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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Creativity & Economy- A Balancing Act

I went to 2 different fabric stores yesterday in search of some things I need to finish the handbags I am making from my hand- woven fabric. Most of my weaving is done using yarn and fiber from my own flock of sheep. Why am I telling you this and what does it have to do with going to the fabric store? Well, I learned that fabric is not cheap, and barely economical anymore. I discovered I have a treasure trove of riches here at home, carefully stored in baskets and boxes. Fabric is expensive! It has been awhile since I bought any fabric.I don't think anyone can save money anymore by buying fabric to make clothing. The cheapest fabrics I saw were no less than $4.00 a yard.Why would anyone buy fabric to make clothing or quilts when they can now be purchased ready-made far less expensively, and conveniently too? I also discovered many of the supplies I have saved and set aside to craft items using my hand-spun and hand dyed wool are worth far, far more than I sell them for. The fabric stores are selling an OUNCE of carded wool in little plastic bags for at least $2.00 , often a little more. Here all along I have undervalued the work of my hand, the produce of my flocks, my time, by grossly undercharging for them. I will have to charge much less than my items are worth though, to sell them. To make a little money, for what is the point of stock piling things I have made? It becomes a waste of time , resources, and energy to create. This is the dilemma I find many of the people selling beautiful handcrafts at the bazaars, Farmer's Markets, and boutiques face. What we are selling is an item that cannot ever have our time factored in on the price tag. That is O.K. though ( most of the time). I have the privilege of being able to stay home and make these things. I have the privilege of keeping sheep I love, to grow the wool to spin up into yarn to dye, weave, or sell. The one thing I keep losing track of though is that does not mean I should be undervaluing my craft as I am often guilty of . I am not being a good steward of God's provision when I under sell and under value the work of my hands and heart. Yes, I make many things to sell that are priced low so they sell quickly, I have to make enough money to pay most of the feed bill and booth fees.I always recover my product supply costs too. However, I am determined to remember thrift and economy do not mean cheap and of little or no value. That includes using what I have already, and using it wisely to produce items worth keeping if they are not sold. Worth passing down to another generation in the family. Why would any of us want to create our own clothing, furnishings, or any of the multitude of things we craft ?Could it be because we are compelled, or driven to consider the work of our hands and minds of far more value than economy? ----"People get into crafting because they love creating things." Jamie Turner ----- My desire is to remember the value of whatever I do in my life should be measured by God's standards. I am driven to create because God created me ( and you) that way. How I create and craft should also glorify God by not detracting from my responsibilities as a wife, mother,employee, sister-in-the Lord....and sometimes that is a real balancing act. Am I being a good wife and mother, or good steward of time if meals are not prepared, the house is untidy and cluttered , laundry not done because of MY crafting?Am I wasting resources, money,scarce storage space at home by making unwise choices in crafting?"An excellent wife, who can find?...The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain." Proverbs 31:10,11 ----These questions can be adapted to apply to anyone bursting with the need and passion to be creative, man or woman, married or single...the point here is we as human beings are driven to create in some fashion or other and often monetary gain is not the primary goal but a means to support the passion that drives our craft,talents, or our dreams.---- "Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity that you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach - how you look at things...whatsoever you do, if you do it joyfully, if you do it lovingly, if your act of doing is not purely economical, then it is creative." Osho "Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men." Colossians 3:23 "To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance it's beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it." Osho "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.." Ephesians 2:10 *Pictured is weaving I did in 2008~

