Tis the season

…The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there…

Twenty days until little munchkins all over the world will be jumping from their beds to see if what they have been dreaming about is under the tree. Well, the tree is trimmed, and the decorations and lights are in place, but much to my chagrin there are no little munchkins here anymore. Teenagers and gift cards are in the house.Β πŸŽ„

But, over the weekend there was a little gardening and a little thread.

On Friday, I checked out the Poinsettia trials at UNH Thompson School Greenhouses. The exhibit was smaller this year, but the plants still take this gardener’s breath away. There was every size and color imaginable for a Poinsettia, and you could take your pick for $12 with all proceeds going to support the greenhouses. All these beauties, and I still bought a dark red one.


It has been a little longer than I anticipated, but my Counting Sheep in Ireland wall hanging was ready at the longarm quilter on Saturday. When I got a look at the shamrocks quilted into my simple design using a tea towel from Avoca, I was a happy woman.Β I did the binding on Sunday and hung it up in my sewing area. It reminds me of our trip to Ireland, and the farmers marking their sheep with different colors on their backs.


I’m also finishing up the last of my holiday TableTopperstable toppers. Two done and two to finish. Then I’mΒ cleaning out my quilting closet and getting organized again before I start a new project.

The Dover Mounted Patrol gardening project that I wrote about on last Thursday Doors has been approved so now I am on the hunt for someone to donate a couple of wooden barrels to be used for planters.

If Christmas morning is 20 days, then leaving for SC is about 29 days away. I have started making notes in Evernote and including all your suggestions. It’s going to be a busy January, if I see half of what I have on the list.

Snow has arrived in NH this morning. It’s a good thing the mower is being switched out for the snow blower tomorrow. I’ll be heading out to the barn this morning to find the shovels and put them in the garage so they are handy.

So, the big question this Monday – are you planning to send out Christmas cards? I’m debating.Β Have a great week.πŸŽ„

About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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47 Responses to Tis the season

  1. karen says:

    Wow, what a lot of colour. Just what’s needed for today as it’s cold and dull here today. All the best. Karen

    Liked by 1 person

  2. quilt32 says:

    I love the sheep wall hanging. As for cards, I only send out 8-10 cards any more – just to the few people who are still hanging on to the tradition.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    You are such a talented quilter – I love the new sheep hanger and what a marvelous reminder of your trip.
    The poinsettia trials must have been lovely. You’re lucky to be within easy driving distance of UNH. My favorite was the fluffy white one. Isn’t it amazing what they are doing with hybrids?
    The snow makes it feel more Christmasy and festive. And yes, I always send cards even though less and less send in return. It is an old-fashioned joy that digital media simply cannot replace. Most send photocards these days, which is nice, but I love those snowy artist-drawn scenes. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh your textile work!! So gorgeous!! Poinsettias… now that is a Christmas joy for sure! xo Johanna

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dawn says:

    I just love those Poinsettia colors, Judy! Your Sheep quilt is the perfect souvenir of your visit to Ireland! We had our first snow (6.5 inches) yesterday. As the snowflakes tumbled down outside, I spent the day cozy inside writing our Christmas cards. In the evening, we built a snowman with the little sweeties next door. It was a perfect December day! β™‘

    Liked by 1 person

  6. pastpeter says:

    The lake froze overnight and is now topped with 2-3 in of powder. Winter has arrived! We too have been debating Christmas cards – for the first time, I see us not sending them!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Joyce says:

    What a beautiful burst of color in those poinsettias! But I am like you, I believe. I like looking at the various colors, but bringing one home that’s anything but bright, deep red just doesn’t seem right to me! Same with those exotic colors of pumpkins they breed now – white ones? Why would anybody want an alien like THAT in their house?
    I remember the first Christmas morning where all 3 daughters slept in because cash and gift cards were all that awaited them. Beneath the relief of being left alone to sleep and an easier shopping experience, there was, admittedly, a loss of magic.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Joanne Sisco says:

    Interesting you should bring up Christmas cards. I’ve been struggling under the same question. I’ve sent out several dozen cards in past years, but this year I haven’t written one … and I admit, it feels odd.
    Part of my problem this year is having my arm in a sling. Everything takes sooo much longer to do. However another big part of it is simply that it’s expensive, it takes a good chunk of effort, and no one seems to care anymore. The response last year was virtually non-existent.
    I suspect that Christmas cards become an anachronism, and as reluctant as I am to let the practice go, this year seems like the best year for me to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can certainly understand your challenge with your arm in a sling. And, you may have chosen the perfect word to describe it – anachronism or old fashioned. I think they may have gone the same way as newspapers and magazines which are now all on line. So, I think I’m going to drop down to a special few. It’s kind of interesting isn’t it. Some day you’ll probably be telling your grandkids about the time when people use to write cursive and send Christmas cards to each other. They’ll give you a blank stare and a huh. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joanne Sisco says:

        Unfortunately, you’re likely right.

