Monday, November 30

*nablopomo -fail


I had all intentions of being successful at nablopomo this month, but not so.  I hope you have enjoyed reading my frequent post this past month. For me it was quite enjoyable even though I didn't finish well.  Thanks again to each of you who read regularly and post comments frequently! I appreciate the feedback!


Sunday, November 29

*come, thou fount of every blessing..

 I am so grateful for the Good Shepherd.  
Come, thou Fount of every blessing, 
 tune my heart to sing thy grace; 
 streams of mercy, never ceasing, 
 call for songs of loudest praise. 
 Teach me some melodious sonnet, 
 sung by flaming tongues above. 
 Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it, 
 mount of thy redeeming love.
 
Here I raise mine Ebenezer; 
 hither by thy help I'm come; 
 and I hope, by thy good pleasure, 
 safely to arrive at home. 
 Jesus sought me when a stranger, 
 wandering from the fold of God; 
 he, to rescue me from danger, 
 interposed his precious blood. 
 
O to grace how great a debtor 
 daily I'm constrained to be! 
 Let thy goodness, like a fetter, 
 bind my wandering heart to thee. 
 Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, 
 prone to leave the God I love; 
 here's my heart, O take and seal it, 
 seal it for thy courts above. 
 
  

Saturday, November 28

*a heart of thanksgiving

If I had to pick a favorite "holiday", I would choose Thanksgiving again and again.  What a great time, what a great day set aside for God, family, and cherished friends and all that you are thankful for. There are no list of cards to get out and no gift list to check as you seek out something for each person on that beloved list.  It is not over commercialized. Nope.  Thanksgiving is not that at all. It is a time for family to come together. I think that is why it is my favorite celebrated day.  Family is a very important unit to us, as it is for you too I am sure.   What could be better than sitting around the table with your family and dearest friends? What could be better than hearing the men sit in the living room after dinner commenting on football plays?  What could be better than hearing conversations leading to reminisce  of days gone by?  What is better? 

This life pulls us to places we sometimes do not want to go. I am grateful that I find happiness, security, joy and fullness in the bounty of family.  Thanksgiving is a time to, well be thankful. May it be so that we have thanksgiving in our hearts every passing day.  I am hopeful that the harried business that lies in each day will not come along and blind fold you or me from the things that enter our lives through His hand each passing day. 

Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].   1 Thessalonians 5:18 (Amplified Bible) 


Wednesday, November 25

*thankful


Babies have this way of just capturing your heart! Look at that precious face... Isn't he just adorable?  Baby Mateo is Franziska's (aka my best friend in the wide world)  second cousin. He and his mother, Uta are here in the states from Germany for a month's visit.  I don't remember ever being around a baby more content, completely happy and simply a joy to be around.

While my husband spends this Thanksgiving over seas, Henry and I are grateful to be in the mountains this November to celebrate Thanksgiving with extended family (close friends who have become family).   We hope each of you have a glorious Thanksgiving as you once again reflect on this past years blessings, good times and the good that came from the hard times that may have occurred in each of your lives!  Happy Thanksgiving!
           

Monday, November 23

*seen through the lense of my camera


 Each day when I go out I cannot seem to make it out the front door without my camera in tow. As I drive throughout streets of my normal routine, I am amazed and in awe of the different scenery filled with beauty each and every day.  Panhandle of Florida if you don't have these colors in the fall I am not sure I want to come live with you.
 

 
This is what remains on the Dogwood Trees that are scattered throughout the back of our property. As I look at the bright red berries, I am reminded of the symbol they hold for me.  Each spring these trees beautifully monopolize the landscape of Fayetteville.  We are reminded of rebirth each year, of new life. Each blossom is pure and white with what looks like a slight blood red stain in the center of each petal. They point me to Christ and His sacrifice. Then in the fall as I look again at the tree, all I see is the blood red berries left behind to once again remind me that His Blood covers it all. 

