Saturday, July 21, 2012


Today, my heart is happy and gratitude is bubbling up inside of me. Watching this beautiful nature video compounded these feelings seven-fold. Makes me so thankful to have a Creator who orchestrates the wonderful and mysterious movements of life on earth. 

Another bit of loveliness came to me today via Shari of Shari's Crochet Handmade Gifts. I am so honored to have received this award. Shari's blog is a real treasure, so do make sure you go and check her marvelous crochet out sometime soon. 

Seven random bits of me:

1 -  I get fresh socks when I go to bed as I cannot abide the thought of wearing the same pair of socks that I've traipsed around in all day to bed. I think I may be a smidge OCD.

2 - I am a big sap. I cry not just for sad movies, but especially sweet and happy ones. The occasional commercial has been known to get me misty-eyed as well.

3 - I wish that the fashions of the forties and fifties were in full swing today so that I could wear those beautiful cinched waist dresses with the tea length poofy skirts like Debbie Reynolds in Tammy and the Bachelor. Style then was so elegant and chic!

4 - I am terribly allergic to horses among many other things, but horses are the all out worst which saddens me as I always used to love petting the neighbor's horses. Their muzzles are the sweetest kind of warm softness. 

5 - Wreckless driving makes me very mad, very fast. I probably honk my horn at stupid drivers far more than is wise to do. I'm currently working to curb this bad habit.

6 - If I ever became filthy rich, I would go to the spa at least once a week for a massage and pedicure. 

7 - Before I taught myself to crochet when I was 11, I had been nutty for cross stitch. I still consider the BHG Cross Stitch compendium I have to be one of the best cross stitch books ever.

Now, to nominate some bloggers I admire. Here they are in random order. If any of you lovely ladies do not participate, I totally understand, but know I thought of you as having one lovely blog! ;-) 

Wishing a lovely day to all you wonderful folks!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Headband for Baby Eva

Sadly, my hands are too busy just now to even consider making a simple cocoon for the plethora of babies in my acquaintance. Since it is an unusually warm summer for us, I placated my guilt by telling myself the cocoon wouldn't be needed for a baby arriving at this time of year anyway. Baby Eva is the first girl born into a family of 4 boys, so the mama is super eager to finally be able to use frilly baby stuff. What better way to welcome the first baby girl than to whip up an incredibly girly headband?

First, I crocheted the flower using a thin, sport weight purple yarn.  

 The pattern was made up as I went and went something like this:

  1. Make a magic ring. (click here for a great video tutorial)
  2. Single crochet in ring to desired size. I made 10-12.
  3. Slip stitch, single crochet, half double crochet, single crochet, slip stitch into front loop of each single crochet. This makes one of the inner petals. Continue this petal combo until you run out of space. I was able to fit about 5 or 6 into mine. 
  4. For back row of petals, slip stitch into back loop behind first inner petal. 
  5. Then, single crochet, double crochet twice, single crochet into the back loop. 
  6. Single crochet or slip stitch (depending on look you want) into next back loop.
  7. Repeat step 5 into next back loop.
  8. Continue alternating steps 5 and 6 in the back-loops all the way around the posie. 
  9. Fasten off and weave in ends. 

 Hand sew a button into the center for accent. I chose a cupcake button, but a pearl, bead, or other type of button would look just as cute. The possibilities are endless!

For the final step, I sewed the posie slightly off center of this adorable elastic sent to me by the fabulous Kelsey of Poofy Cheeks Boutique. Her elastics not only offer nice stretch but also come in a pleasing array of bright colors. They additionally have a very smooth texture which is gentle on the head and hair. Besides running a cool online boutique, Kelsey also hosts a wonderfully creative blog with all sorts of fun ideas. Hop on over and check it out! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Kitchen Redo Progress

 So, as you can see, the kitchen redo is coming along rather slowly. We have had some unexpected plumbing and car issues arise which set me behind budget wise for a smidge of time. However, I did get notice that I will receive a bit of a raise at work this year (we haven't for a over a year now), so I think I'm going to buy paint this week. Half of the cabinets have been painted white, but the other half are still waiting. There is so much more to move off the shelves on this side of the kitchen that I made sure to leave this side for last. (Terribly lazy of me, I know!)

 Here is the curtain that I sewed together back in May. You may notice an addition to it. I had a sneaky suspicion as I was sewing it together at Mimsie's that it would need to be lengthened in order to cover the dishwasher's gap and my hunch was correct. 

 Thankfully, I all ready had some coordinating fabric in my stash that made for the perfect header to my curtain. I knew from the second I picked up the cheery red print at Zeke's fabric outlet that it needed to be used in my kitchen, but just didn't know where at the time. Problem solved! And rather more quickly than I thought it would be, too. 

 Lucy has always adored hiding behind curtains. They seem to afford her the perfect place to practice her stealthy pounces on unsuspecting prey (mostly John and I, but the occasional moth or beetle are just fine, too). I never anticipated just how fascinated Lucy would be with this newly curtained area. I often walk into the kitchen and smile to see her grey scraggly tail curling out from underneath.

I hope to share more pictures soon. I only have about a week and a half left before the summer starts winding down, so I'd better get to work quickly!

Till next time...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Dresserscarf Pillow

 See this pillow? 
Looks like a lot of time and effort went into 
embroidery, crocheting and sewing, right? 

 Well, I created a short cut. 
While shopping at my local antique store, I ducked into one of my favorite booths ever. It is run by a fabulous vintage linens dealer. 
From her delightful corner of the store, I retrieved a sweet dresser scarf - all ready embroidered & all ready edged with crocheted lace. 

The only work I had to do was:

1 -  fold it in half and pin it in place
2 - run it through the sewing machine (leaving about a 2 inch gap undone)
3 - stuff it with fiberfill (a crochet hook helped stuff it evenly into every corner)
4 - quickly stitched the last two inches closed

A sweet little pillow in 15 minutes or less.
Now I want to go find more dresser scarves!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chair Redo

            Ta-DAH!                                  Ho-hum

Before attempting this project, I had been assured by several home improvement shows and websites that this type of thing is a cinch. I was skeptical at first, but it really was ridiculously easy to recover this chair. My dad's staple gun made make it go super fast. I was also glad to have Mimsie's extra set of hands helping keep the stretched fabric taut  as an added measure against wrinkles when I stapled. 

 The original wood was not terrible. In fact, it had some lovely grain patterning to it. However, there were lots of nicks and chips. In addition the wear and tear on the wood, the faded, mauve fabric was smokey and stained which meant it had to go for sure.

 I had never used the high gloss Rustoleum before, but it went on supremely smooth with a super sturdy finish. I am now planning to paint all my remaining dining room chairs to match. The green is more sedate than the typical bright apple green, so it works well with my chocolate brown and gold dining room. (It is pictured above in Mimsie's craft room. I had taken the chair to her house to use Dad's tools). 

Well, I'm off to tackle more improvement projects. 
Hope you all have a lovely day, my friends! 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Thank You's

Sweet birdies
real or decorative

This picture really says it all ;-)

Garden inspiration at an Amish farm.

 Baskets waiting to be filled.

 Happy horsies saying hello.

Pink glass doorknobs

Peekaboo Lucy Cat

What are you thankful for today?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Scripture

One of my favorite scriptures in the whole Bible is Zephaniah 3:17. 
It has been a rock on which I stand through many a trial and tribulation. Envisioning God's loving care presiding over my life, helps me realize that even though right here and right now may feel like the end of it all, I have One who is soooo much bigger than my current feelings. I have One who sees my life from start to finish and knows exactly how much I can bear. 
He is my Constant. My Shield and my Buckler. I will extol His name forevermore! 

Doesn't this verse just make you want to start singing? 

The King James version of this scripture starts out, "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty..." Such a comfort to know He is there in the middle of it all right by your side.

So please remember, dear friends:

There is so much to be thankful for if we but open our eyes to see.

Sending my love to each of you today!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Going on a Moon Spree

(a neighbor's home; photo by hubby)

The sudden severe storms that whooshed down on us last Friday knocked power out to an estimated million or more people across the state of Ohio before going out and doing the same in Washington, DC. The governor of Ohio called for a state of emergency. It hit in the middle of a stream of 100 degree days so being without a/c was misery. First day, the house was surprisingly cool, but that night and the next day were torment. Thankfully, we had all ready planned a trip to Harrisburg for our anniversary, so we drove away in our air conditioned car quite happily on Sunday morning. When arrived back around 10:30 pm Tuesday, we had regained power. There are still residents to the south of us who may not get their power back until this coming Tuesday. We had to throw out a fair amount of food which was sad since I work hard to buy things on sale and use coupons. Such a horrid waste. We saved what we could by packing it with ice. Thankfully, we only lost a minor tree branch which fell straight to the ground without any incurring any damage. However, one of our plastic Adirondack chairs had two legs knocked off. 

(one of many blocked side-streets; photo by hubby)
While the above scenes from our neighborhood are somewhat impressive, the damage was even more terrifying to behold about thirty minutes south of us. Which is right where I happened to be when the whirlwinds descended. I had driven down to give our wedding bands their every-six-month check up, but the storm hit exactly as I drove into the mall parking lot so I did not succeed in running my errand - only driving a two hour round trip in the awful storm (kinda funny now looking back on it). There I was waiting out a storm  in my tiny red car as 82 mph winds rocked it up and down. For a minute, I thought the car's body might fly right off the chassis! The lights of the town flickered on-off-on-off before snuffing out for good. Being it was a Friday night, restaurants were packed to the gills when it happened. I can only imagine the mayhem that must have caused! Large trees, branches and wires went down everywhere in a matter of 15 minutes or less. Some bushes were flattened as if by a strong down draft as their branches all lay on the ground from the center outward on every side. Severe lightning and all sorts of crazy debris swirled around outside my car window. I couldn't believe what I seeing. It took me over an hour to drive home when it had only taken about 30 minutes to get down there. All the traffic lights were out and there were several people on the roads choosing to go whenever they wanted rather than in the order of a 4-way stop as they should have. I would drive down one street, only to have to turn around to find an alternate route due to the road being blocked by huge trees laying across the way. It was like a tornado had struck. Some trees came up root and all! I was so glad to be home that night! We ended up being without power for 3 and a half days, but if you drove north just 30 minutes most of those homes didn't even get the storm or only lost power for about 2 hours that first night. 

So what's a girl to do when the air conditioning is gone and the house is consequently nigh on unbearable to move around in? 

She imagines herself to happier times and places planning future crafting adventures and home improvement projects. She makes mental lists of what she would still like to accomplish with this blessed summer break. She takes refuge in reading good books. 
(and tries valiantly not to lament her loss of the internet)

I admire how L.M.Montgomery's Jane of Lantern Hill took to escaping away to the moon when circumstances did not quite suit her fancy. Rather than allowing perilous situations get her down, she let her imagination take her to new and delightful places:

"...she began to build for herself an existence in the moon where she ate fairy food and wandered through fairy fields, full of strange white moon-blossoms, with the companions of her fancy... Since the moon was all silver, it had to be polished every night. Jane and her moon friends had no end of fun polishing up the moon... Those were the nights when the moon seemed brighter than usual... She was supported through many a dreary day by the hope of going on a moon spree at night."

~ excerpted from Jane of Lantern Hill pages 22-23, copyright 1937, 1989 edition

My dear friends, whether you currently find yourself in sunshine or storm, I do hope that you can take it with Jane's superior attitude and find secret splendors to help you find joy in each new day.

Happy moon polishing!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Our Wedding Highlights

Click this link -----> Our Wedding to see a short video montage from our very special day.

Happy 1st Anniversary to us! 

Photography: Amber Nicole Photo

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday Scripture

He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn't live in man-made temples, and human hands can't serve his needs – for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need.” 
 ~ Acts 17:24-25

Photo courtesy of my father. 
Fairmont Hot Springs, British Columbia
June 2010