Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Christmas in July Day 11, 12, and 13

I feel like it's been a lifetime since my last post! We picked up Natalie and Alexandra from Alexandra's soccer camp yesterday at noon and headed to Panera for lunch. Then it was off for a stroll through downtown Newport - down along the waterfront and back up quaint, cobbled Thames Street to the car.

In front of The Feet and The Wave statue on Newport's waterfront

I pointed out landmarks as we went by - Trinity Church where George Washington is said to have attended a service, St. Mary's where Jackie Bouvier married Senator John F. Kennedy. We headed down elegant Bellevue Avenue to The Breakers, the sumptuous Vanderbilt Mansion and took the audio tour of the house.

The Breakers

It's my second time there and it still takes my breath away. After the tour, we drove along Ocean Drive to admire the scenery and then headed home. It was only a short stop at home to drop the luggage and then we took off again, this time to introduce Natalie and Alexandra to Boogie, our leased horse, and then to head to Anthony's Seafood for dinner. When we got home, I'm sure we would have talked for half the night if we hadn't all been so exhausted!

Up early today to fix breakfast and then head on out to the airport. It was a quick visit, but so great to see them both.

I've been blogging about Christmas in July after the fact (most of my post seems to start with "Yesterday....") so I'm catching us up to the present and then I'll start blogging each evening. On Monday I watched Elf (Sunday's movie) and then Hercule Poirot's Christmas in the evening. It's a bit creepy to watch a murder mystery for a Christmas movie, but this particular one has some beautiful scenes of an olde English Christmas - snow-covered shops and houses in the little village, an abundance of holly, roaring fires, and choir boys singing carols. Today's feature was to be A Christmas Story (can you believe I've never seen it?) but my copy from the library kept skipping so I'll have to get one from Netflix. I watched Four Christmases instead which is hilarious in parts but the seriousness of the ending doesn't really blend well with the early hilarity so I was a bit disappointed.

On Monday, I worked on the Quilted Ball Ornament. I am so happy to have this Christmas in July because I really made a mess of the ornament and I would be so stressed if I was trying to do this in December and I had to start all over again. It's basically three layers of fabric pinned to a Styrofoam ball, each layer lowered and staggered from the previous one, to form a star pattern. You do three layers down from the top of the ball, then flip it over and do three more layers so that the third layers from each direction overlap and you cover those with a band of ribbon. Voila! A Quilted Ball. Well, because I had my layers too far apart, the top three far exceeded one half of the ball so I'll have to unpin it all and start again.

The first half was starting to look pretty good (not quite symmetrical, but I'm learning!)

I knew I was going to have problems with the second half as soon as I had the first layer pinned (the red fabric at the bottom of the photo). The next two layers were going to end up too long, completely covering the third layer of the opposite end.

I don't know if any of the above makes sense, but here's the Quilted Ball Tutorial so you can check it out and see how it should be done!

Today is a decorating tip day and going along the lines of this week's Hollywood Christmas theme, here is a teaser from the This is Glamorous blog which is showcasing elegant silver and gold decorating ideas.

You can see the whole post and all the photos here.

I'm up to date with The Snowglobe and enjoying it very much and still working through Debbie Macomber's Christmas Letters and enjoying that as well. I'm trying to keep up with the posts on the forums as well. There have been a few posts on the Hallmark Ornament thread and I'm excited about the Ornament Premiere this weekend.

I'll leave you with this bit of excitement - One of my fellow CIJ'ers, Miss Jane, posted this link to Southern Living's Holiday Cake Contest. This is for all you bakers out there - you could see your cake featured on the cover of the December Southern Living magazine and win $$$$$$. Happy Baking!

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