Saturday, July 25, 2020

Advent Stitching and the Past Week

I have been busy stitching Christmas in July Advent numbers. I finished them all tonight. This gives me lots of planning time to finish them up in some cute way.

I think the last time I shared I was done with number 15, so here are the last ones.

I just love them. I am envisioning a pocketed quilt that can hang on a door. I have ideas swirling, so we will see what comes out of all this. I think Lindsay likes it so that is what matters.

I also managed to put about 15 minutes of stitching in and finished up something in my fall stash. I can't believe I was so close to ole Tom Turkey and yet put him up last November. I suppose it comes down to when Christmas rolls around you are just done with Thanksgiving decor.

I have plenty of time to fully finish him as well.

That is what has been going on with needle and thread each evening.

Oh and Lindsay and I finally went together to take Tucker's name I stitched back in January to the framer's. I can't wait for it to get done. She picked out the most wonderful mat and frame. It is going to look absolutely amazing.

Now, for some family stuff.

Paul Allen and Katie went to Auburn last weekend to have a weekend away. They drove up to Cheaha State Park which is about an hour and half north of Auburn. Alabama goes from mountains to beach which makes it a lovely state. 

I never shared a picture of the new dog, Darcy, so here is Katie and Darcy.

Now, this picture came in from Paul Allen to our family group text messaging to show us how pretty the place is. I thought to myself....Paul Allen won't be posing for any pictures like this. He is none too crazy about heights.

Later I asked how Dansby was liking it and I quickly got a response that Dansby and Paul Allen were chickens. I thought to myself again..."Yep, she got that right!"

I think they enjoyed the hiking. They said it was quite hilly and would be a tough hike for the old folks. I will show them.

Tucker spends his last week with me this next week. I might just be a little teary eyed just typing that. I have been abundantly blessed to keep him the last year and a half. He has stolen his Grammies heart.

He starts daycare on August 3rd. Lindsay is worried as is every mother in the world. I have told her he is welcome back at any moment and I am on call. I think he is ready for some interaction with other children, but I am sure he will be a little scared too. 

That is about all I have time for tonight, so maybe after this next week I can pop in more and enjoy the blog more. Next week is going to be ALL TUCKER!


Friday, July 17, 2020

A Little Stitching, a Crafty Project, and some Hope

I have not stitched nearly as much this week, but I am on #16 of 24 on my Christmas calendar. If I can continue with that pace I should finish them all in July which is my goal.

This is a part of the tablecloth that I am thinking of using to finish these.

I also did a craft project. Now, I am not the most crafty person and it is nowhere near great but it is better than what was it was.

This lampshade was just plain dirty. It has always been a cute lamp which is a small scale match to the larger table lamps in the room. The shade was just the cheapest little thing and was quite frankly yucky. I have tried to clean it but it is a magnet for dirt. I tried to find a new one over a year ago, but to no avail. Kind of a weird size. I would love one of those pleated lamp shades that I have seen for outrageous prices on Etsy, but not for the prices.

I decided I couldn't mess it up anymore than it looked so I went for it. I had the fabric, so I traced out a shade cover and sprayed it with Aleene's Tacky Spray which I also had. I was able to fold down the back seam and then glue it down with Aleene's Tacky Glue and I tried to trim the top and bottom neatly and folded over and glued them down as well. The edges were not finished.

I could have left it alone, but I saw one in a magazine with some cording, so I tried to do some. I really think I could have used a little lighter blue and maybe 4 strands of blue and 2 of the ecru, but you know it was a first time. It looks better than it did and I had all the materials, so I am happy with it.

Last Saturday, Jeff and I got up very early to go with Lindsay and Tucker to the Gulf Breeze zoo. Tyler had to do something else, so we gladly filled in. We are so lucky to have a nice zoo so close to us. It is small but a good one. It was not crowded when we went, but by the time we were leaving, it got VERY hot and the crowds were rolling in, so our decision to get up early fared us well.

Lindsay has always been a zoo lover which is so surprising since she is totally girly girl. Tucker loved it and his mama was as much fun to watch as him. He was not afraid at all of the goats and let them eat right out of his hand. I credit that with constantly feeding dogs.  He was a bit more intimidated by the larger animals AND the train ride.

