Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holilday Gatherings



I so enjoy all the holiday gatherings that come this time of year, from the special holiday concerts and programs, to my quilt bee party's to my Herb Society parties, I love them all.
My first quilt bee party was this week, along with a wonderful meal we exchanged our snowmen blocks. We each made 6 of the same blocks (any size), kept one for ourselves, the rest we wrapped and exchanged at the party. This is my finished snow globe snowman



with a Swarovski crystal snowflake.



What a wonderful variety we all received (missing one that will be ready next month). Every package was so much fun to open.
We're doing this again for the next few Christmases by the end we'll each have enough to put together a nice size friendship snowman quilt.



I have a few blocks I hand embroidered a few years ago that I'm also adding to the quilt.



Our hostess also made us a cute wool mitten ornament,



which I added to my snowman tree. Most of the snowmen are hand-made from my girlfriends starting in 1990. The tree skirt is a hand stitched quilt from the late 1800's. This tree has so many memories. I set it up in my dining room.



My next gathering is Herb Society. For our Christmas party we come together everyone brings green, berries etc. and snacks to share and we spend the afternoon making fresh arrangement for our homes.
I was so busy working on my own I only took a few pictures.
I love the white pine wispiness of this wreath.



An arrangement for the dinner table with fresh flowers.



These arrangements were made for a different tables at a gathering using a lot of dried plants.



Some large door swags were made with sweet grass rope worked through it.
I should have made one of these, next year.



I made this one for my daughter in a vintage ball jar and 3 candy canes for her children.



This one for our very friend (like a daughter) Vicky who loves penguins and is doing our Christmas Eve table in a penguin theme for the kids.



For my living room I made this in my copper pot with copper berries and white doves. My white nativity scene will sit by it.
Notice the beaver chew sticks Donna:)



The next gathering of course is to put up the tree, I had two good little Santa's who did it,



and one little Elf who wasn't much help until the ornaments came out.



I bought this sculpture when we were visiting our friends on the Mississippi. The artist is Isabella Bloom who is now dead but her art work lives on. She is quite famous in the Quad Cities where she lived and had her studio. I visited it once when she was alive and am thankful I had the opportunity.
She is quite heavy about 25 pounds and made of cement.



Her name is Violet, she will sit on my porch this summer by her "brother" along with my large pots of flowers.



I hope you can read this picture, I love the saying (found it on pinterest).
And isn't it so true.
 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mississippi River Hike



Last week my husband had an appointment for a check up at Mayo, so along with the check up we went to spend a few days visiting our good friends who live on the Mississippi River.
What a beautiful view they have of the river.


The weather was beautiful for a hike. So out we went,



past the resident beaver lodge,



we collected beaver chewed sticks.



Perfect to use in our winter arrangements.



We also hiked along the railroad tracks,



which were full of wonderful rusty steel stuff. Great for rust and natural dyeing.



One night we went on a tour of historical houses in the Down Town. There was about 6 open to the public for a fund raiser.



One sidewalk was lined with these wonderful lanterns.



Every house had ice luminaries,



and old carved staircases beautifully decorated.
 



Next morning this was the sun rise out our bedroom window,



with an Eagle looking for breakfast,



and geese swimming by.
Now this is a view to wake up to every morning. Thank you Jack and Donna we had a peaceful, beautiful time. It was just what we needed.



Oh and thank you for the gift of mud and stone too!



Back home I'm adding the sticks to all my winter arrangements.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Greens



Every year our local Art Museum has a holiday program with florists showing new ideas for decorating your home. This is the back entrance to the museum beautifully decorated for the holiday open houses.


I share with you a few of the easy ideas they had. This was cute for the dessert table, glass containers (most used during the day were bought at the dollar store), filled with leaves,  pumpkins and twigs holding up plates of cookies. This would be easy to change over for Christmas.



Dollar store glasses filled with cranberries and little chalk boards as place settings. Other glass vases with fake snow, pine cones, berries and greens grouped in the middle of the table.



Place oasis wet foam in the bottom of an vase, add in long branches, in the middle of the branches add fresh roses and greens. Line the outside with berries.



Dollar store glass container, rocks, and bird nest. A cute bird and in the nest red jingle bells instead of eggs. Fresh greens in the back. This would be so cute on the table.



Place fresh greens upside down in glass containers to help hold the candles up. Fill with distilled water.



Wrap cinnamon sticks around a candle or vase. Hold the sticks in place while working by placing a rubber band on the candle or vase. When all in place tie a ribbon over the band.



A luminary for your table or walk way made in a large ice cream bucket, filled with greens and snowflakes.  In the center place a candle in a glass votive holder. When your finished using it for the night you can place it back in the bucket add some water, put it back in the freezer, then use it again when ready.



They also made a lot of large arrangements, wreaths, garlands. At the end you could purchase raffle tickets to try to win. Of course I didn't win but came away with lots of inspiration.



They also showed this cute place setting/gift with a little ornament the guest could take home. What I liked was the Merry Christmas cotton twill tape ribbon.


After talking to the florist I went to their shop and bought a few yards brought it home and wrapped it around my antique spool.



I Love different trims.



Saturday the sun finally poked out and the loom was calling. I went out and put the final row in, greens from our woods.



It is now finished.


Until next Spring. I think I will do it again not using any of the same plants. I would miss not having it to weave and meditate on.



While I was out I filled the Summer pots with greens, holly branches and berries. We (hubby and I) also put up the lights on the porches. We're all done outside for the Holidays, now it's time for inside.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo
  •