Monday, January 26, 2015

A Pillow and Teacup

Sorry I'm late posting what's apparently turned out to be my once-a-week post! Sad. But then, if I try to place too many rules on my life at this point, it'll take all the joy out of it!

I decided I hadn't shared this teacup (I don't think) or this pillow that I made. There are hooked pillows and rugs, and then there are hooked (with beautiful craftsmanship) pillows and rugs. Mine was a simple project that I made for my mother many years ago. When I was going through her things and it wasn't turning up, I figured it hadn't made one of my parents' many moves. But finally there it was! Squished in a box in the garage. Poor humble pillow! But it has that precious connection with my mother, so I was glad to have it.

pillow back

I think the teacup was hers as well. Royal Vale from England. It's rather dainty even though it looks contemporary. It is between a demi and a regular teacup in size.

Remember my cross-stitch Santa pillow I shared maybe a couple years ago? Still haven't finished it. But that's not as bad as the pillow below! I made this Dresden pattern in a class, I'm thinking in the late 1970s. I gave it to my mom to sew up with her sewing machine, and had forgotten about it when I came across it in her things. Perhaps I'll just frame it or make it a wall hanging since my pillows have to be protected from four curious kitties. But with my track record, it likely won't be anytime soon!

A couple quotes from The Young Clementina by D.E. Stevenson:

[After a weekend visit to Hinkleton Manor for the christening of her niece Clementina, Char thinks]: 

It took me weeks to regain the small modicum of resignation with my lot which I had previously achieved. 


It is my birthday, today, Clare, and I have bought a tiny cake. Perhaps you will think it rather a foolish thing for a woman of thirty-five to do--to buy a birthday cake and eat it all by herself with a dream [imaginary] companion, for her birthday tea; but I have missed so much in life that other women take as their due that you must forgive me my foolishness. 

It's not my birthday, but perhaps it's yours? I loved this book. The main character writes down all her worries and thoughts about her life to a woman she just happens to meet (on a bus, I think), has a brief conversation with, doesn't even get her name, yet afterwards feels they would have been best friends given the chance. I thought it was a genius approach for a book.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Psalm 51:12

Blessings, and I pray you are more than happy with your lot! But if that isn't the case, we have Jesus to tell all our thoughts and worries to. He has the answers, and He is the answer to what's troubling us.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Thank Goodness ...

My latest attempt. I hope I improve, but if not, it's still a stress buster! :O)

"Thank goodness I didn't know ... ." That's a phrase I've told myself from time to time over the years (remember, this blog began as an admission of my negativity and my methods for overcoming it). Thank goodness I didn't know I'd spend $30,000 on my college education (which is cheap these days) and never really use it. Thank goodness I didn't know when I got divorced that I'd never remarry. Thank goodness I didn't know I'd be driving a 22-year-old car. Recently I caught myself thinking "Thank goodness I didn't know that my semi-retirement 'me time' would be commandeered by the need for caregiving."

Thank Goodness, indeed. Because it's all turned out OK so far, and if we knew these things beforehand, our lives would be filled with unnecessary frustration, fear, and dread. It's enough that God knows and that we give Him control of our lives (as much as is possible in our humanness) to direct as He wills. Easier said than done, I know, but one just keeps practicing relinquishing the reins!

Just using an inexpensive composition book.

This page I was working with adding line fillers, as shared by Erin Leigh.

I think it's going to be awesome, once we've crossed the veil, to see how He has taken the back of the tapestries (an oft-used metaphor, I know) and created stunningly beautiful and useful works of art (you and me) for our eternity with Him and to His Glory.

And we know that all things work together for good
to those who love God,
to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28  NKJV

All the same, may you receive a desire of your heart this week!
PS: I realized my "Baby Don't Go" post might have had some of you thinking she had passed away (if you didn't scroll down). Here she is, alive and well and watching squirrels just as I began to compose this post:

Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Book Order Came!

(That's her beloved Newton's Chapel on the cover.)

Just a quick post to share my new, to me, books. I've read Sarah's new children's book twice so far. Although it's for children, it's such a nice reminder to live a life of gratitude. Wonderful illustrations and a letter from Sarah at the back.

Reading the devotions in this God's Word for Gardeners Bible (NIV) will take me awhile! I have begun, though, and I hope to ponder and savor everything I read. I don't think I'll underline or write in this Bible until I've had it a few years.

