Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday To-Do's

My "Holiday To-Do" list is almost finished. All that is left is to visit the Post Office to mail a package and bake some cookies and other various treats. The cards have been sent, the gifts have been bought (or made), and now it is time to sit back, relax, and bake at my leisure.

My biggest accomplishment this season has been finishing the afghan I have been making for my Mom. It is my favorite out of all of the afghans I have made so far. When I get around to making one for myself I think this is the pattern I will use.

~The picture doesn't do justice to the size and thickness. The pattern is "Winter Warmer" from Our Best Afghans A to Z by Leisure Arts (

I am very happy to give this one to my Mom. She was the recipient of one of my very first crochet attempts and, bless her heart, she didn't cringe. I have noticed though that she has hidden it away in the closet.

With the "Holiday To-Do's" just about complete I am getting anxious for the big day to get here. Only two weeks to go!

How are you doing at whittling away at your to-do list?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wal-Mart Woes

Recently the local Wal-mart has undergone a face lift. Since they have made their changes, I really dislike going there. The selection isn't what it once was and whenever I try to find something all I see is a sea of white "Great Value" labels. I refuse to try yet another one of the Wal-mart brand items after having thrown away an entire box of frozen waffles because they tasted like cardboard. The clothing selection for women has become horrible unless you want to dress like Miley Cyrus or are looking for the more mature age 50 plus look.

The upside to this is the rediscovery of my local grocery stores. I may pay a little bit more but I am able to find the products I like. Plus, I don't end up buying a million things that I don't need like I usually do at Wal-mart. So it evens out in the end.

I live in a small town and the Wal-Mart is in the next small town over and many of the other items I usually need are a little further away so it will take planning on my part but my ultimate goal is to avoid Wal-Mart altogether.

I wonder how many other people are becoming as dissatisfied with Wal-Mart as I am.

Made with love….

Yesterday I finished a project I have been working on – off and on- for a couple of months. It is my Mom’s Christmas present. I will post a picture in a couple of days.

I love completing a project. Big ones and small ones. Especially when the finished product is given to someone I love. Not only does it show my love but hopefully when they use it or look at it, they will think of me and know how much I care about them.

Some of my most treasured items are those that were made by the hands of a loved one. The porcelain dolls made by my Grandmother and the quilts given to me as wedding gifts are just a few. When I took out renter's insurance and was asked to value my property the dolls were something I couldn't put a price on because they are irreplaceable. No amount of money could compensate for their loss.

When my siblings and I were kids my mom made a lot of our clothes. She would stay up late into the night to make jeans, pajamas, or whatever we needed. She even made me and my sisters home-made Cabbage Patch dolls for Christmas one year. I still have mine in a box of keepsakes.

It seems to me that there is little regard for hand-made items these days. Unless they are sold in some fancy boutique. I think it is sad that some people value what can bought in the store over what has been made with love. Though this may be the case for some, I will continue to make special gifts for those I care about. Hopefully, by continuing to give a hand-made gift made from the heart the recipient will feel the love put into the work long after the shine of a store bought gift has worn off.