Friday, September 30, 2011

Modern Designs....for the Girls.....

Family get togethers are wonderful times! In these gatherings we can be generous with our hospitality, time, and our love when we know our family is coming for dinner. These times are investments we make to bond our families together, creating last memories and traditions that bind us for our lives presently and the following generations! Our time in making our house a" home" is never wasted. We cherish the words "remember when" often followed by laughter and joy! As a young couple, my husband and I didn't have much in the way of material blessings! We had a small house, very old, borrowed furniture, gifts we had received as wedding presents and each other  and lots and lots of fun!  He had just graduated from the university and I was in my third year. By the time I finished with my university degree we were beginning our family! I enjoyed making our house a "home" and found items within our budget to create a nice interior (to me anyway). I enjoyed sewing, even then, and my husband recovered some furniture we were given so beautifully! Our home suited us well. We entertained my in laws quiet a bit because they lived nearby. I can honestly say that they were lots of fun. I think they enjoyed our friendships too. Our family gatherings were always memorable.

The tables are turned now and I am the mother in law and my daughters are enjoying making their houses a home. The four girls all have their own unique style. I love this about them. Their phsyical looks are different and their styles of decorating are somewhat different, but in a good way. I am blessed to visit each one in their homes from time to time. I so wish selfishly they all lived nearby but that is not workable right now. Their jobs or their husbands jobs have them in other cities and one in another country (England). Our son has a neat place too and it's really cool! He is as neat as a pen and has even acquired a few antiques.   

Our youngest daughter, Kara, has just moved to a new city near London so we've been exchanging ideas about her decor, what she would like, and how I could help her with a few pillows, etc. I am loving the ideas she has so I will share them below. She likes a very modern twist! The thrill of my heart though is hearing and seeing her desire to make her house a "home". It is my prayer that your home is filled with joy and gladness...then comes  lots of love, kindness, acceptance, warmth, and sincerity. The most beautiful interiors will be cold unless the candle of love is lit. Take time, dear friend this weekend to fill your heart with God's Word. When the blessed Lord is present in your home then your life is truly full and your needs will be met, even if your need is just a new pillow to spruce the place up! A modern design for sure but in my humble opinion it is very modern and satisfying to be Praising God for His Son, Jesus, who is more than able to fill the soul with joy and gladness!
~Kara sent me this photo of what she likes from an Esty sight!~
So pretty and in good taste.....

~These three photos all came from the October issue of VERANDA magazine~
Seems like she is right on with her decorating desires!
We must get busy.....soon!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Starfish Designs.....

 ~Isabel modeling a little dress called "Happiness"~
 ~Love is best when shared with a "twin" friend~
~Isabel modeling "Joy"~
(that she is...a joy)

~Isabel modeling "Cuteness"~
(at its best)

As the seasons change and fall is upon us it is time to also change our wardrobes for fall!  I love the summer months for the glorious weather of where I am privileged to live but I do love fall clothes! Fall comes slowly here, a little later than the rest of the US!  I am a "winter" person with my own "coloring" so I enjoy winter clothes, the colors, the styles, and the time of the year! I enjoy what the fall and winter seasons and the time spent with family and friends.  So, for children's clothing, the season is changing!  They grow so fast and rarely can a child wear the clothes from the "fall or winter" season of the year before! 

Children's clothing can be purchased inexpensively today but there are still those times when as a Mom you want something just a little extra special for Sundays or special occasions such as birthday parties or evenings out for a special dinner!  Even children enjoy these times that make sweet and special memories!  As a Mom, I cherish the memories that I have hidden in my heart of my children's most precious moments of life.  Many of these involved a beautiful new dress for my girls or a cute little jacket and slacks for my son, Steven! 

The little dresses above were a labor of sweet love for me.....last week I spent the time sewing for the little girls in my life adorable grandaughters! Isabel was a sweet model and Olivia will be receiving hers by the end of the week and Ava's is on the way too!  Luke's shirt was a gift for him to feel "special" too!  Children keep us humble, keep us real, keep us realizing what is truly important in life....LOVE!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Treasures....from Chateau neuf de pap

