Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Family Christmas Recipe

We had a great family Christmas at the Knox house!  ALL the kids were here. It was noisy and chaotic with much fun and laughter. Our recipe: lots of presents under the tree (any amount of presents will do),  add two grown sons & their beautiful wives, slowly stir in 5 grandchildren, (3 under 19 mo.), pour in three dogs (that are jealous of each other and the kids), top it off with two very proud grandparents (me and Bob) and two G.G's (great-grandparents - my mom and dad).  Then just chill and enjoy!  

The chill part is essential or nerves could get frazzled.  My oldest son and family went home yesterday and the other son and family from Spokane are still here.  That includes a 4 month old and a 19 month old.  Obviously there is no time yet for me to rest, but I'm enjoying every second with these babies.  They are sooooo cute!  My son has to fly back to Spokane on Saturday and then is spending a few weeks in Alaska for his job so his wife and kids are staying here until the end of January.   Today my two sons and families are spending the day together at oldest son's home, so I'm getting some much needed cleaning and laundry caught up.  

Last night, hubby and I babysat the two little ones while Brandon and Diana went on a dinner and a movie date.  Oh my - how did I ever do this 28 years ago?  I was 28 years younger, that's how!  It does make a difference.  But Brandon and Diana never get much time together without the kids so I wanted them to go out and enjoy.

We have some great pictures taken by my son, Austin, the photographer.  I'm just too busy and tired to download and post right now.  I'll definitely show them soon because they are just too adorable to not share!

It's 5:00 p.m. and for probably the first time in two weeks I am alone, so I'm going to take a hot bath with a glass of wine!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Dinner

As Christmas gets a little closer, I'm starting to think about my menu for Christmas dinner.  What should I serve?  How should I best set the table and serve 13 people, including five small children?  Should I try to accomodate everyone in a more formal sit down style?  Would it be better and easier to serve more of an Open House buffet style?  I'm leaning toward the buffet style and I know the menu will include ham and scalloped potatoes.  The details from there aren't quite clear yet.  Whatever I decide, my dining room will play the leading role.  The dining room is decorated and ready for the big day!

I use a lot of gold and crystal or glass in my dining room decorations.  I have several crystal Lennox coin pieces that were passed down from my Grandma, and that sort of sets the stage for everything else.
I layer crystal cake plates and then cover them with white and gold poinsettas.  The little tree is decorated with blown glass ornaments, gold boots, gold and white poinsettas and gold ribbon.

In front of the little tree is a miniature glass nativity scene.

The center table cloth is from Vienna, Austria, and given to me from my mother.  The candles are clear with gold flecks (for looks only).

I have a few Christmas plates that I put in the bottom of my china cupboard.  Sitting on top is my antique chocolate set that I found at the flea market this past summer.  I have yet to use it and now that I reminded myself of it, I need to do so.  Hot chocolate with marshmallows while sitting in front of the fire!

Sitting atop my wine cabinet is my Thomas Kincaid Christmas village.  

I made the quilt that hangs next to the wine cabinet.  It's a fan pattern, made from a wine theme fabric.  I hand appliqued each fan to the quilt and fussy cut each blade of the fan so that each blade was the same pattern. Here's a close up of what I'm trying to explain.  

 This is probably one of my favorite quilts that I've ever done.  

I have a bench that sits in front of the bay window.  The dogs love to sit on this bench and look out the window, waiting to bark at anyone or anything they see.  Or if I leave the house, they will sit there patiently and faithfully waiting for my return.  
I need to find a gold Christmas pillow in place of the floral one.  I didn't think about that until I looked at this picture! 

I'm also linking this post to Cielo's "Show Off Your Cottage Monday"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winter Wonderland

This is what I woke up to this morning!
This is at 7:00 a.m. and the sun was just coming up over the lake.  I'm standing at my back door.  I couldn't walk out any further because the snow was too deep and I only had my slippers on.
I was up at 7 because my little Fergie

as cute as he is, had just peed on my bedroom floor, which, by the way, is newly carpeted.  He's three years old, but just never potty trained well at all.  I was so mad at him and practically threw him out the front door and then saw the fresh, new, virgin snow that fell during the night.  It was still sort of dark out and with the sun coming up it was just so pretty.  Luckily for Fergie, my mood changed from mad to happy and content.
We already had about 7 inches on the ground, and now with the new layer it's up to about a foot.
I'm so glad I got my groceries yesterday and almost finished my Christmas shopping.  It was so cold yesterday, and I didn't get home until 5:00 in the dark and I wasn't looking forward to carrying all those bags in the house.  Well, I was pleasantly surprised by Hubby at the door ready to carry in all the bags.  As I walked in the front door, I saw that he had a blazing fire in the fireplace and all the Christmas lights on!  Oohh, that felt so good to my body and my soul.
This is what Christmas should look and feel like!  I wish I could wrap this up and give it as a present to all that don't get to experience Christmas and the Holidays like this.  I really do appreciate it and try not to take it for granted!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Heart of the Home at Christmas

