Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A New Venture





I apologize for being absent lately.  My friend and employer, Nancy, is opening her new restaurant this Friday.  There has been much to do to prepare and I have been very busy.  I will have lots of photos to show later this week.  The Garden Gate Cafe is a quaint little spot downtown in a very cool old building.  I am currently working on the window display and getting the binding on a quilt I made for the front entrance.  It will be open for breakfast and lunch and she specializes in cupcakes.  I might have to put elastic in all my clothing!


Smiles,

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Scripture





"Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him.  As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."  Hosea 6:3


With joy,

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pretty Bow Ties




I'm still buried under a puffy blanket of snow.  A good excuse not get out of sweats today, don't you think?  I saw this picture on Pinterest the other day.  It reminds me of my husbands side of the closet. My husband has been wearing a bow tie to work every day for as long as he's been working ( if he's not in scrubs).  He decided in medical school that he wanted to have a way for patients to remember who their doctor was.  We've had a good time purchasing bow ties over the years and I've enjoyed people saying "Is that your husband with the bow-tie?"  Enjoy your Saturday!


Hugs,

Friday, February 24, 2012

In the Quiet








































Yesterday I went to meetings and ran my errands without a coat on.  This is the view from my back porch this morning.  The thing about snow, it's so quiet.  I stood with the door open looking at the flakes softly falling and enjoying the silence.  Not even a bird was chirping.  Yesterday's Cardinal has found a place to stay out of the wind.  We're expecting a few more inches.   It's beautiful!

"It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all."
Laura Ingalls Wilder



Happy Friday,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pretty Little Hexies








































A few years back my daughter received this lovely afghan from her Great Auntie Martha.  Recently I was going through things I had packed away for her and found it.  I told her we were going to use it and enjoy it's beauty.  No point in waiting for that day when she will have her own home, she can still use it then, why not enjoy it now?









































I wish you could see this afghan up close.  It is comprised of hundreds of tiny crocheted hexagons.  It reminds me so much of the Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt pattern that I love (and have not made).  I know the hours and hours of labor that went into this gift.  I'm so glad that she made it for Maddie.  Next time I see sweet Great Auntie Martha, I'll have to hug her a bit longer.


Hugs for you too!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Oh no I didn't - Oh yes I did!


Ever have a moment when you feel like the dumbest person on the planet?
Remember this sweater I embellished a while back?
It somehow got thrown in the wash.
Completely ruined.
sniff, sniff…

A big sigh,

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Scripture


Source: flickr.com via Sarah on Pinterest



"I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and a bride adorns herself with her jewels."


Isaiah 61:10



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mama-ache


Sunday afternoon my son, Taylor, called me.  He was giving his testimony to his Bible study group at college that night and he was feeling nervous.  I could relate having shared the story of my journey to God recently with a large group.  My eyes went back to the puzzle he made in middle school wood shop.  What was it like for him then, just 13, in the public school carving a picture of the resurrection? Did he get ridiculed?  My eyes rested on the open tomb.  Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe…  I decided to go to church that night.  Pastor was speaking on prayer.  Four times that night we sang, "I love you, Lord".  That's when the Mama-ache started.



When Taylor was little, he had a hard time going to sleep.  For quite some time I would rub his back and sing "I love you, Lord" to get him to sleep at night.  Three years ago, on our last Sunday at church, before he was leaving for college, we sang that song.  My eyes welled up as I remembered all those nights.  I took Taylor's hand.  He leaned over to me and said, "I remember".  That's when the ugly cry started.  That moment is as vivid as if it happened yesterday.


Today, Mama-ache was unbearable.  His schedule hasn't permitted him to come home lately so I decided to go see him.  I wrapped his valentines gift and started out.  He and I arrived at his apartment at the same time.  I had to look twice at him.  "You cut your hair?", I said.  "Yes, it was really long and with baseball starting…", he replied.  And for a moment he wasn't 21, he was the buzz-cut little boy that left me valentines cut out of construction paper.

At times I've noticed that when you share that you miss your child who's away at college people think that you haven't let go or that you don't embrace where they are in their lives right now.  I disagree.  I am so pleased with the man he is becoming but there are times when Mama-ache, for whatever reason, takes hold and brings us back to what was and for a little while I mourn that passing.  I don't find anything wrong with that.  A couple hours later, Mama-ache subsided, I was back on the road. The sun was shining brightly and I thanked God for Taylor and for a wonderful visit.

