At this time of year, I know we all get very busy. But I have one Christmas request that I wish we could all give to one another. One simple wish....... Please don't take 'Christ' out of 'Christmas'! Some shorten the word with 'x-mas'. This is wrong! What you are really doing when you write Christmas this way is replacing 'Christ', the real reason for the season, with an 'x'. Do you really mean to do that? Especially at this time of year, and the condition in which our country finds itself at this present time, we cannot afford to forget Christ. Put Him back into the center of your lives, put Him back in the center of our families, and most importantly, make Him the focal point of all we do and why we do it. As a people, we will be blessed, and we will be humbled for making Him the center of our celebrations!
Merry Christmas and may Blessings be Abundant to You!
I picked up my Sampler from the framer today - Love it! It was worth finishing after 3 years! Don't know where I am going to hang it yet - my daughter was teasing me and said I would probably take another 3 years to decide :-)! The red and white coverlet behind the Sampler was a recent find at Heritage Reflections Sidewalk Sale - a very favorite store of mine.
And I stumbled on an amazing find at JoAnn Fabrics, of all places. I am not a huge JoAnn fan for fabrics but do get DMC floss, notions, and such there. But my last trip in I found coverlet fabric! It is woven like a tapestry/coverlet and had the weight of a coverlet. The only sad thing was there was only one pattern/color to choose from. It was 12.99/yd, but with a 50% coupon, made a great deal for a coverlet. It has a selvage on one side of course, and the other sides I am just going to take a small hem. Love it! It would make a perfect lap throw or light weight summer coverup.
Baked potatoes for dinner this evening and going to do some Christmas present stitching as I listen to the debate. It is a cold, rainy, and leaf blowing afternoon, just the right kind to be cozy in the house and watch the rain fall along with the leaves this afternoon. I feel the movie John Adams coming on though. Such a favorite of mine, especially the first two segments up until the signing of the Declaration. Maybe this weekend.
by Birds of a Feather is finished!!!!! Ummm, yep. You see 2009 stitched there. That is when it was started. Four years...... WHAHOO! But working with Weeks Dye Works colors Putty, Onyx, and Caper on 32 count hand-dyed linen - yummy! It made it all worth it.
It was just delivered! Maggie Bonanomi, rug hooking extraordinaire, recommended I get a Hartman Hook and I am so glad I did! I ordered it last week and it just arrived! Now I can finish up some hooked rugs. I am so very blessed to have a community of great women around me. I admire Maggie's work, talent, and designs!
And I harvested some lavender this morning...
And these colors are for my next unfinished treasure - I know it is gonna rock...... but can't say much other than that 'cause it is a Christmas present. (Shhhhhh....... she reads my blog.)
I have to admit a fault I have.......shhh. I have MANY unfinished projects. I know I am the only one of my kind. No one else starts something and then lets it sit for days, months, even YEARS, on end. There is not one other person on this planet that has this claim to fame - I have so many unfinished projects, that when I get one old project out, my kids think I started and finished something new! Anyway, uhmm, this one was started in 2005. Seven years ago. Shhhh..... Yep no one else can say they are my equal! The pattern is 'Jack Be Nimble' from Lori Brechlin at Notforgotten Farm. I LOVE IT! I should have finished it 7 years ago!
I have so many things, BIG THINGS, going on in my life right now, that I am afraid to make decisions, for fear I will make a wrong one. I don't have the luxury of taking my time with any particular one. Some times life for each of us happens slow, and that makes us impatient. Other times, life happens so fast, that we can't take time to make sure it is the right path to take. The things I have happening are not necessarily self-inflicted, but I want to make them a happy ending.
I can't control how fast things happen, but I can show diligence in making decisions. I want to be an example of good decision making under pressure. Just as piecing all the tiny pieces of fabric together in a planned pattern to make the top of a quilt, so to does life happen as we make good decisions. It may have taken me years to piece a quilt of only working on it once a month or every Friday Night when my kids were out on a date and I stayed up to wait for them to come home, but I have the memory of making that quilt and I put thought into its design. Plus, fabric pieces can be arranged in a multitude of patterns to make different quilt tops. Five-inch squares are all 5 inches square, but if you put all the dark colors in the middle and light colors on the outside, you can create a bouquet of wildflowers!