The Heart of the Home is always the kitchen.  This is especially true at Christmas time.  I'm in this room it seems like all day.  I've purposely set it up that way.  I get a lot done because I have everything at my fingertips in one room.
 My kitchen is large, but it is very warm and cozy at the same time. The cherry cabinets and the wood floor helps to give it that feel.   I'm definitely not a minimalist when it comes to my home and decorating.  I love to have all my "stuff" around me. There's my little TV on the left side of the counter.  As Hubby says, I'm a TV person.  Most of the time it's just background noise while I'm working.  Sometimes I will turn it onto a Christmas music station. 
 Every once in a while I force myself to get rid of some things or at least put some in storage or I can get a cluttered look going on.

I like to have little lamps next to my work areas, rather than turning on the big overhead lights.  It just feels more homey that way. 
Notice my "Grandma" sign.  My DIL gave that to me after her grandmother passed away a few years ago.  This had hung in her house and my DIL always liked it and wanted me to have it now.  It reads:  "Grandma's Babysitting Service
Little people always welcome.  Service includes: meals, lessons, entertainment and lots of hugs.
Tender loving care for your most precious possessions."
It fits!

This is the other end of my kitchen.  It's an eating area/breakfast nook/my office.  

Little Fergie and Ellie Mae hang out with me here.

My antique desk houses my computer and all my office supplies.  I also have a small file cabinet that also is my printer stand. I'm my husband's assistant, blog writer, and Etsy shop manager right from this little corner. It can get rather messy, but I try to clean and straighten it all up by 5:00, shut down the computer and close the desk.  Then it's back to full time kitchen and time to prepare dinner.
I don't have a lot of Christmas decorations in the kitchen, but there are a few.  I have to always have the mistletoe in the doorway and my Christmas card rack.
So now when you read my blog, you can picture in your mind where I'm sitting and downloading pictures and typing, while Christmas music plays in the background and my dogs lay in their beds next to me.  
Thanks for stopping by!

I'm linking up to Cielo's party.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Beautiful Winter Day

Today is a beautiful, snowy and wintry day.  I love days like this when I can be inside where it's warm and comfy and look out the window at the snow coming down.
I do not like to drive in this weather, so I don't if I don't have to. 

Here's another tree I put up on my front stoop.
I decorate it with a grape and wine theme.  My house has a European/Tuscan/grape/wine decor so I like to continue the decor out to the front porch.  I put the tree outside in the Fall, but now just added the bow and some more Christmasy decorations.

I just finished and listed this little mini quilt for sale on my Etsy shop.

It's hand appliqued and hand quilted and then framed in a 5x7 table top frame.  It looks good sitting on a table, like I've done with my entrance table.

Speaking of Etsy - I made another sale yesterday.  I get so excited when an e-mail comes through that says "Congratulations, you've made an Etsy sale". It's not about the little bit of money, but more about the thrill that someone found my site and liked something I made.  My cute little Geisha pincushion sold.
This is re-purposed from an antique Japanese vase.

Right now I'm working on knitting and sewing some Christmas presents.  I'll show pictures after Christmas so I don't give anything away.

Well, back to my Elf Workshop.  Since Hubby is out of the office for the day, I have a nice and peaceful day home alone.  It's a good winter day!

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Christmas Parlor

I love decorating for Christmas! I'm very slow about it, though.  After 31 years of marriage and keeping a house and 31 years of Christmas decorating, I've gathered quite a few decorations.  So every year it takes me longer to get the job done, but I thoroughly enjoy the process.  With each box of decorations I bring out of the basement, I take out each and every bauble and bulb with excitement, partly because I forget what I have until I see it again!  For the past several years I've been putting up five trees.  The first one I always do is the Parlor/Tea Room/Piano Room tree.  It's my favorite.  And I leave it up until after March, changing some of the decorations for Valentine's and St. Patrick's.
This room is very frilly and  Victorian, so that is how the tree is done.  I use mostly pearls and lace.  Many of the decorations have come from Germany and Austria, where my parents lived for 6 years.  Mom doesn't put up a big tree anymore, so she passed her frilly European  pretties down to me.  
This angel topper came from Germany and Mom gave to me one Christmas years ago.  It hangs in my bedroom when she comes off the tree.

