Spending Time with The Master Gardener

This day, a misty, rainy day of messy weather, was the second day of learning for me and a few others. My sweet friend graciously drove us into the heart of the city to an arboretum classroom where we participated in a Gardening Study School sponsored by the National Garden Clubs, Inc.

It is always fun to learn, don’t you agree? To peek into a new topic, explore something new and mind-stretching, is something I enjoy immensely. I am one who has always craved immersing myself in discovery. In my school days, I was that one who left her locker lonely while all of the books filled my arms instead. Cradling textbook, fiction and biography, my favorite moments were spent in a quiet spot devouring words and still it is a thing that I love.

After fortifying both body and brain with bagels, fruit and coffee, we all settled into the planned course.

As we dug deep into the topics, notebooks filled with quickly scrawled tidbits for us to remember and our world expanded.

I think I love gardening, although I spend less time there than I would like, because of its testimony. Let me explain.

As learned speakers shared their lessons and I scribbled furiously the words I wanted to take home, my mind wandered. Down a familiar path, I went–A path to THE CREATOR.

Topics of light, humidity, annuals, perennials, they all boasted of His handiwork. As garden design was discussed, I was reminded that we are image-bearers, us the creation of His creating. As we imitate, we bring honor and testify of our Maker and Designer.

The studious learning about the cellular structure, the perfect balance of water and wind and soil and sun, all bring glory to THE SON!!!

At the end of day one, we turned in test packets to measure our retention and then gathered our small band and moved outdoors. Seasoned hands pointed as gentle-voiced guides led us through magnificent gardens adorning the property. Years of planning, plotting and planting was evidenced and appreciated by our merry gang. Walking among flower-strewn paths, inviting benches, and gurgling pond, we were awed by the efforts of knowledgeable and tireless  laborers.

As we stood under shades of great branches, the breeze whispered His name. Hues spoke of His artistry.  Mighty grasses and tiny blooms reminded me of His strength and attention to detail. As birds flitted through filtered light, I saw His provision.

Day two, no less eager to breathe in more, and  in spite of the early alarm clock, my friend and I trekked eagerly through the city’s traffic patterns and settled in. Again breakfasted, we started our morning with another expert.

Digging deep into the topic of environment, weather, seasons, it was evident of God’s perfect harmony. Plants, cultivars, nutrients, all of the topics came and were detailed to describe the ways of His spoken world. As we dug deep into the soils, my soul was deeply satisfied by this One who spoke it all into being. In absolute balance and beauty, we see Him all around us. How else would we be able to attempt the botany and biology of growth, if not for being handiwork of His? Us, a glimpse of His greatness, a minute reflection of His brilliance, how else would scientist/gardeners attempt such as cultivars, farming, feeding hungry?

With the close of our last day, another testing and then images were shared in videos.  As I watched and listened, I learned–learned how ecology and entomology and environment shouted Him again.  The attention to design, detail, distinctions and character of each little bug, butterfly, bee, they all attest to His attention to the least and the lowly, the loved.

I know the classes were meant to share science, but for me, the spiritual was far greater. I am so blessed to have been able to attend this. I can hardly wait to work in my garden tomorrow and say a prayer of gratitude.

As I came home and meditated on all that I had learned, and spent some quiet time in the Word, I came across several more verses pertaining to the garden theme. I will share a few below. (Also, any of the photography and artwork above is available as prints and cards for your enjoyment).

“The tree you saw, which grew and became strong, so that its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth, whose leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which  was food for all, under which beasts of the field found shade, and in whose branches the birds of the heavens lived. ” Daniel 4:20-21

“I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees.” Ecc 2:5

“The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” Mt. 13:31

“O you who dwell in the gardens, with companions listening for your voice, let me hear it.” Song of Solomon 8:13

“Let my beloved come to his garden, and eat its choicest fruits. “SoS 4:16b

“He is a lush plant before the sun, and his shoots spread over his garden.” Job8:16

“And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.” Gen 1:29

“And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” Gen. 1:11-12

Send me some of your favorite garden tips, photos and inspiring thoughts below or on my social media spots. I would love to hear from you!

