Thursday, December 22, 2011

It is Good for the Soul

My work in fiber and paper arts is good for my soul.  It gives me quiet time to be creative, to pray with each stitch, to ponder how the receipent will feel His love through my handiwork.  I'm much more at peace with the goingson on this earth when I have this time to feed my soul through this time with Him.

Yesterday I read this by Anne Marie of Nada Farm Life...  I reread it today.  It was something I desperately needed.  Peace, tranquility, a reminder to refocus on Him.  I stumbled upon her blog months ago and find it a source of joy and reflection and Christian faith.

Over the past several days I've been doing rather than being.  Do you know what I mean?  Cleaning, preparing, wrapping, packaging, cataloging the to-do list...  Some is joyful work, like packaging gifts for teachers - today's was mighty beautiful, but I forgot to photograph it...  Perhaps I'll remember to photograph those for my uncle and my husband's aunt before they're given!  Others I find to be drudgery, I have a hard time finding joy in housework.  I am grateful to have a home to have to keep up - perhaps that should be my focus...

I've been consumed with the Martha and have pushed aside Mary.

So, over the next few days before Christmas, I'm going to take my time.

Sit and have time with my Bible, my stitchwork, my family, my crochet, my Lord.

Peace on earth begins with Peace within.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Custom Items and Gifts-A-Plenty!

I've fulfilled my last three custom orders before Christmas - now I can spend the last of my time before Christmas baking and creating more gifts for teachers, friends, & family!

All three orders were local, placed at the craft fair on December 3rd...
  • One woman wanted Christmas cards I'd had in Collingswood in November, but sold out of before she arrived in December.  Then she decided to purchase three of my felted cashmere flowers on the spot!
  • Another woman loved the plum tie-on cowl in silk-bamboo blend, but wanted it in blue and white.  I've since took it out of my shop and have kept for myself because it was too beautiful to part with after all!  Here it is in icy blue and winter white:
  • The last woman wanted a headband to keep her ears warm, but not a hat as those give her headaches, nothing too girly, and in black.

I've also been working on gifts.
  • Green felted cashmere flower pin - Marie No. 046 Green Cashmere (for sil Stacy)
  • Crochet baby's hat in cream bamboo yarn - for a special neice
  • Crimson felted merino wool flower hair clip for a friend who made a donation of a loden green cashmere hoodie to the Marie Collection - you'll see that featured along with long awaited purple cashmere in 2012 designs! 
Marie No. 045 red merino wool (thank you gift for donation)

  • Monogrammed stationary sets of 6 notecards & envelopes - special for several friends and family members.  Similar sets will appear in my Etsy shop in January.

Have a blessed day and thank you for taking the time to read!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Fourth Week of Advent

Today began the fourth week of Advent.  It is the last week in preparation for the celebration of Christ's birth.  It's the week that so many rush around and try to get everything perfect and all of the last minute things done.  In this time of too much to do, I like to share these verses that were published in First UMC of Collingswood's bulletin this week.

Sunday   Isaiah 11:1-10
Monday   Zephaniah 3:14-17
Tuesday   Matthew 1:18-25
Wednesday   Luke 2:8-20
Thursday   Matthew 4:14-16
Friday   Isaiah 2:1-5
Saturday   Luke 2:25-33

This year I'm trying to slow down.  Enjoy myself, my family, my friends in this season.

Yesterday was spent baking cookies - lavender shortbread, lime thumbprints (using lime curd from SweetNSourInFlorida), sugar cookies - both rolled & cut & decorated and using the cookie press, and pizzelles.  It was a break from the hustle and bustle, the rush that can consume.  It was a needed break from working on that last custom order.

This morning I got up a little early to package the cookies for our childrens' Sunday School teachers as a thank you for all that they do for our little ones.

After church, I finished my last custom order and will deliver it this week.  I'm glad to be done with orders for this month.  Eventhough I love my work, I can now relax into the season.  I still have a to-do list (who doesn't?), but noone -but me- will know if everything isn't just so.

