Sunday, November 15, 2015

Look For The Beautiful

In thinking about how tragic the events in Paris were, a city I've been to twice,
and loved both times,I read a blogpost by Amy Smart of her trip to Paris in 2012 and
at the end she said, "Don't let ugly win." As I did a quick google search on that, all the
headlines that came up were ugly wins. That wasn't what I was looking for, so then I
did a search for Look for the Beautiful, and I found this hymn of the same name at the top.
As I read it, I thought, this is the answer. If only people were to look for the beautiful in
one another.
If only we could see how the Lord looks on us, and then look at others that way.
Anyhow, I share the hymn lyrics with you, in hopes that you will feel the peace of these
words. I feel pretty confident that all who read my blog are people who have a greater
desire to do good and be good and lift others, not destroy them. Let us all "look for the
beautiful, look for the true," is my hope this Sabbath Day and every day!

A Hymn by Thoro Harris, 1911
Look for the beautiful, look for the true;
Look for the beautiful, life’s journey thro’.
Seeking true loveliness, joy you will know,
As to the home above onward you go.
Look for the beautiful, seek to find the true,
God and the beautiful will dwell with you;
Look for the beautiful, seek to find the true,
You shall be beautiful, beautiful within.
Think of the beautiful, think of the pure;
Only the beautiful long can endure.
God to His lowly ones giveth more grace;
None but the pure in heart look on His face.
Speak of the beautiful, speak of the pure;
These to eternity fadeless endure.
Error shall vanish soon, evil decay;
God and the beautiful pass not away.
Look to the stars of light (not down to earth);
All that is beautiful there had its birth.
Upward and forward go, looking above;
There is the dwelling-place of perfect love.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Many Thanks

So many hands came together at the end to tie the YW quilts. I wish I'd taken a photo of them all completed. This was right before I put the batting and back on and got it ready for tying. I couldn't have done everything myself and the YW put in a hearty effort last Tuesday, and two more came on Friday night but we still weren't done, so Mom and two of her friends came and helped us finish up, then Mom and the YW president took the last ones home to finish tying and last night they were all done and ready to share at YW in Excellence. 

So, I needed to thank them, and since we were making cards at Activity Days also, I thought I'd share a few samples of what I've been putting out lately. Fabric projects are fun but time consuming. Paper projects are fast and simple especially since all cards I make are using paper scraps. 
I keep this pillow on my bed year round. I made it last year from scraps when I was pulling together the fabrics I would use for Littlebuddy's quilt. Both the fabric and the printed canvas saying is from Sweetwater Co. Its says, There is Always Something to be Thankful For. . . . so true.  Its a good reminder to myself year round that no matter how crazy life in general can get or specifically on any given day, I am still blessed beyond measure! Running water, plenty of food to eat. . . some of the happiest people in the world have far less than that. Its easy to get in the habit of complaining about the things that make my life less convenient or that bother me, but this reminds me that focusing on gratitude makes me far happier than I when I complain. 
And, as this is Veteran's Day, I feel we owe our troops and our veterans our greatest appreciation! Thank you to the many who serve in harm's way for our peace.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Quilting as Service and 3 Halloween Cards

Wanted to post this better photo of my son's quilt. Upright and in good light you can see it as it really looks.
Last week a new friend came over.  My mom and I have been busy making receiving blankets for our local hospital's NICU. A friend told me they were in desperate need so that's been another fun project. (Check out Jinny Doan's You Tube tutorial on the mitered corner receiving blanket.) My new friend wanted to help, so she took home some flannel and wanted to contribute some too so I'm glad to have been able to invite her to serve with me. I also invited my quilt guild, so hope to collect a lot at our meeting in Nov. While my new friend and I visited, we also made cards. The first one is for my own children (I made more than one of this design) and the rest are for others.

This is the last of the five quilts I've been teaching the young women to make at church. I laid this all out on my family room floor before I bagged up each row and had the girls sew all 16 rows. They got the rows  done, so now its sewing rows together, putting on the binding and backing and then all 5 will be done except for tying, which takes place the first week of Nov. Then in Dec. they'll give them to the homeless shelter in town. Its been a great year long project, and I'm proud of how much the girls have learned and how hard they've worked to make this happen.  Some of the girls want to go home and start making their own bedroom quilts now. Service can lead to so many opportunities for ourselves and others and how fun it is to be creative and helpful at the same time. I love it!

