Thursday, October 31, 2013
Posted by Shirlee at 1:53 PM
Monday, October 21, 2013
The Happy Birthday card you see above is a treasured gift I received a couple years ago from my dear friend Jo (Serendipitous Stitching). I display it as part of my birthday decor every year. You're probably thinking "birthday decor???" Well, no ... I don't actually decorate my house for my birthday, but I always put Jo's card on display with any others I might receive. It makes me smile every time I look at it : ) Jo also stitched an Easter card for me that I enjoy seeing on display every Easter. Her stitched cards are so beautiful &, well, you know me ... Easily Influenced & all ... they have sort of been planting the idea in my head that maybe I ought to stitch a few cards. When John & I last visited Barnes & Noble, I looked through the British cross stitch magazines, as I always do, & found one called Cross Stitch Card Shop. I squealed (silently) as I removed it from the rack & saw the beautiful card designs staring back at me from the cover. There was even a Free Card Kit attached to the magazine which you can see in the magazine cover photo below! I haven't any idea who Fizzy Moon is, but if you look closely, you'll see that the kit says that I can make it a fun Christmas with Fizzy! A fun Christmas ... what a wonderful thing for the publishers of Cross Stitch Card Shop to promise me! I clutched the magazine lovingly to my breast with dreams of stitched cards dancing in my head.
The deadline to this giveaway is Friday, November 1st, at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.
For my non-stitching followers, you can still enter my giveaway but I will not send you a stitching prize. Just tell me what you are interested in other than stitching & if you win I'll take it from there : )
Posted by Shirlee at 8:18 AM
Sunday, October 20, 2013
The minute we arrived in Nashville, we hated it.
John worked in Nashville for 5 years & during all those 5 years he attempted to get transferred back to Helena, but the office there had not been happy that he left & therefore punished him by not allowing him to return. We finally gave up & decided that if we could not get back to Montana, we would try to get as close to Montana as we could. John started keeping a close watch on job announcements & finally one was posted for a job in the North Dakota office. He applied. Meanwhile I had been trying to deal with my unhappiness in Nashville. There were a lot of things to be unhappy about when we were living there. The school system had to have been the worst in the nation, & it seemed like every night you heard on the news about a murder or rape or burglary or drug bust that occurred in the Nashville area. We couldn't let our children walk by themselves across the street to visit their friends because there were so many cases of child abduction. John & I always had to walk with them & then go get them when they were ready to come home. The cost of living was extremely high. I'm sure there are other things I've forgotten but those are enough in themselves. We weren't living in a bad part of town either ... we were in a nice area in the suburbs. I hated living there so much that I used to tell our children a little story that went like this ...
I wish you all a very blessed week!
Posted by Shirlee at 9:52 AM
Monday, October 14, 2013
When I came to God, I had a thorn in my flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). My thorn was & continues to be my perfectionism. If I'm cross stitching something, I want it to look exactly like the photographed model because, after all, that's what it's supposed to look like. Or if someone else's project has inspired me, then I want it to look exactly like what they've done. The same holds true when I knit something, or crochet something, or quilt something, or when I do any other type of craft. It must be perfect. Even something as silly as stacking my dishes in a kitchen cabinet or the cans & boxes of non-perishables in my pantry. It all has to be perfect.
After my conversion, the friends who led me to Christ, Gene & Brenda, instructed me to buy a Bible, begin reading it, & join a good church. As ridiculous as this may seem, I went to the local Christian book store & nearly fainted. This was probably when the seed was planted for my current need for Xanax. Buy a Bible?!?!? Good grief! What kind of Bible? There on the shelves before me were study Bibles, amplified Bibles, chain reference Bibles, & life application Bibles ... just to name a few. Then I saw that these Bibles were all broken down into different translations ... KJV, NASB, NEB, NIV, RSV, TLB ... AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! I had to "do it right." I had to read "the right Bible." I had to have "the right translation." I just had to!
I went home empty-handed, called my friends, & told them of my stressful experience. They instructed me to go back to the store & buy the simplest translation which at the time was the TLB (The Living Bible). Back to the store I went & back home I returned, happily clutching my TLB. Then I sat down to begin reading, but uh-oh. Where was I supposed to start? What was I supposed to read first? Once again I called my friends who I'm sure by that time thought they had helped to bring a real loon into God's kingdom. The told me to start reading the Book of John.
I then needed to "join a good church." I looked in the Yellow Pages & found that there were more churches listed than there were Bibles displayed at the Christian book store. Once again I called Gene & Brenda who were undoubtedly considering changing their phone number at this point. They just told me to visit a few churches where the Word was preached & join the one that was a good fit. I remember visiting a few but not really feeling at home in any of them. One day I was walking back from the grocery store, praying about finding a church home, when suddenly God ... yes, it was God ... simply said "Go to Northeast Park Baptist Church." It was not an audible voice. It was a voice inside my head. A real voice. Not my mind thinking something. It was His voice. This was the first of two times when God spoke to me like this. No one can tell me there isn't a God. He spoke to me!
The following Sunday I went to Northeast Park Baptist Church & became an active member. I grew closer to God. I made many friends. I worked with two of these friends teaching Sunday School for second graders. I joined a witnessing team. One Mother's Day the pastor asked me to speak during the church service about the loss of my first two children & how God took the pain away. How I knew that they were not really lost to me ... that I would see them again one day.
There have been times in my Christian life when obstacles sprang up in my path & I am ashamed to say that I allowed these obstacles to take my focus away from God. During one very long, very painful time, I actually turned my back on Him! Can you believe it?!?!? But you know what? He never turned His back on me. He was always watching over me. This particular time in my life, you just can't imagine how horrible it was. However, it taught me about the grace of God. To have a time in your life that you can look back on & actually see God's grace, it's a wonderful gift.
God has been the top priority in my life for a long time now. I will soon be 60. Age, no matter what the media tells us, is a blessing. Those of us who have reached this milestone & gone beyond have had many life experiences which have taught us many things. That's really what life is ... a series of learning experiences. For example, when I was in my 20s, I was quick to retaliate if someone hurt me in some way. Now, approaching 60, I am quick to pray for for them. Matthew 5:44 is a challenging verse.
Posted by Shirlee at 9:20 AM
Thursday, October 10, 2013
I am sorry if my sharing excerpts of Chuck Swindoll's devotional prayers is getting to be a bit overdone, but I've got to tell you, the prayers in this devotional (The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume I) are like spiritual bolts of lightning hitting you out of a clear blue sky. There is also a Volume II which I am looking forward to spending time with as well : )
Below is an excerpt of today's devotional prayer with the accompanying verse. I hope it is a blessing to you as much as it is to me.
Posted by Shirlee at 7:51 AM
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
As most of you know, I have been busily stitching ornaments from back issues as well as this year's Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments magazine. Since last month I have stitched 7 ornaments & have attempted 2 which nearly put me in the loony bin, both of them having been designed by, well, never mind : ) Seems like 7 ornaments are a lot to stitch in this period of time, but I've counted them & recounted them. There are indeed 7. I still have 17 ornaments kitted. Will I succeed in stitching them all in time for the holidays? We shall see : )
I will now share with you the story of the horrible thing referred to in my post title.
Posted by Shirlee at 4:01 PM
There are two corrections in the list of symbols. The symbol for GAST Chives should be a right triangle. The symbol for GAST Brick Path (the chimney) should be a dot with a circle drawn around it.
Stephanie has added her designs to her website ...
... & of course you can also look for them at your favorite ONS or LNS (online needlework shop or local needlework shop) : )
Posted by Shirlee at 11:39 AM
Monday, October 7, 2013
Posted by Shirlee at 4:39 PM
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Posted by Shirlee at 9:53 AM
Thursday, October 3, 2013
I have removed the original content of this blog post. I thought it was as obvious as the flab on my thighs that I was simply using my sense of humor to illustrate my deep frustration at not being able to stitch what I clearly stated within the first 3 sentences of that post to be this person's lovely, beautiful, creative, splendid, magnificent, & awesome cross stitch designs with the perfection shown in her model photos. Apparently not.
I have written an email to this person to apologize for any misunderstanding caused by my original post. I will leave it at that.
Posted by Shirlee at 2:24 PM
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Last night I finally finished stitching the ornament I started last Thursday. I would have finished it sooner if I had made better use of my free time, but there always seemed to be something else I needed to do instead. In any event, it is finished & here it is : )
Posted by Shirlee at 10:55 AM
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Posted by Shirlee at 9:26 AM