Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Labor of Love.

In my previous post I mentioned I was making a Praise Flag for a woman battling Breast Cancer I believe for the fourth time. She is survivor strong and an incredible inspiration. I have never made a flag before. It was interesting and challenging. I think mainly because I wanted it to tell her story and for it also to be perfect. The story part I have, the perfection part not so much but I am hoping it speaks to her heart regardless. I honestly believe that my mom spoke to me and told me to make this for her. ( I lost my mom to Breast cancer after her fourth battle.) I normally don't walk up to a person whom I only know by name and say "please let me make you a prayer flag." It shocked even me. (a prayer flag? Where the heck did that come from?) Then when she gave me her address and full name I got it...Her name is the same name as one of my mom's best friends. Ok mom I get it. Really. Any kind of art is personal and you put yourself out there to the "well what is it for? What does it do? Even I don't get it, or no reaction at all. So it can be hard to randomly offer it but I did. I am glad. It was a good experience for me. It was a blessing. It even got me reading the Bible again and appreciating the beauty in it.
I worried about the weight of the flag because her cancer has metastasized and she feels it in her shoulder. I tried to use light fabrics. I wasn't happy about the all green and white color scheme so I dyed the white silk with neocolors and a spray bottle of water. Blue is a restorative color.
Each verse I used was picked by her and she told me the story behind it and what it meant to her. Her stories and the verses are beautiful. I was touched.
Because they are her personal stories I don't feel right sharing them although I bet she would.
I worry a lot about my worth as a person. I have self doubt and feel like at times I am not a contributor. I was so honored that God chose me for this project. I really feel like he did. I still feel self conscious about sending it. I just hope it was what she had envisioned. I also made her a card. I am mailing it tomorrow with her Praise Flag.
Please pray for my new friend Betty, that she continues to hang onto her Warrior spirit and that God eases her pain so she can continue to be an inspiration for all the people around her.....Thank you all so much....xoxoxoomelinda

Sunday, July 14, 2013

In the works..

I have been so busy with the kids that by the time I am done, I am so exhausted it makes it hard to make anything. Olivia is over here all the time because Taylor discovered that the neighborhood is full of kids. The knocking starts about 7 in the morning and lasts all day until about 10pm. Right now we are the darling of the neighborhood because I put up a big above ground pool. It is 18 feet long and I regret to say that it holds a whole lot of kids. They all know this. Besides watching them and keeping them out of trouble, I am fixing food. To feed their little faces and it is a never ending thing. These girls eat all day long. I kid you not. They still are fun but I am tired. (I won't even mention the drama and bickering.) When we went campin one of the people that was there was someone that I knew but had never really been introduced to . Her name is Betty and she has breast cancer for the third or fourth time. We really clicked and I talked to her a lot. Her cancer has spread all over. She has such amazing faith, I was really touched. I could see God just shining from her face. I was pulled to her like a bee to a beautiful flower. Again the faith this woman has is incredible. I asked her if I could make her a prayer flag. She said that a lot of people use Worship Flags and I had never heard of them. I was thinking more like Christian bent Tibetan Flags. I looked on the internet and sure enough there are worship and praise flags. So I am making one. She told me a lot of her favorite verses and things that have happened that she knows are miracles and I am interpreting it from there. I had to think about it for a couple of days before I started because I feel like this is one of the most important things I am attempting to do. When I think of God I think of white and "he maketh me to lie down in green pastures, he restoreth my soul" keeps going thru my head so I picked green for Healing and restoring and white to represent the Lamb of God.(I know I have skipped lines but those are the lines that are speaking to me.) Here is what I have so far. I just hope it turns out as beautiful as I hope it will.. I am going to bring in some blues so it won't look like some St. Patricks day nightmare.. Not that there is anything wrong with St Patricks Day but I dont want people to see it that way. My garden is growing like crazy and I couldn't be more thrilled. It is seven weeks now and I took a comparison photo. I already am harvesting tomato's, lettuce, carrots, summer squash, zucchini and herbs and green beans and peppers are right behind. I can see that this is a garden that is going to grow every year. It is the easiest garden I have ever grown and so far no failures! Having a backyard is wonderful. One of the things I am growing is birdhouse gourds. I always have wanted to but just didn't have the space. I drove by a lady's house the other day and she had a sign in her yard with a big box of them "3 for a 1.00". I stopped and bought three to play with. Taylor wanted to do one too so we sat at the table and started. Here is Taylor with hers just after painting it. I decided on an Ocean theme so I used a pencil to draw everything out and then I used paint, colored pencils and a woodburner to do a starfish, scallop, seaweed and a sea otter. Taylor and I then took them outside and sprayed them with a glossy sealer. When we have them all finished, I will show them. The third one I am making has a mama and a baby killer whale. I guess being so recently at the ocean, it is on my heart right now. I also am working on a Christmas in July ornament swap. Can't show any of that yet though....Happy Summer xoxoxomelinda

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Liv's Birthday and Fourth of July camping

