Thursday, July 26, 2012

Country meets Bohemian

Well, maybe.

It was time for a change. Again.

First it was the hand-me down blue couch that dictated the room blue, so I made blue curtains. Then it was the country floral stage - including curtains and the recovering of ONE of two rocking chairs (never finished the other one) as well as a beautiful pieced quilt for the wall that never got quilted and a matching (complete) quilt for the couch with pillows the same fabric as the tired of the earth-tones so it was back to the blue curtains...

But it just wasn't quite bright enough for me. I mean, after all I do love bright colors - I painted my studio "Tigger" orange with a hot pink flooring... the living room needed some color....but how to combine that with all my family antiques, including antique quilts and such....did I want a beach look? yes, cuz I love the beach - but those fun colors were more pastel than bright. nautical? nope - not bright enough, besides that went back to the blue and white, which I like but I wanted more color - something tropical... and goodness it's past time to do something with those wonderful rockers! At least make them match! (it was two years ago that I covered the floral one).

So on Monday, my birthday, my sister in law Jennifer agreed to help me tackle the project of recovering Ma-ma's 75+ year old rockers. (For the record I usually make a birthday quilt, have done so since 2004...I do have one I quilted the week before on my "day off" so that may lay claim to the 2012 edition).

In true rambler style I'm getting the cart before the horse....prior to my birthday, over the weekend I went to visit my mother and my sister - we went fabric shopping...they are a tad more calming in their color choices and urged me to go earth-tone to keep with the antiques, I wanted hot pink! I thought we blended rather well with the fabric I came home with - this beautiful tropical (spring) green to upholstery the chairs and a nice tropical shirting fabric for new curtains. Oh, I did get some hot pink flowers to scatter around the room...Okay..back to the step by step photos...

It seemed like a simple task, especially since I'd done one before....just cut, stretch, staple...and lay claim to the process...but it was all day!

 By the end of the day we had recovered one complete chair and the bottom of the second one (which was finished the next afternoon). It felt good! It looked good! I was happy!

It took longer than we'd planned, but in my defense I was rather distracted that day -  you'll remember, if you read my birthday blog on 7.23 that we were deep in thoughts and prayers for a family that was grieving the loss of a precious 16 month old twin girl.  In addition, what I didn't share in that blog, was the same morning of my birthday my mom called to share the news that her former home, the log cabin she and my dad built , was destroyed by fire the night before. 

Of course we were saddened by the loss of the home, as it was indeed built by a master-craftsman, my daddy - but we were rejoicing that the woman and toddler inside the house escaped without injury. The news report said they lost a family pet and "everything" as she didn't have renters insurance. More to pray about that day as we covered rocking chairs. Memories gone up in flames....

Yes, my birthday this year was a true reminder of my resolve to "stay strong" this summer - to rely on Jesus for my strength (and my sanity!) Sometimes there just are "no whys". Sometimes things get bad, and then they can get really bad. I wish I could remember who once told me that no matter how bad it seems that "they can't take away your birthday!" And that is sooo true. A lot can be taken, but my day IS my day!

I have to say that my morning walks have been a real reminder that "this is the first day of the rest of my life"  I love rounding the corner to catch my first glimpse of the bay.  I tell you no lie when I say that I take a minimum of 50 photos a morning -- and yes, if you were just glancing through them you'd think I was crazy for taking so many as they look the same -- but in just a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the scene before me changes. The clouds move ever so slightly, the sun peaks above the horizon, sometimes only a portion is visible due to the clouds - I remember seeing a PacMan shape this morning (yes, I know that dates me - but hey, it's my birthday week and I'm proud to claim another year!). Each day has it's own new beginning!

Anyway, this was the spectacular view this morning!

So after coming home and editing all the photos it was time for my "sew in" - a birthday present to myself...I've been joined by my friend Trish the past couple of days. While she is working on nursery items for her daughter I have managed to make new "tropical" curtains for the living room and cover some pillows for the couch (thank you Jake and Alena for helping me narrow down fabrics in my stash for this new look - yep, best part, I worked out of my stash!!)...

Admittedly, it's a bit bohemian, but I like it and I think Pixxie approves!

There's more planned for this room. The couch needs a tropical quilt for Miss Pix. Already in the works! Alena and I laid out some patchwork prints from Hawaiian shirts last night and perhaps soon I can piece it and put it on the list of "quilts in waiting" (personal quilts waiting to be quilted!)...Jake and I have made some plans for my walls....Here's his FaceBook post...

