Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Sacrifice - Printable Journal Page

When did you last receive a handmade gift?

These precious treasures can speak volumes.  Money was set aside to purchase the yarn, or the fabric or materials, for contrary to what "they" say, making an item isn't always cheaper.  Often, colors were chosen specifically with you in mind.  Hours spent stitching or knitting were spent crafting the one-of-a-kind piece.

Once the handmade item was finished, the giver wrapped the gift and presented it to you with no strings attached.  All of her personal expression and creativity, she entrusted to you.  She doesn't know -- unless she lives next door -- whether or not you'll put the item in next year's garage sale.  She doesn't place the expectation on you that you'll keep it forever because of her efforts.  It's yours to do with as you will.  It's her gift to you.

Over the course of my life, I've been blessed to receive many such handmade items, from dolls my mother made for me when I was a child to crocheted blankets  I received as gifts for my children when they were babies

While all of these handmade items are beautiful and treasured, I have two that are absolutely precious to me.  It's these I want to share with you today.  You can see them in the pictures throughout this blog post.  One is a knitted baby blanket I was given at the baby shower for my daughter.  The blanket is knitted with a variegated pastel yarn (how did that knitter know I loved variegated yarn?).  The other item is an embroidered placemat and napkin set featuring bright yellow daisy stitches with orange french knots.  They were given as a wedding present to me and my husband.

What makes them so special
The knitter of the blanket is blind,
and the stitcher has cerebral palsy

I'm truly humbled to think of these women and the time their creations took and with what trust and love they gifted them to me.  I know the knitter only saw colors as a child.  I wonder who helped her pick out the the yarn for my baby's blanket.  Who along the journey of her life took the time to teach her how to "feel" the knitting needles?  Which of us would give something we created that we could not see?

I saw the hands of the woman who embroidered my placemats.  Who threaded the needles for her?  Who managed the scissors?  I know it was a sacrifice of love between her and her caregiver working together to embroider those pieces.


I've been thinking recently of the words of a song that was popular when I was a teenager.  The words of the chorus say, "If I am called to sacrifice, it will be worthy of my Christ.  I will not offer anything that costs me nothing."

I believe the song was based on I Chronicles 21:24.  In this chapter, King David has seriously sinned against God.  His direct disobedience resulted in the death of seventy thousand men of Israel.  David longs to repent.  He comes to build an altar at the threshing floor of Ornan where the Angel of the Lord is waiting for his sacrifice.  Ornan wants to gift the meat for the offerings to the great King David, but David says to Ornan that he cannot offer to God something "without cost."

"And king David said to Ornan, Nay;  but I will verily buy it for the full price;  for I will not take that which is thine for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings without cost." I Chronicles 21:24.  (This story is also found in II Samuel 24.)

I am ashamed to say that many times I have offered to God things that have cost me little effort -- a carelessly sung hymn during church, a hastily prepared Sunday School lesson, the quick devotional read before I start the day, a routine "thank-you God" prayer before I go to sleep.  When was the last time I really sacrificed for God?  My time, my finances, my . . . anything?

In the book of Malachi, you'll find the children of Israel suffering from the same problem.  They were offering God some less-than-great sacrifices.  The best animals were to be offered on the altars, but the Israelites were offering "polluted bread upon (the) altar" and "the blind for sacrifice."  Instead of the spotless lamb, they were choosing the "lame and sick" to offer before God.  (Malachi 1:7-8)  Later in verse 13, the Lord asks "Should I accept this of your hand?"

This week, "if I'm called to sacrifice," like the words of the song mentioned above, I'm praying that I'll be ready to pay for the full price. (I Chronicles 21:24)

How about you?
"Should I accept this of your hand"
saith the Lord.
Malachi 1:13

I encourage you to listen to the song "Anything That Cost Me Nothing" by Bobby Michaels, especially if you've never heard it.

To print a corresponding journal page, click here.

Any thoughts?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Vintage Magazine Stand

Look at Friday's Vintage Find.

(Although you may not see it, this magazine stand has "Amy" written all over it!)
Since taking a typography class in college many a vintage year ago, I have enjoyed becoming much more "font" aware.  And while the class may not have contributed much to the degree I ended up with, it has forever changed the way I look at print.

Just look at all these great magazine titles in their publisher's chosen fonts.  Of course, some of these magazines are still available today.

These are not.

LOOK finished publications in 1971.

The American Home finished publication in 1977.
One source credited it with joining Redbook?


Collier's last issue was in 1957.  How interesting for me to find that they just now have begun to print again this year!!
I wonder if it's more than a nickel now.

This does suggest that my stand at least dates to 1957.  I haven't reasearched all of the magazine titles that are no longer in print to find the earliest ceased publication date.

The tag (sorry, for the blur) says "American Art-ware, highly resistant to liquids and chipping, The American, Art Works, Inc. Coshocton, Ohio."

I wondered about the stand's bent handle.  Did the piece become damaged during a previous owner's move? Did they drop something on it?  I like to think I've found my answer.  The other day I happened upon my ten-year-old son standing in the living room with one foot resting up on the handle of the magazine stand.   I quickly informed him that the stand wasn't a footstool.

I don't think I'm the first mother to say those words!

I've moved the stand to my fireplace thresh-hold.  I was thinking that I'd get some vintage magazines and place them inside, right?  Here's the problem -- Once, I place those vintage magazines inside the stand, I won't see the great magazine headers anymore.  It will just be an ugly stand . . . .Any ideas?


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Free Printable Quilt Pattern

Here it is - a printable, easy-peasy pattern.

