Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Ending the year on a good note

We have had a wonderful time with family for the past week and a half, and now it's time to begin thinking of what we want to do in the new year.

We had so much fun Christmas Eve! The guys all received stocking caps, which appear to be way too tight on them.

The kids all received gnomes, which generated quite a bit of laughter!

The adult girls all received fleece lined Christmas socks... way too warm for me, but the girls loved them!

Christmas Day was beautiful and warm. Daughter Alison took this picture of the sunrise.

The day after Christmas, Dave and I headed down to visit Mom in Alabama. We had a beautiful view of Mobile Bay from the dining area of the motel.

Dave was eager for an alligator sighting. It didn't happen, and I think he was pretty disappointed.

We had a wonderful three days with Mom. We did some shopping, ate out more than we should have, and helped Mom dispose of a whole lot of things she no longer wanted. One of the staff members was kind enough to take our picture before we headed for home yesterday.

I did manage to tat two Ice Drops while visiting with family.

I worked on this cowl on the way to Mom's.

I worked on this cowl on the way home from Mom's.

My shuttle collection is growing, especially with the ones I can't resist from Rita Richmond of Shuttle by Design!

Dave and I like to take our time undecorating the house, and we don't officially start until the day after New Year's Day. However, I have the itch to start a new batch of Ice Drops. So I boxed up the ones I have left from this past year. They're all ready for sharing next year. My shuttles are wound for 2020, and I hope to come up with some new designs.

Going through Mom's things with her, and spending time organizing my craft supplies has inspired me to start using up supplies that I have. It will be fun to see what I can create in the coming year!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Finishing up

I'm almost ready for Christmas! I just have to finish up this cowl, which will take about an hour, and I need to finish off these last two Ice Drops. I can't believe how much I've accomplished this year!

I finished a hat for my Secret Santa. She loved it!

I had just enough yarn left to crochet a headband for her. She love headbands! The Secret Santa week was so much fun. I hope I'm asked to participate again!

Family starts arriving today. I still need to finish laundry, go grocery shopping, and do one last quick clean around the house. With the Christmas gathering at our house this year, I don't anticipate having time for blogging. So, I'll take this opportunity to wish all my friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Back to Chrome

I still can't get Blogger to work as it used to in Safari, so I'm spending more time in Chrome. I still prefer Safari, but I don't have the time to figure out what's going on, and I want to read and comment on blogs! I'm still having problems commenting on some, but at least Chrome recognizes that I'm signed in!

I finished my hat yesterday morning. I'm pleased with the way it turned out.

My order of pom poms arrived in time for me to attach one before leaving for school. I changed my mind and switched to a gray one when I got home, but I forgot to take a picture before wrapping it. After taking the picture, I noticed that the folded up portion looked a little funky. All I needed to do was stretch the hat in both up and down and sideways, and it looked great. The color looks very different in this photo. The first one is the true color.

As I'm typing this post, my cursor keeps jumping to another spot. I type fairly quickly, so I get some really strange sentences that need to be fixed. Does anyone else have this happen to them? The only thing I can figure is that I must be hitting the touchpad with the bottom of my thumb as I type. Either that, or my computer is possessed!

I am working on another cowl in Caron X Pantone. The stitch sequence is the same as in the last cowl I knit, but I cast on one more stitch. The look will be completely different. I do have to pay attention as I knit, because it's easy to split the stitches with this yarn. I wish you could reach through the computer and feel how soft it is!

I'm off to a good start on another hat. I only have six rows left to crochet before seaming. Now that I understand how the pattern works, it's going much more quickly. I hope to finish this one this morning.

I'm really enjoying working on projects that inspire me in the moment, rather than trying to finish a gift for a specific person. My great-aunt used to have a closet of gifts ready for giving, something I've long thought of doing. I often want to give something hand-made, but find I don't have the time to finish what I have in mind. A gift closet seems like the perfect solution!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Secret Santa spying

Last week, one of the high school teachers told me that I was in a unique position for Secret Santa spying. Since I supervise both high school lunch periods, and I get my steps in walking around the cafeteria, I should be able to pick up Secret Santa hints. Ha!

