Category Archives: Holidays

Comparison Shopping

Exhibit AMartha Stewart Baker’s Twine from Michael’s.  I can’t remember how much this costs — we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt — $4.99.  So, that’s $4.99 for 72 yards, or roughly 6 cents a yard.

Twine

Exhibit B:  Bernat Holidays “Twists” yarn from JoAnn’s.  $7.99 for 603 yards, or a little over a penny a yard.

Yarn

Here’s the side-by-side comparison — Martha’s twine is much thinner, but the yarn (and it’s a cotton yarn, so it doesn’t really seem like a yarn) is more colorful.

Twine&Yarn

I’m going to have to go with the yarn.  I know it’s not Martha, but I can live with that!  I’m having great fun using it to tie packages.  (The handles on these bags are a thicker cording — the yarn has been used to tie the handles together and attach the little bell to the package.  The bells, btw are from Martha’s Macy’s line — $1.99 each on sale.)

Wrapping

And look Sharon, I made pretzels last night.  That’s some fun stuff!

Pretzels

Finally, I have the day off tomorrow and I’m hoping to get the big tree done.  We’ll see, I might opt for a nap instead, ’cause just thinking about how far behind I am makes me really tired!
XOXO,
Anna

Blame It On Rebecca

A few weeks ago, Rebecca posted a pretty picture of the Empire State Building all decked out in red and green for the holidays. I knew then, that if I got a trip to New Jersey, I’d have to try to go into NYC in the evening to see such a beautiful sight. (And btw, long post warning!)
As soon as my meetings were over yesterday, I jumped in the car, drove to the NJ Path Train, and hopped on for a ride into the city. I managed to get to Tinsel Trading just 10 minutes before closing time. I saw those cute little clown snowmen last year on the cover of a Mary Englebreit magazine and knew I’d like to try to visit Tinsel Trading during the holiday season. The other picture below is for Sarah and Pam — bottle brush trees ala Tinsel Trading.

Tinsel Trading Tinsel Trading

In an e-mail, Rebecca mentioned that I should try to visit the shops in Bryant Park. When I read that, I was confused — the last time I was in Bryant Park, there were no shops. Apparently, they put them up just for Christmas shopping. It’s much like a European Christmas market full of lots of artist and handcrafted booths. There’s also an ice skating rink in the middle of the park. Thanks SO much, Rebecca for the outstanding suggestion. Without your help, I would have never known to visit Bryant Park.

Bryant Park Bryant Park

After I walked around the park, I remembered that Rebecca had mentioned that the big Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center was up, so I thought I’d wander up there and see it. Now, as she’s reading this, Rebecca is probably thinking….”No, please tell me you didn’t go up there last night.” Oh. Yes. I. Did. How was I supposed to know that they were officially turning on the lights LAST NIGHT???? (In her defense, Rebecca sent me an e-mail yesterday morning to let me know that little tidbit of information, but I was without access to my e-mail all day.) I was merrily walking north along 6th avenue thinking to myself, “Wow, there sure are a lot of NYPD out tonight.” And a little later, “Boy, there sure are a lot of people out shopping.” Pretty soon, I found myself in the middle of a mob. A very well-controlled mob, I might add, but still. It was incredibly crowded. Here’s the view looking north and south along 6th Avenue.

Tree Lighting Crowd Tree Lighting Crowd

This is still a very long block away from Rockefeller Square. They had jumbo tv screens in the street and the NYPD guys said those TV screens were as close as we would be able to get. I decided I didn’t need to stand out in the cold for two hours, so I bailed out. I retreated across 6th Avenue, and took a picture of some really cool giant ornaments. I love this sort of stuff about big cities.

Tree Lighting Crowd Giant Ornaments

So. No big beautiful tree. Strike One. I headed back south and found myself in front of Macy’s, looking at all the fun window displays. I especially liked the windows depicting the story of The Miracle on 34th Street. I love that movie! Here are just a few of my favorites:

Macy's Windows Macy's Windows
Macy's Windows Macy's Windows

Empire State BuildingI was a little sorry I hadn’t gone into Macy’s to find the real Santa Claus. There must be one in there, right? That’s part of the story — the Macy’s Santas! I also didn’t check for any Martha ornaments — btw, Rebecca, we want to see your ornaments!  Anyway, I wandered down the street for the whole reason I came into the city in the first place: to see the Empire State Building in red and green. And here to the right, she is. Do we see red and green anywhere???? No. We. Do. Not. Strike Two. Apparently they have a lighting schedule and we are not in a red/green/white cycle. In fact, it won’t be back to red/green/white until somewhere around the 21st. Just in case you’re traveling to NYC, it will be white/white/white for roughly another week, then it will be blue/white/white (blue/blue/white? white/blue/white? whatever, it’s not red/green/white!) for Hanukkah for another week or 10 days or so. Then it will go back to white/white/white until the 21st, when it will go to red/green/white until after the New Year. How Rude!  I should have called ahead LOL!

