Friday, January 16, 2015

my new craft digs!

One of the few upsides of my youngest (daughter) graduating from high school and moving into the lower level "college pad" vacated by her brothers, is that another main floor bedroom opened up! My husband helped me turn it into a wonderful sewing/craft room. I absolutely love it! A place for everything and everything in its place! (well, almost!) I made the patchwork valance and curtain from the fabric scraps I've been hoarding saving, collecting for years. I stole borrowed Mary Grace's childhood bookshelf unit, added another tall one, and purchased an Elfa desk and a small sewing table. I put an old second hand glider in one corner (that I am dying to recover in vintage chenille!) so my husband has a place to sit and read and visit with me. I found an old metal laundry cart at an estate sale that is perfect for my vintage linens and fabrics.

The best part of my new room is the closet. I made use of the built in shelving that was there by filling it with labeled plastic bins to hold all of my crap junk supplies.

I finally have a place to hang many of the wonderful gifts, swaps and handmade goodies that I love so much. And most of all, a bright, happy, inspiring space in which to create. Here are a few pics.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Monday, December 15, 2014


So often taken for granted, yet so vital to nearly everything we do. I have used and abused mine so much through the years. My hands look like the hands of an 80 year old woman. I could never have made it as a hand model- even when I was young. I have always had short, stubby fingers and terribly thin, bendy nails that don't grow... But nevertheless, they are my hands, and they have served me well. With these hands I have colored, cut, written, sewn, knitted, crocheted, embroidered, crafted, beaded, used a cash register, spent countless hours on a keyboard, prepared meals, taken care of myself, taken care of the sick, taken care of my babies, taken care of 1000's of other people's babies, and countless other important (and totally mundane) things.

These past few years, and particularly this past year, my hands have been slowly wearing out. I have arthritis in both thumbs, a trigger thumb for which I had surgery in August, and now carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. I had surgery on my right hand in November, and I am just waiting for the symptoms to tell me that it's time to have the left hand fixed as well.

I have had to make a few changes. For one, I can no longer make jewelry. Holding tools and bending wire is nearly impossible at this point. I do still knit and do paper crafts (thanks goodness!), but for short periods of time. Another really big change is that I recently retired from staff nursing at the hospital. I knew I was going to be having 2 hand surgeries, with another on the horizon. Putting on and taking off gloves was becoming increasingly more painful, as were many other tasks. (I struggled to change newborn t-shirts- a task I probably could have won a race doing in my younger nursing years!) I have to be honest here though, I was THRILLED to retire from staff nursing. NO more long 12 hour shifts on my feet with no lunch or bathroom break for this girl!

The picture is my post surgery hand. (I hope it's not too graphic.) I decided to add a nice healing blue border to the picture. I am grateful that it is healing nicely and that I am once again able to do most of the crafts that I love. I am so grateful for my hands, and I no longer take for granted all that they allow me to do.

I hope this inspires you today- to take a loving look at your hands, and say a little thank you prayer!

Monday, December 01, 2014

Did I forget something?

I get so ridiculously sidetracked from blogging. I realize that I never finished posting about my son's wedding! It was perfect! They have been married for 6 months already and seem to be settling in quite well. They got a puppy. I now have a boy granddog ("Oscar", my son Andrew's big guy) and a girl granddog. ("Daffy", Justin & Julie's little cutie) Is this a step closer to being a grandma for me? Let's just say it is!

These are some pictures of Justin and Julie's beautiful wedding day.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Another First... Part One: Projects and Details

My son got married on May 31st! I helped make much of the decor as my future daughter in law was living here in St Louis, and her family was back in Kansas. The ceremony was in a beautiful little church in Kansas and the reception was held on her family's farm in Kansas. It was such an honor to be involved! I loved every minute of it. She picked things out and I tried to make them! Julie and Justin both cut burlap, wrapped wine bottles, and whatever else I could delegate. Julie learned to make some of it herself! (She swore she wasn't crafty, but she's catching the bug now!) These are some of the projects and details.

The gift table
Vintage suitcase for cards
Justin's cousin in Indiana and her husband make wine.
They made a special wedding blend for the couple with customized labels.
It was kept in ice in an old water trough. Perfect.

Julie's dad was about to move this old trailer out of the way
until everyone decided it would make the perfect photo booth.
Julie's old wagon was filled with the props.
Table Decor: burlap & lace runners, yarn & pearl wrapped wine bottles
filled with paper roses, decorated large jars filled with baby's breath, lace wrapped votives,
and painted tins filled with mints.

Julie and her dad made the cupcake stands with wood from their property.
I made the burlap banner, and many others scattered throughout the reception.
Julie's bridal bouquet included one of her grandma's earrings,
one of my mother's (Justin's grandma) brooches, some of Julie's
broken jewelry pieces, a tiny bunny brooch hidden in the back to make her smile
and relax, a few miscellaneous brooches/earrings, and Julie's grandma's rosary
wrapped around the base. (not visible in this picture) I used lace and feathers to add some dimension.
This was kept a surprise for Julie until the wedding day.


