Sunday, October 25, 2009

Just to Let You Know...

Hello my friends, my family and my creative customers! I just thought I would share a bit and let you know about life this next week.

I do not think anyone is ever prepared to say their goodbyes to a loved one and no matter how much you know it is inevitable, it still sneaks up on us and leaves us struck. I have been blessed to have Grandparents who have been alive to see my marriage and the birth of my five kiddos, but time is now showing itself as the enemy and this week it has brought with it the reality that it is time to start saying my goodbyes. My Grandpa is in his final days and I am struggling with the loss of time to spend with him. So many questions and so many things to say. But, it will now have to wait and I know he is so anxious to be with Jesus. I am excited for him but sad for us. I am aching for my Grandma who doesn't want to be far behind him. I went and sat this afternoon in his hospital room with my family and enjoyed the time talking and listening, happy to have had the grandpa I do, but so wishing this was not the last days. I brought a little stack of letters he had written to me while I was in college. I had always loved listening to him tell stories of his growing up and when I was in school I asked him to write them for me. I wish I had been in college longer so that I had more of those stories captured in letters. But this next week, I am hoping to go and sit with him some more, as much as time will allow and as many days as the Lord will give. So, If it takes awhile for me to get back to you, I just want you to know why. I will have to sneak my times in when Matt is home with the kids since I cannot take all my lovelies with me. I still have things to say even though he cannot talk back. Families always have tough stuff in their legacy but they almost always have blessings that are worth clinging too and really appreciating. I most treasure my Grandpas story of how he met Jesus as a young adult and I think that is the most powerful legacy he has left behind for all of us. One I will be eternally grateful for. It is a time of sadness, but I came home from the hospital this afternoon and found myself so much more alive and grateful for what the Lord has blessed me with. I was so content to just chase my little ones around the house laughing and felt an ease and joy that has been struggling to get out lately. So, I find myself so thankful to our God for His gift of life, for His gift of family, and for His gift of Eternity with Him. My Mom would say "Life is hard, but God is Good!" If you think about it this week, I would greatly appreciate it if you would pray for my family, my Grandma, who has spent 60 years with him, pray for comfort in the end days, and healing in the family.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Most Priceless Art...........

This Masterpiece is entitled " The Spider Who Wants To Be a Boy" ~by Bell Drietz

Why would I want to shop the galleries of the world for art when I have the mind of a precious child to captivate and pull me into their imagination. I have a crate full of stories and exploration, full of my childrens expressions and thoughts. And then there is the stack of picnic baskets that tuck away more of there doodles, oh and the drawer of the misplaced nightstand for the overflow. But, a collision has occured and it has made a beautiful mess on my walls. We have one finished wall in our basement amongst the more "modern industrial" concrete know, the walls that have not been touched since the house was built except for a coat of paint slapped on occasionally so it feels more like a real room:)- But what do you do with one silly wall in your semi TV room? Well at the same time as this question began building, so did the craving to showcase my kiddos fun creations instead of them being hid away. And that is how a happy medium was arrived at. With a trip to the dollar store and a few cans of spray paint, I was able to turn our rec room wall into a gallery for the kiddos. They have been pretty excited about looking at there art in frames. And I, well, I could stare at them for hours. Fun to giggle about some of their stories. So here is their debu....

"God's Zoo" ~ by Madison Drietz

Madison has been working on a zoo-she has Zeke the Zebra, Giggles the giraffe, Elly the Elephant, Lady the Lady bug, and more to be unveiled at a later date:)

Cole has a masterpeice of humor up on the wall called "Smell the Pitt-ur"

Now this picture was colored years ago and it just makes me laugh because everyone who sees it thinks it says, "smells the pits" which completely looks fitting-but! it doesn't, see Cole had just recieved a set of smelly markers when he colored this and it actually says "smell the picture" but is of course mispelled. Isn't childhood fantastic!
Joslyn has been painting up a storm this week and this is her newest work of art.
It is entitled "POT" oh, the joy of learning to spell. She has been the one most fascinated with them being put up on the wall and has helped me get them hung. I have a feeling it will continue to inspire her to create more. She is my little one who loves to draw whole books for me.

Bell's was about a spider who is dreaming of becoming a boy and she sure enjoyed telling the story. She even let us giggle while she shared and seemed to completely understand the humor in it. She is also the mastermind behind the bug which is on the wall and the "pile of poop" which we have not framed as of yet:) It is all about the mixing of paint I guess only a true artist could relate to. I am seeing art in a whole new way thanks to her!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Ah insomnia .....well, if I cannot sleep, there is sure a lot I would like to do!

