Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Still going strong

Most of you are probably enjoying the gentle quiet of the post Christmas season - playing with your "toys", trying out the new clothes, shopping the after Christmas sales...

Not here! Mrs. Santa's workshop is full speed ahead.

Machine hums, needles fly.

Mission accomplished.

It is satisfying to see the to-do list shrink and the pile of gifts to wrap grow. I know, they should be wrapped by now. I did that one year, wrapped things as I bought them. I ended up peeling tape from the ends of the packages, because I didn't have the foresight to make a list of what was under the pretty paper! Never again.

Can't wait for Saturday!

Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. Psalm 63:7

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ice, fog, and the carolers

As we went over the river (Mississippi) to "Gramma's" house for Christmas, we battled ice and snow. Tonight, coming home, we are holed up in a motel (at that same river) waiting out dense, dangerous, swirling fog!

To help pass the time, I am experimenting with my Christmas present - and trying my hand at blogging away from home!

I will use this as an excuse to share a picture of my favorite group of carolers... spotted and captured for posterity in a Maurice store. (Why didn't I think to get video?)

O come all ye faithful
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Psalm 100:2

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's ready!

It has been a bit busy around here. The crochet hook is flying, the paint and paste are drying. (ooo! a rhyme - love it when I can do two things at once!) Slowly, but surely, the projects are coming together.

Our contributions to the family handmade gift exchange are finished. My favorite is the altered book Thankful Journal. (Don't worry - my son-in-law is not reading my blog!)

altered cover

the Dad-stamped pages
This was a lot of fun to make. I would like to make a few more when the pressure is off. I'm sure I won't have any helpers for the stamping. That was a once-in-a-lifetime event!

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God... I Peter 3:18

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Handmade gifts

We are shaking up our family gift exchange. The name drawing went the same as usual - kids buy for kids, their parents (and us) buy for each other.

This year we added the handmade rule for the adults. Here are the guidelines: the gift(s) must be mostly handmade; both husband and wife must be involved in the making of the gift(s); each couple has a spending limit of $10 - total.

I don't know what is happening in the houses of my children, but my dear business-minded husband has been dreading the moment that he has to get involved in CRAFTS!

Tonight was the night. Just to prove to my family that he actually got his hands inky while stamping, I took pictures.

clear stamps are wonderful!

He did a great job stamping and didn't complain once. When he finished, he washed his hands... literally and, I suspect, figuratively. I don't think I have to worry about sharing my stamps and ink.

...let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Ephesians 4:28

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mail tales

This morning, the final stack of cards went to the post office.

This afternoon, this package arrived. Talk about timing.

There is a story here.

Remember my wonderful bargain, the die cutter that was going to make my cards beautiful? Well... on Thanksgiving, I was the star of my own infomercial, intending to wow my grandkids with my magical machine. What I actually did was break my new toy right before their horrified faces. I mean, I really broke it!

After dissecting it right down to the last part, I figured out what was damaged and contacted the company. Their response was immediate and generous... and too late.

In the meantime I have learned a valuable lesson or two:
  • Don't mix brands when buying dies.
  • When the cranking gets really hard - STOP!
  • Quickutz has great customer service.

So, my Christmas cards are not fancy, but the message is still the same... Jesus, born in a manger, the promise of salvation for sinful men.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Slowly... steadily the stacks of raw materials are disappearing. Finished products take their place.

Seems there should be a marching band playing, with cymbals crashing, as I add things to the stacks marked "complete"...

but it's just that great sigh of happiness as I check one more thing from the list. That is good enough.

...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Almost ready

Christmas cards.

I love the process... from the dreaming-and-scheming to the stamp on the final envelope.

all the pieces
I would rather make cards than bake cookies.

Hmmm, considering my baking skills, cards are probably more welcome than cookies.

...Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgement, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 9:23,24

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Let the wind blow

It seems that my closet is filled with all things collarless. I noticed this because in Michigan the wind blows cold. The solution was to make a scarf to wrap around my neck - just to stop the chill.

I will spare you the stories about discontinued yarns and mistakes (that I hope no one notices). Instead, take a look at the first two finished scarves.

