giving


I try to keep a running list of things I’m working on…partly so I don’t forget to finish things in a timely manner!  Its a good feeling to cross something off the list as ‘completed.’ Since I’m not good at photographing and doing tutorials for every project, here’s my condensed list from 2016. Feel free to ask questions or demand photos!  This list is more for my own memory as much as anything else 🙂

For 2017 I already have 3 quilts in the works, 3 pieces of furniture in our garage calling my name to make them pretty again, and a friend asking me to make some Roman shades and drapes.  Keeps me out of trouble!

Sewing Projects:

  • Baby quilt + sister’s heritage quilt redo + wedding quilt
  • 3 car seat wrap-around blankets
  • 3 baby blankets
  • Numerous baby burp cloths
  • Living room chair seat covers w/cording
  • Recovered dining room chairs
  • Pillows and tablecloth for a dining room
  • Placemats
  • Baby leggings
  • Corded bench cushion
  • Prom dress tailoring
  • Arm covers for damaged wicker chairs
  • Various plaid scarves + cowl-neck poncho
  • Small purse/carry bag

Painting projects:

  • Restored antique desk
  • Paint/distress dresser/changing table/custom shelf for nursery
  • pedestal oak table paint/stain
  • 2 wrought iron chairs + table paint/recover
  • Huge bunk bed/desk/ladder set painted
  • 2 vintage dressers painted/distressed for another nursery
  • Coffee table and side table paint/stain
  • Antique tv cabinet restoration
  • small cabinet paint/new quartz top
  • Sewing table restoration/paint
  • Painted/distressed old trunk

Other:

  • Repaired necklaces and bracelets for friends
  • Made earrings/necklaces for gifts and myself
  • Made brooch bouquet for bride
  • Replicated a beloved old pair of earrings for my sister
  • Turned old window into lacy altar piece for wedding
  • Made 7 bridesmaid bouquets & centerpieces
  • Made 7 groomsmen boutonnieres to match brooch bouquet
  • Made cards for various birthdays, etc. (won a paper craft set!)

On to 2017!

 

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25+ years ago my mom handed me a muslin bag full of vintage quilt squares, saying that I was more likely to do something with them than she was.  I  had good intentions;  over the years I researched “Grandma’s Fan” quilts, which was the pattern, and I ordered books on quilting.  But still the bag sat.

Finally in the fall of 2013 I signed up for a beginners quilting class and made my first quilt.  Amazingly, it was very easy and was pretty much completed in the 6 class sessions (okay, plus a little homework).  (Read it here)

So I clearly caught the quilting bug and was off and running.  For my next project, I decided to open that muslin bag and surprise my mom for her April birthday. There were plenty of squares for a queen-sized quilt and they’d been hand-stitched by my great-grandmother Irene back in the 1930s or 1940s out of feed sack cotton; she owned a bakery so acquired quite a few flour sacks!

Once I laid it out, I opted to highlight the white squares with a darker, navy border, which had a somewhat modern look that I knew my mom would like.

Did I mention it was QUEEN sized?!  I had no idea what I was getting into….I learned a lot about quilting on this beast….and quilted it on my own “domestic” Brother sewing machine.  Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but certainly a labor of love for my mom.  Every stitch I thought about how surprised she’d be and how much I loved giving it to her.  And trust me….there were a LOT of stitches…like 5 spools of thread worth!

Sharing is a part of humanity;  we learn how to share in preschool, get married and re-learn how to share, and then teach our kids to share!  We are occasionally tested on our real understanding of this verb, however.  After all, it does translate to “to give a part of something“.

A Clean Kitchen!

