Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Project Accomplished!

After months of thinking, designing, planning, editing, writing, photographing, changing, printing, measuring, cutting . . . and some steps over and over and over again to get things right! . . . the project I have been working on is finished! That project was designing cross-stitch patterns, writing/designing a cross-stitch instructional booklet, and then making cross-stitch kits 
to go in my Etsy store!

 I have designed three patterns so far, and here they are after being stitched and framed . . .




The most time consuming part of the whole process was the writing and photographing for the 13- page Instruction Booklet (which is in the "Complete Kits"), but it was also enjoyable to do. And sometimes funny! I am sure if someone could see 'behind the scenes' at the miscellaneous things I used during the photographing to hold things in place, to use for backdrops, etc., they would have found it quite entertaining. :) 

As I wrote the booklet, it helped a lot having had the experience of teaching so many young girls to cross-stitch before . . . the questions that they had asked, the areas that they had found difficult, all came to mind as I tried to answer and address each one of them in the booklet. It felt so good to finally have the booklet finished and printed for the first time!


A glimpse inside the Instruction Booklet . . .



After printer problems and eventually needing to get a new printer, it was especially exciting to finally reach the point of assembling the kits! Here is the one for "Rejoice in the Lord" (a front and back view.)


And the kit contents . . .

 Dad gave me a great time saving idea for the thread cards . . . instead of using scissors to clip a triangle to wind the thread around, use a hole punch! It worked so well!

And a glimpse at one of the patterns . . .


In a way, it's almost hard to believe I finally made it to this point . . . over the months of working on this project, there were times when I wondered if it would ever be finished! There were even some times of frustration (and overcoming that frustration) such as when finding out that the program I had designed almost everything in, printed the images fuzzy so many of the things needed to be redone in a different program (but thanks to Leah's help, it didn't take nearly as long to fix as if I had done it myself!) . . . yet overall it was so enjoyable and exciting to do, and the Lord answered many of my prayers throughout the process and helped overcome each obstacle that arose in the way. How faithful He is!

So that's the big project that has been filling many, many of my hours the past few months! It is so exciting to have it completed now and the kits and PDF patterns listed in my Etsy shop! (If you were interested in visiting, the address is AsLiliesCountryStore.etsy.com) And now with these designs finished and the Instruction Booklet done, it's time to start putting on 'paper' some of the new designs that are in my mind!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Waiting on Dixie

Each day that goes by brings Dixie closer to her due date which is Tuesday of next week! She is our first doe due, and since she kidded nine days early last year, we have been keeping a close eye on her. Her days are spent out in their pen, and at night we bring her into the barn along with Chase and Larkspur for company. At night, we have a baby monitor out in the barn with them, and the transmitter is in Leah's and my room so we can keep an eye (or an ear?) on her at night. (We did the same thing with Chloe last year, and thanks to that, we were woken up and able to be there when she kidded.)

 Not the greatest photo of her, but as I've mentioned before, she is not easy to photograph as she always stays so close to me when I'm out there!

 Dixie is starting to move slower and looks very pregnant! And we're wondring . . . will it be twins? Triplets? Bucklings? Doelings? I'm hoping for twin doelings. :) It shouldn't be much longer now and then we'll know! We are so looking forward to when she kids!

Meanwhile as we wait, the days have been full . . . I ended up needing to get a new printer to continue with the big project I have been working on, and so far, I am really pleased with it! So this week I spent quite a bit of time working on that. 

Yesterday, Mom, Leah and I went with Ashley, Adelyn and Gracen to a large consignment sale for everything children related. We had such a fun time! Ashley found quite a few things as did Mom, and I came away with a wooden puzzle and a four piece child size china tea cup and saucer set. I can foresee little tea parties with Adelyn and Gracen someday! Then after that, we enjoyed lunch out, a visit to a thrift store, and then back to "Grandma and Grandpa's house" where two tired little girls were quite glad for naps. I love days like this spent together!


Now we're bracing for a winter storm that is due to arrive tonight . . . yes, a winter storm in the spring when the leaves should be coming out on the trees and the fruit trees should be in blossom! After this, though, it looks like the temperatures will start warming up again which we're all looking forward to!

 
Slowly but surely, the daffodils are getting closer to blooming  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rejoicing!

. . . and thanking the Lord that sweet Savannah has a family . . .

 

She was moved to the "My Family Found Me" page yesterday, and how very glad I was to see her sweet face there! Thank you so much to those who have been praying for her after I shared about her in this post! What a transformation is about to take place in this precious girl's life . . . from a crib in an orphanage to a home and the loving arms of a family. What an answer to prayer!

