Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Ripple Afghan - My Evening Project

After supper, as the evening closes in, this is what I work on sitting in my chair beside Hubby and watching tv.

Holiday STRESS ..grin

As if there is not enough to do right before Christmas, we decided it was time for new curtains in the guest bedrooms. Can you say insanity?!! So as we were hanging the new curtains (which had to be cut off and re-hemmed), the idea for valances covered with the left over pieces jumped up, so of course off we go on this tangent. grin The pattern of the fabric seemed to lend itself to the curve shown on the trial valance Hubby cut for me yesterday and it really would be lovely cut that way... (the trial valance is not stapled...therefore the loose look...but you get the idea!) In the process of doing the trial valance, I realized that if everything did not line up perfectly in the center of the curves (there would be 3) it would look very amateurish... so I think the valance will be straight cut. The throw pillows were done quickly and there will be matching pillow shams for the bed pillows. Nothing like a little stress to add zest to the holiday season! grin (There is another room to be done also...with a window of the same size and another very large window...more on that later!)

Mini Quilt Done

Finally finished the mini quilt. I continue to waffle (who me??!!) on whether to leave the couple looking as if they have been carved from wood or whether to dry brush them with the cream color to make them look like corn husk... decisions, decisions!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Maya Angelou

"A Brave and Startling Truth"

We, this people on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through causal space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we discover
A brave and startling truth
And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms
When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign lands
When the rapacious storming of churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze
When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged may walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse
When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Not the Garden of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled in delicious color
By Western sunsets
Not the Danube flowing in its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the rising sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world
When we come to it
We, this people, on this miniscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade, the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cantankerous words
Which challenge our existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Can come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe
We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils or divines
When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
And without crippling fear
When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonders of this world
That is when, and only when We come to it.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Rain at Last!

A visit from younger brother Stan and his sons was a great way to tie up the holiday. What kind of sister am I, anyway! I was so excited by the visit that the camera was a forgotten commodity until long after they had gone!

We got up to an overcast morning and finally around 9am it began to sprinkle.. and then it rained! What a wonderful after Thanksgiving gift!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Aunt Edna on "Life"

I received this email on this Thanksgiving morning from my Aunt Edna. She says many wonderful things that just fit the day (and life in general) and I couldn't resist the urge to share it with you. So here it is:

"Thought I would share my ramblings with you all.
I was in dishwater up to my elbows, getting ready for Thanksgiving...and these thoughts rambled through my mind. I dried my hands and rushed to the computer before the words were gone forever and not to be captured again.
Hope your day is very, very happy today!

By Edna Ingram

Next week is our 50th wedding anniversary.
When our children were small and so sweet and precious, I thought that no time in life would or could be as good as this!
Then they started growing up some and their activities multiplied and we were on the road a lot trying to take in all their activities and enjoying seeing them excell in lots of their endeavors...and I thought that no time in life would ever be as good as this!

Well, they were almost grown up and their values echoed our values and we were so very proud of them and it was then that finally I began to know there would be other good times.

When they grew up and moved a few hundred miles away, they came home frequently on weekends and when we expected them to come, I would stand and watch at the window. I could see headlights top the hill a couple of miles west of us and I would stand at the window and watch to see if the car would turn south at the next hill. Sometimes it did...sometimes it kept going east...but when the car turned south and came under the street lights a couple of blocks from our house, I could tell if it was their car. Then I would go turn on the porch light for them and meet them at the door.

One night I was expecting them and I watched until three in the morning...then decided to go to bed. That was the time plans had changed and they were not coming. It was easy to stand for hours watching, because by the time I knew one car was not theirs another would be topping the hill, and I just had to wait to see if that one was them. It was wonderful standing and watching and anticipating their coming. And I thought that was a very good time in our lives.

Then the grandchildren came and what a grand time that was! We were busy going to their activities as they were growing up and it was so good to watch them as they excelled in lots of things they did. They are all grown now and their values echo their parents' values and when they come, we are not situated geographically where we can watch for their headlights...we just have to be content with their cars driving up in our drivway...but it seems that no time in life can be this good.

Now our children are going through all these phases in their lives...the last one being the 'empty nest syndrome', which is the most distasteful of them all...but it has to be endured for the next phase to come around.

I'm excited for them...I'm excited for us! Every phase of life has its great moments. We don't know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future...and we are going to rush into it with faith in God, without fear and with great anticipation...knowing that it holds something we have never experienced before!"

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A Spot of Hot Chocolate

I have been trying to get a sore throat for a couple of days now, so tonight am having a bit of hot chocolate with a little brandy. Sat back tonight and watched "Tears of the Sun" with Bruce Willis. Having a husband who remembers Vietnam daily, a son leaving in February for his third tour in Iraq, and a grandson leaving in January for his first tour in Iraq... perhaps it was not the wisest thing to watch. But.. there is also something to said for the selflessness of American soldiers. They make me proud to know them.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and with all of the children out of pocket with work or other obligations this year, we will miss them and all the laughter in the house. However, spending the time with just my husband and myself will be wonderful also. There is so much to be thankful for this year, even if one of those things is the realization that some things have to work themselves out and nothing you can do will hurry that process. I hope everyone has a lovely, laughing Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Mini Quilt and Couple

Another find at the flea market last weekend was this couple. The bisque ware was white, but I have basecoated it with brown in preparation for the creamy yellow that will turn them into a cornhusk couple. The mini quilt will be held in the hands of the lady and today I bought the small clay floral of lilies that are in the clay pot the gentleman holds. If I can figure out how to make it, I will also make an amish bonnet for the lady and an amish hat for the man. Not sure I will be able to do that part. If anyone knows of a place online with the patterns, I would be ever so grateful.. grin

Monday, November 21, 2005

Heart Ornament

We stopped off at our little flea market this weekend and I found a couple of things in the bisque ware that the lady doing ceramics had evidently poured at least a year ago. This little ornament is 3" x 3" or so and cost me a whole dollar. I spent an hour or so today painting it and this is what emerged. I can't decide whether to attach the gold ribbon or not. To hang on the tree, I can attach the ribbon to the hanger then use the ornament to hang on the wall during the rest of the year. Can't really decide..grin Any suggestions? Click on the pictures for a larger look.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Hot Chocolate & Christmas Gifts

There's nothing quite like hot chocolate and brightly colored Christmas packages to make a great evening. Last year I made instant hot chocolate and placed it in a huge container for the family. (I still have some left.. ya think I may have gone a little overboard?? grin)

Earlier in the year, I made these small crochet bookmarks. I think I will use them as gift decorations and give them to the ones I made them for in the first place. What do ya think?
This is one of the patterns I used. I tried to find the other patterns I used, but will have to put them up later. I especially like the pineapple one in the picture.

But.. during my search I came up with
this page. Some really cool patterns here. Like the tiny hat and mittens on the key ring in the pic.. Can't wait to try that one! There's a huge list of wonderful patterns if you scroll down and hit the back button on the bottom of the page.
Finally...finally.. finished the newsletter today and got it to the printer 30 minutes before they closed... whew! But it turned out better then I expected and we are actually pleased with it... so guess all the tweaking was worth it.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Cold Weather and Crocheted Slippers

It was supposed to have been 28 degrees last night and I think it made it... Very cold and was 34 this morning around 8am or so. Makes me glad I made these slippers a couple of days ago. I used Abi's Slippers pattern. They crochet up quickly and feel really good on these cold nights.
The newsletter has taken up all of 2 days now. 8 1/2 hours today and still going. Finally gave up the ghost and quit around 5:30 and we went to Nick's for supper.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Cooler Nights

It's turning cooler this evening and is supposed to reach 32 degrees tonight and tomorrow night. This being Texas, the weather is always a wait and see thing, though.
This is one of our doves. Isn't she lovely? The picture reminds me of cooler weather as I took this photo last winter.
The newsletter is almost put to bed... thank the Lord. I have about another half day tomorrow working on the table of contents and the front page... then .. voila! Then another 2 or 3 hours working on an insert for the concessions and membership dues. Should be totally complete tomorrow. And what a time for the big printer to be low on black ink!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Grateful Monday

The finches are back. Last year we had dozens that spent the winter with us. I'm not positive what kind of finch this is, so if anyone has an idea, I would love to know.
Kiki, over at What Was I Thinking, (love this blog! grin) does Grateful Friday. I think it's a great way to sit down and list the things that happen on an everyday basis that we seldom take the time to acknowledge. Tonight I think I will do Grateful Monday.
So today, on Monday November 14, 2005, I am grateful for my tired husband who has worked all day in his shop and then put his own plate in the dishwasher, the finches that returned this year, the leaves in a huge pile at the shop door that make the backyard look like we live deep in the country and scrunch under my shoes, my $9.99 bag of cheap brushes that I found today when I needed a smaller shader to paint on my project, the lids to some of my teapots and the tiny cups that go with another of my teapots that we found yesterday in a box that has been packed away for a year, the sound of the birds singing each morning as we drink our coffee on the porch, the huge oak tree in the yard that produces enough acorns that we can watch the squirrels pick them up for weeks each year... to be continued...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Book Finds

Made a stop at Hasting's yesterday to pick up some movies .. since there is nothing on television in the evenings on weekends.. and came across these two books for $.99 ea! Had to have them.

