Philadelphia 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. 


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.


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.


If you know anything about 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.  



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...


Christmas Recovery

After all that  hype, Christmas is gone.  It always goes by way too fast.  I feel like I didn't even have time to enjoy all the decorations, the lights, the snowflakes that fell here and there during December.

My mom, sis and I ventured into Philly early in December to see the light show at Wanamakers...and it also happened to snow quite a bit that day.  More than any weatherman predicted.  I shoulda worn boots.


We were able to escape for a bit in the Irish Pub for some delicious eats...


And we did a little window shopping....


And saw the giant tree in Liberty Two...


So much to do, and only 25 measly days to do it. 

Handmade cards to send out...


Decorating contests at work (our division's theme was Pirate Christmas...)....


And shopping to finish...


 I do keep my decorations up until the Ephiphany (fun fact - the Twelve Days of Christmas are actually the twelve days after Christmas leading up to the isn't technally really over yet....), so I can enjoy them for a little bit longer...



I hope you all  had a wonderful Christmas :-)  Time to make some tea, relax, watch a movie, and have a little stitch therapy to recover....


May the Joyous Season Begin! And the giveaway winner...



If it wasn't already obvious by my screaming at you like Will Ferrell in "Elf" ("SANTA!!!!  I KNOW HIM!!!"), I LOVE CHRISTMAS.   I live for it every year.  OMG.  I love it.

There is nothing quite like seeing this each Christmas season ~~


For those of you not familiar with this light extravaganza, this is from the light show in the old Wanamaker's building, which is now Macy's.  I took this on Friday when I was downtown, and this is at the end of the show, when all the lights are on at the same time.  The entire show is set to Christmas music, and narrated by one of my all-time favorite people ever, Julie Andrews.  The original recording was done by John Facenda.  The lights are covering up the pipes of the pipe organ in the building, which is the largest pipe organ in the world.  The end of the show features the organist playing Christmas music, and it's all just so magical and wonderful.  I love it all. 

And more from Wanamakers...I mean, Macy's....



Yes, Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus.


Love.  it.  all.

I hope you're all getting into the holiday spirit!!!

Before I announce the winner (which was chosen at random), I must tell you - I LOVED reading all of your comments.  Loved every one.  I've actually gone back and read them again a few times.  The stitching community is so full of wonderful, giving people, and it's obvious in the comments left on the post.  I love all my readers, old and new :-)

Now, without further ado, I announce the giveaway winner from my Pay it Forward giveaway.  

The winner is ~~~~

sew~amy said...

HI Jacki, I'm stitching on my first piece of 40 count right now (Mary's Sampler). I love working with the higher count linen. I am grateful for so many things, my family, friends, my job, my health. I'm grateful that my husband has a hobby so I have time to do my hobby... stitching. I would use the fabric for the pile of patterns I have yet to stitch. :)

Please email me your address, and I'll get your package in the mail asap.

Thank you all SO MUCH for participating in my giveaway!!  

Stay tuned for Christmas shenanigans - I'm doing a December Daily album this year, so I hope to keep you updated on the planning & scrapping of the Christmas craziness!! That of course requires me to actually reign in my ADD to sit and write a post about all that insanity, but that's neither here nor there......

Much love ~~~


Birthday Brunch

For my birthday (which was two months ago now), my mom wanted all of us (me, my mom, and my sister) to go out to lunch to celebrate, and since it was my birthday I got to choose where to go.

For some reason, this was an exceptionally difficult task for me.  I kept finding all these cool places I wanted to go, but just couldn't make up my mind.  I had almost resorted to going back to a place I'd been before, simply because I was tired of driving myself insane about a friggin restaurant, when I remembered one of my friends had posted pics on Instagram of this place called National Mechanics.


And so we went.  What sold me, you ask?  After weeks of pulling my hair out trying to pick a place?

This is what sold me ~~

Dear God.

You pick the salt that goes around the rim of your glass, then you make your drink with whatever you want from the fixin's bar.

All the glasses had famous Philadelphians on the front.  I think all three of us got Frank Rizzo...but my sis might've gotten someone different.  I can't remember. 


So, so good.

After a beyond delicious brunch, we walked around Center City and did a little shopping.  No trip to the city is complete without going to the Anthropologie in Rittenhouse Square.  It's an old corner house that has the most amazing architecture inside.  I can only imagine what is hiding behind some of their fixtures.

The bottom floor is what was the kitchen, and still has a sink on the side by the fireplace. 


When you're in these old buildings, you always have to look up - you never know what you're gonna see --

If you're ever in Philly on the weekend, you must visit National Mechanics if you're a Bloody Mary fan so you can partake in the make-your-own Bloody Mary bar.  If you're not, go there anyway.  The atmosphere is really cool (visit their website to get the history of the building - it dates back to pre-Civil War and has been numerous things including a bank and a church) and the food is very good.  I highly recommend it.



Patriotic Finishes | Cross Stitch

Patriotic themes should not be limited to just around the major American holidays which make us feel more patriotic - Independence Day, Memorial Day, Veteran's Day - but should be a year-round theme.  

When I did these model finishes for The Strawberry Sampler, I felt kinda bad that I wasn't able to get them to the shop before the 4th of July for the patriotic display the gals has up in the front of the store.  The store owner quickly reminded me that patriotic is a year-round theme, and I should not feel bad I couldn't get them done sooner.

Emotional cross stitch finisher crisis averted.

With that, these are the finishes I did for the shop - all designs are done by Threadwork Primitives, a local Philly designer, which makes them even more special :-)

As always, I made some slight changes to the fibers and fabric, all of which are listed on my Floss & Fibers page in case you'd like to do the same.

I hope you're all having a wonderful summer so far!!  And don't forget, if you want to get a head start on your Christmas stitching, for the month of July, all Christmas is 20% at The Strawberry Sampler, so stop on  by or give a call to the shop to make sure you have everything you need!

Happy New Year 2013!

Just wanted to wish all you fabulous people out there in bloggerland a happy, healthy, and  prosperous new year!!!

I love sharing, inspiring, and being inspired by all the wonderfully creative people I follow, and I can only hope I do the same for those of you who stop on by my little piece of bloggerville :-)

Every NYE and day, I always marvel in how quickly time passes during the 7 days between Christmas & New Year's -- this was a mere week ago, at my grandmother's house --

These are all the gifts for everyone in my family, before we distributed them all and began the opening frenzy.  We've had some ups & downs this year, but we still had a wonderful time on Christmas, and 2013 will bring new memories and joys, I'm sure of it.

From that glittering, sparkling tree, we go to the pagentry of sequins and feathers...otherwise known as The Mummer's Parade.  For non-Philly natives, you don't know what you're missing.  

Some snips of the fabulousness from parades past --

Mummers i
I mean, come on. This is amazeballs.  That man is marching with an upright bass.  AN UPRIGHT BASS.  Love.

OK!! Those feathers! And that pink! Could you just die?!
I have no words for how awesome this is.

Men dressed in drag, playing instruments, strutting down Broad Street all the way to City Hall??  What more could anyone ask for?!

Happy New Year, everyone, and I'll see you all on 2 Street for the after-party ;-)


 (Note:  I don't remember the names of the original sites where I got the Mummers pics from, so please forgive me.  I Googled "Mummers Parade" in Google images, found a wealth of feathers & sequins, and picked these.)