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Moving Day…

To a new Blog site that is…hope you will come along with me and share in the never-know-what-will-happen-next days at Taylorsoutback…

After playing around with the Blogger vs. WordPress format, I will be moving my blog over to Blogger – why? Just because  I think Blogger is cute! I have liked the WP format and ease of posting & adding images, but their offerings are a little on the “dry” side for me and I still don’t have the know-how to customize via an upgrade. Besides I would rather put any extra pennies towards new fabric!!

I will keep this WordPress site up and running for awhile but from now on, all the new postings can be viewed at

Thoughts From Taylorsoutback

http://thoughtsfromtaylorsoutback.blogspot.com

Hoping you will add my new home to your Favorites list and I have a Followers List started which will welcome you most happily!

See you at the new site!

Wishing you a Happy and Productive New Year!!!!!!!

Pat

Christmas – 2010

You are probably familiar with Fra Giovanni’s beautiful letter written in 1513 A.D.  While enjoying Tasha Tudor’s Forever Christmas book recently, I found an excerpt on the last page. It is timeless and as always, so appropriate to read again at this time of year.

“I salute you! There is nothing I can give you which you have not, but there is much that, while I cannot give, you can take.

No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take Heaven.

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant. Take Peace.

The Gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet within our reach is joy. Take Joy!

And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks

And the Shadows fly away…”

Wishing each of you, dear readers, a Christmas filled with family and friends and Good Health and Happiness in the New Year.

Pat

From Simple Things…

Come Simple Joys…

And so that will be this Christmas of 2010…keeping things simple, a few less lights, a little decorating around everyday objects and a little less unpacking of all the “regular” holiday items. It is an easy decision after hearing on December 6th that I have come down with shingles – and not the roofing kind! My doctor put me on 2 different meds which are helping, but the thought of dragging lots of boxes up from the basement storage just doesn’t do it for me right now. What is it about this time of year and developing health issues?

There are some nostalgic pieces that our house would not feel right about if they were not in their proper place though…

A few of the remaining ornaments from my parents early Christmas celebrations in the ’40′s – they have lovingly passed them on to us…

An ornament from my earliest memory – stamped on the back “Made In Western Germany”

Before my ‘s Mom R.A. took her hand dexterity she did lovely ceramics..this Christmas plate is a treasure…

A  handmade birch bark canoe and “Jack” paddling his way to Christmas – it has been a part of our holidays since 1994 when I purchased it from the friend who made it.

A simple arrangement of “greens” around our carved birds and wildlife from the 3 trips to Alaska…

And my husband’s partridge – a gift to him our first Christmas in the new house…

An everyday hurricane globe filled with precious rocks collected along the shores of Lake Kluane in the Yukon – gathered this Fall…

And Christmas cards have started to arrive in the mail from family and friends scattered far and wide…a burl bowl from a little shop in Salcha, Alaska…

The opening to our sunroom/dining room would look bare without the pinecone garland in place…the requirement being that the only kind of ornaments it can hold have to be related to a pinecone design…and a few glass icicles for accent.

We had about 12″ of new snow this weekend and the winter winds are still whipping around the house…10 degrees out there tonight and it is still falling. Everything is quiet and it is as though we are wrapped in a warm quilt.

I am off to take time to stitch…

Wishing you a good week and simple joys.

Pat

 

Short ‘n Sweet

Pretty quiet at Taylorsoutback…

A few snowflakes here and there…

Our Packers won a good game against the 49er’s…

I got 4 dinner napkins made…

And started on 4 placemats…

We found these goodies at Sam’s Club on Friday…Creme Brulee Almonds and…

So, I enjoyed a mug of hot Honeycrisp Apple Cider…

Think I will curl up with a new book by the fire this evening…

(I love Kate Morton’s books, The House At Riverton and The Forgotten Garden…)

Taking Tylenol and feeling a bit under the weather…

Have a good week and I will be back later…

Pat

It’s Alphabe-Thursday over at Jenny Matlock’s and this week’s letter is “J” – this time of year we all turn into jugglers. The court jester of days long ago entertained his audience by keeping a number of balls, hats and even knives in the air without dropping a one. In the 21st Century, our list of items to keep going has extended way beyond such simple things. We have become pros at multi-tasking whether it be at our office or around the house. Our labor-saving devices have not eased up the work load, only allowed us to increase what we can put into each of those 24 hours we are given.

