"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, March 30, 2021

Marching into Spring Crafts 2021


While the southern hemisphere is simmering in warm summer temps, the weather around me near Portland, Oregon, USA, is working its way from Winter to Spring. If you saw my February post you saw unusual drifts of snow on my patio!  It was challenging, and I think I admire the snow I see on Mt. Hood in this picture more!  This view is from Jonsrud viewpoint in Sandy, OR, which is about ten miles from my condominium community. Can you imagine how difficult it must have been for folks to navigate this terrain in covered wagons?  To recharge the battery on my modern covered wagon [mini-van] since the car sits still for so many days I drove to the viewpoint after picking up groceries on March 3rd.

 During the first part of March, I finished crocheting this little baby blanket.  Unfolded it is about 24" x 27."

Then I started crocheting this little blanket. The yarn for the last blanket and this one is from the stash of my dear friend, Ellen, who did not survive heart surgery several months ago.  Somehow working with her yarn that her family gave me, now helps me celebrate our friendship and prompts good memories for me of our time together while I miss her.

Midway through the month of March, my Shamrock (Oxalis) Plant helped me celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  I saw an interesting program on TV that mentioned that Patrick used the Shamrock to help explain how God is One in three persons: Father, Son Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit.

One of the first signs of Spring for me was the appearance of these pretty purple Hyacinths by my front doorstep...such a strong sweet scent~~~

Last Saturday was so mild and lovely I spent much of the afternoon out on the sunny patio repotting, Pansies, Dianthus, and Primroses.  Have you spent time gardening lately?

Palm Sunday afternoon a young friend kindly shepherded me to and from the Convention Center to get the first dose of Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine. When we got back to her car in the parking garage, she offered me a reward of a doughnut for our efforts. Then even though I did not eat one she asked me to let her get a photo of the event.  When I looked at the photo later it looked to me like I had a white turtleneck on under my sweater, until I realized I was looking at my face mask I had pulled down for the photo (although she kept her face mask on!)

There was wind-driven rain on the way back to my house, and I felt bad my young friend had such poor driving conditions when heading home to her house although she was very gracious and brave about the challenge.

 At around 7pm the electricity went off in our neighborhood and I decided to crawl into bed early.  When the lights came back on at around 10:30pm I woke up long enough to turn them off before going back to a grateful sound sleep.

Have you Marched into any Spring crafting?

Gracie ((hugs))

Saturday, February 27, 2021

February 2021 Crafting!

Last month in my post I confessed I hoped we would get a little snow and I posted a photo of the pretty little snow we got.  I had resigned myself to being satisfied with that...until THIS HAPPENED!  SURPRISE!
In the upper right corner of this photo you can see a little hummingbird perched on a metalic star mobile.  During the snowstorm days I had to defrost the hummingbird feeder several times.  Poor hummers.  It was so cold.  Two of them dive bombed my head when I put the feeder back up one time...not sure whether they were mad at me for taking the feeder away or glad they finally had food again!

When it was snowing the wind  formed big drifts of snow in our neighborhood.  In my first two years here I was able to brush the snow away with a broom after snowstorms. This year I wished I had a snow shovel! A young friend came over and cleared my front step and a path to the mailbox out in the street.  A plucky 80+ year old neighbor across the parking lot from me used her shovel to make a path to my gate, and I used my dust pan as a little shovel on the inside of the of my patio to clear a path to the gate.

While I did not make a snowman, my neighbor's teenage granddaughter and her dad did while they were visiting!  I also saw some snowballs flying back and forth.  There were some fun moments during the stormy days, although there were many life changing problems as well. Some folks lost power for days, some lost property and some lost their lives here and across the country as the storms raged. The difficulties of such times highlight for me how precious life is and how I want to grow in having an attitude of gratitude.

One neighbor has a property away from our community here.  She had a Pussy Willow tree that was broken by the storms.  While cleaning it up her daughter gathered a bouquet of Pussy Willows for me to enjoy...so kind and generous of her.

