Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving In Maine

We spent Thanksgiving in Maine with my Dad and my sister. They did a great job putting on the whole shindig--turkey and all the trimmings!

I brought two pies, apple and pumpkin, which were quite possibly the worst ones I have ever made. I don't usually falter in the baking area--not really sure what happened, but they were not good. Oh well--everything else was great, (especially my sister's yeast rolls, of which I had three.)

Before we sat down to eat we headed out to see the new miniature horse that is being boarded at the farm down the road. Dad showed Ella how to feed him some apples. His mouth is so small that teh apples have to be cut into quarters for him to get them in his mouth!!

Then James had to have his traditional ride on the old McCormick Farmall tractor.

I snapped this shot of Chris and Ella--adorable. I love the way he is looking at her, and the new hairstyle she is sporting (which reminds me of Little Cindy Lou Who from the Grinch).

Finally, Dad tried to snap a family photo of us for our Christmas card.Lots of squirming, laughing, yelling, and overall antics and a few minutes later this is the best we came up with! Hmm . . this may work, afterall. It certainly is REAL!!! (James' tongue and all!)

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your family. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Rapture

Look at how closely she is paying attention. It is really a sight to behold. What has captured her attention in this way?

Is it a breaking news story about the passage of the Health Care Reform Bill in the Senate?

Is it an adventure / romance movie, in the scene where the heroine is tied to the train tracks, about to meet her demise???

Could it be breaking news about a lost puppy that has been reunited with its owners?

Perhaps it is the discovery for a cure for some terrible disease?

Ahhh, no.

That would be Curious George. My baby girl's hero.

Heaven help us if she ever gets to meet the furry little man!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What a Fantastic Advent Calendar Idea!!!

For all of you sewing, crafty types out there (a group I am new to, but proud to call myself a part of) here is a really fun Advent Calendar idea, using repurposed wooden spools of thread!!

You can find the info here at Just Something I Made, a new blog that I am in love with!

Gotta dash--baby girl is not feeling the best and I am giving her lots of cuddles and kisses today.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Glory of Fall

Shhhh . . . no words needed. Just look, and breathe, and take it in.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Labour of Love

I have finished my latest sewing project, which was a baby quilt made from a collection of my favorite baby clothes' of Ella's. It was a sweet project that didn't take a lot of time (other than the two days I spent ripping out some seams I didn't like) and it has given me great satisfaction. Actually, when I finished it, I cried a little, because I have such strong emotions tied to these little squares of fabric. I love where my baby girl is right now--she has such a personality, but I do miss the snuggly little bundle that used to wear these outfits!

I must give some credit to some blogs that inspired and "tutored" me in this project-- the first is Wee Wonderfuls. I stumbled on this post and I just knew I had to have one for myself. (I mean, who am I kidding? I say I made this for Ella, but it is mine, all MINE!!)

I was also inspired by Nettie over at A Quilt is Nice. The quilt in this post will be one of my next projects. It is going to be a Christmas gift, so I won't say much more than that. I loved the way that Nettie explained a spray basting method for adhering the quilt sandwich together. If there is one thing I hate about sewing, it is pinning, and this negated that.

When I got to the binding part I was clueless, so this post on Crazy Mom Quilts really helped me out with how to create a continuous binding. And lastly, my high school friend Phoebe (thank you, Facebook!!!) directed me to this online resource that helped me avoid having to hand baste the binding.

Which I think is so pretty!! (But don't look too closely at that mitered corner!) It is my first time, afterall!

I really smile when I look at some of these squares. This one with the sheep was from one of the CUTEST outfits EVER, that was a gift from my sister-in-law. It had a tiny stain at the neck that no amount of Shout would get out, so I sacrificed it for the quilt.

Here is another square from a cute set from Gini. (Shh . . . I still have the pants...)

A few squares from outfits from my Mom: Here is a retro fabric from a quilted overall onesie.

And adorable poodle outfit from Mom that she absoultely loved seeing Ella in. (Mom had a thing for poodles.)

I also used four squares of white eyelet from a dress that Ella wore to Mom's Celebration of Life. Don't EVEN get me started on that. I felt it was a fitting nod. But it does make me a bit weepy.

On another, and HAPPIER note, as I am looking through these photos I am actually laughing, because I guess I have a thing for cupcakes! As you can see here,

and here,

and here!!

My goodness. Well, here it is all done. Imperfections and all. And I am already itching to make another one!

Oh, and THANK YOU for answering my frantic e-mail, Stephanie! I developed my own mantra after we corresponded: "When in doubt, RIP IT OUT!" And I am so glad that I did. I am much, much happier with the quilt now than I would have been. (Probably staring at the seams and going "Grrrr" in my head!)

How can you not smile when looking at this! (Keep your mitts off of it, Ella!) Just kidding baby. It's all yours. But you might have to wait awhile. Maybe when you have your first baby girl . . .

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Farewell, Old Boy

Le-Sa and Sonny Boy grazing - Summer 2004

I was saddened to learn that my Dad had to make a decision to put down my horse Sonny Boy (in the above photo on the right) last week.

He was a Morgan-Quarter Horse cross. My parents purchased him for me in 8th grade (if I remember correctly) and he was my gaming horse. Once the Kennebec Gaming Champion, Sonny Boy was very quick and adept at running barrels.

We think that he was about 35 at the end of his life. That is a long time for a horse--but I attribute it to the fact that once I went to college, he and Le-Sa (my cinnamon and sugar Appaloosa Arabian cross) were put out to pasture. Each and every day the two of them could meander through acres and acres of gorgeous, lush, green fields with a fresh water pond and not a care in the world.

We lost Le-Sa a couple of years ago, and we knew that Sonny's time was nearing. The vet came out and eased him out of this world and into the next, with my Dad sitting by Sonny's side, cradling his head.

That Sonny-Boy was a brat, for sure. Always pushing his way to the grain, the apples, taking a bigger share of hay, what have you. He was mean--and he would try to step on your feet, shove you against the stall wall, and throw you if he got too hot under the saddle.

But, he taught me how to handle an ornery horse, how to never let my guard down, and how to love unconditionally.

My Dad has been his keeper all those years since I left for school. Every day, feeding, watering, grooming, giving apples and carrots and pats on the neck. I know those horses were better for it.

Thanks, Dad, for doing everything that you could to give those horses the best home possible.

And to Sonny Boy--I know that you are galloping around horse heaven right now with Le-Sa, and she is probably pissed because you are undoubtedly shoving her away from the oats. Try and be nice to her, old boy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Many Happy Returns of the Day

Dear Dad,

When I was a child
you always encouraged me to
use my imagination,
explore nature,
voice my opinion,
and be myself.

I watch you with my grandchildren and I see you
passing along the same lessons, and it makes me smile.

Happy Birthday.

XOXO, Allison

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sewing Project Sneak Peek

Can you tell what it is? (Other than a big, p0orly-aligned, basting nightmare and quilting-newbie mess??) I don't care. I love it anyway!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Birthday Wish

The sun is shining through the trees this autumn morning.

I hope that you will have a great big slice of
carrot cake to celebrate your special day.

Know that were you here, I am sure that Dad would
have given you some whimsical, Victorian treasure,
Amy and I would have been able to sew you something sweet,
and your grand-children would have been happy
to have a little birthday tea party with you.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

Miss you, love you.



Sunday, November 1, 2009

Christmas Came Early!

Chris and I are now the new owners of Canon Rebel Xsi SLR camera! Christmas came early for us this year. Thanks Dad! Love you!

Here are a couple of photos I took this morning while playing with it.

Sweet Ella

Majestic Henry

AMAZING!!! I am so excited!