Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Carefree Summer Days Embroidering


Pictured is a table runner that my grandmother made along with a portrait of her, my mom, and my mom’s brother, which is also her cousin.  Another story, another time. 

My mom says that the table runner was used as long as she can remember, so we know that it is at least 75+ years old.  My grandmother even made the lace for it.  A great deal of work, skill, diligence, and patience must have gone into it!

school photoWhen I was about this age, one summer my grandmother got me started embroidering, but my stitch kick lasted just a short while.  I was more into traipsing in the woods, or riding my green banana seat bike, or playing Monopoly with my cousins on warm and cozy rainy days in my grandmother’s house. 

I still have my unfinished pillowcase with red and pink cross stitches – my first and last embroidery project. 

Until now…

The embroidery bug has bitten again! 

What has especially captured my interest is redwork.

Embroidery with a history – now that’s my kind of embroidery!  Embroidery where simple stitches were generally used.  That seemed doable for a gal like me that can hardly sew a button on.


Redwork fits nicely with my Victorian decorating theme, to boot.  It seems that most of what I like of that era tends to be from the 1880’s, which is an odd thing that I keep discovering, and redwork is no exception, since that is when it peaked in popularity. 

Readily available “Turkey red” thread was used, which was a high quality colorfast cotton thread acquiring its name because it was made in Turkey.

Around the turn of the century, preprinted square blocks of muslin were sold for a penny, which became know as “penny squares.”  When I look at penny squares from those times, I get caught up in wondering who stitched them.  I wonder were they were and what was going on around them as they sat stitching…

By the 1930’s, redwork lost its popularity, but it is making a comeback.  With me, anyway!


I’ll tell you something else I like about redwork – I tend to like whimsical patterns and stitching in red helps those patterns not look like they belong in a nursery. :) 

If you are interested in this free embroidery pattern, I found it here.  DMC #304 is the floss that I used, since it is a good match for “Turkey red.” It has a pretty, slightly burgundy red tint, which works perfectly with the color scheme in my decor.


I backstitched the girl, fireplace bricks, and fine details of her dress, since it is a thin stitch.  For her clothes and fireplace, I used an outline and stem stitch because it is thicker, goes rather quickly, and follows curves well.  A satin stitch made her bow and shoes pop.  If I had it to do over again, I would have used less strands of thread for the picture on the wall.  My lazy daisy stitches and French knots are too thick.  But I love the imperfections in vintage handwork as much as the precise stitches so I will just leave it be…I think…  I’m not sure which I did more – put in stitches or remove stitches!  I am ready to move on to another project. :)  And I discovered, I need stronger reading glasses!     

How are you filling your summer days?


Monday, June 17, 2013

Now that Fellow Had Forgiveness Issues!

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You know the one - the servant that we read about in Matt. 18:23-34 - the one that was forgiven yet he refused to give forgiveness himself?  Of all the nerve!  I sure don’t want to be like that guy, and I’m sure that you don’t either!  So let’s take a closer look together at forgiveness to be certain that all our i’s are dotted and our t’s are crossed.      

        We’ll begin with being forgiven…

Do we accept the Lord’s forgiveness through His shed blood, and take Him up on His offer of a restored relationship with Him?
If so,
then what right do we have to be unforgiving to someone that has wronged us?

If you are currently dealing with someone that is on your mind with this, and are thinking to yourself, "But this isn't something that they have just done in the past -  now is also an issue,"
you’re not alone. 

It’s really difficult, isn’t it?  But it can help us to think of it this way:  

Are all of our sins just in the past?

Will Jesus forgive us for our present and future misdeeds?

Isn't His mercy wonderful?!  He doesn't have a “three strikes you’re out” attitude.
No! Nothing could be further from the truth.

So what is our attitude in light of His forgiveness, since we know that He is waiting with arms stretched out wide ready to forgive us, anxiously desiring to bring us back into fellowship with Him, no matter how reprobate we have been? 

