Sunday, May 29, 2016

keeping up . . .

I say this all the time, with increasing panic, because I know it gets truer with every passing day. The older one becomes, the faster time flies. Can you believe we're here at the end of May, already? Wow! Memorial Day weekend is one of my favorite holidays. For one, it heralds the beginning of summer. But most importantly, well, I like the way Lee Greenwood said sang it . . .

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men [and women] who died,
who gave that right to me.

Friday we spent the day on the lake. I tried to get in a little stitching time in Saturday morning, and managed to get Evey's bloomers cut and actually sewn (a couple of steps beyond what I'm showing).
But I need waist and thigh measure before I do anything more on those, so they're at a standstill.  You know, I took all kinds of sewing classes in Home Ec and have enjoyed clothes sewing for better than 35 years, but yesterday was the first time ever that I used my rotary cutter to cut out a pattern. It went SO fast and I didn't pin the pattern to the fabric or anything . . . but I felt like I was cheating.  Hahaha!

I'd also purchased a stack of dish drying mats at WalMart for over at the pavilion.  
The 'drying table' is big, so Todd wanted me to get a bunch and stitch them together.
That's a LOT of zigzag stitching right there . . . and they all came out even, too!

Yesterday afternoon was Ellie's first ballet recital! Isn't she precious? Joc took this one backstage, pre-show:
I'd forgotten how much I enjoy watching (especially) the littlest girls do ballet. You can really get a feel for their personalities as they dance!
Ellie was darling and you could tell she put a lot of work into making sure she was doing exactly what she was supposed to be doing. I think she was a little overwhelmed with all the attention and the flowers afterward -- but in a very happy way!

Ooooh . . . I got a package in the mail . . .
Whoohoo!!!  I'd won a *sweet* giveaway over at Janet's blog, Rogue Quilter. Soaps, wool patterns (pumpkin patterns, no less!), an ornament, and a pumpkin pin cushion (both of which Janet made)!
Aaaaaah, and a beautiful purple-ish batik basket quilt, too.  Hand-crafted by Janet herself! I feel very blessed by her generosity and am thinking I need to pay it forward here on my blog, very soon!

I can happily report that my stash report is down by the half a yard it was up last week . . .
Blooming bloomers!  ;)

Today we'll have our annual Memorial Day weekend church picnic and fish fry up here at the camp. But it won't start until late this afternoon. I am going to try and get some slow stitching in before the frenzy.
I'd marked this up a couple of weeks ago, but never got around to stitching it. The way time is flying, July 4th will be here before I know it. I really had better get busy!

So that about wraps it up for me. Linking up to Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts this morning. Enjoy the remainder of this long weekend and have a safe and Happy Memorial Day!

:)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

a review: land of silence

Y'all know I am a fairly avid reader. One of the hardest parts of moving from our sticks and bricks home to our RV was leaving behind my rather HUGE collection of books and periodicals! I have pretty eclectic reading tastes (much like tastes in music, crafting, decor, places to vacation, etc. are eclectic), but there are some genres that I lean toward an one of those would be historical fiction, particularly if it's Christian.

That being said, when I saw that Tessa Afshar had a new book coming out, I was anxious to get my hands on it. She's written several novels I've enjoyed in the past, Harvest of Rubies and Pearls in the Sand, to name two, so I knew Afshar's ability to tell a tale against a historical/biblical backdrop, and do it well.

Land of Silence did not disappoint. The story is set outside of Jerusalem and in Capernaum, and is that of the woman who had an issue of blood for twelve years. It can be found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, but the account in Luke 8 is my favorite . . .
43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased.45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround You and are pressing in on You!” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched Me, for I perceive that power has gone out from Me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before Him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
Not a lot to go on, right?  If ever there was a passage ripe for 'embellishing', this is one!  This encounter with Jesus, set smack dab in the middle of the story of Jairus and the healing of his daughter, has always fascinated me and I've always wondered about the woman.  Who she was, why she had an issue of blood, where was her family, why couldn't the physicians heal her, and how did she come upon Jesus and think that touching His garment would heal her. And while I know the account in Land of Silence is pure speculation, it does give me some clues as to how her predicament could have come about.

Afshar does a marvelous job of weaving the tale of "Elianna" and her story as 'the woman who was healed by touching the garment of Jesus'. It was a wonderful read and I highly recommend it to fans of romance, historical fiction and Christian fiction alike!

