Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fortunate. . .

in so many ways.

If I'm being honest, my default approach to life is to see the glass half empty. Today's challenge is a simple exercise in appreciating that which makes my life full. Although there is much more to strive for, having the following is a great blessing:

Family - living and nearby
Friends - few, but intimate
Health - excellent
Hearth - warm and dry
Sustenance - available in abundance, both nutritious and delicious
Time - for crafting and being
Freedom - of religion, choice, speech and lifestyle, to name a few!

In thinking about what I have to be thankful for, I've also come to the following realization - that, if you don't raise these blessings up for recognition and appreciation, they don't exist. That isn't to say that they don't apply to one's life, but the benefit is not felt.

The following quote says it best. I would like the balance of my days to be a feast, not a famine. . .

"It is literally true, as the thankless say, that they have nothing to be thankful for. He who sits by the fire, thankless for the fire, is just as if he had no fire. Nothing is possessed save in appreciation, of which thankfulness is the indispensable ingredient. But a thankful heart hath a continual feast."

W. J. Cameron, The Ford Sunday Evening Hour Talks, 1930’s

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Grateful. . .

first and foremost, for my son. For his continuing laughter, smiles, and affection. I hope that two years from now, I will still be the grateful recipient of his unrestrained love.

two years ago

Autumn leaves Me and my baby


IMG_5952 IMG_5954

IMG_5956 IMG_5962

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Happy Place

For all you gnome enthusiasts out there, go on get happy! And if that's not enough to satisfy, here's more than you ever wanted to know about gnomes. According to a review of Gnomeland, "gnomes are 'so out there', they're 'in' again." I wouldn't go this far, but a soft, huggable gnome is welcome in my garden anytime!

Mrs. Gnome

Mrs. Gnome

Mrs. Gnome

Thanks again to Hillary for letting me test-ride her newly available, just-in-time-for-the-holidays, how-can-you-pass-it-up gnome pattern!

And, if you've been feeling the gnome vibrations, but are lacking a garden, this is just what you need.

Don't say I don't gnome how to have a good time. . .

Monday, November 12, 2007

What To Do With Felt

I've got a lot of felt. Not so much that I won't buy more (the nice, wool felt, that is) when I happily and unexpectedly come across it, as I did this weekend! But enough that it will be sitting around for a few years unless I think of more ways to use it than the occasional softie.

Enter this lovely felt garland by Anna Maria Horner. I NEED to do this. Now if only I could figure out how to stretch a 24 day into at least 28 hours! I think I need a wardrobe to craft in, so that time will stand still.

Off the crafting tip, please examine this picture of moi. Not supermodel status, but not exactly chopped liver, wouldn't you agree? Sadly, according to My Heritage celebrity look-alike, my "strong" (my quotes) features have me parsed as a boy. Mouseover picture to see my celebrity counterparts. I suppose I should be greatful that Cary Grant appears here, although I would have preferred Grace Kelly. : )

The second go-around cracked me up!

(psst... mouseover!)

Go on, try it! You know you want to...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Good Intentions

Okay, so I've wrapped up my swaps (pictures coming soon!), refrained from joining any new ones, and I'm all set to start holiday crafting for my loved ones, when I find my good intentions blindsided by an innocent visit over at Hillary's place.

Did you really expect me to pass up the opportunity to test-drive one of her fabulous patterns? Now I've got to ask myself one question: "Who can I make a gnome for? Well, who?”

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Laundry List

Just to keep myself on my toes and accountable, I thought I'd make note of the holiday projects that are in progress or waiting in the wings. Lest I get selective amnesia. . . Of course, in case anyone comes sniffing around, I won't mention whom the recipients are!

More of these paint chip wallets that I find so addicting:

Paint Chip Wallet

Paint Chip Wallet

Nested magazine bowls (I'm so excited to try this, and I'll finally get to work with Modge Podge! Hope it isn't a disaster. . .)

A pouch or two:

Butterfly pouch detail

Patchwork purse

Fingerless handwarmers, either knit or sewn from fleece. I'd intended to sew them, until I started this post and came across these fabulous patterns! And what a great opportunity to knit from stash. If I can resist heading to the yarn store for just the right color, that is. . . ; )

And a couple of CD jewel case calendars from my flickr pics (if you think they're for you, they probably are, so don't ask any questions!)

All this crafting would make for a satisfying, straight-from-the-hands-and-heart, without hurting the pocketbook, kind of giving if only I didn't drop $60-$100 every time I walk into Michael's. Damn Martha and all her good things.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Running With Scissors

Starting off slowly on my reentry to blogland, with an update and some pictures. . .

I had a minor epiphany today, and I am now TOTALLY inspired to approach the holidays with all the craftiness I can muster! My goal is to make this as much of a Handmade Holiday as possible. Of course, there will still be some store-bought goodies, but if I can minimize the commercial aspect of the season and highlight the joy of creating, I will be very pleased. I have a few swaps that I'm working on, but once they're wrapped up my creative energy will need to be directed towards the handmade gifts I've got planned for my immediate friends and family. I'm not deluding myself that this is going to be an easy task, but I think it's manageable if I start now. : ) This is my early New Year's resolution. . .

Never a post without a little eye candy - here's my little bat, in a costume I made from an umbrella! I'm pleased with my execution, but can't take credit for the idea. Instructions courtesy of Lenore.