Monday, March 23, 2015

Way Behind and A Shaky Start For the New Year

Time has just slipped by and isn't the same, I meant to be back here at my blog way before now. Depression has been an issue in my life from time to time in various degrees and it is now a part of my life again, along with dealing with circumstances in my life which have been under the surface for a good while.

Something to think about --

WARNING! a few choice words you may not be comfortable with so feel free to skip or "enjoy the meat and spit out the bones":

Quote from the article/post "Depression is Not a Scandal" by Jamie Wright:

"... No one has ever suggested that if I only prayed harder, my thyroid disease would be cured.
No one has ever suggested that I'm clinging to sin which is causing my thyroid to malfunction.
No one has ever suggested that I need to get right with Jesus to heal my thyroid.
No one has ever grown uncomfortable or gone silent when I've mentioned my thyroid disorder.

Do you know how much stigma is attached to having a thyroid that misfires? ZERO STIGMA. I can talk about it at church. I can pick up my meds without getting sideways glances from old ladies. I can sleep aaaaaall daaaaay looooong because my Tsh levels are off - no one bats an eyelash. But, apparently, I'm supposed to stay quiet about depression because, apparently, the chemical imbalance that causes depression makes other people uncomfortable ..."

Read entire article/post here:
"Depression is Not a Scandal" by Jamie Wright

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Common, Everyday Life

I'm so very thankful for my common, everyday life.  “As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness -- just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.” ~Laura Ingalls Wilder~

Photo source:

One of my favorite songs is "Count Your Blessings" by three singers: Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby and Diana Krall. Great song for the holiday season coming up and all year long for that matter.

Rosemary Clooney:

Bing Crosby:

Diana Krall:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

'Tis Autumn But My Calendar Isn't Current!

Summer has slipped away, October is almost over and I haven't even updated my dry-erase calendar yet. It isn't current, it still says September, it really is AUTUMN. The back yard landscaping is done for the most part with some final touches needed next Spring. We've been enjoying this beautiful Autumn weather, candle lit evenings on the porch, walks at the park and in the neighborhood, Autumn soups, fresh orchard Honeycrisp Apples with popcorn, & Pumpkin Spice coffee. Our neighborhood is peaking right now with rich color and the leaves are twirling down rapidly with the cool breezes. They'll need to be raked soon. I'm also staying very busy helping my daughter with her new fur baby, Oscar, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. He arrived in June and the days are filled with fun and caring for him. I forgot how much time and work and energy it requires in the first year of puppy life! Oscar really enjoys his walks & rustling in the leaves. With the holidays around the corner I hope to update more on my blog as Oscar is fitting into our schedule more and more.

One of my favorite songs "'Tis Autumn" by Stacey Kent:

Happy Autumn!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sky & Scones

Saturday was a great day -- I made Strawberry Scones for breakfast. This recipe: Vegan Apricot Scones was easy and delicious. I changed it, used Strawberries instead and I will make these again.

Saturday was also my cousins surprise birthday and I got to help her celebrate. While out driving after going to my cousin's birthday party, I couldn't help stopping to take photos of the sky. It was magnificent, the weather was beautiful. Clouds attract me. I find them very appealing, especially these peaceful ones.

"You must not blame me if I do talk to the clouds."
~Henry David Thoreau~

The trees are just starting to get that beautiful, soft, yellow-green haze of new growth about them. And there's plenty of new growth inside my home too. My little seedlings are waiting patiently for Spring, real Spring, so they can get planted in the garden. I'm hopeful that it will be soon.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday: Freebies & Featured Etsy Finds

I love Etsy and here is a wonderful shop owned by Susan: Greenlee and Vine. She has many wonderful items, some that I recently purchased: these lovely little hands and several vintage photos. I am very pleased. They are now sitting on my oak hutch in my dining room. Susan describes her items accurately, promptly ships items within her stated time frame, and packages items to protect them well.

