Friday, January 30, 2009

lack of inspiration today

This morning, I sat by my kitchen window like I do when I need inspiration to write in my blog or journal. I sat expecting that I would know just what to write. On this beautiful sunny morning, nothing came to mind. Usually drinking coffee in my favorite mug helps me. I even had a blanket wrapped around my shoulders and was all cozy. Nothing came to mind. A big blank. hmmm. I want to write something beautiful and rich, but fuzz is in the way. I have of lately, been experiencing a longing to write from my imagination, and the one things that usually inspires me to write, has failed. Was it because my hands needed to be wrapped around bigger mug? Maybe I should try tea instead of coffee? I sighed to myself and prayed to God for a peaceful heart and mind and when I opened my eyes I found contentment and thankfulness for the beautiful trees, mountains, and the bright blue sky. I decided just to drink it all in and not worry about writing anything beautiful. Instead, I would enjoy what is before me and know that not everyone can share this view or this moment. I am living in a home, with food on a daily basis, clothing, and even though it is cold in our home in this season, I have ways of warming myself. Writing is the least of my worries and is just something I do for pleasure. I am not unfulfilled if I can't think of something to write. If tomorrow comes for me, I can always try again! God is wonderful to me in giving me today and sustaining me through the night. He is all I need in life, but yet I still am richly blessed with all the material blessings I have. I dont need them, but He cares for me and provides them for me.  What a wonderful life I have in Him. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

doilies, drapes, and a USA flag pillow

Currently I am in the crafting mood and have been enjoying planning and creating things for our home and for gifts. I had finished a doily for a Christmas present back in December for and extra gift "just in case!" I enjoyed making it so much that I found myself wanting to crochet some more doilies. A visit to a friend's house gave me the desire to crochet smaller doilies and frame them to give them the antique look. I have yet to get frames, but I have found dozens of small and antique looking doily patterns. The vintage style will look just wonderful on the wall and in frames. All I have to do is glue some scrap material on top of the cardboard backing of a frame and spray a fixative to the material where I will place my doily. So far I have completed three doilies and am nearly done on a fourth one. Two of these are small enough for framing.

Living in an old apartment complex has proven cold on winter days when the cold fronts come through so Nathan and I have been trying to find ways to make it warmer. Next after buying a propane heater we found a fleece blanket to use for a drape next to my side of the bed over the nearest window. Nathan was going to tape it, but I refused. Instead, folded the fleece down five inches and used my sewing machine to make a "pocket." I hung it on a metal curtain rod over my window, which currently has an air leak. The blanket had only cost us 3.79 at walmart. The next day Nathan and I returned to wal mart to get four red blankets and found that they were down to $2! I sewed them into drapes and had them hung that very night. The look of the red wine drapes was magnificent to our eyes. I have plans of adding lace edging to the bottom and at the sewn seam. Because we liked the results, we went yet another day and picked up four more fleece blankets. two blue, one red, and one tan blanket (the color of our original drape that was for my window). I had them all sewn and hung the next day. The blue for our guest bedroom, the tan for the dining room, and the extra red for our bathroom. Already I have noticed a huge difference in the temperature indoors. I have not had to use the propane heater, but only four days.

Friday, after I had help hanging the drapes in the dining room, I decided I wasn't done sewing and wanted more to do. I remembered I wanted to make a USA flag pillow for our guest bedroom, which is our red, white, and blue room. I already had a small hand flag I had found for a quarter at a thrift store in Cashiers. I used a stitch ripper to take off the white loop that kept it to the plastic flag pole and then sewed a better edge in its place. I happened to have an antique pillow form my Mom had covered with three or four layers and had given to me when I needed throw pillows for my apartment. After taking off all the layers, I had stuffed it in a closet and forgotten about it until now. Placing the flag over the pillow, I was shocked to find that it would fit perfectly without having to sew scraps of fabric to add to the flag's width and length, which I was planning on doing if I chose to go the route of using a pillow form. Using a navy blue fabric and lace I pinned everything together once I cut out the shape for the back of the pillow. It took me nearly an hour to pin it all and get ready to sew it. I wanted it to be perfect. I remember making a note to myself about backwards, inside out and right side in for pinning it and sewing it, knowing full well it has to be flipped right side out for the inserting of the pillow later on. I have done this many times and have made several pillows. No sweat, this will be a piece of cake, I thought to myself. HA! When I had finnished sewing three sides to the pillow cover and flipped it right side out, the flag was wrong! I had spent the past hour and half getting it all right, and now THIS!!! It was depressing. "I will be known for being a USA hater if I leave it like this," I told myself. I made my way to the guest bedroom, groaning the whole way, to show Nathan how "cute" the pillow is. I hugged it to myself with stars and stipes on the inside and blue backing facing him. I flashed him a huge smile as best as I could muster and then flipped the pillow around. He smiled too! Right before putting his hand over his mouth and laughing! I showed the pillow to my sister-in-law later that day and got the same results. *Sigh* It is really cute! I just wish I hadn't pinned it together wrong. The part about the flag slippped my mind because I was so worried about the lace boarder being perfect I didn't stop to think about the flag being BACKWARD when I flipped it out. I did however do research to make sure it didn't make me a USA hater if I went ahead and left it the way it is and sew up the fourth side to complete the pillow. I am not a USA hater and am not carrying around satanic signs of conspiracy against my country. There is no "backward" flag, it is only the perspective of being on a different side of the flag while it is waving in the wind. If you notice the USA flag patch on the right shoulder of USA troops, the flag is with the stars to the right instead of the left. This is a symbol of courage and also signifies the flag as a soldier runs to battle with the flag flying back in the wind as one stares at it from the right of the soldier.

I now plan to find another flag and do a seperate pillow and have them both on the same guest bed. There will always be a story behind this pillow. Only this time the other pillow I plan to make will have the stars on the left top corner. Though I won't call it the "right" way and I won't call the one I have now, "backwards" because when on a flag pole it is all relative and can't be bawkward. So how can it be backward when really they are meant to fly on a pole in the first place, I just happen to put it on the pillow instead.

I hope to post pictures of the doilies, drapes, and the pillow. Right now my camera batteries are dead.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Christmas Blues and New Years Resolutions

I really enjoy the Christmas season. Really, I do! Following shortly after Christmas, I have found myself down in the pits and wondering what the cause of it is. I had not felt this way before? I wake up, make breakfast, kiss Nathan goodbye and hold onto him for as many seconds as I have left before we tear apart and go our separate ways for the rest of the day. Immediately following Nathan's departure, I am in a cloud and can't get out of it. What is wrong with me? It dawned on me yesterday that it is just the simple case of the Christmas Blues. Where after Christmas, I am left with nothing more to do than take down each Christmas ornament one by one while remembering where I got each one of them and hoping I don't break any of them.

This year Nathan and I got a real Christmas Tree. Nathan didn't get to go with me to pick it out, but he helped me set it up and put the lights on it. Not only that, but he saw to it that I got a Christmas angel to put on the top instead of last years gaudy blinking star! Today, I took down all the pretty tree ornaments and put them in their boxes slowly and carefully. I thought about all of the wonderful memories of Christmases in times past and all the warmth and sharing that came with them. I also thought about my family and all that they mean to me.

I don't have many Christmas ornaments since last years Christmas tree was three feet tall and this years tree was five feet. Not to mention we have only had two Christmases as a married couple. So it didn't take me long to take them all down and put them in their rightful boxes. It did take me long, however, to pull off the lights since this time Nathan wasn't here to help me. The tree being up against the wall makes it hard to walk around it. But, I was able to go partway around the tree, hang the wound up lights on a branch, go around to the other side, pull them toward me, wind some more, and get them all completely off the tree. I hated taking down the ornaments and lights. Stripping the tree of its skirt, I felt so sad and almost moved to tears that it had to end to suddenly. I didn't even have time this past Christmas to make hot chocolate with whipped cream on top and sprinkles on the whipped cream and sit under the tree reading my favorite Christmas story. I didn't even get to read a Christmas story. I stayed so busy.

I had wanted to watch Little Women at least once for a good Christmas movie. That didn't happen either. (And by the way, the newer movie has a Christmas feel to it for those who never watched that for a Christmas movie.) There were so many Christmas traditions I wanted to start, but none of them happened. I did however get to bake cookies, drink hot coffee on cold mornings while gazing out the window, bring out my best sweaters and wear them, host a Christmas party, see my best friend for three or so hours, but all in all, it is the before Christmas Day time that is more exciting than the day of Christmas. As soon as everything is opened and paper is thrown away and food is eaten, its over! It happens too fast, and this year much much too fast. I do enjoy watching people open their gifts from me and seeing the looks on their faces, but even so, it seemed like so much more in the box with paper and a bow around it.

I thank God for all the times spent on Christmas Day or any day that I spend with family and friends, but it is the weeks after Christmas that are so sad. Especially the un-lighting of the tree and un-hanging the ornaments. I know in another week I will be over the Christmas blues. I look to God for comfort in these lonely and quiet times.

I now know why people come up with New Years resolutions, to get on with their life after Christmas and to help get over the Christmas blues. It has helped me. This year, my resolutions are to start on Christmas presents right away, doing three gifts or more a month, and to read through the Bible in a year. So far so good. I have nearly completed one gift and I have been keeping on track with the Bible reading schedule and enjoying it. I don't remember if I have ever on my own read through using one of those schedules. So this year I am going to see how I do. It has been an adventure for sure.

I do look forward to the coming months ahead of me and what this year has in store for me. Nathan and I will be married two years this May, I have hopes to start selling books on ebay here shortly, and hope to help Nathan rebuilt and sell a computer of his and raise money this way so that one day we might be able to build and sell computers to help out with the finances. We have just been discussing the possibility of making money this way. It is worth a try. Since my salsa idea really hasn't made much to count for anything, I have been a little disappointed in that field, but I have to move onward and keep trying new ways. There aren't many openings for employment in our area for either of us to make more money so that one day we can have a home and kids. And we really have no desire to live elsewhere. We like living in the mountains where we get all four seasons and snow comes with winter. Prices of living may be higher up here, but jobs sure are hard to find. So I really do hope I can start selling items that we have, and don't need, on ebay. Then if I make sufficient amounts of money and do well with ebay I would love to put it aside and save for a downpayment on a home and second car.

I have great exepectations for our future this year.