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tea Time Tuesday

Tea Time Tuesday is here again, the days are flying swiftly by. I have barely 3 weeks to finish making the items I hope to sell at the first of two Christmas Bazaars. I have been too busy having tea parties and as usual I am hurrying to catch up with my crafting. So what did I do? I invited one of my granddaughters over to spend the night and have a doll tea party with me later today.I still have two projects on my loom ( above) to finish, a rug only half done to finish, at least another pound of Goth's wool to spin up, and 100 Wee Little Sheep to make before the second weekend in November. Guess I'd better have a cup of tea. I watch my sheep outside the window that over looks my loom. The cat and one of our dogs sleep near-by.I can hear the Grandfather clock downstairs ticking loudly. Today is supposed to be very stormy. A good day to share with a granddaughter and have a tea party for lunch. She brought her dolls for tea.We will be very snug and cozy inside while the storm rages. I will get a fire going in the fireplace.We can nibble on cookies she baked last night while we sip our tea. So, back to teacups. Do you like my blue and white teacup? Blue and white are my favorite colors. ( I know, white is not a color) The cup and saucer are made by Royal Worchester of England. There is no given name for the pattern on the china but to me it looks to mimic Asian design. I am very pleased with this teacup & saucer. To see other beautiful teacups and tea times be sure to visit these ladies, and leave them a comment. Kind words and comments are like tasty tea time treats, well loved and savored~

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Precious In His Sight

"Behold, children are a gift of the Lord;" Psalm 127:3
"Then some children were brought to Jesus so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said. "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:13,14
"Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
"Correct your son ( and daughters ) and he will give you comfort; he will delight your soul." Proverbs 29:17 "...but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother." Proverbs 29:15
"..But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him to have a heavy millstone be hung around his neck and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea." Jesus~ Matthew 18:6 "See to it that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you, that their angels in heaven continually behold the face of My Father, who is in heaven." Jesus, Matthew 18:10 It is very comforting and reassuring to know God watches over the little ones we love, and very scary for you if you are guilty of despising children or causing them to stumble. God calls children a gift.Good gifts are precious and usually given to us by someone who loves us, the best gifts come from God. He gives precious gifts to the just and the un-just. Praise Him! "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

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Eat Dessert First !

"In the hour, when death shall open the door into eternity- many things which now assume an 'air of importance' , will be found as light and unsubstantial as a child's dream." John Newton

Monday, October 18, 2010

Flying Goose Teacup~ Tea Time Tuesday

Last week I loaded up two of our dogs into the car and headed off to soak up the Autumn color. I also had a destination in mind, a small town nearby that has a row of antique stores on it's main street. I did not care if I found anything to buy, but teacups were at the top of my list of desirable purchases. Boy oh boy, teacups are expensive!Since I really don't NEED any more teacups I am picky about them. They have to be appealing to me and fairly cheap. Look at this teacup I found! This looks like a flying goose to me. I am not sure what the black thing is, maybe the tree trunk, or something more sinister. When I first glanced at this teacup on the shelf in the store,behind a lot of stuff, I thought the black was a fox or cat after the goose. Can you see the detail on this saucer? The gold is very bright, the green leaves of the tree are so delicate. Somehow this teacup manages to be bold and delicate at the same time. The china is so fine I can see the design on the front through the back. I am sipping tea from this cup right now as I write this post and I can see the liquid through the outside of the cup even though the lights are dimmed in this room. The lady who sold me this teacup said she would sell it to me for $6.00 because it was unmarked. We both held the saucer up to her sunny window to make sure there was no mark and although we saw a small green blur, there was no apparently visible writing or marking. My receipt from her reads " unmarked cup and saucer- $6.00 ". You can see the reflection of me taking the picture of the opposite side of the cup . As I was preparing this Tea Time Tuesday post I again held the saucer slightly slanted under a bright lamp and wouldn't you know it, there IS writing! Very small, but very clear tiny green letters saying "made in Japan".The way the letters appear make them seem like they are supposed to be a secret, only to be seen in a mysterious way, I like mysteries. Does anyone out there have a clue about this teacup and saucer? Sipping tea out of this teacup is like sipping tea out of a delicate gilded eggshell. I truly love this beautiful gem of a teacup, this treasure I found on a bright and colorful October drive through beautiful country. The day I came home from a glorious day with a treasure, a treasure to share with you! I am leaving you with this quote from a favorite author who's books are a treat to read as you sip your tea by the fireside or sunshiny porch. "As October ends, the air begins to smell of windfalls that have been frosted. The leaves drift down, and most of the branches are bare.We see more sky. Night shuts down early. I miss the long summer twilights, when day seems to linger indefinitely. But the mornings have a sparkle , and I love to see the shadow of the house silver with frost when sun has melted the rest of the crystals on the lawn." Gladys Taber Please, pour yourself a cup of tea and share a bit of time with these ladies, you won't be sorry, they know how to do Tea Time Tuesday right !