One more try:

At Home with Jane Austen is the third in a series by Kim Wilson. I haven't started to read it yet. I have her other two books: Tea with Jane Austen and In the Garden with Jane Austen.

I also bought Jennifer Scott's second book: At Home with Madame Chic - Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life. I have her first book Lessons from Madame Chic. You'll notice below that one of my new books is Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod. I have most of Anne Barone's books, too. So I obviously have an interest in living the French way, but not as much as I used to have. I have almost reached my "saturation point," but not quite. :O)

I don't think I've shared that I do have two place settings (my mother's, although probably not vintage) of the Blue Willow pattern, this version by Churchill of England. The cup has a simple shape with two distinct sides. Someday I'll dig out the plates!

For a reference book I bought The Secret Power of Speaking God's Word by Joyce Meyer (not shown). And not even looked at yet are The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and one book in a series from a Bible Study called Simply Relevant. This particular book (very thin) is entitled Singing in the Rain - Finding Joy in Life's Ups & Downs.

So there you have it! Don't you think you learn a lot about folks by the books they read? Sometimes I feel that when I share the books I'm reading, I'm revealing an intimate part of who I am.

I am going to try to work in a little artwork before Downton. If you've noticed I'm not visiting as often, and commenting even less than that, you're right. I have definitely discovered that I cannot "do it all." The caregiving situations I'm in have to come first. So thanks for your understanding ... I'll be dropping by before too long!

"God knew Elijah was worn out, and He knows you are too. But we are to honor our commitments unless He directs otherwise." 
Devotions for the Beach by Miriam Drennan

In every thing give thanks,
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18  KJ21

Have a week as wonderful as you are!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

"Baby, Don't Go ..."

Sweet Baby is our littlest girl.

But she did. (I hope some of you remember that song by Sonny & Cher!) Earlier this afternoon, Baby was looking out the window, and I wanted to capture her backside in silhouette. But as soon as I returned with my camera, down she jumped.

I did my best to coax her back into position, but she just wanted to watch me. At least she does look at me. Sweetie, my black & white, is a master at not having her face captured on film!

I am still struggling with my time management, but I will try to post as often as time and energy allow. I wanted to share a couple quotes and a link to an art website I've been enjoying:

Art by Erin Leigh is a fun place to learn how to letter and make your favorite sayings and Bible verses into art. My few attempts have been rather infantile so far, but I'm slowly making my way through her 31 Days of Scripture Art Journaling and learning lots of new things.

Then while perusing the last of my Victoria magazines (I did get all of them "reread" in 2014!), I came across the following in the December 1997 issue:

I can't remember when I didn't sing, can't remember when the sight of a songbook or the sound of the radio or simply good spirits didn't set me going. In church or in the car, alone or with a chorus, I sing when I'm sad, sing when I'm happy, sing for no reason at all. If there's a simple source of joy in the world, it's this--lifting one's voice in music good, bad, or indifferent. Catherine Calvert in the article "Let Voices Lift in Song"

Then when she tells of joining an adult choir for a Christmas performance, she adds: When we lifted our voices in song, we had discovered that the song lifted us.

Just more confirmation of what I've said on this blog, although I mostly sing silently to myself, rather than out loud. (Croaking is not singing, and these days I croak like a frog! However, I do sometimes sing out loud in the car.)  8-}

The china cabinet that is to the left of Baby looks like it's leaning in this photo, but it doesn't.

Finally, I've been watching the Downton Abbey dvds I received for Christmas (Seasons 1-4). I've been viewing the episodes with subtitles and it's awesome! I'm picking up names of visitors and much more that was difficult to hear. Anyway, from Season 1, Episode 2, I jotted down the following exchange:

Carson: Do you find me very ridiculous, Mrs. Hughes? Putting on airs and graces I've no right to? ...
Mrs. Hughes: Mr. Carson, you are a man of integrity and honor, who raises the tone of this household by being part of it.

Sounds like a good example of salt and light to me!

You are the salt of the earth ...  
You are the light of the world ... 
let your light shine before others, 
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:13-16

Welcome to any new readers, and welcome All to 2015! Let's have a good one by "raising the tone" of whatever we are a part! 
If you're watching Downton tonight, enjoy! 
Sending loving thoughts out to you,

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Goodnight 2014

I'll visit you from time to time in my memories.

I'm waving hello to 2015 - and to you, too!