A Haven for Vee

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Greetings

Now if the rising of Christ from the dead is the very heart of our message, how can some of you deny that there is any resurrection? For if there is no such thing as the resurrection of the dead, then Christ was never raised. And if Christ was not raised then neither our preaching nor your faith has any meaning at all. Further it would mean that we are lying in our witness for God, for we have given our solemn testimony that he did raise up Christ—and that is utterly false if it should be true that the dead do not, in fact, rise again! For if the dead do not rise neither did Christ rise, and if Christ did not rise your faith is futile and your sins have never been forgiven. Moreover those who have died believing in Christ are utterly dead and gone. Truly, if our hope in Christ were limited to this life only we should, of all mankind be the most to be pitied! ~ Corinthians 15: 16–19 J.B. Phillips New Testament

Many blessings to you as you ponder the Good News: He is Risen!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Planning for Easter

Over the weekend, my daughter and I had the following conversation:

Me: It's not my turn to host Easter, is it?

She: Yes.

Me: No, I don't think so. I would remember. I looked it up on my blog and I remember hosting last year.

She: No, you didn't. We had everyone over later in the afternoon for activities, not for dinner.

Me: Well, I do remember seeing the photo of the dinner table and that's how I remember.

She: Show me that photo!

And, thing is, when I showed her that photo. There were three place settings. Three not seven. Good going, Vee Sherlock.

So that means that I have had things to think about this week, which is always a good thing. I have been kept busy doing some spring cleaning, lots of laundry, meal planning, grocery shopping.

My family tends to be a bit fussy. Yours? This one doesn't like ham; that one does. This one loves creamed corn; that one not so much. No lemon cake here; lemon's my favorite there. It can be a challenge. A good challenge.

So how're things shaping up to celebrate Easter in your home? Abby at Little Birdie Blessings helped me a lot with decorating meaningfully. She sent the most beautiful cards and graphics with wonderful, inspirational messages. You may find many of these very images at her site.

~A Sweet Note of Encouragement~

~*Easter Subway Art*—Love It!~

~Alstroemeria Still Going After Two Weeks~

~Carnations...not the usual Easter flower, but long-lasting ones~

Wishing you sweet times of preparing both home and heart.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Radio Disguise

It all began when I wanted to disguise the radio. How, exactly, does one disguise a radio? They're a lot like television sets in that, if one actually uses one (we do every single day), they must be where they can be accessed.

Anyway, as most things do, one thing led to another and pretty soon I was cleaning and puttering and finding things to "disguise" the radio. Now I know that this is a case of The Emperor Has No Clothes since you can very plainly see it. ☺

I found my chalkboard art at Stephanie's Cottage Thoughts via her mom's blog Coffee Tea Books and Me.

Do you see that book disguising the radio? That's Elizabeth Goudge's A Book of Comfort, an anthology of her favorite poems and essays. That the former owner made little notations throughout is an extra blessing.

John found it for me at a flea market and the proprietor kindly gave it to him. I am so impressed with John for remembering the author's name because searching for Goudge books was a long time ago.

A wonderful Tuesday to you...

Monday, March 25, 2013

He Giveth More Grace

I know that it is not Sunday. A wee missionary lady sang this song yesterday and I haven't been able to get it off my mind so I'm passing it along. If you'd prefer to read the lyrics:

  1. He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
  1. He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
  1. To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
  1. To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.

  1. When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
  1. When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
  1. When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
  1. Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

  1. Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
  1. Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
  1. Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
  1. The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

  1. His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
  1. His power has no boundary known unto men;
  1. For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
  1. He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

  1. ~Annie Flint

Catch you all tomorrow at the latest!

photo source

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Brisk Palm Sunday

Many blessings this brrrrisk Palm Sunday and throughout Holy Week.

I'm so glad that Christ was willing to be born, to enter Jerusalem on a donkey's colt, to poke His finger in the eye of "the establishment" and to suffer the anguishes that this week would bring. It meant that Resurrection Day was coming and that we who believe will know a Resurrection Day of our own. Oh how He loves you and me!

photo source

Friday, March 22, 2013

Feeling Pretty Special

I was visiting Susan at Savoring Time in the Kitchen and noticed a lovely wineglass featured, mentioned it, and next thing I know, I was contacted by Wine Enthusiast being asked if I'd be interested in receiving a set of four wine glasses.

