Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Ten Commandments of Human Relations
Speak To People — there is nothing so nice as a cheerful word of greeting.
Smile At People — it takes 72 muscles to frown, only 14 to smile.
Call People — the sweetest music to anyone’s ears is the sound of his own name.
Be Friendly and helpful, if you would have friends, be a friend.
Be Cordial — speak and act as if everything you do is a genuine pleasure.
Be Genuinely interested in people — you can like almost everybody if you try.
Be Generous with praise — cautious with criticism.
Be Considerate with the feelings of others — there are usually three sides to a controversy: yours, the other fellow’s, and the right side.
Be Alert to give service — what counts most in life is what we do for others.
Add To This a good sense of humour, a big dose of patience and a dash of humility, and you will be rewarded many-fold.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Call me strange, but I just find the designs on the windows from frost fascinating.
My kids thought I was nuts (especially at night) snapping pictures with my digital camera trying to get a good shot of what I was so crazy about -- nothing out the windows, but what is on the windows!
These frosty patterns have now melted away but more are predicted by our weather forecasters for next week.
Frost on the windows is nothing to most, but it makes me happy to see the intricate patterns.
“It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder quotes (American Author of children's fiction based on her own youth in the American Midwest. 1867-1957)
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I have been working on listing my quilts on Etsy. These are the ones I made last year - 2008. One that stands out in my mind is the purple and green floral with butterflies. I thought I would share a few pictures.
It is very hard for me to throw any scraps away. I found that very true this week in re-arranging my sewing workspace and also starting another mini-project.
This purple quilt was total scraps from another quilt which features log cabin quilt blocks that a dear friend made. I had to be sneaky and have another friend bid on them for me through Ebay because I wanted them so. Aren't friends wonderful!
I love stitching and creating quilts. Some are pretty but others are just plain special to the person making them.
The kids are on the big count down for Christmas now, even though they know most everything under the tree. The days are dragging for them. I am contented in knowing I am prepared and have finished my shopping, wrapping, and mailing.
Hope you are having a lovely day. I am past being excited and ready to explode as my hubby will be home tomorrow after being gone for 19 days for work training. Most of the time days fly by, but these have just been drag drag dragging. Well, to take my mind off of it -- off I go to stitch!
The Cab Ride
I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes
I walked to the door and knocked. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie.
By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.
There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.
She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb..
She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I told her. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated'.
'Oh, you're such a good boy', she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive through downtown?'
'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly..
'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry.. I'm on my way to a hospice'.
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice. 'The doctor says I don't have very long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.
For t he next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator..
We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm tired. Let's go now'.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.
Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
'How much do I owe you?' she asked, reaching into her purse.
'Nothing,' I said
'You have to make a living,' she answered.
'There are other passengers,' I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.
'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said.
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life..
I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift?
What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.
We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.
But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID ~BUT~THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
See if you can figure it out...
I am sending this only to my smart friends. I could not figure it out and had to look at the answer. See if you can figure out what these words have in common.
Are you peeking or have you already given up?
Give it another try. Look at each word carefully.
(You'll kick yourself when you discover the answer.)
This Is Cool.
Answer: No, it is not that they all have at least 2 double letters, nor is it about the vowel arrangements, tempting though they were at first glance.
In all of the words listed, if you take the first letter, place it at the end of the word, and then spell the word backwards, it will be the same word.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Tonight was the annual Christmas Stroll and Parade down Central Avenue in Great Falls, Montana. This was our first attendance at this event since we moved here just this past April 2009. I struck up a conversation with a fellow watcher about how this small town apparently has a huge affection for the young ladies of this town being baton twirlers. They were the beginning of the parade and seemed to go on for miles. Bless them for marching, twirling, and freezing to entertain.
To make everyone feel more in the spirit of things, the weather was in wintry performance and the cold has just kept pouring on more and more since leaving the festivities a little early due to my kids being uncomfortable. (We had a talk about putting on more layers and being prepared for cold weather while driving home.)
Now everything is covered with white powdery snow and I don't know how many inches are expected to fall through the night. I have a feeling we will be staying indoors tomorrow.
I will have to pull out my Aunt Grace quilt top and get to work on finishing the embroidery borders. This has been my procrastination remark for some time in waiting for a good wintry snow to fall to inspire me to pick this project up again.
Stay warm and have a wonderful weekend!
I just have to show you what I found for 10 cents a piece at the Salvation Army yesterday. These rose and glitter ball ornaments are so pretty. The camera really did not do them justice. I am almost afraid to add them to my tree and may just keep them on my table to admire while sewing.
Savannah Rose came across this precious elf pixie paper mache' ornament. He has some flecks of his paint missing, but they are minor and he is so sweet. I have him hanging on an ornament display in the living room.
Hope you are enjoying this festive holiday season and spending time with loved ones.
In keeping busy and exploring new styles for making quilt blocks, I have been doing an old technique called "biscuit quilting". I really like the puffed look and am getting faster with the process which includes a lot of pinning and stuffing.
The other block here is being made to act as a border to finish my daughter's quilt. She is into pinks and Sunbonnet Sue. The main portion of her quilt is a stamp design of a Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Bill scene. This is my second block creation using triangles. I find I really have to watch it on the placement of these pieces to get this design to come out correctly.
I have always been swept away with victorian times, the lavish costumes, and delicate ways that are described in famous writings and pieces of artwork.
It seems like I tend to look for artwork for my walls more and more these days with the same theme. This is my most recent acquisition from the shopggoodwill.com auction site. (Actually, I just won another piece that should be on its way soon.)
When this lovely item arrived well packaged, I was very unhappy to find the glass was broken in several places even though it had been well wrapped and there were no dents in the outside box.