:)


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale Publishers 
as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. 
The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal
Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and
Testimonials in Advertising.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

a lucky break . . .

For all my good intentions, I didn't get a bloomin' thing under my sewing machine this week...more busyness! Todd and I headed to Montgomery on Wednesday evening after church. It's about a three hour (and some change) drive and we had a conference that started at 8:30 the next morning -- so we decided we go down the night before. What we didn't realize when we made that decision was that the *state* softball and baseball tournaments were in Montgomery this past week, and getting a hotel room was night impossible!

It all worked out for the best, though.  We love to stay in different B&Bs, so we were lucky to snag the *last* room available at Red Bluff Cottage Bed and Breakfast.  We got in late and went directly to our room, so we didn't really have a chance to explore, but I knew all was well when I saw this on our door . . .
Yes, we stayed in the Stitch in Time room.  What are the odds??!  It was so sweet -- she had framed blocks from quilts her mother and grandmother had made, hanging on the wall over the bed.
And lots of little embroidered pieces and stitching books and pictures that just made me feel right at home! It's funny to me it was the last available room, when it would have been my first choice if all the rooms had been available!

Breakfast was delicious, too.  But check this out . . .
Stitching *and* tea?!?  This place was my B&B dream!  LOL!  We had homemade waffles and sausage . . .
It was very good! In fact, I had to take a picture of Todd's plate because I started eating without a second thought about a picture! Unfortunately, we had to get to the conference, so we still didn't get to hang around and take it all in. That's one B&B I'd like to revisit someday. And we met a lovely couple who were 'on holiday' from the U.K. Get this -- they'd visited New England and the East Coast before, but because they'd fallen in love with the show Nashville, they wanted to visit the South.  I equated it to me wanting to visit England because of Downton Abbey!

We didn't get home until well after dark on Thursday, and Jocelyn came by with both girls on Friday morning. We thought the day was going to be a rain out, but it didn't hardly rain at all!  We'd been wanting to share the turtle sanctuary with Everley (Ellie just came for tea, coloring, and movies). Because it was a bit cool, there weren't too many turtles out and about, but there were some.  And there were some big ol' toads, which to Evey are almost as good as turtles (almost)! Evey and I went out to take a last look after lunch and I was uncovering leaves to see who was buried, and I found a tiny, tiny turtle -- must have been one of the new hatchlings. Evey was overjoyed!
He was so tiny, he fit in the palm of her hand!
She brought it in to show mommy, Ellie and Paw-paw.  Ellie was happy to look at it while Evey held it.  LOL! They are such opposite little girls - but both incredibly dear!

Saturday was my slow stitching day. Todd and I took to the water for the day. He fished and I read, stitched, and fished. LOL!  My water days are a whole lot more versatile than his water days! :) So I've finished up the first quarter panel . . .
(I know it's a wrinkled mess -- sorry about that!) Hopefully today I can sneak in a minute or two to transfer some letters to the second quadrant, so I can stitch a little more through the week.

My stash went up a little because of the bloomers fabric . . .
And since I didn't actually *make* the bloomers yet, well, nothing went out. Hopefully next week I can happily report a debit to the stash!

Linking up today with Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts.  Be blessed in this day that the Lord hath made; rejoice and be glad in it!!

:)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

let's make it . . .

. . . a wonderful Wednesday!!  (Did you think I was going to say something quilty-cutesy? Psyche!)

I'm just going to be straight out honest and say that I got in more napping than stitching on Sunday afternoon. (insert cheesy grin here) But I have done a smidge of stitching on Evey's quilt . . . 
"G", to be exact.

I found a cute pattern for bubble britches for Evey (to go with her turtle smock). I was prepared to buy a pattern when I remembered I've got a pretty decent arsenal of patterns for little girls' clothes saved on my laptop. Sure enough . . .
Just the bloomers. For now! Pdf patterns are interesting, because you've got to print them and then put them together . . .
Tah-dah! That was quick...luckily for me, these little cuties only needed five pages. But I still had to find some appropriate fabric! Luckily for me, there's a little shop *two*doors*down* from my place of work -- Barb's Sewing. I think I've got the perfect little print to hide a diaper and go with the smocked turtles . . .
Isn't that cute stuff??? Add that half-yard to my stash and out again.

