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