Saturday, April 29, 2006

New book!

Beverly Lewis' new book is out! With Beverly Lewis' last series, Abram's Daughters, I bought each book as it came out. I determined that the next time Beverly Lewis wrote a series of books, I would wait until they were ALL published before I started reading any of them! I just love her books, but it seems as though NOTHING is resolved until the last book in the series.

Then at Christmas, Kevin gave me the first in her new series. Well, I couldn't help myself. I read it. Besides, I didn't want to hurt Kevin's feelings by not reading it. =)

Tonight Kevin and I were in Sam's Club, and I saw the new book! It was a much better price than the bookstore, so of course I couldn't pass it up! Would you? *Grin*

I got to meet Beverly Lewis at a booksigning about a year and a half ago. She gave a little talk, answered questions, and then signed books. It was a very pleasant experience, and very nice to meet the person who TORTURES me book by book by book! LOL She seems like such a sweet Christian lady, and really has a heart for the Amish people.

I am going to wait until tomorrow afternoon to start reading my book. I have some housework to accomplish before Sunday, so I will be patient until then. Besides, once I start reading, I have a hard time putting the book down!

Image from

Friday, April 28, 2006

Me 'n my sewing machine

I just love to sew! My first project was a blue gingham apron, that I made a cross stitch border on. My mom did most of the sewing, but *I* made it--all by myself--as I told everyone who saw it! I was 5 years old. My mom had (actually, I believe she still has it) a little portable Elna machine, and that was what I learned to sew with.

My next project was a sundress. It was basically a tube with elastic around the top and straps to hold it up. I'm not sure how old I was. As I got older, my mom kept helping me make little projects here and there.

When I was 12, I think, I started "sewing lessons" at my grandma's house. My grandma is a true professional seamstress, and everything she makes is just gorgeous and so lovely looking! I aim towards perfection, but she hits the mark! Every Tuesday morning, my sisters and I went over to Grandma's house for our lesson. Oh, another one of my grandma's wonderful traits is that she is *patient*. It's a good thing, too!

Needless to say, when I was getting ready to get married, I wanted a machine that I could take with me. My mother-in-law-to-be bought me a sewing machine at a yardsale. With that, I made several things. Then, a neighbor and long-time friend of my mother-in-law's said she had a sewing machine that she would like to give me. We went to visit, and brought it back with us.

My machine is old, and quite "vintage" but I love it! I will be quite sad if it dies on me! It has so many fearful looking contraptions to attach to it, but I'm proud to say that I've learned to use most all of them! =)


The tulips are just gorgeous here! I'm wishing that I had planted tulips last year, and I know that I'm going to plant some this next fall!

A few weeks ago, Kevin gave me some potted tulips. They were so pretty! I just don't know what to do to keep them so they can be planted next fall...or should I plant them now? Anyone a tulip expert? =)

The picture above is what they looked like in full bloom.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Sock Update, Mail Call

Today I didn't feel well, and ended up coming home from work around 11:30. The results of which, I sat on the couch and knitted for a good portion of the afternoon. I made very good progress on my second sock, and then I remembered that I had a tapestry needle in my knitting supplies, so I used that to finish off the other sock. The striping isn't going to be identical, but it's pretty close, and I'm pleased with it! This yarn is difficult to make identical socks with. I just love the plummy colors!

Last time I went shopping, I spied some yarn that will do very nicely for the next two pairs of socks I make. The one on the left is self-striping. I made a pair of socks for my mom with the same name brand, and when I went back to Hobby Lobby to get some for a pair for myself, they had stopped stocking it. I was so glad to see that Meijer is now stocking it, and I whisked up a skein for myself before they decide to stop stocking it!

When the mail came this afternoon, I received a package from Linda at Lavender Wings. It was my "doorprize" from the online needlework show. The designs are lovely, and the sampler design came with a few beads and a little flower decoration. She also included a notepad and four small designs. I am not going to rush out and get the materials for these projects, because I do have a few other projects I'd like to finish up before getting more projects. (Such as a few pairs of socks, a sweater I've been ignoring, a counted cross stitch project, some sewing projects...)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

~Tea with Friends~

I love to sit with friends and chat over a cup of steaming tea. Tea just seems to make the conversation sweeter!