Tonight I've been working on monogrammed stationary sets for friends and family.  They're turning out beautifully and I can't wait for you to see them!

Tomorrow I will share the custom items and gifts that I've been working on for the past few weeks.  I have been enjoying myself in making these items.  Some are quick to put together, others were a labor of love.  I truly enjoyed each moment in designing and creating these items.  I feel blessed to be able to share my talents beyond my immediate family and friends!

This week I will be busy... packing up goodies for my husband's aunt and my uncle - some pepper relish and peach preserves that I made over the summer, cookies, and then other food items for my uncle and some handmade items for his aunt; picking up those last few items that I keep forgetting about; shopping for groceries; cooking in preparation for Christmas Eve with my husband's family and Christmas Day here with my family; celebrating in my younger son's preschool class; packaging cookies for my sons' teachers; baking more cookies - still haven't gotten to gingerbread!!!  Oh, and wrapping gifts - how could I forget that?

And then taking a bit of time for myself to decompress with some yoga, balancing my life, or making it not so lopsided.  Yoga is my time to silently talk with God, to listen.  Just a little bit of effort to stay focused on His word on a regular basis, taking the time to converse with Him - it makes such a difference in life - especially this time of year when it's so easy to get lost in the list of to-dos.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed week!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Another Glimpse of a WoodstreamDream Christmas

As promised, but a little late, I'm sharing the readings for the third week of Advent as published in my church's bulletin:

Sunday   Isaiah 60:1-3
Monday   II Corinthians 4:3-6
Tuesday   I John 1:4-7
Wednesday   John 3:16-20
Thursday   Isaiah 40:1-11
Friday   John 9:1-7
Saturday   Luke 3:1-6

I hope that you've been able to have peace and enjoy this time of preparation for the celebration of Christ's birth!

On Saturday morning I hosted some of my dearest friends for our annual cookie exchange.  We carve out a Saturday morning each December to spend with one another, to fellowship and encourage, to cheer on and dry tears.  This year, like all before, has had its high moments and its very low moments.  We have found a chosen family among ourselves to pull together in times of need - when only a friend could understand.  It is so very comforting to have a group of friends so accepting and loving!


our feast...

The cookies shared this year were delicious - apricot and raspberry bowties, pecan turtle cookies, sugar cookies, and molasses cookies...  My cookies were photographed in the last post - date-walnut biscotti, chocolate-pistachio biscotti, and mocha chip cookies.

I had such a lovely time with my friends!  This day is one I look forward to each year and it puts me into the Christmas spirit ever so much more than any other event leading up to that day!

I'm finishing up my last custom order today.  I will be photographing everything and posting my three custom orders plus a few gifts that I've made recently.  Look for that post before the end of the week!

A quick note about my etsy shop, WoodstreamDream - I will continue to accept orders and process them as they come in, but they're no longer guaranteed for Christmas delivery.  Any custom orders that come in the remainder of this month will be created and shipped in January 2012.

Have a blessed day and thank you for reading!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Decorating and Baking

After church on Sunday we spent the afternoon setting up the Christmas tree and setting out decorations - bringing the brightness of Christmas into our home to help cheer these shortening days!

I have allergies, preventing a live tree (or previously living tree).
And as we want to be as green as possible - we've used our tree for the past 12 years.

Some handmade - the stockings I stitched last Christmas Eve, just in time for filling!

My favorite ornamet that I made at Zuzu Studio Gallery last year.

Some handmade by my mom with love many years ago.
My mom crochet this snowflake garland for me the first Christmas I was married.

A quilted runner made for me by my mother-in-law several Christmases ago
and shiny glass ornaments that were my grandparents' many years ago.

Purple Bead Garland that I've had for years -
I love the way it looks knotted and swagged over the doors to the playroom!

A little wooden snowman on the kitchen windowsil - let it snow, just a little!

