Thursday, April 29, 2010

daybook ::17::

for today :: April 29, 2010

outside my window. . .  the sun is shining on the wisteria & jasmine vines. . .  so pretty.
(I'm in my office this morning. . . usually I write this from my bed on my laptop!) 

I am thinking. . . of what a wonderful spring we are having here in AZ. It will May in a couple of days. . . & we are still having some days in the low 70's!. . . amazing! (& wonderful!) Some years we have already been steadily having days in the 90's!)

from the kitchen. . .  coffee . . . Will be stopping at Starbucks in a bit - when I'm out for the day.

I am wearing. . .  White tee, pink pants. . . 

I am creating. . . one more quilt (before Market that is) for my new fabric line. . .

I am remembering. . .  how fun it is to be around quilters. . .

I am reading. . .  A Lineage of Grace (Francine Rivers)

I am hoping . . .  to get another pattern to the printer this week.

I am hearing. . . my eternal hard drive ('Time-Machine' - Apple's back up system) busy doing it's thing. (Which I hope to never have to take advantage of. . . !) . . . & birdie chirping in the background.

around the house. . . More & more new finished quilts! (Yea!. . .  & a big hug for my quilter, Nubin!)

I am going. . . to work today! Big news! I'm working a day or two at the quilt shop where I first started quilting. (. . . more on that in another post.). . . I am loving it!!!

one of my favorite things. . .  the anticipation of seeing everyone & everything at Quilt Market. (I could do without the stress of getting ready for it. . . but I guess I'll take the trade off!)

a few plans for the rest of the week. . . Nubin & I are going to have a 'girls afternoon' tomorrow. It involves 'touch-ups' & treats!

from my picture journal. . .
This little hummer (bunches of them around here) . . . taking a little bath in the fountain in the backyard.

Wishing for you a sweet day!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

daybook ::16::

for today :: April 22, 2010

outside my window. . .  the sun is peeking through . . supposed to get rain today. . . but the sun is doing it's darndest to put it's mark on the morning.

I am thinking. . . of how wonderful so many of you are - with your sweet  comments & emails from my last post. Thank you for your encouragement & virtual hugs!

from the kitchen. . .  coffee . . . so far (big surprise ☺) . . .  oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon is going to be happening for breakfast as soon as I post this. (yum!)

I am wearing. . . my jammies. . .(still! - I need to get into a higher gear!. . .) 

I am creating. . . the free-pattern quilt for my new fabric line. . .

I am remembering. . .  that God's provision is just what I need . . . when I need it.

I am reading. . .  A Lineage of Grace (Francine Rivers)

I am hoping . . .  to get all my walking in this week.

I am hearing. . . Dad. . . in the kitchen. . . washing his hair in the sink. (part of his daily ritual)

around the house. . . looks incredibly uncluttered after the garage sale last weekend. . . love this feeling!

I am going. . . to run a few errands, then get back into the studio where bolts are calling my name!

one of my favorite things. . .   all the wonderful real winter & spring weather we are having this year. It's late April & there are still patches of snow on the mountains, & we are having a couple of days this week where we will only be in the 60's! (That's amazing for us! - we are often steadily in the 90's by now!)

a few plans for the rest of the week. . .  sewing, quilting, stitching, pattern writing, sewing, quilting, stitching, pattern writing, sewing, quilting, stitching, pattern writing. . .  (just like last week - welcome to the weeks before Quilt Market!

from my picture journal. . .

. . . one of the blossoming bushes in the back yard. I love the puffs of blue blossoms!

I hope you have a wonderful spring day!
 ♥  Bren

Sunday, April 18, 2010

… a bit of binding. . .

First, I want to apologize for my lack of posting lately. It's not that I don't want to post. . . it's just that 'life issues' have been filling up my days, & time, & thoughts & heart, & I'm trying to be. . . careful & thoughtful in what I post about.

I think that most of your know that my Dad lives with me. . . & he means the world to me. I consider it an honor to be able to spend my days with him, & although I knew that things would eventually start to change as he gets older. . . I guess that I didn't consider how that would cause me to reconsider some things that I had thought were important. . . things that now are being put (willingly) onto the back burner, as time is showing me that for now, plans & goals that I thought were so important just a few months ago. . . really aren't. Family is.

I think this is one reason why I really like binding my quilts. Not only is it a sign that the project is close to completion (a time to celebrate!) - but I also love the fact that it makes me sit down, slow down a bit, because the process of binding takes a bit of time to do it well.
. . . Kind of like life. There are simply times when life lets us know that we need to stop rushing so & to slow down & appreciate what we have before us. 

When it's a quilt. . . the binding process gives me time to think & to pray. Sometimes I think about my Grandmas, & this handwork process somehow makes me feel more connected to them. . . & sometimes I think about what is filling my days & calling for my attention & I am able to better sort through what is really important for me to do. The binding process reminds me that everything has it's time & place & that it's important to take that time. . . & to celebrate & enjoy each part as it comes.

When it's life requiring me to slow down. . . I am reminded to celebrate & enjoy each part & each event. . . as it comes. . . not matter what comes. I must admit, there are times that I would have wished that I could skip over some parts of life. . . but that would be to skip over some of what I have found to be the most precious times. . .

So today, (& for the next few days. . .), as I sit with my quilts to be bound . . . I am looking forward to thinking, & some time to simply slow down. . . stitch. . . remember. . . & be oh so thankful for it all.

Monday, April 12, 2010

daybook ::15::

for today :: April 12, 2010

outside my window. . .  blossoms, blossoms everywhere! . . . the orange, trees, the tangerine tree, the cat's claw & pyracantha that covers the fence/walls. . . 

I am thinking. . . of how grateful that I don't have allergies or hay fever!

from the kitchen. . .  coffee (on my second cup), & oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon.

I am wearing. . . lavender t-shirt (J.Jill), & shorts, barefoot . . . but will be changing soon. . .

I am creating. . . too many new designs to keep track of. . . ! (at least - that's the way it feels)

I am remembering. . .  that God's timing is perfect . . . 

I am reading. . .  A Lineage of Grace (Francine Rivers)

I am hoping . . .  to get two patterns written this week.

I am hearing. . . birdies. . .

around the house. . . getting ready for the community garage sales this Saturday. . . have ended up with more than we thought we had to sell. (It's also so nice to have the garage so clean!)

I am going. . . to run a bunch of errands with Dad this morning. . . life is changing, things to put in order.

one of my favorite things. . .   being able to spend time with Dad. . . having him around.

a few plans for the rest of the week. . .  sewing, quilting, stitching, pattern writing, sewing, quilting, stitching, pattern writing, sewing, quilting, stitching, pattern writing. . . 

from my picture journal. . .

Even though the blossoms are still bursting. . . a few of these little baby orange buds are making their debut.     (These will become breakfast & snacks this summer! - yum!)

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

… a visit back to the quilt iceberg. . .

It's time. . . (not easy - bit it is time. . . I need the room!)

So I just wanted to let you know that  I've just put these quilts up for sale/adoption on the website. 

They are all sample quilts. . . & I'd just love for them to go to good homes. . .  where they will be loved.


(there's also a couple from before that I've reduced the priced on . . .! So go see. . .!!)

Now. . . I'm on a roll. . . the garage is next!


Monday, April 5, 2010

daybook ::14::

for today :: April 5, 2010

outside my window. . .  breezy - which is bringing in the amazing scent of orange blossoms from the trees that line the side yard. 

I am thinking. . . of how much hope I am filled with after we celebrate Easter!

from the kitchen. . .  just coffee so far. Made a great big salad yesterday & will have salads (to go with our warm weather!) all week!

I am wearing. . . my favorite grey t-shirt (J.Jill), & shorts, barefoot

I am creating. . . a new quilt - using my new fabrics. . . so fun! I'm really pleased with how its coming along.

I am remembering. . .  that God is in control. . . 

I am reading. . .  The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society (still!)

I am hoping . . .  to get at least one new quilt made each week between now & the end of  month.

I am hearing. . . the soft putterings of the overhead fan. (No air-conditioning on yet - but I do have the overhead fans on. . .

around the house. . . sewing, stitching, quilting, . . . & getting into the garage for a big spring clean!

I am going. . . to take Bailey 'bye-bye-in-the-car' with me - to the bank. He loves going, & today he gets to do bunches of fun things. . .  because it's Bailey's birthday!. . . He turns 4 today!

one of my favorite things. . .   the unconditional love of a dog.

a few plans for the rest of the week. . . quilt group tonight, sewing, quilting, stitching, pattern writing, finishing a freelance graphic design job.

from my picture journal. . .

Bailey - the birthday boy!

Hope you have great week!

Friday, April 2, 2010

… the choice

If you are one that has looked on the side bar - at what books I am reading - you will notice that there is usually always a book by Max Lucado in the list. Max is an author that I admire & who's has a way of capturing history & the human condition that  captures my attention. . . & often my heart.

This is taken from one of his books, Eye of the Storm, & is one of favorite pieces of his writing. With today being such a special day in history. . . I thought I would share it with you. I hope it touches your heart.

The Choice 
by Max Lucado

He placed one scoop of clay upon another until a form lay lifeless on the ground.

All of the Garden's inhabitants paused to witness the event. Hawks hovered. Giraffes stretched. Trees bowed. Butterflies paused on petals and watched.

"You will love me, nature," God said. "I made you that way. You will obey me, universe. For you were designed to do so. You will reflect my glory, skies, for that is how you were created. But this one will be like me. This one will be able to choose."

All were silent as the Creator reached into himself and removed something yet unseen. A seed. "It's called 'choice.' The seed of choice."

Creation stood in silence and gazed upon the lifeless form.

An angel spoke, "But what if he ... "

"What if he chooses not to love?" the Creator finished. "Come, I will show you."

Unbound by today, God and the angel walked into the realm of tomorrow.

"There, see the fruit of the seed of choice, both the sweet and the bitter."

The angel gasped at what he saw. Spontaneous love. Voluntary devotion. Chosen tenderness. Never had he seen anything like these. He felt the love of the Adams. He heard the joy of Eve and her daughters. He saw the food and the burdens shared. He absorbed the kindness and marveled at the warmth.

"Heaven has never seen such beauty, my Lord. Truly, this is your greatest creation."

"Ah, but you've only seen the sweet. Now witness the bitter."

A stench enveloped the pair. The angel turned in horror and proclaimed, "What is it?"

The Creator spoke only one word: "Selfishness."

The angel stood speechless as they passed through centuries of repugnance. Never had he seen such filth. Rotten hearts. Ruptured promises. Forgotten loyalties. Children of the creation wandering blindly in lonely labyrinths.

"This is the result of choice?" the angel asked.
"They will forget you?"
"They will reject you?"
"They will never come back?"
"Some will. Most won't."
"What will it take to make them listen?"

The Creator walked on in time, further and further into the future, until he stood by a tree. A tree that would be fashioned into a cradle. Even then he could smell the hay that would surround him.

With another step into the future, he paused before another tree. It stood alone, a stubborn ruler of a bald hill. The trunk was thick, and the wood was strong. Soon it would be cut. Soon it would be trimmed. Soon it would be mounted on the stony brow of another hill. And soon he would be hung on it.

He felt the wood rub against a back he did not yet wear.

"Will you go down there?" the angel asked.

"I will."

"Is there no other way?"

"There is not."

"Wouldn't it be easier to not plant the seed? Wouldn't it be easier to not give the choice?"

"It would," the Creator spoke slowly. "But to remove the choice is to remove the love."

He looked around the hill and foresaw a scene. Three figures hung on three crosses. Arms spread. Heads fallen forward. They moaned with the wind.

Men clad in soldiers' garb sat on the ground near the trio. They played games in the dirt and laughed.

Men clad in religion stood off to one side. They smiled. Arrogant, cocky. They had protected God, they thought, by killing this false one.

Women clad in sorrow huddled at the foot of the hill. Speechless. Faces tear streaked. Eyes downward. One put her arm around another and tried to lead her away. She wouldn't leave. "I will stay," she said softly. "I will stay."

All heaven stood to fight. All nature rose to rescue. All eternity poised to protect. But the Creator gave no command.

"It must be done ... ," he said, and withdrew.

But as he stepped back in time, he heard the cry that he would someday scream: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34)  He wrenched at tomorrow's agony.

The angel spoke again. "It would be less painful ... "

The Creator interrupted softly. "But it wouldn't be love."

They stepped into the Garden again. The Maker looked earnestly at the clay creation. A monsoon of love swelled up within him. He had died for the creation before he had made him. God's form bent over the sculptured face and breathed. Dust stirred on the lips of the new one. The chest rose, cracking the red mud. The cheeks fleshened. A finger moved. And an eye opened.

But more incredible than the moving of the flesh was the stirring of the spirit. Those who could see the unseen gasped.

Perhaps it was the wind who said it first. Perhaps what the star saw that moment is what has made it blink ever since. Maybe it was left to an angel to whisper it:

"It looks like ... it appears so much like ... it is him!"

The angel wasn't speaking of the face, the features, or the body. He was looking inside—at the soul.

"It's eternal!" gasped another.

Within the man, God had placed a divine seed. A seed of his self. The God of might had created earth's mightiest. The Creator had created, not a creature, but another creator. And the One who had chosen to love had created one who could love in return.

Now it's our choice.

(From In the Eye of the Storm  Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 1997) Max Lucado)

May this Good Friday. . . this bittersweet, yet blessed good Friday, be a very special one for you.

 ♥ Bren

Thursday, April 1, 2010

… a finish or two

Actually this post will be a bit random . . .

. . . kinda like how my week has felt. . .

. . . & yet,  things have been happening & completed!. . . (sort-a). . .

I'll start by showing you what the UPS man brought this morning. . .

. . . some cute little Cath Kidston blank booklets. I use these all the time. . . for so many things!  I  Cath Kidston things. . . so fresh - so cute.

 . . . a Max Lucado book. . . (one of my favorite authors)

❀ . . . & it finally happened. . . I wore out my VCR tape of 'You've Got Mail'. . . a movie that  - when I'm working in the studio - I semi-regularly have on in the background when there is nothing on tv. . . (which can be often lately!). The last time I popped in the tape. . . it started getting so wobbly - I expected the tape could break at any moment - so I broke down & got the DVD . . . & the deluxe edition version. I figured that if it is still one of my favorites after the countless times I've watch it. . .  then I would go for it. 

We're supposed to get a little rain this afternoon. . . so guess what I'll be watching?!

On the getting things finished (beside an old VCR tape. . .!) A few items are all ready for my quilter. . . 


These are two version of  one of my new designs. This one is called, 'Floye's Garden'. . . names after the wonderful garden that my Grandma tended - right next to their farmhouse. Whenever we visited the farm when I was little. . . as we were traveling the dirt roads that led to the farm, we would always look for the garden. . . that was the sign that this was the one. . . we were there. . . Grandma's Garden.

I've done the design both in embroidery & in applique  (using wonderful wool!). There will also be a few other little projects included in this new design. 

Here's what I'm working on today. . .

. . . more peeks soon!