Blessings,

Pamela

STATE FAIR

Recently, Hubs and I spent a day at the Maryland State Fair. It was a day of perfection as far as the weather was concerned.

Our travel mugs were full, an audio book babbled over the traffic noises and a stop at an exotic wood store made the travel time worthwhile.

As always, we enjoyed our fair date.

As we have grown past the teens of yesteryear, we no longer hit the rides, but instead are content to grab a jug of iced tea and stroll the exhibit aisles.

I especially enjoyed seeing the beautiful hooked rugs displayed by guild members. I am in awe at the workmanship in each piece. It is great to see the ribboned pieces finished and hanging, after so many months of watching fellow hookers labor intensively over them.  Maybe one day, I will even enter one of my own.

Hubs, a photography hobbyist, loved  seeing the photos.  Such a variety of  subjects. Farm animals, puppies playing, fuzzy lambs, bashful babies, delicate flowers and magnificent sunsets graced the framework.  I am glad I was not a judge. With so much talent, I would have run out of ribbons if I had to choose!

Isn’t it amazing to see a carefully preserved snowflake, enlarged to show its uniqueness? How about the emotion provoked by the image of a tiny newborn? Can’t you almost taste the saltiness of the ocean when you gaze into the waves?  There is such artistry behind the lens.

Move with us down rows of long-labored-over creations. These pieces hold so much history in their carefully crafted stitches. Hours upon hours were required to turn simple threads and linens into delicate needleworks.  Afghans showed neat rows of rhythmic stitches and lacy tatting edged fine cotton. Feel the love and hope knitted into small booties and blankets for swaddling.

Do you smell the cedar, see the grain of butternut and feel the smoothness of the polished walnut? Imagine the skilled hands that carefully carved, sawed and sanded the wooden objects that line the shelves? Shorebirds carved to perch on branches, hinged boxes awaiting treasures, and sturdy furniture pieces were exhibited  by master woodcrafters.

Next comes the culinary artists display. Hear the laughter of children as they helped mom turn dough into shaped and iced cookies. Touch the cool silk of flour as experienced fingers work on latticed pies. Can you smell the dill and vinegar when you see the stately pickles jarred ? And look at the size of the pumpkins harvested along with ruby tomatoes, husky corn cobs and prize-winning melons! Can you feel the warm sun and soft mounds of dirt underfoot as you admire the shelves of produce?

Amazing quilts, florals  skillfully arranged, paintings… so much to see!

Next, we headed out to meet the animals, all groomed and tethered, waiting to be shown. Goats, chicks, sheep, pigs, bunnies, alpacas, cows–waited patiently for us to camera them.

I wonder if they realized these portraits would become subjects for future projects, adorning rugs, felted into shapes and carved into figurines?

I will have to say the highlight this year was getting to witness the birth of a baby calf. As we happened by a large crowd, we slipped in to see what was drawing the focus of so many people. A beautiful example of motherhood, a mama labored over bringing her baby into a world of onlookers. She swayed restlessly, obvious concern for her baby’s safe entrance slowing her progress, and finally required support from the compassionate veterinary staff.  As the mother bathed her newborn with her long tongue strokes, the hushed crowd slipped away to let her nurture the new babe. What a sweet reminder of God’s gift of life and  His creation. True Perfection!!!

Of course, a late afternoon lunch was next on the agenda. Fair food, who can resist it?  Shying away from such luxuries as funnel cake, cotton candy, deep fried concoctions and kettle corn, we opted for samplings of shaved lamb and smoked pork to accompany sides of fried green tomatoes and Maryland’s sweet corn. We were not disappointed. Yum !!!