When I was younger, I had a friend who was close to my age. Often, when my family was at her family's house for an afternoon, her mom would serve us girls tea. It was quite a simple affair, but one I look back on with fond memories.

We each got to choose which mug we would like. Invariably, I would choose the stoneware mug with a whale in the bottom of it. When there was about an inch of tea left, you could see the whale "flipping" in the mug. Usually her mom made a pot of tea and then out came the honey. =) Tea was more like syrup at her house, for my friend's mother didn't place any limitations on the amount of honey used! (In my family, honey was used more conservatively.)

From time to time, I've been at someone's home where they served tea after dinner. It is always so nice to sit and sip tea. Everyone serves their tea differently. Some people have tea cups, most just have mugs. Some brew a pot of tea, some have a few different herbal flavors to choose from. Some serve honey, others sugar. It all tastes good...when you have tea with a friend!

See this post to see what tea I would offer you if you came by!

Today is Administrative Professionals Day

I think it used to be called Secretary's Day. :)

I didn't even know it was Admin day, until one of my co-workers told me so. Then I was totally surprised when my office manager came in and gave me a card with a $25 gift card to Border's Books!

I was further surprised when a beautiful flower arrangement was delivered to me! The flowers are mixed--roses, daisies, tulips, and a few others I'm not sure of. I'm sure to enjoy them!

Now to spend my $25. That shouldn't be too hard. I love books! I guess the hard part will be in not overspending the card! =)

Kevin told the office manager that next week was "Architectural CAD Support Day", to which she replied that he wasn't going to get any flowers.

He said, "I don't want the flowers, I want a gift card." LOL

Are you a "lurker"???

If so, you know who you are, and I'd like to know who you are! *Grin*

I shamelessly lurk on quite a few blogs myself, and I don't really like the term "lurker". It sounds so wicked. LOL

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Boy Meets Girl

Leigh asked in a comment how I met my husband. Since I always like to hear other people's stories as well, I'll gladly share. =)

Kevin was attending a Bible college about 2 1/2 hours north of my home church. My pastor had recently started the church (January, 1999) and wanted a college student to come help at the church for the summer. He knew the pastor/president of the college, and asked him if there were any students who would be interested.

Interstingly enough, Kevin had just spoken with the pastor about spending a summer helping a church.

So, on April 17, 1999, Kevin came down with a fellow student to meet my pastor, see the church, and see if he would like to work there for the summer.

That morning (a Saturday), my dad and two of my sisters and I went to the church for doorknocking. My pastor (a big tease, indeed!) introduced me to Kevin as a terrible driver! LOL (He had nothing to go on, I've a good driver!) I can't remember if names were exchanged or not, but I don't think so.

Later on that day, we were at the pastor's house for a birthday party for his oldest daughter. Since Kevin was spending the day in town, he was also at the pastor's house.

After we left, I told my sisters that there would be NO teasing me over the summer intern--there wasn't anything at all to tease me about!

Kevin came down at the end of May to start off his summer. It seemed like every time I turned around, there was Kevin. My pastor would call me up, "Miss Tammy, could you come to the church and ______." I *think* he may have been orchestrating something. LOL

I didn't like Kevin at this point, and my sisters teased me unmercifully about him.

Then around the end of June, God started working on my heart. I actually laughed at one of Kevin's jokes (oh, yeah, I was a little snobbish towards him, cause I didn't want him to get any "ideas"). Kevin took my laugh as a positive thing, and started joking even more. LOL Then he sat down and talked to my dad about dating me. My dad started out, "Well, asking me to date my daughter is like asking me to marry my daughter." Whoa! Well, Kevin really was serious, and he wanted to proceed from there.

While we called it "dating" it truly was a courtship. Our first activity together was mini-golfing with ice cream afterwards, on July 2, 1999.

Kevin proposed on December 18, 1999.

