gift giving, gifts, goodness, grace

keeping you on pins & needles

I am sure you have been on pins & needles for a while now.  Did she or did she not achieve her goal of this year?  When will she give us an update?  Will she ever in a million years do something like this again?

2017 the year I proclaimed the year of the pincushion has come to a close. Thankfully.

Holy Toledo, I learned more than I ever imagined.  It took more time than I ever estimated.  My original goal was to cross stitch 12 pincushions for gifts.  I completed and gave 16.

I was able to give three of those beauties in person.

Now, before you fret, yes, I have a beautiful,  rather large pincushion of my own.  I have used it almost daily for quite a few years now.   I stitched the tower to remember our trip to Paris.

If you remember, here was my original challenged issued to me.

https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2016/12/07/poke/

To make it even more interesting, I added another element, pins.

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

 

I used an entire bag of crushed walnut shells to fill each.  I had to go and buy a second bag to fill the last two.

All of the pins I glued beads onto were used and my button jar came in mighty handy this year.

What did I learn?

I still enjoy counted cross stitch.

I liked personalizing the pin keeps to each person.

I learned that I most likely will never, ever do a project like that again.  It requires a whole bunch of heart & soul and time & effort.

I wanted to lovingly, slowly stitch goodness into each, piece, however, the deadlines and mailing times sort of took the fun out of making each.

My plan was to stitch each cushion and fill it with grace and well wishes for the other person.  Not everyone is excited or appreciates handmade gifts nor do many understand the hours it takes to produce them.

I put more good karma, energy, time, effort, money into each than need be.

I figured out, that while I was not looking for a “proper thank you note”, of which I received four, I was secretly hoping for a personal connection.  A conversation.  Some type of tie to the person I gave the gift to.  A reason to talk and spend time with the person.  A way to jump-start a conversation that would linger and fill us each with a wonderful memory. That did not happen.

If I ever do a counted cross stitch piece for anyone other than family, I will most likely keep track and share the number of hours it took to complete.  Not to be boastful, but to share the time that was spent on that person. I came to realize that folks that do not do handiwork, have no concept or understanding of how long each project takes.

I learned for Christmas this year, I am buying gifts.

The only handmade gifts I am making are for our Grands.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was going to say, I will most likely never cross stitch another pin cushion again.  However………I already have a person in mind (she herself is a beautiful cross stitcher) that I might like to make a pin cushion as a surprise in 2018.  We will see.

So here are a few of my 16.  Some, I forgot to take a picture.  One, I took a picture of the back and promptly deleted the front picture after it was already in the mail.  sigh.

Thanks for following along and keeping me company this past year.

I would dearly love to have a conversation about gift giving and making/giving handmade gifts.

I have a counted cross stitch pattern, thread, and fabric all ready to begin January 1, 2018, for me!

Also, we have a new GRANDBABY on the way in 2018 so my hands will be flying as I make oodles of goodness for the new one in our life.

Here’s to accomplishing my goal and then some!  Setting a goal and working towards completion is very satisfying.

In the coming year, I hope you are planning and setting a goal or two of your own.  Would love to hear your plans.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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art, artist, date night, dream, happy marriage

step into a dream

Sometimes it is easier for me to write with someone in mind. Today, I am writing to a beautiful, smarty pants, charming, “joyful” hair girl I know.

She has a dream of traveling to Paris.  Instead of being the weird wife of a fellow co-worker, I want to be an uplifting, encouraging, human being nudging her towards that goal.  I want to push her just far enough that she can actually see and feel her dream coming alive. I want to be part of that magic.

Yes, she has an envelope that she “feeds” when she can.  Yes, she has pictures of the Eifel tower to gently remind her.

I want her to buy a Barret, a stripy black and white shirt.  I want her to buy a loaf of really quality French bread and excellent cheese and go on a picnic with her boyfriend and dream about Paris.  I want her to bathe herself in the beautiful pieces of art that were created and shown in Paris.

Actually, I want to shove her to jump in with both feet. I want her to write down her goal/dream.  I want her to see it every single day on the refrigerator. See a note every day on her mirror.  I want her to plaster her desk area with beautiful lovely pictures of Paris.