Tummy’s full and feet ready to brake, we spent the next few hours volunteering in the guild’s booth where we distributed information and demonstrated the art of hooking rugs.  It is always so much fun to see the enthusiasm  as beginners pulled loops for the first time.  Children were especially eager to attempt it and a few adults tested their skills, also.  Hooks and kits were sold to the ambitious ones. I hope to see their finished pieces someday displayed, too.

The day was full. The sounds of laughter, the  aromas of food, hay and barnyard life, witnessing new life, all made a happy memory.

Actually, the whole day was perfect.

Are you one who loves an annual trip to a county or state fair? What is your favorite part? Do you love the thrill of the rides, the unique menus, the celebration of winning exhibits and well groomed animals? Do the happy sounds, lights and motions against an evening sky thrill you ? Comment below and tell me what you enjoy most.

Until later,

Blessings,

Pamela

Carving History

I am a woodcarver.

Wow!!! I didn’t think I would ever say those words. But a few days ago, Hubs and I loaded up our knives, (Yes, I even owned one with my initials burned into the handle), and headed out for  another adventure.  We drove a few hours and across a couple of state lines into the Pocono Mountains  to a lovely lodge retreat. A rustic log structure ringed with stately blue spruces watered by a mountain lake-majestic!  I had packed all of my necessary items, you know, my knitting, a beading kit, rug hooking frame, toothbrush, etc. Leaving home with no intention of carving wood, I was looking forward to our lakeview accommodations to catch up on some serious sleep and entertaining myself while the Hubs pursued his passion to carve chunks of wood into heirlooms.

As we approached our destination, dear Hubs suggested that I consider taking a class or two also. He informed me that the beginner classes promised to be helpful and brief.  After much discussion of my feeling awkward  and  lack of training, I left the idea to ponder.

You see,  a little over two decades ago, my dad, husband, and young sons began carving, attending classes and churning out some amazing pieces. At the time, this busy mom was happy to send the aforementioned sons off in the care of their older generations and chill  while they were being creative. I always admired their pieces and the whole process fascinated me. But I had plenty to do and was content to leave it to them.

I did attempt a small dog figure once with my daddy, but my lack of confidence at handling the super sharp knives and a novice skill level caused me to assume that this ability had skipped a generation.

Maybe because of a desire to do something special with my wonderful Hubs, along with Daddy’s recent passing away, plus my appreciation for the beautifully carved pieces that I have long admired, I changed my mind. Once we arrived, Hubs and  I signed up for a class for the very first night and one at every time slot available to us in our limited time there.

The first evening we were introduced to all of the instructors with a sample of their work. It was enough to convince me that it was something we could enjoy together, even if I had much to learn.

Our first class was together, which gave me courage. Sitting beside my beloved, I put on protective armor. A cut-resistant glove shielded one hand and a leather thumb guard protected my left hand.  Yep, I am a lefty! I watched as one instructor wrapped his thumb round and round with a long cushioning strip of masking tape. Later, I would learn an important trio of cuts, one of which, would make this padding prove useful.

Daring to be different, I chose a roughed out piece of mahogany wood rather than the softer bass wood that Hubs said would be easier to carve.  “No worries”, I thought. It would result in a comfort bird in my favorite color.  The first thing I learned about carving is that some types of wood yield easier to the blade that others. Because of my deep fear of slicing off a digit, or taking off more than was needed to achieve a cute little bird from the stick held in my gloved hand, I made only a small pile of chips that first night. But I was extremely happy. I loved the idea of making this little comfort bird. The teacher said the completed piece was very soothing to hold and stroke. It becomes smoother and more tinted by the oils in one’s hand. A very tactile piece, he gives them to elderly patients and those who can enjoy them to relieve stress.  (As a note, I came home and just finished my third one so far). I loved sitting beside my sweet soulmate and sharing this moment in time together. I loved knowing that he had faith in my abilities and encouraged me to try something new and step out once again from my comfort zone. I loved the idea that maybe it hadn’t skipped me after all. I loved the sweet memories  of mom and me watching men we loved, carving together around vacation campfires. And I loved knowing that I was doing something that my dad loved to do and this connection I felt to him.

