"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

Sunday, November 29, 2020

November ing

Giving thanks in 2020 has ranged from muted to thundered in volume in my thinking and conversing, but I was especially mindful of it during November because we have a special day of celebrating it here in the USA.  Have you felt more mindful of giving thanks this month?

Puzzling over putting together an autumn-themed puzzle has occupied a bit of my attention as well.

Meditating on encouraging Scripture has renewed my thoughts and helped me move forward.

Coloring has been an enjoyable part of the meditative process also.

Cooking almond flour pumpkin bread was startling when just after this photo the loaves deflated, but the one I tasted was at least pleasingly flavorful :)

Preparing to celebrate the advent of Christmas, I am also organizing the materials to roll beeswax candles following Teresa's beautiful tutorial.

Attending my first drive-through birthday party was fun and noisy as we followed an antique fire engine, honked our car horns, rolled down the car windows, and cheered and waved posters, a banner, and balloons as we neared our friend's house.

 Wearing masks and dropping off cards and balloons and gifts to our friend in the red coat made for a memorable unique celebration! 

Now I am wondering what your ings were this past month...I hope they were filled with blessings!

Gracie xx

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Crafting Journal Pages

          Ahoy there! Thanks for stopping by to visit. This fine fellow smiling at you welcomes me rubbing his ears when we meet while walking in our neighborhood and I am certain if you were to meet him he would welcome you rubbing his ears as well.

One of our neighbors has these sunny flowers growing in front of their unit. Aren't they cheery?

The sun cheered me as well as its light caused the trees' autumn leaves glow one afternoon when I walked toward the green space on the east side of our neighborhood.

Heading home from a walk one day I spotted this scarlet wonder near my unit and had to stop to document my discovery with this photo.

After several cloudy rainy days, I was rewarded one afternoon when I crossed the street by my unit and turned to look back at my unit.  Just above my rooftop, I got a peek of the peak of Mt. Hood covered with a fresh cap of snow. It is a thrill to me every time Mt. Hood comes into my line of sight!

After the seeds I planted in the planters on my patio grew, I learned that Morning Glory vines blossom at the end of the growing season. Once the vines began to bloom we had two windy rainstorms.  The trellises blew down twice, but the vines were still able to produce these blooms.  The blooms don't last for many hours, but in my opinion, they are glorious!

Helen Philipp's new book I bought arrived in the mail not many days ago, and I was so excited! For years I have enjoyed reading her blog and admired and been enriched by viewing her amazing use of color in her stitching projects. Her clear directions for following her patterns encourage me to stitch a project soon!

In this cute and practical tin is a magnetic button to hold needles to keep them handy while working on a hand stitching project. My friend Taci from her Etsy shop TACIStudio sells beautiful handcrafted items. This busy bee magnet is headed as a gift to a family member who enjoys stitching.

Last Wednesday morning one of the ladies from our church preemie blanket making group contributed this pretty crocheted blanket.  The teacup is a gift from a dear friend in our group who recently did not survive open-heart surgery.  We miss her and are so grateful for her friendship and our shared faith in Christ and the hope we have of life forever with Him.

As the temperatures get closer to freezing I have been using my little electric fireplace more.  I filled a bowl in front of it with the knit pumpkins and gourd I made years ago for the harvest Thanksgiving season, and there is a cute green grasshopper my friend Betsy sent me perched on top.

The preemie blanket I am knitting with acrylic Lyon brand yarn is almost complete and I have loved the colors in this skein in all four seasons of Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn...a slow but satisfying knit.

While my blog is a type of online journal about my crafting days, I have various paper journals as well.  Recently I joined a small group, eight Christian women committed to praying for our country, the church, and our families, communicating with each other mainly by texting and online Zoom meetings. Two women live in South Carolina; one lives in Florida; two live in Delaware; one lives in Illinois; one lives in Georgia; and one lives in Oregon. I started collecting papers, a card, and information from the group that I wanted to keep in one place, so I started another journal.  I am using a lined composition notebook.  On these two pages, I attached items with glue/clear tape and then used washi tape around the items to frame them...so much fun!

Do you journal? 

Have a good day!


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Crafting Through Smokey Days

Looking out from the back patio on September 9, 2020, I saw this ominous cloud of smoke!  Wildfires broke out in a number of areas in Oregon, USA.  At one time I heard on the news that 38 areas in the state were fighting wildfires.