Joyfully,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sweet Delivery







































You, dear blogging friends, are such a blessing to me!  Thank you for the Valentine wishes.  I want to share with you the cutest package that arrived from Molly at Birdie Blue.  I participated in a little Valentine swap with her.


























The package held this adorable sign.  It looks perfect on my shelf all decorated for Valentines Day.  If you haven't been to Molly's blog yet, you are in for a treat.  It's beautiful!


Hugs,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!








































I hope your day is filled with sweet surprises!


Hugs,

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Scripture




"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

John 3:16

With joy,

Friday, February 10, 2012

February Giveaway Winner!


Chosen by random generator, the winner of the February giveaway is Danielle from Blessed Serendipity!  Danielle has a beautiful blog (this is her header above) and is a very creative and talented lady.  Be sure to stop by her blog for a visit and to congratulate her!


With joy,

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Swing-A-way








































My friend, Sally, gave me a vintage ice crusher called the Swing-A-way for my birthday.  If it's possible to nearly faint over a vintage kitchen gadget, then I did, and I'm not embarrassed to say so.  It still works like a charm.  The fact that it's in that lovely shade of vintage pink just about did me in.  The Swing-A-Way can opener came on the market in the 1930's invented by a man named Idus Rhodes. Somewhere along the way the ice crusher was made.  Highly popular, it has been produced in many colors and can be found easily and is quite affordable.  A very fun gift to receive!


Blessings,

Monday, February 6, 2012

February Giveaway







































I apologize for getting this to you late today.  I had some unexpected personal business that kept me occupied all day.  This giveaway is doubly exciting because it comes from two places.  The first one is from me, you will receive:


my entire scrap stash
and three books:
Wild About Flowers
Easy Applique
Quick & Scrappy Quilts

The second item is this set of eight handmade cards from Joscelyn of Lilac Barries.  They are so adorable!  Be sure to check out Joscelyn's etsy shop when you visit her blog.  I will end the giveaway on Thursday at midnight and announce the winner on Friday.

To Enter:
Be a follower of Sewn With Grace
Leave a comment telling me your favorite family meal.

Hugs,

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

For A Wee One







































A friend of mine is going to be a first time Grandma and I get to attend a shower for the new Mama this weekend.  I had a lot of fun making a receiving blanket from a yard of cotton and a yard of flannel.  I crocheted the edge using the tutorial on You Go Girl.  I've used this trim on pillowcase edges before.  Cassie does a wonderful job of  guiding you through the process.  The hat is knit from a pattern in the book, "Itty Bitty Hats" by Susan B. Anderson.  It's just a wee thing, newborn size.  I'm loving the bright colors in the grey of winter.  Have a wonderful Friday!


Hugs,  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Yes, He Is...








































Today's gift comes from the hands of my friend, Char.  She is a wonderful lady full of faith and creative charm.  Char lives in the most beautiful log cabin out in the country with her husband Tom and their gentle horse.  A trip to Char's house is always a welcome invitation.  She is a fabulous cook, as well, and makes the most delicious pineapple upside down cake in a cast iron pan.  Every chance her friends get to eat that cake and visit her house we drop everything and go!  Char made me this picture. It took over two hours to cut the sheep.  She printed the music onto the prettiest paper and aged the frame to a wonderful color.  Such a treasure!


With joy,

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sew Happy!








































This lovely little hoop came from Shann at Daisy's Are My Favorite Flower.  It was a fun birthday surprise she made for me.  Shann's right, I'm sew happy!  I have a little story to tell you about Shann and I.  It's a story of God working and God revealing.  I love it when He allows us to see His hand in our lives. A couple years back, Shann lived in another state and she started reading my blog.   Her husband had a job change and it brought them to Michigan.  I blogged one day about a barn sale I was involved in and she figured out it was not far from her.  So to my delight, she came to the barn sale and introduced herself.   I was so thrilled to meet a blogging buddy.  When I asked her where she lived now, she told me.  I'm certain that my jaw remained on the ground the whole day - she lives about 5 minutes from my house.  One Sunday later I turned around to find her and her husband at the church we attend.  We both broke out in giggles.  It was confirmed, we were to be friends.  I don't get to see Shann often as she is a working lady with a busy household, like me, but when we do get together, we talk as if we've known each other forever.  We may have only known each other for a short time, but one thing is certain, God has known forever that we would be friends.  Don't you love it when God does that?


