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Isn’t that a true statement?  There is beauty all around us, if we but take a minute to look for it.  

Emerson said, “Though we travel through the world to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”

Look through someone’s Facebook page, or their Pinterest, and you will see their perception of beauty.  Visit a friend’s home or a well tended shop and we see beauty on display.  Sometimes we seek a certain kind of beauty and it is elusive.  Sometimes we connect with beauty and can soak it in and feel as if we will never be without it.

The peace and joy we have when we recognize beauty in a given moment in time seems invaluable.  It’s what we look back on in times of trouble.

So today I look for the beauty around me, try to contribute to it in some way, and respect the beauty that others see even if I don’t connect with it.  

But I think the beauty we carry in ourselves, like Emerson said, seeks out beauty in the world around us.  Subconsciously, our very beings reach out for it and want to cling to it with all we have. 

Remind yourself that just by being you, you bring a unique beauty into this world.  Don’t forget that without you, the world would not be quite the same. 

Take a minute to see it, it is waiting for you.

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This month marks the 32nd year of business for me.  32!  I didn’t think I was much older than that……

My senior year in high school, I got to thinking….What should I be when I grow up?  I like to cook, I like to sew…..It might take some capital to start a catering business or a restaurant, but sewing?  I’ve got my machine, all I need is some business cards and I can get this party started.

Sure enough, one advertisement for 2 weeks in the local Pennysaver paper and I was off and running.  And then they told 2 friends, and they told 2 friends, and so on.  I sewed many bridesmaids dresses and clothing mostly for businesswomen  and a sweet kindergarten teacher.  She would always ask me if the fabric she picked would “look good with green paint on it” with a little wink.

Then one day, a friends’ sister called up and said she wanted me to cover her couch.  She was sure I could do it, and in fact had bought the fabric and would like to know when she could bring her couch over!  Thus began Phase 2 of my career as a seamstress.  (Or as we are often called now—a sewist).

I have been blessed beyond measure to work from home, providing some creative relief for myself and a bit for the family budget.  When my oldest was small, I was a single mom for her first 2 years. I had the fortune to be able to stay home with her and work while she was napping and late into the night.  With God and my trade and help from my family and friends, our interdependent life flourished.

I am thankful to all my clients over the years, and look forward to meeting many more!  I have some projects brewing that involve clothing and home decor, with possibly an Etsy store.  Also pondering teaching basic sewing classes—I have been asked so many times if I could pass the skill on.

Shhhhh……..

 

In the dark and quiet of the wee hours after my dear hubby leaves for work, I remember one of the good reasons I get up with him to get his breakfast and pack a lunch.
When the kids were small, and our budget, it seemed, smaller, I wanted to make sure he had a lunch to take because otherwise there wasn’t going to be a lunch for him. And I felt it was a small way I could let him know I appreciated him being faithful to this thing called “supporting the family”. I had the privilege of staying home to raise and homeschool our 5 kids. The least I could do was to make sure the man was fed! A secondary, but no less important facet to this challenging ritual was the fact that I had a few minutes to myself before the chaos of our day began.

Now that our kids are older, and don’t feel the need to get up so early (thank you, Jesus!), this time has taken on a different meaning. As the light begins to creep into the sky, what I hear is………quiet. This quiet has become as a balm to my very soul. In our constantly connected world, I must purpose to find time to be unconnected.  To listen, to hear my heart beat, to take care of myself, to ponder, to dream, to pray. This quiet is an organic way of waking up, to take time to set my intentions for the day and live out of that sense of order.

We don’t always have the time or resources to take time away. But we can find time every day to regroup and recharge our hearts and live our lives intentionally.  This looks different for each one of us, at different times and places in our journey. Do you have intentional quiet in your life?  I would love to hear what that looks like for you.

