Wednesday, November 25, 2009

'Tis the Season. . .

I am so grateful to finally be making this post! I had wanted to get this post up sooner than this, but it just didn't happen for various reasons. Since I didn't get to wish you a happy holiday...I hope that you and yours had a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

To begin my post, I wanted you to know that Artbeads recently wrote me a letter that included a Share the Savings Card. They told me I was free to share the following 10% Off with blog readers, friends and family. It is good until the end of the year and does not require any minimum purchase. You should check it out!!!

I have been working on all sorts of projects! I was flip-flopping between working on a few gifts for friends, which I can't share until they are done and received, and the last of my Bead Journal Pages. Then a few weeks ago, it really sank in that the holidays are truly right around the corner and I started some small gifts for my family. I was doing great until I realized that I don't have anything that I can really share. So, I told myself to get on with it and finish my bead journal pages...once and for all. I was beginning to wonder if I ever would get it done.

I definitely had a few issues with two of my pages and then the surprise of my photos not turning out great. *SIGH* The realization is here again that it's back to taking photos inside due to our gray and rainy days here in Oregon. So it's back to playing with the camera and light and trying capture a decent picture.

The theme for my journal pages was fragments of my life and what lies within my heart each month and every year that passes...

May Journal Page...He Holds the Key to My Heart

May is such a special month to me. I was born in May, married my husband on my birthday and it sometimes falls on Mother's Day too. I love that the sun is beginning to shine, that the flowers are beginning to bloom, that the trees and grasses have turned green and that the birds are singing. We have been married for 32 years and the below picture was taken on our 25th anniversary. We thought we were going out for a special dinner downtown with my sister and husband and walked into a surprise party given by family and friends. It was a very special evening. Mark and I have shared a wonderful marriage, not that we haven't faced our share of ups and downs, we have, but they have made us stronger and wiser. I will be forever grateful for my best friend and the love of my life. He will always hold the key to my heart!

June's Journal Page...Papa's Love

This is my grandfather, Fred, whom my sister and I lovingly called Papa. We always called my mother's parents Nana and Papa. This is a favorite photo of him taken on the beach in Seaside, Oregon. He was born in 1908, and I bet this photo was taken in 1909. He was the father figure that my sister and I never had and was a huge part of our life growing up. Papa owned Lincoln & Allen Bookbinding Company, in Portland, that was started by his father. He was a smart businessman and loved the fine things in life: his wife and family, his home, his Cadillac, traveling, clothes, dancing and eating (food was always a celebration). He was a big man and rather gruff on the outside, but he was a big teddy bear on the inside! He sadly had a stroke not long after he retired and often complained that these were supposed to be "the golden years." He and Nana were married for 50 years. Nana passed three days after their golden anniversary and I think she held on for that very reason. Papa was a big love and I miss his joyous spirit.

July's Journal Page...Eternal Love

Every July, my thoughts are with my mom, Jean Louise. She was born on July 4th, 1936. I can only remember one year in our life that we weren't together celebrating her birthday and the 4th. As a single mother raising two daughters, she faced many obstacles. But she always had a unrelentless perserverance and ability to forge ahead regardless of what life dealt her. Her devotion to us (my sister and I) was her priority and she always put our needs ahead of her own. She was a strong lady and sacrificed a lot to raise her girls.

She was a wonderful mom and gave us gifts to last forever, the kind you can't put a price tag on. She gave us love and support, the courage to stand up for what we believe in, truth and honesty, a warm heart, a sense of humor, the ability to keep growing and learning as life brings changes, and the confidence and inspiration to follow our dreams wherever they may take us. She was a beautiful lady with an infectious smile.

Mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when she was 49 yrs old. She did well for years, but knew when she had to take it easy or lay low. When her boss was going to retire, she decided to retire also and stopped working when she was 57. She started walking everyday, cooking, baking, gardening, having lunch with friends and doing many things she never had the time to do. When she turned 59, life changed when the MS came on strong. She lost her courageous and long battle on January 18, 2001. We all lost someone so special that day. Mom's strength and inner beauty radiated with such a glow that she left a mark on everyone she encountered. Her love and memories live on in my heart...they always will...but I miss her so.....

August...My Soul Mate

August is a special month, the month my husband was born. We've spent almost every year celebrating his day while on vacation. The picture I chose is a photo of Mark, Leslie (Sissy) and I, that was taken at Leslie's husbands' 40th birthday party, nine years ago in August. It's funny, in looking through photos for my BJP, we don't have very many (hardly any!) photos of us. We have tons of photos of everything else in life, but no photos of us!?! Something, I now realize, we have to try and work on occasionally.

