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.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas Ornament Exchange

Merry Christmas!!

It's definitely Christmas inside my house....but outside it's a different picture.

It's been so warm here that I saw forsythia blooming yesterday and the Bradford Pear Trees have buds on them.  When the cold weather finally hits they're going to be so confused!

Joan over at Moostash Quilting was my swap partner and we shared a few laughs over gifts and getting things mailed - mostly because I was almost, but not quite, late in mailing mine.  :)

Joan sent me this adorable sewing machine ornament.  How could I possibly get one I'd love more?  I couldn't!

Isn't it gorgeous?  And so perfect with that red thread for this time of the year!  But that's not all - she also made me this adorable Scottie mini quilt....

And that's not the last of her gifts - she also sent chocolate.  I can't seem to find that chocolate anywhere to take a picture - it's disappeared!

We had so much fun exchanging ornaments - if you didn't join in please consider it for next year!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

It's Official!

We must be officially old....we went out for dinner last night at a local establishment where they don't take reservations.  The wait was only about 10 minutes we were told, despite the long line snaking out the front door and onto the veranda.  There was a bench where a young couple were sitting and when they saw us standing they immediately rose and told us to take their seats.  We protested - we were fine, really.  They wouldn't take no for an answer.  Isn't that just the nicest thing?  Perfect for this season of love.  But really, that kind of made it official.  We're old.

Friday, December 11, 2015

One Month!

I haven't written a post for a month...a whole month!  That's the longest I've gone since I started blogging in April of 2008.  And I don't even know what I've done for the last month, but here are a few highlights of things that have happened.

Back in early November my son ran his first half marathon (and came in first in his age class!) and my granddaughter ran her first 10K.  I'm so proud of both of them!  And I wish I had started running when I was her age because my body says, "no, not now!"

My grandson took a dive off a monkey bar when he was trying to sneak up to the front of the line - not really a suitable punishment I don't think - and had 5 staples put in his head, was a real trooper through his first CT scan, and was back to acting like a crazy monkey as soon as the pain med began to work!

I went shopping for a new chair and came home with one that I'm reserving judgement on - I didn't go looking for a recliner at all but this is what happened.

While shopping I ran across this Grinch sweater - anybody out there love The Grinch?

I started my Christmas decorating and rediscovered this little apron for the fireplace broom.  It was made at least 30 years ago by a dear friend who passed away a long time ago.  I treasure it.

And a sweet friend (from my high school "sisters") sent me three new violets.  Today was repotting day.

I'm working on Eighth Day of Plum Street Samplers Twelve Days of Christmas so I'm a bit behind but that's okay....I still have time to finish.  I think.  And I've been shopping 3 times.  Three!  I hate shopping because I always see things I would love to have for myself and don't need at all...such a temptation.  :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thoughts From The Back Of An Ambulance

It started a week ago Friday, the day before Halloween, with a scratchy throat.  I ignored it because I had company coming for the weekend and really, isn't that what we women do?  On Saturday it was about the same but by Sunday afternoon I knew I had caught a cold.  And answer me this...why do we call it "catching" a cold, as if we'd been chasing it and finally, finally we caught it?  I, for one, avoid colds like the plague.  I wash my hands a lot, I use hand sanitizer, I wipe the handles of the carts at WalMart with their bleach wipes, I take Vitamin C.  But still, there it was.

It wasn't too bad, just a cough and stopped up sinuses, and so I continued on my merry way.  I went to Yoga on Sunday, Weight Watchers on Monday and Yoga again on Tuesday.  Where I got light headed and broke into a sweat.  Strange since I'm always cold and never hot.  Wednesday the cough was worse so about 6 that evening I put on my pajamas and settled in with my stitching.  And I coughed and coughed and coughed.  For hours.  Which triggered esophageal spasms that were so bad I couldn't get my breath.  Finally my husband got scared and called 911.  Well, to be honest it was me who got scared and told him to call 911.  :)

The First Responder from the Fire Department arrived pretty quickly.  He was such a sweet 13 year old.  I remember thinking that .... 13 years old and I wonder if he was one of my students.  Of course, the problem is that at my age everyone looks like a 13 year old.  I'm sure he was much older, maybe even 25.  He put oxygen on me and took my blood pressure.  Correction - he tried to take my blood pressure.  It was so high that it wouldn't register.  The ambulance arrived next and started asking questions.  Try the blood pressure again.  190/88.  I'm pretty sure I told them to try again because my blood pressure is really 120/60.  Always.