I want to gently nudge her to take in the “intimate impressionism” exhibit that is now at the Seattle Art Museum.

http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/impressionism

Last night was date night!!  I know, weird timing?  Smack dab in the middle of a work week.  Take time out, put on a cute sassy pencil skirt and head to the museum with Mr. Right.

This particular exhibit is on loan from the National Gallery of Art.  They call it “everyday moments of lasting beauty”.

We were treated to a selection of art on a personal and intimate scale.  Most often grand oversized paintings, painted to be seen at public exhibitions, these gems were on a smaller scale, yet the same breath-taking moments happened.  In the most lovely of ways. I giggled at one (and bought a post card to share) and slipped by one or two that were not to my liking.

We gazed upon works by Monet, Degas, Renior, Sisley, Vuillard, Van Gogh and more.

As you know, the first impressionist exhibition when the group was given this name, took place in 1874 and included 30 artists and 165 works of art.  For Sale!  They had to stay until the end of the exhibit, however, all were available.

This group of mostly friends, helped each other.  They encouraged one another.  They painted each others portraits, they painted out in the air, together.  They ate together, pooling what funds they had.  They shared and painted over canvases and when money was scarce, they painted on cardboard. They shared and lifted up each others dreams.

Instead of being hurt and crushed by a nasty and critical review meant to discredit their work, the critic Leroy, instead invented their identity. The Impressionists.

We each chose our favorite piece from this exhibition.picking flowers, RenoirIt was a surreal feeling of being surround with such treasures.  You could almost feel yourself silently slipping into their gardens and sitting behind artist as they created.  When you really paused a moment to look deep into the layers of paint, you could imagine the oil smell.  You could feel the draft in the room.

We chose postcards to send to our grands. flower beds by van gogh

We talked about places we had visited that were depicted in some of the paintings.

Over dinner, in the big city, we discussed the pieces even further.

Driving home we talked about brush strokes and some of the frames. We talked about color.

I talked about the “Porcelain” room at the Museum.  Bar none, my favorite room in the museum (permanent display).

This morning in our notes and card to each other, you guessed it, we discussed art.

Here’s the thing, art and artists have a way of evoking emotion.  Passion, dreams, hope, pure beauty.  This unique group of people helped each other thrive. At times, it was not easy.  It took years and years for some to sell their works.  However, there was strength in their coming together. Strength in all having a vision, a dream. There is great strength in others seeing your dream as something that is attainable.

Instead of being singled out for being wildly “independents” & “intransigents” they were a group with value.

One of my favorite pieces in this collection is “Argenteuil” by Claude Monet.  I adored the slips of light that filtered through the trees.  However this painting was extremely discomforting to many in 1872 , because it’s swiftly applied, visible brushstrokes made it seem unfinished to tradition-minded art critics.

After he had returned from the municipal exhibition in Rouen, and until the end of 1872, the most important part of Monet's artistic output took place in Argenteuil. Most of his work was done on the right bank of the Seine, the Argenteuil side, painted facing the setting sun beyond the trees of the promenade. The road and rail bridges, the Seine, the sky of Ile-de-France, and the promenade's trees would become the key subjects in Monet's work in Argenteuil, forming the most distinctive motifs of this highpoint of Impressionist painting. Here, the painter focuses his attention on the physical features, especially the promenade and the river, but typically at the same time he suggests a human presence through small details.

Instead of one person having a dream of travelling to Paris, collectively as kind humans we need to jump in and lift up that dream. Maybe skip a coffee drink and share the money for the dream envelope?  Maybe share a favorite artist that walked in the very city she wants to discover?  How about sending her a postcard with a stunning view of a landmark that she will one day explore.

Dreams and goals are attainable.  Dreaming together brings more strength to the goal.

“Paris is always a good idea”  ~ Audrey Hepburn

Here’s to you and your dream!  May you surround yourself with all that is Paris and by doing that, you are one step closer to being there.

I want to be part of the dream.  I look forward to the day, when you want to sit down with coffee and share pictures of your travels.

Have Dreams, Will Travel.