Monday, December 30, 2013

A Few Christmas Finishes

You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder. –Unknown

I've heard it said that the things you regret most in life are the ones you didn't try. I can't say no to anything because I want to do everything. I have overcommitment issues. And so I start a project a find out it is taking longer than I planned, so I put it on hold so I can do something else that isn't going to take very long, but then it takes longer than I expect and so I move on to something else, hoping to get it done and then go back and finish up the other things I started but never finished. Kind of like chasing a butterfly. And then another one.

As Christmas, and consequently, the end of the year approached, I had to make some hard and fast decisions about what was important to finish and what was important to let go for the sake of my sanity. I decided to let my neighbor gifts go this year. I like to make an ornament for about 50 of my closest family, friends and neighbors, and it was really hard to decide not to chase that particular butterfly. In hindsight, it was a good choice to make. I only got a handful of neighbor gifts—less than 10, in fact. Giving up that one tiny {gigantically huge, completely insane} project freed up some time for me to enjoy with my family.

Finishing the quilting on P's. String Ring Dresden {see it bound here} and another project that is under wraps for a couple more weeks has occupied a lot of my time lately, so I only made a few small things this year for Christmas gifts, but they were so much fun!

For cousin gifts, I made these cute holders {tutorial here} for the Young Women Personal Progress booklet and journal and For the Strength of Youth pamphlets. The Young Women of our Church, girls ages 12 to 18, are encouraged to live a standard of personal worthiness and to set goals for themselves in many different areas of their development {the Young Men have a similar program, and really all members are encouraged to live up to the same standard}. A couple of years ago now, I think, Deena Rutter designed a line of fabric for Riley Blake called Good Life, which is themed around the Personal Progress program. When I came across the tutorial for the booklet holders, I knew this fabric would be perfect for them and that they'd make cute Christmas gifts for a couple of the cousins. Even though the fabric line has been out for a while, I was able to find a shop here in town and a couple of on-line shops, including Deena Rutter's Etsy shop, that had enough of what I was looking for. And since these could be for any one of the Not-So-Little Bugs' forty cousins and I'm not giving you any clues as to who the girls belong to, I'm not blanking out the names so you can see my cute embroidery. Well, actually, they could be for only about half that many, but you still get my point. The under-eighteens remain anonymous. This first one is in the white colorway. Love it!

This one is in the blue colorway. I love the pretty colors. LadyBug turns 12 in February and I have fabric to make one of these for her in the green colorway. OK. Confession time. I actually have fabric to make about 45 more of these. I kid you not. I got carried away. I'm not sure what I'll do. Maybe I'll start making them and giving them to the girls in my ward {congregation} for their birthdays. Or all the nieces who are 12 or older. Or maybe I'll make them to sell on Etsy. Or just sell the kits to make them on Etsy. Who knows? But there are a few possibilities there.

This last one is a fun table runner for a lady in my ward whose birthday is December 24th {I wonder if, after 75 years, she's tired of getting Christmas and her birthday all lumped together?}. These are fast and easy to make. It takes ⅓ yard of focus fabric and ½ yard of accent fabric and in a few minutes you have a really cute table runner {tutorial here}.
Hooray for a few finishes in December!

Today's post brought to you by:
My 2013 Finishes

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Memories Part III: The Piano Guys

Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect. –Oren Arnold

This year, I wanted to spread the Christmas Season out a little bit and have the focus be on making memories as a family rather than on a huge pile of presents under the tree. Of course, we'll still have presents to open on Christmas morning. But I wanted to spend time on each other this year, too. As part of this we went to we went to The Piano Guys' Christmas concert on Saturday night.

We went out for dinner and then rode the Frontrunner {Utah's commuter rail, which has become a favorite way to travel for us} up to Salt Lake. It was snowy out and seemed a better choice than braving the roads and finding parking once we got there. There was one small hiccup; about half-way there was some sort of incident {word on the street was that someone slipped and hit their head/broke their nose} and we were delayed about 40 minutes. We still made it to Salt Lake in plenty of time for the concert {we just had to skip seeing the lights at Temple Square before} and were in our seats well before the show began.