The bunnies are a ring holder that Justin bought for Julie for Christmas because she loves bunnies.
I saw it used as a cake topper on Pinterest, and sent the Pin to Julie. Serendipity! We dolled up the couple
with bowtie, pearls, a bit of old lace and one of Julie's broken earrings. Her Grandma made the cake.

Mason jar drinking glasses with thank you tags attached
doubled as drinking glass and take home favor.

The Programs


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

be still my heart

It is indeed a grace filled moment when your youngest graduates from high school. Bittersweet.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

my baby girl's prom

She was just 3 years old wearing big hair bows and carrying a baby doll... what happened?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


It's been so very long since I've posted here on Grace Filled Moments. I guess it's because I've been busy living them, but not posting about them (the "grace filled moments" that is).

The Mary Englebreit  illustration, "Time flies whether you're having fun or not" comes to mind. Oh how true that is! Since my last post I've had surgery, planned a wedding, my youngest daughter attended her first prom and then promptly graduated from high school, and my oldest son got married. And in between, lots of life was going on. Career adjustments for me, facial shingles (my 2nd son), an accident on the job resulting in broken ribs (my husband), and hosting monthly swaps! (Actually the swaps have helped me keep my sanity. Why? I have no idea!)  Some of these things were great fun, some were absolutely no fun at all. Yet time flew by.

I've promised friends that I will eventually post and show some pictures of some of the wonderful parts of these past months. The dust is finally settling and life is back to its usual pace, so I better post while I can, before...well you know...before whatever comes next starts coming!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

ornament swap

My first swap with my Red Lead swap sisters in a long while. Head on over and read the details if you want to sign up!

We are swapping 2 of these wooden ornaments sold by Red Lead. I'm not thrilled with these, but I sure do enjoy the playing time in my studio.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

not scary at all

my friend heidi made this tag. she really doesn't like halloween or making scary looking things, but this one is decidedly NOT scary! i think it is a little slice of heaven! i love it!

Friday, October 04, 2013

Isn't this awesome? I saw this on a friend's blog and just had to share! I love the images on vintage patterns, and this is just a hoot! Don't miss the best part... the girl in the background bopping her head to the music!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

one more lantern

I made this as a gift for my friend Cathy. The colors are much more vibrant than the pics show. This one consists of 160 2" circles punched from my handpainted papers and coordinating scrapbook paper. Very fun to make and she really loved it.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

SEWN paper lantern

My first paper lantern, using several of the SEWN paper strips that I made. Very fun to make. I can't wait to make more!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

more SEWN class play

flowers and pinwheels... fun!

Monday, July 22, 2013

baby steps and how art imitates art

First of all, I want to make about a bajillion pairs of these adorable socks for my favorite babies and toddlers, present and future. I think they are stinkin' cute. So I ordered the specified yarn and it came today. I opened the box on the dining room table right next to my SEWN class fabric paper that I was photographing and lo and behold! Matchy matchy! It certainly was not my intention to create matching socks for my fabric paper... but those are obviously the colors I am drawn to work with right now. Such fun!

making paper fabric... part two

Next in our SEWN class, we cut our sewn paper strip into strips and sewed those together to make this nifty paper "fabric"... Oh lordy, I can feel an addiction coming on! I have drawers FULL of unused, forgotten, yet still very lovely scrapbook papers getting their hopes up- just longing to become part of a beautiful tapestry of paper fabric! My poor sewing machine will be smokin'...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

making paper fabric...step one

next in our SEWN class adventures... taking our patterns that we painted, and cutting them into strips...adding a few favorite or coordinating papers, also cut into strips... and sewing the strips together to make pretty sewn fabric paper ... these are just the first 2 that I made. there's more more more... stay tuned! I took these pictures out on my deck in my flower pots... my flowers are looking so pretty this year!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

SEWN class project #1: pattern book

This was fun. I don't sew much anymore, and as much as I love the look of sewn paper, I just never sit down and do it. So this class has given me the opportunity and motivation to sew on paper! I did not use any of my painted papers, just some scrapbook paper from my enormous stash. It was fun! A new project will be introduced tomorrow. In the meantime, I think I'm going to do some more of the random painting... I really enjoyed that!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

painting patterns... big and small

So fun! I really enjoyed painting the big, random patterns. I found it harder to be spontaneous when painting the smaller ones. The dots were spontaneous, then the flowers started getting a little more detailed. When I made the rectangles, I decided they reminded me of the row houses in Washington, DC and then I just lost my mind making doors and roofs and windows ...I felt like a little girl again! I had a ball painting again! Can't wait to see what the next steps in the SEWN class will be!