Gratitude

This has been a difficult year for the family in many ways, but it is with much GRATITUDE that I share the following photos. All three of my children are avid dog lovers and each of them lost a dear member of their family this past year. While all of us were stricken with sadness and grief, we are eternally GRATEFUL for the love they gave to everyone. While their departures left holes in everyones’ hearts, the memories they leave behind are filled with love, laughter, and GRATITUDE for having been a part of our family.

The first photo is of Ollie. He was a King German Shepherd who passed away suddenly of stomach bloat at the young age of 8 years old. He was a well-behaved and loveable guy who loved to play ball. He is missed by all.

Ollie.jpg

This lovely lady is Birdy. She was a Border Collie/German Shepherd mix who actually smiled when we arrived for a visit. She was gentle and kind and oh so huggable! She died of old age at the age of 17! Again missed by all.

IMG_0734

And last, but not least, and the most recent loss, is this beautiful lady, Razzle. She was an Alaskan Malamute. Larger than life, she would “WOO” for you when you arrived and immediately roll over for a belly rub. Such a sweetheart! She passed suddenly from an aneurysm at the young age of 7. Very much missed by all.

img_1199

During this past year I managed to complete one quilt. This was made as a gift for someone. The soft colored batik squares make this quilt just lovely. I have always wanted to do some straight line machine quilting and quilted this one only 1/2 inch apart. It turned out perfect. I can’t wait to give it to the person it is meant for.

IMG_0807

IMG_0808

For myself personally, I am GRATEFUL for all my family and friends who sent flowers, cards and gifts in the past month or so. It was appreciated more than you will ever know! I had not been feeling well for several months and suddenly found myself in the hospital having emergency surgery at the beginning of March. It has been six weeks now and I am a new person. Still need to build up my stamina for all my activities, but I feel VERY WELL! Thank you again for your kindness!

img_1500

img_1511

img_1514

And lastly, I am GRATEFUL for many boring days during my recuperation when I finally got up the desire to work on some needlework. I managed to complete about HALF of my “Tulips” cross-stitch piece. I still have a long way to go. But to me HALF done is ALMOST done. SMILE

img_1615

img_1616

Happy Spring to everyone! It has finally arrived in Chicago. Although I would like it to be a little warmer, I will take what is given.

Amities, Averyclaire

Advertisements

Spring Really Is Here

Well, the warm days finally arrived here in Chicago after a mild winter, but cold days.  It sure feels nice to sit on my back porch and gaze at my perennial garden.  Everything is slow to grow, but it IS coming.

I want to take the time to thank all my blog followers and let you know how much I appreciate your stopping in to view the lovely work of so many of my stitching friends!  And, of course, I love to have everyone peruse the finishing I have done.  I can’t show all the finishes because some people use their items as gifts and it is obviously a SECRET!  Alas I must say that MY stitching and MY quilting have suffered due to not much time left after finishing.  But I will be sure to show you something of mine occasionally!  A heartfelt thanks again to all you who view my blog each post!  Oh…and see my 2 new pages above… Finishes for 2015 and 2016.

Southpaw Stitcher did this soft, lovely ode to Spring!  Need I say more?  Love the soft colors.  So many of my clients are loving the “flat fold finish” for their seasonal projects.

DSC_0799

DSC_0791

DSC_0786

Cheryl gave me some beautiful purple and teal batiks to use for finishing her box lid.  I added some tiny cross-stitches across the top and bottom and added some hand made purple cording.  What a lovely tribute to friends everywhere!

DSC_0746DSC_0749

Pat will be attending a wedding shower soon and stitched this beautiful keepsake for the wedding couple.  All those little dots are gorgeous glass beads that she added.  Such a lovely gift.

DSC_0765

DSC_0772

Judy had fun stitching this elegant leprechaun with his lovely shamrock and cute gold buttons.  I added some super Celtic fabric.  She has a BIG head start for next year’s St. Patty’s Day!

DSC_0738

DSC_0741

And speaking of head starts…Pat (who did the wedding pillow above) also stitched this scary Halloween wall hanging.  She gave me the spooky black eye fabric and I couldn’t resist adding a silver spider web and a creepy spider to go along with it!

DSC_0761

DSC_0757

Becky is also well ahead of time with her adorable “Elf on the Shelf” ornament.  I think some lucky children will simply adore this one!  Golly, I wish I were ready for the holidays for 2016 already??!!

IMG_3073

IMG_3074

That’s all I can show right now.  I hope you enjoyed today’s photo gallery.  Tis a busy season for everyone…gardening, family celebrations, graduations, Mother’s Day nearly here, vacation planning.  I hope each one of you is truly enjoying beautiful warm and sunny days.  After the long winter I am feeling renewed for sure.

I hope to have some photos next time of a stitching retreat I will be attending at Country Sampler in Spring Green, WI.  Can’t wait!

Until next time, amities, Averyclaire

 

 

 

It’s My Birthday…Yesterday!

When one gets to be an “older” woman….one prefers to pretend one’s birthday is just another day. However, secretly I am deeply grateful to my friends and family who went out of their way to make this a very special day.

I received some lovely emails today from some dear friends all the way from France and Belgium, a lovely note from my son and his wife, some from my nieces, many from needlework and quilting friends, other long-time friends, and sisters, Barb & Bonnie, Barb even sent me a some special internet gifts. And there were lots of special phone calls too and a video message from my new 4 month old granddaughter, Maya. I am SO humbled and grateful. Thank you to each of you.

