Friday, July 27, 2012

You never know...

Yesterday we started out with a very beautiful morning.

You never know what will happen that is completely out of your control. By late afternoon we were under a tornado warning. We ended up having a torential downpour, the sky darkened and the wind picked up. The rain was coming down so hard and fast that it was difficult to see anything past a few feet out the window. Thank the Lord we did not have any damage. Correction, one casaulty, I have a silk dogwood tree on the back porch that fell over and the pot broke. Actually with a little TLC and a hot glue gun it can be put back together again. It is nothing like Humpty Dumpty who sat on a wall and fell and no way could he be put back together again. My pot is fixable. We did not lose power either nor did we lose any branches or trees. My friends working at the clinic were evacuated to the basement but were able to return to work without any incidents. I heard that a funnel cloud was spotted at Thiel College just a mile or so from the clinic but have not heard of any damage. We need to be thankful that we have a merciful Father who cares for us and never leaves us. He also is never surprised by these things that are completely out of our control.

I read this in my morning devotions. Matthew 4:1 Jesus was led out into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted there by the Devil. This is what the author of the devotion wrote...What surprised me was that it was the Holy Spirit who led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted. While Jesus may have purposed to pray and prepare for fulfilling the plan of God through his ministy, the Holy Spirit led him there to be tempted. He faced it in his full humanity, using only the same weapons that we have at our disposal: the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and absolute trust in his heavenly Father. Satan's temptation was to induce Christ to finish the work without the suffering, without the personal humiliation of obedience and self-denial, without the rejection and misunderstanding of people--in a word, without the Cross. Satan tempts us in the same way, trying to convince us that we can experience the glory of God without the suffering of Christ, that we can accomplish a great work for God without the cost of carrying our cross. I have been praying that I can do a great work for God and I know that it will cost me something, it will probably cost me a lot. Not in money, but in sacrifice, service, denying myself (which isn't fun to do nor do I want to) but I will if it means that someday I can stand before Him and hear Him say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." So what is it that I can do today to serve Him and reject the temptation to take the easy way out? This I must ask myself and be willing to go and do what ever it is He wants me to do.

I hope I haven't gotten too preachy for your taste but if I have and you choose not to follow my blog and read what I have to say then I know I have done what I have been told to do and I am not responsible for what you choose to do with it. God loves you, He sent His Son to die on that cross so that you can be redeemed and have a personal relationship with Him. Don't let His gift sit on your table unwrapped forever. Open it and receive the gift He has freely given you.

I hope you have a wonderful day and that you do not have to experience life out of control without a sure anchor to keep you safe and secure.

Credit for the devotion. It came from The One Year Book of HOPE by Nancy Guthrie. It is a fantastic devotional book and she has lived through that life out of control and has come out the other side with HOPE.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Enjoying patio space while posting...

Yesterday, I promised to share my back porch area with you and enjoy it myself while I was preparing this post. As I sit on my glider I am listening to the raindrops fall out of the trees. It is not raining now although we did have a good gentle rain during the night. As the breeze gently moves the branches of the trees, the leaves let go of the rain drops they have been holding on to. Nice. It is also nice to listen to the birds singing back and forth and the crickets chirping. Georgie is out and about exploring all the scents left behind throughout the night. I just saw her go by with her favorite toy in her mouth, a tennis ball. Everything is so green and lush. I need to take time to enjoy this view more often. Occasionally, I can see a horse in a neighbor's field go by through a clearing in the trees. This is a cool and fresh morning even the air smells clean and refreshing.

Let me share some photos of the patio. I need to do some more work on it but it is becoming one of my favorite spots.
I didn't move the furniture position at all but I did add the curtains. I got them at a local "pass it on days" in a neighboring town. Once a year they have a huge community yard sale and I found a box with these curtain panels and the toppers in it for $7.00. What a great deal, and if they should be damaged by the weather I am not out any great investment. I still have 2 more panels that I could cut up and make pillow covers with. We will see if I get that done.

I like this little seating arrangement under the stained glass window.
I am thinking of using the little table inside beside DH's reading chair. When we moved the furniture around inside he lost his side table to set his book on and to have a lamp on. That corner is very dark so he needs some sort of lighting. This table might be a bit too short though. I will let you know how that turns out or if I go another route. If it stays put, I need to add some pretty tablescape to it. It is hard to see in the photo but I have 2 hanging glass mosaic pots that I want to add a fern to. I had candles in them but with the curtain toppers hanging there now they were too tall and I couldn't have used them as they would be a fire hazzard. I think some sort of plant that cascades down would be pretty.
This other corner with the lounger and dogwood tree looks inviting.
I need to find another place to keep the extra propane tank for the grill. LOL. (I almost got it by a bird that just flew through the porch. It flew right at me and only missed me when I ducked.) The hazzards of posting outside.

