Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Adding Color(ing) to a Christmas Gathering

Whew! It's been a whirlwind of Christmas these days, and it has been wonderful. But not exactly restful. You know what I'm talking about here, don't you? Not only did we enjoy the 24th and 25th with our immediate family - especially in our "Biggety Bed" set up in Wes's home office with the Grands singing away in the early morning hours with an ever- changing cast of little characters  - we enjoyed a FULL house! Congrats to our kids for surviving this 24 hour togetherness!!

(The quilt shown here was made in 1976 as a wedding gift to Wes. It used scraps from those groovy fashions I sewed for myself in high school and college. Far out, huh?  But I digress.  This post is supposed to be about coloring, not colorful.)
I purchased a couple of coloring books at Walmart back in November, hoping to get a little down time to color a festive picture.  Didn't happen.  I hoped to bring the books out when we had our 24 hours of 
Family Togetherness.  Didn't happen. Post - Christmas we had a larger family gathering in Michigan and I packed the books and markers along just in case...and it did happen!
First it was Miss E, Miss M and K-Man with me. He left and we were joined by Grace. Then Laena.
Then Anne. Then Renee.

And then it happened. The realization that all this hype about adult coloring does bring you calm. We chatted and got to know each other better. We relaxed. We exercised our brains with color combinations and patterns.  We oohed and ahead about each other's work. We didn't need to have more food. We were being fed morsels of fellowship and love. All through the simple act of coloring!

May today bring color you way!  Any way you can get it. 
Perhaps even a trip out to buy your very own 
coloring book to bring on the post- holiday calm through
marker on paper! It works if you just make it happen.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Nelson Sisters Gift Exchange (Part Two)

Now that Part One described what was given to me by way of the FELTED WOOL theme, it's time for the "reveal" of my theme for her!. See that package above?  Now take a look at the lower right corner...
these are tiny charms that I attached to the key ring we bought on one of our trips.
Yep. A key ring was my inspiration!  Funny how inspiration starts, huh?  That's how KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SISTERHOOD came about. Each gift would feature a memory or shared experience that worked to build our bond.  For example, one of the charms was a columbine flower - the state flower of Colorado. That's where we grew up.  The gift? Had to relate to Denver!!
It was a CD of the best hits. Oh, I should have mentioned that each gift had a key attached to the package ribbon. (Great way to get rid of spare keys!!!)
The charm for this gift below was a tiny ship wheel - a helm. This photo of us was the gift. Here we posed before boarding the showboat in Branson, MO.
Of course I had to get a little cheeky with the gifts. There's more cheeky in me than in my sister, so I must have hogged the family cheeky genes.
Two Planter's Peanuts spreaders as gifts to go with this note:
Because of all her support in my recent felted wool venture, a hat charm was added to the key ring with a special hat gift for her winter warmth...isn't she cute in it?
Yes, there were also charms/gifts representing our shared love of PROJECT RUNWAY and DANCING WITH THE STARS. You can spot them here.
Derek Hough? Uh, yes...we may be old(er) but we can still be smitten.  You might also notice a movie pack of Hallmark movies in the stash.

There you have it. This is how the Nelson Sisters do it. But it isn't the gifts that matter - it's the love, history and duration of our relationship that is the true gift. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Nelson Sisters Gift Exchange (Part One)

I admit it: we are a couple of sentimental goofballs when it comes to giving gifts to each other!
For Christmas and our birthdays we go all out with themed gifts, tags for packages and wrappings that
are coordinated and plentiful. The gifts range from silly and nutty to books with topics we are interested in, wearables, edibles, framed photographs, and music CDs that have special connections. 

We exchanged these gifts yesterday. As always, it was a highlight of our sisterhood. And a way of making up for the time she pushed me out of the bed and broke my collarbone and me breaking her treasured watch while she was out of our shared bedroom.  (Years and years and years ago when we lived under the same roof as girls, of course.)

Because many ask about these exchanges, it's time to blog.  Part one is her theme for me, and part two is my theme for her.

