07 December, 2017

Room To Grow

This is but one of many little dish gardens that sweetly sat on the tables at our son and daughter-in-law's wedding reception. The dish gardens were given to friends and family members to take home after the wedding reception was over, that was back in May of 2008, nine and a half years ago. Since then there has been growth, lots of it: over time our son and daughter in law bought a home and spread their roots. In 2010 their son was born and in 2013, their daughter; more growth, their family has changed a lot since that day back in 2008.  Given room, love and the right conditions, growth will happen. I remember a pastor friend telling me many years ago that change is growth and growth is life. Well, that is most certainly true, and especially in the case of this little plant. One of the dish gardens from that wedding reception nine and a half years ago went to my good friend, Quiltkeemosabe. A few weeks ago she asked me if I would like this plant. You see, it is a surviving Palm plant from one of those original dish gardens; it had outgrown its space at her home, she was looking to tame her jungle. "Yes", I said; "I would love it". And so, it has come to live at our home now. It is a floor plant today and it's been given room to grow and spread its roots in my husband's study.
Given room, love and the right conditions, growth will occur.

Once there was a little palm plant, it didn't understand the word "can't". 
It spread its roots, its limbs stretched too. 
It did the only thing it knew to do, because it was cared for through and through,
it GREW! 

What are you cultivating in your life today? 
What needs room, and love, to stretch and grow?  
Life is Good!

02 December, 2017

B and B Lifestyle

Our church has started a bowling league, the Luther League. At the outset Mr. Goodneedle was enthusiastic, I encouraged him to join; I thought that was a great idea for him. I wasn't interested. In the least.  I'm not anti-bowling, I bowled in a league myself  twenty years ago. But now? I simply didn't have the time. My husband persisted, "please, why don't you come along and just watch?" he asked. I balked. "No, look at my calendar, I explained; "it's already full-- every day. If I add one more thing something else will have to go, I have no idea what to eliminate". He simply looked at me. It wasn't an accusatory look, it was more of a pleading one. "I would love to have you come along" he quietly said, "but it's up to you." Hmmm. You know where this is going. I went. I bowled. I had a terrific time. Mr. Goodneedle bought me my own ball (he got himself one too). Now, let me tell you this: I am NOT a good bowler, not by any stretch, but I am persistent. I am hopeful that over time I will at least see some level of improvement (and I am here to tell you that the ball wasn't the problem!😉).  You know what the most interesting thing about all of this was: I found time. So, that would be a great story in itself, but it doesn't end there; oh, no. "We should get bikes" he said casually one morning. "What?" I was shocked this time. "We should get bikes" he repeated. "That's what I thought you said" was my reply. This came from out of the blue. "Why?" I asked. "Well, now that we are down to one house (having sold his mother's home last month) and we have more free time wouldn't it be fun to take bike rides together?" This question was so dear to me, and he was so sweet, that I was almost convinced it could be a good idea. But then there was that over-crammed calendar again (neither of us ever have what I would have called "free time); that, and the fact that I have never been all that fond of riding bikes, even in my childhood. I could think of a million reasons to object to this proposal, but I held them inside. Again, you know where this is going. We bought the bikes, and the cages for our water bottles, and the odometers; I even got a helmet. I pedaled 7.2 miles on our "inaugural" ride. I am not sure that I had ever ridden over five miles at one time in my life before. We enjoyed it thoroughly; we biked on a greenway at a leisurely pace (7.9 mph), and I am ready and eager to ride again! Yeah, that calendar is still full but I have learned that I am a master at moving things around.
Life is Good!

30 November, 2017

Sew HEXciting!

Sewing hexagons is much like eating potato chips-- I simply can't stop!
How will they eventually be set together? What will I use for a background? Time will tell. 
I am enjoying the process too much to worry about that just yet.
Life is Good!

28 November, 2017

Playing With Pieces

These are 4" sub-units created in two sessions of Tucker University at my LQS. I absolutely love Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Design tools (they're not rulers, they're not made for measuring). I have quite a collection of them, having acquired them over the years. These sub-units are the result of using the Tucker Trimmer and the V-Block Trimmer. Here you see stacks of Half Square Triangle blocks, Shaded 4-patch blocks, Combination blocks, Quarter Square Triangle blocks, V blocks, Sidekick blocks and Hi-low blocks. They are all precisely trimmed to 4.5"and will finish to 4"; they can all be combined with each other interchangeably to create innumerable combinations for larger block layouts as shown below. Tomorrow I will attend the third session of Tucker University where we will use the Wing Clipper tool to make Flying Geese sub-units and variations, these will soon be added to the mix; I can't wait! Yesterday afternoon I played with the stacks shown to imagine just a few of the pretty  12" blocks that might be in my future; as you can see, missing in all of them is a center square-- I am dreaming up all kinds of exciting possibilities there! How much fun are you having in your sewing room these days?
Life is Good!

27 November, 2017

Spelling It Out!

There were some questions after yesterday's blog post about the name ornaments that the grandchildren made while they were visiting over Thanksgiving; I decided to show you through a series of photos here today how they were constructed, there were a few errors made along the way (mine) as I developed a prototype for this fun Christmas craft. First, you will need to gather the following supplies: 7/8" wide ribbon for the ornament base, 5/8" coordinating "accent" ribbon for the bow at the top, silver cord for the hanging loop (I found 2mm on a spool), jingle bells, heavyweight silver thread (and a needle), regular cellophane tape, Scrabble tiles (I found mine on Amazon.com, they are sold in packs of 100 letters) and a hot glue gun.

I measured the silver cord into 4 inch lengths and wrapped that mark with a piece of cellophane tape and cut through the tape to eliminate the cord fraying and coming undone. I made a ring of the cord, matching end-to-end and wrapped it together to hold it with another piece of cellophane tape.
The backing ribbons (7/8" width) I cut into 15 inch lengths to accommodate any size name and to give myself plenty of room for the layout. I folded down an inch at the top and slid the loop inside the fold, covering the tape, and hot glued it down on the back.
Then, I flipped the ribbon to the right side and placed a tied bow (made from 12" lengths of the accent color ribbons, 5/8" in width) in position on the top. Don't glue it down yet, simply placing it in position gives you a good visual of where to start placing your letters without crowding the pieces.
Scrabble tiles! Find whatever letters you will be needing for a name or a greeting and place them on the backing ribbon until they're just the way you want them.
Put a glob of hot glue on the back of each tile, carefully, and place it down on the ribbon into position. Don't put the glue on the ribbon (trust me!). When the letters are all firmly in place go ahead and glue down the bow on top.
Adding the jingle bell: my first attempts at this had me trying to attach the jingle bell with the silver cord used for the top loop. I failed at that, the cord was way too bulky. I found that by pulling a length of heavy duty silver thread through the center of the ribbon, and threading the bell on the needle at the same time I could then cut off the needle from the thread, right near the eye, and have long enough "tails" to tie a square knot firmly, anchoring the bell smack-dab in the center of the ribbon. I then tied a knot again, going around the back and then back to the front to gather the sides and after tying once more, tightly, I snipped off the excess thread length. 
Voila! Trim the ribbon off at the bottom, below the bell. I cut on angles toward the center to prevent the grosgrain ribbon from fraying.  These are quick and adorable personalized ornaments, I think I may use these as name tags for Christmas gifts. Have fun!
Life is Good!