We were married on June 3, 2000.

And the rest, as they say, is history!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Crocheted Cross Bookmark

Tonight I did something I haven't done for a very long time...I crocheted!

The bookmark to the right was my little project for tonight. This pattern was my very first crochet project! I had learned how to crochet, but I didn't know how to follow a pattern. I was 17, and I wanted to learn so badly! At the time my mom subscribed to Country Women, and this pattern came in the spring issue. I really liked it, and the next time I went to Wal-mart, I got thread and a hook, and determined to teach myself.

My first try resulted in an eight-inch high bookmark! I was convinced it was the right size, but my mom encouraged me to try it again. The next time around, I got it closer to the correct size.

Since then, I have crocheted many different things. But I've been neglecting my poor crochet hooks lately, ever since I took up knitting. The only thing I've used my crochet hooks for as of late has been to pick up dropped stitches while I'm knitting!

I'm glad that the hooks and needles aren't animate objects, as portrayed in Mary Frances Knitting and Crochet Book! This delightful book has recently been reprinted. A while back I checked it out of the library and browsed through it. Knit and Knack, the knitting needles, and Crow Shay, the crochet hook, teach Mary Frances how to knit. It's a cute book, and I'm sure many a girl in time past learned to knit using this book.

If I really had a Crow Shay in my house, she would have been feeling quite neglected these last few months! *Grin*

Saturday, April 22, 2006


This week has sped by! Today is the last day in my week of pictures. Thank you to those who have stopped by and written encouraging comments!

Today is my day to get everything done! I do all my grocery shopping and errands on Saturdays, as well as get my house clean and prepared for the week ahead. Today I've stopped by the library, went to the post office, checked out a thrift store, and completed my grocery shopping. Now it's time to tackle the house!

I'm wearing a practical jean jumper that I got at Kohls for $15 that was half off the original price. I've paired it with a red t-shirt that I also got at Kohls. Kevin is with a group of men from our church today, helping to finish off some cabins at the camp that our church kids go to. Because of that, I had to take my own picture today. *Grin*

Friday, April 21, 2006

Doorprizes, socks, and painting

What a combo, huh? =)

I am on the e-mail list for a local needlework shop. I got an e-mail update just a day or so ago, telling me that they are participating in an online "road show". (How can it be a "road" show if it's online?) Basically, it is around 100 designers who are selling their designs at lower prices, but you have to go through your local needlework shop.

So I browsed through, and realized that it was mostly counted cross stitch designs. I like to do cross stitch, but I'm not looking for any new projects right now. While perusing the site, I signed up for the "doorprize".

I won the doorprize!

Have you ever been to a craft show or something similar, and not bought anything, yet walked away with a doorprize? You feel like slinking out the door.

Only, in this case, there isn't any door to slink out of! The prize was two cross stitch designs. I got to choose them from one of the designers. They are beautiful, and I can't wait to do them.

Oh, and you can sign up for the doorprize every day. So I did today too. LOL

Socks! My sock is finished! I just have to "kitchener" the toe closed. That would require a lot of digging through my sewing room stuff to find my tapestry needle! At least I have enough knitting needles that I can start on the second sock!

Painting. Does anyone want to come and help me? LOL I do not like painting! But I like the finished product. to paint I go! =)


Ahhh, Friday! *Grin*

Today I wore a casual top that I bought at a thrift store for a few dollars. I paired it with my navy blue skirt that I wore earlier this week.

Friday's are "casual" days at the office, but we are not allowed to wear jean. Since most of my casual clothes are jean, I dress about the same all week long.

For those that are newer to reading my blog, I thought I'd share a little about my job. My husband, Kevin, works as a drafter for an architect. Back in November, the receptionist quit, and they needed a replacement. At the time, I was looking for a part time job, and the office manager thought she'd try out a job share. Well, after trying that out for several weeks, she realized it wasn't going to work out. By that time, I was enjoying the few days a week that I was there. Kevin and I talked and prayed at length about me working full time, and finally came to the decision for me to apply. I started full time at the end of December. My job is much more than a receptionist. Even now, after almost four months, I am still learning. I am the assistant to the office manager, who is the accountant for all the businesses the architect owns. It has been quite interesting to work here, and I don't mind at all if Kevin flirts with the secretary at work. ;-) (In fact, I would say he does all the time!)