We learned some fun Piano Guys trivia:
• Steven Sharp Nelson now has 15 cellos and they all have names. He only brought three to the performance; Bruce Lee, his black electric cello {and his white electric cello is named Chuck Norris}, his carbon fiber cello, Carmen Fibre, and his newest "traditional" cello, Marcello, as named by fans over at The Facebook.
• Between the four piano guys {Jon Schmidt – piano, Steven Sharp Nelson – cello, Al Van Der Beek – producer, and Paul Anderson – camera man} they have 16 kids. Steven's four kids are ages eight and under.
• They would like to make a video at all seven Wonders of the World. Their first was on The Great Wall of China. They are scheduled to film in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, at statue of Christ in February.

The Piano Guys is one of our favorite things to enjoy as a family. We love their videos. And their concerts do not disappoint. This is the third time we've been to see them and seeing them on their "home court" definitely has its advantages. When we went to see them in May, Alex Boyé performed Peponi with them and he returned again for this performance. It was amazing. Jon Schmidt's daughter performed again, singing Where Are You Christmas? this time. And part of the American Heritage Lyceum Philharmonic performed Beethoven's Five Secrets with them.

Generally, I'm not a fan of fan-recorded videos at a live concert. It just doesn't compare with the quality of a professionally produced video of the same song. And the excitement that the person who recorded it feels at being at the concert doesn't translate. But half-way through Jon Schmidt's mash-up of I Saw Three Ships and Waterfall, I realized that those are the kinds of things that are never going to be produced. When Jon Schmidt invited his father, Werner Schmidt, on stage, I knew this was something I would like to capture. Even if I can't duplicate the feeling of being there, I wanted to share this beautiful performance, which brought the audience to its feet, with you {have I ever mentioned how much I my iPhone?}.

When we went to see them in May, Steven Sharp Nelson invited his wife, Julie, on stage and together they performed a piece called Ashokan Farewell {many thanks to the fan who captured that moment}. I was hoping that she would be there again to perform with them and when they played A Thousand Years, Steven invited her to join them on the violin.

For their final number, Al Van Der Beek and Paul Anderson joined Jon and Steven on stage to perform Angels We Have Heard on High, followed by What Makes You Beautiful.

We had a wonderful evening and I hope it is a memory that the Not-So-Little Bugs will carry with them for many years.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mormon Messages: The Reason Behind Christmas

May we all make the journey to Bethlehem in spirit, taking with us a tender, caring heart as a gift to our Savior. –Thomas S. Monson, First Presidency Christmas Devotional, December 2012

Saturday, December 21, 2013

P.'s String Ring Dresden: Finished at Last

Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find that you have crossed the mountain. –Unknown

First, welcome to all my new followers! I've had about 25 new people jump aboard my crazy train in the last 24 hours. I'm glad you're all here! If you don't mind me asking, what or who sent you my way? I can tell something is going on over at The Facebook and that it has something to do with my Folded Fabric Star, but I haven't been able to trace the source. I'd love to be let in on the secret. I hope no one is promising you big things, because it is slow going over here right now. Case in point, the quilt I'm about to show.

P. mailed this quilt to me on December 12th. I mailed it back to her all quilted on December 20th. Now, that sounds pretty awesome, doesn't it? Fastest quilting job ever, right? Not so much. She mailed it on December 12, 2012 and I mailed it back on December 20, 2013. And I actually could have mailed it earlier this week. Procrastination at its finest. {Hangs head in shame.} P. has been more than patient with me, which I truly appreciate. I hope her patience is rewarded.

I put the quilt on LadyBug's bed for a little photo shoot. My camera didn't like the light quality, so it is a little blurry. But here it is. Finished! Aside from the unbound edges, it kind of looks like it belongs there. {Sidebar: Isn't LadyBug's bed pretty? I bought assemble-it-yourself bedroom sets for Grasshopper and LadyBug seven or eight years ago. Grasshopper's had blue labels on the boxes and the set is a pretty [TARDIS] blue. I put his together first. LadyBug's set had pink labels on it and when I pulled out her white furniture pieces, she asked why hers wasn't pink. It's funny now because I'm pretty sure she'd refuse to sleep in a pink bed.}

Here is a close up of the quilting in the String Ring Dresdens {from which the quilt gets its name}. I'm really happy with how they turned out. I was so worried about getting the quilting right in the Dresdens because they are the focus of the quilt.

