Collar #1 of 3 embroidery complete. Fabric is a very pale blue.
I’m starting off 2012 with a positive surge of energy and eagerness because I know this is going to be a great year! This year, although I don’t set new year’s goals or resolutions, I am looking forward to staying out of the hospital for the entire year, seeing my Etsy shop, Arwen’s Child, take off, and finally, voting in a new president! Don’t know what your political affiliations are, but I am leaning heavily toward Ron Paul at this time.
All the gifts I made throughout the year and stored for Christmas seemed to be appreciated and loved by all recipients. We had Christmas dinner and desert with the parental units on Christmas Eve and I made these.
Christmas Day we shared with the kids in Colorado via FaceTime.
We were able to open presents with them and visit for a while, which was really nice. It was still not anything like having them here, where I could hug them and enjoy their extended company, but it will have to do for now. I started thinking about it and realized that I saw Luke the day he was born, and I won’t see (touch) him again until he is walking. Life…
As far as I can tell, EVERYONE liked what I made for them for Christmas. Everything fit every recipient, which was a plus! I think I am going to continue to make or (in rare cases) purchase Christmas gifts throughout the year. It really saved a lot of stress and $$ at the end of the year. So, if you are (or want to be, I’m happy to make gifts for those who will cherish them) on my list, please make sure I have your sizes and pertinent information so that I can make you something that fits.
Christmas for me was pretty cool this year, in terms of gifts, also. I pooled my saving stash with my Christmas gift money (and Scott’s) and picked out this baby.
She is a Janome 9500 and is totally awesome! I haven’t done any embroidery on her yet, but I will very soon. Over the Christmas holidays I was able to finish up one of the two wine colored dresses that had been commissioned last year before I went into the hospital. Unfortunately, I had to refund the deposit to the customer because of the hospital and recovery issue, but I still want to finish the two dresses for Arwen’s Child. Here is the first one of the pair. This dress is called Hope and is available. The dress is size 6 and would make a wonderful special occasion dress for a lovely little girl. If you visit my shop, please make it one of your favorites. I would appreciate it!
The second gift I received was an Amazon gift card. Yep, it is spent! Those things don’t survive long in my hands. Here is what I procured with it.
Finally, I did finish one other project over the holiday. In 1995, I stitched “Blueberry Homecoming” and now I have, framed, it’s twin piece “Raspberry Homecoming.” Sixteen years between the two but I can cross them off the bucket list.
Here’s hoping everyone who reads this has a super 2012.
This week’s post is all about gifts. First I’ll start with the gift of an amazing husband who cares for me way more than I could ever deserve. This past week, my laptop that I use for doing my job died. My job is done completely online and there are several programs that I use that have to be configured just so in order for me to do my job properly. Thanks to my husband, and some awesome tech support from Liberty University (my employer), we were able to get my iMac configured for my work tasks within a few hours of the crash. The most amazing thing, though, is that my super hero of a husband had my laptop back up and running by the next day, complete with new hard drive and ALL my data files recovered. He is so amazing!!
Second on the list is a gift I made for a friend who is having a baby shower this week. Since I saw how much my kids keep my grandson in his sleep sack that I made for him, I decided to make one for my friend. She is a Bama fan, so, the addition of a patch to the front of the sack was a special added touch. I hope she likes it.
The third gift I would like to mention is the gift of doctors, friends, and pastors who care about me and were there for me this last time I was hospitalized. During my absence from blog posting, I was hospitalized again for sepsis and it was anything but fun. This time was not as life threatening as the last, because we caught it sooner, but going to the hospital once a year is not something I am interested in doing. The sepsis is an issue that, if caught quickly enough, can be treated at home with the appropriate antibiotics. I just have to make sure and watch closely for the signs. This is a learning process. This time, like last time, I really thought I had the flu or something viral. A few days into it, when we figured out that it was not viral and it was similar to last year, it was too late to treat at home and off to the hospital I went. Ugh! I am feeling much better now and back to sewing up a storm!
That brings me to the fourth gift. I have been teaching a friend to sew for the past few weeks and this week she made an absolutely adorable sleeper for a gift for a friend. The sleeper was made of fleece and went together so quickly that I decided my grandsons really needed to have one, too. So, I located some fleece on sale and a couple of patterns and have been whipping these things out like mad. I think they may be finished in time to get to them as additional Christmas gifts. Whoot!!
