Five minutes

When I was a young teenager, I had my first (of six) knee surgeries. I was in the hospital for 21 days.

8pcs-lot-Montessori-Materials-Metal-Wire-Puzzle-IQ-Mind-Brain-Teaser-Puzzles-Game-for-Adults-and_8c326ec8-a2bb-4059-abad-794b6fe0fc6f_800xAs you can imagine, I have had this swirly brain forever, so to keep me occupied, some kind person gave me a set of metal puzzle gizmos.  I worked on those for minutes, hours which fell into days.  Not all the time, just five minutes here, five minutes there.

44 years later, in my mind, I can conjure up the feel of the metal in my hands.  My fingers flying to figure out the secret to the puzzle. I bet if someone handed me one of those today, I could figure it out in a matter of moments.

I was delighted with a present and the challenge was just what I needed, however when  I say, “kind person” I think the gift was more for my mother.  With the exception of driving my sisters to and from school, running home to make dinner, she was in my room 7 days a week for the majority of the day, every day.

My brain teaser puzzles gave her, 5 minutes of peace and quiet.

Five minutes.

Five glorious minutes to go put fresh lipstick on.  Maybe she went for a break and got a cup of coffee?  Maybe she read an article in the newspaper without someone pestering her? Maybe just maybe she bought a Pepsi and poured it into a coffee cup (young ladies do not drink soda)?  Maybe she just sat and stared out the window and didn’t have to listen to a somewhat chatty teenager?

What could you do in Five minutes?

File your nails, walk outside for some fresh air, watch a bird take a splashy bath, take off your shoes, rub your feet & walk on some freshly mown grass?  There are a million things we all could do with five glorious minutes.

Our friend’s father has dementia. Because of paperwork, he is not yet settled into a new assisted home.

Often times, seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia may show signs of anxiety or agitation through fidgety hands.  Sensory therapy or fidget toys are an effective way to reduce anxiety, calm nerves, and provide comfort. 

No, I did not give a set of metal puzzles.

I made and gave a Fidget Quilt.20180817_161103-1

(Housekeeping:  I used 6-inch squares backed with fusible fleece. I backed and bound with pre-washed flannel.  I used ribbon, velcro, zipper, rope, rick-rack, buckle, coins under vinyl, elastic, shoelaces, curtain rings, trim, buttons, drop cloth, faux leather, sequins, velour, cotton, flannel fabrics and a tie.  All machine pieced and machine quilted.  The binding was stitched twice for strength.)

Some folks call them Busy Quilts or Fidget Blankets.  Lap size, no batting, all sewn by machine. Then sewn once more for good measure. All safe/harmless items, lots of texture and by the time it was finished, the quilt had some weight to it.  When I put it on my lap, I took a deep breath, very calming.

His family is hurting.  The “M” family has taken a hit and gosh does his wife NEED five minutes.

I made this quilt for a gentleman to occupy his busy hands and mind.  More importantly, I made this quilt for his wife.  With every stitch, I was thinking of her.  I was lifting her up.  The hours ticked by while I was sewing, measuring, creating.

 

I was praying it would give her FIVE MINUTES.

 

Five minutes to breath deeply. Five minutes to step outside and stretch.  Five minutes to pour herself a cup of coffee.  Five minutes to answer the door.  Five minutes to read a card from a friend.  Five personal moments to let her guard down and collect herself.

All forms of Dementia and Alzheimer’s are rough, some would say cruel to the family and friends.  My heart breaks.  Yes, I prayed for them.  Then I got to work.  I wanted to help.  I wanted to give FIVE MINUTES of rest to his caregiver.

There are several pictures on Google images/YouTube/Pinterest all with ideas for creating this type of sensory blanket.  Many have bright, childlike colors, lots of patterns, some silly and goofy.

 

Many folks often say, “oh, he won’t know/care what colors you use”.

His wife will.  His son will.  His family and friends will.

I chose to make a Fidget Blanket that was respectful of a life well lived.  I chose colors and patterns that would be of interest to his grandchildren and visitors. I chose items and patterns to invoke conversation of visitors.  I wanted to create something manly, dignified, befitting a man who worked his whole life and took care of his family.  I wanted something calming and yet interesting at the same time.

44 years later, goodness has come full circle.  I can finally give back those precious FIVE MINUTES of peace.20180817_160839-1

This disease is dreadful.  God Bless the families and friends walking through the fire.

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

bathed in Grace & Goodness

I have goodness to share.

20180611_172316_resizedYesterday, I completed sewing the finishing touches on the christening gown.    It has been a joy to work on both gowns.  It was my way of marking our grandchildren’s births and figuratively announcing to the world they have arrived.  20180611_160241_resized (1)

Hunter’s name has been written with ink in both our family Bible and history book.  As of yesterday, his name now stitched with white thread on the gown.

When grand #1 was born I made a Christening gown.  On the front, among other unique qualities, it has gold work done depicting a Scottish thistle. When grand #2 was born, I added two more lace and more embroidery and beads.  One of her pieces of lace is from Ireland.  20180611_160443_resized

When grand #3 was born, I made a Christening gown.  Since I knew this baby was a boy, I did a bit more tailored look with pintucks.  Also, I copied the monogram that his parents designed for their wedding.

