New Year’s Hopes

1. To finish more unfinished projects (I managed 7 quilts, and several needleworks this year….Hooray)

2. To take most materials for those unfinished projects from my STASH (Heavens, I have enough stuff)

3. To be happy while working on all those unfinished projects…enjoy the journey  (No grumbling allowed…well maybe just a little)

4. To share what I am accomplishing with reports on my BLOG (yes…I hope to post more than a couple times next year)

5. To make more gifts (I really appreciate handmade things…hope others do too)

These are just a few thoughts for the new year and my needlearts addiction!   Last year I made a list of ten things and worked on them in rotation.   To my surprise I really accomplished a LOT.   Perhaps it was not as much as I would have liked, but nevertheless, the quilts I have here and there in my home speak volumes!   Oh, to be even more prolific…don’t I wish.   The rotation really worked for me because  I get bored after several hours on one project.    Then again, a couple of the projects consumed me and I worked on them until they were done.

Besides the quilts you have seen previously on my blog, I made two flannel junior size bed quilts…this blue/green/white monkey quilt and a pink/green/white one with a girl print.   They were done with a “big stitch” quilting that everyone seems to like.

IMAG0160 Monkey Quilt

I also made a “music” quilt for a hostess gift. We went to Colorado for Christmas to spend the holiday with my son, Mike, Michelle and Maya. Because they were hosting my daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren already, we stayed with Michelle’s Mom, Carol. She is an expert piano teacher and so I chose to make her a music quilt as a thank you for having us there for the holiday.  This one was also done quilted with big stitch quilting.

IMAG0276

IMAG0278

Alas, I broke my lovely little camera and am now taking photos with my cell phone. I actually received a beautiful Nikon SLR camera as a gift from my dear husband, but I don’t know how to work it yet and have been taking photos with my phone. They are not very good and I am REALLY going to try to get the knack of the good camera this year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!! May you all be blessed with good health, prosperity, laughter, zillions of friends, and a plethora of needleart!

Amities, Averyclaire

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Aside

It’s Just One of Those Things

Sorry for not posting for three weeks, but it’s just one of those things.   My life has been consumed with work problems and solutions.   Today I begin training the new person who will take my place.   I have only two weeks left to teach that person everything.   It’s been very stressful and busy at work and at home.  I am definitely looking forward to working only two days per week.    I actually worked only two days per week for years, until I let them talk me into helping out full-time “temporarily” which turned into full-time for two years!   

My DH had a bad report on his cancer, so I worried and worried and worried.   It turned out to be a “false positive”….so we are in the clear again for now.   I feel as though I worried twenty years off my life, but perhaps I can gain it back again.   SMILE.   Life sure has it’s ups and downs.   Thank you to all of you who sent emails….I love reading your uplifting notes.

The weather has turned nicer now, and I will be able to work off some of that stress and frustration in my garden.   It’s soothing for the soul.

I managed to escape from the merry-go-round and spent a “little” time with my friends, just because they are such super people to be with.   And I needed their company so very much.   We went out for dinner and then saw the play Funny Girl…it was a delicious dinner and a delightful play.   Thank you Pat and Joan…I don’t know what I would do without you.   And thank you Maggy for being at the other end of my email 4,000 miles away.  My hands have not been idle…still working on unfinished needlework projects.   And I did join the Homewood Embroiderer’s Guild this month.   The group is lovely and inspiring.

I’ll post some new photos soon.     Thanks for stopping in for a visit.

For now….amities, Averyclaire

The Magic of the Moment

fairy2-997413-0821No photos still…but I am at my daughter’s home for 12 days  taking caring of my grandson and granddaughter and their enormous dog while they are away for a much needed vacation.   It is a delight to be with them.   I confess to being tired, but I manage a few moments at the computer late at night after the children are in bed.  I prefer to be surfing all of your blogs to writing my own, as I haven’t much to say.   The routine here is typical of a household with small children…getting them up and ready for school, dropping them off and racing to my own office.   Luckily my DH is retired and can be here to look after them when they arrive home from school.   Then it’s dinner, homework, baths and bed, with some laundry thrown in for good measure.   See didn’t I tell you it was typical?  

