Archive for December, 2007


I got a new digital camera for Christmas. It took a few days until I had time to load the software. (I was busy sewing for the in-law Christmas.) I loaded it Saturday and it doesn’t open my pictures on my camera like it says it will.


Today I tried again. I can get to my camera pictures the long way, but honestly I don’t want to do that every time!

Tonight I just uninstalled it and reinstalled it. Nadda. Nope. Nothing.


I may call the company and if I can understand them and if they can help me, OK. Otherwise, my dh will have to fess up his shopping store and cough up the receipt so I can return it. I’ll find a different one.

This is Fuji FinePix Z10fd. It is pretty blue and small and fits oh-so-nicely in my pocket.

Hello, brother?
What you say here?
Wanna come and
Help me out, dear?

Its a hassle,
Makes me grumpy!
Oh dear brother
Come & help me!

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Merry Christmas Past & Present!

I hope you are having a great Christ-centered Christmas!

Do you recognize anyone here?

This was Christmas 1962, does that help your guessing? //i66.photobucket.com/albums/h276/DianneOnly/wink3.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

I don’t know the year here…. do you know who Santa is?
This is from Christmas morning 1964:
Now jump to 1992 — Baking cookies….
Time for presents!

Here we are Christmas Eve 2007 —

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Thankfully the presents that aren’t finished yet are for the coming weekend over New Year’s and not for Christmas Day. But I still like this poem!

If you don’t want to read the poem, you can scroll farther down for pictures of a finished & delivered project!

T’was the Night Before Christmas
(A Quilters’ Version)

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house,
The only one sleeping was a Quilter’s dear spouse.
The Log Cabin stockings were almost completed,
“Just a few stitches left,” our sweet quilter repeated.

“Then I can hang them and head off to finish
the pillows I’m making, fulfilling Mom’s wish
For something quilted to put on her couch and spoke,
as she pricked her poor finger, our quilter said, “Ouch!”
When from out in the kitchen there arose such a crashing,
she sprang from her work, and she dropped all her sashing.
Away to the doorway she flew like a plane,
wondering just what was happening and who she would blame.

When what to her wondering eyes should appear,
but Old Mrs. Claus and her bag of quilt-gear..

With her elves bearing gifts, through the kitchen she came,
she directed and pointed and called them by name.

“Now Elna, now Pfaff, now Bernina and Viking,
the Hoffman and Mumm should be just to her liking.
To the sewing room – there, it’s just back of the hall,
now dash away, dash away, dash away all!”

“My Dear,” said The Claus (as she liked to be called),
“There really is no need to worry at all.
Your projects will all be completed this night,
I’m terribly sorry we gave you a fright.”

“Sit down. Have some tea. It’s relaxing, you’ll see.
My friends and I’ve come a long way to help Thee.”
She thought she was dreaming, our dear Quilter did,
In fact she quite feared that she near flipped her lid!

But the flash of the needles and twist of the thread
soon gave her to know she had nothing to dread.
They spoke no more words, but went straight to their sewing.
How the work went so quickly she had no way way of knowing.

The stitches, how fine! The corners, how straight!
This Claus-woman’ s talent was awfully great.
They finished the pillows, then started to quilt.
Before they all knew it, the whole thing was built!

Now old Mrs. Claus, she knew quilters real well,
and she knew they’d need help on this night most of all
So she said to our quilter, “Just move over dear,
I’ve brought my own needle. We’ll get done, never fear.

I told dear old Santa about what quilters do.
How they plan all these projects but have other work too.
So he taught me his magic for doing things fast.
There, that pillows done. Now this is the last.

They tidied their thread snips, and picked up the scraps
and chased our dear quilter’s six cats from their laps.
As they scurried away with their thimbles still gleaming
dear Mrs. Claus paused, her cap ribbons streaming.
“Merry Christmas, my dear, now just have a ball!”

