Magnify


I didn't have a lot of time and the branch was moving in the wind, so not the best photos, but seriously.  Wow.  A dragonfly on lilacs.  Can it get any better?  Two favorites of mine.  Well, probably favorites of most, right?


Crazily detailed.  Created by our Creator for His pleasure and for ours as we developed microscopes and macro lenses.


I can see why people like to study insects.


These two parts on the tail were moving back and forth so quickly.

~and then it flew away~

~~::~~



A French Fifth


Our oldest granddaughter turned 5 last Saturday and in true to my oldest daughter's form, we enjoyed a sweet themed birthday party!  The party was dubbed her French Fifth. :)

Their dining room is actually navy blue, not sure what's up with it looking black in the picture. Hmm.


She found a lot of free printables online.


Target dollar spot was involved.


As was some wrapping paper, Sam's Club, and Home Goods.


Cute!
The cost of all was very low.


Cuter!  What is she to do when she's told "pose"?
(Cardboard and a sharpie for the Eiffel Tower, free! and my favorite part.)



Some "Made by Joel" printables were perfect.  Have you checked out his website?  He doesn't update it any more, but if you have little kids, or grand kids, there are a lot of fun little print outs there.


Lots of activity going on behind and around so it was hard to get her to pay attention to me, ha!


The sparkler candles were also "trick" candles and she kept blowing and they kept relighting and her face was fun to watch as she was surprised each time!

I'm disappointed we didn't take any group pictures, but so it goes.

I'm pretty sure Lauren would want me to give you a disclaimer...she loves to decorate, but truly knows that it's just "fluff" and not necessary to a celebration.  Please don't ever think that you owe your child a theme or decorations for them to enjoy their birthday.  We do low key parties here with the kids choosing the meal and a cake or special dessert.  We put up a few decoration on occasion.   It just really depends on what is going on in life at the time.  We celebrated Audrey's birthday once with Randy in a wheelchair hooked up to an IV pole in the waiting room at a hospital.  With just three of the kids and some cupcakes from HyVee and presents.  Yep. And, honestly, she didn't care one bit.  She was just happy to finally get to celebrate.  But, that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the decorations at another's party!  And we all do like to see what Lauren puts together.
Kind of funny detail:  The Eiffel Tower there behind her shoulder? That is actually the base of a broken lamp from when my second daughter was on a Paris "kick" when she was a freshman in high school. The lamp was in her bedroom, but has since been broken, but kept, just in case it could come in handy. :)

Today is Holy Thursday and so begins the Easter Triduum.

I hope you all have a joyous Easter!!

Just Tuck It Away


If you follow along on Instagram, you know I'm participating in a hashtag project called the 100 day project. The idea is to spend a small amount of time  practicing a skill for 100 days.  It's a long story of how I came to decide on 100 days of human shapes so I won't go into it, but suffice it to say that I want to try to create variations on human shapes or forms.  I'll be happy if I make it for 10 days. (This practice is from yesterday, the seventh.)  Amazed, if I make it for 25 days.  I love the idea, I just have trouble with long commitments. Ha!

Anyway.  Yesterday morning I kept thinking about something I took note of at Mass on Sunday.  I thought that maybe it would be a good challenge to try and make the general shape of the man I noted.  Eventually, I pulled out an old Anthropology catalog I had and began to cut.  

The story: As I looked up during the song while the ushers were walking up the aisle to pick up the offering I saw one of the ushers had folded his palm in two and had stuck it in his back pocket.  I found it a little humorous and could see myself doing the same thing.  I like pockets. 

Then a phrase came to my mind that my daughter, Bonnie, says,  "It's something to put in your back pocket in case you ever need it."  Then another thing came to mind.  I've had conversations with two different people who are teaching confirmation in two different religions.  Both were concerned about the kids' lack of knowledge of scripture and prayers.  I don't know why they are lacking this knowledge, but it makes me sad for them. They won't have the resources when they need it. There's nothing in their back pocket.

We can fill our back pocket with reading Sacred Scripture every day, praying various prayers, and reading good spiritual writings.  Daily, we will need and we can pull comfort, wisdom, and guidance from what we've learned.

It's Holy Week and already there are scriptures that seem new to me. Different aspects of the Passion come to light each year.  Something more to add to my pocket.  Just fold it up and tuck it away, because I know I'll need it. :)



The Sky Was Magnificent


And it was windy.  Boy, was it windy.  Right chilly too.

The day of my Mom's funeral.  The cemetery is just across the section from the little church that I grew up attending and where Mom was a lifetime member.  After the cemetery service we came back to the church basement for cookies and coffee.  As I got out of the car, I grabbed my phone to get a picture of the view of the cemetery a mile away from the church.  I wanted to remember the sky.  As I got to the open field I met my son in law who had the same idea, his phone in hand.

