Sunday, September 29, 2013

Been a While...But She's BAAACCCKKK

Yup, it's been a while....

Tom and I have been busy with redesigning the office.  It was supposed to be HIS project.  HIS hobby.  Somehow, it became my project too.  Well, actually, it was fun. 

Truth be known, I started the project. 

When we lived in Florida, we had a huge office.  The office had two LARGE desks, desk chairs, two bookcases, and two file cabinets (as well as ourselves and Shadow) that fit in it.  There were also two high back chairs for reading.  It was sweet.

When we moved to Alabama, we downsized a bit since we were no longer supporting a passel of children.  (Whoo whoo!!)  Well, along with the downsizing, came a smaller office.  Hmmm...so, the office furniture no longer fit.  We could get the two desks in and the file cabinets (and once again ourselves and Shadow) but none of the other stuff.  We left it that way for about 6 years then all of a sudden I put on the brakes.  I'd had enough.  Too hard to clean, tired of bumping into each other, and no matter how I arranged it, it basically sucked.  Ugh...there had to be a better way.  So, I turned on my ultra huge chemo riddled brain and came up with the floating desk idea.  I went online and saw these little tiny floating desks they were offering.  No way was that gonna cut it for me. 

The MAN needed to get out his power tools and come up with a ROOM SIZED floating desk for me.  I knew he could do it.  I had total faith in him.  After all, I had the entire idea in my ultra huge chemo riddled brain.  All he had to do was dive in there and get it out.  (Good luck, honey!) 

I gave him my general idea (nothing on the floor and everything attached to the wall) which I think he heard much like Charlie Brown's teacher talking and started off on his own track.  He started researching brackets, drawing up designs, cutting up paper into dimensional layouts of the room until he had it just right.  The he found the brackets he wanted.  The big heavy duty kind where two of them can  hold 1000 lbs.  (What did he think we were going to do on this desk?????)  He ordered 17 (SEVENTEEN) of these brackets to hold up this amazing desk that he was going to build. 

I'm thinking...WOW...That's 8,500 pounds of STUFF we can load on that desk.  Is that super cool, or what?  We could put baby elephant bookends on the desk if we wanted to since the average baby elephant only weighs 250 lbs.  (Stuffed of course...ewwww....) 

In case you are interested, and I know you must be or you wouldn't still be reading this dribble that I am writing...here are some pictures of the process.  Somehow, he got to do all the fun stuff with the power tools like measuring, sawing the pieces, and routering and I got to do all the drudgery like sanding, staining, and varnishing.  (Now who has the big brain...looks like someone in this house is smarter than I am...)


Starting with the Cleats


1000 pound Brackets are next.  :)


First Board Cut


Nice Router Cut Made.  :-)


Staining the underside of the Desk


Fastening Down the Desk


Looking at the Underside.

First Look at Backsplash

Top Stained

Grommets In Place

Backsplash In Place

Moved In...WHOO WHOO!!!

New Pictures Hung

 
So, you might be asking, what's next?  Well, He is going to make some kick panels to cover the brackets (that I get to sand, stain and varnish) and then some drawers (gotta have junk drawers)  (that I get to sand, stain and varnish)  You'll notice that there isn't anything on the walls ABOVE our computers...that is because I have other thoughts in my ultra huge chemo riddled brain for those walls.  :)
 
By Grace Alone -
 
Teresa

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Quiet Time Book Land

Aren't new friends fun?

I've made a new friend and she has ALL KINDS OF IDEAS on how to utilize my sewing skills.  (She doesn't sew a stitch but is good at finding things for me to sew...LOL)  She really is fun and she is stretching me beyond my current comfort zone.  Her name is Sarah and to protect the innocent, I won't divulge her last name.  We also work together.

She is a lot younger than I am but she is a kindred spirit.  She likes to do crafty things but she also has two young children (ages 2 and 4.5).  So we aren't exactly moving in the same dimension of this world.  I am in the slow turtle part of the world...kind of relaxed and laid back...enjoying the lack of constant energy that kids bring into a house and she is thoroughly enjoying the constant energy.  As it should be. 

