i love this space between christmas & new years. it may be my favorite time of year. the rush and hustle are over, all is calm, all is bright. time isn't over scheduled. kids are at home and relaxed. there are new games to play and new puzzles to put together, and new books to read as a family. the warm glow of christmas lingers the newness of a new year beckons.
i learned to love this time during our life in japan when everything would shut down for a week or more before and after new years. our first year there, '95/'96, we were shocked to find that everything was closed: banks - including atm's!, grocery stores,post offices, every type of store, absolutely everything. we were shocked, and we liked it. we spent time together as a fmaily, without any outside pressures. msot of our american and foriegn friends went back home for the chrismtas season. our japanese friends went to their grandparents' inteh countryside. we were left alone in tokyo. and we learned to treasure it. the pollution subsided, because there were no delivery trucks on the roads. we could see glorious views of "mountain fuji", as tiny tashi called it, without the pollution clouding our way.
i did get to some of my sugar plum sewing, finishing two projects up after christmas, so they well be ready to be enjoyed next year.
i have wanted to make this little gingerbread guy since i first saw the pattern in American Patchwork & Quilting, dec 2004. i did make one last year, but gave it away. this one stays with us. just as with the pillows, the felted wool works up to quick and easy. the red heart was a wool skirt that someone gave me and i felted in the washer & dryer. all but one of the fabrics in the patchwork border were in the big bag of fabric that landed on my porch. i love that. the eyes are tiny antique bone buttons - i collected some of the funnest things while i was running my antique quilt business.
the quilt is a printed panel, cheater cloth. this isn't me preferred method of making quilt, but it is fast and easy. and i can assuage my conscience by remembering that cheater cloth existed even in the mid 1800s. i love that this panel focuses on christ, not santa or snowmen (or gingerbread men). i made and sold two of these last year. and cut one apart to make christmas pillows. this one stays with us, for now.
thunderstorms that shook & rattled our cupboards like an earthquake on saturday washed away all of the snow and ice, leaving green grass and clear blue skies. it is difficult to believe it is the same landscape we looked out on and photographed last week. i went for a walk today, and felt like it was early spring. but i'm not fooled... the ice and snow won't stay away for long.