And here's a gratuitous PictTapGo_App and Instagrammed shot. They totally need to make PC versions of these apps :wink:. It is fun to play around with the filters.

Here's a close-up of the scrappy border and one of the diamonds. I'm all about coloring inside the lines. I like to quilt to enhance the piecing. I tried to keep it fairly simple — mostly straight lines, with bit of free-motion to accent — as P.'s directive was {paraphrasing} “less is more.”

And I made an embroidered quilt label to go on the back as a thank you to P. for trusting me with her quilt. When she started this quilt, she put out a call for strings. I sent her a few fabrics {as I quilted I noticed that fabrics I sent her were in 11 of the 12 Dresdens}, so I pulled a few favorites from those to use in the label {which is now outdated. I had a serious case of project procrastination on this quilt. Sheesh.}. It is meant to sit in a corner of the quilt, so I hope P. will show us how it looks when she's trimmed and bound the quilt.

I'd like to send a huge thank you to Paulette for her trust, patience and friendship. I really hope you like the quilting!

More about this quilt:
P.'s Post on How the Idea Came About
P.'s Post on the Significance of the Color Scheme
P.'s Post on Design Decisions
P.'s Post on the Finished Flimsy
P.'s String Ring Dresden Tutorial
A Start on the Quilting
A Little Bit of Quilting Progress
Getting Closer
P's Post on the Bound and Finished Quilt

Today's post brought to you by:
My 2013 Finishes

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Christmas Carol

For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself. ―Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol is a Christmas staple. At this time of year, I always enjoy watching a few of the numerous and varied movies based upon Charles Dickens' beloved work. It is a wonderful story with many lessons to be learned from it.

Recently I discovered that the LDS Church {of which I am a member} has put out an audio production of the original work in full. It has a cast of voice actors and a few sound effects here and there. It has been really fun to listen to while I'm working on my Christmas projects. It is available as a free mp3 download, with no strings attached {no account, login, credit card or personal information required} at The Mormon Channel.

If you're looking for something with a little Christmas Spirit in it, I'd highly recommend checking it out!
A Christmas Carol free mp3 download

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mormon Messages: The Coat

Heber wrapped his thin coat around him and shivered in the cold. It would soon be his birthday, and all he wanted was a warm coat. But they were too poor to buy a coat. Sometimes they went to bed early because there was no fuel to keep the house warm, and sometimes he was hungry because there was not enough food. To earn money, Heber’s mother often worked far into the night, sewing clothes for others.

On Heber’s birthday his mother gave him a beautiful coat made from leftover material. Heber could hardly wait to go outside and feel its warmth.

A few weeks later, Heber saw a boy just his size crying. He was wearing only a sweater, and Heber knew how cold he must be. The boy looked longingly at Heber’s coat. Heber stopped and, almost without thinking, took the coat off and gave it to the boy.

That afternoon Heber’s mother saw him wearing his old coat. She asked, “What have you done with your new coat?” Heber wondered how to tell her. Then he said, “I saw a boy who needed it worse than I did, so I gave it to him.”

“Couldn’t you have given him your old one?” she asked.

Heber looked up at his mother, hoping she would understand, and saw her eyes fill up with tears. He threw his arms around her as she answered her own question. “Of course you couldn’t, Heber,” she said. “Of course, you couldn’t.”
–Adapted from “The Coat,” retold by Lucile C. Reading, Children’s Friend, Nov. 1966, p. 5.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

It Was Supposed To Be TARDIS Blue

{Image Source}
I'll be a story in your head. But that's OK: we're all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh? Because it was, you know. It was the best: a daft old man, who stole a magic box and ran away. Did I ever tell you I stole it? Well, I borrowed it; I was always going to take it back. Oh, that box, Amy, you'll dream about that box. It'll never leave you. Big and little at the same time, brand-new and ancient, and the bluest blue, ever.Doctor Who, season 5, episode 13, The Big Bang, Steve Moffat

