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

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Today, I celebrated a quiet day.  My husband is still 16,000+ miles away.  My father is in North Carolina.  Still, all is well.   Our church service was amazing today, with a special speaker from our church who serves the Lord with all of his heart!  James spoke about the "king" in all of us!  His sermon was fantastic, and I cannot wait to get the copy of it so I can listen again to his awesome wisdom!

The nice surprise I received today was my husband's twin brother, Mike, visiting our church.  He's here from New York, checking on his property and his father.  We all had a nice lunch together after church. Mike and I will definitely talk before he returns to New York.  He told me that he would be here when my Tom returns, and that's always a treat because of the way they spar between one another!  They are just too funny!

It seems that everyone is taking vacations somewhere this year...and not just one, but several!  I am very happy for them, and think it is amazing to be able to go and see new places.   Hopefully, when my broken body is completely healed, or at least somewhat repaired, I will be going too!

I'm going to keep this short tonight.   My sweet little dogs are with me, one in my lap and the other snoring on the floor, and they deserve to have their snacks before bedtime.  They know their routines so well!

They truly keep me going...okay, running...or at least as much as I can run.  They are my joy, and a treasure to love and care for.  Quillie, our bird, is also a great comfort to me.

I pray that your Father's Day has been a wonderful and warm day, and that you had fellowship with one another, if you were in fact close enough to do so.  Hopefully soon, I'll be further north where I can drive to see my Daddy once again, not just for days such as this, but all of the time!

In closing, I want to post my favorite photograph of my father.  This was taken while we were walking the lane leading to his house, approximately five years ago for his 70th birthday.  The way the morning light captured his face is so lovely, though it may not show here.  But, given the day and the celebration, I truly find it an honor to post this photograph of him!

Thanks, Daddy, for your unending love and for showing me that the true measure of a man is not who he is or what he has, but how well he is loved by those who know him.

I've posted a few new links (blogs) for you, and I'm working on writing my patterns to post here.  This is a bit more daunting that I'd originally thought, so please bear with me.

I wish you all an awesome week, and I ask that you lift me up in prayer so that I can perhaps finish the needlework projects I began several weeks ago!  I have to have at least three projects (and books) going at all times, you know, or I'm never content!  God bless you!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday...my favorite day of the week!

As you can see, I've made a few not-so-subtle changes to the blog.  I was growing tired of the prior image and felt  it needed lightening up, so to speak.  I've been blessed with so many gorgeous flowers from the yards of my friends, so rather than shower you with my latest stitching projects, I would like to share some of the beauties I've received in the past two weeks.

One of my dearest friends, Faye, surprised me with a gorgeous hydrangea that I would describe as somewhere between mauve and fuschia.  It is truly one of the prettiest colors I've ever seen and one that only our Lord could create, for it is perfect in every way!  I won't be able to plant it until my husband returns, as the digging would do me in physically, so I am truly looking forward to planning it's "home" in our yard and enjoying its beauty and the memories it conjures up of my grandmother's yard full of hyrangea bushes.  Every time we visited her, she would load me up with a bouquet from her hydrangea collection.  I couldn't wait to get them home and into a beautiful vase to enjoy for the coming week!

It's really late or actually early, nearly 2:00 a.m.  Sleeping is not coming easily since my husband has left the country, and I find myself staying up and, rather than going to bed, actually falling asleep with some form of handwork in my lap.  When did I grow old?

I will not post an encyclopedia tonight, but would really enjoy sharing these gorgeous flowers with you, my friends.  May they bless your heart as they have mine!

This is the color I remember most from my maternal grandmother's yard over 40 years ago.

This is the color that Faye chose for me.  I love it!

And this is one I've never seen before...such a delicate and pristine color!

Faye grows calla lilies, and they are sturdy and quite long-lasting.  Last year, she brought me one that was nearly a burnt sienna color that was stunning!  I really enjoy these delicate pinks, though.  Once a girl, always a girl, huh?

I am embarrassed to say that neither myself nor Faye can name these flowers.  If you are able to tell me what they are, please write and let me know.  Thanks!

Faye grows the most beautiful lillies I've ever seen.  This is a favorite of mine!

This dahlia is actually in my garden, having been given to me last summer by Faye.

