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!