This is just the beginning of decorating.  As you can see, we're in the midst many changes in our home.  We've been working on the kitchen for about a year and a half.  It's basically done now.  We've been painting in the dining room and family room.  We received my parents' dining room set and gave my grandparents' set to my uncle.  Our refrigerator was dying, so we bought a new one.  Lots of changes that have prevented all of the decorating to be finished - but I'm looking forward to having my creche set up very soon and finishing the decorating in the remainder of the house.  I love the warmth that this time of year exudes, despite the cold weather setting in and the over commercialization of this Holy Holiday.

I started baking cookies last week - oatmeal chocolate chip craisin and mocha chip.  Today I continued with walnut and date biscotti and dark chocolate pistachio biscotti.

In the coming weeks I am planning on making lime thumbprints - using lime curd made by Sarah from SweetNSourinFlorida.  Then I'll move onto pizzelles and sugar cookies.  Typically I roll my sugar cookies, cut, brush with egg wash and decorate with sparkly sugar most years, but my 6-year-old wants to use the cookie press, so I'll probably pull that out and do some with that contraption this year.  I have a bunch of ingredients ready for peppermint bark and I think I want to make a batch of lavender shortbread.

Homebaked cookies were what my mother gave to my teachers each year at Christmas time.  I've kept up that tradition with my children.  I love to package them and tag them so that they know what to expect - especially in this age of food allergies.

This coming Saturday I'm hosting four of my dearest friends for our annual cookie exchange brunch.  I finished baking the cookies today for that event.  Typically I do a full dozen of the same cookie, sometimes half-dozen of two kinds.  This year I chose to share the mocha chip, walnut-date biscotti, and dark chocolate-pistachio biscotti, they fit nicely into the tins that surely will be re-used by my friends.

I'm looking forward to sharing more of my home during Christmastime in the coming weeks.  I'll even share photos of special gifts I'm preparing for family and friends.

If you're interested in purchasing from WoodstreamDream for Christmas, orders are due by December 11th.  I am no longer accepting custom orders for Christmas delivery.  All custom orders placed now will be filled in January 2012.  Any instock orders placed after December 11th will not be guaranteed for Christmas delivery.

Thank you for taking the time to read and have a blessed week!

Monday, December 5, 2011

What do you do?

At the craft fair on Saturday, a woman walked up to my booth and asked me, "What do you do?"
I responded with, "I make all of the items you see here."
Which to she responded, "No, I mean do you make those infant headbands?"
I responded, "No, but I make hats and other baby items."
My response was met with, "Oh," and she walked away.
I was confused by the exchange because I could plainly see what I do by my display and I thought it was self-evident.  If I was to make infant headbands (by which I think she meant the stretchy ones with the huge silk flower attached), then I would have them displayed.

Over the past two days I've been thinking about her initial question.
What do I do?
I would describe myself as a fiber and paper artisan.
I take raw materials - yarn, recycled cashmere, wool, vintage buttons, paper, embellishments and create things of beauty - clothing, accessories, and stationary items.
Sometimes consumable - although many people keep handmade cards.
Most are works of art that are both functional and beautiful.  They can be passed down through generations, cherished by many.

I create many of my pieces because it is good for my soul.  I pray while I crochet, handstitch, and create cards.  I find peace in my work.  It is a little time in the day that I have with God, away from everyday demands.  I'm better equipped to be a good mother, wife, and friend when I have this time to create these things of beauty and spend quality time in God's presence.

It brings me great pleasure to share my gift with others.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed week!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Yesterday was a very successful day at the Eastern High School Holiday Craft Fair.  I am so very grateful to those who came out to support all of the crafters who were in attendance!  I sold many, many handstitched flower pins, some handstamped items and a couple of crochet items.  I also have three custom orders to fill in the next couple of weeks - a custom crochet scarf, a custom crochet headband, and two custom Christmas cards.  I'll post photos of each once they're created.

I've made a change to the Marie Collection listings on Etsy.  I've been listening to my customers at craft shows and they want the flowers to be pins - I've had no requests for hair clips.  Each flower is now a flower pin.  If a customer requests a hair clip, I will gladly switch the item for free.

Thank you again for your support!  I love making these pieces and am glad to bring joy into someone's life with these pieces of beauty!  I feel that God has blessed me with this ability and I'm grateful to have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people through this gift!


