Friday, January 15, 2010

Max

Max is sulking today. He found out the vet wants him to participate in their "Biggest Loser Program". He thought he was quite fit, but he tips the scales at a whomping 104 pounds. When the vet said he needed to lose some weight, I thought, "Yeah, so do the rest of us after those holiday goodies..." He's not real pleased that he has to be weighed every month (who would be!) but doesn't he look eager to earn free vacinations? Poor thing, it just keeps getting worse...

Be blessed today,

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Graceful Garden


Thank you for all your supportive comments yesterday. I feel so much better today and I know it was the prayers of you wonderful bloggers. I dove into cutting out the t-shirt quilts I'm making and also started praising and thanking God for various things in my life and for who He is and that was like a salve on a wound. I need to practice that more often.

Another bright spot yesterday was the arrival of a package from Denise Sheehan of "A Graceful Stitch". In it was her beautiful book, "The Graceful Garden". You won't believe the projects and the photography. It was an absolute treat to sit with this book on a cold winter's day, thinking and dreaming of the quilts and gardens that lie ahead. I have to tell those of you who are starting out in applique that this book has one of the most comprehensive, step by step how-to's (with pictures) on applique that I have ever come across. Since I'm going to be tackling the "Snowbound" quilt that I mentioned earlier this week, I know this will be a big help to me. If you want to try applique but don't want to do a big quilt, there is a pretty tablerunner in the book that would be a great project. Thank you Denise, I love it!

With joy,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ponderings

Do you ever have a day where you're just feeling blue? Where if someone looks at you funny you just might burst into tears? That's me today. I wish I could say why but I really don't know. That's the beauty of being female. We can just feel blue, look blue, be blue for no apparent reason at all. Men are baffled by this. Children just stay away hoping not to catch it. So, I bought myself some flowers, but it didn't help. This too shall pass. I just need to stay away from Ben & Jerry's or tomorrow I'll be feeling worse...

With joy regardless of my mood,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Winter Quilts


I was swapping out quilts in my kitchen and decided to put up the snowman quilt I made a couple of years ago. It is a combination of snowball and nine-patch blocks. I wish you could see the quilting on this. Sue, who did the quilting used a micro-stiple around the actual snowmen. It makes them pop from the fabric. Very fun! I decided it was time to stop being in denial that we have more cold months here in Michigan than warm months. It's time to make a new winter quilt. Anne over at Bunny Hill Designs has a free pattern of the month called "Snowbound" which makes an adorable quilt. She already has the first block done so stop over there to take a look. I'm up for the Snowbound challenge. Heading back into denial now...

Stay warm & toasty!
Joyfully,

Monday, January 11, 2010

From My Daybook


FOR TODAY... from Renee's Daybook

Outside my window... Morning is trying to break through the cold winter sky

I am thinking... about my son and how I so enjoy the man he is becoming

I am thankful for... my health and praying for my friend who is struggling with cancer

I am wearing... workout clothes

I am remembering... When my husband and I first dated, so long ago, and that sweet time

I am going... to the gym as soon as I'm finished here :)

I am currently reading... finished "The Help" this weekend, so good! Will start "The Mark of the Lion" Series

I am hoping... to sew today

On my mind... better meal planning and creative snack ideas

Noticing that... I love a clean house!

Pondering these words... "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." Lamentations 3 22-23

From the kitchen... the smell of coffee

Around the house... nothing but the sound of the washing machine

One of my favorite things~ how I wake up on Monday morning with the songs from yesterday's church service playing in my head

From my picture journal...

My friend, Diane and I, with Serena of the Farm Chicks
at the Junk Bonanza this past fall...

Have a joyfilled day!

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

Ingredients:
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

Sauce:
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!