Winter From *&#@ In Tennessee

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Is everyone enjoying this wonderful winter. I know I am….not. I had cabin fever really bad and had to leave the cabin. I told Roger that I would be a changed woman when I came home. So I bought some nice blonde hair color and gave my winter mousey hair a lift. It worked. I feel better and my hair feels more full and springy. I’m growing it out for the last time before I turn 60 in July. It  is not easy growing your hair long anymore. But so far I am sticking to it. Oh…I also did some therapeutic shopping with my friend Caroline and brought home some springy- summer colored tops. It has started to snow again and I hid the razor blades. Just kidding.

I have been sewing like a crazy woman. Making blocks from scraps and piling them up for a future quilt. I have started a collage quilt that will be a garden trellis of Morning Glories. It is one that I use tiny scraps of batiks to create the fabric painting. When I’m done, it will be thread painted in detail and listed in my new Etsy Shop… Pam George Quilts. I still have my jewelry in the shop with greatly reduced prices. I will still carry fabric cuff jewelry and anything that has to do with fibers. Check out my shop at the same site for a month or so or click here https://www.etsy.com/shop/PamGeorgeQuilts?ref=hdr_shop_menu

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Happy Winter to you all. We are supposed to be 61 by Tues. 😉

P.S.

  When I woke up this morning and before I posted the above, we got even more snow. And Mother Nature reminded me of how beautiful she is…even in the South. And I do appreciate her beauty. And I hold in my heart that it will be 61 by Tues.

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DSC_0007Now Melt!

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Over The River And Through The Woods To Grandmother’s House They Come!

I am so excited to have Mom and Pat and both kids and their spouses and baby O for Thanksgiving. We all won’t be together for Christmas due to Lindsey and Chad moving over the Christmas holiday. So I am doing a Christmas decorated Thanksgiving for the first time in my life. Rog and I can’t wait to have that little grandson of ours in our arms again. Although Lindsey indicated that he doesn’t have much time for cuddling anymore due to his crawling and standing schedule. He is a very busy guy. So when I started to think about what will be needed to meet little O’s demands, I went to the store to investigate grandma toys for him to play with. I had stuff in the cart but actually came home with nothing thinking I should run it buy Lindsey. Out of the blue, a friend in the community called me and said she was busy unpacking and wondered if I needed any baby things. Her youngest grandchild is now 5 and she didn’t want to store them any longer. WHAT?…………I’ll be right over. I scored big time. My studio has been taken over with baby things.

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Like I said…baby lottery. I have promised Judy a quilt of her beautiful Labrador Retriever, Toby, in return. She has been wanting one for awhile and I am happy to do it. So come January I will do a post on the quilt.

I was wise when it came to the Christmas decos, due to a busy baby boy crawling around. But I had to do it because Lindsey and Chad probably will not do the decorating this year due to moving. It will not affect his 8 month memories in the future.

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DSC_0197I will admit…Christmas decorations look kind of ugly in broad daylight.  Anyway…I did most of my decor up high. The tree will be his target and there will be great grandma and grandpa, aunt and uncle and of course the grandparents to watch him. Lindsey and Chad can rest a bit. It’s Grandma time!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

New Fall Jewelry Line

DSC_0011I have been amping up my Etsy shop for the upcoming holidays. With fall ahead I felt like doing a bit of woodland jewelry for everyday wear and some Mom, Grandma Sister, Friend and bridesmaid pieces with personalized initials. I love to work in the rustic nature vibe. So I have been having fun with my beautiful Hydrangea bushes and Impatiens leaves. I am using an air dry clay that really is strong once dried, painted, gilded and sealed. They make lightweight  pieces and I get to do some detail work. My clay dries so white that they make beautiful pieces just sealed. They resemble porcelain when left white.

DSC_0023These make great bridesmaid gifts.

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DSC_0010 These are little brooches for your jean  jacket.  I always get compliments when I wear them.

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Can you tell I’m in a Fall mood. I love making these leaves. I use real leaves to imprint the clay. Then I use several colors of glazes and and often metallic patinas… I love my happy place. Its so fun to create practically everyday. I plan to do oak and maple leaves also. These little gems are all in my Etsy shop. You can see it all by clicking on the link. Of course I had to make some Tennessee VOLS jewelry. Its once again…Football Time In Tennessee! So far the team is looking good. I have high hopes for them.

DSC_0005DSC_0007Keep your artists in mind this year when it comes to gifting. Handmade is in. Many of the big company’s are buying from artists on Etsy and other sites. Target and Macy’s, to name a few. Thanks big box retail.

Family Fest Over The Fourth!

DSC_0003Whew, I’m finally recovered from one of the best times in a while.  Seventeen of us were together here in Tennessee for the 4th of July. Everyone of our immediate family was here except my brother Steve and his fiance, Bridgett. We’ll see them next month at their wedding. We had both guest rooms filled, my mom had guests and my sister, Jody and Ed and their four kids stayed at a local hotel. There were no rentals available this year in Tellico Village. We’ll get on that earlier next time.

