cross stitch, friendship, gift giving, gifts, sewing

poke update

June is knocking on the door, six months into the new year & about 180 days into my sewing goal.

20170116_200943-1_resized_2I thought I would give you a quick update on20170414_202404-1_resized (1) my pin cushion project of 2017.

 

 

 

In case you need to catch up, zip over to this post.    I decided to stitch birthday pin cushions this year.

https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/a-good-luck-poke/

 

To date I have made & given 8 pin cushions.  Another one is sitting in a basket waiting for 20170427_100224_resized20170103_144545-1_resized (1)backing fabric and a new one is currently being stitched.

So we are almost 6 months into the year and I have 10 pin cushions almost under my belt.

 

 

Some observations so far this year:

  1.  I have not given one cushion in person. Giving hand-made gifts that you don’t get to see the person open, is over rated.  Most likely won’t do again (except my grands and family).
  2. I have a love of handmade stitchy gifts/projects, that is not the case with most everyone else.
  3. It is way more time (hours & hours, even a few days), energy, effort then I calculated.  Hard to stay motivated at times.  To mail in a timely fashion, I have to prepare and stitch a month or so before the person’s birthday.
  4. Making two the same is not that thrilling.
  5. I love choosing the perfect buttons.
  6. I have had to put some other larger counted cross stitch projects on the back burner, while I attempt to make all these pin cushions.
  7. Being thoughtful is at times, hard work.
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I think I needed this project to remind myself to be more kind and thoughtful towards others, even when I don’t feel like it.   A lesson I won’t soon forget.

I would love to hear what gifts you are making for friends.  Maybe we could encourage each other?

Please share,  in this together friends.

 

haPPY, healing, health, husband, love, Uncategorized

bad ass juicer or 209 Karat necklace

I could not decided on a title.  I chose two.

Most of the time I write to share a story.

This particular post is like a journal entry for me.  It’s to remind myself about stuff.  I am writing so I can sleep through the night and not wake up fretting.

Today, I write to boost my own spirit.  Why yes, my spirit does need boosting.

As you already know, I was diagnosed with cancer January 2013.  One doctor told Mr. Right that I had a year to live.  Feels weird to even type that.

Heads up….That was a mean, nasty thing to tell anyone.  You have absolutely NO right to give someone an expiration date. The person can’t get it out of their mind. They will remember it always.  Yes, you feel powerful for a moment in time.  Powerful at another human’s expense.  In saying that, you also took away their hope. What an awful thing to say.  Shame on you.   I hope your mother is disappointed in your behavior.  I know I sure am.

There is something beautiful and elegant in the art of giving someone hope.

Moving on….  I promise this is a really GOOD post.  I just needed to get that ugly out-of-the-way.

I chose a path less traveled.  Not a cool “travelling pants” sort of path.  A tough, rocky, weed infested, up hill, no insurance coverage kind of creature crawling path.   Sure if you agree to chemotherapy, radiation and pills, health insurance is right there, albeit through mounds and mounds of paper work, they help pay the bills. If like me, you choose not to do those things and you choose a path of healing that is not traditional………even though you pay the premiums and have excellent “health” insurance, you pay for every single thing yourself.

carrots-bunchLike carrots.  How much could one carrot cost? Seriously, I am asking you.  How much does it cost to buy one carrot?  Take a guess.

How much do 10,450 carrots cost?  

$969.76

How on earth do I know that?

Because Mr. Right keeps count.  He keeps the ring off of each 10 pound bag of carrots he juices.  He and his trusty Champion juicer get a daily work out.  Yes, that juicer has flames tattooed in all the right places.  20170508_201017-1_resizedHe makes juice for both of us.  I drink 64 ounces of fresh juice daily.  In addition to lots ofcarrots greens and fruits, every single day I drink carrots. Bunches and Bunches of carrots.

With each glass of goodness, each 10 pound bag of carrots he is simultaneously creating a beautiful necklace. That’s 209 rings, one ring each off of 10 pound bags of carrots!  That equals 10,450 CARROTS of goodness!

That’s 2,090 pounds of carrots!  Can’t imagine it?  Picture in your mind a full-grown Polar polar bearBear.  A big, strong, tough, fierce, stop at nothing bear.  That is 2,000 pounds or one TON.

Carrots contain falcarinol, a natural toxin that protects carrots against fungal disease. It’s thought that this compound may stimulate cancer-fighting mechanisms in the body, as it’s been shown to cut the risk of tumor development in rats.

We have no idea if carrots alone have healed me.  Heck, I don’t know if I am healed or carrots-800x600not.  I do know that along with mushrooms and rebounding, exercise, sunshine and vitamins/supplements, Turmeric and laughing and baking soda and magnesium, juicing, Budwig protocol, giving up & changing over 100 things and books and research….. and a list a mile long of other things that  “health” insurance does not cover…. I am still here to type this blog post.