A trip to a local art frame shop and 3 weeks later it was as good as new with the shop owner taking great care in making sure the right size glass was installed (the true problem with the breakage to begin with), and using Q-tips to clean the intricate design on the original frame as shown. She also touched up one streak in the actual art piece with some pastels. It would take a very close and studying eye to find the correction.
I am so pleased with this framed work. It is placed in my hall way to admire daily on my ventures into various bedrooms to put things away for the kids and grandma.
I love to find treasures, especially those things I truly am pleased with.
Next, I want to find a pretty silver (or silver-plate) victorian tea set on a platter. There is an elaborate set in an antique shop on Central Avenue here, but the price range is way out of my league for spending pleasure at $350. So I will continue my search at the online sites.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
After finishing Avery's quilt top, I have been keeping busy working on creating some tea towels from vintage patterns I have found on flickr.com or from thrift shop finds.
I thought I would share some of the results. One of my favorites is the Scottie Dog. I found this pattern online free while searching for an applique' quilt block pattern of a Scottie Dog. I have not found the one I am happy with for quilting but fell in love with stitching the embroidery piece.
In getting more in the festive holiday spirit, I set out working on the PEACE, LOVE, JOY, NOEL, and FAITH towels. I love the cursive writing of these patterns. Which reminds me, I heard the other day on a news report that cursive writing is becoming a dead artform these days. I believe it is not being stressed to be used in the schools as much and people are more apt to be typing away on the computer than sitting down hand writing notes and correspondence to others.
My last favorite piece I just finished is the Celestial theme pattern. I have always enjoyed the sun/moon patterns and designs when used in decorating.
I must report, my tree is up and I was just looking outside at 2 a.m. to find the snow is falling. The holiday spirit is definitely on me now as I did some online shopping today and got most of my Christmas cards written out.
So no HUM BUG for me this year . . . I got to start saying HO HO HO!!! -- Hope you are too.
Friday, November 27, 2009
I feel like the White Rabbit this year. I am late, I'm late . . . late in putting up any holiday decorations . . . late in starting my Christmas cards . . . late in doing some shopping.
Put all that together and I am not going to worry . . . I know it will all come together just fine.
So I am going to sit at the computer, check my usual haunts, listen to some t.v. behind me, and maybe get a cup of hot cocoa.
Tomorrow is another day . . . I might pull out the tree or sit and write out my Christmas cards. Maybe some holiday music will put me in the mood or taking a drive to see some lights will do the trick.
I have just thought of it! Now that I am in Montana, I am expecting snow to kick off my holiday spirit . . . so "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow".
Hope you are sitting fine and comfy where you are and letting the season come upon you as you like.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
I am making a Southwestern theme quilt top for my soon to be 10 year old son, Avery Zefram. Here he models the center of the quilt. I found a photo online and created the much bigger size replica on the background fabric.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Grandma has many interesting dreams and usually wakes up expressing them to us.
This morning I find it remarkable that she woke up telling about sitting on the couch at her home and falling asleep on the shoulder of a GI. She said her father got very mad at her for doing this.
The reason I find this remarkable is that it is Veteran's Day. Granted, she is 89 years old and has memories mixed up from her younger days to now with her dementia, but she could have been hiking in Yellowstone again (a dream a couple weeks ago that ran for days) or having lunch delivered for her and her twin sister, Lulynn (who passed away years ago - a very recent dream).
Also, in regards to our veterans and active service people, my husband had a soldier in uniform come into his office the other day. When he finished conducting his business and as he left, my husband thanked him for his service for our country. This soldier turned around and saluted my husband and then said, "Sir, you are the first person who has ever thanked me." My husband (a definite tender-hearted person) teared up at the thought of this, especially since we live in an air force base town.
So, it is my hope, no matter what your feelings are of our country and it's involvement with the current military affairs, that you will take the time to "thank" a soldier whether veteran or active today.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Mother and daughter relationships are complex because the daughter looks to her mother as a role model of what a woman is. As she grows up and sees other women who live their lives differently, she chooses between imitating her mother or other significant influences in her life. As an adolescent she may come to look down on her mother and think that other women are much better. Of course, she is not a fully grown woman so she does not understand the challenges and choices that her mother faces. It is only when she herself becomes a woman that she can fully appreciate her mother.
© Mother Daughter Poems from Family Friend Poems
Monday, November 2, 2009
Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.
Do you run through each day
On the fly?
When you ask "How are you?"
Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?
You'd better slow down
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.
Ever told your child,
We'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time
To call and say "Hi"?
You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.
When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift....
Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.
The poem was written by David L. Weatherford and published by the Russ Berrie Company in 1991. Weatherford copyrighted the work with the Library of Congress in 2001.
Over the weekend I have been playing with colors of fabric to go with a nice print fabric my friend Judith sent me for a quilt with a Southwest theme. It is going to be for Avery, my youngest son (soon turning 10).
The coordinating fabrics I have chosen for now are a pretty blue with a pattern and a brown with flecks of black in it.
I have started stitching some embroidery squares to include as well. Avery is pretty impressed with the eagles and likes the sun too.
Also, he smiled really big when I told him there is probably going to be a wolf worked into the quilt top.
Friday, October 30, 2009
We experienced a couple days of really cold and snowy weather this past week which caused the kids and I to do some creative art projects as well as me making some more quilling ornaments.
I decided to make up a supply of initial shapes and then decide on what shape or pattern to form from them afterward.
I ended up making 10 new creations and trying a few different accents. This has caused me to want to stock up on more shapes/colors to see what else I can image.
One bit of disappointment to me this week was my big beautiful victorian art framed piece arrived with the glass broken. Shopgoodwill.com has been notified and a claim form to UPS is in the works. Thank goodness the print itself was not badly scratched. Off to a frame shop I go to find out how much the glass replacement will set me back!