balance, color, Uncategorized

842

This is really happening.

Awake at night, fussing, planning, plotting…all can only mean one thing.  We are moving.

Over the years, moving is actually something we have become somewhat experts on.  The US Army has invited us to live in several different states and even a different country.

This move is on us.

We take full responsibility.  We chose where to plant our Blueberry bushes in the ground. Did you read that?  No longer will my Blueberries be in pots, ready to move at a moments notice.  This is a big deal.

We actually bought new house numbers. 20160220_113852 Now, these may not be the ones we live with for ages and ages however, for us, the new represents reality.  The brand new American Flag is ready and waiting to be flown.  The new return address labels arrived & the “We’ve moved” announcements have been ordered.

During the weeks of paperwork and business “stuff” I sort of drifted off course.

 I sort of forgot to be happy for us.  

I forgot to twirl my hair while  looking at paint chips.  Good news on that front…. 4 paint colors have been chosen!  Woohoo! (atmospheric blue is going to be dreamy on the ceiling of the porch)

I forgot to dream and use graph paper.butterfly

I forgot that changing decor and style could be exhilarating.

The packing of boxes is full steam ahead.  So much so, the beautiful smell of a lovely home has somehow turned into the smell of new cardboard boxes and paper.  Hands so dry  it has become hard to pick up needle and thread.

The biggest change?  The sound.  Our home is starting to sound like a house.

Cold, echo, empty.

The quilts have been taken down.  The curtains and art have been packed with care. The pottery and china has been wrapped in paper to either cushion the blow or hold all the shards together in one place.  (hey, keeping a sense of humor is vital.)

We have only broken 3 glass objects so far.  Nothing even remotely close to heartbreaking. We are at the point of saying, good we don’t have to pack it.  ha

Graciously, a charity foundation has come for pick up, twice.

Dishes have been shared with a new young couple starting out.

Boxes and boxes of books have been donated to our Friends of the Library.

Yes, we are paring down.  We are cleaning out, sharing with others, filling black garbage bags with “why were we keeping that?”

We have mailed things to our adult children.  Um, yes, they do indeed need their award for honorable mention in an art show.  We are not about to throw out treasures.  We send them to the kiddos and ask them please don’t tell us what you do with your report cards, first drivers permit, blue ribbons and honorable mention ribbons.  In my mind, they are creating beautiful shadow boxes with all of these snips of their wonderful childhood.  In reality, I am a smart mom who knows better.

I am focused on the ridiculous.  I have purchased new shower curtain liners, shower curtain rings and new bathroom towels.  I am bound and determined to start fresh.

When you walk through your home and you end up deciding there are only 3 pieces of furniture that you just can’t part with…………good golly, that opens up for huge possibilities of amazing changes and new goodness to grace our home.

Once you notice there are more boxes than stuff left to pack, it starts to feel very real.

Over the past couple weeks, I have given away sets of dishes, packed dishes, given away more glasses and bowls then I remembered owning and still have more sets of dishes and pottery then one family needs….. this weekend, I bought one more set. 20160219_195359

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

art, artist, beauty, color, friendship, grateful, haPPY, Uncategorized

ripples of kindness

When you plop a pebble into an undisturbed pond, you instantly get a circle, then another and so on.  The ripples spread in concentric circles quickly.  For some reason, you can’t take your eyes off the simplistic beauty.  That very first plop in the center.  You are in the moment. That center is where goodness begins.

This is a real life story about ripples.

You might remember the story I wrote about the planting kindness…the poinsettia?  Ring a bell?   It was just a couple of weeks ago.  Seems like gallons of water have gone under the bridge in a very short time.  Our gifts have been mailed, all the Christmas cards have been licked shut & sent on their way.  Even a couple of the candle bulbs in the window have already been replaced.

https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/planting-kindness/

I shared that story, having no idea who or how many would read it.

Sunday, we hosted a memorable dinner party.  You know the kind?  You make an extra pot of coffee during dessert, the conversation is so lively and uplifting.  You want the evening to last longer.  You think about moving everyone into the other room to more comfortable chairs…..then one story leads to another & another and the laugher rolls on.  Somehow the company & conversation is so delightful and smart and thundering forward it slips your mind to move.  You can’t wait to hear which direction the stories will twist. You want to listen & share & learn more of each person.  While the food is exceptional, it pales in comparison to the company around the table.

A dinner party so lively and interesting that you are able to take pictures of the food preparations before the guests arrive and then you quickly toss your phone in a drawer and never give it a second thought.  You have unplugged the telephone because you want your guest to feel that important. You honor yourself enough to turn off the distractions and be in the moment.