Me? The least likely, but here I am trying my best to make it work. My husband said, "But we don't drink wine." No, no we don't, but we drink juice, and water, and ice tea, and ever so many other things. What a lovely item to add to the table.

Now there is a reason why I rarely do tablescapes and I'm going to show you...

No chargers, no napkins, no food! Okay, let's try again...

Still?! Where's the blue fairy when you need her? What I do have is a beautiful set of four elegant pieces of stemware. I love the little crystal clear ping they make when I flick them just lightly. I promise to take good care of them and I thank Wine Enthusiast for the gift. I've not been able to figure out exactly which glasses I received, if you do, please let me know!


All of these delights arrived in the middle of the snowstorm. They're from BJ at Sweet Nothings with a little note saying that my apothecary jar needed filling. It has taken John two days to know that there are Hershey kisses in the house. =D Our little dip packages are waiting for a day when we feel like being kids again. I love the little birdies candle holder...she even included the battery-operated candle! And who doesn't need a grocery list for the refrigerator door?

~Befores and After~

Looking at these befores and after, I do believe that BJ has a point. As you can see, I filled'er right to the tippy top.

I'm saving these for summer... Yes! BJ sent me a lot!  I can trade them in and out. I think that she'll be happy to know that I retired all the Christmas and Valentines cupcake liners until December.

Thanks so much, BJ, you made me feel pretty special. (John thinks this ought to mean cupcakes. Silly boy!)

So if you need to fill a jar with something, copy BJ. She does it like no other! A happy weekend to you...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Round~Thursday Inspiration

In the past two days, I have received at least three round gifts. That's right. How convenient! And especially with Mary's prompt this week being round.

First, God sent snow to greet us for the first day of spring. It's not what I usually think of for spring beauty, though it is beautiful all the same.

So there I was doing dishes at the kitchen sink Wednesday morning watching the sunlight on the icicles and appreciating all the beauty of the last-day-of-winter snowstorm...ahem. (Lies this big really could come back to bite a gal.) There was sort of a rainbow effect going on with the icicles glowing in all the various shades. The icicles were dripping and I found myself wondering if I could capture a little round drip.

Many tries later...I think 87 or something...I succeeded. At least, if we are not talking about perfectly round.

Second, my complimentary wine glasses arrived from The Wine Enthusiast. They are lovely and parts of them are definitely round, perfectly so. After all this snow, I needed some wine. No, don't let me josh you. I don't drink wine. (Not opposed, just haven't found any that tastes better than Sierra Mist™. My tastebuds are obviously very immature.) I do love pretty stemware, though, so come back tomorrow and I'll tell you more about it.

Third, the incomparable BJ of Sweet Nothings sent a package that lifted me from the doldrums. There was so much round in it, which I have merely hinted at in this photo and my header. So, you've got it, come back tomorrow!

Have you ever noticed how round the bottom of a Hershey's kiss is? Thanks for stopping by.

Linking to Mary at Little Red House for Thursday Inspiration. Won't you join us?

P.S. A big thank you to all the participants in this month's Note Card Party! I so enjoyed finding spring all over the place. It did a lot to buoy my spirits, which were pretty much on the floor after all that snow arrived. I'll try to do better with the reminders in April! Our next party is scheduled for April 17.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Creamers~Note Card Party for March

About a year ago, I did a post on my collection of creamers. It came in handy today as I scurried about last minute preparing this post.

~Chickie pat pending~

~Anne of Green Gables souvenir~Royal Winton-Grimwades-England~

~Yellow Tiger Lily~Royal Winton-Grimwades-England~

~Tiny Creamer Blue Windmill~603-Dripps-Holland~
I'm pretty sure that I'd take the photos differently now, but this is how I did it then.

It's your turn!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Is the Sap Flowing?

And other questions...

Maple sap doesn't flow just anywhere. New England is well suited for maple syrup production in the late winter/early spring because of cold nights and warmer days, which keeps the sap flowing up and down the sugar maple trees enabling the sap to be harvested.

Imagine my surprise to learn that maple syrup is harvested in January as far south as North Carolina. You can read about that *here,* if you are interested.

