Friday, February 28, 2014

where i've been . . .

So, evidently not only did I leave my voice at Grand Oak Retreat, but I brought home a case of walking pneumonia, as well.  Which, in a weird way, makes me feel a little better about my lackluster performance (what I worked on) while I was there.  I was so tired the entire time . . . now I know why!

I also realized I hadn't shared hardly any fun pics from my time with Ellie, the three days prior to retreat! We had such fun together!  She was very intrigued with my bin of *embellishments* . . .
So much so that I had to pull some BIG buttons together for her to play with while I stitched with bitty beads. It was so darling to watch/listen to her play with them.  
She'd pour them on the table and say, "Clean up, clean up!" Scoop them back into her cup and pour them out again.  I got a good sixty minutes of stitching in while she played the button game!

We also made teacup cupcakes!  Oh my gosh, these silicone teacup holders are so precious.  Kim had gotten them for me for my birthday . . .
Ellie enjoyed helping make them, but she *really* enjoyed eating them!  They were a big hit -- I need to get another set of four, I think!

We also spent some time on the playground . . . girlfriend can swing all day!
I loved the way she'd throw her little head back and shout, "Wheeeeeeeeee!!!"

And we watched a movie together . . .
This was during a particularly suspenseful part of the Little Mermaid.  Look how grown up she looks!

I did get a few things put together on retreat, but not nearly as much as I'd wanted or hoped to.  First thing out of the box, I did up the two starstruck blocks for our guild swap . . .
The theme for this month was red and white.  Sweet!

Then I stitched up this little table topper . . .
Recognize the fabrics?  I wanted to get it sandwiched and quilted, too . . . I'll save that for another day.

I did get a Grandmother's Choice block pieced . . .
I like the "T's" in this one!

And I did a lot of handwork, both on my Celtic Garden and on my secret little project (of which I'll share just a tiny corner):
Actually, I spent a LOT of time on the little mug rug project.  Hand work was my favorite!  I've spent a lot of time this week working on my Celtic Garden.  The Colonial knots are finished and I'm almost finished knotting the light green French knots in the center hedges.  Then on to the flower gardens!

And of course, what's a retreat without a tee-shirt?!  
This year's offering -- great colors!

And I enjoyed some spectacular sunrises.  I took one panorama photo.  Simply stunning!
It's not compressed, so when you click on it, it'll be full sized.

We had a total of fifteen women . . . all chit-chatting and oooohing and aaaahing over each other's work.  I love this group of gals . . . 

And of course, the "can't-do-without" gag shot.  Some of us are better at this than others!

I hope to be back in full swing by next week, but I admit, I'm still dragging a bit.  I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired!!  I'm ready to usher in health *and* Spring!!

Happy Friday!!

:)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

i left my voice . . .

Not in San Francisco, but at retreat!  Evidently I've had a bit too much fun over the past week and the ol' voice box finally gave out.
I think my voice is hovering somewhere on the ground floor deck.  ;)
I sound (for what it's worth) so pitiful right now!  Headed back to the doctor's office (again!) to see if we can get this fixed . . . I feel like I've been sick for the entire winter.  And I'm *oh* so ready to be done with it.

I did draw for the Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress and the winner was Gwynette in NW Arkansas!  Congratulations, Gwynette!  As soon as I hear back from you, I'll get this in the mail.

Y'all have a happy day . . . 

:)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

packing it in . . .

Yup.  That's what I'm doing this morning.  Packing it up and getting things situated so I can work, work, work right up until retreat ends and load up the car!  The goodbye sunrise this morning was *spectacular*!
Just gorgeous, right?  It's really nice to have this very incredible reminder of God's goodness on this particular day -- Everett would have been three.  It's amazing how fast the time has gone by.

I had no trouble getting in my 15 minutes this week, even while I was with Ellie!
I'll share more about what I've worked on these last five days later on in the week!