I really wanted this family gathering to go slick without me exhausted…ending in a company coma. I listened to Lindsey’s advice and assigned each family a night of providing dinner in whatever way they wanted. I highly recommend this option. It worked out wonderfully. I kept up on dishes, ran the dishwasher frequently and kept lunch stuff out everyday with the help of my sister, Jody. I did use the ever popular red solo cups and heavy paper plates as much as possible. We had leftovers everyday from the previous dinner which made lunches easy. Lots of salads of course. I also made some nasty good desserts so we always had something sweet. My sister-in-law, Kathy and brother, David provided a big candy bowl throughout the whole visit. We had drinks in a huge cooler in the mudroom and iced tea kept in the fridge. No one went hungry. Ed and Jody did burgers the first night with corn on the cob.

DSC_0036Grandpa Huntley made the corn cleaning fun. He is getting help from Abbie, Patrick and Andy.

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Roger spent months planning for this visit. We were both very excited. We purchased an outdoor movie screen, projector and sound system. He even came home from our neighborhood yard sale with a Karaoke machine…which I wasn’t too excited about, but it was fun! People started arriving Wednesday, then Thursday and finally Lindsey and Chad and baby Oliver on Friday afternoon.  Wednesday night was “Despicable Me” and was our trial streamed movie.

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DSC_0072We were very lucky with the weather. It was cool and the humidity was practically gone. We watched “How To Train Your Dragon” the next night. I loved those animated films. So good.

Finally Lindsey and Chad and Oliver arrived. Great grandma and grandpa couldn’t wait to see him for the first time.

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DSC_0025He was the best baby the whole time.

We did so much that I”m going to stop talking and just let the pics tell the story.

DSC_0056Me and my sis.

DSC_0032The newlyweds, David and Kathy. We celebrated with a little wedding cake. They went to Vegas last Nov. and had a beautiful wedding.

DSC_0022The newly engaged, Jon and Kenya! Sounds like another gathering in the spring.

DSC_0043I forgot to mention…2 grand dogs. Thats Alivia and Andy with Ollie and Anna. You can’t see Anna there…but she is. Ollie is an old girl and thinks 7 month old Anna is a pain. She put her in her place a few times. Ollie preferred to stay here.

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Other times were spent at the beach, the lake on the pontoon… in shifts of course. Oliver was well suited up for his first lake excursion.

DSC_0133Love those baby legs!

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DSC_0146 He was a little surprised at first and then was very happy. Grandma is out there in the wings, but Chad was on it. No worries.

DSC_0162Then he needed an after swim nap.

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DSC_0101Alivia and Abbie with Oliver.

DSC_0098We also had S’mores…gheesh…I’m getting tired again just reminiscing.

Last but not least. the whole family.

DSC_0096 It was all so much fun and I hope it can become a tradition. Family traditions set wonderful memories for the kids that they will hopefully pass on.

I’m going back to bed now. Toodles.

 

O (new) Christmas Tree and Furniture

Merry Christmas, friends! Before the season passes us by, wanted to share some pics of new things going on in the living room. First, we got a new Christmas tree this year- woo hoo! Second, we have a new fancy home office hidden away in our living room…

tree corner w deskAs for the tree, I’ve been shamefully hating on the Christmas tree I’ve owned since college and the feeling intensifies each year. I was threatening quite hard to not even put one up this year because the thought of the teeny, chincy (sp?) one we had in the basement did not make me feel Christmas-y. But trees are expensive! I was not prepared to shell out 200-300 bucks on one… but then Mom and I happened across a Black Friday, well actually it was Saturday, sale at Target this year while the parents were in town for T-day. I found a great tree for $93.50- that’s 50% off!

So here was our tree from last year… sigh, it was cute, fine, but look how big just the tree skirt looks under that tiny thing! It just wouldn’t do anymore. And here’s a reminder of how the living room in general looked in this corner before the new secret desk moved in.

living rm2But check out this festive new tree! It’s bigger, fuller, has a variety of more ‘real’ looking types of branches. Oh, and I just love that is was less than a hundred bucks. Now I need to hit up the post-Christmas sales for new garland, ribbon, etc as some of what I had before just isn’t long enough for this grown up tree. To the right there is our beeeautiful new secretary desk from West Elm. I loooove the multi-toned woods on the front and the white cabinet ties in nicely to the new white cabinets under the TV. So, for now we have a little chair off to the side and just open things up when we need to use the computer. Functionally, it’s great because I envision this corner with the fuzzy shag rug being a nice baby floor play spot, and this cabinet keeps all the numerous printer, computer, monitor, etc cords safely contained inside the unit.

treeThe left cabinet has pull out shelves that house the computer tower, printer and stores other electronics and such. The right main cabinet folds down and we just slide out the wireless keyboard and mouse to get computing. Then close it up and all our desk mess is easily hidden away. Below are also some drawers, including a large file drawer. Genius.

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We were also able to get our old family nativity out for the season, having a nice place to display it now. So after Christmas I’ll have to work out some new decor to adorn the new secretary. This was a relatively major furniture purchase for us- mostly meaning it wasn’t off Craigslist or from IKEA- but we’re very happy with the investment and it’s a great solution for emptying out the soon-to-be nursery but maintaining some attractive function in other parts of the house. And of course I didn’t pay full price! Got it at 15% off, not too bad.

