Saturday, September 15, 2012

Inspiration Saturday: Quilts

I am wishing for fall and cooler weather. Autumn is my favorite season. I love the cooler air, the sweaters, warm tea and cocoa, slow cooking soups and stews for dinner, making homemade bread every few days, and just about everything else that comes with the season. When the weather gets cooler I love having homemade blankets to snuggle under. I have seen some amazing quilts online lately and wanted to share some with you. So grab some tea or cocoa, pretend it is cold outside, and enjoy the eye candy.

Fabricworm recently shared this soft Bella By the Sea or by Land quilt. I love the gentle curves and color choices. This would be a great pattern to showcase some of your favorite larger prints.

Blue Elephant Stitches inspired me with this simple white and lime zig zag quilt. I love the playful backing she choose. I think something like this would look amazing in any kids room or even in a living room. Imagine something simple like this with a fun Anna Maria Horner print on the back or even one of her flannels to add a little warmth. Jolene already sold this quilt but go check out her store for more cheerful goodies.

Finally I saw this adorable heart quilt on Pinterest. It is a quilt from earlier this year from Heather Cartwright at Quilt Barn. The quilting on this totally makes the quilt. I am eager to try something like this. I don't know if I'll do a whole quilt though. I'm thinking some sort of winter inspired table runner might be fun. We shall see.

I love finding inspiration online. There are so many talented artists and sewers out there. If you have been inspired by a quilt recently share a link in the comments so I can check it out. If you want to see more of the quilts that caught my eye you can check out my Pinterest board.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Preserving Zucchini

We are settling into our new home. It feels so different to move into a house versus an apartment. Things feel more permanent. I love that we can dream about someday changing this or doing that. It is a huge blessing and a dream we didn't think would happen. At least not this early nor this way. 

Unpacking and organizing are top priority around here but as we settle into the daily routine I have begun having sudden urges to sew, crochet, bake, and preserve. We just spent some time last weekend planting some seeds for the garden we will soon begin. I know it seems weird to start a garden in September but we have been looking forward to it for so long and living in Southern California allows us to have a late season harvest, hopefully. I've been seeking wisdom everywhere I can, including Pinterest.

The planning and planting created a desire to can and preserve immediately. Of course you can't plant on the weekend and expect to can during the week. So when I saw fresh zucchini at the market for 59 cents per pound I made an impulse buy. After getting home with my 5 pounds of zucchini I quickly realized that I had not thought this all the way through. You see it is 90 degrees here most days and we have no air conditioner, no cooler, not even ceiling fans. So as much as this zucchini spread is begging me to make and eat it I just couldn't commit to having the stove on for hours today. So what to do? 

I shredded up all the zucchini and froze it in 2 cups portions. It is the perfect amount for a loaf of zucchini bread this fall or winter when we need to warm up the house. I might also use some in a pasta dish or these zucchini tots for my growing boy. Of course that spread is still calling me so I'm hoping for cooler weather long before zucchini season is over. 

And in case you are curious, this is what it looks like at my feet when I'm working in the kitchen during the day. My little helpers busy playing together. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Unexpected

The summer was unexpected. While it did not go as planned things are good. All the most important things are great. Sydney has started 2nd grade with enthusiasm, Violet has entered the threes with as much personality as she can muster, and Luke is crawling and exploring everything like a good nine month old. We have food to eat, clothes on our backs, and a roof over our heads (even if it wasn't ours every night this summer.) We are all healthy, together, and filled with joy. How do I find joy when life is uncertain and things don't go as planned? Well, after throwing a little fit and complaining I try to remember to go to my knees.

To remember that God will not forsake me and that He is faithful. As a mom the hardest part is when things effect my kids. Of course, I must remember that as much as I try to meet their needs, as much as I love them, as much as I try to do my best to guide them, raise them, feed them, etc. that God loves them more, cares for them more, and understands them more than I ever can. If you know our story, you know it has been a road of the unexpected. Nothing as serious as what others go through but not what we had planned either. Shane and I sometimes joke that if we make plans for more than 6 months they will definitely not happen. We love to dream together but we have learned to hold our dreams loosely and allow God's plan to triumph our own.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths.”

Proverbs 19:21 "There are many plans in a man's heart, Nevertheless the Lord's counsel--that will stand."

A few things stand out in my mind from this summer's journey. This has been a time for us to grow even closer as a family. We were separated Monday thru Friday for a few weeks and it really helped us appreciate our time together even more. Being seven, Sydney will remember the way we faced this summer with prayer and how we learned to ask for help. We love to help others but it is humbling to learn how to ask for help when you need it and accepting it with grace is even harder.

I have fallen in love with my husband again. We were doing fine, things were good, but we were focusing on the to do lists and business of life too much. God opened my eyes to how lucky I am to be married to my best friend. I love spending time with Shane. I love sharing this life with him. He is such an amazing husband and father. He helps me so much and does so much for our family. He is considerate, loving, and thoughtful. I am so thankful that I get to share this life with him.

I am sure there are more lessons to learn. I could have been more patient and less angry. Sometimes during a trail we see the uglier sides of our flesh surface. God is merciful to gently show these to me and faithful to help work on turning those sins into Christlikeness.

Last night I read this verse:

II Corinthians 1:3-4 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

As if I haven't learned enough God will use me and allow me to be a part of comforting others during their troubles. How exciting! To Him be all the glory!

I hope your summer has been filled with joy. And that each of you have had opportunities to grow closer to God and those you love.