Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More Gingerbread Houses

We had a great Thanksgiving! I think I started a new family tradition too. I invited my youngest sister in law and her four daughters to come over early on Saturday and decorate gingerbread houses. The rest of the family came later in the afternoon when most of the frosting was cleaned up. ;-)

The girls all had a ball picking out candy and decorating. The night before I had decorated houses with 3 of my daughters and one of the boyfriends so we were in good practice.
It worked out so well to have older helpers for the girls.

Here we have all the builders and their houses. The little one in the front with her eyes crossed and two fingers up her nose happens to be my goddaughter....... wonder where she gets her personality from? In the back row we have boyfriend of daughter number 3, daughter number 2, daughter number 4 and daughter number 3
then in the front row we have the 4 nieces. What awesome houses!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

WIP Wednesday --but late

I got the reminder for posting WIP Wednesday (Work In Progress Wednesday for my non quilting friends).

So, this is my WIP for yesterday ........ blame it all on the holiday.
See the gingerbread house parts in the background? Those are for our nieces on Saturday. The pies are done now and just waiting for people to eat them.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone~!!!!!~

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Today was Gingerbread House Day!
Honestly I could probably be a total Scrooge if it wasn't for this party! I started out yesterday working on the gingerbread potholder for Kris, this is what I came up with. Cute, yes, but not really looking gingerbread-house-ie. Although it would be fun to do all the Peanuts characters in different houses...... so many quilts........ so little time........

So, I tried again, with a bit more success. I think the background is too busy and competes with the chimneys, but I simply could NOT resist the little gingerbread guys. I let Kris pick, and she nabbed the one with the candy on it in no time at all. ;-) The other one is cute in a Peanuts Christmas sort of way so that will go in my kitchen. I am now in the market for candy fabric because I am sooooooooo seeing a gingerbread house quilt in my future! It was so much FUN to build this one, and so FEW calories were involved!!!

Now for the gingerbread houses!

This is what the table looks like before we all start playing. (and eating) I have always been, and will always be a sucker for gumdrops, the fruit flavored ones though, not those nasty spice drops. I have become the queen of gumdrop cutting at these parties. One year I cut gumdrops into slices and then put the sticky sides in little cake sprinkles and those were my shingles for the roof. I also like to slice up gumdrop mint leaves and put the sticky sides into regular sugar and use them to build Christmas trees on inverted sugar cones. This year we found these awesome candy cane trees!

I didn't get a picture of it, but Kris always has yummy flavored coffee and snacks. We all ate so much candy and gingerbread though that we turned down her Death by Chocolate cheesecake.

So here are some of the other creations....

Are these just tooooo adorable for words??? Some of the other gingerbread artists are using non-edible additions here, but what the heck, no one can eat them after they turn to stone anyway! The icing is sooooooo sturdy that one year it was windy and one woman's house landed on the sidewalk and it was completely unhurt!

And here is my masterpiece! It even has a hole in the bottom of the cardboard so I can stick a battery operated votive in there!!! Does the cuteness EVER end??

A few years ago I did houses with our 4 daughters and after New Years we put them outside near some trees because they looked so cute and we thought maybe the birds and squirrels might eat parts of them (I am a candy purist and only use edibles on mine) but alas, the dog found them and thought they made just wonderful chew toys. He carried them around the yard and spent most of January gnawing on them. Half chewed gingerbread houses are not attractive in the yard. And that would be my post Christmas decorating tip for all of you.

Friday, November 16, 2007

T. G. I. F.

Wow! What a great Friday!

See these roses? Yes, this is shameless flaunting on my part. I received those last night from my sweetie, with thanks for putting up with him. See, it has been a very looooooooooong week around here. I knew it would be, and I tried, really I did try to keep things good. But you know how when one person in the family is grumpy how eventually nothing goes right? Well, that was our week. I blame it all totally on work. See, my husband is a control room operator at a nuclear plant (yeah go ahead, think Homer Simpson) and it happens to be the annual re-qualification testing and exam week. (in nuclear power family terms- hell week) Then things sort of culminated Wednesday night with me being stranded with a dead battery in my van. I won't even go into it here, but it wasn't pretty.

