First off, I'm going to highlight two of my Christmas gifts. I am well loved (or spoiled) and received many more than two, and all of them were awesome and made me very happy, but these are the two that I wanted to share with everyone.
The last thing I've made recently is a pillowcase, which I made using a tutorial I found online last night. It came together very quickly, no more than an hour or so from start to finish, and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. I made it for a guy friend who is recovering from surgery, and who likes blues, so hopefully this navy and royal blue with gray trim pillowcase will be pleasing! Again I made this on the Pfaff, and it sewed like a dream - even over the final seam where the trim is, which is 10 layers of cotton fabric! I was amazed at how easily the machine went right over that with no hiccuping or twisting, and I'm not sure my Janome would have handled it as well. My learning curve on this item is that I didn't have a quite big enough final seam (which encases the raw ends), so I had some threads from the raw edge sticking out from the outer seam which I had to clip. I've made note of that and will do it better next time - I was trying to avoid moving my seam guide, and just moving the needle position, but I think to encase it properly I need to do a combination of moving the seam guide and being more careful with my ironing to set it up properly. At any rate, not bad for my first attempt at enclosed seams and a pillowcase!
According to my GoodReads account, I read 68 books in 2011. Since I don't record re-reads or the silly ridiculous fluffy romances that I read, my total is probably closer to 100 since I know I reread about 25 books and read more than 7 romances. Some of the books that I read last year that made it to my "Favorites" shelf are as follows:
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn
Memories of the Future by Wil Wheaton
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Twilight's Dawn by Anne Bishop
Of course, I read many more books than just these six, but of the books I read last year only nine made it to my favorites shelf, so I'd say these are my highly-recommended reads of the year. For 2012 I've set my challenge to 60 books (it was set to 50 for 2011), and I've already read two - oddly enough, both about knitting!
And of course, I can't wrap up this post without at least one of the border collies! We took Ezri along with the rest of our club's fast team up to Canada for a New Years Eve tournament, and we had a ridiculously good time. Dinner, flyball racing, champagne and dessert, and bungee racing, all with a big bunch of our friends - what could be better! I decided to celebrate with sparkles, including sparkly bright green eyeliner for me and jewels for Ezri, as shown in this excellent photo by my friend Deborah. Just a dab of eyelash glue secures the gems safely, and as long as the dog doesn't shake before the glue dries, it'll stay put until you take it off. While we put gems on all of our racing dogs, Ezri was the one who sat still and let me put about 15 on her, and she loved every moment of it!
Happy New Year!