Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Confessions of a Thief

They say confession is good for the soul.  So here I am...confessing to all of you that I've blatantly stolen an idea off someone else's blog.  But I couldn't help it.  Really I couldn't.  I just fell in love with this picture I saw on Sew I Quilt.   

Can you blame me?  Isn't this just wonderful!  You would have stolen it too, right?  Tell me you would...

I went back again and again to look at it.  Those strips - a jelly roll would be perfect.  The colors - Moda's Maison de Garance would be the perfect colors.  Could I do it?  Just take it and run with it...or sew with it as the case may be.

In the words of the famous comedian Flip Wilson...the devil made me do it.  :)

To Madame Samm (it was her blog I saw it on) please forgive me for my thievery and thank you for understanding my weakness.  :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Can Anybody Explain?

  • Why you can sew two perfectly straight long strips together and they end up crooked
  • Why my feet are always cold
  • Why when I park my car waaaaay out on the grocery store parking lot so my doors won't get dinged someone always is parked right next to me when I get back to it
  • How one white sock always gets mixed in with the dark colors when I do laundry
  • How my bamboo plant can drink a whole bowl of water in one day
  • Why sometimes 72° in my house feels perfectly comfortable and some days I'm cold at that temperature
  • How the pattern I want to make next can hide in plain sight in my stack of patterns...even when I look for it several times and swear it isn't there
  • Why squirrels keep getting in my attic and what they're doing up there
  • How to organize sewing room junk drawers so I can find things after they're organized
  • How to sew rick rack on and not have the stitching show
  • How you know when marshmallows aren't good any more
  • Why two days after I throw something away that I think I'll never need again...I need again
  • Why my high efficiency washing machine is pulling threads on my towels till they look a hundred years old
  • Why they put expiration dates on coupons
  • Why Blogger won't let  me put two pictures side by side in a post
I think about some strange things when I'm sewing, don't you agree?  :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

One Thousand Blessings - Day 20

651.  Quiet Christmas mornings
652.  Christmas Eve celebrations at church
653.  O Holy Night sung on Christmas Eve
654.  Christmas greetings from friends as we enter church
655.  Christmas cards with messages about the birth
656.  Christmas sacks with bright ribbons
657.  Children who know why we have this holiday and say it loudly during children's time
658.  Little girls in Christmas dresses
659.  Ornaments on the tree that remind me of other days
660.  Pancakes for breakfast on Christmas morning 
661.  Being reminded by my son of the syrup Nanny used to make for the pancakes
662.  A roaring fire on Christmas morning
663.  Feeding the birds and thinking of Mother
664.  Knowing that on some day in the distant past Jesus was born and that He changed the world
665.  Candles lifted high in praise
666.  An offering plate piled with money destined for the homeless shelters and the food banks
667.  Christmas stockings, homemade
668.  Christmas candy, made only at this time of the year
669.  Love for my family that overflows my heart and brings tears to my eyes
670.  The grace that forgives me when I'm not successful at acting like Jesus taught
671.  Church bells ringing on Christmas morning
672.  Church choirs singing Christmas carols
673.  The Chrismon tree in the sanctuary
674.  Cinnamon and cloves simmering on the stove
675.  M&Ms - a Christmas tradition at our house

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wow, it's really almost here - Christmas, again!  Do ya'll feel that way?  We just had Christmas like a couple of weeks ago and here it is showing up again!  I remember my grandparents saying time flies when you get old but boy were they telling the truth.  

My kids have been here and gone again.  Chaos reigned.  Brownie crumbs on the carpet, apple juice on the dining room floor and Froot Loops scattered in the kitchen mean that today I'll be mopping and waxing - thank goodness I didn't do it before they came.  :)  

This morning Jerry asked where his coaster was that he always sits his coffee cup on.  Why, it's with all the other coasters in this house on the table by the fireplace where Andrew ( the two year old) put them, naturally.  At least he had them all together!  

And how did the television remote get from the end table by the couch in the sunroom into the back bathroom?  Hmmmm, he who has possession of the remote is in control so you don't give it up even when nature calls I guess.  

Do you have Dr. Pepper Grandma?  Diet Coke?  Sweet Tea?  Apple Juice?  Whole Milk?  Skim Milk?  You name it - I've got it!  Or little bits of it in the bottom of the box or glass because heaven forbid anyone drink all of anything.  Have we used every glass in the house because if you have one left someone wants it?  

Did you know that a four year old and a two year old wrestling make more noise than a jet taking off?  And that all children can hear every beep and ring on their I Pods but can't hear you ask them to pick up their toys? 

