"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

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Crafting a Fifty Year Remembrance...

For the Thanksgiving season 2021 I filled a bowl with two pumpkins and a squash I knit a few years ago and I found a turkey to stand guard.

Then the last Friday of November I received a stunning gift of flowers from two dear ones who knew that I was remembering that 50 years ago Louis and I married.  If you are curious to know more about my remembrance of my husband for 38 years there is a page on the blog entitled "Louis" that you can click on to take you to what I typed.

Texts and calls from loved ones presented themselves at just the right time during the morning and afternoon.  Cups of honey-sweetened tea were given to me as a friend looked at my wedding album with me in the mid-afternoon.  Two other dear ones brought food and decorations, more flowers and themselves to share my remembrances in the evening...and a precious time of Communion as well. Then just before I went to bed I felt a nudge from God to check the front step, and there was a little box full of lovely gifts including Hanukkah candles and Moonflower seeds. I am so very thankful for the Lord's tender care.

As I looked through photo albums I described how some of the guys had tried to tape the word HELP in fluorescent orange paper to the bottom of Louis's shoes so that when we knelt to take Communion folks in the congregation could see! (their fun was thwarted when the letters were removed from the shoes prior to the service!)


When I see Mt. Hood in Oregon, USA, I often think of the Psalm "I will lift up my eyes to the hills--From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth."  When I reread the wedding service Friday night I realized the pastor had alluded to these lines at the beginning of the service when he said, "Praise to the living God, the Lord of life and love...Our help is found in the Lord who made the heavens and the earth.  Glory be to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen."

50 years after that praise was uttered at my wedding, I find it echoing in my 70+-year-old heart as I move forward now exploring the abundant life Jesus promises His followers. I count on His promise "I am with you always" through tough times as well..."even to the end of the age." 

Have you been crafting any remembrances?

Saturday, October 30, 2021

October 2021 Harvesting...Crafts


Welcome to a glimpse of our major harvesting event! We decided it was time to cut the umbilical cord of the Birdhouse Gourd!  Since my youngest daughter, Elisabeth, had started growing the Birdhouse Gourd seeds at her house months ago I thought she should enjoy sharing the harvesting of the gourd that grew from the little plant she brought me to grow on my patio trellis. She has taken the gourd back to her house.  From what we have read it may take between six to twelve months for the gourd to dry before we can take the next step in crafting it into a birdhouse. Stay tuned! :)

It would have been such fun if you could have joined us one October afternoon when on the spur of the moment I crafted an impromptu tea party for my neighbor friends, Orletta (on left) and June (on right). Perhaps you at least can get pleasure from imagining that the menu of tea, cookies, and good conversation were enjoyed by us all.  

Another afternoon Candy, June's daughter was visiting here from out of town and was able to join us for some tea and cookies.  A dear friend, Becky, from upstate NY, had sent me a goodie box that arrived just before Candy and June came over.  Among the goodies were delicious dark chocolate-covered almonds from Krause Candy in Saugerties, NY that we enjoyedl Thanks again, Becky!

Some of you asked for the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookie recipe that produced these cookies I showed you last month. If you try the following recipe I hope it is a great success for you!

Several weeks ago my youngest daughter, Elisabeth, texted this and the following three photos to me.  A co-worker had heard Elisabeth enjoyed making cakes and asked her to make her wedding cake...the biggest Elisabeth had ever tried to make.  Elisabeth took on the challenge and gave me permission to share some of the process with you.

 After baking all the layers and trimming them, she spread a crumb coat of frosting on the three layers so that the final coat of frosting would spread smoothly without crumbs.

She transported the three layers separately then constructed the cake at the venue.

Finally, she decorated the whole cake with ribbon and fresh flowers and the couple's choice of topping.  Elisabeth does not claim professional results, but she reported the couple and many of their guests appreciated the look...and taste of the cake!

This is such a pretty season in our area near the base of Mt. Hood and close to Portland, Oregon, that I drove to one of my favorite spots in the old nearby neighborhood where I lived a few years ago to take some photos to share with you.

There are many nurseries in the area and this row of brilliant red trees captured my admiration!

Then back in our condominium community, this view got my attention also.  I hope you are enjoying beautiful sights wherever you are as well!

Have you harvested any crafts in October?


Gracie :)

"And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God's word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!" Mark4:20 NLT

Thursday, September 30, 2021

A Measure of Crafting in September 2021

Ahoy!  Welcome to a view of the biggest Bird House gourd growing on the trellis on my patio.  It has been great fun to watch the gourd develop over the last few months.  Will it grow large enough for a bird to call it home?

This view of the gourd gave me hope...the sky is the limit!

The last gathering of cucumbers from the vines helped me feel hopeful as well, and gave me enough cucumbers to share with neighbors!

Then this last week I decided to try to measure the gourd and gauge if it is big enough for a bird nest.  It is about six inches long, perhaps if it is hollowed out it could support a hummingbird nest!

