Wednesday, October 31, 2012

~Living Life~

A week ago Sunday, when my mums were showing off their most vibrant colors, I went out and took pictures with plans to brag share with you their glorious blooms and magnificent sizes.  But then my world was unexpectedly turned upside down with the sudden death of my father.  By the way, thank you so much for your sweet comments and promises of prayer.
Sometime back, I was looking through a catalog and found a picture that had the most encouraging and wisdom-filled phrases and thought I would save it for a rainy day post.  Well, I think my rainy day has already come.  Though my heart becomes heavy from time to time, I can smile as I think of how apprpriate it would be to share this with you today.  These words speak loudly of the type of life my father lived and I can think of no greater way to honor him.
~Living Life~
"Life is not a race ~ but indeed a journey.
 Be honest.  Work hard.  Be choosy.

Say 'thank you', 'I love you', and 'great job' to someone each day.

Go to church; take time for prayer.
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh.

 Let your handshake mean more than pen and paper.

 Love your life and what you've been given; it is not accidental ~

 search for your purpose and do it as best you can.

 Dreaming doesn't matter.  It allows you to become that which you aspire to be.

Laugh often.   Appreciate the little things in life and enjoy them.  Some of the best things really are free.

 Do not worry; less wrinkles are more becoming.

 Forgive; it frees the soul.

 Take time for yourself ~ plan for longevity.

 Recognize the special people you have been blessed to know.

Live life for today; enjoy the moment."

These words have touched my heart and cause me to be more aware of how I live my life each day.  I pray that they have done the same for you.  Blessings~

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Friday, October 26, 2012

~My Heart is Hurting~

In 2007, I met this man named Jack Tyler. I never knew he existed until then. He is my biological father. In God's glorious timing, he brought us together. Our bonding was immediate and our relationship became closer and deeper with each passing day. He passed away suddenly this past Monday.
In the short five years that I have known him, I learned that he is one of the most godly, genuine, kind-hearted, sincere, generous and loving men I have ever come to know. I am so thankful for the time that God gave us. Jack Tyler holds a special place in my heart. I love him. I will miss him but I know that, in God's glorious timing, we will be together again in heaven.

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

~Creating Family Heirlooms Baby Style~

Awhile back, I gave you a sneak peak of some projects I was working on for our newest grandbaby who was born about a month ago. They involved some cotton fabrics, yarn, decorator fabric, corduroy and denim.  With the upcoming birth of each of my youngest daughter's children, she has asked me to make curtains, bedding, diaper bags and carrier covers.

I wish I had some pictures to show you the adorable things I made for big sister, Tater Tot, but I couldn't find any and her things have been stored away.  But I do have pictures of what I made for Bubba.
Brittney decided to reuse the carrier cover and baby bedding that I had made.  The fabric is a cowboy print from Waverly and then I used a lightweight denim, corduroy and coordinating cotton fabrics.  By the way, their Daddy made the crib when Tater Tot was born.  He's quite the carpenter, isn't he?  I also made the bedroom curtains using the Waverly fabric but forgot to take pics of them.

This is the diaper bag I made for Bubba but it is getting rather ragged.  Brittney wanted Little Bubba to have some things he could call his own and asked me to make some new ones just for him.  How could I resist a daughter who is so big on handmade items that may become heirlooms for her babies?

Thankfully, I had plenty of leftover fabric stored away to make a new one.   It's taken me a while, with a few interruptions along the way, so I just got it finished yesterday!!  I know, I know.  Tsk, tsk.  But I can say that I had the other items completed in time for her shower.  More about those in a minute.
Here's the new and improved diaper bag for Little Bubba!  This time I quilted the fabric for better stability and sprayed all the pieces with fabric protector with hopes to keep it cleaner.  When she washed the first one...only faded rather quickly.

A changing pad made of the denim and cotton fabric.  The back pocket of the diaper bag is made with the corduroy.

The inside lining made with a western print fabric and you couldn't ask for sturdier pockets with the denim.

I think it turned out so cute if I do say so myself.  I must say that it's a bit more of a challenge turning and sewing through several layers of the heavier decorator fabric but it is more durable. So we don't have to be so concerned about it tearing or fraying in the heavier use areas.
  One of the other baby projects involved this yarn in colors of denim and wheat.  For each of my grandbabies, I've crocheted a baby afghan in colors that coordinated with their room colors.  Wouldn't you know, I forgot to take pictures!  At least I think I did.  When I went to search for them to add to this post, I couldn't find any.  Huh.
And the biggest project involved all these beautiful western prints.  The Waverly print was way too heavy for a quilt and I was ecstatic when I found this dark red cowboy print that coordinated perfectly.

I made lots and lots of Granny Squares while trying to make sure that no two were alike.

 Isn't it amazing how the look of the pattern changes when rearranging the layout of light and dark fabrics?

Though machine quilting is so much quicker, I 've always preferred hand quilting.  It adds such character and knowing that each stitch was put in by hand just adds that something special.  Which do you prefer?
There was a finished quilt on display in a fabric store not too far from where I live but, unfortunately, she didn't have any more of the backing fabric available.  Lots of cowboys and bucking horses.  I wanted that fabric!!  I was able to find some online and ordered loads of it.  If you look above, you can see that I also used it to line the diaper bag.

Here's the finished quilt.  I love how it turned out.  Tomorrow I'll take the fnished diaper bag to Brittney and then she'll have ALL the new family hand.  Though her babies may not know now of the work and love that Mammer (me) put into creating these things for them, I hope that they will cherish them when they are grown and start families of their own.  They may not have alot of monetary value, but handmade family heirlooms are the most special.  Don't you think?
I pray that your day is filled with all the joy, beauty and color that the Fall season brings~

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

~Right Under My Nose~

A few posts back, I shared with you my new pieces of ironstone that I recently added to my collection.  As a footnote, I said that I was looking for a small soup tureen and this is why...

This is the little coffee station area next to the kitchen stove.  I love using my ironstone for daily sugar bowl for sugar and one for sweetener, and the spoon rest for the stirring spoon.  I used to have a salt/pepper shaker set here but the cork stoppers kept falling inside!

Anyway.  You see the lovely hot chocolate container in the background?  Adds to the decor, doesn't it?  I can't drink straight black coffee (even with cream and sugar) but rather am more of a flavored-coffee drinker and found that adding hot chocolate mix is just the fix I need.  So this container sits on the counter every day.  Very convenient but not very pretty.

Well, now look at what's in it's place!  A cute little tureen.  Maybe for veggies?  I don't know.  So petite with lovely lines and details.  And guess what? I didn't have to go shopping for it. Nope. I already had it!! 

Last week, I was scouting around, in the cabinet I use to house my ironstone collection, for something to use in my fall decorating.  Lo and behold, back in the corner of the top shelf I found this little beauty.  I had forgotten all about it.  But, apparently, the image of it was still in the recesses of my mind because this is EXACTLY what I was looking for.  What a knucklehead I am! :/  If I had just looked at the pictures in the post I did about my collection, I would have seen it there!!

It's been right under my nose the entire time.  I couldn't believe it.  I grabbed one of my beautiful, vintage soup spoons to use for scooping and now I have something lovely to store my hot chocolate mix.  Even Mr. Bill noticed the change and commented on how much better the service area looks now.  I agree.
Today is an absolutely beautiful day...fresh, clean, lots of sunshine and muddy.  We had a torrential downpour yesterday and received four inches of much needed moisture.  We haven't received this much rain, at one time, in a long, long time.  So we don't mind a bit of muddiness.  We are thankful.  I pray that today has been a wonderful day for you as well.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

~Mountain Men and Apple Pull Apart Bread~

Yep, mountain men and Apple Pull Apart Bread.  They do have something in common. didn't know that?  Well, they kinda, sorta have something in common.  You'll see.  I promise.

Mr. Bill and I took off in our RV for a few days this last weekend up to near Bartlesville, OK.  It's less than two hours away but it still allows us time to unwind and relax.  Earlier this summer, I shared with you our trip up to Woolaroc where we learned that the preserve hosts the Mountain Man Rendezvous several the Spring and Fall.  Well, the Fall event is here and we couldn't wait!  A major cold front was coming through but that didn't stop us from enjoying a fun time.

We were surprised to see so many canvas tents and teepees set up in this valley area that we visited during the summer.  Everything, and I mean everything, had to represent the era when the mountain man lifestyle was at its peak....around the 1840s.  The log style cabin in the top photos was the only one there..  Of course, an exception was made for the "Porta-Potties" to be used by the campers and visitors alike.  Thank goodness!! 
Everyone shows their, cooking/eating utensils, bedding, weapons.   Everything has to be "authentic" meaning they must represent the 1840s or earlier.  All modern conveniences (such as ice chests) had to be covered up.  Many of them had the folding wooden chairs shown above but they claim that they weren't comfortable at all.  Just gave them a place to 'set a spell'.  And they are able to have campfires to cook their meals and especially to stay warm during this cold snap. Thankfully, these people were very careful and attentive to the fact that we have been in a drought for the last two years.

During the time they are there, competitions are held for not only the men but women and children, too.   We were able to see the women participate in the bow/arrow and hatchet throwing events.  They even participate in the musket shooting events!  The women in the lower picture have been attending these events for anywhere from four/five to fifteen years and more.  Obviously, they truly enjoy this hobby lifestyle.  The one with the white scarf on her head is working on her loom making decorative belting to sell.  Many of the people sell or barter their wares to help each other out.
We saw a variety of clothing styles...frontiersman, Englsih, French and then the true mountain man attire.  These guys are really serious about their stuff!!  Reminds me of our favorite movies, "Jeremiah Johnson".  All clothing had to be made of leather, fur, wool and heavy linen held together by leather strips, leather/wovenbelts, wooden or bone buttons, heavy-duty safety pins (from that era) and shoes were either leather boots or moccasins.  The guy in the lower corner just shot off his muzzle loading flintlock rifle (according to hubby).
It truly was a fun time listening to the people talk about the things they had made; we saw the pride they took in creating things that may have been used by the mountain men; why they love participating in these rendezvous' and even listening to some pretty good yarns.  That's half the fun of their get-togethers, I think!

These were the wares that I bought....brass and silver scissors, brass thimble, wooden candlesticks and this lovely, tarnished but decorative silver pitcher.  I couldn't resist!  After all, I felt it my duty to help these mountaineers sustain their habit. ;)
Well, as much as I love camping, even learning how these people were roughing it, and, as much as I would love to learn how to bake over a campfire pit, I'm not quite ready to give up the modern conveniences we have in our RV.
So, I followed my original plan of putting together a batch of homemade Apple Pull Apart Bread in my handy-dandy oven that bakes at an even temperature without me having to tend to it all the time.  At the time I was making this bread, I realized I forgot the memory card for the camera and tried to take pictures with my I-phone but they didn't turn out too well.  This photo comes from the pic I had pasted in my recipe book.  This recipe reminds me of Apple Fritters but without the frying.  And, being the kind soul that I am, I want to share my recipe with you....
So, here you have it...Mountain Men and Apple Pull Apart Bread.  All in the same weekend.  See?  I told you they had something in common.  ;)
Hope you are having a wonderful Monday ~



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