From My Carolina Home

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New Year’s Eve

We aren’t planning any late night activities tonight, it will be a quiet welcoming of the new year having dinner out with friends and home early. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t do a bit of decorating. I like to get all the Christmas decorations down by this day, and do a little New Year’s cheer for the last of the holiday season.

New Year's Breakfast ~ From My Carolina Home

I got out the black-with-gold-dots table cloth I made some time ago, adding gold chargers and white plates. The little black octagon plates are going to the thrift store after this breakfast. For breakfast they might hold some fruit.  The wine glasses might hold mimosas, I haven’t decided yet.  White linen napkins are held with clear rings – a thrift store find.

New Year's Breakfast ~ From My Carolina Home

The centerpiece is made of four of those star sprays I got at the dollar store last year, or was it the year before?  Such an inexpensive little thing that adds a lot to a table.   They almost look like fireworks are going off on the table, a bit of color to the elegant black and gold theme.  The bases are wrapped in black with gold trim.  On either side are small glass candlesticks with black candles trimmed in gold.

New Year's Breakfast ~ From My Carolina Home

I am planning to make Eggnog French Toast for New Year’s Day breakfast. I saw the recipe on Cecilia’s blog My Thrift Store Addiction and DH has given approval for our holiday breakfast.  I may put a spin on the idea by adding some cinnamon, you all know that DH loves cinnamon.   Although, nutmeg might make more sense.  Or maybe both.  The little creamer pitcher will hold syrup warmed in the microwave.

New Year's Breakfast ~ From My Carolina Home

Once again on New Year’s Eve, I want to remind you to put your money outside this evening!  I know, it seems silly, but what the hey. You hide some money outside on New Year’s Eve, (doesn’t matter how much) then bring the money into the house on New Year’s Day. It is supposed to bring good fortune with it, as long as it is still there, LOL!! Now, I am not superstitious, this is just something fun to do, and seems to be a conversation starter too.  Ask your friends if any of them have ever heard of it.  And for my readers who saw this last year, or the year before, did you do it?

moneyoutside1

Of course, tomorrow we will have to have Black Eyed Peas. I usually do a version of Hopping John that I have kicked up a notch with kielbasa and call Jumpin’ John.  The peas are mixed with rice, sausage and sauce, then garnished with green onions.  It is a good luck lunch in a bowl while watching the football games.

Jumpin John - 11

Whatever your plans for tonight and tomorrow, have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve!  Wishing you health and happiness in the New Year.

What are your plans for this weekend?

 

Sharing…

Vintage Charm at My Thrift Store Addiction

Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm

Handmade Hangout

 


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Christmas Card Crafting

Before you start taking down all the holiday stuff, I needed to get in this post on what to do with some of the Christmas Cards you have. There are some interesting ideas on the internet, including one of ornaments made of circles folded this way and that, angels made by cutting out a pattern, and other things, but all that was a bit complicated for right now. Maybe I can save some cards out and try those later, but for today, I wanted to show some quick ideas that don’t need a lot of prep.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

First, do you have any gift bags around with store names on them?

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

Use a cut-out from a Christmas card to cover the logo. Now you have gift bag you can re-use.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

Then I had this tri-fold card. I cut the middle into strips, and  I’ll use the front on a gift bag.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

I cut a long, thin strip with the candies, then put it through the embosser to give it some interesting texture.  It took two runs to get all of the strip embossed.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

Mounting the strip on a white background, I have a lovely bookmark to add to a book gift next year.  Or to use myself now.  I usually have multiple books going at once, and there are lots of recipes in cookbooks I bookmark to make later.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

I stamped the word ‘friendship’ on the back. You could put any sentiment you like there.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

The next card was narrow and wide, so I cut out the motif in the middle.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

It was wide enough for two bookmarks, this time with ‘Thank You’ on the back.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

This card had a beautiful sentiment inside, so I carefully cut it out leaving space all around.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

Punch a hole in the upper left corner and thread a pretty ribbon through. Now you have a gorgeous gift tag for a special gift next year, with plenty of space for a To and From.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

This card had a lot of potential, so I challenged myself to get the most out of it.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

Begin with cutting the front side of the card away from the back side.  Then keep cutting bookmark and gift tag shapes.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

Ten bookmarks and gift tags from one card! The inside had a nice green border which I turned into an accent stripe.  Stamping flowers on some means I have gift tags for birthdays or other gifts.   I mounted the sentiment inside on a piece of cardstock, which will make a nice bookmark for DH.  I punched holes in the gift tags to add ribbons.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

For the Smile bookmark, I stamped the word on the beige section then punched a hole in the center top. I threaded a ribbon through the hole as it made it a bit fancier.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

With this next card, I saw a lot of opportunities to use my punches.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

The trees, deer, and snowflakes made cute elements for a hand crafted card next year.  Using the ornament punch, I centered a snowflake, punched out the shape, then mounted it on a bit of solid red cut from another card for a place card.  Using the scalloped circle punch, pretty elements of pine boughs will dress up a hand made card next year.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

And lastly, sometimes you get a card that is just so cute, it needs to be a permanent addition to the decor. In that case, frame it.  These dogs are just precious in their Christmas pageant.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

Somewhere I have one of Airedale dogs singing into microphones with Christmas sweaters on.  It is beyond cute, and I am absolutely certain I would never throw it away. I really need to find that before all the Christmas decoration boxes are packed up, and frame it so I don’t lose it.

