Today is a blustery January day, temps in the single numbers so far and very windy. Needless to say, with the wind chill factored in, it feels well below zero. This morning there were some lovely frost patterns on some of our upstairs windows. I should have taken these photos much earlier in the day, but didn't have the opportunity until a few minutes ago.
This side of the bathroom window makes me think of an evergreen tree with snow falling. This one has more of a snowflake effect. This bedroom window is decorated with rather stylized snowflakes. I love frost patterns, even if their presence does mean our house doesn't keep the cold out too efficiently. We were able to put in some new windows downstairs this year, so there are no pretty patterns on those windows!
As observant readers may have noticed, I have been on somewhat of a pillowcase kick for Christmas gifts. A couple of years ago I decided these would be great gifts for elderly parents as well -- those who really don't need anything. We usually give gifts of food to our elderly parents, but the pillowcases have been appreciated too. My mother spends a lot of time in bed, and it's nice to have a pretty embroidered pillowcase. Nurses and aides sometimes comment on them.. a nice conversation starter.
This year I decided to embroider one for my mother-in-law as well. The Lord provided this single pillowcase in the form of an unfinished project in an old sewing box someone had given me. I made a set of these for my parents. Bought the cases at Walmart. The design is a very old Workbasket magazine transfer; so old that it didn't transfer at all. I traced it onto tracing paper and then embroidered through that. Not my preferred method for such a detailed design, but it worked!
This set with the Queen Anne's Lace is one that I embroidered for some good friends. The design is free from Posie Gets Cozy. You can download it from the "free" section in her sidebar. I want to do more of these, but when I do, I'll use the trace/embroider through tracing paper method. It should work very well for a simple design like this one. Wouldn't it be pretty on dark green or navy blue? I chose the brown because our friends' home is decorated in earth tones.
It's always fun to learn something new. I have crocheted for years, but hadn't done a lot of crocheting recently. Back before Christmas, I found a link on Tipnut for this pattern for a crocheted pot holder. The retro look of this holder really appealed to me, and it looked fairly straightforward, so I attempted to crochet one. To my surprise, it was relatively quick and easy, even though the finished product looks quite complex. I ended up making three of these, 2 yellow ones and a blue one. The neat thing about it is that one can make color changes at any point in the pattern, so every holder can look kaleidoscopic and quite different.
Here are the 2 yellow ones I made. You can see how the two look quite different due to the way I arranged the colors.
And here is the blue one. I do want to make more of these, since they are great for using odds and ends of cotton yarn left from other projects. Maybe someone else would like to try this, too.
While working on these, I happened to remember a pattern for a crocheted snowflake hot pad I had made years ago from an old Annie's Attic magazine. I hunted it up and made one of those, too. Wouldn't this be pretty in red and white? I may just have to try that!
Now that the Christmas gift exchanges are over for our family, I want to show a few of the crafts I made for Christmas gifts. I'm going to start with a few vintage-style pillowcases which I made for grandchildren. But first, here is a train quilt I made for one grandson (age 1 1/2): This is just a panel, but it came out so cute. It was free, too... the panel and matching fabric came from a thrift store.
This shows the back. From matching fabric I was able to make 2 pillowcases for the little guy's siblings. Two more pillowcases -- one for a girl and one for a boy. Two more... the pink fabric on one, and the kitten fabric on the other are both vintage fabrics handed down from my grandmother. She would be pleased to see how I've used them. I'm not completely satisfied with the border print on the kitten one, but it was the best I could find to coordinate with the kittens. Lastly, a snowman pillowcase for a little boy who wanted to build a big snowman. I do apologize for the blurry photo. The fabric is really cute. More crafts to come later on both blogs...
We are not really celebrating New Year's Day as such; rather, tonight is going to be our Christmas get-together with our daughter and family. We are basically just having an appetizer meal with Christmas cookies and fudge for dessert.
My daughter will bring jalapeno poppers, stuffed potato skins, artichoke dip for tortilla chips, and cheese pizza, all homemade.
I am making a cheese log and a buffalo chicken dip to serve with crackers, plus mini spinach fritattas, sausage biscuit bites, and almond cheddar appetizers, and will also serve grape tomatoes and baby carrots with ranch dressing dip.
Also, we will have eggnog and a mulled cranberry juice beverage.
I live in scenic northern New England with my handsome husband. We're empty-nesters with a bunch of adorable grandchildren. We love (tent) camping and traveling, but don't get away as often as we'd like to.