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Tonight Kevin and I went out to eat after work. We had to stay almost a half hour late so that we could get some last minute jobs finished. We went to a local steak house. I had a salad with steak on top. Mmmmm...

Today I wore a dress for the first time all this week! LOL Kevin told me that I needed to change this to a "week of skirts and tops". *Grin* I got this dress in the "uppity" section of Palo Alto, California, when we were on vacation. Palo Alto has two sections of town--one very bad, poor section, and one very rich section. But anyhow...I found this dress in a consignment store, and it was a good price! =)

This picture is the best picture for tonight, you'll have to pardon the man walking down the street. Poor Kevin! I had my eyes shut for five straight pictures in a row! I'm not very photogenic!

My hyacinths are in all their glory right now! I had to post this picture of them. I did a bit of weeding around them, and clipped the grass around the flower bed tonight. The weeds are going to start attacking me if I don't go out there and attack them soon! =D Hopefully Saturday will be nice, and I can get my yardwork done then!


I love fabric. I love walking into a fabric store and picking out fabric for a new project. I love the way a fabric store smells. Mmmm “new fabric” smell. (I’m not joking!) I also love fabric scraps. When I’m done with a project, I save all the scraps—big or little. There just might be a use for them one day, you know! Truthfully, I do use scraps for projects. So my reason for saving them isn’t altogether wrong. However, the scraps have piled and piled up, overflowing the two plastic containers that I have them stored in.

Last night, as part of my de-cluttering “mission” for my sewing room, I went through my fabric containers. One container has scraps, the other one has larger pieces of fabric. I forced myself to think realistically about each piece, and actually ended up with some room in each of the containers. That’s a good thing! Now I won’t have piles of fabric in my sewing closet. I filled a laundry basket with all the scraps I need to get rid of.

I’ll be listing the fabric scraps on Freecycle, along with several sets of curtains. I made the curtains, but they either do not fit the windows in our new house, or I am very tired of looking at them! I certainly got my use out of them! The two sets that I am tired of I made for our living room and dining room windows for our first apartment, then they were used in our second and third apartments, and in the last house we lived in. They were even on a window in our new house as a temporary measure. You see—I’ve gotten a lot of use out them, and while they are still nice, I just want a change!

I also found a few things to list on e-bay, which I will be listing in the next few days. I hope these things sell as well as the quilt tops did!

I still have a lot left to go through, but this is progress! I have never thought of myself as a "collector" or "hoarder" or a person with a lot of clutter. But now I'm realizing that this sewing room is one area that I have done a lot of collecting and hoarding!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Today I am wearing for the first time a new sweater that I bought from Christopher & Banks, with a black skirt that I made for myself several years ago. With this black skirt, and the navy skirt I wore on Tuesday, my wardrobe is so versatile!

Christopher & Banks is a store that I found out about when we moved here to Michigan. My sisters tell me that there is now one opened near them in California, but that is just recently.

In spite of the fact that the squirrel(s) are continuing to eat my food (those bad squirrels!), the birds are still visiting our bird feeder. I heard a cardinal out there just a few minutes ago, and looked out the window to see it. Cardinals are such beautiful birds! We have also had some house finches visiting our bird feeder. I love to watch birds! I plan on putting a hummingbird feeder on our front porch. Squirrels won't be bothering that! =)

And here's a picture of me with my sweet honey who has been patiently taking all these pictures this week:

Time in the Kitchen

This last week I have come across some very delicious recipes. My time spent in the kitchen has been quite rewarding. There's nothing worse than spending a lot of time cooking, and coming up with Very Bad Food!