I thought they would just give me a shot, calm me down, and head on back to the ambulance home while I went to bed.  No they said.  Can you help us get you on the gurney they said.  Young man I've been getting myself up and around for 69 years and I'm not gonna stop now.  On the gurney, up into the ambulance.  Did you know that the lights inside the ambulance stay on while they drive?  And it's dark outside so everyone on the street can see you in there?  They put the EKG machine on me, trying very hard to keep me covered up.  For which I will be eternally grateful.  I would have hated riding down the highway with the girls showing.  The nice EMT tried to draw blood and tried to get an IV started.  I have the proof that he tried - several black bruises on my arm.  I offered to pray for his blood drawing skills.  I think that probably wasn't politically correct but it was definitely appropriate.

Did you know that from the back of an ambulance cars behind you look like giant eyes following you?  And that riding backwards like that gives a whole different perspective to travel?  Instead of looking where you're going you're looking at where you've been.  Think about that for a while.  We passed the Shoe Factory...I bought a really comfortable pair of shoes there once.  And there's the place where I used to get my oil changed when I had the car that the eighteen wheeler crushed.  Oh yea, that used to be the neighborhood market but it closed and I really miss it.  Looking back is ok but trust me, looking forward is much more uplifting and positive.

Don't worry, this story has a happy ending.  I got shots and meds and more oxygen and finally got back home about 3 a.m.  It's days later and I'm almost well.  In fact, if the weather weren't so awful today I'd have gone walking today.

And since I've been sidelined this last several days I've coughed and stitched and finished up The Second Day of Christmas and The Third Day of Christmas and The Fourth Day of Christmas!  Here's a couple of pics....

Or maybe there's one picture - I'll take the other pictures in a day or two.  These are from Plum Street Samplers and are her free patterns for her Sunday Sampler series.  You should check them out because they're so cute and so fast and fun.

Meanwhile I'll be back in a few days to show you how I'm finishing them.  I haven't actually decided yet how I want to finish them but I'll be sure and show you.  :)  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Gray Days

Well last time I posted I mentioned the drought and I have to say that's over.  Completely over.  We've had rain and more rain and there's more rain coming.  They days have all been gray and cloudy and damp and perfect for staying in and stitching.

We've had siding installers here for weeks - the 4 day installation of siding on our house has taken a month and they're not finished.  We have a brick house so there's not a lot of wood area to cover but it's been a comedy of errors.  Materials didn't come in or they came in damaged.  Where I asked for it to be put on horizontally they put it vertically.  The list goes on but I have high hopes that all mistakes will be corrected by tomorrow and the job will be finished.

Meanwhile I've done a little stitching and had my high school friends here for the weekend and started yoga again.

I did this quick embroidery but then couldn't decide how to finish it....

I love big stitch embroidery - it's very easy, suits my primitive style and is oh so fast.

Olde Witche Mary - has to be one of my favorites despite the many mistakes I made doing it.  I ran out of thread very early on and had to substitute.  This was a kit from Not Forgotten Farms and the thread was hand dyed.  There was plenty for the top half but not the flowers so I found a Presencia thread that was very, very close.  Somehow I miscounted and ended up altering a couple of the flowers to make them fit but if I don't tell you which ones I don't think you'll be able to tell.  :)

And I'm working on the Plum Street Samplers "Sunday Sampler" series - and yes, I'm way behind.  This is the First Day of Christmas...I've begun the Second Day but I think there are about six of them out now.  I have no idea how I'm going to finish the first two pieces but these will be ornaments when I get all the stitching done and get them finished.

I made a trip to Goodwill the other day to drop some stuff off so I shopped a little.  I'm always on the lookout for ways to use my cross stitch pieces.  I ran across a wonderful round green box for $2 that is going to be perfect for something....have no idea what, but something!  :)

I've got a hot cup of tea beside me, bread dough rising in the kitchen, and stitching in my lap.  Life doesn't get any better than this!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

True Love

At my son's house when the children go to their bedrooms a door is closed between the living area and the bedrooms.  The dog, Abby, wants so badly wants to go with them but if Abby joined them they wouldn't stay in bed.  They'd play and giggle and stay awake for hours.  So poor Abby has to stay out.  But here's how she waits for them.

