Saturday, January 9, 2010

Merry Mice

I received a wonderful package in the mail yesterday. When I opened the box these little sweetie pies were looking up at me!! I had inquired of Sue at Not The Good Scissors! about these ornaments that her Mom makes and she graciously sent me some! The detail on the mice is amazing. I just love all the kind and generous people I've met blogging. Thank you Sue for making my day!

Aren't they the cutest things ever? I have loved Christmas mice since I was a small child. There is something so whimsical about them. My imagination has them taking tea while knitting tiny scarves and sharing cupcake recipes with each other. One of my goals for this year is to applique a quilt with a Christmas mouse. I'm drafting the pattern in my head, hope it makes it to the drawing board. With these little ladies encouraging me, maybe it will get done after all. Be a gift to someone today!

Still smiling,

Friday, January 8, 2010

My Issues (some of them...)

Yesterday, Teresa, at Meadowbrook Farms did a post on "to purge or not to purge" which is always the million dollar question. I thought I would share some of my "issues" with you. The birds, above, started out as two I inherited from my Grandma. I now have 27. I felt like I was dishonoring her memory if I saw one and let it pass. Geez. Well, if I ever have a baby shower and need a center piece for 27 tables...

My daughter started collecting salt & pepper shakers as a way to stay entertained while I scoured flea markets. This pair is my favorite.

Here are more of my favorites. I won't tell you how many we now have. It's embarrassing.

Holt Howard Pixieware is the newest collection. I totally blame my friend, Diane, because she said I should do it and I usually listen to her. Diane, please don't be jumping off any bridges soon...

One of my favorites is this Hazel Atlas Crinoline dish set. It sits in a glass-front cupboard in my kitchen and I can pretend I live back in time when I look at them. They make me smile. How about you, what is your "issue"?

Showers of blessings,

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A New Blog Home!

Yea, you found me! Max and I would like to welcome you to "Sewn With Grace" formally known as "The Graceful Stitch". We're looking forward to more sewing, crafting, cooking and thoughts on life and faith as we enter 2010. May you be a blessing today!

With joy,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Blueberry French Toast

My son returned to college today but not before I fed him, that's what we Mom's do right? This recipe came from my friend, Kathy. Very simple and very good. Even with the pitiful looking blueberries available right now. Enjoy!

Blueberry French Toast

1 (1 pound) loaf italian bread, cut into 1 inch cubes (I used croissants)
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, diced
1 cup blueberries
12 eggs
2 cups milk
1/3 cup maple syrup

1 cup white sugar
2 tbs. cornstarch
1 cup water
1 cup blueberries
1 tbs. butter

Place half of the bread cubes in a lightly greased 9x13 in. baking pan. Sprinkle cream cheese on top of bread cubes. Top with 1 cup blueberries and remaining bread. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, milk and maple syrup. Pour egg mixture over bread. Cover pan and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, remove pan from refrigerator 30 min. before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 min. Uncover pan and bake for additional 30 min, until golden brown and center is set.

To make sauce: In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch, add water. Boil over medium heat for 3 min, stirring constantly. Stir in blueberries and reduce heat. Simmer 8 to 10 min., or until the berries have burst. Stir in butter until melted. Serve the sauce over squares of french toast.

Be blessed today,

Monday, January 4, 2010

From My Daybook

For Today... from Renee's Daybook

Outside my window... very cold, snowy day

I am thinking... about the sewing projects I want to do, instead of what I need to do

I am thankful for... all the Christmas decorations being put away

I am wearing... jeans, white t-shirt and black sweater

I am remembering... our vacation trips to Siesta Key and the warm feel of white sand between my toes

I am going... to go to Target soon

I am currently reading... "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett

I am hoping... to bake cookies for my son to take back to college with him

On my mind... what God wants me to do with the gifts He has given me

Noticing that... I'm getting closer to 50 and still have the same things on my mind

Pondering these words... "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." 1Peter4:10

From the kitchen... marinating flank steak so I can stand in a foot of snow at the grill to make my son's favorite meal.

Around the house... laundry and MUST CLEAN BATHROOMS (I think there's something alive in the kids tub...)