I have had a rather long week. Mother is doing much better with her shingles so that it is a blessing. Tyler's grandmother passed away so Lindsay and Tyler had to go to Atlanta. I kept Tucker here as she had passed away from Covid. She was 91 and had fallen in her assisted living facility. She never was able to recover. This happened right about the time of the lockdown in March. She was in a rehab facility and came down with pneumonia and then the virus. It was tough on Tyler's mom and her sisters because they couldn't see her until the end. She never really fully understood what was going on. Tough times for sure people. 
I am no spring chicken. I was more than happy to help but keeping one the whole day and night is a lot. I have no idea how so many grandparents are raising their grandkids. 


I really have been digging into the God's Word instead of the world's views. I am not there yet with no fear, but I am here to tell you that it is helping. I am on a mission to stop this craziness of fear. I know better than this fear thing. Yes, I know these times are different, but as a follower of Jesus I should not be acting like the rest of the world.

Once I decided that I would tackle this fear thing head on, I have come across so many interesting reads, so many wonderful verses, and a great sermon by my own pastor this past Sunday that have affirmed that I need to keep up the focus. The Lord met me and has guided and helped so much.

Now, don't think for a second I have it all together. I have my own share of worries for which I will leave mine off because I want to start focusing on hope not worry.

I read a wonderful article, well actually several in the latest issue of Decision Magazine. You can read it online for free. 

I also had decided to do a study of Ephesians which led me to read the section of Acts where Paul was in Ephesus before I tackled Ephesians. A couple of verses really struck me in Chapter 19 especially the latter part of that chapter which  just reminded me trouble and chaos have abounded forever. While it is new to us as blessed Americans the chaos is not new. You can read it if you choose, but the people were in the streets yelling for "two hours." I thought it quite funny that several versions reiterated the two hours and they were quieted by a mayoral figure who told them they would be accused of rioting by the Roman government and that there were proper channels with which to be heard.

The piece of inspiration I am going to share is part of the message from this past Sunday. The Scripture was from Hebrews 11 and 12.

A few notes worth mentioning from the sermon.
He used the analogy of twisting a lens on a camera to focus what is right in front of you to be very clear and yet the entire image especially the background can become blurry. 

We can come so focused on the news of the day and the troubles right in front of us that we don't see what is in the background. We are so focused on what is right in front of us that we can't see God.

However, when we choose to spend time with God we can change that perspective. When we read the Bible, pray, sing praises that lens can give us a different perspective. We begin to see what Jesus has done for us. Now, I am shortening an entire sermon into a view paragraphs, but we see the truth of what He has already done for us. 

The things right in front of us lose focus. We fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer or author and the perfecter of our faith.

Faith is trusting the One who is faithful.

Hebrews 12:1-2 says....

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  [a]fixing our eyes on Jesus, the [b]author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Then I saw a piece on the new Mars  rover called Perseverance scheduled for launch this month.  I love the name....I want my focus to be on the virtue of persevering with faith.

I am working on trying to keep a positive attitude and stay focused on the Lord. I am fully admitting it has been hard with the news and the worries of the future, but I simply must try and be hopeful. 

Well, that is it for this past week. I have read many things this past week that have inspired me and maybe at some point I can share more. I am in the thick of things too, folks. I have a cousin on death's bed and that is weighing on me, but she is a Christ follower. That is comfort.

Persevering...and trying to do it with hope,

Friday, July 10, 2020

Stitching Update and Some Daily Happenings


Popping in with my calendar for Christmas stitching progress. I have stitched 11 of the days at this point.

I will share 11 with the next 10. I have had very little time to stitch, so these are going pretty quickly. When I finish I will pick a few to highlight with a closer view.

It is still busy busy around here. I am doing a ton of cooking and taking care of Mama too. She is better, but still not really able to do a whole lot for herself.

This week, Katie was out of town and she and Paul Allen have added a new dog since Reece, the boxer died. They went to the rescue place again and this time came home with an American Fox Hound, approximately 11 months old. New name is Darcy, so, Darcy and Dansby are the two hounds at their house. Katie is out of town this week, so Paul Allen was a little worried about what the new one would do. 

Tucker and I have gone over each day to let them out and of course visit with the chickens.

They were hiding in the coop because of the dogs, but gives you a bigger picture of their home. They have a shower door on the end:) to let them out.