The next day, Hubs and I parted ways after a fortifying breakfast of eggs, bacon and coffee, me to the beginner class, and him to a much more advanced class matching his skill level.

While he carved a tall caricature of a sailor, I learned the reasons for stop cuts into the wood, the benefit of the guard when making long sweeping cuts toward my leathered thumb, the added strength of pushing the knife with my gloved thumb. My mentor gave lengthy descriptions of the types, colors and grains of various woods and the importance of safety before we practiced our newly acquired skill set. He then encouraged us, evaluated our progress and presented each of us with a certificate and the words, “You now are a Woodcarver!”

Making new friends, I spent a few hours sitting under a camper awning and learning their stories while we beginners chipped wood onto the ground as if we were seasoned like the rest.  Of course, people are my real passion, art just a way to connect us, so I treasure the new names and faces that I can weave into my own story.

Connecting with Hubs, we talked of our day’s learning over dinner and then moved to a Santa ornament class together. Fortunately for me, his previous carving lessons and a patient and talented teacher sent me away with an almost completed holiday piece and lots more joy.

Our final day sent us in different directions once again. He started a comical  but well dressed bunny figurine, while I bravely started a small Santa statue.

Sitting beside a retired Pastor and across from another new acquaintance, we each worked on different pieces but shared similar stories of faith, family and life experiences as we worked. More names and sweet faces into my life tapestry. What fun!

Due to a demanding work schedule and forced to leave earlier than most, we packed up our freshly-made treasures, new names and exchanged contact information, a few supplies for practicing, and left with joyful hearts and hopes of attending annually to reconnect with our new friends.

What a great journey !!

Tell me your story. Are you a carver, collector, or admirer of this artistic expression? Comment below or on my social media links. Please feel free to share this post and subscribe to receive updates.  Come back later to see more of our finished pieces after we apply a little paint.  I am also digging up some family photos and will tell you more of my dad’s carving legacy.

Thanks Hubs, Floyd, Mary, Jack, Arland, and all the rest for inspiring me,  (and of course, Daddy).

Until next time,

Blessings,

Pamela

HOOKING HEARTS

         As an artist,  I am continually fascinated by and collecting supplies for new techniques expressing creativity. For years, I have painted, beaded, stitched, knitted and more. For the longest time, the one thing I admired, but never tried my hand at, was traditional rug hooking.

I love all things vintage and enjoyed seeing this art form displayed  on the walls of a cousin’s home.

I often watched a close friend as she hooked rug after rug. These “rugs” were displayed as table runners, chair  pads, stool covers, wall hangings and even coasters called “mug rugs”.

My artistic friend begged me to give it a try.  “No.” was always my response. Because  I had my own business and spent much of my day designing and painting products to sale, I felt I had no time to start anything new.

Even though I refused to attempt it, I was always eager to see her latest project and hear the story behind her original designs. As I fingered the stacks of wool that filled her work space and unrolled bundles of her handiwork, I gained a greater  appreciation for this art form.

Just before I moved away, she presented me with a kit, one of her favorite hooks and the strips of bright-dyed wool needed to complete one of her simple designs.  Giving it a couple of feeble attempts, I tucked it inside one of our moving boxes to revisit another day.

After a few months of living in our tiny apartment, I was starved for the company of other creative souls. An internet search revealed a rug show and guild meeting within walking distance from me.

The Hubs and I attended the rug show, chatted with the artists, and I received an invitation to join them for an upcoming class. From that first meeting, I was “hooked”. I immediately finished the two small Santa pieces in the kit, then joined not one, but two local guilds. I attend weekly hook-ins, workshops and guild meetings as often as my schedule and the weather allows. Because of the generous support I have received from these guild members, teachers, and long-time “hookers”, I have found a new passion. This past year, I was even able to teach a few projects of my own design.

There are many rug hooking chapters across the nation and I strongly urge you to see what they are all about.

