The Aunts’ Quilt – Month 2

OH. MY. GOSH. Didyamissme???? Probably not — you’re too busy to even notice that I was gone. BUT. My happy little place here on the internet was hacked two weeks ago. Let’s just say, if you’re a middle aged man seeking a little blue pill to aid in your horizontal refreshment (as Sherlock (not THE Sherlock, but the American version) referred to it), THIS was the place to be. (See Carole? It wasn’t your imagination when the drug offer popped up on your screen!)

Anyway, it took 11 long days and HOURS and hours on the phone with tech support. There are still a few little things that are wrong, but they can stay that way for a few weeks — I’m tired of messing with it! And I’ll have you know — when I rule the world, hackers WILL be waterboarded. Multiple times. And then they’ll be drawn and quartered and then shot by a firing squad. The End.

Lots has happened around here in the meantime. You know … the holidays are upon us. The highlight was last weekend when TheFirstChild and SweetiePie came for an early Christmas (their year with the in-laws). We had a good time, but now I’m sad they we won’t see them again until January sometime. SweetiePie left her mark on the kitchen chalkboard, so, at least I can smile every time I walk through the kitchen.

Thimbleanna: Chalkboard

Now, on to the Aunts’ Report. Your fearless leader fell behind this month, but I’m sure I’ll be caught up by the Month 3 report. I managed to get some stems and leaves stitched down. Still to do are the pieced blocks and choosing of fabrics for the rest of the applique block. I’m having soooo much fun with this pattern!

Thimbleanna: Aunts' Quilt

And, let’s not forget the Cookie of the Month! We must have refreshment while we’re stitching. You long-time readers may remember my Christmas cookie true love — Angel Slices. So, naturally, it only makes sense that those sweet little cookies should be the Cookie of the Month.

Thimbleanna: Aunts' Quilt

So, sorry to have been so late with the quilt report this month — if I’m late again I hope I won’t have a good excuse, because we don’t need any more of that brand of blog fun for awhile! In the meantime — only 5 more days! Are you ready???

XOXO,
Anna

Grumps

Sheesh! I didn’t mean to be gone so long, but it’s been a little busy around here, as I’m sure it has been for you too. When I realized the date this morning (oh.my.gosh, Dec. 5th already!) it made me think of St. Nicholas Day in Europe.

Years ago, when we lived in Germany, our battalion organized a ski trip to Berchtesgaden on the 5th and 6th of December. We were all innocent young American tourists, wandering the streets of the little village and all of a sudden these big straw men appeared and they started chasing people and hitting them with switches. We were told that they were “Grumps” and their job was to go around and beat the bad spirits out of children so that St. Nicholas could visit them that evening and leave presents in their shoes. There was a lot of mayhem and shrieks and laughter. One of the girls I was with was “switched” and she said it really hurt — these guys weren’t playing around! I found a few pictures on google to show you what they look like.

Thimbleanna: The Grumps

I can’t really find any truth to what I was told on google. They’re really called Krampuss and, according to the descriptions I found with these pictures, they are unmarried men, dressed in straw or skins with wooden masks or skins over their heads and large cow-bells tied around their hips (so you know they’re coming!) and they follow Saint Nicholas from house to house on December 5 and 6 every year to bring luck to the good and punish the idle.

Thimbleanna: The Grumps

It was totally accidental that we happened to be in Bavaria on the same day that the grumps appeared, but it’s a really fun memory for me. And, I think it’s accidental that I should remember it today, when I’ve been feeling more than a little grumpy. This is shaping up to be a weird holiday season for us this year (for starters, GASP! — it looks like their won’t be a gingerbread competition because we can’t get all these grown kids and their busy schedules coordinated) and I’m having more than a little trouble getting into the holiday spirit.

Not to fear though. I have two things set to turn it all around. First, did you see this?

Thimbleanna: The Minted

Yipee!!! I won a $100 gift certificate from Minted and Amy! It’s very exciting — Minted has so many beautiful things that I’m having trouble choosing! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You SOOOO much Amy!

And second, I’m going to spend the day Christmas shopping and see if I can kick the grumps to the curb. I hope you’ve had a better start to your holiday prep and you’re well on your way!

XOXO,
Anna

Five.

This post is titled Five today. Just Five. ‘Cause, once again, I’m too late for Five on Friday. {Sigh}. I’m almost too late for Five on Saturday. I have a good excuse though — there’s been major cleaning going on around here and it’s a lot of work. Anyway, here are a few things for your weekend:

1. Last weekend I went to see SweetiePie and we ventured off to Ikea. Here’s a tip — don’t go to Ikea on a Saturday that’s remotely close to Christmas. It was worth it though, look at the cute wrapping paper we found!

Thimbleanna: The Random Stuff

2. We’ve been having a big clean out at work. We’re soon going to be squishing from 4 big buildings into 2, so there’s a big purge in the works. (Happily I’m not going to go into my “Who in the *&(% came up with the honeycomb cubicle concept that’s causing 70% of American companies to follow each other over the cliff?” rant. Because there IS a rant and it’s a BIG one.) There’s a community book table for the clean out, and one day, this old Kaffe knitting book showed up. I nabbed it, but I already have a copy, so I thought one of you might like it. It’s free if you’re willing to pay the postage. Just leave a comment telling me you want it. It looks like it could be sent as media mail for around $4.00 in the states.

