Sunday, January 28, 2018

A New Adventure

I mentioned in my last post that we're going to be getting ready for a new adventure, well it has begun and I started a new blog simply called The Paradiso Life where I'll be sharing from now on. I'm going to leave this blog just as it is and occasionally update with finished projects. Thank you for following along here!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Happy New Year!

It's hard to believe another new year has begun, like two weeks ago already! Looking back at my little blog here it seems like yesterday when I wrote the last post. Since then we managed to finish the major painting job in my sewing area as well as the main living spaces in the rest of the house. The scrap purge that I began before the hurricane led to purging of more fabric after the painting job was done which led to purging more items around the house. Instead of listing all the scrap bags and fabric I no longer had desire of keeping in my Etsy shop I donated it all to Scrap And Sew a quilt shop not far from home. So, November was spent purging and reorganizing, and not just the physical stuff but some of the digital stuff too! Oh how the digital clutter can get out of hand! I found myself weeding through almost 20,000 emails when my email stopped working! I didn't realize that when I thought I was deleting an email by swiping it on my phone it was in fact being archived!

Then December rolled in and with the leftover sample paints we accumulated, when trying to find the perfect color, and a used canvas purchased from a thrift store back in April, I created a large scale drip/splatter painting. I must mention my husband contributed some drips and splatters of his own with a straw so it was a nice collaborative project. ;-)

My daughter Phoenix at the thrift store.

Initially I thought I might use some modeling paste for texture 
but decided to let the drips themselves be the texture.

Because we purchased several samples at a time we received this handy 
little sample kit, which I saved for this project.

First I rolled on some white paint and then some gray.

Cued up Twenty One Pilots's album Vessel, 
grabbed a brush and began dripping and splattering. 

Between each color I'd wait a little bit and clean my 2 inch brush and then get back to it.

My husband's contribution in fuscia...

We left it flat to dry for several days before hanging it in our dining room.

As for sewing, in December I managed to finish stitching together the HST top. The HST top and the two Project Linus tops have been sandwiched and shipped out for quilting just this month. The projects I have left that are still incomplete I'll try to work on this year but I'm not putting any pressure on myself to finish, except for the quilts that are out for quilting-I would like to finish those!

So looking back at what I set out to do last year and what I actually completed I'd have to say I'm happy with my accomplishments. I did purchase a few fabrics last year and that's okay, I used most of them in projects!

I do have one project goal that I'd absolutely love to start and finish this year and that is to make a dress for myself. As for quilt projects I would like to start and finish one that I pulled fabric for back in August but we'll just have to see how it goes as we're about to get pretty busy around here soon with a new adventure.

I almost forgot, well I did actually but am back editing this post, to mention that we had the pleasure of visiting our daughters in the monastery before Christmas. Our daughter Cheyenne was clothed in the Poor Clare Habit on December 16th. Upon receiving the habit she also received a new name and shall now be known as Sister Mary Faustina of Merciful Love.

Here she is holding her hair in a basket.

Here she is with her twin sister Posulant Phoenix.
The Sisters jokingly said now they'll be able to tell who is who.

Our family selfie in the small parlor where we're separated by a screen,
making it easier to take a picture without the grille.

 A hidden life of prayer...

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, creative and love filled year!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday Stitch Report #11, Abstract Stitches

Hello Friends! We survived Irma with very little drama here. We lost power about an hour and a half after my last post. We were ready and thankfully our power was restored just about 30 minutes before the 48 hour mark. We only lost a few leftovers in the fridge and didn't sustain any damages to our home. We're very grateful as many others are still suffering from the aftermath, our prayers remain with them each day.

After the storm passed we spent the week de-storming, not sure if that's even a thing but there were supplies that needed to be relocated and schedules to get back in order. I was very grateful that I was able to keep my travel plans for the 16th of September to Virginia to visit our twins at the monastery. They are both doing well and it was so nice to see their beautiful faces!