Easter's dinner menu consisted of:
Dripped Roast
Hot Potato Salad
Green Salad
Dinner Rolls

and Peach Cobbler for dessert

Everything turned out so good! I got the recipe for the roast out of my Fix It and Forget It cookbook. If you like cooking in a crockpot, I highly recommend this cookbook! The potato "salad" recipe came from my dad's mom. She usually makes it every Easter and Christmas, and it's one of my favorites! This was the third time I've made it, and it turned out the best this time. And then, the dinner roll recipe was given to me by a friend at church. They were the easiest, nicest rolls I've ever made!

On Monday, I tried out Susan's Garlic Chicken recipe. I told her it was "Scrumpdillyicious". (Is that a word? *Grin*) I only used four chicken breasts, leaving us two for dinner, and two for Tuesday's lunch. On Monday night, the chicken was slightly spicy, but WOW on Tuesday it really was spicy! It was still very good as leftovers though--just had to keep the water handy!

Now, if I had the recipes handy for the roast, potatoes, and rolls, I'd post them. But I do not have them I shall post them later! =)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Today I wore a striped sweater that a lady in our former church gave me. It is lightweight, with three-quarter length sleeves, and very nice for this time of year. I wore one of my favorite skirts today. I paid full price for this skirt, but I've never been sorry! It wears well, packs well for vacations, washes well, and is just nice to have!

Here I am in my sewing room, "painting". (Haha...I do not think so! You can look at my previous post to see my painting outfit!)

Each night when I get home from work, I generally change my clothes so that I need not worry about ruining them as I cook and clean. Tonight I've changed into my jean skirt, and put on an apron that I made. I'm making chili for dinner tonight, and decided to triple the recipe, that way we have lots of left overs!

In knitting news, I'm almost finished with one sock. I just started working on the toe. I'm going to have to knit fast and furious if I'm going to get this pair of socks done this month (for the Sock a Month Knit Along that I'm part of).

Monday, April 17, 2006


Today I wore a flowered blouse that two of my sisters gave me for Christmas last year.

Before Christmas, Holly and I went out shopping, and she bought me the skirt that I am wearing today. She's a sweet sister! If she sees this picture, she'll probably tell me, "No, no, no, you're not supposed to wear this skirt with this shirt." Haha You see, she already told me that the don't "go" together, but I think they look perfectly fine together.

Today was very blustery out, but nice and warm. While I was outside, I snapped a few pictures of my flowers. I'm thinking of replanting the daffodils in clumps. This is our first house, and first yard that I've gotten to do any planting in. I didn't realize that they would look nicer if they were grouped together. I still like the way they are, and I'm loving the fact that I have flowers in bloom in my yard! I can't wait to plant my annuals.

The flowers below are bulbs that came up as a surprise! I didn't know they were planted in the yard. I'm thinking of replanting these as well--they are in the back yard, just planted in a line. They smell so gorgeous too. It would be too strong to cut them and bring them in, but I enjoyed smelling them outside!

Happy anniversary!

Happy anniversary to my hunny! =) Seven years ago today Kevin and I met for the first time. Though we were around each other quite a bit that day, we didn't speak much to one another. Kevin says that all I said to him was "Excuse me" as I passed through the doorway where he was standing. However, I don't recall him trying to talk to me either! LOL

And, as Kevin says, "Time's fun when you have flies!" It surely doesn't seem like seven years has passed!

Sunday, April 16, 2006


This morning after church~

See my daffs and hyacinths? They are just now starting to get pretty! I'm going to plant more bulbs next fall! It's very encouraging to have COLOR while the weather is still too cold to plant anything!

Oh, and can you see my pink shoes? I bought this outfit last summer, and I knew when I was buying it that I wouldn't have any shoes light enough to go with it. So Kevin picked these shoes out for me to buy. Right now this outfit is the only thing I've worn them with. However, I just bought a pink blouse, so I'll probably wear them with that someday too.