 Anyone who knows me well knows that sewing is my passion!  I purchased this for 10 Euros!  I wished later that I had purchased the other two the gentleman was selling!
 As as seamtress, I know the hours it took this dear lady (bless her) to make this beautiful French hand sewn bonnet for a little French newborn.  The lace, the fabric, the work is perfection....still!  It has to be at least 50 years old.  I am so blessed to have this in my collection!
 As Kara and I approached Chateau neuf de pap, we noticed this flea market immediately.  Oh if we had a way to bring more of these treasures home.  The linens were amazing and beautiful, flawless and many were monogrammed!  If you visit France make sure you find the flea markets and have cash in Euros!  It will be worth the time you have!
 ~Every corner was a photograph~
 The photo was taken from the top of the village as we walked up to an old castle, although only the shell is still partially was magnificent!
 ~An interior view of the castle~
 ~Can you imagine driving your car down this beautiful street, narrow as it looks it is possible....I think I actually drove down this street.....or maybe one was not easy (nerve racking)!  Just ask Kara! But....we did manage it!!!
 ~I love this picture of Kara....she really wanted to go to Chateau neuf de pap for the vineyards.  We traveled there on a Sunday, it was Palm Sunday, so the vineyards were closed but she was able to shop for a wine for her first anniversary gift to Phil for their celebration!  As I look at this picture I see her reflecting, and thinking how much of life is before her......such a wonderful experience with her!
~Serious shopper here~

This past week I have enjoyed sewing again....serious sewing for my sweet grandaughters!  I thought about the joy that it brings me to see someone wear something that I have made.  I also am blessed when I see the finished product of curtains that I have enjoyed sewing or any sort of home decor that I am blessed to make for someone!  Yes, the little things of life give me joy!  Now, I am an educated woman....I earned a university degree but the areas of life that bring me the most rewards are the happiness I see or have a part of in anothers life. Life is not about degrees, or jobs, or praise from another.  It does not matter what you have the ability to give....just give it!  Give to someone, something! Your time, your love, your patience, your encouragment, your hearfelt prayers.   You willl be rewarded, time and time again in little suttle ways. Your life will be richer as will theirs.

For months, no years, I dreamed of traveling to places I would only read about, rearing a large family takes everything you have (in good ways and no regrets).  My children now live in wonderful places for holidays and for visiting!!!  Last April, when I was honored to visit Kara and Phil, I spent months preparing and reading everything about the regions we were planning to visit and what interesing history they would offer.  One of the places that Kara wanted to travel in France was Chateau neuf de pap in the Provence region of France.  We were spending a couple of days in Avignon, France so we decided to go for it!  We laughed as we drove along and realized reading the map and following the signs was much easier than we had expected.  We enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the countryside and had little idea of what was ahead for us that special day.  I loved it as we drove into this beautiful village set upon a hillside that we unexpectly drove around trying to find a "safe" place to park and came upon a wonderful flea market!  The first pictures above of the "bonnet" say it all!  Finding that treasure would have been enough but the joy, giggles, the blessing that we received that day will be a treasure in my heart forever!  I loved that day with sweet Kara!  The privilege of purchasing that little bonnet will one day come full circle when Kara can place the little bonnet on her own little daughter!  God is so good to give us treasures!  "Trust is the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths."  Proverbs 3:5~6  Do not be afraid to take chances.  Ask for God's guidance and He will guide you in paths He has planned for you.  It may takes years....but He will bring His plans to pass. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Children.....Sweet Ones!

Relaxing......not a care in the world....purple and pink flip flop kind of day!
Over the summer months life has been very full for us with our children and their families!  A few weekends were quiet, but not too many. Life has a way of always changing for us.  We try to be together as a family as often as we can but our adult children now have jobs that have relocated a few of them over the summer and I am so happy they are all settled and prospering and yes...happy!  One of the benefits are the joy that our grandchildren bring into our lives.  It is my privilege to pray for them each day.  "Prayer is a strong wall and is a goodly Christian weapon."  Martin Luther spoke those wise words regarding the importance of prayer.  Praying for another is a responsibility when asked to pray.  I wonder what importance, if any, our world today devotes to prayer.  Oh we say, "I will pray for you."  But real prayer is focused on the Heavenly Father, drawing near to Him so He will draw near to us.  It is trusting Him with our lives, our needs, our concerns, our joys and our trials.  It is having the willingness to be considerate of the needs of others.  "Lord I pray that you would give me a sensitive heart in regard to my friends need and really desire to build he or she up in the Lord."  May I encourage you to encourage and love those around you.  Convey to your loved ones the importance of their lives to your life and give thought to the opportunities that God might give you to be a part of their spiritual growth and development.  Time spent with Almighty God, whether in the comfort of your home or on a walk in the woods, or better yet a day at the seashore......will be time well spent if we are determined to take the wisdom that God gives us and then use that wisdom for His glory and honor and influence in the life of a child or a loved one. 

The beautiful words of Psalm 139 assure us that every life is thought about by God.  "How precious are Your thoughts to me, O God!  How great is the sum of them!"  Bless you today dear friend, bless you and those you love.  To bless, to thank, to praise, to congratulate, to kneel words of blessing is an honorable privilege!  The Heavens offer us BLESSINGS everyday from God's side!  He is the Blesser, the One who gives the capacity for living a full, rich life.  Yes....blessed is HE!  Enjoy your weekend with those you love and create some beautiful and lasting memories!