I found a *GREAT* video tutorial for baby bloomers from Vintage to New.  
This tutorial is definitely worth checking out if sewing a pair of baby bloomers is in your future. LOL!  (insert another cheesy grin here)

So that's where I stand on Wednesday -- hoping to have bloomers finished on Friday and powering through letters "I" and "J"! Linking up today with Esther's Quilt Blog WOW (WIPs On Wednesday) post. Have a GREAT day!!

:)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

bzzzzzzeeeeness . . .

Wow, what a BUSY week it was!  The Campers on Mission group was here working through Friday, but we did a big fish fry for them and the pastors of the association I work for on Thursday. Normally (on a smaller scale) Todd does hush puppies, fries and fish for a fry, but for this event I made three pounds of carrot slaw, twenty-one cups of pineapple slaw, and two gallons of banana pudding. It's a good thing I did -- none of it was left!
This group was a marvelous group of workers . . . they did two months of work in two weeks! The camp has been very blessed to have them out here.

And look what the Campers on Mission did for me . . .
Stairs! With a handrail!! No more climbing up and down on concrete blocks!  What a blessing they've been to *me*!

Friday evening I was helping hostess an engagement party for a sweet young couple.  Jeremy is from Huntsville, but is a Wycliffe translator serving in Romania. His fiancee is Romanian, but also working with Wycliffe. They're only here for a short couple of weeks and then headed back to Romania (and they'll marry there in August).  
I did meatballs and (of course) cream cheese mints for the party. Cream cheese mints are my ministry!
It was a lovely party and well attended. I wish thought to get a picture of Jeremy and Magda, but I was too busy . . . well . . . hostessing!!

Saturday I spent the majority of the day in my Little Nook in the Big Woods.  LOL! The Little House on the Prairie series has *finally* come out on Kindle, and I just recently read through them all. Can you tell? Anyway, I got some things accomplished.  I finished up ornament two (and took a pic of ornament one):
I got the second tab marked and ready to stitch:
I got letters G, I, and J traced and ready to stitch (it's hard to see them, but they're done!):
So I'll definitely have something to work on for my slow, Sunday stitching!

I managed to squeeze in a stop at an LQS to pick up the backing fabric for Evey's quilt. Initially my thought was to use white. And then I got to thinking about Evey and decided that white was dumb. So I got this, instead . . .
Along with the white I'll need to sash the blocks, once I've finished the embroidery. And the floss I'll need for the embroidery.  LOL! And isn't that print just darling??!  Evey is all about 'jurjuls' (turtles) right now. And since I turned around and cut out the backs right away, I can count it out of my stash as fast as I added it in . . .
Whoohoo for me!  The white will be gone soon, too.  Plus I was able to add a little in for these cute little hexies I'm playing with (because we should always add something new to the mix, right?) . . .
I saw a cute little candle mat on Jeanna's blog, Slammin' the Screen Door, and decided I'd like to make one of my own. The pattern arrived in Saturday's mail.
I mean, why not?!?

On top of it all, Joc had purchased this sweet little smocked romper, but the elastic was shot.  She asked me to turn it into a little blouse and make some bloomers to go with it. 
So I cut off the bottom and hemmed it up -- it's really quite darling; I believe it was lovingly made by someone and not a manufactured piece. Now to make up some bloomers!

So that's it for me. I'll link up to Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts today.  Enjoy a quiet, happy Sunday . . . this is the day that the Lord has made!!  Rejoice and be GLAD in it!!

:)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

mid-week musings . . .

Happy Wednesday!! Aren't you glad we're mid-way through the work week? That only stands true for me first thing in the morning on Wednesdays, seeing as how I work four ten-hour days! That means tomorrow is my Friday and I get TWO Saturdays! LOL! I'll stop now . . . !!

Before I headed out to the Nook on Sunday afternoon, Todd and I tooled around the camp for a bit. I'd mistaken "deerberry bushes" for mountain laurel a couple of weeks ago, but found that the mountain laurel was finally blooming . . . 
The flowers look very similar, but the leaves are quite different! I love that after seven years, I'm still discovering new flora up at the camp! We also fed the fish at the pond and caught a quick couples selfie.
I do love our life together!

