Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I've always enjoyed the "Thankful Thursday" posts of friends and relatives who participate in that weekly gratitude journal. I'm thankful that they make those posts public. Often their posts are so poignant and sweetly personal, yet they happily share their thoughts with us and in turn our own hearts are made more grateful and we become more appreciative of the blessings in our own lives.

A few days ago I published a post about "Gratitude." In the post I mentioned three questions that one can ask oneself that will, in time, help one to look at things with a more positive attitude and a more thankful heart. Those questions are:

1.) What surprised me today?
2.) What moved me or touched me today?
3.) What inspired me today?

I'm going join the "Thankful Thursday" bandwagon and start publishing a weekly post. However, in my post instead of listing things I am grateful for, I will be answering these three questions each week. If you would like to play along, just leave a comment below with your link so we can all benefit. Since this will be a once a week post, I will change the questions to reflect a weekly journal...

What surprised me this week?
My favorite surprise this week was a note from one of the young women that I teach at church. She had a birthday recently and has joined the upper echelon of teenage girls, so she is no longer in my class. I just love this girl. She has always been so kind and respectful to me as her leader and she has always been willing to help when asked and volunteer when necessary. Well, she wrote me a little note of appreciation this week. The kind acts of strangers and friends --whether it's a smile, hug, laugh, plate of goodies or a note -- is always such a welcome and appreciated surprise!

What moved me or touched me this week?
This week a young woman who I've grown to love and admire emailed me with a question. She suffered a miscarriage a short time ago and she asked me if I had any advice as to how to deal with this painful disappointment in her life. She knew that I had dealt with a similar issue years ago. What really moved me was her reason behind asking me for advice. She wanted to be able to celebrate with her friends their pregnancies and deliveries. Isn't that amazing? Instead of feeling sorry for herself, she wanted to reach out to others. I am always touched by the selflessness of others.

What inspired me this week?
My sister is an amazing woman. She's thoughtful and thought provoking. She is a preschool teacher and I'm quite sure she has often had to use the patience she practices with her preschoolers on her thick-headed sister (me). She is kindness personified. For as many years as I can remember she has performed an act of service every Wednesday morning. This service is never given to a person that she knows personally. She goes about this service without fanfare or thought of compensation. She's amazing and she is an inspiration to me.

Happy Halloween

Wishing you a fun filled Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

City Girl Collection

Ever since the wedding I have been in love with the colors of pink and brown. Honestly, it's as close to an obsession as one can get without going over the top. Fine, I'll admit it. I am over the top... Everywhere I go these days I see that color combination and I LOVE IT! Before the wedding I came upon a new collection from Bernartex, called City Girl. I immediately fell in love, but when things calmed down after the wedding and I was finally able to do a little ordering, I couldn't find it at my usual online sources. Finally, I came upon a new source, Christa Quilts, and I ordered it. It came in the mail today. I just can't wait to put a couple of Hang Ups together with these fabrics. Aren't they wonderful?


Yesterday I was chatting with my sister on the phone. We talked a little about how the economic downturn seems to be affecting emotions and attitudes causing some to despair or get a little depressed. Between our nation's elections and its financial state, it's a wonder we haven't all dug a hole for ourselves and climbed in to get away from it all.

My sister shared some information that she heard at church from one of her friends that is considered their congregation's "resident therapist." The class was apparently talking about this very subject and the therapist gave some suggestions on how to be positive during these trying times. First, she suggested turning off the TV -- specifically the news. One needn't be a genius to figure out the benefit in that simple act. She then gave the following advise and I thought I would pass it on to you. At the end of each day ask yourself these three questions. You might even want to write the answers to these questions in a daily journal.

1.) What surprised me today?
2.) What moved me or touched me today?
3.) What inspired me today?

