Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's Okay to Blog!

Dear Friends,

Good morning to you! Do you feel guilty taking time out of your day to blog, or to read others' blogs? Most of us, especially women, feel like we are neglecting our family if we are not constantly doing housework or schoolwork, or serving others some way. We run and run, day after day, ignoring the cries of the little child inside us that craves expression.

In our humble experience, blogging has been a great way to put thoughts onto paper (so to speak), and to keep track of what is happening with my family. It is an especial blessing when pens and pencils seem to disappear from our desk, where our real journal is! We use our Facebook for recording all the funny things the children say and do, and what is happening around the house; things that would be lost if we waited to write them down. We then go back periodically and print out everything, and keep it in a binder.

Obviously, there must be moderation in all things, and we must do our duties first, but taking a little time to share with others the things that you love can be a healing and transformational process. Besides, sometimes one's family just isn't as excited about our latest thrift store treasures as much as our friends may be! And what fun to see what others are doing, to help us to see that we are not alone in our endeavors to make this world a more beautiful place.

I hope that this might encourage you to feel less sinful/slothful/neglectful if you have a blog, and delight in using it. You never know who will be blessed by your life!



p.s. I found these words of wisdom from a women's magazine from 1876~ I hope you like them: 

'Now, who, more than any one, "shapes and conducts the home?" who creates these "domestic influences," this "medium in which the child is habitually immersed?" Woman. In the name of common sense, then, throw open to woman every avenue of knowledge. Surround her with all that will elevate and refine. Give her the highest, broadest, truest culture. Give her chances to draw inspiration from the beautiful in nature and in art; and, above all, insure her some respite from labor, some tranquility. Unless these conditions be observed, "but little can be done to shape and conduct the home with reference to the higher mental needs of the children who live in it." '

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Visit to the Antique Mall

Dear Friends,

Last week we decided to go into the antique mall located right across from our favorite thrift store. It was such a delightful place, we wish that we had gone in sooner! Instead of being accosted by the scent of 100 different perfumes, we were instead greeted with the gentle mustiness that says, "Grandmother's House."

We brought Mr. Graham along so we could point out things we like (our birthday IS coming up, after all, along with Valentine's Day!).

There were so many sweet old things that have borne the passage of time~

Things once used and loved, and then passed along~

Even the little boy in the funny hat was intrigued by the wide array of items!

We literally could have stayed all day, savoring the spirit of Days Gone by,
and imagining how big of a home we would have to have to put all of the things we like. . .

. . . Like this cabinet, whose drawers would be perfect for a nature collection,

. . .And this library card catalog, which would be fun to use to organize our books,

. . .And this sweet nine-patch quilt,

. . .And this desk that was made in the 1770s (Wouldn't it be fun to have a Colonial Corner, complete with a painting of the singing of the Declaration of Independence?),

. . . But some members of the party were not as enthusiastic at the prospect as the lady in the big blue coat!

So we picked out the sweetest post card we could find (along with a copy of "The Harvesters" by Gene Stratton Porter, and a biography of Queen Victoria), and promised the clerks running the mall that we would be back soon.

We hope you enjoyed walking along with us and sharing in our dreams. Little by little, we will collect all the bits and pieces that will add up to a real "Grandmother's House" someday!



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy Birthday, Evangeline!

Dear Friends,

We made a big banner,

Put streamers so high,
Blew up lots of balloons


And made a raw "pie"~

Cleaned up the house

From morning till e'en,

To have a big party 

For Evangeline!

Happy seventh birthday to our wonderfully, bubbly, silly saying Evangeline Rosebud Graham!



We were grateful to have a Pileated Woodpecker pay us a visit on Evangeline's special day~

Monday, January 16, 2012

For the Love of Pot Holders

Dear Friends,

We were asked to help tidy the linen section of our favorite thrift store the other day, when we came across a lovely collection of hand-made potholders. Needless to say, we fell in love at first sight! There is such a special feeling to something made by a loving hand, which was used to make a house a home. We thought that each of these was such a work of art, all speaking of a love of whimsy and fun.


Speaking of whimsy and fun, we are following along with our blog twin Lynn as she reads and decorates an "Alice in Wonderland Tree." So far we've only made a few characters out of clay, which are waiting to be finished. Tasha has been repurposing all sorts of things to make her own characters with dolls she already has (pictures forthcoming)!

We finished the bonnet we had been working on, using hot glue instead of needle and thread, which would be gummed up by all that duct tape! :)

We are also working on a "balloon hat," made from a straw gardening hat and pouf of blue velvet. It will be very dreamy upon completion!

The sunsets have been very beautiful here lately; each bit of sunshine is a real treasure when the days are so short this time of year.

The little thyme on our windowsill seems symbolic of our spirits, reaching out to the light and warmth of the sun!
We pray that you have a wonderful week this week, and find something whimsical and wonderful, too!




"Kind hearts are the gardens,
Kind thoughts are the roots,
Kind words are the flowers,
Kind deeds are the fruits.

Take care of the gardens,
And keep them from the weeds.
Fill, fill them with flowers,
Kind words and kind deeds."

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Monday, January 9, 2012

Little Pleasures~

Dear Friends,

A wonderful welcome to all of our new followers, and welcome back to dear ones who know us well!

We have been having the most amazing, mild winter this year, that we wish we had put in a winter garden of greens. Our hyacinths and irises are starting to peek out of the ground, and the rose bush out back has put out a few tiny leaves. We hope they know what they're doing!

This silk scarf and glass "fairy wing" pendant were sent to me recently by a friend with whom I attended high school, but didn't get to know very well until we became friends on Facebook. She purchased the pendant, but the scarf was made by her, and matched perfectly the skirt that I was wearing the day it arrived. The rainbows in the glass wings echo the rainbows I had been observing in the dew drops outside my kitchen window just minutes before. I love you, Alice!

Look at the "peacock eyes" on the lace; so exquisite!

We have been busy cutting up many pairs of denim pants that we rescued from our local thrift store, to make into a rug, as well as several aprons from the pockets parts. We've cut up several t-shirts to make diapers for Rebecca, as well, which is a fun and easy sewing project (as long as you don't have a toddler on your lap).

We're also making yet another bonnet out of a broken straw hat; first cutting it to shape, then covering the broken parts with duct tape.We're using an outgrown pairs of velvet baby bloomers for the crown, and cutting up a white dress of the girls' that is not quite pristine anymore. We'll have to wait till our camera batteries charge up before we can show you the completed project.

Truly the first of the year is a wonderful time for getting out all those craft/sewing projects that have languished so long! It's also a great time for clearing out the old, and bringing in the better. The thrift store where we volunteer has been inundated by donations this past week, so everyone must be feeling the same way!

We have recently been enjoying the writings of the Irish mystic John O'Donohue. His audio series "Anam Cara," narrated in his own voice, is truly beautiful and soul-stretching. "Anam Cara" means "soul friend" or "kindred spirit" in Gaelic, and we love the words so much that we can see ourselves using them often in the future.
We also were introduced today (via the radio) to the minister Charles Capps, who presents the Law of Attraction in a wonderful, scriptural way. Thank heavens for the internet, where we can search new people out and be further enlightened. Truly we are blessed to live in this age of shared wisdom!

May you enjoy these videos, if you can watch them, and may you feel the peace of the Lord upon you as you go to work on making this the best year of your lives so far.