Looking for answers to life's questions

Posts tagged ‘cards’

In Search of What I’ve Gained

Last week I lost my mind and discovered it had slipped away due to a short-term fever of unknown origin, caused by a vague and undetermined malady. After finally having the energy to get to the doctor, I gained his approval of my course of treatment. Liquids, rest and a sip of brandy every so often. Only a sip now, mind you.

I saw my mind peeking round corners blowing raspberries at me, taunting “catch me if you can.” I had to sneak up on it and it looks like I have a slightly better grip on it as of yesterday.

As I look back on the year behind, I count my blessings with deep gratitude. I gained the first home of my own. Nothing fancy, yet quite adequate in that it allows me to have space to share with those in transition. I’ve also gained the opportunity to look at my life differently.

An ornament from my ex-DIL. Still a sweety. Hers is the round one.

An ornament from my ex-DIL. Still a sweety. Hers is the round one.

The world that I thought was shrinking, became so large that even I’m astounded. So is my mail carrier, Mo. Thanks to Jackie at To Breathe is to Write and Pauline at The Contented Crafter, I’ve received cards, letters, and even gifts from all over the world. In my little area of Sleepy Hollow, Mo rarely sees these postmarks on cards and packages. We are both having fun. Thank you both, Pauline and Jackie for initiating such fun.

Yes, I live in Sleepy Hollow. Scary, isn't it?

Yes, I live in Sleepy Hollow. Scary, isn’t it?

These are the results. First, from the lovely Pauline’s own art studio several much coveted postcards and note cards that will be shared with good friends. I’m still going to get one of her original works of art for my wall soon.

Even a tiny Angel for the collector in me. The bookmark will be much used as I read several books at once

Even a tiny Angel for the collector in me. The bookmark will be much used as I read several books at once

There is a beautifully stitched bag from mommermom that had my daughter and I peering at every angle of this piece. I have never made anything as well stitched as this. I would love to take some lessons from her.

It's like a surprise package just waiting to be opened

It’s like a surprise package just waiting to be opened

The outside is like an envelope

The outside is like an envelope

A handmade card to go with the beautiful drawstring bag

A handmade card to go with the beautiful drawstring bag

A new friend I’m getting acquainted with courtesy of Pauline is Jem Arrowsmith who sent this lovely book and knit shawl. She wasn’t sure if I’d like the color. As you can see from the quilt I made behind it, it’s a color I would choose anytime and see everyday. The book was about her town. What a fascinating way to get to know someone! I looked around. There are no books on my little town but plenty on Portland. I’m finding other bloggers from this area as well.

I don't knit but wish I could when I see work like this. Stunning and lacy.

I don’t knit but wish I could when I see work like this. Stunning and lacy.

Gardening Nirvana has a new word this year. Connections. I had to point out that by first following her blog, then following her followers, I’ve made most of those connections. She has inadvertently been connecting people all along. Her talents are eclectic and here is just one small sample of it. I wish she lived closer as she is an organizer extraordinaire and that is my word for the year. Organize. It will be an ongoing project this year.

I couldn't decide what was the best part

I couldn’t decide what was the best part

hand made cards inside the card box

hand made cards inside the card box

She made this one herself as well to send the rest. A quilted card.

She made this one herself as well to send the rest. A quilted card.

The Eco-Grandma has moved this year as well. She’s been a little harder for me to follow as her moves included her blog as well as her home. I don’t get to visit as often as I’d like but hopefully with a little time, I’ll get more of her earth-wise advice. Another blogger with a huge heart who knows how to make a big statement with a little bit of thread.

The card held the perfect surprise. She couldn't have said it better.

The card held the perfect surprise. She couldn’t have said it better.

Just like most everyone this year, it’s been lose some and gain some. Pounds that is. The perpetual cycle. I’ve finally gained the understanding that I cannot diet. The deprivation sets me up for failure. So I’m trying a different tactic and I’ll let you know how it goes.

This year I’ve gained insights, books, information, and wonderful new friendships. The cards alone made my day. I’m an old school letter writer. With all the gifts and the vast amount of kindness I see in my world, there is no other choice but to pass it forward. I will share all the wonderful cards I’ve received with others and start making a few of my own creations to pass on as well.

