little scene

Merry Christmas to All!

This is a fridge magnet cut out from a teacup. Does anybody know which china this is from?

Thank you all for commenting on my blog, lo these many years, and especially for saying that my son's emails/phone calls/letters are funny :-) . His little college friends have been running around playing football games down by the pool and such, but Timmy forges on at Parris Island. If anybody knows what they usually schedule for the recruits on Christmas Day, do fill me in so I can visualize what he is doing.

Maybe they will give them their other winter glove? Or would that be an out-of-control excess of Christmas spirit?


o happy day

Here I am, walking out of school at 3:40pm yesterday with two weeks and three week-ends ahead of No Day Job and Decompression:

Meanwhile, here is what I made for the LQS Christmas party pincushion swap:
The little "yard" is a pincushion as well as the little Renee Plains bird (who has a needlekeep under his wing). I received this wonderful wool crow:

He is so firmly stuffed and very steady on his candlestick. He will be a pleasure to use. However, we are to turn in our pincushions for a shop display. I don't want to turn in my crow! Maybe they won't miss it....not.

The Stickles must not stop just because it is Christmas, you know:

I don't want to discuss that dent in the upper right side that extends precisely to the 1/4" seamline. I shall ignore it.

Oh, Rembrandt, where are your feet?


Blockety Blocks

Managing to keep up with the Stickles:

Our Les Fleurs class met yesterday afternoon, which concludes the classroom festivities until next month. I didn't take pictures of the others; maybe next month. We all have a great start on this interesting quilt:

We are all to make a sawtooth Quilt of Valor block for next Repro Divas:

And since I don't want to miss out on the holiday frenzy, I began this group of blocks in order to work on a red and green quilt during Christmas, er excuse me, Winter Holiday break :-) :

This uses two Rouenneries, a Grunge, and an Aged Muslin for the background.

P.S. Dear Santa, please please bring me the
from: FQS . Thank you, Santa, and hope your holiday is also merry. It's nice of you to remember the big girls as well as the little children :-).


Letters from Boot Camp #3 and #4

Received two letters in one envelope, recklessly addressed only to "Mamaceta":

Timmy: !Hola Mamaceta¡

Home has:

Parris Island has:

1) Family

1) Drill Instructors

2) Home-Cooked Thanksgiving Meal

2) Dehydrated, Reprocessed, Cafeteria Thanksgiving Meal

3) Laughter, Smiles, Wine

3) Blood, Sweat, Tears

Really, the only thing Parris Island has going for it is the whole "they gave me an assault rifle" thing.

Today is Thanksgiving, Mama, and it is the first one I have spent without my Mama and the cats [editor's note: this is not actually true, since we had a full childhood of post-divorce holiday visitation scheduling, but I think he is experiencing some Boot Camp delirium in more ways than one].

All the depressing "I miss you"s aside, Boot Camp is going pretty well. We have graduated from Phase 1 to Phase 2, meaning we're starting to move past all the c**p and on to the Cool Stuff. Last week, we did the Rappel Wall, which was awesome, 75 feet straight down [oh god not my baby].

We also "learned" how to use our gas masks, meaning we got shoved into a room full of CS tear gas and had to figure out how to use the mask real fast. It was so cool. However, I would advise you to stay away from riots and drill instructors in possession of said gas.

Yesterday, we hiked out to the rifle range. We are learning to shoot our rifles. I am so pumped. So far we have only done virtual firing, but if the simulation is correct, I am a crack shot.

Forty-three days and two major holidays away from graduation. Miss you, Mama, let me know the news from the homefront.

Hello again, Mamaceta. It is December now and bitterly cold here in Parris Island. We got issued our Cold Weather Gear. I expected high-tech military grade thermal jackets. What we got was a skullcap and one glove. Not a pair of gloves, just one glove. Motivated.

We finished Rifle Range and hiked back to Squadbays. I barely qualified at Rifle Range. You might wonder why, since I said that I was a crack shot. I'm going to explain what happened in a crude diagram:

Notice the strikingly handsome stick figure firing at target #3. This is me. Notice that he is on crutches. This is me on crutches.

I had a bout of cellulitis, a form of flesh-eating bacteria [panicky shrieks from Mamaceta], in my foot. I was on crutches for a week; fortunately, I still managed to qualify.

[editor's note once done keening: Don't the crutches look just like Tiny Tim's?]

We did Swim Survival. I am 2nd Class Swim Qualified, which is the highest available and only a dozen kids out of 300 got it.

Looking forward to cooking Thanksgiving Part Deux with you in January. Love your son Timmy

It Was Cold at Valley Forge

Last night, our Repro Divas leader took us on a visit to Valley Forge, Christmas Time; we heard about George Washington and especially about how Martha Washington was there during that terrible winter and did so much to help out (from the New York Times, 1899):

In fact, Martha came to visit us in one of her loveliest dresses!
Martha made every stitch of the garments she is wearing herself, exactly according to the most popular and typical fashion of her day.

She brought us Shrewsbury Cakes, Joe Froggers, and mulled cider, just as she was doing for the troops. She showed us all the details of her outfit, from panniers to chemise to corset, which she would not have done for the troops. She also showed us this lovely quilt she made using the Hunter Star ruler sent to her from the future:
note the lovely Watteau pleating in the dress back...

