Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to You!


























This is the unmistakable image of Norman Rockwell's 1943 "Freedom from Want." I have always loved this image.....the closeness of a family gathered around a table of nourishing food in a moment of thanksgiving. All of them taking time to be together, to lay aside any differences, to be thankful for the moment, for the day, for the time, for the blessings.

Thanksgiving is such a beautiful holiday. I hope you and your family and friends take time to enjoy each other, a wonderful meal, and most importantly time to reflect on your blessings today.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The leaves are singing....





"How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.

At other times, they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow."

~ Elsie N. Brady, Leaves









Wishing you a wonderful day of preparations.......take time to notice the small things today ~

  • the little fingers helping to make the cake
  • the older "little hands" helping chop the veggies
  • the excitement in the air
  • the family members who gather together in thankfulness
  • the little ones helping clean the house
  • the smell of the fireplace on this cool morning
  • the sunshine coming in through the kitchen windows and casting it's beautiful fall light everywhere
  • the smell of pumpkin pie and stuffing
  • the little ones begging to decorate the Christmas tree that Daddy brought in last night (in my case, anyway ;)
  • the sound of Christmas music coming from the radio to make our preparations even more joyous
  • the reason we prepare and make things so special on this day
  • the little things that we are so thankful for each and every day of the year
  • how blessed we are

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful

Thankful

I'm enjoying the season and finding myself more and more thankful for all the little things around me. Thankful for the beautiful, golden afternoon sunshine, the pieces of nature tucked in every corner for me to delight in, the place in which I live, the wonderful children that call me Mama, the awesome husband that calls me wife, the frame of mind to let it all in......to take the time to soak up the blessings that abound in my life. I am thankful.

Over the next few days, I'd like to spend my time reflecting on the things for which I'm thankful, really living in this moment...in this season, and sharing a bit of it here.






"I am rich today with autumn's gold,
All that my covetous hands can hold;
Frost-painted leaves and goldenrod,
A goldfinch on a milkweed pod,
Huge golden pumpkins in the field
With heaps of corn from a bounteous yield,
Golden apples heavy on the trees
Rivaling those of Hesperides,
Golden rays of balmy sunshine spread
Over all like butter on warm bread;
And the harvest moon will this night unfold
The streams running full of molten gold.
Oh, who could find a dearth of bliss
With autumn glory such as this!"


~Gladys Harp

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Little Inspiration....






from Flickr.






some inspiration from my favorites



Just browsing through my Flickr favorites and finding a wealth of inspiration on this early Sunday morning. I thought I'd share a bit of it here :)


Have a great Sunday!




photo credits: 1. iron, 2. believe in miracles...., 3. ready ~ set~ let go, 4. generations of faith, 5. If you get a choice...., 6. Untitled, 7. What if?..., 8. Lois, 9. Stay With Me Dad

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Upside Down

upside down.....


I was playing around with another photo for this month's SPC theme, Upside Down, and came across this edit on Picnik. When I saw it I thought of how much it reminded me of how I've been feeling lately! All jumbled up, wonky, out of sorts, overwhelmed.....

I'm pretty sure that my main problem is that I've let sugar and a few carbs slip back into my diet - and I'm a bit in denial about it. I haven't been gaining weight......but gaining a bad mental state instead. Sugar does it to me every time. I had been sooooo good at avoiding it for over 6 months, losing weight, feeling incredibly good, had a better mental state than I'd had in years, had more energy, felt so strong and in control, and then - it happened. A little taste here, a little bite there, thinking all the while that I was "in control." No....I am never in control when I let sugar enter the equation.

Why did I let it get started again? Why did I lose my healthy motivation? Why did I take the first bite when everything was going so good? How did I let myself get so weak? Why is it so hard to just say no??? Those are the questions to ponder. However, when I look down into the soul of Me, I find that I did not lose my healthy motivation. It has just been on the side lines, feeling all dizzy and moody and blah from my all too frequent sugar overdoses, LOL! I know the holiday feasts aren't going to make things any easier, but as I think back to spring when I was right in the midst of my new healthy lifestyle, Easter dinner was a breeze and with my goal in sight, I gladly passed on the sweets and bread. That is the frame of mind I'm longing for right now. I know I have that same motivation still in me, I know I can do it, I have done it already!

Anyhoo...I'm not even sure what the point of this post is. I suppose it's to go through the rhythm of sorting my thoughts and feelings and typing them all into this blog, this little exposed piece of me, letter by letter, word by word, hoping that I'll have a huge light-bulb-moment again with everything making sense to me.

I know all the "pieces" are there, they are just temporarily jumbled up and tossed on their heads....just like the photo.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Past Few Weeks......

.....have felt so busy for me! It seems to just be one of those phases where you are constantly (or, at least your brain is) on the go, but nothing seems to really get done. You feel lazy in one way, but completely exhausted and unmotivated in another way.....do you know what I mean? It's kind of like walking around half asleep, lol! Yesterday was a little more productive, so I'm hoping this "phase" is phasing out! Let's see, what have I done over the past few weeks.....

  • school work with the kids
  • wash dirty laundry
  • hang it all out to dry
  • fold all the laundry
  • put it all away
  • eaten way too much bread and halloween candy (gasp!)
  • found that I can fit into some jeans that I've been holding onto for about 5 years....that made me happy!
  • sewed a little
  • knitted a little
  • went to garage sale with my dad and found these goodies!