I am one lucky girl.  I honestly don’t care if I ever win on a scratch ticket again, I got lucky where it really counts.  Mr. Right loves me and I know it.  I hope every single human on earth has another human that cares about them as much as I am cared for.  He holds one of my hands while offering me a glass of hope with the other.

20170508_201017-2_resizedI secretly love the bad-ass flames on his juicer.  Sort of rough and tumble.  That’s the sort of thing you need when you are trying to heal.  Someone, tough and fierce, someone that will stop at nothing…. on your side, that is willing to keep track of all the good we are doing.

The good has got to outweigh the bad, right?

The heft of that necklace reminds me of all the good we are doing.

In this together,

Here’s to health and wellness,  cheers!

great marriage, haPPY, happy marriage, love, Uncategorized

socks tell all

“The reason as to why we are attracted to our opposites is because they are our salvation from the burden of being ourselves.”
― Kamand Kojouri

  1.  Mr. Right likes his coffee black.   I like mine swirling with coconut cream.
  2.  He loves hot, hot peppers.  I love all pickles.
  3.  He loves running.  I love swimming.
  4.  He loves history books.  I love murder mysteries.
  5.  He uses a book mark.  I dog ear the page.
  6.  He loves Brussels Sprouts.  I love currants.
  7.  Mr. Right is most certainly a morning person.  I am not.
  8.  He loves order.  I love controlled chaos.

Wait, this picture explains more than words can…….

I present our two separate sock drawers, you guess which one is his.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”― John Steinbeck

completely different

In this together, friends.

celebrating our differences!

books, gift giving, gifts, good karma, Uncategorized

staff of life

This day is full of bluster.  Wind gusts that take your breath away.  Rain pouring so hard it blocks the light of noon day.  It is a loud day.  I can hear trees and bushes brushing the side of the house.

Instead of fighting it and complaining, I decided to lean into it.  I have on warm socks and a sweater.  I made a huge cup of strong, dark, rich coffee and stirred in a spoonful of homemade caramel sauce.  I turned on the twinkle lights and flipped the switch on all the battery operated candles.   I even whipped up a mixture for the diffuser (spruce, cinnamon and orange).  Smells like winter.

Perfect day to talk about bread.  artisan bread

About 4 1/2 years ago I bought this book.  I got the supplies needed.  Then I didn’t do it. Life somehow got mixed up in MY plans and the road detoured for a bit.

I have baked many, many, oodles really,  loaves of bread in my life time.  I wanted to try my hand at Artisan Bread.

Why on earth did I wait so long?

You know that moment when you are in an upscale restaurant and they serve a slice of bread with holes and has a really good flavor and “chew” to it?  The chef simply kisses the bread with a little fire and somehow elevates everything that is served near, beside or atop it.  Yeah, that bread.

I wanted/want to learn to make that perfect texture, great color, haphazard slices swiped into the top, smell of heaven on earth, mouth-watering looking and tasting staff of life.  This is my first loaf!!!  Seriously folks, this is what baking is about.   Man alive, I wish your screen was scratch n sniff.   This is the real deal.  Oh, sweet mawma!

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“In the history of art there are periods when bread seems so beautiful that it nearly gets into museums.”
Janet Flanner, Paris Was Yesterday, 1925-1939

 

Once you mix the dough and let it sit in the refrigerator for a day or two or fourteen……..it takes HONESTLY 5 minutes to form it then you step away and allow it to do its thing.

I love the feel of the proofing cloth.  I love swirling the flour around with my hands.

The original recipe makes enough for four loaves.  I started with two.  It was easy peasy to divide.

Once I practice a bit more, we will share loaves with our friends and neighbors.  You can make a smaller loaf for a single friend or couple.  You can make a more generous size for a larger family.  As well as still making an amazing loaf for you and your spouse. 20170510_172200-1_resized

Baking a loaf of bread by spending 5 minutes.  What a lovely way to speak to your husband.  Yes, Mr. Right means that much to me.  I smiled to myself, the moment he walked in that back door.  His words,  “yum, smells like fresh-baked bread”.

That is why I bake bread.

That and the fact that it makes awesome toast.20170511_101744-1_resized

Gentle suggestion and nudge.  Buy the book.  Learn something new. Spend 5 minutes on making something for someone else.  You will be so proud of yourself.  Your family will be smitten with your new hobby.

Feeding yourself, family and friends fresh bread.  Nothing feels more right.

Imagine yourself, offering a loaf of fresh-baked bread to your neighbor or your co-worker expecting a new baby.  Yes, it feels that good and more.