Today is the second Sunday of Advent, we're three weeks from the day we celebrate Christ's birth.  Each year I recall the story of this miracle - in my thoughts, in scripture, and in worship with other believers.  This year I've been making a point of reading these short scripture passages to my family daily as part of our devotions in Advent.  These have been in the bulletin that is printed weekly by our church, First United Methodist Church of Collingswood.

These are short readings.  I find that the words draw me in and help me to focus on the Lord and listen more intently to His message for me.  They're also very useful in opening up the Bible for discussion with our young boys.  Our older son will ask questions, wanting to understand what is meant in a passage.  I'm so glad to have the opportunity to discuss the Bible with my children.

First Week of Advent
Sunday  Romans 13:11-14
Monday  I Corinthians 1:3-9
Tuesday  Mark 13:33-37
Wednesday  John 1:1-5
Thursday  John 1:6-9
Friday  Jeremiah 33:14-16
Saturday  Isaiah 60:19-22

Second Week of Advent
Sunday  Romans 15:4-13
Monday  Psalms 43:3-6
Tuesday  Psalms 27:1-4
Wednesday  Psalms 119:105-106
Thursday  John 12:35-36
Friday  Ephesians 5:6-14
Saturday  I Peter 2:5-9

Next Sunday I'll post the third week's readings.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed week!

Friday, December 2, 2011


Today my ruffled cowl in claret red with vintage buttons is featured on Etsy in  AllThingsTangled's Friday's Favorites.

I also wanted to share photos of three new items that will debut tomorrow at the Eastern High School Craft Fair.

Crochet Chin-Tie Hat with Quad-Stacked Flower Embellishment
in Wild Berries Acrylic size 3T

Crochet Chin-Tie Hat
in Olive USA Made Cotton size 2T

Crochet Banded Cloche with Vintage Button
in Black Bamboo Blend fits most adults

Thanks for reading and have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Last Event of the Season!

If you haven't had the chance to join me yet this year, this will be your last chance to do so before Christmas!

Join me Saturday, December 3rd
Eastern High School's Holiday Craft Fair
Laurel Oak Rd, Voorhees, NJ  from 9am-3pm
I'll be in the Gym set up with all of my available instock items that you see on WoodstreamDream plus new items I'm creating the next few days just for the craft fair!

Customers who are too far to visit in-person, please note these cut-off dates:
For Christmas delivery, the last day to place CUSTOM orders is December 4th.
For Christmas delivery, the last day to place IN-STOCK orders is December 11th.
Any orders placed after those dates will not be guaranteed for delivery before Christmas.

My etsy shop will remain open through the winter.  I will be working on new designs and creations.

Thank you for your continued support and patronage!
Have a blessed and peaceful Advent season!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cyber Monday Code

Update:  coupon code MONDAY20 is valid through Tuesday, November 29th @ 10pm ET - see rules below:

This code will be active 8am to 10pm ET on Monday, November 28th.
MONDAY20 is good for 20% off your instock purchase from WoodstreamDream - it is not valid on any custom orders or gift certificates.

In the past week I've finished a scarf in marine blue recycled cotton blend yarn and a flower cap and flower closure neckwarmer in orchid tweed acrylic yarn (both for 6-9 year old girl).  These will be photographed and added to my shop in the next couple of days.

I have a black bamboo blend banded cloche finished, but I need to locate a stunning vintage button to adorn it before I can list the hat.
I'm working on a 3-4T wild berry tweed acrylic chin-tie hat that is very similar to the hat seen here.  I don't work from patterns, so it will be similar in style, but the flower will be different.
I'm also working on a baby hat in 100% US grown cotton in a pale purple.
The next project after that will be a dark olive green 100% US grown cotton hat for a toddler boy.

Thanks for reading and have a blessed week!

Thanksgiving and Advent

Good evening, I hope that you've enjoyed this lovely weekend.  The weather in New Jersey has been beautiful all of this Thanksgiving weekend!

