Christmas stockings

I needed to make a few new stockings this year and all the Christmas stocking are now hanging. I actually finished the stocking over a week ago, but life got a bit hectic and I was unable to do a blog post. I made a set of stockings for my daughter's new condo plus I also needed to make a new stocking for Emmie, my daughter's new miniature poodle for my house.
Christmas stockings 2015
My stocking are made using Vogue pattern 1312 which came out in the early 1970's. In 2010, I used a Bernina 180 to embroidery the names on the stocking cuffs using a font installed on the machine. Luckily, Bernina kept the same font on my current machine, a Bernina 790. It is always a challenge to make sure the once the cuff in sewed on and turned down that the name is in the correct position and I must admit that I did sew one of the cuffs on incorrectly. Well that is why they make seam rippers.

I made the stocking for Marcie with Hoffman Christmas batiks which were retired in 2009 but I was able to find the batiks at my favorite on-line batik source, Batiks Plus.
Marcie and Emmie Stockings
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It's a rabbit!

About 3 weeks ago, Molly was looking out the living room windows and barking. Molly is on alert, it is a cul de sac EMERGENCY! Molly is getting more agitated. I get up to check out this cul de sac emergency. I don't see anyone walking on the sidewalk, I don't see any vehicles, I simply do not see anything which would cause Molly and Katie to be on hyper alert. Molly and Katie continue to look out the living room windows and barking. I go to look out the window again and this time I see the cul de sac emergency. It is a rabbit, a cute little cottontail rabbit.
Rabbit standing

I live very near the North Mountain Preserve but a rabbit in my cul de sac does not seem possible. The rabbit would have to exit the preserve and then hop about an eighth of a mile down Central Avenue to get to my cul de sac. It appears that the rabbit has taken up residence in my cul de sac which is definitely causing Molly and Katie extreme angst. Yesterday, I was able to get a few pictures of rabbit.


Rabbit stretching

Once a Wildcat, Always a Wildcat

My new mailbox flag just got installed today. Wasn't easy, as the flag was designed to be installed on a metal mailbox and I needed to install my flag on stucco. My flag was designed by Mark Alan Designs.
I don't think there is any doubt that I support the University of Arizona Wildcats.

Wildcats mail box flag
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Pillow Shams

I finally finished the pillow shams for Lucie's Pineapple Star Quilt, only took me 8 years since I finished the quilt. I put the quilt on the guest room bed but covering the pillows made the overhang too short on the end of the bed. Something jogged in my memory, I think something was made for pillow shams. Amazing, I was able to find the quilts and extra fabric in a drawer in my sewing room. Constructing the pillow shams was really quite easy, not sure why it took me 8 years to get them done. I also realized that I never made a quilt label, drat, another thing to put on my To Do list.
Pillow shams
I also spent the morning working on my web site. August 2013, I completely redid my web site using RapidWeaver software. My house remodel and knee replacement sort of hindered my actually finishing the transfer of all the quilts to my new web site. This morning I just stopped all the procrastination and did it.
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Rain in Phoenix

Yes, it does rain in the desert. Yesterday, Phoenix had localized heavy rain which caused some flooding. I live in North Phoenix which did experience some heavy rain. There is a wash along the west side of my property which catches the rain coming off the mountains to the south of me. There was some rain early morning, the heavy rain began about 11:30am and lasted 30 to 40 minutes. I went out to look at the wash after the rain and there was quite a torrent. I am really not in danger of flooding as the wash is quite deep and very wide.

Flooded wash
Today is a beautiful day in Phoenix, the sun is shining and the air is clean. What a difference 24 hours makes.
Wash after flood

Quilt ladder

Finally, my quilt ladder is set up in my office area, it only took 6 months! I ordered my quilt ladder from DWR Custom Woodworking when I was at the Houston Quilt Show in November 2013. At that time, I was not in a hurry to receive the ladder. The extremely cold winter weather in Pennsylvania delay the shipping of my ladder but it finally was delivered the end of March. So why is it May and I am just getting my ladder set up? Long story short, the ladder is much easier to put together if 2 people are doing it. Last week, my electrician came to install receptacle strips to my desk and I persuaded him to put the quilt ladder together.