We do a lot of texting.  She has helped me design and create these two (yes, I said TWO) Quiet Time books for her children.  Each book ended up with 12 pages.  I got to do lots of embroidery in them and she got to do some crocheting for things like flowers and apples that snap on.  She did a lot of the cutting out of the small pieces (ugh...I hate that part)  Lots of sewing (I LOVE that part).  I'll see if I can post some pictures here so you can see some of the finished products.



Here were the two finished books.  I am uploading a video of Ryan's finished pages.  Avery's is pretty much the same as Ryan's with a few differences.  She had Flowers instead of apples and a Jean skirt instead of overalls.  She didn't have colors and shapes, she had cupcakes for counting.  She also had a clock to learn to tell time but it was all feminine instead of having Woody in the middle of it.  Here are the pictures that are different.

 
Each of the cupcakes have beads on them that equal the number on the cupcake holder.  The cupcakes come out and can be mixed up and then she will need to match them back up by counting the beads.






  video
 
Enjoy the video.  This was actually made to send to Sarah because she lives across town and we do everything virtually.  I figure you can get a good laugh out of it too.  
 
We started these books on May 25th and I finished them this morning.  I'm not sure it is anything that I want to do again though.  8-)  I am sure they will bring a lot of joy to both the kids and Sarah.  She had one when she was a child which is what started the entire project.  She says she is going to play with them as much as her kids.  Too funny.  She really is a character. 

Here is a little Max for today:

"Put Your Trust In Him

By Max Lucado

How did Jesus endure the terror of the crucifixion? He went first to the Father with His fears. He modeled the words of Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Do the same with your fears. Enter them—just don’t enter them alone.  And while there, be honest. Pounding the ground is permitted.  Tears are allowed.

“Take this cup,” Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemene. Give God your fears. Give God the number of the flight. Share the details of the job transfer. He has plenty of time. He also has plenty of compassion. He won’t tell you to “buck up” or “get tough.” He knows how you feel. That’s why we punctuate our prayers as Jesus did: “Father, if you’re willing. . .”  Was God willing?  Yes and no. He didn’t take away the cross of Christ, but He took away the fear. Who’s to say He won’t do the same for you?"

By Grace Alone -

Teresa

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Making Memories

My Mom and I sewed together on Skype yesterday.  That is always fun.  I like to spend a few hours on the weekend just sitting back and playing and chatting about nothing and everything.  When we started our conversation this weekend I wasn't sure what I was going to do during it.  Tom and I had just gotten back from the grocery store and Hobby Lobby.  I needed some furniture for my sewing room to hold already cut pieces of cloth so they wouldn't get strewn all over the shelves with the cloth that wasn't cut yet.  (Yeah, this has become a SERIOUS hobby.)  Anyway, I started out cleaning up the furniture while we talked and then I started looking at the ironing board that was up against the wall and was comparing it to the new wall hanging that I had just gotten finished this week and hung up the night before.  They really clashed.  Started talking to my Mom about it and we decided that I probably had enough cloth left over from the border on the wall hanging to cover the ironing board so (to continue this run-on sentence) we sat there and designed it together.  Even after she is gone, I will look at that ironing board and remember the good times we had laughing during the creation of that ironing board cover.  :)

Here is the wall hanging and the finished matching ironing board cover.  :)


The biggest challenge was Shadow wanting to play with the elastic while I was threading it through the binding on the cover.  She's almost 11 years old and she's still such a kitten.

