Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fairyland

"I wish there was such a place as fairyland - and a way to get to it," said Cecily.
"I think there is such a place - in spite of Uncle Edward," said the Story Girl dreamily, "and I think there is a way of getting there too, if only we could find it."

Well, the Story Girl was right. There is such a place as fairyland - but only children can find the way to it. And they do not know that it is fairyland until they have grown so old that they forget the way. One bitter day, when they seek it and cannot find it, they realize what they have lost; and that is the tragedy of life. On that day the gates of Eden are shut behind them and the age of gold is over. Henceforth they must dwell in the common light of the common day. Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again; and blessed are they above mortals. They, and only they, can bring us tidings from that dear country where we once sojourned and from which we must evermore be exiles. The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and storytellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland.


- excerpt from "The Story Girl" by LM Montgomery


Yesterday we listened to Point of Grace Christmas cd about 20 times. If I had been given the choice, I would have opted for one time, possibly twice; but 20 was a bit more than I cared to sit through it. Needless to say, Chloe has found control of the cd player a skill that, now mastered, must remain solely her responsibility.

She has yet to learn the fine details related to cd playing though. In her own simplistic mind it makes perfect sense to stop the player, open the player's front door, remove the cd, re-insert the cd, close the door and then press play. We have yet to teach her that by skipping all the steps prior to the last one she can arrive at the same goal.

One thing I must learn is that "out of sight is out of mind". I forgot this lesson last night and left the cd player out where Chloe could see it. First thing this morning she saw the cd player and asked to play it. I, of course, claimed I was tired of that cd so maybe we wouldn't listen to it today. Chloe, deciding that she was masterful enough to start it on her own, walked over to the player and commensed her cd playing ritual. (open the door, take the cd out...)

She didn't get any further than taking the cd out of the player though. The morning sun shone brightly through our dining room window and at the exact moment that her little fingers grabbed the cd out of the player the sun hit the cd and a bright sparkle hit our ceiling.

Pure joy. Little Chloe realized that she had control over this dancing light show and proceeded to wave the cd back and forth rapidly. This entertained her for quite a while until James joined her game and chased her around the room with the "light". He (the light...somehow it became a masculine entity) would sneak up on Chloe and "kiss" her. He also went out the front door to "go to work". (I think that was James way of saying he was done playing...)

As I sat and watched them enjoying this glittering light from a cd, I was reminded of that child-like wonder we all used to have. I thought of that passage I quoted above from "The Story Girl" that I read the other day. That simplistic awe a child has. How a simple cd catching the sunlight magically becomes so much more. I thought of how God asks us to come to him as little children. That simple faith. That expectancy of great and wonderful things. That pure enjoyment of the simple things. The awe and wonder.

What can I be in awe about today in my little world? I take a moment and gaze at my Christmas tree. Little white lights twinkle at me through the branches and I think to myself "How pretty." I watch my fish dart about the flowers resting at the bottom of the fishtank. Isn't it neat to watch their little tail fins (or whatever you call them) push them about the tank? I watch my fingers as I type this post, or as they crochet small thread into lace and I revel in the details crafted into these hands. I don't have to think about it. They move about so gracefully from here to there, doing exactly what my brain tells them to do. Amazing.

I don't want to lose my way to fairyland. I don't want to lose that amazement over the simplistic wonders of our world. I ask the little girl who dwells in my heart to reside there forever.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Let the Baking Begin

Welp...Thanksgiving is over. Completely over. Know what that means? Yup. Its time to get those cookie sheets and cooling racks out. Those candy thermometers and double broilers. Oh how much I love this time of year. There are 28 days left til Christmas so that means I have 27 days left of baking. Oh the ideas of what I can bake in 27 days. Today I began with a few cookies.