Around September 12, 2020, officials advised the public to stay inside with the windows closed if at all possible. We were told we had the worst air quality in the world...can I just say that being told that did not encourage my breathing!

Then one morning we had a blessed downpouring of rain so that by the afternoon of September 18, 2020, the air cleared.  I rushed outside to take this photo and celebrate...Thank you, Lord!!!

My plants survived my neglect during the smokey days when I did not water them and I was so excited when the Morning Glory vines began to bloom!

One day I crafted with woodless colored pencils on this coloring book page. I also used a yellow highlighter pen on the lettering.

The intense colors pleased me...maybe especially because they were such glorious contrast to the drab worrisome gray-brown smoke!

On this little coloring card, I experimented with fine point ink pens.  Although I had 20 colors to choose from I was not able to blend or shade what I colored effectively...but still enjoyed coloring!

192  handmade baby blankets and  50 hats were gathered at our church! Yesterday the project founder and her husband delivered them to a local hospital. The hospital volunteer coordinator was thrilled with the contributions!  She said that especially during this time of COVID-19 precautions patients are feeling isolated from family and friends while in hospital and it is wonderful to be able to offer them homemade blankets and hats for their babies.

 This morning I was one of four ladies who gathered...sitting six feet apart... to knit and crochet baby blankets. Two of the ladies brought in these blankets they had already completed.

While our nearby wildfires are under control,  many in the state are suffering much loss.

Our skies are hazier today due to smoke from California wildfires. In the early hours Monday morning, I woke up...prayed a bit, and when I could not go back to sleep I checked the weather app on my iPad and saw a report that some folks in the Santa Rosa area north of San Fransisco California had to evacuate due to the threat of wildfires.  I texted some family members and friends to see how they were affected.  They are all safe, but my nephew and his wife had to evacuate from their home in Calistoga, California, on a road that had a fire on both sides which my nephew typed was "very scary!"  They believe their home is okay but are not sure when they can return. 

My nephew has a little Orthodox Christian bookstore, Not of This World, online and in Santa Rosa, California, and he is able to work at the store in spite of the wildfires in the nearby area. 

This morning the Scripture readings I read for this date were from  1Corinthians 16:13-24 and Matthew 24:42-47. I have been especially thinking about parts of the verses today...

"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.  Let all you do be done with love...Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming...O Lord, come!...the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you..."

Some of the original Christ-followers expected Jesus to return to earth and take them to heaven in their lifetime. They prayed that He would!  But while they watched and waited for Him they encouraged each other to stand fast in the faith, be brave and strong and let all they did be done in love. I want to follow their example.

What are you crafting in your days?

Gracie xx


Saturday, August 29, 2020

Crafting During Summer's Simmering Days

The glorious golden-orange Sturgeon Moon rose on August 2, 2020, and I enjoyed crafting a photo of it from across the street and further East of my condominium unit. A friend in NY had sent me a heads up email so I could be on the lookout for the Sturgeon Moon, the full moon at this time of year that became known as the Sturgeon Moon because fisher folks in the Great Lakes region noted that this time of year is a good time to catch sturgeon. 

During the first part of August, I was surprised to see this Artichoke in bloom at a neighbor's house.  I did not realize that if you did not pick an Artichoke when it was ready to be eaten that it would boom like this...pretty I think.

One day when I was tending the vines on my garden trellis I was surprised to find this small Clematis bloom after the first larger bloom was spent.

I was also surprised to see this gorgeous blue Hydrangea bloom when most of the other blooms on my neighbor's bush were spent. 

I had positioned a trellis and planted Morning Glory seeds to climb it in hopes that they would block my view into my neighbor's window and they do!  I love to look at the cascade of green heart-shaped leaves.  The curious thing to me is that so far there have been no Morning Glory blooms.

It was especially heartening to see some Lady Bugs on the vines, though because I saw holes being munched in the leaves!  I hope the Lady Bugs will catch the culprits!

To the left of the Morning Glory vines, I planted a few Sweet Pea seeds.  So far this is the only Sweet Pea bloom I have seen.

This month I have also done some crafting by coloring with felt tip pens on some pages like this one from a Tiffany design coloring book.