I got a REALLY good deal on one of the two pieces of furniture I got at Hobby Lobby.  It was regularly $299.  They had it marked down 30% to $209.  It had a big gouge on the front of it and I thought...hmmm....I don't really care about the gouge since it is just going in my sewing room but I don't want to pay $200 for a gouged piece of furniture.  So I called one of the clerks over and asked if I could get a deal on it.  He said he'd ask the manager.  The manager said I could get 50% off.  I figured that just meant 20% more off which would make t $150 which was ok with me.  But when I got up to the register, they gave me 50% MORE off of it so I ended up getting it for $105.  Very cool.  Here is a picture of the two new pieces for my sewing room.  The big one is the one that I got the deal on.  I actually paid $20 more for the smaller piece but it didn't have any flaws so that was ok.  :)


Here is a little Max for today...I just love the ones about food.  :)  This one is a particularly good lesson for Tom and I since we are having a few battles with our neighbor right now.  His kids like to put gum on our brick mailbox (easy to remove)...they don't mow their grass regularly (but they eventually mow it)...and their trash quite often blows into our yard (easy to pick up)...oh, it's the little things.  Good lessons from God.

"Chocolate Ice Cream or Okra?

by Max Lucado

Jesus said: “The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.” (Luke 6:38).

It’s as if God sends you to purchase your neighbor’s groceries. “Whatever you get your neighbor, get also for yourself.” I’m crazy about double-chocolate ice cream, so I buy my neighbor double-chocolate ice cream. But suppose your neighbor’s trash blows into your yard. He’s in no rush—says he’ll get to it next week.

You’re just about to have a talk when God reminds you, “Time to go to the market and buy your neighbor’s groceries.” You march right past the double-chocolate ice cream toward the okra and rice. You drive back and drop the sack in the lap of your lazy, good-for-nothing neighbor. “Have a good dinner.”

The next time you go to your pantry, guess what you find? What will you be eating? Chocolate ice cream or okra? It’s up to you."


By Grace Alone -

Teresa

Friday, April 19, 2013

Technological Whiz or Technological Ditz??

I used to be a techology whiz.

Not sure what happened.

Now I find myself screaming at my iPad and wanting to throw it in the trash.

No, it isn't menopause.

I've just had one of those weeks.

Lately, I've had some password challenges.  I'm sure everyone has these nowadays (that's a word, right?).  I mean, we have to create passwords for different email accounts (yeah, I've got an email account for my apple id, an email account for my internet account that is tied to my cable, I used to have one that was tied to my old internet account with AT&T that we got rid of when we got our new internet account and that one was on our iPads, iPods, and iPhones.  I was trying to change the iMessage on the iPad from the bellsouth.net account to my me.com account and it wasn't taking what I KNEW was the right password for the me.com account.  (You followed all that, right?)  I ended up handing it to Tom and saying "It's all yours."  Turned out the iMessage doesn't even work on the iPad so no wonder the password wasn't working.  Not sure why it worked with the bellsouth account to begin with.  Who knows.  Another of life's mysteries.

Side Note: At last count, I had about 168 different passwords in my password database.  Yeah, kinda extreme, but I'm a complicated gal.

I got froggie and decided to go to google + with my comments on my blog.  AFTER I did that I saw that it said that I would lose all my previous comments when I did so.  WHAT???  I have so FEW comments.  I CHERISH all my comments.  Oh well.  A technical HIT again.  It turns out that it isn't as bad as I thought.  I can't see the comments in the stats but I can still see them on the individual blog entries.  More cumbersome, but all is not lost.  (Whew)

The new med the doctor put me on for the migraines is doing really well.  No migraines in the past week.  I adjusted to one a day and started on two a day today.  Back to feeling fuzzy but I am sure that will straighten out after a week just like the one a day did.  I REALLY like not having a headache. 

Here is some Max for today:

"The Fire that Consumes You

By Max Lucado

God will speak to you differently than He will speak to others. Just because God spoke to Moses through a burning bush doesn’t mean we should all sit next to a bush waiting for God to speak. No, God reveals His heart personally to each person. We learn His will as we take up residence in His house and seek to listen to him every single day.