On Thursday we celebrated with my husband's family, it was a delicious meal and the four cousins had a great time playing with each other in the mild outdoors.  The meal was delicious.  I made the cranberry sauce and a lemon meringue tart.

Friday we had a full day of errands and then we moved dining room furniture from my parents' home to our home.  Our dining room has taken on a whole new personality with the new-to-us furniture.  My husband and I will be choosing trim to put up in the dining room and family room over the coming weeks.  I'll share before and after pictures once those projects are complete.

Saturday we prepared another Thanksgiving meal and hosted my family.  Once again, I failed to photograph dessert.  We had lemon tartlets and pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream... but no photos because I forgot.  Here are pictures of the dinner that we consumed - and have enjoyed again today... 

Roasted Turkey, Gravy, Scallion Mashed Potatoes, Carrot Souffle, Broccoli Casserole, Sausage Dressing, Cranberry Sauce, Cole Slaw, Grapes, and French Bread

My uncle Kev and my older son

My dad, my younger son, and my mom

Today we began the Advent Season, preparing our hearts for the celebration of the birth of Christ.  I've been inspired by several people in our Sunday School group on ways to incorporate more Bible teachings into my everyday.  I've had good intentions in the past.  I need to create this good habit so that my life is truly Christ-centered.  I think that it's important to do as Paul writes in Romans 13:14, ...clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.  This verse helps to remind me that Christ is on my side and all I have to do is go to Him, in time of need or in time of plenty - I need to keep Him in my heart and on my mind - as my shield at all times.

I am so thankful to have Christ in my life!  There is no greater gift than that of our salvation through Him and the hope that it gives.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed week!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Remembering all of the blessing that God has provided this year.

Being thankful for health and home and family and friends.

Knowing that we are truly blessed to have what is ours.

WoodstreamDream on Etsy will be open this whole weekend.  I will check in periodically to answer any customer questions.  Please used code: DREAMBLOG15 for 15% off of your instock order **code not valid on purchase of gift certificates**

I will be spending most of the weekend celebrating our blessings with family.  Tomorrow we visit my in-laws.  Friday we prepare our home for our celebration on Saturday with my family.  Sunday we will worship the Lord with our church family and spend time together the four of us - beginning our Christmas decorating.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed weekend!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tomorrow's Event

WoodstreamDream will be at the Collingswood Farmers' Market 8am-noon. Stop by, grab something for your Thanksgiving host or get some Christmas shopping done at my table or with the other crafters.  Then stop at the farmers' booths and get some delicious food for your Thanksgiving feast!

WoodstreamDream will be on Vacation Mode tonight through tomorrow afternoon.  I'll update the inventory tomorrow afternoon and be ready for business before dinner time.

Thank you for supporting small businesses today and everyday!  Please be sure to check out Small Business Saturday's page on Facebook and shop local small businesses as often as you can!  Keep your money in your local economy!  Thank you for your patronage!

Have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


After writing this, I was reluctant to share this post.  I don't want it to be contrived as tooting my own horn or flying my own flag.  This is a post about how we are sharing with our community the goodness that God has blessed our family with this year.  I wanted to share this so that you may be inspired to give as you are able.

Last Friday we finished packing our shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child and delivered them to church.

I picked up extra groceries and we delievered them to the food bank donation basket on Sunday at church.  I do this periodically through the year.

We have growing donation bags in the upstairs hallway that need to make it to Goodwill soon. The bags are filled with outgrown clothes and shoes from the boys, clothes from my closet that haven't been worn in a few years - no point in letting those perfectly good clothes "hang around" when someone else could put them to good use.  This is usually a seasonal donation, as the children grow and as the weather changes.

We have a few new toys that are "duplicates" (gifts that were received that the children already own).  Those will make it into the Toys for Tots donation box where our boys swim.

It's nearly that time of year - to sift through the toys in the playroom and decide what will be stored for future grandchildren to play with and what will be donated.

