Thursday, May 30, 2013

How Life is Like A Quilt Block!

Blocks featured are from PieceByNumber
   Lately, my mind has been consumed by crafts for our MOPS group next year. Getting centerpieces and name badges together and really and trying to find crafts that 80 different women would want to make... (that I am sure is a battle that is never won.) While preparing and thinking about it my mind is constantly reminded of the theme for next year ... A Beautiful Mess ... Embracing Your Story...

   I find myself wondering how much of myself am I really willing to commit to others? How honest and open am I being? Do others only see the crafts and not the woman? My mind was flooded with this for some reason this morning as I was just crafting up some quilted "mug rugs."
   When it comes to quilting lately I am ALL about paper piecing! (Some hate it, and some love it... I LOVE it!) But here is the most beautiful thing about it, and where life intersects with making a quilt block... Let's just assume you understand the basics... a piece of paper with a design is used as a foundation, then you add fabric in sections and sew...
   So here is a square I am ripping off. You see, once all the fabric is attached you then remove the paper and all that remains is the quilt block... so I am still not really getting to the point am I?

   I used Time/Life as the foundation. I could see with every piece of fabric added that each event in life was like one of those pieces. Each mistake and triumph still attached to the same life... each piece just as it should be...

   Sometimes we make mistakes and have to take out stitches and redo it... maybe that's a lost job or failed relationship. But we cut out the piece and start with a fresh piece and attach it again... until we get that piece just right.

   As life progresses our "block" gets larger, added family, maybe children and pets... but that foundation just keeps us all in place. It hides the mess of cut fabric and threads... it keeps our past in the past and helps us look forward to the future, a  
                                                                completed block!

   Now to the hardest, but most rewarding part... opening ourselves up. Opening up to making friends and creating true and complete relationships. The kind where you are ok allowing others to remove that foundation paper and see all your "mess" underneath.

   They will either laugh and show you their "beautiful mess" or they maybe aren't the right friend... but being open to the possibility that maybe it will be something great has to be the driving force. Knowing that as each piece of paper comes off you are that much closer to showing your true and genuine self.

   It's scary and sometimes little bits of paper get stuck. But what's the worst that could happen? You could just possibly find someone else just like you. Someone else who is scared that who they've been will be judged and not who they are now...

   When you turn that "mess" of a back over this is what you see, something beautiful! All the rest falls to the side because people, the people who matter are only seeing what you've become! The more of us that are willing to show who we are beyond the covering/foundation ... well we can join together to just make beautiful quilts, quilts made of all different colors and prints and patterns!

   So maybe I didn't show you something new today. Perhaps you're thinking, I thought this was a crafting blog... well it is, but sometimes crafts and life just come together in these great little reminders! Now unfortunately I need to go clean up the "beautiful mess" all the discarded schnibbles lefts behind!

   So maybe this coming summer and fall you will be more willing to shed that paper and show people who you really are! What's the worst that could happen? They might just take their covering off, show you their mess, and together you two could be the start of an amazing quilt... or mug rug! : )

Take joy in your "beautiful mess"!!! Show it proudly!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

"A Beautiful Mess" Centerpiece Idea

This is the theme for next year in MOPS.... it stands for "Mothers of Preschoolers." It's a group that is a real lifesaver when you have little ones! I was so blessed by the end of my first year I wanted to participate again and also contribute! This upcoming year another gal and myself are heading up the Creative Arts coordinating which includes making small crafts throughout the year as well as the centerpieces for the tables.

We have been a little stumped on how to exactly convey the message of this years theme while creating pleasing centerpieces... so we got on Pinterest and did a ton of pinning and have been trying different things out... I pulled from a few different ideas and came up with the following idea... I don't know if it is one we will use, but I had a lot of fun in the process!

 Well, it doesn't need to be on a scrapbook square, but I thought it added for the photo. It is 3 different sized cans. I painted the insides just real quickly so there is no perfection to that, but it kind of gives a whitewashed style to it. Each can was then mode-podged on with a different scrapbook page. I glued the two smaller cans to the larger (which was actually a can of enchilada cause) and glued on the jute cording.

 I then glued clothes pins to the inside of the cans with plenty of hot glue and printed up and used distressed inks around the edging to make these little signs.... The top side is the actual "pin" direction... so the ladies can post Mom's Night Out and Playdate times or locations or even just ideas.... we like to get together with our friends outside of the group too... I thought this was a neat idea where they could put the info for the next time!
We all name our tables... so I made this little banner where they could write their chosen name... And I made the stick actually go into a straw I glued into the largest can... that way for storing and when they chose a name they can just remove the stick! This will also help them not break during the storing process!
You can put pens, prayer request cards, and anything else in the cans on the table.... I thought I got pretty creative and made a pretty paper flower with a tag with the logo for the front of the smaller can... This was super easy and you can use whatever paper! No two tables will be the same then! A great way to embrace the idea of the theme!

I don't know if we will use this idea or not, but you could make it for any occasion or group... just tweak it a little! I hope you enjoyed seeing into my process! This is truly a work still in progress trying to figure out the centerpieces! I'll have to post what we finally end up using!


Friday, May 10, 2013

My Family Tree is a Set of Conjoined Trees....A New Picture on Life

I imagine my life more like this picture now. Did you know that out in nature trees can conjoin and still grow, while growing together? It's an amazing world we live in! What's even more amazing is how my life is just like one of these types of trees.

In December, after knowing I was adopted my entire life, I took the biggest leap of faith and decided to find my birth mother. Due to the Internet, well Facebook to be exact I located her within 15 minutes of receiving my original birth certificate from the state of Illinois. I opened myself to a type of vulnerability I had never experienced. At that time I wasn't sure of what the outcome would really be and to be honest I still don't really know what will happen, but it has altered my life in ways I could never fully express. Now I would like to consider myself to be part Jewish, German, Italian, and Polish... I am made up of four families! My family tree looks more like one of these conjoined trees than an average one... If I signed up on I don't know if they really could build a family tree that would truly express all that I am!

This is my birth parents getting ready to go to my birth mom's Prom!

This is one side of my conjoined trees...

Here I am with my family. My other side of my trees.

I feel truly blessed over the average child. I've had 4 parents who have loved me... well maybe 4, but 3 for sure. Sadly my birth father passed away a few years back and I may never know how he truly felt, but it took 4 adults to raise me! No, I wasn't that bad! Ha, ha. But I had double the love that other children have. To now be 30 and feel like I might be starting to get my life together, I can't help but thank God for making my life the way He did. I don't think I could have said that 10 years ago.

I have moments where I thank God for giving me two moms. One had the heart to want better and the other the heart to raise me, good days and bad. I find that I am similar to both in different ways. Yvonne, my birth mom and I pin similar things and have the same exact sewing machine... that we got around the same time, before we met one another... And my mom, Marilou and I are almost one in the same, well except for the crafty bits! If it wasn't for my mom's loving kindness, I may never have had the courage to find Yvonne.

I am proud to say I have 2 strong mothers. That because of their love I am the mother I am today. I am so proud of both of them... With Mother's Day only a few days away I thank God for both of them! God knew what kind of person I would be and realized it would take two women with the same big heart to raise me. And I would have the joy of sharing my life with both of them now. I still don't know exactly what lies ahead of me in the journey, but now I am more open to the vulnerability of not knowing what lies ahead. Now I can just bask in the rays of His glory and enjoy the ride...

I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day! I know I will!

Thank you for continuing to take this ride with me! Until next time...