Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Advent Calendar, Lemons, and an Astronaut

 I set a goal of completing the Advent calendar by the end of October. It is complete and has been given to Lindsay and family.


This was an ambitious project for my crafting abilities; something I learned quickly after starting. At one point, I was a little bummed and didn't think it would turn out too well, but I am pleased with it. At some point, you have to realize you aren't the craftiest person, but you can either buy something or enjoy the process of making it even with its flaws. 

The problem began with the linen being a tad stiff to make perfect little pocket squares. I loved the linen while stitching up the numbers. It has a metallic sheen to it and seemed like the perfect choice, but it was stiff and made it very difficult to make corners poke out no matter the poking and clipping.





While lining them and making the squares out of the stitched pieces I was quite discouraged, but I wasn't about to give up with all the stitching in the project. I got those all done which took a good bit of time to do and realized that I needed to come up with a plan to make up for the lack of uniformity needed.

I determined that I needed to mount them on rectangles to make up for the corners. Draw the eye away from the corners...was the plan.

I had originally planned to use the red tartan plaid because I really love a tartan plaid. I think I know why now...I found I have quite a bit of Scottish in me from my recent DNA test. Ha Ha! 

The plaid just seemed so busy with the stitching, so I made a trip to the fabric store and found a red and green fabric that were basically the same pattern with different colors and the plan came together then.



I thought the quilting process would be downfall on this project, but thanks to Youtube and the Missouri Star Quilt Company video on binding that turned out to be the easiest part and I procrastinated for no reason. Now, I don't think I will be taking up quilting anytime soon, but the video was very helpful.

I did hand stitch on the back to make it look neater. Again, I felt like everything else had to be really good to distract from the pockets not being even. 


I added a dowel painted silver and some ribbon, bows, and charms.



It is not perfect at all, but the finished product turned out much better than I was expecting and Lindsay likes it so that is what matters.

I finished it with two days to spare in the month.

Now, onto Tucker, the astronaut.



Lindsay found this outfit last year at Halloween at the most wonderful seconds store locally here. She grabbed even though it was way too big because of my love of space. She has tried for a month to get him to try it on. I have several pictures she sent me of him crying in it each time. She even went shopping two weeks ago for another costume since it seemed he was not going to wear it. 



He loves Paw Patrol and they found a cute costume, but the moment he found out it had a headpiece....well, Lindsay figured she was just wasting money so she didn't get anything. 

She had decided that if he didn't want to wear one she wasn't going to push it and he could just wear a Halloween shirt.

The day arrived and he wore it most of the evening and enjoyed it. They went to the two closest neighbors who had a treat for him and then they went over to a friend's house for the evening. Lindsay put some candy outside her house with a sign. Her neighborhood is one that lots would have come to since it is a sidewalk neighborhood, but not so much this year. 



Tucker has had very little candy in his life. Lindsay is all about him being healthy. He knew instinctively what the candy was all about and was quite interested in it. I Facetimed them later and he was still thinking about candy.

They just know! Paul Allen learned early on that it disappeared so he ate as much as he could sneak in his mouth before getting home. 

No mama or school teacher enjoys the sugar rush that follows.

He is the cutest astronaut I know. Spoken like a true grandparent.



And lemons. Tucker stayed with me on Friday. He had his Halloween activities at school on Thursday and I just needed a day of Tucker. We picked a 5 gallon bucket of lemons off the tree. They have come much earlier than last year. They weren't ready until early December last year. I don't really know what that means... An early winter and maybe an actual winter? Who knows? IT is 2020 after all. 

Either way, we pulled them off and he enjoyed putting them in the bucket. We then took some to the neighbors in the cul de sac. He LOVED doing that. 



We brought the bucket inside and I thought I would deal with them later, but he was not having that. He handed them to me one at a time to place on the counter. He likes doing tasks like this.



I picked another bucket today, so I would say the harvest this year altogether was 2 and a half 5 gallon buckets. It was less than last year. I will squeeze the juice in the next few days and freeze then in 1 cup containers. I had juice for quite a while last harvest.

I wish I had enough light and space in my yard to do an orange tree.

As with counting down the days to Christmas, I am counting my blessings. Being a grandparent is at the top of the list 


AND views like this. Full Blue moon tonight on the water.


Sandy



28 comments:

  1. Hello Sandy,
    the adventcalender for Tucker and his family are wonderful. You have done a Great Job.
    Cute photos from Tucker.
    Have a nice Sunday, Manuela

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    1. Thank you so much. I ended up really liking the finished product.

