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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Crafted Christmas

The goal for many years has been to celebrate a Christmas holiday that is less commercial and more personal. Well, this year I have successfully crafted the bulk of my Christmas giving. Here's some of the stuff...
MEMORY GAME
 

 

So easy! I bought four packs (6 in a pack) of these wooden 3X2 inch signs at Michaels for about $1.20 each, and the paper mache box for $1. I bought 1 package of stickers from the dollar store, there were three sheets in the pack, I used two for the cards and a few to decorate the box. I painted the cards and the box with acrylic paint (everything dries REALLY FAST). I decoupaged the stickers to the cards and to the box and I used a Sharpie to label the box.

 Upcycled Denim Apron
 Oh yeah! I followed the tutorial HERE, took some creative liberties and came up with this pretty apron. I used blanket binding and left the bottom hem alone. Have another one standing by...ran out of binding, gonna have to make some...yuck! Not my fav thing to do...


HOT CHOCOLATE
I picked up a recipe on FoodNetwork.com and then I packaged my hot chocolate mix in an old Folger's Instant Coffee jar. I cut a label that looks like a shirt top and glued it in place of the original label. Then I added a label to the lid and
wrote the instructions down and glued on some buttons to accent. 
 pillows-- I made two. Had everything on hand! (Here's a pic of one)
















and a little Canning
 
Pickled Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Jalapeno Jelly and some Strawberry Preserves that I helped my friend make.

Now it's late...time for bed!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Need a Gift Tonight

Taking my own twist on an already existing pattern, I adjusted a neckwarmer pattern to lay a little bit flatter and squared the edges up to make a neat scarf.

SCARF NOW

Ch 28 (includes 23 foundation, sk2, turning ch3)
R1- (2dc, ch2, sc) in 5th ch from hook, *sk 3, (2dc, ch2, sc) in next st. Rep from * across to last 3 sts, sk 2, dc in last st. Turn.
R2- Ch3, [(2dc, ch2, sc) in ch2 sp] repeating between [ ] across. Dc in 3rd st of skipped 5. Turn.
R3- Ch3, [(2dc, ch2, sc) in ch2 sp] repeating between [ ] across. Dc in turning ch.
Repeat R3 to desired length.

Friday, December 2, 2011

So What...?

So what have I been up to. After being sick with the flu...then a sinus infection I got some meds and got busy.

Scarves - 1 more finished (no pic)

My new love...Buntings - 3 done (tonight)
 

 

Dinner - Ground Beef Soup: 1 1/2 lb ground beef, 1/2 med. onion (diced), 3 zuccini squash (peeled and diced), taco seasoning packet, 1 C Chunky Salsa, 1 can corn, 1 can black beans, garlic powder, season salt, pepper, chicken bullion, water. Brown the meat and saute the onions, drain. In a large pot combine meat, squash, taco seasoning, salsa, corn, black beans, 2t garlic, 1t salt, 1/2 t pepper, 2t bullion. Add water to cover and boil. Ready to eat when squash is soft and soup has thickened up.


2 December 11

They say...the older you get the faster time seems to pass. I suppose there is some truth to that. In as busy as we think we need to be we have our hours filled with activity. We have abandoned the time that we spent as children laughing with friends, coloring, and playing outside. Instead we opt to punch on computer keys, making appointments, getting things done. Even our free time is scheduled. Planned vacations and dinner dates. Spontaneity may be the timepiece we have neglected as we stare at complacency. As we age, regret and remorse tick-tock in the shadows of our minds causing us to battle vicariously the things that we don't have time for anymore. Seemingly. Skipping pages to get to the final chapter.

I am determined to slow this puppy down. Taking smaller steps and turning down random forks in the road. Lying down when I am tired and skipping as I am moved. Spending bigger moments in the presence of God and letting Him command a greater portion of my time. Dwelling.

Take off your shoes and start moving back the way you came. Spend some of that time.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

One Hour Scarf

I sat down for an hour today to watch Martha Stewart and finished this scarf before the show ended. Much unlike the knitted one that I also finished this morning, but which took several weeks!!! Give me instant gratification any day...

If you scroll through by blog, this is the same pattern as the Rosey Posey Scarf but with only three repeats. All V stitch :) If you can't find it here, look for it on Ravelry...I am GingerG!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Think right. Speak right. Do right.

BE RIGHT.


