Memorial Quilts

I’ve never given much thought towards “memorial quilts” and what they might entail. I recently had the privilege to work on one for a colleague.  There wasn’t much to work with, very few outfits, as her sweet baby girl passed at four months of age many years ago.Baby_Memorial1

What a humbling opportunity. Although, I did not know this mother so long ago when this tragedy happened, working on this quilt was a little emotional for me. Each little smocked dress or printed sleeper has a story I am sure. 

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Grandaddy’s and Grandma’s House

My grandparent’s, John Glenn and Lillian, moved back to the States into this home after an Army career that took them all over the world. This would be the last home that John, known as Glenn, and Lillian would live in together. Their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren loved to visit them often. An opportunity arose and my sister had the option  to purchase my Grandparent’s home, having been out of the family’s purview for several years.

John Glenn & Lillian Mae

John Glenn & Lillian Mae

Built in 1919, the old girl was showing her age. Situated in Ocean View, in close proximity to the Chesapeake Bay, she is an Arts and Crafts bungalow, with an additional bedroom added in the 1950’s.  Massive oak trees once shaded the house. She has gone through many changes over the years. 

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2015: A Pretty Good Year Afterall

 

2015. Hmmm. . .  It started with snow. A lot. We played rustic in a tiny cabin. In more snow. 🙂  My family was healthy. George retired. Summer was idyllic. I learned how to preserve blueberries. Concerned about cut-backs at work, I promoted an online shop featuring quilts and assorted vintage collectibles. Even with some fantastically hectic days, I was able to fulfill holiday orders on time. I acquired a new past-time; walking through a nearby maritime forest, which has proven to be quite restorative from the weekday rush.  All in all, it was a good year. . . And it ended with humid, 80°F (27°C) weather. The botanicals are very confused.

My 2015 year in photo review:

cabin 1

Crabtree Falls, Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia

 

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Old Lucketts Store

George and I traveled to northern Virginia to visit Old Lucketts Store. Yep, THAT Lucketts you’ve seen in Country Living, Flea Market Decor, Southern Living and other magazines.

storefront

The drive there was quite picturesque; the Blue Ridge Mountain Range in the distance and the burbling Potomac.

bridge

Styled as “vintage hip,” Lucketts is full of unique treasures and antiques. 

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Family Room: Upcycled Tables

I’ve been unsuccessfully looking for the “right” tables for our Family Room. Wouldn’t you know we had them under our noses the whole time! Both tables have sentimental value and fit our Family Room style perfectly.

Clearing out our in-law’s garage, we rescued an antique oak harvest table that had been used and abused as a garage workbench for many years. I fell in love with the oil stains, paint splatters, sawed down legs, and drilled out holes. I gave it a good scrubbing and a light sanding to get the grease, dirt and grit off.

Our new coffee table

. . . wonder how many memories are woven into these wood grains?

Just wanting a hint of color, a blue paint mixture left over from previous projects was added to the apron and legs and then roughly sanded off. This was followed with a coat of wax and a buffing. 

. . . viola! Our new coffee table

. . . viola! Our new coffee table

George scavenged our attic and came across my great grandmother Lola’s sewing cabinet. It had seen better days. After a thorough scrubbing and a light sanding, I stained the top with three coats of Minwax Red Mahogany and added three coats of Valspar’s Glass Tile paint to the cabinet. I finished up with a coat of wax and a buff.

sewcab-1

 

sewcab-2

I’m very happy with our “new” tables. Now, we just need to finish the fireplace surround, purchase an area rug, paint the trim . . . 😉

Have a good week! — Joanne

I Really Don’t Want to be a Grinch

I’m not sure when it happens, exactly. But, one by one we all grow up and the magic seems to slip away just a bit. Why is that?

While I was sweeping up the sugar granules crunching under my feet on the kitchen floor, Connor decorated Christmas cookies this past Saturday.  It made me recall how delighted my own daughters, nieces and nephews were “way-back-when” as they participated in Cousin Cookie Day. As I put everything away later that night I realized how beautiful his over-decorated, bumpy cookies were.

cookies

Sunday, we attended my husband’s family holiday gathering held at a meeting hall. Afterwards, in my haste to clean up and get home, I threw out my car keys. Without complaint, George and my brother-in-law went on a dumpster-diving rescue mission. 

I was in a hurry to get to school on Monday as there was a lot to do. School-wide Advent wreath lighting. Carol Night and Live Nativity rehearsal. Santa Sale. Tic-Toc! I rationalized as I cut in front of another driver in the fast food drive-thru lane on my way to work. 

nativity

I was late for the second time this week, when our neighborhood lost electrical power during the wee hours of Wednesday morning. I threw on clothes in the dark, cold silence and raced off to work. Because of my rude behavior on Monday, I chose a different drive-thru on the way to school. 😉 “Are you ready for the holidays?” asked the cashier. “Nope.” She responded with, “Well, I’m asking everyone today. I’m letting them know that I’m not and that’s ok.” She admonished me to have a great day and genuinely wished me a wonderful holiday.  

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

Then, it hit me – this stranger’s wisdom was exactly what I needed. Slow down. Be kind. Why rush? What’s the point of it all? I needed to slow down. It’s not about checking off lists. It’s about wonder and dreams and enjoying what we have. With wonder sparkling in their eyes, the little ones help keep us focused on what’s important.

cooki2

Children, sleeping.
Snow is softly falling.
Dreams are calling,
Like bells in the distance.
We were dreamers,
Not so long ago.
But one by one, we
All had to grow up.

When it seems the magic slipped away…
We find it all again on Christmas Day.

Believe in what your heart is saying,
Hear the melody that’s playing.
There’s no time to waste,
There so much to celebrate.
Believe in what you feel inside,
Give your dreams the wings to fly.
You have everything you need, if you just believe.

-Believe, Polar Express. Written by written by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri

I’m reminded to slow down and enjoy my family’s health and happiness. Have a great holiday (whichever holiday you choose to celebrate)! – – Joanne