Monday, October 5, 2015

LittleBuddy's Quilt and 3 cards

I took a long hiatus from working on this quilt or any of my own (4.5 months to be exact) but finally got down to it and got it done.  LittleBuddy loves it. I had to take it off his bed and put it on mine where there is better natural light to photograph it this morning. Its a quilt about him. I think I'm naming it, "Happy," for this quilt represents the things that make him happy. It also is a reminder of one of my favorite high school memories with him, when he asked me to be his practice partner for a dance festival last summer. The couples dance was swing dancing to this song by Pharrell Williams, and we practiced every day until I was sweating and for several days until he was comfortable and had all his dance steps and motions memorized. It was so fun to do that with him and will always be a happy memory for me.
 This is the back. His school colors are orange and black. When I first got the Elementary, by Sweetwater for Moda, layer cake, it had blacks, browns, off whites, and some blues. When I showed it to him, he said I don't like the blues in it. I like oranges. So, I shopped around online and found some great oranges. This backing was from for $1.99/yd. When you're buying 4 yards, its a terrific savings. I quilted it in long rows, using the back as the lines to follow which made it easy to keep everything parallel and saved me from having to make all my quilt lines.
 Littlebuddy is a science guy. The DNA helixes were his favorite fabric I found, so they went front and center. My son picked out this pattern from a book I have by Camille Roskelley. It feels masculine, yet is clean and simple which I like and is a good pattern to highlight large patterns as well.
 He plays viola, so the musical notes fabric I had worked perfect. Note circles all over. Those represent tennis, which is his favorite sport.
 There are math and science equations, letters, months of the year, circles, patterns from nature ( he loves being outdoors too,) some interesting patterns, and infinity patterns as well. The only thing I wished I thought of were map fabrics, as he loves reading those. He is a deep thinker. He thinks about spiritual things and how the universe works and how people interact and yet loves his friends, is happy to hang out with them and listen to his Spotify playlist. He's a normal teenager with a great heart and mind. I love this boy and was glad to be able to make him a keepsake quilt which he loves. Makes me sad he's already a Jr. in high school and will be gone in less than 2 years!!
 My mom's sisters were here all last week and my oldest, Cowgirl, here the week before, so its been busy and lots of fun around here lately. On Friday, the aunts, my mom, MyGirl, and I all sat down at the kitchen table to make cards. Here are a few of our creations.

I hope to blog more, but we'll see. My creativity next is going to be towards Christmas, so the gifts will have to wait, but hopefully I get another quilt done before December. I have to say that I am LOVING having my Halloween quilt over the railing this October. Sure adds a joyful feel to my decor. Happy October Everyone!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hot Air Balloons

Happy Labor Day!

When we first moved here we heard of the Balloon Festival on Labor Day when it was too late to attend. Then the next year we forgot about it. Then they cancelled it for a couple of years and this year when I heard it was back on, I just knew I wanted to see it before it disappears again. So, I talked my dad, my husband, and my youngest son into going with me. We left at 6:30 a.m, and arrived just in time to see this site below. I was afraid we might have been too late.

But no, that was just the first wave, leaving at 7.

We just needed to go over a small hill and here were the crowds and the balloons.
It was soo neat to watch them being pumped up with hot air.

Then they'd just take off right above us whenever they were ready. Maybe there is an order, but I'm not sure.
 This one got all pumped up and never took off. We saw a few of those, and felt bad for them.
 But more just kept on going. 
 Some of them were characters. I was surprised how easily the dragon stayed afloat as it was unusually shaped.
 And then we saw Yoda and Darth Vader. We were excited to watch them take off, but after twenty minutes or so they were deflated and didn't go up. Too bad. It was a perfect day. Not too windy but windy enough. Mild temperatures. Really we couldn't have asked for anything better for us but apparently something wasn't working for them.
 Then about 7:40 as we standing watching all the action, a group just started setting up their balloon right in front of us. They'd kindly asked the crowd on both sides to give them some space, and just unrolled it and made it happen.
 Meanwhile the other balloons just kept on going. The black constellation one was interesting. I wondered it being so close to the one on its left would cause a problem but it didn't. Soon it just floated upward.
 This had been 2nd on the right and then it just lifted up. I really liked the patterns on this one.
 This one drew applause from the crowd. A USA flag, a Colorado state flag, and three other flags I didn't recognize were all hanging off the side of it.
 Then the one that had been right in front of us was ready to launch. It took less than 20 minutes from unrolling to airborne.
 Up, Up, and Away. This was the I [heart] Radio Media balloon. 
 It was the first and only one we saw that actually went over the crowd, then touched gently down onto the lake beside us and then rose again. It also drew applause from an appreciative audience. Certainly there is some risk with touching down over water, but slowly and carefully they made it.
I loved this balloon also. I was concerned it might not clear the trees but it did and then it stayed up high for a long time, even as we were walking back to the car a little before 8:30. What beautiful creativity was used on them all. There were at least 40 balloons we saw, perhaps more. Its not Albuquerque but it'll do for our hometown festival. I loved it!

Monday, August 31, 2015

3 Cards and 2 Games

I wanted to try out some coral glitter tape that I had, so I found some Sorbet and Crystal Blue and Creme Brulee papers to go with it, (mostly from the Balloon Ride paper packet) and made 3 cards that got sent last week. Add a little bling and it's done.

And now for the fun games.
We invited out trek family kids to come over for a BBQ reunion, and these were games we played in the dark or at night so I forgot to take photos. I found the ideas on Pinterest and hoped they'd be fun and they were. We had some good laughs.

Game 1 - Hunger Games Balloon Wars
Everyone blows up a balloon at least 9 inches. Each player is Tribute and the balloon is his/her life.
The object is to be the last player with a balloon unpopped.
The weapons we gave them were a crayon and a popsicle stick.
We gave them a glow stick around each wrist to make it easier to find each other in the dark. 
Then we told them to go survive and they were running all over the back yard. After the first game was over pretty quickly, they wanted to play again, so handed out more balloons and off they went, though this time we changed one rule - No balloons in your mouth. You had to hold them in one of your hands. We were afraid one of our boys was going to get stabbed in the eye as he held his balloon between his teeth but fortunately all went well, and they played til we finished the package of balloons.

Game 2 - What If?
Give everyone an index card and a pencil and sit in a circle.
Have each person write a what if question on their card.
Then I'd call out a direction and number for the kids to pass their kids, like 3 cards to the right. Then the new holder of the card would write the answer to the new what if question. Then I'd call out another number and a direction, like 2 cards to the right. Now the first person would read their card's question and the person to their right would read their card's answer. Some of them were hysterical and some fit perfectly or amazingly or weirdly. I realize there is a potential for trouble but this group of kids were great and I knew they'd write appropriate things, and we had some very good belly laughs.

We also played Minute to Win it games, and there were prizes at the end for the everyone. It'll be fun to play these again sometime. I write them down here to remember :-) Happy September everyone!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

3 Cards and a Quilt

No company, no Trek, no getting a high schooler ready for his junior year and off to a Scouting high adventure, so that means finally some time for a little creativity. I made three cards out of one paper pack with my neighbor yesterday. She's 9 and darling. It was a lot of fun and she was so happy to have a couple of cards to choose for her friend's birthday on Sat. Cuteness!

 I used scraps to make a card for an upcoming wedding I'm going to. I know its a little more casual than I usually do for a wedding but knowing the bride, this is her. . .fun, bright, and a little unique!
 Quilt # 4 for the Young Women is a grey and yellow brick quilt. I cut and designed it then sewed the first two rows together so the girls could get a feel for what this kind of quilt looks like. They're having a sleepover at their president's home in a couple of weeks and I'm going over for 3 hours to sew with the girls in her basement where I'll show them how to put this together.  Should be fun!

Hoping to have more creative time when school starts next week.