Monday, December 27, 2010

A Wedding

I was among a small group of friends and family at the wedding of Denny and Billy today.  Theirs was a simple, touching and REAL wedding.  They had written their own vows and they were beautiful affirmations of love and commitment.  The officiant was their dear friend Kim, who held up pretty well during the ceremony, at least until Billy broke down a bit.  Then Kim did, Denny did and so did most of the guests.  The ceremony was held on the front porch at Denny's mother's house which is situated on a hill overlooking Benson, AZ.  It was a lovely Arizona winter day, sunny and mild, with a slight, cool breeze.  The guests were treated to a wonderful southwest dinner of tamales, freshly made tortillas and carne asada, chicken enchilada casserole, rice and chiles, and other salads, fruits and accompaniments. 

It was a beautiful ceremony and I am honored to have been there to witness it and to get an opportunity to meet the people who are dear to Denny and Billy.  I wish them a lifetime of love and happy memories.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

This is a different Christmas. Its not melancholy, but quiet, reflective, low-key. 

The candlelight service was beautiful, thought-provoking, and very much centered around God's indescribable gift to us, His Son, Jesus Christ.  It renewed in my mind, with crystal clarity, what the real gift exchange is all about:  accepting God's gift of a new life, of salvation from sin and death, of living in and sharing His light, His hope, His love, His forgiveness.  That is Christmas.

Merry Christmas, and may God bless us, every one. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


My son-in-law's Mom, Carol Anderson, passed away this evening.  She was a wonderful woman and my dear friend.  Many in-law families do not have the joy of merging together into a bigger family; of enlarging their hearts and accepting one another as true friends and not just tolerating one another for the married couple's sake.  Now, because of this closeness and love, I shed tears as painful as any sister might shed.  My heart aches not only for my son-in-law's and daughter's sakes but for my loss as well.  I mourn the loss of seeing her laughing eyes, listening to her wisdom, sharing the moments of our lives with each other and learning from one another as women so often do.  I see her likeness in my granddaughter and find comfort in that. She was so full of love for her family and her God and Savior, and I feel she has left us too soon. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I made my first buttonholes on the Bernina 830 today!  It was easy peasy and I've been dreading it for NO REASON!  Yay!  Sewing on buttons and then my son's shirt is (finally!) done.  Will post pics later.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Is This a Problem?

So...I went to my sewing room to tidy it up so I could find what I was going to work on.  Decided to clean the cat litter box first and discovered I didn't have plastic bags so went to the kitchen to get them and decided to install a cup hook in the shelf over the cat box so I could hang a sackful of them there.  Going through the drawers in the kitchen (where I last remembered seeing a cup hook) I decided to clean out one of the drawers which I proceeded to do and then noticed the pile of junk mail and catalogs that needed the addresses shredded which I proceeded to do and then grabbed a quick bite to eat and read the Verizon ad while eating.  Wandered back into the sewing room to tidy it up and realized that the cat box still needed attending to so I proceeded to do that and then put a couple of things away in my sewing room and decided I needed to blog about my activities to see if I truly do have a problem with my attention span so having done this I will put the thread away and start the embroidery project awaiting me.  But first I will answer the phone and then look up the instructions for proper monogram placement on hoodies and then do a test to see if the size in right and THEN I will start the embroideries!

Do I have a prblem?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Thoughts, Part II

'Tis the season to the dog house?  MIL is not happy that we've been so busy the last few days that we haven't stopped by.  I try but I ain't perfect.

I've been busy baking stuff and its been enjoyable.  Here's what I have thus far:     

Looking at the bottom photo, clockwise from the top: Cherry Mash bars (a layered candy), Craisin Oatmeal cookies with pecans and white chips, "Don't Ask Don't Tell cookies (Chocolate Sauerkraut Cookies) with Mocha Icing,  Andes Mint Chip cookies. 

While writing up this post, my sewing machine is busily stitching up more mini charms for earrings.  Thus far I have made more red bows, white angels and now snowmen.  Now, to use the other machine to finish a purse I'm making!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Thoughts, Part 1

The plan is to under-decorate for Christmas this year.  Not a "bah humbug" under-decorating effort.  No, just a simple one.  Like  2-3 wall-hangings, my two nativity sets, Advent candles and silk poinsettias.

Baking things that smell good, taste good and are easy to share.

Making as many of the gifts for the family as possible, without frenzy or anxiety, and picking out gift cards when time runs short. 

Simple, uncluttered, unhurried.  Finding the real Christmas that has been buried by events, expectations, glitter, and Too Much. 

Welcome to my heart, Christmas.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Toils and Trouble

Sometimes in life you make a judgment call with the best of intentions, to help someone or to foster goodwill, and it all goes wrong. Sometimes a friend will tell others their version of what you did and then no amount of explaining on your part will make things right.  This leads to discouragement as you realize that the thing you did last is the only thing that counts and that not all of your friends really are.

So, the best course of action in any group or work situation is to just follow the rules to a T (as long as they are not immoral, illegal or unethical), maintain a cordial, gentle aloofness in your friendships, and keep your mouth shut as much as possible.  Not the happiest way to live, but if you're going to be hung on the gallows at least it will most likely be for a major crime and not for a victimless misdemeanor.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled, at-home, no-one-judging-or-watching, creative, sewing and baking activities!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What REALLY Matters...

I was going to post some pictures of the cookies I've been making.  Then I came across this blog quite by accident (God-directed?) and I have quite a lot of other things to think about.  Here.  You read it.  Go ahead.  It might start a change in all of us who read it, if our hearts aren't too world-hardened already.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Another Phone Call...

My friend Jan from Washington State called to give me the sad news that my friend Ginger passed away last Monday.  I am grateful that Jan thought of me, knew I needed to know, and graciously took on the hard job of delivering the painful message.  It was a blessing to hear it from a friend.

Ginger would have been 45 this December...just a year older than my own daughter.  She started out as my boss and wound up being my friend.  She was a whirlwind of energy and paradoxes, a Phd and avid square dancer, a positive, relentless torrent of ideas, interests and projects.  Ginger lived all aspects of her life Ginger's way.  She wasn't mean or belligerent or arrogant; she was persistent and knew how she wanted things to be.  There were no walls or obstacles in Ginger's world; she simply went another way.  She loved to have mementos of her friends in her home, commissioning special pieces from the metal-worker or seamstress or jewelry-maker or woodworker or matter how small the item or how little its value, she displayed them all.  Her bright mop of curly red hair and startlingly violet eyes made her someone you would not soon forget.  She was unusual, vibrant, unsettling, disarming, fun to be around and a force of nature.  When Ginger came into your life, she CAME INTO your life and, regardless of how you felt about her (good or bad) you could not ignore her. 

Even though we didn't see each other often I shall miss her very much.  Her courage to be herself regardless of the consequences drew me to her.  She lived honestly and courageously and she believed in people.  That was her gift.  Because of her example I will strive to live less concerned about what others think and more attuned to what really matters and what is true.  Thank you Ginger.  You will be my friend for as long as I live.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Catching Up

Many days have passed since the last post but that doesn't mean that stuff hasn't happened.  Sometimes, though, the things that happen need to be written on the heart only.  So, that's where I've been posting lately.

I promised, however, to show progress on my son's "beer" shirt.  Here's what I've done so far:
It's cut out, anyway.  Hopefully, there will be more progress soon!

The two items I've actually completed, two purses, are hanging in the quilt shop.  They turned out very nicely and I will post pictures of them when I remember to take my camera to the shop!

Another "in-progress" project is a vest I'm making to wear at the quilt shop during the shop hop (which is Nov 6-13...I'd better get a move on!):

For the last unfinished project I'll show today (believe me, these are the tip of the iceberg!), here are the earring charms I made using my embroidery machine.  They are from Criswell Embroidery and are as cute as can be.  The Halloween ones won't become earrings in time for this year's event but there is still time for the fall-themed ones to grace someone's ears...providing I get them assembled within the next week!
Happy Fall, everyone!  Enjoy the process of making pretty things and to heck with the deadlines!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Marilyn is a genuine, warm, loving person who always has a big welcoming smile and good things to say.  She is a great conversationalist (and a night owl, like me) and easy-going.  She is fun and comfortable to be around.  She loves her family fiercely and makes her friends part of her family.  By the worlds' standards, Marilyn is not rich nor is she a stunning beauty.  But in the eyes of her family and friends, she is pure gold.  She is the staunchest of friends; she never backstabs or gossips.  With Marilyn, you are safe.  She is one of those people who seem almost unnoticed by those around her until she is gone...and then one realizes that she paints life's landscape with warm sunshine.  Marilyn loves to sew and quilt and craft lovely things.  She is a fellow "Pfaffie".

Marilyn is my friend and has lost her long-time battle with cancer.  Goodbye, dear friend.  You are irreplaceable.  I am so glad God brought us together as friends. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Been Busy

Here are two totes I made for my granddaughter and her best friend.  The friend has two bearded "dragons" and so, of course, the two girls are completely captivated by anything related to dragons. new Bernina 830 has a lovely embroidery design of a dragon (I guess you can say "lovely" and "dragon" in the same sentence) which I painstakingly embroidered (each in slightly different colors) on two canvas tote bags.  These were to be for their birthdays (Oct 5 and 8) but will arrive a few days late.  Since the backs of the totes looked so blah, I embroidered their first-name initials there.  Having purchased the simple canvas totes, I decided they were too simple for such grand embroideries so I lined them with pretty Laurel Burch fabric, pink with butterflies.  I hope they enjoy them! 

I also made a set of Snap Happy purses (pattern by Stitchin' Sisters) to add to a giveaway basket.  These are fun and simple to make, and folks are always surprised to discover that the closure is made from strips of metal carpenter tape!  They can be made any size and can be used for makeup, small toys, golf tees, snacks, whatever.  These have a golf theme.  Aren't they the cutest?

I'm working on a shirt for my son, so will post progress on that project tomorrow!  Meanwhile, if you like to make handbags as much as I do, take a look at this fun blog I found tonight:  She is featured on today's Moda Bakeshop entry, with a tutorial on making a Monster pillow.  So cute!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Won!

I participated in my very first blog hop and wound up winning Pat Sloan's giveaway!  It was fun to visit the sponsors' blogs, read some of their posts, collect their free patterns & recipes, and then leave a nice comment/thank you.  There are SO MANY talented folks out there in the blogosphere!

Anyway, back to my WINNINGS!  Here is a photo of the lovely prize that Pat is sending my way.  She has a super blog, website and radio show, designs really great patterns, holds contests, sponsors challenges...whew!  Wish I had her creative energy!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Margo II

After promising her a purse 1 1/2 years ago, I finally decided on a purse pattern and finished the purse today...for my Mom-in-law!  She is thrilled with it! (And she is very, very patient!)  See what you think... 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Think Pink"

I made this bra purse to hang in the quilt shop (where I work) along with other embellished bras, to observe Breast Cancer Awareness month during October. I'm dedicating my purse to my mom and my sister, both of whom lost their breasts (but NOT their lives!) to this ravaging disease.  Since they both have a wonderful sense of humor, I think they won't mind that I've named this creation "The Itty Bitty Titty Ditty".

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

But Wait! There's More!

Okay.  So.  I couldn't leave out the star of the monsoon season.  The feared and revered, the awesomely frightening, the quixotic and deadly, let's hear it for....


Photo was taken by my husband from our back porch during the wildest and wettest storm of the 2010 monsoon season, in late August.  Stupendous!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Summer Storms

The monsoon season in Arizona is worth the scorching, oppressive heat.  Well almost, anyway.  Somewhere around mid-July to late August huge thunderheads build up in the afternoon and start growling and grumbling.  The lightning displays are both frightening and awe-inspiring.  Sometimes it even rains...bonus!  Here are some beautiful cloud formations I captured a few days ago.


Pretty, yeah?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Making Handbags - My First "Margo"

I make the handbag samples for the quilt shop and also teach handbag-making classes sometimes.  You'd think making handbags would be ridiculously easy, right?  Well, 'taint necessarily so.  However, the handbags designed by Joan Hawley of Lazy Girl Designs are classically simple with nice details and wonderfully detailed instructions.  Here is the front of my first "Margo" handbag (Lazy Girl Designs):

And here is the back view:

Here is the inside view:

Dontcha just LOVE that fabric?  I have three more Margos cut out (featuring different fabrics) so you can tell that I REALLY like this handbag!  And one of them will have a rhinestone zipper! 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Joining the ranks

August 31, 2010 - as good a day as any to enter the blogosphere!  There are so many talented writers and blog-setter-uppers that it is somewhat intimidating to enter this realm.  However, since I needn't worry too much about anyone actually reading my random chronicles, here goes nothing!

About a year ago I designed some fabric earrings and have been selling them at the quilt shop where I work and teach part-time.  Lately I've been learning new ways to make fabric beads so as soon as I figure out how to post some decent photos here, I'll show what I've made thus far.

This is enough for a first post, don't you think?  More later... 
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