Although many miles separate us, my sweet friend and I talk about our hooking projects now.  To honor her,  I wrote this in remembrance of our times together:

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HOOKING HEARTS

She holds out her petite hands. She shows me the fingers that time has marked.“Years of hooking rugs will do this.”

She is beautiful like the rugs that are piled high in her spare room. Her life a story of God’s love, His turning trial into triumph. Romans 8:28 is worked out before my eyes.

She tells me of her childhood, of growing up in the Alaskan village, of hardships that make one strong.

She, a beautiful soul of grace, loves God. I am blessed as we visit, inspired by her gentle faith-words, encouraged.

Her hands are rapid as she works the wool into art. These little strips that she has dipped into dyes yield to the hook and stand firmly in the linen’s weave.

I bend over, watch fascinated, try to learn. She passes the hook to me. Awkward in my grasp, I received instruction and draw in breath and hope and loop. Again, I test, try, pull  through, compare my work to hers. My rows show the wobbly uncertainty that I feel standing next to her practiced handiwork.

We talk over breakfast biscuits and jam. We share food and sweet fellowship.

I learn more of her story.

She draws out my hopes and dreams, concerns and news.

We sit, heads bowed close, and work on rugs. She works her faith and courage into my heart, like the rows into the hooped fabric.

It is time to go. We gather up the scraps of wool and friendship. I pack away the hook and the bits of wisdom that she gives me to take home and work into finished beauty. I hold her tightly in embrace, this sister God has given me.

**************************************************************************************

I love the history of this art form. I try to make it a goal to learn from those before me and pass it on to those behind me. I think having that connection is so important and otherwise, so many skills and history will go away in time, if neglected.

As a novice, I am blessed to learn from ladies who have hooked for decades, several having generations of hookers to teach them. The oldest in our guild, still attending meetings, is a beautiful lady, 100 years old. How fortunate I am to glean tips and instruction from their experience and artistic skills.

I am dyeing wool, and working on my  design patterns and will have some kits available in the future.

I would love to hear your own stories. Are you a rug hooker, know someone that hooks rugs, have guild meetings or workshops nearby?  Looking for specific designs or wool?  Feel free to comment below or on my social media spots or email me directly.

Until next time,

Blessings,

Pamela

COFFEE BECAUSE

CoffeeJavaMochaCuppa Joe LatteCappuccinoEspresso… anyway you brew it,  I love it!

Can’t help but treat myself to more than one cup a day. It’s funny,  because I never was a coffee drinker in the past. But even then, as a non-consumer, I  delighted in the smell of those richly roasted beans.

Now, there is something good, even vital, about starting the day with a favorite mug full of this steamy liquid. And often, I will admit, afternoons are highlighted by an extra cup. Occasionally, The Hubs and I might indulge in a dessert coffee, powdering our brew with dark cocoa, spooning in a bit of whipped cream, and  garnishing peaks with dark chocolate chips.

I recently won a bag of some of my favorite coffee in the whole world! I was so excited to hear that I not only would receive  a bag of beans, but was also selected to have a large burlap bag bearing their label.

I am talking about Nicaraguan coffee, specifically, CALLING NATIONS COFFEE!!!

When we heard from our young friend, Pastor Joe, that we had won, we ordered a couple of extra bags so we would be able to share it with our friends and not run out too soon.

What a treat when we opened our box and the aroma of that first sample hit our noses!!!

It took me back to my first visit to the country of Nicaragua in the fall of 2013.

A small group of ladies from my home church began planning a trip to teach at a Women’s Bible Study Retreat and asked me to fly back to Arkansas and join them on this adventure. What an unforgettable privilege to be a part of that journey!!!

We started each of our days in Nicaragua with special moments of fellowship over cups of this warm, sweet brew.  It was a joy to sit with dear ones and drink it in and talk of the precious people we met and came to love there.