Snail mail in addition to virtual is a great balance of old and new. These gifts though, were the kind that touched my heart. Thoughtfulness, kindness, and reasons to keep marching on. When you reach out, there is no limit to how your actions can affect others.

What have you gained that you’d like most to share?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of the Lost

Happy New Year One and All. I have never been so glad to see a new year as I have this year. I’m not saying the last year was bad by any stretch of the imagination. It was challenging at best and I’m totally worn out.

Having spent the last six months of it going from being quite content with my perfectly lovely apartment to moving into my own home brought about some surprising stresses. I lost things. While moving 5 times in the last 5 years, things went missing. Still have not found my saucepans and cannot bring myself to get others as I’m sure they will appear when I stop looking. I am missing a drawer caddy filled with crafting tools and as I was trying to make banana bread, the masher could not be located. It did eventually turn up as will all the other things I’m missing, I hope.
Arriving home late December 1 after being away for five weeks, I woke up and it was already January 1. Where had the time gone? So much had happened or not happened.

Wonderful gifts came in from perfect strangers (perfect in my opinion anyway) and new friends alike. I’ll show you soon. Somehow in the rush of it all, cards were detached from gifts so I couldn’t figure out where some things came from. There was a sweet bookmark with a paper cut snowflake and for the life of me I can’t find who sent it. I received a beautiful card with no return address and a signature I couldn’t make out.

Will the sender please let me know who you are. I so appreciate the gift.

Will the sender please let me know who you are. I so appreciate the gift.

I’ve lost time. Time to promptly send thank you notes for the wonderful gifts I’ve received. I’ve lost the time to make many of the gifts I wanted so much to send out. I lost my oomph for the holiday and just as I almost located it, the holiday was over. Darn. I may have lost my patience once or twice and I’ve lost my sister as a housemate. Though she’s delighted with and extra hour at each end of the day to do better things than to sit in the parking lot we call a freeway.

When I have some time.

When I have some time.

Here's how I thought time got away from me.

Here’s how I thought time got away from me.

I’ve lost my battle with the bulge. I’m hoping it’s not gone permanently. I’ve lost my home to a bit more clutter than I’d like and next week once the weather has warmed up to just cold, Christmas will go back in its boxes and I’ll hunt for clutter free surfaces again. A great deal of my clutter will find its way to an online sale.

Please let me know if you come across my mind. I haven't made it up yet.

Please let me know if you come across my mind. I haven’t made it up yet.

I’m sure you have all heard the old adage, “of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most”. Well, mine has been missing for quite a while now and I’m in desperate need of it. When something is lost you go back to the last time you remember having it. Oops. I don’t remember when that was. My mind wanders off alone, unsupervised so often, that sometimes I don’t realize it’s gone. If you happen to see it, tell it there will be a cookie waiting if it goes back home. That usually does the trick for a bit.

Another card with no return address to say thank you.

Another card with no return address to say thank you.

Next time I’ll tell you about my search for all the things I’ve gained. Don’t shake your head, I know what you are thinking here. I’m too tired right now to care about that and I want to give it proper attention. There is always tomorrow, I hope.

What have you lost that you would like to find in the New Year?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of an Expression of Gratitude

I’ve been blogging for over two years now with a post only once a week at the most. Every once in a while, I think I’ve run out of things to write about. Then something special pops up. I’m an older woman, with limited ability to drive making my world smaller and smaller. That happens a lot to older people. So here is where my world becomes LARGE!

A sweet handmade card from Gardening Nirvana. Reminds me of butterfly wings.

A sweet handmade card from Gardening Nirvana. Reminds me of butterfly wings.

The blogging community has enlarged it in a way that I cannot even begin to express. How does one say thank you for the kindness and caring of those never physically met? Are there words LARGE enough to encompass a heart so full of gratitude?

Over the course of many months I have received many cards via snail mail from Alys at Gardening Nirvana that were so beautiful and hand crafted that they can’t be put out of sight. They remind me daily that I am not alone. Her work is detailed and thoughtful. She is always there with encouraging words and ideas. There are others who cheer me on while they continue with their own personal struggles.

There is so much heart in this card it's impossible to imagine.

There is so much heart in this card it’s impossible to imagine.

Handmade heart came in handmade envelope. I'm in love with the paper.

Handmade heart came in handmade envelope. I’m in love with the paper.

Little hearts punched out of matching paper sprinkled inside. I'm such a lucky girl.