(author unknown)
For my parents, I took this old tin:

And altered it to look like this outside:

This is the inside:

It holds the 5 quilted cards that are scattered throughout this post including this one:

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Girls Day in Chicago

I have wanted to take a day to spend w/ K in Chicago so she could take me to Vogue Fabric store. 🙂

Finally, we had plans for Wednesday so I then thought of calling Gma M. She so wanted to see the German Christmas Market and it would be easy for us to go there. She said YES!

I had already decided to take the train in from Elburn. I picked up Gma M at 6:20 in the morning! Wow! It was still dark and patchy fog…. but thankfully the fog only lasted about 5 miles.

We got to Elburn about 7:55. Parked and finally got the money folded precisely into 1/8ths for the parking box. !!! The train was already there waiting and we were able to get a good seat… only 5 of us total in our car.

Soon we started picking up passengers by the droves! By the time we were 6 stops away from downtown, it was packed. Upstairs & downstairs…. people were in every seat.

I’m sure we looked like tourists!

  • We didn’t have a newspaper to read!
  • We didn’t bring a disposable coffee or our IPods.
  • We talked to each other.
  • We had no idea that Ogilvie Transportation Station was the official name of our stop.

When we arrived at 9:30 a.m. and got off the train, K had said to walk to the bus area and she’d find us. We were in the MASS of crowd so decided to get to the blank wall and call K. About that same second, she found us! Yeah!!

We still needed a day pass for CTA for Gma so wandered this train station (aka a mall!) and found CVS and indeed they had a pass.

K found us a bus around the corner and we went to her room. Ahhhh….

After a bit of a break and thawing time, we walked to the German Christmas at Daley plaza. It was 1/2 hr before opening (oops, forgot to check that!) so we went the next block over to Macy’s. We saw the windows and went inside but decided not to venture to the Walnut Room to see the extravagant decorations!

Another block to the Chicago Cultural Center. The featured display was by an artist K had studied in a class. He makes embroidered pictures with his sewing machine, dropped feed dogs, and NO presser foot! Agh… watch your fingers! There was a video running of him working which was very fascinating to me!

Here are photos I wasn’t supposed to take of his work. (I honestly did look for a sign!) Up close of part of the sky (see his stitches?):

Now it was finally time to head back to the German Christmas. (Because of construction, all the pedestrians were on one side of the street! Crowded!!)

Gma M seemed to enjoy seeing the little shops and what they had to offer. One had Christmas decorations by a well-known German artist that she was familiar with.
We were quite hungry after our very early breakfasts and walked a few blocks to Subway. After lunch, we got on the Red Line (subway) which was only 10 steps out the door!

We found Vogue Fabrics quite easily even tho the bus was jammed to the gills!! We were standing smooshed next to everyone!

I got a good chunk of one batik fabric I want to use in a wildflower quilt. Found some very nice black corduroy with a diamond pattern on sale for $1.99/yard. (insert large happy face here!) I’d like to make it into a swing cropped jacket as I saw at the Art Show 2 weeks ago.

I also found a remnant of cotton fabric that looks like green cutting mat! I’m going to use it for the inside of a tote I’m making for carrying bigger mats & rulers to workshops.

We headed out to wait for the bus back and it was there just as we arrived. The in & out of the bus stop curbs were FULL of snow so that was a bit precarious!

We had completed our list of to-dos and it was only 2:00. We went to K’s room to relax before supper. She has lots of stories and showed Gma M more of her projects from the semester.

On the way to supper, we stopped at a bead store. Wow! It was small quarters but stuffed full of beads and vintage buttons. Wouldn’t you know, I found pink vintage buttons for my corduroy jacket! K got beads to add to Dee’s bracelet she is making. (commissioned project)

Gma M enjoys the ice skating at Millennium Park. We stopped for K’s picture outside The Art Institute by the holiday dec’d lion.

We ate supper at Bennigan’s across the street from The Art Institute and then headed to K’s room to get our things. Of course, by this time it was after 5 and rush hour downtown. Ugh! Even walking was difficult. Even more tricky when we added in my backpack on wheels and a big bag of Christmas presents we toted home for K.

