Posted January 4th, 2013 by Ellen and filed in Christmas, Family, Holidays, My collections, My Work

Our house.

Photo credit:  Bill Guerrant

It seems Thanksgiving was just yesterday.  Christmas came and went too quickly, and now we’re four days into 2013.  Oh my.

Christmas cleanup today was swift and early.  We don’t usually take everything down until Epiphany.  But today seemed like a good day to undecorate, such as it was.    For the third year in a row, we had a tree trimmed only with lights.  I used to be the “queen” of Christmas, but other things seem more important now.  Our little Fraser fir sat on top of a a cloth-draped card table in front of the fireplace sporting two new strings of LED colored mini lights and topped with a small Moravian star.  Our only other “festoons” were window candles and a tiny artificial tree in the sunroom, seen above.  We weren’t home Christmas day, and did no entertaining, so this was fine with us.  NEXT year, I plan to have a big tree.  It will be nice to see my collection of vintage ornaments once again.

I spent lots of time baking, something I hadn’t done in quite some time.  It was such fun making and giving away my favorite cookies and treats:  Molasses Crinkle Tops, Alaskan Logs, Cheese Straws, Arkansas Hot Spiced Pecans, Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods, Peanut Butter Cookies, Chocolate Wonderfuls, Cranberry Nut and Banana breads as well as Moravian Sugar Cakes using DH’s grandmother’s recipe.  DH’s Mother grew up in Old Salem in a Moravian family which can be traced back for generations.  It wouldn’t be Christmas withot sugar cake.

Thankfully, the house is in fairly good shape. I did some sewing for Christmas gifts, making about a dozen of my own version of  “mug rugs.”  They’re glorified coasters, large enough for a mug and a snack.  These little pieces of art were great fun and kept me creating over the holidays.

Finishing a baby quilt for Ira, our grandson born last September, tops my priority list.   Progress was interrupted when I decided the piece needed 35 blocks instead of 20.  When I put the blocks up on the design wall, I might change my mind again.  But for now, I plan to keep sewing.

Below are a couple of photos showing part of my process.  Our DIL asked me to use fabrics left over from the wedding quilt I created in making the baby quilts.  Sorting through scraps is always step one.  I like to get a general feel for how the quilt will look before design and cutting can begin.  As you can see, the fabrics are happy and bright.  I won’t disclose the design until after the quilt is delivered to Ira.

Wishing you all a creative and productive New Year!

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