Posts Tagged ‘Christmas ornaments’

Return of the Forgotten Things

December 10, 2014

I went through the two small drawers in my sewing table, and discovered they are magic. When I’ve opened them in the past, they presented a collection of straight pins, sewing machine feet, screwdrivers, and the occasional hidden candy bar. When I started taking things out, however, I discovered a cache of items I lost so long ago I forgot I had them.

Lani Longshore scissors

There are scissors in some of my project bags, scissors with a project I’m working on in the family room, and scissors next to the sewing machine. Now these two little critters show up, and I have no idea when I got them. Nor do I have any idea when I acquired two boxes of replacement cutter blades. I never can find them when the need arises.

Lani Longshore needles

The same with needles – I’ve been nursing my favorite hand quilting needle because I thought it was the last one. Where were these two months ago? In the drawer, obviously, but covered by what cloak of invisibility? I can understand one package of needles hiding in the far corner of the drawer, but half a dozen?

The good news is I’m not the only one discovering forgotten things. My mother was looking for wrapping paper, and discovered a stash of Christmas fabric instead. She says it is part of the collection I gave her a few years ago when she wanted to make Christmas totes. She decided to cut a large enough square for the gifts and tie it with a gold ribbon. Some people send fruitcakes back and forth – Mom and I send fabric.

Lani Longshore Christmas fabric

I opened one of the presents early – the decoration package. My mom makes ornaments every year for us. This year it is a free-standing ornament, and the first decoration I put on display.

Thank you, Mom!

Thank you, Mom!

Luck and wisdom!

Seasonal Petulance

November 26, 2014

This time of year I sink into my own slough of despair, and revel in seasonal petulance. The holidays are too crowded, too commercial, too costly. Whine, whine, whine. I guess the universe got sick of listening to me kvetch, because – try as I might to be grouchy – I have been surrounded by kindness and love. “Self,” I said, “get over yourself.”

A pie crust in waiting

A pie crust in waiting

The first thing I decided to do was give myself permission to celebrate all the holidays in order. Thanksgiving comes first, and I am extraordinarily thankful for my grandmother’s never-fail pie crust recipe.

Original Recipe

2 cups flour

1 cup butter

1 egg, beaten

2 teaspoons vinegar

4 teaspoons cold water

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Sift dry ingredients together, then cut in the butter. Gradually add the egg and vinegar. Pour water over dough and mix.

My Version

2 cups flour

1 cup butter

1 egg, beaten with 3 teaspoons vinegar (cider or sweet balsamic for a sweet pie, white wine for a savory pie)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Put the butter and flour into a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles corn flour. Add baking powder and salt; pulse a couple of times. Add egg/vinegar mixture. Blend until smooth. You will need to heavily flour the board and pin when rolling out the dough.

The start of my personal, private Advent calendar

The start of my personal, private Advent calendar

Next comes Advent, which for me means the little calendars with numbered boxes and chocolate prizes. The bad news is this year I missed out on my favorite one – they sold out before I even put it on the shopping list. The good news is, I made my own version with all those mint tins I’ve been saving, and some leftover holiday trims.

Lani Longshore Christmas ornaments

Next comes the Ceremony of the Tree. My daughter has decorated the tree for years, but she won’t be home until spring. I was all set to skip the tree, when I remembered the new ornaments a friend gave me. My daughter has her own favorite ornaments, so this year I’ll put up my new ones and some of the older ones that have been buried at the bottom of the storage box.

Lani Longshore Christmas card

I don’t write the Christmas letter until Christmas day. The cards get sent out sometime between Boxing Day and Epiphany. This tradition stays.

Lani Longshore Christmas fabric

Last is the Time of Forgetting. This is the celebration of discovering you’re a day late and a present short. It’s not the best tradition, but it’s one with a long history in my house. I guess it stays, too.

May your season of holidays – whichever ones you celebrate – be joyous.

Luck and wisdom!

Doorway to Another Planet

November 16, 2011

The last of the projects I started at Art Quilt Santa Fe 2011 told me it was tired of waiting. Despite the mess in the sewing room, I swept off enough space to quilt it. Here it is, with binding and the beginning of embellishment:

Michelle Jackson, who taught the class, gave us a choice of two patterns. Most of us chose the door pattern. Most of us made doors that looked like they were in an old adobe and rock pueblo. My door comes from another planet – specifically, the planet I am creating in a sci fi novel. My main character, N.Keli, is a bug. Remember the bug doll I made? That’s her. This is her house.

I’m not sure how I’m going to finish the embellishments. There’s a beaded fringe on the bottom, and I’ll have beads around the twisty-turny binding. I’ve also quilted in leaves:


Here’s the bin of possible embellishments.

I expect that over the holidays a few of them will call my name and tell me where they want to be positioned. If not, I can always stare at my newest Christmas ornament until inspiration strikes.