I've chatted a fair amount about maple syrup season in this blog. I've even lost an entire post on the topic. (This blog is getting to be so cumbersome.) I don't know if that was the post describing my grandparents working in the Sugar Woods in New Brunswick, Canada, or not. Their time there was considered a working vacation every March. I've always loved the wonderful old stories about the maple sap being so bountiful that all vegetables were cooked in the sap and there was no reason to drink water because everyone drank the cold, refreshing sap instead. (Remember: Maple sap is not maple syrup. It takes a whole lot of maple sap to boil down to get the sweet syrup.)

Once I asked my neighbor if I could drink some sap because of that old story. He happily obliged. I didn't quite get the thrill of it, though I might have if it had been very cold. As I recall, it was a warmish day so the sap was warm having sat in the bucket in the sun.

I was so happy to see the trees tapped (on my next door neighbor's lawn) when I arrived home from church yesterday.  The people who harvest the sap in my town have had a serious setback with the loss of their home to fire in recent weeks so I had thought they'd have bigger things than maple syrup production on their minds.

Now please go see this picture at Daily Yarns 'n More...you won't even be able to tell Judy you were there because she closes comments early on her older posts.

Nice wasn't it? Such beautiful photography!

And, yes, my ice cream was delicious! (Caramel Caribou at Giffords: caramel swirled in flavorful vanilla with chunks of chewy chocolate throughout.)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sure Signs of Spring~Mosaic Monday

It may be colder than... Okay, I'd better let that one go, yet I can still tell that spring is coming. One neighbor has her forsythia wreath upon the front door and the other neighbor has his trees tapped.  And the third sign of spring? John wants to take me out for ice cream. Gotta go...

Linking with Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.

New Every Morning

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. 
~Lamentations 3:22 & 23

My husband John tells of a dark time in his life when he was discouraged and defeated. Every night he'd lie down thinking maybe tomorrow will be a better day. This went on for months, yet he did eventually rise to that better day. I have known such seasons; I'm sure that many have. Let's not forget the One Who truly is in charge and the One Who blesses our lives as we yield them to Him. 

Blessings this St. Patrick's Day! 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tying up Some Loose Ends

Saturday and no one is reading anyway so I can toss in anything I want and it won't matter. ☺

For those who do arrive expecting to see a food photography experiment...

Now if that doesn't look like the most unappetizing mess, I don't know what does. The thing is, I took the photo in the first place because it (the food not the photo) was soooo tasty. What is it? Enchiladas made from leftover pork chops and gravy. Hmmmm... it really was good. Just having a little trouble conveying that with my photo. I don't know how all you foodies do it!

Moving right along...

Yesterday I mentioned using a blanket instead of batting. Then I said that I was going to use the little runner section as a mat for ironing. Lorrie suggested in comments that, since it's difficult to find a cotton blanket these days, the synthetic blanket might not hold up well for ironing. Gave me pause. Thanks, Lorrie. So that little blue scrappy thing featured yesterday...you're all so sweet with your comments about color and all...goes in the donate bucket and I made something else to use. You may have seen it all over Pinterest.

My own little ironing board made from a tv tray. As you can see from the top left corner, this stand has seen better days. I did not use any of the techniques discussed in the tutorial on Pinterest. I approached it just as if it were a regular ironing board creating a double mat with an old cotton towel, tossing in another layer of insul-bright (shiny side up) and then fitting an old piece of tablecloth to the tv tray. Next I sewed a seam, ran a bit of twine through it using my bodkin. The twine is only temporary until I can get to Joann's for the proper cording. Finally, I cinched it up tight and it works like a dream. Hopefully, this means a lot less popping up and down to press seams at the ironing board.

Wanted to show you my Dolly Dingle's Cousin picture. My daughter-in-law picked this up at an estate sale where the lady of the house had gathered a number of these paper dolls first published in a now defunct women's magazine called Pictorial Review. They were all beautifully framed. Since it was a Christmas gift, my daughter-in-law selected this one.  There's an entire board dedicated to them *here.* Interestingly, Dolly and company were created by Grace Drayton the artist who created The Campbell Soup Children. I am going to hang this picture in my sewing room where all my sweetest treasures are. I just have to put a hammer and a nail on the stairs to remind myself!

Well I've plagued you long enough so will be off. It's going to be a quiet, haul the trash, bathe the dog, hang out kind of day.

How about yours?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Time Well Spent in the Sewing Room

Though a thing of beauty was not created, I did learn something and that is the most important thing.

