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!

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crafts, cross stitch, friends, Uncategorized

a good luck poke

The pincushion tomato was most likely introduced during the Victorian Era.  Folklore tomato-pin-cushionteaches us, that by placing a tomato on the mantel of a new house guaranteed prosperity and repelled evil spirits.  If tomatoes were out of season, families improvised by using a round ball of red fabric filled with sand or sawdust.  The good-luck symbol also served a practical purpose – a place to store pins.

20170102_213250-1_resizedI made this lavender pincushion in 1972.  I was 10 years old and this was my first project in my sewing 4H club. I am not sure the light purple blob has any good luck or not.  I can say, with certainly, it has kept all evil spirits away from my sewing basket for more than 40 years.

In theory it is a sweet idea, however, it doesn’t work. The pins don’t stay pushed in.   The material is double-knit, the filling feels like cotton batting, and it doesn’t have any weight to speak of. I made it using a canning jar lid and ring.

A pin cushion that doesn’t work, isn’t very useful.  However, I have kept it all these years because it makes me smile to remember the beginning.  It doesn’t work, but for some reason, it whet my appetite for more to come.

You all remember my 2017 goal of making a pin cushion for every sweet person I need a gift for?       https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2016/12/07/poke/

You thought I was kidding?  No, not kidding.  I am on a mission to make  at least 12 pincushions this year.  Let me be clear:  pincushions that are equally pretty & useful. While I do wish for them to be keepsakes (and full of good luck), I honestly don’t want them20170102_213305_resized stuck in the bottom of someone’s sewing basket never to see the light of day.  It is my hope that the cushions will be poked over and over and over again.  I hope they are loved and used and become worn with happy use.

First pin cushion of 2017 is finished!!!!  She also comes with her own designer pins.

I made several pins last night.  I wanted to include something unique or pretty or charming to poke into each cushion. Some look like dragonflies, some have hearts, a few have stars, while the rest are glass stacked beads.

My first pin cushion this year,  is for a retirement gift.  The recipient is a crafter and does lovely work with beads.  I thought it might be the perfect small gift to offer up as a celebration.  I wanted to make something special.

I ask you, who among us wouldn’t want to receive a hand stitched cushion with our initial highlighted?

In addition to using buttons from my button jar, I stitched good karma, love, prayers, kindness and oodles of good luck into this piece.  I am sending it off into the world stuffed with pure goodness (also known in some circles as crushed walnut shells). I also included a loop for her scissors to be tied with a ribbon.

May this new year be a time of bathing others in small gifts of thoughtfulness.

20170103_144545-1_resized-1

In this together, friends.

We could all use a little poke to remind us to be more thoughtful.

friend, friendship, grateful, love, Uncategorized

are you together

While ordering coffee, my girlfriend and I stood side by side.  The cashier said, “are you together?”  I answered, yes, forever and ever. anthem-coffee

I realize the cashier was asking if the order was on one ticket.  I honestly don’t know why I answered like that. I guess, saying it aloud makes it more real.

Do we worry and fret about each others kiddos?  You bet.  We celebrate kiddos successes and we help when things are off-balance, too.

Do we worry and share about our husbands & not getting enough sleep & not taking stress seriously & our families & people who are meanies……um yeah.  It’s sort of how we have survived.

Both of us are somewhere in our 50’s and have been friends since we were 12 & 13 years old.  We have shared good stuff and not so good stuff.

Sometimes we are “dumb heads” and let too much time go between meetings.  Sometimes, we forget to ask the other for help.

We are still at it.  Still sharing.  Yes, we pay for coffee for each other. anthem-coffee-2 Or we pay separately.  Or one pays 3 times in a row and the other pays next time.   Or we drink coffee out of big chunky mugs at home.  It sort of isn’t the important part of us meeting.  We seriously don’t want to waste time figuring out who pays for or who makes the coffee.

We have huge issues to shyly share or rant loudly about. Sometimes our hearts are broken and just being together, maybe it is the warm coffee, magically seals the cracks and puts us slightly back together again.

The beauty is neither of us keep track.  For a while, I had too many “not so good stuff” to share.  Before my bag-o- dodo, she had a few years of sharing messy days.

Get it? Some days I pay for coffee, some days she does.

We celebrate the good stuff in our lives.  Honestly, we do.  It’s just when things are rosy and upbeat, you don’t feel the need to hold someones hand.  Usually you are so busy, cheering and dancing with jazz hands you forget to talk it all over with the other.

