Thursday, September 29, 2011

General Conference weekend

What is General Conference? Read this article published in the Washington Post to find out.

I look forward to this special weekend which comes twice each year, the first weekend in April and October. The messages shared will help to shape the way I choose to live my life. They will buoy me up and give me hope. I can't wait!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Watch with glittering eyes

I went on a long walk this morning. When I came home and checked for what was new on the computer, I came across this quote. I hope that I not only "watch with glittering eyes" but that I listen with sensitive, wide open ears (no ear buds) every time I walk in God's glorious world.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Forget Me Not

Small, beautiful forget-me-not flowers took on a new meaning for me last Saturday evening. Elder Deiter Utchdorf gave a beautiful address specifically for women at the General Relief Society Meeting broadcast. The forget-me-not flower with its five petals prompted him to address five things which we should not forget in our lives. It was timely and gentle.

Please go here to read a summary of his talk. Go here to watch his address. It is worth your time.

Elder Utchdorf has led an amazing life. As I read this article, I became aware of his Arizona ties. Some how that made him even more personable.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bread, butter, and more

Women are so generous. We asked for donations of homemade bread.

Loaf after loaf of beautiful bread flowed into the stake center kitchen yesterday.

We provided the butter and honey, but the music and speakers of the General Relief Society Meeting Broadcast provided the true sweetness.

Our generous Relief Society sisters also provided homemade butters and jams which provided more flavor. Watching the women enjoying one an other's company added that extra something to this long planned for event. Thank you for donating these things made with your very hands and for joining with us for an evening of genuine sisterhood.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

This week's fabrics

I've been using these fabrics to make table toppers for a special yearly event to be held on Saturday.

The women who are members of my church from around the world will gather in their respective church buildings to listen by satellite to messages prepared just for them by church leaders. After they are spiritually fed, we will feed our local sisters (about 325) a simple bread and butter dinner partly in honor of the emphasis currently being placed on the History of Relief Society, thus the picture on the invitation of Emma Smith who was the first Relief Society president in 1842.

A book detailing the history of Relief Society was announced at the annual Relief Society Broadcast a year ago and was recently made available to all members. I am honored to be a part of this women's organization to which my great-great grandmothers, great-grandmothers, grandmothers, and mother all participated. I feel it has enriched the lives of generations.

The UPS man just dropped off this box and I am so excited. Once this busy week is over I can start my "Aunt Grace's Garden Party" quilt. It is a block of the month quilt (really row of the month so it looks like a garden) which I will receive a month at a time through next February. All those primary colors are making me feel a bit giddy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mornings are nice

My garlic chives are blooming! So dainty, lacy, and beautiful.

The highs may still make the low 100's but the mornings have become delightful. Back to an open back door in the morning because it is cooler (and fresher) out than in. No more dreading stepping outside to water a plant or two or trimming things up a bit.

So if the mornings are 20 degrees cooler than they were a couple of weeks ago, what does that mean for a morning swim? I'm on my way out right now and I will grimace a bit when I first hit the water but then it is all pure refreshment.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sadie's birthday dress

This year I have been smocking and sewing birthday dresses for the granddaughters. Sadie's dress has it all; hand smocking, embroidery, and hand crochet trim. My inspiration for this dress came from Australian Smocking & Embroidery, Issue 93.

The fabric that I found at Sally's Fabric had roses rather than fuchsia blooms, but the coloring was similar to the dress in the magazine.

I embroidered little rose buds rather than fuchsia flowers on the contrasting bands.

I learned a new embroidery technique while working on the embroidered band.

It had shadow work bows where most of the thread ends up on the back of the work.

On the front, it gives added dimension to the white on white work.

I also sewed with entredeux trim for the first time which provided the basis for crocheting the trim.

The back of the dress also had a contrast band and closes with buttons and buttonholes.

The embroidery was a bit simpler on the back.

The hand smocking was simple and worked all in white.

I loved all the decorative touches of embroidery, smocking and crochet trim on a lovely old fashioned kind of dress.

Of course I needed to make a matching doll dress out of the left over fabric. I even have a tiny iron and ironing board for use when making the doll clothes.

The fabric had a very large print, so I fussy cut the doll dress. There was just enough left of the cotton sateen to fashion a little jacket.

