Thursday, December 21, 2006
Our rescued Christmas cookies...
The day started early, the program was tough :
08.30 : hairdresser, for a fresh cut (+ some color) - nice conversations and laughters.....
10.00 : (last ?) Christmas errands : a real struggle among the crowd...but I met 3 nice friends of mine and luckily found what I was looking for...
12.30 : quick snack with my daughter, who complained being "ooooooverbooked" and "soooooo tired".... (being 29 ? with one child only ? plus a housekeeper two times a week ?).....tss, tss, tss..... I tried to convince her she was complaining of ease, but she remained doubtful . However we spent a very nice moment : she so clever, interesting and attractive (see her photo above), but she's got that habit to easily dramatize, whereas I'm always looking for something positive. She says I'm childish.... (well, to tell you the truth, I often think she could be my mother !). ..
13.30 : Christmas cookies afternoon, with Laura (my African quilt, remember?)
Oh, what fun ! We really had a wonderful time........ until I fell down with the whole cookies tray....
No harm, but you should have seen us , taking the cookies back on the tray ! A good souvenir for later !
A nice haircut...
Having 4 children, so different from each other, that I'm never bored......
Being THEIR child, sometimes
The smell of cookies in the house
A nice phone call from my eldest son, Peter (Pierre)
My "Pay it forward swap" (see yesterday's post)
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Some weeks ago, I had read CATHY's blog, about her "pay it forward swap"..... She said she would send a quilty surprise to the first five persons, asking for it. In return, you promise to do the same to five other persons..... I like this philosophy of giving, so I put my name on her list...
Today I received Cathy's envelope with a cute Dear Jane hearts block to hang in the Christmas tree (plus a lovely piece of fabric, as a Christmas present, and a beautiful card, with a princess design made by her daughter..... This is soooo kind ! THANK YOU, CATHY ! (I'll post a photo, as soon as my son brings back the camera...)
Now it's my turn to keep my promise, and make 5 other people happy :
the first five friends among you to put their name on my list, will get a surprise gift from me ! Come on, I'd like to make you happy ! The only thing you'll have to do is make five other people happy !
Saturday, December 16, 2006
I just switched to Beta blogger, watching my screen eyes wide open, crossing my fingers, as if I were going to loose my treasure........ Now, this is a test message.... wait and see !
Image loading : pretty quick.....
Presentation : I keep having the same problem of big blank space between title and message, though I chose a small picture size.....
The tree is lit (though it doesn't show well on the picture), and our brand new fireside is ready....
Our big chimney was designed and built by DH, 25 years ago, when we built the house. Until last winter, the fireside was totally open, but I was complaining about the dust, especially on the wall papers. So, this year, we decided to insert a "fire cassette", as they call it. It took three days work, as we (I) didn't want to break the chimney.... what a woman wants.......
Now we're ready for celebrations. Christmas at home is always very simple, but festive. We do our best to have the whole family together, which means the brothers & sisters and their children... plus eventually the children's children. This brings us to approx. 25 to 30 people around the table, on the 24th. The menu is always the same, following my in law's Italian traditions : it's a fish and seafood menu. My mother in law once told me this : "no meat on the night when Christ is born ! Christ was poor, and fish was often on the menu..." Well maybe she's right, but fish and seafood are not affordable to the poor people, at this time of the year ! Oh well, she likes it that way,she's 83 now, and she's such a nice mum to me.....
(do I tell you something funny ? When we kiss goodnight, long after midnight, she keeps telling each one : "careful ! don't make love tonight ! it's Christ night ! Be respectful !") LOL !
So what did I say ? Ah, yes, the fish menu... There are many laughters and you can really feel the warmth of a family. All women cook all day, all men take care of the children (and of the wine). The total cost is shared between all of us, except Nonno & Nanna. At midnight, some of us go to the mass, the others watch it on TV, while washing the dishes... When we're all together again, we exchange the presents (one present per person - two weeks before Christmas you take a paper out of Nonno's hat, with the name of the one you will offer a present - same value for every present : approx. 20$ - ). Apart from that : two special presents are bought (one for a man, one for a woman). These are presents for the "party winners" !
And then comes THE party: all women sit around one table and play the "lotery" (you know that game with numbers and cards to fill in...), we laugh a lot (and eat a lot of dry fruit and Christmas cookies). All men sit around another table, playing cards together (and tasting the home made Lemoncello....).
And that's our "Natale"...
On the 25th, some of us bring cookies and sweets to the local old people's home, and then we quietly stay at home, and have a brunch (often composed of some leftovers), each of us with our own children...
Have you got special traditions to tell ? I'm curious to know them !