And did you know that a 13 year old girl with a throw pillow for her bed that has her initials in sequins will promptly lay her head on it?  And that a 12 year old boy can be totally silenced when given a shotgun that has been passed from father to son, from uncle to nephew, and eventually will be passed from cousin to cousin?   Don't ask me - that whole passing down thing must be some male bonding ritual I don't understand.
And who knew $10 gifts of candy flavored lip balm and a box of nail polish with a nail dryer would be the hit of the day for a 4 year old and 9 year old?  

Christmas at my house was chaotic and loud and messy.  It's totally unlike the normal day to day life of retired grandparents who never raise their voices, always put their dishes in the dishwasher (well one of us does), and have the same routine they follow every day.  We breathe a sigh of relief when the last car drives out of the driveway but the next morning I'm in tears because they aren't here.  I can still hear the voice of the two year old at the very last minute.  His parents were gathering up toys and suitcases and children to put them in the car.  He had on his pajamas because Mom and Dad were hoping for some naptime on the road home.  I could hear him....but couldn't see him.  And then, there he was, standing at the foot of my Christmas tree looking up at the top and singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."  See that and don't get emotional.  I dare you.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Children and Christmas Lights

Garvan Gardens, a beautiful botanical garden here in Hot Springs, has the most awesome light display I've ever seen.  They have acres and acres of the forest decorated with lights, toy soldiers, gingerbread houses, model trains running around and around, and even fish made of lights "jumping" up out of the lake.  My grandchildren loved it.  :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

One Thousand Blessings - Day 19

616.  The last stitch taken on the last gift  :)
617.  Sugar Cookies
618.  Red and white quilts
619.  Seat warmers in my car on cold days
620.  Seeing a needle in the carpet Before I step on it
621.  Advent candles
622.  The Hallelujah Chorus
623.  Wreaths on the fronts of cars
624.  Tiny white lights on Christmas trees
625.  Gingerbread men
626.  Wood stacked on the deck
627.  Packages that arrive days before you think they will
628.  Wrapping a present that comes out looking just right
629.  Santa aprons
630.  Stockings on the mantle
631.  Holly berries
632.  Thinking of someone and having them telephone a few minutes later
633.  Cuppa' Cozies
634.  Stacks of new fat quarters
635.  The feel of really good fleece
636.  A really good book discovered by accident
637.  Christmas carols in the sanctuary
638.  Men who hold the door open for me
639.  The "dismissed from the hospital" list in our church newsletter
640.  Christmas letters from friends
641.  Lamp  light
642.  Shops that open early
643.  A pink sky in the morning sun
644.  The sound of the geese far out on the lake
645.  Watching my husband feed those geese when they swim our way
646.  Getting a text from my sister saying, "I'm here" when she's been traveling on a snowy day
647.  Shopping online
648.  New followers on my blog
649.  Wiemaraner dogs
650.  Birds on my windowsill

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Girls Are So Much Fun To Sew For!

Every girl needs a few sequins don't you think?  And bubble gum pink paired with black...think Paris girls.  :)

Messenger bag purses are all the rage.  How many purses do you have in your closet?  I'm betting a few!  And if you're in the band well musical instruments ought to be right up your alley...

But if you want to be a little more sophisticated, well this brown and gold with gold checkerboard lining is just the thing to wear with jeans and brown boots, don't you think?

Monday, December 13, 2010

I'm On A Roll!

A Mug Rug Roll that is!  I love these things and just a warning to all my friends, if you're getting a present from me it's likely one of these.  :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

And The Winner Is....

Marcia from Dandelion Wishes!  Marcia I'll be e-mailing you but I'll need your address so I can send your gift...Congratulations!

Edited:  Well these senior eyes played a trick on me, once again, and Marcia has no blog.  Since I mixed things up royally!!! I'll be sending a prize to both Marcia (no blog) and Mamarazzi of Dandelion Wishes.  It's a two-for-one day.  :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Quick Bit of Christmas

If you're looking for the giveaway it's on this post.

