Moments of happy...
1. Prettiest gift. Background - Almost three years ago I read about a quilter/blogger named Kristyne who was quilting her way through my favorite quilting book and documenting it all on her blog Pretty by Hand. The book? Simplify with Camille Roskelley. (Camille is one half of the mother/daughter fabric designing team of Bonnie & Camille.) The goal? "Project Simplify". Kristyne set about making every project in the book (that's 8 quilts and 4 quilted pillows) using only fabric from her stash. I went over to Kristyne's blog, because I am a huge fan of Bonnie & Camille, but I kept going over to Kristyne's blog day after day because I became a huge fan of Kristyne's. (I am seriously trying to figure out how to write this without gushing, but that is not likely to happen.)
Firstly, her blog is just beautiful. I was hooked the minute I saw her blog's header and read the Louisa May Alcott quote in her sidebar . Secondly, her blog is so fun to read. She has a great sense of humor. Her tutorials are easy to follow and understand and she documents each of her projects with beautiful photography. Thirdly, she has mad sewing skills. She completed "Project Simplify" in less than six months, and every time I see one of her embroidery projects, I get major stitch envy. Flawless! I get more quilting and sewing inspiration from her blog than any other blog that I visit. Finally, she is as nice in person as she is on her blog. I got the chance to meet Kristyne and her BFF for breakfast one morning when they were in Houston for Quilt Market. Such a treat! Since that time she has published the embroidery book S is for Stitch and a number of her own patterns in her Pretty By Hand shop and has contributed to quilting magazines and the beautiful book Stitch Zakka.
Today - For a few weeks this last December, Kristyne and another brilliant blogger, Amy of nanaCompany, made and featured Christmas gift tags designed and made from fabric. I loved checking in every week to see what they had created. One of these tags alone would be gift enough to receive from someone. Forget an actual present. Just the gift tag in and of itself is like a little piece of art. So beautiful!
In one particular post, Kristyne's gift tags all featured Christmas trees, and I zeroed in on one like a hawk. Bonnie & Camille fabric! Kristyne had used some fabric from Bonnie & Camille's Scrumptious fabric line. I teasingly commented to Kristyne that she could just wrap up that Scrumptious aqua cross-stitched Christmas tree all sparkly and beaded, and send it to me where it would decorate my sewing room all year round.
And then I got this in the mail.
Not only did she send me that little piece of art for my sewing room, she also sent me other goodies including some Bonnie & Camille Scrumptious fabric to add to my Bonnie & Camille fabric stash.
Yes, she knows how I love those fabrics. (And, yes, I really do have quilts planned for every single yard of that fabric. *sigh* I need more hours in a day.)
I told John that quilters and knitters are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. And it's totally true. Thank you, thank you, Kristyne! It is hanging on my Bliss-covered memo board in my sewing room. I love it so very much!
2. Playing with my new toys. If you aren't a knitter, you might not even know what these are. The first time my Knitting Teacher/Friend took me to a yarn shop, she had to pry me away from the counter where the shop owner was winding a skein of yarn into a ball. It.was.the.coolest. A yarn swift and a yarn ball winder were sitting under the tree for me from My Love on Christmas morning. Yay! No more hand-wound balls of yarn. Not that I have anything against hand-wound balls of yarn, but I don't think my family members thought that sitting and talking while holding skeins of yarn out in front of them with their arms until they ached was as romantic as I did. And this is much faster.
3. "Aspen Branches" - A warm woolen hat with cables and a big, poofy pom-pom that covers my ears. Finally. I used my quiet evenings after Christmas to knit and cable. I had knitted hats for everyone else in the family, but hadn't taken the time to knit one for myself. Hats are more of a fashion statement in Texas. They are a neccesity here. (I have discovered that my ears don't like the temps once they hit the teens.) I loved this pattern (Bough) the minute I saw it on Ravelry and put it in my "Favorites" right away. It was a fun pattern and my first Brooklyn Tweed project. Bonus: I got to use my jumbo pom-pom maker.
Ravelry notes here.
4. Emma's "book" given at just the right moment. I experienced my first bout of homesickness over the holidays. It all started when I went to the grocery store to buy a loaf of white bread for the cornbread dressing. I went expecting to see the Mrs. Baird's Santa Claus smiling at me from the bread wrapper like he does every year. (He's a happy sight!) I had completely forgotten that Mrs. Baird's bread is Texas bread. I've had Mrs. Baird's bread in my cornbread dressing my whole life. This year it was Safeway brand. And finding pounds of raw pecan halves? Forgetaboutit! Lots of walnuts available up here, but not pecans. (For those of you who don't know, the pecan tree is the state tree of Texas.) And we really missed not seeing our family and friends. (So very glad for the United States Postal Service!) That's when Emma gave me the happiest "happy" of my week. So, so sweet. Made things all better. Oh, that girl.
The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.