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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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pesky plastic

A friend sent me a text early this Sunday morning:

Sparkle of the Day

  “Our Lord has made the best gifts the most common.”

Oh, that’s not only sparkly but so juicy.

I’m going to savor that all day long.

..the most common…..

a cup of coffeecoffee

warm, fluffy socks

small project bag

common sense

Here’s a thought, a common bag.  I use it every single day, sometimes, several times a day.  Very common in my world.

100% cotton fabric, one zipper, two buttons, nothing too flashy, just a bag to store my current project in while I am not working on it. Takes me about 45 minutes to sew one. Easy, common.  Actually, I have sewed and given so many, I have lost count.

I have sewed them for college kiddos.   I have made them for make up bags, travel bags, zipper bags full of birthday goodies, bag to take to the hospital, bags to hold crochet hooks, bags to hold a sleeping mask and lavender and on the list goes.  All made and given as gifts.

I have not made one for myself.  Seriously?  No.  I have not taken the time to sew one of these beauties for myself.

One night, as I sat and worked on a project.  I thought… why on earth are you still using a zip lock PLASTIC bag for your supplies?  I guess I am like everyone else, we get so comfortable using and seeing something day after day, we forget to “see” where we need to make some changes.

**********Side note: If you want to skip the next few paragraphs where I talk about bisphenol A and how it is one reason I became so sick, I totally understand. Life is messy and you don’t always want to be reminded of the messy.   I will insert a picture of a cute puppy so you can skip down to the part about sewing & happy & common sense. 

In the last four years, among 101 other things, one thing we have had to eliminate in our life is plastic (read that as bisphenol A) . BPA is a weak synthetic estrogen and is one of the things that caused me to be diagnosed with “that which will not be named”.

Sounds easy enough.  Just don’t use it. Simple.

The following is sarcasm:  “What?  Me?  Oh, we stopped using all plastic. We store our ketchup and mustard in clay pots in the basement.  No, we don’t own a refrigerator that is made with plastic.   What do we brush our teeth with, you ask?  We use a hand carved, with a wooden handle and boar bristle toothbrushes.”

Really?  Good for you!  That is tricky, hard and all-encompassing.  We are still trying to get rid of as much as possible.

Roll up your cotton sleeves and let’s do this!

Okay, no more plastic ice-cube trays.  No more plastic shower curtain liners.  Toss all the plastic storage containers.  Plastic measuring spoons. Plastic container your laundry soap is stored in, next to your plastic laundry basket.   Plastic silverware on a picnic. Plastic yarn needle.  Toss those disposable diapers of your grandchildren.  My cell phone has a plastic case.  Does your organic make up come in a plastic container?  Plastic scoop I used to measure out chicken feed. Plastic tape measure (my grandma had a cloth one.) I use a plastic ruler to measure fabric.  Plastic containers my spring plants were grown in.  Plastic bag I use to buy/measure out my bulk food.    Plastic on my sneakers.  Plastic container my coffee beans are ground in.  The useful plastic zip bags we use to store everything in……

…. I am pausing to take a DEEP CLEANSING BREATH.

I am sure you are thinking about a thousand and one other pieces of plastic that I didn’t mention.  Oh, she forgot…..

Depending on where you live and work, you’re likely to be exposed to many plastic products every day. Food and beverage containers, some disposable plates, and toiletry bottles are all plastic and all are made from chemicals. Research suggests that all plastics may leach chemicals if they’re scratched or heated. Research also strongly suggests that at certain exposure levels, some of the chemicals in these products, such as bisphenol A (BPA), may cause cancer in people.

enough, if you want to learn more , I am sure you know how to use Google.  Just type in why/how bisphenol A…aka… BPA  causes cancer.

***********For no reason at all, except that puppies are adorable, here is  the promised photo of an impossibly cute puppy.impossibly-cute-puppy-8

Hi, I am glad you found the cute puppy.

One more time, Sparkle of the Day,

“Our Lord has made the best gifts the most common.”

A picture of a puppy on verdant grass.  Common

Beautiful brown puppy eyes.  Common

Common sense.  Sewing a useful cotton bag.20170305_094230-1_resized

I used my noodle and I sewed myself a pretty project bag out of 100% cotton fabric. (yes, I know the zipper and buttons are plastic…..progress not perfection)

In this together, friends.

Here’s to our health & wellness.

Chat soon.

feels like home

Not only do curtains add privacy and warmth to a room, there is a certain something that you can’t quite put your finger on.  I think it is sound? A solid sound, sort of grounded I guess?

When you walk through a new home to look at the rooms, you can hear a slight echo.  It doesn’t feel homey, yet.

I have a military, wife, friend who once asked me, “How long before you live in a house, until it feels like your home”?

I first thought the answer was time.  Then I thought maybe cleaning.  Once you clean or paint every square inch of the house or rake every single area of lawn, it feels like your home. Then, I sort of decided it was when you went away on vacation and came back to your home.  We are closing in on one whole year in our new home.   I think I want to add the word curtains, to my list of things that makes it feel like home.

20170131_122036_resized_1This map fabric makes me smile every single time I see it.  It is the perfect window treatment for two small windows in our library.  Stacks of maps, books, a library table….. oh, I get giddy just thinking about it.

No, I did not purchase the expensive Roman shades.

These20170131_122023_resized_1 curtains are a snap.  I sewed them in a giant circle.

Then used 3 inexpensive spring rods for each. (Let’s hear it for Spring Rods!!  The under rated, not so glamorous piece of metal that makes curtains easy peasy.)  Ta-Da!

Finished  and mighty happy.   A bonus, I didn’t think of the glorious warm color they throw when the sun shines behind them.  Warm, beautiful and makes you want to sit a while and read a book.

 

Next, the great room windows.  Much to my surprise, same huge open room, two different size windows.  I had Mr. Right put the curtain rod up a little farther out on the right hand side…..gives the illusion of a bit bigger window.  The “matchy matchy”  part of my brain is satisfied.

20170221_110052_resizedI love Buffalo Plaid.  Seriously, I SWOON over Buffalo Plaid.  My grandfather had a black and red hunting jacket in Buffalo plaid.  I love the boldness and yet at the same time, the traditional feel.

I did not love the prices I was seeing for plain, straight curtains to purchase.  So to satisfy the frugal part of my brain, I ordered fabric ( 1/4 the cost of the finished curtains that I fell in love with.)  I spent some time at the sewing machine and hemmed those beauties.   (Side note:  I bought the rods and curtain hangers from a big box hardware store. Simple and exactly what I had envisioned.)

Once hung (Full credit to Mr. Right, not one cuss word during the hanging of the curtain rods), they add a certain warmth & yes, by golly those curtains somehow magically make the room more like home.  20170221_102349_resized

I know, a home is a continual process.  It is always evolving, changing, adding this or that.

However, having the curtains hung makes the “old Army wife in me” feel like it is home.

What one thing makes you house feel like a home?

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.