Little hearts punched out of matching paper sprinkled inside. I’m such a lucky girl.

Today, I walked to the grocery for a few things for my quiet dinner. I stopped at my mailbox as I passed by with my groceries. Inside was that sweet slip of paper that said “you have a package.” Hmmm, I hadn’t ordered anything. Fortunately the complex office was still open so I could retrieve it. I don’t remember the stairs I walked up to my apartment as I carried that wonderful box.

I'm sure the mailman had a delightful day delivering this. Covered the addresses.

I’m sure the mailman had a delightful day delivering this. Covered the addresses.

I have taken photos of my gift from every angle. How does one say “Thank You” to someone for such exorbitant generosity? Especially someone you met through a Blog. I have always been a woman who loved words, but right now I’m without sufficient words to express my gratitude for a gift that is generous beyond measure. If you could package and sell this variety of human kindness and generosity, the world would be a much richer place.

This is just the lid!! It's so intricate. and full of detail.

This is just the lid!! It’s so intricate. and full of detail.

I have received Boomdeeadda in a can. It made me smile all the way through. I am now so inspired to start my paper crafting again that it’s hard to not pull it all out and begin. Alas, it must wait a few more weeks as I repackage it carefully for a three-mile move to my final home. Let’s hope address number 35 is the last one and that it actually comes to pass. I’m looking at this bucket with longing. My fingers are itching and my heart is full. I am ever so grateful for her thoughtfulness and for the entire blogging community that has made these difficult years incredibly manageable.

I thought I was going to have a party when I first removed the paper

I thought I was going to have a party when I first removed the paper

Fun in a bucket. Too much to describe!

Fun in a bucket. Too much to describe!

Snail mail still has great appeal

Snail mail still has great appeal

The aqua tissue seems hand decorated as well

The aqua tissue seems hand decorated as well

Have you found unique ways to express your gratitude? Are words enough?

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
~Albert Schweitzer

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of the Next

Complete wellness is still eluding me though I can sense its timid, incremental approach. It toys with me, knowing I have no patience for my illness and debilitation. I have since found only one other, blogging about Bells Palsy and they are into months, not years like I am. I may have scared this person, as I was when first hearing of someone with Bells for over five years.

When I am having a good day and feeling quite spry, I try to find things that are enjoyable to do. This week I had a project that needed to be done. My ex-daughter-in-law is having a birthday at the end of the month so I ordered a couple of Chicken Soup books about cats. But to do something more personal I decided to embroider a kitchen towel for her. I had a batch that I bought wholesale and had one left. The rest had already become gifts.

before washing and pressing

before washing and pressing

more of the proportion of design.

more of the proportion of design.

Then I had a towel that I bought somewhere that looked like it might work for embroidery so I tried my hand at doing one for myself. The teapot in the middle is a tiny scrap of fabric. That’s why I throw nothing away. When living in Arizona, our quilt guild made dog & cat beds for the animal shelter in out small town using scrap fabric for the stuffing. There was no money for the shelter to buy beds so we used up lots of unwanted fabric and made stacks and stacks of them.

I almost forgot to put that tiny piece of fabric over the teapot. I get to choose the colors.

I almost forgot to put that tiny piece of fabric over the teapot. I get to choose the colors.

Once the towels were complete, it was time to move on to a birthday card. Looking through my design stash on my computer, I found one that would work. I’ve never done it before so why not give it a shot. I would only be tossing out cardstock, a piece of stabilizer and some thread if it didn’t work. I printed the birthday sentiment inside the card then centered it in the hoop with a bit of temporary adhesive. I have to admit, I did sweat a bit, but it turned out well enough to send. Something different from the norm.

Not perfect but a great first try at something different.

Not perfect but a great first try at something different.

I finally got everything wrapped and mailed so now I sit here wondering what my next project will be. Christmas is always a challenge for me, as I like to make most of my gifts that aren’t books. I have done embroidered t-shirts for my kids and a gift wrappers apron for my daughter that I really need a picture of soon. I don’t think I have the energy yet for quilts but that could still happen. They take me so long to do since I tire easily still.

Do you try to plan your projects ahead or just go with the flow? What’s next on your agenda? Any ideas you want to pass on I’d appreciate.

“I feel like every project I work on is a dream project, so long as I am learning.”
― Simeon Kondev

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself