Chore Day! Weeds Abound!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I must confess that I have let chores go in lieu of stitching for a while. You know how it is when you get your creative juices flowing - you just don't want to quit! However, with the onset of a sunny day here, I hear the flowerbeds begging for a sprucing up. So, today, it is old clothes, gloves, a hat, a few tools and away I go to get down and dirty. It will be good to let the breezes touch my face and feel the warmth of the sun on my back. And, Buffy, our duck is back over visiting this morning - she will be good company while I weed.

I can't believe I have enough nerve to show you just a tidbit of what I am up against. Here is a shot of just one small area in one flowerbed....see how weeds grow even in the winter months in Texas!

I did piece a small block (9 1/2" x 6 1/2") which will become a needle book. I plan to put it together as you would a book, with the wool felt pages being the signature. I used all cottons for the exterior because of the wear-n-tear I figure it will get. I will begin my embellishment stitching this evening. I will take pictures of my progress and let you know if my plan works out. The salmon colored cotton stripe you see will be the spine of the book. Cross your fingers - I have been known to toss things and start over if things don't go according to plan.

I visited my friend Allie's blog this morning and see that she is diving into working with her new friend, her "Babylock Embellisher". It is indeed a fun machine and I have not played with mine near enough - I have been collecting fibers though - that is fun too. Here is an interesting site to catch a video clip of Christopher Nejman as he paints background fabric and shows working with his Embellisher to make pillow tops. You might want to grab a cup of coffee, it is not a short one. Christopher was also on Nancy's Notions and this is a great clip too. My dear online friend, Judith in New Zealand put me onto Christopher Nejman and his work. If you like color and glitz - you will like his work for sure.

My dear friend, Barbara, awarded me the "You Make My Day Award". This is so special to me since I have only been blogging for a couple of months. Here are the rules as I understand them:

Give the award to those whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration. Blogs that you enjoy visiting daily because they enlighten you, inspire you, put a smile on your face or in your heart. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on.

Well, here are those blogs that I visit daily for inspiration and enjoyment - some may be common to Barbara's since we travel in the same " CQ sewing circles" :-)

Barbara - Barbara is a very dear friend. She is beyond talented and has invited me to journey with her on many sewing adventures. I have learned so much from her and she holds a special place in my heart because besides being such a talented lady, she is the true definition of "friend". She is encouraging and generous beyond measure and a blessing in my life.

Judith - Judith is a dear online friend. We have never met in person as she lives across the world from me, but her spirit crosses that expanse and blesses me constantly. She is an extremely talented lady as well; beautiful stitching and you should see her silk ribbon embroidery of flowers!

Allie - I had the pleasure of meeting Allie recently at the Houston International Quilt Market, but I had been acquainted with Allie and her amazing work through her blog and articles in CQMagOnline. Allie is extremely talented and extremely productive. Her energy and passion for sewing is just infectious and her blogging is what motivated me to get involved.

Pat - Pat is another wonderfully talented lady! Pat is also a contributor to CQMagOline and that is where I became acquainted with her fabulous work and blog. Pat has recently published her first book of CQ which is so exciting! She is another whose energy level and passion for CQ and charity projects is just amazing.

Lesley - Lesley is a mixed media artist and teacher. I am sure you have seen her work in Cloth, Paper, Scissors and other magazines. I have had the privilege of taking classes from her at the Houston International Quilt Show. She has the most wonderful artistic spirit that I would liken to that of a Kindergartner. You just see the sparkle in her eyes as her hands move with paper, fabric and paint.

Sue - Sue is an amazing mixed media, fiber artist and teacher. I have also had the privilege of taking classes from her, online through Joggles, and I subscribe to her magazine, Fibre & Stitch. Her blog, website, Etsy site, and magazine are all wonderful! She always inspires me with her work. I recently purchased a journal from her which I just treasure!

Ruth Rae - I really enjoy this blog. She is a mixed media, jewelry and fiber artist. This blog is filled with lots of creativity and fun! I am not acquainted with the author personally, but so admire her work and writing. I mean, how you can not like someone whose favorite quote is "let the beauty we love, be what we do"?

Stephanie - Stephanie is a CQ friend who has also been a contributor to CQMagOnline. Her work is truly innovative and amazing. Her dolls will just blow your socks off. She is designing doll patterns now which are listed on Joggles. I just adore her mixed media art work, CQ and beading techniques - truly inspiring!

I certainly don't expect the "You Make My Day" award to keep going in circles by tagging some of the same sites that have already been tagged, but it is my opportunity to let those women know how they touch my life on a daily basis - and, I am truly thankful to each one of them.


My study in Matthew today was on the subject of forgiveness. I don't know about you, but I don't have trouble forgiving those small things that you know people didn't really mean, where they were not trying to be malicious, BUT, those really hurtful events - OMG, now that's a different story. I will share something extremely personal here. I was first married at the age of twenty to my high-school sweetheart. I was in love (although I have come to realize it was not a mature and lasting love) and it was the thing to do back then (in ancient times) to settle down, get married, have children, etc. However, when stress factors started to hit the marriage - moving, building a home, having children, stretching the dollars - this proved to be too much. My husband had an affair and eventually married this woman. I can't begin to tell you how difficult as a young mother of two (less than two years old) this was - feeling so betrayed, lost and afraid. All I can tell you is that God was with me every step of the way - even when I didn't realize it. The big question - how do you forgive something that just made mince meat of your heart? Prayer and practice, and a sprinkling of love. Focusing on loving my children and what was in their best interest helped me to develop a way to practice forgiveness with regard to my X-husband and his wife. For many years, it was very difficult to let go of that anger and hurt, and I certainly couldn't have done it on my own. But, God has enabled me to continue to practice forgiveness slowly enabling it to become a reality in my heart and I can't tell you how freeing that is. I think sometimes, we feel that it must be an instantaneous thing, but just like faith - I believe forgiveness must be exercised, strengthened and matured in certain circumstances. God is faithful and will enable you to do what you can not do on your own.

"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy." Matt. 5:7

"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Col. 3:13



Allison Ann Aller said...

Thank you so much for including me in such inspiring company, Jules!

You are a couple of months ahead of us with regard to the weeds...I'll be out there in May getting grubby too...

And I really appreciated your thoughts on forgiveness. I believe exactly as you to...we have to retrain our minds and hearts after injury, just like athletes! Practice makes pefect. Isn't it heartening to know that with God's help, we can truly change ourselves?
Sometimes I do wish it would happen faster, though! ;-)

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