My stash took a bit of a hit . . . in the wrong direction! I got a lovely package from Jean (Jean Creates) and we hit Hammer's yesterday.  Here's what I grabbed from Hammers:
It's so funny ... it's almost a repeat of what I got last year at Hammer's!  What I received from Jean deserves a post of its own (which I'll do later).  Anyway, I packed away some yardage, without enough to go out . . .
But it's still running on a pretty even keel, so I won't sweat it!

There will be some last minute frantic work going on this morning, but I will eventually settle into my slow Sunday stitching.  Still plugging along on my Celtic Garden:
The hedge outlines are really starting to take shape!  One they're finished, the French knots to fill it in will go relatively quickly.  I'll be happy to be finished with the colonial knots!

Linking up today with the stash report at Patchwork Times and also with Kathy's Quilts!

Oh yeah--the current book review and giveaway is HERE.

Be *blessed* today!

:)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

a review - unglued devotional: 60 days of imperfect progress . . .

I have long been a fan of Lysa Terkeurst.  She is an amazing woman, member of the Proverbs 31 team and a straight-to-the-heart-of-matters kind of author.  So it was a no-brainer for me when I was offered the opportunity to read and review Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress

The devotional is a companion piece to her book, Unglued.  And it's perfect.  After I'd read Unglued, I walked through the devotional and was so pleased to have daily, bite-sized chunks of wisdom to continue to ponder. The companion devotional reinforces all the treasures she covers in the book, opening daily with a Scripture verse, a daily *thought*, a couple of paragraphs of devotional material and a closing prayer.  A fantastic way to start off a day!  Lysa is honest and transparent and while she doesn't pull punches--let's face it, we're all imperfect people trying to function in an imperfect world with lots of other imperfect people!--she's also very compassionate and empathetic in her dialogue.  While there were many times the words resonated with me, leaving me feeling quite convicted, I never felt condemned. Instead, the devotions are inspiring and give hope.

I highly recommend this devotional -- even if you haven't read Unglued.  The material is cohesive and well-written and *so* meaningful!

And I've got a giveaway copy, too -- so if you're interested, leave me a comment and I'll select a winner on Tuesday.

:)

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.

Friday, February 21, 2014

your good furtune . . .

Once again, Leia here.
Furfilling blog obligations while my person's mom is on retreat.  Again.
She spent a couple of days with me while my person was out of town.  So I could be fed.  Oh, and to feed that other mini person.
I spent a lot of time checking out what she was doing, making sure she didn't leave any messes.
She took liberal license with her feline liberties while she was here . . .
I'm glad you got to see me today.  If you head over to sarah did it! you can catch more furry fun at Feline Friday. 

Meow.

:)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

a picture says a thousand words . . .

Or two, as the case may be:
My bags are packed and I'm already gone!

I did pick a winner for the His Treasures: Gems of Love from Your King before I headed out.The book will go to: Needled Mom!  Congratulations!

And she's off . . . !

:)

Monday, February 17, 2014

design stone wall . . .

Since I'm not home this week (with the exception of overnight Tuesday -- less than twelve hours), my design wall is a bit challenged . . . I'm in limbo now, staying with Ellie for the first few days of the week . . . and I brought some handwork to keep me occupied while I'm here (early mornings and nap time). Still (still) plugging along on my Celtic Garden Hexie (on which there are very few changes from yesterday):
And working on my secret hexie mug rug project.  Since it's a secret, I'll just show you the back side . . . 
Hah!  Do you think it's coincidence that both these projects involve hexagrams??

Or that I'm seeing hexies everywhere, including on the floor of the Embassy Suites?
Todd took me out to dinner on Saturday -- Ruth's Crisp!  It was *SO* good!  And as a bonus, they had their floor tiled in my hexie-lovin' honor.  There is hexispiration *everywhere*!

Ellie says hello . . .
We had a girls' night -- we watched movies and played with each others hair!

Leia growls, Get out of my house, woman!
Sigh.

Linking up today with the Design Wall Monday post at Patchwork Times and HeLP for Hexi-aholics over at sarah did it! (which will be tomorrow, due to the President's Day holiday).  :)

Tomorrow's the last day for the book giveaway posted HERE!

