The New Aveiro Cardigan from Itch to Stitch

The Aveiro Cardigan is Itch to Stitch’s 50th pattern release and, boy, does this one ever give you a lot of bang for your buck! Continue reading


Watcha’ Wearin’ January-Week 4

Week 4 of the Watcha Wearin’ January Bog Tour was a slower paced one for me. If you already know a bit about me, you know that I am challenged with a chronic illness that pops into my life now and then and I have to weather the storm and pick up the pieces afterwards. Sewing this week came to a screeching halt for a couple of days, and then I slowly took small bits of time to work on a couple of pattern tests I was finishing up with. So today, I will share some goodies I picked up at the fabric store last weekend and what my plans are for them! Continue reading

Year in Review-2016

One year ago this week, I applied for my first pattern test for Blaverry Children’s patterns. I was so excited but there is no way I could have imagined what that one email would do. I have taken a very keen liking to pattern testing and have done 30 this year!

This is a collage of most of the tests that I took part in, from newest to oldest. It is so cool to even see how far my photography skills have come (hubby’s, too, since he helps with a lot of the shoots now!) I even signed up for a couple of online photography classes after seeing what I could do just on my own with tips from friends who know more than I do!


I didn’t blog about a lot of the patterns I tested and sewed but I want to change that in the coming year. And I will kick start that with a blog tour in January. I have never participated in one before but I had set that as a goal in the fall. This one will have give-aways and everything!

Thank you for all of your likes and comments throughout the past year. It is always great to know that someone, somewhere is actually reading what I am sharing on my small little corner of the vast cyber world!

Looking forward to seeing you all in 2017!!!



Trudy Turtleneck PDF Pattern from Wardrobe by Me-pattern test & review

  It has been BRUTALLY cold here…-40 degrees Celsius for days on end! So when Christina from Wardrobe by Me hinted at testing a turtleneck pattern, I was all over it! The Trudy Turtleneck has taken over my sewing room! As you can … Continue reading

The Willow Kimono from Designer Stitch Patterns

Introducing the Willow Kimono, the newest design to hit the sewing pattern market from Designer Stitch! Designer Stitch is a fabulous PDF pattern company from Austrailia and this is the third pattern I have tested for them since discovering them … Continue reading

Wandering Off

I have a habit of wondering off from people when I go shopping with them. Then I want to point out something neat I found or get some feedback, and I realize that no one is next to me.

Today I realized that I have the same tendency to do that with God. It isn’t Him walking off from me, because He promises to never leave me or forsake me. I was the one who got distracted by things around me. And then I realize that I need help and I look up. All I have to do I turn around and He is right there, waiting for me.

Today, Father God, I ask you to give a whistle every time You see me start to wander.

Quick and Easy Way to Cut Up a Watermelon!

I made my first youtube video the other day. It was a spur of the moment thing, but hey, you gotta start somewhere, right?

I can’t remember who first showed me how to do this a few years ago, but it is now pretty much the only way I cut watermelon. I love how I don’t have to eat up to the rind. In fact, I like to eat from the outside in, because I think it is sweeter in the middle.

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer, so far. I know that after the long, cold winter we had, I am enjoying every minute of it!!!


Are you too broken to be healed?

I wanted to share this following message of healing and restoration that was posted on today. There is also a giveaway of Suzie Eller’s book. I hope this message will bless all who read it.

APRIL 11, 2014

Years ago, when I first met Suzie Eller, I knew there was something special about her.  In a world where it’s easy to only scratch the surface, I knew this woman would never be satisfied with superficial relationships.

She’s one of those friends who when they ask, “How are you?”,  she really wants to know.  And she is willing to stop everything to hear the answer.

That’s Suzie.

So when she started writing about hearts that are broken, lives that are messy and how God can bring healing – I knew I had to share her with you.

Because  some of you need someone to ask “How are you? … Really?”  And have that person care deeply enough to hold your hand and walk with you to the Savior.  I’m sure Suzie would do it personally if she could, but today she’s sharing her care for you through her writing.

Suzie is also generous, and has offered to give away a copy of her latest book called The Mended Heart.  All you have to do is leave a comment on the blog before Sunday, April 14 end of day and we’ll select someone at random.