During this holiday season, particularly for women, it calls for turning into a Juggler with a capital J. Preparing the house with decorations, addressing cards, arranging get togethers, extra baking and cooking, the list goes on. If you fall into that Young Parent bracket, there are added school plays and concerts, teachers gifts and trying to please every child on your list with the most current toy. If you are a craft person or love to sew, the pressure can really start to mount up. The convenience of shopping for a ready made gift may not be quite what will satisfy you…it must be homemade! It is an expression of not only your creativity, but a way of saying “I took a little extra time.”

It is now the first of December and my time clock is ticking…the first deadline has been met – just barely.  Our Liberty Ladies Quilt History Study Group is exchanging gifts and cookies and this is my offering. Raspberry Stick Cookies and a little quilted piece for someone’s table, made in reproduction fabrics.

My juggling act has begun – I have turned into a Juggler – therefore I am.

“J” is for juggler – thank you for dropping by and be sure to visit the other letter “J” postings!

Have a good Thursday…

Pat

Not!

I hear about the rest of the world running from store to store at 3:00 a.m. looking for incredible Christmas deals and wonder if there is something wrong with me. There is no desire to join in on this type of shopping. I don’t deal well with large crowds and frenzied buying. Those individuals are made of much stronger stuff than I. As much as I love fabric or chocolate, even if it was being given away, you would find me snug at home listening to Mary Chapin Carpenter singing “Hot Buttered Rum.” The last few years have found me comfortably settled in at our desk, shopping online and loving those words – View Your Shopping Cart…Check Out Now? Or Continue To Shop? Because this method of shopping frees up so much of my time (yah, right!)

I can make another weekly loaf of bread…

Replenish our 3 girls  (shelties that is) raw food diet for the month…

And make yards of quilt binding -

The sewing room continues to be in a chaotic state and is an embarrassment to me if someone drops by for a visit. Mr. Outback has asked what I would like for Christmas this year – my reply came quite quickly – could you give me more shelving in my sewing room and add another section of track lighting? He has said “Sure” so we will venture out soon to look at what might be available – guess we will end up at a brick and mortar store after all – just not at 3:oo a.m.! I can picture the improvements all ready…and it is something that makes me happy. Do I need another object to dust when we have a lifetime of memories all ready? I am blessed with lovely dishes of our own and pieces handed down from family no longer with us. Mr. Outback enjoys carved birds from natural materials such as wood or antlers. We have found a piece here and there on our travels and it only takes a brief glance to bring back where we were at that time and place – one of the rare times we both actually “shop.” I was in a large, well stocked gift shop a few weeks ago and it was Christmas Open House – the colors and lights were dazzling with lovely things stacked everywhere…within 5 minutes I was overwhelmed and began to shut down. It was more than I could take in and could not justify even one item that needed to come home with me.  I did find a glass cardinal Christmas ornament for my Mom though. After purchasing that, it was a relief to walk out the door into the fresh air.