I like to use romantic tea pot and tea cup ornaments.  I've collected these over the years.

This is an antique fainting couch that my sister-in-law had and re-upholstered.  After she did some re-decorating of her house she couldn't use it but felt it would look perfect in my room, which it does, so she gave it to me.  I love it!  So does my little Fergie.  He's asleep curled up on the pillow.
This chair I bought at a local antique store and this darling little footstool I just couldn't pass up from a local boutique furniture store. The counted cross stitch "K" on the back of the chair I made.  The rug came from Europe.  Another hand me down from Mom.  Thank you, Mom!

I have a collection of antique vases and tea cups.  My favorite cups are the little demitasse ones.  A couple of them are Limoges.  The tea set on the little stand was given to me last Christmas by my son and DIL.  They had been to Germany to visit her mother and found this in an antique store.  It's a black rose design. 

My piano has also been handed down to me from my Grandma, to Mom, now to me.  It must be over 60 years old.  I took piano lessons on this piano when I was in elementary school.  We've replaced just about all the key hammers and pads.  It doesn't get used a lot, but I'll never give it up.  

The antique crystal candlesticks were given to me by a good friend last year for my birthday.  

I had made this piano cross stitch several years ago and it was just laying in a closet.  A few years ago I decided to incorporate it into a mini quilt.
I found some music themed border prints that I used.  The total size of this quilt is 17-1/2" square.
I also made this counted cross stitch picture a long time ago and had it matted and framed.

My decorating leans toward the busy side.  I call myself a neat and organized hoarder!  But all these things have meaning and a story and I would have a hard time getting rid of any of it.  

I hope you enjoyed my first Christmas tour.  I'm going to link this post to "Showing Off My Cottage Monday" hosted by Cielo.


Also linked to Bavarian Christmas hosted by Simone at http://dobermans-by-the-sea.blogspot.com/2010/11/1st-christmas-linky-party-at-dobermans.html

And linked to The DIY Show Off - Holidays hosted by Roeshel at http://thediyshowoff.blogspot.com/search/label/Christmas

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Made It To 100

I got so excited this morning because I made it to 100.  I wasn't even trying.  It just happened.  It wasn't a goal.  Although I have to admit that I do look at the number from time to time just to see.  I told myself it didn't matter because I do it for me, not as a contest.  It's kind of amazing when you think about it, that there would be a 100 out there.  I know some people have a lot more and that really amazes me.
No, I'm talking about $100!

I'm definitely not talking about my age!

I didn't get a certain percent!

I'm talking about YOU!  The wonderful, beautiful, caring friends I have that follow this little blog of mine!  

I started it just because facebook wouldn't give me enough room to write what I wanted to say!  I didn't really think about how many might be interested.  I just had things to say and share.  But I have to admit that seeing that number 100 feels good for some stupid reason. 
And I want to thank Crafty Girl at http://craftylifeandstyle.blogspot.com/ for being the 100th. And thanks to all of you who care to follow along on my journey of life.

(All images used in this post are royalty free clip art)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Dream

I had one of those dreams last night.  You know, the kind where you wake up with crusty tears left over in your eyes and a sadness that you have to think about.
I dreamed that I was left homeless along with my mother and father.  Now I have no idea why my husband was not with me and why I was without a home with my mom and dad, but that's what it's like with dreams!  So we are homeless, but we could not find anyone to help us.  We kept asking different people and then asking those same people over and over again, but not only could we not get any help, everyone was so mean to us.  It was so sad and frustrating.
 I forced myself to wake up slowly so that I could remember what my dream was about and ponder what was making me so sad.  I was trying to make sense of it.  I realize now today, more than ever, how thankful I am to have a home, a loving family, and a caring mother and father.  I feel so bad for all of those people in the world, during this season especially, that don't have that. As  I slowly got out of bed, my feelings changed from a lingering sadness to a renewed happiness.  A better sense of what I have in my life.  I'm so glad that I have a husband that provides for me and children and grandchildren that I can kiss and hug and admire their beauty and health.  I feel like I need to make another person's life better if I can.
We had a great Thanksgiving, and that could be what inspired my dream.  I hugged and kissed my beautiful granddaughter, Leanna, all day!

I was surrounded by family.

And we all enjoyed great food!

Look at the wild hair on this little girl!  Because of the way the baby hair is rubbing off, she's now got a mix of  mohawk and  mullet.  She is just the happiest little girl.  And so am I!!


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