Kevin was making me laugh, hence my cheese-y smile. (As in, I'm saying "cheese". LOL)

I have decided to do a "week in dresses." I've seen it on several blogs I read, and I always enjoy reading and seeing the other ladies and what they wear. Wearing dresses is just something I do, and don't give much thought about. When I was 16, my mom and I spent a lot of time talking about it, and I haven't worn pants since. So if you wear pants, please don't be offended. I'm just doing this for the fun of it! *Smiles*


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Stamped Butterflies

While I was painting last night, I got to thinking of the spirit of the law, or the letter of the law.

What does this have to do with stamped butterflies? *Grin* Before we painted the back room, there were stamped butterflies around the windows and on the doorway. Not my style. Even though the room had been painted with primer, I could still see a few of them. It reminded me of an incident that happened when I was young.

My grandparents returned from a trip with a gift for each of us. We each got a rubber stamp, and we got to share the stamp pad. What fun! My mom, knowing that one of my sisters was a little to young for such a gift, and knowing how much she liked "decorating" the walls, told her "I don't want to see any kittens on the wall."

My mom never did see kittens on the wall. Ever. However, she did find some nifty butterflies on the wall. They were not applied to the wall by the person who received the butterfly stamp. No, they were applied by the very sister who my mom told not to stamp kittens on the wall.

So, she obeyed the letter of the law. She did not disobey my mom. But if she had gone by the spirit of the law, she would have realized that Mom didn't want anything stamped on the wall, and she wouldn't have done it.

And so, we have a choice to do the same when it comes to following God's Word. Are we going to follow the spirit of the law or the letter of the law?

Praise the Lord, we are not under the Law. We serve a risen Savior! However, God delights in His children when we follow His Word, and there are many commandments given to the believer in the New Testament. We have the choice to follow them, and how we are going to follow them.

Friday, April 14, 2006

What happened on YOUR birthday?

I saw this as I was blog hopping, and thought it looked fun to do!

Go to Wikipedia and do a search on the month and day that you were born (leave off the year you were born). List three events, three births, and three deaths that happened on your birthday.

  1. 1895- The first gasoline-powered race in the United States. First prize: $2,000
  2. 1959 - Ice Hockey: After being struck in the face with a puck, goalkeeper Jacques Plante returns to play wearing a protective mask for the first time in professional play.
  3. 1988 - The Morris worm, the first internet-distributed computer worm to gain significant mainstream media attention, was launched from MIT.


  1. 1734 - Daniel Boone, American frontiersman (d. 1820)
  2. 1795 - James Knox Polk, 11th President of the United States (d. 1849)
  3. 1865 - Warren G. Harding, 29th President of the United State (d. 1923)


  1. 1887 - Jenny Lind, Swedish soprano (b. 1820)
  2. 1950 - George Bernard Shaw, Irish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1856)
  3. 1984 - Velma Barfield, American murderer (executed) (b. 1932)

There you have it! Try it for's interesting!

Hi-ho, hi-ho, a-painting I will go!

Tonight's activity:

I am painting the sewing room a very soft pink. I got the first coat finished tonight, and will get the second coat on tomorrow. After that, I'll have the trim to finish.

And then after that...lots of stuff to go through! Oooh fun! I can't wait to do that!

7:08 a.m.

The first words I heard this morning were, "Oh no!"

They were uttered by Kevin. Yes, it was really 7:08, and he had forgotten to set his alarm clock. Last week, my alarm clock stopped working, and I threw it away. (Not that my having a working alarm clock would have made anything different!)

We did make it to work on time. It's amazing how quickly you can get ready to go somewhere when you are crunched for time!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Freecycle Goodies

I have previously mentioned that I belong to Freecycle. I usually don't pay too close attention to what is being offered, because I'm not interested in running around picking things up, and bringing unnecessary things home. One of today's offers amused me.

Offer: Unscented Deodorant

I prefer the scented stuff. Two of them are the Arm & Hammer brand
while the other is Speed Stick. The Speed Stick is slightly used while
the other two have never been used.


WHO wants to use someone else's "slightly used" deodorant?

Edited to add: Apparently someone wanted it! It was taken today! First of all, I cannot imagine that the person picking it up will actually use the "slightly used" deodorant. Secondly, I really cannot imagine driving across town to get 2 sticks of deodorant!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I guess I was tired...