Here's how my gifts were wrapped- blue, white and silver with glittery ribbons that left a trail of glitter to sparkle us up for the rest of this year and into the next year!!  
Inside this white pocket were the above letters (all scrambled up because she knows I like word puzzles) that told me what my 2015 theme was going to be - FELTED WOOL - due to my preoccupation with it this past year. Not only that, but all gifts had these letters (e, d, f, l, o, t and w)
in them!  She's outdone herself, yes?

Like E-L-F and this adorable gift:
And O-W-L for this fun coin purse:
And F-E-E-T for this gift for my feet...a very comfy pair of slippers!
With W-O-O-D for this inspirational saying on a wooden square.

Quite a lot of tedious cutting went into these little letters; she assured me that the time spent cutting them out sped by while watching Hallmark movies. Happy-ending Hallmark movies I might add.

Don't you just love this theme? It sure tickles my fancy!

The icing on top of exchanging these gifts of love is getting a yearly ornament for our "Sister" collection begun in the late 1970s.
That's a lot of ornaments!  This is the one she made for me this year featuring a part of a key ring we chose together on one of our trips this year. Diann used a key to attach the stitched heart with some other treasures from our travels together.
And even this was a word (w-o-o-l) that needed unscrambling. Do you see the key hiding?

Here you have the entire collection! Unwrapped! I love it!  And my Sis nailed it again this year.

Part two will feature my theme for her. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Julbord at IKEA

Have you seen the above sign when you've shopped at IKEA? Have you wondered what it's all about? And has this wondering gone on for quite a few years? Well, this was the year for our questions to be answered. A nice friend gave us a specific invitation, and another friend picked up our tickets well in advance. Apparently this Julbord is quite the hot ticket item for the season.
Here is the line waiting to be admitted into the dining area on the third floor. It was closed to the general public on this night.
And here's the basket of tickets from the waiters (not waitstaff waiters, but hungry customer waiters) in this long line. The whole procedure of getting in was really smooth, surprisingly smooth. The dining area was packed once the 6:30 seating group was admitted.

Eaters could go to two buffet lines (tables covered with festive plaid tablecloths) and smorgasbord was served: hard tack, rolls, cheese, cucumber salad, apple beet salad, potato salad, deviled eggs topped with shrimp, three types of salmon, sauces, korv, meatballs, lingon, boiled red potatoes and "party" potatoes,  UFF DA!!!

I confess to hitting the dessert table before being seated.

My table view included these three Dala horses. It also included friends who took this picture of my date clad in his Dad's favorite Nordic sweater.

That chocolate ball soon was history!! Yum!!!

We really had a fun time...the food was great, the ambience was festive and cheery and the price was right.  $12.99 for all this? Uff da, uff da, UFF DA! We'll make this a new tradition for the holidays.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Wagon Update (with cast of characters)

Recently, I posted the above picture on Facebook. This was a picture of our two middle grandchildren at a practice for a Lucia pageant at their church. I put this caption by the picture:TROUBLE TIMES TWO! I thought it was fitting to update you on how it all turned out.
The pageant was this past weekend and I am happy to report that, while challenging, these two actually made it through the performance. It was a bit rocky at the start when both went missing in a big church. They were later found by one father, and held hands upon returning back to where they should be.

His role was to be a Tomte in a wagon simply looking cute. Nailed that!

Her role was NOT to be in the wagon, pass out candy canes to audience members, and then follow the wagon trail out of the sanctuary.  Almost nailed that.  She ran out of candy canes in no time and 
lingered longer than the "train" leaving the station.

Then her older sister - a rule follower - entered and did what she was supposed to do: be a Junior Lucia.

She would barely even look at me on the way down the aisle!

She's the one standing right in front of Lucia ever so serious.

The two other family members are still too wee to be in the Pageant. But
they were in full character as well - he with his plaid shirt and grin and she with her straight-up
hair and mouth posed to comment.

As for this grandma, the biggest challenge was directing this cast of characters into position to take a group photo!  

Take one!

Take two!

And it's a wrap for 2015 Lucia Pagaent this year.