A Wonderful Thrift Store Find

I have been visiting thrift stores lately. I began with the incentive to donate things I no longer want or use yet the thrill of the hunt is too tempting to avoid. I began stepping inside a few shops to just take a peak. It is amazing to me what people throw away. Truly, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. What one may be tired of is just the thing to give someone else’s room a refresh.

I discovered that right after Christmas is a good time to peruse thrift store aisles. Most of us try to make room for new Christmas presents and become motivated to clear out our old stuff in the process.

Here is a little gem that I found in my most recent trip to the thrift store in my town. It is too large to frame so I plan on hanging it from a magnetic wooden hanger. It needs a little restoration on areas of chipped paint but it is a real oil painting on canvas. I love the details of the birds and trees.

I’ll bet your wondering how much I paid for this treasure…only $15 which is great considering it is the size of a mural and measures from the floor to the top of my door frame.

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My First Crazy Quilt

I have begun a new sewing project.

I confess to being a home body. During the winter months, I love cocooning and staying cozy but in order to feel productive I enjoy projects.

I wanted to find a project that would not involve spending money but using things I had on hand instead. I wanted to create something in honor of family. I get nostalgic during the holidays and miss loved ones that have passed on. I have saved a box of ties that belonged to my father with the intent of making a quilted project one day. You can see in the picture that my father had musical themed ties and some highlighting scripture. He was a cellist and played in many church programs and orchestras throughout his life. I looked at Dresden quilt patterns and began taking my father’s ties apart in preparation for a quilt. I began laying out different colored ties to make an attractive pattern yet no matter how many times I changed the layout, I was not happy with it. The color was all wrong for me with all the blacks and navy blues from my father’s wardrobe. I am definitely a lover of blue and green but more in the spring tones. There were a few in his collection that would fit that color palette.

I also have a collection of vintage fabric scraps that belonged to my grandmother that I have saved for various sewing projects throughout the years. I decided to mix both my grandmother’s remnants with my father’s spring themed ties plus a few I purchased for a randomly designed quilt project.

I have never made a crazy quilt before. I decided to go to Youtube for some instructions, patterns and tips. My grandmother made a crazy quilt once. My mother has it at her condo. It is made from velvet and silk remnants. It is made from darker colors and is embroidered on top with feather stitches along the edges of the fabric remnants.

Here is what I have made so far. I now have created twelve squares. Each square took about an hour to make. It will take a while to create enough squares for a lap quilt.

I think it is a good thing to have a project like this to work on during the darker days of winter when it is dismal outside and it is easy to get the blues. Yet these blues and greens are a sure way to make the days seem less gray.

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A Deer Reminder

Yesterday morning I went out the front door of my house and was startled to find a fawn curled up underneath the table fountain at the corner of the porch. I had seen a doe with her two babies in the woods earlier in the week. I had never been that close to a deer at my house before.

The fawn bolted to the front of the house. I found him behind some shrubs below my husband’s office window. I dashed to get my phone to take a photo. He was still there when I got back. I spoke gently to him to calm him. He did not seem scared of either me or my Cavalier. Lilah is getting older. She is ten and doesn’t make a fuss over critters like she did when she was a pup. In her early days she would have had a conniption for sure.

The baby let me take two photos of him then ran off into the woods. I thought that was the last I would see of him. I kept checking but there were no signs of him later in the day.

I had almost forgotten about him by the next day. I went out the front door to take out some trash. Lo and behold, there he was again under the fountain. This time he did not make a stir but looked at me as if I was an old friend. I wondered if he was making himself at home and if he was there to stay. I took several pictures as he was in no hurry to leave.

I decided to avoid going out the front door and decided to leave him alone. I had some errands to run so went out the side door through the garage. I would check to see if he was there when I got home.

A couple hours later, I got home. I drove up in the driveway, parked then checked the porch. Sure enough, Bambi was still there. I brought my groceries in through the garage and took Lilah out for her midday walk through the side entrance so as not to disturb the sleeping baby. I kept checking on him throughout the afternoon. I decided to call a vet to ask for advice. I did not know if my visitor was in distress and wondered what they would suggest should he need care. They offered no suggestions. I Googled what to do with an abandoned baby deer. Still, no help. I decided that I would wait to see if he would eventually wander back into the woods after he was well rested and recharged. Sure enough, after another hour or so, he got up on his feet, jumped off the porch, nibbled on some of my plants, then exited from the yard back through the trees behind my house.

We will see if he begins to make regular appearances. For now, I am content that he came for a brief visit. I think he was attracted by the sound of the bubbling fountain on the porch even though it was up too high for him to get a drink. The sound must have soothed him, and the corner of the porch must have seemed a safe spot to hide out for a while.

I am reminded of Psalm 42:1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul longs after Thee. You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship Thee.

