Thursday, December 21, 2017

Working Retail at Christmas

It is getting closer to Christmas and people are getting more stressed.... Very often retail worker become the place to vent their stress... It may be that they were to late to get it delivered on time. It may be that they don't know what to get. It may be that they picked the perfect gift too late and it is now out of stock. I could go on but you get my drift. Most of us working retail from grocery stores to department stores, specialty stores or even restaurants know what this time of year is like.

Well beyond the stress is the glimmer of hope. The people who are truly thankful and have gotten past the stress. Some are even looking for ways to make life better for others. I had a man to today get a cup of coffee and left his change to buy purchased of the young retail workers waiting in line. He left money to pay for the next two but it actually covered the next three and a half. A little extra change meant that one lady didn't have to dig to the bottom of her purse. It gave her a smile. Thank you to the man who payed it forward today and restored the spirit of Christmas to the day. Here is to a little hope and joy.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

I made new stockings for the boys. We needed a new stocking for the new grandson. I didn't like the ones in the store. I made two new ones so the boys would both have a home-made one.

My mom made the ones we had while our kids were growing up. I used them as a pattern for these stockings.

Another blog posting and another day closer to Christmas.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Scraps and scrap crafting

When I was a kid in the 1960's, we had a subscription to a magazine called "Pack-O-Fun" and it was all about scrap crafting. Making something out of nothing...

One time I fashioned a model of a camera out of paper and tape. My father brought home a big box of scrap paper, slightly off white and heavy weight, but not as heavy as card stock. I used it for signs and drawings and paper models. I had an endless supply of paper.

So in my sewing, I am always trying to make something out of nothing. I have a hard time throwing anything away. To me a scrap has to be smaller the 1" x 1" to be a scrap, and even then I am not sure I want to get rid of it. I still want to make mosaic art quilts and modern quilts with texture. The picture on the right are never scraps. The picture on the left may be scrap... but it would add great texture, so maybe that isn't scrap after all... Have to let it go!

The photo below is what I make from scraps. Most of these pieces are scraps except for the border pieces cut from larger yardage. But then when you cut from a larger piece you make more scraps....

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Christmas Cards Continued

This deserves a second post. As of last night I have produced 70 Christmas Cards.

Each card had the message printed on the background paper. It is then mounted on the plastic grid that runs through the Silhouette Camero cutting machine. The background grid is a sticky surface to hold the paper while cutting. In the picture below you can see the card removed from the mat. The card is on top, ready to fold. Below is what remains on the mat and must be removed before the next card is mounted on the cutting mat. The mat looses its stickiness and must be sprayed with a temporary adhesive. As you can see, there is a lot of "JOY" left behind on the cutting mat. Two side panels fold to the middle. One holds the message and one will cover  the colored paper panel that shows through the cut opening. The colored paper is fixed in the opening and a star is mounted up front.

Ok, that is all done and the envelopes all have stickers for mailing and return address. Just need to sign, seal and stamp.

So why do I do it? It is one little piece of Christmas that I can add individuality and creativity to.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Return to the Daily Blog Challenge

Time to make Christmas Cards...
2017 Christmas Cards
2017 Prototype
I have realized that some people make Christmas Cookies and some people make Christmas Cards. It is just my tradition to make cards. The origins of Christmas cards go back to making special greetings to send as Christmas cards. This one for 2017 began with a prototype that received a few changes and is now being printed and assembled. I cut the tree and the word joy on a computer guided Silhouette cutting machine.

One of my first cards go back to drawings made by my kids that I used for the cards. I love the blue nosed reindeer made by my daughter Tina. She was age 5 at the time. When I asked her why they had blue noses she said because they were cold. The inside pop-up fireplace with santa's feet came from drawings by Jake and he was 10 years old.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Dec 6th - Birthday Blog

That's me about 5 years old
So I missed my blog for the 5th, I think I am allowed a skip one now and then for the month. Today I get to write my birthday blog. As I wake this morning my wife tells me, "You know you qualify for Social Security now!"

My Dream Machine
Birthday Presents: My wife and I go with gifts that keep giving. They are usually expensive enough to be considered a present to cover multiple years. Last year I got a Brother Dream Machine, (and a payment book to go with it) a gift that keeps giving. I am still learning with each new project and love many special features. The camera lets me see where I am placing my embroidery and there is a function to lift the foot and leave the needle down, when I stop sewing to turn the project. I had wanted a machine with a knee lift lever but don't need it with this function turned on.

I also got to go to the SNC concert in November at the Rochester Auditorium. Straight No Chaser is an amazing acapella group. Click here to hear the Twelve Days of Christmas on YouTube that is what got them started.

Straight No Chaser in Rochester, NY - Nov. 3, 2017
Saving the best for last, my second grandson arrived two days before my birthday. I love this picture of him with his big brother.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Pop-Up Shop - Day 4 - Dec Blog Challenge

Sunday Fun Day - I was invited to open a pop-up shop at a local gift shop. I had a great day and sold as much as I did at the craft shows that I attended this fall. I plan to be there again next Sunday.

If you are in the Rochester area stop by Kittelberger Florists in Webster on Sunday, December 10th from Noon to 4:00 pm. I still have some Christmas wall hangings along with everyday runners and wall hangings. Kittelberger Florists is located at 263 North Ave., in Webster, New York 14580.

I have a beautiful banner featuring 3 vintage Santas or some on individual wall hangings. The banner fits nicely on a door that is weather protected. The individual wall hangings are nice to decorate with for Christmas or make a great gift.