Sunday, August 26, 2012

Happy National Dog Day

I just read that today is National Dog Day - yea!!!  I'm all for it.  Around here every day is National Dog Day.  Here are some piccys from this week of my three fur heroes:
Spuddie, Holly, and Honey dining al fresco.

I'm done with mine...can I have yours?

Time for my after breakfast nap. (Honey Biscuit)

Me too, yawn...(Holly Moonbeam)

Whatcha doing Mom?
Wanna snuggle? (Spuddie) Yes!
Summer...and flowers even bloom indoors.  My violets are very happy right now.  These darlings were rescued from the 1.00 bargain table at Kroger awhile back.  Patience and love work wonders.  We all CAN rebloom. 
Aren't these lovely?  Here is a close up:
Also, I made a new friend this week.  This little green one showed up on my magazine this morning:

I finally finished my cross stitch project last week - it is called The Queen's Crowns by Plum Street Samplers.  I  learned a lesson.  When you stitch with silk, Belle Soie, it is not colorfast.  Hum.  I've already started on my next project and the red is running on this one too.  Any ideas? 

Next project - in progress:
Next time I'll share some things I've already finished.  Here's one of the places I can sit and stitch with a cup of tea - the kitchen table.  The roses are from the garden and smell so very beautiful - much more fragrant than store roses.  Care to join me?

We had a very special week this week, the end of the Novena to Our Lady of Knock, and a special Mass today.  The statue was dedicated, there were bagpipes - and the most beautiful chanting in Latin.  Very nice.  Here is my darling Robin with Bill (Seminarian), the Eagle scout who built the grotto and waterfall, and Father Jeff. 
I love this photo!  Here is another one of my darling girl:

and a close up of the statue:

Another grotto:
Be inspired by love.
 I have LOTS more to share next week:  English Smocking, some antique folk stitching pieces, and lots of photos.  Blessings and Peace, Shari

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Week of Prayer (a short post)

This past week has been a very good one, busy and simple.  Busy, because we are having a Novena at church - nine days of prayer, like the nine days of prayer the apostles had in the book of Acts.  Simple, because of the structure and routine of each day, and soothing and comforting because of that, like re-reading a story you know by heart, but seeing it in a different way each time.  There is a new grotto, Robin has been doing some landscaping.  I havn't taken many photos.  We have also been enjoying some cooler days, so welcome.  It is good to have intention in prayer.  For the Novena, each day we go to Mass, pray for the overall intention of religious freedom and for our personal intentions, and light a candle.  I wrote my intentions on a piece of paper and put it in the basket on the first day, and though the last day of the Novena is on this coming Tuesday, my first one has already started coming true.  I am so thankful!  I'll have more to write next time, after the Novena is over.  Prayer is so powerful.  Give it a try!
The grotto in the process of landscaping.  You can see the lovely waterfall cascading from the statue of Our Lady of Knock. 

The statue.  When light hits the white it seems to glow.  I love how happy she looks as she raises her eyes to heaven. I am very blessed because this lovely view is visible from my office window at work.  I have lots to tell you about and photos to share later.  Remember,

 Have a lovely week, Shari

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Day of Rest

Have you ever read the comic strip Mutts?  It is my absolute favorite, and I have the strip of the day sent to my email everyday.  I really look forward to it. It's all about animals, specifically a cat named Mooch and a dog named Earl who are best friends.  Yesterday the strip had a kitty on the beach, and it had a lovely quote, actually a Spanish proverb:  "How beautiful it is to do nothing and then rest afterward."  I really love Sundays - when I was young it was just understood that it was a day of rest, a day to write letters, read poetry or the comics, or walk through a cemetary.  No noise, no shopping, no technology.  Just simple easy food and relaxing.  How wonderful.  Today is so different for most people.  I still love to have a day of rest on Sunday - after church and lunch, we can nap with the dogs, write letters (or emails), and now for me, write on this blog every Sunday.  It is a comfortable rhythm, and I so clearly see God's wisdom in giving us a day of rest, and a day for family.  I treasure this time, more than I can express.  Sometimes on Sundays we do a leisurely craft or project, and I'd like to share one with you today.  Though I enjoy getting on the website Pinterest very much, nothing takes the place of an actual pin board or bulletin board.  They are in some ways an art form, yet fluid and thought provoking.  Robin has been keeping several boards in her room for most of her life - she started out taping pictures and cut outs from magazines on her closet door when she was around four years old, then graduated to boards, and currently has 18 of them in her room right now.  I have two going, though recently I've had an addional six that I've taken down because I plan to paint soon. Here are my two:

my first, and this one Robin gave me for my birthday:

I have lots of room to add more to this one, Robin made the background and I'm sort of adding things in the same color scheme.  It's a lot of fun.  I guess it's like 3-D scrapbooking, sort of.  Robin's are more detailed and interesting, and some of them have history, quotes, and pictures, some are biographical  - about people she admires or have read a lot about.  This next one has some famous faces you might recognize - I love the sketching of Victoria and Albert near the top right.