As my heart rejoices that Savannah has a family coming for her, there are so many more orphans who need families, too . . . would you join me in visiting Reeces Rainbow and praying for the children there? Thank you so much!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Little Bits of Life

The days have been so wonderfully full as of late! And my mind has been swirling with many things to post about . . . they've started to pile up. :) As have the photos on my camera, too! So here's a little taste into some of those things . . . .

 A visitor on the cauliflower and broccoli plants indoors . . . we have three of them in fact!

The first of the peppers to begin sprouting

 I figured out the dimensions for a soap mold to fit the recipe I have, measured and marked the boards, then Dad sawed them for me and drilled the nail holes, and then I nailed it together! I was eager to try it out, and as I had a batch of soap to make, did just that. :) It worked so well! Much better than what I had been using before. The bars turned out much more uniform, and with being in the wooden box, didn't cool off too quickly. Success!

The finished bars cut, trimmed, and curing


With my afghan finished, I have been working more on my cross-stitch in the evenings . . . it is nearly finished now!

Leah trimming Larkspur's hooves . . . five goats down, two left to do!

 The honeybees in all three of our hives have started to bring in pollen! I was excited to see that!

Despite being covered in snow for weeks, our kale and spinach are still doing well!

And even the celery has managed to stay alive . . . albeit the plants and stalks are rather small

Dolls in progress

Yet what has been filling a lot of my days has been the 'big project' . . . I am so close to being done! The next step involves the printer, but it is giving us issues . . . and a good lesson in patience. :) Here is a glimpse into part of what the project is, though . . . .


Now I am off to enjoy a gloriously beautiful day while it lasts!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Birthday Surprise

We celebrated my 27th birthday last week (which was a special and memorable day!), and my parents surprised me with this beautiful antique clock!


When visiting an antique store awhile back, they had taken note when I mentioned that one of the antiques that I would love to have someday would be a tall, wooden, antique mantel clock . . . and thus began their search and this is what they found. While I had been looking for a clock for awhile, I never thought that I would ever have one as beautiful and as old as this one! It was such a thoughtful gift!

It is an Elias Ingraham Clock, and the label inside has the date when it was made, but the last digit is missing. The first three digits are 187_, and after researching online, I am thinking it was made in 1871. That would make it 142 years old . . . if only it could tell the story of its history and the things it has 'seen' over those years!


Old clocks amaze me in their detail and how they can work the way they do . . . no batteries, no electricity, but carefully constructed gears and springs inside, and then beautiful cases that truly make them a work of art.

Even with it being as old as it is, it still works! I love hearing its 'tick, tock.' :) It is losing a little bit of time, though, and after it ran for about a week, it began to sound a little 'grindy' so we are thinking it might need to be cleaned. I am planning to bring it in to a clock shop to have it cleaned and the timing adjusted, and hopefully I will be able to do that soon!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Living His Word

I have been reading through Deuteronomy as of late, and there is much in this book that has caused me to pause and ponder . . . while directed to Israel, I always find a great deal of personal application as well! One morning this week, these two verses especially spoke to my heart . . . .

You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.” 

Deuteronomy 11:18-19

Some of my personal thoughts that I wrote down after reading this passage were . . . “God’s Word is to be so filling our hearts, so filling our minds, that it pervades our daily life . . . through our actions, our words, our thoughts it is present . . . His living Word in us and working through us.”

Oh, what an aim to strive for!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Finished!


Last night I finished crocheting all of the rows, and this morning, wove in the few yarn ends that were in the body of the afghan and then trimmed all of the tassels. It's so nice to have been able to utilize all of the scrap yarn and turn it into another afghan!

Friday, March 1, 2013

World of White

This past week has been a bit of an adventure! We had one snowfall last week, which dumped around a foot here . . . the first group of photos are from two days after that storm and after the snow had begun to melt some . . .


Aurora and Lacy

Two of the beehives after being dug out. The boards lying in front of them are what I used to prop up over the entrances to keep the snow out.

The dairy girls enjoying their alfalfa pellets



Snow geese flying overhead . . . we have seen SO many flocks of these this week! I love hearing them and watching them!

Rabbit tracks in the snow

Then on Monday night/Tuesday morning of this week, another storm came through bringing our total snowfall to nearly two feet!


The view from out our living room window Tuesday morning after getting back in from clearing snow off of the hoop houses, etc.