 

Lastly, this is an ornamental cabbage that has some how made it through three years seasons.  As I took in the beauty of God's handiwork in our back yard today, the acorn in the middle of this ornamental cabbage drew me in.  


Sunday, November 22

*november


A Child's Calendar
November

by John Updike
The stripped and shapely
Maple grieves
The ghosts of her
Departed leaves.

The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.
And yet the world,
In its distress,
Displays a certain
Loveliness---

Saturday, November 21

*swing bag pattern altered


 I recently had a special order for a large purse.  This purse is made using one of the Amy Butlers patterns (Swing Bag) with a number of changes. The fabric chosen for this purse is by Robert Kaufman, I have a purse of my own made of this same fabric.  You will notice I stuffed some Amy Butler fat quarters inside the pockets so you could more easily see the interior pockets of this roomy hand bag.  

I am excited to get this purse to the young woman  who ordered it.  I do hope she gets a long time use from it! Thanks Deanna G for blessing your daughter with one of my creations.

Friday, November 20

*new found fav


Don't you hate to pay the magazine rack prices? Don't you love it when you are given a stack of magazines by a friend who is now done with them? I was recently given some Taste of Home magazines, which I love.  I was also given some McCall's Quilting Magazines.  I don't think there is anything about this magazine that I do not like, other than possible it could be a little bigger.  In the issues I was given, I have found a variety of quilting patterns to suit a variety of taste.  There is a little bit of applique in each one as well.  I always love it when you find a pattern for other small projects, such as the reusable tote pattern in the June 09 issue.

I have been doing some reading lately on how important it is to choose the right 'quilting pattern' for a quilt.  More focus and attention is often given to the color selections as well as the quilt pattern, but little is put into the quilting pattern which can really make a huge difference in the quilt.  Check this out for more input on this subject as well as many free free-motion quilting patterns.  Happy Quilting!


Thursday, November 19

*observe the eagle


Noted for their strength, size and powers of flight and vision, the eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks and will fly to some high spot to wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, the eagle sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, this resourceful bird is soaring above it. It does not escape the storm but simply uses the elements to elevate it to safety.

Like the eagles, when the storms come to us, we too can rise above them by setting our minds and our belief toward our heavenly Father. If we believe, He will enable us to ride the winds that bring sickness, tragedy, failure and disappointment in our lives, for it is not the burdens of life that weigh us down, it is how we handle them. The Word says, "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles." Isaiah 40:31

Wednesday, November 18

*drunkards path -untouched



Well it is Wednesday night and I still have not even pulled out the quilt that I need to have FINISHED by mid December.  You know, the Drunkard's Path for my dad.  It is still borderless.  My dh was supposed to leave for a trip on military air yesterday afternoon.   I have sort of been in a holding pattern for two days now. I, of course, am not the only one effected by this constant on again, off again place we find ourselve in.  There are near fifty folks who will be on this trip, so... take what I have experienced  and multiply it times fifty+!

My day yesterday consisted of this:
* drove our son to school and back home
*drove my hubby to drop off location for travel & back home
*drove to pick up my hubby because of a delay
*drove to pick up our son from swim practice and then to dinner
*drove my hubby back to drop off location for travel
*drove home
*drove back to pick up my dear hubby because of a cancellation for the day (trying again the next day)
*drove home

Start of today:
*drove our son to school and back home
*drove my dear hubby to location for travel
*drove to pick up son from swim practice
*drove my son to mid-week services
*drove to pick up my dear hubby - another @#$! delay and another meal out
*drove to dinner with hubby
*drove to pick up son from mid-week services
*drove hubby back to location for travel
...home waiting for a possible call to DRIVE and pick him up so they can try again tomorrow.

I am tired of driving.
I am selling my car.



