Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Dazzling 2014



I know we're all looking forward to a bright and shiny 2014. In honor of that hope, I'm sharing my grandmother's paste, aka rhinestone, costume jewelry. 

Earrings:


A few brooches and a belt buckle (the buckle was my mother's):


Necklaces:















Not rhinestone per se, but I can tell it's old by its clasp.

















Hmmm. What do we suppose the box (dirty with age) holds? The year 2013 is old and worn as well, making it all the more fun to anticipate the sparkle of 2014.

This set belonged to my  mother. I don't know its story.

What wonderful things will you do in 2014? I found a quote or two relating to goals and dreams:

From the Kitty Calendar:

There are those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened!

You can't change where you came from, but you can change the direction you're going.

"Know what you want to do-- then do it. Make straight for your goal and go undefeated in spirit to the end." (Ernestine Schumann-Heink)

Tony Gaskins via Liene's My Colouring Book photo blog (link on my sidebar):

"If you don't build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs."

One more helpful quote from the book Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight by Karen Scalf Linamen:

"If it's in your head, you have an idea. Put that idea on paper and you have a goal. Make it measurable and you have a strategy. Put a deadline to it and you have a decision."

With apologies to any male readers, as the saying goes, "You go, Girl." And while we're going, it might be fun to wear the occasional rhinestone!


May the God of hope fill you
with joy and peace in your faith,
that by the power of the Holy Spirit,
your whole life and outlook
may be radiant with hope.
Romans 15:13 Phillips

Many thanks to all who visited in 2013. My prayer is that you'll have a positively
radiant 2014!

Colorful paste jewelry that belonged to my grandmother.

May God richly bless you and yours,
Bess

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Snow on the Great Plains



I'm fairly certain we'll be having a White Christmas here! Hurray!

Not quite as bad as it looks, but almost.
Lots of cars snowed in.

Enjoy your time with family and friends, and if you will be on your own, determine to have a happy Christmas anyway!


A Christmas in solitude, but celebrated in the heart, can be wonderful if one makes up her mind ahead of time that it will be.



Yet to all who did receive him,
to those who believed in his name,
he gave the right to become
children of God--
John 1:12

Set your minds and keep them set
on what is above ...
Colossians 3:2  Amplified

Said so often, but so true and a must to remember: He is the Reason for the Season.


I should be back around the 1st! Blessings to All,
Bess

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Saving Mrs. Thrupp


From The Heart of Christmas book by Victoria

Brrrrr! Some hot soup sounds just the thing for supper tonight. It's frigid out there!












































Just sharing a few images from the only Victoria Christmas book I have. (Hope I haven't shown these before.)

A week or two ago, I was watching As Time Goes By on PBS. It was the episode where Jean recruits Lionel, Judy, Sandy, Rocky, Madge, and Alistair to help with a tea party for the local senior citizens. They've been warned to "watch out for Mrs. Thrupp."

Finally Jean gets to visit with Mrs. Thrupp, and, I think, asks her if she's having a good time:

"Nah, I've given up enjoying myself," says Mrs. Thrupp.

"That wasn't a conscious decision, was it?" asks Jean.

"I found I just stopped doing it."

Let's be on guard lest we stop enjoying ourselves (and life). Don't just give it up like the grouchy Mrs. Thrupp. Make an effort this Christmas to cultivate your joy! It's up to you!


Oh dear, Santa looks a bit down himself. My family used to make these to sell many years ago. If I had it to do again, I'd paint a smile under his nose! (All the supplies are long gone. Maybe someday.)

May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the Lord.
Psalm 104:34

Off to cultivate my own joy by knitting a couple rows on a hat, having soup, watching a little television, playing some new piano music, reading, and keeping Jesus in my heart.

Have a warm week!
Bess

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Basket of Happiness for the Season



"You've got the knack of happy living," commented Anna. "I think you must be like my mother who says that you aren't just given happiness. She says you have to pick it up here and there all through the day. And she does, too. She smells a rose, or she marvels at a bird hanging upside down on a spray, she makes a perfect dinner. She really savours life, you know, and from it she builds up a stock of happiness." (from Fresh from the Country by Miss Read)


Hello Friends! I hope your weekend has been a pleasant one. Some Christmas past I received a gift in this wire basket, so for my photos today I filled it with seasonal magazines, books, a movie, piano music, CDs, ornaments to hang ... and goodies to eat that aren't the least bit healthy! Just lots of enjoyable (to me anyway) things to do so that I don't ponder my future overly much as my current, longtime-held job comes to an end later this month.

Coincidentally, my older brother is in the same boat. This is what he said in a recent email: "Thanks for the wonderful note!  Tomorrow (the 29th) is my last day at work ...  All the way along, the Lord has been telling me, 'I got this, wait for it ... '  and I think that goes for you too!"