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Here you see some Peppernut Cookies, Coconut Macroons and Candy Cane Cookies. Delicious. All of them. (for the must be tested, right?) Let me see...the Peppernut cookies are quite interesting. I love them but they are very similar to gingerbread cookies so there wasn't alot of thrill there. I do love to use Anise seed or oil but I believe the molassas in these cookies overpowered the slight licorice taste of the Anise oil. Oh well. They are delicious anyways. The Candy Cane cookies were a blast to make. In fact, I think we will make another batch or two of them before Christmas. I made a candy cane/sugar sprinkle to sprinkle on top but next time I think I will stir it into the red batter. I think it will give it more flavor. The cookie is very much like a shortbread type cookie. A little dry but would be quite excellent dipped in tea. YUM! And what to say about Macroons? Not much except that they are a staple at Christmastime if not simply for the fact that they are quick and only require 3 ingredients. Make sure you cook them all the way though. My first sheet didn't get cooked all the way and they were a tad bit raw.

So, that is all the baking I did today. On the agenda for tomorrow...Caramel corn, Puppy Chow and maybe some Cranberry Cheese bread. Of course I do need to make some regular bread because we are out of that.

Yesterday for "school" I brought out a bunch of supplies and let Chloe make her very own card for Grandma and Grandpa. I showed her how to use each thing and then let her go at it.

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About halfway through she finally got the hang of the whole rubber stamping thing without smearing them across the card. Needless to say, she was quite pleased with her efforts. I showed it to James when he got home. I told him that Chloe made Grandma and Grandpa a Christmas card. You should have seen the look on his face. It was somewhere between utter disdain and disbelief. It took me a minute or two to digest his look and then I repeated what I had said. "This is CHLOE'S first card. Chloe made it." Ahhh...he chuckled and said he thought I said I had made it. Funny guy, this one. Funny guy.

So, even though Thanksgiving is technically over in our house, I thought I would show you some Thanksgiving pictures.

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Notice my short hair? No one around here has noticed that there is about 6 inches missing from it. Compliments of my mother while she was here visiting. I know I said I would never let her touch scissors to my hair ever again, but I broke down and let her. I made her promise that she would only trim it...and yet 6 inches disappeared. Oh well. At least it is healthy now. This is the first time since I started the 6th grade that she has touched my hair. It doesn't look half so bad, does it...She did a good job.

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As promised...Chloe's Thanksgiving dress on her. She wore this to the Thanksgiving Praise banquet at church last Tuesday evening. Funny thing was I added the long sleeves to the dress so she could wear it during the winter weather season. Well, Thursday (Thanksgiving day) it was about 70 degrees here. That meant no Thanksgiving dress for Chloe due to the long sleeves. Poor thing would have been sweating up a storm in it. Oh well. She looked cute anyways.

Current dress update: I have no pictures to show yet because I am waiting until the dress is completely done before I show it to you all, but I have the main portion of the dress finished. All I have left is the size 80 thread trim and then sewing on embellishments. I hope to get that done tonight so I can move on to a new project tomorrow. Okay. Not a new project. Just a different one. Gotta finish Chloe's quilt and maybe a couple of dresses I have cut out for her.

So, now I am off to play a bit with Chloe before its time to fix supper. Chicken Spaghetti tonight. It would seem that the ornaments hanging on the tree make delightful playthings. Santa loves visiting the donkey from the creche that sits below the tree. They walk around the living room and kitchen, crashing into walls and tables. It would seem that one of them broke a glass ball ornament. I will never knwo which one though. They both are not speaking.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree

With Thanksgiving now behind us, we look ahead to Christmas. It is our family tradition to set up Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. This time it took us the two days after Christmas and there is still some left to do. For some reason I am moving a bit slower this year.

We also need to rethink this "fresh tree" idea. We bought our second ever "real" tree this year on black Friday but the thing is already losing all of its needles. Maybe we should hold off next year a couple of weeks. Can I do that? I don't know...but I am loving this tree smell that you just cannot get with fake paper-ey trees.

I want to show you a completely cheese-y video we made this weekend. Okay...so James did most of the work, but I am in this video and that is something, right? And the biggest news is that I actually talk in this video. After hearing my voice on tape some 6 years ago, I have refused to talk on camera. I sound awful...hideous...like a nut-job. Anyways, I have recently watched some video of Chloe when she was a baby and wouldn't you know it but they are those "silent moving pictures" and I began to realize, Chloe might not like that when she gets older. So, since she seems to like my voice I am now trying to talk more on tape. Let me just say that James does a much better job of "acting natural" than I do. (which you can see in the following video)

Enjoy...the Ness Family Christmas Tree...