I have so many things to be thankful for, but one of the biggest things is my husband. He is my best friend, a wonderful Dad and an incredible person. His love is unconditional, he's compassionate, understanding, loyal, gentle, considerate, kind hearted, caring, unselfish, patient, smart, strong and sensitive. He is a sweetheart and I am so grateful that he came into this world and that our paths crossed 37 years ago. He's my rock, my world and the love of my life that I share my journey soul mate.

As a reminder, we don't have much longer to sign up for the 2010 Bead Journal Project. If you haven't signed up and are interested in joining this great and inspiring project, now is the time. Registration is open through December 14th! If you are interested, you can read the rules here or sign up for registration here.

I've been busy working on all sorts of things, but I really can only share some sneak peaks of things with you. I am going to have to make a few things here and there that I can share with you until the gifts I've made have been received and the holidays are behind us. This is the flat cuff that I started on and that got pushed aside for a few other projects that are more important. When I get back to it, I will be interested to see how I like the flat cuff versus the cuff I stitched over the brass blank.

This is another sneak peek of some stitching that I am working on...

And, another sneak peak....

And, another...

On another note, I have been sharing some discussion of knitting with friends. After seeing and hearing others that have been knitting and crocheting, I couldn't stand it. I haven't knitted in four years, but I thought it would be a great thing for me to do when it is late at night and my eyes are tired. So I got some yarn and pulled out my knitting needles. I have made both my boys beanies and they have always asked me to make them another. I thought it would be a great thing for me to knit them for Christmas. The last beanies I made had stripes, so I decided to knit the boys beanies that are solid charcoal gray. I am using Cascade 220, 100% Peruvian Highland Wool. My boys do peek in on my blog, especially my youngest, and I'm praying they are busy living right now and are not tuned in.

It didn't take long to get going again. Beanies don't take very long to make and the boys will be surprised and thrilled to have a new one. Blake came over yesterday with his old striped one tucked into his back pocket and that made me smile! I have one more row to go and I am ready to start decreasing and shaping the crown...

Here is a scarf that I am working on using Trendsetter Dune Yarn. Wish you could see the coloring better. It is an emerald green, burgundy and's really pretty.

This is a nubby wash cloth that is good for an invigorating shower or bath, made with 100% cotton yarn, in the Trinity Stitch. I'm thinking this cloth will have to be for Sissy, with a nice bar of soap, since she is so good and incessantly works out at the gym...unlike her big sister!!! ;-)

Realizing I haven't shared any nature photos with you...thought I'd share a few...

This is one of three maple trees in our yard...October Glory. It has been an odd fall this year. The leaves turned color way later than usual and they are still falling. Not too many more to go, but usually we are totally done raking and blowing leaves before Thanksgiving. Mark usually has mowed for the last time before Thanksgiving too, but this year the last mow will definitely be in December.

A carpet of Ginko leaves... I love these trees and leaves.

Here's the apple tree across the yard...the leaves haven't even turned yellow yet (very odd)...I took this picture a few weeks ago. You can see part of the new fence Mark put in this summer...

Beautiful wet maple and ginko leaves taken on a *rainy* day in Oregon...

I found a little color and the last flowers blooming in the yard on my walk...two different Salvia's and a fuschia. I feed my hummingbirds every week, all year long, but they must love having some natural blossoms still too...

The Canadian geese are flying by the house every morning and flying back by every evening. A few weeks ago they were making it back before dark. But lately they fly by about half an hour past sunset. It's interesting because it's always at the same time...between 5:00-5:15 pm. They must know exactly when it's time to head home! It is dark by then but, man oh man, can you hear them and if you get outside quick enough you can make them out in the dark...

There have been more squirrels running around our yard lately eating everything in sight and burying nuts everywhere! But I just snapped the cutest photo...see the new baby?!! ~smiling~ We are pretty sure that there are three little ones!

I've been counting my blessings this week and you are all apart of them!! See you soon! ~Lisa


Elizabeth said...

Hej Lisa,

It's good to hear from you. You certainly have been busy with all these different projects on the go. The pages turned out really beautiful.
While I was reading about your birthday I realized that we might have the same day of birth.
It is so good to read about all the love you hold for your family, really like that.

Well, I hope all your projects are done in time for the holidays. Have a great christmas and a joyous 2010.

Big hug from Denmark.