Again the bus to the train station was jammed packed. I finally slid to a seat since Gma couldn’t get to it. We were glad to get inside the train station and didn’t mind waiting a bit for the train.The train was late and full due to a previous accident. We had to wait quite a bit for the train to unload and then the loading of all those waiting took a while, too. We were quite pleased that K found us 2 seats together! She went on the train with us to help w/ carrying the extra bag. (Getting the extra off the train was NO problem when only 6 of us were left and the train didn’t rush away so we could take our time.)

The train ride out was packed and we were quite confused at the lack of stops. Later, we decided the speaker in our car wasn’t working as we never heard stop names called out for the few stops we did make. The regulars knew their stop by the time and/or view even in the dark. Hmpf!

We peered out the dark windows when we thought it was our stop and recognized our vehicle in the parking lot and the depot building. Silly travelers!

Phil had warned me that there was dense fog near home. It was quite spotty all the way and then thicker the last 20 miles. But we made it home just fine albeit a tad tired. Home at 9:20 p.m.

A good time was had by all!

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Freezing Fog

When Phil checked the weather last night, they said “freezing fog”, a term we had never heard before.

This a.m. the fog is pea-soup level, we can’t see the highway from our house and the trees along the creek are ….. well…. foggy. 😉

Molly has frozen fog on the tips of her hair. It was a struggle to get the picture as she tried very hard to get in the front door. She comes in the basement when Phil finishes chores. Not soon enough for her, I guess.

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Snowed In!

How much is enough? This is our 3rd weekend in a row to miss church. Three weeks ago we had ice and snow to the point of low visibility. We thought we’d try Sunday but the snow was blowing and the roads NOT clean so that didn’t happen either.

Last weekend we were on our way but it started to make freezing rain and we really didn’t want the car sitting 2 hrs and then drive home in that in the pitch dark. So we grabbed a few groceries and came home. Sunday wasn’t an option as we went to visit K that day.

Today… more snow. And the light fluffy stuff so with winds from the north at 15 – 18 mph… that makes some nice drifts. We will try tomorrow for late service and see if they have been able to clean the roads. It just keeps coming….

Today while snowed in, I finished a Christmas gift (first one!) and embroidered a Christmas sweatshirt for ME! Ha!! Tonight I’m on to gifts #2 & #3 while I watch TV. I also made lunch and a quiche for me to eat sometime. It ended up being supper since we didn’t go for church.

Phil on the other hand did some organizing/ cleaning in his office until the phone rang. It was John, our neighbor on the other side of the block, and the tree trimmers there cleaning up the damage from another storm, got their cherry picker truck stuck. In the yard!

Phil took the tractor over to pull them out. It took several attempts but they were able to move to another tree that had problems. Thankfully these tree crashes have narrowly missed their house! But John brought Phil home, they left the tractor there as he would need to pull them out from this spot as well later when they finish the job.

So after lunch, P headed back outside waiting for John to come pick him up. Phil took the loader tractor to clear a path for the mailman. There less than a 1/2 mile to the east was a snow plow. In trying to wing back the snow in preparation for more snow & wind, the plow slid off the road farther than he could correct. Before Phil got there, he had spread quite a bit of salt in hopes of getting himself out. Phil hooked up the chains and pulled out the snowplow!

He is hoping the good deed to the snow plow driver saves our mailbox in future days!

John did come around 3:30 to get some corn for their furnace and take Phil back to the tractor. At this point, one of the trucks had tried to go up John’s lane but had jack-knifed, blocking the whole lane. Phil had to walk to the tractor and try to drive around the truck to pull them out.

All in A Day’s Work (volunteer work…. )

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Weaving Crit

This is K’s finals week. She has final critiques in her studio classes.

The first one was on Tuesday, Intro to Weaving.

She hand dyed the yarn with indigo dye. Then did the weaving.

She designed the pattern, made the weaving into a dress and left the extra skirt section long.

Personally…. I love it! 😉

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Our Version of Ice Storm 2007

Oak Tree is very heavy & sagging. Crab apple tree by kitchen window is just covered!

The next day we had beautiful sunshine so bright reflections off the ice.