It has been raining a ton these past two weeks and is full on hot and humid summer which last until October, so whether I am ready or not it is here.

The grass is green and growing so the pictures I took of Paul Allen and Katie's backyard work don't look as sweet as they could due the grass.

I thought I would share just a few. Katie has plants growing all over the place. I just have to laugh because Paul Allen complained about all my plants growing up:)

There is a little bench here that I missed in the picture.

Dansby...I missed capturing Darcy. I will get her on another time.

How is one supposed to move around in the kitchen when two dogs take up the walkway? I guess they know we are in the dog days of summer. 
 They are my sidekicks though. Wouldn't change a thing.

Tucker and I were downstairs piddling around the other day. He wanted to sit at the desk. This desk was mine and was purchased in Germany in 1962. It has a German label and once had a chair to match which has long been broken. 
I played with this desk until I was far too big for it and then it was always in my room with just stuff on it. 

My kids played on it. I have tons of pictures of them on each side of it coloring. At another time, I would have hunted down pictures of me and the kids, but I am doing good to show Tucker.

He wouldn't come back upstairs until l told him I would bring it back up. 

On this day, he sat there 2/3s of the day playing with that car.

We have also eaten our lunch at it.

This video really touched me...just a simple message but a good reminder.

I have been really plugging in to God's Word while Tucker is napping. I have shut down the TV other than Paw Patrol, and been listening to music. I have my hymns and favorite praise music. I love country music but I am listening to my favorite country singers singing my favorite hymns AND I took a notebook I made several years ago with favorite verses in it and put it beside my bed. Every morning and every evening I read a few. 

It has helped me tremendously to get through this tough and busy season.


Friday, July 3, 2020

Jolly July Stitching and Auburn House Outside Work

Christmas in July or Jolly July stitching has begun. I am going to hunker down and try and get the countdown to Christmas piece done for Lindsay.

I have lots of thoughts swirling in my brain for how I will finish this. I will share some of my thoughts while I also share some numbers that have been finished. I will apologize for the picture quality now...some are dark.

The finished piece shows the 24 pieces all stitched and finished like little bags and hanging from a string on a window frame. I don't think that will be my plan. I am sort of envisioning a quilted piece with pockets to hang on a door.

I am using this linen and ordered a big piece so I should have plenty. Has a been of a sheen to it.

Now, I often find on something like this that you can't really know what or how it will work until you get closer to the end and have lots of time to process all those thoughts and mesh it will your capabilities.

#4 is adorable, but I got off count. Some ripping needs to be done and I skipped to 5. 

Knowing that, I will just have to see. Lindsay is a very traditional person, so I know the finish will have to use very traditional colors and fabrics. At Christmas she is much like me...a very traditional person...not too much whimsy.

When I finish 5 I will go back to 4.

I have a beautiful Ralph Lauren tartan plaid table cloth that I picked up one year at Tuesday Morning for a deal. I have used it before on Tucker's first ornament, so I have more than enough to do something with that.

Oh and out of the blue I did #10, but for the most part I am going to stay on track with the numbers.

In the background of some of the above photos you can see a project bag that I made from a wonderful kind of nostalgic piece of fabric I bought once at a quilt store in Pensacola (a quilter's dream store). I used it for an apron and the project bag, but something like that might be a good idea too.
I will definitely enlist Lindsay's ideas when I get closer to the finish.

Now, I may have to another one for Paul Allen, but that is not anytime soon at all.
I do think Tucker will enjoy it this year. I am thinking of making some pictures on tagboard to put in each pocket to tell the Christmas story.

I think Lindsay would like it hanging on a door so it is up out of the way but useful....those are my thoughts at the moment. Either way, that is what you will see when you follow along for the month of July unless life just takes over.

Now, push in the clutch for a gear change.

With that I decided to share a few pictures from our Auburn house that we wish were at this weekend, but just not the time with Mom still feeling so bad. Right after she got out of the hospital on the first few days of June, we left for a super quick trip to Auburn. She was still on a lot of pain medicine and my aunt came down and stayed with her the two days.

It was kind of a workday. I put out some fresh pine straw at the front of the house. I should have taken a photo, but didn't. I did however pull up the coolest tree starter root from the really large acorn this tree drops.

Nerdy Sandy just loves this kind of stuff.