Just for you!
(scroll down)

This easy, but unique pattern includes two vintage linens.
I used a linen whitework tea towel that had lovely drawn thread embroidery.
I usually will only cut one of these if the tea towel is stained or damaged.
The rectangular doily pictured is in excellent condition and is only tacked down with surface stitching. It can be removed later if desired.  This doily is probably part of a three piece duchess dresser set or an armchair set.  Sadly, I only have the one piece.  It would have come with a matching piece identical in size to place over the other arm of the chair (if the armchair set) and a large piece to place over the back of the armchair.  I have seen the large matching back piece online.  Perhaps the makers grew tired of the pattern after making the one doily.

Detail of the whitework.

I did quilt a simple outline border within the whitework. 
My other quilting stitches are hidden within the drawn threads.

The filet crochet has roses within the pattern. 
Would you have liked this doily on your armchair or dresser?

Click  "Remember Me." 
to print your free pattern.



"He will yet fill your mouth with laughing and your lips with rejoicing"
Job 8:21

Sunday, April 15, 2012

For the birds . . .

We have baby birds!!

If you didn't see the beautiful eggs, click here
and scroll to the bottom of the post.

Isn't robin egg blue the best blue?

Momma bird seems to think it's now normal for the crazy humans near her to get out the ladder and climb up to see her babies.  She doesn't appear worried in the slightest.

Although some daddy robins stick around and help out, we haven't seen the daddy.


My daughter has named the trio Alvin, Simon, and Theodore.

My son isn't tall enough to reach and see into the nest even on the ladder.  I keep bringing down the camera and showing him the pictures. 

I hope they will remember this and never cease to be amazed at God's creation.

(This was what greeted me when I came back to the house.  Sassy has the "You have betrayed me" look.)

What do you think Sassy is thinking?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pretty Pink

It's time for Friday's Vintage Find!

This doily's pretty pink ruffled edge makes a unique decorative border.

Four swirling pinwheels make up the center design.  Aren't they delightful?

Here you can see the thread that gathers and supports the upper level of the ruffled pink border.

You can see this pink doily displayed on the vintage crib ladder from Tuesday's Post.

(It's peeking out from the tablecloth near the bottom.)

I've picked up some other vintage finds. I can't wait to share with you.

Have a wonderful spring weekend.


"For I am the Lord, I change not;"
Malachi 3:6

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Join Rayanne's Spring Giveaway!

Rayanne at A Lovely Thought is having a give-away now through May 1.

Click on the link to visit her blog to participate.

I love Rayanne's artwork/photography on her blog
"A Lovely Thought."

She says she's opening an Etsy store soon!

Here's the vintage-look boots I really NEED, don't you think?

The winner of the give-away can choose a pair of lovely boots like these or a gift card from the Victorian Trading Company.

Have fun!


"Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God is one Lord."
Deuteronomy 6:4

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Upcycled Something? Hmm . . . .

Can you tell what's hiding under all this gorgeous vintage linen?

I brought it home just a couple of weeks ago from my favorite thrift store.  The thrift store owner was eager to see it go, and I knew it would be just the thing to use as a hanger/ladder for some of my vintage linens.

It's hanging on the wall that heads to our household's "man cave."  I'm treading dangerously close to crossing the line, but I have a great husband the indulges me!

Have you figured it out yet . . . .?

For now, I'm putting out mostly my pink's and yellow's.  The basket pillowcase was embroidered by my Great Grandmother.

Here it is, before I touched it up with a can of textured spray paint.  The thrift store had the vintage crib for quite a while.  The store owner gave me a deal on it after a pregnant couple tried to buy it with the intention of using it for their newborn.  The store owner quickly informed the couple that the vintage crib no longer met safety codes and was purely for decor.  (I've got plans for the other three sides, too!)

On another note . . .

Look what I found up in the rafters of my car port.  The birds love building nests on the wood beams.  I meant to place some colorful yarn strands in the nearby Rose of Sharon to see if the robins would like to decorate their nests with them.  I didn't get around to it.  This robin didn't seem to mind.  Can you see at the bottom of the nest the white ribbon she's added?  There's a yellow balloon remnant hanging down from it that she used to help build the nest.  Cute.

Robin eggs take twenty days to hatch.  I'm keeping an eye on her.  If she lets me, I'll snatch a picture of the babies.


"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; 
but is long suffering to us-ward,
 not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance"
2 Peter 3:9

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Good Friday's Last Supper on Belgian Linen

An Early Friday Vintage Find

I'm spending Good Friday with my special little girl who is now almost taller than I am.  I thought I'd post this a little early.

A good mystery is great when you know the ending is just a few pages within your grasp.  This stamped needlework pattern is a great mystery with no such ending.  The pattern has no copyright,  no date, no company name or address to help me solve its history mystery.  Judging by the looks of the two-tone ink cover, I would say the kit comes from the 50's or 60's, but that's a twenty year guess.  The instructions appear to be typed out on a typewriter.   It does have the number "965."  It also claims to be printed in the United States.

(I must say that the instructions look like a headache in the making.)

The stamped pattern is very light and somewhat difficult to photograph.  I hope you can see it well enough to capture a glimpse of DaVinci's masterpiece.  I wonder how the painter would feel to know his creation was now a stamped embroidery design.  What do you think?  Is imitation always the highest form of flattery?

Whenever I look at DaVinci's Last Supper, I wonder what Christ is thinking.  He knows that soon one of those at the table will betray Him.

When He announces the fact to His followers, they begin to question, "Is it I?"

I can just see the disciples looking at each other, too. . . thinking, Is it you?

Jesus quickly tells the betrayer Judas to leave while Jesus and the disciples finish their supper.

This Friday, although I'll be with my special girl, I'll also be thanking my Lord.
When He faced death on that cross and took upon himself the sin of the world, He took my sin, too.

Thank you, Jesus.


"For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish,
but have everlasting life."
John 3:16