I was cleaning out some old containers of collected clipping that helped to spark the imagination and i came across something I had found and printed out almost 10 years ago. It still makes me laugh and I thought I would share one of hundreds of thoughts about being a quilter.

You know you are quilter when.... you quit your job paying $20 an hour to quilt for maybe $1.00 an hour.

God I Need Thee


When morning crowds the night away
And tasks of waking seize my mind;
I need Thy poise.


When love is hard to see
Amid the ugliness and slime,
I need Thy eyes.


When clashes come with those
Who walk the way with me,
I need Thy smile.


When the path before me lies,
I see it...courage flees-
I need Thy faith.


When the day's work is done,
Tired, discouraged, wasted,
I need Thy rest.

~Howard Thurman(Deep is the Hunger)

Especially thinking of my cousin Gabe, as he is in the midst of the war in Iraq once again.




Friday, October 9, 2009

Hold Me Now...

From the glass alabaster she poured out the depths of her soul
O foot of Christ would you wait if her harlotries known?
Falls a tear to darken the dirt
Of humblest offerings to forgive the hurt
She is strong enough to stand in Your love
I can hear her say...




Hold me now, hold me now

let he without sin
cast the first stone if you will
to say that my bride is not worth half the blood that I spilled
point your finger and laugh if you choose
To say my beloved is borrowed and bruised

I can hear her say...




Hold me now, hold me now

~Jennifer Knapp

For you beautiful girl-Jesus loves you-He made you-He died for you-you are his beloved-come to him-find rest-be a new creation-pure-clean-found-forgiven-rescued-saved-valued-adored-HIS

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer;I have overcome the world. John 16:33

The Nonsensical Love of Scraps.....

Now, I do know that I am not alone in this crazy obsession for fabric scraps! And the more I read, the more I am finding my "OWN KIND" I am finding that there are others of you who actually think scraps are better than money, others who would love to open up a gift and find a box full of scraps or who would rather get a pound of scraps than go to the fabric store to get a yard of fabric of the bolt! I am with you completely! After nearly 20 years of sewing and collecting and creating and many years of running my own unique form of a fabric store online, I have come to have quite the stash. Those silly dreams as a young girl that I had of literally wishing I could live in the fabric store, have in one way actually come true. I worked in fabric stores from the time I was 16 until my first child was born. I had the challenge of being on the management team at one of them after I was married. I thought it would be amazing to wake up amongst fabric and all the possibilities it held. Don't get me wrong, I do laugh about that and find humor in the thought especially when I think about it from another person's perspective. But the fact of it is that I do now have a sort of fabric store in my own home. You know the old saying amongst fabric collectors-"The one who dies with the most fabric wins"- Well, I am off to a great start-but I do not intend to die with it-I do actually intend to use it or pass it on to my customers! Hopefully one of my girls will acquire a similar love because if they don't, this will be one area that will make them crazy when I die.

Back to scraps though, I am wandering here in my thoughts. They are endless, aren't they. Especially if you sew all the time. And for me, creating is only half of my job, so I do not unfortunately have the time to use all of them myself. I always have more ideas than I have time. But I have really enjoyed the oppratunity I have to pass those scraps on to other creatives. As a matter of fact there are many creatives out there that make their living off of using scraps for there creations. The ability to take a scrap piece of fabric, something so tiny and tempting to some to throw away, and turn it into a useful or beautiful item is really quite fantastic! Whether you look at it from an artistic point of view, a thrifty point of view, or an eco friendly point of view, it is a wonderful way to reuse or use everything at our fingertips.

After about a year into selling fabrics and my own creations on line, I found that it was becoming more and more difficult to store all of it and to keep it organized. While I do keep quite a large amount on hand for myself and the things that I design, the amount that was accumulating that I did not see myself getting to was in need of a purpose. So last February I began with a new addition to the shop, something that my customers could get use to finding available. I began doing a 1 pound scrap pack of the day. The scrap pack is always $5.00, but on the day it is listed, it is 50% off making it $2.50. It has gone well and I usually do not ever have more than a crates worth of them in the shop at a time. Meaning that they sell quite frequently. I know some love to just add it to there order as the cherry on top, some love to come in and buy up a whole bunch of them, and some will come in just for that day's bundle. I always look at those scrap bundles as I package them up for their new owner and love to think about what they may become. While I still have my own ideas for much of the fabrics, like I mentioned earlier, time just prohibits me from getting to them.