Little thoughts. Words of wisdom. 
A collection that I will preserve.
Announced. Aloud.
Because if I don't say anything--
is it?
Must I?
Will you remember the thought that you said I thought real loud?
Will you?
Because if you don't say anything--
Aloud. Announced.
I can effortlessly deny.
Little thoughts.
I can pretend there were no 
words of wisdom.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Focus of My Desire

Of all the things that I had ever imagined I would do, this is it. If you had asked me, do you see yourself in a classroom, in front of a group of kids, showing them the tricks you mastered to master mathematics, or tapping into their minds to pique a poetic or artistic interest, I would have simply told you yes.

But life doesn't always seem to flow in one direction. It ebbs and twists all over the place, dipping into valleys and climbing great mountains. And though you are moving, always moving, once you have taken your eyes off the goal, there is no telling where you might end up.

I consider the Isrealites and their "walk." I have been walking in my own wilderness. Wandering and wasting time. Trying to imagine what would happen if I didn't have control and then deciding that I must control. Everything. That unknown must be a curse word and I will let nothing foul escape from my lips. But, like the Isrealites, I have always known in my heart what God put there and it was inevitable, if given enough breathing hours, I would return to it.

If you would have asked, I would have told you that the desire I have to be like those great women and men in my life who stood before me, sharing their passions, their dedication and their faith, is overwhelming! The knowledge, at times, is secondary to what those teachers really gave me. And I hope it is the same for me. I hope that I impact these lives in ways that a text book never could. I hope to impact their lives in a way that will move them 20 or 30 years from now to do what they love, do it for Christ, and do it with passion. I hope that I impact them to impact others. Isn't that the way we are supposed to live? Isn't that the thing that is supposed to drive us, keeping focus on the goal?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Breathe

The cool night air
filling the corners of my lungs
Those places where the air hasn't been
because my breathing has been shallow
Quickened by the onslaught of chores
and duties
and desires
Robbing myself of the renewing
oxygen
The nights are so short
and the air
that accompanies the sun is so hot
I don't want to breathe it at all
I just want to stay in the night
breathing
deeply
deeply.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Determination...

So after much online research about my newest sewing machine I find that it doesn't free-motion quilt. Bummer. So I dug out my old machine and it decided that it wasn't going to free-motion quilt either. REALLY? I've done a twin size quilt before with this machine. I took it apart, cleaned it, put it back together again, still get "spider webs" on the back of my practice swatch. Adjust the machine, disassemble, clean, assemble...nothing... grrrr. I put the machine up. A year later I pull that bugger out again. No go. I pack it back away. About three weeks ago I pull it out again, play with it and still can't get it to quilt. I now have a collection of quilt tops. So I decide to take it to an acquaintance to see if she can get my machine to work...then I didn't, I just packed it back up but didn't put it away, I just set it in the garage.  So I pull it out two days ago and...
I think I out-waited that sewing machine.

Or I just bullied it into doing what I wanted. Nonetheless, I got a quilt done!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rosey-Posey Scarf

I thought it would be fun to see me crochet... self serving? Maybe, but so what?! I didn't speed this up, it's really how fast I am able to crochet. Well...not actually. I am sweating like crazy in 100 degree weather so my hands are really sweaty too so I'm probably crocheting slower than usual. No matter....this is me making this really pretty pink scarf. Here's some stills!
 So it took about 4 days...

 
 It kinda looks like a star pattern but they are v-st fans.
Ch21, dc in 6th ch from hook, (dc, ch1, 2dc) in same sp, sk3, (2dc, ch1, 2dc in next st) across to last st, dc, turn.
Ch3, (2dc, ch1, 2dc) in ch1 sp across, dc in turning chain.
That's it to the pattern. I used one skein of Red Heart Soft in Lt. Country Rose (5oz) and an I hook. I ended up with less that 12 inches waste.










Monday, August 15, 2011

Procrastination

Is it the contemplation 
of the action 
that causes us pause
in that fraction
of a moment in time?
And the blossoming
of that fraction
that maintains an
inaction
laziness sublime?
Muscles becoming 
rheumatic.
Traumatic.
A disease that takes over 
the being
the sight of the seeing
as if the future is lost on the blind.
Movement is required
to toss our expired
milk
down the sink.
When watered well
the blossoms will swell
to a most elegant 
bouquet.
Fragrant?
Growing up
and around
and through.
In a fraction
of a moment.
Surrounded by petals
of procrastination
that stink.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Doings

I try to make time every day to do something with my hands that doesn't involve a sponge, some cleaning solution or a utensil...

