Friday, January 30, 2009

February Sale

My new quilt pattern, Tickled Pink, is now available, and is on sale! Regular price is $8.00, but it is only $6.00 for the month of February. Click here for details.

Also on sale for February are heart themed note cards. The cards are a generous 5 x 7" in size, and are illustrated in full color inside the card, as well as on the front. They are printed from original watercolors that I painted.
Regularly $5.00 for a package of 8, now only $4.00- great price! Pick up some for yourself, some for gifts. Click card images for details.

You can also email me with your order.
Have a great weekend, and stay warm!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Free Valentine's Day Patterns

Here are a few free patterns that are on my website. The one shown above is a simple painting project called Key to My Heart Picture Frame. (The photograph is one of my husband's relatives, but I don't remember who...) Below are 2 patterns that can be used for embroidery, painting, whatever you like. All of the patterns can be found here on my Free Patterns page.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Music Monday- Forget About the Boy

A performance from Thoroughly Modern Millie (one of my very favorite musicals) on the Tony Awards a few years ago. This song is so much fun- Singing! Tapping! Girl Power!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Trash to Treasure

This is the cutting table in my studio that I painted a year or so ago. I didn't start out with a plan for it to be so detailed, but one thing led to another.... and here it is. I love the way it turned out. Actually, it's kind of a shame that usually there is so much stuff piled on it that you can't see much of the design....It was just a garage sale find, in pretty bad shape when we first got it. We removed the old tile top, and some sanding and painting and matte sealer has helped turn it into one of my very favorite pieces.
What is your favorite "trash to treasure" project?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Faith in Action

I came across this story- it is well worth reading.

Life of Reilly
There are some games in which cheering for the other side feels better than winning.
by Rick Reilly

Melinda Wright
Gainesville State players douse head coach Mark Williams in celebration.

They played the oddest game in high school football history last month down in Grapevine, Texas.

It was Grapevine Faith vs. Gainesville State School and everything about it was upside down. For instance, when Gainesville came out to take the field, the Faith fans made a 40-yard spirit line for them to run through.

Did you hear that? The other team's fans?

They even made a banner for players to crash through at the end. It said, "Go Tornadoes!" Which is also weird, because Faith is the Lions.

It was rivers running uphill and cats petting dogs. More than 200 Faith fans sat on the Gainesville side and kept cheering the Gainesville players on—by name.

"I never in my life thought I'd hear people cheering for us to hit their kids," recalls Gainesville's QB and middle linebacker, Isaiah. "I wouldn't expect another parent to tell somebody to hit their kids. But they wanted us to!"

And even though Faith walloped them 33-14, the Gainesville kids were so happy that after the game they gave head coach Mark Williams a sideline squirt-bottle shower like he'd just won state. Gotta be the first Gatorade bath in history for an 0-9 coach.

But then you saw the 12 uniformed officers escorting the 14 Gainesville players off the field and two and two started to make four. They lined the players up in groups of five—handcuffs ready in their back pockets—and marched them to the team bus. That's because Gainesville is a maximum-security correctional facility 75 miles north of Dallas. Every game it plays is on the road.

This all started when Faith's head coach, Kris Hogan, wanted to do something kind for the Gainesville team. Faith had never played Gainesville, but he already knew the score. After all, Faith was 7-2 going into the game, Gainesville 0-8 with 2 TDs all year. Faith has 70 kids, 11 coaches, the latest equipment and involved parents. Gainesville has a lot of kids with convictions for drugs, assault and robbery—many of whose families had disowned them—wearing seven-year-old shoulder pads and ancient helmets.

So Hogan had this idea. What if half of our fans—for one night only—cheered for the other team? He sent out an email asking the Faithful to do just that. "Here's the message I want you to send:" Hogan wrote. "You are just as valuable as any other person on planet Earth."

Some people were naturally confused. One Faith player walked into Hogan's office and asked, "Coach, why are we doing this?"

And Hogan said, "Imagine if you didn't have a home life. Imagine if everybody had pretty much given up on you. Now imagine what it would mean for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you."

Next thing you know, the Gainesville Tornadoes were turning around on their bench to see something they never had before. Hundreds of fans. And actual cheerleaders!