We will soon receive requests for donations to families in need from our town through the school and through my husband's work for a Santa's Elves program, paring families in need from a local special-needs school with each department in the company where he works.  We will contribute to each of these programs what we are able when the time comes.

We always have the person on our list who we don't know what to give to the person or they have everything and don't really need anything.  For those people, I try to find a handmade trinket on Etsy or at a local craft fair.  Then we make a donation through World Vision to purchase chickens or a goat or whatever I would spend on the person's gift.

Giving of our time is perhaps the most difficult.  In the future I hope to be able to do some sort of time-giving contribution - delivering Thanksgiving meals through Fellowship House or serving meals at a local soup kitchen.

The feeling of giving is amazing, incredibly rewarding.

In this process I remind myself that I cannot save the world, but I can touch a life.  I also have to remind myself that there is a season for everything.  There may be a time when we are unable to give or when we are in need of someone else's generosity.

I would love to hear how you give, at this time of the year or during other times of the year.  Please take the time to post a comment below.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cranberry Season

Yesterday my older son was off for election day.  After we dropped the little one at preschool, we ran a few errands.  First stop was at Home Depot to buy paint for the dining room.  While we were waiting for the paint to be mixed, the girls behind the counter were talking about Thanksgiving dinner.  One loves stuffing and the other doesn't.  I chime in, I'm not a stuffing lover, but I adore homemade cranberry sauce.  So the stuffing lover asked how I make it.  I told her and she jotted it down.  Then she copied it for the other girl who wanted to make it for her mother because her mother loves cranberry sauce.  This is the recipe I shared:

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

1 bag cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup water
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar

In a 3 quart sauce pan, put cranberries, water, and sugar.  Turn the heat to medium, cover with lid and cook until all berries have popped and it's bubbly, stir occassionally.  Turn off the heat after 15 minutes.  Allow sauce to cool for 15 minutes.  Then pour into container and refrigerate.  Or if you prefer no seeds and skins, you can work the sauce through a mesh strainer with a rubber spatula.  It is tedious, but it's so divine what comes out!  I refrigerate up to a week or freeze up to 6 months.  This creates a tart sauce that's a bit thinner than applesauce.  You can multiply this recipe and adjust the sugar up or down to your tastes.

I remember making cranberry sauce with my mother as a child.  We had the jellied (from a can) kind at my grandparents' home and it was fun to slice and eat - almost like a Jell-O mold, but at home we usually had the fresh kind.  She would let the sauce cool in the pot and then pour it into an antique chinois that my brother and I would take turns using to press the cranberry sauce out into the bowl below with the wooden pestal.  I loved helping with that chore.  You can see a picture of the same kind of chinois  that my mother had during my childhood here.  I don't know what happened to that beautiful simple machine, but I would love to have it for my own cullinary adventures!

These days I use the more complicated Squeez-o strainer with the berry strainer to make my cranberry sauce.  I make 4 bags worth at a time, minimum.  I make it to take to my in-law's for Thanksgiving day, for our celebration on Thanksgiving Saturday, and to freeze and pull out when we have turkey during other times of the year.  I sit with the bowl during dessert and eat the last of it from the meal because I so adore the cranberry.  I love the simplicity of the chinois...  So many of the ones marketed today have mesh strainers (unbearable to clean the cranberry seeds from) - or perforated tin (rust - ick), I prefer the perforated aluminum kind that my mother had.  It will be one of those things that I search out for a while until I find it.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed week!

Monday, November 7, 2011

November Events

Good Afternoon!

Thank you for stopping by for a quick read!

Starting today - the Sunshine Farm Girl Co-op Team's November Online Craft Show is open!  I'm featured this round.  Check out the shops.  Coupon codes are available for many.  Support crafts people, get Christmas shopping done, and don't leave the comfort of your home!  :)
November Online Craft Show

November 19th 1:30-4pm - I'm teaching a Christmas Card & Gift Tag Making Class at Zuzu Studio Gallery in Collingswood, NJ.  Cost is $25pp or $20pp when you register with a friend.  Please contact Allison @ Zuzu to register.  We will be making three cards and a set of four gift tags.  I'll walk you through step-by-step instructions as we make some beautiful creations!  Come enjoy a great afternoon out!  Here are two samples of the creations we'll be making:

Keep checking my shop for new items!  I've been adding new crochet, felted cashmere flowers, and Christmas items to my shop for the past few days.  If there's something you see and you'd like to have it in a different color or size, please just send me a message - I love working on custom orders!

