I met up with some of the girls from my quilt guild last night and we did a white elephant exchange. This one is always tough for me because everyone seems to interpret what exactly it means in a little different way. To me it means a somewhat tacky gift. I've lived places where people brought really nice stuff and I've brought a tacky thing. And vice versa. It's sort of a landmine. So I decided to go with a mix of funny and useful. I think I did okay; it seemed to go over pretty well and it was "stolen" in the "dirty Santa" game.
Here's what I made/purchased.
|Here's everything I included.|
|Insulated pot holder front|
|The giant mug (unfortunately not food safe). My husband made this vinyl design for it. I totally love it.|
And my friend Jessica made all of us gifts. I got this super cute reusable bag.
I did have a few bumps in the road this week. I was working on the potholder for the exchange and I leaned a bit too hard on the extension table on my sewing machine and broke it. It works for now, but I'm going to need to be much more careful with it.
I also was tasked with embroidering logos on some tee shirts for my father in law. I thought they came out okay. I washed and dried them to remove the extra stabilizer and markings. Then I noticed one of the shirts has a small hole right above where I embroidered. And the second one came out really crooked. What?! How did I not noticed this. So we bought two more shirts. I thought the one looked sort of weird while it was being stitched and noticed that the sleeve had worked its way under the hoop and got stitched to the back. I undid it, ripped out the stitching for the attached part, and kept going. I think it came out okay. And, once again, after washing and drying, the second replacement shirt was even more crooked than the first one. Put these in the dorky homemade category.
I asked for room darkening blinds for my bedroom for Christmas and we bought them on sale on Black Friday. (We'd still been using the stick on temporary paper blinds after 3.5 years of being in the house!) They came in about a week, which was much better than the month they quoted. The two pictured here went in really well and not only do they darken the room as advertised, they also make it a bit warmer. The single blind for the other side of the bedroom was cut too large and it came with a stain on it. They sent out a replacement within the week and it fit the window but was not room darkening. The third try arrived yesterday. Ha. Even with all that, I'm still pretty pleased.
And now for the big Ancestry news. I mentioned earlier this year that I did the Ancestry.com DNA test and then my mom got one too. Her mother was adopted and the records were sealed, and she never wanted to know who her birth parents were. A while back my mom and one of her sisters finally got a copy of the adoption record unsealed and we found out her birth mother's name and home town. We'd always been curious as to our ethnicity and it appeared that the birth mother was probably of German descent. Anyway, we did the DNA tests and it was pretty interesting. Ancestry.com also gives you DNA matches. My close matches were all relatives of my dad's except for one that I had no idea who it was. This same guy showed up as a first cousin of my mom's--she did not have any cousins growing up. So I figured he had to be related in some way to Grandma's birth parents.
We did not contact the person, because one never knows how this type of information will be received. We were in luck since he contacted Mom and then me last week. He's narrowed down the possibilities and we are doing a bit more research to confirm which side of his mom's family produced Grandma. Either way, Grandma's father was Irish. So now we know, and we most likely have more family than we could possibly have imagined.
At the same time, a distant cousin from my grandfather's family (which we never had contact with, I mean like the entire family, not just this guy) has been in contact with me, but I unfortunately had to put him off til after Christmas since between all the holiday preparations, sewing, and working with Grandma's relative, I just don't have the time to devote at the moment.
Small world though.
Have a wonderful holiday week!