I know it has been quite some time since my last post, but due to the
fact that I just want to rock my sweet little granddaughter Emma, I am
sure you all can not fault me. This post includes some things I have
been working on and projects I recently finished. I hardly start anything new anymore as
I have sooooooo many unfinished projects to complete, or better yet, projects that I have all the materials purchased and just need time to complete them. I recently read
that if you want to lower your stress level, you need to "follow things
through to the end." I took that to heart and am doing just that. So here goes:
My mother recently visited from Illinois and she brought me this sweet
cement planter that I am sure is old - it has a star imprinted on each
side and I planted some thyme in it. The other morning after a
gentle spring rain, it particularly caught my eye.
Emma and I were going to take a nap - and, well, grandma had to snap her
sweet photo first. She loves taking a snooze with me...... that is one project that gets finished in a heartbeat - naps with grandma!
But her big event was a couple of weeks ago - we had her blessed here at home and what a beauty she was. I made her blessing gown and amazing enough, no spit ups and no blow outs! She was the perfect mannered little lady showing great etiquette! There was only 18 yards of lace..... :-) And the rocking chair Emma is sitting in came from my mother in Illinois also as a gift to Emma. It was not our family heirloom, but I do know the old friend it came from that it did belong to - it was his as a child and he was born in the early 1900's!
After three hours of wearing the dress to church and then a blessing at home, she sure was glad to get that dress off!
I do find a smidgen of time to work on a few unfinished projects- this is the quilt top I taught this last spring for my civil war living history class at the local quilt store - Battle of Fredricksburg.....
My take along project of counted cross-stitching - Miriam Dowd........
I found this quilt rack/shelf at the thrift store and stressed painted it in black....
And finished my Christmas 1830 pattern from NotForgotten Farms.
Time flies quickly and there has never been any sentiment that I know of that says we should spend more time away from family. Both of our children will be spending the summer with us before resuming college and other responsibilities later on this fall. This may be the last time I get to have everyone home for the summer, so I am going to make everyday moments count. I am going to say 'I Love You' more often, use paper plates to the fullest, and try not to stress out if the bathrooms don't get cleaned every Tuesday morning. We have several family outings planned, picnics to go on, and parades to watch. There are night skies to enjoy from the porch, fireworks to watch, and Emma's smiles and other milestones to photograph. These things don't come every day, but you can bet that the dirty bathroom will still be there Wednesday morning. Take the summer to enjoy the little moments!
Monday was a marvelous mail day for me - I had a package from a dear 'Cousinette' in Wisconsin. We call each other 'cousinette' but really I guess we would be second cousins? Anyway, she is dear to me, and I have learned an endearing lesson from a book she sent me. It is called "Faithful and Devoted: To My Adelaide ~ A Quilted Love Story." It is a quilting book, but also a great piece of history, as it chronicles a love affair and courtship between a civil war soldier, Charles, and a young lady named Adelaide.
I was soon transported in time back to 1861 and proper etiquette overpowered me. I wanted to write with a 'fountain pen', a real caligraphy pen. I couldn't get to an office supply store fast enough. After securing my writing instrument and ink, I tried to write like I always do, but talk about a mess! It took 3 dips of the pen into the ink to get my name on paper, let alone a sentence! It must have taken HOURS for one to pen a love letter during the civil war era! Correspondence was truly a labor of love! And today, sometimes e-mail, tweeting, texting, or FaceBook isn't fast enough for us! Oh, where is the felicity in bringing back the love letters and everyday correspondence? This soldier and his sweetheart even had to wait weeks and/or months to receive a response.... the agony! To receive a two page handwritten piece of parchment in the mail would be so endearing and show a fondness from the sender to the recipient.
This book goes on to chronicle the growing relationship between Charles and Adelaide, with photos of them and photos depicting the civil war. I do not doubt that they would never had guessed that their love story would be the center of a quilting book 150 years in the future, but it is, and a great love story at that!
Such a treasured gift from my cousinette! Life was so much slower then, but look at what we are missing! I keep a journal, and even to write in that faithfully with a working ball point pen takes effort. I can't imagine using a caligraphy pen, but I should try. What a legacy of faith I would be leaving my posterity. They don't even teach penmanship in schools anymore, but how beautiful the writing was even 50 years ago.
In then end, Charlie and Adelaide were never married, as he died before the war was over. Kind of reminds me of the Hallmark Movie "Love Letters". If you haven't seen that movie, you should. And then write a love letter with a caligraphy pen to a dear one ~ it may be in a book someday!
