My Favorite Season!!

My Favorite Season!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinner, 2015


November has been a sad month here at The Gazebo House.
  It started off on November 1st, when my husband's hospital held a Memorial Mass for him on All Souls Day. 
The Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland officiated & at the end, read a portion of Ern's obituary.
  I cried, of course.


They gave me these beautiful flowers &
this lovely candle to bring home & I
enjoyed them for days until the fluffy gold stuff
in the arrangement started to make me sneeze!
It was all very touching but sent me into a blue funk for days.   


However, keeping busy is the antidote for
wallowing in sadness,
so I dove straight into making an elaborate
EARLY Thanksgiving dinner
for my daughter & family.

  My oldest grandson was invited to spend
Thanksgiving with his girlfriend's family in Boston,
so we decided to hold our gathering a little early
so they could be together here with us
to celebrate ahead of time.


This is the first year I've ever been able to cut some
of my own flowers to use as a centerpiece!
We've had an extraordinarily warm autumn
plus that fact that the celebration
was a week early allowed me to cut
the last of my yellow mums,
plus a few yellow roses, too!  


Ms. C. immediately noticed that one of the blossoms
had PINK on it! 
She has loved PINK since she was a tiny toddler &
said "My PINK",
every time she saw it anywhere.


You've seen these acorn adorned napkins,
placemats, wooden chargers &
my Eternal  by Lenox china all before.
  I think I even used them
last year for turkey day, too.



However, the flatware is new!
I've always wanted a touch of gold to go
with the gold trim on my china &
when Mary (Home is Where the Boat Is)
featured this Mikasa "Cameo Gold" pattern,
with 24 karat gold trim,
I jumped at the chance to buy it
with her discount. 
Thanks Mary!


I must also thank Mary for the idea to make these
goofy turkey cupcakes with Nutter Butter cookies,
candy eyes & red licorice.

They were a HUGE hit with the kids....
of all sizes.
  The only thing I did differently than
Mary was I used orange Tic Tacs
for their noses.


They look so silly, perched upon my antique
Americana cut glass square cake pedestal. 
Thanks for the inspiration, Mary!


I used both the dining room table
as well as the little round table
off to the side to set up the desserts...
pumpkin & pecan pie,
chocolate chip cookies (DGS#1's favorite),
along with cashews &
chocolate covered almonds (MY favorite)!

Of course, per tradition,
my Mom's little after dinner mints
were on the table in my sugar scuttle as well.
She ALWAYS had those mints out
for every occasion &
this is my way of remembering her on holidays.



My daughter bought me this
beautiful leaf-embossed oblong
serving dish by Hallmark.


It looked so pretty with its copper colored ribbon

that I didn't have the heart to unwrap it!

She knows I have a serious addiction to dishes!!

My collection of milk glass
continues to grow, thanks to my friends, sisters &
their families' contributions.


I wish for each of you a very Blessed & Grateful Thanksgiving holiday. 
I'm counting my blessings & one of them is that my sweetheart went to Heaven before me,
because this grieving process would have been
so much harder on him!
  I'll be glad when this years of "Firsts"
without him are in the past. 

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Labor Day & the End of Summer


Labor Day has always had such a melancholy feel to it for me.
It is the official end of the summer, although certainly not the summer heat!
We're to be in the 90's today!

I'm *Laboring* for a good cause this weekend, by making Christmas stockings for our military men & women.

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A member of my KISS quilt guild, Valerie Liambeis spearheads this project every year.
She solicits donations of fabric then cuts the stocking shapes as well as the cuffs & tucks several sets into little baggies.
The KISS members take the packets home & sew the stockings together & once they are all completed,
a Yo-Yo gets tucked down into the toe of the stocking & they are then filled with candy for the troops.
I think we made over 400 last year & will probably do as many this year, too.

As Valerie says “Wouldn't it be nice if they weren't needed at all?”

Another melancholy note….I've gathered the last of my roses & a few hydrangea blooms for an impromptu bouquet.


I'm sad to see the flowers end, although some yellow mums are now opening.
My sewing buddies have kept me quite busy this summer, taking me to several different quilt shows & events.
I truly do not know how I would manage without my sewing friends!
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These GORGEOUS quilts are from a trunk show by Pat Knoechel, the sister of Eleanor Burns. (Quilt In A Day fame)
What a delightful presentation...she is a sweetheart!!
I was enthralled...both by the delicious quilts she shared but also by the spectacular quilting done on each one.

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Such wonderful variety!!

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That is Pat, taking the time to explain how each one was made. 

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Every color of the rainbow!!

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Some modern....

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Some traditional...
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Doesn't that quilting around the leaves look just like wind, tossing them about?