        This year, we have decided to stop our annual Christmas morning tradition of exchanging silly Christmas cards before we open gifts.
        Over the past couple of years we’ve noticed a major decline in the variety of cards available and last year was simply awful. We had started to resort to homemade cards, and although we had considered trying to keep it alive, in the end we decided that it was time for us to move on.
        Unfortunately no one has any ideas on what to replace it with. Sadly, it was my favourite part of Christmas Day.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. This year I’m doing cards. It’s a lovely custom that is almost disappearing. I think anything done thoughtfully of a personal nature around the holidays is good.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Denzil says:

    I never realized Poinsettia came in so many shades! We send fewer Christmas cards every year. It’s so easy to keep in touch with people these days throughout the year, that they seem almost redundant.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ogee says:

    20 days? How did that happen.? I’m doomed.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Murphy's Law says:

    Oh Judy, the Counting Sheep quilt is to die for! And the stitched shamrocks couldn’t be more perfect. And since you spend so much time in your sewing room, it couldn’t hang in a better place. Love those table toppers too!

    Poinsettia plants are beautiful. Like so many others, I too didn’t know they came in such a variety.

    Christmas cards are written, along with notes, sealed and stamped. Will mail in a day or two. At 77 I’ve been doing it for so long it’s like breathing in and out! But I echo what others have said…. I only send a few…..receive only a couple….and it’s a truly expensive undertaking now. One more nice tradition going down the drain. Guess it really does take two to tango!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you liked it. πŸ™‚ The two to tango is so true. After you’ve bought the cards and stamps, and spent probably hours writing them, it is disappointing to not hear back. The same thing happens to me, and I guess that is why I asked what others were doing. πŸ™‚ I just started the new Jack Reacher book today. I’ll keep you posted. πŸ™‚


      • Murphy's Law says:

        I’m so jealous you’re curling up with Jack Reacher!! Lol! I’m like #238 on library waiting list. Sigh….Ahhhhh, small town libraries. Gotta love ’em. But always well worth the wait. Happy reading.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh how I love your poinsettia pictures! Beautiful!

    Good luck on the barrel search.

    I’m still debating Christmas cards as well. I hate to NOT do them but… well, we all know how that goes.

    PS: I love your snowflakes fluttering down the page. Makes me smile. πŸ˜€

    Have a super week!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Dan Antion says:

    Wow, Judy. It looks like you’ve been busier than Santa’s elves. The wall hanging is beautiful, as are the table toppers. We do a Poinsettia sale here at the office, to benefit a local hospital. I was going to get photos when they all arrived last week, but that might have required volunteering to unload and move them from the van to our lobby. I don’t buy any (because the cats would destroy them and get sick doing it) so I passed. Good to see that your plans for SC are shaping up. Not being a want-to-go-south person, I can be happy for you without being jealous. I am looking forward to reading about your trip πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Annie says:

    We do Christmas cards because we’ve lived in different states and want to stay in touch with distant friends. We have pared down over the years but we love receiving cards from old friends, watching kids, grandkids, grow up in photos, etc. Love your sheep hanging. How long did that take you to make? Just curious and a little in awe!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christmas cards are a wonderful way to stay in touch. πŸ™‚ I started with the tea towel, and I cut the sheep and part of the wording out. Once I got them a uniform size, I had to go from there. I just kind of made it up as I went along. I made each section a little larger than I needed so I could trim everything to match. Kind of funny now that I think about it. I bought a collection of green fabric from Keepsake Quilting in Meredith that I used on the front and then a matching fabric for the back. I probably worked on and off for two weeks or so. Then I took it to the longarm quilter to get the shamrocks, and she had it about six weeks. Once I got it back, I trimmed it up, put the binding together and attached it which was another couple of hours.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I love that wall hanging! Do the farmers paint the sheep? I bet that looks a riot out in the fields. I, too, think I might not do cards this year. I have skipped a year here & there lately. I try to adapt to the changing times, but I don’t always like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Each farmer paints the center back of the sheep. So, yours might be red, and mine might be blue. It’s a hoot. Now, theirs is not a coat of colors, just a stripe down the back, but this tea towel reminded me of all the colors painted on those sheep. πŸ™‚ Yes, the times they are a changing, but the idea of receiving a handwritten card sure beats a FB post. But, then again, it takes hours to do it, and a lot of folks just don’t have the time.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Donna says:

