God's Canvas

God's Canvas
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.~~John 15:13

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Surprise, Surprise!

I know it's been a while since I posted anything, but I'm a little under the weather.  I discovered last week that I have a blood clot in my left leg.  There's been a lot of swelling and pain in that leg, and my orthopedic surgeon who will hopefully perform the total knee joint replacement in May referred me to a vascular surgeon.  I had some testing last Thursday and lo and behold there was a little friend hiding in my popliteal vein!  Since I have a bevy of diagnoses, they did not know exactly how to handle this.  Protocol is hospitalization (yuk!) and blood thinners.  The jury is still out on what they will do with me, as I have to see the vascular doctor Tuesday.  He happened not to be in the office last Thursday, and I received the news from his physician's assistant.  Needless to say, I am on bed rest and compression, which I have basically been doing and which likely has attributed to the fact that this clot didn't throw (that, and Jesus being on my side!).  I am sharing this with you because the new posts will be sporadic for the next few weeks.  I ask your forgiveness and patience with me.  I know that the blog is not getting a lot of hits now, but the few I recieve I appreciate greatly!  You are all such warm, friendly people.  I am so pleased with the comments that have been left by you all.  I have always said that crafters are the nicest people in the world, and you all are living proof!

In my current situation, I haven't let knitting or crocheting pass me by.  I am not finished with Georgia's (slip stitch) scarf, but I would say about 1/3 of the way through...yay!!!  I have almost finished the scarf for Gabby that I mentioned in an earlier post.  I offered to put pom-poms on her scarf as an embellishment, and she liked the idea.  I am going to have lots of fun making those while I'm resting...thanks, Gabby!!!  I will begin her brother, Jon's scarf and work on that as soon as her scarf is finished, and I promise photos.  Here's a photo of Georgia's scarf in progress:

The following photo is the public and wrong sides of the scarf. 

The colors in this yarn are amazing, and it's such fun to keep knitting to see what unfolds!

I have lots of new ideas running around in my head for patterns that I hope to post before my surgery in May..so hold on...I promise to give you more than just updates, photos and links.  I don't want to lose the followers I have because of boredom!  I've actually got a list of things I want to create and finish so that I can post the patterns here, many of them I will store up for after the knee surgery.  I promise to have something in the coming weeks, though.

I have one more photo of my Yorkie to share with you, and I know you've seen him before, but I love looking at him.  His beauty and sweet company never cease to amaze me.  Thanks for indulging me.

And, we cannot forget Sammy's little friend, Rajah, who stays with us quite often.

It's hard to believe that March is on our heels, but indeed it is.  When I married my husband, I learned that his mother was a wonderful crafter.  She had a thimble collection, many of which my husband purchased for her during his travels.  Last year, I found a shelf for the thimbles, and was then able to clean them and display them with great pride.  I would like to share them with you in the coming months.  This month, I am going to show you the St. Patrick's Thimble.  It's ceramic.  I have no idea the age of the thimbles, nor their worth, but I know they are priceless to my husband and me.

My sister, Kimberly, will arrive this week from New Jersey, and I think she'll be glad for the respite from all of the snow (15 inches last Thursday and Friday).  She's coming to stay with me while my husband travels to Italy, and to help me recover from surgery.  She will stay through the end of June, as my husband will be traveling to Diego Garcia again for most of that month.  I have no idea when I'll be back to post new information, but I will definitely try to be back soon.  Thanks for all of your kindness, prayers, and loyalty to me!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's Wednesday Already

Time...such a precious jewel in the crown of life.  There never seems to be enough of it.  Already, I find myself fretting over the holiday season of 2010!  Is that a hoot or what?  I have so many creative things running through my brain, and I know I haven't enough time to even begin to carry them to completion.  I've decided my best approach is to start at the beginning of my priorty list and hope and pray I achieve all the things on that list.  Already, the middle of February has passed, and there are only 28 days in the month.  Before we know it, it will be Easter, then July 4th, and...well...you know the drill.

Today has been a day of rejoicing for me.  My sister had a biopsy last week and the results returned as "benign!"  I have thanked God all day, as well as my friends and family who included her in their prayers.  Truly...this is a day to rejoice!

I'm posting some new photos and keeping you up to date on Georgia's scarf.  I mentioned her in my last post.  Her scarf is coming along nicely, and I am enjoying the process of knitting it.  Let's face it.  There are some projects, no matter what they are, that can be boring and cause longsuffering, but this is not a pattern of that nature...at least not to me.  As a beginning knitter, I find this a true joy to knit.  I included the link in my last post, and it is for the pattern I am currently using to make Georgia's scarf.  It's called the Noro slip stitch scarf, or the Noro Striped Scarf by Jared Flood.   By either name, it is an awesome pattern, quick to work up and lovely in its results.  I hope you'll check it out and try it.  I think any new knitter and even the accomplished knitter may find it enjoyable.  The following photos show its progress to date.

I tried to get as close as possible so as to show you the "weave" of the pattern.  I do not have a battery for my good digital camera, but its on order.  I have to use my phone camera instead.  So, please bear with me.