All of a sudden, you hear someone hurt your friend………. and golly gee, that “sister girlfriend thing” kicks in and you want to protect your friend, hold their hand and take them under your wing.

If by under your wing, it means, make plans to wear jeans, bring the husbands along and order a beer or two and some casual, comfort food like burgers and fries and just “be” with them.   Than yes, that’s what we are going to do.

I think all our hearts and souls need those kind of people in our lives.

One of the things I just wrote at the top of my 2017  “to-do” list was,

Make an effort to be with friends.  Be more present in their lives and invite them to be more apart of ours.

I feel like I am stumbling, off balance.  I need to steady myself and go have coffee with a friend, more often.  I want to make more of an effort to help her/our kids.  I am feeling much too isolated.  I need to be with her, just so we can be …. oh and drink really good coffee.

In this together,

forever and ever

ps.  and I don’t just love her because she gave the most fan-tab-u-lous , housewarming/Christmas, amazing gift.  What I love most?  Is that she KNEW I would be smitten in love,  with “Pearl,the Polish pottery chicken” who came with a carved Polish wooden egg, of course!

love, love, love

her and the chicken

 

 

cross stitch, gifts, love, Uncategorized

a secret stitch

By noticing the dates worked into my counted cross stitch pieces you can tell where I was in life and what I was doing. 20161130_080450-1_resized

Some pieces are dated during those Home Schooling years.  I would pull out my stitchery and sit at the table while the boys were working on writing projects or reading.  They didn’t really need my help, more they needed direction and for me to be quiet so they could flourish.

As an Army wife, while the movers took an entire day to pack our belongings at each duty station, I wasn’t allowed to touch anything, so, out came my stitching.

In the days, long before the TSA had their silly rules about tiny scissors, oh and as well as me needing bright sunshine or my stitching lamp, I used to stitch while I waited in airports or while travelling by plane. (yes, I can use a dental floss holder to cut my thread.)

Today, nightly, Mr. Right spends an hour making juice for the next day.    I sit on the other side of the counter and we talk about the days events.   His hands are busy washing and preparing vegetables and fruits.  My hands are kept busy with needle and thread.

Yes, I have made beautifully large pieces for my daughter in-laws.  I have given many pieces away.  Believe it or not, a few years back, I started keeping a couple of pieces for myself.

I tease my kids, that while I enjoy and use my china & beautiful pieces of Wedgwood, I am quite sure some of the “priceless” pieces  will be sold at a yard sale for 25 cents, fingers crossed some will go for $1.00.

20161130_074613-1_resizedHowever, when it comes to pieces of stitchery, I hope that because I have secretly slipped in a birth date, or highlighted certain family members initials into other pieces…..that those will be kept as treasured heirlooms.  A snippet of family history that is theirs to keep and tend to for a while.

Pieces of thread that binds them as a family and their history.

Today, a six-year-old little grandgirlie is not interested in a20161129_113122-1_resized stuffy sampler.  30 years from now, when she spies her birth year under glass, stitched into a beautiful piece…..she will know it was stitched with her in mind….. A few more evenings of stitching the flower and this piece will be ready to be framed.

 

I love stitching special pieces for a celebration or person.

20161130_074654-1-1_resizedA pin cushion to celebrate a retirement

An ornament to celebrate a life

A beautiful bird for a Christmas treasure

A pillow for a birthday gift  ………….

I use samplers to celebrate my family.  Every stitch, making the ties that bind so tightly woven that it will be nearly impossible to take apart.

I know it is not popular.  I understand there is no glossy advertisement about buying fabric and thread.  My guess is that you are quietly making things for your family.

I would love to see what you are creating.

Secretly we are using needle and thread to stitch a piece of our family history.

In this together,

Chat soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gift giving, gifts, grace, grandchildren, love, Uncategorized

oh deer, what do I hear

While putting away the Halloween decorations, tossing the carved pumpkins, eating the last of the roasted pumpkin seeds..I heard something.  I think………wait……..yes, I think it was a jingle bell.

Not only does Mrs. Claus have to start early, so does Grandma Daleen.

Last year, we found beautiful (and sturdy) advent calendars for the grands.  I tucked them away for this year.20161102_161101_resized

So we didn’t forget, I wrote on our kitchen calendar, November 1…….

 “send calendars to Z.A.C.”

