Valentine Hugs!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I hope everyone had a delightful Valentine's Day. I came home from my sewing retreat Valentine's Day and found a sweet card and an adorable book on my pillow. DH has also ordered me an IPhone - oh boy, another toy! Anyway, the book has amazing pictures of animals and the captions under them are all about the journey of love and some of them are just hilarious. Laughter, what a great gift! OMG, and DH just walked in with some beautiful roses - what a good boy! Guess he deserves a

The caption below the picture of the swans reads: Love inspires us to do great, beautiful, terrible things and a bunch of weird and stupid stuff....on the donkey page it reads: (all of which, curiously enough, can be found in Country and Western music). :-) I don't know how they captured animals in some of the poses they have in this book - it is so funny. We also went on a double-date to dinner with my dear friend, Jan and her DH, so it was a lovely day.
My retreat was fun as always. We did lots of stitching and laughing which is so good for the soul. The house is an old Victorian two story - it is on some acreage which also contains its original outhouse (a two-seater!), smokehouse, and garden shed. There is a barn to the left of these about 30-40 yards from the house.

The owners have their two horses there. Linda, Barbara and I tiptoed out to say hello and Linda fed them apples and pears. Yum. Then there is a snapshot of the resident cat. We call him Groucho because of his mustache. I have included a picture of my bedroom. This trip we only had eight ladies so space was no problem. I arrived a day later than most of the other ladies as I attended my Bible Study Fellowship before going up. They were so generous as to leave me the "Rose Room". We have decided now that we will have a drawing to see who will stay in the Rose Room for future visits; however, everyone really seems happy in the rooms they normally share. Vickie Adams Brown (RibbonSmyth) came to stitch with us last year and she stayed in the Rose Room. The Rose Room is upstairs along with three other bedrooms which house at least two to three beds in each and a bathroom and large hall/sitting area. I would be quite happy living in a house like this for sure - it has such ambiance and texture...high ceilings, wood floors, creeks here and there - you can just feel the loving energy of the family who once inhabited it.

Here we are, working hard and listening to a story from Jennifer (back to camera). Jennifer is Jan C.'s step daughter and is just a delight. She lives in the little community and always comes to visit while we are there. See that look on Barbara's face? Well, Barbara does amazing work and quickly as well. She had finished yet another project and had cleaned her station, announcing to everyone how clean her station was, and excused herself to make a phone call. Someone quickly grabbed fabric scraps, empty drink bottles, etc. and cluttered up her space to look like ours - even her chair! This is Barbara's reaction as she re-entered the room and screeched. It took quite a while for her to find out who the culprit was, but I will never tell :-) The next photo is of all of us eating in the dining area. The ladies are (from L to R): Lynnis, Dolores(can't really see her in this one), Barbara, Jan, Linda, Melanie and Lynn.

Here are Dolores and Lynnis dying ribbons and lace in the dining room one day for a specific project they were going to work on. This is the cute little featherweight machine that Jan brought for us to use when we weren't hand stitching. It just sews like a dream! Thank goodness, because I wound up changing the basic design for my memory pages. Hmmm, may just have to look into getting one of those!

The best laid plans, huh? I cut background pages out of the salmon fabric I had gotten for my memory book project the day before I left for retreat and although I had purchased two and a half yards of the fabric, I did not have quite enough to back every memroy page. I then cut out background pages from the silk plaid dupioni I had purchased thinking I would just do every other page differently - one of silk, one of the salmon. Well, once I started adding lace to my little pages and laying them down on the background pages, the salmon was too overwhelming for me and the dupioni was too underwhelming. I sat there just staring at this pile of fabric I had neatly cut wondering what the heck I was going to do. The color of the salmon was too much, the dupioni too little - why not combine them? So, I took my cut background pages and cut them again and sewed them back together with 1/3 salmon and 2/3 dupioni for each background page and then decided I would flip each page so that one page would have the salmon at the top, the next, the salmon at the bottom. That gave me the little bit of color I wanted to play off of. Now, I just have to finished putting lace on all my memory pages, add them to the background pages so I can then sew the background pages together to form the pages for the book. What do you think?

Next - the cover!

As I left the retreat house, I stopped by this historical old church built in the late 1800's and then rebuilt shortly after the great hurricane of 1900. It is only a few blocks from the retreat house. I wasn't able to go in this trip, but hope to do so on a future trip - it really intrigues me and is so beautiful.

I took a picture of the meditation park that is across the street from the church as well - doesn't it look serene? There are crosses all the way around in a circle around the beautiful tree and a bench to sit on and reflect.

What a beautiful spot to sit and reflect on Christ and what He has done for us. I was reading devotionals this morning and the one from Our Daily Bread really jumped out at me. It talked about how Alex Haley boarded a freighter from Liberia to Florida before he wrote the story "Roots". He wanted to better understand the trevails of his ancestors. He even went below to the ship's hold, stripped down and tried to sleep there for three nights - unsuccessfully. Although he was unsuccessful, the experience did provide him with a small degree of empathy for his forebearers. How much more has Christ done for us and can relate to us! Christ experienced humaness and endured the most extreme of all measures to identify with us and provide our salvation; His death on the cross for our sins. He rose from the dead and now sits in glory at the right hand of the Father as our intercessor. What amazing love! What a blessing to be able to speak with Jesus any time, any where; during any circumstance. He will listen, He understands and will extend His mercy - just call on Him.
Reading Scripture, praying, and partaking of the Lord's Supper can help us gain at least some awareness of our identification with our Lord and Savior. But regardless of how we feel, our unity with Him is a fact that we must grasp in faith. --Vernon Grounds
God is working in you to help you want to do and be able to do what pleases Him. Phillippians 2:13


Allison Ann Aller said...

Jules, thank your for bringing us along on your retreat. Loved that funny picture of Barbara reacting to her messy workspace!
And as always, you have such uplifting thoughts for your readers to reflect on.

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