Yesterday I walked into my kitchen and it was....blah.  I'm not putting up as many Christmas decorations this year as I usually do but I did put a few things the kitchen.  Something was just missing.  And then I thought of this:

I've seen a dish drying mat on several blogs - and in fact it was probably one of "my" blogs (the ones I follow) where I saw a Christmas one but I'm having a senior moment and can't remember which one.  Forgive me?  So I grabbed up an old hand towel and used it as the "batting" between two pieces of Christmas fabric and in about 15 minutes, well maybe a little longer to do the quilting, I have a cute piece of Christmas there on my counter.  I do have a dishwasher but there are several things I like to hand wash...this is great for that.  I'm thinking of making more...I need snowflakes, then Valentines, then shamrocks or leprechauns fun is that!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Guest Blogging and Giveaway

I'm posting over at Stash Manicure again today ya'll - a really cute, fun and fast! table topper.  You'll love making this one for gifts because it works up in a flash.  Go over there and check it out!  Then come back here and post a comment to win these prizes:
There's a great book from Fig Tree Quilts - love her stuff - a pattern for a small wallet from Lazy Girl Designs and one from Jean Boyd called Redwork Cottage (applique and redwork), a cute little hand towel I couldn't resist, and a Schnibbles pincushion made!  You don't have to do anything fancy - just comment to let me know you were here and if you're a follower be sure you tell me that so you'll get an extra chance.  If you aren't a follower yet, don't you want to be? What? Oh, that's me that wants you to be!   :) I'll close the drawing Friday at 6:00 P.M.      blessings, marlene

Monday, December 6, 2010

Block Exchange

There are three friends who ride with me every month to our quilt guild meetings.  It's about a 40 minute drive so we laugh and talk and laugh some more.  Last year we decided we'd do a 12 1/2" Christmas quilt block exchange as our gift to each other.  This is my block for 1010.  :)  Cute, cute, cute...don't you think?  I used a pattern from one of my Art To Heart books.  It's hard to see here but I did a machine blanket stitch in black around each letter.  Of course, now that they're done I'm second guessing myself.  Do you think it needs anything else?  Is it too plain?  Christmasy enough?  Sigh.  We are our own worst critics don't you think?

Are any of you out there doing block exchanges for Christmas?  I've got about 20 now that I've collected from silent auctions at my guild and from these friends.  I think after this Christmas I may have enough to make a top  - my most treasured quilt is one where the blocks were made by friends so  I know a Christmas one will be doubly special.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

One Thousand Blessings - Day 18

591.  High school football games attended with friends
592.  Perfect fall days
593.  Swarovski crystals
594.  Christmas fabrics
595.  The scents of Christmas - cinnamon, cloves, fresh cut trees
596.  Panera Bread lunches with my sister
597.  Fresh turnip greens
598.  Dinners cooked by my husband
599.  Birds on my window
600.  Chipmunks scampering across my deck
601.  A cold glass of milk
602.  Seeing a traffic jam in time to go around it
603.  Friends who text me when they're sad so I can comfort them
604.  My Mother's clock hanging next to my desk
605.  Planning trips with my husband
606.  Light boxes
607.  Red polish on my toenails
608.  Warm gloves
609.  Sleeping babies
610.  Homemade jelly on hot biscuits
611.  Christmas movies
612.  Old photographs
613.  Hand lotion that smells like my grandmother
614.  The remote starter on my car
615.  My Daddy's hat hanging on my dresser mirror

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Ya'll I just have to tell you about something I've been doing this year.  Maybe all of you know about it but I didn't and since I discovered it I've been pretty impressed.  Over on my sideboard you'll see a button that says Swagbucks - Earn Free Prizes.  Swagbucks is a search engine just like Google or Yahoo - that's my non-computer geeky explanation.  :)  When I'm looking for something on the internet I go to Swagbucks and search from there instead of going to google and searching from there.  I don't do a whole lot of searching like some people do but in the little bit I've done this year I earned enough points to get five $5 gift cards to Amazon!  Since I totally love Amazon that $25 went on a quilty thing or two as quick as I got them.  I know $25 isn't much but if you do a lot of searching you could earn a lot more!  They have lots of other prizes/gift cards so if you don't want Amazon you can get something else.  So if you're at all interested please, please go over and click on the button and register.  Of course, I'm saying please because I get credit for everyone I refer.  :)  It's the easiest $25 I've ever earned.  All I did was ... nothing, really.  I just went to and searched for cookie recipes, Moda Maison de Garance fat quarters, Janome needles, Bible verses, medical information, all the stuff I search for normally.  I even noticed on another blog today someone else out there using Swagbucks.  We quilters, we're a smart bunch....we can find a way to earn money to buy quilty things in everything we do!  Remember, click on the button and follow the directions - you'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Love This Book!

I love all the Art To Heart books but this is my current favorite.  I've said it before but it bears repeating...picking a favorite quilt book or fabric is kind of like picking a favorite child or grandchild...can't be done!  But just for today - I want to make every single thing in here.  :)