Joyfully,

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blog Tips with Keren from FPTFY!

Hi lovely Sewn with Grace Readers!
It's Keren from Free Pretty Things, and I am SO thrilled Renee asked me to be here today!

Today, I'll be giving you a few tips on how to make your blog a little more appealing and a few other tidbits that I hope you might find useful.  Here we go!

Blog Tips/DOs and DON'Ts:

1. Use the New Blogger Designer Templates. The Simple Template is my favorite. Be sure to choose the LAST option. Example shown below.
This option has a clean white background with NO SHADOWS around the blog border. No Shadows are a good thing :) Without them, everything looks nice and clean.

2. If you choose to have a Background on your blog, try to have the LEAST amount of clutter on your sidebars. You don't want your readers to feel overwhelmed when they come to your blog. BUT sometimes, you HAVE to have lots of buttons and information on your sidebars. If that is the case, do try to leave your blog without a background or at least a very LIGHT colored background.

3. Try to fight the urge of having music on your blog. Why you ask? Well, I can't speak for all bloggers out there but as for me, I do my Blog surfing Late at night or during my little girl's nap time. SOMETIMES, I forget to turn my speakers off and while I'm clicking way to view your latest fabulous post, I and my sound asleep toddler (that took 2 hrs to finally put down, BTY) are frightfully startled and awaken by your most favorite rocking tunes. Not cool. Did you know some readers will actually hear your music start, and as quickly as possible click off your page and NEVER return Just because your blog is "one of those blogs". Sad, but true :(

4. If you have a 3 column blog, try to keep your 2 sidebars only on ONE side of your blog. This is just because its easier on the eyes and readers only have to look to one side to view all of your information ... This is especially true if you are using your Blog as a way to bring revenue to your home. Your Sponsors will get Lots more click this way, because everything is nice and neat and Easy to view.

5. Take advantage of the New Blogger Templates Footer Layouts. Example shown below.
As you can see, these new Footer Layouts give you a lot more room to add important information without cluttering up those sidebars.

6. Let your Readers be able to find things easily on your blog. (A) Always have LABELS on ALL your post. NOT a MILLION of them but, essential ones. (B) Have a Search Bar!

7. Have a good ABOUT(ME) section.. Most readers will actually go to that section FIRST before reading any of your posts. If they don't like what they "see" they will just click off and forget all about you.

8. When you visit a new Blog and become a new follower or theirs, DO NOT Demand them to follow you back in a comment. It's just not nice.

9. Take good pictures! You dont have to have a fancy Camera to do so... Use LOTS of indirect Natural light and Never Use a Flash.

10. My Tips are just a few to get you started.. Here are 3 of my Favorite Blog Posts Regarding this Subject. Total Must Reads: 15 Basic Blogging Dos and Don'ts, Blogging 101: “Dos” and “Don’ts”, Top 10 Blogging Dos and Don’ts

Tips on How to use MY Freebies: The Printables are pretty self explanatory. Save to you computer, print and enjoy! :) Whenever I post an image as a PNG file, you could use THIS tutorial on how to add them to your pictures. You don't have to have a fancy program like Photoshop to use any of my images. Programs like pixlr.com and sumopaint.com are a wonderful way to start playing around and learning new techniques. You could also visit MAKING CUTE BLOGS to find LOTS and LOTS of blog tutorials!! Awesome site. And last but certainly not least, Shabby Blogs has wonderful Blog Tutorials and will be adding lots more in the near future! :)

Really hope all of this info helps you grow grow GROW!! :)
Happy Blogging!

xo!
Keren

Monday, January 30, 2012

Leftover Blocks








































Do you remember this quilt?  Some friends of ours just became foster parents to a beautiful little girl. I wanted to make a quilt quickly to honor this special time in their lives.  While I was searching for patterns and fabric I came across 17 blocks that I didn't need for the first quilt.  16 of them made a perfect baby quilt size - 36" square.  The pattern is "Easy Bake" by Cluck Cluck Sew.  It's hand quilted with size 8 pink perle cotton.








































For the backing I used a pretty retro kitty fabric that I had in my stash.  Isn't it sweet?  I encourage you to keep leftover blocks.  You never know when you will need something in a jiffy.  Three large blocks can be a table runner and one large block and be made into a pillow.  Your time is cut in half and you have a homemade gift in hardly any time.  Sew fun!


Smiles,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Scripture







































"Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God."


Psalm 90:1&2

With joy,