Monday, June 27, 2011

(more) Swimming & Sewing

Actually, this week's blog will be similar to last week's...Swimming & Sewing.  I think that summer has actually sunk into my psyche.  I did manage to slow things down a bit last week.  Then the heat hit and slowed me down even more.  Yep, I could get used to taking things slow.  I should be sitting on my new porch swing mouth breathing by mid July--when I'll have to come out of my Summer Stupor in order to start traveling again.

...in the meantime...

Last week friends from church came over for an Origami Night.  Kazumi, our sister of Japanese descent and resident origami expert, endeavored :) to teach us one of the most basic shapes.  Unfortunately, I didn't manage to take any group pics, but here's a few of the products of our hard labors.  Mine is the big orange one with, um, personality.  This is not my medium.  --but we had a lot of fun!  I wish I would have captured all of them on film before they started flying home :) There was quite a flock!

Then, there was the siren call of the pool...

This is blurry--because it was an Action Shot (and I don't have an Action Camera)!

All adults on deck!  Where's Amanda?  How come she gets to veg down at the deep end, hmm?




Stinker Kelby ;)


Then, from the Sewing (Therapy) Loft...I'm having a lot of fun sewing garments...for myself :)  ...and to have them fit, etc.--very gratifying!  It's been interesting to explore why the garments are pleasing.  One, a lot has to do with the fabric--at 54, fabric is my Friend.  Hides a multitude of sins ;) --but I also need light, fluid fabrics and a fit that skims, not hugs.  Which brings me to a Ponderance Two.  Is it just me or did there used to be a pattern section for "Mrs."?  I remember this from when I was very young--a whole section of patterns for, what they called back then, the Matronly.  Believe me, a C cup at 54 years old is NOT the same as a C cup on a 20 or 30 year old.  Sigh.  I just might pursue this with the pattern companies.  Stay tuned.

Tips gleaned these days mostly seem to come from my wonderful daughters.  Nikki recently passed on the tip of using a walking foot with knits.  Magic!
I sewed this tunic top up from a really light and soft knit from Denver Fabric's bargain bins.  I'm really pleased with the fit and feel; very flattering.

I

Then I finished up this blue sweater; again, very light, soft & drape-y knit.  Taking a tip from Nikki, I doubled the collar/scarf piece width and sewed as one piece to avoid hemming a bias edge.  Very pleased with this one, too!



















I end the past week and start the new one with a challenge the Lord gave me from Neh 9:17:  

...but You are God.
Ready to pardon
Gracious & merciful
Slow to anger
Abundant in kindness

am I.?..be imitators of God, dear children...  
Ouch

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pursuing Peace

This is where I start my days--however, this past week's stops
here were way too brief and left me hungry & thirsty
Life here in the US can be so...distracting!  There are so many cool things to do and see and pursue and acquire and...it can leave me tired, frazzled and wondering where my peace is hiding out--and PEACE is my word-for-the-year!  God has been reminding me of that.  He's like that.  Scripture commands us to "seek peace and pursue it ( 1 Peter 3:11 )--not run the other way.  Admittedly, scripture also makes a distinction between times when we are called to run and when we are to walk (Is 40:31 for one) --balanced with times of being still and resting by those still waters.  The last few days I have heard the Lord distinctly instructing me to "Stop, already!"  There are several decisions I have to make and I so need His wisdom--and to receive that I must take the time to hear His heart.  In addition, several ministry opportunities of an international nature have come up and it would be so easy to just say "yes!" as these really get me excited.   The stark reality is that I have finite resources of time, energy and money--and I would not want to place undue stress on my precious relationships.  I must know His will.  I must stop and listen.  That means controlling the coming and going as well as input; meaning the chatter that is so constant here.  I really like NPR and Netflix and my iPod!  ...but what I need is some silence.