Quilt ladder

Christmas tree

It is that time of year, time to unpack all the Christmas decoration. I put up my tree on the day after Thanksgiving and have been busy putting up over 400 ornaments. I have a 9 foot tree and really struggle to get all my ornaments hung. I began collecting and making Christmas ornaments in 1969. I have 33 years of Hallmark Frosty Friends ornaments, who would have guess that Hallmark would continue that series. There are needlepoint, crewel, counted cross stitch, felt, and wool appliqué, and bread dough/femo ornaments made by myself, Lucie, my mother and other crafters. I hang my ornaments and reflect on Christmases past and family no longer with me. Each ornament has some special meaning.
Christmas teee at night Christmas tree
Christmas stocking are hung on the fireplace place, no easy task since I removed the mantle during the remodel.
Hanging Christmas stockings
Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season.
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Hanging quilts and pictures

Starting with blank walls has given me a great opportunity to arrange new groupings of my quilts and pictures. I moved my desk into the great room, in an area formerly know as the family room. Today, I hung the Funky Baltimore Album quilt plus two of my watercolors. The cactus watercolor use to hang on the living room side of my fireplace.

Office area
This is a corner in my living room. Lucie and John bear are sitting on the Victorian marble top table. Fang, a bear made from Lucie's wolf parka, is on the audio/video component cabinet. The Japanese needlepoints were done my mother. The wall with the rose watercolor will also have a grouping of some painted china, which I hope will be hung soon.

Living room corner
My blue and yellow hunter's star is hanging above the atrium window, it has always hung there. Lucie did the seagull stain glass.
Hunters star and stain glass

I hung my wool appliqué quilt above the player piano.
Wool appique quilt
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Day 17

Today, is the seventeenth work day of the remodel. The tile is complete in master bedroom and 2 bathrooms. Today, the stacked stone veneer is being installed on the face of the fireplace. I am hoping that the major work will be completed by the end of the week.
Stone on fireplace

Color and tile

My house is starting to look more like a home. The wall are painted and the new baseboards were installed. I decided to have blue as an accent wall in my new office area and in my master bedroom. Blue is probably my all time most favorite color. Today, the tile started to be laid, I was really excited to see the tile in my master bedroom. I will have the look of wood floor but with the easy cleaning and maintenance.
Front doorMaster bedroom tile
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Remodel update

The new ceiling in the great room is up and textured. Can lights were tested out with bulbs. Wow, I am going to have some light in my great room. Today, saw cuts were made in the living room slab so I can have some in-floor electrical receptacles. Monday, painting will begin. I just have to make a firm decision about the colors.
Preparing ceiling before texturingFilled saw cuts
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Demo day one

Today was the first demo day. Carpet was removed from the living room and master bedroom. Tile was removes from entry way and family room. The dust is just unbelievable.
Demo day one

Construction has begun

I have been thinking of redoing the flooring in my great room and master bedroom. The thought of doing such a huge space has always caused me to rethink the idea. In August, I was referred by a friend to Diane Drummond of Moon Valley Interiors and so the snowball started down the mountain. I think today is officially day one of my 2013 remodel experience. I survived and so did the girls. These last 3 weeks have been a whirlwind of decision making but I think that most the decisions have been. Now it is time to watch my home be transformed through the extraordinary efforts of Diane Drummond and my talented team of contractors.
Today, the electricians began cutting the existing ceiling to install can lights and ceiling fan.
Remodel ceiling

Katie inspecting the work and Katie and Molly playing after being restricted from some of the house for most of the day.
Remodel Katie inspectingRemodel Katie and Molly playing

Monday, the removal of all the tile and carpet begins. My plan is to keep you posted on the construction process.
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Iced Fountain

Phoenix had a cold snap February 1st but nonetheless, I surprised to see my fountain iced over the morning of February 2nd. The ice had melted by 3:00 pm but formed again and was frozen again on February 3rd. I covered some of the frost tender plants in my backyard.

Iced Fountain 3
iced fountain

Christmas Bells

Paper mache Christmas bells were made by my dad, Bernie Stell, circa 1945. These bells hung on homes on Woodbridge Avenue in Buffalo NY, Fairlawn Drive in Eggertsville NY and Meadow Park Drive in Sun City Arizona. In 2010, I updated the wiring on the bells and I was able to hang the bells at my home in Phoenix Arizona.

Christmas bells at night
Close up of Christmas bells
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