Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dear Friends

Dear Friends,

I have been resisting telling you this for a long time, but the time has come for me to say good-bye to blogging. I have enjoyed this creative pursuit. The writing and creating is fun. I've enjoyed making friends in blogland. This has been a fun place to share my photos and our visits to interesting places. But God has been pressing on my heart that it is time for me to stop. When I blog, I spend way too much time on the computer, and it keeps me from spending time as I should, with my kids, husband, and with God. I've struggled against the voice of God in my heart to stop blogging, but now want to stop struggling and do the right thing. I'll be copying some of my favorite posts over the next few days, and then I am going to delete my blog. I hate to say good-bye, but I know it is the right thing. For my most faithful readers, if you would like to be my friend in real life, I am open to the exchange of email. Find my email on my blog profile page and send me a personal note, and then we can information so friendship can continue beyond blogging.

God bless you all, and thank you for the good time we've had here together. And if someone wants to take over "Wildflowers in Winter" this year, please do, as I won't be able to.

Faithfully yours,
Elizabeth Joy

Monday, January 5, 2009

An Outfit for My Niece - Butterick 4009

So what have I been doing while were were snowed in this Christmas? Making cute things for my niece. She came to visit me this weekend, and this is what was in her package. A complete brown and pink outfit.

I didn't have time to make things like this for my own toddlers, but now their big enough to do things while I sew without getting into trouble.

I used Butterick pattern 4009 for both the dress and the coat. The dress went together in a pretty standard way. The sizing turned out accurate for weight and height, though I was a little scared, because there wasn't a bust measurement or a finished size measurement on the pattern.

The coat pattern had some problems though. I made view B which has a pleat on the top front, near the shoulders. There is a lining pattern pieces which I cut out as recommended, but it turned out to be the lining for view A. This I didn't discover until the lining was completely sew in and I was getting ready to attach it to the bottom of the hem of the fleece outer layer. It wasn't big enough. What to do? I thought and then hemmed the lining separately from the fleece layer, though it required some sewing gymnastics. I recommend making only View A, unless you are a talented seamstress, and can design a properly sized View B lining, or can figure out on your own to hem them separately. I didn't take photos while I did the work, because I didn't know if my process would even work. Another adjustment I made to the pattern is to make pink cuffs. If I had followed the pattern, they would have been the same color as the rest of the coat. I had to think it out and figure out how to make it work. It wasn't too hard, but the pattern didn't tell me how.

I used flannel backed satin for the lining for added warm, and because it was what I had on hand
Since I had extra fabric from the jumper, I figured that a little girl would need a purse. I used Simplicity 5638. I sewed two pieces of ribbon together to make a contrasting handle. And I sewed on two little doodads (a clay teddy bear and a pink clay dress) to play with and a big pink button from my button box. Inside there was a little Loving Family doll to play with.The good news is that it all fits - perfectly!

And she'll be ready to go in a jiffy.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Winter Freezes and Thaws

Two days after Christmas the weather started changing, rather rapidly. A warm Chinook wind started blowing, and the temperature started rising, and everything started melting, fast. Soon the dry creek in the valley was overflowing with water, the ground was saturated, and mud was being tracked in on the carpet. We had warm weather and rain for almost a week.

Then, this Friday morning, we woke up to this. We had no idea it was coming. It was just below freezing and snowed hard and fast. Big goose down flakes filled the sky, so we could hardly see the neighbor's house. It was wet and easy to pack, so of course, as soon as Forest Zoo got permission, he was out creating the largest snowman he had ever made.

He thought he was making a snowman, but I think that he is really THE Snow Man. We all know that this snow is his fault, because he won't stop praying for more and deeper. And we all know that God loves to answer the prayers of little children.

By early afternoon the temperature rose above freezing, the snow stopped falling, and the snowman started melting. By the next morning, his head had fallen off, but the fun memories of the biggest snowman ever remains.

Just before dark the clouds above the hills lit up in an unusual display of contrasts.

The temperature dropped that night, and we woke up yesterday morning to cold, crunchy stuff on the ground. It stayed cold all day.

And then the sunset turned the hills pink. What a beautiful ending to a day. How good to know the God who makes such glorious displays for us to enjoy. It isn't just art and creativity, it is a daily gift from a loving and powerful friend who knows what brings me delight.

"I lift up my eyes to hills. From whence cometh my help? My help cometh from the Lord, the creator of heaven and earth."