I'm finally jumping on the Doctor Who Stitch-Along bandwagon over at Fandom in Stitches, even though I completely missed the boat {talk about your mixed metaphors. If I were really clever, I would have come up with something all time-wimey, TARDIS-y, bow-tie and fez cool. But I'm not.}. I have my patterns all printed out. I'm doing everything at half-size {4" instead of 8"} and am going to make a wall-hanging using the alternate TARDIS layout. {No. P.'s quilt isn't finished yet. This weekend. I promise. I only have a tiny bit to go on it. And I love how it is coming out. But this is what I do when I tell myself I can't work on anything else until the thing I'm currently working on is finished. Because technically speaking, thinking and planning new projects to work on is not actually working on something else.}. I even found the perfect wood-grain print fabric in TARDIS Blue. {It's an actual color. Pantone 2955C - 012C57 HEX - 1,44,87 RGB.}

So I ordered 2½ yards of it. It came in the mail yesterday. Did it not look TARDIS Blue in the swatch from the on-line listing above? Tell me that's not TARDIS Blue. It's totally TARDIS Blue. Below is what was in my package. This is definitely not TARDIS Blue.

Mr. Bug suggested dying it. Can I just say how much I love this man? He is a really great sounding board. I was actually already planning on discharging the dye from a small portion of the fabric to use to stitch the nine different Doctors on in the lower portion of the TARDIS, so that it would look like the panels on the side of the box, but give it a little bit of contrast in color. In my very quick perusal at Paula Burch's site on hand dyeing {thanks for the link, P.}, and with some fiddling around and probably an on-line dye order, it might be possible to pull it off. But sheesh. Why doesn't wood-grain print just come in TARDIS Blue already? I mean, it comes in Gray and Straw and Teal and Violet and whatever color it is that I got and about twelve other unlikely colors. So why not TARDIS blue?

Today's post brought to you by:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A String Ring Dresden Quilt Progress Report

Paralyze resistance with persistence. –Woody Hayes

The ditch quilting is done. The embellishments in the pieced border and black diamonds are finished. I crissed and I crissed and I crissed. Then I procrastinated. Eventually I got around to some crossing. After a little more procrastination I crossed and then crossed some more. And I finally got the straight line quilting finished in P.'s String Ring Dresden. {I PicTapGo_Apped and Instagramed [find me @suchasewandsew] the photo and it's supposed to be all artsy smarsty, but it just looks over-exposed. The original is not much better. It's kind of hard to tell when you've got less than 3" square of photo to go on.}

The red centers in the Dresdens are all crissed and crossed too. All I have left to quilt is something fancy in the Dresden rings. {See, it's a crap shoot with full-size photos that have been PicTapGo_Apped and Instagramed. This one is kind of awesome.}

That fancy pants quilting that remains to be done is at the root of all of the procrastination. It is very intimidating to quilt for another quilter. But as soon as I finish those Dresdens, then I can work on anything I want {read: I have forbidden myself to even think of another project until this one is done}. I have a good idea. Now I just need to put needle to quilt and make it work. And so off I go to my Jolly Holiday Workshop. A little music to quilt by, if you please.

Available for purchase from The Piano Guys or on iTunes.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Memories Part II: The Nutcracker

When all the toys had been admired, Herr Drosselmeyer reached into his bag one more time and brought out his special gift for Clara. It was a toy soldier, very straight and tall, painted red, black, and gold. He had deep green eyes, a beautiful curled mustache and real silken hair. Best of all, his jaws could be worked to crack nuts to eat. From the first moment she saw him, Clara loved the Nutcracker more than any other present she had received. –story adaptation by Karla Burkitt

In early November LadyBug told me that they were adding a field trip for her class that had not been included on the list at the beginning of the year. When she told me they were going to see The Nutcracker performed by Ballet West, I contacted her teacher right away and asked if they needed any adult chaperons. I've been wanting to take LadyBug to see The Nutcracker for a long time. It is one of my childhood Christmas memories and I wanted to share that with her. For one reason or another I've just never done it, so I was really glad to find that they needed a few parents to come along.

Because this was an extra field trip {presumably because we got rained out at the Renaissance Faire in September, which I look lots of photos of but never posted about}, parent chaperons were asked to provide their own transportation to and from Salt Lake so they could save on the cost of buses and only take one bus for the entire 6th grade. Last week, LadyBug's teacher contacted me and asked if I would be able to take LadyBug with me. I think she was a little disappointed not to ride on the bus with her friends, but I was really glad to have her company.

