Safe With Me

I have wondered about Paper Piecing for a while now, but frankly, could not get my mind around it. When I saw the pattern for the safety pin, Safe With Me, I knew this was the one I wanted to try and so I delved in.

safetyImage © Valorie Webster

First, let me thank Craftsy and The Night Quilter for providing the free pattern.

I consider myself to be pretty crafty and a good sewist, since I have been sewing for about 50 years! That said, paper piecing took me some serious thought and this pattern is not exactly the easiest one to start with. After watching a couple of tutorial videos, I decided to just go for it. I am happy with the result. I love the white pin, signifying purity of heart and thought to me, and the bright Kaffe Fassett print, the colors representing the wide variety of people that the new (to the USA) symbol represents.

I do not choose to make this a political post! So, here are a couple of tips from a newbie at paper piecing:

  1. Choose a simple pattern to start with.
  2. Print your pattern on light-weight paper, if you can.
  3. Do use a smaller stitch length, but also DO remember that if you have to rip out a seam, those tiny stitches are a challenge. (The voice of experience!)
  4. As with all new things, give yourself permission to learn. Rome was not built in a day!
  5. Take it slow and steady. Think about the process. #3 above only came about because I got in a hurry and thought I had it all figured out! Slow and steady wins the race!

So here’s to trying a new project! Stretch yourself in different ways. It will expand your horizon!

 

 

February Happy Thoughts – more

I see many postings about spring being right around the corner. We all have spring fever. Yes, it will come and we will get three glorious seasons to enjoy. (Though winter has it’s beauty too!)

bee and flowers

It made me smile when I opened up this shallow depth of field shot and noticed the little buzzing buddy that graced the image…totally unplanned and fortuitous! These are the little things we need to watch for in life!

Happy Day…Happy Spring Dreaming!

 

Reviewing, Rethinking and Reworking

We spend a lot of energy in January reflecting on the previous year and looking forward to the new one. I am not a big believer in resolutions, more in aspirations. That said, I do have some thoughts about this blogging process and how it has evolved for me.

I surpassed the one-year of blogging mark with what I might call less than stellar stats, according to my year in review. However, I am not unhappy with any of those numbers. I find it interesting that my blog is just like the name implies, all over the board in subject matter…or Facetfully.

Crunchy numbers

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 55 trips to carry that many people.

There were 313 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 650 MB. That’s about 6 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was June 22nd with 59 views. The most popular post that day was BOOM – Encouraging Thunder Award!.

Encouraging Thunder Award

Encouraging Thunder Award

Interesting that the busiest day was the day of one of my awards. One thing I may do is make this blog award-free…they are very nice, but very time-consuming, if done properly!

The awards I have received:

liebster-award  Liebster2 IMG_0727

 

It would be easy to think I need to focus more, but here’s the thing, I really enjoy my life and all the different facets of it, so why change it? If you are reading this, your blog may be about some specific thing…your health, crafting, travel, poetry…the list is endless. Maybe you manage multiple blogs by category. I can’t seem to find the time to blog regularly, much less manage multiple sites, nor do I want to.

My blogging patterns…not so compelling:

Longest Streak

15 June – 23 June

My most-read blogs:

A poem about Sisters and funny to me is one about Bras.

Readers visited from 70 countries, that seems amazing (and points out that many countries teach English, but that is another subject!)

I think my blog is simply for me and those who might want to read it. It is a minimal documentary of my life or feelings on any given day. If you follow along, great… and thanks! If not, I am okay with that. Maybe I will redesign the whole thing, who knows, but for now I am happy with what it is!

I really enjoy reading the blogs that I follow. I do, however, find it is another “time buster”. I don’t want to say “time waster” because you are all writing things I find interesting, or I would not be reading. So, I am planning to shift my reading/following plans this year. I will read the posts of those that I religiously follow and will be more selective on others. I will be scrolling through the subjects of the emails. It is certainly not a snub…just a way to try to manage my time and get a bit more done.

Why do you blog and do you have any plans for 2016 and your blogging habits? Here’s to a great 2016, in blogging and otherwise! May all you hope for come your way, and may what you have be enough!

A Wonderful Christmas Story

This man has been touched by history and a great Christmas story. (The picture contains a link to the story)

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A very old picture emerges of what life must have been like in his apartment in the early 1900s.

May your days be Merry and Bright…and may we all know the joy of wanting things for others!

(pictures from Internet; story from Todayonline)

http://www.todayonline.com/world/americas/chimneys-poignant-surprise-letters-santa-missed-long-ago

It is Christmas Time!

Silver Bells

Not everyone thinks of the verses, just the chorus, but the song Silver Bells starts with the words…

“Christmas makes you feel emotional. It may bring parties or thoughts devotional…”

Many people have trouble with the season. I know because I have been one of these and in talking to people, I feel I am not alone. It has become so overly commercialized. It is all about the gifts. We over-everything… over-eat, over-spend, over-indulge, over-stress. There are many who miss the memories of what the holiday used to be like, miss their loved ones who are far away or have passed away or those who are alone.

Then there is the time in which we are living…trouble in the news, crime, terrorism, hate, political jabbing and more. Yes, I am one of those who would rather see good news! But, I digress…sorry! This post is not about that.

I grew up with Christmas that was full. It was full of family, gifts, trees, decorations, food and frankly, a lot of the things I don’t like so much about the holiday now. My mom was a Christmas fanatic. We could find some of her decorations still tucked into some corner of any room in mid-summer. It was impossible to find them all when it came time to put them away!

She was determined to carry on the tradition of family Christmas after her mom passed away, even when most of her siblings had fallen off that wagon. Anyone who wanted to participate was welcome. She worked full time, so this meant one big shopping day on a Saturday during the holidays, because EVERYONE was getting a gift, plus a few gifts for those we might not know were going to show up. Honestly, I don’t recall thinking this was much more than drudgery to go out all day and fight the crowds, but it is what we did. As a child the group of people gathered was large, happy (I think), noisy and again, EVERYONE got a gift. Oh, and did I mention that they were opened one person at a time, starting with the smallest person there. Poor Grandma and Grandpa…by the time it was their turn, all the kids were running around like banshees and not paying a bit of attention to what presents were being opened.

Another thing we always had was music. My mom’s family was all musical. We had a piano in almost every house and others played mandolins, guitars and whatever else they could bring along. So, Christmas carols were shared as part of the festivities too. (I wish I could find some of these pictures to post but unfortunately, most all of them were slides and movies that were somehow lost.)

Families have since clustered around their own growing nucleus, divorced or moved on in other ways. But I think it is important to have those memories and I share here in hopes that you might think of your own memories…old or newer ones. And also that you are remembering to share the joy and love that the season includes, whatever your beliefs may be. If, by some chance, you don’t have fond Christmas memories, what better time to make some? At the same time, you could be creating some good memories for someone else.

I hope you are happy if someone wishes you the best during the holiday season, whatever words they might use, because that is what they are doing…sharing the good wishes of the season with you.

I hope that you are not focusing on all the negatives in the news, but that you are finding and bringing peace to your part of the world. I believe this is the best way to have peace in our world…creating it in the part we can influence or touch, as we can’t really do much outside our own environs.

All of this is the foundation for my feelings this holiday season. Some years I don’t put up a tree or do much to celebrate the season. A mixture of things has made me withdraw from it all. Well, I put up a tree this year…it is unusual and I like it.

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I decided not to do my old standard gorgeous tree with all matching ornaments and perfection. I have used this outdoor spiral tree and decorated it with as many mismatched ornaments as I could find in my stash. Maybe you can see an ornament that you made or gave me…

An ornament made by our grand-daughter about 13 years ago, a whole set of crocheted ornaments from someone who used to work for me and became a friend, a snowman that I hate to admit I don’t know where it came from…maybe someone reading this will claim it, but I had to put it up!

I have many angels on the tree because I definitely believe in angels!

Angels from my sister, more crocheted gifts, an angel from the same grand-daughter, given in 2000.

At the foot of the there are two stockings, one from my sister who asked my hubby to promise to fill it every year and one for my hubby. (If we are blessed with guests on Christmas morning, they will get stockings too!)

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Oh, and there are mice…a custom my sister started for the country and city mice in us!

With all the talk of my mom here, I must mention that there are also ornaments made by her hands…a set of rocking horses…

2015-12-07-19.34.48.jpg.jpeg …there are 6 different styles and I should be ashamed that they have never before graced my tree.

I like this tree a lot. It makes me smile and remember; it makes me think of those far away and/or passed away who have been part of my life and holidays and still light my heart like this tree lights the room.

I have a bit more holiday cheer than I have had for several years. I am grateful and I hope you are finding ways to feel good about the season too.

Oh, and one more thing…if you are thinking of getting me a gift, how about a gift for our world. Create a little peace in your neck of the woods (or you could always get an ornament for my tree so I can think of you when I look at it next year!)

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Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Seasons’ Greetings or whatever you like. It is all a way of sharing good wishes.

If you look upon the season from a religious perspective, you know that it is about a great gift of love. If faith is not part of your holiday, you still know that it is about a sense of love, caring and sharing. May God bless each and every one this holiday season and may love be in our hearts.