"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

Saturday, February 6, 2016

On the Threshold

Recently I saw beautifully wintery Mt. Hood as I was looking toward Spring Water Trail  High School in Gresham, OR.
Then later in the week I admired Mt. Hood standing out against the backdrop of wintery blue-gray clouds as I looked from a vantage point on Civic Drive in Gresham, OR.
As we drive in and out of our driveway we often see Mr. and Mrs. Mallard on the front pond and are expecting them to be nesting and then hatching a new little family of ducklings this Spring as the frogs sing a louder and louder celebratory chorus in the evenings.
 Mr. Salamander visited and we supposed he was trying to stay warm near our threshold! We admired him but did not invite him in.
 Our latest puzzle, a Thomas Kinkade print was completed this week after even more puzzling effort than our last puzzle.
 My folding vision board is now trimmed in washi tape.
 I bought the washi tape last February around Valentine's Day.
 The dark red trim says "love" repeatedly.
 The red and white tape has repeated xo's for hugs and kisses.
 I'm still crocheting the edging on this knit preemie blanket...and enjoying doing so and have been knitting more rows on my blue merino blanket...glad for its warmth on my lap.
 I bought a branch on sale at a craft store and planted it in my hug basket to display some of the hearts I have made or have been made and given to me.  The white hearts with roses were made by my dear mom who is no longer physically with us on earth, but the crafts she made and the gifts she gave are precious reminders of her.
When I got up one morning recently the sky was a prettier pink than this photo shows. My photos don't always reveal the ups and downs of my life.  As I type this, my friend, my oldest SIL's mom who is part of our household is in surgery to repair a painful tear in a muscle.  We are praying for a swift and complete healing.  We are also thanking God that my great nephew in Nebraska is home from the hospital where he was treated for meningitis this past week.

Some of our family were encouraged as we read Psalm 30:1-12 together this morning..."weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning..."

May you know much joy in your life, no matter what life challenges cross the threshold of your life.

xx
Gracie

Monday, January 25, 2016

Collaging

 Since my last post, my good friend Teresa came to meet my newest granddaughter, Sarah, while my oldest sister, Carolyn was visiting from CA.  Teresa generously brought beautiful pink booties she crocheted for Sarah. Thank you again, Teresa.
 After a week's fast and fun visit, Carolyn left, and one afternoon I came home from running errands and found a box waiting for me from my good friend, Betsy.  She sent me this lovely blown glass teapot because she knew I would enjoy it and I am!  It is sitting on a wonderful doily that Betsy crocheted. Thank you again, Betsy.
 Last February my good friend, Fran, gave me these primroses which have persistently bloomed on our front porch through our months of drought, and weeks of rain and frost. I am perplexed...wondering how they can be so hardy in spite of my care or lack their of! Thank you again, Fran.
 Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are visiting our front pond and we have already started hearing a new froggy chorus from the pond, especially at night.
 This last weekend I had great fun attending our worship art group at church.  We worked on making vision boards/folders. I don't have a good spot for a vision board on my wall so I opted to make a folding version from file folders.  I really am enjoying collaging the surface of both sides...not quite finished yet.
 Then I think I am going to put the words walking with Jesus on the folder and make foot shaped pieces of solid colored paper with words like love pray enjoy patience mercy and glory as goal reminders.
 Sunday afternoon my youngest daughter, Elisabeth, took this photo of the radiant rainbow we saw while standing on our front porch.
 My oldest son who lives just outside of NYC sent this photo and the next to show us how much snow they got from the East Coast blizzard!
He, his family and neighbors got plenty of exercise, and thankfully one of the neighbors helped clear pathways with his snowblower.
 This morning I enjoyed watching the sunlight stream through our windows onto my collage of collections.
Looking at all that I surround myself with can you tell that I love the simplicity of Japanese art displayed on the backdrop of black and white shoji screens?

Hoping your week is a satisfying, creative collage!

Gracie xx

Monday, January 11, 2016

Blooming and Sliding into 2016!












Hi! In early 2015, some of you may remember I posted photos of my amaryllis bulb being propped up by a Fisher-Price palm tree.   I kept the bulb after I clipped off the dead blooms and when the leaves started looking pitiful I clipped them off and stopped watering the bulb.  I left the bulb in a shady spot in our hallway and just glanced at it from time to time and wondered...would it bloom for me again around Christmas?

Two weeks before Christmas I moved the bulb in it's original pot onto a sometimes sunny windowsill and started watering the bulb.  Within a few days a new stem started shooting up!  Buds appeared!  Four of them! Household members started exclaiming about the bulb's growth, but three-year-old, Joy was beside herself with excitement and has buzzed into my room numerous times to proclaim the bulb's progress.  I wish I had written down all the versions of her proclamations :)  The last I remember was, "Gramma Gracie, your flower is all growd up!"  Indeed!