I share with you some photos of other gifts I received in addition to the beautiful Eiffel Tower scissors and books I showed you last post. The other gifts must remain anonymous! Shhhhhh…I’ll never tell….Smile.

My SIL Judy, and friend, Kay, sent me this lovely teacup bouquet to brighten my day. Thanks again, Judy and Kay.

And what a surprise when Southpaw Stitcher made this lovely pincushion for me. It really says a LOT! Thank you so much Pat…yes, friendship DOES grow.

And My friend Jodi equally surprised me when she presented me with this lovely pincushion (filled with sand) handmade by a friend of hers. This one came all the way to me from Washington state. And isn’t this a beautiful card. Thank you Jodi…how kind and thoughtful to think of me while you were away!

I still do some computer work at home for the Augustinian priests and brothers and my boss, Fr. Mike, thoughtfully, sent me this plant with lovely lavender flowers along with a promise of prayers and Mass celebrated in my honor. Thanks so much…I miss all of you.

So you see…..amidst all the “to do” that one really doesn’t want to remember that one is ANOTHER year older…..it is really nice to be remembered. I SO appreciate all of the good wishes and prayers and gifts.

And I plan to keep on celebrating my birthday all month long. After all it comes only once a year….so celebrating for one full month is certainly in order!

Gratefully, Averyclaire

Happy Thanksgiving

For all of my blogging friends I am grateful on this  special day.

For my family…my husband, my children, my grandchildren, our extended families and ALL of our friends, we are grateful.    We are grateful to be alive and well right now and happy.  And we are grateful for our times of trial and illness which help us to see our days in a different light.  I am even grateful for the job I sometimes wish I did not have, as so many people today have no job and desperately need one.  I am grateful for the men and women who are serving in foreign countries to try to keep our world a safe place for all of us.

But most of all, I am grateful to God for the gifts of love and friendship he has given to each one of us.

In Gratitude….Thank you my friends, Averyclaire

Good News

P6270037It was a long week, but the news is good.    They have removed all of the cancer present at this time.   Perhaps there were angels watching over us.    My DH will begin chemotherapy in September.    It will last for seven weeks and then once a month for a year.    It is a long road to complete recovery.    And always looming over one’s head is the possibility of a reoccurence.    But we are grateful for today and are hopeful for the future.

I confess to having a meltdown this week.   I think I cried for five days straight.   The emotions of the past months finally came out and wouldn’t stop.    But I am fine now.   And we are planning a two week vacation for ourselves soon.    I need to be away from work and we both need to be away from doctors and hospitals.

Life is different now.   It is what it is, but it does not mean that we cannot enjoy life and each other.    I look forward to our time out west for a bit of rest and relaxation.

Thanks for all your notes and emails.   I am grateful for your friendship.    Averyclaire

Time for Reflection

My Gazing BallMy husband is having a second surgery for his bladder cancer in a few weeks. Things are not the best they can be…but they are definitely not the worst either. Life somehow seems to have been put on hold and this cancer thing has consumed our lives. We are trying desparately to assimilate all the facts and options without becoming crazy with worry. It is difficult to say the least. I am still filled with hope for a good outcome in the end, but it is a long road we are facing. I ask all of you for as many prayers as possible.

Thank you to all of you who send comments and emails as they are much appreciated. This blogging world is absolutely amazing…what a comfort to find so many friends around the world.

In the meantime I find comfort in a crazed cleaning out of my sewing/art room. A purging, if you will, of all things unnecessary. Obviously a mental state that matches the excision of anything extraneous in my life as well. I am quite sure this is a perfect remedy for a soothing of the soul. Curling up with a good, light reading, book is also therapeutic. We continue our long four mile walks, we are eating as healthy as we can…also good for the mental and physical health. I am learning more patience…a blessing I am sure. And gratitude for small things has become overwhelming.

So once again…thank you to all my special friends out there. Gratefully yours, Averyclaire

Still Grateful

Yikes, three weeks have passed since my last post. Where did the time go? I have been busy planning healthy meals with no fat, no sugar, no red meat….etc. I have been walking daily after work….am up to four miles now and have been feeling pretty good. My dear husband has been wonderful in supporting me through this. But I must share with you another shock we have had in our life. Two weeks after my diagnosis, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. While we lived in a fog for a few days, we are very hopeful. He will have surgery in a couple of weeks and hopefully the news will be very affirming. I have learned to look at life very differently. While I still work, I no longer stress about my job. After work, my DH and I spend a lot of time togther talking, shopping for healthy fruits and veggies, and walking. We thoroughly enjoy every moment we share. Unfortunately the needlework and quilting have been set aside for other priorities. So if I don’t post too often, please know all is well. I continue to read all of your posts. I continue to let the Lord hold us up and bask in the warmth of His presence no matter what trials we face. We are grateful.

Last weekend William and I spent the day at the Chicago Botannical Gardens, so I share with you some of the lovely sights from this marvelous place. Enjoy.
P6270001
P6270003
P6270005
P6270010
P6270011
P6270012
P6270013
P6270024
P6270026
P6270029
P6270035
P6270038
P6270039
P6270040
P6270041
P6270054