Friday, November 12, 2010
Summer Ann arrived this week. I wanna say that I'm related to Summer Ann. Kinda-sorta. Her grandmother's brother - that would be Great Uncle Gordon - is my cousin-in-law, married to my cousin Gena (who is like a sister to me). I'm sure you are chuckling by now but anyone who has lived in a rural county will understand. Here in our neck of the woods, if you're native to this area you are kinda related to almost everyone. But let me tell you, there is no one I am prouder to claim kinship to than this family. They are warm and special people, great fun to be around. They, who have endured tragedy of their own, have always been good to me, but never any more so than this year.
Anyway . . . you know you are old when you find yourself saying things like this . . . I remember like yesterday when Summer's mama and my son toddled around together. I can't wait to see the little miracle in person.
So in the interest of not falling too far behind the season, here are some pillowcases that I delivered to Childrens Hospital last month. As I mentioned in the last post, these are in memory of Ashley. The hospital has a foundation that manages all related to charity, including these "gifts in kind". A couple of the sweet ladies there have become good friends to me. Very kind and supportive. Ashley loved working at Childrens. I can see why, with such wonderful people making up their staff.
Here's another grouping that went down last month.
And sweet cousin Gena -- she has made a group also (gorgeous!), they will be part of the next delivery. More on that and pics to come.
And last but not least, Ashley's sister Misty came for a visit during Halloween week and she and I made these lovely treat bags for her three boys. Ashley ADORED her nephews. I'm sure she was very pleased.
Special prayers today for Kathleen, Dorothy, Stan, John, Larry, Brenda and Shirley. God bless.
Friday, October 29, 2010
I guess my message in discussing the sadness is that I have personally learned how much it means to let someone know. You don't have to come up with magical words, sometimes it's better if you don't try, it is the simple act of reaching out that is most meaningful.
I have a lot more to say about such things and some beautiful quotes that have been shared with me . . . another time.
For now. Yes, I have been sewing. Sewing a lot. I have made two deliveries to Childrens Hospital of items donated in Ashley's memory. I plan for this to be an ongoing devotion honoring her memory. I have completed an elaborate set of altar linens for the church, in her memory. And my dear friend Pat has made certain that I have as much to sew for the fabric stores as I wish. She and Laura have sent some amazing and beautiful projects my way. I have so many pictures I've been hoarding. For now I will close with this beautiful, beautiful quilt that I will deliver today to Laura at Jackman's in Fairview Heights. It will be on display, so if you go in the store you can say you saw it here first. :p
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I guess my catch phrase these days is "I'm getting by". I think that's about the best we can do, Kyle and I and all who love Ashley so very very much, which I know includes many who will read this. Some days, some moments are harder than others. She was so much a part of me. I know that sounds cliche but the meaning behind it is not. She shared enthusiasm in everything I found joy in. Sewing, stamping, the Cricut, cooking - all these things we did together. So to try to do any of those things is difficult. Everything in my home is a part of her. And especially in those rooms where we shared such fun and joy, all the pieces of those pleasures have her fingerprints on them. Literally and figuratively. It is hard to pick something up, to move it or disturb it - wondering was it I or Ash who set it there? Was it she or I who last used it? Some day perhaps these feelings will pass. I really don't know. I do know with a certainty as strong as any I have every known, that the hole in my life and my heart will always remain. Maybe it won't be so raw (at least that's what I'm told) but it will always be.
So I know, how am I really? I'm improving I think. Sometimes I sleep (sometimes I don't). I've quit losing weight and have gained a little back. And I am doing things again, things I couldn't have a couple of weeks ago. I feel that now I may have reached the point that I spend almost as much time functioning as I do feeling sorry for myself. To me, that is huge. It wasn't long ago when I really wasn't able to do anything. Some moments I can think of her without crying. She sends me sweet memories from time to time and I feel her presence.
I'm clinging to my faith as if it were a lifesaver tossed to me in the waves.
As I have said to Kyle more times than I can count - there are no rules, no guidebook to tell us what to do or how to get by. We play it by ear . . . day by day, moment by moment. Maybe today will be a good day. We'll see. Thank you all so very, very much for your concern and for your prayers.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
As I struggle, I come back time and again to the words Father Joseph spoke at her funeral, "We must take care as we grieve and mourn, not to let the darkness and sadness of death have the last word." I am profoundly grateful for the five-plus years we shared in her beautiful life. And I am comforted in recalling our conversations regarding faith, and my knowledge that she was close to God. But still, I miss her so . . .
I have no doubt that Ashley is aware of our struggles and sadness. I believe she was speaking directly to us a few days ago when I found this in an old, old book of poems that has been a favorite of Kyle's and mine since his childhood. Ashley bookmarked the page and in her own handwriting noted the title of the poem . . .
I promise you dear Ashley, I will try ever so hard to remember these words you have given us. I love you darling. Forever.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
This picture was taken on Christmas day. I didn't realize until this moment how much better he looked such a short time ago.
My father was a jokester even to the last, reaching out from his hospital bed last week to startle my sister Linda by slapping the paper she was reading. Then snickering - oh yeah. He was intelligent and independent. He didn't care about conventional rules, he preferred to make his own. I think my dear cousin Lisa said it best in her Facebook post, "Rest in Peace My Dear Uncle Sparky! You lived your life just the way YOU wanted to and had a lot of fun doing it! . . . "
I've received so many touching shows of support, it is overwhelming. It makes me realize how much a simple word, a hug or a phone call can make. We do those things without thinking, but take my word for it - it does matter, so much.
