Projects and Ponderings

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The “after” photo of the desk

The last weeks have seemed to be the time to catch up on projects that have been waiting a long time. I am wondering how many craft rooms are being slowly emptied of the stored up paper, fabric, paint etc.

I know that I am slowly….really slowly….getting a few of those things done. I have had a desk sitting in my back hallway for a long time. It came from my in-laws and was set in place with intentions to paint it. Somehow those intentions did not transform into doing…..until now.

The paint had been purchased months ago for this project and with the warmer weather I encouraged my husband to help me haul it into the garage so I could start working on it. I also discovered I had some TSP hanging out in my storage closet to use to dull the finish so I could paint without to much sanding.

This was not the first refinishing project I have ever done, but I did learn some new things along the way. I learned to read the paint can when it says “do not paint in the sun on a warm day”. The paint on my drawers is not as nice and smooth as I would have liked it to be…..next time I will read before painting!

As I worked on the desk I had time to think. Working on the desk took some time but I knew that the effort would be worth it. The prep work was not as fun as the painting and I think that might be true of a lot of things.

Prep work is rather tedious and dirty. Sanding is not my favorite thing but then again being “sanded” in life by my Maker is not my favorite thing either!  It is good to remind myself, when being “prepped and sanded”, that the end result will be worth it.

When I envisioned, as I sanded, what my desk would end up looking like It was good to remember that He has a picture in His mind of what He wants my life to look like!

I also wondered if the last few weeks have been some prepping and sanding for all of us? I kind of hope so….I hope that when this virus settles down we will come out better people than when it all started.

May you be blessed in this season of change.  May you have time to think some deep thoughts, be kind to those around you, share a smile with someone (even if it is from 6 ft. away). And may we all end up much better for having been “sanded”.

And once the storm is over,
you won’t remember how you made it through,
how you managed to survive.
You won’t even be sure,
whether the storm is really over.
But one thing is certain.
When you come out of the storm,
you won’t be the same person who walked in.
That’s what this storm’s all about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Than a Quilt

 

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Last week my husband and I had the fun of watching our granddaughter graduate from pre-school. (My husband doesn’t quite understand the concept of graduation at that age but I have assured him that it definitely is a thing now.)20190523_17422132531125.jpg

I was able to give my granddaughter her quilt that I had made from blue jeans and flannel shirts from her dad, uncles, grandpa, grandma, great grandpas and great grandmas. I am not sure she totally understood the memories in that quilt but she did enjoy using it to sit on outside and play with her brother.

It did make me smile inside and out just watching them sit on that quilt playing. It made all the hours of making it worthwhile.

I love the thought that new memories will be made sitting on top of all those old memories. I love the fact the fabric in that quilt has a history. Maybe someday, if that quilt holds up, my granddaughter will want to know what some of those memories are. If and when she is ready to ask I am going to be more than willing to answer!

When she decides to ask, I would love to tell her about her Great-Grandpa who served in the military and came back home to farm and raise a family. I want her to know her Great Grandma who raised five children and then went on to cook at the local Christian high school for many years.

It would be good for her to know that her other Great-Grandpa wanted to go to the military but could not; due to stepping on a pitchfork as a child. It would be good for her to know that he worked hard and took care of the family he loved.

She should also know about the Great Grandma who sewed pretty much all the clothing her children wore. I would love to point out the pieces of flannel in the quilt that came from baby blankets that were sewn by that same Great Grandma for the grandsons who would become her dad and uncles.

I want her to know  what her Grandpa did for a living and what he did for fun. I am hoping she wants to know what her dad was like as a boy….the things he enjoyed and the things he did not. It would be a wonderful thing for her to know about her two uncles and how they looked up to her dad, their older brother.

There is so much history in that one small quilt. We are much like that quilt….there is so much history in all of our lives if we just stop and think about it. Good history, sad history, and all the stuff in between.

It is good to pass on those stories for the next generations. It is good for them to have a connection to what makes up their past. If it takes a quilt to pass on those stories….it is a wonderful thing.

It will be a wonderful thing to see all the new memories made on that quilt. Memories that someday can be passed on to the next generation of this family.

Each day of our lives
we make deposits
in the memory banks
of our children.
Charles R. Swindoll

 

Dinosaurs and Love

 

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There are times in life that you agree to do something that you later wonder what possessed you. Maybe you have never had that experience but, for some reason I seem to have that every so often.

Last August, when I went to my children’s home to babysit my grandkids…I had such a moment.  My son had a stuffed dinosaur that he thought would be great as a bigger stuffed dinosaur…..I am sure you can already see where this is going.

