Various reasons called for a long holiday this year and I obliged. For me that typically means going into hibernation, at home or sometimes elsewhere on a trip. These getaway trips would be completely impossible for us without our fabulous pet sitter, Nanci. She not only takes care of the basic necessities of our kitties, she also spends time with them and reads aloud to them. She even warmed her way into the hearts of my shy kitties enough that they are completely relaxed around her.
During our Sweden vacation, we got this mug for her as a thank you. That was in September, but with one thing and another we didn’t get to see each other again until after the holidays.
As soon as I finished the first bag using the pattern on One Lucky Duck, I had to make another one for Nanci. It made a great gift bag, the mug fits in it perfectly. Nanci is a quilter herself. She also runs a craft workshop for her occupational therapy patients. She was very excited about the bag and I shared the pattern link with her for her workshop.
She spends a lot of time outside, so I made these yellow mitts for her to keep her hands warm while she is out and about. As soon as she pulled them out of the mug, she put them on right away. She was very happy with her handmade gifts and that in turn made me smile big.
The pattern links for both the bag and the mitts are under each photo if you want to make them. They are very quick to make and they make great gifts!
Speaking of patterns, Cheryl from Meadow Mist Design is starting a series on Quilt Pattern Writing. If you are interested in writing patterns or ever wondered what goes into writing them, you won’t want to miss this. She is also doing round table discussions and I am one of the designers participating. It will be great to see both the similarities and the differences the various designers will bring to the table. I had a great fun writing my answers before I started my holiday.
This year’s holidays were all about indulging my inner child. My husband and I love the Lego Harry Potter video games. We spent large chunks of time playing and laughing at the silliness in the game. The settings and the music in the game are very comforting for us and we love to get lost in that world.
This is sticky toffee pudding, the most delectable dessert I have ever had. I only make it for the holidays using Nigella Lawson’s easy recipe with reduced sugar for the sauce. I had it for breakfast one morning with vanilla ice cream! I really don’t care about the calorie consumption, having it for breakfast once a year won’t kill me!
My friend Mary shared her bread recipe which I made during the holidays. The bread came out perfect the very first time and was incredibly delicious!
The holidays ended with a trip to Yosemite National Park. There was an unexpected road closure due to a major rockfall. That resulted in three separate three-hours-a-piece detours in and out of the park on icy and snowy roads instead of our usual 15-minute jaunt from the hotel. On the second evening, on our way back, we were very happy to learn that they were about to reopen the quick route back to the hotel.
While we were waiting for the road to reopen that evening, we drove to the Tunnel View vista point. The drifting cloud from the cold and overcast day was starting to settle into an even colder Yosemite Valley night.
Happy Creating, everyone!
Sweet Pea January 22, 2016 at 22:12
So much useful stuff in just one post! Thanks for sharing links. I would love to give the gift bag a go (another project to add to the list!)
The Yosemite looks a dream…too bad about the rock fall. We live in a National Park and too often various parts are closed because of safety issues.
Dropping by from WIP Wed.
Jennifer @ Inquiring Quilter January 22, 2016 at 17:09
The gifts to your kitty sitter were so wonderful. I’m glad they were warmly received. What a lovely holiday you had. The photo of Yosemite is gorgeous…I’m looking forward to your Wandering Camera linky. I hope to learn from your tutorials.
Debbie@The Quilt Journal January 22, 2016 at 13:16
Wow! it all looks wonderful! I am sure your pet-sitter appreciated all your handwork you put into her gifts of gratitude. Your bread pudding looks delicious and your vacation looks like it would recharge the batteries! Thanks for sharing!
krislovesfabric January 22, 2016 at 06:30
Sounds like you have a great kitty cat sitter, and what a wonderful gift :) I know those mitts look even more stellar in person…I am so loving mine! We have started a Harry Potter movie marathon in honor of Alan Rickman’s passing, what a slew of losses we have had lately, so many talented men. I will have to look into that pattern writing series!!
Mary January 21, 2016 at 16:39
That little bag with the mug makes a fabulous gift for Nanci. I also love those mitts – in one of my favorite colors!! They will come in handy for the winter.
The sticky toffee pudding looks delicious. I am going to have to give it a try. ( I love things like that for breakfast.) So glad that you enjoyed the bread too.
The picture in Yosemite is incredible. Those three hour waits had to be a nightmare, but it did give you time to enjoy the beauty of the area….right??? ;-)
Lorna McMahon January 21, 2016 at 05:27
The bag and gloves are such beautiful gifts for Nanci. She must be very special. All your other photos have left me thinking I should bake something yummy for supper tonight! That bread looks scrumptious!
Kaja January 21, 2016 at 00:23
Another post crammed with goodies, Soma. The bag you made for Nanci is so pretty I am tempted to try one (and I don’t do that stuff usually), the mitts make me wish I could knit – and what a beautiful colour you chose. Hibernation sounds like the best way to spend the winter to me.