I have certainly missed days, sometimes weeks, depending on my own family life or what else is going on in the shop behind the scenes, but my customers are always welcome to request the bundle of the day, if I have not gotten one in the shop that day. Some days I have even listed 2 if I have missed days before it. One customer wrote me one day and said "Do you realize you will have sold over 300 pounds of fabric in one year! And that is just scraps! Pretty crazy thought, and although it may not come out to that amount exactly, it will be pretty close.

So, for those of you who love working with scraps, these are what the bundles look like. They are made up of a very wide variety of fabrics, from wool, cotton, polyester, silk, fleece, corduroy, etc. The sizes of the scraps are anywhere from a 2 inch strip to just under a fat quarter in size. I do actually take pictures of the exact fabric you will be getting. That way you can buy what you need and not end up with fabrics that are useless to you.

And I have put in some photos of things that I use scraps for around the house and in my designs for the shop.

I have used my scraps for covering buttons in which I use for bookmarks, hairpins, magnets, and push pins.

I use scraps for making all of my zune, iphone, camera, or ipod cozies.

I use scraps many times for making crayon rolls or crayon pouches.

The scraps are wonderful for making patchwork bibs as well.
Or for patches that can be used on clothing, blankets, totes, in picture frames, etc.
Or for sachets, bean bags, rice packs, etc.

And of course there are headbands too!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Helen's Thoughts...

When Matt and I were in college, some of my most favorite dates were spent hunting for old books. I am not a bookworm of the normal sort. Actually book learning has always stretched and challenged me a little on the uncomfortable side. I do love books though, old ones the most. And, my mom always says I am a romantic, I still get teased now and again about it, but in many ways it has served me very well. I can now say, I am happy to be that way. So, when it comes to books, there is a scene from a movie that captures that romantic side of me concerning books. It is in the newest version of Sabrina. it is a scene of her father in his home, and everywhere you look, there are stacks of books, comforting for some reason. Anyways, yesterday Madison came down with some fun flu season bug that just left her miserable with a fever we could not break. So after she had spent most of the day sleeping, it was difficult for her to fall asleep at night. She was so achy and just wanted to curl up in my bed where it was dark and quiet. So after the other kiddos were asleep, I crawled into bed with her and cracked open one of my favorite old books I had found on one of those college dates of Matt and I's. It is a book of Helen Keller's thoughts. One of the thoughts that struck me this time was this.

"I try to increase the power God has given me to see the best in everything and everyone, and make that best a part of my life. The world is sown with good; but unless I turn my glad thoughts into practical living and till my own field, I cannot reap a kernel of the good." -Helen Keller

It really is a gift the Lord has given to us, how He makes good come from bad. But sometimes we can decide not to see the good, we make a choice to focus on the bad. And reading those words come from a woman who lived in silence, whos life was so extremely difficult. It is nothing less than inspiring. She had horribly difficult days, days when she just wept, but she even says those days were nessesary in order to have the good days when she could talk with friends and see life's goodness. So, I am trying to continue to see the good the Lord has given and to make sure I let it impact my life, for it to be more than a thought.



Thursday, October 1, 2009

Russian Tea Recipe

Every year at Christmas time, my mama would make this tea, actually she still does. It has become the smell and taste of comfort for me and I actually start making it as soon as those cool fall days arrive. So tonight I have just made my second batch as the fall flu season has hit us-yuck! Hey, it is a nice excuse to cuddle up with the kiddos for the weekend though! Dad is gone on a youth trip and we are going to relax. So here it is...the recipe for Russian tea.

You need...
6 tea bags of cranberry or lemon flavor(however, I use sleepy time tea from Celestial seasonings-so you can replace it with whatever is your favorite flavor tea)

twenty whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1 can of frozen orange juice
can of pineapple juice(46 oz)
1 cup of honey
cap full of lemon juice


steep the cloves and cin sticks in 10 cups of water for 10 minutes
add tea bags for the next 10 minutes
remove tea bags
next add the frozen orange juice, pineapple juice, honey and lemon juice. bring to a rolling boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
You can remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves if your prefer, but they can be left in as well.

I put my tea in the crock pot for the day on low, and if there is anything left at the end of the day, I put it in a pitcher and store in the frig. It can be served cold as well. I put it in a sippy for Noah and he downs it. You will want to cool it a bit before putting it in a pitcher though. It is no fun to have a melted plastic pitcher added to the tea flavor!:)