Sunday, December 25, 2011


I just put Monkey Balls (better known as Monkey Bread) in the oven for breakfast at son Teddy's house!  All of the kids will be here this afternoon for dinner ~ turkey and tenderloins ~ hope they bring the trimmings!  We went to our friends, Margo and Cliff's, last evening for their annual Christmas Eve party ~ like the old fashioned cocktail party ~ we had great fun ~ laughed, ate, drank and were merry!   Then we stopped at Teddy's ~ Tad was there for a celebration!  I hope I can get a nap sometime between now and 2 p.m. ~ I'm not as young as I used to be!!  Have a wonderful day with family and friends ~ as we
                              Remember the Reason for the Season! 


Saturday, December 24, 2011


 MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!!   This could be the last installment of Christmas decorating ~ there are more pictures but maybe enough is enough already!!  We'll see!  This great iron reindeer was a garage sale find this summer ~ you may have seen him then!  He's looking good with pinecones and winterberries on a bed of fresh pine!

A small Santa collection done by an artist that I never met ~ she sent her work along with a friend and I bought each one as she would make them.  The bodies are muslin and after she painted the faces on, she dipped the head and hands in parafin.  All the clothing is stitched by hand ~ each one very different!  I felt very lucky to be able to own them ~ she was elderly and soon quit offering them for sale.  The little cupboard is very old ~ the tiger maple we bought from someone at a show years ago.

Two redware Santas keep company with a very old chenille Santa ~ he's pretty fragile ~ he's seen a lot of Christmases! Ginger Cazan, redware artist and rug hooker, made the little one on the top right and the bottom one is by well-known potter, Ned Foltz.

Handmade Santas on the top shelf of the corner cupboard  ~ one carved, the middle one is wool made by an old friend, Dottie Schmitz, and the third one is papier mache by Tom Coe!  The three on the bottom shelf are all antiques ~ the middle guy is a bank! 

Here's Marge's cabinet ~ that's what we seem to call it ~ decked out with a little greenery and old bottle-brush trees.

 The little tree resides at the bottom of the basement stairwell ~ years ago, I made hearts out of antique quilt pieces ~ and friend, Carol Mowry, made this little treetop angel out of muslin strips ~ lots of memories on this little tree!

This week we attended a high school choir concert and Camden's 5th grade talent show!  We were amazed at how good these kids were ~ Cam was in a dance troupe that did a routine to "Thriller".  And you'll be pleased to know we got our shopping done!!  I took Tad out yesterday afternoon to do his ~ he buys for everyone in his family ~ that's a lot of presents!  Last night, Sonny and I went out to finish up and stopped for a bite and beverage!  Then we hit Walmart and got home at 11:30 ~ woo hoo!!  Earlier today, I baked the cakes for my Black Forest Cake and will finish that in the morning ~ Sonny baked a fruitcake  and has an apple pie in the oven! Dora Domestic rides again!!!!  With a little more wrapping, we'll  be ready for the big day! 

Grandson Luke came over this morning for breakfast and to set up Tad's Ipad for us ~ call a 12 year old if you're in need of technical help!!  Tad is going to love it!  In fact, he is over at Teddy's now for a Christmas Eve celebration with their step-mother and family and Luke is going to show Tad how to use it!!  Tomorrow he'll get all the accessories to it ~ SmartCover, stylus, etc.  It's very impressive to me that even though Tad has Downs Syndrome, he can use these 'newfangled' technologies ~ these kids have their limitations ~ but they have wonderful and far-reaching capabilities, also!!  One of God's blessings!

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve ~ whether you're alone or with somebody ~ think good thoughts and have some Christmas cheer ~ that's what we're going to do! 

Talk to you soon ~ Alice

Friday, December 23, 2011


A few more Christmas pix ~ I should be at the grocery but I'll go as soon as I'm done here!  This is a little kitchen table where we sit to read the mail and Sonny and the cat read the Sunday paper!  The handwoven mat under the candle was made by my friend Carol Rahall, who knows more about traditional crafts than anyone I know!

The fireplace looks well used ~ but actually not very often ~ although we have used it to cook our whole holiday meal in the past!  The wool applique piece over the mantel was stitched by Joyce Sherk ~ we did shows together many years ago and occasionally I run into her now at rug hooking events!  I've always loved that piece and every year it resides right there ~ wonder if Joyce reads my blog and remembers her little work of art?

This was Sonny's grandmother's dry sink ~ we bought it at her auction many years ago.  To the left there are two butter churns that also came from that same auction!  I love these lighted sticks in with the live pine ~ and the two little reproduction Santas in the tin salt box. 

 For many years, we would go to Yankee Peddler ~ a large folk art craft show here in Ohio.   We would buy a salt glaze Santa every year from a potter from Pennsylvania ~ they're still some of my favorites. 

 This is the back door area ~ antique blue homespun aprons and bonnets ~ a laundry bag with redwork stitching ~ and some painted pieces from Maude Chiardi.  We did shows with her for many years, too and I always bought a piece of her hand-painted Christmas.  The Santa in the middle is an old chimney flue cover ~ anybody remember those? 