This year, I stitched each a simple and sweet ornament.  I try to make something that is not breakable.  I want it to be cute and sweet, yet something even the parents would be okay with hanging on their tree.20161102_154558-1_resized

Um, yes, this is what grandmas are supposed to do.  They are suppose to make things for their grands.  Make cookies or an ornaments or a poem or a book or a quilt or a doll blanket or a car mat….whatever you can create… this is what all those years of practice were for.

Grandma’s tell their grands they love them with scratchy knit slippers (with treats tucked inside).  Grandma’s make silly bracelets or super capes.  Nanas and MeeMaws across the land make their super, secret, special cookies and put them in a special tin, just for their grands.  Great Grandma’s make personalized book marks for each little in her life.

You have time.  Get your creative juices flowing.

 I can promise you, no matter what you make, they will feel loved and of value.  Here’s the best part about making something for your grandchildren:  They will LOVE whatever you make.  They don’t criticize or judge.  They don’t point out your mistakes.  They are pure of heart.  Grand children just love that you made something for them. 

Here’s a peek behind the scenes:

I used a free pattern from    http://cutesycrafts.com/2013/12/felt-deer-and-fox-christmas-ornaments.html

Yes, I said free.  Good news, there are oodles of people on the” inter webs” who are sharing recipes and patterns for free!  Out of the goodness of their cotton pickin’ hearts.  Just because they want to share the love.   How’s that for lifting your spirits about mankind??

I used wool felt that I already had in my felt box. 20161102_154625-1_resized

I used thread  that I already had in my thread box.

20161102_154609_resizedI used ribbon that I already had in my ribbon box.

Scissors, needle and a couple pins.

A couple of hours later, TA -DA

Sweet, charming, adorable ornaments.  I stitched all sorts of crazy love and good karma into each.

Chop, Chop!

The time is now.

Please remember to make something with love for the sweet people in your life.

I would love to see and hear about what you are making for your grands or your niece, nephew, neighbor kiddo,  a little person that lives on your street.  You get the idea.

Instead of buying into the commercial notion that you have to purchase something , please take a moment, deep cleansing breath…… you can do this, make something with your very own hands.  I have faith in you.

When they hold and touch the gift you made, they will hold your love in their hands. It’s that simple. Really.  Nothing deep.  Just pure love for your grandchildren.

I look forward to hearing how you packaged cocoa or simple krispee treats.  I would love to hear what book you bought to go along with the glitter book marker you made.

This year, let’s share and lift each other’s spirits.

We all could use a little extra love this season.

In this together,

Chat soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

grace, great marriage, great marriage secrets, haPPY, happy marriage, love, Uncategorized

celebrating 4 and 12

Everyone wants to celebrate engagements and weddings.

Presents, cards, wrapping paper and fancy lush bows, the overwhelming color scheme is white or silver.  If you haven’t been to a “get hitched” ceremony lately, lots of brides & grooms offer a special box of some kind to gather all the cards. Always a table dressed up fancy as the “gift table”

This is a big deal folks.  Everyone wants to get in on the celebration.  Everyone (and I am talking about 90-200 people)  want some of that goodness to rub off on them.

Fast forward say four years or even 12 years later.  How many Anniversary cards do those young couples receive?  Do their parents even send a card and gift?

Folks we are talking about thousands upon thousands of dollars for one “party”.  We are talking about folks buying new undies, new clothes, new shoes, getting hair cuts, having their nails done, renting clothes.  This is BIG, I tell ya.

Then, a mere 12 months later, maybe one or two anniversary cards.  Do the couples themselves get dressed up and celebrate?  Do they exchange cards or gifts?  Do they rip open a package of Oreos to celebrate that Oreo cake they had to have constructed for the ceremony? oreo-wedding-cake

Do we all continue to lift up the couple with encouragement and celebration? Who does Hallmark sell all those anniversary cards to exactly?  You know the really expensive cards on the top row?  Seriously, those are pricey.  Jeepers, you really have to like a couple to dish out that kind of moolah.

During some ceremonies, we as the congregation promised to lift up this couple and walk with them through good times and bad.  Are we keeping our promise?

Have you remembered to invite those couples to dinner?  Have you sent an anniversary card this year?

I am offering up a gentle reminder and suggestion.  This life is tough.  Maybe sending out cards will soften the edges and help us remember to celebrate? Maybe a card or note will gently remind other couples we are in their corner?

Lots of statistics out there that tell us how few marriages “make it”.

Somehow, as a society we expect these young couples who have not even hosted a formal dinner party for 6 with written invitations and matching place cards to throw an enormous PARTY for 200 to celebrate their union.  Somehow, we as a society expect so many youngins’ to wear the “right” clothes, say and do the right things and because they do all that, the union will work.

