"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Gift That Really Keeps On Giving, and it's FREE!

Our firstborn, our daughter~ and her husband. Thanksgiving day more than 3 decades ago ( very close to 4 decades but , shhh!) I was in the hospital after just giving birth to her, and now we celebrate Thanksgiving with her, her husband, their 4 children, and her husband's family.What a gathering, what a feast.Who could have known so many more blessings were to come when I held our tiny firstborn daughter in my arms and knew the very second I held her I would die for her if need be. Fortunately things have never come to that, and she has been a gift from God that gives back...kindness, love, fun...more blessings of the good kind than can be contained in this blog post. And she is the gift that keeps on giving of herself to her family and friends. This is how she chose to spend her birthday, bow-hunting for elk! Her husband snapped this picture of her while they were hunting. I was snug at home with their 4 children. Happy birthday daughter, gift from God. ~"Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above,coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow, " James 1:17 ~ The best gift is from God, who gave His Son that we might have eternal life. This is the gift for all eternity - free, bought with the shed blood of Jesus. You cannot do anything to earn this gift, this pearl of great price. You have nothing to offer at all. Truly, this is the undeserved, unmerited, gift that keeps on giving. "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8 ~ "....the proof of your faith , being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls." I Peter 1:7-9

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tea Time Tuesday , From My Sister!

My sister Joni travels a lot and when she is in towns that hold special family significance she often picks up a souvenir. When she was in Minnesota she decided to travel to Little Falls to see the town that was part of our Mother's heritage.She stopped at an antiques & collectibles shop and bought me this teacup! Thank-you Joni. On this day I picked some grapes from our vines and served myself a piece of Black Walnut Pound-cake I baked using a recipe from blogging friend Mildred. ( delicious!) I made a pot of Red Rose tea and took some time to catch up on some reading.
Mikasa Bone China~ Chippendale.
During this week of Thanksgiving I am hoping you remember all the many blessings you have , no matter your circumstance, there must be some blessings! I am thankful for my family, for sisters, children, grandchildren. I am thankful for my dear husband, for a home and food to eat. I am thankful for my God, and that He showers His blessings on the just and the unjust, that His love for me is unconditional.I could go on & on but you get the picture. Happy Thanksgiving to you ! ~"You say "if I had a little more I should be satisfied'; You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled." Charles Spurgeon ~"In everything give thanks.." I Thess.5:18

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Comfort Comes In Dog & Cat

My Bea, she loves me, she lives for me.I love her.
~Our granddaughter's cat Blizzard who lives with us.A dog in cat form.I love him too.
These two cuddle on the hearth in front of the wood stove, adding an air of peace and comfort to our home. Who can measure ,really, all the company of a beloved pet adds to our well-being, our sense of contentment? The world may be scary, our personal trials many, but the cat purring against our heart, the beloved dog leaning firmly in at our side gives a comfort words cannot describe. "A cat improves the garden wall in sunshine, and the hearth in foul weather." Judith M. Riley

Friday, November 18, 2011

Art From The Heart, Children's Art

Two of our granddaughters came running up to me at church with pictures they had painted for me.Now this is art from the heart! They both know I love this season best, and they know I love blue. I love my grandchildren, and the gifts they create themselves for me are the most special gifts I can receive, gifts from the heart! ( I think I am going to frame the picture above, and hang it on my dining room wall.)
"Grandchildren are the crown of old men ( old women too).." Proverbs 17:6 Thank-you Granddaughters !

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lake Lawrence Christmas Bazaar, Bazaar Booth Design Ideas

