Thursday, December 23, 2010

How To Make Smoke

Tradition: sit with husband in a room lit only by tree lights and remember that our blessings outnumber the lights. Happy Christmas to all.
~Betsy Cañas Garmon

That is something my DH and I used to do.  Usually on Christmas Eve, after all of the gifts were out and the stockings were stuffed.  I don't know why we stopped.  Perhaps after the girls moved out we no longer had to have a special night to share and count our blessings - we can now do that every night!  I think we should have done that last night as tonight our house will be filled with family, laughter and happy sounds.  No more quiet for a few days - days that will pass too quickly.  Only about 12 more hours and my DD#1 and her family will be here!  Please send your thoughts for safe travel as they will likely be encountering snowy conditions as they pass through Flagstaff, AZ. 

12 Drummers drumming
With the twelfth day we have reached the end of the song and have arrived at the last day of Christmas known as Twelfth Night on which the partying and feasting continued. Twelfth Night is the night before Epiphany which is the day the three Wise Men, also known as the Three Kings or Magi, from the East arrived in Bethlehem bringing gifts to the Christ child. 
By the Middle Ages the drum, which was probably introduced to Europe from the Middle East by knights returning from the Crusades, had become a common instrument. Among its other uses was to combine it with the trumpet to get people's attention when making a big announcement such as the arrival of the king or the reading of an important proclamation. In this case the drum was used to announce the serving of the next course of the feast.
The song and the twelve day celebration have now come to an end. But it is not the end of the season. For the day after Twelfth Night is the Feast of the Epiphany, another religious holiday associated with Christmas. While mainly just a religious observance in the U.S., Epiphany is also a day of both religious and secular celebrating in other countries.
I was able to get a little more sewing in today.  But, once again, I can't share it with you.  This time it is a block for Sue from the Christmas Quilting Block Swap Australia.  But here is a sneak peek......

Sue requested a ........... well, I just figured out that I made the wrong block.  I must have read the email too quickly as all I saw was a block made with traditional Christmas colors.  But now I see that she had a specific block requested too.  Well, guess I will be making her block after Christmas.  Now I have a block in reserve for some future swap.  So, since I have no idea who this will be going to I will share it with you now......

I really like how this block turned out even though a few of the points weren't perfect.  Now I have a block for someone and will have a month off from that swap.
I learned something yesterday!  Yes, I occasionally learn something - and not necessarily the easy way.  Yesterday I made fudge - a Christmas tradition in my house.  The recipe states "melt chocolate chips for 2 minutes on high in the microwave".  Well, after 2 minutes, the chocolate chips didn't look like they were melted.  So, I put them in for another two minutes.  About 1 minute and 45 seconds through I could smell burnt chocolate.  Uh oh!  Opened the microwave - yep, the chocolate was burnt.  And would you believe there was actually some smoke coming up from the chocolate.  And I'm not talking steam here.  Real smoke!  I wonder if I had gone a little longer if I would have had fire too!?!  Lesson learned.  Two minutes on high is plenty long to melt 3 cups of chocolate chips.  Luckily I had more chips so I could still make the fudge.  So now we have one batch instead of two.  Oh well, better for our hips I'm sure!!

Wow! From famine to feasting in the giveaway department.  Yesterday's blog - nothing!  Today's?  Well read on..........

I'm Just A Guy Who Quilts is hosting a fantastic giveaway.  He is giving away 3 sets of fat quarters by Pat Bravo of Art Gallery Fabrics:  an 18 fat quarter bundle of her fabric line Modern Affair in the Passionate colorway, a 10 fat quarter bundle of Oval Elements, and a 10 fat quarter bundle of Floral Elements.  The 3 winners will be drawn on Wednesday, December 29th!

Hand Quilting is having a December giveaway!  You have to hurry as this one ends tomorrow, December 24th at 11:59 PM CST and the winner will be announced on Christmas Day.

Bitty Bits & Pieces is have a 50th birthday celebration.  Kim is giving us chance at three different prize packages in her giveaway.   The deadline for entering this great giveaway is January 1, 2011.

Feisty Frugal and Fabulous is having a super giveaway.  She is giving away a Literati eReader.  If you are interested, you must enter by January 20, 2011 by 9:00 PM CST.............You can also enter to win a reader at Kindred Spirit Mommy by January 10, 2011 can enter again at by January 11, 2011 at 11:59 PM CST can enter of the eReader at Crazy Mommy Coupon by January 20, 2011.........and finally you can enter for another chance for an eReader at The Mom Reviews by January 2nd.

Fiskars is having the Ultimate Scissor Collection Giveaway!  So easy to enter as long as you do it before February 20, 2011.

Crazy Mom Quilts is having a winter solstice giveaway.  She is giving away two charm packs of Kona solids - one in Dusty and one in Dark.  You could be one of two lucky winners if you enter before draws on Christmas Eve.

I'm ready now for family to arrive.  Well, almost.  Since I still have several hours I'll finish up in the sewing room and spare room where things need to be put up and away from little hands.  I've just about broken off all of my fingernails trying to open cupboards and drawers in the kitchen the last couple of days because we put the necessary kiddy locks on the 'dangerous' ones.  A lunch out with the BFF will fill another hour.  I must quit looking at the clock - it doesn't make the time go by any faster - lol!  And, hopefully there are a few of  you out there still writing your blogs so I can spend a few more hours enjoying  your lives with you.

Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given - when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes.
~Joan Winmill Brown

May your Thursday be merry and bright!!


Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Thanks for your very fun and informative blog. I love reading it every morning. Merry Christmas! Enjoy your family.

Maria said...

I agree. Your blog is always fun to read.
I just love that block
Linda and maybe I could be your next swap partner as it exactly what I like. LOL. Traditional Christmas colour and a star.Wonder if I could ask Crafty??
Hope all the family arrive safely and have FUN!!!

Needled Mom said...

I know that you will enjoy having your family home with you for Christmas. I am sending good thoughts for a safe trip through Flagstaff. I hope that you enjoy a few sunny days while they are here too. It is still raining here this morning.

Wishing you a blessed Christmas.

Mary Grace McNamara said...

I love your block! It's so festive!

Nothing worse to smell up the house than burnt chocolate, well except maybe fish! Ick! You're supposed to stir it every 30 seconds to prevent it from burning!

Thanks for all the giveaway links. I think I'll go try my luck!

Merry Christmas Eve Eve! Enjoy all your company!


Sandie ~call me crazy said...

Merry Christmas to you! Sending good thoughts for safe travels! I had to chuckle about breaking all your nails with the safety locks~ so true!

Wendy said...

Love that block! And all the info & background behind the 12 days of Christmas. I was most impressed with how "collie" birds became "calling" birds. Intersting how things get tweaked with the passage of time.

My eldest son arrived yesterday and I got to play Scrabble with my 7 year old grandson. Yes, Scrabble...he is a true clone of my son. Our family tradition includes lots of board games but the fun is in the conversation and laughs and sharing around the board.

Enjoy your visit with your grandsons...they grow so fast!!

lisa said...

that block would make an awesome hot pad on your Christmas table!

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