pens or pins? that is the question...

What's one to do when the heart and hands enjoy words and fabric, the pattern of paragraphs and quilts to an equal enthusiasm? To solve my dilemma I'm writing the print that stirs me and sharing the journey of blending fabrics into quilts and wearables, the discovery of old--be it quilts or friends, and the pleasures of today. Come...have a visit with me.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Newness in the NEW YEAR


Aren't we amazed that the calendar has rolled over to the new numbers of 2011? I recall (in what seems like yesterday) conversations about the years "2000" and we all felt that window of time would come light years away. I guess the light years have traveled!-- because today we are starting the second decade of the years "2000."

I like fresh starts. The New Year is an opportunity to regroup, start again, try harder, set deadlines and goals with every intention of meeting them. Last night I asked George (hubby) "Do you make NY's resolutions?' He looked at me with dismay and said, "Sure, I make them with every daily list." Now, as I've observed his life pattern, I agree--he does "resolute" everyday.He's a list guy and every Monday, every Tuesday, etc. starts with a list.  If the task fell short the day before he places it at priority rating on the new day.

So, following his example, I want to make 2011 resolutions in the same pattern. If I fall short today, I'll put the goal on the next day's list and try again.

Try again fits so many hours of the daily walk. Last week I watched Kate, my 17 month grand-girl work to climb on and off an overstuffed chair. When she succeeded she was so proud and smiled "success" from ear to ear. In tumbles and lack of success she cried or rearranged her legs or reached her arms out for help. I thought, "hmmm, not much different than me." I cry (inside), rearrange or reach out for help. Is this a provision from God? I suspect it is--his way of providing answers to the daily problems, be they big or small.

Now, with the opportunity to anticipate 364 more days of 2011 I hope you'll reach for favorite books that help you reach your goals. Go for it--set your fresh start. Below are some of my favorite resolution books. These authors truly focus on priorities and in turn, aid my push to reach my goals--to be the best I can be in my walk with God, in my walk with family and friends and in my walk with the talents that I hold.

I highly recommend these reads to help you reach your "resolutes."

1) 31 DAYS OF PRAISE and 31 DAYS OF PRAYER by Ruth Myers, 1994 and 1997
Mulynomah Publishers, Inc. (check your Christian bookstore or used books on internet)  --a series of short devos to help focus the day.

2) FIRST THINGS FIRST by Stephen R. Covey, 1994
Simon and Schuster (check local and internet bookstores) --concrete specifics on organizing the day, the week, the year to reach goals

3) THE ARTISTS' WAY by Julia Cameron, 1992
Tarcher/Putman (multiple printings--check local and internet stores)
 --a weekly reminder to write, create and give yourself an artist date--with multiple how-to's --every artist, in every media, should review Julia Cameron's words of encouragement

4) THE ELEMENTS of STORY by Francis Flaherty, 2010
Harper (check local and internet stores)
--so many good ideas on "exciting" a story. Currently my favorite read. I can't put it down.

5) YOUR FAVORITE BOOK --be it God's word, a how-to, a fiction or non, a cookbook or raising children book -READING TIME is my wish for you. It is one of our richest blessings.

And a quote I love: 
            "Life is too short for drama and petty things,
         so...kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and
         forgive quickly."  ....unknown.


Enjoy a great week,


Monday, December 27, 2010



Merry Christmas, Joy to the World, Christmas Greetings and Happy New Year...I love these traditional greetings. For me it is not the same to say Happy Holidays. For me, the lack of sentimental language falls cold.

 I like tradition. I like repetition of years gone by. Time spent opening and hanging old decorations, addressing and sending cards to friends far away, preparing favorite recipes, and making time for visits and parties with extended family and friends identifies the spirit of Christmas. The sameness reinforces joyful memories built one year at a time.

"Twas the night after Christmas" when my daughter and I looked at every ornament on her tree. They sprang eternal to her 32 years...childhood memories built in the form of shiny glass balls and classic painted wooden shapes in the style of sleighs and little trains. These beginning stories of Lis and her husband Andy continue to multiply.From childhood memory  ornaments to college and early marriage years, a recall of the giver and the occasion rings clear. Even now, more ornaments are being added for their young children, my precious grandchildren. The tree is glistening with beauty, smiling with 30+ years of Christmas stories. So many tales are told in these simple shapes--vacations, summer camps, school awards, children's births, work and friendship connections.   Indeed,a dimensional journal of family history is recorded in the glitz, homemade style, sentimental paint or stitch of every ornament.

The allure and sentimental value of the decorated tree is enhanced with an advent calendar, old ruby-red nosed Rudolph setting on the chair (from Lis's childhood), the scripture opened to Luke 2's recording of Christ's birth and gingerbread men cookies ready in the kitchen. In addition, the phone conversations with sister and daughter "do you think he will like....?" add spirit to the hustle and bustle of the season. Augment these sentiments with wrapping paper, tape and ribbon, all awaiting the wonder of the hospitality of  the family get-together for fun and gift giving.

I cherish the menus of years gone by and the delicious flavors of this season's fare. I save magazines and love to group several Christmas issues from various years--Martha Stewart Living, Cooking Light and Bon Appetite read awesome to me with their golden baked turkey on the cover and layed cake inside--be it a 1998 or 2010 issue. It is a joy to flip pages in favorite cookbooks and see a note "mom made this, Christmas 1986." I am always tempted to prepare it again. I cherish the time to make a home-made gift by needle and thread for family and friends--even though the goals of completion are never fully met. The calendar seems to always run out.

Enter the drive from one city to next, joining family and feeling their hugs and smiles exchanged with sincerity. I love the dinners amid laughter and conversations "do you remember the Christmas when?" with everyone adding their personal version to complete the annual story. Don't forget to add the tale of the snow blizzard of 2009 and our Christmas Eve time in the generous snow shelter provided by Goldsby Baptist Church. In the not expected blizzard, 9 hours of snow packed driving led us to spend the evening in a spirited round of favorite carols, the reading of the Christmas story and a night's rest on the vestibule church pews. The novel experience provided one of my all-time favorite Christmas memories. Family connections were possible the next day and the tradition of old and new  (with a new story) began again.

I am thankful for all these years of tradition. I cherish family and the stages we are in. Grandparent, parent, sibling, cousin, niece and little ones--every age writes a different chapter. Every chapter spells j-o-y and thanksgiving for God's blessings. Merry Christmas to all and to all, a good night. May you and yours be blessed in the coming New Year.



p.s. I regret I fell behind in my blog season of 2010. Thanks for reading my weekly words. I'm back on go--once a week I look forward to sharing 2011. Let me hear from you. Tell me your stories, your favorite books, your travels...stay in touch.