Want to know God’s will for your life? Then answer the question: What ignites your heart? Forgotten orphans? Untouched nations? The inner city? What is the fire that consumes you? Mark it down. Jesus comes to set you on fire and he will speak to you. The fire of your heart is the light of your path. Fan it at your own delight. Blow it. Stir it. Nourish it. Disregard it at your own expense! Your delight is God’s message to you!

God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing. Ephesians 2:10"

By Grace Alone -

Teresa

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Three Cookie Days

This really is a big deal for a cancer survivor...

Yeah, I'm gonna talk a little about cancer again today.  I try not to go here anymore but this is like celebrating a birthday.  :)  It's definitely a three cookie day!

I am TWO YEARS (count them) TWO YEARS past my last radiation treatment.  I just had my 2 year checkup with my medical oncologyst and everything is going well except for some migraines that I have been having.

So, now I'm on a new and exciting (not) med.   I was having migraines just like these BC (before cancer).  After chemo, I didn't have them anymore but a couple of months ago, they decided to start visiting again just like old friends.   (I did not invite them and they are definitely not 'best' friends'.  HA.)

The new med is Topromax which was initially released for epilepsy but they found that it stops migraines in their tracks before they get started so I'm willing to give it a try.  I've been on it for two days and the first day, a headache was acting like it was going to start but today, nothing.  So far, so good.

The good news is that all my blood work is NORMAL again also.  My white count is all the way up to 5.1 which is amazing for me.  My platelets are normal for the first time, my BUN is within the normal range.  Anyway, without boring you totally to death, let's just say that they all look really good for the first time in two years.  We've been exercising again which I know is a good thing.  (Probably what is causing the headaches...LOL)

Off of cancer and back to sewing...lol.  A WAY more fun subject.

I did finish some curtains to match a quilt hanging in my bathroom.  Here is a picture of that.

 
Yes, this was actually the wall hanging from my office.  I took the one I had made for the bathroom and took it to the office because I wanted to make the invisible hanger for this one and the other one ended up matching my office better and I had a lot of matching material to this one for making curtains so I did a switcheroo.  This one matched the bathroom quite nicely too.  8-)  It has taken me almost 6 years to decide what to do with that window.  I'm such a procrastinator.  sigh. 
 
I also made curtains for the guest bedroom so that it would be homey when Mom came down to visit. 
 
Here is a pic of the curtains.  I made them out of some of the material that I had left over from the monstrosity quilt material.  8-)  The color of the walls is correct in the picture below and the color of the walls in the picture above is incorrect.  I took the picture of the bathroom with my iPhone and the picture below with a real camera.  The walls are actually the same color in the two rooms...lol. 
 
I ran across these neat little magnetic curtain tie backs that are holding the curtains open.  I wasn't sure if I was going to like them or not but I like them more and more each time I see them.  It's such a simple concept.  It is two metal leaves with magnets inside of them and a metal wire running between them.  You put one leaf on the back and one on the front of the curtain and they snap together to hold them in place.  I'm sure when Roman spends the night, he'll have a lot of fun rearranging them.  HA!
 
 

That is about all I've been up to lately.  Here is some Max for today.  Cancer was all vegetables, but I'm definitely having three cookie days lately. 

"Three Cookie Days

By Max Lucado

Every day, God prepares for us a plate of experiences. Some days are “three cookie days.” Many are not! Sometimes our plate has nothing but vegetables, twenty-four hours of celery, carrots, and squash. Apparently God knows we need some strength, and though the portion may be hard to swallow, isn’t it for our own good? All are important and all are from God. Romans 8:28 says, “We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love Him.”

The next time your plate has a portion you find hard to swallow, talk to God about it. Jesus did. In the garden of Gethsemane His Father handed Him a cup of suffering so sour, so vile, that Jesus handed it back to heaven.

“My Father,” He prayed, “if it is possible may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Mark 14:36)."