I loved this idea. I can truly see that by concentrating on these positive questions, you would start and end each day with a more grateful, happy heart. It's a different twist to a gratitude journal, but I think the end result would be similar... a more positive outlook on life. Just a thought...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sold - Flaming Floral

Yesterday I promised another Hang Up with the same teal Moda print on the bottom of the bag, but a different fabric on the top of the bag. Well, here are the two fabrics I paired together this time...

They are both Moda fabrics and they are very different, but I love the way they go together. Just beautiful! This Hang Up measures approximately 14 1/2" x 12". It has a large inside pocket and, like all my totes, is fully lined with double interfacing for extra support. Please feel free to email me at my email address on my sidebar with any questions you may have. This Hang Up sells for $45 -- which includes shipping to the continental U.S. Check out my sidebar to find out how my totes are constructed and how you can purchase one for yourself.

Here's a question for you... Which fabric combination do you prefer? Do you wish you could sport the tote on the left, Moroccan Beauty, or would you rather hang the tote on the right, Flaming Floral, on your shoulder? Or... would you want them both and wear them according to your mood! Just curious... ;o)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sold - Moroccan Beauty

Last week I was browsing the isles at a favorite fabric store and I came across this turquoise and brown printed fabric...

I fell in love with it immediately. It's a Moda fabric from their 'Fresh Air' line by Chez Moi. I think it's beautiful. I brought it home to meet the fabric-family feeling certain that there was another fabric on the shelf that would pair with it nicely. I actually found several that I loved with it. But as I was thinking about what to put with it to make my next Hang Up, I remembered another fabric that I had looked at several times the last couple of months. I liked the fabric and was tempted to buy it several times, but I could never find a complimentary fabric that didn't wash it out and make it look dull. That's when I thought of pairing these two fabrics together. I was at the fabric store at 10 am this morning eager to buy a yard of this beautiful fabric. To my delight the two fabrics did compliment each other beautifully! The following fabric is a Blank Quilting fabric from their Marrakesh collection ... just beautiful!

Well, here's the finished product. I just love these fabrics together. I've named this Hang Up "Moroccan Beauty." This tote has all the usual features. It measures approximately 14 1/2" x 12". Please feel free to email me at my email address on my sidebar with any questions you may have. This Hang Up sells for $45 -- which includes shipping to the continental U.S. and Canada. Please check out my sidebar to find out how my totes are constructed and how you can purchase one for yourself.

Tomorrow I plan on making another tote with the same Moda fabric on the bottom and another fabric on the top of the tote. It might be interesting to see how dissimilar the same fabric can look when paired with two different fabrics. I'm excited to see the results myself!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Patience is a virtue...

Sometimes I have to remind myself of the phrase "patience is a virtue." For the last month my sewing machine hasn't seen the light of day. It's "required hibernation" was due to the fact that we had a grandchild's birth and a son's wedding within a couple of weeks of each other. Those two events are far more fun and important than sewing a seam or two. Still, I've missed the gentle purr of my sewing machine. All the "company" was gone by Tuesday, but since then I've been taking my time cleaning several rooms a day, doing mounds of laundry, and windexing grandchildren's fingerprints off all the glass in my home. (Ok, I did leave a couple of handprints just to relive the sweet memories.)

As I said, "patience is a virtue" -- I'd just like to thank everyone for being patient with me this last month. I have some luscious fabrics that I'm dying to whip up into totes starting next week! Here's a quick preview of some fabrics you'll be seeing soon...

I didn't have time for a Give Away this month, so look forward to a November Give-Away starting on Saturday, November 1st!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Our Story . . .

Since my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary this week and since some of you requested to know, I'll go ahead and tell the story behind #7 of the post below...