The photo doesn't do the sky justice, but it sparks my memory of it.  The blue tent that just minutes earlier we had been sitting under is now down as they caretaker disassembles it.  Before it blows into the next county.  People were standing holding the poles to stabilize it during the brief service at the grave side.

Southwest corner of the cemetery.  We've of course been there before. The headstone already in place from when my Dad died.

If I would have driven just a quarter mile to the East I could have stood on the farm where I grew up and could have also taken a photo of the cemetery across the section.

Sometimes the huge world seems small.

I'm joining with Sarah again this month for Scene and Story.  

Sailing


I made this sail boat a couple of months ago and today it struck me where to hang it.


With a tap of my finger, it sails. :)


Well, okay, it spins slowly.  But, in my imagination it sails.


Imagination is quite a gift.

~~::~~


Goodbyes


I have a lot of stories and a lot to say about goodbyes.

But, not now.  If ever.  It's probably more of a conversation to be had than a blog post to be written.

But, I'd like to give you these words and this photo for now.

"We live our lives knowing that our goodbyes are lived in a good life and kind words."

These words came to me in a text to my older children when we were losing my Mom.

Now, one of our extended families is grieving a great and sudden loss, the second such loss for this side of our extended family in five months.  Today, I am reminded of these words.  And, they are so very true.


What To Do With These?



I've been doing some sorting and washing and storing of things since my Mom gave up her house about 8 months ago and there has been more again now since she passed away.

These dressers were always in the storeroom in the basement and the only one I remember playing with a little bit was the white one on the right.  I believe they were all Mom's from when she was little.  They are in really rough shape as you can see.  I've scrubbed them and they are ready for something...what?


The obvious would be to paint them and let my little girls use them with their dolls.  I may do that with one of them, as they have one that is similar that I picked up at a garage sale for them.


I also think they would make wonderful jewelry chests.  Or great storage for jewelry and beading supplies.
I'm also pondering how to paint and decorate them.  I  definitely can see using patterned paper and/or fabric to line the drawers or back of the little kitchen cupboard.  Maybe collage papers and words on the dressers themselves?  


So much reflecting (so sorry for the metaphoric photo!) going on as I go through these things.  Stories remembered, some faces remembered, and some names forgotten as I look through pictures.  Seeing life a tiny bit through they eyes of my mother at 19 as I read her diary. She stayed out late!--Often.

~::~

I hope your weekend is nice.  Ours finds us hanging out day 4 with my youngest sick.  At times she feels great, then then it cycles again. 

This you.


From my cereal box to you.



How to "Tie" Up a Plant


Thursday I had some time to work on a project and wanted to do an easy macrame plant hanger for this window in our bathroom. 


As I dug out some left over rope from a previous project, I saw all the ties I had just laundered that I had brought back from my Mom's.  She had made us all small tie quilts and had oodles of ties left over.  My one sister and I divided them up.


It was one of those wonderful moments of "I bet this will work!!"  And, it did. :)


I was amazed at how much I enjoyed working with the ties.  I pressed them and then they were really resilient to being tied, untied, and tied again as I figured out how I wanted to make the hanger.


I debated quite awhile how to do the loop at the top and when I just did an overhand knot only pulling the loop partly through, I realized that was perfect.  The ends of the ties hanging and flopping like ties looks really cool.


I gathered the bottom and wrapped another piece of a tie around it so it looks like...a tied tie!!


I was craving some green...you can tell it's spring time!  But, can you see the little snow skiers on the red tie??


The gist of how to make one yourself:

►6 men's ties: preferably not super wide ones at the bottom, the longer the better
►Gather them at the bottom and tie with twine or string.
►Divide the six ties into 3 groups of two and tie square knots, adjusting as needed to make them even
►Regroup the ties into three new groups of two, and again tie a square knot adjusting to make them even.
►Place your chosen pot in the hanger you've created and adjust again as necessary.  You may find you have to retie and lower or raise the knots.  Don't worry the ties stay nice and it doesn't take long.
►Once the pot fits to your liking, gather all six ties together again and make a overhand knot but stop short of pulling the loop all the way through.  TIGHTEN so it doesn't slip, adjusting to let the ties end flop as you like.  Again, make sure it's SUPER TIGHT so your plant doesn't end up on the floor.
►Make a "bead" out of a piece of another tie, (basically hand stitch a strip of tie) and slip it up from the bottom to neatly cover the string/twine you used to tie the ties up at the bottom.


