Friday, 22 March 2013

Sometimes, I Even Find Myself Embarassing.

I debated back and forth, whether to blog about this or not.

There were several reasons.

I was partially squeamish about being seen in my sleeping wear, (indecent) partially shy to admit I've wanted pajamas like Shirley Temple has in Curly Top (juvenile) and even more shy to admit I've watched Shirley Temple at all.

And there isn't even a helpful tutorial or pattern that I can share. This many-month project, was all tracing my own PJ pants and mangling an old paper pattern I borrowed. 

In the end, it was my pure, unjustifiable, inner glee with how this turned out, that made me decide to post.

So here it is.


Clown  Pajamas.

Don't say I didn't warn you.


Monday, 18 March 2013

Photo Challenge Week 11: The "Eyes' of March

Is it just me, or do these challenges get stranger by the week?

Good for my brain, I guess!




Saturday, 16 March 2013

"Beware the Ides of March!"

I've never been too superstitious, but the fact that it was the Ides of March, yesterday, didn't surprise me. It didn't begin very well for Olivia and myself. Days in which she falls in the mud, and I lose my debit card at a critical moment, are seemingly irredeemable. take a drive into town.

The sushi take-out place had opened a few months ago and we had all laughed. Our town is not that sort of place. MacDonald's is more in our line. Besides, to me sushi meant raw fish and bacteria and consequent stomach pumping. But, after our sister Abigail had tried it out first (isn't that what older sisters are for - kind of like cup bearers?) and had pronounced it good and not all raw fish, I was game to try it out.

So, we marched into the little shop downtown, as if we were hipsters who ate weird stuff all the time. We were greeted with the hugest smiles I had ever seen. The very friendly couple quickly took our order (Abigail had told us the spicy pork rolls were the best kind) and we sat down to wait. The decor was interesting - decals on the windows and walls featuring animals and smiley faces along with phrases such as "lovely smile," "gentle smile." And there were rows of fake flower arrangements, flanking the wall.

Our order was soon ready and, with smiles and many thanks all 'round, we went back to the car that I had parked to face the frozen river. We opened our take out boxes and dug in. Olivia promptly broke her chopsticks. I didn't even try to use mine but employed my fingers to pick up the first piece.

Man! I'm no food writer, so I can't describe how it tasted. I can just tell you that it was really, really good! I woke up thinking about it, this morning. I ate the whole roll in about two minutes flat. Olivia did likewise, though slightly slowed down by her broken chopsticks.

Well, we were on a roll, now (no pun intended). My next suggestion was met with loud hurrahs. The bulk food store! This is also a fairly new shop. It's name contains the word "friendly" and no better adjective exists to describe this place. The man who runs it, a retired mechanic of some sort who always apologises if he thinks the prices are too high, is indeed one of the friendliest people I've ever met. Olivia adores their selection of dried fruit and they've got a pretty impressive candy collection, as well. Yesterday, I was elated to discover they have those mini candy bananas that can often be found in candy dispensers in shopping malls.

Finally, it was time to get to the actual purpose of coming to town - a monthly meeting with a writer's group which is held across the river in a small cafe. And get this - the owner opens the cafe exclusively for us to meet. I felt like I should do the dishes for him! I had chamomile tea, served in a tea cup and Olivia sipped away on a "cafe mocha." They apparently have really good cake, too, which I have yet to try.

When the meeting was over, I chatted with the owner about books while the rest of the group looked around the small art gallery that is attached to the cafe.

There is something just amazing about small towns - a relaxed, personable feeling that you can't get anywhere else. And besides, where else can you run into a store and ask, "Is my mom here?" and the store owner knows exactly who you're talking about? But, that's another story.

The truth is - Walmart is sometimes easier, and cheaper. And, please feel no guilt if you care to go there. But, if you're in a feeling to be charitable, to invest in people, to reward hard work and ingenuity and real service, then look no further than the small town business, whether it be a sushi shop, a hardware store, or a meat market.

And let's give three cheers for friendly smiles, Asian cuisine, and a redeemable Ides of March.

- Millie

Thursday, 14 March 2013


I think it is almost here.


The Vesey's seed boxes arrived today.

I finally jumped on the funfetti bandwagon.


We did some colourful nailpainting this morning.

...and a round of Farmer in the Dell, for good measure....