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Some were very little, like the wall hanging below..

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with embellishments of sparkles & pearls.  (look closely at the white pine trees to see the pearls)

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Some really BIG ones...note that pretty scalloped edge...

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I adore the following color combination!!! 
Purple, green & cream or white is going to be my next quilt, for sure.
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Actually, this black, tan & creamy-white one, below, was my 2nd most favorite of them all!

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I just love this classy combination & frequently find myself wearing it, too.
The quilting on this one was really special.

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Time to put away the flip flops & hang up the beach wear....looking forward to some cooler weather & all the lovely colors of Autumn.

Thanks for visiting The Gazebo House!  You're always welcome here.



Saturday, August 08, 2015

Six Months Have Passed….

It has been half a year now since my Ernie passed away.  I’ve made it through two more holidays….
Memorial Day & July 4th plus a few family events, like hosting this dinner when my baby sister visited from Maui.


It was fun to *play* with my dishes again!

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Ms. C. rode with her school’s unicycle club the entire parade route!  I was amazed!!
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Two other “occasions” that just weren’t the same without him were Ms. C’s 11th birthday party
as well as my daughter’s birthday.  *sigh*

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I’ve been keeping busy with my sewing & baking, though, as it helps to distract me & pass the days.

I made this little toddler quilt from a piece of Ikea fabric & Minky backing for extra cuddle-softness.

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It was VERY warm on my lap while I hand stitched the binding!

This was the first time I had quilted anything with Minky & I was glad that I didn’t have a bit of trouble.

I used Hobbs 80/20 batting inside & Sew Fine thread throughout.
The Minky is stretchy & I had been warned to place the selvages parallel to the poles of my long arm,
to help control the stretch. 

I did make sure to clean out my machine really well afterwards, as it leaves more fluff than usual behind.

The quilting pattern is called “Green Tea” & I was hoping the big leaves looked rather jungle-ish, given the critters on the front.

Here is a shot of the back, where you can see the pattern better:

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I have also used my Innova longarm to quilt some items for my friends.
This first one is Nicole’s gift for a young relative with health issues.

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I was SEW impressed with the beautiful job she did with her embroidery machine on the blocks!

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I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the theme she has chosen, using the words from St. Patrick's breastplate (and song) "Christ Be Beside Me".
hey played this at my husband's funeral in Feb. & I find it so touching & meaningful.

Known as "The Breastplate of St. Patrick" and "The Lorica"
This powerful prayer was composed by Saint Patrick in the year 433.
He was aware that there was an ambush to try to kill him and his group en route to the King's court.
It was during the march that they chanted the sacred "Lorica" or Deer's Cry -
later known as St. Patrick's Breastplate.
As the druids lay in hiding, ready to kill, they saw not Patrick and his men,
but a gentle deer followed by twenty fawns.
St. Patrick and his men were saved.

I put a design of a "deer" on the back of the quilt, per her request.
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She has used her embroidery machine to create the individual blocks by Anita Goodesign, called "A Quilt For All Seasons" here:
She also stitched out the words of the prayer with her sewing machine's built-in fonts, in the sashings.

I did a lot of ruler work to just anchor along the edges of the sashings.
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She wanted it to be "poofy" so I used wool batting.   
I did each block's unembroidered triangle areas in a color that will blend into it.
I anchored down each embroidered section but they're pretty thick so I didn’t do much ON those areas… just SID, as the intersections were thick.

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Ive also done a few smaller projects for my friend, Robin.
If I remember correctly, this quilt pattern is called "Sand Dunes" & can be found HERE.

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The quilting design had a Western theme, per her request.
It is called “Yippee Ki Yay” with cowboy boots, lassos,
stars & cowboy hats.  It went beautifully with the
fabric she chose as her backing…too cute!

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I did this little table topper/wall hanging for her, too.
There are faint white *pumpkin seed* designs in the squares that are half white.  Hard to see them in this photo.

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With lots more time on my hands these days, I’ve been a *Domestic Diva* in the kitchen, making over 100 Eiffel tower cookies for DGD
Ms. C’s Girl Scout troop.

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They sold them for $1 apiece & also won an award for the “BEST DESSERT” at the event!

I just completed a really pretty & very dramatic quilt but I don’t want to share too much of it until
after I enter it into the upcoming Mutton Hill Quilt Show at the John S. Knight center.
Here is a sneak peak, though:

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There is more to come…I have TONS of beautiful photos from a Pat Knegel (Eleanor Burns' sister) trunk show I attended
but this post is long enough. I'll save those for another day.

I thank each of you who have contacted me to check on how I was coping.
Some days are better than others & the weekends are still the worst.
However….I muddle on!
Thanks for stopping by!