    I am sending cards this year. You are a very busy lady. Glad you are taking a trip. You do wonderful sewing and gardening projects.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Judy, what a talented woman you are! Thanks for sharing these beauties. I take Christmas cards to church for people there and usually send out a Christmas letter, rather than cards, to let everyone know what’s been happening with us. I’ve been neglectful the last two years, so have resolved to get one out this year. However, as of yet, it remains unwritten. πŸ™‚ I do have cards out on the table, though. (Still have to write/sign them.)


    Liked by 1 person

  19. joey says:

    Just now I remember you showed me pink poinsettias last year and I fell in love, even though I don’t like poinsettias, and now I really want a pink one and I don’t even know where to look! Maybe I’ll call some nurseries tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. arlene says:

    Wow Judy! Ti’s a season for all those lovely blooms. Your quilts are beautiful πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Oh no, here there are only 19 days to go. How did that happen? On the bright side, there are only 3 days of the school year left before we start six glorious weeks of summer holidays. Yay. Well done on your sheep quilt. It’s lovely.


  22. germac4 says:

    Lovely poinsettias, I especially like the white one as I haven’t seen many. I can’t get over how much you get done, Judy … One of those quilts would take me a year to do… !

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Oddment says:

    As always, I am in awe of your work and your eye, and then I read through the comments and am made to laugh and to think. It would seem as though a lot of us are thinking about Christmas cards and what they mean, but that makes sense for people who obviously love both image and word. I totally agree that the old-fashioned Christmas card is both delightfully personal and criminally expensive. Thanks for these gorgeous photo — what a boost to my morning!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. pbmgarden says:

    Judy, such a nice memory of your trip to Ireland–love the sheep hanging. The table toppers are great too. Would love to see all those poinsettias and I think there is a similar opportunity nearby so must look it up. Hope your SC retreat will be wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Wonderful, wonderful quilt, Judy!! The essence of Ireland wrapped into a cozy quilt….spot on, as they would say! A few Christmas cards going out here, mostly to Ireland and folks across the country here that I don’t get to see very often and I’d like to wish them a happy holiday.I am still a great proponent of sending mail. Seems like a lost craft, sitting with pen and paper and sketching out a note.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. KerryCan says:

    What a lot of good stuff in this post! The poinsettias blow my mind . . . but I would’ve chosen dark red, too! And I totally love the sheep quilt–I’ve seen those spray painted sheep with my own eyes and this rendition is excellent. No Christmas cards for me–never started that tradition so I have no guilt!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Such cute quilting with those shamrocks! πŸ™‚ It’s a wonderful way to always remember your trip. No Christmas cards, nope….haven’t done that for ages.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. lumar1298 says:

    Gorgeous poinsettias…

    Liked by 1 person

  29. reocochran says:

    I really liked the shamrock stitching and the sheep’s are so colorful and cheery, Judy. I think your table toppers are wonderful. What a lovely decorative idea!
    I have taken out my address book which has Holly berries and leaves on it. It is my second complete list of addresses in my lifetime. The first was a file box of names from when I got married in 1978, this book replaced it in 2008.
    I have addressed, Christmas stamped and written a ’16 by each name which I have envelopes ready. Writing notes individually still goes on. My Mom, the past “etiquette mistress” continues to push me into this, Judy. I add a note telling about my kids and how Mom is, on the left side of each card. I include a personal memory or thought but try to keep it short. πŸ™‚ Those poinsettias are gorgeous!!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. bikerchick57 says:

    The poinsettias are gorgeous! I can’t have one with the cats, so I will admire from afar. No Christmas cards this year…had to cut them out for lack of time.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. We don’t have snow yet, but it’s in the wind, so we’ve moved the shovels into the shop in the basement.

    Garry sends out cards to the few people that send us cards and his immediate family, what’s left of it. Mostly though, we’ve stopped and so has everyone else.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. prior.. says:

    I did not know there were so many poinsettia and your table toppers are nice!


  33. Some beautiful Poinsettias in that display! The white one and the orange one are really striking. We just have a single one here, a traditional red.

    Liked by 1 person

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