I am also making scarves for Georgia's children.  I started her daughter's scarf a couple of nights ago when I was watching the Olympics and needed something that didn't require as much attention as the Noro scarf.  It is nearly finished.  It is located on the left side of the photo:

The longer scarf is made of two different colors, shades of teal and lavender, and is very lovely.  I will begin Georgia's son's scarf as soon as her daughter's is complete and photograph it as well.

I don't know where you all live, but I do hope you are getting a reprieve from the winter weather.  In my opinion, being in the deep south and deprived of snow, it is quite lovely to watch, but I am not fond of navigating it.  I know that those of you who have recently endured several snow storms in a row have likely grown tired of it.  Of course, I picture all of you sitting by a warm fire, sipping hot cocoa and stitching away as the snow softly falls, blanketing the earth with purifying beauty.  Yeah...right, huh?

It seems I had so many other things to say but they are escaping me at this point and it is getting late.  Thanks for endulging me in my prattling.  Until next time...Happy Stitching!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Another Saturday Night..

I survived another day of sniffles.  This thing appears to have set up residence in my body and either really likes it or has lost its way home!  I've tried everything:  Benadryl, Thera-Flu, Tylenol, Netty pot, Vick's Vaporub, chicken soup, cough drops, and the list goes on and on.  Oh well...at least I have been able to work on the undecorating of Christmas in my house this weekend.  This project has been delayed since right after New Years, and between my husband's injured back and my maladies...it never began until yesterday.  I am not one to linger on my health issues, but I guess this time it's neccessary in order to establish awareness on the part of my "followers."  Most who know me are aware of my spinal cord surgeries and subsequent disability (oh how I hate that word!).  The addition of kidney disease two years ago was a brick right up side my head!  I never saw it coming and have struggled with that ever since, along with hypertension and hypercholesterolemia...and blah, blah, blah, right?  Right!  There is a point to this:  I simply won't be going to a lot of places to shop or find the good sales and new notions in the local area, nor willl I have much to share with you in the way of excitement; however, I have committed myself to blog research of late and have lots of goodies in store for you in the coming weeks.  One more health-related thingie I need to share is that my upcoming total knee joint replacement is tentatively scheduled for May 3rd.  Since my husband will not be leaving the country for a month, as was the earlier plan, I have called to see about rescheduling my knee surgery earlier.  That being written, I may be gone in a finstant...and that's faster than an instant!  So..if something should happen that you do not see me for a while, you'll know what is happening.  I'm a walking soap opera!

I found a magnificent blog that I believe will help and affect many of you.  It is called "The Modern Roots Arts & Crafts Community."   Every possible interest you could imagine is respected on this site with many ways to share your information about your current project, recipe, gardening tip, knitting/crocheting patterns (or theirs), embroidery, rubber stamping...you name it!  It is very similar in format to Facebook, and I think you'll really like it.  I had a sweet little note from Miranda, the blogger who originated this idea, and appreciate so much her interest in my blog as well as upcoming input from her followers!  The link is as follows and will also be included in my blog list:  http://modernroots.com/  I do hope you will peruse this lovely site and give yourself the gift of sharing your creative interests with others, and the pleasure as well of receiving their information!

Another personal but precious aspect of my life:  My Yorkie, Sammy.  He is going on 9 years of age, but still has a puppy face and is the sweetest, kindest, gentlest little dog I've ever seen.  I love him so much and would give my life for him.  Today, Sammy was groomed for the first time in four months.  He looks so lovely.  Here's his latest photo:

Don't mind my husband in the background; he is deeply engrossed in the Olympics!  Isn't Sammy the cutest little guy?  He couldn't have posed any more perfectly that this.  I am intensely proud of him and I thank you for indulging me.

Another amazing person in my life is my nephew, David.  He will be 24 in May and decided after attending college to become a police officer for the city in which he was raised--Chesapeake, Virginia.  I have some recent photos of him in uniform and I am just bound to post them (what more is there to say?)

So...now I've bragged, I've blogged, and I can say "nite nite!"  I appreciate each and every reader of my blog and I pray that you will find other blog links to tickle your fancy.

I wish you a deliciously happy Valentine's Day, filled with laughter, love, joy, peace, and fulfillment!  May God richly bless you now and when we meet again!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What a week!

It is my belief that, what goes around comes around, and apparently it was my turn to have the flu this past week.  The sad part is that it isn't even over yet...I'm still doing the watery eyes, stuffy nose...well...you know the drill.  That is why I've not posted anything new this week.  I hope you'll forgive me, as it has driven me a little batty to be away from my blog, even though I haven't that many followers.

A nice thing happened today....okay, yesterday (Friday)...and it made my day!  My friend, Georgia, who is living in my home state of Virginia, sent me some yarn that was chosen by herself, and her two children, Gabby and Jon.  The yarn Georgia chose is by Noro, and is quite possibly the easiest yarn I've ever knitted with to date (sadly, my knitting career is much shorter than my 30+ year crocheting history).  The pattern is on the Internet and is called the "slip stitch scarf" http://ribbedforyourpleasure.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/the-noro-slip-stitch-stripe-scarf/.  I had played with the pattern a few weeks ago before mentioning it to Georgia, showed her the link, and...voila!...the yarn is here, and the scarf has begun! 