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  2. Sandy: Your Advent Calendar is beautiful, what fun to know it was handmade and perfect for Tucker to enjoy, the finishing is perfect, I do like the ribbons and tree charm.
    Tucker is adorable, what a very unique costume, my all time favorite movie is Apollo 13, I could watch it every day.
    Yum lemons, you have such a wonderful helper, just imagine soon he will be squeezing the lemons for you.
    Have a wonderful week.

    Catherine

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    1. Thanks Catherine, I ended up really liking the calendar. Lindsay is very creative so I know she will come up with wonderful ideas to do with it.We are a space loving family, so I was thrilled when she found the suit. 

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  3. You did a great job! I guess when we make something we tend to be our own worst critic! Cute pictures! I live in PA and Maine so the whole lemon thing is completely foreign to me! ­čĺľ

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Susan. I definitely am my worst critic. Even with the flaws, I ended up liking it. I love having a lemon tree. We have had it for two years and I look forward to all the stages starting with the blossoms.

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  4. Tucker is so adorable. How did they get him to wear the astronaut suit? I'm guessing he doesn't like head coverings since you mentioned the Paw Patrol costume having one. The Advent Calendar looks super and I really like the red and green fabrics you used, Sandy. Your lemons look fabulous. Happy November!

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    1. He just decided to put it on and wear it. I think it had a lot to do with school talk (daycare) and he clued in that there might be fun involved. He wore it all evening with no tears. And yes, he doesn't like anything over his head.

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  5. Well I think your advent calendar looks great Sandy. I would never have attempted such a thing and to see it all finished has to be an accomplishment for you. I had two little trick or treaters and Landon came by as well. Loved seeing Tucker in his astronaut outfit1! Wow that is a LOAD of lemons.

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    1. I had no trick- or- treaters which is usual for us. We live back in a dark corner. I was asking myself what was I thinking after I started the project, and I am quite glad it is done. No more of that for me.

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  6. Your Advent calendar turned out very well. I like all the choices you made. Lindsea's family will enjoy it for a long time to come.

    And Tucker does, indeed, make a very cute astronaut!! I'm glad he agreed to wear the suit!

    Blue Moon -- I forgot to look outside last night. Thanks for the wonderful photo!

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    1. He has made a fuss all the time and suddenly he decided he liked it. I think it had something to do with talk at school (daycare), so all turned out well. It helps remembering the moons when you can see them from the living room window.I am assuming all is well at your house. Been praying for y'all!

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  7. Great post, Sandy! I love the advent calendar, and they will love it for years to come. No one will notice any imperfections. How could they when the stitching is so pretty? Even after Tucker is all grown up, he will ask his mom and dad, “Are you filling the advent calendar with goodies?” It will be an heirloom.

    We are rewatching an old Star Trek series called Enterprise, and one of the main characters is named Commander Tucker. Tucker’s astronaut costume reminded me of that. He is so cute! (I meant your Tucker, but the actor is pretty cute, too!)

    Did I tell you that when I did my DNA test that I found out I have a lot of Irish and Scottish ancestry? I didn’t think I had any. My paternal grandmother was adopted. When I told my dad about my results, he was surprised. She had red hair, so that might have been our first clue. Lol!

    I’m sure you know exactly what you’re doing with the lemons, but I have a great lemon meringue pie recipe if you want it.

    Have a great week!

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    1. I love Star Trek!!!
      I just knew I would be Irish. Afterall I have a grandmother who came to my college graduation dressed in green because it was St. Patrick's Day. That was back in the dark ages when we were on a quarter system. Not one bit of Irish...more Scottish and English. I am having fun researching but it is a bit mind boggling too.
      My hubby and son like Lemon Icebox rather than Lemon Meringue, but I would choose Lemon Meringue. I am always up for a new recipe and I have fresh lemons now, so yes! on the recipe.

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  8. Tucker is just adorable! Your advent calendar looks great and I'm sure it will be treasured through the years! What fun to find a surprise in each pocket! One of our neighbors has a lemon tree and she gave me four lemons last week. She freezes the juice in ice cube trays, which is a good idea. Wishing you a good week ahead! Happy November!

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    1. Thanks Terri,I freeze my lemon juice as well. It was so nice to have it all winter long. I know Lindsay will be creative with the calendar... far more than me.

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  9. Sandy, your advent calendar looks wonderful--and kudos to you for even attempting such a large project! I'm not sure I would dare. I'm plugging away at the hexie I Spy quilt for the baby, but boy is it slow going. Thank you for mentioning the link to the video tutorial on binding from Missouri Star--I will definitely keep that in mind when (if!!!) I ever reach that point on the baby's quilt.