There is much more to post about, but it will have to wait till the next installment. For now I leave you with this quote:
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” ~ Douglas Adams
One of the things I have learned about blogging over the past years, is that the very thing that you most want to write about generally keeps you from writing. That thing is called life. When I get busy, I … Continue reading
This week has been a long one. Scott has been in Africa all week and does not get back until Wednesday. Although I have missed him greatly, I have been able to accomplish much with the quiet house all to myself. First, I finished the quilt label for the back of William’s first quilt. Here is the final result.
In addition to casting on a couple more Christmas gifts, the big accomplishment for the week was completing the new rabbit outfits for Mom’s four rabbits. I think they turned out so awesome! Unfortunately, I cannot show you the surprise that is on two of them since they are gifts (it’s covered up in the photo, no peeking). But, I think the recipients will really like having a part of mom’s past in their home. When I was redressing the two smaller, older rabbits, I found my signature on the backside and the date “1990.” That means that the two oldest rabbits are 21 years old. Gracious!
So, all in all, it was a very productive week here at the house and a truly amazing week over in Buloba, Uganda. Scott was able to post a few times to his blog and the photos are amazing. Please wander over there and have a look. It is truly amazing what a common interest can do to bring people together. People who don’t speak the same language or that live on the opposite side of the world from each other can come together and fellowship around a shared interest in a game. I am so in awe of what the team accomplished over there on this trip and am really ready for him to be back home.
Quote of the week: “The rules of soccer are very simple, basically it is this: if it moves, kick it. If it doesn’t move, kick it until it does.” ~ Phil Woosman
Scott left for Uganda yesterday on his first mission trip, ever. He will be gone for 10 days and is part of an all male (testosterone rich) group of coaches and active guys. He was excited, nervous, and really just ready to get going by the time we got to the church yesterday morning. So far, he has made it to Amsterdam and should be in Uganda very soon (after a brief stop in Rwanda for refueling). Here is the photo of the rowdy group:
The soccer ball is more than just for effect. They are going over to Buloba on this trip primarily to conduct a soccer camp with the kids. They will also be helping with installing rain catches on houses and various other tasks that they are led to do while there. One never really knows what our mission teams will actually get themselves into until they are there and see the need. If you would like to read more about their trip as they progress through the week, or would like to see Scott’s awesome photos, please visit his site here. He is also still accepting donations to pay for his part of the trip, as everyone has to raise their own money in order to go. If interested, you can make a donation right on his site as well. Every amount helps!
Back at home, I actually finished a Christmas present this past week!
These gloves are “Strata” from the book “Knitting New Mittens & Gloves.” They are actually two pair of gloves, one fingered, and one fingerless. They can be worn together or separately. The person they are for lives where it snows, so hopefully they will be well loved. The brown yarn is Knitpicks Gloss Fingering and the pink is Knitpicks Stroll.
These were a quick knit (about three weeks) and it was a very basic pattern. The book has a few more patterns that I would like to try. I would recommend the book if you don’t already have it. I have several more projects nearing completion and with Scott gone all week, I should have a few of them to post about for this upcoming week. Stay tuned.
Quote of the week: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
This week was busy, but I worked on various things with only one finished object to show. Remember last week when I showed Mom’s rabbits? Well, Scott said “why don’t you make one for Jonita?” I thought about it and quickly realized that a traditional rabbit, like I had made so many times before, would just not be right for her. She needs her own special rabbit. Let me explain. Jonita is a little girl in Uganda that Scott and I sponsor. I may have mentioned this before, but we give a set amount each month and this provides a uniform, a meal a day, and the ability for her to attend school. We correspond with her and Scott will be meeting her in person for the first time in about a week when he takes his first trip to Buloba. One of the things that several Caucasian people have told us, when they have returned from these mission trips, is that many of the kids over there will take you by the hand and with their other hand, they will try to rub off the white of your skin. We found this funny at first then quickly realized that they weren’t kidding. Apparently, it is a fascination for some of them.
So, back to the story of Jonita’s rabbit. I don’t know if Jonita is one of these “fascinated” children or not, but I certainly can not send over a stark white rabbit for her. She needs to have a rabbit more like her and I am seriously ashamed to say that this is actually the first rabbit of color that I have ever made. It was fun, but a challenge. I had to rethink the facial features, since the traditional black eyes would not show up on her. I think she turned out pretty good. I really hope Jonita will like her. What say you?
Quote of the week: “All my possessions for a moment of time.” ~ Queen Elizabeth I
This week I am still working on Christmas presents and that includes giving these guys (and gals) a new wardrobe.