SarahZ January 20, 2016 at 18:09
I am ready to take on that Sticky toffee Pudding recipe today!!! Wonderfully sweet gifts! Glad you had a happy holiday! Happy New Year, too!
Janine January 19, 2016 at 16:44
Thank you for linking up with Wool on Sundays :)
Connie January 19, 2016 at 13:42
What precious gifts for your sitter! Love the knitted gloves and thanks as always for sharing your beautiful photos! I am looking forward to your part in the pattern design round table discussion!
Cheryl January 17, 2016 at 07:14
It looks like you had an excellent holiday break. The lego game looks like such fun and the dessert is making me hungry!
Wendy January 17, 2016 at 06:07
I think anyone who sews & knits understands that it takes time to make them up. These are beautiful things you passed along to Nanci. Thank you for adding all the links here too! Sounds like you had a nice break away from things for a while. My son loved playing the Lego Star Wars games with all the silliness in them too (my fav was the storm troopers in thong bathing suits in the hot tub!). What a beautiful shot of the canyon!
Dixie January 15, 2016 at 13:22
I am glad to hear you had an extended holiday, Soma!
Nanci sounds like a lovely person. I love the gifts you made for her and the mug is so nice.
That looks like no knead bread. Yours turned out beautifully; it looks delicious.
Yosemite…definitely a wonderful place. I’d love to visit one day.
Ruth January 15, 2016 at 07:11
Lovely gifts! It’s great to be able to get away and not worry about the furballs – lucky kitties being minded so well!
Patty January 14, 2016 at 17:16
Love the mitts and that bread looks delicious!
Beth January 14, 2016 at 17:01
I’m so glad you had a relaxing and restful break Soma. It sounds like you really enjoyed your time off. That toffee pudding looks so good and I agree, once or twice a year for breakfast won’t kill you! Homemade bread is a favorite of mine – I could eat an entire loaf! :)
Sandra January 14, 2016 at 16:59
Really enjoyed the variety (and the links) in this post Soma. You make me want to eat that sticky toffee (think it’s British, no?) pudding for breakfast…guess I should make some, right?! Love the harvest mitts, and that final photo–wow!
Tonia L. Conner January 14, 2016 at 16:53
Everything so well done. Beautiful photo, glad you had a great holiday.
Kim Sharman January 14, 2016 at 13:30
‘She’ not only designs, stitches beautifully, knits, capture gorgeous photos, ‘takes’ us on wonderful holidays…..she cooks as well!! I love that bag, Soma, gorgeous fabric and what a cool pattern. The quilt pattern writing series sounds fascinating…will have to follow them. ‘Tis lovely to have you back. I always delight in seeing what you have up your sleeve at Whims and Fancies.
Maria January 14, 2016 at 13:28
Wow, what a lot of interesting things you’ve been doing! (And yummy food too by the sound of it!) Love the gifts you made for Nanci too. When you mentioned Tunnel View it made me remember our trip there in July 2015 and how breathtaking the views were. In March 2011 we had missed out on Yosemite due to snow storms and rock falls on the road in.
Lara B. January 14, 2016 at 12:29
Hi Soma! It is great to see you back and even better to know that you enjoyed your long holiday by doing so many fun things!
Nanci’s gifts are so sweet. It is easy to see why she was delighted with the Harvest Date Mitts and One Lucky Day Bag you made for her! I love how lacy the pattern is that used for the mitts.
That photograph you took of Yosemite at night in the fog is beyond words. It strikes deep chords for me and I stared at it for several minutes. Have you thought about enlarging it and framing it for your wall?
The bread and pudding look way too yummy! I’m very much loking forward to seeing your part of Cheryl’s pattern writing series!
Oh! Miss Kaitie and her dog Olive are here (I know because I just got a whopping wet whiskery kiss (from Olive, not Kaitie) I will write to you soon!
Susan January 14, 2016 at 12:06
Sounds like a wonderful holiday season. Love the picture of Yosemite. Also, what a lovely gift for your cat sitter.
Kathleen January 14, 2016 at 11:34
Soma, that picture of Yosemite Valley is absolutely stunning! And would you believe, not 2 or 3 days ago, I was looking at that fabric origami bag online?!! How about that! I was wondering how functional the outside pockets really are, but I guess they don’t need to be functional; it makes an attractive bag nonetheless. Yours turned out beautiful.
Silvana (a.k.a. Silort) January 14, 2016 at 10:49
I was missing you, Soma!!! Love to read your posts and waiting anxiously to see what beauties you will make this year! Happy New Year dear friend!!
Janine January 14, 2016 at 08:40
The gifts for your sister are lovely and it sounds as if you had a perfect holiday – apart from those long icy road detours. We also spent some time at home and some away. I’m looking forward to seeing what the new year with hold here at Whims and Fancies and I’ll be very interested to follow the quilt pattern writing series :)