My hair is pretty wild when I wake up in the mornings, and I have been spraying it down with a spray bottle of water. Almost identical to this bottle is a spray bottle I keep in one of the drawers. However, it has a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol in it that we use to clean our glasses with.

So, instead of grabbing the correct spray bottle (which was sitting on the counter), I reached into the drawer and sleepily sprayed my hair with the rubbing alcohol solution.

That woke me up a little more!

My shower to wash my hair woke me up further! Grrr...At least there was hot water!

As I finished fixing my hair, I noticed that my aerosol can of hair spray was in close proximity to the aerosol can of air freshener. That would not be funny. I need to move the air freshener!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Adding Beauty to Your Life

Lately, I've been doing a lot of reading at several different blogs. Mostly, at Making it Home, but also at Homeliving Helper, and others. Of course, God is the One Who gives us beauty, but it is up to us to enjoy it.

It has dawned on me that not only must I enjoy the beauty God gives me, I must make myself do so. No, I do not mean that I need to force myself to enjoy His goodness. I mean that in each day I need to clear space in my heart, in my mind, in my home and relish the little things that come my way. How can I truly enjoy a cup of tea in the midst of clutter? Sitting in a clean room, sipping a cup of tea: that is beauty. Sitting down to a lovingly-prepared dinner with my husband: that is beauty. No dishes in the sink: that is beauty! Beauty comes in all shapes and forms in our lives. But do you see that before enjoying beauty comes work?

On Friday, after having read many articles and blog entries on homemaking and adding beauty to our lives, I helped my husband take everything out of my sewing room. In so doing, I realized just how many things I have managed to cram into that room--and I further realized that none of it is adding beauty to my life!

Most of my home is uncluttered, and simply decorated. However, it seems as though my senses took leave when it came to my sewing room. Part of it stems from the "something from nothing" mentality I have. All those little scraps? I could MAKE SOMETHING with them! Those old buttons, old decorations, old (fill in the blank)? I could MAKE SOMETHING with them! And so, I've hoarded things, packed things away, and generally taken beauty away from my life because of it.

I started on my mission to declutter. Most of the things that were in the sewing room are inaccessible right now, but I have been able to get rid of quite a few things.

I gave away via Freecycle:
an old raincoat that I bought at a yardsale
a gallon-size ziploc of DMC thread that someone bought for me at a yardsale
a grocery bag full of bubble wrap that we used from our last move
a bag of seam binding/hem tape that was given to me

I listed on e-bay:
two quilt tops

I gave to a friend:
a set of flannel graph backgrounds
a six-week flannel graph Bible lesson on the armor of God

I threw away:
old letters from penpals (these were between 6-10 years old) and
the beat up stationery box they were in

and lastly, I bought:
a hanging organizer for my gift-wrapping supplies

I know you aren't supposed to buy containers before you organize--all the experts say to wait until after you have organized and gone through everything to buy containers. However, I knew that was one problem in my sewing room closet. I was originally going to buy an under-the-bed container for them, but when I went to the store, I found a $20 hanging organizer on clearance for $5! That fits my purpose better anyhow! (And it keeps things from going under my bed! Currently, I do not store anything under my bed.)

I am by no means finished decluttering! I have quite a bit left to go through. But one step at a time, it will get finished!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Naughty squirrel!

It's for the birds, not for you!

Leave my birdseed alone!!!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Sewing room, here we come!

Wow, I have soooo much stuff in my sewing room! I haven't done anything to this room, except to put stuff in it!

It has a terribly, awful paint job. I wanted to paint it before we moved in, but alas, I didn't get it done! All my sewing stuff, and all kinds of other stuff went in there, and it has generally been a disastrous mess since we've moved in. It has been put in order a few times, only to get out of order just as fast. I'm hoping that a pretty coat of paint and new curtains on the windows will encourage me to keep it looking nice!

I think I've slightly overused the word "stuff". Hehe

Here are the before pictures:

Everything is cleared out:
*gag* I hate the tree! and flowers! and grass! and the whole stinking paint job!