Of course, being with the children has its treasured moments, such as programs at school (where I get to take a half day off my own work just to see them perform) and delighting at the amazing things that they say and do.   I told them leprechauns sneaked into their lunch boxes and I left them chocolate covered gold coins and green shamrocks.   My little granddaughter truly believed it and told everyone.   Naturally, my grandson is too smart to fall for it.  Magic moments.

And then there are the not so magic moments when Oliver, the HUGE dog, sticks his cold nose into my face at 4 AM wanting to go outside to take care of business.   UGH UGH….

I hope they will remember fond days with Grandma and Grandpa who stayed with them while Mom and Dad were away.   I know I will not forget it.  Perhaps I will take vacation when my daughter returns just to reminisce. SMILE, Averyclaire

It’s Been Too Long

ringaroundrosy998622-175Sorry to all my readers and followers and friends that I have not made a post for so long.   After spending long grueling hours at the office pouring over extremely complicated financial difficulties, I race to tutor an eleven year old fifth grade boy with his homework.    Finally, after social studies, reading and language arts, math problems, science and religion and essays, I drag myself home, exhausted, and crawl into bed.  Only to do the same thing again tomorrow.

I am NOT complaining.   I am assisting a young woman, who works nights.  Her husband works out of town and comes home only on the weekends because that is where he can find work in today’s awful economy.   Her son, the young 5th grader,  has an “attention deficit” disorder and needs special help.   I believe that what I am doing right now is making a big difference in all of their lives and I don’t mind the extra work.   Perhaps sometimes sheer exhaustion is good for my soul.

Thanks, Philip, for prodding me into a much delayed post.

So for now…..til next time……hopefully not so long….and maybe with some photos…….Averyclaire

A Breath of Kindness

“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.” 

I did this needlework (a quote from George Eliot) many years ago for a good friend.  That friend has since passed away and the needlework came back to me.   It is mounted on brown velvet, done on linen with frayed the edges.  I added the stalk of wheat to signify  the chaff and grain. I will treasure it always and the friendship it was meant to signify.

I learned last night that my friend with cancer was put in the hospice program, less than one week after the fundraising benefit.  It made me think of this needlework and I wanted to share this quote with everyone.

Learning to Sew

My mother was my best advocate. She encouraged me to do things, when I wasn’t sure I could. One summer when I was ten years old, I was bored. I asked her if I could use her treadle sewing machine. So she gave me a quarter to buy a pattern at the local Woolworth store and one of her old dresses to cut up for the fabric. I read the pattern carefully and made myself a sleeveless blouse out of it. Then she gave me another quarter to buy some fabric. I made a pair of shorts. Her trust in me and support gave me the courage I needed to begin something I have treasured all my life. My ability to sew. Oh, I do not propose that I am a designer or anything special, but I do love to sew and learned to make just about anything. Here are photos of the flower girl dresses, baskets and ring bearer pillows I made for my son’s wedding last year.

A Time for Reflection

Yesterday I attended a benefit for a friend who has stage four melanoma. She was young and full of life one day, and in the hospital the next with serious bad news. We go through our daily lives never dreaming such tragedy could strike us. At least I don’t much think about these things. My heart is sad for her husband who is like a lost puppy; for her daughters who are doting on her hoping to have quality time for a few months; and for her mother who knows that NO mother should ever outlive her child. And as I sat with my friends, signing Karoke to “That’s What Friends Are For”…tears fell from all of our eyes unashamedly. It was difficult to leave the party, to say that last goodbye, to let go when we had that last hug. I am not sure if I will see her again. So many thoughts and what ifs….and so on. This certainly is now a time for reflection in my life.

Have I been a good wife, a good mother, and was I a good daughter? Have I been a good and faithful friend to those I love and trust? And have I been able to be a friend to those I do not love nor trust? And have I been true to what I believe in and searched for that which I could not? Have I been true to myself and have I lived my life not just for others, but so that I might be enriched and fulfilled? Have I supported and encouraged the artist within? Questions, questions, questions. I have no answers.

Instead I went into my sewing room to work on the unfinished wedding quilt for my son who was married a year ago. Perhaps I’d better finish it…perhaps in a few months, well, I won’t even say it. And all those other UFOs! But the panic quickly left. What I really must do is to call my two sons, and my daughter and tell them just how much they mean to me today. I do this occasionally, but one more time can’t hurt. And when I lay beside my husband tonight I will tell him how much I love him today, yesterday, and for always. Not who, not where, not what I am is important. Simply just to be is enough. The rest will come.