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Yarn & So Much More

My heart has been bursting with the joy of these Autumn days, sunshiny and crisp, how can it not? Perfect for spinning my wool up into yarn as I sit on the porch.I can enjoy birdsong and bird squabbles over the feeders full of sunflower seeds .I take in the changing colors of the leaves, I watch my sheep from my porch.There is time to be quiet, to think. Look at this beautiful wool. It is from my ram, Goth. Who knew such a bashingly bad ram could give me such lustrous, soft fleece. My husband has been very patient with me as I keep showing him this wool while I spin it up. "Look at this! Isn't it beautiful?Look how much wool I got from Goth! Look at the long staple, isn't the color scrumptious...yadda, yadda."Sometimes I even push the lovely wool into his hands or make him sniff it! ( What a patient husband I have.) Can you see just a little bit from this picture how pretty Goth's wool is?The variations of black and white.His black is fading into a very sweet shade of blue-gray. What is the point of this post, well....I am happy and thankful for my sheep, for the ability to use their wool AND enjoy watching them. I am thankful for my husband who builds all the pens and housing for the sheep, even though he would prefer to have NO sheep.I am thankful for a husband who will let me fill a room with wool, loom, spinning wheels~ and not begrudge me the time to use it all. I am thankful for the time to meditate on The Shepherd, who watches over me, one of His sheep. I pray He allows the wool of this sheep ( me) to be spun up into even a tiny strand of wool yarn to be knit and woven into the fabric of a life glorifying Him, all else is but fodder for moths. To God be the Glory, forever and ever!
"The web of our life is but a mingled yarn, good and ill together." Shakespeare
"Charm is deceitful, beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." Proverbs 31:30 "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight Oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14

Monday, October 11, 2010

Autumn Tea~ Tea Time Tuesday

It is Tea Time Tuesday where I feature a special tea cup, and often a tea setting. The weather around here is the kind of weather one describes as "the perfect Autumn day". I decided to take tea on my front porch. Along with a pot of Earl Grey tea, I had grapes picked from our own vines, apples from our trees, and Spiced Pumpkin Bread.*
This place on the porch is also where I love to spin up my wool into yarn.
Here is my teacup for this Autumn Tea Time. The yellow and light salmon roses are a good color for Autumn. Look at the gold around the rim and edges of the saucer and cup.
Royal Grafton, Fine Bone China~ Made in England
There is no given name for this pattern, just some numbers painted in gold under the foot of the cup.


Hawk can often be found in the sun room striking this pose, and he can hold this pose for long periods of time.
Miss Marple can often be found in the sun room striking this pose, and she can hold this pose for long periods of time.
Can you say "obsession" ?
Poor Bob & Belle, they are so oblivious to the fact that if they were not safely housed in cages they, the objects of so much attention are really the objects of natural appetites. ( Belle whistles 'Thy Loving Kindness' & 'Jingle Bells' all day . She has a musical obsession.)
Look at her, she likes the dog and cat's attention, little does she know...
"Well, I am a BIRD dog!"
"Meow~Just let her out of the cage once...purrrrty please?"

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I'll Fly Away One Day

"He will swallow up death in victory;and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off faces." Isaiah 25:8
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life" John 3:36
"And there is salvation in no one else ; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by that which we must be saved." Acts 4:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you he who believes in me has eternal life." Jesus~ John 6:47
"For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." Jesus ~ John 6:40
(pictures taken during a visit we and our grandchildren made to the cemetery in Tacoma where my father, a U.S. Army veteran of 2 tours in Korea, and 2 tours in Vietnam, is buried)

Friday, October 8, 2010

I'm So Doggone Popular~

I'm so doggone popular and I don't know why.
Children love to adorn me with jewels.
Children love to hug my face and kiss me.
Starry jewels for my head, beads and scarves for my neck, cuddles and kisses !
I am so doggone popular...what's a dog to do?
~"We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachments." George Elliot
~"Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made." Roger Caras