*~tabby~* crooked heart art said...

hey girl!!
mmmmm yummy pics you sure are busy!!
love love the scarf-looks scrumptious
and the last days of your autumn-lovely
hope all is well your way
talk to you soon my friend
x's &o's

*~tabby~* crooked heart art said...

whoops me again!!
great bracelet!! love your cabs!! so do tell where do you find these beauties??
i have to pick your brain on the 'how too's' of brooch making :)
have been thinking about making some myself-love yours and the art grace does-i am lucky to have a brooch she made and it never fails to get a compliment :)

Micki said...

you are very talented! I loved your sentiments about your mom and about your husband. You are very lucky!

Carol said...

Wow, you have been gone for a while and I can see why! Love he beading. As much as I love to bead, I always forget how much I enjoy crochet. Its my current obsession.

Congrats on completing your pages. I especially love the beading on your mom's page.

Your in process work looks interesting. Sure hope you will post the finished projects!

Glad you had a good holiday.

xx, Carol

Dot said...

My dear friend Lisa - what a lovely, lovely post!

I think you have done such a beautiful job on your beaded journal pages. The photo's of you and Mark are lovely. And you have done a beautiful tribute to your mum (the beads look gorgeous sweetie).

Mmm..I am wondering if you are an early May birthday girl or a late May birthday girl now :)...are you a Taurean like our friend Jacky?

Love the photo's of your garden Lisa. And the fence Mark has made looks great. The Ginko tree and leaves are magical. I really enjoy seeing photo's of your backyard.

Thanks for the sneak peek at your projects too. I can see you are creating beautiful beaded art as always.

Sending much love to you.

Dot xx

Jacky said...

What a wonderful post choc full of goodies and life.
As Dot said, I'm a May baby too (2nd) and would you believe my husband Paul is a Leo (Aug. 21). Must be a good matching!!!
Lovely to see your beaded pages and to share the stories behind them all. Also, lovely to see photos of those dear to you.
Your snippets of what you are working on are beautiful. Beautiful patterned piece you have enclosed with beads in that first the pattern and designs...they are all wonderful though. Your colour selection and combinations are just lovely.
Mmmm...that knitting is addictive isnt it? I have knitted up one of my facecloths and am going to knit the second one up for my MIL (as per your suggestion). That scarf looks intricate and love that nubbly face cloth for your sister.
You have been super busy.
Thanks too for sharing the 10% off with all your blog readers.

Take care and I hope you enjoyed a wonderful thanksgiving with family and friends.

Jacky xox

Clevelandgirlie said...

Let me brush a tear away - there, that's better. Now I can see.

BJP pages - sentimental and so beautiful in every way. What special way to honor those you love and the stories and emotions they evoke within your heart. (loved the one about your mom.)
(oh - and you and your husband - HOTTTT!)

I'm not mad at you any more for not posting as this one has a little bit of everything. Worth the wait. You knit too! My gosh woman - is there nothing you can't do. I'm knitting too. Been trying to knit socks - it's not happening. So I'm working on a scarf. I hate knitting instructions and DOUBLE POINTED NEEDLES! Your yard is beautiful, and the baby squirrel - I've never ever seen a baby squirrel. They are always so well hidden around here. How cute.
Glad to see you are still around and obviously keeping yourself quite busy with delicious projects.
I miss you!

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

What a lovely and heartening post Lisa - I've really enjoyed reading your story and looking at the photos, especially those of the trees swathed in autumn colour. Best wishes.

Micki said...

It was wonderful reading about your mom...I am sure that she was lovely! Your knitted scarf is lovely!

Lynn said...

All your BJP pages were so sweet. What a great way to honor family. Your sneak peeks are very beautiful. Can't wait to see how they develop. I have been bitten by the knitting bug - I had to force myself to put down a pair of socks in order to start a Christmas gift of hand warmers (fingerless gloves) for my sis. But it's all good :)

Beady Zoo said...

Love seeing your BJP pages and reading the memories that inspired them. The fireworks in your mom's piece are lovely. Have you signed up for 2010 BJP?

Look forward to seeing your WIPs when you're finished with them -- the scarf yarn is beautiful.

Thanks for sharing some nature pictures -- love the ginko leaf carpet of gold!

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.

KV said...

Wonderful and joyous post, Lisa! Sure put a big smile on my face while reading it . . .

Kathy V in NM (who is a May birthday girl, too)

KV said...

Merry Christmas, Lisa!

Kathy V in NM

Anonymous said...

Aren't husbands who are best friends just the greatest? I am glad to know that others in the world think this way.

Have a great 2010,