There's one little sliver of light leading to where the children are.  And so she waits patiently, staying in the light until it goes out.  I think this is the most beautiful demonstration of love that I've ever seen.

Fall has finally arrived here - we have had some cool days and some cooler nights this week.  But the flowers of summer are still holding on.  The rain lily has one last bloom....

Even the geranium is showing some brilliant color....

The tomatoes are still holding on and, to my surprise, some volunteer basil has come up....

Of course it won't live for long - it will be gone with the first frost - but it's such a beautiful bright, crisp green right now.

But autumn is really here and the mums know it....

Inside I'm sitting in my stitching chair with my feet propped up working on a pattern from Notforgotten Farm called Olde Witche Mary.  I love the pattern and I'm getting close to a finish - I hope to show it to you in less than a week - but sadly, I ran out of thread way too soon and am having to substitute.  I think I got close enough that it won't be glaringly obvious but only time will tell.

And later this week my small quilting group will be coming over for dessert and stitching.  There's nothing to compare with long time friends sitting together and stitching.  Happy Fall!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

What In The World Happened?

What in the world happened to the last three weeks?  Yesterday I posted on this blog and it was September 20.  Today I looked and it's October 13!  I've had a couple of people - maybe the only two who read this :) - ask me where I was and if I was ok.  Well, I'm here and there and everywhere.  I've been to see my son a couple of times and I spent a week with  my sister and maybe I'll go camping next week.  I'm just doing whatever takes my fancy.  :)  Honestly, do you find that time slips away and somehow you lost it and you didn't even realize it?  Happens to me all the time.

I've finished a couple of small things.....made a valance for my kitchen windows that I absolutely love.  Black and white gingham just always looks so fresh.  Now if I could afford to get my counter top replaced with some gorgeous granite it would be better but for now they look fine with my blue formica.  And I made a little bag with my witch cross stitch piece.

The lining is the fabric I used on the strap and the black cat band was leftover from a halloween quilt I made a couple of years ago.  I love the way this one turned out.

This little pumpkin was so cute -it's a Lizzie Kate pattern - but I find I don't care for stitching on dark colors since my eyes have gotten so old.  Not the rest of me, just my eyes.

I added a little bug button to it for a bit of whimsy.  By the way, is there some sort of trick someone can teach me about twisting thread to make cord?  I found a great tutorial in a Just CrossStitch magazine but somehow mine didn't turn out like theirs.  I only wanted one color on this piece and I wanted it narrow so it worked fine but wasn't really what I was aiming for.

And then Christmas decorations began to appear at Hobby Lobby and other places, which made me decide I might better get started on holiday stuff, so I made these little guys.

I made the straps a little long but I like to hang ornaments so that I can "nestle" them down in the branches and with longer straps they don't fall and are easy to position.

I know we're not supposed to covet things - the Bible tells me so.  But let me just assure you I'm having to ask for forgiveness every time I look at this picture my daughter sent me because I WANT this chair!  Anyone know where I can find it?

Don't ask me why you can see through it to the street behind it - maybe it's a ghost chair.  I don't care.  I still want it.

That's all for me today.  Except to say that I know fall is here but we're in such a drought that the leaves are turning brown and there aren't many pretty colors, there's a burn ban so even if we rake the leaves we can't burn them, and the dust is everywhere.  We're having siding put on the few spots of wood on our house (it's mostly brick) and where they tore out the old facia and soffatt (sp?) the dust and dirt were horrible and have migrated to my window sills.  I'll be glad when they're done so I can get those windows washed and sit out on my deck again.

I'm here and I'll try to be better about posting and right now I'm praying for rain!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Is It Fall Yet?

I decided not to go to church this morning - at the football game Friday night I got too hot and was sick for hours after.  I had cold chills and was nauseated and it left me exhausted.  So I slept in today and then put out some of my fall decorations.  I love doing that!  I also cut up a dozen apples I had, added some sugar (just a tiny bit), a spoon of brown palm sugar, and some apple pie spice.  It's in the slow cooker now simmering and filling the air with a sweet aroma.