Do you have a favorite etsy shop or have special ones where you have purchased from and you recommend? If so, I'd love to hear about them. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Red & Pink, Hook & Thread

I've been busy getting back into my routine again where I'm spending more time on my creative projects. The weather is slowly getting warmer and I've also been working in my yard and garden. There's a bit of color - I've found red being the Rhubarb:

and pink being my daughters shoes. She's helping with turning the soil:

We even got the "Sugar Daddy" Snap Peas in and hopefully it will stay the right temperature for germanation!

Inside I'm working on yellow, ivory, ecru, beige flowers -- handmade crochet flowers and trims for my art projects:

"To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life."
~John Burroughs~

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

This is Spring & The World is Young again . . .

Winter has been long and cold, still holding on to blow across the area once again for a blustery day today. It's slowing down the progress of Spring. Nevertheless, it's officially SPRING and I'm starting to think of my garden and other Spring projects, my current art project, the first is a series I think - "The World is Young" - wonder & whimsy of childhood:

SPRING thoughts:

She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the South wind
And curtsied up and down
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour;
"Winter is dead"
~AA Milne~

Close your eyes
and do not peek
and I’ll rub Spring
across your cheek
smooth as satin,
soft and sleek
close your eyes
and do not peek
~Aileen Fisher~

Close beside the path they were following a bird suddenly chirped from the branch of a tree. It was answered by the chuckle of another bird a little further off. And then . . . there was chattering and chirruping in every direction, and then a moment of full song, and within five minutes the whole wood was ringing with birds’ music. 
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, (Chapter 11,. 121

For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell.
~Solomon 2:11-13~

“This is no thaw," said the dwarf, suddenly stopping. "This is Spring. What are we to do? Your winter has been destroyed, I tell you! This is Aslan’s doing.”
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, (Chapter 11, p. 122)

For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
~1 John 3:8~

Friday, December 13, 2013

Crochet Christmas Holiday Light Bulbs

I took a break from my Christmas Stars to work on this new project. It's been fun to make and I have more ideas to make my own version some time in the future. They're easy, don't take a lot of yarn, and can be made to any desired length. I finished mine in two days and they are now hanging in my dining room.

I found the free pattern: Amigurumi Holiday Lights at The Dapper Toad. She put sweet little faces on her lights which I love but I wanted mine to be simply the bulbs.

There is another version by a creative being that I want to try too: Christmas Light Tutorial. It's a free pattern also.

Now, I'm going back to work on my Christmas Stars.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Practical Use of Talent

Edith Schaeffer said of the "practical use" of talent:

". . . it may be helpful to consider some of the possibilities all of us have of really living artistically, but which are often ignored. People often look with longing into a daydream future, while ignoring the importance of the present. We are all in danger of thinking, 'Some day I shall be fulfilled. Some day I shall have the courage to start another life which will develop my talent', without ever considering the very practical use of that talent today in a way which will enrich other people's lives, develop the talent, and express the fact of being a creative creature." (The Hidden Art of Homemaking, p33)

My mother and the women of my family were not always aware that they lived creatively everyday, practically using their talent in the day-to-day moments --- but they did in many ways that inspired me while growing up. They were wonderful teachers of the "hidden arts" of everyday homemaking ARTS by their example and by giving wonderful instructions in these arts. They continue to inspire me to this day. I am so proud of them and blessed by them.

My new project "Winter Stars" - once again inspired by my mother's creativity (her vintage crocheted ivory Star she made for me some years ago, my white and gray stars):

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New On-going Autumn Project

Writing about sadness and grief is not easy or some thing I am comfortable with. I usually keep so much of that inside. For the past two and a half years my sister and I watched our mother slowly loose her strength and health and ultimately her life in August. We thought we had more time with her. Several boxes of crochet magazines we were looking at in July and August are still sitting in the living room. The magazines are laying there in stacks just the same way we put them when we were all together. I asked my sister if we could leave them there as the last we sort through. It's a way to keep her close. I already have a hard time hearing her voice and I'm afraid I won't be able to remember the sound of her voice at all.

Since August, my sister and I have spent time together every week, going through Mom's things, talking, reminiscing, crying. Not really wanting to sort her belongings but not able to bear to keep them either. There is so much joy mingled with this great sadness. Memories and even more emotions emerge when coming across a book or a paper, a photograph, a school paper, a note in her handwriting, a treasured trinket, a crochet doily. Each placed in a box to look at later, knowing it is something she would want us to have and keep. Parts of our hearts and lives are being sorted and stored. Now, we are finally getting closer to being through the last of her things BUT closer to the moment when the completed task reminds us fully that she is gone, no longer with us. The boxes are closed with a heavy feeling.

My Mom loved to crochet and was very talented; she designed some of her own patterns. She had lots of yarn skeins and yarn scraps. So, I've decided to keep some of her yarn out and start an on-going-as-time-allows "autumn" crochet project. It's going to be a Granny Square project of sorts, using some of the earthy, autumn colored yarn. I'm not exactly sure what I will make yet but it will be in honor and memory of my Mom, a thread from her to those of us who remain. This is the beginning of my "Autumn Leaves" project:

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It reflects some of the color of the leaves from a tree on my street in the neighborhood this season:

 "Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." 
~Albert Camus~

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Time With My Dear Mother

It seems all I ever say any more is how fast times flies, I am so busy yet I am behind, not here at my blog or art, not in my regular routine. And, it is true once again. Not that time flies but that I've been busy and not the sort of "busy" due to too many activities. My "busy" has been of limited activities this year; limited to basic things, my part time retail job and helping my sister take care of my dear Mother. Since my post in March I have been able to work in a few things but my Mother has been my primary concern. After becoming weaker the past three years, her poor heart condition and aging progressed even more quickly this year. She was in and out of the hospital five times, with the fifth stay in the hospital her last. She passed away August 13th. These were her final days, the days to make her as comfortable as possible. We spent our time together talking with her about her childhood, looking through family photos, making her favorite foods, eating midnight snacks, looking through crochet patterns and helping her more each day with tasks she could no longer do for herself. We always told each other "I love you"  each day. I enjoyed each bittersweet moment together with her not knowing if it would be the last. They were special moments in a different way because I saw my mother with different eyes. I was so proud of her and so glad she was my mother, and I still am. There will always be grief to some degree for me until I see my Mother again. Loss is the great leveler, a disturbing, suffocating blow. Time does NOT heal, only gives distance and coming to terms with a loss. Grief and mourning IS HARD, even scary. Only God is the great healer, cushioning the impact. Yet at times it is a struggle to trust Him and to be sure of His care. Loss and grief affect everyone differently and everyone grieves differently. My comfort is that I know some day we will be together again and walk upon the streets of gold with the rest of our family and our Lord. For now, I know she is always with me in my heart.

"Lord: it is time.
The huge summer has gone by.
Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
and on the meadows let the wind go free.
Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
Grant them a few more transparent days,
urge them on to fulfillment then,
press the final sweetness into the heavy wine."
~Rainer Maria Rilke~ Autumn

"In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind." Job 12:10

Thursday, June 27, 2013

What a Lovely Name - "Adelaide" ATC

I've always loved the names for girls that end in the long "e" sound. Both my daughters have long "e" sound ending for their names. Recently I was going through some of my old books to use text and old paper for a project and came across a book owned and signed by the owner. Her name was Adelaide. I loved the name the moment I saw it written in this person's own handwriting. I wonder who she was, what she looked like, what her life was like. I decided to use her handwritten name with a photo of a beautiful little girl from the past. Perhaps she looked similar, perhaps entirely different but an Adelaide from around the turn of the century did live and exist. One of my latest ATCs "Adalaide"

Adelaide - as a girl's name is pronounced AD-a-layd. It is French form of Old German origin, and the meaning of Adelaide is "noble (adal)  kind (heid)". It was borne in the 10th century by Saint Adelaide, , the wife of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto the Great. The name became common in Britain in the 19th century due to the popularity of the German-born wife of King William IV, for whom the city of Adelaide in Australia was named in 1836.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Trift Store Treasure

My life has slowed down in one sense but just as full in another. One place that I am able to slow down and relax is at a thrift store. I love to walk through the aisles looking over the items on the shelves, I relax with just looking. Some times I go with a specific thing in mind to look for, perhaps a book, crochet doilies, old artist paint brushes and some times with nothing in mind. Just to look. A couple of weeks ago I came across a treasure, one I had not set out to look for (a lot of my treasures are found while looking for some thing else) but nevertheless I knew I had found my treasure for the day. There sat a vintage paper hole punch. A vintage multiple hole punch made by Mutual Products Inc, Massachusetts 1950's -- dusty, dingy, grimy, oily, very dull looking but I knew it could be cleaned up and very useful. Here it is as found:

Here it is cleaned and shiny, ready to use for projects:

There are still some visible scratches and wear but for $1.98 but I don't really see them. ;-) What vintage treasure have you found?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Yellow Is My Favorite Color!

"The colour holds such warmth, brightness and attraction for us because it is the colour of the sun, the source that sustains us.  In terms of its physics, yellow has absorbed red and green and then reflects yellow back.  Red is the colour of life, blood and fire; and green the colour of growth and hope.  Little wonder that yellow has such a life-giving brightness. . . .  Goethe says: ‘Yellow brings with her the nature of brightness and has a delightful, encouraging, exciting and soft quality.’ " 
~John O’Donohue~ Divine Beauty

What is your favorite color and how do you use it in your art? 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

New Art -- A Tag and Card

The past weeks have been a blur and passed quickly. In addition to helping my sis take care of my Mom, I've changed jobs and now back at my old job which is not as fast paced. So that has helped in reducing some stress in my life. My Mom is doing better and back at home so I'll continue to help with her. We're going through her belongings, sorting, decluttering, packing up what she wants to keep. Maybe in a couple of months she will be able move into a smaller place, an apartment.

I'm trying to rest a bit and enjoy the beautiful Spring weather. But not resting for too long. I've been able to do a little gardening and have some herbs and tomato plants started. I have even been able to work on a little bit of art and on my Etsy shop but it will be a while yet before it's open.

I also made a decision to invest in a die cut machine. Having a limited art budget and working space, I've been debating over die cutters for several long months. I finally decided to go with the Sizzix Big Shot. I didn't want a large, detailed, expensive die cutter so I've only looked over the hand operated ones. I narrowed it down between the Sizzix and the Cuttlebug but finally decided on the Sizzix Big Shot which I purchased at Amazon. First of all, it's in my price range, secondly I like the look of the base. The longer base appeared to be have the amount of room I'm looking for and sturdy enough to prevent tipping. From viewing some online videos about using the different die cutters, the Sizzix fit my needs. I like that different brands of dies can be used on the Sizzix. I bought five dies to get started with: Primitive Hearts, Scalloped Circles, Sizzix Movers and Shapers Tim Holtz Tag & Bookplate die, Spellbinders Nestabilities Card Creator Rectangles, and Spellbinders Shapeabilities Home Sweet Home. I'll experiment with these for a while but I'm sure I will purchase a few more dies that I think I will use often.  It just arrived a few days ago and I've already started using it! Anyone else have a die cut machine, especially the Sizzix Big Shot?

Here's  a couple of my creations using the large tag, wings, and little hearts dies:

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Welcome Spring!!!

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Spring has arrived with chilly wind and snow flurries where I live but I'll go with the calendar to mark moving on to the next season! A few buds are appearing. The Pussy Willows, so soft and fuzzy, while little green stems are peeping through the earth. Moving on to a new season in a new, some what difficult way. My dear 82 year old Mother has been in the hospital for a week and is now temporarily at a physical therapy rehabilitation facility so my days are filled with visiting her. This is the beginning of giving back to her in a new way, of caregiver, protecting her, helping her. She was always there for me and now it is my turn to be there for her. There will be hard struggles ahead but with my Mother there will be much sweetness and smiles mixed in. 
"What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable."
~Joseph Addison~
Art Image: New England Landscape in Spring by George Henry Smillie 1898

Friday, February 1, 2013

Happy February! & My First Pink Saturday!

Happy February! This is a month deep in the beauty of Winter and alive with the color of red and pink for Valentine's Day, hearts and love. There are LOTS of wonderful projects and tutorials for all kinds of Valentine's Day and heart projects. There's just not enough time to be able to make them all!

For starters, Sugar Lump Studios 14 heARTS starts today and she has her first project: Romance & Genteel Ladies. I am looking forward to all her projects. Follow along, she has a giveaway each project!

One of my February Valentine's Day projects I started a couple weeks ago is this one: beautiful paper strip hearts. Liz from Hoosier Homemade has a tutorial to show how to make them here.

Mine are finished and hanging on my mantle but I want to make a few more. The strips are reds, pinks, and silver shades with a few of the red ones left over from Christmas projects. I found cute little silver metallic heart brads for closing the ends.

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I found two other version of this project where photographs are used on one side of the paper, so cool:

Scrapper Girl has two versions: pink, black and white Photo Heart Love and red, black and white Photo Heart Tutorial

eighteen25 has another black and white: Photo Strip Hearts

Crocheting is relaxing for me. I can listen to a book tape or music and the time flies by. Right now I'm making a small crochet heart garland of red, pink, and white crochet hearts. I'm using some for Valentine altered art projects and cards too. I used two different crochet patterns. Little Birdie Secrets has a tutorial with a video: how to crochet a heart which I used for most of the hearts. The other pattern is from Flower Girl Cottage and she has video showing how to make the "Magic Loop" at her Simple and Cute Heart Pattern Free. Using different thread and yarns plus different crochet hook sizes makes for the different sizes of hearts.

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February is the month of Love but each and every day should be filled with as much love as possible. I enjoy putting quotes and scripture verses around the house as helpful reminders. So, I finally completed a Cross Stitch pattern that has been lying around for a good long while. The pattern is from The Need'l Love Company called Love 'N Tulips by Diane Kramer.

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Tomorrow is Pink Saturday and this will be my first time to participate. Beverly of How Sweet The Sound hosts a special Saturday of links to all things PINK. Find many many many PINK lovelies here at Pink Saturday. What is Pink Saturday?

From all the PINK participants before me, the first one to interest me is Lululiz in Lalaland with her crochet pink granny square for her pink scarf project. So soft and cozy!  Lorraine from Over the Rainebeau visited me. I visited her blog and found she has some sweet vintage Valentines made and lovely free images for download. You can take a visit to both of these PINK participants by following the links above.

"I think of the love of God as a great river, pouring through us even as the waters pour through our ravine at flood time. Nothing can keep this love from pouring through us, except of course our own blocking of the river."
~Amy Carmichael~

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Post Card To Help Save A Little Post Office

Jane Davies owns a little Post Office in Rupert, Vermont which is under review for deciding whether or not to keep it open. See a picture and video of her little Post Office and read what she shared about it here at: Jane's little Post Office. She says: "It's one of the smallest, and definitely the cutest, post office in the state, and probably in the country."  And I agree with her, it certainly is and I love her chickens, too!

In an attempt to increase the volume of mail to her Post Office she is sharing a fun post card mailing hoping to keep her Post Office open. Here's her instructions:
 So, in an attempt to (A) increase the volume of mail that comes through my little post office, and (B) to do something really FUN, I'm proposing the following:
  • YOU send me an art postcard. It can be original handmade, or a photocopy of something you've made. Print your name and address clearly on the card.
  • Mail to: Jane Davies, PO Box 45, Rupert, VT  05768
  •  I  send YOU a postcard, handmade.  I don't promise it will be something you want to frame, but it will be original.  I will send postcards to the first 200 respondents.
  • I will post ALL the post cards I receive on this blog.  On each card I will indicate the name of its creator and the place from whence it came.  If the volume is overwhelming, I'll open a separate blog just for the cards.  If nobody sends me a card, I will be sad and our post mistress will be out of a good time, and eventually a job.
She also has some great art tutorials at her blog. One of my favorite is the Visual Journal with Gel Plate where she shows how to make journal page backgrounds and pages (the unbound folios) as starting points for visual exploration. She paints, draws, prints then decorates or makes collage for finishing the pages for binding into a book format for further use. More of her tutorials here.

Here's a photo of a post card I made for a post card swap in 2008 that I sent to her yesterday:

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I printed it on cardstock then printed the image of one of my antique post cards (below) on the other side to make it look like a real post card - up at the top left is says: "T. N. T."--To-day, Not to-morrow!:

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This vintage post card image above is a "Freebie For You" from my personal vintage post card collection. This is free to download and you may use it in your art only, NOT for Sale on a Collage Sheet or a CD.

If you use this vintage post card for any personal art or art projects for sale, please, make a reference back to me here at my altered heART works blog A Post Card To Help Save A Little Post Office. Thanks! I would love to see what you make. :-)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Some Thing To Look Forward To In the Deep of Winter

Here it is the end of January already! The deep of Midwest winter weather has been sporadic from frigid Arctic air to balmy southern breezes. Work has been the same with some days extremely busy and others a more slow pace. Sickness has been moving through my family with each of us having some kind of sore throat infection but we're at the end of it soon.

I've been thinking about Valentine's Day and working on some paper, crochet, and cross stitch heart projects. One that I'm looking forward to is Nancy Maxwell James' 14 heARTS from her Sugar Lump Studios.
She says: "Join me for 14 days of totally FREE sweet little projects to share. Cards, tags, mixed-media, fabric art…things that make our hearts go pitter pat! Each day I will offer a heartfelt project idea to create. I hope you will join the fun." 
 I love her art, it so beautiful and inspiring. I am really looking forward to this. The deep of winter isn't so cold after all with all the Valentine's Day projects!

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Oh Winter! ruler of the inverted year . . . I crown thee King of intimate delights,
Fire-side enjoyments, home-born happiness, And all the comforts that the lowly
roof, Of undisturb’d retirement, and the hours Of long uninterrupted evening, know.
~William Cowper~ Task (bk. IV, l. 120)

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(photograph used with photographer's permission, source: Ashlee Lauren Photography)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I hope you have a WONDERful holiday season and Merry Christmas!

Beautiful violin by Lindsey Stirling - What Child is This?

"She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus,
for he will save his people from their sins."
Matthew 1:21

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Help Build Tiggy's House

PhotobucketMy friend Dana, and her family, lost their young son/brother, Mattias (Tiggy), two years ago, Dec. 12, 2012. Dana shares about their life without Mattias and living with grief and their memories of him at her personal blog: Roscommon Acres.

In memory of Tiggy and his legacy, she and her family are working with Tiny Hands International to raise funds for building a home, Tiggy's House, for children of Nepal, children who have been abandoned and victims of sex-trafficking. They are very close to the $40,000.00 needed to build their home for these children. You can be a part of helping raise this last bit of money.

Right now, they are having a Tiggy's House Money Bomb to raise the final dollars before the two year anniversary of Tiggy's passing. You can follow the Money Bomb at Tiggy's House Money Bomb. They are about $300.00 short of the $40,000.00 needed. The building could begin soon and you would be helping rescue these children to give them hope, love, a home, a family, a childhood. Please, consider donating.

If you would like to contribute, here is how you can be a part of Tiggy's House:

Follow this link and go to: Tiny Hands International

then add in the amount you want to donate. The "Select a ministry area or staff member to support" will be marked with a blue dot, then click the drop down bar and find Tiggy's House to make it appear in the box. Fill out any other info and you'll be be a part of Tiggy's House!

If you can't donate at this time, there are other ways to support it.

Read more from Dana about Tiggy's House at her personal blog: Roscommon Acres or at her facebook and their Tiggy's House at facebook too.
“The shock-waves of Mattias’ death ripped through our family, and often the pain returns but now and again, more often than not, we see some of the ripples coming back to our shore of the good God speaks about when He promises those who love him ‘Beauty for Ashes’”
~John and Dana~
One day, we will be given a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of the spirit of despair.
Isaiah 61:3

I never met Mattias (Tiggy) but some day I will!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; 
and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." 
~G.K. Chesterton~

 Happy Thanksgiving!!! O give thanks unto the Lord, 
for He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever. 
Psalm 136:1

“Thanks to God for My Redeemer”
~August L. Storm~, 1891

Thanks for fair and pleasant springtime
Thanks for dark and stormy fall
Thanks for tears by now forgotten
Thanks for grace, Thy sovereign call
Thanks for roses by the wayside
Thanks for thorns their stems contain
Thanks for home and thanks for fireside
Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain

Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure
Thanks for comfort in despair
Thanks for grace that none can measure
Thanks for love beyond compare
Thanks to God for my Redeemer
Thanks for all Thou dost provide
Thanks for blood poured out to save me
Thanks for wounded hands and side

Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered
Thanks for what Thou dost deny
Thanks for storms that I have weathered
Thanks for all Thou dost supply
Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow
Thanks that Thou will all redeem
Thanks for hope in the tomorrow
Thanks through all eternity

Free Thanksgiving Printables:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Autumn is slipping away and I'm still back in July. With the time change, shorter days and the holidays just around the corner, I won't be able stay there much longer but harvesting my Calendula lets me play a bit longer. Yesterday I harvested Calendula seeds. Yes, I'm already making plans for my garden next Spring.

A couple of weeks ago I posted about harvesting some of my Calendula to learn how to make my own homemade infused Calendula oil with flowers and herbs from my garden. This is my first attempt. I want to use to oil to make my own salve/cream.

All that's needed to make Calendula Oil is: Calendula blossoms, clean jar with lid, scissors (optional) and Olive Oil (or oil of your choice: sunflower oil, almond oil--I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil because it's a pure plant oil and has a longer shelf life at room temperature). This experiment is the "Cold Infusion" method:

Step 1 Pick the new, just in their peak, clean blossoms in the morning AFTER the dew has evaporated and it isn't too warm. They're freshest then. Pinch off or cut off the stems so just the blossom tops remain.


Step 2 Put the blossoms in a clean, dry jar.


Step 3 Pour Olive Oil over the blossom so they are completely submerged. Securely tighten the lid, label and date, store in a warm place 4 to 6 weeks.


Now the waiting begins. They'll gradually shrink and release their wonderful antibacterial, anti-viral and antioxidant properties into the oil. Soon the oil will be ready for the next step.

A bit of History:

Linnaeus assigned a narrower limit to the expansion of its flowers, observing that they are open from nine in the morning till three in the afternoon. This regular expansion and closing of the flowers attracted early notice, and hence the plant acquired the names of solsequia and solis sponsa.

There is an allusion to this peculiarity in the poems of Rowley:
'The Mary-budde that shooteth (shutteth) with the light.'

the above from: A Modern Herbal 

Disclaimer: I am not a certified medical or herbalist professional of any kind and I am not qualified to give any one medical advice. My goal is merely sharing my interests and life; hoping it will perhaps inspire some one else in the beauty of the created natural world and the "Hidden Homemaking Arts" - not to consult any one on medical or herbal treatment.