Holiday Feed

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.

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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.

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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


Welcome September! | Cross Stitch

You guys!  September is upon us!  It's Africa hot out there....and I just choked on a cubic foot of humidity.  

But fear not - the stores are filled to the brim with pumpkins and witches and black cats and skulls, so cooler weather is on the horizon.  Well, hopefully.  At the very least, all this means that Halloween will be here before you know it.  

And then....CHRISTMAS.  Which, as you all know, is the season I live for every.single.year.

First though, let's have Halloween.  Because I do love pumpkin bread.  And pumpkin pancakes.  And pumpkin spiced anything.  And my Autumn Wreath Yankee candle....which I may or may not have been burning since 1 September....

ahem.

Let's also talk about my progress on The Master and The Macabre.

It's not exactly a Halloween piece...but it's E.A. Poe, so it's haunted and horrifying....so it fits....

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I mean, how tormented is she?!  Her hair is a hot mess, and she's reaching for someone who's not there...

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And, hello!  Spooky, faded, torn curtains.  Loveloveloving these silks.  I have a greater appreciation these days for silks - yeah, they're more expensive, but look at that variation!  The rotting roof!  The curtains!  I can't.  Totally worth the extra pennies.  Or dollars.  Or my left arm.  Whatever gets me that silk thread.  

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I mean, that fabric though.  I literally can't even right now.

 

Sig


And one week bleeds into another...

Here we are, at the end of August.  Next week is 1 September.  I could cry, if it weren't for the fact that I love fall clothes (but not the cooler temps), and that flare jeans are coming back in style.

Thank Jesus. 

I love me some flares (Gap Long and Leans were my FAVVVV when I worked there all through college and grad school....oh, how I miss them so....), and I'm looking forward to some flares and sweet sweet boot cut to come back to my jeans wardrobe for the fall and winter, taking the place of some of my skinny jeans.  As a former college athlete, my legs and ass are just not built for the skin-tight super-skinny jeans on the market these days.  My sister introduced me to leggings a couple years ago, and I want to wear them all.the.time.  If it were socially acceptable, I'd wear them to work.

I don't think the general would appreciate me attending a meeting wearing those.  Or maybe he would.... 

Still.

Unacceptable for everyday in the office.  Unless it's snowing, then all bets are off.   

Aaaaaanyhooter.

The past couple weeks have been totes cray.  I'll sum it up for you:  a mind-numbing week-long meeting in California, delayed return flights, an unexpected overnight stay at O'Hare airport without my luggage (for the record.....I HATE O'HARE AIRPORT.  thank you for listening.), end-of-year work insanity, and a really, really bad Lyme flare-up.

The good thing is there is therapy in the form of great books and needle and thread.  

And a Starbucks barista who spells your name correctly without even asking how it's spelled.  #winning

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I just finished reading one of Tana French's books, The Secret Place.  Her books are seriously so good.  If you like detective novels, def check her out.  I have holds at the library on the remaining two of her books that I have yet to read, so hopefully soon one of those will be available for download. (if you missed my amazing revelation to you all back over the winter, most local libraries have an ebook collection now, so you can download books from your library to your e-reader and get reading!)

Next up is the Halloween project I started - Cricket Collection "The Master and the Macabre."  I've been working too much with Shores of Hawk Run, apparently, because I found an f-up, and I can't figure out where it originated, so it's in time-out.  My OCD tendencies won't allow me to just keep going and hope no one but me notices the mistake.  So....indefinite time-out until I'm ready to find it.

The Master and the Macabre Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #eapoe

THAT FABRIC THOUGH.

OBSESSED.

The Master and the Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #eapoe

I want to stitch everything in that silk that's in the roof of the house.  Like, everything.

Those of you who've been following me for a while know that my most favorite thing to do is take some of these pieces that have been stitched on totally lame and drab fabric and shake that shit up.  Skeleton Crew is the best example - if you're stitching this (or plan to) and you want to make the same changes I did, head on over to my Fabric & Fibers page to see the list of color changes.  

Once this piece is done, I will post all color changes - I have most of them mapped out, but I've changed one so far as I go along from what I'd originally planned.

Fear not, friends.  You will be rewarded for waiting to see the final piece.  That is, of course, if you wish to make the same fabric and fiber choices I did for this spectacularly spooky Cricket Collection piece. 

;-)

Sig

 

 

If you don't have an LNS and you want the supplies to make my changes for Skeleton Crew, call up the gals at The Strawberry Sampler and tell them you want my colors - they will know exactly what you mean.  You could also order online from them - they actually have my changes as an option.  (disclaimer - i get nothing for suggesting you order through TSS - they were my LNS until this year when i moved to the DC area, and they're an amazing bunch of women running a small business, and i'm all about supporting small businesses, especially stitch shops.) 

 


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...

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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