Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Holiday activites

Happy New Year to everyone!  Personally, I'm very glad the holidays are nearly finished. I had lots of fun with family and friends, but not without lots of work--cleaning, shopping, baking, and cooking. 

We started with Solstice Dinner on the Friday before Christmas.  I started celebrating the winter solstice the year I commuted 75 miles each way (in the depths of the North land's long dark winter) to work in Duluth and marked my progress by the Christmas lights of various homes along the way.  I no longer have that commute, thank goodness, but I still like to invite friends for a Solstice dinner.  We had 3 good friends over for a meal of Winter salad, squash and apple soup, Hungarian goulash (from the crock pot) over rotini pasta and finished with pound cake with blueberries. All washed down with several bottles of red wine. It was a great evening to begin the holidays.

Son Dan made it home from Milwaukee for a few days with the family and I really enjoyed his visit.  Of course, Lily and Tessa were in and out many times over the holidays.  Don and I celebrated our 41st  wedding anniversary on the 28th by going to a movie--Les Mis was fantastic!!!--and dinner at a Mexican restaurant, and the week before we helped our good friends celebrate their 41st anniversary at a different Mexican restaurant. 

New Years Eve was uneventful and today, Tessa is trying out several recipes from her new Indian cook book and the house smells wonderful!

In between all these activities, I managed to finish a few quilting projects.  I made myself another Christmas tree skirt and finished it a few days after the tree had been put up and decorated.  I still have no idea what happened to the skirt I made in 2008--Gremlins, I guess.

I also finished a little table runner I began last fall just using scraps of autumn colored fabrics to make flying geese.  That one stays here for my table next fall.

I made this top sometime ago and began quilting it when I was asked to donate something for the United Way auction fundraiser. The more I worked on it, the more I was impressed by my work and ultimately decided to keep this quilt and donate another item I had already finished. I rationalized my decision with "I just know I won't get this finished in time for the auction." And I didn't--I finished it last week. This is one that's staying here.

I used a couple of Charm packs I had of Civil War Homestead by Moda along with some coordinating fabrics I had in my stash. What I like about this quilt is the double lines I stitched in the ninepatch blocks and the feathered wreaths I stitched in the alternate blocks, two patterns I'd never done before.  This quilt is the perfect size for the guest bedroom which will be used next week when we have a friend coming for a few days.

And lastly, I took a picture of the cake pops Lily and her friend made yesterday. Lily's been staying here quite a bit over Christmas vacation, and she does get a bit bored with Nana and Papa after a few days so we invited a friend for lunch and the afternoon. The girls had a ball doing lots of things here and they used Lily's new Cake Pop Kit to make these unbelievable unique snowman pops.  By the time they were finished and the kitchen cleaned up, both girls were literally spinning around the house on their sugar highs!

How were your holidays?  Now we can all settle down for our long winter naps.  Yeah, right!

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