Pastor Joe has joined with Cafe’ Diego in Matagalpa, Nicaragua to be a part of CALLING NATIONS COFFEE to bring this fine arabica coffee to the US and benefit the people of Nicaragua and Central America.

Through the efforts of coffee grower, Diego Chavarria and his farmers, profits from this coffee has planted over 30 churches in the northern mountains of Nicaragua, as well as helped in ministering to the needs of pastors, missionaries, and the people of this area.

Most recently, CALLING NATIONS MINISTRIES has added  STRONG TOWER COFFEE to their product line. This direct trade coffee benefits the STRONG TOWER CHILDREN’S HOME in El Salvador.  The proceeds from these sales help the children and ministries there to be self supported.

Both CALLING NATIONS COFFEE and STRONG TOWER COFFEE  are brought to the states, roasted fresh, and distributed from Texas to their customers.

I urge you to read their stories, peruse the websites, and support the efforts of the hardworking coffee producers, missionaries, pastors, and children’s home staff members as they reach out to the needy of the nations.

And I guarantee you will enjoy your coffee even more!

Calling Nations Coffee Video

Visit them and learn their stories, meet Diego, and fall in love with the special people and their land, and of course, order the delicious coffee here:

https://www.callingnationscoffee.com

(*as a note, I filled my suitcase with bags of this delicious coffee on my visit there. I did receive a bag of beans as a gift in a drawing, along with the bag last month, but I wanted to write this and lend my support to Joe and other missionary friends and the people of Nicaragua).

Budding Gardener

gar-den-ernoun, a person who tends and cultivates a garden as a pastime; any person who is skillful at growing plants; someone who enjoys working in their own garden growing flowers, or vegetables.

(my goal…).

Growing up, I didn’t do much in the way of gardening, but remember following some of my family members down the sun-warmed rows of their gardens.

I appreciated the way the cooks in my family could turn that harvest into some of the tastiest meals that I have ever eaten. There is nothing quite like a meal of fresh garden produce, crowned with a wedge of southern cornbread and ripe tomato. 

I have always loved plants and enjoyed the beauty they add to any decor. Regardless of your style, there seems to be a plant or flower to accent perfectly.

Victorian antiques look lovely with classic roses, a bit of southern charm is always bettered by the multiple lacy petals of a peony, the scent of a lilac, or a lazy droop of wisteria. How about a rockscape with succulents?

Whether indoors or out, plants, flower, trees, and vines seem to make everything better.

My kids used to say that I had a brown thumb, because regardless of the variety, plants and flowers just seem to wither in my presence.

Perhaps it was less about my skills and more about having 3 sons, very close in age, homeschooling them and having a home business, as well as my volunteering opportunities.

I tried to seek houseplants that thrived on neglect and low light at one point.

Later, moving into a larger home with a great sun-room, I again got hopeful about my chance to have lush houseplants and vases of fresh cut bouquets gracing my surfaces.

When we moved the kids off to college and had a little more free time, I became a little more focused on my houseplants, envisioned  turning a storage building into a potting shed, and started working more in my flower beds.

I tried to pick up tips, making notes in a journal, and scavenged yard sales and book fairs for good how-to books. Most good tips are timeless, even if the book seems a little outdated, right?

 

I confess, I never quite grew the sought-after flowers, nor did my veggies feed multitudes, but my journal became a lot fatter and we did have a few small triumphs and a funny story or two.

Like the year we tried a lasagna garden technique using our own compost mix, and grew the best accidental garden to date, from the seeds not- yet- broken- down in our compost. Also, since we lived in a small town and didn’t have one, I remember stopping by a well-known coffee bar to get large bags of used grounds for our garden each time that we traveled out of town. On our return trip, the entire SUV smelled like a fresh cuppa joe. One time, we added the coffee grounds, fresh compost, and soil to our raised beds, turned on the sprinkler and went inside to shower. Our sweet white pup found a lovely puddle formed from the runoff and happily dyed himself a nice shade of mocha….lol.