This is another corner that I find myself wanting to sit in and enjoy.

Lastly, the food prep area. We have our grill here and I recycled this old dresser into an outdoor buffet.
There are several things that I would like to do to finish up the space. I would like to do something with the floor, either stain it or paint it, I am leaning more toward a dark stain. The railings I would like to paint white. I would also like to hang some sort of artwork on the wall above the buffet that would tolerate the weather, perhaps an old garden gate or something like that. For now I am happy with the minimalist look it has. I don't want to have to worry about maintaining the back porch or that something might get damaged by being outside. Keep it simple and enjoy it more. That is going to be what I strive to do more of.

So that is it for today. I hope you have a wonderful day and remember to take time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. We often times get so caught up in our to do lists that we forget to sit down and enjoy what we already have.

Thanks for viewing a small piece of my world and please leave me your thoughts and comments. I love reading them.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Photos of house after the party

I mentioned that I did a lot of work preparing for the dyeing party we had here on Saturday, but I never went in to what I did. Today, I want to share some of the photos of the simple changes I made that I think really make a difference in the cohesiveness of the place. I have been hit with the Pinterest bug and I love to see all the beautiful pictures that give me so much inspiration. I wanted to try my hand at creating some pretty displays and get some of my lovely pieces out of storage.

First of all I must say that these photos were taken after the party, so this is not exactly what everything looked like for the party, especially the back porch area.

Inside, the dining room had the most changes but they were all just in the accessories. This is my mother's china. I added in glassware and silver to the mix.
I like the sparkle that the glassware gives.

My favorite piece of furniture that I own is this dresser that has served many different storage functions in its life. My mother bought and refinished it many years ago and I always told her that I wanted that piece willed to me. I just love it.
It's purpose right now is a buffet to hold my table linens and quilted pieces. It has held bath towels and fabric stash along with storing my china in past lives. It is a beautiful and very versatile piece. The drawers are deep enough to hold just about anything and they are very sturdy. I love the warm golden patina and the carvings on the drawers. I have never even considered replacing the drawer pulls either. I think they are unique and very lovely. This piece sits under the window and between the 2 rows of floating shelves in the dining room and makes a great landing spot for food dishes during holiday meals when nothing else will fit on the table. I will never get rid of this piece.

This is the floating shelf arrangement on the right side of the buffet.
You can see a small wallhanging on the side wall.
I got it at the Amish auction in June. It was made by Tina's Aunt Linda. It might have to find another spot some day but for now I like it right there.

I do plan on removing that wallpaper border some day. I have another border that I would like to put up that has softer colors. There is a piece of it over my kitchen window. I am in love with it.
Don't you think that will be beautiful in my dining room in place of the other border? Also, how do you like my little chandelier over my kitchen sink. It was a $7.00 bargain I found several years ago at Lowe's. I wish I had a couple more like it to hang over my night stands in the bed room. Although that will be another post soon. They would need to have a beachy look to them. Check back to see how that makeover comes along.

I have one more photo to share in the dining room. The chandelier.
It was given to me by a quilting friend, thanks Charyn, she had it in her dining room. One year she hosted the Christmas party for our quilt group and I poked my mom and said "Look, her chandelier matches your china." Charyn gave me the chandelier after she redid her dining room and I love it. I do think I might add some bling to it with some crystals and glass bead chains. Another some day project.

Come back tomorrow to see how the back patio looks. Here I am sitting in my rather messy office writing this post and I should have taken my computer out to the patio and enjoyed the fresh air. I will do that tomorrow and as you read that post and enjoy the photos you can imagine me sitting there on that lovely patio. I have certainly been blessed. Thanks for sharing a little of my space I hope you have enjoyed. Please leave me any comments on what your favorites are or what you might like to try doing yourself.

Have a wonderful day and be thankful, as I am, for your many blessings.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The promised ice dyeing photos

Yesterday, I promised to post the photos of the fabrics from our ice dyeing experiment. I am so excited about how rich and vibrant the colors turned out to be. After I washed them and hung them on the line to take photos of them I thought that they turned out really nice but it wasn't until I spent the time ironing them and I got to really look at how the colors melded together did I get to see the real beauty. I am definitely going to be doing this again. I just love all the fabrics.

No further ado, here are the fabrics.
These 3 fabrics are Tina's. She used a heavy canvas piece which is the far left piece which took the dyes really well. The other 2 pieces are white on white scraps she had and you can see in the next photo the detail of how the white printed areas will not take the dyes. This is so pretty.

In the rest of the photos take time to note the differences in how they turned out. It depends on how they were scrunched or folded and how tight or loose they were. Also all of the rest of these fabrics are 50% cotton and 50% bamboo blend. They have a wonderfully soft hand and they accept the dyes beautifully.