(I didn't tell you about my own Belgian traditions, as I hadn't any, before meeting DH, and his lovely family.... which has become mine)...
Friday, December 15, 2006
Thank you, my friends, for your birthday wishes ! You are all so nice !
(a special wink at May Britt, for her postcard surprise.....)
It was a good day, full of love, warmth.... The simple joys of life.
We made the Christmas tree and decorated our brand new fireplace. I've got some photo's to upload soon...
My first new year's day welcomed me this morning with a beautiful winter sun, brightening our garden, and I couldn't resist showing it to you....
(Shall we have snow for Christmas?)
A new year, ahead of me, full of promises, challenges, joys, sorrows maybe, and the certitude that love and friendship are part of my life...
A new agenda to fill in (I traditionally choose it today)....
Beautiful music to play on....
Hot coffee to sip quietly, while blogging....
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I was making my "night tour" on my friends' blogs and couldn't leave any comment..... What was felt as dialogue and communication, is now becoming monologue.... Too bad !
Hanne : the photo you posted is beautiful: so sweet and warm ! The Christmas stitchery is so cute in red (not to speak about such a nice quilty mug !)
Cynthia : these little stars are going to be a big tempation ! (especially, as I've got that magazine/pattern ). I really must "brake with both feet" for not starting them.... But I'll be reasonable (me??????) and wait until I can do them with 30's fabrics (so cute) that I'll order (some day) through the Web (can't find them here in Belgium).....
Judy L. : my best wishes for your new installation. Beautiful house ! I understand your contentment.... I also visited your menus list : my, oh my ! You ARE very organized ! What a good idea to share this with us ! Thanks, Judy !
Darlene, Jeanne, and many others : I just joined the "frustrated bloggers" club ! To think that I still haven't switched to Beta !......
Finn, Patti : your posts are so nice ! Thanks for sharing, thanks for the inspiration....
To the many other friends that I like (need) to visit every day : I'm so sorry, but you know that I read you with pleasure.......
Isn't there a way of sharing this problem with Blogger ? Can't they do anything to solve that ?..........
Please, feel free to leave a comment ! (LOL)
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Henri the postman was very excited to show me a big envelope from Australia. I guessed it was from CYNTHIA (Aussie quilter) . Short story : one or two waaks ago, I had seen a publicity in one of my Australian P&Q magazine, about a cute stitchery quilt. Unfortunately, there was no e-mail address, not web nr., only a telephone nr. Frustration.... Then I asked Cynthia if she could eventually contact them, order the pattern and send it to me (refunded, of course), but that was quite a lot to do ! Well, not only did Cynthia all that for me, but she said it was a Christmas present ! Isn't that friendly and generous ? So, again dear CYNTHIA, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart !
The second photo concerns another web quilting friend, NANCY. We are part of the same "Primfolkapplique" group. A while ago, someone in that group told about "sAMPLER MAGAZINE". I explained that we can't get this in our Belgian libraries, and she gently offered to send some of them to me. THANK YOU, NANCY !
I 'm not sure I deserved all this, but it was for sure a very, very good day !
Sunday, December 10, 2006
This is going to be a long 5-parts message. But Blogger was friendly today, and I could load many photos...
We came in Brussels at 4pm... Luckily, it was not raining. The weather was quite cold, but it was not freezing....
This is the Brussels "Grand' Place", with the courthouse (15th century)...... a work of art : the sculpting looks like lace...
(to be continued, see posts 2, 3, 4, 5...)
The Grand Place was so beautiful in the night !
You may wonder why the Christmas tree was illuminated in blue & white.... the reason is that these are the Brussels colors...
All these emotions made us hungry, so we went to "La petite Rue des Bouchers" to eat some seafood....
a wonderful souvenir....
Friday, December 8, 2006
Whew ... Time flies ! I didn't figure my last post dated 9 days ago ! (Busy, busy bee fo Christmas....)
No quilty photo, today, so I thought I might as well show you my favourite spot (I had been tagged, some weeks ago, but I don't remember who did it....).
This is our sitting room (no sewing room for Nadine), where I usually quilt. See the lamp ? My place is in the couch, with the lamp on my left. I like it, it's comfortable...
Applique and hand piecing are done on the dining room table, whereas machine piecing is done...... on the kitchen table ! (Do I need to say that my quilts, stash and quilt books are stored in our bedroom ?)>>>>DH says I'm "squatting" the whole house. Well, he's right (for once !)... what else can I say ?
Anyway, one day I'll have my own sewing room. When there will only be the two of us at home, there will be three free bedrooms.... and I bet I'll keep my old habits ! (lol)
Stormy weather ouside, and cosy by the fireplace...