Did you know ..... "in 1854 at a peace conference at Fort Laramie Wyoming, a prominent Northern Cheyenne chief requested of the US Army authorities the gift of one thousand white women as brides for his young warriors"? (quote from the author's note of One Thousand White Women... The Journal of May Dodd by Jim Fergus). I didn't. This book is a complete work of fiction based on this one historical event. I can hardly wait to read this book.

Did you know... that Jun is a pale blue, opalescent stoneware glaze named after a town in China where it was first made in the 11th century? What a buy! Love the books!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Crochet Thread Holder

In the process of crocheting the snood, I kept having to chase my thread all over my recliner. Since my husband's recliner sits next to mine, I tapped him on the hand and asked if he could build me something that would help this situation. This is what he came up with and it is wonderful! The thread pulls off easily as I am crocheting without having to pull off a long loose string that becomes loose in my fingers. No more rolling away balls of thread! And the weight of the base holds it easily on my chair arm without continually having to re-balance it. Is he not great??!! grin

Crochet the Classics Snood

Crochet the Classics the purpose of the group is to read the classics and find something in the book or the period of the book to crochet. The month of October book was The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe. I have finished the book (all 672 pages of it!) and found myself in utter amazement that in 1794 when this book was written, the entire premise of the mystery romance novel was exactly the same as it is today. Now ask me why that surprised me so much. I have no idea!
I'm not sure if Emily wore a snood or not (writer Anne Radcliffe expounded exponentially on everything but the clothing of the day!), but since the snood was worn during this time period this is what I elected to make.
When I decided on this I had no idea how to make one, so I did a search and came up with this pattern. It's quick and easy (I have to admit to a bit of modifying the pattern), and it worked up in 2 evenings at the television. (It took 2 because the first one I kept fiddling around with the computer..grin) I used #10 cotton and a Bates size 1 (2.35 mm) needle.
I actually tried it on, but decided that was one picture no one deserved to have to look at... soooo. grin Perhaps I will see if daughters or grand daughter would like to give it a try.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Looking In

Ever wish you could see through that window?

Doily Finished

The flowers that sit in the center of my kitchen table looked a little lonely, so I whipped up this doily. There is no pattern, just an evolution of whatever I felt like doing at the time. It's made of #10 cotton and a size F needle.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Greeting Cards

I pulled out the paints today to see if I could come up with something to paint on the new clock that Hubby made for me. One thing led to another in the midst of all that paint and these are what I came up with. I think the red one will be used for Christmas cards this year.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Back up and online!

Finally back up and online around 7pm this evening. Have spent the evening re-uploading several of my programs and have decided to leave off some of the ones that are never used anymore. Guess tomorrow will be devoted to the newsletter, since we have finally received almost all of the info we need and we should be able to complete it in the next couple of days.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Computer Problems

My pc is making really strange noises... We will be having them (mine and his) looked at today if possible and depending on what the repairs are, we should be back up this evening. But if not... I will be back as soon as I can.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Knitted Scarves

Not long ago I decided to try my hand at knitting. So... scarves seemed the thing to do. They turned out better than I thought, so now I am looking at a pattern in an old 1970's knit and crochet pattern book that I have. It has a pattern for a garter stitch knitted afghan for baby that looks simple and yet very soft.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Making Bows at

With Christmas just around the corner, the idea of the old 50 bows in a bag for the Christmas gifts just isn't doing it for me this year. So I did a search. Save-On-Crafts has a great page showing how to make bows. There are pages showing how to do floral arrangements here . There are knitting and crochet projects here that include a 4 1/2 hr afghan pattern...yummm! For those of us who enjoy making our own bath and beauty products, there's a page for that here! Take a look... surf the pages.. it's a great site.

CQ Block Update 2

My CQ block seems to be taking a very long time..grin But I am finding that I enjoy it much more than I ever thought I would. The French Knot grapes were fun to do and I am considering making the left bottom blue area into a roofline with a window. Will see.

First Frame Finished

I looked up and it has been 4 days since I have blogged! Busy time. But our first picture frame is complete. This pastel is one that I did about a year and a half ago while living in Arkansas. This is the second picture frame we made, but the first that is complete. Since this one, we have completed 2 that are much larger. I was really happy to find that using the mat cutter is not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be... grin