Happy 2017 to you all! I hope yours was the merriest Christmas and holiday season ever because the Ferguson family’s surely was.
I can’t help but rant on and on ad nauseum about our holiday activities and good times, so for those who prefer to stay on topic, which would be SEWING, I will save those details for after the sewing news. But we really had some great fun and you might glean an idea or two for your family gatherings.
At Thanksgiving, almost 4 yo granddaughter Vivian Rose asked me to please make her another “kitty cat” outfit. Then as she walked in the door for Christmas, she again pleaded with this wrapped-around-her-little-finger Nana for another kitty cat dress. Please!
After the Too Many Cats dress cat-astrophe, I thought maybe I could talk her into trading the too big, too worn out and too ugly dress for another better one. Having this fabric on hand and my go-to CC Lucy pattern at the ready, I worked on it for two evenings after she went to sleep. Voila’! A new and improved version of kitty cat dress, though I wish I had taken time to lay out the front so the Eiffel Tower was centered.
The pocket is not piped. I’ve taken to substituting spaghetti bias for piping. It is simply butted up to the attached pocket and secured with a tiny zig zag and monofilament thread. Cover the raw edges with a button. Easy peasy.
The good news? Vivian Rose loved it, though she did say that the pockets were too small. She knew she couldn’t fit in her little hand and a big fat chocolate donut. Granddad ALWAYS has a box of Dunkin Donuts on the counter for easy access. And he replaces it daily when he goes for his early morning hot latte. He figures they can eat healthy at home.
The bad news? No way would she give up Too Many Cats, now demoted to Second Favorite Dress. Oh, well. It has been laundered 2-3 times a week since Sept. 1 so how much longer can it last? Maybe a while…. the fabric is such good quality.
The boys wanted to sew (read “embroider”) as soon as they arrived. Alastair, 7, yo, is quite competent at threading and running my Brother Quattro machine. So he selected the embroidery design, selected his colors and stitched it with no more help than my hooping it for him. He was so pleased, and so was his proud mother.
At the same time, Robert, 11, was embroidering a dishtowel for his mother on my Brother Dream Machine. But I did not get a picture. In September his family moved from Florida (24 miles from our home) to New Jersey –BOO HOO!!!! He chose a design which looks similar to their new home, stitched it in brown like the exterior and even added the house number to the front door.
Robert did this and even used the array feature to arc the text in Brother’s PE-Design. These kids must be born with a chip. It comes so easily to them.
For a friend’s new baby I embroidered a soft knit hooded towel, wash cloth, and bib set. Yellow duck from an old Amazing Designs Bath Time 1 collection looked sweet on white with picot edged pastel aqua. But again, no time for a photo.
I did get a picture of my favorite Christmas gift. Included in Robert’s 6th grade curriculum is a co-ed Modern Living class. One project was hand sewing a small pillow. Robert selected the fabric and made this pin cushion for me. I love it, I love every stitch he made and I love him.
Then with white glass head pins he embellished it with his initials. That seemed like a good idea to 7 yo cousin Alastair so he did the same using silver Iris pins. He even helped almost 4yo Vivian Rose with hers.
The rest of this post is family chit chat, so skip this if it doesn’t interest you. It will probably bore you but it makes me happy to relive those days with pictures and words. It really was 12 days of fun.
Our 12 Days of Christmas Fun
On the first day after our son’s family arrived at our home, we decorated gingerbread houses. That’s a long standing tradition in our family–decorating the house and eating a good bit of the candy decorations.
The NJ kids washed the golf cart just to soak up the warm Florida sunshine. Also, to please their beloved granddad for whom they would do anything.
Christmas Eve we wrapped gifts and went to a beautiful candlelight service. Sitting together in the beautiful sanctuary, listening to the glorious choir and singing age old carols kept the reason for the season fresh in our minds.
Of course, Christmas Day we had a traditional celebrations–gifts, a huge turkey dinner, and fun. Our son and son-in-law (and their children) had a big time with the remote controlled air sharks. When I saw these advertised on line I couldn’t resist them. But the fins kept falling off and one shark was determined to go his own way, regardless of the remote’s direction. Still, they generated a lot of laughter.
The children were eager to spend time with their Florida friends, several of whom visited at our house. Robert and Laurel, especially, spent time at their friend’s homes, catching up and reconnecting.
As we planned for the holidays, we thought we needed to spice things up with more to do than hanging out with the grandparents and their friends. So we made up a few entertaining activities.
When I saw these lighted beanies on-line, I ordered one for everyone. Aside from being useful for the older grands who wait mornings for the school bus in the dark, I thought we could have fun with these. So 10 beanies were ordered, one for each member of the family.
So the hats were distributed and the game Gotcha became a new tradition. Basically, it’s just hide-and-seek in the dark. While “IT” stands in the middle of the yard with eyes closed, each person finds a hiding spot in the front yard, with their beanies lighted so as not to run into a tree. At the count of 25 IT calls “lights out!” then counts to five before seeking with his light on. When someone is spotted, IT yells “Gotcha!” and the game starts over again. And again. And again. The children never tired of it, but the adults surely did.
Other evenings we made s’mores over a huge bonfire. Our left over yard debris from Hurricane Matthew made impressive bonfires.
The children loved The Quest, a modified daytime scavenger hunt, though the only thing they hunted for was the next clue.
“It’s got a new roof and a ladder to climb. That’s where the next clue you will find.” Off they went to the tree house and poked around looking for the next clue.
“Towels and goggles and maybe some trunks. Your clue’s in a big box along with some junk.” To the pool!
“A tree was planted for each grandchild. Your clue is by one kitty cat wild.” No question about this one. They ran to Vivian’s tree.
“You love to ride it especially at night. The next clue is near there but not in bright light.” Off to Bob’s utility shed where the golf cart is kept. I took a while to find that well hidden clue.
“There are two naked children wearing no clothes. Why are they like that? Nobody knows.” They ran off to the back garden.
There were 14 clues and the children ran and ran, criss-crossing our 3 acres again and again. We wore them out. Yeah!
“Go to the place where we all love to eat. Have a root beer float. You’ve completed this feat!”
What a happy 12 days we had. We managed to spend time alone with each of our fabulous adult children. Laurel and I had a Starbucks date. We went to see the new Moana movie. There were night rides on the golf cart, football games watched in front of the fireplace, bedtime stories and prayers and lots and lots of kisses and hugs. But still, we wanted more. So until the next time we are all together I pray this prayer.