Now, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Suzie:

Am I too broken to be healed?

by Suzie Eller

Several years ago I was at a Turning Point Conference. At that time I was working with teens, and my church sent me as a conferee. The facilitator flipped the lights off and a film started playing.

The movie was about a dysfunctional family in the midst of a meltdown moment. Mom and Dad were arguing. One child was screaming in defiance. Another hid around the corner in angst. Then I saw her.

The peacemaker.

She was trying to make everything okay. Like a tightrope walker, she asked the screaming teen to stop yelling as she attempted to comfort her little brother. She was trying to keep the pieces from falling all around her, but she simply wasn’t old or wise or big enough.

I heard someone crying nearby.

Wow, that person must have been really hurt in the past to cry so publicly. What isn’t anyone helping her?

Then I realized the sobbing person was me.

I jumped out of my seat, left the room, and found an empty stall in the women’s bathroom. A pair of red shoes appeared, just visible under the door of the stall.

“I don’t understand this. I’m here because I want to help others,” I whispered to her.

The red shoes remained still for a few seconds, and then I heard these words: “Honey, sometimes God lets you remember for a reason.”

The sight of that little peacemaker in the movie had triggered emotions long healed. Perhaps that is the most powerful lesson I took away from that conference, and it’s one I still hold close today. We can become so whole (a wonderful gift!) that we forget the magnitude of what we have been given. God reached down to give me a glimpse into the brokenness I had once carried as a little peacemaker, and to remind me how much He had healed my shattered heart.

Maybe you feel broken. Maybe others call you broken. Maybe it seems like you’ll never get there from here.

May I share something with you? Something powerful. Something transforming.

The Jesus Factor is bigger than the people factor.

You are NEVER too broken to be made whole. You are invited to join in a partnership with God in healing, and He’s bigger.

Sure, you’ve tried to do this on your own, but as you partner with Him, a shift in the way you view yourself begins to take place, as you:

·       Exchange the burden of what people have done or said, with confidence of the changes and growth taking place on the inside of you

·       Strip ordinary people of their power as you realize that people, whether through evil, or selfishness or simply their own brokenness, can shape you, but it doesn’t define you

Write these scriptures on the mirror in lipstick. Or put a sticky note on your steering wheel. Say them daily until they soak into your heart.

No person is greater than your God! (1 John 4:4)

Your heavenly Father loves you unconditionally, right where you are (1 John 3:1)

Nothing can ever separate you from His love (Romans 8:38-39)

Regardless of another person’s brokenness or sin, you are marked with destiny (Isaiah 49:16; 1 Corinthians 2:9)

As we release the people factor to hold close the Jesus factor, something powerful takes place. We no longer look to mere humans to make us feel valued or worthwhile. We stop waiting for another person to be fixed before we run after all that God holds out for us. We begin to see ourselves the way God does.

And one day, my prayer is that you’ll look back, just like I did, and be in awe of all that God has done inside of you and then come alongside others and help them find healing, too.


Thank you, Suzie.

And friends, if you want to win a copy of Suzie’s book, just leave a comment before Sunday night. But if you can’t wait to read it, I hope you’ll pick up a copy.  And we always like to direct people to Proverbs 31 Ministries’ bookstore, where all profits support the ministry.

In His love,


via Are you too broken to be healed?.


GOD AND LAWN CARE. A conversation with St. FrancisGOD SAID: “Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.”

ST. FRANCIS: It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers ‘weeds’ and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

GOD: Grass? But, it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It’s sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it—sometimes twice a week.

GOD: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

ST. FRANCIS: No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

GOD: Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

ST. FRANCIS: Yes, Sir.

GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

ST. FRANCIS: You aren’t going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It’s a natural cycle of life.

ST. FRANCIS: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have created a new cycle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

GOD: No!? What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

ST. FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

GOD: And where do they get this mulch?

ST. FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

GOD: Enough! I don’t want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

ST. CATHERINE: ‘Dumb and Dumber,’ Lord. It’s a story about …

GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis

Daily juice

Today’s green juice consists of:

Green leaf lettuce
Long English cucumber
Sweet peppers

By March 21, my goal is to be back to 100% raw. It was on that date 6 years ago that I went 100% raw and stayed there for almost 2 years. The protocol that I am following does allow for a couple of steamed items but I am curious as to how taking those out is going to feel. I think the biggest reason it isn’t impacting too much is that I am following proper food combining principles. At this, point, that seems to make a world of difference i how my stomach is dealing with food these days.