I don't care what Leia says . . . I hope you have a *fabulous* Monday!

:)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

with a stitch-stash paddywhack . . .

I've quickly come to see that one of the major benefits of committing to reporting on my daily 15 minutes of sewing is that I'm compelled to do *something* each day so my little sticky notes aren't blank!
Of course what you see here is honestly a lot more than 15 minutes (except for the Celtic knot days ... where I did time 15 minutes worth of knots just *so* I had something to report).  But finishing up the piecing and then quilting/binding Midnight Snow consumed hours!

Midnight Snow also had a positive effect on my stash report . . .
Sure, it's not a TON of stash, but it's all positive steps!  I spent a hour or so yesterday pulling together the projects I'll take with me on retreat.  I'm taking a lot of little things that are just shy of finishing, so hopefully I'll have even more positive steps to report next week -- provided I don't get carried away in the fabric shops!

Today, after morning worship, I'll head on over to spend the next couple of days with Ellie!  Should be lots of fun.  I'm taking hand work with me . . . the Celtic Knot, of course:
It doesn't look like I've made hardly any progress on it -- those knots are so time consuming!  And I'm also bringing a new project I'm working on:
This is my pattern (which I had to make pencil adjustments to, once I'd printed it out).  I spent Saturday stitching the fabric pieces together and now it's ready for some crazy quilting seam treatments!  I'll probably work on this while Ellie naps today.

Linking up to the stash report at Patchwork Times and to the Slow Sunday Stitching linky party at Kathy's Quilts.  

And don't forget -- there's a new book review and giveaway posted HERE!

Enjoy your Sunday!

:)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

a review - His Treasure: Gems of Love from Your King

This week's review of His Treasure: Gems of Love from Your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd was an easy one.  It's a sweet little book filled with encouraging words straight from Scripture that are meant to remind daughters of the High King that they are valued and esteemed.

The format is very appealing -- set with pretty pictures of girly-treasure on words written on 'parchment' -- the pages go back and forth between passages of Scripture to sweet notes from the Father.  It's definitely written for the feminine reader.

The author, Sheri Rose, has a number of titles to her credit and she does a marvelous job of communicating God's love and esteem for His children.

The book is small -- to fit perfectly by your bed for that "first thing in the morning" (or last thing in the evening?) pep talk -- or perhaps in your desk drawer at work, for when you need a little help in "overcoming" -- or need something to focus on while you count to ten! It's also perfect for gift-giving.

I found it to be thoroughly Scripture-based, honest and encouraging and enjoyed reading through it.  I would definitely recommend it to others.  I have a copy to give away, so if you're interested, let me know in a comment and I'll pick a winner on Tuesday.

:)

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.

Friday, February 14, 2014

come and gone . . .

The snow, that is.  It did finally arrive late on Wednesday afternoon . . . and continued to come down into the wee hours of Thursday morning.  When we got up, it looked like this:
So beautiful!  I know it creates headaches for power and traveling (especially when, like ours, there's a good inch or so of ice underneath), but it's so lovely and peaceful looking out here at the camp!  I'll share a few pics from our trek out and about in it . . .
There were animal tracks everywhere!  Especially deer and raccoons.
Bamboo does not like snow!
The ol' homestead.  The metal cans are where we keep the bird and critter food!
My love and I.  
And I couldn't resist a final shot of Midnight Snow in the snow . . .

I've made sugar free shortbread cookies for my sweet Valentine . . .
We'll celebrate quietly together, this evening, and then Todd's got *secret* plans for tomorrow!

Winners have been drawn for the Shades of Mercy giveaway!  The lucky readers are Gene Black, Happy Cottage Quilter (Jocelyn), Teresa in Music City, and Sarah! Congratulations to all of you -- as soon as I collect mailing addresses, I'll get these out.  Hopefully in tomorrow's post!

And speaking of Sarah, it's Feline Friday over at sarah did it!
And Leia says Happy Valentine's Day!  No she doesn't...she just doesn't.

But I do!  

:)