One of my favorite things~ ginger-peach tea

From my picture journal... a scrimmage on Parent's day at my son's college, this past fall

If you would like to see some wonderful daybook entries, visit Dawn at 4:53am or go to the Simple Woman's Daybook, here, to make your own.

With joy,

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Putting Away Christmas

I spent the day putting away Christmas. It has officially left and I'm feeling a little sad. The only items remaining are the wreaths on my doors, hence the picture of my back porch. My daughter will go back to high school on Monday and my son will return to college on Tuesday and I'm missing everyone being together already. I am very grateful for the time we had but greedily would like more. The kids keep telling me how bare the house looks now and I have to agree. Christmas always adds such sparkle and shine and now we are back to watching dog hair roll like tumbleweed across the floors. I would love your ideas on how to decorate for the winter months.

Be blessed friends!

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Creative Bug

In the middle of football and food, sniffling and coughing, and taking down Christmas decorations I got bit by the creative bug. So, instead of pushing that feeling back down, I decided to tackle the ornament wreath that my sis-in-law asked me to make. These are so much fun, like putting a puzzle together. Then...

I grabbed the two round boxes I bought the other day and decided to make a cake with them. They were already decorated. I just hot glued the lids on, glued them together and then made the topper. I also did a little embellishing where the layers join. It looks rather festive sitting in my dining room. The only problem now is that I'm too tired to get back to the other stuff. Oh well, when your bit by the creative bug, there's no turning back. Be joyfilled today!!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wishing You A Happy New Year!

Wishing all of you the best for 2010! Have a fun, safe New Year's! God bless you!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Snowflake

I was visiting Sparrowgrass and Debra shared this photo she took and gave me permission to share it with all of you. I think this is so cool. If you look closely at this little birds back you will see the snowflake that landed on him. So many times we wonder if God is involved in the details of our lives and this, to me, is proof again that He is! He allowed Debra to see this beautiful artwork. The snow comes down in heavy layers and we miss the intricate detail as we plow through the snow on our way to the next task of the day. If God cared enough to design this little bird and make the snow that falls on his back such a wonderful piece of art, He certainly cares about the details of your life, dear one. Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Knitting the Sun

Out of the wintry grey skies appeared the sun today. I hadn't seen it in so long that I felt compelled to stand outside and soak it in. I know it won't last long and it helps my mood to work on a brightly colored project, so I pulled out the baby sweater I'm making for an upcoming baby shower. I have finished the cupcake hat, which I'll show you later when the sweater is completed. The sweater comes from the book, "101 Designer One-Skein Wonders" edited by Judith Durant. I often get impatient with knitting projects and am working on enjoying the process, which I am told is the best part. I'd like to know your opinion. Do you enjoy the process most or the finished product? Be joyfilled!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Live with Joy

This morning I went to the gym and while I was walking on the track I noticed a young girl, around 11 yrs. old practicing with her baton. She was absolutely amazing. For being so young, she could really do some incredible moves. Her instructor was there, helping her to perfect her routine and a beaming Mom sat nearby. I couldn't get over the grace and beauty of her performance and the sheer joy on her face. As I rounded the track and came up near her on the other side I realized that one side of her face was badly burned, as well as her arm. I felt blessed to be in her audience. I kept thinking what a story of triumph she will have to tell when she's older. I thought about all the times I complain about this or that. I was humbled. The sheer joy she was experiencing was truly inspiring. I hope this lesson stays with me always. Have a thankful, joyful, blessed day!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wishing You Joy!

"Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of
our salvation. Let us come before
Him with thanksgiving and extol
Him with music and song."
Psalm 95:1&2

Wishing you joy on this blessed
Sunday as we continue to
celebrate our Saviors birth!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A New Look!

