Christmas…

It was a “weird” year this year, Christmas wise… On Christmas Eve, we attended services where we lit the Advent candle. Afterwards, we came home and hit the hay early. A week of very long -mandatory overtime – days left us exhausted. Leahmae, however, had no qualms in making sure we were up at 0600 Christmas morning. She pawed and kneaded, and nuzzled her way between us, sniffed eyeballs, nostrils, and ears until we finally had to respond to her. The little imp. We got her a new bed and a special toy (just like the one she’s worn out), and wouldn’t ya know, she’s had more fun with the paper.

So, Leahmae fed, watered, and cuddled it was time to do the giftings. It was a meager year, what with all that’s happened with paycuts and car issues. So, we each got a sweatshirt. Hubby got replacement jeans for his delapidated ones.

Being dutiful, we called inlaws to wish them a merry Christmas. It was obvious that MIL was drunk. We rolled our eyes. What did we expect??? Family was there with them and they were having a gay old time (We were not invited). Then, to add injury to the insult, MIL in no uncertain terms told us that they didn’t have a phone and not to try to call back. HUH??? You’re talking to us on the phone, so how??? Anyway, after hanging up, Hubby says “Well, that’s that… we aren’t part of the fam anymore. I won’t be calling back.” Friends, you should have seen the raw pain in his eyes. It broke my heart. I wanted to weep for him. We hugged and he said “It’s just you and mean against the world… again. Thank God we have a church family that cares and loves us.”

As usual, I didn’t get my Christmas until the 26th, when Hubby said let’s go tot he art store… how could I refuse, eh????So, off to the store we went… I drooled and drooled over the Utrecht “Urban Sketching” kit. At $49.50, though, I just couldn’t justify the expense. Seriously couldn’t. So, I read the can’s contents… Hmm, I have more than enough pencils -Check, I have watercolor pencils & pen – check, I have charcoal pencils, vines – check. I thought I had the Sepia and Sanguine charcoal pencils…wasn’t sure. Oh, and the white paint pen – definitely not. So, I picked up 4 pencils. Didn’t have the paint pens. Got a replacement for my #8 Micronta…. Less than $15. A done deal. Then, we slowly made our way down to the lower level (My wrenched knee is getting better, but steps are still difficult) where Half-Price Books is. Let me just say, I love HPB (Half Price Books)! I can always find “something there. And so, I did. I found a copy of Danny Gregory’s “An Illustrated Life” that I had heard about in the Sketchbook Skool’s YT videos. It was on clearance, so a mere $3. Wow! I snatched that bad boy up, lickety split.

And so, that was Christmas in our little bend in the river. Sigh…

Scrap Happy -Down for the count…

Borrowed from google images

I’m down for the count. I was getting things ready to take south to the disaster area when I mis-stepped and my bad knee decided to do it’s thing. Kneecap decided to change it’s position much to the disgruntlement of the tendons that have been redesigned to prevent such an event from happening. Resulting in a slew of words that I’m sure destroyed my reputation with the minister and others. Grrr…. but D* it hurt! Always does. Anyway, the only solution save an entire joint replacement (which I am NOT going to do) is to immobilize and practice RICE for a few days.

In the meantime, I will not be going south. With this knee as it is I would be more of a liability than a help. So, I’m staying home. I’ll be praying for those who’ve gone, and of course for the people who are suffering so much this week. It’s not all a loss, I’ve decided to sit it out with stitching in my lap, and knitting beside the chair. There’s always a need for blankets, hats, mittens, and such for charity, eh? Not exactly what I planned to be doing. bummer for that.

I just popped out to Kate’s blog ( https://talltalesfromchiconia.wordpress.com/2021/12/12/dreaming-of-a-pink-christmas/) and found a little bit o’ inspiration. Now, I have a reason to crawl up the stairs (trust me, it’s easier than using the cane to do it), drag the machine outa the box, and see about some fast sewing. I like her idea of a Christmas tree wall quilt. Annnd, I think I might have enough left over jelly roll strips from last year’s quilting adventure to make a small quilted tree myself. Ought to be good for a few hours of fun, at least.

