest to work.  There is no way I can allow this to stay in the house.  It would've been completely gone by now had I not cut it up and put it on a plate to bring into work.  Also, it's iced with a cream cheese frosting.  Next time, I'm making a chocolate frosting for it.  The thought of that....I can't even. (if you want to try your hand at this beyond delicious gingerbread, the original recipe can be found here on Joy The Baker's website)

Gingerbread is seriously one of my favorite things....ever.....

That's all I have for now!  This week should fly by as well...one of our work Christmas parties is this Thursday, which is always a good time, so we'll all be anticipating the celebration!

How is your Christmas season so far??  Have you done any baking?  Have you put up your tree?  Do tell!! :-)

 


December Daily: Day 2

Well, I'm already a little behind, but that's ok.  I have photos mapped out for yesterday and today, so at least I'm on track to being somewhat up-to-date.

Here's Day 2:  I spent the bulk of the night sewing a nursing cover for my sister.  I promised her one as part of her baby shower gift, and was so busy getting other things ready for the shower, this project was a victim of me running out of time.

December Daily Day 2

 

While I sewed, I had "Charlie Brown Christmas" on tv in my bedroom.  Somehow, I always miss the airing of this special every year, but my mom reminded me, so I put it on while I worked, AND set my DVR.  I refused to miss it this year!  I found this printable of Linus's speech, which I resized to 5x7, and put in a 5x7 Project Life protector.  Perfect addition to the day, and a reminder of one of my all-time favorite Christmas specials.

So, that's Day 2.  

I also changed my cover page - I didn't like the 4x6 I originally had in there.  

December Daily cover page

There's a moose now.  Much better.  

Sig


December Daily: Day 1 | Scrapbooking

I am seriously determined to keep up with this album this year.  Seriously determined.  Having a photo printer this go-around will hopefully help with that.

Yesterday was your regular run-of-the-mill Monday.  Nothing crazy to report.  I did continue working on a few projects, including making envelopes for my Christmas cards.

December Daily Day 1 2014

I haven't gotten to fill in the squares on the facing page yet, so I just put squares from the scraps after I made the envelopes for my Christmas cards.  Making envelopes might be my new favorite thing to do.  Ever.  I got the templates from Paper Source (same place I got the envelope liner templates which are also super fun to use), and the Cavallini paper I used I got after Christmas last year when it was super cheap.  Since I didn't make each card different this year, I decided to make a few fun envelopes instead.  Totally worth it.

The 3x4 cards up top are from Project Life (left) and Stitch In Time (right).  The stamp set I used for the #1 on the card on the left is from Cavallini.

Tea was close at hand last night...it was a dreary night as we wait for some cold air to come our way.

Hope you all had a great start to your week!  Are any of you doing a December Daily album this year??

23 DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!

Sig