Then I got busy in the sewing nook. I finished one of the ornaments (but forgot to grab a picture), finished up one of the dress tabs . . .
I should have taken a picture of the back side of the tab, which is remarkably blank, a fact of which I'm quite proud of. I took great care to stitch without catching the back side of the fabric! I can't wait to see the girls decked out in their sweet dresses!

I also traced out some alphabet letters and have gotten A and C stitched, and D is traced and ready to go.
These are going to be such fun -- I love the diversity of the letters! Plus they're fairly straight forward, but just fanciful enough to make you smile.  :)

I'll continue to work on this every spare moment (like lunch time and evenings). I still have two quadrants to finish.  Eeks! Linking up today with Esther's Quilt Blog WOW (WIPs On Wednesday) post.

Our Campers on Mission group continues to make fabulous progress on the deck and the other improvements they're working on. I'll do a comprehensive post on all their work soon, but here's a glimpse (I lifted from my Instagram) into our time with them, which included some campfire time last night . . .
The weather has been outstanding and we really enjoyed hanging out last night! Their work is top notch! I can't wait to show it off!

Y'all have a great rest of the week!

:)

Sunday, May 08, 2016

blasting through the weekend . . .

First things first . . .
Whether your babies are little or grown and have babies of their own or are fur babies, Happy Mother's Day to you!  I pray your day is filled with laughter and love!

I got a little stitching done this week.  I finished a second quadrant of Evey's quilt and realized I'd better find something to put in all of those white squares!  After a quick search online, I found this darling alphabet by Sublime Stitching . . . 
Aren't they fun??  The letters were way too small for the 5" blocks, so I enlarged them (by about 250%) and made them singles (and laminated them to keep them safe - haha!)--
I'll start sketching tracing these out in the next week or so and get busy stitching, stitching!

I stitched up my two ornaments for May at my Tuesday evening Stitcher's Group. One was a yo-yo wreath, that still needs a bow and a cord for hanging.
The second was a mini-poinsettia.
I've never thought about using the poinsettias as ornaments, but I think this will work nicely! I still need to find an appropriate sized button (the one pictured is a tad too big) and stitch it together and add the cord. I've got twenty-three days! LOL!

I've got a sweet little stitching project to work on this afternoon.  Joc had some blank tabs for one of the girls' dresses that she wanted to pizzazz up with something patriotic/4th of July-ish. So I worked up a couple of designs . . .
And she picked one . . .
And I'll stitch it up!  I'll use metallic red and blue floss for the firework and silver floss for the stars (which I'll satin stitch).  They should be very cute!

My fabric use has (again) been nil.
But it won't be long before I'm ready to quilt the quadrants of Evey's quilt and I'll need more fabric for the backing. Of course, the goal is to have it go in and right back out again!

It's been a very busy weekend!  Ellie came home with me on Thursday evening and we had a marvelous time doing all the things she wanted to do. Watch movies, color, play with buttons and drink tea.
She has very simple, specific desires which totally match my own! Thursday evening was very cool and we bundled up to take a golf cart ride:
On Friday morning we had a "Neesey and Ellie" date and went to Jacks for breakfast.  Evidently they make good pancakes.
And evidently, Ellie's quite the model. She had a little 'ham' with her pancakes! Silly, fun girl!

Friday evening and Saturday I spent in ESL (English as a Second Language) Teacher Training. It was fascinating and I hope to be able to put it to good use!
Saturday afternoon, I raced from ESL TT and put my hat on and headed to Emma's Tea Room, for afternoon tea with the Wears Chapel ladies!
We had a lovely time with lots of yummy goodies!!

Don't laugh, but from there, I raced back to the camp to join Todd for a fish fry he did for the Campers on Mission! The Campers on Mission have been very busy bees this week!  Check out the progress on the new back deck . . . 
We're so excited to see it come together!! I can totally see a group of rockers on this deck, facing out, filled with ladies doing handwork! This group has been such a HUGE blessing to the camp -- they are incredibly hard workers and love the Lord. Todd and I are hoping that the Camp can be added to their annual calendar. What fun!

I'm headed to church this morning -- I have both my preschool Sunday school class *and* preschool church this morning, so I've loaded up with double the Mother's Day crafting to do!  From there, I think I'll do my slow stitching on the front porch this afternoon.  Aaaaaah!  Linking up to Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts. Y'all have a blessing-filled day, and HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!

:)