Chocolate Chip Scones – Paleo/Grain-Free

Chocolate Chip Scones

Chocolate Chip Scones

Since I was a little girl, I have loved to create things in the kitchen. It is one of the ways that I can show my love to those around me. So even though I cannot eat some things, I still like to create and prepare things for others.

This recipe was one of those creations and was a huge hit with my family.

Chocolate Chip Scones

6 eggs

2 T apple cider vinegar

1/2 c agave

8 T olive oil

Combine the eggs, acv, agave and oil in a food processor.

1 c coconut flor

1 c tapioca flour

1 c almond meal flour, grind whole almonds in a food processor  if you don’t have any almond flour on hand

1 t baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 t vanilla extract or powder

1 1/2 c dairy free chocolate chips

Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla in the food processor with the wet ingredients. Process until combined. Then add chocolate chips and mix in quickly, so as not to pulverize the chips, just incorporate them. You should have a light fluffy batter that just holds together, not runny but not too thick.

Place a heaping tablespoons of the mix on parchment lined baking sheet and flatten slightly. My scoops were probably about 3 tbsp, but make them as big or small as you choose.

350F for 25 minutes

Healing, Blogging and Growth

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.

It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451


When I was laying in my hospital bed in ’05, I didn’t know if I would be coming home. No one could figure out what was going on with my body. I was so weak, even sitting up in bed was exhausting. I couldn’t eat as every time I tried to put something in my stomach my insides would scream in pain. The intense migraines were getting totally unbearable. There was the extreme vertigo and the weird things happening with my heart.

One evening during that weak, I suddenly had this really odd sensation run through my body. It was quite scary and the next thing I knew, my whole body went thought this strange seizure-like experience. Every muscle in my body starting contracting. I remember looking down at my hands and they were all contorted. They reminded me of the hands of someone who has been afflicted with severe arthritis. A nurse sat with me through this and then they called my husband. He got the kids settled at home and then came and sat with me till I was settled enough to go to sleep.

The whole experience, though, left me very unsettled. All I could think about was my family. How many things were left unsaid. If this was my last moment, what would I want to leave behind. The next day, I asked my husband to bring me a notebook and pen and I wrote letters to my husband and kids saying the things I would want them to know if I didn’t pull through this. Much of what I wrote would not be relevant to them yet, but would be at some point in there lives.

Obviously, I did make it out of the hospital and I did survive. We were finally able to figure out that all of these strange symptoms were the result of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS). Once we were able to start clearing our home of the chemicals that were triggering these symptoms, things started to turn around for me.

I eat a clean diet and fast periodically. I can’t control my environment completely, so I still have days that I wish I didn’t have to have. I have contemplated the idea of moving away to a cleaner environment, away from all of the pollution, but that would also remove me from my family. We are a small unit, which makes it all the more precious to me.

This experience left me with the constant reminder that I don’t want t leave this earthly home with things undone and unspoken. That has been my hearts desire since that time. It is very slow going, as the strength isn’t always there. Then there are the days when the brain fog sets in and things pretty much run on auto-pilot those days and there is not much chance of accomplishing any task other that the most necessary.

There are messages however, that I don’t want left unspoken. The time doesn’t always present itself to share these words, and sometimes the recipient isn’t ready yet. That is where the power of the written word comes in and it is one of the reasons for this blog. When the time is right, the reader will come.

Authoring this blog has also made me realize that I still have a lot of healing to do, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Initially, it seemed like a fairly simple process of setting time aside each week to share what I felt led to share. I have done some journaling in the past, but that is just for me. This was supposed to be something more transparent, something that I could share with others. I have always known that I am a fairly private person and that trait is one of the reasons that I feel many don’t really know who I am and what brought me to this point of wanting to open up more.

The opening up process is going to take longer than I had anticipated. I do appreciate the realm of the blogging world because even if no one is reading this, there is still some type of accountability to log in and share something, even if only on a periodic basis. And the growth will happen in it’s own time.

Gray Skies

English: View at timberline, dark foreground, ...