Over the nearly 30 years that Sonny and I have been together, we've built a nice collection of antiques and folk art ~ I always wonder if any of our kids will value it and enjoy it as much as we do!  I hope you enjoy looking at it and if you're one of our friends who comes to visit, we love to share it with you all!   I have to tell you the other night, I made this fabulous pineapple upside down cake from the website smittenkitchen ~ it was scrumptious! By the way, don't type in smittenkitten like I just did as I was trying to find the link ~ you'll get more than you bargained for!!!!!  Anyway ~ I found it by Googling for the recipe and they have wonderful looking things there that are tested by the blog author.  We had friends in for dinner and it made a sweet ending to our meal!

Well,  I'm off now ~ busy day ahead ~ it's kind of cold and rainy here ~ not very Christmasy looking ~ but I'm finally getting in the spirit of things!!!  Woo hoo!!!!!!

Have a good day wherever you are! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011


 The decorating that's done now will be it for this season!  There is more in the basement but I can't do anymore!!!  Sonny cut and decorated the tree ~ he always does ~ I appreciate it a lot ~ he knows that!!  At the top is a Santa tree topper made from heavy paper, given to me by daughter-in-law Cheryl many years ago!  There are others, but this one is my favorite ~ tree toppers ~ not daughters-in-law!!  Can't have favorites there!  But they're all nice ~ thank goodness!  And I have to tell you, the tree was a gift ~ someone we used to do business with and is retired, called and left a message to come get our 'free tree'!!!!  Free is good and one of our Christmas blessings!

We love this centerpiece created by our friend Margo ~ it was a Homebuilders Auction purchase quite a few years back!  In the background, the Norfolk Island Pine is decorated with glittery candy canes ~ that tree has been with us many years ~ I actually can't believe I've kept that thing alive all this time!  It's a Christmas Miracle!!

 The two Santas are by Twin Feather Trees ~ handmade and signed in 1988 and 1990!  I was shocked when I saw those dates ~ 23 and 21 years old!  Good grief ~ soon they'll be antiques ~ like their owners!!

 For the first time, there's an artificial wreath on the front door ~ with a papier mache Santa suspended inside!  It's always been fresh pine ~ I decided to spend the money once, instead of every Christmas!! 

This is also in the front entry ~ this little table resides where the Christmas tree is right now.  Over it is  "Baby in Red Chair" ~ I've always loved that painting and brought this one back from Williamsburg one year.

Friday, I had a luncheon for five old friends ~ it was nice to get together ~ life gets so busy and we don't all live close by each other ~ so it was really nice to catch up!  Tonite we had our friend, Marge, in for dinner  ~ she is  the giver of the antique cupboard that we got a while ago!! This is her second Christmas alone and she's doing quite well ~ her 'dance card' is always full ~ she has lots of friends including her in Holiday plans ~ that's a wonderful thing!

I hope to do some other entertaining this week ~ we shall see!  We have another choir concert and a 5th grade talent show on our schedule so we'll have to squeeze friends in where we can!  And shopping ~ there are three things that can be wrapped ~ three things!!  We've never missed a Christmas yet ~ it's hard to know what to buy for all these kids ~ but we'll figure it out ~ soon, I hope!!

Sonny, otherwise known as Dora Domestic to me ~ made jam today ~ 24 jars he said!  Strawberry-rhubarb and blackberry ~ I'm not a jam maker ~ thank goodness he is!  Much of it will go to the kids and friends.  Tomorrow is the library hook-in in Akron ~ I thought I was going to go ~ now, it looks like maybe I better put my nose to the wheel and figure out some gift giving!!

It's 11 p.m. ~ I think I'll drag myself up the staircase and 'dream' up something fabulous to put under the tree!  Sweet dreams to you and hope you're enjoying the season!!!!

Oh ~ Free Shipping Friday produced a couple of orders ~  it was a good thing!  Thank you!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I've been reading that tomorrow December 16th is "Free Shipping Friday"   ~ so just this moment I decided to offer that to any of you here in the States, who would like to take advantage of it!!  Anything ordered between now and midnight tomorrow, will be shipped to you free of charge ~ wool, patterns, hooks, rugs from my website  ~ whatever strikes your fancy!!  Email me at and I will get back to  you as soon as possible!!  And I have PayPal for convenient payment!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


The Berks County Floral is bound and steamed and has found it's  new home!  I hung it and moved it and hung it somewhere else and moved it again till it looked right! The first spot was too dark but this seems pretty good.  I do love the colors ~ dark and rich!
The Shape of Things from my Tipp City class this
Fall is also done!   I laid it on the floor of the guest bath ~ it needs a little rug in there ~ we'll see ~ for now it's back down in the hooking room!  I love the colors in this rug, too ~ and the striated background. 