I've done a bit of stitching this week.  I completed  Peppermint (Little House pattern) and Joy...

This is a wool banner (pattern by Primitive Gatherings) that I'll use on one of my mantels this Christmas.

And just for fun here's a picture of two of my favorite fall decorations - two small hand stitched wool pumpkin pillows and a hand appliqued Pumpkin quilt.

Not great pictures but we've finally gotten a cloudy day with a hope of a little rain!  It's been a long time since we had rain so we have our fingers crossed.

I started working on a new cross stitch piece last night, a primitive piece, and after getting two rows of the border in realized I used two threads and should have used one.  It would be ok except I think I might not have enough thread (it was a kit).  I guess I'll go back and take it out.  :(  And even though I worked one whole day this week cleaning in my sewing room it's going to take another day to get everything put away.  Guess that will be my project for the next couple of days since I have a meeting and some errands to complete as well.  Have a great week ya'll and blessings to you!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Here and There

I'm still on the road more than I want to be but I think that's coming to a end in the next few days.  We went to visit my older brother for the day and drove home watching this beautiful sunset.

It's not a great picture since I took it with my cell phone but isn't that stunning!

We also drove down to Monroe, LA and picked up my youngest brother who was in the hospital there getting two more heart stents - he's up to over 30 now.  We took him home and sat on his front porch with he and his wife watching the rain.

My sister and aunt came to visit for a few days and after our aunt went to visit a cousin, my sister and I spent lots of hours sitting on the deck watching the lake and talking about getting older.  Do you remember when you were younger saying you weren't ever going to be one of those old women who sat around talking about what was wrong with them?  We've turned into those old women anyway.  :)

I found this picture on Google images and even though it's not my sister and I, it made me think of us and smile.  :)

And now we're at our son's for a couple of days.  He's a high school football coach so we went to the football game last night. Today we met my cousin and her husband for lunch and then went to visit her mother (who is my that really a real relationship?...) who I had not seen in over 50 years and even though she didn't know we were coming she recognized me!  She was amazing!

Andrew, our grandson who is 6 and in kindergarten, was enthralled with the tiny little mouse our son caught in the mousetrap last night - he'd been spied the night before scampering in our granddaughter's closet.  So he announced in class today that he "had good news and bad news....the good news is we caught a RAT last night and the bad news is there was blood EVERYWHERE!"  That was just a bit exaggerated.  :)

Andrew and his best friend have played until they can't play any more!

Tomorrow we'll head home and I hope I'll be staying for a while!  I'm doing some cross stitching, finishing up some quilt UFOs, going to a quilt group meeting and doing what my older friend says - "every woman needs to sit in her house sometimes and just look at her stuff."

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Home Again, Home Again

I love being what I call a "part-time missionary" but sometimes that service seems long and home seems so far away.  I was at the mission this last time for two months and my husband didn't get to go with me (though he did get to visit one weekend and I came home one weekend) so when it was time to come home last week I could hardly wait.  I've been busy, but it's a good kind of busy.  When I've been away for a while I want to "nest" when I come home.  I've cleaned out drawers and closets and pantries.  I've shopped and replenished canned goods and done some dehydrating.  Dehydrating is one of the easiest ways to store food and takes little effort.  This week I've dehydrated 18 bags of soup vegetables and some squash.

You can dehydrate frozen vegetables so I buy them when they're on sale - in this case Kroger had them $1.00 a bag.  The soup vegetables have onions, celery, carrots, peas, green beans, potatoes.  I can throw some of these in the crock pot this winter, along with some chicken broth and canned chicken and have a wonderful soup.  Or I can add beef broth and cooked hamburger and tomatoes.  The squash can be added to soup, rehydrated and then simmered with a little butter and onion or made into a squash casserole.

I want to do some canning but that will happen later when I'm not so tired from the time away from home.  Soup is my husband's favorite thing to be canned because when I'm not home he can just open up a jar and have a home cooked meal.  Since he hunts venison is our meat of choice for soup so next time I make venison soup we'll have one meal and I'll can the rest.

In the evenings I've been stitching.  I'm not fast but doing a little every day makes for some progress - I'm like the tortoise I suppose, slow but steady.  I finished this one I showed last time I posted...

