Change of Seasons, Charity, and a Bit of Quilting

It is one of those weeks where I have been working on Christmas decor, putting away autumn and deciding what can go to the thrift store. The house was a total mess for two days with boxes everywhere. This year, as I unpacked boxes worth of decorations and knickknacks, I asked myself if I loved it, or if it was just to add color / part of a collection / or acquired in haste. This crystal reindeer is very special, a gift from my mother many years ago. I found the little sleigh that is the perfect size at a thrift store about five years ago, and they have gone together every year since. This year I set them with red taper candles in crystal candle holders with greenery candle rings. I put it on the guest bathroom counter.

I have a collection of Santas that I do like a lot. Well, some of them. I asked myself, do I really like this one, or did I pick it up just to add to the collection? Seven of them will stay. Five will go. I display most of them on the Victorian corner shelf, next to the tree.

I got the tree up and decorated with our collection of ornaments, each one unique. One thing I like to do is put textured balls in the interior of the tree, next to the ‘trunk’ of our artificial tree. It adds depth to the reflected lights and gives you a little surprise as the ornaments are discovered within the branches. In this photo, you can see a red one just above the North Carolina ornament, and a green one deeper in the tree to the left of the red one.

I put my favorite Santa near the mini-quilt stand. He is so whimsical.

I am determined to reduce the amount of stuff, particularly for projects I now know I won’t do. Four years ago, I received a huge amount of wreath making materials from a friend and I have used a bit of it for charity wreaths. But the place I was making them for got a bit picky about what they would accept. More about that on my post Making Holiday Wreaths. Anyway, that year, I gave away the big tub, but kept several large bags of large picks, gold sparkly ornaments on posts, artificial flowers, and a few other things. But, you know what happened last year, no wreath making then either. Now my enthusiasm for doing this has waned, so I am passing along the rest of the wreath making materials to someone who would like to have them and would actually use them. More boxes of Christmas stuff went out the door too. My sedan was fully loaded, with the back seats down to accommodate all the donations.

We did a toy drive recently, gathering at the outlet mall for coffee and donuts on a really chilly day. I thought this row of really colorful cars was wonderful. I wore my white faux fur hat with a pretty bow pin with rhinestones on it. I know, I am such a magpie, LOL! I did get a few comments on it.

We found these adorable stuffed animals for our donation, isn’t the little pink hippo-unicorn cute? My Sweet Babboo liked trucks, so we got one of these steel ones that should hold up to kid play.

While we are talking about charity donations, a couple of months ago I saw a news story about a teenager who was raising money to buy wheelchairs for children in need. The idea was simple, recycle a product that most of us throw away and that usually isn’t recyclable – plastic bread tags. You know those little plastic tabs that hold the bread bag closed, and they come on many products not just bread. Danielle Cares for Chairs collects them, and sells them to one company that is able to recycle them, called Scarce. This is ridiculously easy, I just keep a small bag in the drawer in the kitchen, and throw the tabs in when I have one. Then I can mail them off when I have a bunch every few months. Do you have some of these lying around that could assist in getting a needy child a wheelchair? You can mail them to SCARCE c/o Danielle Cares for Chairs, 800 S. Rohlwing Rd (Route 53) Unit D, Addison, IL 60101.

For my birthday, My Sweet Babboo took me to my favorite restaurant in town, Champa. He told the owner, Helen, that it was my birthday, and she brought out this lovely dessert for me. The picture is not great, as I took it with my flip phone, but it was delicious! It is a mango cream cake with whipped cream and a chocolate drizzle. Yum!! Helps to be a regular customer, as this lovely treat is not on their menu!

The Safelight Quilt project is coming along well. My friend Kathleen did the quilting on this one, and she really went to town! Gorgeous, isn’t it?

I did a bit of sewing this past week and finished the assembly of the red and white quilt top. I went with the mountain peaks setting. Mine will have a simple pantograph.

In the mail this week, I got a package of blocks from Suzanne D. I don’t have your email to send you a personal note, and I want you to know that your blocks came at just the right time! I needed 10 more to finish a top, and now I can work on assembly instead of making more blocks myself. Thank you for the helping with this project!!

Do you like surprises like I do? Here’s an idea – get a Sulky Mystery Box for yourself. The Winter box includes best sellers and NEW fun extras all for $29.95 and there is a free gift with purchase of a Winter Greens Hand Embroidery Design Collection!

What are you working on this week?

19 thoughts on “Change of Seasons, Charity, and a Bit of Quilting

  1. Rheanna

    Doesn’t it feel nice to be able to purge some things? I am working to finish my Autumn Jubilee table top quilt. I had to put it aside for a bit as I had misplaced one of the half square triangles for a leaf. I knew it would show up eventually. Thankfully my dear husband found it hidden under my ironing board. I will post to Facebook once it is done.

  2. I had a quilt bee this week and I worked on some blocks for Safelight. I will put it together as a top as I have almost 20 done. Since it is an “ongoing project” for your group it will be later than sooner. I went fabric shopping and got my “Christmas project” fabrics. I am making pajama pants for all the grandkids, and 2 aprons for a pair of parents. I had to prewash before starting and gosh those dark flannels bleed! Thank goodness for color catchers! Christmas is a hard deadline, so I hope you don’t mind the delay on the blocks. I have enough HST left over from another project that I will be making a lot of these as I work over the winter.

  3. Sandy Hilton

    And now I am feeling guilty as I said I would send some blocks . Have been caught up in finishing projects and did not get many finished. The ones you have shown are lovely. But I will continue to make some and get them to you on your next request for more.