Our leader, Kathy, made this patriotic quilt for her husband (who loves to read about history) for Christmas:

Show and Tell followed; this gorgeous quilt is a Christmas gift:

a Hunter Star table runner:

We had a suggested theme of red and green for this month's Show and Tell:


Here is mine (28" x 32"). The background is a washed-out green:

We exchanged huswifs!

This is the one I brought home, made by N. Thank you, I love it and will love using it!

And finally, Martha and George (aka Noble Leader Kathy) gave us each the assignment (written on parchment, rolled and tied) for next meeting: make something using the fabric gift below:
This oughta be good! Stay tuned (by the way, any ideas for what to make with it?).


Patterns and Stickles

I have two new patterns. The first is Sewing Needfuls, a sewing huswif and a pillow/pillowcase pincushion:

The second is Holiday Houses, a wall hanging of three houses with wreath on each house that has room for a stamped, inked, or printed scene within:

And on to Stickle blocks; one square...

and one triangle...

The triangle, LS05, is supposed to look like this:

I can't explain it, those skinny spikes just gave me the creeps, so I edited them out :-).


Letters from Boot Camp #2

Timmy: Hey, Mama, I'm going to start this letter by saying NO NO Christmas present...One kid got a sack of candy on Halloween; they made him run around the entire base screaming "trick or treat" at the top of his lungs for an hour. What would they do to me if I got a Christmas present? We can do Thanksgiving and Christmas the week I get back in January. We may look weird having lights and a tree in late January, but the neighbors think we're weird anyway.

This week, we did Obstacle Course. The kind you see in the movies. We also did Confidence Course, which is Obstacle Course only 20 feet higher in the air. I got to see a fat kid fall the full 20 feet from a rope into mud. It was the highlight of my week.

Next week is Water Survival. I'm picturing a tan session by the pool. I'm looking forward to it.

I'll give you a list of what I have gotten into trouble for.
Boot Camp Transgressions:
1. Smiling
2. Laughing
3. Giving another recruit a high-5 (by far my worst punishment)
4. Eating with my left hand (apparently the military hates lefties)
[editor's note: Timmy is right-handed but he learned to eat by watching his left-handed mother]
5. "looking too much like Kevin Bacon"

Mama, I'll understand if you have to put Ginger down (cat who is poised at the Rainbow Bridge); nobody lives forever. Keep the letters coming.

Love, Timmy

P.S. Sorry about the fish.


The Day Before

Happy Day tomorrow!
Such a delicious meal. Isn't it interesting to see how the menu, which must never vary in each household, varies from house to house? Here is mine:
cold relish tray
mashed "potatoes" (mostly cauliflower)
peas with pearl onions
red cabbage with apples
pumpkin pie

But in the meantime :-) here is the first block of A Perfect Garden. But wait! Where is the urn? What am I going to do for the urn fabric??

Oh, here it is! Ady, from Israel, had the very fabric and mailed it to me:

Thank you, Ady, thank you! I just couldn't start this pattern, that I have loved since first seeing it years ago, until I had that urn fabric, and I desperately wanted the same sashing and watermelon ombre used in the border. Now, thanks to I.D. and mailings by both Ady and MJ, I have the sashing (well, I managed to find and order the sashing on my own but could not do that until MJ id'ed it), and watermelon ombre as well. Bless you both!

Thank goodness for Blog Networking and dear friends. And thank goodness for our Thanksgiving.



Aieeeeee late for work; in the midst of everything else, it was time to catch up on Dear Jane (that madcap heroine):

I have used every single gray fabric and cinnamon fabric in this house and in the LQS and there are several more gray blocks and cinnamon blocks to go. Since I only need like 6" squares to make these blocks, I don't want to buy online. You know what this means! Road Trip!!


Two Complete-os

I made and finished two projects this week-end! Renée Plains' Utility Apron pattern:

and Sassafras Hill Primitive's Early Sewing Bird:

Sewing Bird will have more expression when he gets his accessories: tiny jingle bell eyes, skeleton key in wing pocket, and some pins in his tuffet.


Fancy Shoes

The good news! is that my two pairs of custom-designed Keds are almost here (after they took a scenic tour of the midwest):
Ironically, they arrived at the UPS site on Friday, which means they have been only about 5oo feet away from me :-) all week-end but I couldn't get my greedy hands on them. The bad news! is that I broke my toe (again with the toe) last Sunday, so I can't wear the new shoes for awhile.

In the meantime, Wanda's Les Fleurs class met yesterday. We had our Block #1s in various stages of completion (oh oh oh will we be able to keep up? this is a challenging project); Wanda had this Show and Tell of a completed Les Fleurs du Jardin made by a member of an earlier session....isn't it wonderful?



DJ L06

Worked on this one for a few hours this morning and am happy with the way it turned out. To me, it looks either pre-Arts and Crafts or post-Gaelic Knot :-) :


Two Birds One Cherry Bag

A new needlepunch pattern! This pattern is two birds who want the same cherry, punched, trimmed, and glued to a primitive bag:

The floss used is the discontinued DMC wool floss (LQS Little Quilts has a supply), but conversion is given on the pattern for regular DMC floss, and of course it would be great in Valdani, Weeks, etc..


Circuit Rider #9

Almost done with the ninth Circuit Rider block, the Pomegranate:

And harking back to the Smokies visit...

...got these heavenly books about the Great Smokies history, a T-shirt, and a license plate commemorating the 75th anniversary of the park's founding (already on the Fit :-) ):

Look out, Rembrandt seems to have Halloween on her mind!