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

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!