This video was actually made for family hence the part in the middle regarding James. You see...we have (or someone in James family has) video of Christmastime and all you can see in the video is the Christmas tree and the couch setting next to it. Then all of a sudden you see little two year old James do a tumbersalt over the edge of the couch into the video. Its quite funny, actually. So, James believes Chloe is almost there and has been working with her on her tumbersalting skills.

Well, I am off now to wash the bathtub and toilet and finish up the laundry. Then I have a dress to finish today. I am almost done...just gotta do the sleeves and embellishments. Yay! Have a wonderful and merry last week of November everyone! God bless you all!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Dress

Its done. And in perfect time too. I just finished weaving in the last end (and YES! I got ALL of them. I didn't leave any tucked up inside the armpits or anything) and am ready to show it to you.

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Ta-Da!!!!!!


Told you I could do it. I actually cheated a bit though. I finished the dress and the headband today but I swiped the bloomers from the 3m set I made last month for sale on my site. Once this pattern got into testing, we realized there was a problem with the sizing of the bloomers. Lo and behold, when I tried this "3m size" on Chloe today, they fit her perfectly. Needless to say, I didn't feel the need to crochet MORE bloomers for her. And a darned good thing too because I used every last scrap of lt. mulberry Lustersheen I had in my stash. Well, all but save about 200 feet. I don't know what I am going to do with 200 ft of it, but oh well. I will figure something out.

I modified the dress to include long sleeves. I am going to include this modification in the pattern as well. People might like the option for short or long sleeves. Don't worry dear testers. It was a very easy modification and would only involve frogging the very last row of the sleeve to add more length in if you felt the need to do so.

Anyways, just wanted to show you the dress. We are off now to make some cornbread for the banquet tonight and then shower and get dressed. I hope to get some pictures of this lovely little ensemble on Chloe tonight...preferably before she gets turkey gravy dribbled down the front. It really is much more adorable ON. Have a wonderful evening everyone.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Skirts, Petticoats and Bloomers

I have a question for all of you out there who wear skirts/dresses everyday. I have only been doing so for a short time (since summer) and I am beginning to wonder what you all wear in the wintertime to keep your legs warm. Summertime was no problem. Skirt, pantyhose (or even...egads!!!! barefoot...shhh...I didn't say that) and sandels and you are good to go. But now that winter is upon is and the temperature has drastically dropped, I need to know how to keep my little legs warm.

Would you believe that I am this close to crocheting me up some leggings? HORRORS! But yes. My legs are getting quite cold. I have my stockings on and also wear some thick, cozy socks around the house. (because shoes are evil, I choose not to wear them unless I have to. Don't tell flylady...I doubt she would approve.)

Another temptation of mine is to crochet me up some bloomers...kind of like the ones I make for Chloe. Would that be terrible? I saw the beautiful lady on "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" wearing them the other day...so why can't I? They were adorable and I am extremely tempted.

I guess a better solution would be a petticoat or thick slip of some sort. Is this what you all do? If so, what material do you use? Keep in mind that I like LONG skirts...down to my ankles...in the wintertime, so it couldn't be anything too terribly thick...or it would be too heavy. Any ideas anyone? I would love to know what you all do.

Sweet Nothings

Don't you just love to have sweet little nothings whispered gently in your ear? What girl wouldn't, right? I love it when James whispers he loves me in my ear. Or when he says just how stunning I looked earlier in the day in that certain dress. You know what I am talking about....{giggle, giggle}

Well, there are times in our lives when Jesus whispers those sweet nothings in our ears and boy, oh boy...let me tell you...they ain't nothing, that's for sure. Those little whispers we hear mean so much when they come from Him, our Creator. I have had some whispers in my ear lately...some of which I will share with you. (some are to remain sweet little nothings between my Savior and I...our little secrets)

It was Friday morning and I had spent some time sitting in my chair in the bedroom reading through some Psalms. If you ever feel yourself a little overwhelmed with life, just read through a couple of Psalms. They will lift up your spirits in no time and remind you that you are not alone. Anyways, back to my Friday morning. I find that when I am sinking into my little, dark place it helps to focus my attention back onto the Lord. Even if all I can do is whisper "Hold me Jesus. Just hold me". Funny thing is...He does. He holds me. I can't explain it. Its just one of those things. I imagine myself lying in His embrace and pretty soon I start to feel better. When I find myself being lifted out of that dark place, I start thanking Him for things He has done for me. Well, Friday morning was no different. I thanked Him for some different things and I finally said, "Thank you for dying on the cross for me" to which I immediately said without realizing I was saying it, "so that I can live for you." It was almost like it wasn't me that said it. My very next thought was deeply profound.

