Let your soul stand ajar, always ready to welcome the ecstatic experience. ~ Emily Dickinson

Monday, January 23, 2012

~CANDLELIGHT AND CRANFORD~


Shortly after my last post, I found myself in the dark, literally, as the snow turned to ice and our area lost power!  All of my best laid plans for happily stitching away had to be put on hold as I scoured my home for any available candles!! 


Since it is winter time, the days are shorter and it gets darker faster, plus we were getting freezing rain and even with the curtains open the light was very minimal!!  It was also cold and I am indeed so thankful that we do have a gas fireplace!!  It helped keep us reasonably warm if we stayed in the living room!  This is what it looked like from my stitching chair!!


My husband Jeff is an Online Professor, so that created a difficult situation for him as you can imagine!!!  Thankfully for us, there is a Starbucks not far from our home, and he was able to go there and plug in for class, as well as charge his phone and his 2 laptops!!  I did get some stitching in for a brief time during the day, but once 4 o'clock came, I had to light all my candles again!!


Since Jeff did have his computers charged, we decided to use them to help us get through the long, cold hours by watching a mini series we had purchased a while ago that we had watched on Masterpiece and fallen in love with!!  It is called CRANFORD, and is a wonderful story of a small market town in England, during 1842.  The characters are delightful and the stories of each one will have you laughing and crying as you relive with them their experiences!!  As we watched, we were struck with the irony that we were living much like them.....no electricity, no cell phones, no modern conveniences, living with darkness and cold, and yet unlike us taking it in their stride!! 

I felt so lost and confused, my routine disrupted and finding just how dependent I really am on all that is modern!!  I missed my microwave, my blow dryer, my refrigerator ( we lost all of our food since the power was out for almost 4 days!) my sewing machine and my electric blanket, just to name a few things!!!  Yet the people of Cranford just lived life with candlelight and firelight and seemed perfectly happy with the simple things!!  Watching this wonderful program really helped us as we waited (im)patiently for the power to return and our lives be restored to normal!! 

The third evening as we were almost finished with watching, we heard a WHOOSH and the furnace came back on as well as a few lights we had left turned on!!  At first, I was so stunned I just sat there in a state of disbelief, and then the tears came......floods of them in gratitude for being able to SEE again!!  We finished watching, WITH the candles still lit, in honor of the lovely people who captivated us with their stories and helped us through!!!  If you ever get the chance to read the book or view this series I would so encourage you to do so!!


Now that I can see normally again, I am so happy to say that we have finally uploaded my hearts and some other items on my picture trail!!  Some of you have been asking about them and probably thought it would never happen!!  I plan to open the album Friday morning at 7 am Pacific time, if any of you might be interested in seeing what I have been working on!!  Thank you so much for your patience with me and for all of you who continually follow and leave such sweet comments!!  It really brings me joy!!

May you all have a wonderful day filled with LIGHT, WARMTH, and LOVE!!  I think the people of Cranford would echo that!!


Heart-felt Blessings~~

Julie


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

~WINTER WHITE~


Winter certainly made it's presence known today here in Sumner, WA, the small town where I live!  This is the view that greeted me from my front door!!  Isn't it lovely?!!!


Just yesterday we did not even have a whisper of snow anywhere, although there was much in all the surrounding areas!!  The meteorologists were all calling for record snowfall,  and everyone was preparing for it, but somehow my area was getting bypassed.......till this morning!!! 

The view from my bedroom.....so beautiful!!


A large bush in front of my town home......dressed in a lovely winter white cloak!


All is calm, all is bright!!  It is silent and still!



I had actually planned to do an update on my "hearts" but will do that in a day or two so I can finish up some final items!!  Due to my work schedule lately I have been so busy that all of my handwork had to be put on "hold" for a time!!  For now, I will certainly enjoy the day, happily sewing away in my stitching chair, snug and warm with needle and thread in hand!!  Glorious thought indeed!!  I hope wherever you are, that you too will be safe and warm, enjoying each moment, doing what you love!!

Thank you so much for your visits, for following along, for your kind comments and sweet emails and for just being you!!  My heart is indeed grateful and I am blessed by each one of you!!

Wishing you all a wonderful day, filled with "Winter White" and creative delights~~

Julie


Friday, January 6, 2012

~A BEVY OF HEARTS~



By definition, a bevy is a large group or collection, an array, or an assortment of something!  I felt it was the perfect word to describe what I am making.......my most favorite thing........HEARTS!!!  I have long loved the different shapes of hearts and have even named my blog and business with the word Heart in both!!  It is a beautiful symbol of love and a perfect reminder to each of us that WE LOVE and ARE LOVED!!


Here is a closeup of some of the hearts, with the sunshine showing some lovely patterns on the velvet, as well as some former seams of older stitching.  There is also a heart from some upholstery fabric, that will become a Heartstring!  The red is very rich and is showing just a wee bit brighter than it actually is!  They are all stuffed and ready for hangers!


This picture is from a sweet little book that I love to look at because it is all about.....HEARTS!!  It is called MARY EMMERLING'S AMERICAN COUNTRY HEARTS, and is filled with wonderful examples of this lovely shape that seems to captivate so many!!  If you ever happen to find a copy, do snap it up and enjoy the beautiful pictures and lovely quotes that grace each page.  I would certainly love to own those cookie cutters shown, wouldn't you!!!


Besides these hearts shown, I have many more all stitched up and ready to become pincushions, single hanging hearts and of course, Heartstrings, both vertical and horizontal, and hope to have some on my picture trail soon!!  They take some time, between the cutting, stitching, stuffing, hand stitching (I do little X's all around the edges), staining, adding hangers, and finally making tags, but they are so much fun and who doesn't love RED!!  

I will leave you with a sweet quote from the HEARTS book....

A HEART FOR AN OLD FRIEND,
A HAND FOR THE NEW:
LOVE CAN TO EARTH LEND
HEAVEN'S HUE
~ James Stephens

Wishing you a HEART filled with all that is lovely~~

Julie  


Sunday, January 1, 2012

~HAPPY NEW YEAR~



We will open the book.  It's pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called OPPORTUNITY, and it's first chapter is
New Year's Day!  ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

As we start this new year of 2012, I would like to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who faithfully follow my blog and have taken the time to leave a kind word of encouragement!  You have filled my heart with much joy by touching my life with your friendship!!

May we all begin this year with pen in hand, ready to begin a new story filled with much laughter and love!

Let the story begin.......

Julie