By Grace Alone -

Teresa

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Really Just a Hobby

I am thinking more and more about sewing for money after I retire.  I love to do it so why not make money at it?  I don't want to do things like alterations or making clothes (ugh)...I just want to be creative.  I feel like I have all this creativity just bursting to get out of me.  I don't know that I have a natural talent but I am seeing great strides of improvement with each quilt that I do.  Practice makes perfect and all that...

This all started just a year ago.  Tom bought me a small machine that did sewing and embroidery.  I made some window dressings and then moved on to a quilt.  I quilckly realized that I needed a machine with a bigger opening for quilting so we went shopping at our local Sew 'n Vac store and found a Brother Quattro 2 for a healthy price but I swear the thing dances for me.  Every time I use it, I find new features to it that make me go 'WOW'.

I got all excited about the machine and thought up a very complicated quilt design with embroidery on every other square and a log cabin design for the alternate squares.  Green being the major color for the embroidery matching the green in the log cabin on one row and then the next row would be burgundy.  I got 11 rows done with 9 squares across and said to myself "ENOUGH".  Too much work.  It wasn't fun anymore so I put it away.  As I said in another posting...it was a monstrosity.  So, about 3 months later, I pulled it out and rounded the corners and finished it with binding.  All right...I have to be honest here...When I decided to pack it away, I had just seen a flaw two rows up from where I was.  I couldn't fathom ripping out all those seams and fixing it.  One of the embroidered designs was going in the wrong direction.  YES I'M A LITTLE OCD.   But, even with that mistake, I really like the way the quilt came out.

Then, for Christmas, he bought me some quilting design software that allows me to create my own designs and print out templates for each piece that needs to be cut out.  I created an optical illusion quilt hanging from that software over Christmas and realized that the possiblity of creating is endless. 

My boss asked me to turn his T-shirts into a T-shirt quilt and he PAID me 250 dollars when it was done.  I mean...he actually paid me.  I had told him not to pay me because he loaned us his trailer to help move the kids out but he insisted.  (I wanted to give him an out in case he didn't really like it.)  BUT he really loved it.  I was astonished.  Of course, that just fed the beast and flattered me to no end.  Can't hardly get my head into the house now.  I got brave enough now to make my Mom a quilted wall hanging for her birthday.  (Since she doesn't read my blog anymore, I'm pretty safe putting this out there)  Sent a picture of it to my sister and now she would like one for Christmas.  I did some very intricate quilting on the wall hanging.  I'll probably make myself one also.  Each year we always give each other something that we have ourselves so that we have like items.  Not really sure how that got started.

Anyway, everyone wants to do what they love for a living.  If I knew how to market what I do, it would be great.  I could easily sew for 12 hours a day with no problem.  I'd probably lose touch with reality though which wouldn't be good.  Tom might move out and I wouldn't even know it.  I'd end up in the twilight zone just sewing away.

I want to get better at free motion quilting.  They make it look so easy in the how-to videos and when I try it, my free motion looks like someone with epilepsy was doing it.  I know I know...practice, practice, practice.  I've ordered some templates and a pouce pad so that I can just follow some lines on the quilt when I do the quilting part.  I'm afraid that will be the best I can do.  I will continue to practice the free motion quilting but I'm not sure I'll ever get good enough at it.

I understand the joke now about "Whoever dies with the most cloth wins".  Cloth and I are having a love affair.  I just keep stocking up on my favorite colors when they are released from Connecting Threads.  This is an awesome site that have amazing quilting material.  Good thick material at very low prices.  No, I'm not advertising for them...just sayin'.

I guess the bottom like is that it is really just a hobby but I would love to make money at it.  8-)

OK, enough about sewing...here is some Max for you today.

"Get Ready For a Surprise

By Max Lucado

Have you got God figured out? Get ready, you may be in for a surprise. Hear the rocks meant for the body of the adulterous woman drop to the ground. Listen as Jesus invites a death-row convict to ride with Him to the Kingdom in the front seat of the limo. Listen as the Messiah whispers to the Samaritan woman, “I who speak to you am He.” And listen to the surprise as Mary’s name is spoken by a man she had buried.

