Monday, November 29, 2010

November Reprise

Wow! It is the end of November and no blog post!
I'll have to work fast!

First, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I am thankful for so much, but especially my family and so many dear friends. You all enrich my life and I treasure each of you! I'll have many great memories of this Thanksgiving as we spent time and enjoyed traditional Thanksgiving fare with each of our families. We enjoyed a hayride after lunch at Grays. This photo of all the "Thomas cousins" provided a real "Kodak moment".

Laura, Fields, Tom, James, Fisher,Annette, Lee, Elizabeth, Sarah, Michael, and John

Knitting Update: Working (slowly) on Jane Slicer-Smith's "Boxes Drape". I am liking the yarn and get the feel for how "drapey" it will be . . . and can't wait to see it finished!

We also enjoyed spending time with Annette and Lee while Ashley and David went to Carolina-Clemson football game and had a little time off. Here they are at breakfast!

Now it is time to prepare for the Christmas season . As we ready our hearts to celebrate the birth of the Christ child, we can enjoy some other favorites of the season . . .

Camelias beginning to blooom . . .

Baking fruit cake . . .

Decorating for the holidays!!

Welcoming family and friends to share the joy of the season!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I am very excited to be finishing a few projects! It is nice to feel a sense of accomplishment, but I think even more exciting to anticipate beginning new projects!

Just finished:  Citron - pattern by Hillary Callis Smith.

Ashley was kind enough to use her photography skills to provide me with these flattering photos! The yarn used for this project was "Steele" by Creatively Dyed Yarns. Colorway: Vallejo.

I am thoughtfully considering the possible options of how to use this in the wardrobe. I haven't quite solved that dilemna. Any thoughts?

We also had fun last weekend with Ashley, David, Annette and Lee visiting. Here are the "babies" playing on Grandma's porch . . . They are dressed to cheer on the Gamecocks vs Vanderbilt later in the day.

I have several thoughts about a new project. I am looking forward to trying something by designer Jane Slicer-Smith. In Swing, Swagger, and Drape there are some challenging and lengthy projects. I am going to start with one that looks the least intimidating in size and required skills: Boxes Drape. (Check the link for great photographs of all the projects in the book!)  Now, I would prefer to wear this free-flowing and drapey, but as you can see from the photo, there are options for styling!

Will share photos of yarn (purchased at Stitches South) and cast on as soon as that is done . . . excitement, can't wait!

Sunday, October 3, 2010



I truly can't believe it has been an entire year since we welcomed Annette and Lee into our lives. This year has been a great journey for those two precious babies and all their family and friends. When I remember their first days in the NICU and then their first days at home and think about how much they have grown and learned it brings tears to my eyes. They started this earthly journey a little early, but they have grown in so many ways and given more love than I can imagine.

Annette and Lee are both very mobile now. They crawl all over the house and laugh when you "chase them down the hall"! They have been pulling up on the furniture for a while and are enjoying their toys, especially the ones with music. They both try to dance by bouncing up and down. Annette likes to move her head back and forth in time to the music. I'm sure she'll make an appearance soon on "Dancing with the Stars". She like to clap her hands and play pat-a-cake. Lee hasn't quite gotten the hand movements down, but he loves playing and singing, too. They both laugh out loud when they're held upside down for a few seconds.

Formula is going away soon and so far they seem to like milk. They have loved their bottles, but they are adjusting to using sippy cups. I think it will be an easy transition. They both are good eaters and feed themselves table food. They like just about everything, but especially cheese, yogurt, pancakes, cut up fruit, peas, etc.

They are still taking two naps and sleep well at night. Teething has given a little interference, but they are very sweet babies and really fun to be around. They are both beginning to babble some syllables, but I don't think any real words yet. Lee really likes to squeal if he is happy and excited!

Here are some pictures from their birthday party!

"Got cake???"  This is one of my all time favorite pictures. He is so intent and just doesn't know what to think about all the fuss and excitement. I  laugh every time I see it!

Ashley found some really cute party decorations. Of course there was one of everything for Annette and for Lee!

Adorable hats!!

Annette enjoying her cake!!

Lee feeling more comfortable, beginning to have some fun!


I have been working feverishly to finish Annette's Autumn bubble to go with Lee's Fall Tractor outfit (see previous post). Finally, it is done!

The unsmocked garment was purchased at Rosalina's in Summerville, S.C. Then I have smocked a rendition of  "Leave it to Us" by Little Memories Smocking Designs. I modified the template by leaving off a few acorns and the smocked borders due to less space to smock on this 12mo size bubble. I could not be more pleased with the rich fall colors.

Now that sewing is done, I can return to finish a few knitting projects that sorely need to be completed. Can't wait!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fall Smocking for Lee

Happy Labor Day!!

We enjoyed spending a little time with Ashley, David, and Annette and Lee in Aiken this weekend.
It is so hard to believe that the twins are almost a year old. They are changing so rapidly: both are crawling and "pulling up" on the furniture. They both like eating "real food" and feeding themselves. They are learning to use sippy cups, but still have a great fondness for their bottles.