I will not put everything back in that room! There is simply too much in there! I have already listed three things on my Freecycle group, and have something else I'm hoping a friend can use.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Black Licorice

I love black licorice. Just yesterday, I bought a box of Panda's natural licorice chews. They are just so yummy! I hope Kevin wasn't wanting any...cause they're almost gone!

I realize it is not a taste that everyone enjoys. It's one of those things that people either hate or love. Aren't taste buds an incredible thing? Everyone has them, yet each person has their own likes/dislikes.

My grandpa used to get sen sens, an old-fashioned licorice candy/breath freshner that is still made today (though a little hard to obtain). He had a slim pill box that had little sections in it, and he kept it in his front shirt pocket. When he came over to our house, or we went to his house, at some point during the visit, he would get out his little pill box and let us choose a candy. It was either a tic-tac, or some other tiny little candy, and sometimes there were sen sens in there. We were the only grandchildren (to my knowledge) that liked them. He liked them too, and since they were hard to find, sometimes he didn't let us have them. *giggle*

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Of library books and fines

I have a strong dislike for paying library fees. After all, you're paying for something that is free (well, you do pay for the library through your taxes). Lately, it seems like I have forgotten to get books in to the library, so I've been donating my 15 cents, my 45 cents, etc. to the library.

My problem comes in when I check out way more books than I can possibly read in a three-week's period. I lug them home, and then of course, I have other things to do than read (fancy that! things like knitting! oh yeah, and housework too), so I end up just looking at some of them. To further the problem, I visit the library more than once during a three-week period--and each subsequent time manage to check out one or two more books that look interesting.

I have to return a book today, otherwise it will be overdue. I am going to try to be more disciplined in my book-checking-out habits, and limit myself to books that I actually want to read, and actually have time to read. That translates into just a few books a month, not a whole armful every time I go to the library!

Ever since I have learned to read, I have loved books and going to the library. The more books the merrier! My dad was a principal/assistant pastor for two years. During that time, my parents had one vehicle. I would often have to stay at school way beyond school hours while my dad was working. That didn't bother me in the least. I had discovered the school library. It was in disarray, but I didn't let that hinder me. I spent many happy hours in that library. I was dismayed when some students took it upon themselves to put the library in order. All my favorite books were lost on the shelves! Looking back, it was the 4th-6th grade students who put the library in order, and I have serious doubts that it was according to the Dewey Decimal System. However, it did look neat!

I just love the smell of books--old and new alike! I love to read, and I love to browse through bookstores and libraries. But I do not love to pay library fines! *Grin*

Monday, April 03, 2006

Carnival of Kid Comedy #4

Carnival of Kid Comedy #4 is up! Stop by and prepare to laugh at all the adorable, funny things kids do and say!

The birds are so lucky!

This morning as I was struggling to wake up, I heard the birds outside, chirping away. The thought came to me that time has not changed for them! They aren't having to get up an hour earlier all of a sudden! LOL...of course, we won't talk about how early they get up, versus what time I get up!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Pinky and Blue Bunny

In my UFO post, I wrote about my counted cross stitch project. It is a set, called Pinky and Blue Bunny, based on the paintings "Pinky" and "Blue Boy". I snagged a picture off of e-bay to show you the paintings:

This is Pinky, finished, and waiting for Blue Bunny to join her:

It had been quite awhile since I had even looked at Blue Bunny, and in my mind I thought he was 1/3 of the way finished. In fact, I was thinking that I hadn't actually started the rabbit. Imagine my surprise when I pulled him out last night to show a friend:

As you can tell, these were not weekend projects by any means! Each square of the design is stitched--there is not one open square in the whole design. While I did start these when I was 16, there have been other cross stitch projects that I actually finished, and framed. I have a Bible verse with a garden scene, a little apple sampler for my kitchen, and the wedding cross stitch I made for Kevin's mom and her husband.

I will definitely finish Blue Bunny, and get both of them framed. I will venture to say, however, that my 16-year old tastes are a little different than my 29-year old tastes!