Mr. Right and I send anniversary cards.  We expect our kids to celebrate.  We want to show by example.  We try our best to remember and lift up couples.

(Now, we don’t go all wild and try to push our values on others.  If they choose not to celebrate or wait until next Saturday to go out to a restaurant to toast their big day, good for them.  No, we are not going to continue to jump up and down if another couple is just more quiet  & private about their joy.)

Except when it comes to our own kiddos.  They don’t get a choice whether or not we lift them up and celebrate them.  They get bathed in Grace & Goodness weather they like it or not.  

Some years we send a hand-made, time-consuming gift.  Stitched with such love and fierceness that it is mighty difficult to unwind.  We try and send silly cards to remember to have humor.  One year, we sent aluminum pie pans, foil, cookie cutters to celebrate an “aluminum” year.  One year, we gave toilet paper, paper towels and napkins.  To celebrate the “cotton” year.  haha

Always a card.  Sometimes a sweet little metal sign that simply says:

love

Being married is all sorts of wild and wonderful feelings mixed together.  Happy, tricky, goofy, funny, hard, easy breezy, lovely, weird, interesting but always, so worth it.

We want our children to know that we are in their corner.  We will lift them up and celebrate what they do and who they love. It is our calling to help our grands have parents that are so strong in their marriage, that it spills over into creating a family of strength and goodness.

Here’s to G & M as they celebrate 4 years of Marriage, today!

Here’s to D & G as they celebrate 12 years of Marriage, tomorrow! 

With Love & Congratulations,

Cheers, Mom & Dad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

art, artist, good karma, goodness, grace, love, Uncategorized

abandoned (he)art

I can’t sugar coat it any longer, exhaustion has hit.  The feeling is as heavy as a sopping wet wool blanket draped over me.  It feels dark and ominous.  Just getting out of bed and doing the day’s chores has become monumental.

Packing and moving is tricky, frustrating, thrilling, happy and all whipped together it makes you dog tired. A bit over tired.  Once we spend a month or so back in a routine of exercise, good food and juicing, things will return to some sort of balance.

I caught myself sitting and staring at nothing.

Sewing or stitching calms my spirit and helps me breathe.  However, the thought of beginning a huge sewing project or quilt is just too much.  The things that normally tickle my fancy……..shopping for fabric, choosing colors, pinning the quilt together, well to tell the truth, are just too much for me right now.

I really felt the need to create something.  Maybe something small, easy, pretty.  Creating things help me get back in balance.

20160421_161033As so many times in life, the project “found” me.

Actually a California friend shared the idea (no, we have never met in person………..I think we found each other through a wellness group online)……..she seems like the kind of person I would want to hang out with.  Explore a cool outdoor museum and then have some really great fish tacos at a stand near the beach, all while talking about planting organic potatoes.

Side note:  Don’t you think it is wackadoodle how I imagine friendships?  I honestly don’t know if she plants potatoes or not.  Nor do I know if she eats fish tacos.  Just something about her slips through the computer screen.  Good, kind, funny, smarty pants, cool, lovely, a bit mischievous and inspiring. 

Anyway, she found a group giving away love.  Yes, love and goodness.  It is a group on Facebook called, I found a quilted heart  .  http://www.ifoundaquiltedheart.com/

She shared the idea and just like our imaginary organic potatoes, it took root.

The idea is simple.

20160421_152427Make a heart.  Give it away.  Spread some love and kindness.  The end.

Just a random act of making art and then abandoning it for some other soul to find & somehow magically bathing that person in love and grace.  Not through lots of chatter.  No names.  No sewing rules or skill level needed. No person to thank.  Pinned with a short note:  Take me Home.  (On the back the website to share if you found a heart.)

In case you have forgotten, there is good in the universe.  Between the bills, the sorrow, the hurt, the brutal actions of some, the loneliness, the poverty, the constant bad news and yes the exhaustion……..kindness and love slip through the cracks.

Like a perfect purple flower taking root in the crack of the sidewalk.20160421_161039

One  person, channeling the good in the universe and making a small heart for another human.  A gentle reminder that they are loved.  Both of the people.  One having a job to make the heart and the other person has the moment when they pick it up and gather all the good karma that was sewn into it.

Both equally healing.

Bits of fabric, ribbon, beads…..all threaded together to form a heartfelt act of random kindness.

BElieve THEre is GOOD in the world.