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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and I write a monthly humour/sewing column for the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=barbara+emodi&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Abarbara+emodi

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

From Santa's workshop

I have been neglecting my blog lately, but that is probably a function of focusing on my family and getting ready for Christmas.

I had a non teaching term this fall and for the first time in decades have been able to get more of what I can get done for the holidays.

Hands up if some of the pressure for December for you is the continuous process of giving up on your to-do list or if you have ever sat at your desk after 6:00 p.m. and piled things into the Amazon cart.

That's been me, but less so this year.

So to give you an idea of what I have been doing since I haven't been blogging, here are some pictures. (Some shots, like the Christmas dress I made for my daughter a few weeks ago are still to come).

Here is Miss Scarlett in front of the children's hospital where my daughter works, waiting for her to come out so we can take her home:


For the first time ever I did not do the big tree in the corner. 

To fit that into my living room every year I have moved out a chair and this year I decided I really needed the seating. My Pinterest daughter came up with the idea of a table top tree. I fought the idea thinking this was part of the slippery slope that might one day lead me to sitting in a dark house at Hallowe'en so I don't have to hand out candy. Or having a small pink fake tree on the coffee table while I sit there in my fluffy slippers.

However I have my real tree still and all the random, not decor, heavy on memory decorations that represent all my Christmas to date:


And here are thirteen pint jars of my sister Dawn's wonderful antipasto recipe. It is sitting on top of a 130 year old treadle machine my parents gave me when I was 16, painted up by a neighbour, in one of those years when my dad went to grad school again and money was tight. It worked wonderfully BTW:



Here is the recipe, it is really great and simple:


This shot is Mr. Billy exploring my table top tree. My daughter's tree doesn't have anything on the lower half since Mr. Bill is very good at yelling "Ball" and hurling the decorations across the room:



One of my slower projects has been clothes for the American girl dolls. Basically these involve the same sewing time as the same garments would be in adult size. Let me tell you the doll sized jean jackets have been put on hold:


Finally as I have said other years my little neighbourhood is famous for its lights. In fact some evenings we have as many as four tour buses going up and down the streets. (It is a point of honour if they slow down in front of your house). My own place is well decorated but these shots are of other houses near me that I snapped on an evening walk. 

My neighbour who lives in the one below told me that one evening when she came home late from a meeting, her husband was out of town for a few days, and there was a car parked in front of her house. Tired she went up to bed but was detoured by a knock at the door, "Would you mind turning on your lights?"

That's how it is around here.



I also actually finished knitting my youngest son's sweater. This took me about a month, breaking my own land speed record and expectations. I pick him up at the airport today coming in from Texas so I go this done under the wire for sure:


 I also made twenty pair of polar fleece lined felted wool mittens. My husband has been collecting wool sweaters for me from consignment shops as he toured around rural areas for work. They should be warm:


So back to the workshop, with extra dogs in the house and a husband booking tee times down south for the winter, I need to stay focused.

More later.