Friday, December 16, 2016

Jingle Bells

The holidays are fast approaching.  We've been trying to keep things simple this year.  Yeah....right.  Very simple though, is the decision to participate in Chookyblue's Secret Santa Christmas Swap, otherwise known as the SSCS.  We send a handmade gift and a Christmas ornament to our partner.  The gift has to wait under the tree until Christmas, but the ornament goes on the tree right away.  Last year I received my gifts from Fiona and this year I was instructed to send gifts to her.  What fun!  Thankfully, her package arrived in good time and she posted a photo of the hot chocolate ornament I made for her.  Silly me forgot to take a photo before I sealed the package!

I received a package from Maria, also in Australia.  Now I have a kangaroo on my Christmas tree!  I can't wait to see what's in the other squishy package on Christmas morning.  :-)

Also not so simple is avoiding the deer.  LZF met one in the dark on his way to work.  He is fine, not sure about the deer.  The truck is in hospital.

We signed up The Viking on our membership at the fitness club.  He has a wonderful time in the children's area playing and also taking classes in dance, gymnastics and arts & crafts.  There are more he hasn't tried yet.  He's also started swimming lessons.  On this first day the instructor was trying very hard to earn his trust.

Last weekend we also had the carpets cleaned.  Bad timing as usual.  The Sailor Son was visiting and we also couldn't decorate for Christmas until the carpet dried.

So a day was spent hanging out in the kitchen.  

The Sailor Son was passing through between his assignments.  In Texas he met a lovely new ladyfriend.

And they both graduated from their training program.

We finally got around to decorating on Sunday.  The bird tree goes up in the dining room.

The outdoor lights are up, with lots of help from The Sailor Son.  The contractor who did our repairs and supervised the house painting also installs holiday lights, so this year we opted for lights along the roof line.  I'm thinking next year we should add lights in those upper windows.  You can never have too many lights.

Over in New Zealand, the Evil Step-Daughter manages to fit in some wonderful sewing amongst all the other things she does as a busy mother of three young children.  I just love this shirt she made for Rocky.

And we are told he loves it too!

It's never simple to start a new project at this time of year, I should have my head examined, but I've finished part 2 of Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt.  Part 3 is about half done and part 4 was released today.  I'm behind!  Don't worry.  I'm not really worried about keeping up.  Much.

Swoon.  This is my Christmas present from The Tramp.  It's a Bernina 720.  The 710 and I never bonded.  I disliked the 9mm stitch width though I loved so many other things about the machine. Along with many others on the Yahoo Bernina groups I  moaned about how I wished to have the large machine but with the 5.5mm stitch width.  I knew Bernina made the 720, but wouldn't sell it in the US.  Apparently times have changed because it's now available for Americans to purchase online, though not through local dealers.  Believe me, I tried.  To make a long story short, I contacted Bernina myself, moaned directly to them, and they and one of my local dealers were able to make the purchase happen....on terms that worked for me.  The stars were aligned that day!  I am very grateful to all who were involved.

I've also finished a knitting project.  Piglet appreciated the warm evenings on my lap while I tickled her ears with the yarn.  I shall have to spread it out for a photo!   Tomorrow.  :-)


Raewyn said...

The SSCS gifts are gorgeous - both what you received and sent :-) Your lights are amazing, we're happy with a string along the verandah and some on the tree but maybe we could be a little more ambitious! Lucky you with your new machine! I'm sure you'll be caught up on the mystery in no time with it!

Maria said...

Sew pleased you like your Christmas ornie....lovely one you made and sent to Fiona..
Nice to hav your son home to help decorate the tree .. your lights look great...
What a wonderful Christmas gift from the Tramp....

Kate how can I follow you ??

Anonymous said...

Hi Katie love the ornament you made and love the one Maria sent to you,oh boy the deer made a mess of the car,i am glad SIL is ok.
Hope you had a wonderful Xmas and i hope you have a safe and happy new year Katie xx xx

Chookyblue...... said...

cute your decorations........
wow what a wonderful christmas present.....many happy sewing hours to come........