Lest you think that all of my Christmas decor is totally tacky and gorilla-laden, I want to show you this very special hardanger tabletop piece on my Christmas tablecloth--
This was made by my friend, LeAnne, and it is a treasure. This example of needlecraft shows the intricate nature of the stitching, the little open squares shown in the picture on the left are shown in detail on the other picture so you can get some sense of what goes into this work of art. Since this needlecraft is connected to Scandinavia, it is not unusual to see it in this area of the country full of Johnsons, Olsons, Larsons, etc. But of all the people I know who do many kinds of handcrafts, I know of only 2 women who still know how to do hardanger.
Our Christmas Eve kick-off was a fabulous sleigh ride with our North Carolina visitors. Steve Wood (the fellow in the red jacket at the reins) was our host at Wildwood Sleigh and Carriage near Elk River (actually closer to Nowthen, one of the best named towns ever). Steve raises and trains horses to pull people around, much to our delight. Steve also doubles as an excellent vocalist and choir director at our own little church, Cedar United Methodist. We had a fun excursion around the woods and fields, and even learned interesting facts about the area and its history.
After the ride Brita and Ben took a moment to thank our team for the trip!
One of the fun things that were given to me this year is perhaps one of the simplest, again proving that it doesn't require a lot to make an impression! Not everyone might think this is so special, but one of my necessities and favorite things is ziplock bags--they are my go-to storage system for my sewing, quilting, knitting, etc. So when Nancy gifted me 2 boxes of these bags I was in my happy place!
These are the Istad bags from IKEA, in 4 sizes and colors and designs. A sampling of them is traveling back to CA with Dan to go to Katy, who is a fellow appreciator of special bags. I have not yet met Katy, but I feel we must be kindred souls because we both like the same bags and Marimeko fabric!
I leave you today with a snapshot of my 2 little kids, happy to be together.