Thursday, December 18, 2014

Staying Untangled

I came across this the other day ... it made me giggle ... as I thought it described perfectly what often happens during the holidays.
Zoom!  Zoom!  Zoom!  We find ourselves running in circles ... baking ... gifting ... parties ... shopping ... the list seems endless.  It is so easy to lose sight of what the holidays are really about and we often find ourselves tangled in the stress instead.
A brisk morning walk helps ...
... drinking coffee while wearing warm woolen mittens helps ...
... and having a sweet walking partner like Kysa is especially wonderful.
But ... here in my remote corner of the world ... Mother Nature is often fickle ... she doesn't always cooperate with my relaxation techniques ... ;-)!
I have used reading as a way to deal with stress for as long as I can remember!  There is nothing better than losing one's self in a good book!  It is a forty-one year tradition for me to read this simple book ... I first read it when I was 16 years old!  The background story can be found in this 2009 post.  This book works its magic every year ... it holds such a special place in my heart!
For over 20 years I taught one or more levels of English here in our Jr./Sr. High School.  No matter what age group I had, we always read The Christmas Carol!  Of course, all the students had seen one or more versions in film ... how I loved introducing them to the magic of Charles Dickens ... and the depth of his timeless message.  This is the first year I am not teaching this piece of literature ... it felt like a small empty spot.  I decided to take care of that ... and downloaded the audiobook!  This year ... instead of reading the book to others ... I am enjoying having it read to me!
 Remember this family?  How I looked forward to Sunday nights as a child!  First ... the Wonderful World of Disney ... then Bonanza!  I think Little Joe was everyone's first crush and we all wanted Hoss as an uncle!  And then there was Ben Cartwright (Loren Greene) ... the wise and loving father ... who knew how to make everything right in the world!
Lorne Greene is the one who introduced me to another favorite piece of holiday literature, O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi.
In 1965, he released this holiday record, Have a Happy Holiday.  Long before the concept of audiobooks, he recorded on this album, The Gift of the Magi!  My ... how I feel in love with the story and all it represents!  Of course I have no idea what happened to the album ... and even if I had it, would have no way to play it.  On a dillydally whim ... I looked ... and found it in the iTunes Store!  How exciting is that?  I couldn't believe it!  Many childhood holiday memories come flooding back every time I listen to it!  Wonderful!

So ... as I am zooming around like a crazy person, Dickens and Loren Greene help me remember to find joy in what I'm doing.  And every evening, as I read the greatest love story ... the stress melts away.  The message of the season is hope ... hope untangles all of life's complications.

Do what you love.  Stay untangled.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Dizzy DillyDally Weekend!

Many assume that because I live in the middle of nowhere ...
... my life is quiet, calm, and serene.  Reality is quite the opposite!  This past weekend was a good example!  I literally could not attend all the events that I wanted!  Yep ... love when that happens!
Friday was a big day here in our community!  The annual community tree lighting, Santa's arrival and the yearly bazaar!  Lots of treasure and terrific food at this event!  Also, many quilts on display ... this stunning quilt was made by a former student.  She was 17 when she pieced it in my classroom!  We have amazing talent in this small town!
On Saturday, I made St. Lucia buns to commemorate the holiday.  The house smelled like heaven!
The DillyDally family also went on their annual tree hunt.  Long time readers will remember that last year we cancelled the hunt because the weather was so nasty ... Mr. DD actually suggested we get an artificial tree ... we did!
The weather on Saturday was a bit threatening ... but we're hardy and Girlfriend DD was excited about her first Alaska Tree Hunt!
They're off!
By the time they found one, Mother Nature's temperament had changed ... it was raining hard!
The adventures didn't end there ... one tree decided to fly out of the truck ...
... and Brother had to chase it down ... we all had the giggles!  We had earned our hot cocoa, lefse, and St. Lucia buns when we got those two trees home.  Then it was off to a wedding ... a lovely way to end the day.
Sunday was all about the December QBee Birthday Bash!  We have three birthdays this month ... triple the fun!  We decided to have an appetizer potluck here at my house!  Yummy!  I tried out a new recipe and made an Eggnog Bundt Cake.  It was such a relaxing afternoon catching up with one another before holiday travels begin!
Terry B. brought her Trellis for some show and tell!
Her top is completely finished!  She appliqu├ęd the vine by machine and did the leaves, flowers and berries by hand!  We were all inspired to pull out ours and get busy ... after the holidays of course!

Ten days before Christmas ... this week I'll be substitute teaching, continuing my 007 projects and baking!  I love my dizzy dillydally life!

Do what you love.  Embrace the dizzy!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

More Foo-Whee Fun!