So, don’t throw away those cards!  Recycle them into other projects.  And know that you can recycle any kind of card, so keep the birthday and anniversary cards, Easter and Halloween, and any other card you receive.  Bookmarks, gift tags, place cards and new cards can be quickly made from recycled cards.

Have you recycled cards into other projects?

 

Sharing

Saturday Sparks at Pieced Pastimes

Celebrate and Decorate

Brag About It

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Share Your Cup

Vintage Charm

 


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Best of 2016 and Goals for 2017

Who knew it would be difficult to write about the 5 Best posts of 2016 on From My Carolina Home!  As I near the end of my third year of blogging next month, it is amazing that I still have things to say, projects to sew, things to create with hot glue, cards to stamp, new recipes to cook and it is still fun.  So, what did I enjoy the most this year?  Well, instead of five posts, I am going to review three events.

Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt Along

This was the second mystery quilt I designed, and it told me its name while it was in the design stage. The Scrap Dance series took off after this, and now has five patterns in the series, with #6 coming in January.  It was the second event I did on the blog.  The pattern for Tango is available in my Craftsy store, link on the sidebar.  You’ll also find Scrap Dance the original, Scrap Dance Quickstep, and The Charleston bag there too.

Tango Cover Shots 3

Christmas in July

I began thinking about doing this in the spring, and started designing new projects for a 12 day event.  I contacted my favorite companies for prizes and the response was terrific.  Sponsors included Aurifil Threads, Fat Quarter Shop, Connecting Threads, Stampin’ Up!, Superior Threads, and Primitive Gatherings.  I was just about done with planning when I got an invitation to join a blog hop, and was so very fortunate to be the first stop.  Many of the blog hoppers came back for more fun later in the event.  We began with the Sewing Kit / Jewelry Case Tutorial, and for the next 12 days made a wool applique penny rug, stamped cards, sewed a Christmas purse, made a mini quilt and a Christmas bed quilt, made ornaments, created gifts for guys and gifts from the kitchen, and then did some decorating and tablescapes.  And after all that, we settled down to rest with some Christmas themed books.  Click on the Christmas category on the sidebar and scroll down for all the posts.  I had a blast doing that event, and the sponsors were happy too.
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Santas 2

Autumn Jubilee

Then came my favorite season, Autumn.  Here is where I lost my mind, and committed to a month long event with 2 quilt alongs, a stitch along, sewing and crafting projects, tablescapes, thrift store finds and recycling, another wool applique pattern and a new recipe for Pumpkin Orange Bread.  I had a great time doing that, and again had marvelous support from my favorite sponsors with giveaways.  Sponsors for this event included Aurifil Threads, Fat Quarter Shop, Connecting Threads, Stampin’ Up!, Back Side Fabrics and Magnet King. Click on the Autumn Jubilee category on the sidebar to see all the projects.

autumnjubileelogo

So now, what will I do in 2017?  Time to set some goals for the year, with you in mind, dear reader. I need to get in a little bit of everything as usual, heavy on the quilting and sewing, with gardening, cooking, reading, crafting, card making, thrifting and recycling, and more thrown in for fun.

Goal 1 – Do a mystery quilt for 2017 – already in the works to begin in late January

Goal 2 – Plan another event during the 2017 year with giveaways from my favorite sponsors for readers

Goal 3 – Be a stop on a Christmas in July blog hop, not a 12 day event this year

Goal 4 – Publish Scrap Dance Waltz

Goal 5 – Do another Autumn event, as yet undetermined, encompassing a wide variety of projects

And finally a funny story about my best laugh of the year.  I was Christmas shopping for a calendar for DH, and I found a large display in a store.  One of them was called the Anti-Affirmation calendar and the cover shot made me laugh out loud.  Yes, in the store.  Could. Not. Stop.  Other customers were coming over to see what was just so funny.  In short order, I had a group of people laughing, and was still going as I went to check out.  No, I didn’t buy it.  The person I would want to give it to is my ex-boss, and I am quite sure it would not be appreciated.  So, what did it say that was so humorous?  Here it is, and maybe you had to be there, or maybe it was just my mood that day.  Or maybe it is truly hilarious, because I am still laughing as I type this!

