Thursday, June 28, 2012

Come...A Tour of My Flower Beds

I've been watching the Echinacea unfurl a bit more each and every day.
I have these coneflowers in a couple of spots and both are 
doing so well.  
Spreading nicely too.

I nearly pulled out the shasta daisies in late Spring.  They were looking
a bit too much like weeds.
Thankfully the roots were very firmly planted and so I was 
going to have to use a shovel to get rid of them and never
got around to it.

That was close.
Now if I can just find a way to keep the 
beetles away from them.

Kind of like that year Warren decided that the black eyed susans 
must be weeds and pulled out all he could see.
Thankfully those are very persistent and came roaring 
back the following year.

We are learning about perennials.
I happen to love them.

They are very faithful and usually come back 
every year with "children" making the 
spaces get filled in.

Our Bee Balm is also having a wonderful year.
A bit early because of the heat but stunning.

The hydrangeas are delightful.
We have one that is pink 

( The lilies and the hydrangea are so pretty together)

and which started as a potted
plant five years ago....
The other is blue (thanks to Michael's tinkering)
and doing well also.

I love the Russian Sage

Most of the roses are taking a break but this brave bud
has opened.....

And just a couple of little purple buds whose names
I forget.... but they bring color to the gardenscape 
even if I can't remember what they are called.

I hope you enjoyed our little tour of the flower beds.
They need lots of TLC but in spite of that they are putting on a show.
Good flowers!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How Did I Miss That?

How did I miss that the Hose?

Could have been such a cool photo.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Of Spa, Of Pillar, Of Amish and of Red Raspberries

What a day I have had.
I mean that in the best way possible.
It was a beeee-you-ti-fulllllllll day.

Nothing really out of the ordinary.
Just plodding around doing my thing.
Taking a kiddo to work, 
coming back home to hop online and check on things.

Then I decided to overcome my fears and attempt to
make a pillar candle with the sample of 
Palm wax my supplier gave me.
I had picked up the mold for it last night
while Chelsea and I were out.

So in between preparing candles to take to a new
spa, at which I am the new candle supplier
in their precious little shop of all handmade goodies,
and working on the sales 
flyer for this Fall's Fundraisers,
 I melted the palm wax
with some trepidation.
I'll tell you exactly how anxious I was...
I read the directions!
I know.
 I poured it into the mold.......

And then...I just had to walk away.
Turns out these things take a long, long time
to set up and release from the mold.

So by then it was time to go into the big city of 
Lancaster and meet my new friends at the Odyssey Salon.
Getting there was a bit of a challenge due to road 
construction and some sort of police activity.
However, after much delay and then circling
a bit until I found the small street on which 
the salon sits, I arrived.

I walked in and was told that I was actually 
expected next week.
However, the ladies were most friendly and 
made big over the candles I had brought.
That is definitely the way to my heart.

So, you would think that the day was pretty full
by now, right?
Not done yet.

Came back home and walked my Mom's dog.
Warren was home from work by this time so 
I talked him into coming with me.
It was such a nice afternoon that we all enjoyed it.

Having coupons to a restaurant in the Lancaster County
Countryside we decided to check it out on the way 
to purchase red raspberries from some friends.
Turns out this is a favorite of the Amish in that neck of the woods.
We really felt the unusual for us feeling of being in the minority.
Everyone pretty much ignored us....
unless they thought we weren't looking.
You could tell they were trying to tell if we were 
tourists or someone they should know.
I recognized one man from a craft show that 
I do in that area each year but he didn't recognize me
I'm pretty sure.

The food was very good.
We were glad we went.
Then it was just a hop, skip and jump to 
our friends house to purchase 8 pints of red raspberries.
Not all for us. 
We were picking them up for the Moms too.
It was so sweet that we were invited in for a short visit.
I really enjoy this couple.
They are so warm and welcoming.
The raspberries are amazing too!

Then home again.
Seems like that is a theme.

Finally, I could take my pillar candle out of the mold.
I was a bit tense to see if it would just come out because 
I neglected to buy the special and very expensive spray which
is supposed to prevent sticking.
However, it came right out.

Tuscan Melon and Apricot.  Yum!!

Like it was supposed to.
It is a cute little thing.
I purposely made it small because I don't 
want to waste the sample wax.

I'd love to make eight or ten in different sizes, colors 
and fragrances to assist in my learning process before I 
invest in a 50 pound box of the palm wax.

In the Palm Wax you get designs.  They are varied depending on many factors.

I love that it is also plant based and way better 
for me and you than breathing that 
burning petroleum.

Think about it.
Would you purposely breathe the exhaust from 
your car's tailpipe?

Not exactly the same.....
but not completely different either.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summer Refreshment

Mmmm...........I think it is time to make these again, Miss Chelsea.

Because He First Loved Us

But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; 
I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.
Psalm 52:8
I've been thinking about the
full and unconditional love of God.
So often we sit in judgement of ourselves and each other.
However, I have been pondering how God responds to us
when we fail.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, 
clothe yourselves with 
and patience. 
 Bear with each other and forgive one another
 if any of you has a grievance against someone. 
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:11-13 

And then how we should relate to each other.
Not so easy sometimes 
when our emotions are 
None of us are perfect.
The Bible is very clear about how we are to 
relate (or not) to a Believer living in outright and defiant sin
but so often the things we choose to pick on 
and point out are just differences in conviction
or preference.
Sometimes we hurt one another.
Yep!  It truly happens.
I'm guilty as the next guy to opening my mouth and 
allowing self righteous judgements to spew forth.
Horrible consequences usually follow as relationships have 
to be renewed and trust has to be rebuilt.
But how are we to relate if we are the one offended?
Just as it says in that last phrase of Colossians 3:13....
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
to the praise of his glorious grace, 
which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  
 In him we have redemption through his blood, 
the forgiveness of sins, in accordance 
with the riches of God’s grace  that he 
lavished on us. 
With all wisdom and understanding,
Ephesians 1:6-8

Pastor Mike gave us a mental picture years and years
ago that has stuck in my mind.
It was of Judgement Day.
As each of the redeemed pass by the great Judge
we are hiding deeply in the robe of our 
Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Just burrowed in as deeply as we can get
to as not to be seen for ourselves.
That is truth.
There is nothing in ourselves making us worthy.
It is ALL Him.
It is Christ the Father sees when He looks 
at us.  Christ the sacrificial lamb and 
perfect one. 

 Therefore it makes sense when the Bible says
we should then forgive our offenders with 
grace if we have experienced it so personally.

Not easy.
Just necessary.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Positive Peer Pessure

 No one makes them do this.
On this particular day we were just spending the afternoon at 
Creekside Cottage.  Several games of Ultimate Frisbee had been played
and the next thing we knew they were out under the tree
with their Bibles.
 It blesses our parent hearts to see them in the Word
together... and independently. 
They challenge each other with great books and 
uplifting conversation.

The age range keeps expanding as younger and younger ones join them.

This is a direct result of the older ones deciding to teach the younger
ones to play frisbee so that in days to come they will be able to play too.
Just as soon as they are old enough not to get hurt playing with the big guys.

It is so sweet to see little ones snuggled up with older siblings or
their friends and listening in on the discussion.

Last week's topic?

The Sovereignty of God.

You know....
the light fluffy stuff.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Note Card Party...The June Edition

My friend Vee, 
at A Haven for Vee has done much 
to inspire me to work on my note card 

In fact some of the very photos I've featured in 
past posts are now available for sale in my Etsy store.
Here are some that have been on my blog but have not
been featured in the Note Card Party.

This is a very fun exercise in reviewing your blog
as the rules of the party are that photos 
must have appeared on your blog.
It is quite interesting to read back through as you search
and remember what was going on or how you felt 
as you wrote certain posts.
Thanks, Vee.
This is a very fun linky party, indeed.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Today I Blogged.....

At the CASTTEAM Blog.  
It is my monthly devotional for this team.

 (Aren't my lilies awesome this year?)

If you want to stop by and read it you are more than welcome to do so.
I'm sorry I don't have time to write a post here today.
Big plans with friends at Creekside Cottage tonight....
I need to go and make dinner before it is time to leave.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Winner!!!

Thanks for all of the interest in my friend,

I nearly forgot to choose a winner today 
as promised....
I didn't.
I'm just late.

Our winner using a random number generator 
was Number 14...
or as it said on my written list

Congratulations to Sue.
Another very, very dear friend in my 
Etsy world.
If you click on her name you can 
visit her shop of photography cards.
What a wonderful collection Sue 
has put together.

So Adorable...And Chelsea Loves the Scent

Vanilla Hazelnut Cup and Saucer Candle
Currently for sale in my Etsy Shop.
$11 plus shipping
Approximately 6 ounces of soy wax 
and an adorable cup and saucer 
for display or use
when the candle is done.

Chelsea nearly always orders a hazelnut drink 
at her favorite place.

I always tell her it stinks.
She doesn't believe me.

That is what this smells like.

It doesn't truly stink...
but don't tell her I said so.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Catching Up....

I'm in a very unique situation for me.
I have multiple blog posts to write and features to do.
To the point that I have photos and posts backing up.
Most of the time as you likely can tell
I just sit down, pose my fingers over the keyboard
and begin to type.
But now I have actual pre-planned
 ideas and posts coming up.  

Remember the Fresh Produce Tunic that I was given to wear
so I could tell you about it?
If you don't remember its o.k.  
That was a long time ago.
Well, I am almost ready to write that post.
I've had a lot of fun with that top.
So have my friends at church.
But, more on that soon.

Then there is the creamed corn recipe that Aunt Betty gave me.
I'm going to post about that with the recipe for you too.
Just as soon as I make it so I can share photos too.
It is just amazing....if you like baked corn.

Helena at Candie Ink wrote such a darling post about me
and I am looking forward to returning the favor for her.
She did not ask me to do that...
it is just that her products are adorable and I want to share.
By the can still enter to win an Irish Moss candle
and a Monarch Note card if you go now.
A winner will be chosen on June 16th.

I have photos backing up from places we've been 
and people we've met.
Yep!  You'll enjoy those... I'm pretty sure. 
I know I had fun with this lady and her friends 
from California.
They are now my friends too.

So....I write all of this to say there is lots more to come.
I can't wait to share all of it with you.
But you'll just have to be patient.
And in the meantime enjoy the photos of the sky
we soaked in a few evenings ago.

I'm going to end the give away for Sheila's 
key fob on Saturday morning.
Then I'll make the announcement and somewhere
out there someone will shriek with joy.
Perhaps it will be you.

The boys are settling into their new jobs.
They both absolutely love working at 
Sight and Sound.  
Mikey keeps using the word blessed.
Wondering how he got to be so blessed.
Jonathan loves his responsibilities as security guard.
Even when the weather soaks him from head to toe.
Chelsea continues to enjoy her work in Concessions.
Warren is off to Las Vegas this week for a convention
but we'll see him tomorrow, Lord willing.

Four chocolate Tea Lights with a Teddy Bear Tag.

I've been working at projects for the candle business 
that are more behind the scenes these past days
but am introducing some new baby shower favors
this week.  Here are two of one variety.
The giraffe themed ones are coming soon...
and the dinosaurs.

Four Blue Baby Powder Scented Tea Lights with the Teddy Bear Tag.
I guess that is about it for today.
Thanks for popping in.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Introducing Sheila....SewFaithful

I love having an Etsy shop.
Making money from it is great.
Making friends from it is even better.
Of course, since my nickname is 
"Friendship Ambassador to the World"
what else would you expect?
No really, someone called me that once....
Anyway, I digress.

Upon opening my own shop I joined a "team" on Etsy
called The Christian Artist Street Team.
Seemed like a good idea to meet some people and learn from 
them how things worked around the site.
Sheila and I figured out that we were in the same general 
part of the world.  She is about an hour and half from me.
We first met in person at another Etsy friend's home where 
I was participating in an Open house.

Sheila(left) and Angel on a trip we took to Lititz.  So much Fun!!

Sheila walked in and it took me a couple of 
minutes to realize who she was.
Then there were hugs and laughter.
In my defense, Angel had done such a great job
as a hostess that people had been coming in 
one right after another and I was a bit overwhelmed
with meeting all of those new people.
Overwhelmed but happy.

Anyway....I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the beautiful items Sheila makes and 
hearing a bit from her.  She is a very warm and kind person.  I think it shows.....

 When did you begin sewing?
I’ve been sewing since I was a little girl-maybe 8 or 9 years old. My grandmother was always sewing, and I have fond memories of time with her in her upstairs bedroom sewing room.  One thing I remember vividly is her saying “time to get the ripper” . Part of learning to sew is knowing you WILL have to use a seam ripper to take out your mistakes.

Your favorite thing to make?
It depends. I go through cycles. Right now it’s felt dolls. 

Sarah...a Wee Wonderful Doll

Little Red Riding Hood

But a few years ago it was heirloom sewing. I made several very intricate Christening gowns with lots of lace and special techniques that I studied how to do for several years.

Did you make your girls clothes when they were younger?
I would usually try to make them their Christmas dresses. I was working outside of the home when they were little, so time was an issue. But I loved for them to have a special handmade dress for Christmas. (I’ve saved them all in hopes of having a grand daughter one day, or making them into a quilt or something.  ~Sheila added later that she has a trunk full of home made Halloween costumes from her daughters younger days.  She's holding onto them for future Grandchildren.  She says they will make for the best dress up fun. 

How did you happen to begin making dolls?

I’m not sure. I think I just saw some patterns that appealed to me, and off I went. I found I really enjoy working with wool felt and having something to hand sew instead of always sewing on a machine.

 I love the egg bowl fillers. How do you get them so even? Mine would turn out bumpy, I’m sure.

Most people who make things that are stuffed with wool or polyfil, don’t put in enough stuffing. You have to stuff them till you think you can’t fit anymore, and then add more stuffing! Also, very short machine stitches keep the seams smooth, as well as careful trimming of the seams.

  Tell us about your family?
I have the best husband in the world.  I have no doubt that God brought him into my life. I had a difficult childhood and prayed for a man like Bruce to love me. My prayers were answered!  He is a kind, patient, loving man.
 I’ve known him since 7th grade, and we have been married 30 years. We have two lovely daughters, Sarah-24, and Megan-21. Sarah works and John Hopkins and lives in Baltimore City which she loves (a country girl in the city, who knew). Megan will be going into her senior year of college in the fall. I think we will be adding a son in law to our family within a year or two (Sarah’s boyfriend Zach).

  Is this shop more business or hobby for you?
I would say a little of both. Probably more of a hobby at this point. I used to sew a lot more for business. I started out embroidering  Irish Dance costumes for a dance school. 

I made probably 100 dresses over about 5 years in that stage of my business. I did a lot of home dec type work during that time also. I was able to purchase a very nice sewing machine and cabinet from the money I made during that time.  ( I bought my sewing machine and cabinet from a Mennonite family business in Ephrata, PA) They have a sewing machine shop on their farm.  It’s like a step back in time driving onto their farm, then you go in the shop and here are all these incredible machines. Their whole family has a role in the business from the boys doing machine repairs to the girls selling in the store. They rotate working the farm ,house chores, and the sewing machine business. It’s really quite an experience to go and talk to them. Their service and prices are known up and down on the whole East Coast.

  Your favorite color? Does this influence the things you make?
I love pink, and feminine prints.  So I guess that’s why I like to sew girly things. But I also like the modern, vintage, and retro type materials. I think I’ve found a way to make it all work together.

I think you'll agree that Sheila really pays attention to detail and is delightfully 
accomplished as a seamstress.
I hope you'll take time and drop by her Etsy Shop.

All who have made it this far in the post and who leave a comment will be entered in 
a drawing to win one of Sheila's Key Fobs.
 For a second entry,
Just pop over to her shop and then come back to tell us 
which one appeals the most to you.

We would be so delighted if you "Pinned, Tweeted, Blogged" or in some other 
way passed on the word but we aren't going to make you jump through hoops.
We'll just say thank you in advance for those who do any of these things.