The pattern is quite easy and knits into a "woven" effect.  There are only four rows to the pattern and they are repeated to the desired length of your scarf.

I encourage you to try it if you'd like something to do while watching the winter Olympics these next couple of weeks.

I'm going to keep this short, as I've lost so much time in the past week, and I hope to see you back here sooner than later!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Friday Night, February 5, 2010

I'd say this has been a long week.  I had a few medical appointments, and most yielded good results.  This is so tiring, though, and I will be happy after May 3rd, when I find myself recovering from knee surgery and hopefully gaining a new thread in this life of mine!

I have an issue with Wal-Mart.  Two years ago...maybe three...the powers-that-be for Walmart decided to remove fabric from their stores...not all of them at once, but certainly the one in our one-horse town.  I am not a fabric snob, but I must confess that I use only heirloom-quality fabric in my quilts.  My rationale for that is, if I am going to spend hours creating something that may possibly last a century, why would I put anything less in my quilts that heirloom quality fabrics?  Yet, when I need to throw together the occasional craft project, I enjoy having the choice of spending less on the fabric.  Consequently, I used to go toodling off to Wal-Mart, but not any more...oh no...this isn't possible because some executive with cranial flatulence decided to remove all of the fabric and most of the yarn from their craft department.  There was one redeeming factor:  fabric would remain in a store about 25 minutes from my house for "about six years."   I received a generous gift card for Walmart this Christmas and decided that, since I was in that area tonight, I would go over to purchase some fabric.  I arrive there limping, with the lovely sciatica that decided to take up residence in my right leg three days ago, to the back of the store only to find that the fabric was gone!  Rage is not something I often afford myself as an emotion, but I could sense my blood pressure rising.  There was no warning...no newspaper announcement, nothing.  To top this, the yarn supply was actually smaller than the one in my local Walmart, so at this point I was bordering on feeling livid.  I did not allow these emotions to overcome me, however it was not the easiest thing I've ever done to resist the temptation to let out a good primal scream smack dab in the middle of the store!  I somehow doubt that I'd have been heard over the screams of the unsupervised children that seem to set the stage for "Fridays At Walmart."  I ended up purchasing a Valentine card and a bead board, and limped out of Walmart with a lot less enthusiasm than upon my arrival, feeling my dignity bruised because I went that far to buy their less than optimum fabric.

Perhaps next week's events will yield a happier post for Friday night.  Hope springs eternal!

I am hoping to make it to an Alpaca Expo.  In addition to seeing the Alpaca's, there will be yarn vendors there and perhaps even a few spinners who might shed some light on that intriguing craft.  I'll keep you informed.  Here's their link in case you'd like info on the show:  http://www.flalpacas.com/

Have a wonderful weekend!

Here's a photo of my Christmas Village for 2009

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wee hours of Wednesday

I want to welcome KT as a new follower!  Thanks for your interest and remember to leave your input...I am very green at this!

I've been researching a lot of blogs and finding that, as my excitement grows perusing the contents, some of the dates on other blogs go back sometimes several years!  So...I figure maybe I don't feel so bad if I miss a day or two updating my posts.  Honestly, though, I prefer to update at least 4-5 times per week because I'm bursting at the seams to share the exciting things I've found.

Another doctor's appointment today revealed that I may be receiving some help with the swelling in my legs, which only serves to liberate me more and prepare me for the upcoming knee replacement in May.  This may also allow me to sit at the computer longer to find and share cool stuff.  I realize that most of the blogs I post are nothing new to the seasoned blogger, but this is really like Christmas for me!

Speaking of Christmas...I've been photographing the special ornaments on my tree before I take it down...yes, it is still up!  Between my inability to lift the boxes into which the decorations will live for the next several months, and my husband with an ailing back, Christmas lives on in our home, and frankly I love it!   I find that two or three weeks once a year really are not enough for me to get my fill of the beautiful lights, the vintage decorations with such warm and lovely memories, the Nativity that took me 11 years to collect and complete...but I will soon part with them likely by Saturday.  And then I will have a new, empty-feeling but clean house!  Although we are nearing Valentine's Day, I want to share these photos with you in the coming posts because I think you may find them enjoyable.  The photo below is of the mitten I wore as a toddler.  My grandmother had this amongst her things and this was found when she died.  Needless to say, it is priceless to me.

A lot of the details are worn, but it is 100% wool and has a little character on the mitten that is wearing what looks like red pajamas.  Believe it or not, I actually remember wearing these!  It's amazing what you remember when you sit and think of these memories.  I can almost hear the snow crunching beneath my feet, smell the fudge my mother made every time it snowed, sipping her made-from-scratch cocoa!  I remember these mittens on my tiny hands, and my mother's hands holding mine.  Those were the days!

To wind this up, I am enclosing a link from the site Tipnut.com.  It is a vintage pattern that was included on their site today and I thought it only appropriate to include this, given the content of my post.  http://christmas.tipnut.com/

Wherever you are...I hope you have memories of warm woolen mittens.