Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Curtain Call

Let me preface this post by saying I love to sew. I love fabric, yarn, thread -- if it has to do with fiber -- it's wonderful and worth my time. I love my sewing machine -- it's my girlie power tool. That being said -- here's the curtains my adorable husband asked and asked me to make for our
sweet 1927 Dutch Colonial House. I do love our house. It has french doors that open onto the deck and back yard from our dining room. This is nice, but it can be a little like living in a fish bowl -- especially when a cherubic little neighbor child's face peeks in at you unexpectedly (almost always mid-bite or at a particularly untidy moment). This made curtains necessary. Heavy curtains aren't my thing and I delayed putting these up forever. But after a trip to our local Field's Fabrics and armed with a bit of inspiration from Cynthia Treen's book: Last Minute Fabric Gifts, I came up with this:

Last Minute Fabric Gifts gives you instructions for making these sweet silk flowers. It's not difficult -- and the dupioni silk I used to make these was like working with magic. Somehow these make me think of a southern belle. They are girlie, but that's okay -- there have been absolutely no complaints. Now this hasn't completely blocked the windows and you'll notice there's still room for lil' faces, but it gives a little more privacy.

A flower close up -- oops I see a string I need to nip off. Where are those scissors.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

First Holy Communion Keepsake Box

Well, it has been more than two months since my last post. It's not that I haven't been doing anything. There were dining room curtains and a slip cover for our sofa. But the biggest thing and maybe the insanest thing I've ever done has just been completed. Now, I must let go of it in order to raise funds for our school's Education Foundation. I'm not complaining, but giving this baby up is hard. It's so very sweet. The second grade teachers at St. Anthony of Padua school let me come into their class room to have their student's draw pictures of what their First Communion means to them. The drawings were transferred to fabric, embroidered and then adhered to a box.

I was so touched as I stitched -- it's no wonder Jesus says to let the little children come to him -- some of these drawings just melted my heart. I was also so stressed as I progress through this project (the time frame for this was about three weeks). Thankfully, the Lord heard my distress call -- and so did my stitching buddy, Carol Ann -- she did two of the side panels. Thanks Carol -- I don't know what I'd have done without you. She even happily complied when I told her she had to say a prayer for each child as she stitched. Anyway, here are some pictures of this keepsake box.

This is the top

The top again -- but further away

It's difficult to see all of the detail in these pictures. One of the children drew Jesus on the cross with a tear on his face. Another child drew Jesus on the cross from the back -- Jesus is looking down at the child and smiling.

A side panel

. . . and another

Happy faces, crosses, chalices, alters

One that really evokes a smile -- Calvary Hill with Our God is an Awesome God in the center and a very cute kitty climbing up the side.

Amy Slocum, Cindy Woodworth and Amy Zainea are also working on this auction basket (or box) -- it will be filled with a plethora of goodies for a child's first communion celebration. I hope it's a big success -- it has already been a blessing.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Headed to Portage

My childhood was spent in Portage, Indiana. Indiana is a beautiful state -- it truly doesn't get the credit it's due among the fifty. One of Indiana's richest natural resources is Lake Michigan.

We are headed to Portage today. The National Park Service has completed a beach in Portage in the past year. It's truly pretty.

This is the beach house. It doesn't look quite like it belongs in Portage. Portage is at the very southern tip of Lake Michigan and is the humble cousin of the other cities in Porter County. Valparaiso is a high-brow college town, and Chesterton is quaint and darling, but Portage is just simple hard-working Portage. This beach house gives the little town on the lake some well-deserved panache.

It was sunset when we visited which is why my shadow is in the lower right of the photo. Isn't this beach house sweet. What you don't see is the outdoor fireplace on the patio -- nice touch.

Here are some images of the sunset. It was beautiful . . .

I'm looking forward to visiting Portage.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Would you look at that. My friend Carol Ann has the most amazing hydrangea bush. The blue is other worldly. She says her secret is coffee grounds and MirAcid. My yard is only two houses away and my hydrangea is pink. Carol Ann was sweet enough to give me two huge blossoms from this lovely plant. Thanks, Carol Ann, for the beauty that you added to our home.

For Mom

This little blog is dedicated to the memory of my mother. Mom, who was Josephine, was a homemaker, a devout Christian, and one heck of a cook. She passed away 8 years ago. She is deeply missed by all of Josephines' girls (there are three of us).

I was close to my mom. I remember thinking that she was cool. She had style in the way she dressed and carried herself. She was quiet and kind. She practiced the art of dirty look parenting to the point of perfection. Mom rarely raised her voice, but a certain expression from those baby blue eyes would surely cause a child to take notice. Being a parent now, causes me to have great admiration for this quality.

Mom loved pretty things. She always seemed to know when to stop decorating a room and accessorizing an outfit. She truly had a pleasant style.

After eight years, my memory of her is fading, but certain things truly remind me of her. The good thing about eight years is that you're far enough away not to burst into tears at the loss of someone you loved so much and there's a lot of happiness to remember. So what you'll see here are fun things -- the good little things in life that make everyday a special gift. Here's to seeing the world in a good way -- it's good to be one of Josephines' Girls