Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Tool ... Inspiring Friend!

Some people ... and some places ... just ooze with inspiration!  When in the process of creating the dillydally lifestyle, I made the decision to surround myself with positive people, places and circumstances.  Talk about a life altering decision!  I could get on the dillydally pulpit ... preach about this forever ... but that is not my purpose today.
Summer 2011 - Kay and Alaskan QBees
Let me introduce (again for long time readers) Kay from the Heavenly Patchwork Quilt Shop in Waconia, Minnesota.  Kay is one of those inspiring people I am referring to ... and her shop is just as wonderful!  I first met Kay and her shop in 2009 on a bus tour during the Minnesota Shop Hop.  The impact of that first visit requires me to visit Kay every year when I visit my daughter in Minneapolis!  She is sew infectious that I have to return and get a "fix" of quilting goodness!  This is my favorite pic of Kay ... I loved introducing her to the QBees during our trip!

Kay has been on my mind the past two days because I have begun working on a quilt that involves her.
While visiting her and the shop last summer, she introduced me to the Log Cabin Trim Tool ruler.  A new ruler is a terrific opportunity to revisit a beloved quilt block!  Yep ... I thought so too!  QBee Lila recently got in the new Holly Taylor fabrics at the Cordova Quilters' Hideout ... the perfect excuse to put this new tool to work!
Flicka approved of the fabric choices ... and wasn't sure it should be cut up into strips.  I had to assure her the the brushed cotton prints would be just as cozy as a quilt! ;-)
Always checking for accuracy ... what a task master!
My snoopervisor obviously decided it was time for a break.  Actually ... she is deciding whether or not to empty the pincushion!  I have to get it on video ... what a hoot ... she actually pulls out the pins and spits them out!  The first time I caught her at it I was scared ... what a fruit loop!
It is a wonder I get anything done!
Am loving the ruler!  No chance of wonky log cabin blocks now!
A stack of perfectly square log cabin blocks!  Thanks Kay ... for everything!  You are a blessing!

Do what you love.  Be a blessing.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally
Flicka and her idea of dillydallying!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holiday Baking 2012

The 2012 Christmas season has been a unique one for the DillyDally family.  This has been our first (and I pray our last) holiday with a completely empty nest.  Because of their careers, neither Sister or Brother were able to come home ... and we were unable to travel due to Mr. DD's work.  We are a family steeped in multigenerational holiday traditions ... we just couldn't motivate ourselves to maintain them without family.  After much discussion ( and a bit of whining) we decided that the best way to tackle this difficult situation was to shake things up.  We decided to put some traditions aside and change the sequence of those we would keep. 

I usually do a lot of baking ... all of it completed before the holidays.  This year I have cut down on the number of items ... am baking gradually throughout the holiday break ... and I am only making ONE batch of each recipe!  I cannot remember mixing up less than a double batch of cookies!  Too funny!
I did decide to make a gingerbread house ... and began the process a couple of weeks before the holiday break.
I am not a professional cake decorator ... so I keep it very simple.  It was fun ... helped me get into the Christmas spirit ... and makes the house smell great!

I made Mr. DD's favorite holiday cookies ... Peanut Butter Blossoms.
I also made my favorite ...
... Swedish Pepparkakor!  They taste heavenly with a hot cup of coffee!  A few former students are coming by to visit ... they have requested sugar cookies ... so I will be baking them tomorrow morning!

I must admit, it has been relaxing to make small batches of just a few items ... very different from my usual holiday baking routine.
Hmmm ... do you see what I noticed today?  Look closely at the rooftop gumdrops ... specifically the last one on the right.  It appears that someone has been snacking!
Kysa is off the hook on this one ... her nibble would have resulted in taking down the whole roof!  I know I didn't do it ...
... so that leaves Mr. DillyDally or Flicka!  Mr. DD isn't very sneaky, so I'm pretty sure this innocent face is guilty! ;-)
This is a dishtowel I received from a friend for Christmas.  I love it!  Food often is how we show our affection for one another.  Making our loved ones their favorite foods ... using recipes that have been handed down for generations ... yep, it is all about love!  Even though I scaled back on my holiday baking, it remains  a wonderful way to dillydally!

Do what you love.  Bake for those you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the DillyDally Family!

May you be blessed with a Christmas Dillydally Angel
like this one!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Celebrating Winter Solstice

While many are celebrating the incorrect (said with a thankful heart) Mayan calendar ;-) ... here in my remote corner of the planet, Mr. DillyDally and I are celebrating the winter solstice!
Sunrise - Between 9-10 am
Sunset - Between 4-5 pm
Even though our days are short ... yep, it is dark when we go to work and dark when we get home ... the colors during this time of the year are beautiful!  It is difficult for me to capture them, as I am at work and unable to take photos during the day.  I hope the weather will cooperate over the holiday break!  I really do love this time of the year! ;-)

We celebrated the winter solstice at our local yarn shop, The Net Loft last week!  You can read about it here!
Local fiber artist, Shelley Kocan of Snow Capped Yarns, based her recent hand dyed yarn on this painting by another local artist, David Rosenthal.  Snow and ice are often described as "white" ... David is gifted at capturing the subtle hints of color that grace our landscape during the short winter days.
His painting inspired Shelley's recent colorway, "A Winter's Light".  Here she is sharing it with customers.  Please visit her blog, she explains her inspiration far better than I can!
She produces a wide variety of yarn ... there is something available for every project imaginable!  Terrific selection!
Winter's Light
I came home with a beautiful skein of Winter's Light in a DK weight of 55% silk and 45% cashmere ... yep, it feels as beautiful as it looks!
12.21.12 - 3:00 pm
We had early release on Friday, so I was able to take photos of our sunset on the shortest day of the year.  Clouds moved in ... so the colors weren't as spectacular as on a clear day ...
12.21.12 - 5:00 pm
... but it gives you an impression of how quickly the darkness arrives each evening!

Celebrating the winter solstice as part of the holiday season heightens their importance for me.  Christmas ... "I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness."  New Years ... as the days lengthen, my hopes for 2013 increase.  The short days in my remote corner of the planet are a gift ... worthy of celebration!

Do what you love.  Do celebrate.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fruit Salad in Reverse!

We have four QBees with birthdays near or in December ... I chose to prepare Fruit Salad ... in reverse!
With this recipe ... instead of cutting fruit into pieces ... I took fruit pieces and created whole fruit that is nearly good enough to eat!
Ingredients include a Golden Delicious, a Granny Smith and a Red Delicious apple as well as an Orange!
Add zippers, buttons, stuffing and mix together with curved seams!
Flicka loves it when I'm cooking in the sewing room ... because she gets to be involved.  She is not allowed on the counters when I cook in the kitchen!
She and I decided to put our fruit in a basket!
There you have it ... Fruit Salad in reverse!
The QBees met for breakfast on Saturday.  Our lives are so hectic during the holiday season ... this was a great way to begin a very busy day!
Two birthday girls couldn't make the party, so Barb and Terry got their pick of the crop! ;-)
  Both Barb and Terry brought "show & tell" items!  Barb made this beautiful tablerunner for her daughter-in-law!  It is her first paper piecing project!  Gorgeous!  I am unable to share photos of Terry's projects as they are gifts ...will share them after the holidays!  It was so nice to have a bit of time together ... even in our remote corner of the planet we find ourselves running in every possible direction ... our time together is precious.

Like everyone ... I have been consumed with grief over the events of last Friday.  I find my emotions mixed with confusion ... anger ... sorrow ... humility ... compassion ... an emotional cocktail that leaves me feeling powerless.  When in such darkness, I turn to that which brings me hope and allows light to return ...
"This is my commandment, 
that you love one another, as I have loved you." John 15:12

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Busy, Busy! And Birthday Wishes!