Thank you again for your time!  Have a blessed day!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Contagious ... with Thankfulness

Cliche for this time of year to be speaking, a-hem writing about thankfulness, but it's so incredibly important.

I've experienced a turbulent couple of weeks of highs and lows and unplanned adventures... looking at the sunny side of things after the fact.  In those moments, I did not see these highs and lows so sunnily (I love making up words, don't you?).  I did not see them as blessing.  I was not thankful.  Only later did I see the learning opportunity and was thankful to experience those things.

Every night we say prayers with the children, always in thanksgiving for the little things in life - health, safety, a home, my husband's job, safe travels, family and friends, food a plenty...

This week I've been saying extra thankful prayers for...
~safe travels for my husband - coming home tonight from a week away on business
~electricity - we lost for several hours Tuesday... nothing compared to other areas of the country, but still unnerving in the cold, alone with the children at night
~running water - we had none for the day on Sunday, on the short term much easier to live without than electricity
~friends - who offer graciously and generously
~inspiration - God has blessed me greatly
~restful sleep - for restoration of the body is necessary to thrive
~high speed internet - so I can talk/Skype with my brother & his family, they live overseas and we haven't seen them in 1.5 years

Thankfulness is contagious.  If we live in a state of thankfulness, others will begin to see how little there really is to bemoan in their own lives.  At least that is what I tell myself when I find myself feeling grumbly.  I turn it around and find something to be thankful for - it helps with the mood and in handling those unexpected adventures.

Thank you for being generous with your time and reading this blog!  Take a moment, if you would, and share what you're thankful for today...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Can't Stop Creating!

Here's my latest custom creation - made for my friend Karen's three-year-old daughter.  I chose the yarn to coordinate with this jacket, but also it can go with just about any coat this season.  I think she looks just darling in it!

Custom Crochet Chin-Tie Flower Hat with Pique Edge
in Wild Berry Acrylic Tweed

I finished a ruffled cowl in claret red merino wool blend with vintage buttons on Saturday while at my last craft show.  I'll be listing that for sale in my shop this week.  I'm working on a grey cloche in merino wool blend.  I'm also dreaming up a few new flowers to cut and stitch in the coming weeks.  I'm getting inspiration from the beautiful mums that are in bloom all around, as well as the last of the black-eyed Susans in my garden.  I love fall colors and creativity they spur!

Saturday, November 19 - Handstamped Card & Gift Tag Class 1:30-4pm at Zuzu Studio Gallery, 577 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, NJ - I'll be teaching how to make three Christmas/Holiday cards and a set of four gift tags.  Cost is $25 per person or $20 per person when you register with a friend.  Contact Allison at Zuzu to register.

Saturday, December 3 - Holiday Craft Fair 9-3pm Eastern High School, Laurel Oak Road, Voorhees, NJ - this is a juried craft fair that crafters have to apply for and are chosen to be included.

Custom Orders
I love to create new items, but it's even more fun when I'm asked to create something special for someone - either for the person or as a gift.  If you're thinking about placing a custom order for something to give this Christmas or Holiday season, please contact me soon.  I have started a waiting list at this time because I've already received orders.  I've filled three custom orders in the past few weeks - two on Etsy and one for a friend.  If you're local, please 
email me and we can set up a time to design your custom item(s).  If you're not so close, then please visit me at WoodstreamDream and send a convo describing the item you'd like me to create for you.  I gladly give quotes and timelines. 

