Sunday, December 19, 2010


One of the things I really enjoy about this season are the ASG neighborhood groups holiday celebrations.

The food is always amazing on both sides of the equation... some is sublimely delicious while some is inedible...or at least for me.

I seem to split my contributions three ways... a quick pick from the supermarket, something from Sweet Sadies or something I actually make from scratch.  This year the quick pick was salad, Sweet Sadies contributed Cajun Rice or potato salad and I made batches of fudge...yum!

Besides the food there are gift exchanges or swaps.

One group decided on an unusual gift swap this year.  Each of us had to made a tote bag from our stash.  The gift was to be wrapped in a brown paper bag.  I made a gray/gold/pink tote lined in grey silky stuff with a zippered pocket inserted into the facing.  No picture but it was pretty basic if a little on the small side.

A dear friend chose it and I hope she gets a lot of use out of it.

I, on the other hand, picked a bag that included a huge tote made from upholstery scraps.  

Pretty neat, isn't it?

There are a couple of large pockets on the inside and it could carry a whole queen size quilt if needed.  Look closely at that flower embellishment...that button is fabulous!

Thanks, Donna!

The other type of gifting that goes on is the gift exchange.

In this one each person either chooses a gift from the pile or steals a gift from someone else.  I put together a pile of wool roving, felted coasters, a felted sweater with a lot of texture and a homemade sachet of moth repellent.  It ended up in the hands of a woman who does a lot work with wool and wool felt so I hope she can use everything.

I scored big time.  I was the eighteenth person to draw out of 19(I think) and by then most of the big loot was frozen... like the pile of red silk bits and beads...oh, how covetted that package!  The only thing that I saw that I was interested in was a book from the Kyoto Costume Institute called Fashion.. A History from the 18th to the 20th century.  It is 735 pages packed with all sorts of information about fashion.  There are several editions available and this is the one I received:

I have already spent many hours reading the easily digestible essays and the little bits of explanation for particular items of clothing.  Two of the things I have learned is that stomachers really have nothing to do with stomachs and that corsets have always been, and will continue to be, instruments of torture.  Can you imagine yourself stuffed into a corset that had 182 whale bones as its support?

Today was my last holiday related get together for this season when I made a brief appearance at a friend's open house.  Someone brought some cakey lemon balls that were infused with a lemon liquer.  I love citrus flavored food but these were way over the top.  I must try to make some of these for myself so I can indulge without worrying about getting pulled over for driving while drunk.  ;-)

Time for me to start getting back to normal eating and gathering some things for Paul.  We will be eating a Sweet Sadie's turkey for Christmas Day and I am so looking forward to that as they do a mean turkey.  Maybe I can persuade him to make some of his fabulous scalloped potatoes?

Hint, Hint :-)    

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