Living for Jesus is not "witnessing" on some street corner in some village somewhere off in the world. In His own way, Jesus was letting me know that He died for me so that I could live...for Him. Live. Breathe. Get out of bed. Kiss Chloe. Plant a rose bush. Make pumpkin cookies. Write a letter. Wash underwear. Vacumn a rug. Live...for Him. He wants me to LIVE. Plain and simple. What a beautiful "sweet nothing" He whispered in my ear that day.

Another sweet nothing drifted to my ear just this afternoon. I was sitting on my bed crocheting and thinking about the chapter I had just read. (Romans 1 for those of you interested) Today I picked up our New Living Translation instead of my usual Bible. It helps me to understand different portions of scripture better since it is written how I speak...modern day terminology. But back up a bit. I might need to preface this "sweet nothing" by saying that today was not one of my better days. I have been feeling a bit down today. A bit hard on myself. A bit like a failure. A bit unworthy of love.

Well, it was in the middle of these thoughts that my Savior whispered a sweet nothing in my ear. I heard it loud and clear as if He were sitting next to me.

"Anna. I died for you."

To which I replied, "I know Lord, and you really shouldn't have. I don't know why you would do something like that for me. I don't know why you would want to spend eternity with someone like me when You could have someone so much better."

Then He said, "But I DID, Anna. I died for you because that is how much I think of you. You are precious enough to me that I gave up my life just so you could be with me for all of eternity."

God wanted me. He chose me. He thinks I am precious enough to die for. He wants to spend eternity with me and guess what!!! He is building me a mansion so I can live there with Him forever!! All my life I dreamed of being Cinderella...and today I realized that I AM! Eternity is my Happily Ever After. I can hardly wait to get there. And while I wait, He whispers sweet nothings in my ear to remind me of His love.

I have been having some very good moments too, though. Not all my life is dwelt in the pit of despair. I am still busily working on my numerous projects. Wanna see some? I knew you did. I am prepared!

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This is an Angel Lace dress I am making for a co-worker of James. (a customer) I have less than two weeks to get it done and already I have put it to the side for another project. Have no fear...have no fear. I can get it done. And I will. Just as soon as I finish this...

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Chloe's Thanksgiving dress. I aim to have it done tomorrow so she can wear it to the Thanskgiving Praise banquet up at the church. The dress will be done as soon as I get off this computer, but I still have the bloomers to do for it and the headband. You may recognize this dress. I recently made one in a 3 month size that is currently for sale on my website. I am really loving this pattern. It works up so quickly (I started the dress last night and its an 18m size) and looks like you put a ton more effort into it than you really did. Wonderful, right?

In addition to that, I also started working on a quilt for Chloe. I have cut out a bunch of teeny tiny squares (because since when I have ever done anything on a large scale???) and today began the sewing process. (had to take a break from the crocheting, mind you. Nothing wrong with that...I can still get it done in time)

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Okay. So why the teeny tiny squares? For one...I am using scraps so teeny tiny is the only way I could do this. For two...it is going to be a nine patch quilt. I figured a nine patch was pretty basic enough that I could get it done relatively quick and onto Chloe's bed within a week. We shall see if I can accomplish that or not but if I work on a few squares a day, I should be able to get it done. Once I got all the squares cut out, I started sewing them into strips, like so...

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And then once the strips are done, they are pressed (seams open) and then sewn into sqaures.