We are thankful we kept our power on the whole time and stayed cozy inside.

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Birthday Trip

Midst the forecast for freezing rain, we headed out Sunday morning to spend the day with K. Her birthday was Monday so this was the best we could do.We had taken birthday cards, presents, and hot lunch.

After that fun, we took the El to the Merchandise Mart for One of A Kind art show. Oh my goodness, I felt like I was walking around with my jaw on the floor. Wowsers! It was so fascinating to see so many artists selling their wares. We guesstimated over 1,000 booths. It was huge! There was a bit of everything: jewelry, glass blowing, glass beads like K has made, clothing, fiber work, wood work in the artist sense, welding and metal work, bookshelves out of books!, even gourmet food & wine samples.

OK, one bookshelf was made from a collection of old books with a teacher theme. The one book I’d like to find, “Shut Up and Listen to the Teacher”. Sounds like a great read! It was maybe 18″ long and sold for $340.

K loved this booth of wearable art combining knit sections with crocheted edging and old linens and textiles. Very fascinating! But we were pretty sure we shouldn’t take pictures of her work so we just posed nearby.

We met K’s new boss and she pointed out items from a few booths that they sell at the store. The store is closed on Sundays, our most likely day for a visit, so it was nice to see a few pieces they have. (Tho we both want to see the building her store is housed in. Old with beautiful woodwork and light fixtures!)

K & I felt like we had so many ideas swimming in our heads.

I loved the short, swing corduroy jackets.

The wrist cuffs to peek out from your jacket.
The magnetic board of vintage papers and trims.
How about the circle wrap that can be wore a thousand ways!
Purses made from game boards.

K has started on some needle felting and already made 2 felted hats so found more inspiration there! Hats are really in as several booths just focused on hats (felted or fleece) and had a lot of activity.

Felted fibers woven for a shawl.

Knit collage garments.
Jewelry combining fiber & metal.
Welded sculptures for the home.
Metal clocks with large swinging pendulums.

When we were done at the art show, we headed back to K’s room but I wanted to see the Macy’s windows first. These are the banners above the windows on State Street.

This years theme is The Nutcracker. After all those years of ballet…. 😉

While in the neighborhood, K said we should go see the Christkindlmarket Chicago that Gma M has wanted to come and see. Just around the block from Macy’s!

It was getting dark and starting to drizzle but here we are….
Various shots around the area:
There were a lot of vendors in little booths. Sort of temporary but a bit more stable than just canvas. Food, German arts such as ornaments, nutcrackers, nativities, embroideries, Music, and spiced, warm Beer! Phil finally decided on a cherry strudel. He skipped the real bratwurst with sauerkraut since it was close to supper time. He could have eaten a whole lot there! Right up his alley. 😉 Pastries, German chocolate, and brats. What more would he need?

This large Christmas tree was a perfect place for pictures. Too bad JP had stayed home with his cold…. we could have had perfect Christmas card pictures!
My favorite:
Our feet were getting a bit cold and tired so we went to look for N at Blicks and then back to K’s room until supper. We took the subway (!!!, yes underground! eek!!) to Weber’s Grill for supper. They grill the food over charcoal right across from the tables. We could watch a bit. Yummy and not on the eating plan!!

After some visiting at K’s after supper, we headed home and were on the road by 7:45 p.m. About an hour from home, we finally met the freezing rain. Mostly it covered our windshield so visibility was poor and we slowed quite a bit. We didn’t get home until 10:15 p.m.

Thankful for a terrific day and safe travels!!

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Happy Birthday, Dear Daughter!

Our first family picture! Four days old. K was born on Tuesday, December 10, 1985 and weighed in at 5# 11 oz. I was 22 and today SHE is 22! ….sigh….

After baby dedication in February 1986:
First birthday, December 10, 1986:
Christmas 1986:

But today K turns 22 years old!

This is K and Dad after her birthday supper last night at Weber Grill on State Street. Our little girl grew up to be a wonderful & beautiful young lady. (And a terrific artist!)

Love you lots!
Happy Birthday!!

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