Here they come!!!

Grandma had just a few minutes to work on a fall outfit for Lee. (Annette, yours is on the way!!)
The ready - to- smock outfit was purchased at Rosalina's. The tractor design is a rendition of  Country Time smocking plate by Creative Keepsakes. Here's the beginning . . .

And the end . . .

He'll be all ready for the Fall harvest. Can't wait to see him wearing it!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

White Trumpet

Just wanted to share a few pictures I took this morning of this white trumpet plant showing off its new blooms. I have read in some places this grows as a weed. Also, parts of the plants are poisonous - so beware!!
Here is a link for more info.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Just For Fun

Favorite Pork Chop Casserole
I thought it would be nice to share one of our favorite family recipes. Sister Cathy says there is no way to mess this up!! I found this recipe in one of my grandmother's cookbooks about thirty years ago. My apologies to it's author - - I have no recollection of the name of that book!

Baked Pork Chops - Arabian

First make a pot of your favorite wild rice. I use Uncle Ben's. Go ahead and gather the other ingredients:

4 pork chops
1 bell pepper - sliced
1 onion - sliced
1 tomato - sliced

Season the chops with salt and pepper. Seasoned salt is great.

Then place a slice of tomato on top of each pork chop.

Then a big spoonful of the rice . . .

Next comes a slice of onion and green pepper . . .

Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake at 325 degrees F. for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Imagine the aroma in the house.
When it's time to eat, place a slice of cheddar cheese on top of each portion and let it melt briefly.
Voila . . .it's ready for the plate!! Enjoy!

Just for fun!!

I decided to take a break from all my complicated knitting projects and knit a cute dishcloth. Fun, simple, and quick!! I used some leftover cotton yarn ( Blue Sky Alpacas - organic cotton). Pattern by Claudia Lang  is a free download on Ravelry.

Last, but not least, enjoy a photo of the beautiful high tide we had this afternoon . . . so awesome to watch the marsh get covered up!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lace Tea Towel

Before . . .

Blocking once again makes a huge impression on me! This is the linen tea towel that I've been working on for a few months. It is not perfect, but I do like the way the linen worked up. It softened and, of course, looked totally transformed after the blocking.

After . . .
I have duplicate stitched a monogram on the lower panel , but not  happy with the results so far. Will post picture once that issue is resolved. Details on yarn, etc. can be found at my ravelry project page.


Once again the festivities of the Beaufort Water Festival arrived. Philip, Jr. brought several friends to share the weekend and we had fun spending some time with them at the river.


Crabs on the dock . . .

Still smilin' . . . after a long day on the river

                                                   Time to clean it up . . .

We're already lookin' forward to next year's gathering!!                                

Friday, July 16, 2010

Project Update

Fourth of July

It's never too late to celebrate Independance Day!! We had a beautiful day to celebrate with family and friends. There was plenty of barbecue and all the trimmings. Then the fireworks gave us a thrill! Our precious freedom should not be taken lightly (or taken for granted)!! I am so thankful for those who sacrificed for the freedoms that we enjoy everyday!

So what have I been doing in all my spare time??  I finally got to this cute (and quick!) sundress project. It still needs ribbon trim around the hem.

Ashley had requested two pillow shams some time ago. I am really pleased with how these turned out. She had chosen the fabric. . . and once we decided what  to center, they were pretty simple. The measuring and cutting was the most difficult part. I can't wait to see them in the bedroom she is decorating!

There has been a long-time, ongoing project of the "linen tea towel" with linen yarn and pattern from Barbara Sue Brodie's in Aiken, SC. The towel is not extremely impressive at this point, but I can't wait to see how it changes with blocking. You can see I have begun working on the lace edging for the towel. I think I will sew it on and then block it all at one time. The lace is really nice and will add a lot to this project. Knitting the lace has been a little challenging. There is a p4tog (purl 4 together) component that is a little hairy. We will get it done !

Last, but not least, I have cast on a new project . . . Citron by Hillary Smith Callis. This was a Knitty project in Winter 2009. There are many beautiful examples of this on Ravelry. I chose a brightly colored yarn from Creatively Dyed Yarn - Steele in the colorway Vallejo. It is 100% superwash merino and comes from a local artisan in Greer, S. C.

It will be fun to watch this one grow!! Have a happy weekend!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fifty-five years . . . and Counting

I am so proud to use a little blog space today to congratulate our parents, Joan and Fred, on FIFTY-FIVE years of marriage. They have quietly put down their roots and been wonderful role models for their children, grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren. We salute them for all their accomplishments, not the least of which is teaching us how to put FAITH and FAMILY at the forefront!
So on Friday evening, June 25, we gathered to celebrate their milestone.

The table was set . . .

 The food was prepared . . .

 The crowd gathered . . .                                                                                                                             

. . . and we enjoyed a great meal together.  Cheers to you both . . . we love you and are thankful for all that you have done for us!! Wishing you many, many more happy days together!!