Anyway, that’s where I am this week. I’ve not been scrapping here lately. I’ve been re-discovering my art. I had to put my art up for a while due to not being able to get certain specific supplies (namely 2B graphite sticks) that I use to create a ground to draw upon. Pandemic woes. Anyway, I was able to get some sticks. I had to buy an entire kit to do it, but at least it was on sale. So, my arting “go-kit” is back up and running. I am working one another of my “Least of These” series.

He’s still many, many hours from completion, that’s for sure. For those who don’t know the story behind the series… It started with a Lenten study a few years ago that dealt with many social issues including homelessness, addiction, abuse, etc. The leader brought in pictures printed from online resources. At that time, I was considering that I needed to learn to draw humans that looked like humans. So, I asked if I might have the pictures to “play” with. I still have a few pictures left from that time. I’ve also found that many came through pixabay.com, a free photo source that I’ve since found invaluable.

So, this homeless veteran is such an inspiration. I work on these portraits during my morning prayer/meditation time. With each stroke or blend, I’m thinking about what we do “do to” those that are considered the least in society. This time of year, when it’s cold and just plain miserable for so many, the prayer is even deeper in meaning.

Here’s another that I did for that series…( below)… I was reading a book about a tightrope walker in a circus, and one of the phrases she used quite often was “Not my circus, not my monkey…” This phrase stuck with me at that time, so when I was surfing and saw this monkey picture, I just had to draw it into my sketcher.

I hope that everyone has a blessed Christmas. Remember those who are suffering and rebuilding their lives (I’m thinking of those in the tornado ravaged areas ). Be kind to one another, and remember that the holiday isn’t about wordly treasures, but IS about the most wonderful gift we’ve ever received… eternal life, through Christ!

Merry Christ – mass. I wish you JOY and PEACE… and most of all HOPE!

Shalom, Bear

If you’d like to visit other Happy Scrappers, then please feel free to explore the links below:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Esther

Threads and such…

Today, Abigail decided to pull out decorations and spruce up her home for the holiday season. It’s a few days early, but she just couldn’t wait a moment longer. So, out came the holiday decorations. After setting out her snowman collection, she took a short break. Abigail decided to take a ride on her favorite toy, a wheeled horse. She rode around the tree and visited Mr. Gnome, and Mr. Chris Mouse before sitting beneath the tree with Boy Elf. They shared Christmas memories and had a good time.

After the house was decorated, Abigail pulled out her sewing. She’s been working on some embroidered Christmas Ornaments out of a new magazine her human purchased,”Just CrossStitch: Christmas Ornaments 2021″. While her human worked on an elaborate ornament designed by Liz Almond ( http://www.blackworkjourney.co.uk ) , Abigail chose a simpler design by MTV Designs ( http://www.mtvdesigns.com ) .

Abigail loves the Liz Almond design with it’s different threads and intricate patterns. She’s not so sure about the gold thread work. It’s not so easy to use. She did like the little beads. She can’t wait to see who gets the finished ornament for Christmas.

So, Abigail was so happy to spend the day with her human that she pulled out her own little bit of fabric and thread to make herself an ornament for Christmas. It’s very simple compared to the other, but she likes simple things. Hers will make a nice Christmas pillow for her to nap on, she thinks…

It didn’t take more than a few hours of sewing while the pot roast cooked for dinner. Abigail is pleased with the outcome, though she wishes she had had the antique colored linen to work with. That’s okay, she can still tea stain it before she puts on the maroon piece of fabric to the back. She liked sewing the extra long crosses in the middle of the trees. They added a special little bit of eye-catching detail. Maybe, she’ll even make another to give as a gift.

Then, together with her human, she made a nice “Merry Christmas” designed one. It was designed by Patricia Ann Designs ( http://www.patricia-ann-designs.com ) Now that they’ve made a few, they look forward to making a few more. What a heartwarming gift they will make for the season.