And once again, I find myself reminded of how blessed I am to have the sisters, cousins and aunts I love so well. I commented to one of my sisters that after being together nearly 24/7 this past week, I'm sure I will suffer some 'sister withdrawal'. Easily remedied, we decided. I'm looking ahead to better days. Of catching up on lots of levels. The two things which have occupied 80% of my attention (the wedding and my dad) are behind me now. It may take just a little time to clear my head but I'll be back soon. xoxo
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The answer of course is nothing. It is the goodness of those around me which has found his favor and he has rewarded us all with this blessed soul I may now call my daughter (in the truest sense of the word).
Oh my. This has been a week of soaring emotions, precious moments and joy beyond explanation. It was indeed a magical day and one that couldn't have been possible without the help and support of so many. I have truly been left speechless with countless acts of kindness. Such was the case on Friday night. An open invitation was extended for help to set up the reception hall and let me just say the response was overwhelming! My dear sisters (including my precious sister/cousin and my dear sisters-in-law) and my priceless best friend, as well as nieces, cousins, and special family friends showed up in unimagined numbers. It was an amazing sight, one that brought to mind a colony of worker ants as the hall was transformed into the scene that Ashley had envisioned. I cannot thank you all enough. It is humbling to have such kindness poured out for oneself and this is just one of the many precious memories I will carry forever.
As is this one. I can scarely believe this is the tiny baby boy whom I carried, nurtured and cared for. Who picked me clover flowers and dandelions. Who crept into my room at night to sleep on the floor beside my bed. And who called me Mommy. I don't think he can possibly know how proud I am of him. Nor how happy he has made me.
I love you my baby, my son. And my dear and darling daughter. xoxo Mom
Ashley's b&w closeup is courtesy of Moltobella Photography. You can see their blog and a sneak-peek of more wedding photos here.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Here are a couple of display samples I hadn't gotten around to showing yet. If you are familiar with Sew Beautiful magazine, this dress is from one of their feature articles. (Wait a minute, that sounded funny, not this dress, ours is a re-creation.)
And how about a Cricut-enhanced project to close? This was made for the company of a friend of mine.
His land development company is called Compass West. (I was trying to be clever with words/images.) He and his dad have several entities working out of the same office, thus the "York Enterprises" kind of incorporates everything.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Wouldn't you love to be five again so you could wear this outfit?
Here's a close-up of the cupcake. The orange icing and the white whipped cream dollop got their dimension with Texture Magic. It's a new product the store wanted to showcase. I'm telling you, it is fun!
Here's a bag from Lila Tueller's pattern line. It's the Bellanca bag. It looks cute here but the picture doesn't do it justice. There's a layer of batting (Warm & Natural) that gives it body and a comfy, quilty feel. Lots of grommets and hardware catch your eye too. I think this one looks a little boho. And I think it would make a cute diaper bag too . . . don't you?
This one I just finished today. Isn't the fabric precious? It's from Henry Glass.
And the bow! What a perfect touch. Since these are all displays, I can't take credit for picking out any of these lovely fabrics or patterns.
Maybe these will brighten your day just a tad and remind you, as they do me, that spring is on the way. Hooray!
Monday, January 18, 2010
But before I get to that, a couple of things I've meant to get to and hadn't yet . . .
I love, love, LOVE this piece! The 'create' image was traced by Cricut from the Home Decor cartridge. The bird was drawn free-hand (inspired by the bird on HD but I needed mine to be shaped more short & wide), and the flower layers were created by cutting a large circle pattern (Plantin Schoolbook), folding the pattern in half, in half again and half again (eighths), then cutting to a petal shape. Stem and leaves drawn free-hand. The pieced border was done with foundation piecing technique. As you may be able to tell, this piece is unfinished, it will probably become a wall-hanging when I get it back -- but I'm not sure yet.
Friday, January 8, 2010
My very favorite moment this week happened when Prince Russell (our shih tzu) alerted me early Wednesday morning that I should take a look into his kingdom (our back yard). When I did I saw a doe out towards the wood line but then . . .
Oh my goodness, I caught a glimpse of these two guys playfully locking antlers.
They carried on like this for several minutes, sparring, backing off, then going at it again. It was long enough for me to get my camera and click a few shots.
Of course, Russy couldn't resist barking and telling them they were intruding on his domain.
I love this photo where this big guy turned to look directly at Russ. It's amazing to me what they can hear and from how far away.
I'll share just one more -- I think this is a majestic shot of both of them. A few moments later they trailed off after the does that had already mosied on off in the woods.
Whew! What could top that? Certainly not humble sewing projects. But here are a couple of Christmas presents that I can show now that they've been gifted . . .
this is for my brand new nephew to tote his toys when he goes to visit.
A simple drawstring duffel. I used the Cricut to trace the TOYS text and the stars.
And I loved how these little totes came out. They were for nieces. Of course, there are names on the back of the other two as well. The Cricut and some freezer paper helped me personlize with their names. I do love that bug!
And lastly, I will close with a glimpse of some of the most precious, adorable puppies you ever saw. They were born two weeks ago at 2nd Chance Animal Rescue where my husband and I volunteer.
(BTW, that's a black puppy in the back of the heap!)
Both the puppies (8 in all!) and their sweet adorable mama will be looking for good homes. Please join me in prayers that the new year will bring forever homes for them all.