November 26, 2013

Merry Merry Everything!

I am breathing a huge sigh of contented relief. Somehow everything came together, and in a flurry of print-making activity, the craft sale came and went! The afternoon was perfect - great weather to be out and about, and lots of traffic through this little handmade-only craft show. It was an amazing experience and one I hope to repeat next year. Being in a room full of creative vendors and happy shoppers was the best way to spend an afternoon. Even better was the opportunity to meet new people and chat about our craft, sharing them with others and learning from each other. Chatting with good friends who stopped by was a highlight too, thanks to everyone who came out!

**If you see something you like, hop on over to the shop - there is still time to order a print or two in time for the holidays!**

May your days be merry and bright as we approach this holiday season, and may you rest in the one who is the reason for our celebration.

November 18, 2013

November Break

In our school division there is one wonderful week in November where Remembrance Day combines with a day off in lieu of Parent-Teacher Interviews, which combines with three additional days off for having slightly longer school days throughout the year. All this equals one amazing week off. If you teach, live with or know a teacher, you know how desperately they are wishing for a week off in the month of first report cards and parent teacher interviews. I like the angle this division takes on Teacher Wellness. Really like it.

Winter hit before the break, slipping in on icy breezes and filling the river valley with snow. Most of our days consisted of puttering around the house, running errands, getting ready for the upcoming craft fair (you can get a sneak peek here and here) and movie nights.

Movie nights started with Neal discovering I had not yet watched the old Star Trek movies. Just so you know (in case anyone ever asks...) here is a brief synopsis that may help you avoid ever having to watch them. We skipped Number 1, and that says something about Number 1. Number 2: Spock dies saving the ship. Number 3: Kirk and crew search for the body of Spock, which has been hurtled onto a newly generated planet. They find him as a boy. He grows up quickly, and to make a long story short, turns back into Spock. Okay, those two weren't so bad, I actually kind of liked them. Then came Number 4. Oh my. Here, Kirk and crew have to avert the destruction of earth by travelling back in time (into the 80's) to find and bring back two whales. Whales. Whales in the Enterprise, in a huge tank (made of special material of course) travelling in time. What in the world. It was certainly a comment on the environmental issues of the 80's (save the whales!). Apparently going around the sun at a certain speed can take you back in time. In science fiction of course. Though I was later subjected to a science video lecture on how time is relative and if you shoot off into space fast enough and come back, your watch will be behind everyone else's. This is what you get living with a science teacher. Keeps me on my toes.

Back to reality... the real snow hit right on the day my brother-in-law planned to move into his new house. Roads were treacherous, so plans changed, and we found ourselves with a snow day on our hands. Since we had already spent many evenings cozied up with science fiction, we decided to get out and enjoy the snow that is here to stay. Neal shovelled our driveway and our neighbour's, creating a huge, pillowy pile in our little front yard space. He then decided that the thing to do with that pile was to jump in it. Like full-body-slamming jump into it. I wanted to run and cannon-ball off the front step, but it was kind of slippery and I didn't want to end our holiday week with a trip to the hospital. So I decided on the kangaroo technique and just hopped in. The neighbours may think we're crazy - but hey - we shovelled their driveway.

In other news... the Slave Lake house has sold. Yay! Conditions will be removed this Friday and the young family who bought the house will move in nicely before Christmas. We are so happy for them, and for the opportunities now open to us as we continue our own home search. God has been so faithful in this process, and though at times I have lost hope, he proves again and again that He has a plan and His plan is good. Even when His plans look different than my own.

I am trying to remember that especially this month, as it was also our first month of trying fertility medication. It didn't work. I have nothing eloquent to say about that. Life goes on, and I want to live it well. There is so much I don't understand, and so many people and examples on my heart where if I could I would write the ending differently; a couple waiting for an adoption for ever so long, a loving family having to give a foster child a life with another family when they so badly wanted that life to stay with them. I don't understand. But I know Jesus, and I know somehow He is holding all these hearts, and ours too. One day these trials will be a faded memory in the light of glory.

** to read some beautiful and encouraging words on hope from others, please see here or here**

So we keep jumping in snow piles and laughing and trying to keep our chins up. We keep looking for a house of our own. We keep trying to love others well. We keep trusting in Him.

November 14, 2013

No-Sew Fabric T-shirt Embellishments

I have a few t-shirts in my dresser that never seem to make it out of the drawer, and a bag of pretty fabric scraps (thanks to this friend) that are always looking for a good project. One of the plain t-shirts sports a pocket, but that has not been enough for it to call to me when choosing what to wear. But (I thought to myself) maybe if I could jazz up said pocket, this plain t-shirt might make an appearance more often...

So, a few embellishments were cut - one pocket and one pocket-flap. From start to finish, this project took no longer than ten minutes, thanks to the wonder-product that is invisible hemming tape. Iron-on transfer paper works too. I trimmed a pocket shape out of one piece of fabric, carefully ironed a small seam on each edge and fused each seam to the back of the fabric with small strips of invisible hem.

Then I took my newly-made little flower pocket, placed it where I thought it looked right, carefully tucked enough of the invisible tape underneath to generously cover each edge, and held it under the iron for 30 seconds. I cut a pocket-flap(ish) kind of shape out of the other fabric,  fused it onto the already-made pocket of my other t-shirt and... voila! Two flower-pocket t-shirts all ready to go.

November 9, 2013

How Can We Remember?

How can we remember, when the fear is not our own, when we sit in warm homes, so far removed from the ravages of war? How can we remember as living history passes away? And when it is not our loved one leaving on deployment into the unknown?

How can we remember...

We can hold our loved ones close and leave nothing left unsaid. We can ask for stories and write them down, pass them on, for in this way, memories live. We can buy a poppy and wear it with pride. We can attend assemblies and ceremonies to pay respect. We can write and speak freely. We can tell a child about the importance and gift of sacrifice. We can vote. We can be thankful each day for our freedoms.

We can take nothing for granted.

November 1, 2013

A Golden Morning

Happy dancing is happening today. It is November first and still no snow. Oh, it is on its merry way, but today... today is all sunshine and golden cut fields, geese filling their bellies, grasses waving in a cool breeze, and light frost melting away. All this drew me quickly out the door; no make-up, hair un-brushed, just faithful Starbucks mug, car keys, and camera in hand. Simply thankful to soak up this perfect November first.

Happy no-snow November... for however long it lasts!