In 2015 we had just a few flakes of snow down here in the valley near Mt. Hood, but 2016, has started out with about an inch of snow...and...ice! 
Our mailbox was knocked down.  Then a truck slid into our driveway and it took several days for it to be rescued.  My youngest son-in-law's  truck slid into the building where he works. He and his truck were ok, but the building needed some repair; then while dealing with that when he was trying to spread deicer on the parking lot he fell backwards and whacked his head and has a mild concussion and sore back :(  Because four of my five granddaughters were getting over coughing colds they did not try to go sledding, so all in all the storm was pretty and exciting for us, but not much fun.

However, those of us who were able to stay inside, enjoyed finishing a puzzle, and gazing at our idyllic snow village.  We had good food, read, watched some TV, played some board and computer games and I even got some stitching done, including a doll clothes bag I crocheted for Joy.

Most of the ice had melted in time for us to safely get my oldest sister from the airport on Thursday.  When we got home from the airport, I found a package had arrived from my blogging friend, Wendy, who lives in Australia!  She is in the throes of hot weather, but she very kindly made a pretty set of red yarn mitts to help my hands keep stylishly warm :)
Thank you again, Wendy!

As I type this, the sky is gray and we had a bit of rain this morning, but thankfully no more ice!  We are still exclaiming over how pretty the amaryllis is and we  enjoyed our weekend. 

Are blooming and sliding a part of your New Year?

Gracie xx :) 




Saturday, January 9, 2016

Winter Project Link Party at Thistlebear: January




Cheers for those of you who have already posted your progress reports on Jennifer's Link Party! I have been admiring the progress on your projects that some of you have posted about, and hope to visit more of you today...or soon.

While my Ruby Shawl and my Super Merino Blanket have been "basket cases" mostly hidden from my view this past month, I did make progress on the preemie blanket I am knitting, and am almost ready to start crocheting the blanket's border. Hooray!  Also I had fun crocheting a doll clothes bag for Joy, my three-year-old granddaughter.  I am fiddling around with some yarn to see if I can crochet some doll clothes for her to store in her bag, too :)

Happy Stitching until we check in with each other again!

Gracie xx

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Puzzling From the Old to the New Year

Welcome!   My nephew and niece gave us a jigsaw puzzle for Christmas and the table in my room has become Puzzle Central! I find it encouraging seeing the creative determination of our puzzlers.
  They study and sort pieces. Every piece is necessary and important.  Each piece has to find its place, no matter how puzzling the process, to fit perfectly to reveal a complete picture.
 Yesterday, my youngest daughter attended  an interment service at the Willamette National Cemetery for the father of a young friend whose dad died a few days before Thanksgiving.  My daughter took some carnations and left some at my husband's interment site which was near the site of her friend's father, and then brought some flowers home for me, knowing that the death of her friend's father reminded me of my husband's death for many reasons.  Both men had been in the Navy,  and died at the age of 64 of similar physical causes, and both men had puzzled some of those around them by imperfectly being Christ followers.
 One of the presents Halley received for Christmas is a potholder loom.  She quickly understood how to weave the loops to form a pretty pattern, but weaving the loops off the loom has been very puzzling for her.
 On Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, I met with my monthly art group.  Our facilitator brought a gelli-plate pad for us to use.  We puzzled about how best to use it, putting drops of paint on it, rolling the drops, spraying water on the result, and then rolling plain papers over the surface to transfer the paint onto the papers.
Our facilitator made some folk art angel forms we could copy, but most of us launched out from her idea to create our own angel forms.

I told our facilitator that my angels make me think of, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace goodwill toward men!" Luke 2:13-14 NKJV...the story of how the angels sang when Jesus Christ was born!

This morning, the last in 2015, I read the prophesy written before Christ's birth. " For unto us a child is born.  Unto us a child is given.  And the government will be on his shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6 NKJV

In our war torn world troubled by natural and man made catastrophes I thought how much I want and we need the Prince of Peace with the government on His shoulder!  I puzzle about how this can ever be...

Then I read what Christ said, "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. My peace I give to you not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid." John 14:26-27 NKJV

Somehow as I sort through the pieces of life and and fit a few more in place, in my thinking at least, I see glimpses of the beautiful picture they were meant to create.  My own little piece is an imperfect challenging shape to wiggle into place, but I do try to do my best and find joy in the process.  I stitch. I type. I paint. I cook. I color. I serve. I see. I hear. I feel. I learn. I hope. I love. I pray...

In 2016, may The Lord bless You and Yours and all His creation...

Gracie xx