Lovely mails from friends
I made a fuit cake.... and succeeded !
I worked hard at housekeeping today : the house smells wax and I love it ...
Tomorrow, we're going to the Brussels Christmas Market.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
No quilty news, today. So, for once, I wanted to post some flowers....
I made this quilt 5 years ago. It is totally hand pieced (English paper piecing) and handquilted, some of the fabrics are from aprons from my dear Grandmother.... It took me 3 years to complete it ... This photo was taken during the only official show we had with our bee.
New photos tomorrow (Laura's quilt is progressing....)
Gigglings with a good quilter friend
Good book finished
It's freezing... I love it !
Monday, November 27, 2006
Visiting May Britt's nice blog (Abyquilt), a few weeks ago, I fell in love with her applique blocks from Faye Anderson's book "Applique Delights".... So I ordered the book (what else could I do ?), and had the pleasure to get it last Thursday.
This book is a treasure and I'm so happy to have it ! The next step was to choose a color scheme... May Britt told me "choose your favourite colors !"...
The problem with me is that I like ALL of them ! It took me one day (and almost one night), + intensive search into my stash, to reach the most pleasing combination (at least to me, of course). The "light" came from the background fabric : a sweet pastel, tone on tone printed, pink that I had bought in Spain.
I thought that this would cool my mind, after the strong colors I'm using in Laura's African quilt. The rest was easy : greens, yellows (no quilt without yellow, for me!) medium and dark pinks + a touch of purple (which I love very much).
So everything was settled to start by next January..... but then a tiny inner voice kept saying "why don't you give it a try ?"... you now the rest of the story :what else could I do ?...
This first block is not perfect, as I'm practicing a new method (to me) with freeze paper (thanks, May Britt), but the result is quite acceptable for a first trial (sorry, second trial, the first one was kind of disaster...). There are 50 blocks to make, so I think I will improve. (What else could I do ?)
As to Laura's quilt top, I'm working on it and I'll probably post a picture tomorrow.
- 18 degrees Celcius, today ! (Is it spring again ????)
- Cheerful emails from dear friends
- the firewood was delivered on Saturday : what fun all together to stock it !
- Christmas presents to prepare secretly - Whisperings behind doors....
- A good book to read.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Henri, the postman, rang my bell this morning........ "Again ?????"
"yes, he said, this time it's from Finland! Got some coffee ?"...
I must have been blessed by the Quilts Fairy ! The parcel was from Jen (Hedgehog), who wished to thank me for a pattern I had sent to her....
What a treat ! >>>>>> Christmas tea, chocolate, liquorice sweets (yum!), napkins, a beautiful Flying Geese card, and a cute piece of fabric !
How nice and sweet, Jen ! Thank you so much!
Thinking about all this fills my heart with gratitudes, for the incredible joys and true friends I have found in quilting and blogging. In this Thanksgiving period, my heart is deeply touched, and I wish to say THANK YOU, my blogger friends : Darlene, Darcie, May Britt, Hanne, Lucy, Jen, Patti, Jeanne, Judy, Bonnie Illinois, Finn, Bonnie Hunter, Cynthia, Tazzie, Nancy, Bingo Bonnie, The Calico Cat, Dawn, Laurie, Suze, Sharon, Pam, Simonetta, Eileen, Rowan, Libby, Joyce, Cathy .... and many other ones for :
- your kind words,
- your encouragements,
- your bright ideas,
- your generosity
- your talents
- your helping hands
- your sense of humour
- your personnality
- your true friendship
Oh, my friends, what a day, yesterday ! I just couldn't believe my eyes !
You certainly have noticed a beautiful nine patch quilt top, growing in cute 30's reproduction fabrics, by Darlene - "Dazed Quilter" -, during the past few weeks...
She explained she was making it as a surprise for a good friend of hers.
Guess what ????? >>>>>>>>> it was for ME !!!!!!!!!
My door bell rang, yesterday morning and the postman had a big parcel for me. I was waiting for some books I had ordered two days ago, so it was too early for them to arrive......What was it ? Then I read the sender's address : Darlene ???
And look at this ! (I would have liked my photos to go under the text, but well, I still don't understand how to manage with blogger...)
You should have seen me crying, laughing.... And you should have seen the postman's face ! He is a kind (and curious) old man, and is used to get a cup of coffee from time to time. You bet he stayed, eager to know what was in this big parcel from the U.S. ???? (not so usual in our small country village). When he saw my deep emotion, he went to my neighbour, Simone, (a very kind old lady), shouting : "Simone ! Quick, come ! Nadine has got a big parcel from America ! It's full of "fabric", and now she's crying! There must be a big problem !"