    Tucker is adorable in his astronaut costume--Lindsay is smart to shop secondhand shops for things like that. I used to buy most of my sons' toys and books at yard sales--a lot of them looked brand new. I even wrapped them up and gave them to them at Christmas. Shhh... don't tell them--ha ha!

    So nice to have fresh lemon juice, I'm sure! You'll really enjoy it all through the winter.

    What DNA test did you end up using? I'm still on the fence about taking one, but everyone else in my family has done it so maybe I should.

    Hope you have a great week ahead--stay safe now ♥

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    1. Well, let's talk -DNA. I was so scared to do it. My son did and I didn't even know it and he is telling me all about his results. I decided if something bad was going to happen I would go down with him. I know I read too much. Anyway, we used the Ancestry one. I have loved researching stuff. I have been doing one line at a time. One has taken me back to the 1500s and I am pretty sure it is accurate. I was just sure I had Irish, but none on my side. Much more Scottish and English. Long way to go.
      I am glad to have that project over and will just continue to cross stitch:)
      There is a wonderful store here. She just bought a real not factory Polo navy sweater for $6. I am not above a good thrift store or yard sale. You find many bargains. I filled my classroom with books from them.
      Take care.

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  10. Oh my goodness, that picture of the moon framed by the trees and reflected in the water is just awesome. It was hazy here, and while the moon looked really spooky - perfect for Halloween, I didn't imagine I would be able to get a good picture of it. Well done!

    And your Advent calendar is beautiful. The close-up shots do show what you were frustrated about, but seriously, Sandy... I can't imagine anyone else really noticing the not-pointy corners. You did really well. Tucker is as adorable as ever in his astronaut suit! :)

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    1. Thanks Becki, I am pretty sure you are right about those corners. We are always harder on ourselves. The only person who will notice it will be a quilter and not many quilters are going to walk in Lindsay's house.I lucked out on the moon shot. I am a terrible photographer. My husband usually gets all the cool pics, but even he was impressed.

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  11. What a precious little astronaut you have there! I'm so happy he finally decided to wear it! Adorable! And those lemons look wonderful! Wow! So nice. Now, your moon shot is spectacular. My camera doesn't do moon shots very well, but I got a couple of pictures the last two days. Your Advent Calendar project was amazing! Stop apologizing...it's beautiful! What a treasure! Love it! Thank you for sharing this with us. All so great.

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    1. I never take good pictures. My husband is the photographer, but I just got lucky. I took it with my phone and didn't even do anything special...pure luck. He even complimented me on it. After all the times of trying on the costume, Tucker decides to wear it on the day and wore it all evening.I do hope the calendar will provide many good memories for Lindsay, Tyler, and Tucker and future grands.

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  12. Tucker will NEVER notice the corners on his advent calendar....but he WILL remember the love of his grandmother in making it for them!
    He is SO cute!! And I’m sure the apple (lemon) of your eye!!!!

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  13. Thank you. I think you are right. I completely and totally understand what all you grandmas were talking about. He lights up the room when he walks in.

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  14. Oh, Sandy, what a wonderful post! There is so much to comment on that I know I won't say all that I mean to. Tucker is the most adorable child and I am so glad that he eventually caught on that wearing the space costume would be fun.

    The moon photo ... simply amazing. I'm always in awe of what great pictures can actually be taken with phones.

    Lemons ... what a blessing to have your own tree. And what fun to have a little guy like Tucker helping you with them.

    And the advent calendar! Wow. The one with the Santa for "24" is incredible and you did a marvelous job on all of them. I do understand your frustration about the corners, but that is not going to matter. The fabrics you chose are perfect and the entire thing just looks wonderful. Well done!

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    1. Thank you, Mrs. T. I really am kinda proud of the Advent calendar. Yes, those corners drove me nuts at first, but the other really helped to make it all come together. I think they will enjoy it for years to come.
      I love my lemon tree and would love to have an orange tree, but am most grateful for the lemons. Gathering the lemons was so much fun with Tucker. He enjoyed and so did this ole grammie.

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  15. That Advent calendar is beautiful! Such a special gift. I have one my grandmother made. So many memories.
    And what a darling little grandson!

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  16. Thank you, Deborah. He is indeed my heart.

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I am so glad you stopped by my little blog. Drop in again anytime.
Sincerely,
Sandy