And this ends the walk through my faux garden for this morning.  I must try and get some sleep because tomorrow is my favorite day of the week...the day I go to worship my Lord in the fellowship of other believers.  I wish you all a blessed day...until we meet again!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Time is such a strange element.  In and of itself, we are dependent on it and no one is exempt from this strange and nearly co-dependent relationship.  In my mind, I will assess a time frame and suddenly realize that I've run out of time.  I've heard it said so many times, "We have all the time in the world," and yet there are days when I wonder where the time went!  I remember when I was a young child trying to assess time in my mind and thinking that there was such a wealth of time that I would never see the age of 13, 18, 21.  And then it was there, like a flash of lightening, and just as powerful in its arrival.  I was 13 and beginning junior high, 18 and graduating from high school, 21 and married, working in the medical field and loving my "young" years and life.  Then, I was 25, 30, 40, and 50!  A decade is beginning to seem like the lengthy, yet short, commercials we see between segments or scenes in a favorite television show.  I remember thinking that I would surely remember being 17, riding in my boyfriend's car, when I turn 40.  It seemed like lightyears away that the 40th birthday event would take place...and then I blinked...and there I was...and here I am.  Time...a precious commodity...something none of us really possess enough of...and we pray for more...and sometimes less...depending on our comfort levels.  It is yet difficult to believe that not all of those things on my "Bucket List" will be accomplished, for I have begun the painful realization that I haven't enough time to complete the list before my life is a vapor. 

Since my last blog post, Mother's Day came and went, my husband's birthday was celebrated, and we've had a guest or two wander in off I-95.  We are conveniently located near the Interstate going south to the fabulous Florida.  Mother's Day was once again not easy, but this year I was prompted to honor my mother in church on that Sunday.  I prepared a three-page presentation to honor Mom and just knew I would be fine...I would not fall apart...I would honor her with dignity and pride, and mostly with love.  Yeah...right!  When I arrived at the paragraph where I received the phone call telling me she had died...I totally lost it!  By the grace of God and through my sobs, I got through the presentation and the congregation was compassionate and loving.  I was so thankful for this, for I am by no means a public speaker, and I truly felt like I was going to melt on that stage!  I managed to remain in one puddle, and I honestly don't remember much after that until I was on my comfy sofa and napping, which is my usual m.o. on Sunday afternoons.

I finally felt like I would get the chance to sit down and share my projects with you and then before we knew it, it was time to begin getting Tom ready for his one-month sojourn to Diego Garcia.  There was medication to order, clothes to either purchase and/or launder, and prepare for packing, and all of the tasks that accompany the usual preparations for a long trip.  Tom has been gone since June 6th, and after resting and attending a doctor's appointment and my usual Tuesday morning Bible study, I made up my mind that nothing was going to get in the way of updating this blog!

Happily, in the interim, I have been experimenting with some new patterns, wanting to beef up the inventory for the Ladies Basket Ministry at church.  I find that if I am able to keep a few items made ahead of time there won't be 20 babies born in the same month or day and catch us empty-handed.  I have found some luscious patterns, and made booties, sweaters, hats, and even a bear for the Mother Bear Charity, which is listed in one of my newest gadgets, Favorite Charities.  I hope you will find time to visit some of these sites and learn of the wonderful things being done for those who are less fortunate than others.  Making charitible items is not everyone's preference...nor...ahem...do they have the time, but for myself it is perfect.  I often find myself buying into feeling like I'm useless because of being disabled and not working any more, so being able to do something like this blesses me more than the recipient!  The Mother Bear Project is dear to my heart, especially after seeing the brochure that accompanies the purchase of the pattern(s) for the projects.  For most of these children, the bears are all they have in this world!  To be a part of that is humbling and yet exuburant in it's aftermath.  There is something so special about making a child smile. 

In this photograph, the bear is shown nearly completed and will be seamed together and stuffed.  The organization furnishes you with a tag for each pattern which the knitter/crocheter ties on the wrist of the bear before shipping it.  This is the first project I have knitted that wasn't just straight and flat, although it is sort of like a scarf.  There was a bit of shaping and a lot of praying during its construction!  I am going to crochet the next bear and I'll let you know which I prefer.

As I mentioned, I have been experimenting with booties because they are always a nice little gift to have prepared in case someone slips up and has a baby without me knowing it, and of course they are perfect items for our basket ministry.  They have been such fun to make and at times maddening mainly because I am often dysfunctional when it comes to reading and actually working a pattern correctly.  Often, I will later find something on line where someone has wondered the same things I have wondered regarding a particular pattern, so maybe I'm not the village idiot I think I am!

I obtained this pattern from one of the charity sites but didn't copy down the name of the person.  As soon as I locate the name, I will publish it.

This is a little pair of moccasins that I sort of woke up in the middle of a rainbow while crocheting them...and...voila!  The pattern is from a book entitled First Crochet Projects For Beginners.  I have made this pattern for several friends and they love them!  The wonderful thing about these is that you can experiment with different yarns and colors, and the ribbon possibilities are endless as well.  Also, both boys and girls can wear these.

These tiny little wonders are fun and easy to make, and so delicate and feminine.  There are buttons on each side to fasten the booties.  These are precious with a pair of baby socks on those sweet little feet before donning the booties.  This pattern came from the magazine, Crochet World, Volume 28, No. 3, copyright 2005.  I obtained the pattern from the Internet.  It appears somewhat vintage.