This made me have the giggles !
And so, there were the three of us, around my kitchen table. I told them the story about Darlene, the deep friendship we had developed for the past few months. How she had experienced a deep quilting slump, and tried to go over it, making nine patches, with my encouragements (among others). How she had spent her time, her energy, her money, just to please a new friend.
"Well, you have to thank her for that ! said the postman use your "speedy machine" that you call "the net" Imagine, this parcel could have been lost or stolen!" (this gave me retro fears !)
So, my special friend Darlene, I hereby use my "speedy machine" to thank you again, from the bottom of my heart ! I will carefully handquilt your present, with very special thoughts !.........
to be continued.....
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Nadine : well, optimism is create a center medallion square, for a rectangular quilt !
See what I mean ? Sooooo, I rumaged around this center square, with the beautiful applique flowers I had prepared and I didn't like the result. The "movement" was broken. Actually, the solution was just under my nose : let the fabrics "speak", use them as they are, let them take the commands ! (Why make complicate, when you can simplify ?)
I agree, finally it was easy.
I had also made some applique squares, which I could use for round three.
Up to now the result is pleasing me...
Next step : circles on brown background for top and bottom borders.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
|Your Life Path Number is 6|
You are very compassionate, and you offer comfort to those around you.It pains you to see other people hurting, and you do all in your power to help them.You take on responsibility, and don't mind personal sacrifice. You are the ultimate giver.
In love, you offer warmth and protection to your partner.
You often give too much of yourself, and you rarely put your own needs first.Emotions tend to rule your decisions too much, especially when it comes to love.And while taking care of people is great, make sure to give them room to grow on their own.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
For days, the bright fabrics were displayed on the table, and and all I could say was : "aha, good choice ...", but I couldn't start cutting ! I have a predilection for strong colors and contrasts, but here I just felt paralysed.
What can a "broken" quilter do in such a case ?>>>>>>> I browsed through my friends blogs. Inspiration came from Jen (Hedgehog), with her medallion quilt.
I wanted to enhance a particular fabric, with beautiful dancing women, so they are part of the "medallion" , surrounded with simple courthouse steps in coordinating fabrics. The whole forms a 9 patch, like the 9 Kenyan tribes.
The next steps will now be considered as a round robin, around "the 9 tribes".
For the second round, I intend to put a wide dark brown border, with applique African flowers, plants and trees, as Kenyan women are traditionally "Nature's guardians".
For the third round, I intend to contrast with a wide yellow/beige border (arid grounds in the plains), with African MEN guarding the cows and other animals, as this is their traditional job.
That's what's in my mind, for now !
This is my first quilt without any guideline, except the theme and the fabrics. I keep telling myself : "come on, let go, relax....", but it's quite an experience. Maybe I'm going to produce a disaster, who knows ? That's a good exercise on self-confidence !
* Many souvenirs of my childhood in Kenya, with my parents working there.
* A quiet day, today, with me and myself.
* It's raining : no need to brush the terrace !
* Good music on the radio.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Thanks, also, to all of you who couldn't help, but encouraged me......
Now, I think that my blog will be quite updated in the coming days.
By the way, Blogger keeps sending me msgs, telling that "my new blogger" is ready. Some changes again ????? Oh, noooooo !....
Blogger friends, always ready to give a helping hand.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
I tried, and tried, really......but blogger is against me : I would love to use my sidebar with lovely "things" I see by my friend's blogs (eg. YOU) (counters, clocks, calendars, list of other blogs, project list, etc....). But there's no use : each time I try, I fail.....
I've read blogger's help very carefully, tried to copy and paste the html codes, NOTHING HAPPENS ! This is so frustrating.....
Moreover : I've got the same problem with my profile, where I'd like to put a photo of myself, me, moi, in person.......Guess what ? Blogger remains completely indifferent to my image (even though I'm smiling on the picture...)
(well to tell you the truth, Blogger is not the only one - when I'm in front of the mirror, I sometimes refuse my profile, too...) LOL
So, I GIVE UP ! Would any friend try to help me ? I would be grateful !
* Being able to laugh of myself.
* Belgian chocolate.
* Belgian cooking.
* Italian hubby.
Sunday, November 5, 2006
Now that you can figure out what her quilt could be, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce you to Laura, my youngest daughter. She's 18, student in her last year's college, and intends to go to the university, by next year, to study journalism....
I'll try to post soon some pictures of my other children, Sandrina, Pierre and Oliver. (not to forget my grandson, Andrea !).....