Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I'm not a person who makes resolutions at the new year, chiefly because I tend to forget all about them pretty quickly, either that or try and fail (dieting), making me feel terrible. But there are two things I'm going to really work on this year. One is using what I already have instead of buying more. This includes art materials, clothing, food in the pantry/refrigerator, etc. The other is, instead of worrying about people and situations or complaining to those people or about those situations (neither of which does any good) I'm going to take God at his word and bring those things to him in prayer. If I say I trust God but can't do that, my faith isn't worth much.

I worked at the VAAM Gallery yesterday in place of a woman who needed the day off, so I made it a studio day as usual. I'm getting quite a lot done on my commissioned piece and will return soon with photos.

I hope you all have fun tonight however you choose to celebrate, and best wishes for a very happy, healthy, and peaceful new year.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

that "after christmas" feeling

We had a really nice Christmas. On Christmas Eve, after a lovely service at church, my parents came over for supper (beef burgundy, salad, hot bread) and we enjoyed the evening. Afterward, I stuffed the stockings early when no one was looking and turned the lights out so nobody bothered about them, then I went to bed. Didn't open my eyes until 8 a.m. I was amazed! I got this little gem from my hubby:

I never wanted an MP3 player until I figured out you can download audiobooks to them. I haven't done it yet but I will, never fear. I also got a couple of wonderful art books, one on mixed media and one on PMC, plus lovely bath stuff from one son, a kitchen gadget I'd been wanting from another, and my little one wrapped up an ornament he'd gotten from my mother, that we had hung on the tree when I was a child. It was quite sweet.

I'm using the week's vacation time I have between now and January 5 to finish up the commissioned piece for my good friend. I believe I have mentioned it on this blog before but I've been very behind times in completing it. I figured since I have some extended time free (or relatively, since the kids are off school) I'll be able to get it finished and delivered.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Luke's Gospel, Chapter 2, Verses 1-20, King James Version

Monday, December 22, 2008

frozen toes

It's cold here. Single digits. Brrr.

There are only three days to Christmas and I can't remember when I've felt less prepared for the holiday. I'm not done shopping, let alone wrapping, and I still don't know what all I'm contributing to Christmas dinner. Could it be that those things aren't as important as I've always thought them? There are 24 hours in each day, but they don't seem to go as far as they used to.

Tomorrow is our company's Christmas potluck and then our plant closes down from 12/24-1/5. I am so looking forward to it, although it is mostly an unpaid time period except for the actual holidays of Christmas and New Year's Day. I don't know if it's the short days or the extreme cold but I've been mightily disinclined to get out of bed with the alarm in the mornings lately.

We did some shopping on Saturday morning (I bought more hollow glass ornaments--I love them although I need another ornament like I need a hole in the head), then attended the wedding of the son of close friends that afternoon/evening. Yesterday was the Christmas brunch at church (lots of fun), then our new pastor and her husband hosted an open house at their new home for the congregation. Add to that continuing wedding plans, and I guess I've been busier than I realized.

I hope you all can take the time during this busy season to slow down and appreciate the beauty of Christmas, and to remember what it's really all about.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

looong silence

Hello all.

I really am here despite the lapse in posting. We're busy with Christmas preparations, extra church goings-on, and school programs.
Our oldest son Adam and his fiancee Emily, who had not yet set a date, came to us recently and said that February 12 will be the big day. Ever since we've been rather awash in wedding preparations. Although they want a very small private wedding it still requires a certain amount of forethought. They've asked for my help in planning this event, which pleases me, but I'm trying to go softly and not impose my will on them. So far we've accomplished the following:
One bridal gown, to be accented with a thin red silk ribbon around the lower edge of the bodice
One tuxedo, except with this vest:
Wedding cake.

And a partridge in a pear tree. They've obviously chosen red as their wedding color so Emily's thinking about possibly red lilies for her bouquet. Although the wedding will be just for family and close friends they will have a reception a day or two later and invite a wider group of people. I must say, small weddings and a couple who doesn't have a lot of high-falutin' ideas certainly make for a less expensive proposition. And they're getting just what they want, besides.

Hope all is well with my readers.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

good news

My mother went for her oncologist visit yesterday and found out a couple of pretty important things. First, she is BRCA 1 & 2 negative, which means she does NOT have the kind of cancer that arises from a genetic mutation, so none of her kids/grandkids can have inherited that mutant gene. Second, she does not have to begin her chemotherapy until after Christmas, which is rather important to her and to the family as a whole. She wasn't looking forward to feeling horrible with the family around at the holiday. When she does start chemo, she'll have it once every two weeks for four months. We are all rejoicing with Mom in this good news. It makes this season of Thanksgiving and Advent even more meaningful.

Since I don't like to post without photos, here are some previously posted pieces. This is a postcard I made for a swap. It is much like a piece by Beryl Taylor, whose work I admire a lot.

This piece and the next one were part of the show that traveled to Lincoln, KS and are currently on exhibit at the VAAM Gallery. This is made of paper, fabric, and metal.

This is one of my personal favorite pieces. It's probably 3 x 2 feet and is essentially comprised of artist's postcards stitched to a quilted black background.

I hope you are all having a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

more knifty knitting

In between all the cooking and visiting this last Thanksgiving weekend I did some knitting. These are for my four-year-old niece's Christmas gift. I didn't use a pattern, just modified my usual roll-brim hat for a child's head and knitted a simple rectangle and crocheted strap for the bag. The bag also has a little heart shaped button closure which you can just about see at the top. Did I mention she likes pink?

This is something I finished a few days ago, knit from Icelandic wool, then felted. I found the rose and leaf patterns here.

I've lined it with quilting cotton and it has a snap closure. I think it's cute. The bag is again just a simple made-up pattern, and I crocheted the straps and attached them and did the side seams before felting the bag.
It has gotten quite cold here lately, and the cats want to be in the house overnight. I nearly tripped over one of them on my way to turn lights on in the living room this morning. He just looked at me and yawned. No sympathy there.
Hope you're all having a good week.