A friend took my measurements a few years ago and knit this vest freehand for me!  I enjoyed wearing it to a meeting recently and several of the ladies admired it and my friend's talented knitting and design, as do I...such a generous kind gift.

The crocheted baby blanket I have been putting a few rows on each week is growing and I am enjoying the wavey edging I am creating by starting each row with two chains.

I tried a new recipe, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Puffs.  They are a lightweight cookie, a type of meringue that is both crisp and chewy and gluten-free and dairy-free. If you are interested in trying the recipe let me know in the comments and I will post the recipe in the next post.

Have you done a measure of crafting lately? 

Gracie ((hugs)) (-:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 NKJV


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

August Crafting 2021

Welcome! Thanks for visiting!  I wish I could share the bounty of my friend's garden with you! She and her husband raised these lovely fruits/vegetables in their backyard. I have been enjoying the produce of their garden crafting and had enough to share with nearby neighbors as well. The bumpy purple and white roots by the vase are kohlrabi which you may already know but I didn't until my friend explained what they were.  She told me they peel them, slice them, and salt them, then eat the slices raw which is what I did. I enjoyed the crisp crunchy texture and mild flavor!  Have you eaten kohlrabi before? 

This month I was able to meet with crafting friends outside on my friend's patio as we worked on knitting/crocheting small blankets for patients at a nearby hospital. I'm about halfway done with crafting the mixed pastel acrylic crocheted blanket I showed you in prior posts over the last few months.

The birdhouse gourd vine I showed you in my last post is still stretching skyward, still producing flowers and at the base of some of the flowers, gourds are forming!!! Can you see the one in this photo?  My excitement is worth more exclamation points!!!  Will a gourd grow big enough to be crafted into a birdhouse???                                                                                                                                                                                                                

In this photo can you see two gourds along with some of the last of the pretty purple Clematis blooms? Also, if you look over the fence and down on the ground can you see a prolific cucumber vine a neighbor planted and some of us nearby have been watering whether or not we are garden crafters?

 This morning I picked five cucumbers.  All of us tending the vine have been rewarded with some yummy cucumbers.  I am enjoying our mini-community garden crafting efforts especially during this time when living productively and peacefully in healthy community in our world continues to be challenging.

Years ago my youngest daughter crafted the beautiful blue mug shown in this photo. I enjoyed drinking a cup of PG Tips decaffeinated tea from the mug this morning. Then I washed the mug and poured some homemade vegetable beef soup in it for lunch. In the basket on the left in the back of the photo is the blanket I am crocheting. Whether crafting or enjoying the crafts produced by others I am grateful as I type this on the last day of August... and I hope that when I press publish on Blogger I have crafted another post!!! 

Love and ((hugs)),

from Gracie :)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Romans 15:13 NIV

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Midsummer Crafting

Ahoy from 95F/35C weather near Portland, Oregon, USA!  I know some of you endure hotter temps than that on a routine basis, and I admire your ability to do that when I just want to complain about having to rarely cope with such heat!

July 1, 2021, I needed to supply a headshot jpg to apply for security clearance to potentially work with some students learning to crochet and knit in August so I crafted the above selfie that my phone camera labeled a portrait. When I attached the photo to an email to submit it I noted I did not know how to produce a jpg photo, but would the attached photo be acceptable?  It was!  I was relieved it was and glad that I passed the security clearance a few days later. Sadly for me, the classes were just canceled, though.

Some of you know I am particularly fond of the color purple, sheep, and processing wool.  A young friend saw these socks and sent them to me to enjoy!  Such fun!

This Spring my youngest daughter grew some Birdhouse Gourd seeds under grow lights inside her house and trusted me with this little vine to plant where the Sweet Pea vines had been a month ago.

The triple-digit weather we had at the end of June was very hard on plants, but so far these have survived and I am hoping they will thrive!

One day when the weather was perfect I was able to gather with some friends at a nearby friend's house for a luncheon backyard picnic...a lovely way to craft our friendships! 

On the way home from the picnic I was pleasantly surprised to see Mt. Hood!  The snowpack is quickly melting, but I enjoyed stopping to appreciate the view and craft a photo of it. 

Remember the little Birdhouse Gourd vine my youngest daughter gave me to plant? This is how big it is now at the end of July!

It is fascinating to see the tendrils that grow from vines to help them to climb. I have never grown or processed a gourd to craft it into a birdhouse. Have you ever tried to do that?

This month I have done a little stitching.  I crafted a few more rows on the crocheted baby blanket I am making, and I finished knitting this little Grandma's Dishcloth. Have you been stitching?

When I see Mt. Hood I often think of the Psalmist's observation:
"I look up to the mountains- does my help come from there?  My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth!
Psalm 121:1-2NLT

Blessings and ((hugs)),

Gracie :)