  • slept more than usual
  • did grocery shopping
  • fit in a bit of Christmas shopping
  • voted
  • cooked three meals a day, as usual
  • went to church
  • avoided calling my dentist for a needed appointment....I really hate going to the dentist :(
  • took some Christmas photos for a sweet little family
  • took my next upside down self portrait for the SPC
  • washed dishes (the never ending job)
  • cut grass (for the last time until spring...I hope)
  • raked pine straw to mulch my flowerbeds
  • making plans for Christmas gifts (the ones I need to make)
  • ran into an old friend from high school and chatted with her and her husband for at least 30 minutes in Target :)
  • browsing the internet for the all the needful things my kids want and discussing with them whether they really want these things or do they just want the image portrayed in those (now hidden) Christmas catalogs.....
  • talking a lot about the Book of Revelation with my boys.....they are finding it increasingly fascinating and are constantly looking at its verses.
  • listening to Emma (5 1/2) talk, talk, talk, talk, talk........she has so much to say these days :)
  • watching Claire do a lot of growing up.....she'll be 4 in February (I can't believe it!)
  • had a blogging clog........I honestly can't think of much to say or have much to show, hence the non-directional post today :-)
  • just lots of living, noticing, treasuring, absorbing the little moments

Do you ever have phases like this?


Happy Thursday!

Monday, November 10, 2008

'Tis the Season for a Tutorial!

I've been feeling the Christmas spirit ease in over the last week or so and I've been wanting to do nothing more than start all my Christmas crafts and gifts and ideas. I love my Christmases to be old fashioned in almost every way. I like homemade ornaments from homespun fabrics, soft sculpture Santa dolls and snowmen, pine cone ornaments, popcorn on a string, and of course, construction paper garland. This weekend I decided to turn our usual garland from construction paper rings into something permanent out of left over pieces of red and green and blue fabrics. Then I thought that I may as well capture it in photos and post a tutorial for it :)


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So, if you'd like to make one of these for your tree, here's what you'll need and how to do it:

  • 9"x3" strips of your choice of fabrics - as a reference, I ended up with 87 strips and when finished, it was 18.5 feet long.
  • 9"x1" strips of light to medium weight fusible interfacing
  • matching or contrasting thread
  • scissors and/or pinking shears
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First cut all your fabric strips and interfacing strips. After they're all cut, heat your iron and get ready to apply the interfacing strips to make your fabric rings more sturdy.


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Lay flat a fabric strip with the right side down. Position the interfacing strip fusible side down and 1/4 inch from the top edge of the fabric.


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Fold the bottom edge of the fabric upward to meet with the top edge of the fabric (folding it in half), sandwiching the interfacing. Next, iron over the folded fabric for a few seconds to fuse the interfacing.



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Open the fabric strip again and fold the 1/4" excess above the interfacing toward the inside as shown and iron down. Do the same to the other side of the fabric strip and iron as well. Do this over and over until you get them all done.

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After all the strips are fused and prepared for sewing, let the fun begin! Sew each strip along the opening.

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After they are all sewn along the edge, it's time to put the rings together. Take your first strip and meet the ends together with the right sides facing (this takes a little twist) and place it under your presser foot and sew it together. Trim your threads and trim the excess fabric very close to the seam using pinking shears or regular shears.


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Take your next strip of fabric and position it correctly through the loop of the first, making sure that right sides are together (again, with a little twist) and sew and trim it in the same way. Continue this until every strip is used and you are satisfied with the length.




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You can end up with a long strip of garland that can be used every year!


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It really is a fairly quick Christmas craft, easily done in one afternoon. I love the way it turned out and I love the fact that I can put it up and use it again and again. This garland can be done in many different colors and patterns and mine fits in with my old fashioned Christmas style. However, I know it would be beautiful done in Christmas themed fabrics, a more defined pattern to the ring placement, etc. Just use your imagination and do what feels like Christmas to you. If you do use this tutorial, please let me know....I'd love to see your finished product! I know there can be so many beautiful variations to this garland!



Happy Christmas Crafting!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Take Time

Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair...  ~Susan Polis Shutz



Take time to think-
It is the source of all power.
Take time to read-
It is the fountain of wisdom.

Take time to play-
It is the source of perpetual youth.
Take time to be quiet-
It is the opportunity to seek God.

Take time to be aware-
It is the opportunity to help others.
Take time to love and be loved-
It is God’s greatest gift.

Take time to laugh-
It is the music of the soul.
Take time to be friendly-
It is the road to happiness.

Take time to dream-
It is what the future is made of.
Take time to pray-
It is the greatest power on earth.

Take time to give-
It is too short a day to be selfish.
Take time to work-
It is the price of success.
There is a time for everything. . . .

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Author Unknown





Just a little motivation to take time today, this week, this month....become more mindful of life's blessings and their true value in life. So, take time, friends!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Upside Down!

upside down


That's the new theme for November at the Self Portrait Challenge group over at Flickr. I'm thinking it's going to be quite a challenge.....but fun, of course! You can see the other entries here...or better yet, come on and join in :)




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YourVoteCounts



On another, more important note.................Go Vote!!!

Which ever way you are swayed.....take the responsibility seriously and vote....because every vote counts!


~ Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good: 'Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm. ~

Ralph Waldo Emerson