A quilt finish….

A quilt was finished in my studio this past week and it was NOT mine!!

Back in the summer, my friend Kaitlynn asked if I would teach her to make a quilt. We made a great start before classes started again for her and then things slowed down to a crawl.

On Monday she came over with the intent to FINISH the quilt in time to use as a Christmas gift for her Mom. She spent 4 hours bent over the machine, with the free-motion quilting FLOWING out.

The effort worked and before she left, we had a wonderful photo of her WITH her new, finished quilt…..

But the best photo arrived on Christmas Eve…..

….the smiles say it all!!

Fun on Christmas Day….

How was your Christmas Day?

Because our kids come to celebrate on Christmas Eve….

….. it means that Christmas itself is a relaxing and fun day, culminating with Chinese food for dinner…..

After a slow and luxurious start, Michael headed for his man cave and I climbed the stairs to my studio!! The rest of the day was spent with this as my view…..

…..as I worked to finish the quilting on the “Crumbs for the Geese” quilt.

I spent a few minutes trying out my new cordless iron that Jenny (my daughter) gave to me…..

It gets really hot and will be a great asset to the studio. I just have to learn to put it into the holder rather than just standing it up on the ironing board.

One of the gifts that my Daughter-In-Law (Amber) gave to me was a coloring book that was hand drawn on watercolor paper. Since I have been planning to do some playing with watercolors, I decided that this was the place to start. It was fun to try out a new and different medium…..

What’s in your Christmas toolbox?

Normally, I am posting about my “Quilter’s toolbox”, talking about my favorite tools that make quilting tasks easier. But, today I put up our Christmas tree and decided to talk about my favorite tools for easy tree set-up and removal!!

Let me first say that the Arnold family ALWAYS has a real tree….or two!!! The “inside” tree is 8+ feet tall and for many years we struggled to get it securely set up. Then one day I happened upon this product…..

Krinner Tree Genie

Now it doesn’t come cheap, BUT today my husband and I (both in our 60’s) set up a 9-10 foot tree in only 5 minutes!! The design has 5 prongs that are attached by an extremely strong wire. You place the tree trunk in the center, step on the pump lever, and slowly the trunk is captured by the wire and prongs and is held fast!!!

It is truly amazing…..

The second tool in my Christmas tree arsenal is this simple watering system……

It is simply a funnel attached to a length of plastic pipe!!! The pipe base fits easily into the water channel of the stand. The funnel top comes off and I leave the pipe intermingled with the tree branches…..

It’s just below the orange line!!!

When I need to add water, I simply reattach the funnel and pour in the water.

But now the festive season is over and the tree needs to come down…..but the stand is full of water!!!

I have purchased this small syphon pump similar to this one…..

Once I have pumped out as much of the water as possible, I stuff newspapers (or paper towels) into the opening to soak up any additional water and the tree is ready to move out!!! The hardest thing about this process is finding newspapers to use…….

These seem silly tips but they certainly make quick work of the decorating and de-decorating, meaning that I get upstairs to my studio even faster!!!

So here’s to a HAPPY and FUN Christmas season….even if it is 2020!!!

Crazy Arnold Christmas

As I mentioned back at Thanksgiving, our family has never been “normal” when it comes to celebrations, but we all love to laugh and have fun and that is the theme of this post!!!

In the last few years we have celebrated with our children on Christmas Eve, leaving Christmas Day for the kids to visit with their spouse’s family. This past celebration was a blast and I wanted to share a bit of the fun with you.

This was the year of the “payback”…..let me explain. For MANY years I have made our kids play games and have contests to get their presents. They have had to pop balloons to get cash out of them, unwrap $5 bills that had been ensconced in toilet paper rolls and even solve a puzzle to open the bank that held their gift.

Each year we hide a “cactus” ornament (as opposed to a pickle) and the winner gets to unwrap a game of some sort and then they play…..for money of course!!! This year was a slapping game and the results were spectacular……

Then, the guys received a boxing “training ball” as a gag gift and we all trooped outside to watch them train…..

Now it was time for payback…..in a big way……

Our sweet kids gave us a Gift Certificate to spend a weekend at a favorite spot. It was SO unexpected and we are looking forward to a weekend away in the near future!!!

The fun continued for the rest of the evening, with Mexican Chicken Spaghetti for dinner and, of course, the opening of lots of presents…..

…..and the annual Christmas family photo……

Christmas day was a quiet affair starting with a morning walk, including a neighborhood trail that I haven’t been on in the 7+ years that we have lived here…..

The morning continued by doing a bit of stitching and watching a great Christmas movie……”DIE HARD”!!!!!!…….

…..lunch from a local Chinese restaurant……

….and ending the day in my studio, enjoying some of my gifts……

As you can see, I have LOTS of things to try in the new year!!

All in all, it was a WONDERFUL holiday!!!! I hope that you also enjoyed a very……