God appearing in the strangest of places. Doing the strangest of things. Stretching smiles where there had hung only frowns. Hanging a bright star in a dark sky. Many more knees will bow. And many more seekers will celebrate.

“For no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him!” (1 Corinthians 2:9)"

By Grace Alone -

Teresa

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Monstrosity

Sometimes, I get myself in over my head (and way over my patience level) with sewing.  (How else am I going to improve though if I don't try new things?)  I had this great idea last fall (Here is the link to the thought process on the creation of this quilt monstrosity.) to design this quilt that had embroidery all over it as well as squares that were pieced together.  It was fun for about 10 minutes and then it became a monstrous amount of work.  Being the person that I am (all type A personality) I forged on with it.

I worked on it from September until about December and then I folded it up and packed it away until BJ and family got out of the house because it really was consuming too much of my time.  Oh, AND, I had found a flaw right in the middle of the quilt.  I had turned one of the embroidery pieces in the wrong direction which pretty much ruined it for me.  (Yeah, more Type A personality going on.)  I had already sewn two rows past that mistake and there was no way I was going back and taking all that stitching out.  (I tend to quilt as I go with each row so that it isn't so bulky when I am quilting.) 

I finished a project last weekend and then found myself fingering the material on the monstrosity quilt.  I  HATE to have unfinished projects cluttering up the back of my mind so I pulled it back out.

Here is a picture of the wall hanging I finished for the bathroom last weekend....it really did come out perfect!  I think I even impressed Tom with this one.  I am improving in my skills all the time and for the most part having a blast with it!


You can see that I even tried a little free motion quilting on the center squares on this one.  I am still nervous about doing that and I need to practice a LOT more.  8-)

So, back to the monstrosity story...

I pulled it out and laid it across the twin in the guest bedroom and realized that I had done enough on it to have it be an additional blanket for that bed.  I finished the quilting process on the last two rows, put the binding on it and wala...it is finished.  It has a lot of minor flaws (all giving it character of course...ha ha ha) and one major one that if you look closely, you can see in a couple of these pictures...




















It adds some color to the white bedspread in there.  I might make some curtains for that room out of the burgundy flowered material I had left over.  (I had a LOT of that material left over.)  Not sure why I bought so much of that one...probably just liked it.

The quilt had 99 squares by the time I was finished with it and for those that know BJ...in his words...'tas enuf.

Here is some Max for today...kinda fits in with my theme (in a very loose way...lol)  I like to think I took something that I thought was a failure three months ago and took another look at it and finished it.

"What's Done is Done

By Max Lucado

What do you do with your failures? Could you do it all over again, you’d do it differently. You’d be more patient. You’d control your tongue. You’d finish what you started. You’d get married first. But as many times as you tell yourself, “What’s done is done,” what you did can’t be undone.

That’s part of what the apostle Paul meant when he said, “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23). He didn’t say, “The wages of sin is a bad mood.” Or “The wages of sin is a hard day.” Read it again. “The wages of sin is death.” Sin is fatal.

What do you do? Don’t we all long for a father who will love us? A father who cares for us in spite of our failures? We have that kind of a father. A father whose grace is strongest when our devotion is weakest. Your failures are not fatal, my friend!"

By Grace Alone -

Teresa


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Is Heaven for Me?

Busy busy weekend.  We went truck shopping and found a beautiful new Tacoma for Tom.  It is a Magnetic Gray Metallic.  We got there at 1:00 (had an appointment) and were driving away with it by 3:30.  We got a great deal on the trade-in for his 2008 Tacoma.  This will probably be our retirement truck.  We still need to get a hard tonneau cover for it though.  He's found the one he wanted and has ordered it.
The rest of the weekend was spent chatting with my Mom, cleaning house, sewing, and resting.