I'm sure you can imagine how loud it gets in a high school cafeteria at lunch time. While I can hear an inappropriate comment made across the room, I find myself asking students to repeat themselves when I'm standing right next to them. Aside from the noise level, these kids are very crafty. As I walk by, I hear them talking about sports, relationships, classes... I haven't heard one word about Christmas or Secret Santas!

My Secret Santa is especially good. We each know if our Secret Santa is a girl or boy, but that's it. To make things even more difficult for me, I've known most of these kids since preschool. So, it's hard to pick up on things that I may have said or done that would give me clues.

Yesterday, my Secret Santa gave me butterscotch hard candy and embroidery floss. No clues there. I love butterscotch, and I always had some at my desk when I was teaching. A piece of candy can be a miracle cure to a little one who's having an off day. How many butterscotch candies have I handed out over the years? I can only eliminate one student who wouldn't know this about me.

As for the embroidery floss... who can resist the beautiful colors and the softness of a skein of embroidery floss? The kids have seen me cross stitch with it, and they've seen me make Kumihimo braids with it. Again, there are no clues there to help me out.

I do know that the high school girls love sweaters, hats, and scarves made with soft, chunky yarn. I found a wonderful short row hat tutorial on YouTube. I should be able to finish the hat today, and my Secret Santa will be receiving a hat and cowl crocheted with the green Bernat Blanket yarn that she gave me on Monday. I'm pretty sure the color and style are right for her.

How can I be sure? I think I've guessed the identity of my Secret Santa!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Secret Santa

I was invited to participate in the Secret Santa exchange at the high school this year, something I've never been a part of in the past. I really didn't spend much time at the high school during my 31 years in the district. So, I eagerly agreed!

My Secret Santa is supposed to do a "little" something for me each day, and I'm supposed to try and figure out who my Secret Santa is by Friday. Right now, my only clue is that it's a girl! Friday morning, the National Honor Society students will provide breakfast for the participating staff, and we will present our Secret Santas with gifts. Participating staff members will also provide an unwrapped gift for a child, part of the NHS annual toy drive

Yesterday, my Secret Santa gave me two skeins of Bernat Blanket yarn. She went way overboard with her "little" gift! I felt compelled to find the perfect pattern for this super soft bulky yarn. I found this wonderful tutorial on YouTube.

I finished the green cowl last night and started the white one. I was able to finish the white one this morning. We have Christmas Spirit Week going on, and today's theme is Snowman/Winter Wonderland. My plan is to wear the white one to school today and see if I get a reaction, a clue as to the identity of my Secret Santa!

Monday, December 16, 2019


Blogger still isn't working properly for me. I can't post comments on blogs I visit. I can't sign in properly. I've probably spent four or five hours trying every idea suggested on various forums. For now, I am frustrated and giving up. Luckily, Christmas preparations have lifted my spirits!

The ravioli is made, all 500+. They're in the freezer, ready for Christmas Eve.

I made the filling on Friday night, and Dave and Carol worked on ravioli on Saturday, making over 300. Dave finished making the rest on Sunday. It's a lot of work, but we all enjoy it!

While Dave and Carol worked on ravioli, I worked on decorating. We added garland over the front window. Dave wants to add lights and ornaments, but I'm not sure either of us has the energy to add anything else!

This is Dave's favorite tree. We've always had it in the sunroom in the past, but we both like its new home.

Dave wasn't happy with the drape of the garland going up the stairs, so he re-did it last weekend.

Carol helped me get the Christmas pillows and blankets out. I don't think there will be much snuggling under blankets this year. It looks like the temperatures are going to be pretty mild, and a house full of people will warm things up quickly!

This side of the dining room isn't very bright, but we have time to figure out some more lighting.

I love my grandfather clock! It was a gift from my dad for my 50th birthday. Clocks are one of our family traditions. I remember spending hours watching Grandpa Green working on watches on a Sunday afternoon. Grandpa built clocks for each of his children, and the are family treasures.

We relocated the red Christmas trees this year. This side of the dining room looks very patriotic!

We went a little overboard on sunroom decorations this year, and I love it! Dave had some ladder parts that he put together to help display some of our Christmas houses.

Dave loves putting up Christmas trees, and when the grandchildren come, the go around the house and count how many are on display. Sometime this week, Dave and I are going to have to go around and count so that we have an accurate count!

