Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to All . . . & to all a good night

Well, it has come once again.  And while I have a couple of pots simmering on the stove and a floor full of presents yet to be wrapped, here I am firing off a quick post to ease my mind.  I've been thinking 'Oh no, I never got the candy cane jumper posted!'  So here it is.  Something for Jackmans, of course.  I talked to Pat a couple days ago and she told me all Christmas displays are down at the store and replaced with spring.  Hah! 

Here's a close up of the candy cane.  It's simply rick-rack wrapped on itself.  Can't tell you the number of ladies who asked me at demo days to show them how to do that.  It's an old technique, something I remember even as a child.

Here is a set of onesies, requested by Jamie for their second child, Isabella born in October.  Amy went to visit in early November and graciously delivered them for us.  (Mostly created with fabric paint and Cricut stencilling. The birthday candle is raw edge applique.)

I know this was short but I will cut off here.  My lasagne noodles are calling.  :)

Our Christmas prayers for Dave, Jack & Betty, David-B & familly, John and for all those who are suffering the pain of separation in this holy season.  Special prayers of thanksgiving for my cousin Bailee and Nathan who walked away from a serious car accident yesterday, unscathed.  Thank you Lord.

In closing I want to share something beautiful from the devotional I read each day.  I want to dedicate it to the loving memory of Larry, my Uncle Bob, Brenda and Bonnie -- and always my beloved Ashley.

Death does hide,
But not divide;
You are but on Christ's other side.
You are with Christ, and Christ with me;
In Christ united still are we.

No matter how many times I read this I can't do it without tears.  With love and wishes for a blessed Christmas.  Love, J

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Before Pictures

This past Wednesday we closed on the new house.  Or the old house depending on how you think about it.  :)  The oldest son of the couple who owned the house closed with us as Trustee.  He, of course, grew up here then went off to become a dentist and set up practice in a metropolitan area.  He made a comment or two at closing about  how this experience had renewed his memories of small town life.  From the standards of business practice to the personal connections that always exist.  We discussed some of those newly discovered connections and shared some old memories as well.  He told us how much he would like to come by when he is in the area next summer and we made him promise he would.  The girls had left last week with similar desires and promises.

We went from closing directly to the house (of course!) and found our contractor/friend John already at work on the house, prepping the outside of the house to install the new siding that should arrive this coming week. 

We considered the siding to be yellow, but the girls described it as green.  It will be green again, but this time a sagey-neutral colored green.  The sample looked good against the brick . . . fingers crossed.

We plan to concrete this small area between the steps/entryway and the garage, creating a front-porch type sitting area.


Living room - with a few of the seller's items still left to be moved.  I love the windows  . . . and the built in book-cases around the fireplace.

                  Galley kitchen - from the back
                   door looking in.

                  More than a bit dated but very
                  functional.  And there's a
                  walk-in pantry!  Didn't know
                  they did such things in 1960
                  when this home was built.

Half bath in corner of den that will become my sewing room. You probably can't tell but that's early colonial style wallpaper. Do you remember on I Love Lucy when they moved to the ranch in the country? This reminds me of that . . .  about the same era?

I think the previous owners liked green, the whole house is green . . . almost . . .

. . . . all but the bathroom.  This looks completely different already.  We worked this weekend on removing the rosey-mauvey colored ceramic tile.  And the wallpaper.  Oh my.  There were three layers of wallpaper.  All interesting.  Two are coming off pretty easily, the last (and I'm guessing original?), not so much.  Ugh.

I've been working hard to get some sewing done for Jackman's too, I'll try to come back soon with some fun photos.
Prayers for Dave, Debbie, Jack & Betty, John, David-B, wife & son, Emily & Lily, and Addie.
May God be with you.
Love, J

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Season of Purple is Upon Us

I absolutely cannot believe we have celebrated the second Sunday of Advent.  Time is galloping forward and yikes, I have so much to do. Although I am not setting the bar very high in terms of Christmas prep as I recognize I just don't have time for it.  Wednesday we will close on the house. I feel the sense of anticipation like a race horse waiting for the bell to let the frenzy begin.  People ask if we will gut the new house.  I feel almost a sense of disrespect to even repeat that word.  The house has such character of its own and no, we are absolutely not gutting but nevertheless there is not an inch of it that will remain untouched. Let's say 'facelift' -- yes it's desperately in need of a facelift.