Here is Abigail’s Snowman collection…

ScrapHappy – November 2021

Happy November ScrapHappy Day! Wow, that’s a mouthful, isn’t it? hehe! It’s November 15th and so to start this happy little post from the center for chaos exploration, I give you ye’ old log cabin-ish scrapaghan. I was given a small bag of small balls of yarn in tan/brown shades. To it, I added a wee bit of leftover varigated to give it a little color. It is by no means done as I’ve acquired some more scraps of yarn in brownish shades that will be added to as time progresses. End goal is a manly little lapghan, unless I get some more yarn enough for a twin size. At the moment it’s about 20in X 24in.

Keeping with this season’s theme of yarn… Here are a few Granny Squares I’m putting together in order to make a large blanket. I’m just starting, but I have the outer border, smaller squares all done and sewn together. There are 4 blocks of 4 blocks that are then crocheted into a larger square. In the end, there will be three larger squares of the small small squares around a very large center square. Not sure what the finished size will be. At the moment, I’m still using scraps. However, upon reviewing the instructs, I am a good 10 or so skeins short of the complete pattern. At the moment, I have one skein of each color. Totally addled on my part… though, in all honesty, I do have a right to be. We just lost our baby who came far too early into this world. It’s been difficult to do anything for a few weeks.

Sorry for the sideways shot. Anyhow, this is a scrappy skirt I’m working on. I’ve decided that gores (the dark tan part) are definitely not my forte. The pattern has them inset after seaming the individual sections. Tried that… several times (hence all the wrinkles) and failed horrendously. So, I took out the top seam, sewed gore in to place on one side, picked up the piece I’d just unsewn (french seams at that!), and sewed it into place. As you can see, not much progress. I’m only on gore two… ugh! They fabric came out of a bag o’ scraps I picked up at a thrifty on one of the rare days it was open during the pandemic. The lighter tan piece had about 2 1/4 yards to it. I was surprised to find just the right amount for this skirt with very very little left over. I dropped the scraps into my crumb bin because of course ‘waste not, want not’. When that bin gets full again, I’ll make up some more crumb blocks. yeah!

And lastly, a small project I’m working on knitting. It’s not technically scrappy, but I am proud of it. When I started working on this 18th century stocking, I was following the patter of CO53 stitches divided around 4 DPN’s. I knitted up the ribbing and about 5 inches of the stockingette, then thought it looked kinda too small to slide over my knees (These stockings are tied just above the knee and folded over at the top.) So, I decided to try it on. I was right! It was so small it wouldn’t go over my calves.

Grrr… I growled, I spent $18 USD on the pattern, which is a large sum for me as I only make 5-10 USD a month taking garbage out for neighbors. So, I picked up the pattern to read it thinking I must have misread something… and that’s when I spotted the special note. The pattern had been “modernized” for our larger yarns these days. So, got out some “modern” (#4) yarn and knitted up a gauge swatch, and wouldn’t you know that I had the wrong sized yarn! ACH! I wanted to scream… in fact, I think I did! So, I was ready to give up and call the company where I got the pattern for a full refund when I decided to give the special “options” notation a read over. The note was about using thread style yarn (which is what I have), and that CO was 105 stitches… that’s a huge difference from 53, eh! So, I cast on the required stitches and did a few inches of ribbing, tried it on, and walaah! It fit perfectly. So, off to knitting I shall go. I’ve got both stockings done to the end of the ribbing. The ribbing only piece (done on smaller needle) is set aside at the moment, while I knit up the part with the larger needle. I’ve still got most of the stocking to knit up so it should keep me busy through the end of the year.

I’ve had to be in bed most of the last several weeks, so working with yarn was the way to go. I was gifted a small little “reborn” type baby doll in condolence and it came without a wee blanket. I found a skein of yarn in my bin and have decided that it needs a blanket before I tuck it up on the shelf. Our little girl will never have that. Her wee bit of ashes are now tucked between her Grandmother and Great Grandmother where I know she’ll be look over and cared for in heaven.

That’s all I have for ScrapHappy this month.