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(sorry for the poor coloring of the photos. I took them tonight in the dark so not very good lighting.) And just because you asked...they are 2 inch squares and the final squares are ending up to be 4 1/2 inches. I have enough squares to also make Chloe a matching quilt for her dolls. Our plan is to buy her a doll cradle for Christmas and have it set up under the tree with the quilt in it. I can't wait to see her face when she walks down the stairs and sees it. (we also got her a Mickey Mouse clubhouse so she is getting two toy gifts this year...lucky little girl)

Anyways, I better get going if I am going to get this dress done tonight. Have a great night everyone. And don't forget to Be Thankful!!! (for something...everyone can find something to be thankful about)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Right Now

Right now...

I am breathing.

Right now...

I am alive.

Right now...

I am sitting in my recliner, resting a moment.

Right now...

I am sipping a cup of coffee, slowly enjoying its warmth and comfort.

Right now...

I am clean after having just gotten out of the shower.

Right now...

I am resting under the wing of my Refuge, My Savior

Right now...

I am happy.

Right now...these things are all I can handle. And that's okay. I am resting in the fact that God doesn't give me more than I can handle. He has given me Right Now. He has given me everything I need to get through this moment. This moment, right now.

I am struggling with the proper way to write what I am about to say. How can I say this without causing you, my dear readers, to turn away in disgust or have ill thoughts of me? Then I realize that this doesn't matter. If no one ever reads my blog again, it doesn't matter. If I lose all my friends in the world, it doesn't matter. I am loved. My Savior loves me. That is the ONLY thing that matters. So, in light of that, I will stumble my way through this in hopes that God will use it for His Glory and possibly help one of you along in your journey through life as He is helping me through mine.

As many of you already know, I have been having some health issues lately that have caused some concern. Sleep troubles. Headaches and migraines. Achy body. No energy. Sweating profusely. (just to name a few) Things progressed from bad to worse over the past couple of years to where I KNEW something was wrong. I needed to be checked out.

A couple of weeks ago, we finally made it to the doctor's and had a gamut of tests run. Blood tests of all sorts. (yes...even a pregnancy test) We got the results back last week. Everything is normal. No anemia. No diabetes. No thyroidism. No pregnancy.

I have all but been diagnosed with depression.

Yes. You read that right.

DEPRESSION.

I kind of knew that I struggle with depression already. I've actually known it for years, but somehow I have been convinced somewhere along the line that depression is a horrible, horrible thing and no "good" person should have it. Depression is a result of sin in your life or not walking with the Lord. I mean, if you are close to the Lord then there is no way you can be depressed, right? We are supposed to have the joy of the Lord, right? Where does that leave room for depression?

Well, the past couple of weeks have been real eye-opening ones for me. I picked up a book from the library called "Approval Addiction" by Joyce Meyers. I have learned so much about myself through reading this book. She has even suggested saying certain phrases over and over to myself to "retrain" my mind. God tells us in Romans 12:2

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will."


So, I am trying to transform my mind by renewing it with truth. God's truth.

I feel like a failure. I walk around in complete guilt all the time. I lash out at anyone who asks me any question because I already know I have failed and I feel I must remedy it as soon as possible. I do not have freedom. I am a slave to my sin. It has me bound.

The truth is just the opposite though. I am NOT a failure. I may fail many, many times...but I am NOT a failure. I AM the righteousness of God through Christ's work on the cross. Christ redeemed me from my sin and God no longer views me as that. He views me as righteous. Even when I fail and make mistakes, God loves me anyways.

It is hard work to overcome all these negative thoughts I have running through my mind. How will I deal with it when James comes home and says the wrong thing? How will I deal with it when someone at church says something about me missing church last week? How can I get through another one of Chloe's toddlerhood "episodes"? And then this morning, God whispered in my ear..."Anna, I don't expect you to get through the whole day right now. I don't even expect you to get through the next hour right now. All I expect you to do is to get through this moment, right now! I have given you everything you need to get through right now".

Psalm 46:10a - "Be still and know that I am God..."


I can rest. I can enjoy the moment right now. Even in my depression, I know God is with me. Last night during one my "episodes" God reminded me of that very fact. A few years ago I memorized Psalms 139. A wonderful chapter and if you ever have the opportunity to memorize scripture, I challenge you to put this one at the top of your list.

Psalm 139:7-10 - "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my beds in the depths, you are there. If I rise up on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."


I have always read that verse to mean that no matter where I go in the world, God will be with me. It has helped me in our many moves that have taken us all over the world. (literally...because such is the life of a military wife) But last night, God showed me that it also means wherever my emotions take me as well. If my spirit flies up so high I am on cloud nine, God is there with me. Equally, if I make my dwelling place in the deepest, darkest pit of despair, God is STILL with me. I cannot flee from Him. His right hand is holding me fast. AND HE LOVES ME! No matter where I am at...cloud nine or the pit of despair...He Loves Me!

So, right now...

I am ending this blog post.

Right now...


I am hoping and praying God has spoken to someone's heart through my openess.

Right now...

I am smiling because I am about to go play with my little girl. What we will play, I don't know. I think I will let her choose. But whatever she chooses, it will be fun and I will smile and I will enjoy that moment in time. Just that moment.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Wheeee!!! That was fun!

The word "fun" can be classified into two major categories.

Whoa! and Whee!

The first one (Whoa) is used to describe the kind of fun you have where the end result leaves you with a sense of awe. It leaves you speechless, breathless and you can barely utter the words "Whoa! That was fun!" Its the sort of fun that takes a little bit of time to build up and it is quite possible one might not even recognize it as fun during the process. Yet at the end, you are amazed at what you have accomplished.

Take crocheting a baby dress in size 10 thread, for instance. (or even a doily for those of you who wouldn't ever attempt a thread dress in a thousand years) While crocheting your particular item of choice (doily or dress) you think to yourself, "Why did I think this would be fun?" but when the project reaches completion...well...all you can do is open your mouth and whisper "Ahhh". Then you KNOW it was fun.

The second kind of fun (Whee) is a much different kind of fun. Whee's attributes are more closely associated with the feeling one gets while swirling about a roller coaster. It only takes a minute of time but the ride is so excruciatingly exhilarating that you find yourself returning 20 more times just to experience it.

It is this second kind of fun I experienced today. I made something quick and easy and fun. (in the Whee sort of way) And now I am having thoughts that I would like to make at least 20 more of them. (not all for me...)

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Doesn't that set just look fun? I mentioned that I needed to make this in yesterday's post. I am quite proud of myself since I ended up doing what I intended to do. (quite a difficult accomplishment for me, let me tell you) Anyways, this is for my brother and his wife and it left today in their Christmas package bound for their place in the jungle. (and I DO mean jungle)

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The set includes a table runner and 4 placemats. I used a cute Christmassy fabric for the table runner and the tops of the placemats. Then I backed two of the placemats in red and two in green. (something different) I even attached tassles to the table runner. (I would have attached them to the placemats as well but I didn't have enough and I though 1 lone, tassle-less placemat would look kind of silly surrounded by 3 tassled ones.)

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I used Butterick pattern B5059.

Speaking of sewing, I told you yesterday that I made a couple of skirts a while back and failed to show them to you. Well, here they are.

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You'll never guess what pattern that is. Betcha can't. Betcha'll never guess. Okay. Those of you who know me probably already guessed. Yes. This means that I have FOUR of these skirts. But they sure are cute, aren't they? I experimented a bit and did them in two tone. Nifty, eh? You may even recognize the pink fabric on them. Need a clue? Here...a clue.

In addition to that, I completed another sewing project today. I started it for my mother's birthday but ran into snags. I even showed it to her while she was here just so she could help me figure it out. She wasn't able to. So, I didn't get it done in time for her birthday. Luckily, I finished it today so I can at least send it in her Christmas package. (NO. This will not be her Christmas present. What do you think I am? Cruel?)

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While I would not classify this project as anything closely related to "fun", I can say that I learned some things while sewing it. I couldn't tell you what they were now but I am sure that when the time comes for me to remember them, I will.

I even crocheted a little coat for a candy cane yesterday. I doubt it will cold enough for it in the jungle where my brother lives, but I thought it would be better to send the candy canes along prepared for the worst.

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When my parents came for their visit they came loaded with goodies. My mother gave me this apron she found at a yard sale. Isn't is the cutest?

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Somehow she also found out that I like vintage sorts of things so she gave me some dishcloths and potholders.

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The dress one came from my grandmother Anna. I believe she made it. I could be wrong, but I think she did. I just love it. The other two my mother picked up at yard sales.

Well, its been fun but its Friday night so you all know what that means!!! I better get going and see what James wants to do about dinner. Have a fun weekend. Laugh alot at silly things.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Recent Projects

Just because I have been absent from the blogging world for quite some time doesn't mean I wasn't busily making things. You all know me. No matter how far down my little hole I climb, I will ALWAYS create things. Whether by my own design or someone else's pattern. I just can't control myself when it comes to crafting. Its something in my soul.

So, I thought I would briefly show you a few things I have worked on in the past month. First, I sent a package to my secret pal over at the ville. I made a few of my utmost favorite dishcloths for her. I adore this pattern. Guess what the name is? My Favorite Dishcloth. Fitting. Very fitting. I couldn't have named it better myself. I am sorry but the link for this pattern is gone from crochet pattern central so I don't have it anymore.

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I actually have made quite a few more of these simple dishcloths in the past month but I figured once you've seen one picture there probably isn't much point in showing you 5 pictures of the same dishcloth in multiple colors. So, I spared you the misery.

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I also crocheted her a capelet from the book Amazing Lace Crochet. She likes "Americana" colors but I didn't have enough of any one color to finish the capelet so I did it in three colors. I used TLC Amore yarn from my stash. I like the feel of this yarn but I don't like working with it. I probably won't be buying much more of it in the future. It will definately keep her warm though, despite the laciness of the capelet.

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I am pretty excited about the above item. It is a crochet hook case. I really enjoyed sewing this. A fun little project that only took me a couple of hours. I have cut out a dress for Chloe using this Raggedy Ann fabric and so when I found out my secret pal loves Raggedy Ann, I just KNEW I HAD to sew her a Raggedy Ann hook case. It turned out adorable. Now I just need a couple for myself to put my collection of hooks in.

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Yes. That's it. That's the one. I finished the Thanksgiving Harvest Ensemble for a customer order and got it mailed out to her. I learned a couple of things while making this ensemble.

1. Charge more money for larger children's dresses than I do for baby sized dresses. I actually didn't make any profit on this dress because of the amount of yarn I had to purchase to complete it.

2. I won't be using cotton yarn for such a large dress anymore. I must stick with acrylic. The weight of the dress really pulls the cotton yarn down after you wash it.

3. Make sure I order enough yarn at one time. I had to make three different yarn orders to get enough yarn to complete this dress. That really added alot of time onto the project and gave me less time to actually crochet it.

And guess what!!! I have a second dress order. Yay! This time I will be making my Angel Lace Ensemble for a guy James works with. I have 3 weeks to get it done before he leaves the country to go back home. I can do it though. I know I can!!! I am confident in myself.

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One problem I have with designing is that I order yarn for a project not knowing how much yarn its going to take. Such was the case with the above sweater. I ran out of yarn. I thought 10 balls would be enough, but as you can see...I am one sleeve short. It is much cuter on me than it looks in the picture. I have never made a wearable for an adult before (unless you count shawls and capes...I don't) I wanted it to be more "fitting" than the normal crocheted sweaters I see. I wanted it to be warm as well. I think I did a good job. Just wait until I have it finished so you can see it on me. Then you will see what I am talking about when I say "fitting". I am pleased with it. It will be very warm come cold weather season. I used KnitPicks Telemark wool. Yummy. Warm. Perfect! This color is called Pesto and I thought...umm...YES...it does indeed remind me of pesto. A darker pesto. Interesting.

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I am so good. That I am. I have started on Christmas. Aren't I good?? The above is a bath set I crocheted for my neice in Papua New Guinea. I just love these bath sets. Such a neat gift idea.

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Also included in this family's package will be these ornaments and Christmas Doily I finished up this morning. I have to tell you...crocheting a doily in white and red is a fun experience in and of itself. I could literally taste peppermint as I was crocheting. It took me two days to finish this doily because I had to keep putting it down for a while just to stop the drool from running down my chin onto the doily. Every once in a while I could almost smell the peppermint coming from the thread. Isn't that amazing? If you would like a freshness while crocheting, I encourage you to crochet a red and white doily. It will freshen your breath for sure.