Doesn’t His love, mercy, and grace make us want to please Him?  And we know that He called us to forgive (
Matt. 18:22) and love others as He has loved us (John 13:34), and to top it off, we have the power of His Spirit living inside of us to help us accomplish what we need to do.
Yes, we should hold others accountable;
yes we should set boundaries.
iron sharpens iron (
Prov. 27:17).
Forgiving and condoning are not synonyms.


  • Forgiveness doesn’t remove consequences.   It’s a given that when one sows sinful seeds, eventually they will reap costly consequences.
  • Forgiveness doesn’t remove our memory.
  • Forgiveness doesn’t erase painful emotions, although it goes a long way towards aiding the healing process.
  • Forgiveness doesn’t rebuild trust.
  • Forgiveness doesn’t always put a relationship back in tact.  Sometimes it is necessary to shield our families and ourselves.   

    People often don’t seem to realize these points, but when we define what forgiveness is and isn’t, it helps us to be more willing and capable. 

    To forgive is to pardon, to take away.  When we truly forgive, we release the one that has wronged us from any debt.    

In Gen. 50, Joseph gives us a picture of forgiveness.
In spite of all that his brothers did to him, he didn't hold a grudge; he wasn’t resentful, bitter, or angry.  On the contrary.  Scripture tells us that Joseph fed them, comforted them, and spoke kindly to them.  What a disparity between him and the servant in Matthew!  I want to follow Joseph’s example, how about you?  
On a personal note,

I am finding that the more intensely my heart gets broken, the more I discover the depth of God's love and forgiveness toward us.

As I struggle with the pain of another’s actions that causes me to feel shattered,

the more I realize how much our sins breaks the Lord's heart. 

When I wonder "how could _______ do such awfulness…”

my awareness sharpens in understanding the sacrifice God made for us
in spite of how we treat Him.   

And aren't those realizations a good thing?

With that said, could it be that God is using these trials to help me more fully comprehend the depth of His amazing love?

Anything that catapults us to the Lord's loving arms works for our good, no matter how painful it may be. 

As Joseph said in Genesis chapter 50, "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive." 

Forgiveness requires an act of our will.
It is a decision. 

It isn't necessarily a one time thing, either. 

The reality is, we may have to apply additional forgiveness, over and over again,
just as Hosea did with Gomer. 

When that is the case,

it is key to
avoid linking new wrongs to past offences that we have already forgiven.

God knows, that one is difficult for me.  
So I will remember:

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Monday, June 10, 2013

4 Ingredient Simple Fruit Crisp

Have you ever thought about that if you reverse the spelling of stressed, you get DESSERTS?


I’m up for reversing stress, how ‘bout you? Smile

I came up with this crisp when I needed a quick sugary fix and didn’t want to spend much time in the kitchen.  Turns out, we love it, so I keep making it!


Fruit Crisp

2 cans fruit pie filling, any flavor (pictured is cherry)
1 box yellow cake mix
1/4 cup sugar 
1/2 cup butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and place pie filling in dish.

In a separate bowl, stir together sugar and cake mix; then spread evenly on top of pie filling.

Drizzle melted butter or margarine on top of cake mix evenly.  Do not stir.

Bake 325 degrees for 50 – 60 minutes.


It’s yummy alone, or served with vanilla ice cream!  I have also made this with blueberry muffin mix.  Blueberry and cherry together make a delicious combination! 


Monday, June 3, 2013

When It’s Time to Say I’m Sorry

Have you ever received an apology only to discover that it wasn’t really remorse that was the motivator, rather a desire to rehash? 

That is a pet peeve that I have, yet I’ve certainly been guilty of it too.

As fallen human beings, sometimes our tendency is to add attachments to apologies…

I’m sorry, but…    

         While we proceed to 

justifying wrong actions
ut the blame on someone else.

The next time you have occasion to express that you are sorry, make a point to evaluate your attitudes and motives first. 

If you need to talk it out, do so, but apologies that we don’t really mean aren’t the wisest means to open up a discussion. 

Save your apology for when you are ready to say I’m sorry, asking for forgiveness, and ending with a period.   

With some effort, you will be more able to give a true apology with a genuine commitment to restore and set things right.

bearing burdens (graphic from http://littlebirdieblessings.blogspot.com)


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