"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

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



  1. Be the light is an illustration that I did into my journaling bible a few weeks ago. Have you tried watercolour pencils they blend so well? My heart goes out to all those affected by these terrible fires. So glad your nephew and his family are safe. Take care and stay safe.

  2. Hello Gracie....I have been following the terrible fires that you have been having there in Oregon.....knowing you and Teresa and Betsy were under those heavily smoked filled skies made it that bit more personal to me. Extremely glad that they have now got them under control although I hear California has it pretty bad now too. Really sorry to hear about your nephew and family having to evacuate...hope it is for a very short time. I wish I lived nearer I could then help you and the ladies to make baby hats and blankets....I bet it is great doing it all together, Tell your group I say hello from Spain!!! Stay safe and keep well Gracie!! Amanda xx

  3. Good Morning Sweet Gracie! I was thrilled to see that you had posted. Our skies are a bit hazy today because of the California fires. I am praying for your family near them and indeed for all of the people who have been affected by the terrible losses this year. Washington and Oregon have really suffered too.
    I think your coloring pages are lovely. Piper gave me a two hour face time art lesson yesterday and she advised me to get some coloring pencils like hers. She was disappointed that I didn't even have crayons anymore. (I gave them away when we moved.) I assured her that I would look for some pencils. She takes art very seriously and loves to teach anything. Math too! :-)
    The hat and blanket contributions are wonderful. I wish our hospital felt the same way. I may try calling again and maybe I'll get someone else who will tell me to bring them in. I haven't counted the exact number I have this time because I keep adding to the bag, one at a time.
    I wanted so badly to get to visit you and Teresa before winter, but I think COVID has pretty much put a stop to that wish. Maybe in the spring.
    Take care my dear friend and keep coloring and crocheting while we wait on our LORD to return. The signs are there. Come Lord Jesus.

  4. So good to know you are ok Gracie and your lovely home and plants. I have been sewing for grandies and knitting a sock

  5. Nice of people to make blankets for babies. I'm sure the parents are happy about that! My crafting Thurs was making cookies I'd not made previously. A lot more prep work but was with worth it. 😋 I enjoyed seeing the blue sky again as well!! Finally !! Thank you Lord. Although now we have stagnant air and some fog this a.m. we'll make it again. Good thing air quality isn't quite as bad as weeks ago. CA fires not good. Hope fully breeze will come soon and fires extinguished. Sad this is all happened. Take care

  6. Wow.. I was certainly impressed with all the blankets you and your friends have made! Bravo to you and your crafty friends! Your photos of the smoky days brought back bad memories of those awful days. We have purchased a medical quality air purifier. - you may want to look into one for your home. I had my friend Shirley and sister Denise over for a picnic on the deck. It reminds me of when you and I have done that. It did finally get hot so they headed home. I'm not really working on any crafty thing right now but need to get back to work on my purple shawl. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  7. I'm so impressed by the good work you've been doing with your friends. And very worried about the smog. I hope you're been very safe, dear Gracie.

  8. I'm so glad that skies have cleared for you, Gracie. Such a difficult time for so many in Oregon and California. May God grant grace, peace, and mercy to all who have lost their homes or their livelihood. It's good to know that your nephew is still able to go to work. I hope his house is okay.

    What a wonderful collection of blankets and hats for the hospital! And how lovely to see that your morning glory made it through the smoky times and is still blooming.


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