Lake Lawrence Christmas Bazaar 2011 took place this past weekend. This marks the beginning of the holiday season for me, Thanksgiving , Christmas, New Year's, a few family birthdays...I hope you don't mind, but I am going to write about something I have looked for with little result on-line. Creative booth design ideas and some personal opinion on things that help make any bazaar, Farmer's Market, etc., work for you and others. One of the most perplexing things for me regarding bazaars is how to display the items I have for sale in a way that shows them off in the minimal space I am renting ,and really, when you pay for space at a show or bazaar you are renting it and even inches matter ! The spaces for rent here are 8ft. X 6ft. Some people rent 2 or more spaces. Here is a very beautiful display of baskets handwoven by Laurie of Laurie's Handcrafted Baskets . The open wood shelves, the rustic interior of the lodge itself, combined with the lights all compliment the beautiful baskets she weaves. The "basket lady" is one of the big attractions to this bazaar and she demonstrates basket weaving here. Connie Barclay from Olympia is selling her pottery. She had a few pieces for sale I coveted. Notice her open wood shelves providing a clear view of her wares, and she also had a nice table-top display, clean and uncluttered. This is my booth and I am still trying to figure out how to display a lot of fiber art without having the space claustrophobic for me. The rack displaying weaving is actually two crib rails from the baby crib my husband and our children slept in. The crib rails are simply zip tied together at the top.The crib head-board is used as an attractive half-wall separating my booth from that of my neighbors. The rails and head board are precious to us and I am happy to be able to use it to display my fiber art.What you cannot see behind my weaving is a comfortable chair that matches my colors, my spinning wheel, and 3 small drawers where I keep my cash box, wrapping paper, boxes, business cards.You have to be able to move around in your small place and also make it open enough for people to browse your items for sale. I am still learning. Some sort of lighting is always necessary and I find most places that rent booth space are lovely, but lacking in lighting.I used what I had at home, an IKEA lamp, but have ideas for next year that will make better use of space and not be so obvious. This booth sits next to mine. Terry Halverson (Scent With Love Candles) & her husband have been my "booth neighbors" now for 3 or 4 years. She makes the most heavenly scented candles and creative gift items.Look at the ingenious and efficient use of space here in this little area. Her husband designed and built the shelves to display her candles and creations. They have a corner booth and make wise use of the space. This peg board display Terry's husband made is right next to my booth, separating us in a way that makes it clear where each booth ends & begins, yet is still a "courteous" display, taking into account her neighbors . This is the other side of Terry's display, her husband also built this and it breaks down and folds up for efficient storage in the car.The whole display is attractive, calls attention to what she sells, and also enables her to move about inside her 8' X 6' space...and very important, be a GOOD bazaar neighbor. I am so sorry the lighting did not allow for me to get a good picture of this pretty lady. She always had a big smile and friendly demeanor , making you want to stop and browse her lotions , creams, and centerpieces.I lost the info I gathered on her products but will add it to this post when I find it.Look at her display. She is in a center space and the table is her display. She has a creative and attractive arrangement showing everything off to advantage. I like her rustic centerpieces too.I hope she did well here. You can see, simple table-top display works very well, especially when you combine ways to display items by adding vertical display . This lady is selling many little things that are hard to display but I think she succeeded. The table sits to the back side of her little area,she mounted many of the hair accessories on vertical display boards, and off towards the front/side she had her racks of children's clothing.She too was always cheerful and pleasant. When I would walk by I would see her smiling and talking quietly to her "booth neighbor". The only thing I can see that would help her booth would be lights. Lighting seems to be dim to low at every inside bazaar I have ever participated in. Fortunately,it is easy to remedy once you figure out what kind works for you. ( I haven't figured that out yet!) This is Joyce's booth, directly next to the previous booth. Look at how creatively she has used her 8' X 6' space.You actually feel like you're in a little shop when you stop here, and there is so much eye-candy at reasonable prices you have to browse for quite awhile.Joyce uses old crates, old lace curtains,hat-boxes, lattice, re-purposed kitchen and farm items to display her wares. I always find something Joyce is selling that I know just needs to come home with me. Joyce too, is a kind and easy person to be next to at a bazaar. My other booth neighbor is Hallie of Hands On Fun Toys *Hallie's puppets were a hit and seeing the little children and adults smile at the puppets made me smile too. Hallie and I discovered we were not only booth neighbors, but live very close to each other too and have a great deal in common.This allowed for some pleasant conversation during the quiet times of the bazaar. When you are going to sell at a bazaar, it helps to not only consider efficient, open, and attractive ways to light and display your wares, but also remember you are actually becoming part of a little community for a few days. The more pleasant, courteous, and kind you are, the more encouraging you are...the more it helps your booth neighbor and YOU! If you are kind to your neighbors at bazaars, and your neighbors are kind and encouraging, it is contagious.There have been so many kind people I have met over the years of selling at bazaars who could have resented me for possibly being competition but instead were helpful, giving me tips to do better, and I in turn am quick to refer people back to them if I find my products are not what the customers are looking for. Being enthusiastic for everyone to succeed helps the whole group and people shopping cannot help but feel the atmosphere is friendly, and maybe decide they would love to spend their money there, supporting the community and getting unique gifts and items too. I know this because I have also browsed and shopped at many bazaars, shows,and markets. I can feel tension and spite, and see it on vendor's faces. I have had vendors be rude to me or seen rudeness shown to other shoppers. I flee such booths, they won't get my money no matter how much I wanted to buy what they were selling. I hope a little bit of this post is helpful to you, and I would love to know if anyone has some great ideas for creative ways to display fiber art that use little space. I would also like to say I love being able to sell at Lake Lawrence Christmas Bazaar- look at the lovely lake outside the window of the lodge! Our daughter and her husband were married here so the lodge holds fond memories for me. ~"We should give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation ; for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers." Seneca

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Remove Vexation , Life Is Fleeting

I have been getting ready for the annual Lake Lawrence Christmas Bazaar which is this coming week-end.My home looks like a wool workshop and I am hurrying to catch up with all I did not accomplish this past summer because I was busy playing and having fun with my grandchildren. This nativity shepherd has a very large flock of sheep, many of these sheep will be adorned with bells, leaves, or stars, many will also be left unadorned, and these little sheep will be for sale at the bazaar. The weather has been cold, but the days have been sunny and beautiful. I have wanted to spend the days walking in the crisp autumn weather with my husband and my dogs. I have wanted to take walks at Alder Lake, drive around our beautiful country-side, sit in the sunshine and take in the last days of this year coming quickly to end...but I am instead busily crafting away for an upcoming bazaar.Next week I will take the time even though the bazaar is next week-end. But I ask,what if this is your last week here on earth? What if your busy-ness keeps you from what is important right now? Only you can ask and answer these questions for yourself, but I have decided I will enjoy this time of crafting AND enjoy time outside in the fall weather I love, and most importantly, with the husband and family I love. "So, remove vexation from your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting." Ecclesiastes 11:10