We rode the light rail up to Salt Lake and joined LadyBug's class as they were dividing into groups for a quick stop at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. We only had time for the highlights, as determined by our tour guides {and it was wonderful; I'd love to go back} and then we walked around the corner to the Capitol Theater and were ushered into seats on the sixth row on the left side of the theater. I looked on-line and I'm pretty sure tickets for the seats we were in are over $200.

It's been a number of years since I've seen The Nutcracker. Mr. Bug and I went to see it when we were first married at this same theater. Our tickets then were fifth row center, and also a gift. I got a little teary as the curtain went up and though I knew the story, it was magical to see it again. They only performed the first act, which finishes with the Waltz of the Snowflakes and the Pas de Deux by the Snow King and Queen. It was so beautiful! The dancers were amazing and I feel so blessed to have been able to attend with LadyBug.

On our train ride home, I asked LadyBug how she enjoyed the ballet. She answered with a shrug and an, "uh, eh, uh," {think I don't know}. So I tried a different approach. I asked her to use a scale of one to ten, one being meh and ten being totally awesome. Her answer was eight! For the most part, she keeps her feelings to herself. Unless something is totally unmanageable for her and she has a meltdown, I usually have a hard time gauging how she feels. I was really glad that she enjoyed the ballet so much. I then asked her if she would be interested in seeing the whole ballet. She gave her usual shrug and made that non-committal I don't know sound. I tried the scale again; one being not interested at all and ten being super interested and her answer was a seven!

I don't know if we'll make it to see the whole ballet this year. There are several performances {by a different ballet company} close to us in the next two weeks, but I'm not sure if we'll be able to fit it in. I'd really love to, but it might have to be something to put on the calendar for next year. In the meantime, I'll be having Sugar Plum Fairy dreams.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Captain's Log: Stardate 91544.54

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life. –Albert Camus

Flashback #1:
Monday, November 11th, around 4:00 pm. I'm grocery shopping at the local Wal-Marts and Christmas music is playing. This does not put me in a relaxed and happy mood. Nor does it inspire me to spend a little more on the ones I love. It nearly induces a panic attack in the dairy aisle because I have no idea what to get for anyone on my Christmas list and time is running short for inspiration to hit. It also kind of makes me want to cut my ears off and send them and a note that says, "happy ho, ho, ho to you!" to whatever corporate genius thought it would be good idea to start selling Christmas the day after Halloween. I then come to my senses and finish my grocery shopping in a very Grinch-like manner.

Present day:
Tonight was my work Christmas party. I started work at this company 3 years ago, just a few days before the Christmas party. This is the fourth Christmas party I've attended while working for them. Wait. That's not true. I stayed home last year with a migraine. {Sidebar: I had a migraine this year too, but I went anyway.} This was, by far, the best party we've had. We enjoyed lots of amazing food at a local favorite restaurant. Everyone got a small gift {a 16GB USB drive} and then they raffled off some really fun stuff, including $10 lunches on the company, movie pass/restaurant gift card combos, Redbox movie night packages, and a {slightly used} 32" flat-screen TV wired for internet and with a built-in USB port. As awesome as all of those things were, the prize up for grabs when my name was called was eight hours of vacation time. It was exactly what I wanted.

Flashback #2:
Tuesday, November 26th, around 6:00 pm. I've just finished grocery shopping and have a supply of cold cereal and milk to keep us out of the stores well beyond Black Friday and the mayhem that follows. With the prospects of a nice four-day weekend ahead, the lights on the trees and the decorations on the street posts that the City put up actually make me feel a little cheery and anticipatory of the Christmas season.

Present Day, a few minutes later:
I'm feeling quite festive tonight. I'm really looking forward to our family parties. I love the food and the conversation and the time together. But I still don't really have a clue about what to get my loved ones for Christmas. I'm riding coattails wherever I can. When someone says, "hey, let's go in on this fantastic item for Beloved Family Member X," I say, "You bet. You can count me in." But as far as getting really great brainwaves of my own, well, I'm not.