A gathering of such smart & sassy friends that it never once crosses your mind or anyone else for that matter,  to take pictures of the people or food to share on social media.

An evening so perfect, you become private and want to hold the moment dear. You don’t want to share.  It will be forever imprinted on the minds of those gathered.  Such a special moment in time, all else is secondary. Sometime during the evening, you have a warm feeling and you just know this is where you were meant to be. A moment marked in time.

One of the special guests, seated at our table,  is an artist.  An artist that just happened to read my post about poinsettias.

As artists will do, they seek and gather inspiration from everywhere.  One morning in the early hours prior to dawn, the artist had to get out of bed, to paint.  The painting was already in her head, she just needed to get it out & onto canvas.  The brush strokes were fast and furious.  The saturated color became more intense with each layer.  The inspiration was calling to be shared.

This particular artist & painting have grabbed the attention of several and marched on to already win several prestigious awards.

The painting has a name,  “Miss Daleen’s Poinsettia.” 

To say I was honored is an understatement.  Took my breath away faster than being on the downward track of a roller coaster.  Such a grand gesture along with my name given to such a work of beauty.  I have never ever, ever had a painting named after me.  Blushing just typing that.

When I think of my friend’s dad,  giving the poinsettias and my request for planting kindness in the month of December, I get all soft and gooey inside.   I know of FOUR poinsettias that have been given to others just for goodness sake.

The ripples in a pond.

The first pebble in this story was tossed by Craig.

The circles are growing,  kindness is spreading.

As dinner drew to a close, my friend got up and handed me a wrapped gift.  It was huge.  My Spidy sense told me to pay attention, this is one of those moments in life.  I carefully tore the paper.  I could feel the cold of the glass.  I felt the heft of the frame.  Mr. Right winked at me across the table.20151221_205454-1_resized

Miss Daleen’s Poinsettia was in my hands.

It took my breath away.  My eyes watered.  I stumbled with the only words I could say.

Thank you.

The ripples of kindness splashed all over me & colored me grateful.

Kindness is spreading.

 

color, grateful, healing, quilting

Easter in July

You have heard of Christmas in July?  This is Easter in July.
This is a picture of a quilt top I made 20 some years ago.  I never got around to quilting it.
It is called Easter.  I like that. New beginning, starting fresh. 20150728_093941
I usually only take pictures of my quilts that are neatly pressed and the pet hair has been removed.  Heck, I have had this quilt top so long, we have several different colors of pet hair somehow magically stuck to it.  (I can’t get some glue sticks to make a picture stuck to a card, yet somehow, pet hair is magnetic.)
The time has come.  I am going to hand quilt this puppy.  (not an actual puppy).  Here’s a question, how on earth, did I manage to drive around collecting all those colors of fabric while we still had two kiddos at home, I worked part-time, I was volunteering and driving and going and doing and making dinner and I somehow found extra money to pay for said fabric?  Weird.
Extra weird that I brought it out to show a friend while we were talking quilts.  She made the exact quilt! I had forgotten that tid bit of goodness.  One teeny, tiny exception, hers is quilted and in use already.  She inspired me to get a move on. Finish it for goodness sakes.
color 1The colors make me happy.  They give me hope and make me mighty grateful.  I love that the time has come to make this into a real quilt.  Why did it take so long?  I have absolutely no idea.
I must say the points are pretty darn good.  Do you ever do that?  Look at something you made years ago, and speak like it was someone else.  “My, she did a good job on her points.  Interesting, she chose that color, goes very well.  Wow, where did she find the time to piece this?”
I am learning to be kind and gentle, to myself.  I find myself being pretty darn critical.  I sort of smile and secretly like it when I say nice things about something I made or did.
Okay, it’s a start.
Maybe, just maybe once this is quilted I will be gushing and going on and on about how wonderful a job I did.  Maybe I will write 3 blog posts about the amazing gift I have to put together color and make it into a cozy quilt.
Okay, I don’t see that happening.
Maybe, I will be proud of myself for finishing another project?
I am grateful that I have surrounded myself with vibrant, saturated color.
Color is most assuredly helping me to heal and do a little jig, with jazz hands of course.color 2
By the way, I am seriously considering burgundy highlights.  I have been told that they are bold and sassy.  I am feeling saucy.  Yes, I think I may do it.
balance, beauty, calm, color, haPPY

color your stress away

You know those lazy summer days?  Not so hot, you need to cool off in the pool or lake.  Not so sunny, you feel pulled to be outdoors drinking in the rays.