Truth is, everyone is tired of socks and shoes, these days. Tired of  frozen vegetables and the smell of indoors and pale skin.


And while March can sometimes seem endless as it straddles snow and rain - there are spots of sunshine to see us through.

And cupcakes. Don't forget the cupcakes.


Monday, 11 March 2013


"What you must do, is this. ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks.’ I am not all the way capable of so much, but those are the right instructions."

It’s cold. It’s slush and dark outside – it’s at a bad time, but you put on your coat and drive to join with other saints. Other saints, who are doing well, are struggling, are full of good advice, some are lonely…whatever the case. And here together you pray.


We know it in fact. "…The most normal thing in the common Christian life (is) to pray together." But if you were to say that prayer meeting on a Wednesday night is hard – no one would disagree.


In the requests, you are reminded of the wounds and losses. You remember the widow who fights new battles every day. You remember the imperfections and messiness of relationships. And when you pray, you are brought a little lower in your nervousness and stumbling – sometimes through the distractions of your mind. Prayer meeting is work – a discipline, and it sometimes feels like the prevention rather than the cure. The motion of duty rather than the heart’s desire.


After all, who hasn’t felt like Moses with his arms propped up on either side by Aaron and Hur? Sometimes we grow weary in battle. Weary in worship.


Then, as your heart cracks open a little more, you hear other requests. The ones that make you nod your head with a leaping up within. Oh yes, that is true. The six-year-old asks prayer and mercy for his father’s boss. You give thanks for a baby born too soon, but growing stronger. And when you pray, a little girl asks in one sentence, "Keep my uncle safe." The bottom of your pride drops out, and the big words you speak seem less important. Bonhoeffer says, "How could one person pray the prayer of the fellowship without being steadied and upheld in prayer by the fellowship itself." You take courage and lean on the others as you pray for God’s will, and best of all, for His glory. As the prayers are lifted, hesitant, stuttered, sometimes obscure behind pat phrases – you unite as cracked vessels.


It’s through those cracks that the beauty pours out…and here is where the prayer meeting does its best work. For as you pray together, He gives Grace and you realize anew that He makes this possible. He gives the answers we seek. He gives us this precious gift of community where we share the goodness of Him. He lifts the burdens as we soldier on.


In every way, it’s the inability to ‘be all the way capable of so much’ that strikes you when you gather to pray. Hallelujah that it does – for in your weakness as a prayer meeting, the Lord who reigns is strong.


Saturday, 9 March 2013

Photo Challenge Week 10: Be Still

Turn off the computer.  Sit in the March sunlight for a minute. Know that He is God, even when your mind is screaming a thousand false reasons for envy and worry and sadness. Be still.


Friday, 1 March 2013

from the Crafting Archives...

After each new project completed, I've intended to post full comments and pictures for your pleasure.

And after each new project, I get sidetracked by another and forget.

The sum  total of all this confusion is that you get one post instead of six.

You're welcome.

So. What's been going on in my sewing room?

We have....Exhibit A: The Bow Clutch

Fast, easy and a great way to explore denim, canvas or other textiles. Don't let the zipper scare you! Try these.

And yes - I know they are not perfect rectangles. I pick my battles when it comes to sewing.

Exhibit B:  the Ultimate Masculine Mittens

You remember my mitten grief  of a year ago? Not any more. Although I have made two more pairs of  knitted mittens with better success - this tutorial is a much happier experience. So quick - and perfect for re-purposing an old sweater.

Exhibit C: Delicious Stuffed Elephant

This project totally stole my heart. I mean, making something to wear or use is so different than creating something that stares back at you. I loved it.

It also makes the perfect baby present. I felt oddly cruel tying it to some receiving blankets  - but it's going to a good home, honest.

I adapted the tutorial a bit, but the pattern pieces were a helpful start and FREE - which is hard to come by, for some reason.
(Incidentally,  if you run across free stuffed animal patterns, I'd love to see the links!)

And Finally...Exhibit D: The Terrible Trio of Cross-stitch

This project is finally done. That's the nicest thing I have to say about them.. The nastiest thing I have to say, is that they give me a headache everytime I look at them.. And somewhere in between, I have to admit that they are sort of  cute and tacky.

Lucky for you - I have no tutorial or link, and the pattern is buried at a secret location.

And that's that!  I have more obsessions with random  crafting ideas, brewing within me these days. Be on the lookout for granny squares and burp cloths!