Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.(Philippians 4:8)

Monday, February 20, 2017

A colorful treat

Question for you ... share with me what a small, simple thing is that you do for yourself when you want to treat yourself? Something that doesn't mean spending loads of money, eating lots of calories, or investing time when you don't have the time to really pamper yourself? Y'all know those moments I mean ... something just to give you a little give you a boost of happy for a moment?

For me, it was always my flowers... digging in the dirt, breaking the dirt clods with my fingers into tiny dust balls, smelling the freshly turned soil, seeing the flowers bloom, enjoying the soft pastels as well as the bright colors. I don't even mind the weeding of the flower beds as it gives me time to reflect on God's miracles of such beauty blooming from such a tiny kernel of seed.  But I digress, pardon me ...

Flowers have been missing from my world for quite some time.  This weekend, having collected the amount due from another bag I made and sold ... more on that further on ... instead of using the dollars for groceries or gas ... I splurged on flowers.  Okay, so maybe just a few pansies, but for this girl from the northern realm of Montana, pansies in February still a wonder to me.

This is my small, simple treat... when I look out my window during the day, I get to enjoy the pretty faces of my pansies. Simple pleasures.  Bonus here ... using my phone on Saturday, I took my youngest daughter with me to pick out the flowers and while I held the phone to the display of flowers, she made her selection via FaceTime.  Bonus for me, as not only do I get to see my pretty pansies, I get to enjoy them knowing my baby girl helped pick them out.  Cool and cooler!

So ...  I mentioned above that I sold a bag in order to purchase these beauties. By word of mouth and the kindnesses of co-workers, family, and friends, I've picked up the stray odd-jobs.  Here are some recent projects, including this past week's which was another favorite, the Saturday Market Bag, pattern by Heather Bailey.

I mentioned last week that I would share a few of the other items I've made, and while I've been saving them to my Pinterest boards, I know many do not visit there ... so, I'm attaching a few for your viewing here... 

This week I am only including the "bags" as I do believe you would be bored and overwhelmed if I tried to include everything I've tried to create in my blogging absence. It appears that when I lost both my laptop and my desktop to virus last fall, many of my pictures went down with the machines, and blessed and lucky are you fine folks as you do not have to suffer the slide show of viewing all my many creations ... they would be more of the same in the many variations of colors.

Thank you for visiting with me today.  I look forward to coming back and visiting with you again in the very near future.  Believe it or not, but I've actually made a quilt or two during my absence that I'd be happy to share if you would all indulge me and then perhaps we could get on to more fun things ... more to come on that later....

Bless you and please, come again!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Allow me to introduce ... a long read

Hello. I feel the need to introduce myself. I've been away from blogging for quite some time.  Over two years in fact.

The death of my  blog started in a courtroom in September 2014 in fact. When one sees pages from your blog in full color brought before the judge for some unknown reason during a custody hearing ... well, that is a blindsiding blow to say the least. Never did find out the reason as the pages weren't allowed to be discussed.  Still, it stupefied me.

My desire to share died further every single mile of the two thousand miles I drove away from Missoula, Montana to Memphis, Tennessee without my two reasons for living -- creativity ... happiness ... breathing ... Well, at that time, its what it felt like.  However, at that time, I thought my daughters would be joining me at any time.

Fast forward two years  ... two very emotionally and financially draining years ... I am still without my daughters, though I do get visitation during school breaks, until they are of age and can decide where they wish to reside. I have a good job at the corporate world headquarters of a Fortune 500 company which should provide stability and longevity.  I am also slowly learning the area and developing friendships.

While this life I have is not the one I ever dreamed of having, nor the one I would ever have chosen, it has proven me to be a strong woman that can survive more than I ever thought possible.  I am not the woman that drove away from Montana.  That woman is no longer in existence.  I do believe I am finally becoming the woman that I believe will be proud to have her daughters emulate as they grow.  While my worst fear is for my girls to ever believe that I abandoned them, with the use of cell phones and FaceTime, email and thanks to my job express mail, I can stay in daily contact and even "see" them.  One day they will look back on this time, they will learn the truth as all children do, and I pray they will be proud of their mother ... just as I am of my mother ... for what she endured, what she survived, and for what sacrifices she had to make to make sure her daughters had the best life a mother could give them.

I believe I'm even beginning to heal and perhaps forgive myself for the failure I believed myself to be.  No longer will I allow the judgments of people that have not walked in my shoes matter to me -- and real or imagined, to me that list of judgmental people was long. By no means is my struggle over, but today ... today I am okay. Thank you for being here.

To that end, I'd like to start back into my creative outlet of blogging again. Once upon a time, this was a community of support, inspiration and creative "community" for me. I would like to join that community again.  Though this time, I am different. I have different expectations and I have different experiences.  My blogging may be different as will the stories I have to share.  New friendships will be made and I hope some old friendships will be renewed.

I'd like to share something I did for my daughter's school when the principal put out a call for any of the parents that own businesses to provide gift certificates if they chose to support not only the local business but also the teachers for Christmas.   Y'all know that I like to support my daughters' teachers, but this year it was going to be hard with my Emily in sixth grade ... how do you pick one teacher out of nine classes, I ask? Then I thought, do I have a business to offer a gift certificate?

Ha!  Give my creative mind a bit of time and a real friendly local-quilt-shop owner that I work with in the same town as the school and this is what I came up with:

I put together a choice of twelve table runners from three books by Disa Designs ... LOVE these patterns! I wrote up a gift certificate providing the winner with their choice of the runner as well as the ability to work with my friend and quilt shop owner, Vicki of Vicki's Quilts Down Under in Missoula to make their own fabric choices.  I arranged with Vicki to pay for the fabric and to mail it to me in Memphis.  I then sewed and quilted the runner and mailed it to the winner of the gift certificate.  I felt like I got to participate in my daughter's school teacher's gift exchange, Vicki's local quilt shop got business and possibly a future customer, and the teacher was gifted with a table runner of her choosing.  Here is a picture of the end result:

I do believe the recipient was quite happy with her tablerunner.  I was happy with the results and knowing she chose her own colors helped me be pleased with creating something for a person I'd never met.  Winners - all!  Yay us!

If you have read this far, bless your heart!  I hope to share some of the projects I have worked on over the past two years as well as share projects as I work them in the future. 

This life may not be as we plan, but I know God is the author and I have complete faith that He has the story line well in hand.  Today I look forward to turning the page to read what tomorrow brings ...