Do you see the photo at the very top left of this one? That's Robin at age one between Pooh and Tigger!  We also like to add other little things to the boards such as brooches, stamps, prayer cards, stickers, and postcards, as well as vintage illustrations printed from the internet or greeting cards or notes from friends.

It is fun to look at these, and to see the way they ebb and flow over time.  Have you ever made a board?  I highly recommend it.  Just put one up and add to it gradually.  See what develops. 

This artistry has also managed to express itself on the refridgerator door.  I read somewhere a long time ago that a busy and full refridgerator door was a reflection of a happy home.  I've found that to be true for us, and now just see how busy and happy our refridgerator is:
Here is the side, covered with those tiny word magnets you find in bookstores:

a close up:

and the front:

No particular order here, just little things added here and there. 
I've been working away at my cross stitch daily - here's a progress photo of the Queen's Crowns, nearly finished:

It has been a lovely and restful day after all, it started out right, too. We got to church a little early, so Robin took me to the park and showed me a lovely foot bridge.  I realized it's the only place this summer I have gone outside of the normal schedule - what a gift.  Thank you, Robin for sharing this lovely morning with me!
Here's Holly patiently waiting for me to get off the computor, so I'll say bye for now, see you next Sunday.  Have a restful day!

Peace!  Shari

Sunday, August 5, 2012

More To Celebrate

I have a weakness for really dark chocolate, Dove to be specific.  Today the saying on the inside of my Dove chocolate says: "The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate."  I like this a lot.  It's also reminds me of what my Grandma MeeMee used to say, "the more happiness you give away to others, the more you have left for yourself", and also that quote by Henry David Thoreau:

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favour in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”  I love all of these.  They express what this blog is to me:  I am sifting out what is good and cheerful and hopeful in my own life each week, and focusing only on those things.  Like the Bible verse Phillipians 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 

Here is a cheerful face.  Robin sometimes will sit down and draw out hundreds of these fun faces, one right after another, all different. I love to look at them. Here are a few examples:
Here is the artist at work:

She also did some painting this week, two kinds.  Art work:

and wall painting.  Our kitchen is now the lovely color of Dove dark chocolate!  Behr paint called Moose Trails.

I have also been painting in Pemberly (my room) my desk and CD rack - but I'm not finished yet.  I go more slowly.  I will post photos when I am finished.  I do want to share a little old fashioned keepsake I have.  I have always loved certain women's magazines, but now I pretty much read just blogs.  There are so many wonderful ones to read!  However, this magazine is one I plan on keeping, it is a copy of the Ladies Home Journal, from August 1912.  Exactly 100 years old this month!  I love the cover.  It is really lovely, and makes me want to go canoeing some day with Robin. 

It includes a story serial :  Daddy Long Legs.  Maybe you have read the book or seen the movie.  There are also many photos of needlework and making lingere that are lovely.  I love old fashioned clothes.  I used to be a costumer and tailor.  I have made many historical and theatrical items.  It has been quite awhile now, maybe I am due to attempt something new.  I would love to make myself something from the 1820's.  For Robin's confirmation a couple of years ago we wanted something special, so we browsed online for an idea for a starting point, which led us to this museum photo (sorry I didn't keep the link).
We knew we wanted the basic dress, empire waist, ribbon at waist, 3/4 sleeve and at least a tea length.  Oh, and the blue of course.  We found fabric in blue and a white organza over layer, which we later decided was too fussy for Confirmation.  I also found a really lovely pattern at Sense and Sensibility - here it is:

and here is the final gown, worn for a very special day, Confirmation:

Another special day occured recently, my Mom turned 75.  She is a true sweet-heart.  Here is a photo of her (at age 2).  Happy Birthday Mom!
Well, it's time to go mend some doggie toys so my darlings have some of their favorites to chew again this week. 

Honey having fun.  Remember to think happy, positive thoughts, and celebrate the good in life.  Shari