Our friends Gus and Irene gave us two strands of LED lights. I love they way they brighten up the room.

Dave usually decorates the big tree in the sunroom with just balls and lights. I kind of highjacked his decorating this year. I wanted to put out all the ornaments. When everyone is here, the grandchildren will get to choose Christmas decorations from Grandma's and Grandpa's house. They will each have their own ornament boxes. I think it will be great fun. Unfortunately, we didn't have places for all of the ornaments, so a couple of bins will have to come up from the basement when we go through the house choosing. Yes, we are on Christmas overload!

This is the corner where I usually sit when we gather in the sunroom.

This is Dave's corner. We do feel like Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus in this room!

Rita Richmond had some adorable Tattika the Tatting Fairy Christmas ornaments for sale this year.

I couldn't decide on which color, so I purchased one of each.

My two youngest granddaughters are really into fairies and unicorns, so I'm pretty sure two of these ornaments will have new homes this Christmas.

I finished knitting my cowl this weekend. I'll wash and block it this morning.

The little trees needed tree toppers, so I crocheted these adorable Granny Square Stars over the weekend. Two joined together make great light weight tree toppers. It doesn't show in the picture, but there is a silver thread intertwined with the white that adds a little sparkle. I made several last year, but I could only find one. Luckily, I have plenty of yarn in the house!

Saturday, December 14, 2019


I'm having trouble with Blogger again. I can't leave comments on posts. It appears that I'm not signed in to my blog, but when I go to the dashboard I am signed in. Sometimes technology causes me extreme aggravation!

I have no pictures to show today. I subbed yesterday, and last night I made ravioli filling. Today is ravioli-making day! Will there be time for tatting? Time will tell!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

A little sloppy

I don't know why I didn't notice while tatting, but it's pretty obvious now that some of those outer chains are really sloppy. Sigh. I guess I'll just have to tat another!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Out of thread, out of time

My blog post title is a little misleading. I wasn't actually out of thread. I just didn't have enough thread on my shuttle to tat a Frivolity Ice Drop. So, I turned it into a Doodle Ice Drop!

I did run out of tatting time today. I was called in to sub at the last minute, and I did not tat before school. So, my tatting time was after school, and since I was tired, I tatted slowly. I hope to get more done tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Christmas Green

With the colder weather, I find myself turning to knitting and crocheting so that I can feel the warmth of the yarn in my hands. This summer, daughter Joanne and I found a sale on Caron x Pantone yarn. Who can resist half price? I had two skeins in my line of vision, and I decided it would make a wonderful cowl. I didn't find a cowl pattern that inspired me, so I turned to my copy of Sequence Knitting, a book that I love to browse through. I found a pattern that I liked and got to knitting. I'm eager to see how this looks when it's finished!

Rita Richmond of Shuttle by Design has been offering some gorgeous shuttles lately. I took a chance and looked in her shop last week, and I was surprised to see this beautiful Iris shuttle still available. Rita also had a new shade of blue for her handmade shuttles. I love them both!

I also found some beautiful new shuttles from ShuttleSmith Karen Bovard. I do enjoy tatting with flat shuttles!

As for Christmas Green, I'm very happy to have tatted a Frivolity Ice Drop in this cheerful color. The red ribbon seemed to be the perfect touch!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Time to get back on track

I have neglected so much over the past week. I haven't been keeping up with my walking. I haven't been watching what I eat. My crafting time has been minimal. It's been a busy week of cleaning, decorating, and getting ready for Christmas. At least I can say the house is starting to shape up!

I really need to focus on Ice Drops this week. I need three more for gift giving at school. This is the third one in Gold. My shuttle is loaded with Christmas Green for the next three.

My friend Eileen sent me a picture of her Ice Drop display. We've been friends since high school, and we were college roommates. I was Eileen's maid of honor, and she was my matron of Honor. We've been friends for more than 50 years!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

A little more gold

Getting ready for Christmas is certainly keeping us busy! I'm glad I always find time for tatting. I'm not sure I like the red bow with the gold thread, but I'm going to keep it as it is. Sometimes new color combinations grow on me and I wind up loving them!