Remember when these “Country Rabbits” were all the rage in the 80′s and 90′s? I made so many of them for sale back then that I lost count. These two pair were made for my mother back then. She specifically requested these and seemed to cherish them greatly. She had me make one pair for her home and one pair for her motor home. Now that she has passed, they have been given back to me and they mean so much more to me now. So, I have decided to make new clothing for them and pass them on to a family who I hope will love them as much as mother did. I just love creating special gifts for each individual person or family. There is so much commercialization today that time is the only thing you can give that is truly a gift. When we take the time to make or do something specifically for another because we know it will make them happy it means so much. Sometimes, a special gift is something that the person wants that can be commercially purchased (iPad, car, etc…), but sometimes, it is more special when we give something that only we can create and we use our time and talent to do so.
I’ll post updated photos of these guys when I get them done.
Quote of the week: “But it is a cold, lifeless business when you go to the shops to buy something, which does not represent your life and talent, but a goldsmith’s.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Gifts,” Essays, Second Series, 1844
This past week was hectic, but wonderful. Our son brought his family to visit us for a few days on their way to Disney World. As family visits usually go, this one was like a whirlwind that blew in spun around for a few days and then dissipated. William had a blast playing with his cousins and hanging out with his Nana and Popo. He is still terrified of water (wouldn’t wade past his ankles into the pool), but he is making progress when it comes to food. Five year-olds are so funny.
Bryan was so excited about a present that he has had for me for a month or so. He said that I would never guess what it was and then he shipped it to me to have it arrive here at the same time they did. I opened the box and was so excited. While cleaning out the in-law’s cabin in Colorado, Bryan found this OLD (that is a relative term) sewing machine and he cleaned it up and saved it for me. From what I understand, it was going to be thrown out with the garbage.
I believe the machine works and will be checking it out in the next few weeks. The best thing about the surprise was that my son thought enough about me to know what would mean so much to me. When someone knows enough about you to give you a gift that you will cherish, rather than a gift that they would like, it means so much. But that is fodder for another post entirely. This week, with my current modern machine, I will be making Bryan’s kilt, putting a border on William’s quilt, and fixing a few items that the kids needed fixed (hemming a dress and sock repair) before they come back through here on their way home. So far, the sock is fixed and the kilt is almost finished.
Finally, the visit to the oral surgeon went swimmingly. The nurse stated, when the tooth was extracted, “I would have bled more than that!” LOL The extraction was pretty simple and the hardest thing about it all is having to keep this flipper thing in my mouth. I will get used to it, I know, but it is so foreign right now that I feel like I have a permanent tootsie roll attached to the roof of my mouth and the spot where the tooth was extracted hurts (boo). When I have it in you cannot tell which teeth are mine and which are not. That is the nice part. That is it for the dental work for a while, save a filling coming up in a few weeks. Thank goodness! I will be happy to stay away from doctors for a while now.
Quote of the week:
“Why are you so petrified of silence
Here can you handle this?
Did you think about your bills, your ex, your deadlines
Or when you think you’re gonna die
Or did you long for the next distraction” ~ Alanis Morrissette (All I Really Want)
This week I started test knitting the Flower Power Socks I mentioned last week. I love the way the flowers are turning out. Test knitting is fun, but can also be a challenge. You get the pattern for free, which is a plus, but you also get to be the one to find all the errors as you work through it on a deadline, a definite minus. This designer has done an excellent job at writing the pattern the first go around, so there are not many true errors in the pattern.
I also realized that the holiday knitting I have started was going to have to remain a secret until Christmas. This just won’t do. I have to share what I am working on, or else, why blog? LOL So, I figured out that if I just show them on my blog without any specific recipient details, it may keep those potential recipients who read my blog from knowing who they are for. This is the best solution I could come up with for this dilemma. Of course, the baby and kid items are going to be obvious, but the socks, mittens, etc. shouldn’t be so obvious.
On the health front, my doctor, called me on Thursday and wanted to know why the oral surgeon had me come to his (my doctor’s) office for blood work. Without my requesting it, he said I shouldn’t need a transfusion before I have the tooth extracted and said he would contact the oral surgeon on Monday to let him know. I am thrilled to report that they hashed it out and I will not have to have a transfusion before the tooth extraction. I do have to agree that if it looks like I am about to bleed to death that I will go to the ER for platelets right away…duhhhhhh…. I love my doctor! He just made my Christmas gift list!!
This week, the kids come to visit us on their way to Disney World. It will be great to see them and spend some time with them without being in the hospital. I am really looking forward to that!
Quote of the day: “The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.” ~Voltaire