We are back from the beautiful mountains of Idaho, a wonderful quilting retreat weekend, and inspiration. Now to use these gleaned experiences in our everyday life. Sarah and I were blessed with wildlife and beautiful scenery, and I spent time down memory lane as this is where I grew up. There is beauty that I had forgotten about in my childhood, both physical beauty and beautiful memories. We happened upon some elk resting by the Salmon River and snapped their photo.
The rest of the weekend we worked (played) at getting our projects done. This is a quilt that I taught at the retreat - I so enjoyed all the ladies and their interactions!
My daughter literally camped out at the sewing machine hoping to get her diaper bag done, and she did! Now I have to brag a bit - Sarah refuses to follow sewing pattern directions and has very little sewing experience. All of a sudden, she has blossomed and made all sorts of things, but as her mother I am most impressed with her diaper bag - 8 ROWS OF RUFFLES ON THAT BABY!!!!! She did GREAT!
And the side pocket was her invention - all the pockets were on the inside, but she had to add one on both the outer sided for keys and bottles. Way to go, Sarah!
A while ago, I finished my very own 'grandma' receiving blanket. It is so old fashioned - I love it! I cannot wait to hold little baby Emma in it. I crocheted all the way around the edges and it is double thickness, so grandma and granddaughter can cuddle together in warmth and comfort.
And lastly, our son, David! He is off track right now from BYU-Idaho working in the Florida Keys until the end of August for the Boy Scouts of America doing everything from teaching Merit Badges on snorkeling, scuba diving, and sailing, to taking inventory in the kitchen and scout store. Anyway, during last Winter Term, he attended the "Jane Austen Yule Ball". You guessed it. This is an annual '18th Century, wear period costume, know how to dance the dances, use your proper manners and do lots of curtsies' kind of affair at the college. He came home one weekend and told me he had been asked, and I had a little less than 48 hours to make a costume. He said "Mom, I know you can make me look good!" Uugghhh! What is a mother to do? This is not something you can go rent from a tuxedo rental store. So I pulled an all-nighter, sewed him up some period duds, and he made it to the dance. I HAD to put something together. I would rather be up all night sewing him a Mr. Darcy outfit than be up all night getting him out of jail. It thrilled me to the fingertips that he even wanted to go. I can sacrifice sleep for that!
And his date! Oh, so perfect! Both of them made the other look great. This photo was taken in her apartment before they left for the dance and sent to us via cell phone. I love technology at times like this!
This is all for now. I have to admit, that while I was at the quilting retreat, I was inspired to pick up my cross stitch again and finish some projects. I was inspired to work on being a better person, and I was impressed to enjoy nature a bit more. Beauty is all around, especially in our everyday moments! Be 'in the moment' with your loved ones!
Yes, there is going to be a BABY in our home - Emma Grace, our first grandchild. Our daughter Sarah is expecting, and while her first choice was to place the baby for adoption, the birth father will not relinquish his rights, which is his choice. So Sarah will be a mother, and our first grandchild is on her way to us! Some dear friends gave our daughter a shower last Saturday here at our home, and oh my, how beautiful! We had a brunch of quiche, blueberry buckle, hashbrown casserole, fruit, and juices. Here are a few photos:
A diaper cake:
Stephanie, Sarah, and Sandy:
A very sweet heirloom made by my cherished friend Pam:
Also a shower gift favorite- Sandy's crocheted baby booties!
A little Bling:
And of course I had to make her a 'tag quilt':
Emma will be here in about a month. So much to do before then........ But this weekend Sarah and I are off to a quilting retreat in the middle of Idaho - will post about that next time. I am truly a blessed individual and looking forward to being a 'grandma'!
Today it is snowing here in the Pacific Northwest - so much that I am relieved. No reason to drive anywhere, no reason to expend any unnecessary energy, and certainly a day to be wearing my slippers all day long. Dinner is in the crock pot, I have a fire to keep warm, and all is quiet out on the street that runs along the front of our home. The snow is coming in sideways, piling high against the windows, and all is sacred. However, because all is cozy within, I am blessed to spend my entire day in my sewing room. I have my cup of herbal lemon tea, the wind is raging outside, and my Bernina is a humming. Life is good. Life has indeed slowed down.
Create your own sort of slowness this day and be glad in it!
I am a displaced early American born about 200 years too late! Actually, I do like my indoor bathroom facilities, but envy the simplicity and commonness that filled the days of the colonial women. Hard work, but they would and did find joy in their day!