 These are all the different wools used in that background ~ and they all work well together to make a dark "black" color.  It was kind of a learning tool for me and I'll use that style again sometime.  There are three rugs down there waiting to be finished ~ I think I'll start on the smallest one first ~ it might need to be finished quick for a gift! 

We've had a busy week ~ last Saturday, we spent at a wrestling meet for grandson Luke!  It was kind of fun ~ I didn't expect it to be ~ but it was!  His dad, Teddy, wrestled in Junior High, too and my stepson, Brian, was a wrestler in high school. 

Went to Luke's Christmas band concert one evening ~ 7th and 8th grade bands ~ they were very good ~ better than my own high school band, as I remember ~ I played the trombone ~ can you imagine?!  This next week we'll attend a choir concert and an elementary concert  ~ we're vying for our Grandparents of the Year award!! 

Last night, we went to a wine tasting (fun!) and then met Teddy and family at a restaurant for Miss Luci's 9th birthday gathering ~ that was fun, too!  On the way home, we stopped at our local Happy Grape wine bar for some more socializing and then stopped back at Teddy's house to finish off the evening!  It was a great Friday night ~ right up our alley! 

Tomorrow, I'm dragging out the Christmas decorations in hopes of instilling some Christmas spirit in this old soul!  So many of my fellow bloggers are in the same boat as me ~ lacking in enthusiasm for all that entails Christmas, as we know it these days!  I even planned a little get together in the next week ~ very self-serving in that I need a boost!  Life can be challenging sometimes ~ and I only need to look around me to know that we have many blessings. So, I'm getting on with it ~ join me in a little Christmas cheer!!!

Yesterday, a friend and I shopped for coats for a church that has a clothing program for the needy.  Just by chance, on Thursday night, I was told that they had no jackets of any kind for their monthly clothing day, which was today! During my sleepless night, it occurred to me that we have all this money from our Homebuilders Auction ~ and even though, we aren't meeting to distribute the funds till  Monday ~ that the gal who holds the checkbook and I could make an executive decision and make sure there were coats for kids today!!  I called Joy and she wholeheartedly agreed and off we went to Burlington Coat Factory!  We scoured their racks and found 17 coats that were $10 and $20 each ~ we were thrilled!  Then we went off to Kohls and bought some infant snowsuit type things, hats and gloves and with the Kohls cash we got, I'm going back tomorrow with my 20% coupon and buy underwear that they'll have for their January clothing day!  Now, I do have to say ~ that brightened my mood a bunch yesterday ~ Joy and I wasted no time in gathering a lot of things and spending over $400 very wisely, for sure.  I know there had to be some thrilled kids ~ and parents ~ today!  Actually, a good cure for the doldrums is to go out and do something for somebody else ~ note to self ~ remember that!!!!!!

It's going on 8 p.m. and we have not had supper yet ~ I'm fixing reubens ~ the first time in a long time that I've made those!  Reubens and a nice Riesling wine ~ good combination, me thinks!!!!!!  One night this week, I made tuna noodle casserole ~ something else I haven't made in eons!  That worked out great because we ended up having grandsons Jakob and Camden for supper ~ they have never had tuna fish ~ isn't that odd?  They liked it a lot and the universe was working for me that night!!!

Have a good Sunday ~ hope all is well in your world! 

Notice that on the left sidebar, I have noted that I have gift certificates available.  If you want a quick gift for someone you know that is a rug hooker or works with wool, please keep me in mind!! 

Thursday, December 8, 2011


 My Seattle son and kids picking us up at Sea-Tac the day before Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving Day after Hunter's Grid-Iron Classic football game!  It rains in Seattle ~ almost all the time ~ we were bundled up but Chris had rented us a "box" ~ very nice little room all warmed up and we could see everything ~ what a view!  This high school stadium where they played was really nice!

Friday we went to Pike's Place Market downtown Seattle!  Stopped for a beverage at the Virginia Inn ~ it dated back to the 1800's ~ great place!

Grandma and Grandpa helped decorate their tree and I posed like granddaughter Haylee always does in her photos ~ looks cute when it's a 13 year old!
My daughter-in-law Coni and I ~ she and I share the same birthday ~ both Aries ~ wonder if my son married a mother image??!!

This was taken a year and a half ago when we were there ~ kids have grown a lot since then.  This is THE GUM WALL ~ famous to some ~ unheard of by me!  It's in an alley somewhere near Pike's Place and this entire wall is covered with gum wads ~ nice, hm?  This little band of people added some to the mix ~ we didn't go back this year to see if we could find their exact pieces ~ Haylee made hers into a heart so they thought maybe we could!  The GUM WALL is one of the strangest things I've ever seen! Sweet Hannah is carrying a purse I made for her from a recycled sweater ~ nice girl to use it while I was there!

That's our Seattle trip in all it's glory ~ it was fun to be with the kids ~ their lives are so busy ~ and we certainly added to that busyness!  Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving ~ now on the next big celebration!

P. S. How do my blog friends like the new posting set-up?  A little hard to find my way around but it worked!!