Monthly Archives: January 2012

Cozy Sweater Pillow

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sweater-pillowI made a sweater pillow last fall, but lately I’ve seen lots of pretty ones in magazines and on Pinterest so I was in the mood to make another. Lucky for me, I had a vintage sweater-poncho my mother-in-law had tossed out with enough “good parts” left to cut out two perfect rectangles with cabling on the side. I added my favorite metal buttons from my grandmother’s button box (I called them the “bumblebee buttons” when I was little!) and came up with this soft, smooshy, 16 x 20 pillow that will have a home on my sofa the rest of the winter. ♥

Happy Kansas Day!

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Two of my good friends have birthdays today, which is also our state’s birthday.  So, for their Year of Homemade Gifts cards, I trolled the internet for Kansas symbols to cut and paste and came up with this design. While it’s doubtful that any of my readers are in the same situation, perhaps you have friends and family whose birthdays fall on other “obscure” holidays. Click here for ideas! (Today is also National Cornchip Day, so it’s not too late to celebrate, but I’m sorry to report that you’ve already missed National Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friend Day this year.) :)

“Because It’s A-L-L Good”

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After sharing The Three Questions in my last post, I just had to write about my other favorite children’s book, Pete the Cat. I’ve read it with preschoolers, fifth graders, and grown-ups, and everyone loves its upbeat message. Plus, it’s fun and funny, as shown by these two adorable little “readers.” Enjoy! ♥

The Three Questions

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After discussing our crazy schedules and hurry-up lives with some friends a few days ago, I pulled out my favorite children’s book, a retelling of a traditional story by Leo Tolstoy, and lamented that I have lately let its message slip. I WILL do better! I won’t divulge the answers to the three questions, but I will say that they can have a huge impact on your life . . . especially if, like me, you sometimes get a wee bit impatient with the unexpected interruptions that come our way. ♥

Colorful Jewelry

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Our fun-loving Aunt Vitha on a more elegant occasion

As much as I enjoy crafting, I’ve never made jewelry . . . but I LOVE to wear it, especially colorful pieces like this beautiful bracelet and lovely earrings I received for my birthday. (Thank you T&J and B&D!) I looked up the word “colorful” in the dictionary and found just the definitions I needed for the rest of this post: interesting or exciting; unusual; unconventional. These synonyms describe the woman who REALLY knew how to wear colorful jewelry–my Aunt Vitha. In honor of Kansas Day this month, I thought I’d share her sunflower earrings (our state flower!), along with my other two favorites, the fruit and the solar system. Who knows . . . someday you may see me wearing one of them out to lunch with my girlfriends! ♥

The Sabbath Box

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At yesterday’s women’s retreat, we learned that Sabbath is a Hebrew word that means “cessation” and spent the day talking and reflecting on ways to make more Sabbath time in our busy, fast-paced lives. My favorite new idea is to use a “Sabbath box” to formalize a time–whether an hour, an afternoon, or a day–for rest and renewal. One way to use the Sabbath box is to put actual items in it, such as your cell phone (a break from electronic demands) or car keys (a break from running errands). Another way is to put your to-do list in the box until you are refreshed and ready to tackle it again. A third way is to list your cares and worries on strips of paper and place them the box, giving yourself permission to put them aside for the time being. Then go for a walk, take a nap, read a book, listen to music, create something, write in your journal, pray, spend time with a friend or loved one . . . whatever brings you peace and joy. Any box will do! ♥

Casting My Cares

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For the past two Januaries I’ve gone to a women’s retreat at my church. Both times I pondered whether I wanted to “give up” a Saturday, and both times I was SO glad that I did. So, when I was asked to help with this year’s retreat, I enthusiastically agreed. My main function is to do “supporting-role” type things like leading the get-acquainted activity, introducing the journaling prompts, and playing the guitar for the singing. Playing the guitar??? I used to play and sing every day with my first graders, but these are grown-ups . . . and the retreat is tomorrow . . .

Needless to say, I’ve been practicing. ALOT. I no longer have my teen-age angst guitar (“I am a ROCK! I am an I-I-I-I-I-LAND!”), so it’s comforting to have my sweet father-in-law’s instrument to use. Another blessing is that I have beautiful words and melodies floating around in my head, unlike some really annoying songs that sometimes get stuck there. Here’s my favorite, which sums up the whole theme of the retreat, with all the chords penciled in. ♥