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Diamonds In The Rough

Man looks at the outer appearance but God looks at the heart.-1 Samuel 16:7. We are too quick to judge people because of how they look in this world. All that glitters is indeed not gold.

Looking at a person’s character is of greater worth. It takes time to see the real person. It takes a while to know a person. We are great masqueraders or impersonators. It has become an art to hide behind exterior facades, so that others won’t suspect we are weak or insecure. It is a coping device to put on the tough exterior.

God is not finished with us. He keeps allowing circumstances in life to perfect us by chipping away a little at a time at the rough outer edges- IF WE WILL ALLOW HIM.

We could go fighting and kicking all the way or we can surrender to His will and His ways which are not often what we want or imagine. His ways are higher, and not our ways. He sees the finished work, the beautiful masterpiece at the end of the sculpting or perfecting process. We may not want to endure the sometimes painful process of going through the refiner’s fire but it will well be worth it on that day when He says it is done and He is pleased with the final result.

Take time to look past the rough edges or exterior today of others. Try to see their heart. You will be surprised at the beauty that lies underneath in those who have yielded to His masterful workmanship.

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A Rare Moth Sighting

Today I was surprised to discover a beautiful moth at the office when I was going out the door. He was attached to the lowest wooden step of the back stoop. I could have stepped on him. He blended in quite well as his color matched the wood stain. I decided to move him to a safer spot so no one else would step on him going up or down the stairs. He allowed me to move him. He climbed up on a piece of paper which I placed near his legs. He briefly opened his wings for me to see the outside. What spectacular colorations were on his wings! There were beautiful yellow eyes on each wing. He was fuzzy and had interesting looking antennae. I wanted to touch him but was afraid that I would either scare or injure him.

When I researched him later, I discovered he was an Emperor Moth. I had never seen one before. They are silk moths. The males have feathery-like antennae and are smaller than the females which can have a wingspan up to 80 mm. They are more commonly found in Great Britain. They emerge in April and May. The females are seen more often at night and the males during the day.

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Isaiah 40:3-5 A scripture study

I am involved with a ladies’ bible study. Currently we are reading the book of Matthew. In the third chapter, there is a reference to Isaiah 40:3-5. It was a prophetic scripture from the Old Testament foretelling the appearance of John the Baptist in the New Testament. In Matthew, the first book of the gospels, we see John arrive. He is the voice in the wilderness declaring Jesus as messiah. He was a forerunner, a herald or a harbinger for Jesus. He would soon step aside, yielding his calling to the greater work and message of salvation that Jesus would bring.

In Matthew 3:2 John preaches to “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It is a bold message. He doesn’t hold back for political correctness or out of fear of offending people. It is an urgent message with the need for an immediate response. Time is of the essence. This is true today. We must realize the urgency of the hour and the need for bold and convicting messages for the lost to repent and embrace salvation through Jesus.

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In Isaiah 40: 3 “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.” To make a path straight means to embrace holiness and avoid evil. A crooked path could lead many off course and into utter ruin and doom but a straight path would allow ease or freedom of movement that is unrestricted or unhindered. It would be a safe path where obstructions would not trip up or cause people to stumble. A level plot of land is more desirable than a slope. As a gardener, I understand this well as it is easier to maneuver and make beds on a level surface. The productivity level is greatly amplified where there is level ground.

Another meaning of crooked is dishonest or illegal. That is to say the opposite, that to be straight is to be honest and filled with integrity. That should be our goal as Christians to have no room for questioning our motives or sincerity in all business, political or personal dealings.

This is food for thought and there is much meat here on which to contemplate and meditate. Focusing and studying the Word of God allows His truth to change us!

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Growing An Ornamental Vegetable Garden

I have always been a lover of flowers and flowering shrubs. Through the years, I have dabbled with a few herbs here and there like rosemary or lavender since they are hardy, add some interesting texture and scent. Yet, I have never really been interested in growing vegetables. My attempts at growing tomatoes have mostly resulted in failure due to the dreaded black spot fungal disease which affects many plants because of high humidity in the south.

I have vowed to try again this year. Perhaps it is due to sticker shock at the grocery store. Perhaps, I have been inspired by beautiful potager gardens on recently viewed gardening vlogs. Whatever, the reason, when I was at the local home store, this week, I grabbed a few vegetables to try once again.

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I picture growing trailing varieties like squash and cucumbers up French inspired obelisks in an artful display along the sunny border of my yard. I already have a couple volunteer pumpkin plants starting to grow there where I had left fall pumpkins to decay. This spring, I noticed sprouts emerging under a dried out pumpkin that was really a gourd. Last October, I purchased some pumpkins at a local pumpkin patch sponsored by a church. I fell in love with two pumpkins, one white and the other light pink to set out on my front porch for a lovely autumn pop of color. They should become some very interesting specimen plants for my new vegetable garden.

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