The monday-after-Thanksgiving-blues have hit me hard this year. A wonderful time spent with family, food, sports, church, Christmas decorating, more food, meaningful conversations, shopping, movie watching and more food. And then, everyone leaves. Whenever my son has been home for a few days and goes back to college I experience the same feelings I did when he first left. I know it's silly, but it happens every time.
The house is 99% ready for Christmas. The mice have found their way on to my sewing room tree and I just love them! I don't know what it is about mice, but they stir a long lost memory from my childhood and speak to my heart (especially ones in pretty dresses!) The 1% of Christmas left to decorate is my front door. There will be no handmade wreath from my FIL this year and I have to go find a replacement, and honestly, it's hard.
I broke my self-imposed rule of no fabric purchasing. My daughter and I went to check on the competition for the Gingerbread House contest and stopped in at my favorite store (note to self: do not stop in to said favorite store). This fabric is not my "style" at all and I just fell in love. So, some for me and some for a special gift. As for the contest, a professional cake decorator and GBH contest goer has entered a spectacular (and I mean spectacular) house so we are toast. The judging is this week, but really, we've already won our prize. In the end, I wouldn't trade that time with my daughter for anything.
I hope all of you had a safe and happy Thanksgiving. There is a bit of a nip in the air today and rumors of snow. I've started to bring out the Christmas decorations. These little cuties look like they are ready to hop out of the box and on to the tree. Michigan plays Ohio State, and the chili is cooking. It's 11:00am and the kids are still in bed...oh how I love the holidays!
I know the next couple of days will be crazy for me so I wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving! The blogging community has been such a blessing in my life and I truly have enjoyed getting to know so many of you. Have a blessed Thanksgiving day with your family and friends!
This week, for so many of us, is marked with list making, things that need to be purchased for Thanksgiving dinner, desserts that need to be made, various tasks that must be completed around the house before guests start to arrive. I awoke this morning to compiling lists in my head, prioritizing and editing what will form my today. Yet, I am being nudged gently by a small voice reminding me that this Thanksgiving is the first one without a family member, not just for us, but for close friends as well. And while all the preparations are necessary, other things may be more important, such as scheduling extra time to sit and listen, to hold a hand, to be there. I need to soak in the laugh of my son, coming home from college and cherish the blessed sounds of a family all together again. A new list is forming in my head. I grab my pad of paper and write "I'm thankful for..." at the top, remembering all the blessings the Lord has given me and this is the most important list I'll make today.
One of my favorite artists is Nicol Sayre. She is well known for her doll making and an original doll can cost hundreds of dollars. I love all the detail and feminine charm that she creates in each piece.
Image from NicolSayre.com
Image from NicolSayre.com
Image from NicolSayre.com
I have found that Bayberry Cove carries her line of mass produced art and I have purchased some of her items in the past. I recieved the "Dear Friends" as a birthday gift several years ago from a good friend.
Her Christmas items are whimsical and fun and I enjoy getting this little snowman out every year.
The Easter lines are charming as well. I keep this piece out year round. All of her creations are a delight and I encourage you to go to her website and look through her gallery photos. You will be amazed at her original pieces.
Each year, in Shipshewana, IN there is a gingerbread house contest. Each year I say to myself, I wonder if I could do that? My friend, Nancy, has a restaurant and bake shop there and I thought it would be good publicity for her if I did one.
My teenage daughter and I decided to go for it. We have been tirelessly working for the past few days to construct this house in order for it to have time to settle before we drop it off on Monday.
I enjoyed working with her and spending this time laughing and sharing and feeling a bit sick over the smell of candy together.
We were having difficulty knowing when to stop. We do have some cupcake topiaries and a cupcake snowman to make yet.
It took my daughter over three hours to construct the roof last night using over 100 sticks of bubble gum. The smell is so nauseating that I don't think I'll be chewing gum anytime soon.
All of the fencing and scrollwork for the arch and decorative details are done in royal icing and made in advance. The neco wafer (stone) foundation is one of my favorite parts.
With this being our first gingerbread house, we really didn't know what to expect. Although it was alot of hard work, it was fun and we decided we might start a tradition of making one every year, contest or not. Although, we do hope we win the $500 even though neither of us can feel our fingers today!
A package arrived in the mail over the weekend from Sue at Country Pleasures. I had won her recent giveaway which was this darling apron and a very cute card making kit. I just love this apron pattern, so feminine yet practical, just as aprons should be! Thank you, Sue!
During the sewing room redo, I found these butterflies that I had forgotten all about. Quite awhile ago I had discovered them when I was out on of my treasure hunts. If you click on the picture you will see that they still have pins in them. The fabrics are wonderful old prints and deep colors, like the orange. My favorite is the pieced butterfly at the bottom, this was a resourceful quilter for sure! My plan is to combine them with some other old quilt blocks that I found and make a small quilt. There is a sweet satisfaction in finishing the work a dear quilter started a long time ago.