 So...I'm on this knitting kick. No, I don't really knit, per se. I Crochet. But I can knit, purl and k2tog. So I decided to get busy doing something different.
 I'm getting kind of quick too.
The washcloths are fun, but don't look too closely. I've got some big knit-issues ;)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Marie

Sitting cross legged on the bed
Were you sick that day?
I don't remember
Sitting in your room
Excitement infectious
You told the story
Hands waving in the wind
Painting the scene
Showing the story
Accenting words
Legs tingling
Falling asleep from the sitting
But sitting still
Still
Held captive by the words
The chronological telling of events
Where you sick that day?
I don't remember

Monday, June 13, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Tap Dancin' Toddler



Sometimes you don't even know what your kids can do. The gifts that God gives to each one! WOW!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Busy Bee...that's ME!

Oh yes! I have been very, very busy...

On the hook-- a zig zag afghan I have been commissioned to make.


On the sewing machine-- just finished a quilt for my friend's first grandson. Nine patch scrappy quilt with a cartoon bird back and low loft poly bat.

In the kitchen-- I made butter! If I had known it was that easy I would have been making butter years ago!
(1 pint heavy whipping cream, beat until it separates into curds and whey with hand mixer on low, pour off liquid, knead and rinse in cool water until water runs clear, blend in 1/2 teaspoon salt)

On paper-- A poem (growing things prompt) "Weeds" and two poems for an event in July and August.  "Seduction" and "Love Poem."


WEEDS





The weeds have grown tall in the back yard
The wind and the rain
Have planted seed deep and reaching
There once was grass
I suppose
Before we moved in
But for us the earth has granted dirt
Dust
And weeds
Thigh-high now
As spring emerges from sleep
The weeds have grown tall in the back yard
I track the rustle of green fronds
My dog is like a lion
On the prowl in the deep underbrush
Of the African tundra
He’s looking for a place to pee
Or sleep
Maybe he’s lost in there and is just
Trying to get back to the house
The weeds have grown tall in the back yard
My husband will wince from his armchair
Requests turn to nagging
The children suffer cabin fever 
They stand at the window long-faced
Staring wide-eyed and open-mouthed
They want to go
But they are afraid
Angry, thick, sticky stems
Furry leaves and foul smelling flowers
Engulf half of the see-saw
and the dismount of the slide
The weeds have grown tall in the back yard
Avoidance is one answer
While waiting for the dry heat of summer
When we will preserve water
And watch the struggle
The ultimate demise
Of each leaf and spine and tangled mass
Giving way to 
Little round stickers
Implanting themselves in socks
And the dog’s fur


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Book Review: "Max on Life" by Max Lucado

Insightful! Delightful! Straightforward! Honest but Gentle!
Those are the words I would use to describe Max on Life by Max Lucado. I have always enjoyed reading books by Max Lucado because of his gentle way of presenting God's Word. Max on Life was no exception. I had a hard time reading it cover to cover. When I first received my free copy of the book for review from Booksneeze I went straight to the table of contents. "HOME- Diapers, Disagreements, and 'Any hope for prodigals?'" I flipped to page 151 and started there. As the mother of seven; two teenagers, a young adult, two grade-schoolers and two pre-schoolers I have often wondered if they would make me lose my mind before they grew up. And of course we all wonder if we are raising a child in the way he should go who won't choose to go that way...we worry about our children, if we are making good decisions, we struggle with family relationships and personal issues. Max Lucado touches on some of these big issues and sets a biblical basis for his answers. You don't believe him? Look it up for yourself, pray about it, and meditate on it. As I read I found myself taking a good look at myself.

Each section of the book is the answer to a question from a real letter that Max Lucado has received over the years, addressing everything from purpose to promise.

When I put the book down my 18 year old daughter promptly picked it up. I caught her flipping back and forth through the pages. She seemed to be as intrigued by finding out the answers as I was. She isn't a reader but fondly remembers a gift book that still sits on our bookshelf, Just in Case You Ever Wonder by Max Lucado, and I think she has long ago made him her "friend."

My only complaint about the book was that I wished for more substance. The questions are answered in about one page and I often wanted more. Some of the answers seemed way too simplified and elementary and didn't really address the problem. For example, there was a letter about a person with a bad temper. The answer was a page long analogy about water dripping and causing erosion. The bottom line was prayer and forgiveness. Not quite what I expected.

Nonetheless, I recommend the book because of its overall positive qualities and the loving insight of Max Lucado. If nothing more, it's a good starting point for study and meditation.

Book Review: "The Final Summit" by Andy Andrews

I received a copy of The Final Summit by Andy Andrews from Thomas Nielson to review. You can get FREE books to review too if you sign up at Booksneeze.com.   This is the fourth book I have read by this author and I loved it. Andrews has a way of taking the natural and intwining it with the supernatural in a way that is magical and mystifying.  He makes the reader think that maybe this could happen and I wonder if, and what if it were me?  The book is about a group of people throughout history who have the task of convening to prepare an argument to plead the case of humanity before God. In the coming together the reader meets an archangel and several notables in world history, each given very likely characteristics. The main character, David Ponder, comes from our century and is assigned to be in charge of the summit. David has experienced his own devastating ups and downs in life and is a modern day Job. What will he do when he's called upon to extend his faith in God to all of humanity? The Final Summit is an easy read and, as is the style of Andrews, pulls you into the story and makes you see each character as personal and real.