I point to this in the context of taking family members (or anyone else, for that matter) into your home.  When you do this, you have to think of every way that it will affect you…and them.  As you know, my in-laws have been living with us for the past 10 months now.  Here’s what sharing has meant to us:

 

  • They’ve pretty much turned their car over (“shared”) to our son, who gets to drive it to his senior year of h.s.;  they no longer drive, but handing over the keys is always traumatic.
  • We share the laundry room.  Doesn’t always work well….usually its fine, thanks to designated days…but I can no longer leave clothes in the washer or dryer “until I get to them”.
  • We share the kitchen.  (Do you have any idea how much emotion was just packed into that sentence?) Women don’t share kitchens very well.  Do men share their work benches with other men?  Do artists share their paints with other artists? Do teenage girls share their makeup drawer with other teenage girls?  Very personal…..enough said.
  • We share space.  That means often small spaces shared by large people, walkers, an occasional cane, 6 pets, etc.  and sometimes differing views on housekeeping and even decor.
  •  And air…we share different smells, different temperatures…adjustments constantly are being made on both sides….we are “giving away a part” of even the air.

There are many things you should be prepared for when you move in with family members, or have them move in with you.  Sharing is a very big part of it!  Sometimes I revert back to my 2-year old self and feel “I don’t want to share any more!”.  That’s when its time for a nice walk or a movie 🙂

Everyone makes resolutions, right?  I do as well…usually written somewhere in my Daytimer, etc. that I have to stumble upon them regularly.  I came across a great idea recently, though, with a twist on resolutions.  (on Facebook, perhaps?)

Instead of the usual (which, for me, includes getting back regular with exercising, now that I have NEW running shoes! and a work-out partner to do Pilates or other tapes and cardio with….as well as cooking a new recipe each week from one of my myriad of cookbooks, a la “Julie & Julia“, as well as seeing one new movie per month with hubby)…the idea is to have a theme. 

I think my theme for the new year is “whimsey”… an odd or fanciful or capricious idea, acc’ding to the dictionary.  To me that means, be more light-hearted and take things not-quite-so-seriously.  It also means do more fun things ‘just because’ and pull my kids and husband along (even through their protests!).  2009 was a depressing year in so many ways;  2 good friends died, hubby’s job was eliminated, the economy tanked and we’re constantly struggling financially, health issues, etc.  I’m moving on!  No more dwelling!  From now on my keywords will be the following (or some derivative…help me add to the list!)

*Whimsey*   *Comical*   *Humor*  *Spend a day like my dogs do*  *Movies*   *Fun*  *Learn something new*    *Read fun books*    *Take more artsy pictures*   *Why not?*     *Surprise!*   *Uncoventional*    *Unexpected Generosity*    *Warmth*     *Comfort*    *Peace*

What's more whimsical that a cat in her Cheese Club?!

Way back when I was in high school, beaded “chokers” were all the rage and I can remember making them for many friends.  I guess that was my big start in the beaded world.  I still love beads;  they’re tactical…i.e. I love to feel them running through my fingers, I love the weight of real semi-precious stones and minerals, and even the sound they make when the clink together.  I am always amazed at the many variations that are formed in rock from climate changes and whatever.

So….I have been making  jewelry for years, mostly for gifts and charities (www.cureals.org and www.cathedral-irish.org both have custom bracelets that I’ve made for fundraisers…easily a couple of thousand dollars raised through those), and also for sale.  Most are pretty simple strung designs, with some wire wrapping involved, but always sterling silver with semi-precious stones  (I am not a big fan of cheapo plastic or other knock-offs!). 

Here’s a small sampling of what is available now at the Indiana State Museum “Indiana Store”…I am very proud to be represented there! and yes, things have been selling … 😀  

www.indianamuseum.org

"Baubles" at the museum store

Topic of conversation today; generosity.  Some people feel they’re being generous because they write a check to a charity once in awhile.  But is that really generosity?  Or is someone who gives of themselves and their time more generous?  Or the lowest income person who still tithes? 

I was somewhat sickened today to watch a cable show about lottery winners.  All showed off the “stuff” that their new riches had allowed;  $1400.per place setting dishes from Russia, carved elephant tusks (isn’t that illegal?), swimming pools, collector cars, etc.  Not one mentioned donating even a penny to charity.  That’s sick, people, just sick.  That is the most self-centered form of existence and about as UN-Christian as you can be…aren’t we supposed to be loving and giving? Isn’t that what is the most fulfilling part of our Earthly lives?