UPDATE (one hour after this blog post) *driving to pick up my precious beloved... flight pushed back 24 hours again!  I feel so badly for him.  Glad I didn't have any buyers on my car yet.... hehe


Tuesday, November 17

*quilting tutorial -quick and easy pattern

 This is one of my favorite quick quilts that I have ever made. In fact, I made quite a few of these.   In a previous post I wrote a bit about these beautiful quick and easy quilts.  I was so into this pattern that I went to my stash and found 6 fabrics and put this one together. I ended up giving it to my dearest friend Franziska, because she never had a baby quilt.  We fixed that.

I have included a pictorial below and cuttting instructions as well. It is really quite simple to make. You will select 5 fat quarters for a baby size quilt, 9 or 12 for a toddler or lap size or 20 for a double bed topper.  Of course, you can add as many or as little as you like.

From EACH fat quarter cut :
 3  strips 2 inches wide (alongside the 20 - 22 inch side)
 3 strips 2 1/2  inches wide (alongside the same side)
 1     3 inch square
 2    3 1/2 inch squares
  You will have a bit of fabric left over... set aside you may need to cut more 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch sqs

Now to match them up:
 Put one of each  of the 2 inch strips in a stack (labeled Row 1)
 Put 2 of each 2 inch strip in a stack labeled (Row 2)
 Keep all 2 1/2 inch strips together.. order by color..darkest to lightest
 Put 3 1/2 inch squares in stack labled (Corner Squares)
 Put 3 inch squares in a stack labeled (Center Squares)
you will then go back and put all your fabric in color order... you know..lightest to darkest. (all stacks)

Ok ... so then you will pick 3 of the center squares fabric leaning more on the ligther side...  also you will do this from the darker shades (3  center squares)  you should have a total of 6 picked out.. then you will go to your Row 1, you will pick on strip for each center square you have picked.. the fabric should contrast.
Next you will go to row 2..same deal... pick a fabric that has contrast. ( you will need two of these to complete the 2nd row).. so pick 2 each of the same color. sew as pic shows...then set this aside.

next you will make the outer corners..
Look at your block you set aside.. You will pick 2 of the 3 1/2 inch squares that match the center of the finished block you just did. Select 3 of the 2 1/2 inch squares they need to contrast with the center square (which is the same as your corner square).   You will make two identical blocks... so... take your square and the strips and sew then on as pic show.  Complete two.  PRESS with sizing..
be careful not to IRON... because it will distort the fabric. You will now cut the block in half diagionally.

The long sides of the block will be top and bottom.. not the short piece .. you will see....based on the inner square.. you will line your ruler up  from corner to corner on that center square.  Dont mind that the tops and bottom corners are off a bit.  That will be taken care of later. Do your  best to fudge a bit left or right if it is WAY off.

You can see how to do the rest of it. You will center and pin the corners on. You will start with the sides with the short outer pieces. Do opposites then the top and bottom..  You will want to make sure that the edges are identical as you sew these triangles on.  You will then size up with a 12.5 inch square ruler!  Sew finished 12.5 inch squares together, put on a border and your quilt top is finished!

If you read these directions, and then follow along with tutorial below, I am hoping each step will be clearly understood. If you have any questions or if there are any loop holes in my directions (places you don't understand), let me know.


Click on the picture below for the tutorial.

Quilt Making Visual - Midnight Madnes
 

Monday, November 16

*weaknesses

Who of us likes the uncomfortable feeling of pointing out our own weaknesses or having them pointed out to us by others?  Isn't it interesting how we walk around not realizing many a thing about ourselves that others see clearly on a regular basis?

These are a few of my weaknesses that I am willing to joke about, blurt out, call attention to:



I love shoes! Strange shoes. Clunky shoes.


I love carbs. Pasta. Bread. Chips. Chips. Did I mention Chips?


I love books. Books from the 1800's. How to Books. Cook Books. Gardening Books. ..... Is loving books a weakness? Hmm maybe I should remove this from the list. (but if you could only see our LONG WALL of stuffed bookcases and each of the  bookcases in every bedroom of our house... you would say.. Leave it on the list)


I love fabric. Funky Fabric. Modern Prints. Civil War.  Flannel.