One difference between the snowfall this week and last week, though, was the fact that this one was a very wet snow . . . it made it so beautiful outdoors, but it was destructive to trees, animal shelters, and powerlines. Over 14,000 people in our county electric cooperative lost power including us. Very early Tuesday morning, the power started flickering on and off with it being off for thirty minutes or so, coming on for maybe ten and then going out again.

 It was so white out!

I was the first one up in our family in the morning, and after my first look outdoors admiring the amazing beauty of the snowfall, I began to notice some of the effects of it . . . broken tree limbs, animal hoop house shelters that were very bowed down under the weight of the load of snow on top of them, and branches of fruit trees that were so heavy laden, they could break under the weight. I hurried and ate some breakfast, and then headed out to start the snow removal process. 

The dairy pen . . . I had already gone into their pen and cleared off their shelters at this point, but before that, they and the gate were entirely covered with snow, too.

After tromping through snow that was almost up to my knees in many places, getting the heavy loads off of all five hoop houses, and using a broom to knock the snow off of the fruit trees, I was rather tired! But when walking past the chicken pen, I knew something had to be done there! The snow had torn the netting where the posts held it up in the center so the netting was all the way down to the ground buried in snow. The weight of it was pulling in the sides of the chain link pen, and the hoop house under the netting was collapsed nearly to the ground. I started clearing off the netting by using the broom to hit it, but had to go inside for a break after a bit as I was so tired after all of this! Then Leah went out and finished the big project . . 

It's almost done here! Leah is the dark spot on the right side of the photo. :)

She had to crawl on her knees underneath the netting and use the back of a rake to hit the netting and knock the snow off little by little.

The trees were so weighted down with snow, that our trailer parked up behind these ones in our yard could hardly be seen.


Dad taking care of the bucks in the morning


 The weight of the snow had made some of the branches on the oak tree low enough that Classic could reach them. He was enjoying chewing on them!


Thankfully, when we all finally finished chores, our power was still coming on at times, so we could heat the house up, dry all of our wet outdoor clothes, and get warmed up. Around noon, though, our power went out for good, and thus began our 24 hour time period without power!


 Our poor burning bush . . . I wonder if it will ever be the same again?

Slowly the temperature began declining, while we sat curled up under afghans cross-stitching, crocheting, or reading (or all three for some of us. :), and talking together. It was really quite fun! We talked to Ryan and Ashley a couple of times throughout the day, and they had lost power, too. Thankfully, their power was back on by mid-afternoon!

The trees were so pretty under their blanket of snow!

 But as pretty as it was, it was damaging, too . . . this is one of many branches that had broken and fallen.

Around four in the evening, Dad, Leah and I headed out to do chores again, and as the temperature was hovering around freezing outdoors, things weren't really frozen, just slushy from the snow. We were thankful for that as it made chores easier!

 Looking down our driveway

As darkness began to settle in, we lit candles, two oil burning lamps, curled up on the couch and a rocking chair, and read, crocheted, and talked by lamplight, meanwhile enjoying our dinner of granola, bread, and whatever else was in our pantry! 


Leah reading by lamplight (it was a little brighter than what it looks in the photo!), and a rocking chair on the left was where I was with my basket of yarn at my feet as I worked on crocheting an afghan.


Our cozy little abode for the evening

Partway through the evening, we watched an old T.V. western on Dad's laptop, finishing it up just before the battery power ran out. It was rather an enjoyable evening! Albeit a bit cold. :) We all headed to bed early after covering our beds in layers of afghans and quilts . . . this was one time when I was especially thankful that I had made so many of these things!

Morning came and still no power . . . the temperature in the house was in the upper 50's, but when you have to spend so much time outdoors doing chores, we were all chilled, and 58 degrees, felt cold. Our activities of the day before continued, though I sat down at the piano and played for awhile until my fingers were so cold they began to stumble over the keys. :)


Looking towards the buck's pen with Classic standing up in the corner.

We finally got through to our power company (the phone lines had been busy every time we called), and they said that our power could be on as early as that night. There were crews coming in from other counties, and they were optimistic that our power could be back on by that evening. However to our surprise, our electric space heater clicked on around noon! It didn't take long for one of us to run up and turn on the central heat. :) It felt so good to begin to warm up again! One thing I think we all decided after this is that having a wood stove sure would be nice!

For the first time ever, we had someone come out and plow our driveway instead of us shoveling it. That was a blessing as the snow was very hard packed and deep! Another blessing from the snow is that it will improve our drought conditions . . . our area is still in a moderate drought, but this snowfall should add 3 to 3 1/2 inches of moisture to the ground! So now we're enjoying heat, keeping up with daily tasks and animal chores, and looking forward to when the snow melts and spring arrives!