In the Fall of 1974 I was a freshman attending college in California. That semester I was enrolled in a sociology class. The second week of class our professor gave us a rather unusual assignment. (This professor was a little odd -- a 1960's throw-back, hippie-type.) The assignment given was that we were supposed to walk up to a total stranger, tell the person "I love you" and record their response. I went back to my dorm room a little frustrated. I didn't want to fulfill this assignment and embarrass myself. After talking it over with my roommate, I decided to call a stranger on the phone rather than approach them directly. That way I could fulfill the assignment and record a response, but I wouldn't have to worry about the person recognizing me several weeks down the road. I picked up the dorm directory and started scanning down a page. I randomly chose a name and made the call. A young man answered the phone and I asked if I could speak to Mark. The young man said, "one minute," and went to get him. Then I heard another "hello." With as much boldness as I could muster I said, "I love you!" There was silence on the other end of the line...lots of silence. I said it again -- this time with more feeling. "I love you!" More silence and then this rather innocuous response, "Well, what do you want me to do about it?" Because I was trying to fulfill an assignment, I simply said, "Respond!" He then asked, "Who is this?" Embarrassed by my remarks I hung up the phone. A couple more phone calls were made before I was able to get a recordable response and the experience was soon forgotten.

Several months later I began attending church and met a young man named Mark. We began to get to know one another and soon we began seeing each other regularly. Several weeks after meeting Mark I was with him and his roommate and they began to tell me about the crazy girls enrolled at our college. They began to speak about one girl in particular, a stranger, who had called Mark at the beginning of the year claiming love and devotion and issuing the statement "I love you!" Something clicked in my mind and I said, "I know what that was about. She probably had the same class I had..." It was then I made the connection that I had never made previously between the name that I had called at the beginning of the school year and the young man who was sitting in front of me. I realized at that time that it was Mark that I had called. Mark and his roommate really didn't believe me when I told them the story, so I had to take them back to my dorm room and have my roommate verify my side of the story without her knowing why.

So...the first words I ever said to the man who became my husband were, "I love you."

Thursday, October 02, 2008


My new friend, Angie, at Leaping Thru Life tagged me and asked me to participate in this 7 weird facts about myself. I'm sure my family and friends could come up with some doozies, but these are the facts I'm willing to share...

1.) I could never be a drug addict. I'm allergic to opium derivatives -- like morphine and codeine.

2.) I love to vacuum and see the stripes in the carpet after I'm done. Many years ago we bought a vacuum cleaner that was really hard to push and maneuver. Because the vacuum was so heavy I got carpal tunnel syndrome in my wrist and elbow because I vacuumed so often (once a day). Eventually the muscles caught up with the pain and I had a pretty buff little arm till that vacuum cleaner bit the dust -- so to speak.

3.) I have seven children -- all by the same father -- all by the same mother (me). Ok, this isn't that unusual in some circles, but my oldest was only 10 years old when the youngest was born.

4.) I love the smell of freshly cut grass, so throughout the summer I often cut our grass twice a week just to get a good whiff.

5.) I was sent to the principal's office in high school by my teacher just because I laughed out loud during my history class -- the class was quiet -- I was not. I've been told all my life that my laugh is unique and contagious.

6.) I took piano lessons for 7 years when I was young, but I can't even play a simple song with both hands now. My piano teacher, a concert pianist, was determined to make something of me, but in the end my lack of interest and ability prevailed. I should probably feel bad about that, but I don't. Not at all. Not even a smidgen. I do however, love music and I enjoy others abilities immensely.

7.) The first words I ever said to the man who became my husband were, "I love you."

Ok, so here goes. Anyone out there willing to play along? Consider yourself tagged! Let me know if you play along by leaving a comment.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I'm Back... !!!

I just got back from my trip to visit the new grandbaby and her sister -- and their parents, of course! It was such a fun trip. I know I'm the grandparent and somewhat biased, but Berkley is adorable and she has the disposition of an angel. I was able to have a lot of one on one time with her older sister, Avery. We went to the zoo, to the science museum, and had various other outings. Such a fun time. I thought I'd share a couple of photos. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words... these photos say it all!

Avery with her little sister, Berkley...

The proud grandma with Berkley...

I hit the ground running when I got home because our son's wedding is about a week away. No sewing for me for the next few weeks until the festivities are a memory! I will post some photos of the wedding happenings however ...