When I was little, my Grammy and Aunt Ruby would take my cousin Pam & I shopping as a special treat.  We would head to Baltimore and a grand department store which I cannot recall the name of. We were given the most wonderous treat of picking out a new dress and then taken to the big dining room on an upper level. It was reached by elevator and a real live person operated it.   Linen tablecloths covered each table which was set with china and heavy flatware. At each place setting, a glass finger bowl was placed to keep our little hands tidy. We felt so grown up. When I grew up and left college to find my first job, I would eagerly await each new paycheck and shopping became  a magical experience . Working in Washington, D.C. in the early ’60′s offered countless  little shops and boutiques to choose from in addition to large department stores such as Garfinckels,  & Woodward and Lothrop (“Woodies”) Once I stood quietly looking on from a distance while Ella Fitzgerald tried on fabulous hats in the Hat Department. How convenient it was for the shopper to be assisted in each department. The salesperson was usually knowledgeable about her own area and you completed your transaction right there rather than searching out a centrally located and impersonal cash register counter.  A Saturday trip to Georgetown was heavenly – Pappagallo’s for shoes and a lunch at some quiet little nook. My first car was a little yellow Corvair convertible with black interior…up and down M street over the old brick-covered roadbed (is it still there?) I felt like the world was my oyster. About that time, the cookie cutter “Shopping Malls” began to rise up out of the ground – overnight it seemed. Bulldoze old stands of hardwood trees, demolish rundown neighborhoods, put in new infrastructure to “make  your shopping experience more enjoyable.” And say goodbye to any hardworking independent business owner who offered one of a kind goods or services….I think that is when shopping began to lose its appeal and has never really returned. Where is the charm in entering a storefront and seeing dozens and dozens of the same item? Perhaps that is yet one more reason why quilting is so appealing to me. Oh, I may use a design such as log cabin, churn dash or 9 patch that has been around forever, but what I do with it represents me – how I place the pattern, the colors I choose and the realization that it is one of a kind. Now if I could just get into my sewing room to “shop” for what is needed in the next project that would be great!

Have a good week and wishing each of you a no-frazzled shopping experience in the days ahead – 26 shopping days left until Christmas…

Pat

There is a cold icy rain falling outside. It has left a glaze on everything and you are invited to step inside for a visit. You can use our boring little door bell button…

…or the more interesting chickadee door knocker…

Most fun of all is to use the chain pull on our vintage Italian bell…

(found at the market in Arezzo in 2001 – brought back in my carry-on, lugged through the Rome airport and cleared customs to the US – try to get that pass those TSA guys these days! – But I digress) which will announce you in royal fashion!

Take your coat off and warm yourself by the fire. Can you smell the turkey soup bubbling away on the stove? With the cold November weather this weekend, it has been a good time to putter in the kitchen. A good soup making weekend. And with Christmas all ready in the air, it is time to make the traditional Plum Pudding.

This is Mr. Outback’s favorite and has been a part of our holidays for close to 30 years. The origins of this particular recipe have been lost, but my in-laws traveled extensively while Mr. Outback’s Dad was in the Air Force. They knew a Canadian Air Force couple who shared this recipe and it has been handed down to me. Old Fashioned Traill Christmas Pudding…2010, and something that doesn’t happen every year…this time a perfect unmolding! Yippee! Now to let it mellow in brandy soaked cheesecloth for a month.

I still can’t show you what is happening in the sewing room but things are moving along….

And having no will power, Block #2 of the Beyond the Cherry Tree Quilt has just been started…

If you promise not to be put off by the state of disarray in our basement, would you mind helping wrap all these ornaments for shipping? Every year for 33 years, our son has received a special Christmas ornament from us, my folks, other family members and his own friends. Now he is planning to celebrate Christmas with Jena in Alaska and all these treasures need to arrive safely.

Yet to be unwrapped and rewrapped in bubble wrap

Maybe we can talk a little about each ornament as the memories will be returning piece by piece.  Each reflects his childhood, growing up and interests…from a tiny gum ball machine and little red airplane to a batch of outdoor camping novelties and fragile glass eagles…as these are carefully placed in bubble wrap, another little piece of my heart goes with it and a prayer for his happiness and a good life. We will miss not having him here at Christmas but are so happy that he can begin to make his own memories and traditions. Included in the packages will be his stocking, made a number of years ago and a new one for Jena – I used the same Thimbleberries stocking pattern for both and just added a little ribbon and tiny bell to her moose – afterall, it has to have a touch of femininity, right!?

We had better get to work – time is of the essence…but first let’s enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and watch the Packer game…they just have to win this one against the Vikings…it is the principle of the thing! Looking very good…

Have a good week preparing for Thanksgiving and remember to…

Always take time to stitch…

Pat

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