As many of you know, there is nothing more challenging for me than decision making.  Give me a task and I'm on fire but when I have to decide, well let's just say a LOT of thought goes into it.  So this whole process is mentally draining for me.  Today's plan is laid out though, there's a dumpster at the new house so this is the day to take advantage of that, I will be purging closets here.  Probably nothing I despise more than going through old junk, so think of me today. :)

So back to the purple theme for today - many of you also know that the son of a dear friend of mine will be ordained a priest in May.  I am making his vestments.  If you are of our faith, you know what an undertaking that is, if not I will briefly tell you that we have liturgical seasons - represented by colors - purple, rose, white, red, green.  Those are the basics every priest needs.  Kinda like a starter kit, you can expand upon that but those are necessities.  In each color, I will be sewing 2 garments and at least 3 companion pieces.  Maybe more depending upon circumstances.  So with that said, I've completed most of the violet set (everything he can be using right now) and this is one piece . . . Zach is such a dear and called me last night to tell me the number of compliments he is receiving.  Now, this is interesting - that violet fabric.  He found the lead and I ordered it directly from India - they started making it just for us when we ordered.  And all this done via the internet.  Sometimes I think of how amazing that is . . .

Then from priestly to whimsical!  Do y'all know the Very Hungry Caterpillar?  Do you know he has a new companion?  She is the Grouchy Ladybug.  Jackman's sent me this vest to make. It was cute but just needed a "pop" so I came up with the idea of the ladybug pin.  I'm pleased with how it turned out.  

Here's a close-up of the bug. :)

Just a silly sidenote . . .  if you scroll down, do you remember the red velveteen jacket with black candy-stick lining?  I did one for each store.  Talked to Pat last week and the St. Louis store alone has sold 3 BOLTS of the candy-stick fabric.  She's pleased, I'm just amazed!

Today my prayers continue for Dave, David-B & family, Betty & Jack, John, Mark, Leslie and all families who mourn a loss, especially difficult at this time of year.

May God bless you all this day.  
Love, J 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Catching Up Once Again

Oh my goodness, I did it again.  I have once more fallen behind in updating this blog.  But as I see the date of my last post, I notice that it was exactly when the present craziness in my life began.  I am going to try to make this brief so as not to bore anyone, I know that most of you who read this are probably aware . . .

About that time, I got a call from Pat at Jackmans.  I had been scheduled for January to do my first 'Demo Days' presentation and was excited about that opportunity.  Her call bumped that up to the first weekend of November -- wowsa!  We had planned fabulous projects but all of a sudden those things that had been on the back burner were priority, like needed yesterday!  I lived out of the sewing room for a couple of weeks.  It was worth it tho . . .

This is one of my favorite quilts ever - but I always say that, don't I?!

I had the quilt half-finished before I realized the significance of the red bags.  Am I slow or what?

Here's a close-up of the sheep - do you see the texurized wool?  I was demo-ing Texture Magic, a backing product that creates that effect.  This started out as regular, flat quilting cotton.

Kyle the Crocodile is minkee with Texture Magic - he got a LOT of attention.  (Wasn't Pat nice to let me make him in honor of my son KYLE!?)
So . . . the Demo Days were a huge success.  I told my baby sister the crowd which surrounded me at the St. Louis store was reminiscent of one of our After-Christmas shopping bonanzas many years ago, with throngs of customers eagerly grabbing what they were excited to buy!

By the time I finished with Demo Days the latest and greatest crazy development of our life was underway.  I don't know how else to say it but to blurt it out -- we are moving.  I know I had hinted at that just before the 'Great Tragedy'.  We had been talking for some time about downsizing since we are officially 'empty-nesters'.  Suddenly the ideal opportunity was upon us but we knew we had to move on it quickly -- so we will close this week on a remarkable ranch style home - what I consider to be craftsman style, an older home but WAY ahead of its time in terms of design.  It has been home for the past 35 years to an incredibly lovely couple from our church who recently passed away.  I had the honor of spending two full days of this past week with their daughters at the home, helping them to prepare and have an estate sale.  It was a blessing to come to know the girls better, I came to more intimately know and appreciate their lovely family - they even gave me the honorary title of 'sister'!  What an honor.  I think their parents must be so proud of them (and their brothers) and I hope they will bless our coming into their beautiful and dignified home.

I finished another project in the early hours this morning; I promise I will post again very soon (maybe in the next day or two).  In the meantime, if you know anyone in need of a 4-bedroom 3-bath home, send them our way.  I truly hate to leave our own beautiful home - I will miss this special place which has been my home longer than any other (more than half my adult life!) -- not to mention its gorgeous wooded setting and all the wildlife. But I console myself in knowing it will make some family very happy. 

So many prayers this time.  Eternal rest grant unto Brenda, Adelaide, Tim and Rowena, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.  Continuing prayers for Dave, Mark, John, Betty and Jack, and for David-B, his bride and unborn babe.

May God bless you all in a special way today.
Love, J