For the last month I have been ordering groceries online and then driving to the store to pick them up.  I ordered Cheerios and was surprised to receive a limited edition box of heart shaped Cheerios!  Fun...and cheery!

This month of February I also learned about Comfort Birds, carved wooden shaped birds meant to fit in the palm of one's hand and be stroked. A friend in New York got together with another friend back East and carved a little flock of Comfort Birds this past summer. My friend very kindly flew one out to me this month and my hand instinctively held the little bird and stroked it before I knew that was meant to happen. I read online several interesting articles about Comfort Birds should you want to search to know more about them.  In the  month of February I had my 70th birthday and I am so grateful for the comfort I received through the lovely gifts and cards and texts, emails and calls I received to help me celebrate...

"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.  He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.  When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NLT

Have you known storms and celebrations in February?

Gracie ((hugs))❤️


Saturday, January 30, 2021

Crafting in the New Year 2021

Seeing the natural beauty of Mt. Hood rising above the cluttering signs of civilization inspires me! While riding with my youngest daughter doing an errand last week I was able to craft this photo of the mountain with my cell phone.

Our condominium community is going through the process of replacing the old wooden fences.  The new synthetic fence around my patio was installed this week, and I hope it is crafted to wear well!

Inside I have been crocheting a new baby blanket during our church group online Zoom meetings. I am making double crochet rows using acrylic Red Heart yarn. The snowmen on the blanket on my couch attest to my mid-winter decorating. 🧶⛄️🧶⛄️🧶⛄️🧶⛄️🧶

 A friend brought me four Paper White flower bulbs I have planted in the middle pot shown above.  I have never grown any before, have you?  Ahhh...the craft of gardening...just enough moisture, light, and temperature to encourage the bulbs to bloom...  So far one bulb is enthusiastically growing!

 Most of the snow I see is on Mt. Hood and not down here where I live a little southeast of PortIand, Oregon.  I am glad to not have to shovel snow, but I have good memories of playing in the snow and crafting many snowmen. Have you ever made a snowman?⛄ Even though I am grateful to not have to shovel snow, I have been hoping we might get a little bit, and we did a few days ago.  It was wonderful watching the pretty snowflakes falling and accumulating for a few hours one afternoon.

Have you been crafting anything in January 2021? 

Gracie 🤗

"Commit your works to the LORD [submit and trust them to Him], And your plans will succeed [if you respond to His will and guidance]."

Proverbs 16:3 AMP



Friday, January 1, 2021

Crafting December 2020 Vision


🎶 Do You See What I See?🎶  Thanks to my youngest daughter who contributed a basketful of greens and pinecones, I was able to make a wreath in December. The never-ending circle of green especially heartened me this year.  For me, it symbolizes the everlasting loving life in Christ I look to see now and forever.

A friend who was trained by a florist showed me how to make the wreath fuller by adding little bunches of greens.  She also crafted the pretty plaid bow. 

One misty December afternoon I drove out to the Women's Forum lookout to admire the view of the mighty Columbia River.  Looking East from the Portland, Oregon, area, I love seeing the Creator's amazing craftsmanship.

Over 40 years ago my pastor's wife gifted me with a dishcloth similar to this and helped me learn to knit. I am so grateful for her investment in me.
This December I finished knitting a purple cotton dishcloth and hope to knit many more.

Finishing crocheting another hot-mat in December 2020 seems to just fuel my desire to craft another!  Do you have patterns and projects you like to repeatedly make?

One December afternoon a masked friend stopped by to give me this dear rock she had painted for me, a priceless gift. On the back, she painted the passage reference she knows has been especially encouraging to me. 

 Isn't this sunrise spectacular? I saw it one December 2020 morning from the parking area near my back patio. I hope that we can often see such amazing beauty in the days ahead, and I also hope we can creatively encourage one another, through any storms that may challenge our beautiful views.  
Love to you in the New Year 2021!

Gracie ((hugs)) 

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