Awesome! Thanks, Big Brother! In fact, I told him I'd been getting the same message. But it's still hard sometimes to do the waiting. Figuratively or literally, a "basket full of happiness" could help!

Ornament from Hallmark.
(I ate the Little Debbie cake while writing this post!)

Perhaps you can create a special basket full of happiness just for you, just for this holiday season. Actually, mine (if it were larger) would include some knitting and embroidery I've been doing as well. 

As the above quote says, we aren't just given happiness. We have to take responsibility for it ourselves, gathering it as we go, and even stockpiling it into the future. And remember to think or sing happy thoughts! Everyone sing all together now:


Wishing you happiness wherever you'll be!

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord ... 
and extol him with music and song.
Psalm 95 1,2

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those
whose hearts are fully committed to him.
2 Chronicles 16:9

If you like piano music you might enjoy The Magic of Christmas by Phyllis Hoffman.
(No connection to her whatsoever.)

May you drink up every drop of happiness this glorious season brings!
Bess

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pearls


" ... it's good for pearls to be worn.
Pearls become sick if you shut
them up in the dark." 
(from Gerald and Elizabeth by D.E. Stevenson)


Interesting thought. I don't know if it's true or not. Though my first strand of pearls I received as a teenager or young adult (a long flapper-style rope that could be tied in a knot, below) is showing signs of its old age (deterioration), and it's been "in the dark" for 40+ years. I'm sure all the pearls I have are faux, but they do at least have knots tied between each bead.



You can learn more about pearls and fun ways to update their look from the lovely Duchesse at Passage des perles, here and here.



Here are some pearls I've gathered fairly recently:

From my desk Kitty Calendar:

The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places. 
(author unknown)

God loves to get knee-mail.

The secret of happiness is willingness to let go of the bad-- and hold on to the good as your most precious possession.

Faith is the bridge between hoping and knowing God is with us.

"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, 'til it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn." 
Harriet Beecher Stowe

From Joyce Meyer:

"I think the greatest tragedy in life is to live and not enjoy life."
(from The Battle Belongs to the Lord)

And from Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster:

"Did you ever hear of such a discouraging series of events? It isn't the big troubles in life that require character. Anybody can rise to a crisis and face a crushing tragedy with courage, but to meet the petty hazards of the day with a laugh-- I really think that requires spirit."

and

"It isn't the great big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones-- I've discovered the true secret of happiness, Daddy, and that is to live in the now. Not to be forever regretting the past, or anticipating the future; but to get the most that you can out of this very instant."



Time to put the pearls to bed again.

Again the kingdom of heaven is like a man who is a dealer in search of fine and precious pearls, who, on finding a single pearl of great price, went and sold all he had and bought it.
Matthew 13:45-46  Amplified


Hope your Thanksgiving week has a lovely luster!
Bess
PS: I would have to do some serious practicing to bring "Soaring" up to snuff! 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Quiet Saturday

A Bristol vase and other old pieces in my hutch.

Even though I have heard the sound of mowers picking up leaves for most of the day, it still seems so peaceful and serene today. Loving it!

She says Geo Z Lefton 1956 on the bottom.
Poor girl broke off some fingers.

OK. Leaf blower right below my kitchen window now. Ah, it's moving farther away.

This is a doll made from an old sugar sack.

Not much time to blog these days. Very few breaks at work and then early to bed. I wish I could nap on Saturdays as easily as the kitties do:

Kallie looks as if she'll fall off the table.

Sweetie looks a bit more comfy.

Someone, aka Baby, is up already and hoping for some kitty treats:

(I should be vacuuming!)

Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will praise you forever ...
Psalm 79:13

Have a beautiful weekend!
Bess






Thursday, October 31, 2013

Finished: Scarf and Wrist Warmers


I finished this scarf last weekend. It's a very easy pattern, here. I wanted to use up some yarn, so I obtained somewhat the same effect by changing colors every four rows (maybe should have switched every three or five rows?). As usual, I began too tightly and finished too loosely, but then I'm out of practice. Hopefully I'll improve with each project. I would make this scarf again; want to try it with just the one skein. I chose the other end to wrap over the top than the Red Heart photo shows. If one wanted the ends to be the same, I'm sure two halves could be crocheted and joined somehow where it would be behind the neck. I might try that approach sometime, too.


I've made many pairs of these wrist warmers, pattern here. It may be unnecessary, but for the second one of the pair, I reverse the directions, putting the thumb hole on the 4th row from the end (Row 9), toward the end of the row. Otherwise it looks wrong-side-out to me. Either way, I don't think it's exactly the same. The bluish lavender pair is smaller and will keep my hands warm while reading on cold winter nights. 