Ticker-tape and Bamboo Silk

They were quick projects, so when JoAnn Fabrics offered these beauties at a great price,

Hmmm.. which one first?
I couldn't resist buying more yarn. Hopefully, I'll have a few more finished for Santa to stuff into stockings.

Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. Proverbs 31:25

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Candles and bread

The reason for my busy-ness the last few days is a Christmas Tea that will take place Saturday afternoon at church. With the success of last year's event, it is now the Annual Christmas Tea.

I didn't volunteer for any particular task... but I saw a friend overloaded with details, so I told her I would help her. Because I have the fancy paper, the punch, and the copier for resizing the pattern, I became candle-box-maker. It was a tedious assignment, but now that they are finished... I can't help myself! I like them.

A gift for every guest
Then I heard that this same friend needed help making little tea sandwiches. Once again, I offered to help her. Because I have a scalloped bread pan, I became the scalloped-bread-baker.

Now... I do have this wonderful 9 month old stove. (On Thanksgiving, the oven easily held 2 turkeys and 2 large casseroles. Everything was cooked to perfection!) But a perfect oven cannot a perfect baker make!

Why, oh why, do I volunteer to bake?

I cut the tops off - they're fine!
I should carry these pictures in my purse. They could protect me from myself.

Well... it's not burned!
Fortunately, I have extra dough.

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New tricks

This is just an experiment. I wanted to play with this photo arrangement - thought you might enjoy these adorable little guys while I was at it.

cute, cuter, cutest!
Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:14

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Busy hands

The last two days have been filled with work!

With the things I wanted to do - things like a blog face lift, writing a Christmas letter, finishing a scarf - the hours passed unnoticed.

When it came to projects that weren't my "department"? Ooooh... I needed an attitude adjustment. I continually ask myself, Who are you doing this for? Even with that reminder, aggravation tip-toes into my heart and head before I realize what is happening. Sneaky it is... hard to stop.

So, to encourage a quiet spirit, I decided to share the "work" in pictures.

score, fold, score, score, fold, fold... again

one down, 75 to go
At this point, the blog has a complete face lift, the scarf is finished, the Christmas letter is written, and one little candle "box" is finished (only 75 more to do).

Can you guess which project was not causing my heart to soar?

In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.
Psalm 94:19

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holiday leftovers

After spending Thanksgiving with 17 of my favorite people, there are always leftovers... in every room of the house.

Want a tiny taste of our time together? Follow me.

The kitchen...

artwork from the masters
The laundry room...

the towering pile of laundry
The living room...

pillows and blankets galore
The "craft" room...

Are you right handed? Use your left!
Even the door...

the unexpected love notes
I love leftovers. They leave such a nice taste in my mouth.

As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them. Psalm 127:4,5

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving day

2008 11 27 010
Originally uploaded by cHimprints
Voices always sound so strange on these videos... really, these are not our voices!
This wish is from all of the family around our table to all of you!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanks and Praise service

"When you come to the Praise and Thanks service on Tuesday at 7:00 pm, be ready to share what the Lord has done in your life the past year." That was the announcement at church last Sunday.

What would I say? Certainly I am thankful to God for meeting our physical needs in wonderful ways.. a house, food, health. That list is long.

But, if I were to be honest... to openly praise God for what He has done in my life this year... yikes. This has been the year of deep cleaning. After much soul searching, I knew what I should say.

Tonight, I was ready. At one point, I started to stand, but someone else was already on their feet. The service started, happened, and ended, and I never got to say what was in my heart. I wondered to God, why did You have my heart full of praise and thanks and keep me from speaking? And then I knew... it was for me to share with you - my blogosphere friends!

Beware - I'm going to go all serious on you and tell you what God has done in the last year.

My verse for the year would have to be Psalm 40:17 - But I am poor and needy: yet the Lord thinketh on me... There has been persistent conviction of "nice" sins, tucked in the corners of my soul... the ones that have been dismissed as personality traits or "quirky" little habits. Not any more. I see the sin. Am I hopeless? Not with the second part of that verse... the Lord thinketh on me. He loves me enough to bother with the conviction, stay with me through the ongoing correction.

So, why is it so important to tell you this? Today, in my Bible reading, I found this verse (at the end of a list of how God blessed His people) That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this... (Isaiah 41:20)

This has been a year of blessing, personal spiritual blessing - and I tell you this so that together, we can 1) see, 2) know, 3) consider and 4) understand that God has been at work... in me... in you?

It is wonderful to be so loved. It is indeed a season of thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cranberry chutney

Thanksgiving officially starts when I smell the chutney in the kitchen.

I found this recipe when I was emerging from the early stages of learning to cook. You know... just past you mean Jello isn't fruit?, but before recipes that required more than three herbs/spices.

Sphere magazine, November, 1977
There is no way to describe the magic that happens when all these ingredients bubble in the pot and fill the air with holiday enchantment.

measure and stir
chop chop
Today was the day... and my heart is filled with thanks.

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Big city shopping

Work called us to a Chicago suburb on Tuesday. So, we mixed business with pleasure, and took an extra day to do some antiquing.

I suppose you want to see the results of our day of searching... the "gem" that would stop the heart of any expert on the Antiques Road Show? That little item everyone else overlooked that is worth nearly $100,000?


This was the treasure of the day...

teeny tiny vacuum cleaner

I paid cash ($2.15) and handed the tiny little bag to my vac-man husband. That was more fun than cameras and the Keno Brothers any day.

Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. Psalm 97:11 & 12

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Checking the list

This afternoon it looked like this...

so many pieces
love those vintage buttons
But tonight, the finishing touches are in place. The last thread has been snipped.

One more thing to cross off my "to do" list.

Sorry... can't show the finished project. It's a birthday gift!

Rejoice with them that do rejoice... Romans 12:15

Friday, November 14, 2008


One of the "strictly-for-fun" days in my life is haircut-day.

I live in a very small town where the best shopping happens at WalMart. When haircut-day arrives, I get to drive to a nearby medium-sized city and:

  1. get my hair cut.

  2. shop wherever I want, for as long as I want in some real stores!

  3. go to Sam's and buy, among other things, cashews, which I use as stay awake food for the drive home.

I love haircut-day.

This past Wednesday will probably go down in the history books as the greatest of all haircut-days. You see, I love to shop more than I love to buy. It's the thrill of the bargain, the challenge of the hunt... that ecstatic moment when you find exactly what you want (but don't need) at such an amazing price, that you have to take it home!

For several weeks I have been eyeing/wanting this -- the Quickutz Revolution!

What a machine!
In many places, it sells for around $100, give or take. I spotted it at Archiver's for $49. I found it online several times for $39, but when I hit "add to cart", it was always out of stock, or unavailable, for who knows what reasons! I was just about ready to send my travelling husband back to Archiver's when haircut-day arrived.

I'll leave out the hair stuff, and the many stores visited, and cut right to Hobby Lobby. I was contentedly strolling through the store, looking, touching, imagining, when there on an end cap was my Revolution! The price? $39.95... and I had a 40% off coupon in my purse! I couldn't believe they would let me use it... BUT THEY DID! (That's $24 for all you non-math people.)

I am happily experimenting with my card stock. I have enough flourishes to wallpaper a small room.

See why I love haircut-day?

...Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. I Corinthians 2:9

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I have a new best friend this week...

Thank goodness for Puffs!
Due to an unpleasant affinity for my nose, these tissues have accompanied me everywhere, caused an unnatural glow to appear mid-face, and destroyed any desire to be creative.


This too shall pass.

Take no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34

Friday, November 7, 2008

Marching on

Today I saw...

* Hatpin Harry and his antique band, doing the shadow dance in the living room.

The progression of the sun - morning into evening.


** The leaves dancing with the wind, high above the house in the clear blue sky.

The march of autumn into winter.


*** Flowers (fake), turkey feathers and corn husks (real, real) arranged on the front door. The first time in many months that I have bothered to do it.

The journey of hurt into healing.


Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to thee forever. Psalm 30:11, 12

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Three good things.

1.) I live in a country where I can earn this sticker. (I know, I know... it's backwards, but I've always wanted to try one of these mirror pictures.)

these self pics aren't so easy to do!
2.) The story is in the mail. Prayed about... prayed over... mailed! Now the editor will vote.

3.) Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love the colors. I love the smell in the air. I love sweaters and jeans. This was my view on the road to the Post Office with good thing #2.

the beauty of the earth
I am slooooowly reading my way through the Psalms. Some of the verses for today were:
O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth... O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. Psalm 96: 1 & 9

I am greatly blessed.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Details of life

I haven't been here in a while.