Upon relocating  to a different area, I decided that being in a new-to-me growing zone and not knowing anyone, it would be a good to join a garden club and solve both problems. Making friends in the club, I am constantly learning new things and bringing home fledgling cuttings to challenge my nurturing skills. I have completed one Landscape Design course so far with plans to continue more.

After moving around a few times to learn the area, the Hubs, Chloe, and I are happy homeowners now and steadily working on the landscape.

Well, enough for now. The garden is calling and I have much work to do.  I hope you enjoy seeing some of our latest blossoms.

Please feel free to share any garden tips you have in the comments and posts on my Facebook page, Traveling Ancient Paths, and sign up to get my blog and newsletter updates.

For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations. -Isaiah 61:11.

Blessings,

Pamela

Shadow Play

I have always loved quilts, have grown up with them, in fact.  My youngest memories include piled stacks of quilts over cousins, asleep with a fan in our faces, us buried deep within their warmth and weight.  Cold winter nights included their cottony presence.

Picnics included an old quilt at a favorite campground and a good book.

A wedding quilt showcased my love for the horses of my youth, folded neatly.

My nursery included a tiny version, complete with animals embroidered lovingly, and another hung over the crib.

On a recent visit to my parents’ home, mom spread the quilts of our heritage across the bed and filled our arms and my suitcase with the treasures of our past.

So naturally, when we reached for our “What to do in Hawaii” guide, my hubs was the first to notice the quilt demo and classes the very first morning of our stay. He insisted that my girls, (meaning my crafty friends, new and old), would want to see this. So off we went after an amazing breakfast–dare I mention as a side note how amazing the pineapple boat was after a long walk there ?

I was surprised by the great number of fabric and quilt shops in this small area and the several gatherings of local guilds.

The tiniest of stitches were rhythmically pierced into delicate layers, while a lovely stitcher told us the history of her craft.

A beautifully made story quilt depicted the missionary’s wife teaching Polynesian wives to make the earliest of these works of art.

As she worked delicately around the curved lines of applique, she told us of early fabrics, reaching into her bag to pull out samples sleeved for protection.

Continuing to show her small group of fascinated onlookers,  she relayed the way native quilters sat under great trees and mimicked what they had been taught.

Leaves on the trees, along with branches and flowers cast great shadows upon the surfaces of their work.

The repeating designs of these quilts were a result of the play of sunlight and nature as they worked.  Symbols of the flora and sea provide endless patterns.

To mark our visit, Hubs purchased one of the pineapple pillow shams and a few fabric remnants as I flipped through stacks of pattern books.

Of course, I don’t know if I will ever attempt a quilt, but appreciating the graceful lines and curves, I have already incorporated some of the blocks into my current fiber art project, a wall design with highlight motifs of our trip.

I will always remember this experience and share it with the many quilters and artists that will appreciate the delicate work of Hawaii’s quilts.

Are you a quilter, fabric collector, or just a lover of vintage ? Feel free to share tips in the comments, email me or post on my Facebook page. We love to hear from you.

Blessings,

Pamela

Aloha Y’all !

Some dreams do come true!

Last week The Hubs and I enjoyed one of those dreams-come-true experiences.

Our holiday season was rather hectic , but then whose wasn’t ? With a family wedding, work, travel, etc., we didn’t have the time or energy to properly celebrate our wedding anniversary or Christmas as a couple, with the kids and grands scattered.  (It was a lovely wedding and we enjoyed seeing all of our kiddos and babies and extended family, but more on that later).

Combining an approaching birthday, Valentines Day and probably every other celebratory occasion in the upcoming future, The Hubs, being the great spouse that he is, shuttled us off to Paradise.

For those of you who have been, I am sure you will agree, it is even more breathtaking than the television shows,

and if you haven’t had the pleasure, put it on your bucket list.

I am certain to post many stories and photos from our Hawaii week.

But for now, due to a pile of sandy laundry, photos scattered between phones and a camera in need of a battery charge, and jet-lag overload,

I will pop in a few now to tease your appetite with  a promise of more to come.