I was just pulling it up and was shocked when the whole sprouted acorn came up with it.

I put in a new shower curtain in one of the guest bathrooms. I needed the rod to rest on the tile and that made it so that it needed an extra long one. I had already put a long plastic liner in but had just not found a shower curtain, so I ordered one from Amazon for a good price.

Sorry about the open potty here. Yikes! Try to just look at the pretty curtain.

Then we went shopping and found these photos of Toomer's Corner. I don't remember the exact dates, but 1890s, early 1900s, and 1940s I think. 

I will share them again with a wider view and the exact dates and how that led to moving other pictures around. 

Now, for the outside because that is why we went to get it set up for vacationing. IT will be the only vacationing our family will do for the foreseeable future and I thank God for the blessing of the home.

Lindsay and family went two weeks ago to escape the Destin traffic for a weekend.

The view below is the side yard porch between the garage on the left and entrance into the house on the right. We put a TV that swings out and has from phone viewing capabilities. That was a gift from the kids for Christmas. 

This is the same area just looking in the opposite direction. You have seen the fire pit here. We bought new chairs which I will show you in a minute.

If you leave that porch and look towards the front of the house, there is another small porch that comes right off the living room. 

It is my favorite spot to sit when I am there. It is my old cabin screen porch and we moved that furniture back over there which made me happy happy happy. Coffee, time with God, and stitching are all very pleasant activities here.

Now, looking back down all the way to the back, you will see the fort for Tucker. He should like it this fall.

Do you spy Gus?

And the garage has a nice view out to that area and is very private, so I am keeping the rocking chairs there for sitting there.

We purchased stackable chairs to keep in the garage and easy pull out to the area where we will use the fire pit this fall and winter. If you have never seen a Solo fire pit. They are amazing and worth the price. They always run specials for half off. The wood burns down to nothing over night. Very safe and all around WONDERFUL! 

Jeff has set up a dart board and wants to down the road get a small portable ping pong table. 

I never shared all of it, but looking back at pictures I decided I needed to get that done.

I hope you liked pictures, because I probably overdid it on this post.

I hope everyone has a safe weekend. We will be home this year and very quiet. That Big old ugly C is getting too close for comfort. I now know personally 7 people who have tested positive and all under the age of 51. Six local and one a friend of Paul Allen's who WAS coming to visit this weekend. I think he was relieved they found out first. My kids are laying low as well which makes me feel better.

I will be doing a lot of praying this 4th of July for our country but for my family and friends to all know Jesus!!!


P.S. I am still not getting any comments to my email, so forgive me for my unfriendliness. I am reading and love to hear from y'all.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

I Dream of the Sea

Have you ever stitched something that you didn't know JUST how much you were going to love until it was finished? 

This happened for me with this stitch!

When Mary of Stitching Friends came to my rescue back before the Big C happened with a stack of patterns to assist in stitching Tucker's name, this pattern was set aside. I liked it but I couldn't use it on Tucker's name. I did however use lots and lots of the others she sent

When I finished all those birds, I pulled out two of the summery beachy patterns she sent and started with the one called On Beach Time shown here.

Something about this pattern kept calling my name. Maybe because the salty air does call my name.

I finished it very simply. I mixed three colors to do the cording and I really love how it turned out. I think some little whimsical fish hanging on the cording could be cute. I have a pair of earrings that would be perfect, but they were the wrong color blue. I will be on the lookout at the touristy shops in town, but I am perfectly happy with it as is. It could be out this summer or anytime in my home.

I used all the called for colors except the stripe on the fish. I didn't have the DMC color but I had the color on either side of the number, so since this was on 28 count, I just used one strand of each to do the fish stripes. #usewhatyouhave

Down at the bottom of the pattern picture above  is a spool and a square pouch. I liked the spool idea and would like to do that as well, but I am really thinking that little wreath would make a great Christmas ornament, so Mary, this pattern is getting tons of use.

I normally don't participate in any SALs or do anything other than just stitch, but I have always thought about Christmas in July as a time to do little Christmas projects, because who has time close to Christmas. I am going to do Christmas stitching for the month of July. I don't know if I call it Jolly July or just Christmas in July.

We will be spending a hopefully quiet weekend at home thankful for our country and praying we get through 2020 and things settle soon!

The good life.

God Bless America,