Thimbleanna: The Random Stuff

3. Not much to report on the Aunts’ Quilt this week. I’m still making fabric choices for month 2. In the meantime, check out the great tutorial that Meredithe has posted for a no waste method of creating the flying geese pieces that we need for the pieced blocks.  Thanks Meredithe!

Thimbleanna: The Random Stuff

4. The weather in parts of the states last week was awful! I like winter, so I don’t usually complain about the cold, but, according to the weather channel,  “These 20 U.S. Cities Are Allowed To Complain About The Cold”. We came in at number 10 which is really surprising to me. Surely there are much colder cities north of us? We even beat out Detroit and Cleveland.  And we’re only one rank lower than Buffalo — What???  That’s pretty impressive — we’re in the top 10.  I’ll try not to take advantage of our new found privilege this winter, but at least you know, if i do complain … it’s well deserved!  (Also, if you are my children, please note:  There IS more that one skyscraper in your po-dunkey hometown!)

Thimbleanna: The Random Stuff

5. On that note, the Scruffster would like to tell you to stay warm and get some rest. Especially if you’re an American preparing for Thanksgiving this week!

Thimbleanna: The Random Stuff

XOXO,
Anna

The Aunts’ Quilt — Month 1

Hello out there.  How are all you little Auntlets doing?  We’re done with month one — did you all make the deadline?  I finished my blocks about two weeks ago and had big plans to work ahead on next month’s assignment, but it didn’t happen.

Thimbleanna: The Aunts' Quilt

Thimbleanna: The Aunts' Quilt

Anyway, it’s been a lot of fun — I love this project so far.  Several of you Auntlets have completed your first month too — Congratulations.  It’s worth taking a peek at those links in my sidebar — some of the Auntlets are sharing their blocks as they finish them.

Thimbleanna: The Aunts' Quilt

Don’t worry if you’re an Auntlet with a slow start.  We’re not on a strict schedule.  I’m not going to beat you or publicly shame you if you don’t keep up.   Although, I would like you to consider that one problem might be that you aren’t snacking enough while you sew.  Chocolate is always good to fortify a girl.  And Cookies (ok, biscuits for those of you down under) are a must.  I’ve decided I’m going to have to have a cookie of the month.  This month it’s definitely been Rice Krispy Cookies.

Thimbleanna: The Aunts' Quilt

And now, on to the next month’s assignment. It’s going to be tougher to keep up — the holidays are looming!

XOXO,
Anna

Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

The lovely people at Stitch Craft Create are having a Handmade Christmas Decorations blog hop and they very kindly asked me if I’d like to participate. There are four fun Christmas books in the blog hop — we were each allowed to choose one special book that we’d like to review. I think it’s funny that most of us, so far have chosen this beautiful book, Handmade Scandinavian Christmas by Hege Barnholt.

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

Handmade Scandinavian Christmas has over 120 projects in more than 150 pages.  My favorite thing about this book is that it is full of ideas for a simple holiday season, and many of the projects are meant to be done with children and other family members — and that’s what the holiday season is all about, isn’t it?

There are so many topics in this book, it’s hard to even know where to start to tell you about it.  The author has thought of everything for your holidays — here’s a list of some of the chapter titles:  Preparing for Christmas, For the Birds, Perfect Presents, For Little Hands, Almost Christmas, Christmas Flowers, Tasty Presents, Sweet Christmas, Wrapped with Love, The Scent of Christmas and Cakes Galore.

Some of my favorite ideas are all of the paper and nature crafts,

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

the many food gift ideas,

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

lots of gift wrap ideas (eeek!  a yoyo!),

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

and a whole section of advent calendars, just to name a few.

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

And then, there are super simple ideas that you don’t really even need instructions for, but you need the book to give you the cool idea.  Look, a snow heart.  I love it.

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

The photography in the book is beautiful.  Snow.  (Snow!)  Children.  It makes you even feel like you’re in Scandinavia.

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

Probably my favorite section in the book is the section on gifts to make (’cause you know,  I like to make things.)  There are lots of projects with great instructions.  I decided to try out the instructions for a knitted hot pad.

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

This was a simple, quick project and you can change it up a little and make it your own. I chose to add the little bake tag. I think these hotpads would make really cute Christmas gifts. (Oh, and just so you aren’t confused by the scale of the hotpad, those aren’t full-size utensils there. But, it is a generous sized hot pad!)

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

To see more clips from this book and three other fun holiday craft books, go check out all the other posts in the blog hop — details and a list of the the other bloggers taking part can be found here. If you’re interested in this book you can find it here in the Handmade Christmas Shop. If you sign up to the Stitch Craft & Create newsletter you can also download a selection of free ebooks.
If you’re a new customer you can click here and use the code SCC525 to get a £5 discount on your first order over £25.

£5 Off £25 at Stitch Craft Create with Offer Code SCC525

It’s been fun to see what books and projects the other bloggers have selected this month — and we’re only halfway through the blog hop!

XOXO,
Anna