I am still in the process of designing a pattern for a pair of booties I have made in the past for which I cannot find the pattern.  They are precious, easy, and work up very quickly.  I will add my own touch to make the pattern mine and publish it by the next blog (hopefully....but no more promises!). 

Currently on my needle(s):

What you're seeing is a yellow baby dress from the May/June 2010 issue of Crochet Today Magazine.  I haven't attempted a lacy dress before, so please pray for me.  The yoke is what you are seeing on the right and it looks so much larger because of the photograph in the magazine being so small...but you get the idea, I'm sure.  I will post the finished product before it goes to my neighbor for her granddaughter.

On different note, I have been blessed with so many beautiful flowers.  On Mother's Day, my daughter, Dessi, blessed me with a beautiful bouquet of roses which lasted nearly two full weeks!  She surprised me with them the Thursday before Mother's Day so I was able to enjoy them early.  What a joy and sweet surprise!  She blesses my life in ways unimaginable!  Her mother, Sashka, will be arriving on July 23rd, and I am eager to see her again.  What a lovely woman!

There's the upright table view, one of the "sterling silver" roses, and then an aerial view of the roses blossoming into full blooms literally before my eyes!  I enjoyed these so very much and the colors and fragrance were incredible.  Thank you, Baby Girl!

Shortly after Mother's Day, my doorbell rang one day and there stood a man on my doorstep with a bouquet of flowers that I surmised were likely for one of my neighbors who were not home.  I am home most of the time, so I am happily the "go-to" person for deliveries belonging to neighbors.  I was mistaken.  This time, the bouquet was from the Yildiz family, a wonderful family of people from Turkey who own OPS Pizza Kitchen and Cafe.  We frequent their place often because we enjoy the food, but more importantly we love and enjoy the owners!  By the way, we were told by the owners that "OPS" is the Greek symbol for prosperity.  It is truly so for them, for they are loved and their restaurants are frequented often by the people of our small community.  I was in tears at their kindness and generosity.  I often sit and marvel at God's beautiful mercy over my life in the area of friends and their loving kindness.  I just cannot believe it at times!

Fast forward to May 29th and we have our "cell group" meeting, which is  group of people in our church who meet independently to worship the Lord and learn of His messages to us through His word and through each other.  This was nearly like a family reunion, in that my daughter, Dessi, was in town that weekend from Athens, Georgia, and my friend, Kai, who is now attending our church, along with a young man who has recently moved to our town.  They all gathered at our house before going to the home of the cell group hosts.  Kail brought us a gorgeous bouquet from her garden, consisting of hydrangeas and gardenias.  Mmmmmm...is there any other fragrance on earth sweeter than a gardenia or magnolia?  Not in my humble opinion.  The funny thing is that Kai brought to me the very flowers from her garden that I had used to make my wedding bouquet just five years previously.  She was gracious in allowing me to take a few cuttings for a bridal bouquet.  It was truly a sweet gesture on her behalf, and I have appreciated the flowers greatly!

I have a dear friend, Faye, who also is an avid gardener, and this is the time of year when I never know what I'll get, but I can bet on getting something!  Last week, the bouquets began and you will see the lovely surprises I received.


Faye and Kai both know that I am unable to spend as much time in my garden anymore, so they adorn me with the gifts of beauty grown in their gardens.  Only a true friend would do this for me, and I realize that, although I love the flowers, their friendships are far more valuable!  Thanks, girls...and you know I love you!!

To top it off, Sunday night in church, Faye brought me the most gorgeous hydrangea I'd ever seen!  The color is luscious, and I know that only our Lord could produce such perfection!  Faye did not identify the flower in the middle, so I apologize for this.


I am blessed to have friends who adorn me with the gifts from their garden.  The peace these blossoms bring to me is immeasurable.  I say this because I was brought up "playing in the dirt" with my grandfather--a master gardener.  His vegetables, flowers, shrubs, trees, and the gift God gave him to grow them were amazing!  They nourished our bodies and our souls.  I remember once, after planting a vegetable garden in my deep back yard, him praying and asking the Lord to bless and increase what he had planted.  He possessed a beautiful baritone voice that resonated like none other I'd ever heard, and he could be heard all over my neighborhood!  We had an unbelievable garden that year and it fed us and many other neighbors who were less fortunate.

I look forward to updating this blog soon when projects are completed and new opportunities arrive into my always surprising life.  God bless all of you!

Hang in there!

I'm feeling horribly guilty about the lag in my blog posts, in my promise to post patterns, etc.  I have no idea why humans make plans because life will happen and the next thing you know, you are apologizing for things like a sloppy blog schedule...yikes!

My husband has left the country for a month, and the days surrounding his departure became crazier and wilder by the minute.  Now that he's gone and has safely arrived after a 30+hour flight, I'm going to have more time on my hands to get this blog updated and post some new photos of all things crafty and lovely.

So...hang in there with me and remember that I promise to keep my promise this time!  I promise!