With 20 hours of travel, and a time change rolling back the clock, we made it in time for our first sunset!!!

We feel truly blessed to have seen this handiwork of a great Creator.

Love to travel? Ever been to Hawaii?  We love to hear your travel tips, fun places to visit, best vacations ever… just comment below or leave us an email or post of Facebook. We love to learn from fellow travelers.

Blessings,

Pamela

Healthy Heartbeats

Heartbeats–heard, felt, taken for granted.

That day when life is amplified as a swooshing cadence, a rhythmic testament of being, existing, present. That is the sound of life, demanding to be heard. The confirming drum that proclaims there is life within.

That sound, those words, we all want to know, deep down, certain, that all is well.

But sometimes, it is not, all is not as we had hoped and dreamed.

I was recently confronted with reminders that sometimes little hearts have big problems. A close friend’s tiny grand needed surgery to repair hers. A young relative received a transplant. Both are doing well, each a miracle gift for which we are grateful.

February is my birth month, and also, the month my mom was born. We shared one body, two heartbeats. It is the month known for heart health.

My knitting projects right now are in shades of red. Red, for the life’s blood that flows, for hearts that beat, and for those whose hearts are less than perfect.

Go Red Knitting Video

There are so many free patterns available, ways to contribute, information about living a heart-healthy lifestyle.  Find ways to join me in raising heart health awareness.

In honor of little K, and Miss E, I have already started items to donate.  Many others who are dear to me suffer from heart disease. It is my hope to find ways to express my love to them in the weeks to come.

I have included some tips for infant hat making:

  • Avoid buttons, bows or any attachments that might be a choking hazard.
  • Machine washable yarn is a great choice for a new mom to launder hats.
  • Including an informative tag, listing size, laundry tips, etc. would be helpful.
  • Check out your favorite brands of yarn to see if they have shades of red available, patterns,  or even donations or discounts this month to complete projects to donate.

Some links you might enjoy are:

http://www.heart.org

http://www.ravelry.com

http://www.redheart.com

http://www.lionbrand.com

http://www.frivolousfibers.com

http://www.expressionfiberarts.com

We’d love to hear from fellow knitters, crocheters, anyone and everyone! Tel us about your favorite patterns, your favorite yarn stores, places you gather to share you hobbies. Comment below, share our posts, visit our Facebook page, just keep in touch.

Blessings,

Pamela

 

Get Packed!

I am so excited to begin this journey with you and I cannot wait to see what we will discover together!  As with every trip worthwhile, planning is a must. I have been in the planning stage for way too long, so now it is finally time to get going. I am gathering up a few supplies and getting ready.

I hope you will come along with me and see where adventures take us. Just as every day is different, I hope every step will be an eclectic mix of something you will enjoy.

I am blessed to be in the middle of the road, sketching maps for those that will follow, and running to keep up with great leaders just ahead on this life quest.  I am passionate about people, and with that passion burns a deep conviction. I am convinced that I should leave a mark, a legacy, if you will, for the ones who will catch up, and most likely surpass me, and live well and sincere before them. Also, I should strive daily-humble-attentive-to soak in the wisdom of the ages from those well-traveled.

We have so much to learn!!!!

My backpack is stuffed full, an overflow from my studio upstairs. Brushes, paints, sketchpads, rug hooks, dyed wool, knitting needles, yummy balls of yarn, a cookbook, my favorite mug, for sure my bible, journal, a good writing pen, –camera, check, map, check, a few tunes on my phone, and of course, photos of the grands……

I am of a lover of many things, so expect never to tarry long in one spot.

Come on, Hubs, Chloe! Let’s go!

I hope you will travel along with me as I explore… travel…cook…create…live an artful life.

Oh and before I forget, be sure and share our blog, sign up to receive updates, grab our free gift, chat with us in the comments, meet us on our Facebook page, because we love to hear from you !!

Blessings,

Pamela