Roman's birthday is on Saturday and we're going to do a cake, eat out, and then I got them tickets to the hockey game for Saturday night.  Yeah, we don't do hockey but they really enjoy it and I get the tickets free through Boeing so it makes for a perfect end to his birthday. 

I gave the finished t-shirt quilt to my boss and he really seemed to love it.  It is a good feeling to make people happy with quilts.  I understand why my Mom enjoys doing it so much!

My next project is another wall hanging.  One of the walls over the tub in my bathroom is totally bare.  (I"m never in a hurry for decorating...I have the rest of my life and it makes it fun along the way to decorate instead of killing myself when we first move into a house.  Ok, so it's been 5 and a half years since we moved in and I still have blank walls.  Big deal..it's my house...lol)  I've designed the pattern I want for in there, cut the cloth and I laid it out to see how it would look.  The binding will be made out of the darkest gray color.  I am having a ton of fun with the design software Tom got me for Christmas.  8-)


I've been reading a book that was written by Amber Myers called "The Swimmer's Assistant".  Amber is the one that does the Whispering Writer Blog. (You can connect to that blog over on the right in my "Blogs I enjoy reading" section.)  The book is every bit as funny as the Stephanie Plum series books.  In fact, in some ways, I'd say it was funnier.  If you like funny books, you can get this one on Amazon for .99 in Kindle format.  It is a LONG book too...not just a little short one like most of them are today.  And no, I don't personally know the writer...I just read her blog a lot when I was going through chemo to keep my spirits up.  She is as humorous in real life as she is with her books.

Here is a little Max for today.

"Is Heaven for Me?

By Max Lucado

My friend Joy teaches children in an inner city church. Her class is a lively group of nine-year-olds. There’s one exception—a timid girl named Barbara. Her difficult home life had left her afraid and insecure. She never spoke. Never. Always present. Always listening. Always speechless. Until the day Joy talked about heaven—about seeing God. About tearless eyes and deathless lives. Barbara raised her hand. “Mrs. Joy? Is heaven for girls like me?”

I would’ve given a thousand sunsets to have seen Jesus’ face as this tiny prayer reached His throne. A prayer to do what God does best: To take a pebble and kill a Goliath. To take a peasant boy’s lunch and fed a multitude. To take three spikes and a wooden beam and make them the hope of humanity. To take the common and make it spectacular!"

By Grace Alone -

Teresa

Monday, February 25, 2013

T-Shirt Quilt

I've been working on a quilt for my boss.  He ran marathons and 2K runs a lot when he was younger.  He had to have his hip replaced in 2005 and he ran for one more year and then decided the hip and running just didn't work out so well.  Anyway...long story short, he wanted me to turn all of his t-shirts from the runs into a t-shirt quilt.  I'd never done a T-shirt quilt before but I was sure that I probably could do it.  I'm not one to give up on a challenge.  :)

It is one thing to make a quilt out of material that you could easily replace...kinda scary when you are doing it with non-replaceable t-shirts.  In fact, I had kind of a scary moment when I accidentally cut off a corner of one of the t-shirt squares.  I repaired it and it is hardly noticeable now (I doubt he will ever see it) but at the time I had a few choice words to say about the error.  (Note to self: keep the table cleaned off when cutting.  ARGHHHH.)

I found the secret to making a t-shirt quilt is in the interfacing that you back the t-shirt squares in.  The interfacing keeps the squares from stretching all out of shape when you are sewing them together or quilting them.

Here is a picture of the quilt without the binding.  I'll be binding it next weekend.

We are heading Friday to find Tom a new truck.  This will be his retirement vehicle. He had a red truck before this gray one that he has.  He says he wants another red one.  The Tacoma comes in a very pretty Barcelona Red.  I'm trying to decide whether to trade in my car and his truck when we go to pick it out.  He drives me everywhere but I hate to give up the independence in case I want or need to drive.