“If I give you a straw, will you go suck the fun out of someone else’s life?”

Still laughing.  And committed to having fun this year!  Won’t you join me?

Late November Garden at From My Carolina Home

Linking up with

Quilting Jet Girl 2017 Planning Party

Best of 2016 Link Party 

Main Crush Monday

Celebrate and Decorate

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Let’s Bee Social

Vintage Charm

Share Your Cup Thursday

Needle and Thread Thursday

Whoop Whoop Friday

Rattlebridge Farm New Year’s Eve Party

Crazy Mom Quilts

Brag About It

Handmade Hangout

Scrap Dance on benchThe original Scrap Dance quilt pattern is available in my Craftsy store, along with all the Scrap Dance series patterns and more.


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Holiday Wishes

On this Christmas Day, I wish you joy and peace, with love and laughter of family and friends.  A wish for all my readers, no matter where you live or what your faith, of health and happiness on this day and every day.

Christmas Ornaments ~ From My Carolina Home

I wish for a world where tolerance and respect is the norm instead of the exception for all people. I wish for people of different faiths and backgrounds to see others as merely different and not evil. I wish for all to live and let live, to pursue happiness as each sees fit, to learn from one another, to help one another, attend to making their lives as good as they can without tearing down others in the process. I wish for a world where all people spend their energy creating and serving instead of destroying or committing crimes, where the pursuit of excellence and knowledge takes center stage, where honest work is rewarded no matter what the job.  I wish for an end to violence in all its forms.  I wish for an end to homelessness and hunger. I wish for peace.

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I wish for every shelter dog to find a home.  (This is our rescue psychodog from several years ago, we still miss her.)

christmas07

I wish for everyone to have joy in their lives, and to spread joy to others.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Shalom, Seasons Greetings and Happy New Year!

What are your holiday wishes?


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A New Jelly Roll Project at Moda Bake Shop

I have a new project at Moda Bake Shop, a Christmas pillow you can work up in just an afternoon. It is always fun to have a project accepted by Moda!  This project uses all leftovers, so pull out your reds and greens and whites for a fast project you can enjoy this year.  Those red bars are dimensional, with a new technique I worked out.

Christmas Tree Pillow ~ A new recipe at Moda Bake Shop

Visit the Moda Bake Shop for the Christmas Tree Pillow, for the the recipe with a downloadable pdf.

Christmas Tree Pillow ~ A new recipe at Moda Bake Shop

After I finished this one, I thought it would be even cuter with some embellishments on the tree, so next time I’ll add some buttons and bows to jazz it up a bit.

Christmas Tree Pillow ~ A new recipe at Moda Bake Shop

I hope you enjoy this quick project!  What do you think of this scrappy idea?

Coming soon, save your Christmas cards!  I have a idea to use them in a recycle project coming up.

PS – Thank you to the nice reader who let me know the links to the Tango pattern weren’t working.  I have fixed both the reveal post and the sidebar link.


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December Mountain Living

We had a real cold snap last weekend, and as much as I’d love a white Christmas, it isn’t in the forecast for this year.  Somehow, the cold makes the skies crisp at night, lots of stars out to see.   Occasionally, I have a bout of insomnia, and this particular morning I was glad, as the sunrise over the mountains to the east of ours was spectacular.  Rain was on the way, and dawn brought brilliant color to the sky, seen through the architecture of the bare trees.

December Dawn 1

The wider view was difficult to get the brilliance of the dawn, but you can see the color was most of the horizon over the mountains.

December Dawn 3

Out in the valley, the color there was beautiful as well.  My camera just doesn’t do this justice, I’d need a wide angle lens to show you the true grandeur of this moment.

December Dawn 4

Our avian visitors have been eating us out of birdseed, emptying the feeder in just a few days rather than over a week.  I am thinking some of the other neighbors have stopped filling their feeders for the winter, so these guys are hungry.  We have such a wide variety right now too, titmice and nuthatches, cardinals and chickadees share the feeder, sometimes with 8 or 9 on the feeder at once. I managed to get one shot of seven at once – two chickadees, two nuthatches, and three goldfinches.

December Bird visitors 4

The goldfinches are regular visitors, wearing their duller brown coats for winter.

December Bird visitors 7

A blue jay comes around from time to time.

December Bird visitors 1

But the biggest surprise was seeing a pileated woodpecker gobbling up the suet.  He made short work of a lot of the seed in the feeder too.

December Pileated Woodpecker 1

I could not believe he could land on such a small spot!

December Pileated Woodpecker 2

The crows finished off the pumpkin and DH threw away the shells.  This week I put out the insides of a spaghetti squash and they brought their buddies to polish off the treat.  I think the squirrels got some of it as well.