Plus, I feel the need just to hang out--enjoy summer here and luxuriate in some unstructured time.  Big challenge for me.  So, this coming week I have 3 commitments falling within 1 1/2 days.  The rest I am leaving open.  Wide open.  Then I need to figure out how to squeeze in a visit to the Munchkins in WA state ;)

OK, Despite being a bit too busy lately, I have managed to squeeze in Munchkin time and some sewing :D

Feeding the ducks--though Kelby & Layla ate most of their duck bread on the way there :)
















Swimming with Friends & Family :)

Sewing clothes!  It's been a very long time; but a trip to Denver Fabrics with Nikki was just what I needed to  kick start my creativity in this area (their bargain bins are amazing!).  Having everything in one place and in order didn't hurt either.  This sweater I had actually started about 3 years ago.  It's light and drapey and I'm very pleased with it!
This is a pool dress--a swimsuit cover-up.  The flowers are way bigger than I normally choose, but the fabric is a really light  washable linen and I like it a lot.  
this was a really easy pattern--I'd like to make the top--I like how the hem line is reversed from the dress
I finished up the ironing board cover project and whipped up this great little clothes pin bag

I close with these challenging quotes from
Strong Women, Soft Hearts: A Woman's Guide to Cultivating a Wise Heart and a Passionate Life
Thank you, Nancy!
 
"It is a bit of a mystery how we lose the early glow we have when the wonder of the gospel first captures us  How we slowly drift from the domain of the heart to a focus on efficiency and performance--as though this whole thing was mostly about doing and duty.  The passion is replaced with just showing up."

Yikes!  May that not be any of us--and if it is, let's take it to Him and let Him fix it!  God should never be boring.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weekender

I am aiming to blog at the end of each week--with no guilt attached if I don't, of course--life's too precious for that ;)  ....but it is a goal.  I thought of naming it something to do with Friday--but too much pressure, there; after all, the weekend can be 3-4 days!  I am still fighting the Mac/Picasa-PC thing.  Ideally, I should be able to upload (or is it download...hmm...) pics from iPhoto to Picasa Web albums which are so much more blogger-friendly.  Alas, all tips and guides online have not worked out.  I guess a trip to see my peeps at the Apple store is in my near future.  Anyway, without further ado, here's a bit (the fun bits) of my week in review:

Books that have blessed:
Becoming a Woman of Simplicity: "I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity ... of devotion to Christ." 2 Corinthians 11:3I have been in group studies twice for this one and have re-read on my own twice--Excellent!
Discovering Soul Care (Soul Care Resources)Thank you, Marni, for this treat.  Been through it twice as well.

















Experiencing God Day-By-Day: A Devotional and JournalThanks to Laurie S. for gifting me with this great devotional.

Acceptable Loss: A William Monk Novel...and just for the fun of reading, I am currently into a trilogy of this mystery series set in 1860's London.

THE MUNCHKINS
were over for some
     bird walking....


















....hill climbing...

...duck/goose watching (they have babies!)

...and rock climbing...



....munching & crafting & reading....




SEWING:
A bag to hold my hand washing (yes, I hand wash--I iron, too :) and a bag for bags (I re-use the veggie bags from Sprouts in my bathroom waste basket--much nicer to drop in the trash than a bunch of loose tissues and much grosser things, you know?  
Baby gifts for Amanda :)
Finally, I was hurriedly straightening up the house post Munchkins and pre Friends and stacked these library books without thinking.  I think, that together, these volumes speak volumes, don't you?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Quiet But Not Idle

I haven't blogged in a bit--not because I haven't wanted to--I'm going to blame it on this new beauty:




Yep.  I crossed over to Mac Land and am really enjoying it.  For the most part, the transition has been painless.  Except for the photo thing--which is a big thing for me.  So, from Picasa to iPhoto and flikr.  Challenging, but I'm determined!

Aside from Mac classes, I've been busy with lots of other stuff, too!

....like the Munchkins...





...and gardening (even my new herb garden is thriving!


oh, and we got new carpet--!  This after the floors were sanded to look like new.  Beautiful and worth all the upheaval.  












...and then there's the Some Assembly Required Projects.  Not so fun, but worth the effort.

...then I've tried to spend lots of time in my tree top sewing loft :D  This project was for Julia, who just turned 4.  I forgot to take a picture of all the little clothes I attached to fusible fleece; then  Randy & I cut out heaps of little hats, dresses, shoes, etc.--it was all so cute and a big hit with the birthday girl, too.  I've also been sewing some things for the house--also fun :)



Last, but not least, Nikki & I joined a benefit walk for Alternative Pregnancy Center where I volunteer one or two times a week.  Unfortunately, the gentlemen who I asked to take what would have been a great shot of Nikki & I underneath the banner; well, they came out completely white.  ???  So, all I have is this butt shot taken while trying to get this cute little dog.  Anyway, the event was fun and successful--around 1,000 showed up to walk!

Whew!  Done!  I blogged at last.  I gotta say, this was not as easy as with Picasa.  Surely there must be a way to download more than one picture at a time!?  
Another battle for another day.