After my quick trip to visit our twins then life was busy and we were off to visit family in Colorado. Since we've been back I've been busy purging, decluttering and organizing and today we set to the task of painting the interior living spaces of our home. I haven't had much time for creative endeavors but I did finish a project before our trip to Colorado. You may remember an abstract painting project that I started months ago. My daughter Sofia really liked the idea of my turning it into a bag so she asked if it could be hers when I finished it. I finished just before our trip to Colorado and gave it to her as an early birthday gift, she had her sweet sixteenth this year while we were in Colorado so it was an extra special gift. With all the busy-ness we finally had the chance of having a little photo fun with it last Saturday so here's a few photos of the finish...

The painting party has begun!

This is a fairly large project and honestly I've been procrastinating quite a lot with the decluttering in an attempt to avoid the prep work that's involved with painting! But my dear husband was at my side helping me and we got quite a lot finished today, only about a dozen or so more surfaces to go! 
Until next time, have a very
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday Stitch Report #10, Hurricanes and Happy Birthday!

Just a quick post...It's been a week of hurricane prepping around here and yesterday we celebrated my husband's 46th birthday. We are still awaiting Irma's arrival to our area, although today we started feeling the effects of the weather in the outer bands. As I type this the lights have flickered a few times and the storm has been downgraded to a category 2 and is tracking north from Naples. The photo below is from earlier this morning just around the time when it started raining. We have all the potted plants inside and the raised beds have wheels so we rolled them under the patio and strapped them together.

Continued prayers for everyone affected by the storm...

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sunday Stitch Report #9, Insignificant Scraps

Not a whole lot to report for this past week. I've done a little more stitching with the scraps and rearranged some blocks on the wall and managed to fill several bags with scraps that I'm happy to let go of. All this scrap sorting, which I realize is so insignificant when you think of the tremendous amount of devastation in Texas--so many people are displaced and some have lost their lives, really prompted me to take time to reflect on what is really important in life, scraps being way down at the bottom of the "ladder of importance". My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected by Hurricane Harvey.

And now there is a possibility Florida may wind up in the path of Hurricane Irma as it continues to build strength and is currently tracking toward the Caribbean Islands. This week I may spend more time storm prepping than scrap stitching.

Thoughts and prayers for protection going out for everyone who may be affected by Irma...

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunday Stitch Report #8, Scrap Vortex

Caught in the scrap vortex, 
but first some inspiring moments captured...

This was the sunset from last Sunday evening...

We were't able to view the eclipse on Monday as it was too cloudy. Swim practice started back up Monday evening but it was cut short right about halfway through due to weather. We made it home in time to capture a few gorgeous shots of the surrounding storm cells.

On Tuesday I pulled this back out to work on...

I added a few more stitch lines to it and then washed off all the Solvy...

Once the Solvy was removed it went into the dryer.
I'm really digging the texture! 

After working on the Solvy project for a bit I took a break to scroll through Pinterest. Pinterest is wonderful for inspiration or for just mindlessly passing the time. Sometimes I'll see things that I'll pin for future ideas to develop or if I like an article and don't want to clog up my email with it then I use Pinterest as a virtual filing cabinet. Every now and again though I'll come across something that I have to try right away which is what happened during my little break when I came across a pin that was posted from the Patchwork Pie Blog. You see, I started a scrappy improv project over three years ago in an attempt to use up every last scrap, you know, waste not, want not, yada yada. I've worked on it a few times here and there but life and other projects seem to be major distractions and so it gets folded and filed away for another day. In the meantime scraps accumulate from other projects and my ziploc bag system of organizing the scraps falls to the wayside because I don't take the time to use the system the way it was intended, instead I just open the drawer and shove the scraps in, and I wind up with a big ol scrappy mess! And who wants to sew when everything is in chaotic disarray? Not this girl I tell you. Just looking at the drawers where the scraps are hiding out can be overwhelming enough! Anyway, besides the mess of it all and the distractions that lead to the mess another reason why it gets folded and filed away is the method that I had been using to sew the scraps together in the first place--tediously sorting and pairing like sized scraps. My whole scrap sewing world changed when I came across the pin from the Patchwork Pie blog. I started cranking out scrappy pieces to add in no time!

Here's what it looked like when I started...

...and here's a view with some of the new pieced sections not actually sewn to it yet.

After my bit of fun I still had to deal with the mess and disorganization of my scraps so I decided to deal with it once and for all and I got busy sorting. I finally got to a point where every scrap had been gone through and put in it's proper place. Then I arranged some piles on my sewing table and got back to work. Sewing along I started feeling overwhelmed at the amount of scraps that I have and that I'll probably never use, which is a disconcerting idea for me because my thought is if it's not being used then what purpose is it serving to just sit idle? Feeling a great sense of obligation to use all these scraps I needed some advice and so texted my quilty kndred spirit friend Julie about it. Her counsel was perfect--It was okay to just use the ones I wanted and let the others go! Yes!! I was headed in a similar direction with larger fabric pieces that I had been pulling and setting aside to either donate or list in my Etsy shop so why not do the same with some of these scraps? That's what I'm going to work on this coming week, detachment from the scraps in this scrap vortex! So, if you're in need of some scraps I'll be listing some very soon in my Etsy shop, direct link in sidebar.

As always, 
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday Stitch Report #7, Productive Moments

I had some fairly productive moments this past week, most of the energy undoubtedly attributed to all the nervous energy I had as my daughter Sofie returned to public school as a freshman. We've homeschooled for the last five years, which I must confess wasn't what I wanted to do but at the time found it necessary to do so, and let me tell you it wasn't a decision that was made without some serious thought and lots of prayers because we had attempted it once before and the experience wasn't pretty, at all! We've done things much differently this time though and as confident as I am in her abilities to make decisions, her returning being one of them, I think the transition has been harder for me than for her! She was the one calming me down as we waited for the bus on the first day. I had to promise her that I wouldn't be accompanying her to the bus stop ever again. As hard as it is to let go I often have to remind myself of some wisdom that was shared with me from a friend during the year we made the decision to homeschool this time. It has been especially helpful this year not just with the schooling decision but also with the twins' decision to return to the monastery. It's a reminder to put into perspective the bigger picture of the journey that is ever unfolding as a mother and trusting her children to make the decisions only they can make.

On Children
 Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

So, with all that nervous energy, I whipped together a couple of quilt tops that will eventually be donated to Project Linus. Right now they're both waiting to be sandwiched, quilted and bound.
That may take a week or a month, or who knows how long...

This one was started over a year ago by my daughter Gianna when I showed her how to chain piece with the sewing machine. She sorta lost interest in finishing it and I just couldn't stand looking at it unfinished in the basket any longer and took action with all that nervous energy I've been going on about...

...and then, again with the nervous energy, I got to the business of trimming up the HSTs 
and started playing around with other possible arrangements.

I mentioned in the birthday post that I had helped my husband collect rainwater...
We've been experimenting with gardening using raised beds and we're learning a lot!
Main thing we've learned--PATIENCE!

We had to make a trip to Lowe's this morning because we decided to pull two of the three tomato plants that are in pots and replace them with healthier plants. We don't think the ones we bought were very healthy from the beginning but then again we could've made a depth mistake when putting them in the soil. Regardless, they weren't looking good! Where am I going with all of that anyway you ask? Well, while we were outside looking at the plants we walked by these coneflowers and I noticed this monarch butterfly flittering about and had to try to capture it, with my phone camera, as I do love to take photos y'all...
Butterflies are a favorite creature of mine for so many reasons and seeing this little guy today after this past week was what I refer to as a providential God moment... it was a reminder of the transformative power of God within each of us.

On the 15th of August, this past Tuesday, marked one year since Cheyenne returned to the monastery.
The photo below was taken on our last visit the day before her twin sister Phoenix would rejoin her there. Although, not without struggle, she is doing well and is on her own transformation journey. She always shares a passage of scripture when she writes and this was the one she included in my birthday card...

"Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; 
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand." 
~Isaiah 41:10

Thanks for stopping by,
Until next time,
Have a beautiful and blessed week!