For some reason, at the age of 33, he still thinks his mom can do things. He requested that I make a larger version of this stuffed dinosaur. My daughter-in-law and I, dutifully went to the fabric store and roamed the aisles looking for the appropriate colored fleece that was closest to the original dinosaur.

I took that fabric home and for the longest time it sat….in the same bag…..in the same spot by the sewing machine…..it sat…..and sat some more. I was reluctant to start on it as I had no pattern other than the original critter to go by.

One day I decided to just take the plunge. I hauled out some heavy paper to use for a pattern and cleared the kitchen table. I soon found out that it is pretty hard to make a pattern from a 3 dimensional object. That fluffy dinosaur would only squish down so far so that I could draw around it. It had a alarming tendency to spring back to it’s intended shape every time I took my hands off of it.

I ended up making a drawing on a hand drawn grid. Then I made a larger hand drawn grid and transferred the dinosaur drawing to that. If you are struggling to grasp what I am talking about…do not fear…..I am still not entirely sure I understand what I was doing!

I had thought to iron some fusible stuff on to the green fleece for the spots. I thought if they were a little more solid they would sew onto the orange body a little easier. Did you know that if you iron fleece, even with a dish towel to cover it…..it will melt? This gets very messy on your iron! I do have to point out; the upside of that, is the fact that you can still learn things at the age of 60.

After much trial and error I did manage to produce a larger version of the original. I am not sure how true to scale it is but I have a feeling there will be no complaints. l did fulfill the basic requirement….it is a bigger version of the original.

I often wonder why I agree to take on projects like this for my kids. I think it is because they are my kids and I don’t want to let them down. I want them to know that know matter how old they get, no matter what good or bad choices they make, no matter how successful they are or how unsuccessful they are, no matter how far away or how close they live….they will always be my children. I will always love them and if at all possible I will try help them out.

Sometimes, a mom’s love can take the shape of a large fleecy orange dinosaur.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.
Charles R. Swindoll

 

 

Another Crafting Day

 

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This past week was another busy one.  Some things made for busyness because of the time of year. Things like daisies needing to be dug out, due to night temperatures dipping below freezing to hauling the pie pumpkins into the house from their place on the porch.

Other things, were fun things that were added in. One of those things was a crafting day with friends. This time around we decided to try decorating bottles for the Christmas holiday.

To prepare for this we collected quart mason canning jars, wine bottles, garage sale decorations, ribbon, spray paint, sparkly letters and of course glitter. It is amazing to me how many empty wine bottles people have! I am not sure if that is bad or good….having so many empty wine bottles.

We decided to hold this crafting effort at one of the friend’s lake house.  The plan had been to spend the night but the weather forecast for the following day was “iffy” at best. The four-letter Snow word was tossed about as well as the Ice word. We decided to believe the weatherman and cut it short to one day.

The day dawned grey, cold and windy……really windy. The view from the lake house patio door was white caps on the lake.

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Coots Riding the Waves

Before we ever got to crafting we had to make a pit stop at the Hobby Lobby in a town nearby. We weren’t even sure what we were really looking for but spent lots of time in the Christmas decoration parts of the store.

It was fun seeing what we all chose to put in our cart at Hobby Lobby. It was also fun to see how we used all those purchases.

Arbor Mist bottle

An Arbor Mist bottle started this project. We used Rustoleum gold paint for the base and then dusted it lightly with a metallic glittery spray paint. (not sure what kind as one of the friends brought that). The tree farm picture on the front was from a tablet of Christmas paper by Paper Studio. (purchased at Hobby Lobby and no…..I do not get anything out of letting you know which products were used or where purchased. I just thought it would be nice for you to know).

We used Mod Podge to glue it to the bottle and rubber bands to keep it stuck there till it dried. We then garnished with second hand shop finds of raffia and berries. I think I will be tweaking mine a little more as I prefer some greenery to use with it.

We spray painted quite a few bottles and it will be interesting to see how we each actually finish them.

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It was so much fun to spend the day with friends. It is such a blessing to have friends that know exactly who you are and like to spend time with you anyway. It is something to be truly grateful for. I am also full of gratitude for the fact that we actually were able to figure out how to use the timer on my phone to get a photo of us! That is truly amazing!

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I hope you have someone to call “friend” …..someone who cares how you feel…..someone who laughs with you, cries with you, prays with you, gives you a hug when you need it and who also isn’t afraid to tell you what you need to hear. Those are the best kind of friends and I am blessed.

True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils.
Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island…
to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune;
to keep him is a blessing.
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