I have been submerged in dillydallying ... undercover work on gifts ... yep, it's that time of the year!  Our weather has been cooperating ... large storms have been pounding our coastal community.  There have been a few days when the street lights never went out ... the cloud cover was so thick, it was dark the entire day!  Great weather for dillydallying with a deadline!
Today ... the clouds lifted ... I had to get out and enjoy some time outdoors.  Kysa and I went for a walk ... it was so refreshing!  Because I can't share the fun Flicka and I are having with our 007 projects,  instead I'll talk about the Foo-Whee fun that has been going on!
I finished my navy/lupine mittens last week!  In the bubble bath they went ...
... blocked and off to air dry!
Idaho KBee, Nancy (on the left), sent me photos last week of her progress!
Pic by KBee Nancy
Here is the pair of Foo-Whee mittens she began during the class ... the second one nearly done!  They're beautiful ... love the red fleece with the light oatmeal yarn!
Pic by KBee Nancy
And her second pair ... one mitt is finished!  Wow!  In her email she asked that I send her two additional skeins of yarn!  She commented that all she wants to do is knit!  You go Girlfriend!  Knit on with wild abandon!  I can't tell you how fun it is when converts people share their progress!  Makes my heart sing!
I was inspired, so I decided to make another pair too!  I chose this rich dark chocolate brown color ... love the way it looks with the lupine fleece!
Yesterday I finished them and into the suds they went!
Girlfriend DD has also caught the Foo-Whee funbug.  She dropped by last night and gave her mitts the spa treatment as well!  Love her color combination of a light lime green and the teal Sitka Spruce fleece.
After we blocked them, I put them under the tree to air dry ... they are basking in the glow of Christmas lights ... seems appropriate!
Mother Nature gifted us with a beautiful sunset this afternoon ... her color combinations are always inspiring!  I'm going to look for a fleece painted in these golden colors ... a pair of Foo-Whee mittens knit in this color combination just has to be in my near future!  More Foo-Whee fun!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Monday, December 8, 2014

Dillydally Angels!

Yep ... it is that time of the year ... several 007 projects in progress!
Nearly all of my current dillydallying is "top secret"!  In looking through my photo files, I realized that there are a few things I've accomplished that are unclassified.  I know ... I'm sew hokey!
I'll share with you the projects I made at Quilt Camp in northern Idaho.  My trip to Idaho was mostly a last minute decision that included an invitation to teach the Foo-Whee Mitten knitting class at a friend's annual "Quilt" Camp.  ;-)  That concept is slightly confusing ... doesn't matter ... it was loads of fun!
Readers may recall that this was added on to an already long trip with family obligations.  I arrived in Idaho with only one piece of fabric!  That's right ... I had nothing ... not a spool of thread nor a single straight pin!  These five lovely ladies shared their supplies and tools ... they were so generous, kind, patient and tolerant!  They truly are Dillydally Angels!
Sharon knew that I had purchased six a few Frozen panels and suggested I bring one along.  She had made a quilt using one and brought her leftover fabric as well as snowflakes cut with their shop's Accu-Quilter for me to use.
It was such fun playing around with alternate design ideas ... the final design was Plan G!  I picked up a couple of batik fabrics at the retreat's mini quilt mart ...
... and before long the top was finished!  I had such fun "making do" with what was available and am thrilled with the results!  We all agreed that I have probably jinxed the future and will only have grandsons! Hee-hee!  Well ... even if I only have grandsons, they will either have an aunt or mother who IS the original Princess Elsa ... so they'll need to have one anyway! ;-)  Too much fun!
This is the Bernina that Sharon brought from the shop for me to use ... it worked like a charm.  My second project was this sweet little thread catcher!  QBee Mona had made one the day before and I fell in love with it.  Again I bought the fabric there ... borrowed the pattern from her ... she even gave me the piping and ribbon I needed to finish it!

After all the traveling I had done, it was so nice to sit at a machine and sew!  Relying on the generosity of others is uncommon for me ... it forced me to reach out to those around me.  Sometimes I think we become too self-reliant.  Having to reach out for the assistance of others helped me form relationships that I otherwise may have missed.  A very valuable dillydally lesson!
Speaking of princesses ... Cinderella had it right!  As much as I love the projects I made ... it is the friendships I made that are the true treasure.

Do what you love.  Be an angel.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Friday, December 5, 2014

A New Quilter!

In my remote corner of the planet ...
... our days are short and often very gray this time of the year.  We quickly learn how to create our own version of sunshine!  Busy hands chase the gray away!
Sometime last summer, Girlfriend DillyDally expressed an interest in learning how to quilt.  Recently she had a few days off work, and we got busy.  After brief lessons on rotary cutting and how to use the sewing machine ... she took off!
She seemed to enjoy every step of the process ... she is a quick study and has just enough perfectionism to be immediately successful!
Flicka supervised ... of course!  And awarded Girlfriend DD with her approval! ;-)
Her first project, a pillow quilt, is beautiful!  And ... I think we have a convert ... she has already made plans for her next project!  We are both basking in the sunshine of her success!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Gingerbread Traditions!

 While many in America were getting up early to shop on Black Friday ...
... here in DillyDallydom, I was up early too!  Up to my elbows in gingerbread and royal icing!
It is a tradition for the DillyDally children to make gingerbread houses over the long weekend following Thanksgiving.  Brother and Girlfriend DD were good sports and indulged me and my nonsense funsense!  ;-)
We spent Friday decorating the pieces ... eating leftovers and lots of candy.
Saturday ... house construction began ...
... and work continued on a puzzle we had begun after Thanksgiving dinner.
Roof pieces were prepared ...
... while all 1000 puzzle pieces found their home!
By the end of the day on Sunday, all finishing touches and landscaping was complete!   The aroma of gingerbread fills the house and their apartment ... the Christmas season has officially arrived!

Do what you love.  Treasure tradition.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally