Friday, June 29, 2012

Plans are they mine or His?

Do you remember how I mentioned my plans for yesterday and even though I wanted to get certain things done I would be open to letting God change them and doing what He asked of me? Well, God is so good and He actually blessed my productivity yesterday and He helped me get that quilt top done that I have been trying for months to do. T-shirt quilts are a great keepsake and a great way to recycle items that bring back lots of memories to us. They are also like a jigsaw puzzle to put together. I have not always enjoyed that part of the process. Trying to get a pleasing composition and making a lot of different sized blocks fit together cohesively. Well, God helped that all flow yesterday. I sorted the blocks out into piles of same sized patches, took one pile and began to sew them together, adding sashing strips between the blocks and to the sides of any that needed to be larger in order to fit in that row. I ended up with 5 vertical rows that then were joined together with a long sashing strip between them. I finished up by adding a 6 inch border all around. It ended up being 76" x 87", and finished it just after supper.

So you can see that God is good as He allowed my plans to be in alignment with His plans and on top of that He gave me good success with them. This scripture says it all. Proverbs 16:3. Commit your actions (or your work) to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. I was very pleased with how quickly and effortlessly this finally went together. Now today I need to go to Joann's and get some more fabric for the backing. I need 3 more yards. I think I saw the same piece when I was there last.
Two more truck loads of topsoil (good old dirt) were delivered. I didn't get out there to spread any of it yet but I do have that on my to do list for this weekend. The first load was delivered early in the morning and the second load after dinner. Thank you Steve for getting me all this lovely dirt to play in. This is the 1st pile.
And here are both piles.
Once again Georgie had to be out there checking it all out making sure it all smelled kosher. Well, it smelled but I wouldn't say it smelled good. It should be really good for growing nice plants.

Today I am off to Joann Fabrics to get the rest of the backing fabric then I will stop at the plant/produce auction on my way home to get some plants for the lovely new oasis. The rest of the plans for today are to get the t-shirt quilt on the frame so I can quilt when I need to cool off after working in the dirt. I have a new chicken recipe that I want to try out on the grill tonight. I invited DS and girlfriend for dinner.

So once again these are my plans but if God changes the direction that my day takes then I will be agreeable to make the changes and let Him take me where I need to be because I am convinced that He can see the whole picture better than I.

I just received word that a friend's husband passed away last evening, he was way too young. A rememberance that life is fragile and that we do need to commit our actions to the Lord, when we do that, no matter when we go to face Him, He will be able to say. "Well done my good and faithful servant." Ann my prayers and thougths are with you and your family during this time of loss. May His peace flood your heart.

Have a great day. I love you all and pray for the peace that passes all understanding that only comes by knowing who's you are and that He only wants the best for you.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Waiting for more dirt and what to do in the meantime...

My to do list is still getting longer but I am getting things crossed off that I have been wanting to do or needing to do for a long time. I ordered another truck load of top soil, I am hoping it will be delivered today so that I can go to the plant auction tomorrow and find some beauties there that will fit into my new Hawaiian inspired garden. I went to Home Depot yesterday morning and got some white marble river rock to add to my path. Here is what it looked like before I added them.

I love the shadows that play across the ground. Here is what it looks like now that the flag stone have been rearranged just so and the river rock added between them.

And from a different angle.

I saw some hibiscus at Home Depot that I might have to go back and get. Nothing says Hawaii quite like hibiscus. I am thinking some nice pots sunk into the ground along the front edge with them in will be nice and then I could bring them in to overwinter.

A couple more things that I got done yesterday. I bought some pillow forms for the covers I bought in Hawaii. They really pop on the sofa.

I made my own invitations and got them all ready to mail out for the fabric dyeing day that has become an annual event for our quilt group. I have to go to the post office this morning to get stamps and get them sent off.
I also finished quilting the raffle quilt. The theme for our show this year is "If the Shoe Fits" and the quilt is a flip flop quilt. Here are some detail shots of it. I can't reveal it in its entirety as the designer in the group hasn't even seen it yet. Surprise, surprise.

And a peak at the border.

Can you see the sun motif? I had to keep with the fun beachy vibe and you can't enjoy the beach without some sun.

One thing I have been procrastinating about is this t-shirt quilt I have been trying to finish. I have to make some progress on it today. My goal was to have it ready to put it on Lola, my longarm machine, by the end of this week and since I still haven't started piecing the top together that won't be happening. So I have to go to the post office first thing, mail the invites, then get to work on the quilt.
No more excuses. Posting these things here really helps me to remain accountable so you should be seeing some pictures tomorrow of a finished or nearly finished quilt top, unless something else comes up that is more important. (Is that my way of allowing something else to get in the way of progress with this project again thus continuing in my procrastination?) Things will work out as they should. I am just the hands and feet that become the instruments for God to work out His plan. These are my plans for today but they are always adaptable if He has something else for me to do.

The scripture from my morning devotions today was Isaiah 55:8-9; "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the Lord. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." Do I remember that His ways and thoughts are far greater than mine and that He truly has my best and your best interests at heart? I do believe this but sometimes I get so wrapped up in my thoughts and plans that I forget He has something different and better in store. So I hold up my plans to the creator of the universe and I allow Him to change them to what ever it is He has planned for me today.

I love you all and I pray that you have a wonderful day. Whatever you do, do it unto the Lord and it will be a great and fruitful day.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Another dream being realized...

I am pretty amazed at everything I got done yesterday. Of course I had a little help from my friend. I did get outside first thing and finished leveling out the dirt. This is how much area it covered and you can see that I have at least that much more area to do before I am finished.
Since this photo was taken DH removed some over head branches to let more sun get into this area. It will still be mostly shaded but the front edges will get some late morning/early afternoon sun. After Tina got off of work she came over to help me with the planting. We also moved some pretty big rocks that DH said wouldn't be getting moved. Once we got them where we wanted and positioned just so we sang a roaring chorus of "I am woman, hear me roar." We might not be able to do something by ourselves but we have great strength in numbers. Tina was here for about 1 hour and this is what we created together in that time.
Of course, Georgie, had to check out our work. She gave us her approval. I still have some more work to do on the stone pathway. We just laid those down so I could get the general feel of how I wanted that to go so we could position the plants properly. I will go out this evening to position those just so. I will also need to make a trip to Home Depot to get some small river rock to scatter between the flat rock, I want it to look like a dry river bed. The plan is to get some more dirt delivered tomorrow and go to the plant auction on Friday. I would like to get this all done by end of next week. Tina will also be bringing me more rock from her place to use as a border around the whole thing. It is coming together nicely. Thanks Tina for all of your help and the sacrifice of your time and strength to help me get this dream realized. It means so much to me.

I also put the raffle quilt for our guild's show on the frame yesterday afternoon and started quilting it. It is about 7/8 of the way done. Wow hoo. I would have finished it last night but after all the standing and heavy lifting my legs and feet were crying out for a little R&R. So DH and I watched a Sherlock Holmes movie.

I have invitations to get ready and send out, registration for quilt retreat to mail, along with ordering supplies for 2 fabric dyeing workshops I will be doing in July and August. Also I have to finish that quilt on the frame so I can get to doing another one.

Remember to thank someone today for their service to you. It could be the waitress at your favorite restaraunt, the clerk at the grocery store, or the service repair man whom you call to fix something, a delivery person or perhaps the postal worker who brings your mail everyday rain or shine. When we were on vacation, I came to see these people as true blessings. They were working hard at their jobs in order for me to enjoy the luxury of a vacation that was not a necessity. How ofen do we think we deserve something at the expense of someone else and then we don't appreciate the effort that was required for us to have it or worse off complain about the service we received? Let's not take any effort made for granted, we have no idea what that other person is going through.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dirt, glorious dirt...

Yesterday was a perfect day to be outside working in the yard. It wasn't too hot, the sun was shining beautifully and a cool breeze was blowing. The perfect day to get started on moving 10 and 1/2 ton of DIRT. Do you know what 10 1/2 tons of dirt looks like all in one pile? Well, here you go, this is what it looks like.

First of all, I had to get ready by cutting out lots of undergrowth that surrounded 2 of the 4 trees. Here is a photo of the most over grown tree.
So I got that all cut out and picked a wagon load of rocks out from around the one tree that became the dumping ground for the rocks we came across when we plowed up the ground to put in a garden in years past. Do you like my rocks? I think I can find some beauties in this pile to incorporate into my stacked stone statues.

When DH got home from his meeting and we had lunch, we went out and he trimmed some of the lower branches from the trees through out the yard not just in my little area that I am working on. We have a nice pile of branches in the fire ring that will dry and be a nice bonfire later on in the summer. I even cut down a fairly good sized branch that was shading a dogwood tree too much, all by myself.

I went back out after supper and started spreading the top soil around. I would say that I got about 1/2 of what has to be moved done. I will be heading out again as soon as I finish this post before it gets too hot. I think I will need at least one more truck load (10 ton) to completely finish the job. I would like to get the rest by the end of the week so that means I have to get all of this spread out as fast as possible. Tina is coming over this evening to bring me rocks and help me plant some of my grasses that I got at the auction, if I am ready to plant by then.

On a sweeter note, I am pleased with how my window boxes have filled out since planting them and getting them hung back up.

My to do list is getting longer. I have added 2 fabric dyeing days for quilt groups for this summer. I have to get organized and purchase supplies for that. I need to send in my registration for a quilt retreat in the fall that Tina and I are going to.
I also have to get to work and get some customer quilts done. I haven't quilted in like 3 weeks. So enough procrastinating. I am off now to the yard and moving more dirt, when I come back in I will get to my sewing studio and work on another t-shirt quilt.

Have a great day, do something kind for someone else and remember to be thankful for all your many blessings.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Back to reality

Getting 10 ton of top soil delivered will bring one back to the reality of real life pretty fast. I mentioned in another blog post that I have wanted to encircle 4 trees in our side yard into one flower bed and with the inspiration of tropical Hawaii I could see in my mind's eye how I wanted this flower bed to look. This is the area that I am going to tackle.

Saturday I met some friends at a local Amish benefit auction and I bought some plants that will be a good start to this flower bed. So the next step is to get some top soil. Our original plan was to go pick it up ourselves but after thinking about it and how much we would need I decided it would be easier and more time efficient to have it delivered. So DS's girlfriend's father is going to deliver 10 ton today. I might even need more than that but this will get me started.

So I mentioned going to the auction on Saturday. Tina and I try to go every year. We even take things to sell. I didn't this year but Tina took lots of quilted items she made and did rather well. We usually are interested in the plants/shrubs and the quilts. They have 4 or 5 different auctioneers going at the same time so there isn't any way to see everything being sold. We started out watching the household furniture getting sold, then moved over to the plants when they started being sold. This is what I got. I will have to add more plants once I get the lay out of the flower bed figured out but that is easy as there is a plant/produce auction held about 5 miles up the road 2 times a week in the summer. How much easier can it get?

We then moved out of the sun into the big building for the quilts. The quilts ranged from really expensive to barely able to get a bid for them. We get amazed at what people will buy. Some of the quilts don't even bring what they are worth in the materials used to make them and then other things that you can go to Wal Mart and buy for $20 will bring $75-$125. Tina's aunt also brought some things to sell and she had a small wallhanging of a geisha girl she did in a quilt class that we all took together. I got it for $5.00. No one would bid on it. You have to be very careful about what you take to sell there. Very traditional designs in very traditional colors are the preferred. Artistic ability and expression are not so much appreciated.

I am going to be getting back to work full swing now that we are home and the vacation is behind us. The jet lag is pretty much over. So I need to get my to do list together and start wacking away at it. I have some big goals to meet and lots of activities to get underway. More on that in a post to come. Be on the look out for updates and pictures of my flower bed in progress.

Have a wonderful day and pray for me please that I will get everything done. LOL. I will take it one step at a time and whittle away at it.