And last, but not least, an up-to-date belly shot. I’ve made it into the 30s! I swear it isn’t just Christmas cookies in there— all baby— well, maybe part Christmas cookies. :-/ Yikes!

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We hope you all have a very merry, safe and family-filled Christmas! Enjoy your Christmas trees!

Thanksgiving Followup!

So glad Mom was able to get some Thanksgiving pics up in a more timely fashion than me! Wanted to add a few more to fill in our big T-Day weekend! The usual for holidays around our family is a pumpkin and apple pie that we baked up on Wednesday, as well as prepped for the big Thursday meal. It was such a treat to take Wednesday off and spend a day cooking with my mom.

mom and me piesAs mom mentioned, I pulled new recipes this year to make slightly lighter- or atleast from scratch and not a can- versions of our fav Thanksgiving fare. So one project for Chad was to use the new grill complete with side burner to do the freshly fried shallots to provide a crispy topping for a fresh green bean casserole.

chad fryingHe was also a stellar bird carver. As mom pointed out, this year I finally kicked the ‘cook a giant bird for dinner’ guilt by preordering a pasture raised local turkey. It gave us tons of leftovers for soup and more. And I felt good about partaking in the turkey enjoyment. We also did a wet brine this year using a 5-gallon pickle bucket from a local restaurant. I can’t say for sure how much difference it made, as this is only the third whole turkey we’ve prepared, but I think it was pretty good! This pic shows our finished pies as well, clearly the best part of Thanksgiving fare.

turkey carvingBesides lots of cooking, we filled out the weekend with some projects around the house. Chad and I picked up a crib and dresser at IKEA the weekend before so Dad was kind enough to assemble all of it for us! What a great grandpa. As the nursery starts coming together, I’ll be sure to share more…

grandpa furnitureMom got to work on the felted wool sheep and border collie for our super cute mobile. Can’t wait to see that finished!

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And this is also a great opportunity to update you on another step of furniture rearrangements- the moving of our bookshelves and a trunk into the dining room. This cleared up more space in the living room for our computer and the trunk clears space in the basement for the twin bed moving out of the soon-to-be nursery. I think it fills out the space a lot better. We also rotated the table a slight turn so it cozies up to the new furniture additions. Best part about this change up was that I finally got a spot to pull out all my colorful dishware and glassware to an accessible location for the first time since our move over a year ago. Hooray! I realize it’s not real baby proof, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. For now I’m enjoying having the glassware handy to enjoy a sparkling juice beverage or two 😉

dining room switchHope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgivings. After Mom and Dad left, we continued the Christmas deco work we had started that weekend, complete with new Christmas tree (so thrilled about that!!). So more to come and on to the next holiday!

Post Thanksgiving Update

I’m a little late in writing, but we did travel over the river and through the woods to Lindsey and Chads for Thanksgiving. It was so good to see her baby belly. I just can’t wait to see this new grandchild of mine. Lindsey planned a beautiful dinner and made healthy versions of the traditional meal. It started with a farm fresh, range free, antibiotic free turkey. It was purchased through a farmers market and there was line for pick up. Linds is as a vegetarian, and scientist in the nutrition and reproduction field and it is very important to her that we all eat right. ( I am with her all the way… but some of that bad stuff sure tastes good.) She will enjoy a bit of turkey when it is  raised in this manner. Here is a shot of the beautiful bird.

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She buttered under the skin .

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I love to cook in her kitchen. Newlyweds have such nice stuff. Today is our 38th wedding anniversary and I need new stuff!

DSC_0024 She stuffed the bird with fresh parsley, onion, carrots, and fennel bulb. I will use the fennel from now on. It has such a fresh pop of flavor. The ever popular stuffing was made in the crock-pot.She made most of the items the day before and we just assembled. It did make for an easier Thanksgiving day. She made a green bean casserole from a healthy version of the usual. Chad even fried scallions to go on top with a light flour breading. They were wonderful and prettier than the ones in the can.

DSC_0016She made her fabulous mile high apple pie recipe and it was so good. It’s truly a picture. She made the crust up from scratch of course, the day before so assembly was all we had to do. I whipped up the pumpkin pie and she made fresh whip cream. As I write this I am even more amazed at what a wonderful spread she put on, and 6 months pregnant at that.

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After the big meal, we enjoyed the Westminster Dog show … much to the guys dismay. Its a tradition for us dog lovers. Then we went to football for the rest of the day. Our other tradition is watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles. It’s such a funny movie. We got that in the late evening.

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Chad felt in a festive mood while all this food was being made and decided to put up the outside lights.

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The holiday season has started. Roger went to Home Depot and bought remote controls for turning the lights on and off from inside the house. They are so handy when the cold weather hits. Men love gadgets! We have them too of course. The rest of the time was setting up the village on her new TV cabinet and purchasing a grown up pre-lit Christmas tree. We found a tree at 50% off sale at Target. Its full and beautiful. Pics later.

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We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.