Here is some Max for today:

"Whispering Thoughts
by Max Lucado

Reporter Dan Rather once asked Mother Teresa. “What do you say to God when you pray?” Mother Teresa answered quietly, “I listen.” Taken aback, Rather tried again, “Well then, what does God say?” Mother Teresa smiled, “He listens.”

Why don’t you give God your listening thoughts. Just whisper to him, “Am I in your will, Lord?” “Am I pleasing you, Lord?” By the time your life is over, you’ll have spent six months at stoplights, a year and half looking for lost stuff—double that in my case, and a whopping five years standing in lines. Why don’t you give these moments to God? By giving God your whispering thoughts, the common becomes uncommon. Simple phrases such as, “Thank you, Father,” and “You are my resting place, Jesus,” can turn a commute into a pilgrimage. You needn’t leave your office or kneel in your kitchen. Just pray where you are. Give God your whispering thoughts."

By Grace Alone -

Teresa



Friday, February 22, 2013

Where have I been??

OK, so I've been a bit busy for the last four months.  Shoot me.

So many holidays, so much family time.  (It's  been amazing!)  I've made several quilts, helped my son and his family move out of our house and into their new one.  (Yeah for all of us...lol)  They now have a very beautiful newly built home that should last them a lifetime.  No, surprisingly, I don't have any pictures of it yet.  How odd is that?  Didn't even think to take pictures...maybe I will this weekend. 

Well, maybe not this weekend.  We still need to tear apart the trampoline and get it moved over there and they have some stuff in the storage unit that still needs to be moved to their house so I probably won't have time then either.

I'll give them a chance to settle in and get it decorated the way they want to before I start flashing the camera all over the place.  HA!

I connected with my very first best friend during the last month.  That was amazing...it's probably been almost 45 years (ahem..yeah...wow...that long) since we were connected and it has really been fun to catch up.  I hope to stay connected with her as time goes on.  She has some physical challenges (don't we all!) but she is one tough lady with a sweet heart.

I have given my house a good spring cleaning and reorganization since the kids moved out.  I even have my own sewing room now.  While they were here I had used our formal dining area as a sewing room....hated all the mess out in the middle of everything but I couldn't give up sewing...lol.

I'm currently working on a T-Shirt quilt for my boss.  Yeah, it's a bit nerve wracking to be sewing for my boss....AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Here is a very poor picture of a wall quilt I made over the holidays.  Tom got me some quilt designing software and this is the first thing I designed.  I had a lot of fun making it and what is really cool is that the software even spits out the templates for the pieces that you have to cut.  I made it to hang on one of my office walls at work because the calendar that was up there had been put up by the janitor and he put these huge holes in the wall and the calendar wasn't being replaced.  So....I had to get creative.  8-)




We also bought a couple of bicycles in the last month.  We had gotten our grandson a bike for Christmas but he didn't have anyone to ride with so we thought we would make great riding pals for him.  We used to enjoy riding bikes so we thought since we didn't have our treadmill room while they were here we would take up biking again.  WOW, was that hard.  The first time we went out our legs felt like weak pitiful old rubber.  We are slowly (EVER SO SLOWLY) building back up those muscles.  We live out in the country so it is a great place to ride the bikes. 

Well, here's some Max for today...very interesting perspective:

"What if?

What if, for one day, Jesus were to become you? Waking up in your bed, walking in your shoes, assuming your schedule? With one exception—nothing about your life changes. Not your circumstances. Your schedule. Your problems. Only one change occurs! His priorities govern your actions. His love directs your behavior.

What would you be like? Would people notice a change? What about the less fortunate? Would you treat them the same? And your friends? Would they detect more joy?

Pause and think about your schedule. Obligations. Engagements. Appointments. Would anything change? Keep working on this for a moment. Adjust the lens of your imagination until you have a clear picture of Jesus leading your life. Then frame the image. What you see is what God wants. He wants you to “think and act like Christ Jesus.” God wants you to be just like Jesus!

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)."

By Grace Alone -

Teresa