In this together friends,

ps.  If you stop by, I promise to share a slice or at least get a loaf baking so you can take it home with you.

 

beauty, crafts, flourish, Uncategorized

mixer tattoos

My friend called it a Kitchen Aid Tattoo.    snortgiggle  (it’s a word I made up and hoping that it will catch on)

I have had my eye on a brand new fancy schmancy Kitchen Aid with beautiful flowers swirling all over it.  Yes, I have an envelope with money that I am saving for a new mixer.

20170501_184326_resized_1Here’s the reality, my 20+ something year old mixer is working as well as it was the day we brought her home.  Seriously, works perfectly!  There really is no reason on earth to buy a new one.

So, I just put a little paint on the old barn door.  Spent $15.00 on etsy for some vinyl decals.

Ta Da!!!!!  Brand new tattoo covered mixer.

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Just sharing the goodness!  Isn’t she pretty?

 

 

 

grateful, haPPY, Uncategorized

handyman measures up

Everyone has one.

No one takes pictures of them.  Not one person on earth says, “Welcome to our home, would you like to see our utility closet”?

The dreaded vacuum/extra shopping bags/yard stick/dog leash/mop/broom closet. 20170429_204857_resized

99% of those closets are a scary, dark, smelly, small, who knows what you’ll find HOT MESS.

Just as you came in, through the garage, my grandparents had one such closet.  Dark & Scary, check.  Vacuum, extra shoes, grocery bags, a coffee can filled with rocks (?),the yard stick  & also a shot gun leaning against the door jamb. (they lived in the country)

The closet my mother kept her vacuum in was tiny.  In addition to her vacuum, she also kept the ironing board, extra vacuum cleaner bags, extension cords (that were always loose and you used your foot to kick them in to be able to close the door) and a couple of yard sticks.

Ours was no exception.  No matter where we have lived, that one utility closet was a nightmare.  Last week our closet was a jumbled mess of stuff.  Toss it in and close the door fast.  A clothes rod that only one dog leash was hung from, a mix match of bins and bags. Most certainly NOT picture worthy.

How is it the one space used the most in any and all of our homes is the one most likely to win the “sad face” sticker?sad face Stuff just tossed in, cram it there, tuck something next to that, put up another mismatched nail, needed & useful stuff, yet never a pleasure to open that door.

You have to be ready to block a falling soccer ball or a dog grooming brush that could quite possibly come tumbling down. Resulting in mental or physical scars for life, I tell ya!

Hold onto your feather dusters and get ready for an “oh, I WANT that closet” make over.  I fell in LUST with these shelves.  Seriously??????  He had me at those shelf fronts.20170430_114020_resized

We are talking about a 24″ wide vacuum closet.  (Down-sizing forces you to use your noggin and imagination to come up with solutions.)

I am talking about some white paint ( so long ugly, weird, honey, orange-colored wood) , a trip to the container store, one amazon purchase, two trips to the hardware store, some money to buy the supplies and the best Handyman a girl could ask for!

BEST, HAPPY, NON-SCARY   Before & After photos EVER!!!!

WAIT, before I show you, let me tell you my favorite part.  The item my handyman used to face the front of the shelves.  He knows I love yard sticks.  If I wasn’t already married to the handyman, I would marry a yard stick (not really)…weird and wacky but I love those things.

He was wise enough to keep my very favorite one.  It happens to be the yard stick that some little home school person drew feet on the 12 ” marks to learn how many feet are in a yard.  swoon.

This closet holds an amazing amount of things and yet at the same time, doesn’t make you want to grab an item and slam the door.  You want to linger, savor the beauty.  ha

mop, broom, vacuum, dust pan, feather duster, laundry folder board, basket full of do grooming supplies, basket of dog food containers, container lids, wrapping paper, 4 aprons, 4 shopping bags, dog travel bag, carpet cleaning products, mail box key, indoor plant food and one beautiful yard stick

Drum roll please………………………………..   I give you pictures of my new and improved, beautiful, organized, clean, useful utility closet.  (I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my handyman.)

GOD BLESS handy men near and far.  In the famous words of Red Green…..

Red Green

crochet, friends, haPPY, Homemade gift, sewing, Uncategorized

oh boy!

There are people whom one loves immediately and for ever.  Even to know they are alive in the world with one is quite enough.  Nancy Spain

I am not a fan of attending baby or bridal showers.

Yes, I have hosted several.  Yes, I always R.S.V.P and yes, I will be attending.  Yes, I take a gift and yes, I thank the hostess for including me.

That being said, let me explain.  First, after being a career Army wife, just imagine how many baby showers one is invited to?  Seriously, think of all the young families and how many children they have.  Each of those families is away from their home town friends and kinsfolk, so Army wives step in and fill that gap.  You attend.  You just do.  You help them celebrate, you are their “family” so you show up with a smile.

