Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Creativity Takes Courage

Have I said that before?  
Well, now I know that Life Takes Courage.  
Especially when you are following your dreams.

So what is my dream?
Sing the national anthem at the local University.

Our local University athletics holds try-outs every year for people to sing the National Anthem at sporting events -- basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, etc.  I first heard about it several years ago.  My children were little and taking swimming lessons, so I couldn't fit in the try-outs.  I heard the announcement this morning on the radio, and knew I had run out of excuses.  My dear husband called within a minute to tell me about the announcement, too, in case I had missed it.

So, off I went this evening to try out singing the national anthem.  Without music.  In front of 6 judges.  Some of them smiled. There were at least 30 people waiting to audition.  Most of them under age 30.  I saw 2 men older than I. I felt a little out of my element.  Still, I stayed and auditioned.  I started too low, but didn't lose my cool, and let the higher notes soar, as much as I could.  So, now I wait to find out if I did okay.  But, I'm not really worried about it.  Unless I actually get to sing it in public.  Then, I will start worrying. 

So, the moral of the story?  Dreams are easier when we are just dreaming.  Reality takes courage and commitment.  Nothing gets done unless we put forth effort.  So, what dream is next?  We shall see.  Until then,  

Keep Dreaming!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pin Cushion Exchange

Our little sewing group, which is becoming smaller all the time, had a pin cushion exchange. While working on my pin cushion, I made this pencil case. It just cried out to be given to Tina.

I struggled knowing which pin cushion to make. Tina really likes sunflowers, but I couldn't find a pattern to make one, and it seemed beyond my abilities to think of how to make one.  When I finally decided on this pear, everything got very easy. So, Tina got the pencil case and the pear. I made a smaller one earlier this year. The leaf is made of wool, and the beads add a little more texture than a stem would.

When we got together to exchange, only four of us were there, so these are our treasures. Lyn made the pin cushion on the bottom, and made it in a tart tin. Kristi made the flower with the yellow center and pink petals. Pam made the pink one, still needing some stuffing.

After seeing Kristi's pin cushion, I saw how the sunflower one would work.  I'll have to do it another time, though.

Later in the day, Ann brought me these cute watermelon pin cushions.  Aren't they sweet?

Tina is still working on her pin cushion for Ann.  I hope she sends me pictures so I can add them here.

What a delightful set of pin cushions.  I am fortunate to sew with such creative women.  I just wish all of us were together again.

Keep on quilting!

Fall Is Canning Season

Fall is most certainly the most difficult time for me to quilt. I am busy bottling fresh fruits and veggies to make for pleasant wintertime meals. I picked 2 1/2 bushels of tomatoes...Added some home-grown peppers, (which my husband chopped for me)...

Added garlic...

and onion....

These beautiful colors really inspired me! I really love color!

Cooked it all up and

Here is my salsa - all bottled up and ready for yummy times ahead!

Then, I used some of my mangoes I had on hand, and raspberries from my garden, and made Mango-Raspberry Jam. Yummy, Yummy!

Then, Judy, from my work, gave me pecans, so I made Praline Syrup. I call it Pecan Pie in a jar!

I found the last two recipes in the Ball Blue Book for Canning published this year. It was my first time purchasing the book, and I love it!

Although I haven't been quilting a lot for myself, I have tried to keep up with Customer quilts, and the canning has such beautiful color, too. I also get my "color fix" working at the local quilt shop each week. It is such a delight to work with the beautiful fabrics people purchase.

I hope to share more of my canning as it happens. It is work, but it is pleasurable work.