I have been floundering (floundering? flopping? flipping?) trying to figure out how to properly join binding. My face burns with shame that some of you have items from my sewing room where this joining has been improperly done. Please don't hate me! I'll do better next time.

~Lesson 16 Craftsy Block of the Month 2012~

It has certainly helped to have the iPad, which goes with me all over the house. It used to be that working on something in the sewing room that I had seen once was a real challenge because I don't learn well seeing it once. I need to see it over and over and over again before it gets knocked into my crowded brain. And those up and down trips on the stairs got annoying...very.

2. So here I have some green polka-dotted binding that I have made the easy way...no more binding tutes for me thank you very much.

3. Oh-oh. The connections are going to be way too close! Better try to slide the left one down a bit.


4. Here I am finding what Amy Gibson told me is the "critical point." After all the nasty joins I've done, I think critical point is a good term.


5. I used a straight join as all other connections are also straight. Diagonal joins are also an option, but who cares? Not I!


6. Okay, that's better...not great, but better. This post should not be considered a tutorial because many important things have been left out. I gave you all the important info in the caption on the first picture.


7. What is it? Hmmm...good question. It's a sample something or other. I've worked on piecing, machine quilting, and binding. 

~8. blanket backing instead of batting~
8. It's made on a washable blanket rather than a piece of batting. I was able to purchase this blanket for a mere $10 so it's much more economical than purchasing quality batting (especially when practicing). This idea comes from a quilter from way back, a family friend who has made hundreds of quilts over a lifetime. I have not included a fabric backing because this blanket fabric is grabby and so works well as an ironing pad.

Oh. There I go! It's become a mini ironing pad for use on my work table so I don't have to go back and forth to the ironing board. 

Gosh, just stick with me here. You never know what you're going to get. Tomorrow, I may show my experiments in food photography. This blog is nothing if not eclectic.

Have a wonderful weekend and, if I don't see you before then, a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Green "Monet"~Inspiration Thursday

When I first learned about today's inspiration, I wasn't sure that I had any "green" inspirations. I could show a leaf or something and, in a way, that is what I'm doing. I found this dish in the depths of the china cupboard. Like yesterday's lamb, it belonged to my grandmother; it looks like majolica to me, though it has no markings.

While it looks okay from a distance, on closer inspection —

it's a real mess! All those apricot colored bits on the tips of the leaves are where the paint has worn off. There are many problems with this dish. I think I'll tag it with a "do not use for food" note.

Yes, it's a monet all right

Wasn't this inspiring? Well don't you worry, there'll be some inspiring offerings at Mary's Little Red House later today all featuring green.

Do you own any less than perfect by a lot pieces that you are unwilling to part with?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Another Odds and Ends Post

Thanks for all your comments on True Grit. It was interesting to read them. I'd just like to add that the scenery from the 1969 version was beautiful as it was filmed in the Colorado Rockies in autumn. The 2010 version was filmed in Texas in winter. (It was supposed to look more like the Arkansas setting of the book and was not quite as stunning with all due apologies to my Arkie and Texan friends.) And I'd like to say that John Wayne made me love Rooster Cogburn while Jeff Bridges did not, though I could admire his true grit.

We've moved on to another movie with incredible scenery and that is Owd Bob (movie clip here) about an orphan sent to live with his maternal grandfather on the Isle of Man, an island between Ireland and Great Britain. It was filmed on location and I'd say that the scenery is one of the greatest delights of this film. Exquisite! So if you're needing to see some green this week...


Tossing in some photos taken after our errand running yesterday...

Bundles of colorful, good and fresh Alstroemeria are in the market with all different hues available and the price at $5 was right. The bundles of tulips were very tempting, but they've gone over $5 and that's my limit.  This little lamb belonged to my grandmother. I just found him in the basement recently (I think he was heading to Goodwill—I've changed my mind.) Gave him a good wash and dry and he's as fresh as ever and looks very darling beneath the flowers.

These yogurt covered pretzels were in the bakery.  They are orange-flavored and there were also strawberry, blueberry, lemon, among other flavors available. I do love a sweet and salty combination. I hope not to purchase them again — too good!

Someone had a birthday quite awhile ago now and his fondest wish was to have strawberry shortcake. This was finally accomplished. It's not easy finding good strawberries just now. He looked through multiple packages to find one where most of the strawberries were ripe. So it was a strawberry shortcake supper last night...those are always wonderful.

Turning the floor over to you...