I think I'll make this into a small bag to hang on a doorknob somewhere.  And then I started some Christmas, to make me think cool in the awful heat!

These are destined to be ornaments.....and hopefully before it's time to hang them on the tree.  :)

Today I'm off to see two of my siblings to celebrate Mother's birthday.  She would have been 91 today and I baked her favorite cake - Coca Cola Cake, with lots of pecans.  Our 4th sibling, who planned to come, made an unexpected trip to the hospital last night and this morning had his 30 something stent inserted.  Prayers for him would be appreciated.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Bits and Pieces....

Last night I was really tired but I didn't want to miss the meteor shower that I had read about 573 times that I saw a post about it on Facebook.  Well, maybe not that many posts but a lot.  :)  I went outside about at the mission there are lots of lights but I found a couple of dark places where I could stand and peer upwards.  Beautiful night; hot, but beautiful.  Lots of stars.  No meteors.  So I got up at 5:15 this morning and went out again because I read that there would be a better chance just before dawn.  I even walked, in the dark, alone, down the path to a "pasture" that is between my apartment and the warehouse.  It was a little cooler and there was a nice breeze and there were lots of stars.  No meteors.  If I had seen some meteors it would have looked something like this.

Obviously, since I didn't see a meteor I did the next best thing and found a picture on the internet.  :)

It's hot here.  It's even hotter at home.  I try to walk in the early mornings but even then when I step outside it feels like a blanket lays over me and it's hard to catch my breath.  I'm working on a cross stitch piece from Little House called Hands To Work - a really sweet pattern - but I'm thinking maybe I should find a Halloween or Thanksgiving pattern to start in an attempt to fool myself into believing cooler temperatures are just around the corner.  What can I say...I'm gullible.  I could probably fool myself.  :)

This is what I'm working on but I've just finished the house and the fence and the grass.  I've decided to leave the sheep off and probably the bird too.  This is obviously summer....right?

But what if I did this one?  Would I be thinking cooler thoughts?

Are you thinking this is a rambling post?  It is.  I can't seem to focus these hot summer days.  But if you'd like to have a good take your mind off the heat....check out this guy.  He has a bunch of short videos on YouTube and he makes me laugh!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sometimes A Women Needs....

As many of you know my husband and I make frequent trips to a mission where we volunteer, usually for two months at a time, about 450 miles from home.  A lot of people don't understand how we can do that....leave home for so long.  But it's a calling that we feel in our hearts and a privilege to serve.  Last year I had a back injury and my husband went without me for six weeks.  This summer he had some business that kept him at home and I went without him.  It's not easy but with God's help we do fine....I really believe God invented cell phones for just such times as this.  :)  I drove down right after the 4th of July and two weeks later my husband came to spend the weekend with me. We talk on the phone 2 or 3 or 4 times a day. Now, two weeks after his trip, I came home for a long weekend.  A wise older woman told my sister one time that "sometimes a woman just needs to sit in her house and look at her stuff."  Oh how true that is!

When I first got home I walked through my house, fluffed a few pillows and adjusted a chair and put away dishes that were in the drainer....simple little things but actions that meant I laid my hands on "my stuff."  God created women for many things but one of the primary ones was to make a home for her family.  We clean and we do laundry and we cook....and we stitch.  Some of us knit or crochet, others quilt or do needle punch, and still more embroider or applique.  Among all the needful things we do we want to add a bit of beauty to our world and as we sit among our creations it's okay to be prideful of our work.  After all, God created us for this very work.  Since many if not most of us also have careers outside the home this small act of creating something of beauty is a balm to our souls.

I had lots of things to do while I was at home - a doctor's appointment, a visit to Lowe's to schedule a contractor for new siding, visiting both of our daughters, church, dinner with friends, a haircut, the library.  But I also made a brief stop in the sewing room and finished a couple of small things.

"Land That I Love" is a Lizzie Kate pattern that I made into a pillow---it's a bit plain but all those stars were catching my eye and I couldn't add anything to it.  I tried - a button, a cord, another border.  I think I'll just leave it simple; it's the perfect size to tuck into an antique child's rocker I have.  The photo ended up a bit dark but time was short so I did good to get a picture at all!

