"Whatever your hands find to do, verily do it with all your might" Ecclesiastes 9-10

Sunday, December 31, 2006

WARM WISHES !


My dear friends,


I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year, with

love....joy....friendship....quietness....understanding....compassion....generosity....

surprises....creativity....dialogue....learning....discoveries....

and, of course, many bright and beautiful projects ! May all your secret wishes and
dreams come true....

- "What matters is not to add years to life, but life to the years !" -
My dear grandmother used to say that on New Year's day, but I don't know if she was the author...

Friday, December 29, 2006

PROJECTS LIST FOR 2007

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Aahhhh, here comes the time of great resolutions ! I spent this morning, making some lists. Actually I made three, but the first and second ones were unrealistic, and I want to keep my promises... (Hey, am I growing a little bit ???)

First of all, I'd like most projects to be made of my stash - with some exceptions, of course.....
Secondly, I've tried to consider each project as a block of the month, or block of the week (divide to conquer !)...
I've also be careful to mix different techniques....

2007 PROJECTS LIST

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1. HAND QUILTING
----------------------------
- Darlene's nine patch
- Laura's African quilt (due May 07)
- Christmas quilt
- Dutch Tulips

2. HAND APPLIQUE
-----------------------------
- Applique Designs ("My Mother taught me to sew") >>> Challenge with Darlene & May Britt (50 blocks in total, 1 block a week (see photo of my first two blocks)

- Garden Gatherings (Lisa Bongean - Primitive Gatherings -www.backyardquilts.com - just click on "new book added" under the address)
12 blocks in total, one block a month. (see photo above, the fabric on the right will be my background fabric - a Japanese "taupe"). By the way, you should also visit Lisa's website "Primitive Gatherings", it's breathtaking ! I just discovered it 5 minutes ago... (too bad ! ... See how I am ? LOL)

- Dutch Tulips (you certainly have seen them on Lucy's blog - "Quilting with the Past" = I was lucky enough to get that beautiful pattern from Lucy). 16 blocks in total, 1 block a week (8 are ready = photo soon ! )

3. MACHINE PIECING
-------------------------------
- A Christmas Quilt (at last!) : I was missing one this year (never made any !) and decided that this Christmas was the last one without a Xmas quilt. If you visit Evelyn's blog (Starfishy), go to April 2007 and you will see a beautiful Whirlyggig. Well Evelyn is kindly sending her pattern to me, and I intend to make it in reds, greens, and goldens, from my stash, on a cream background...
(6 blocks a week, minimum, to finish it in June and then hand quilt it for December)

4. HAND PIECING (very long term project - 2 years at least)
--------------------------
- Hexagons Fantasy (with all my Batiks + black) (setting still "maturing" in my mind)

5. STITCHING (stitchery quilts)
------------
A new passion for me (very addictive !)

- "Spring is here !" from Rickety stitches (remember the pattern that Cynthia - Aussie quilter - had sent to me ?). 1 block a month. First block almost finished (see photo above, the background fabric is not "blue-ish', as it shows, rather marbled beige)

- "Bee an Angel" cushion - a Lynette Anderson pattern - that May Britt has offered to me for Christmas.

- "Mama says" - a Bronwyn Hayes stitchery quilt (wall hanging) - 9 blocks in total (5 to stitch) >>>> 1 block a month.

VOILA !


I sincerely consider all these items as achievable and reasonable projects (though the word "reasonable" is not always fitting with me - LOL - so don't be surprised if I'm kind of "foolish", from time to time !)

However, I do hope, my friends, that you will bring me back to my list if I mention too many other "new" project in 2007 !

GRATITUDES

- So many beautiful projects to achieve

- Cold weather, warm house

- My friend, Darlene, finally received the parcel I had sent to her (nearly 3 weeks ago !)

- I can hear from here DH laughing in the sitting room

- All bills paid...


THOUGHT OF THE DAY

"I have spent most of my life, worrying about things that never happened" (O.Wilde)


Saturday, December 23, 2006

WARM WISHES

My dear friends, I wish you all a very merry Christmas, in peace, love and friendship, from the bottom of my heart !

Thursday, December 21, 2006

THE CHRISTMAS COMPLAINT -DRAMA

My dear, serious, daughter Sandrine (nickname for Alessandra)
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 !

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Gratitudes
************
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)
**************************************
Reminder
*************
My "Pay it forward swap" (see yesterday's post)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

PAY IT FORWARD SWAP.....







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

A NEW LOOK....

I thought I could also have a new look on this occasion...... Boohoo.... I lost my pretty red clock !I still have the same problem with big blank spaces............???????????

I DID IT .....


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.....

PREPARING FOR CHRISTMAS.....


The tree is lit (though it doesn't show well on the picture), and our brand new fireside is ready....

We cannot use a real Christmas tree, since our grandson, Andrea, develops many allergies for the moment, but the symbol is well present and that's what matters, anyway....

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 .....


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?)

Gratitudes
**********
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)....

Christmas coming....

Beautiful music to play on....

Hot coffee to sip quietly, while blogging....

Thursday, December 14, 2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NADINE


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU......
(Imagin me singing now....LOL)


This is what happends when you share your password with me :)
Hope you don't mind me doing this without you knowing. But.....
it is your birthday to day and I want to give you a big hug.
Thank you for being my friend.
PS....promise not to do this anymore :)
A big hug from May Britt in Norway (www.abyquilt.blogspot.com)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

FRUSTRATION IN BLOGLAND....

No photo loading tonight >>>>> just a frustration :

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 !

so,

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

NADINE IN WONDERLAND......


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

BRUSSELS CHRISTMAS MARKET (PART 1)




This is going to be a long 5-parts message. But Blogger was friendly today, and I could load many photos...
Hope you'll enjoy them !

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...)



BRUSSELS CHRISTMAS MARKET (PART 2)





- Artists, proposing their aquarels......

- "Place Sainte Catherine"......

- The big carrousel......

BRUSSELS CHRISTMAS MARKET (PART 3)




-- Brussels lace....so fine and delicate !

- We had a beautiful Gospels concert....

- Oh, happy day !



BRUSSELS CHRISTMAS MARKET (PART 4)






- Do I look Happy ?

- Aaaah, Belgian chocolates.......

- Belgian "Gobelin" tapestries...

(to be continued >>>> go to part 5)




BRUSSELS CHRISTMAS MARKET (PART 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....

Gratitude

a wonderful souvenir....




BRUSSELS CHRISTMAS MARKET (PART 3)


Friday, December 8, 2006

MY FAVOURITE SPOT...



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)

Gratitudes

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.