Saturday, January 26, 2013

Taking a Step

My last post was on Martin Luther King Jr Day. I've been doing a lot of thinking since then about this blog and it's future. I know I've told you before that I've really struggled with my creative thinking and energy over the past.....well, many months. With a heavy heart, I've decided that I need to take a sabbatical of sorts from my blog.

For many months now, The Lavendar Tree blog hasn't lived up to my expectations of what a good creative place should feel like. I don't want to quit - but I am going to take a perhaps much needed break from my blog and the worries of keeping it satisfactorily updated. I'd like to ask you to not give up on me - because I hope to be back much stronger, dedicated, and with God's help, perhaps even inspirational.

I'm feeling somewhat relieved, but yet much sadness by taking this step - but I'm doing what I feel is best for me at this time.

Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr Day

Today we honor Martin Luther King Jr.

Schools are closed. Post offices are closed. Office buildings are closed. But thankfully, our minds are not closed.

Fortunately for me, I'm able to honor it at home so I don't have to step outside in our extremely cold, 11 degrees BELOW zero temperature. I'm one of those lucky Americans who gets the day off work.

I'm going to take some time today and ponder this awesome Martin Luther King Jr quote.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

In Love

I am in love with a new blog called Heather Spriggs. I can't believe I've never found it before but am so glad I finally did.

It is such a wonderful mix of loveliness and creativity that I can hardly stand it. You know.....when you get so excited about something that you can hardly stand to look at it. Your insides start to churn and your mind starts to whirl. In a good way.

Well, I highly encourage you to check it out. I have yet to look at every corner of the site - but I'm already head-over-heels about the new "white issue".

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Clara Settles In

It was just over a month ago that I took in my stray buddy, Clara. She's really settled in nicely and seems to enjoy her new life.

She snuggles with me every night, wakes me up with head-rubbing-loving every morning, and gives me welcome home hugs when I drag back home after work.

Oh - and did I mention that she loves to keep the sofa nice and warm for me? What a good helper.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fun Fingerless Gloves (FFG)

A couple weeks ago I decided that I have really missed knitting and crocheting. I checked around the internet for a simple, yet cute pattern for fingerless gloves (free pattern here).

It was an easy knit pattern and helped used up scraps of yarn from other projects.

What makes the pattern so darn easy is that is in knit flat and then simply stitched up the side - leaving a hole where you want your thumb.

It was fun getting the knitting needles moving again.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Savings Plan

I've been out of commission again for awhile - I came down with the nasty flu bug that is running rampant here in the midwest. I still am not up to my normal self - but I'm feeling much better than I was a week ago.

I ran across this on Facebook the other day. Wish a new year upon us, it seemed like a pretty cool and somewhat do-able way to save a few dollars over the course of a year. I might just give it a try!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Pantone Color of the Year

It has been announced that Emerald is Pantone's color of the year. It's rich and beautiful.

But just so we don't get confused, here's my color of the universe. PURPLE.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

I wish you the very best happiness for a great new year!

I'm up at 2:05 am on January 1 - not because I've been celebrating - but because I've been sick. Cold/flu. Yuck. I haven't been this sick in years - it's going on day four now - and now I remember why I don't like to be sick! Here's to a healthy new start to the new year!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Here a Chick

Chickens can be so much fun. Just before the holidays set in, I made some wool chicken refrigerator magnets. They were quite fun and oh so easy.

Go ahead, take a peep - oops, I mean peek!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays!

My heartfelt wishes to you and your families for a wonderful holiday season.

Don't let anyone steal your Christmas cheer!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Owl Pillow That Isn't

I guess I'm pretty lucky, most often when I get an idea or see an idea from someone else's work, I can dig in and make it. Sure - it's not always just what I had in mind - but it works.

Well I saw this pattern somewhere on the world wide web some time ago and thought it was a great idea. It appeared that an owl face and outline was either painted or drawn on a beautiful wool fabric. (I apologize for not giving full credit to the original artist - I'm sometimes so bad about noting where I get ideas from so I can't point back to it when the proper time comes.)