The part of Canada that I live in is known for its sunny skies. It’s the one thing that makes it bearable when the temperature drops to minus 40 degrees Celsius. And we won’t even talk about the fact that we have seven months of winter here. So seeing the sun is my one solace when I start to wish I were living in some tropical paradise where everything would be right with the world and all of my troubles and sorrows would be left behind along with my toque and mitts!

But while Canada’s west coast experienced an earthquake off of the coast of the former Queen Charlotte Islands, putting parts of the west coast and Hawaii on tsunami watch and Hurricane Sandy was wreaking havoc on the east coast, we had a bit of our own weird weather happening. Now, I know that this doesn’t even come close to being on the same scale. I have friends and acquaintances on both sides of the continent that were in my thoughts and prayers and I am thankful they are safe and sound and I grieve for those who were not as fortunate.

The happenings in my own back yard really caught me off guard. We had a couple of days of pretty nice weather. Sure the nights were chilly but that is a given here. We probably only get a few nice evenings in the heart of summer where we don’t have to pull out a sweater to keep the chill off. I was enjoying the warm, sunny days, but then, bam!, the next day we get snow. And then the sun decides it isn’t going to be able to break through the cloud cover. And this persists for 12 days straight.

Life can be like that too, though. Things can get so bleak and gray at times. And you know the light is there, behind all that cloud cover, but you can’t feel it’s rays on your face and you miss being able to bask in the light. And you wait. Wait for the clouds to disperse. But you don’t know when. Then doubt sets in. Maybe the light won’t be back for a while yet. Or will it ever return? No that’s not logical. It has to, doesn’t it? It doesn’t take long to even forget how much pleasure you got from it. Maybe it wasn’t as wonderful as you seemed to remember.

Then, it happens. Suddenly, you become fully aware that the fog has lifted and the beams of light have returned. After a few cycles of this though, it takes its toll. You realize that you need to be proactive and prepare yourself for the next time, for there will be a next time. You need to make sure your reserves are always topped up so that you don’t become depleted when a longer than usual stretch of gray skies happen.

Sun Rise

Sun Rise (Photo credit: Umair Mohsin)

Today, the sun did shine. My daughter was quite ecstatic when she saw it this morning. As for preparing, I have decided to try one of these light therapy units that are supposed to help counter the effects of S.A.D. aka Seasonal Affective Disorder. I decided to try this unit from Philips that our local Costco is carrying. And I will continue to use the D-Drops that my doctor recommended last month.

With any luck, maybe these will help to take the edge off of some of life’s storms, too. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy the sun while it’s here.

Summer is back and time to start not-digging in the garden!!

We have had a pretty nice winter, all things considered, and spring was quite pleasant, as well. We had enough rain and puddles to keep my youngest daughter enjoying the new rubber boots she got.

The nights have still been a little chilly, so I am holding out until next weekend to plant the tomato plants we bought, but I am hoping to get things in place so I can start planting in my raised beds. I had hoped to get to this earlier, but I have been dragging my feet. i have been wanting to use the no-dig approach to gardening for a while now. When I read The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming by Masanobu Fukuoka, I felt like I was coming home to what I intuitively had felt for many years. Since then, I have read the works of a number of other gardeners who have been using this method. There are a number of them who have been doing this for 20+ years, so it has proven itself. I would highly recommend watching the Back to Eden film. This full-length movie is available for free viewing online and follows Paul Gautschi’s journey towards a simple and sustainable growing system. According to those who have visited his farm, his produce is incredible. I think visiting his farm will be  something that I  have to add to my bucket list. You can visit the website here. In case you have trouble locating the link on the website to watch the movie, here is a link to the Back to Eden film.

Jumping in and getting started on something I have never done before is not my strong-suit. In fact, my kids like to tease me about how long it takes me to make up my mind about things. In my defense, I just like to gather as many details as possible before embarking on a project so I don’t have to go back in and fix things afterwards. I don’t feel like I have all the information to start on converting our garden over, however, that may be because this is really so simple and I am just trying to make it complicated. So this will be the week that  the rubber hits the road, or in this case I guess I should say the wood chips hit the dirt.


Good-bye to Summer and Tomato & Cucumber Salad on Petite Heirloom Lettuce

I had a hard time this year saying good-bye to summer. It did come rather late this year, but it ran on into September and made me appreciate that we homeschool even more. We were even able to sneak in … Continue reading