A few tips to explain some of the variations in the fabrics. The tighter a piece was twisted or scrunched the more white that remains in the piece. The more solid pieces were on the bottom where all the dyes collected. The accordian folded piece was the most muted with vivid ends. The fabrics on the top layer had the most vivid colors. You can not control the results that you get other than how tightly you twist your fabrics, or what colors you apply. I feel that this was a very successful experiment in ice dyeing and I do plan on doing it again. I was very pleased. Now comes the fun part of delivering these to there owners. I hope to get to see the expressions on their faces when they open them up.

Now I have to get ready for another dyeing day with the Bethel Quilt group next month. I am definitely going to do this again. Have a great day. I am remembering a quote I heard somewhere, I am sorry I can't give credit to whomever said it, but it goes like this. Gratitude is not thankfullness until it is expressed. So be thankful today for all your blessings.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Catching up is hard to do...

I was really lax in my posting last week as I was spending a lot of time getting ready for Saturday's Dyeing to get together Day. Let me tell you that all the preparations were well worth it. I have so many photos to share with you that it will have to be a 2 part post. First of all we could not have asked for a nicer day. It was cool and overcast which might not sound so great but being outside you don't want one of those scorching hot days. It was just right, warm enough for the dyes to work well and we didn't melt in the sun. It was wonderful.

We were trying to do a head count which was hard as there were people here there and everywhere. I think we had 22 counting The Help,(Tina, Mom P. and me). We had the activity stations broken up into 4 areas. Tina ran the fabric marbleing station which everyone seemed to really enjoy. Everytime I looked over in that direction the area was crowded with ladies around the table. I don't have any photos of that. Sorry.

We had a table for the ladies to decorate the shoes that they brought. Our quilt show's theme is "If the Shoe Fits" and we will have shoes on the stage so we want to have some fun with that, decorate the shoes in some fun and outrageous ways. Here is a photo of some shoes being worked on
Berdella and Mary.
I will post my shoes eventually. I plan on using shoes I get from Goodwill and some nail polish and googly eyes. You will have to wait to see that. I am excited.

Here are some random shots of the ladies although it is not everyone. I am sorry we just could not keep up with everything and taking pictures. Thanks to Tina we did get a few. Rosalee and Lianna.

Berdella, Janet, Anita and Ann.

Sally, Cindy, Edith.

Carolyn, Charyn, and Peg.
We also had a table set up on the back porch for tracing off Hawaiian designs to make a pillow cover or to use as desired. I don't have a photo of that either. I never made it up to the back porch except to eat. LOL.

The most fun that I had was doing the ice dyeing. I have never done that before but have read several articles on it. So we had to try it out. The only draw back to that is that it must sit for 24 hours to "marinate", so the ladies couldn't take their pieces home with them on Saturday. I am left with the job of figuring out who's was who's and get it to them. I think the efforts are well worth it though. You will have to come back tomorrow to see the actual fabrics revealed but here is how we did it.

First of all I decided to use the wheelbarrow as I thought we would have a lot of fabric, and we did, and that was the only tub I had that was big enough. So I washed it out good the day before, no need to worry about rust or small holes in the wheelbarrow as it gets lined with plastic before anything gets added to it. We soaked our pieces of fabric in the soda ash water and scrunched it up somewhat loosely. Then a layer of ice gets put over that. I used a 10 lb. bag of ice for a small wheelbarrow. Once the ice is in place you take fiber reactive dye powder, I use Procion X dyes, and sprinkle a generous amount of dye powder over the entire surface of the ice. You want to use lots of colors. I covered that up with plastic and let it sit for 24 hours. We did not have a lot of sun Saturday or Sunday so when I checked it after the 24 hours there was still a little ice lying on top. I moved the wheelbarrow into the sun and let it sit another 2 hours. I then took the fabrics out of the wheelbarrow and washed them in hot water with regular detergent, dryed them in the dryer and hung them on the line to take photos, which I will share tomorrow. Here are the photos of this process. Ice dyeing in the wheeelbarrow.
Adding the dyes to the wheelbarrow.
Here is what the ice dyeing tub looked like after 24 hours of sitting. The ice has melted and the colors have all done there thing.
Here is the reveal of the ice dyeing fabrics. I only took a couple pictures as I took out a few of the pieces from the wheelbarrel. I needed more hands to take the pictures and handle the fabrics.

I also dyed a backing fabric for my latest quilt project which is a blue and white quilt top. This is what it looked like hanging on the line. I have washed it and it is not quite as dark blue nor are the white areas white white, they are more of a bluish white. That is ok. I am still going to use it for my backing. I hope to get it quilted up over the next 2 weeks.

So you will need to come back and check out how the fabrics in the wheelbarrow turned out tomorrow. I think success was had by all those who came. We had a great day, great food and lots of laughter and sharing. Another successful dyeing day.

Have a great day and be thankful for good friends, good times together and good food. I sure am. It was a wonderful weekend.