By now, it was getting late and I still had a 1 1/2 hour commute.  On the way back to the Path train, I passed the Border’s at Madison Square Garden and decided I’d attempt Strike 3.  My search for the elusive McCall’s magazine with Holly‘s blogging article in it.  Bingo!  No strike 3 — they had the magazine!  Holly’s contest to be the first to find the magazine is over, so I was spared the indignity of taking a picture of me holding it.  I took a picture of it as it waited next to my Sheraton pillow for me to read it last night.

McCall's Magazine

Thanks Holly for including my blog header with the pictures — there’s lots of fun info there!  Holly also has an adorable quilt in the magazine made from her Lakehouse fabrics — be sure and check it out!
If you’re still here…thanks for sticking it out.  In spite of two strikes, I had a great time.  There’s nothing like the big city during the holidays!  Until next time….
XOXO,
Anna

P.S.  Quilty Peeps — I missed you — NYC isn’t the same without you!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today has been a wonderful fall day. Rainy, chilly and perfect for being inside with all the busy-ness of getting ready for Thanksgiving. I’m the designated pie maker in our family and today was pie day. What’s your favorite pie? I like them all, but Pecan is by far my favorite. If you’re outside the US and you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you have something that gives you the opportunity to gorge on pumpkin and pecan pies — I think Thanksgiving is about the only time we take the time to enjoy them!

Pies

In the spirit of so many of you who do frequent gratitude posts, here are a few things, both big and little, that I’m thankful for:

  • First and foremost, Family. All the characters over there on the sidebar.
  • A gloomy rainy day that makes me happy for a nice warm home.
  • Thanksgiving Pies!
  • My goofy, kind brother-in-law who makes me laugh and who needs a character name so he can appear in the sidebar too.
  • Fabric. Thread. Patterns.  Sewing Machine.  Iron.  You get the picture.
  • All of you. Your blogs so full of daily inspiration.
  • SweetiePie really is a Sweetie Pie.
  • A week off of work to be able to do a few things that I never have time for.
  • MyDadLovesMeBestSister is hosting Thanksgiving, so I don’t have to work so hard this year.
  • The Quilty Peeps.
  • That I can humor two grown boys who spent time yesterday while I was gone, laughing at their mother’s blog.
  • My job.  I’d much rather be home, but it’s good to have a job.
  • Sump pumps.
  • Time to clean out the linen closet that I wanted to clean early last spring.
  • TheManoftheHouse keeps up with our computers.
  • Time with the family to play Hand and Foot.
  • Rolo candy.
  • This little indulgence.  It made my pie making so fun this year.
  • Thanksgiving is early this year, which makes the gap between Thanksgiving and Christmas longer.
  • We have a “chance” of snow accumulation tonight.
  • TheEmptyNestChild hasn’t eaten anything requiring surgery so far this year.
  • Good health for everyone in our family.
  • The best parents a girl could ever wish for and a very happy childhood.

Well, I could go on and on, I’m very, very blessed.  If you’re in the US, I hope you have a very wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones.
XOXO,
Anna

Happy Halloween!

Gosh, where is this week going already? I guess I shouldn’t complain — it just means the weekend is getting closer! I had a great quiet weekend last weekend. I managed to get several little sewing projects done. Of course, I can’t show them to you yet, ’cause they’re surprises. Don’t you hate it when someone tells you that? I have something but I can’t show you. How rude! Oh, ok, I can tell you that I worked on my box for the chocolate swap! Not much consolation is it?

PumpkinLights

Tonight, I made Magnolia cupcakes to take to work tomorrow. I made a bunch for my birthday a month ago and everyone seemed very appreciative, so I thought I’d make some for Halloween too. The kitchen looked like a war zone at the North Pole. For some reason I got powdered sugar and sprinkles everywhere. It sure was fun though and now they’re all boxed up and ready to go.

PumpkinLights

I love these cupcakes. (I mean, not these particular ones ’cause they turned out a little goofy with the black sprinkles and all — what I love it the Magnolia cupcake taste.) If you don’t have the Magnolia cookbook you’re in luck — I found the recipe here a few weeks ago. Check it out ’cause their picture is way cooler than mine! Maybe someday I can learn their cool swirly icing technique.
I’m all ready for my little trick-or-treaters tomorrow night. I used to hate to hand out candy when we were younger, but now I just love seeing the little kids come to the door. (Although, what’s up with all the high school kids these days? When we were kids, we quit trick-or-treating when we were around 12 — now, I’ll bet 1/4 – 1/3 of the kids that appear at my door are older than 12!) If you do trick-or-treaty kinds of stuff tomorrow, I hope you have a great time!
XOXO,
Anna