However, today things are looking good. I managed to get all my files done at work yesterday so I could have today off to run all the errands that never get done during the work week, including grocery shopping. AND while I was at the grocery store the lovely lady in front of me gave me her coupon for $9 off on an order of $90 or more! Her cart was no where near that full, but with Thanksgiving coming up and kids coming home mine sure was. Wasn't that sweet of her? People can be so nice.
Next is a picture of some fun fun fun candies I found for Sunday. See, I have this cool friend, Kris, who hosts a gingerbread house party every November. She makes the houses and then invites a bunch of friends over to decorate them. We have such a blast! We all sit around her huge extended table with loads and loads of frosting and candy and anything we think to bring and yak and yak and drink coffee or cider and play. I'm working on a special hostess gift for her this year, I'm building her a gingerbread house pot holder. Last year I found a really cool gingerbread house link for her charm bracelet. It is the highlight of November- Kris is such a welcoming hostess and we all have the BEST time. I can't wait!!!
I'm just feeling soooooo GOOD today and praying sooooooo hard that my honey has a GOOD exam today and comes home with a smile on his face.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Can Halloween really be over at Mare's Nest?????

I thought everyone must be completely sick of seeing Halloween here, so I'm showing my Christmas quilt in progress. It has actually been in progress for, um......... a few years. Yeah, a FEW years. It all started after I had been quilting for a couple of years. You see, we had a mish mash of stockings at our house, and I thought it would be neat to make everyone a special personalized quilted stocking. They all thought it was neat until they realized that meant not having their old familiar stockings. At one point I thought I might have a bloody mutiny on my hands. However, being the brilliant thinker I am, I'll stop for a moment so everyone can cough a bit here. I came up with the idea of taking apart all the old stockings and putting them on blocks and making a Christmas quilt for the entire family to have in the living room. I knew I could not quilt this on my machine, so I decided to do it as a quilt as you go and did each block separately. Next I stitched them together in rows adding as necessary to make them come out even. Then I covered the seams on the front with more Christmas fabric, and realized ...
DUH! I still needed to cover the seams on the back! At this point you say to yourself, hmmm some brilliant thinker! What I should have done is put the raw edges to the front and covered the stupid seams ONCE. So, now I am in the process (for the last HOW many years?) of covering the bulky back seams with bulky flannel strips. It looks like I may get it done this year though, there aren't too many left to go! Yippee!
And for those of you who thought - silly you- that I was serious about Halloween being over........ Here is the spider and partial web from Vanessa's quilt. We did get it bound last night also! She found some absolutely awesome black and white irregular stripes that look perfect with it.
And, at quilt guild my friend Trudy brought me this spiderweb quilt! She made it in 99 ( I know this because she is a good little quilter and labeled it) and doesn't really like it. She was thinking of donating it to Goodwill, but the last time she did that I happened to be in there and bought the wallhangings she donated. So, she figured she would save me the time and money and just give it to me! What a gal! So, NEXT year, we are really doing Halloween up good!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It's STILL Halloween at our house!

I got the quilting done on Vanessa's Halloween quilt! I just need to go find some black yarn for the button dolls hair, and the spider that I stuck in with the spider webs. I have to find someone elses camera to show the spiderwebs because with the busy background and my not too high tech camera they didn't show up.

So, I took a picture of the pumpkin block instead. ;-)

As you can see from the first picture, there were scraps left over so I made us a Halloween tablerunner too. Our house will be very decorated NEXT year. ;-) Actually there were so many scraps left over that there is a second (more interesting) scrappy tablerunner in the works also. I think we could do a nice little scrappy Halloween wallhanging too.

I should see if she wants to work on Easter, then maybe we can have it done in time? Or is that pushing it???