Okay. The name of this doily is Captain's Wheel and is found in The Ultimate Doily Book.

I will try to get a picture of the doily after it is finished drying.

We have also started our Christmas baking. Our first cookie this year was just a simple chocolate chip cookie. But hey! Can't go wrong with chocolate chip cookies, can you? I don't think so.

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I hope that licking beaters will always bring fond childhood memories for Chloe. I know it does for me. So, into the freezer went the cookies and now I am ready for something a little more...ummm...Christmassy. I am thinking fudge...or caramel corn...or fudge...

I have a few other sewing projects I finished as well but I forgot to take pictures of them. What I have left in my house I will have to photograph for you all and show them to you. I am off to sew one last thing for my brother's package so I can ship it off to Papua New Guinea tomorrow. Just you wait and see what I have up my sleeve this time. I am thinking it will be my main Christmas present next year for everyone!!! Such a cute idea.

Have a great day everyone! God bless you all as you begin your Christmas preperations.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Just Little ol' Me

So...where have I been?

Better yet...Where have I NOT been?

I can't believe it has been so long since I have updated this blog. Life got in my way. Then it got to the point where it was overwhemling even to think about blogging. So much has happened that its hard to know where to begin. So, today I will just begin with something small. Little tidbits of things and hopefully over the next few days, I will be able to update you all of the things going on around this place.

First, before I begin, I just want to say thank you to all of you who have expressed concern for me. I appreciate all your prayers and notes and thoughts. I really do. Isn't this internet amazing? I have friends who I have never even met who care about my well-being. If I never see you all on earth, please know that we will be having a HUGE party in heaven and you all are invited. I can't wait to meet you all there!!!

Anyways, I am okay. Just thought you might want to know that. I am alive and well and living life. I am taking things one day at a time. One moment at a time. I am slowing down and trying to enjoy each moment as it passes. Quite a difficult thing for me to do, but I am learning how. God is good and He loves me unconditionally and I am learning how to rest in that Love. I am learning how to accept myself the way God views me and not the way I view myself. (there is a BIG difference there)

As many of you might recall, I had some company for a couple of weeks. Yup. My parents were in town. (which partly had to do with my extended absense from blogging) We had a lovely time together and got to do some pretty cool things. Check this out...

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We had lunch at a restaurant on the Harbour and while eating, some birds came up close to our table. Well, grandpa started feeding them so Chloe could giggle and laugh at the birds flocking around us. One of the birds jumped up onto my father's arm (as you see in the picture above) and ate from his hands. Pretty cool, eh?

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I love pictures of Chloe and I together. I am usually the one taking the pictures so its nice to have someone else take them.

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Chloe and my mother. I absolutely adore this picture. Isn't it the sweetest? My mother is an artist so I am thinking of asking her to paint this picture for me for my birthday. (unless I find a cuter one before then)

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Chloe with her Grandpa and Grandma. She even learned how to say thier names while they were here. Grandma was "Mah" and Grandpa was "Dalah".

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And just another random picture from my arsenol of photos from the past month. We don't really believe in celebrating Halloween (at least I don't...James doesn't mind) so I tried to come up with some ideas of things we could do instead of "halloween". I called them our "fall festivities" and we did them on Halloween night. (James still took Chloe to a couple of neighbours houses to gather some much needed candy. Oh well.) Anyways, James and Chloe carved the above pumpkin while I made popcorn balls. We were going to make caramel apples as well but I didn't have any sweetened condensed milk so we may do that closer to Thanksgiving. I don't know.

Chloe sure had fun carving the pumpkin though.

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And here's me making the popcorn balls.

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I think next year I will put a little more thought into our "festivities" instead of waiting until two hours before the doorbell rings with trick-or-treaters...

I hope to have another little update later today with some crafty-like things in it. I might even tell you about the Ladies retreat I went on last week. Who knows. Right now I have a toddler climbing on my lap (which is hard to do with a laptop computer sitting on it) and it is becoming quite difficult to type around a head and foot. So, I will sign off for now. Have a great day everyone!