December Crows 2

December Crows 4

Then these guys showed up.  Robins!!  In winter!

December Robins 4

There were more than a dozen of them, and I got pics of some of the individuals.  They were scattered over the lawn and the meadow, in the trees and down the driveway.

December Robins 3

I couldn’t get a clear picture of the group, and they were gone in an hour.  DH thinks they are migrating south, but I thought they would have done that by now, unless we are near the end of the journey.  It has been too warm through fall so maybe they stayed longer than usual.

December Robins 2

We had doves and towhees stop by in the last few days too, but no pictures, they flew off when they sensed movement.  DH saw a purple finch on the feeder last weekend. The cardinal finally showed up again, I have missed him and his lady.

December Bird visitors 6

The turkeys haven’t been by in more than two weeks, so I think they have moved on for the winter.  I was saving some bread for them, but I think I’ll spread my mixture of bacon fat and peanut butter on the slices and press birdseed into them for the suet feeder.

Are you feeding birds now?  Who is visiting at your place?

 

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Take Me Away!


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Decorating for Christmas

Decorating the house for the Christmas season is always fun.  Each year I try to use the same things we have had for years in new ways, adding a few new things and donating others.  This time, I had a new Wool Applique Christmas Penny Rug from the Christmas in July event, and it was perfect for my tiny frolicking reindeer .

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

Of course, quilts are always a part of the decor. The guest bed got the Christmas Star quilt.

Christmas Star Quilt

I love these goofy moose with their plaid outfits. I got them in a silent auction of closet clean out stuff at our quilt club.

Chris-Mooses

My chair next to the den fireplace has my Christmas Trip Around the World quilt from last year.

Christmas 2016 Den 1

DH has my orphan block quilt that I made into a table topper. It is large enough to cover the dining room table, and happily the same size works as a throw.

Christmas 2016 Den 3

Isn’t this little mouse cute? He gets to sit on the kitchen window with a teacup so I can hear his stories while I make a meal.  To hear him tell it, he has had quite a few adventures with Santa.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

The fireplace doesn’t have a mantle, and with this stonework it isn’t really practical to try to put one up. So usually I have to put my stockings on the bookcases to the right.

Christmas no mantle

But this year, I thought putting them on the stairs might be fun. The stocking hangers are Santa in his sleigh, and I have four reindeer. This year I just used three.  I think I’ll add a golden cord next time to tie them all together like they were harnessed up to pull the sleigh.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

Over on the pub table, a jigsaw puzzle is ready for MIL to visit. We like doing these as an activity while watching football games, or just to relax. I love the elegance of the white poinsettia (a gift from a friend) in the white reindeer and I think it looks nice on the Hexagonal Table Topper.  The puzzle is actually quite a bit further along now, after MIL visited and got the border done.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

Next to the tree is my collection of little Santa figurines on the Victorian corner shelf.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

On the cookbook bookcase, I placed the Santa Paws plate, a cute little collectable with all dogs dressed in holiday finery. A few Christmas cookbooks and a golden tree candle complete this display.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

In the kitchen, the little library table has a few Christmas themed items, along with the Quick Squares Table Runner – click on that link for the free pattern.  I have most of the Christmas with Southern Living series, and this one with the cookies on the cover was perfect for the kitchen this year, adding a vintage vibe to this corner of the kitchen.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

The pie safe that I use for storage and display space has the Christmas Table Runner from our quilt along last year. Click HERE for that pattern.  Yes, unbelievably, those violets are still blooming a month later!

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

In the library, the Christmas Mini Quilt from the Christmas in July event sits on its stand with the evergreen tree topper.  It is supposed to be an ornament, the pattern is free on the link.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

This little mouse has a pin in the side to hold onto a pillar candle. Cute isn’t he? He has been around a lot of years, but I don’t always use him every year.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

On the bathroom counter, a new-to-me Santa for this year (estate sale of course), along with a moose and a small little ceramic box. I like the descending sizes with the tall candles. Festive, but doesn’t take up a lot of space.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

In the sewing room, a little tree and a stuffed reindeer wait for Santa on the Singer treadle sewing machine.

Christmas Decorating ~ From My Carolina Home

In the hallway, I put a greenery wreath on the jingle bell hanger on a closet door. You know, you can have as many wreaths as you want, sometimes some just have to go inside. I used this wreath as a table centerpiece last year. This year, I added a gold wire edge ribbon bow and a few berries on either side of the bow. Everything is wired on so it can be easily removed when I change my mind and want to use it on a table again.

Inside Wreath 1

So, there are a few ideas for making a festive home.

Do you have some favorite things that come out at holiday time?

 

Sharing

Celebrate and Decorate

Create Link Inspire

Vintage Charm

Snickerdoodle

Share Your Cup

Saturday Sparks