Life around the Holidays is always crazy!  We're busy in all areas of our lives this time of the year!

Many of us are busy working on "top secret" projects!  I am pleased with my 007 progress.  I only have two projects left ... both are hand knit and nearly half done!  Am comfortable about finishing them on time!  I'm feeling calm and calculated ... just like James Bond! ;-)
Holiday Baking 2011
I haven't done any holiday baking ...
... these are tempting me!  It is fun to try something new!  We'll see!
Handmade decor ... Picture taken 2011
I haven't started my Holiday decorating!  Geeze ... I am way behind!

Instead of baking or decorating the other day ... I decided to do something with all the quilt related charms I've collected during the Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop over the past few years.  Yep ... it is the dillydally way ... act on a whim!  I am allergic to metal and am unable to wear any jewelry ... so had not done anything with all of these charms.
This wall quilt hangs in my sewing room!  I treasure it for many reasons!
Mostly because it was made and given to us Alaskan QBees during the Shop Hop in 2011 by Mary Ellen and Randi!  Their thoughtfulness and kindness continues to touch my heart!
I sewed the charms onto the wall quilt and love the results!  And there is room to attach other charms or pins that represent future quilt vacations!  When I pass by it I am reminded of the friendship found in Mary Ellen and Randi ... and the many great shops I have visited on my quilt vacations!  Talk about Win/Win!

Happy Birthday QBee Mary Ellen!

Do what you love ... on a whim!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Sunday, December 2, 2012


I have always seen Advent as a journey.  A time to reclaim and revisit the principles that guide my life.
6.27.81  Our wedding day!
I especially miss the church of my childhood during Advent.  It was there that my faith journey began and was nurtured.   Mr. DillyDally and I refer to ourselves as "Displaced Lutherans"! ;-)  There isn't a Lutheran church in our community ... we are welcomed and feel comfortable at many of the local churches ... but I still miss the Scandinavian traditions within the church of my youth.
Since I discovered this book at 16 years of age, I have read it every year during Advent.  I shared the details of that in this post.  Every year this book reminds me of the human experiences surrounding the beginning of Christ's time on earth.  After all these years ... thirty-nine to be exact (can that be?) ... this book helps to put my thoughts and my heart where it belongs during the holiday season.  It is part of my journey this time of year.
Photo from Lila and Claudine's facebook page
This year I have added another activity to my Advent journey.  On facebook, I follow a yarn shop located in the Twin Cities area called Lila and Claudine's Yarn & Gift Shop.  They are sponsoring a "knit-a-long" involving an Advent scarf.
Knitting is a very meditative activity for me.  I love to begin my day with knitting, as it allows me to clear my head and think through the details of my life.  I find it easy to pray when I'm knitting.  So on Saturday, I went to our local yarn shop, The Net Loft and picked out this beautiful hand-dyed yarn.  This picture doesn't capture the color very well ... it is vibrant shades of red and purple.
Each day we receive a lace pattern to add to the scarf and a brief meditation supplied by a church leader.  This photo was taken this morning while I was working on the second pattern.  I am very happy I decided to do this ... and will keep you posted on my progress!
It was a crazy busy weekend here in my remote corner of the planet.  Friday night was the community tree lighting, Santa visited and the annual bazaar began.  Saturday I taught a class, returned to the bazaar and attended a fund raising dinner.  Whew!  Wonderful ... but exhausting!
We claimed today as our own ... we spent it together ... dillydallying.  Our days are getting very short ... with daylight hours being limited we did not want to waste them.  We went for a hike with Kysa!
Mother Nature continues to glamorize the landscape with hoarfrost, her version of glitter!
 I love how she transforms brush into fine lace!
Kysa - 12.2.12
By 2:00 pm our shadows were getting long, it was a short ... but lovely afternoon!
Celebrate Advent!  Enjoy the journey!
Mrs. DillyDally