"I started photographing my domestic world and writing not just about what I had made,
but why I made it, examining the thoughts that accompany creativity and the act of making."
Jane Brocket from The Gentle Art of Domesticity p. 189 UK edition

Thursday, December 25, 2014

One Thousand Gifts and More




December 19th, soon after arriving at my good friend, Taci's, beautiful new home for our Bloggers' Lunch, I met our newest blogging friend, Becky.  Becky knows how to knit, but is especially interested in photography.  In her blog she recently held a giveaway that I won, much to my delight and surprise =)  Becky brought my giveaway gift, One Thousand Gifts: Finding Joy in What Really Matters, by Ann Voskamp, and gave it to me.  One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are was on the NY Times bestsellers list for 60 weeks.  I was interested to learn that Ann not only is a successful published writer, but also writes a daily online journal.  She also is a homeschooling mother of six and supports Compassion International as a global advocate for needy children. The book Becky gave me contains excerpts from her bestseller.  I am eager to give it more focused attention soon.  Thank you Becky, for your generous gift to me.

Becky also made candy, and, lovely calendars for each of us, using a photo she took on a nearby Oregon farm.  Taci gave us pretty, hand crocheted washcloths and magnets, and candy.  Teresa gave each of us one of her wonderfully crocheted, Scandinavian red hearts, and a pretty red globe Christmas tree ornament and a piece of candy.  Betsy gave each of us shell necklaces from her recent trip to Maui, pretty cotton yarn, and cute winter outfitted seagull statues. Our blogging friend from across the pond, Helen,  sent us lovely hand-stitched heart ornaments through Betsy. I admire the creativity of each of these lovely ladies, and thank each of them for the generous gifts they gave me, but I especially am grateful for the gift of friendship they share with me each time we have contact.

On Christmas Eve two of my children and I attended a vigil 10:30p.m. to midnight service at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Portland...a new and beautiful experience for us; but we did not get home and into bed until 2:00a.m. My four little granddaughters and their parents were up at 7:00a.m.  to investigate what Santa had left in our socks.  Mercy!  Our sock investigation was fun!  We had a yummy breakfast of Christmas oranges and waffles and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus...without a birthday cake this year. We gave, admired, received, and unwrapped gifts much of the day, and had ham and salad and olives and sweets throughout the day.  However, in the midst of our celebration, we sympathized with little Rosie when we realized she had stopped bouncing on her pony, Pokey, and had settled down for a bit of a winter's nap.....


Notice the sheep on Rosie's sleepers?  I think she did not have to count sheep to fall asleep today, and I strongly doubt I will have to count sheep to fall asleep tonight!

On whatever day you may be reading this, have you been busy creating, recognizing, giving and receiving countless gifts...and getting the right amount of rest you need?  I hope so!

xx,
Gracie






Thursday, December 18, 2014

It's In the Bag



Am I going to report I have everything perfectly done I want to have done?  Can I find all the photos I wanted to share with you?  Will this bag be used and appreciated by the ten year old boy I crocheted it for to hold his art supplies?

No...No... and I don't know :-)

But I am having the best time stitching, beading, writing, typing, photographing, calling, wrapping, and sending....

Where ever you are, if you have made yourself known to me, I appreciate you, and the common interests we share. Thanks for visiting me here and thanks to those of you who take the time to leave a comment here or email or text or call or visit me. It is wonderful to know that you know what is in the heart of the creative efforts of this blog.  You understand what is in the bag and you share it with me. Thanks so much!!! xxx

Love,
Gracie





Monday, December 8, 2014

Enjoying Light!
















As the daylight hours slip away so quickly from me in this Autumn to Winter seasonal shift, I am once more caught by surprise...both protesting and embracing the change. 

 This year I am celebrating six weeks of Advent instead of the four I have in the past...longer to focus on celebrating the coming of Christ, the Light of the world:

longer to notice the changes of light around me, the glow of sunlight on the new coat of snow on Mt. Hood, 

longer to enjoy the warmth of candlelight and Christmas tree lights and my funny little electric fireplace in the hearth,

longer to appreciate the little OttLite on the arm of my chair while I stitch on this and that,

and 

longer to appreciate the light of love in the eyes of my family members...

I am enjoying the light around me.

Are you enjoying the light around you?

xx
Gracie

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hope Hopped Across the Miles









Miss Hope Hare happily hopped into the mail yesterday on her way to a darling, talented girl many miles from here.  I used two strands of boucle alpaca blend yarn to knit Hope's fur and like it better than the other bunny fur I've made out of one strand of acrylic or alpaca on size six needles.

Now I am hoping to finish the pumpkin before Thanksgiving :)

What are you hoping for?

Gracie xx

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tea Light Tea from the Bunny Business

Can you see Mt. Hood peeking out from the trees on the lower left portion of this photo?  We have been having some lovely autumn weather with lots of pretty leaves still.

I took the first  two photos of this post from the gym parking lot after swimming.

Several days ago I finished the bunny on the right of this photo for my oldest grandson and hope to get the bunnies to hop into the mail today.

But there is no doubt that the autumn weather is shifting toward winter.  My youngest daughter called out to me the other night to grab my camera and capture a photo of the moody moon. It was chilly out and I was glad to come back to the warmth inside to do some stitching!

 I just received a generous parcel from a lovely friend in Scotland who thought I might like to try to make a bunny from some leftover yarn she had after making a teddy bear.  I think it is making wonderful bunny fur and am so grateful for the gift!

Although the weather has been delightful on many days, yesterday it was sunny, but terribly windy.  Our power was off for four hours causing me to realize how blessed I am most of the time to have power!  I filled my paraffin lamps and then started longing for a cup of hot tea.  I filled the teapot with water, stuck in a tea bag and put the teapot over a tea light candle.  I did not time it, but I was so grateful that I eventually got a cup of hot tea :) not the strongest, but comforting and thirst satisfying.
Have you made tea this way?

Today our area has a winter storm warning for the next 24 hours.  It is sunny at the moment, but we may see our first snow and ice since last Spring down here in the valley below Mt. Hood, although Mt. Hood is sporting a beautiful fresh coat of snow already.

Hoping you are comfortable and cosy and happy wherever you are!

XX
Gracie