Well, that isn't true. I have been here. I started several times to write something, but it was so uninteresting, I was putting myself to sleep!

Want to know what have I've been doing? (I don't care. Read anyway!)

  • I have three articles written. One is completely ready to go - all spiffed up, double spaced - even the cover letter is finally finished.
  • My Christmas card design is almost complete. I have spent hours working on a love/hate relationship with Photoshop Elements. I'm not sure which side of that fence I'm on today! But, a little more hands-on tweaking and the card will be ready for my limited production! (If I don't have your address, you won't ever see it...)
  • I'm still slathering paint on my old books. The ideas keep changing as I go. (The latest addition was modeling paste... I like it.) To be truthful, I don't know what the finished product will look like... or be!
  • The monthly breakfast for the men at church was Saturday. The decor involved corn husks (harvested fresh from the field), turkey feathers (fresh from the turkey - ouch!) and my old favorite turkey centerpiece.
back home again

The best part of the last week was Grandparents' Day - on the right day! It was wonderful. We worked on papers at school, and then went hunting, played Wii racing, boxing, tennis and bowling, baked Toll House muffins - yummmm! Recipe upon request - ate homemade spaghetti... we just had a ball! It was worth two trips just to experience such gramma/grampa love! (I forgot to take pictures! What kind of a blogger am I?)

And next.... the election!

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. Psalm 95:2,3

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


After a couple of days of slinging paints and slopping glues, I found myself wondering, What in the world am I doing?

I looked at my paint splattered, sticky hands and the projects spread across the worktable and asked the sister to question #1, Why did I start this?

The answers came quickly, backwards, but quickly... #2 - to encourage someone in their walk with God; to put scripture in the hands of the person who ends up with these books.... and #1 - I'm doing what God has given me to do!

So... I paint away... for the glory of God!

What have you been given to do?

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Did you know Yo-Yo is a brand name?

Do you realize that November is only 4 days away? Regardless of who wins the election, that means Christmas is right around the corner!

Today I went into my workroom, determined to start some of the projects that I have in mind for gifts. I sanded and painted the covers of throw-away books.

the first step toward an altered book
I decided not to watch the paint dry... there had to be something better to do! So, I pulled out my pile of old post cards and found a few interesting things like this...

notice the postmark
and started on this!

the beginning of an altered suitcase!
By the time the first coat of paint was dry, there was wet glue that needed time to dry, so I went back to the paintbrush for coat #2!

I know it's efficient... but I felt like a yo-yo.

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea the work of our hands establish thou it. Psalm 90:17

Friday, October 24, 2008

What was I thinking?

This post just needs something pretty

My unofficial title here at home is... ahem... Undisputed Reminder of All Necessary Activities & Get-togethers", otherwise known as URANAG.

I have always taken my responsibilities very seriously, making sure my Dearly Beloved and I are where we are supposed to be, when we are supposed to be there.

It must be that the weather was about to change... or maybe planets somewhere were colliding... maybe I'm just not as good at my "job" as I think I am.

Yesterday, we left the house at 7:47 am for Grandparents Day in Belmont. This is a 2-hour trip and we needed to be there by 9:30. Obviously, we were going to be late. For the head URANAG, that was not acceptable, but what is, is, so we pushed the speed limit as much as we could and arrived only 5 minutes late.

There were little things along the way that should have set off some alarms.

  1. My daughter didn't call to check our arrival time.
  2. The "Welcome Grandparents" message wasn't on the school sign.
  3. The parking lot wasn't very full.
  4. The doors to the school were locked.

We finally figured out how to get into the school office, to have the secretary tell us that we weren't late at all! In fact, we were 6 days, 23 hours and 55 minutes early!


All this begs the question, Would I have been as gracious as my husband was if he had made the same mistake?

Something to consider.

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. I Corinthians 10:12

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's on fire!

I know that I promised video, but the still shots were so much better!

all ready to go - 25' high
It was the bonfire of the decade... beautiful... amazing... worth all the work for the man who spent weeks planning, gave days to the making.

this could be seen from space!

I wish you could have been there to hear the sound, to feel the heat, to share the wonder. It was great.

For our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:29