I don't consider this attitude to be particularly Scroogish. Let me explain why. At our house we already have plenty of stuff. I'm actually more interested in sorting through and paring down the stuff we already have than I am in going out and hunting for the perfect new stuff to give the Not-So-Little Bugs, which I will then have to try to find places to put. Instead of the commercial collecting of stuff, this year I want to focus on the creating of memories. Did I mention I got eight hours of vacation time at the party tonight?

Flashback #3:
Sometime in December in perhaps 1983 or 1984. Maybe it was 1985. I'm not 100% positive. Growing up, we did not have a lot of money. My parents worked hard to make sure that we had what we needed. They stayed out of debt and made a dollar stretch as far as it would go. This particular year, there was a family in our ward {congregation} whose budget was stretched even thinner than my parents'. And so my mom asked us what we would think if she took one of our gifts back and used the money to buy something for this family. We thought it was a great idea. My mom did the shopping and wrapping. On Christmas Eve we crept quietly to their doorstep where we gently placed the packages, rang the doorbell and then ran for the hills.

I do not remember what we gave them. Perhaps pajamas and a toy for each of the kids? I do not remember what I got for Christmas that year, nor do I remember feeling at all deprived because I had one less gift than was originally planned. But I do remember how good it felt to give something to someone who needed it.

Present Day, a little bit after that:
I think perhaps my gift-giving mental block this year stems from the fact that I already have everything I need. I can not think of a single material thing that I need. Mr. Bug and I are happy. We care about each other. We help each other. We have rough spots now and then, but we're on the same team. We have two beautiful children. We have a roof over our heads, clothes to wear and enough to eat. I have enough Ph.D's to keep me stitching for years. I really couldn't ask for much more.

What I want is to make memories with the residents of Bug Cottage. Those eight vacation hours are going to come in handy. I have them earmarked for something special.

My mom continues to help others in need each Christmas season. I don't think there has been a year that has gone by without her donating to Sub-for-Santa or picking a name off the Angel Tree. And I think that maybe a little of that giving spirit is what is missing from my Christmas this year. I've decided that part of my quest for family memories will include some time spent volunteering at the food bank {barring any unforseen age restrictions} this holiday season.

There is still shopping and sewing and crafting to be done. Christmas coming ever closer. Just thinking about everything that needs to happen in such a short amount of time in order to pull it all off this year makes me hyperventilate a little. But I've decided that I'm going let the idea of a "Perfect Christmas" go. I'm going to get done what I can and not worry about the rest. Christmas will come whether or not I send out a hundred Christmas cards and give homemade ornaments to all the neighbors.

At this point, I have two options. I can ride the crazy train for the next two weeks and arrive stressed and stretched so thin that I don't even enjoy it. Or I can see where the Polar Express takes me.

I have a feeling that the second option will be a little more magical.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Stitch In Time: November Finishes Giveaway Winner

Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success. –Napoleon Hill

November was a little thin in numbers for linked finishes, which is quite understandable. I'm sure everyone was basting turkeys instead of quilts :wink:. Nevertheless, what was linked in November was really fun and I enjoyed seeing each finished project! I had one finish in November {which I obviously can't link up to my own party but am still excited about and hope you won't mind if I brag about it a little}, a Drunkard's Path quilt I called Ripples. It was great to have a finish last month! Thanks to everyone who participated and I'm looking forward to seeing what you finish in December. I'm excited to announce our November winner. Grasshopper drew this month and he pulled #6 out of the hat.

Congratulations to
:partytime: Julia :partytime:

Julia will receive a $10 gift certificate from The Fat Quarter Shop! Make sure you click over and see her beautiful Sailboat Quilt. Julia had two other quilt art finishes in November, Sailboat II and a Cardinal Quilt. If you have a minute, check out a few of the other fun finishes in November! {I highly recommend checking out the Hopscotch by Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation.}

The December Finishes Linky Party is open, so you can link up as you go throughout the month. Remember to include the December Finishes button {code found in the December post} somewhere in any post you link up. Code for a button for your sidebar can also be found at the bottom of the December post. This month, The Fat Quarter shop is giving away a charm pack of Modern Roses by Stephanie Ryan.
Modern Roses

Today's post brought to you by:

Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas Memories Part I: Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand

What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. ― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

This Christmas we're making memories instead of collecting more stuff that we have to find places for. Oh, I have a few good surprises in store for the big day. There'll be a few pretty good presents under the tree. In the meantime, we're spending time together and spreading the Christmas cheer across the whole month. Our first stop on the 2013 Christmas Memories tour was the Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband Christmas Concert tonight.