20180611_160146_resizedWhen grand #4 was born, I added two more rows of lace and pearl embellishments to compliment the maternal pin.  I was extremely lucky and found a beautiful piece of lace (added to the bottom) made in Mexico.  It will be a piece to honor and remember his grandma’s roots.

Each has a sash made from one of the family tartans (ordered from Scotland).

Also, each has a pin from the Wilson family.

Each gown has a secret inside pocket that contains a penny from the year the parents were married and the years of each birth. 20180611_160118-2_resized

I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures.  (please remember I feel more comfortable sewing and stitching than I do of taking pictures.)

May our four grands be forever Bathed in Grace and Goodness. 

Love, Grandma Daleen

tattoos make me sew happy

We live in a very lush, saturated, verdant green area of the Pacific Northwest.green 2

To get everything that deep, vibrant, intense green you need rain.  BUCKETS and BUCKETS and more BUCKETS of rain.  Rain comes with dark, dreary clouds and skies.  Rain brings mud and more mud.  The continuous dampness brings aches and pains.  The mud creates muddy boots, clothes and dog paws.  Everything is wet.

At one time of the year, our welcome mats may have been cute and charming.  However, this time of year, those cheerful inviting mats are muddy, soggy, saturated and well used.

Rain causes me to focus on indoor hobbies.  Reading, baking/cooking, cross stitching, quilting, more reading, indoor bike riding, rebounding, board games, more reading, podcast listening and sewing.

Almost every day is some shade of gray.violet-grays1

Now don’t get me wrong, I love the color gray.  I mean I love gray sweaters, gray paint (SW Amazing Gray is my favorite), gray thread, gray sneakers, gray fabric for quilts and  I have a favorite polka dot gray upholstered chair.

I don’t love gray skies for the 57th day in a row.  That might be a bit of an exaggeration, however, it has become a bit dreary.  This gals’ cheerful attitude has dimmed a bit. I’ve been feeling a bit blue.

Yes, I use a happy light.  Yes, I stitch with full spectrum lighting.  20180417_165855_resized

A girl needs color, I tell ya!

Cheerful, swirly color.

Did you know tattoos come in colors?

Yes, I said tattoos. (I’m guessing, I didn’t even shock my boys when they read that.  They are probably thinking, what is she doing this time?)

I found this unique & wonderful company that sells HAPPY!.  They offer an excellent product, prompt service with oodles of choices.  20180417_172903-1_resized

Tattoos for your sewing machine!

I’m guessing you could put them on your power saw or cordless drill or air compressor as well.

I’ll let pictures show off my new HAPPY.

 

 

 

See, I told you.  Sew much happy on one beautiful machine.

Oh, by the way, the quilt in the background, it is called “Rabbit’s Paw“.  Years ago, I won those blocks in a block exchange.  I machine sewed the quilt top and hand quilted.  I even quilted a bunny on one of the squares.  There is one block that was sewn together wrong (mine).  Every time I spy that block, it still makes me chuckle.  

May you find or make some beautiful HAPPY in your world today.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

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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.

 

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!

fairy magic

All grandgirlies turning five years old, NEED a tooth fairy pillow.

I embroidered this sweet pillow with a fairy and she has a bit of sparkle to her magical wings.  I chose happy fabric to sew with and of course added snazzy buttons and ribbons. 20170308_152704-1_resized_1

20170308_152758_resized_1For the picture, I tucked in some money.  However, I am not the tooth fairy, so it only comes with a lucky penny slipped into the pocket. (side note, Papa Bruce “helps” with the magic by collecting dollar coins and sharing.)

Oh, and one other secret bit of magic.  I sent a little, tiny fairy door to the parents (wrapped in brown paper of course).  One night when the girls are 20170307_120616_resizedfast asleep, the parents will hide and “install” the fairy door and dust the step with glitter to be “discovered” at some time or another.

Grands bring out the magic in all of us.

Hope you choose to be the magician in someone’ s life.

birthday sewing

I GOT the call!

Grandma Daleen, “I would like a cooking apron for my birthday, please.”

Makes my heart sing and then:

  1.  Rub hands together in anticipation.
  2.  Go to fabric store and find “owl” fabric.
  3.  Prepare a large and wonderful cup of coffee.
  4.  Turn on the light & plug in the string of flying pig lights in the sewing room & turn on sewing machine.
  5.  Give the dog a cookie and say to her, “let’s get this done”.

When a perfect grandgirlie is about to turn 5 years old, this Grandma’s need to jump into action. 20170308_083943-1_resized

Early this morning, a box was mailed several states away.  Oodles of wrapped birthday surprises.  A little gift for her sister as well.

20170308_083537_resizedMr. Right said, hey, I never got a gift when it was my brother or sisters birthday.  I said, you never had a Grandma like me!!!

Does the owl apron have a jingle bell sewn inside you ask?  OF COURSE it has a jingle bell.  Makes little chefs want to twirl, jump, hop & twist to see if they can make the bell jingle. Does it have a jingle bell?  Such a silly question.

What comes with apron you ask?  Um, (felt) food of course.  A chef has to be able to cook and prepare all sorts of goodies.

This gift comes complete with Sushi, pancakes, eggs, a donut,  peanut butter and jelly on toast, 3 kinds of pasta and an ice cream sandwich.

The perfect feast for a Birthday girl!

 

Tomorrow, I’ll share the tooth fairy pillow I sewed for her as well.

When this grandma “get’s the call” she rolls up her sleeves and gets to work.

Chat soon.