Faith is the first of the Sheep's Virtues from Little House that I've stitched.  I have several others, but not all, so I'm still on the hunt for the rest.  :)  That border - oh my.  For some reason I kept missing a stitch and took out two sides of it not once but twice!  I left off a center color in the border and changed the dot of the i from a heart to an x and I like it I think.  The buttons that I added work well I think and I see now that I need to fray the ends of the cord a bit more but all in all it's just what I wanted.  A bit on the primitive side....which is exactly how my house is.  Just a bit on the primitive side.  With a lot of farmhouse thrown in.  :)

I'm heading back to the mission tomorrow for just a few more weeks.  And I just added about a half dozen patterns to my bag, which was already pretty full, so how in the world will I choose?  Those long evenings just might mean I get more finishes before I get home!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer Time

I don't know about where you are but here at the mission it's hot.  Really, really hot.  Some mornings when I try to walk about 5:30 a.m. the humidity is so high I feel like I can't get a breath.  It's a good excuse to skip the exercise, as if I need one.  :)

I've finished up one more patriotic cross stitch piece.  I didn't even bring my sewing machine with me this time so my evenings are spent on handwork.  This one is by Lizzie Kate and is called Land That I Love.

My apologies for not at least having it ironed but an iron is something I'm living without for this six weeks away from home.  Can you see me smiling?  No iron!  :)

I've become enamored with some of the Little House patterns.  Well, more like addicted.  If anyone cares to feed my addiction with some patterns you're giving away or selling - it's definitely a weakness you could seriously take advantage of.  This is the one I'm working on right now.

Down here in Louisiana the sugar cane is growing so fast I can almost see it get taller overnight.  Ever seen sugar cane?

It reminds me a bit of corn.  It's about as tall as me and will be a lot taller when it's harvested in the fall.  It's so pretty and bright green after a rain....

And the early mornings on the bayou are so amazing.

Out in the distance there are barges and shrimp boats, waiting for the morning or for the season.

Back at home my grandmother's rain lily has bloomed.

This was a couple of weeks ago when there was quite a bit of rain.  Right now it's dry there...and the blooms have gone.  But the best thing about this rain lily is that when it rains it springs to life again.  Just watering it won't make it bloom.  It takes rain, almost as if God's watering it and it won't bloom until He does.

I brought a couple of small wool applique projects with me but it makes me sweat just to think about working on wool right now.  So, after work today, I'll be back with my Little House piece.  Wonder how they'd feel about me stitching at my desk....   :)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Rain and Noise

I didn't get everything done for the Fourth that I wanted to - it rained and rained and then rained some more.

The umbrella stand under the new table and chairs didn't get painted to match before the rains hit....we got over 4" I think and that umbrella there on that table, well you can't see the top, but the wind blew so hard it picked it up and blew it away!  It landed on the roof of the garage and since my husband and son weren't home my sweet daughter-in-law climbed the ladder and got it down for me.

My husband always cooks shrimp gumbo, which he did.  I always bake, which I didn't.  I had an implant done Monday (oral surgery, not the other kind) and it has hurt the whole week.  My face swelled so bad I got a black eye!

It still aches but it's much better than it was so I guess all is well.  I go Monday for a check up.

As you can see by these pictures there were some sunny days this week and boy was it hot!  There are fireworks going on out on the lake as I write this and I just have to ask....what's the point of the ones that make noise but aren't pretty?  I don't get it.  Loud but no sparkles - that's like cake without icing.  Why bother?

I finally got a new car to replace the one the 18 wheeler smashed.  Did I show you this already?  If I did that's ok, I'll just show it again because I love it.  :)

I'm headed back to the mission this week.  This time my husband isn't going because the heat down there is just too much for him.  I'll be gone six weeks and I'm sure he'll come to visit me one weekend and I'll come home one weekend.  I'm taking lots of stitching with me so I'll keep you posted with how much I actually got done.  I almost finished another patriotic piece this week but not quite - soon.  Could someone please answer this question for me - those of you who cross stitch, what are the benefits of a scroll frame versus other kinds?  I find myself switching from the pvc pipe ones to a clover one to a spring one and right now I'm using an antique spring one that has what looks like cork on the inner lining that holds the fabric.  I like it quite a lot - it's an oval shape and seems to fit my hands.  Do you switch around like that?