Words are pretty powerful tools.image

I remembered this as I wrote my post yesterday. I read a long time ago that women have about twice as many words to say in a given day than a man does. Right now I don’t know why that is, but if I am going to send twice as many words into people’s ears today than my husband will, I want to pay attention to the quality of these words and the intent in which they are delivered.
Words, like my friend color from yesterday, have the ability to evoke a range of emotions from us. The word “color” makes me smile. But today I am curious what word makes you hope.
Hope itself is one of the best words I know. Who doesn’t love feeling hopeful? But hope comes in different packages. I have decided that perseverance is a hopeful word. It involves action on my part, whether just in the direction of my heart or in a task. I get to play a part when I persevere, and that helps me stay hopeful. When I think of someone who has persevered, I think of someone who has worked consistently at life to make a difference in the world around them.They are active participants, not letting life just happen to them, but jumping in and really living!
What word or phrase makes you hopeful?

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One thing I love about living on this whirling orb called Earth is that there are so many things which make us smile. Smiling makes me feel good, therefore I want to think about stuff everyday that makes me smile.
Some days it’s hard to remember that smileable moments are just waiting for me to see them. But like Mount Rainier on a rainy day, they do indeed always exist, even if I can’t see them at the moment. If I am seeking them out, they are there. And on the many good days I get to live in this life, the smile turns into a laugh.

So today, please leave a comment and tell me one word or phrase that makes you smile. Give yourself one minute to choose your word. Explain why it makes you smile if you’d like.Think on that word today and let it bring joy to your heart.

My word today is color! It brings feeling and beauty to the
space it occupies. Because my work is about working with color in people’s lives, I get to make people smile on a regular basis!

I can’t wait to hear your word, the one that will remind you of the joy at your fingertips.

Today was a different kind of a day in the Land of Miscellany!

My sweet hubby works at the Home Office of Costco Wholesale.  Today was their twice yearly Employee/Family and Friends Craft Fair.  I set up shop, looking forward to meeting new people and transforming their furniture.  For fun, I added some little goodies for spring oohing and ahhing.  The girls helped me make these spiffy little wallets…

…..and these covers for the widely popular Kindle or Nook, and for iPads.

I also made up a few totes.  This is one of my favorites:

Although my slipcover business is going gangbusters, it is so fun to shake it up a bit with little projects that can brighten one’s day with a little bit of color and a design pleasing to the eye.   A friend of mine has a little shop on her blog, Simply Stork, which gave me the idea to give it a try myself.  So on my sidebar you will note that I have a shop!  Up to 5 items at a time, just a little bit of Marvelous Miscellany when the whimsy grabs me =).  Enjoy, and remember, I can sew pretty much anything to your specs.  Color, size, details, it’s all up to you.  Contact me if you have an idea or a question, I would love to hear from you!

I have discovered something I think most of you must know: You can’t type and sew at the same time. I can listen, or smell, sometimes eat, and most definitely touch while I sew.  But when the chairs are in line at the door waiting to be transformed, I can’t sew and blog.  I know many are successful at this, and I admire you.  When our day of homeschooling is completed, though, the sewing commences.  And when the sewing is done for the day, I need a little time with my honey–!  And then a good night’s sleep. Therefore:

Creative glee in the studio=absent blogger…..

And I am ok with that!

Now that my disclaimer is in place, I want to share my first project of the year.  I have a friend named Emma.  She is a lovely, beautiful young lady who recently celebrated her 16th birthday.  Her talented mama, Tami, arranged the flowers for my daughter’s wedding this summer as a gift. These are long time family friends who we admire and treasure. (If you want beautiful flowers arranged professionally for a special event, contact me and I’ll get you in touch with Tami.)

Tami told me back in September that for Emma’s birthday they were going to redecorate her room and would I please cover a chair for her?  I was so excited! The challenge was to find a fabric that would work with the robin’s egg blue and chocolate AND add some of the other colors Emma loves: orange, purple and red. So they hunted around on the internet with some links I gave them to try and found some of the most vibrant and lovely fabric I have ever seen.

But before I reveal the finished product, you have to see the before picture. This chair was bought at a yard sale, I believe, maybe 20 years ago for $10. Tami gave it a ticking makeover that was fun at the time , but a well loved piece of furniture needs to be loved back after awhile……

Are you ready?  Drum roll, please…….you are about to be amazed and astounded ;)

Photo courtesy of Betsey Mae Design

Isn’t that fabric just so amazing?  Everything they were looking for.  There are already discussions about the chair staying at Tami’s when Emma moves out.  There you have it.  Proof positive that a $10 chair has potential if you just give it a chance!

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