What are some of your weaknesses? Come on..do tell... I wont tell anyone!

Sunday, November 15

*ahhh, back to quilting



While I have really enjoyed the two bazaars that I recently participated in and every second of crafting something out of scraps, fat quarters or stash yardage, I am ready to get back to quilting.  Shamefully, I have to admit that I am STILL trying to put together the Drunkards Path quilt that I am doing for my daddy.  Last Christmas, yes... last Christmas he asked me to make him another quilt.  My daddy is the proud owner of my first quilt which I  made about 9 years ago.  It is the Dresden Plate quilt pattern, made of blues and white.  Hopefully I will get the borders on the Drunkards Path this week as well as the borders on this Wacky Snails Trail.   But none of this can take place until I clean up the huge mess that was created in my sewing room this past week while I put the finishing touches on various projects I had going for the bazaar.   I had a good time, and I am grateful for the opportunity to sell my goods, but I am glad that is behind me now. I hope you all are able to get out to some bazaars this season.  There was incredible talent displayed at this bazaar. 

Saturday, November 14

*julia the runt


Meet Julia.  Julia, named by Henry, was folded into our family 4 years or so ago.  She and her brother, who you will meet in a future post, both came to us at the same time.  We visited a no kill shelter, The Haven, where we  found both of them in a cat carrier on top of a DOG carrier with DOGS in it - barking, making a ruckus.  We felt this was cruel and harsh so we just had to rescue them.   In fact, we did go to the Haven to find at least one more Russian Blue.. and wow.. we found double trouble.

Julia is a skulker.  She is a runt.  She is simply prissy.  A queen of sorts.  She sleeps on my hip most every night.  She meow's like a monkey when she is longing for affection that is being with held. She is a performer.   She and Precious (Big Mama) do not get along as one can imagine - it is like watching two roosters try and rule the roost.  Funny as it is, the tiniest over rules the biggest in this roost.  Now that I think of it.. Julia doesn't have any friends.



Friday, November 13

*boys and girls


                                                        What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails
And puppy-dog tails,
That's what little boys are made of.


What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice
And everything nice,
That's what little girls are made of.



Thursday, November 12

*simple delicious dinner


Tonight for dinner we had a simple, yet tasty meal!  We had mini Italian Meatloaf and steamed cauliflower.  You could easily add some yeast rolls to go with this as well, but we had already had enough carbs in one day - did I just say that?  I LOVE carbs.  

Here is the recipe for the meatloafs -
Ingredients:
1 pound of ground beef
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese - plus extra for topping
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of chopped onion
1 tsp garlic minced
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning - plus extra for topping
1 pinch of salt and pepper
Ketchup for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour all ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Mix with your hands until all ingredients are evenly dispersed.  Form into patties.. a little thicker than a hamburger but not as round (or whatever works for ya!).  Place patties on a broiler pan or baking pan. Top with Ketchup, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and a pinch of the Italian seasoning.  Bake for 20 minutes.



Wednesday, November 11

*taken by surprise


Sewing purses on this delightful rainy Veterans Day!  Thanks to all who have served over the years to present day.  

Some are similar to the Swing Bag Pattern by Amy Butler and others are simple straight lines.
I am once again preparing for a Bazaar that will take place this weekend. The funny thing is.. I thought I had a couple of weeks to recover from the last one and get prepared for this one.  In fact, I did have  just two weeks, however my recovery took a full week and I suppose I was thinking time stood still.  It DID NOT.  I was just talking to Karen, the lovely lady who is in charge of the bazaar for this weekend, and she said I will see you on Saturday.  You can only imagine my surprise and mmm shock when I realized that this Saturday was the day marked on my calendar as the Fall Bazaar with GRACE. Does time ever get away from you like this?  So today, while it rains and while my hubby and son play some games together - I will sew. Happily, I will listen to music and sew!


Tuesday, November 10

*faces

These are a few of my favorite mug shots, my favorites this week anyway.  Enjoy!













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