If you ever have a chance to see Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband, do it. They put on a really great show, despite tonight's reviews from most of the residents at Bug Cottage. Grasshopper maintains that he smiled once, but it was painful. When we asked LadyBug what she though, she said, "eh," even though I saw her clapping along and laughing at their antics. And Mr. Bug said he went for me {sidebar: my enthusiasm embarrasses him at concerts so he gets double points}, but I saw a pretty content smile on his face as he watched. Despite what they say, I know that they all secretly had a good time. As for me, I had an awesome time.

I thought I'd share a little bit of the Christmas Mayhem with you. You can see the band performing live on a local radio station here, but I picked this video to share with you because the sound is a little better and lyrics are actually quite clever.

However you choose to celebrate the season, I hope you're off to a good start!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Stitch In Time: December Finishes Linky Party

Success isn't a matter of being the best and winning the race. Success is a matter of handling the worst and still finishing the race. –Ritu Ghatourey

Welcome to another month of sharing finishes. Christmas is in the air and one of my favorite things to do is to give hand made gifts. I'm guessing that there are a few others out there who like to do that too. I hope you'll stop by, link up your crafty finishes here so I can have a peek and then click on a few links yourself! My hope is for this to be a place where we encourage each other in the successes, both big and little. Let the linking begin!

To participate in this month's linky party:
• Your project must be completed sometime in December, 2013.
• Once you've got your project finished {as in done, finito, nothing more to add, ready to use/display/give away} with some sort of stitching in it, blog about it or post a photo of it on Flickr.
• Scroll down to see what other bloggers are up to and link to your own finishes.
• Please include the December button in your blog post. Copy the code in the text box below and paste it somewhere in the post you link for this month's finishes. The button is a link to this specific post, so that other bloggers can find their way over and link up too. If you'd like a button for your sidebar, the code is at the bottom of this post.

• Each time you link up a finished project, you're entered to win the December giveaway, a charm pack of Modern Roses by Stephanie Ryan.
Modern Roses

• Thank you to The Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring our giveaway!

The Fine Print {which might be boring but you really should read}:
• Your project must be completed during the month you are linking to.
• Projects must include stitching of some sort. For example: appliqué, crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, knitting, practical sewing {garment construction, bags, curtains, etc.}, quilting.
• Projects must be completely finished. As in done, finito, nothing more to add, ready to use/display/give away.
• You can pick something new to do, but projects do not have to be started during the month. If you pick up a UFO, Ph.D, WIP and finish it during the month, it counts.
• Finishes must be completed during this month, but you have until noon MST on the 1st of the next month to link your post.
• Post about your finish and then link your specific post {instructions here} above. Links to your blog and not the individual post about your finished project will be deleted.
• Have more than one finish this month? Great! Post about each finish individually and then link the specific posts up separately. Each finish, and therefore each link you add, counts as one entry for this month's giveaway.
• If you've already posted about a finish for this month, there's no need to do a separate post. Just add the button to that post and link up.
• Please copy and paste the code below to include this month's button somewhere in the post {not your sidebar} you link up for this month.

• Don't have a blog? You can link from your flickr account. Just post a picture, include a little note about your finish and a link back here {code included below} in the description. Then join the linky party.

• Want a button for your sidebar? Copy and paste the code below into an HTML gadget for your sidebar. This button is a link to the main A Stitch In Time Linky Party page, which always has the current month's finishes and links to all previous linky parties.
A Stitch In Time Linky Party

• Make sure to visit a few of the other links and leave them some love {ie, a comment}. A good rule of thumb is to visit two links for every one you include.
• Winner of the sponsored giveaway will be drawn randomly from among the links and announced by 8:00 pm MST on the 3rd of the following month.
• Instructions for making an index page to your finishes can be found here.
• Kindly consider changing your comment settings to the pop-up window option for faster and easier commenting for visitors to your blog. Instructions can be found here.