If you read and enjoyed The Shack, you will enjoy The Final Summit. 





Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Stool Mat

My dear husband bought me a kitchen stool for Valentine's Day! 

I was at the yarn shop last night and saw a fabric crochet rug, hence the inspiration for my Stool Mat!  So...you got a naked stool, some scrap fabric and a Q hook? Let's go!

Cut 3" strips of fabric. I used 2 yards and had a few strips left over.
Start with a Magic Loop.

Throughout, to manage your ends crochet over them. When you start a new strip pull up a loop and take the tail end of that strip and pull it up and between the fabric on the hook and the working fabric. Let the end of the last strip lie with it on top of the sts to be worked. Work over them. 

Round 1 - Ch 2 and make 7 sc in the loop. (8sts)
Round 2 - Without joining make 2sc in each st around. (16sts)
Round 3 - (Sc in next st, 2sc in next st) around. (24sts)
Round 4 - (Sc in next 2 sts, 2sc in next st) around. (32sts)
Round 5 - (Sc in next 3 sts, 2sc in next st) around ending with 1 sc instead of 2 in the last st. (39 sts)

I stopped here for a 13 inch mat, but continue increasing or omit rounds for the size of your stool.

To finish off sl in the next 2 sts then weave the tail back and forth through the work.

To make the ties, use a few of your strips, cut to the length desired. Place your  mat on top of your stool and push the ends of the strip through and around a stitch on the last row of stitches. Pull them down, wrap twice around the leg and tie in a bow. Repeat for the other legs.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Book Review: "How to Be God's Little Princess" by Sheila Walsh

_140_245_Book.368.cover.jpgHow very sweet a book!

I received a complimentary copy to review from Thomas Nelson. I thought I would share this book with my seven year old daughter. As I read through the book, in my opinion, I found it to be better suited for a girl a little bit older than her for reading alone. Her age with help. I would recommend the book for girls 9-15.

 "How to Be God's Little Princess" reminded me of the etiquette classes we took as pre-teens. The lessons are taught in a way that is unassuming and gentle. Girls are reminded to be sweet, clean, and ladylike. I really enjoyed the humor in the book and the easy and silly short "quizzes" at the end of each section. The thing I liked best about "How to Be God's Little Princess" was that it's not just about how society and your mother expect girls to behave, it's about how God expects girls to behave and being a good witness for Christ. To Ms. Walsh...Well done!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friends and Ravelry

I have been making new friends on Ravelry.com. One of the lovely ladies, MrsRooster, can be seen here: http://www.mrsrooster.blogspot.com/ I picked this Journal up from her site with my own entries :) You can see the orignial at www.christianhomekeeper.org!


This week the Homekeeper’s Journal is about Spring Time Changes.

In My Kitchen This Week … Friends and Family day at church Sunday. I promised dinner rolls.

Changes I Make To My Home In Spring … Stop using the stove so much, move to the grill :)

Changes In My Schedule … Outside in the early mornings.

Changes In My Yard/Homestead … Bugs! Bees!

What I Look Forward to This Spring … Warm days and taking the kids out of the house.

Spring Brings with It … Baseball and I'm hoping to see some games at the stadium.

A Sure Sign Of Spring … There are blooming trees down the main street. I love it!  

A Favorite Spring Activity … Going ANYWHERE outside!  The farmer's market is especially nice on a Saturday morning.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Book review: "Captured by Grace" by David Jeremiah

If you listen to Dr. Jeremiah on the radio and are touched by his teachings then you have to pick up a copy of Captured by Grace. I received a free copy of the book to review from Thomas Nielson, Booksneeze.com.

We had just started a series in Bible study on forgiveness. We talked about those things in our past that we still haven't gotten over, the things in our present that hold us back and the things that keep us from moving forward. So Captured by Grace was right on time. As I do with many of the Thomas Nielson books I used this book as a devotional, reading a bit each day. Dr. Jeremiah showed me why I need to forgive myself based on the grace of God-- in my past, through the present, looking toward the future. His writing is straightforward and his examples, as always, were right on point. My favorite person in the Bible, Paul, is the topic of a great analogy to show God's awesome grace.

Captured by Grace  is a easy read and I would recommend it for everyone's library.

I passed my copy on.