In my Inspire Bible, I also colored some pages with colored pencils. I sometimes wish that colored pencils could produce more intense colors.

This plant has grown so much since May when it was given to me. I have really enjoyed it and its bright colors.

I ordered this wonderful book from the multi-talented Sue Perez and was so excited when it arrived this week! For years I have enjoyed reading Sue's blog.  She generously shares crochet patterns and tutorials and also publishes beautiful photos of her bike rides and the sights around her including many wildflowers. Her book has a wide variety of patterns and thorough directions in several formats along with good photos to cheer one along on projects. I love that the book easily stays flopped open when one wants to focus on a particular page to craft.

At the end of the day, isn't it a special treat to be able to admire a spectacular sunset like this one I saw from my front porch this week? 

Have you been admiring any crafting lately?

Gracie ((hugs))

Friday, July 31, 2020

Crafting in July

Ahoy! Thanks for sailing in through cyberspace today to see where I am near the grand Mt. Hood close to Portland, Oregon, USA., and to learn a bit about what crafting I have been involved in July 2020.

February 21, 2020, just before we were asked to stay safe at home except when providing or getting essential services, I filled the gas tank of my 2005 minivan.   Mainly since then, I have gone out once a week for groceries. One Friday several months later my youngest daughter came to drive me to the grocery store because I had pulled something in my upper right arm and was having trouble driving.  She drove me to a grocery store that took us past this nearby view of Mt. Hood where I used my iPhone to craft a photo.  July 24, 2020, the gas gage in the car still said I had a little over a fourth of a tank of gas but I had it filled again, five months since the last fillup!

Day by day I crafted tried and true recipes like these GF dairy-free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies most of which are still in the freezer. I think I have concocted some sort of soup and salads every day as well.

In July when crafting a mile walk in our neighborhood I took a photo of these stunning purply blue Hydrangeas that are growing nearby.

From the tiny garden I crafted on the patio, the three Sugar Snap Pea plants I planted in the planter boxes produced these yummy pods and a few more.

Because I am not a very crafty gardener the hanging plant and the Cala Lilies at the front of the unit have been amazing to view and try to tend.

Although some of my Wednesday morning group of ladies who knit and crochet preemie blankets for a local NICU only met online in Zoom meetings these are one batch of blankets and hats that was dropped off in July!

A soothing satisfying craft for me is crocheting double-thickness potholders like the one in the photo above that I finished in July for a friend. The style is my favorite kind of potholder and one I made long ago and use all the time is in the photo with the cookies I showed you.

These blankets and hats were made by a new crocheter who is in her seventies.  Another friend from our Wednesday church group is a prolific knitter and crocheter and she also crafted these sweet rocks and dropped them off in my patio one day.  💕

During the hot days of July, I have also been crafting cool drinks of almond milk swirled with various kinds of frozen fruit. I am especially fond of melon and blueberries!

In this batch of blankets and hats that were dropped off are ones crafted on round plastic looms by a friend who has limited mobility in her hands. She enjoys making them and does so with love.

The little rose bush in the front of my unit is producing its second round of summer roses.  I crafted this display of some of them amidst blue glass on the kitchen windowsill.  You might really enjoy the rose's delicate lovely scent~ ~

One of my favorite spots on the patio is this corner where I crafted this pottery fountain made from a bowl that my mom bought from a potter in Nederland, Colorado where I lived for two and a half years in the early 1980s.

This morning I pulled the spent Sugar Snap Pea vines from the planter on the left leaving the Sweet Pea flower vines.   Do you think they will produce some colorful scented flowers? In the right planter, I have a Clematis vine mingled with Morning Glory vines. The Clematis has finished blooming for the season and the Morning Glory has not produced any flowers yet. I have had mixed results in crafting gardens throughout my years, but I am ever hopeful for good results!

The July online prompt I got from my Joy of Artful Worship facilitator focuses on crafting the following verses onto decorated index cards to share with others.

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 
1Corinthians 15: 1-4 NIV

16 For the Lord, himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thess. 4:16-18 NIV

Another thing I have been crafting in July is this blog post.  I have been using the new Blogger format and have not figured out how to sequence photos in the order I want, but other than that  I have survived😊
and you have too if you are reading this.  Bravo! Please let me know how you are crafting your life these days.

Gracie xx