"I thought maybe they were confused," said Alex, a Gainesville lineman (only first names are released by the prison). "They started yelling 'DEE-fense!' when their team had the ball. I said, 'What? Why they cheerin' for us?'"

It was a strange experience for boys who most people cross the street to avoid. "We can tell people are a little afraid of us when we come to the games," says Gerald, a lineman who will wind up doing more than three years. "You can see it in their eyes. They're lookin' at us like we're criminals. But these people, they were yellin' for us! By our names!"

Maybe it figures that Gainesville played better than it had all season, scoring the game's last two touchdowns. Of course, this might be because Hogan put his third-string nose guard at safety and his third-string cornerback at defensive end. Still.

After the game, both teams gathered in the middle of the field to pray and that's when Isaiah surprised everybody by asking to lead. "We had no idea what the kid was going to say," remembers Coach Hogan. But Isaiah said this: "Lord, I don't know how this happened, so I don't know how to say thank You, but I never would've known there was so many people in the world that cared about us."

And it was a good thing everybody's heads were bowed because they might've seen Hogan wiping away tears.

As the Tornadoes walked back to their bus under guard, they each were handed a bag for the ride home—a burger, some fries, a soda, some candy, a Bible and an encouraging letter from a Faith player.

The Gainesville coach saw Hogan, grabbed him hard by the shoulders and said, "You'll never know what your people did for these kids tonight. You'll never, ever know."

And as the bus pulled away, all the Gainesville players crammed to one side and pressed their hands to the window, staring at these people they'd never met before, watching their waves and smiles disappearing into the night.

Anyway, with the economy six feet under and Christmas running on about three and a half reindeer, it's nice to know that one of the best presents you can give is still absolutely free.


Original story can be found here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Music Monday- Imagine Me

I think this song was written for every one of us... we are all broken or damaged in some way... life has a way of knocking us down... but I believe that there is One Who heals us, makes us whole.... The One Who made us and sees us the way He created us to be, before the world and life hurt us and discouraged us and made us feel less than...

We are not our mistakes or failures or our past, we are not the labels that people might have put on us...
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1

Thanks to Kirk Franklin for writing this song of hope and healing... as you listen to it, remember God Who sent His Son to save us, not just for eternity, but also to heal us in this life.
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). John 10:10 Amplified Bible

Remember that He loves you just as you are right now, He is not waiting for you to somehow be "better" before He can love you... His love is perfect... that means that no matter what you do, He cannot love you more, and He cannot love you less... God is love... let Him embrace you.

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24

How wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:18-19

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Friday, January 16, 2009

Have I Mentioned My Glitter?

Look what I got at Michael's the other day- Martha Stewart Glitter in 24 colors! Are they not gorgeous! And I had a coupon- 40% off- woo hoo!!!!! Daughter also got some pretty papers. But did I mention my fabulous new glitter collection????

I am not sure if I should actually use it, or just artfully display it on my desk and just look at it... Lately, I have been working on redesigning my pattern covers . It seems that designing and putting the quilt together is nothing compared to the time it takes to write and edit the instructions, design the cover, print them, stuff them in the bags... Quilt Market is only 4 months away!!!!! I also have another 5 day show in Lancaster, PA in April, so I've really gotta get crackin'. Here is the new package design- what do you think? Do you think maybe I should add some glitter???
Oh, we had some more good news around here yesterday. My younger daughter, who is way way way smarter than me, got a really big academic scholarship to the high school that she wants to go to. She is so happy and we are so proud. My husband mentioned last night that we have remarkable kids, and I just wonder how that happened! A miracle? A fluke? Both switched at birth? I really don't know, but we are truly blessed with these 2 girls, I just adore them.... gush gush.
OK enough gushing, gotta get to work. Have a good weekend.

Oh, and did I mention my glitter??

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Super Cute iPod Case

Daughter made this super-cute iPod case (with a little help from Mom) before she left for college. We found these great Amy Butler and Hoffman fabrics on a recent shopping trip (you can't see the striped lining- adorable.) I have a feeling she will have lots of requests from her friends for these (hmm, maybe a side business for her? Wonder if there's room for a sewing machine in her dorm room...)

Well, she probably won't have time to make more of these anyway. She just found out that she made Concert Choir at college- a pretty big deal, and usually preference goes to Music majors and minors, which she is not (she is Secondary English Education.) But she really has an incredible voice. She will be traveling the U.S. on tour in May, which unfortunately means that she will not be able to help me in my booth at Quilt Market in Pittsburgh this spring. Next year, she will get to tour Europe with the choir, so she is very excited. She didn't think she'd make it, she didn't think her audition went great, but I guess it went a lot better than she thought!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Music Monday- Revelation Song

Music plays a huge part in my life. At any particular moment, you can find me listening to contemporary Christian favorites like Mercy Me, Third Day, Chris Tomlin.... or relaxing to some favorite movie soundtracks like Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility.... or belting out some Broadway tunes from shows like Les Mis or Thoroughly Modern Millie (love it!).... or boogie-in' down with some KC and the Sunshine Band or Justin Timberlake or No Doubt. (So as you can see, my musical taste is fairly eclectic...)

I have always loved to sing, and now have the privilege and honor and responsibility of singing on my church's worship team and in the choir. I find it amazing how God created sound and vibration and rhythm and melody and built this love and need for music into us. I have never met anyone who does not respond in some way to some form of music. Whether it's humming or singing along, a foot tap, or jumping and gyrating around, it seems that as humans we are wired to respond. And especially when we add meaningful lyrics, music can tap into our emotions, or make us think of something in a brand new way. For me, music transports me, makes me feel... I have a feeling that this was God's intent.....

So anyway.... I was thinking that maybe I'd post a music video or song once a week, and Monday seemed to be a good choice simply because I like the alliteration of Music Monday (some of you know how I feel about alliteration :) ). I cannot promise that every Monday will be Music Monday, 'cause frankly, I'm not sure I want that kind of committment ha ha! But I will be posting some of my favorites.

This first one is a song that we've done at church just a couple of times so far, but I've had several people come up and tell me how much they like it. In this video, it is sung by Kari Jobe. I know the first time I heard it, I was just moved to tears (and not quiet tears- I mean the bawling, ugly cry- not a pretty sight).... The awesomeness of God and His goodness.... The writer of this song (Jennie Lee Riddle) says all of the things I'd like to say to Him, if only I were a writer or a wordsmith.... I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily....

I don't know how it got to be January 9 already- time is just slipping- no- running- away from me! I've had one of those weeks where I feel like I'm spinning my wheels- busy, busy, busy, but in the end, nothing really to show for it! There have been dentist appointments, doctor appointments, vet appointments, plus the regular shopping and errands, not to mention the septic backup (I will spare the details), so not much of anything has gotten done in the studio at all! Company for dinner tonight, then the Christmas decorations come down tomorrow, daughter goes back to college on Sunday, so maybe next week I will have something to show you. Actually, I have just finished the binding on a few quilts, so as soon as I get the patterns printed up, I'll put them up here.

So anyway, as we row through the mundane and day-to-day stuff (and sometimes against the tide!), we might as well be peaceful and content about it- after all, tomorrow is another day and next week is another week. Reminds me of that little song....

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream,
merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a
Have a good weekend.

OOPS, I almost forgot... Cheryl at Peaceful Blessings was kind enough to give me this award.
The Lemonade Award is for blogs that show great attitude/gratitude. I am supposed to nominate 10 blogs- oh my goodness, I seem to love ALL of the blogs that I visit, I couldn't narrow it down to 10... so if you are reading this, consider yourself nominated!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009

A few wishes for the New Year...

I am not making any resolutions this year. I spent most of my life looking forward to January 1 for a fresh start (I will exercise! I will stay on my diet! I will not procrastinate!) None of them ever lasted more than a few days!

I look forward to every day being a fresh start. I have a tendency to be a "Martha" (as in the Bible, not Stewart... see below*****) to get caught up in the day to day grind and miss opportunities to laugh and enjoy life and my loved ones. My only "resolution" to myself will be to try to remember to stop and ask myself several times a day- Is this the best use of my time right now? Am I glorifying God?

*****As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Luke 10:38-41

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."

Lamentations 3:22-24


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