Just a lazy day.  Mr. Right was watching some golf on television, the dog was snoozing.  I didn’t feel up to sewing or working my brain.  All of the weekend chores were checked off the “to do” list.

Just so happened, Mr. Right bought me an amazing 20150727_113313-1 (2)coloring book.  Yes, you read that correctly.  An amazing coloring book. (for grown up girls and boys)   It is called “Enchanted Forest” by Johanna Basford.

You can find it on Amazon.com for a touch over $10.00.

http://www.amazon.com/Enchanted-Forest-Inky-Quest-Coloring/dp/1780674880

There are also a couple other versions of the book “Secret Garden and Lost Ocean”.

Maybe you are attempting to ease into Monday?  Nice and calm, with a hot beverage and 10 minutes to yourself?

Think of your sweet niece you can’t figure out what to get  for her birthday? Think of your friend, spending countless hours waiting in the waiting room.  Think of the friend who needs to spend some time centering herself & unwinding.  Or maybe a teenager who needs to learn to calm down, turn off the videos,set aside the phone and just “be” for 15 minutes during the day.

20150726_145405

Three rather large companies in Austraila are buying and giving books to their employees.  ANZ Bank, Westfarmers & health insurance provider Bupa  are providing color books to help staff handle stress of the modern work place.

The simple act of coloring can change brain behavior and help people achieve calm and balance.

Think of yourself.  Oh, you can still listen to what is on going in your family.  It is just that in the midst of kaos or calm, you can create something wonderful.  You choose the colors and the page you work on.  By coloring you can choose balance.

Want to relieve a little bit of built up stress?  Ever thought of getting out the crayons or colored pencils.  Or actually using those fancy markers your friend gave you?

Right before your very eyes, a black and white page “magically” turns into something of pure beauty.  No two pages are alike.  Free to do what you want in whatever lovely color you want.

Does color heal?   I know in my own life, my own study, color heals.  It doesn’t matter if it is glorious saturated color of fabric I work with while creating a quilt or stunning colors of vegetables and fruits within my daily juice.  Picking up a marker and applying it to the page does wonder for one’s spirit.  My spirit is lifted.  Heck, I am smiling just looking at my color drenched dragonfly.

I did that.  Oh, yes, I did.  Not hours and hours of hand work.  Maybe an hour.

20150727_111534Pretty fancy.

What a wonderful book to give or receive.

May your day be Graced with calm, colorful, balanced beauty.

color, healing, quilting, scraps

scrap beauty

In 1998 I made a special quilt to mark our 25th wedding anniversary.  Prior to making that beautiful quilt, I spent 2 or so years collecting all sorts of gray (a nod to the silver of the anniversary) fabric.  The pattern is called 25 X 25 and I was searching for 25 different gray fabrics.

After making the quilt, I saved all those beautiful grays.  I had oodles of scrap pieces left over.  I knew one day, they would speak to me.

20150521_101300Enter Spring 2015……..inspiration strikes!

Trying to surround myself with color, rich, saturated color of healing.  Color lifts our spirits and urges us to move forward.  Color helps us see beyond the dull, mundane daily aches and pains, physical and spiritual.  Color heals my soul and spirit.

For years and years and more years, I have machine pieced and hand quilted my quilts.  I am embarking on a new process. While I still machine piece, I am learning to machine quilt.  Yes, you read that correctly, learning something new.  What was the last thing you learned to do?  Are you keeping your brain jumping by introducing new and different creative endeavors?   I am trying something completely new and different to me.  Mistakes are a plenty.  I am making adjustments.  Raising my chair, turning the music up louder, trying to let go of old habits…….change is tricky after 30 years of doing it one way.  Tricky but exhilarating.

20150519_095748I used all scraps.  Even for the backings.  I used up odds and ends. I used up different colors of thread.   I made a Whirly Gig and a Star Bright wall hangings.  I practiced and practiced.  Guess what?  I need more practice.  While I think I will continue to send out very large quilts to be machine quilted, I am enjoying this new to me genre.  Somewhat freeing and tugs at me to finish more and more.  20150515_160801-1

I took up the challenge of a project called String Bean quilts.  Use only scraps and put the strips together in any fashion.  I did use a beautiful yellow piece I collected while in Alabama.  Pretty satisfying to see some of those bits and pieces somehow “randomly” tossed together to create scrap beauty.

20150519_200926-1What would have taken a month or two to  for me to hand quilt, I can finish in one day.  The satisfaction in that alone, is mighty appealing. 20150521_121150-1

I will let some of the scraps, speak for themselves.  I will add photos.  Do you see a favorite pattern?  Does the star make you smile?

It certainly feels nice to get some of those “to do” projects off my list.