Merry Christmas everyone! I was not planning on posting today, but am so excited about my new blog look that I wanted to reveal it sooner. I felt that I was in need of a blog face-lift and was blessed to find Brooke, at Tongue-n-Cheeky. She designed the wonderful header and blog button. Brooke was so easy to work with and everything came out better then I could have imagined. Take a moment to check out her blog. You are in for a fun, colorful, treat!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a very
Merry Christmas!
"I bring you good tidings
of great joy that will be
for all people. Today in
the town of David a Savior
has been born to you;
He is Christ the Lord!"
Luke 2:11

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fun Surprises

Today I'm suppose to be baking. Instead, I have to show you a fun gift I received from my buddy, Joyce, it was some goodies from Bake It Pretty. I was so tickled I almost screamed in the restaurant we were in. The vintage paisley liners are to-die-for, with the matching cupcake liners (oh...) and then the cupcake picks which are little men with chef hats on (I can't breathe) and the teapot and bee cookie cutter. The only stipulation was that I have to use them, not just lovingly admire them. That is so hard, cause when you use them, then they are gone. I know she is right (she always is!). So I said I'll have them ready to use for my Bible study group on Valentine's day. Can't wait to show you!

As if the day couldn't get any better, I opened my mailbox to discover these!!! I really had a moment. I'm saving them for after the baking today, but I did peek inside Fresh Vintage. Again, I couldn't breathe. There is a new quilt pattern, a Christmas tree skirt pattern and other wonderful goodies. You can sneak at peek at the new fabric line coming out. Oh I'm going to have fun. Tis' the season to be jolly!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cutest Yo-Yo's!

I can't believe that it's the Monday of the Christmas week. I still need to go and try to find a reasonably priced fly fishing rod for my son. He took up fishing last summer before heading off to college and just loves it. Even took his fishing pole to school with him. Now I love that! Something about him being in nature, close to God...okay, what on earth does that have to do with yo-yo ornaments. Nothing, but I am getting old, I lose track easily. SO, I was on Craftapalooza today and saw these adorable ornaments. I know that not too many of us are going to tackle this the week of Christmas, but I couldn't resist showing them to you. How cute is this? Keep smiling, be joyfilled!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Be Still...

This is the view out my front door. I so want to capture this stillness before we enter into this week of Christmas and all the festivities. I want to remember what's important, that Christ was born to save, to love. "Be still, and know that I am God..." Ps. 46:10

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Bit of Sewing

The snow is really coming down today. It's pretty, I have to admit. I thought I would do a bit of sewing. I made two table runners, one for my dear Mom-in-law and one for my Sis-in-law. It took about 4 hours from start to finish. The pattern came from Pleasant Home. I'm really pleased with the way they came out. I need to venture out into the snow, but don't want to interrupt the quiet stillness that is around me. I hope you are doing something you love today. Be joyfilled!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thoughtful Gifts

Today I met two of my girlfriends for lunch. We had a fun time catching up and exchanging gifts. I was so tickled with mine that I wanted to share them with you.

My friend, Sally, had her 83 yr. old Mom cross-stitch these precious ornaments for me. They are roses and snowflakes. I just love them! I so appreciate the handwork and time these took and will always be a very special gift.

I have alittle obsession/fascination with Holt Howard Pixieware from the late 1950's to early 1960's. My friend Diane found this little guy for me. They are so whimsical and childlike and they make me smile whenever I look at them. He will be added to a fun collection.

Diane also gave me the adorable aqua bowl and jade egg holder. I recently painted my kitchen yellow and have added touches of pink and aqua. Isn't the floral detail on the bowl precious?

She also found this wonderful example of vintage handwork, in that pale aqua I find so refreshing. I feel fortunate that God has blessed me with wonderful friends who share my love of Him, of everything old, of crafting and cooking and all in between. What a wonderful God we serve!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Make Something Merry

I can't believe that a week from now we will be getting ready for the Christmas Eve service at our church. I will have already celebrated Christmas with my husband's family and getting ready to go to my parents the next day. Where has the time gone? I'm really disappointed in myself this year. There is no excuse as to why I could not have made more presents. I'm often frustrated by my half finished projects and untouched kits, and today I'm irritated with myself. I happened to glance at this wreath that I made a few years ago from my Grandmother's ornaments and stood there wondering why I never made anymore. It wasn't that difficult and I so enjoyed the outcome, but that was the end of it. I think I'm formulating some new year's resolutions in my mind. I need to plan alittle Christmas crafting for each month of the year. So since I'm airing my frustrations today, how about you, are you frustrated?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sew Fun Tree