  4. karenfae

    hope you had a happy birthday! I went through all my Christmas stuff about 5 years ago – asked the girls what they wanted from what I put aside and what was left went to Goodwill I find that almost every year I pick up a couple new/old pieces and they multiply like rabbits – in a small house you don’t need that many decorations to soon make it look awful! I keep trying to control myself and now rarely shop at Christmas time to get new ornaments.

  5. MaryEd Williams

    Your decorations are wonderful! I haven’t decorated in years, the thought being (1) I live alone and (2) what goes up has to come down.
    I understand Safelight is ongoing – right? I have blocks cut and will finish them in January, in between watching my beloved Heels play basketball.
    Mary Ed

  6. Mary Stori

    Your house looks so wonderfully festive. A belated happy birthday!!! We were thrilled to see our PCA club’s huge pile of donations for the toy drive.

  7. The quilts are beautiful and lunch sounds wonderful. I’ve made a note about Danielle Cares for Chairs. Sounds like a worthwhile and easy thing to do. Glad you’re passing along your wreath making stuff to someone who can use it. I thinned out some Christmas stuff last year; but some is still in need. I simply put up less each year. I’ve not given any thought to decorating yet, too early for me. I have to use a pretend email to get passed wordpress. I had a wordpress account YEARS ago, and it annoys me that it still wants me to sign in. I deleted the account. was out blog walking today and spotted you on a mutual friends blog, so thought I’d pop in for a visit. It’s always fun to meet new bloggers.

    1. Thanks, Sandy. It won’t stop bugging you until you delete your Gravatar profile too. WordPress still has an account with that email for you apparently, and it wants to be sure that it is you, and not someone else trying to post in your name.
      But using another email to post will work fine! Thanks for making the extra effort!!

  8. Julie

    Belated Happy Birthday to you. For a number of years we always found a real tree on our property for Christmas but have recently been decorating our Norfolk Pine. Now it’s too tall for the house, it’s staying in the porch. I picked up a cute 4ft.table top tree for my little house. I need to get out the decorations & see what will fit. Thanks for the address for the bread tags.

  9. Joan Sheppard

    Finished an “emergency” fundraiser quilt, helped a friend at our Sewing for the Kids finish a quilt while our entire group quilted and noshed on Holiday goodies, going to be in a Santa parade with our Siberian Husky Rescue group in Burlington Wisc. on Friday. Decorate? Maybe I’ll just get the Easter stuff out, I think I missed this year! Still so much to do! Love, love the “Mountain” quilt design. The pattern was so easy and so flexible. Thanks for sharing your Birthday Dessert with us!

  10. lois92346

    I’ve been putting off going through my two large Christmas totes. First, I told myself it was too hot to work in the garage and then it was another excuse but, thanks to your column, I’m going to get at it today. Charities don’t want Christmas items AFTER Christmas so off I go!

  11. Melanie

    An absolutely fabulous post today! So much good information about recycling — I must unload decorations I’ve not used in years. Love the bread tab information, too. Will start collecting to mail. The quilts are beautiful that will go to Safelight. Happy, happy birthday to you, Carole!

  12. Your dessert looks such a yummy birthday treat, Happy Belated Birthday to you.
    Such lovely quilts for donation, and I like the idea of the Toy Run. My hubby belongs to the local Menz Shed, and the members make many wooden toys each year to donate. Membrrs from one of the local charities came along a week or so ago to collect these to be distributed to needy children in the community.

  13. Kathleen Cuilan

    Hi Carole.
    I love your Christmas tree pictures. Reminds me of my family’s tree when we were kids. Colorful, bright, and shiny.
    And a belated Happy Birthday to you! You are such a sweetheart with everything you do for others. Many
    blessings to you and yours as we approach this Holday Season.

  14. Happy Birthday, Carole! Glad you got to go to your favorite restaurant, and have that yummy dessert! Your tree is lovely – I like your idea of adding the balls on the inside to reflect some of the light outward. My tree has those holes, too, and that’s the one thing I don’t like about it. Always good to get rid of some of the stuff that collects over the years. After teaching for so long, I had tons of decorations and ornaments that the 5th graders had given me, and I took a big bunch to the thrift shop!

  15. Sherrill

    I’ve mostly been crocheting winter hats for donation and a little cross-stitch. Haven’t sewed at all of late. I’m going to ask a couple of my groups to save those bread tabs–such a neat idea and who’ve thought? Thanks for that heads up!

  16. Your tree is beautiful! And it’s just the kind of tree I love — with a real mix or ornaments, some made, some glass, all meaningful. (And I love Snoopy!)

    I am doing much the same as you in culling things out. I took care of a number of Santas a few years ago, giving Molly her choice and some of the cousin kids. I’ll do the same thing this year, once I finish decorating. Even if something doesn’t make it out this year but I love it (it just doesn’t fit this time) I’ll hold on for another year or so to rotate. But I’ve seen things where I wonder “What was I thinking?” or “Who WAS the woman who bought this?” It’s time to say goodbye.

    Love hearing about the toy drive and that wonderful photo of the cars together made me smile. Your red and white quilt makes me smile, too! Happy December — it looks like a good one!

  17. Belated birthday greetings Carole! I did a purge of many Christmas decorations last year, and am debating about having a tree this year. I have pulled out my pillow covers, bed skirt and a table topper, but not much else. Maybe this afternoon? Your house is looking very festive!

  18. Phyllis Smith

    Hello Carole, I get a lot of these net plastic holders bags for my grapefruit I love to eat and a few other items so you had a mailing address for the Source contact but not e-mail address , is there one or do I need to mail a letter to them? Don’t eat very much bread these days so don’t get many little tabs from that, think it would take me about 5-6 months to be able to save up what you might collect. Have been going through a lot of boxes, small ones in the living room and didn’t realize all the hidden treasures I found, goodness lots of ideas for some gifts to make out of them. Have a great week, Phyllis

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