Thanks for stopping in to read and have a blessed day!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Goings On

Up Coming Local Events

Saturday, October 22 - Fall Craft Fair 9am-3pm at Resurrection Parish Hall (at The Church of the Holy Name site), 260 Conrow Road, Delran, NJ

Saturday, November 19 - Handstamped Card & Gift Tag Class 1:30-4pm at Zuzu Studio Gallery, 577 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, NJ - I'll be teaching how to make three Christmas/Holiday cards and a set of four gift tags.  Cost is $25 per person or $20 per person when you register with a friend.  Contact Allison at Zuzu to register.

Saturday, December 3 - Holiday Craft Fair 9-3pm Eastern High School, Laurel Oak Road, Voorhees, NJ

Custom Orders
I love to create new items, but it's even more fun when I'm asked to create something special for someone - either for the person or as a gift.  If you're thinking about placing a custom order for something to give this Christmas or Holiday season, please contact me soon.  I have started a waiting list at this time because I've already received orders.  I've filled three custom orders in the past few weeks - two on Etsy and one for a friend.  If you're local, please email me and we can set up a time to design your custom item(s).  If you're not so close, then please visit me at WoodstreamDream and send a convo describing the item you'd like me to create for you.  I gladly give quotes and timelines. 

Custom Order on Etsy for Handstamped Cello Bags
-these are now available as a made-to-order item in my etsy shop-

Custom Crochet Chin Adjustable Strap Hat with Vintage Anchor Button
in Sunset Orange Bamboo Blend

Isn't he too delicious?  I created this hat for my friend Jennifer's son.  He's a growing boy, so I made the chin strap adjustable with three holes to button through as he grows this winter.  The chin strap is so nice for the little ones because it helps the hat stay put when they're wiggling in the car seat or stroller on those cold winter days!  The anchor button is from my vintage collection that I have from my grandparents' mending kit.  It will go so nicely with the jackets that she has for him - a brown corduroy jacket and a navy fleece peacoat with anchor buttons! 

Thanks for reading and have a blessed day!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Balancing Act

It's getting to be that time of year - the time between my birthday (October 15) and Christmas when everything seems to get into a chaotic cycle and balance leaves the act.

My focus this year is to try to maintain some sense of balance.

In my readings this past week I came across this verse:

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)

I've read this before, but it called out to me last week.  I need this verse.  I'm in the process of looking through the frames around my home to find the perfect one to display this verse.  I think it needs to be in the kitchen or by the front door - or both!  All too often in the rush of everyday I can become upset over the littlest things.  Add holiday chaos and increased activity in our schedules and the whole situation can meltdown - over the simplest, non-important thing.  It's Mama Drama.  Proverbs 31 Ministries used the above scripture in yesterday's message - you can read it by clicking the link.  It was all about that Mama Drama and how to redirect our attention to the important things.

I am using this piece of scripture to help redirect my focus for the next several months.  Habits take time to form and time to break and time to form healthier habits.  I pray for overnight success, but I realize that it won't happen unless I put the time into changing how I respond to situational stress.

Being the wife to a wonderful, caring, providing husband is fantastic!  Being the mother of two young boys is the best job ever.  Being the owner of my own small business is fulfilling.  Being an active member in our church is rewarding.  Having a supportive group of Christian friends is such a blessing!  Belonging to a loving family is such a good thing!

There are so many wonderful things to be grateful for in this life!  There are lots of other things that end up on my plate of life that challenge the balance in life.  God has drawn my attention to this area that needs improvement and has given me a tool to use in my path toward a more peaceful and blanced life.  I hope that if you're reading this and need more balance in your life, that you can start to focus on the Lord's word and move toward that peace you seek!

Thanks for reading and have a blessed day!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Custom Sampling

I am in the midst of filling a custom order for a candy bar - how fun!  These are a sample of the bags I'm creating:

I thought I'd share a few other custom items I've created over the past few years for friends and family:

Christmas Card 2007

2nd Birthday Invitation

3rd Birthday Invitation

Thank You Note 3rd Birthday

Bridal Shower Invitation & Coordinating Thank You Note

3rd Birthday Invitation and Thank You Note

This is just a sampling of the items I've designed and created.  I hope you enjoy!

Thanks for reading and have a blessed day!