This little tree sits in my sewing room. It is a work in progress. The garland is made from some very old yo-yo's from my very first live auction down in Amish country. During the auction I inadvertently scratched my nose and bid on a rather expensive item. Fortunately, my friend Nancy, quickly showed me how to shake it off. So when this box of yo-yo's appeared, I was too frightened to move and had her bid on it. The talking is so fast, it's hard to understand anything, especially how much you just agreed to spend. The ornaments are vintage button cards with a ribbon through them. After Christmas, when I have some time, I plan on making some ornaments from some 100+ yr. old tiny blocks my sweet Mom-in-law gave me from her side of the family. I'm lost for an idea for a topper for this tree, and would welcome any suggestions. Have a blessed Tuesday!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Little Trees

I love little things, especially miniature children's things (but that's for another day). This little tree sits out on my three-season porch (a fancy way of saying it doesn't get heat). I love the colors and textures against the aqua side board I found this summer at a barn sale. If you are a fan of red and aqua, I encourage you to visit two sites, Simplify and Allsorts. Their use of color will just take you away. Have a joyfilled Monday, it's raining here today and the snow is melting...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Party Shoes

Last night was an emotionally charged evening. My daughter had her first high school Christmas formal. I stood there looking at her so pretty in her dress and was taken back to that very first pair of dress-up shoes...I can hardly believe that time has passed that quickly. I am reminded, "Many daughters have done virtuously, but you excel them all. Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised." Proverbs 31:29-30. I'm in love with the godly woman she is becoming...and tears fill my eyes at the thought of the next shoes she'll fill. Have a joyfilled Sunday everyone!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Tree Challenge

Two years ago my friend Nancy challenged her friends to create a tree for her Christmas barn sale. We were then to offer our trees to sell. I had so much fun creating this tree that when I was done, I priced it ridiculously high so that I could keep it.

I photo copied Christmas sheet music and made it into garlands. For ornaments I used vintage jewelry, much of it my Grandmothers, as well as scrapbooking paper and other bits-n-baubles. I made the tree skirt out of a piece of lace my friend Karen gave me. It came from a trunk belonging to her husband's family, dating back to the civil war era. I enjoyed this challenge tremendously. I get sad putting it away every year and was wondering, do any of you keep trees up all year round? Please check out the giveaway on Where Women Create. Just click on the button to the right. So cool, you won't believe it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

To make or to buy?

I'm veering off the Christmas path for a moment to request your opinion. I found this beautiful shawl on Anthropologie's website. I just love it. Every time I see something I could buy or I could try to make, I start to wrestle with my thoughts which go something like this - "Just buy it, you don't have the time to make it and it will cost more to make than to buy, how many times have you passed something up because you said you could make it and then you don't?" And then - "Just make it, so what if it takes awhile, just think of the satisfaction of wearing something you've made..." The droning goes on in my head until I drive myself crazy. At times I call this "the creative curse". Often I take on another project when I'm not done with all the quilt/yarn kits I've collected. So help me, what do you think?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

25 Questions

Dawn, over at 4:53am has posted 25 questions today and has asked us if we'd like to do so as well. Let's give it a try, shall we?

1. Wrapping paper or gift tags? both

2. Real tree or artificial? currently artificial since our favorite tree place closed

3. When do you put up the tree? we have 7 trees, so we start the process right after Thanksgiving

4. When do you take the tree down? after New Year's day

5. Do you like eggnog? No

6. Favorite gift received as a child? dollhouse

7. Hardest person to buy for? the adult men in the family

8. Easiest person to buy for? most women

9. Do you have a nativity scene? I have several, some my Mom made and some vintage as well as the playmobile one my kids got when they were little

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? mail

11. Worst Christmas gift ever received? a toy truck meant for another child

12. Favorite Christmas movie? The Muppet's Christmas Carol

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? try to pick up things all year long

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? yes

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? my Mom's standing rib roast

16. Lights on the tree? currently all white

17. Favorite Christmas song? What Child is This

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? it depends on whose house it is, this year traveling

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? pathetically no

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? star

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? morning (except for new pajamas)

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? traffic

23. Favorite Christmas ornament? Mouse I got as a child

24. Do you make Christmas cookies? usually try to make my Mom's shortbread cookies

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? to enjoy quality family time

Your turn!