The birthday girl and her doll. So sweet!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A weekend of grandkids

I was a fortunate grandma this weekend. I got to see and interact with 8 of the 10 grandkids. How I miss the California boys!

Ruby invited me to "Grandparents Lunch" at her elementary school on Friday. I decided to pick up Subway sandwiches on the way instead of eating the "if it only looked like spaghetti" school lunch.

We enjoyed visiting with each other as well as the grandparents across the table from us who took this picture. Ruby and I headed to the book fair in the library after lunch. I always enjoy visiting elementary school libraries. After reviewing the book selection three times, Ruby picked out a book for herself as well as one for her sister.

Oscar came to spend the night on Friday. His dad was camping with the scouts and his mother is working part-time some nights at Sprouts again. Nichelle also came to spend the night after her shift. Who wants to go home to a dark and empty house? I insisted that Oscar help sweep the floor before he went home. Not really, he just likes to sweep the floor!

Saturday morning Grandpa Glen packed up his bubble machine and bubble juice and headed on over to the Ward Primary Activity Day. Since we live in Arizona and it is still 100 degrees most days, the activity involved water in pools, buckets, squirt guns, and on the slip and slide. The bubbles added to the ambiance. Grandpa Glen also learned that bubbles don't pop but stick to wet skin.

Heather, Julianna, and Toby heard about grandpa's Saturday plans and "ward hopped" over a couple of stakes to join in on this water fun. Since they go to church with us at times, they fit right in. Eric discovered that 3D bubble pictures are cool. I borrowed his picture from Facebook. I'm sorry that you are not viewing this picture on his phone like I did last night. It was pretty cool.

Sunday evening found the clan at Sadie's house celebrating her birthday.

Grandma Laurel finds it hard to believe that she is already a kindergartner.

Grandpa Glen brought birthday candles with flames which matched the color of the candle. If you look closely, you will see that this is true.

Sadie had lots of help blowing out her candles.

Grandpa Glen loves the birthday parties of his grandkids. He joins them at the table and feels justified in eating birthday cake and ice cream. He also enjoys the conversation.

It was pretty yummy cake and ice cream. The children, however, were the best part.

Mabel has become a confident walker this month. She is also the cutest little talker.

Oscar entertained us all with his interpretation of "the dancing baby." Julianna was his accompanist. TJ is trying to become a teenager and grandma doesn't think that she likes it one bit. TJ, you are supposed to be at the table eating ice cream and cake with the kids!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Civil War blocks, caught up again!

32 Carolina Lily

After finishing the boys quilts, it was time to catch up on the Civil War Quilts blocks. Now I'm all caught up until tomorrow morning!

33 Indiana Puzzle

All of my setting in of little sleeves on little dresses helped me with the curved seam on this block.

34 Rosebud

The more little pieces to put together, the more my final size seems to be off. This one was a bit small. I hope I can make it work when I sash the blocks.

35 Star of the West

Wins for use of the most different fabrics!

36 Kentucky Crossroads

I'm getting better with using my stripped material.

37 Confederate Rose

I finally caught on that I can crop these pictures. It was hard to do on this one as I had not held the camera straight on. Perhaps my camera skills will improve with my piecing skills as I finish out these quilt blocks.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How I used to communicate

Yes, children, I am still taking telephone calls. I'm sorry that I don't always initiate them. Sometimes it's hard to believe that the telephone and letters in the mail were the way to communicate.

And, here is another picture of your father at Iguazu Falls that I found on my sewing room bulletin board (the same one that holds old family photos.) He was seeing the world and I was talking on the phone. Thanks goodness for old photos to show us the lives we each led before meeting each other!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Iguazu Falls then and now

I came across these pictures last week and thought I should share. Forty years ago Glen was serving a mission in the South American countries of Uruguay and Paraguay. While there he was able to visit Iguazu Falls with a group of other missionaries.

It was one of the highlights of his recreational time during those two years.

Most of his mission memories were captured on slides, so it was a treat to find these photos.

He always hoped to go again some day and take me with him.

So he was pretty excited when Nathan and his family were able to visit Iguazu Falls last May. Glen could tell that there had been many changes making it easier for everyone to visit. What had not changed was the natural wonder that is Iguazu Falls.