The 30 x 30 will be a tropical hibiscus (hot pink of course!) and the others will be left to his interpretation of tropical....well sorta (grin), I still have to approve...  It may be a while, but the transition of a room is always a work in process. Change a little here, update a little there. Add, remove...just part of being alive. The joy of creating...

One day left of the week long birthday celebration/vacation. Its been full of ups and downs, but I'm not complaining. Such is life. Wonderful life. I'm so thankful for another year!

More later...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Looking in the rear view mirror

Sometimes to know where you are going, you have to know where you have been... Today is a day of I might as well journal my thoughts. Or at least add a few lines to go with all the beautiful sunrise photos I want to share with you!
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy 
and be glad all our days Psalm 90:14 

I love the numbers 7 and 23, I think it's neat that 7:23 comes around twice a day! On the mornings I don't have obligations 7:23 is my alarm time. And if I happen to notice 7:23 on my clock in the evening it just makes me smile.  

When I was a teenager working at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor & Restaurant my "number" as a waitress was 23. I've always been taught that God's perfect number was 7 - as that's the day of completion for His creation, the day He rested.

I'm not one to play the lottery, but if I did somehow there would be a 7 and a 23 in my lucky numbers. 

 I find it interesting that both of these numbers are prime numbers. Don't know if that's significant or not, but I think it's neat. 

Yesterday I was reading in my One Year Bible about King Solomon's prayer of dedication for the temple and all the celebrating that the children of Israel did - I mean it was a big deal, days and days of celebration and praise....then I read this...

On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people to their homes, joyful and glad in heart for the good things the Lord had done for David and Solomon and for His people Israel.
2 Chronicles 7:10

Now I realize that the Hebrew calendar is not the same as ours, that's not JULY 23, but it's still the 7th month and the 23rd day - and the key words were joyful and glad in heart for the good things the Lord has done.

So why this fascination with 7 23 on this July 23rd? Well, if you haven't guessed by now - it's my birthday! So I can't help but like this number!

I mentioned that 7:23 alarm...well, I haven't needed it lately,  as I've had "appointments"  with the sunrise.

For the past several weeks I've made an appointment to walk to the bay in hopes to catch the "crack of dawn" and to have some quiet time to reflect on how marvelous God has been in my life.

Each day is a new beginning. Each morning holds new treasures.

So far I've not been disappointed in the keeping of my appointment.

Truly the Lord is worthy to be praised. And not just for His creation - although I am blessed each morning as I can hardly wait to see what beauty awaits me.

This morning I needed a special touch from the Lord.... for while I'm celebrating the joy of another year, there are others who didn't see the sunrise today.

Their story isn't mine to tell...I don't know them personally, but are connected through my sister, as this is her husband's extended family, and connected through our shared faith...

Yesterday little 16 month old Olivia joined her daddy in the arms of Jesus - and today Olivia's twin sister and mommy have empty arms.

My heart is saddened by this family's sorrow.  Sorrow in the empty spots in their hearts, yet I know they are rejoicing  that Olivia has received ultimate healing, and through faith in Jesus this family will be reunited once again. One twin is with daddy in heaven, one twin remains with mom here on earth. Awaiting that day. That blessed hope - when we either see Jesus coming in the clouds to claim His kingdom, or when He sends the chariot of fire to take us home.  The song "10,000 Reasons" by Matt Redman came to mind and has been a fact, I set is as my alarm song this morning for my sunrise appointment

My walk today wasn't without tears....and today my walk took a different path as if the Lord knew I needed encouragement...There were new views for me to capture with my camera...

New thoughts as I processed this journey. Recognizing that we all have a path to follow, that life does have its twists and turns, it's joy and sorrow... but that Jesus is the center of it all..

Even when we feel alone, tired, or weary - that the sun rises and the sun sets - and His name shall be praised.

As I look in the rear view mirror of my life, I can't help but be amazed at all the blessings He has given me. Not "stuff" but substance. Peace, joy, family, friends...

In good times and in bad. 

I can't begin to understand why one is taken and the other left. Why some grow old and some die young. His ways are not our ways. He gives and takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. 
Psalm 90:12

Thank you Jesus for another birthday. I pray that you will comfort those experiencing great sorrow today, touch those who need a special blessing. Bring a new song to our hearts, let us sing to you when the day begins and end our day in song. Bless the Lord oh my soul....

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Another beautiful day in the neighborhood

I've been pretty faithful so far this summer to have a morning appointment with Galveston Bay. I am so refreshed by the simple act of walking and being eager to see what the sky has in store to dazzle and amaze me once I round the corner and have full view of the water.

Lazy days of summer. A time of refreshing and reflection. Soon I will catch up on my quilting and post some photos.

In the meantime. I'm truly enjoying the walk.