So Taylor got here from Utah on the 24rth, (my little bff) an overnight in Seattle, Liv's birthday on the 30th and then camping for the Fourth of July...Yep, I am tired. The house is full of laundry and things to put away and as of yet I have done none of it. So the Birthday was a big camp out in the backyard. There were a total of six girls and all things considered, it went pretty well. One of the girls didn't come until a little later. It was fun decorating and making little snack bags. I also made all of the girls a stuffed owl. (you can see them a few posts down.) Once they are cut out they are done in ten minutes, no lie. Olivia decided on a cupcake tier so I made all kinds of cupcakes and buy the end of the night every cupcake was done. One little girl had six....Holy Cow. This is after devouring their snack bags and hamburgers bbq'd and chips. These 12 year old girls can eat. Once it got dark they all ran around the yard shrieking over every bug and playing volleyball with a net and a big rubber ball that flew over the fence at least five times. A ladder fixed that problem. We made fairy jars that I saw on Pinterest. Now they don't look like the one that is shown on Pinterest but they all loved making them. You cut into a glow stick, dump it in a mason jar and then put in glitter and shake it up. What it does'nt tell you is that too much glitter and it does'nt work. So at 11 pm I was in Walmart picking up glow sticks. The cool thing was the jars lasted a long time and the girls all took them home the next day minus the glow. They still had a pretty glittery look to them and a couple of the girls glued ribbons around the top. Taylor was so tired the next day that she was physically sick. I put her to bed and gave her 7up to calm her stomach. Probably all the food was a factor too. Fourth of July we went to Rockaway Beach Oregon where I grew up. The kids adored it. We have friends who have a huge piece of property right next to a river and they made it into a giant campground. Taylor had never been camping before and she just loved it. We used my dads motorhome so she may be spoiled now. I got to see my sister, my dad and my niece and nephews. Gosh I love the little ones....and the big ones too. Here is Ava in a dress I made her for her birthday. Rockaway has a parade and the house I grew up in is the first place they go by. It is so fun to scream and yell for everyone and the kids get candy thrown at them like crazy. They have a blast. The kids played at the beach before the big firework show. Taylor found out how cold the Pacific Ocean really is...She also tried Kettlecorn for the first time. Andrew was even reunited with his best friend and partner in crime, Cooper. It has been a whirlwind for sure, but a good one. I hope your 4rth of July was a happy Celebration too. xoxoxoxoxmelinda

Monday, July 1, 2013

Flying fish and gardens and buntings

Funny story from last night...I actually did quite a long post and was so tired at the end I could hardly keep my eyes open. I published it and looked it over and I had put it on the SwapperSpot blog. Well duh, so here I am back tonight. Susan K and I did a patriotic Bunting swap and both of them are so pretty! I got hers and I just love it. Here it is hanging on my front porch tonight. She used wood triangles to spell out Freedom. I am thrilled with it. It looks so pretty and festive and Freedom is a word that I really love. I am not really sure if she got hers or not but I posted it on Facebook so I know she has seen it. I used denim from jeans that I got at a yard sale for fifty cents. cut them into squares and then made mini flags with fabric. I made some fancy bows with ribbon from a yard sale too....I thought it turned out nice. I made some red white and blue pom pom pens and put them in a denim pocket that I had left over and included a card. God Bless America. I like saying that too! I got Miss Roc's bag sent off too... here is something I have done in the past to wrap something inexpensively that is maybe odd sized or your don't have a box. Take a brown paper grocery bag and fold it down over the store logo. Then put your item in and cover the fold with scrapbook paper. You can staple it shut (I had no staples.) or hot glue it and then decorate. Simple and sweet. When Taylor first got here, she thought it was too cold. Boy she isn't thinking that now. It was 105 today and tomorrow it is going to be about 110. I am gardening and watering a lot. I am grateful that I decided to do a straw bale veggie garden or I don't think I would have one at all. You actually plant in the composting bales and it holds a lot of moisture. No weeding and things grow fast. I have had a lot of fun with it. This is my 30 day picture and I swear in the week since I took it things have doubled. Even as I look at the picture it doesn't even look like the same garden. Already I have tomato's, acorn squash, green beens, lettuce, basil and rosemary and this stuff was grown either from seeds or 1 " starts. I am just going to keep replanting it as we have a long growing season here. Something I have never had before. When I picked up Taylor in Seattle from the airport Olivia came with me and they hit it right off. They had a lot of fun when I took them to see the sights. They loved the Pike Place Market. They both got a "made in front of them" bracelet with their name spelled out in wire with beads and turquoise bands. We went to the famous Flying Fish vendors. What they do is when someone buys seafood the fish mongers throw the fish to the other workers, one who is usually in the crowd so it is flying over the heads of people. I caught the eye of the guy at the counter and held out my arms and he lobbed it right out at me and it was the perfect catch. I threw it back, and put my hands in the air and yelled "woo hoo!" Then he threw one to Taylor. She was so excited. We were the famous two fish catchers at the market for about 15 minutes. All the tourists clapped and took pictures. I wore the imprint of the fish all day right across my boobs. In fact I wore it proudly. Here is Taylor right after she threw the fish back. We also had a sleepover, Birthday party for Olivia on Saturday but I am too tired to write anymore and this is a long post. I think I am ready to take to my bed. Happy Summer all...xoxoxoxmelinda