The dusty rose pair is larger and fit over gloves. They have been perfect for adding warmth while scraping the car on a frigid morning and can be removed and stuffed in coat pockets as the day warms. The prayer shawl from a recent post and the top two items date from before this old post. Nothing slow about me! (As you can see, I had a total lapse in my thinking on the lavender warmers and snipped the yarn before I slip-stitched them together. Where was my mind?!)

From the desk calendar:

"He that waits upon fortune, is never sure of a dinner."
Benjamin Franklin

(Oh dear. However, I have decided that when my current job comes to an end, I'm going to at least take a break so I can see where I stand.)

A heart turned to prayer will find its answer just as surely as the dawn's light sweeps away the darkness.

(I think pausing to see if I feel clearly led to do something in particular seems the right thing to do at this point in my life.)


Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:8

This is my 200th post! :O)
Happy All Hallows' Eve!
Bess

Sunday, October 27, 2013

What's Inside?

Some of my mother's demitasse cups.

Just sharing a few photos (taken in poor light conditions) of the inside of the upper part of my old cupboard. I've shared many snaps of the outside, lower part, and top in older posts. 


She gave me this tea set as well.

Sorry for my prolonged absence. The weekends go by too quickly!

Many years ago, my mother gave me the doll below because she said that was how my life was going. Sometimes life might still seem like that, but I'm believing I'm on the brink of something wonderful!



More on the same shelf:



And of course, we have to have a quote or two from my desk calendar. After all, the year's almost over, and I'll be putting it away to take out and enjoy again in a year or two.

"No one keeps up her enthusiasm automatically. Enthusiasm must be nourished with new actions, new aspirations, new efforts, new visions." 
(author unknown)

"Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different." Katherine Mansfield

I finally finished Lark Rise to Candleford!!! Now I'm reading (re-reading the top two):


All good!


Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you ... 
Psalm 55:22

Well, Dear Ones, one of these days I'll surprise you with better photos because you deserve better and prettier photos. We just all have to be patient a while longer (well, me especially).

Thanks for sticking with me. I hope you have a lovely week!
Bess



Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Winds of Change

Another beautiful graphic from Megan Berry!

Hi Friends!

Today it's sunny, cool, and quite windy. Change is in that wind, assuring Autumn takes its rightful place. Out on the Great Plains, however, we never really know what we'll get until it's here. (Even though the weather forecasters do their best.) Our weather swings all over the place.

I rather feel like my life is currently doing the same. I'm really having to take things a day at a time. One day looks promising that things will go as I had hoped, and the next it's either back to the drawing board, or more likely another game of Wait and See.

Even so, I must reach down and muster up all the optimism and joy I can because when I don't (and I still sometimes don't), I'm squandering that precious gift from God that is my life. Besides singing silently to myself, memorizing Bible verses, and attempting to live with a perpetual thankful attitude, I also am on the constant lookout for uplifting words from others. I'll share a few I've come across recently.

In Lark Rise to Candleford, when Laura's future is totally up in the air, we read: 


So there was Laura at thirteen with her life in ruins, not for the last time, but she grieved more over that than her later catastrophes, for she had not then experienced the rebound or learned that no beating is final while life lasts.

(So Laura hadn't learned yet what our elders always told us: "It's not the end of the world," and "This too shall pass.")

From my Kitty Calendar: 


When things go downhill,
don't go along with them.

From Joyce Meyer:


Your believing dictates your living!

From The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (via vegnews.com):


Most of us have two lives. The life we live,
and the unlived life within us.

From Helen Keller:


Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.

And oft-quoted hope from The Good Book:


Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV

And Psalm 37:4-5:


Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
(NKJV)

From Lilac & Lavender

I'm believing God that the change in my life is an opportunity to bring forth the "unlived life" within me. But whatever my future holds, He knows best!

There now. I feel better. Hope you do, too. Have a great week!
Bess
NOTES:
1. I see where Joyce Meyer Ministries will air a weekly show on ABC Family on Sundays at 11:30PM central or Mondays at 12:30AM eastern. If you like to stay up late and sleep in, here's your chance to watch some of her programs.
2. What little info I have on the Kitty Desk Calendar can be found in this post: Pondering Joy.




Monday, September 23, 2013

Finished: One Prayer Shawl


Just a short post, prepared ahead, to share a few snaps of a prayer shawl I've been knitting for far too long a time (or shall I say not knitting)! It's now been received by my s-i-l, so I can hit "Publish"! It was a basic, easy pattern; I simply was not diligent. But lots of prayer and love went into it!


My photos don't show the true colors, but the  last skein had a funny gold/coral section (that ran to the end of the skein) that neither of the other two skeins had! I had to steal from yarn I was saving for fringe to not use any more than necessary of the odd color and to tie the shawl back in with the prior colors.


Happy 60th Birthday, Dear One! 


... clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ ...
Romans 13:14

Wishing everyone a cozy Autumn!
Bess