It may seem strange that we divided up my Mom's belongings so quickly after she passed away, but she was in assisted living at the nursing home and her apartment had to be emptied. She had already given up her home about 6 months ago.  We had to take care of things right away while all of us kids were there.



Spring Hankie Wreath


I have quite a few sweet handkerchiefs from auctions and garage sales over the years so have been looking for a project to use some of them in. This is a great way to use those vintage handkerchiefs we rarely use as intended now!  It's also non destructive so you can still take it apart and use them another way when you so desire.

I used a 9" embroidery hoop and 24 hankies. Just tie them on! I played around a bit to decide how short to tie them, just experiment to see what you like with the size of hankies you use. It would be a great idea to starch them first.  I did not have any spray starch so if hung the other way, some of them want to flop down.  Today, I picked up some more starch, but we'll see if I ever go back to starch them...


The colors are spring like, summery, and cheery. :)

If  you don't have a large stash of hankies,  flea market and garage sale season is upon us! (I'm excited about that.)




Scene and Story


Last month we helped my son in law celebrate his 30th birthday.  My daughter had bought some sparkler candles to put on his cake. Just my daughter lighting them wasn't going very well and pretty soon there were four candle lighters!  

Then we sat and watched the little candles sparkle and fitz about---really pretty fun. :)

When going through the pictures I just loved all the "story" going on here.  There are parts of my son in law's parents in view, Bonnie's hands and phone, and my granddaughter hoping to have a piece of cake on her plate soon.  Normally, these are all the things you would avoid in a photo or crop out if you could, but what is going on in the periphery is certainly part of the story here.

I am joining Sarah again this month for her Scene and Story link up party.

Just Shy of 90 Years


My Mom died last week on March 3rd.  It's been a full couple of weeks of visiting her in the hospital, the visitation, the funeral, and spending time with our family. I posted a couple of memories on Instagram here and here. (My Dad died 20 years ago.)

She died almost 40 years to the hour of her mother passing.  About a 4 hour difference.  I was thinking about that time and realized that Mom was younger than I am now when her mother died.  I try often to think about someone's age at different life events and then connect it to my age and how I perceive myself at a particular age and how I perceived them.  Like when my Grandma died, well, my Mom was old too...so I thought.  Apparently, she wasn't.

The above photo is of her Mother's Ring, which I now have. 
Seven children, one died at one day old, one died at 33 years old and the other 5 of us are still here.  This ring represents so much.

My Aunt, mom's only sibling is 95 and is confused most of the time.  But, Tuesday she was brought to the funeral and completely knew what was going on and was sad.  For some reason that meant a lot to me and it was nice to share a hug with her.

Through it all the predominant thought has been Gratitude.  So very much to be grateful for in my parents' lives and in the past two weeks.

A Scrappy Bowl:: Upcycling



Last week I made bento bags out of fabric I've had for awhile and then experimented with Japanese knot bags out of old aprons. You can see some of them in this Instagram photo.  Then I got to thinking more about these old aprons.  And I wanted to find another use for some of them.

Well, I had found this crocheted hanging bowl pattern quite awhile ago and just thought it was so neat. 

I thought it might work for my scrappy plan.  And, it did!!  Quite perfectly in fact.

I left all the lovely strings, because, well, they're perfect.


So, it can sit or hang!  The first time I made a bowl with strips of scraps was in a little braided bowl. I much prefer the crocheting method.  So much stronger.  But that link will show you how I attach the strips to each other to make your "yarn" to crochet with.  


I like the texture and the heft of the bowl.  Or should I call it a basket?

Her bowl was only 12cm by 12cm, but when I used such big strips, mine ended up 7" high and 9" across the bottom which is what I was hoping for.


I plan to hang it in my sewing room to collect scraps!  I filled it now with the apron scraps it was made from.  The scrap's scraps. :)


None of these were aprons made from feed sacks and some were probably just from the 1970s. But, I was so happy to find a great project for them.  


Now of course I will be keeping all that is left over and at some point will find another use for them. 

We had a snow day here which was kind of fun after the unseasonably warm weather we'd been having.  We have a fire going and it's pretty cozy. :)


Beauty. Free for the Noticing.


Can a cairn be made out of old rotting wood?? 

I thought so. :)


Birds flying back north.  From one formation to another. With a backdrop that makes you sigh.

~Enjoy the rest of your weekend~

A Sweet Book


A couple of years ago, I was gifted this incredible home made book. ♥


It's made from vintage linens and filled with vintage postcard birthday greetings and Valentines.


There is such an incredible sampling of old linens!


Each page has a pocket to hold a vintage postcard.


Look at this gorgeous Valentine Postcard!


The book came wrapped up in another piece of linen.


All tied up with ribbons and love.

Some inspiration for you on this Valentine's Day!


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