Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Another Joyful Christmas

Well, it does take forever to get ready for and then whizzes by in a minute, but it is so worth it! Our kids came on the 24th and I drove them back to Toronto yesterday. So the house is very quiet this morning, which gives me time to post.

Santa was ridiculously generous again. This year, the big gift (though not a big surprise) was an ipad, which I must spend more time with to determine exactly how to fit it in my technology lineup. But it is set up and certainly much faster than my ancient little G4 when I am upstairs and need to check things. I'm sure it will become a wonderful traveling and teaching companion, for sure.

Jennifer Manuell and I managed to get together before Christmas to exchange gifts and have a nice lunch. As usual, she gave me presents that were extremely heartfelt and generous of time and spirit.


I was really hoping to be the recipient of some of her handiwork on her new Pfaff sewing machine and I was not disappointed. I got a beautiful little mat which combines many of her favourite batiks. The colours are gorgeous and this will definitely not be a Christmas-only decoration.

Did you see the fabulous hook in the lower right corner???? Talk about surprised! I guess I cooed over hers enough that when she returned to Vermont, she chose one for me. Here is another picture of it on its own - which even still doesn't capture how incredibly beautiful it is.


What you can see are a couple of resting spots for fingers and joints and when I test drove this beauty, it works in both the pencil position and the palming position, which makes it perfect. Isn't it the most elegant thing ever? Good thing I had my pearls re-strung so that I can dress appropriately while hooking.

The rest of the holiday was comprised of eating, drinking and being merry. And to counteract all of that, the first cross country ski of the season and the purchase of a new exercise bench and mini trampoline.

I have been vowing to get on to the strength training for some time, and this was the gentle shove I needed. I hope to slide into 60 with toned arms and legs and a stronger core. Between this and the skiing and curling, I should be well on my way.

And I also vow to spend less time on the needles and more time with a hook in my hand so that I have some interesting things to post here.

Enjoy your New Year's celebrations, big or small, and I will be back in 2011.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Counting Down

Well, last week at the Salmon Lake Workshop was a blur. But in the end, the output was good - two mini shawls, two cowls, two pairs of prairie boot slippers, a mini runner and a batch of ornaments.

I also spent most of this weekend in the car - to Oakville on Saturday - to Toronto - to Peterborough -  then back to Toronto -  then back to Parry Sound yesterday. It was Rick's mom's 86th birthday and since we aren't seeing her for Christmas, it gave us a chance to get together. The Toronto leg of the trip was to pick up both kids and then take them back again.

I managed to get 1.5 socks knit, so it was a good use of sitting time. Socks are the perfect car project.

Since I haven't pulled a loop in a few weeks, I decided to share my Christmas home with you.
I have an ulterior motive, since this will be my memory of what I did when I pull everything out again next year. I enjoy seeing pictures of what others have done, so hope this is not too self-serving to post these here.

This is the mantle over the fireplace, which has the garland from the old front hall. Rick found some battery-powered lights, but they are the LED ones, so they don't really "twinkle". But better than nothing.


My snowman collection ended up in the front hallway, as the seasonal welcoming committee They are a collection from various aspects of my life, including the little paper mache one that I made with Matt's class in grade 2 - he's 24 now. And there's one hooked fellow in there, who I just remembered needs new arms.


The tree ended up going upstairs in the loft, because the logical place next to the fireplace would have blocked access to the deck which we have to clear of snow. Benefit of being up there is that you can see it from below too and we will get to sit on the living room furniture from the old house to open our presents. A bit of the old and new combined.


The windows in the great room got a bit of green behind the old lamps.


The kitchen window sill got a primitive santa and trees - sorry for the weird angle, the light was too strong behind the glass.


The driftwood Santa collection ended up bookending the fireplace.



The sconce decorations from the old house ended up finding new homes - these ones on some hooks on the powder room door.


The other two went into the kitchen.


The creche my sister Nancy made for me is nestled among pics of the kids on the birch sideboard.


And some other little cut out wood figures are keeping a moose lamp company in the hall.


I will put some "live" greenery around some of these pieces on Christmas Eve. That way, we'll get the wonderful smells without too many needles ahead of time.

Nearly everything found a new spot. A few wreaths got left out, but I'm sure I'll come up with some new ideas next year. Can't wait for the kids to see it all.

So Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and All the Best for 2011 from me to you. Thanks for stopping by and reading. It's fun sharing the stories with the folks who enjoy them. I'll post again next Monday and report on the Santa escapades.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Braaflies and Christmas Ornaments

I received this picture last week, but already had my post done, so will share it today.



This is the first finished bra I have seen since our hook in last month. Isn't it a beauty!!! Wanda, the bra artiste, is into bugs in a big way lately, since that is the theme of our Annual in her home town of North Bay in 2012. So it seems only fitting that they be featured here as well.

I can't wait to see the rest of them. And I must confess that my concept didn't work out that well, so I will be starting over. However, the Christmas projects have to be completed first.

The workshop was busy this week, but more knitting than hooking I'm afraid. I did punch these ornaments and they will be sent out this week. (please excuse phone pictures)


I also did this mini runner for a friend who has just bought her first home with her new husband. So it's a new home gift and a Christmas gift all in one.


Still a few things to finish up this week. But the tree is trimmed. The decorations have all found a new home here in our new home. And our kids will be coming for 3 or 4 days over the holidays. So all is well.

One more picture to share. Here is my darling hubby working his new snowblower - which is a scary monster at best. I'm sure it will get easier with each consecutive snowfall. And we sure got a big amount yesterday, so his practice begins.





Monday, December 6, 2010

Rear View Santa

So, I decided to make a bunch of Christmas ornaments - nothing new, since I seem to do that every year. The news is, I decided to punch needle them instead of regular hooking.

I started with a little design I did for my newest student. A "Ho Ho Ho" sign. It went very quickly. And then I turned it over to take a look. Yikes. Here is what I saw!




Yep, Santa in the rearview mirror is actually saying "oH oH oH", which made me howl. It is equally as appropriate somehow. So I will proudly display it somewhere (it will not be a gift).

I already sent an email to Sandra, my punch needle teacher, telling her what happens when you forget to reverse the lettering - one of the first things she said to us. I guess this is another mistake I will (hopefully) only make once.

After the laughter subsided, I also discovered that if I turn it upside down, you can still see "Ho Ho Ho".



That Santa is a pretty smart fellow, don't you think?