I remembered a wonderful gray wool that I had stashed away for years - waiting for the right project to come along. I dug it out and proceeded to drawn the owl faces on the fabric - intending to sew each individual one into a small pillow-like piece.

I started the process by using a permanent black marker thinking that it would certainly work well - easy to draw with - and it's permanent, right?

After utilizing all of the fabric I had, I started to cut out shapes to sew the pieces together for the pillow - and realized that the marker was rubbing horribly off on my fingers. Sure - it was still permanently on the fabric - but it was also on my fingers.

I decided to try washing the already marked fabric to see if I could wash away the residue that was coming off on my fingers. I was able to do that - and able to get the marker to stop bleeding from the fabric - but by that time, the design was so light that it wasn't strong enough to look ok on the pillow.

So....I now have about 10 cute little faded owl faces with no place to go and no place to call home. All-in-all, kind of a failure project, but I guess I learned from it. I've also debated whether I want to try hand stitching the design with black wool yarn/thread, but gosh, that seems like a lot of hard work. In the meantime, this project will sit in the undone world of my fabrics and projects.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Meet Clara A.

Last Friday, I arrived home from work to find a cat hollering to me from the crawl space under my house. It was cold, snowy, and nearing the evening dark.

As I knelt down to talk to her, she immediately came to me and started purring. I knew I had to take her inside where it was warm. After she was safe inside, I started knocking on neighborhood doors to see if anyone had lost their little love. No one knew of any lost cats.

I've always been a "dog person" and anticipated getting another after losing my sweet baby, Charlotte, this summer - but this cat was so loving and cozy. I warmed up to her immediately. I knew if no one claimed her, she'd have to stay with me. I decided to keep her safe over the weekend, and if no one came for her in that time, I would take her to the vet for a check-up on Monday. Also, Sunday evening we (the cat and I) had a discussion about her name. We determined that it would be Clara A. ("A" as in Angel). And, IF she were not a Clara, it would be Clarence.

Well, I'm happy to report that Clara IS Clara and is doing well. She had her vet visit yesterday afternoon. She's healthy, spayed (previously), vaccinated, and estimated to be about 2 1/2 years old.

Of course, if her "original" family still ends up finding her, I'll have to let her go - but in the meantime, we're a happy new pair - just in time for Christmas.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Homemade Hot Chocolate

I just finished putting together gift jars of homemade hot chocolate mix. I found the recipe here. I LOVE it - it's such a yummy mix - and mixes up so smoothly.

After making the mix, I packaged it in clean (new) canning jars, wrapped with string, added a little bag of mini marshmallows, and wrote on a small tag so the recipients would know how much mix to use for  that perfect cup of chocolaty warmth!

In addition to the gift jars, I had to make sure I had some still left for myself. If you taste it yourself - I think you'll know why I turned seasonally selfish on this one!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Snow Bird

Last weekend we were given a December snow day. I'm still not sure what our total snowfall was for the day. I've heard many different amounts - anywhere from 14 inches to 24 inches! At any rate, let's just say it was "a lot".

The next day, I looked out my back door at this sweet little bird - sitting cozily in the snow covered bird feeder. At first I thought he might be injured because he sat there for well over an hour. But, thankfully, he was just fine. He must have just needed a rest (like all of us) after the big snow fall.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Holiday Chandelier

Many moons ago, I purchased this wooden chandelier at a thrift store. In typical me-fashion, I promptly grabbed the can of spray paint and provided it with a lovely fresh antique white coating.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, I simply propped some lovely fall gourds on it's different petals and placed it in the center of our table. I also sprinkled some hand-cut felted recycled wool leaves. (Note: To my surprise, when left on the center of the table while eating, the wool leaves provided extra hot-pad protection for our casserole dishes!)

Now for Christmas-time, I've decided to move the chandelier to my kitchen table and sprinkle the petals with miniature vintage tree ornaments. I'm enjoying their shinny simplicity. And who doesn't love vintage?

I can't wait until Valentine's Day to see what awaits this fun thirft store find!