Second, I loath the goofy , often times embarrassing parlor games.

Third, I never really enjoyed putting on stockings,  the traditional pumps or sandals depending on the time of year, the pretty party dress to walk around someones’ living room, sit like a lady for 2.5 hours and drink weak coffee out of a proper cup and saucer with 99% of the people I have never met.

Fourth ( and this is just me grumbling), I can’t have the sugar laden punch and for some reason, often times said punch is served with globs of floating colorful sherbet.  I can’t have the amazing, lush,  array of desserts that are always, always served.

Most weird feeling  of all, the opening of the gifts.

Let’s talk gifts, shall we?

I have done handiwork since I was 12 years old.  I have practiced sewing, quilting, embroidery and as of the last 3 months, I am learning to crochet.  I feel compelled to do my very, very best and make something with my own hands to give as an offering.  The idea of a shower is to SHOWER the recipient with love & goodness.  I want to be part of the celebration and join in the tradition of giving handwork made with love.  I have been practicing for so long, that when the time comes to offer up a beautifully wrapped surprise I want the person to feel bathed in Grace with what I have made.   I want them to know that they were thought about and I started making something just for them weeks, often times, months prior to the party.   (Who knew it would take me so long to crochet a baby blanket?) 20170428_111916-1_resized (1)

Here’s where the awkward part comes in, it’s not you, it’s me people, really.

I honesty want to make gifts for some folks.  However, when said gift is opened in front of 28 other people who exclaim, “You MADE that”?  It is a tad weird feeling.  My face feels hot.  My hands start sweating. 20170428_111810-1_resized

 No, I did not make it to impress you or to “show off”.  No, I don’t really want to make something for your twice removed cousin, I don’t even know you, let alone your cousin.  (Whom I am sure is very nice.)  No, I don’t sew for money.  I’m truly sorry you “hate’ me for making something.  THEN, to top it off, I never really know a sincere, pleasant way of saying, “Oh, your present of a “gift card” will be so nice for them to go to the store and buy something they want.”

I just want to take a moment out of my life and make something from my heart. I want to give a gift, just not the opening in front of people thing.

I was graciously invited to attend a baby shower.  At first so excited to be included on their list of friends, then the worry about attending set in……… this past weekend I went and golly gee, I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.

With the exception for my own daughter in law, I have not been to a shower in a few years.

The food.   Holy Guacamole!!!!    There was a Nacho Bar!!  Really great choices and you got to build your own. In essence, no one cared what you put on your creation, no one gave a hoot if you ate meat or not, liked hot peppers or not.  It was a WONDERFUL idea and so dang TASTY!

Yes, there was a glorious dessert table, chocolate fountain and candy bar….there was also a gorgeous array of fruit to choose from.  Glory be, something for everyone.  dessert bar

From the invitations to the decorations, all was charming and well thought out.  Very festive and felt so happy.   Everyone attending was friendly and a pleasure to be around.

Huge news!  There was only one game and it was more of an interview of the parents to guess each other’s answers.  So sweet and kind, nothing rude or embarrassing.  It was fun to listen and watch, very entertaining.20170429_105336-1_resized

Good gravy, I even wore a cute outfit of jeans, sassy shoes and fun jewelry.  No stockings or stuffy proper dress! (My girlfriend challenged me to take a selfie.  Seriously, this selfie “thing” is a weird hobby.  I did take the picture, pretty sure it won’t become a habit.  ha)

When it came time for my present, the gift opening still felt a bit awkward.  My cheeks blushed and my hands felt sticky.   I thought about it on the way home.

Grown up Girl, Light bulb moment!!!!!!! Listen to this pearl.

You know, I love those parents-to-be so much, I don’t honestly care what others think.  How’s that for personal growth????

 I wanted them to know, I was trying my very best to make several homemade gifts for their new sweet babe.  It wasn’t about what others thought.  It was about my heart & soul and wanting to lift them up in celebration.  It was about showering them with love.

I’ve been practicing for over 40 years with needle and thread.  I got the call!  These are the moments I have been working towards, learning new, even stitches.  I have a reason to wash my hands, warm up the sewing machine, buy some yarn and get a move on.

Their sweet baby boy will be having his birthday sometime in June.  That gives me plenty of time to hand stitch a “welcome to the world” gift.  Oh, you know, each stitch will be made with love and prayers for that new baby and parents.

Love to hear what you have made for a baby or bridal shower.  Please don’t keep me in suspense.  Please tell me there are others out there who make something with their hands to celebrate life and love!

What are you making a new baby in your life? I would love to swap ideas.

Oh, boy!