Of Fate and My Friend

By this time tomorrow, I will have gotten to meet this beautiful woman (and her husband) for the very first time, even though I have known her for a few years:

One of my first encounters with Jamie, she had my back when someone tried to plagiarize my writing. She flat out called the person out for it, and let me know immediately. I was in love, right then and there. I mean...what kind of cosmic sign is that? Before you even meet someone, they have your back? It was full-on fate. I knew right then, and this was several years ago, that I would meet this woman one day.

Jamie is a grace girl's grace girl. We know a few of each other's secrets, yet we haven't even met in the flesh. She has prayed for me during some of my worst seasons...the internet is a crazy and wonderful thing like that. We have sampled one anothers heart, and I think she rocks. I love her writing style - you'd enjoy her blog, Better Than We Know.

No, wait. If you are a legalist, you'd hate her blog. And she'd consider that a badge of honor.

I hope to get some pictures, even though I'm not packing my camera-camera. I will hope and pray that the camera phone gets some good shots...I can't wait to meet my friend.

Confessin' My Sin

Forgive me, Cool Police, for I have sinned...

For I am forty-something years old, and I am experimenting with a Bumpit...

Don't judge me, like my daughter did.

I just snapped her picture, and note: Alas, she has no Bump.

What can I say? I was in Wal-Mart last night, and there it was...one lone Bumpit-in-a-Box on an end cap, clearance priced. I could not resist the siren song of sporting That Cool Bump.

But apparently that Bump is only Cool if no one knows you are wearing a Bumpit.

Well, I am a full disclosure girl. Always have been.

My name is Sheila Atchley. And I wear a Bumpit and self tanner.

And I sometimes wear a perfume that has a borderline naughty and disreputable name. (I wear it for the smell, not for the name...)

And the nail color is Sally Hansen...

"Mauve It"...

Last but not least, if I am quiet for the next few days, it is because my Man and I are going out of town, to visit friends in Pleasant Garden NC (isn't the name of the place just happy???)

...and to bring our son home from Camp LeJeune for the Easter Weekend. I'll be taking my trusty Netbook, so I might blog from the road...then again, I might be too busy showing off my Bumpit to have time to chat.

I leave you with the following powerful visual:


No Bump.

Antique Typewriter

I have long wanted an antique typewriter...one that really works. This past summer, I bought this from my elderly neighbor:

...and that is exactly where I wanted to put it. It was broken when I bought it, so my vision for it was to tuck it in an outside nook, creating an interesting, unusual outdoor vignette.

But guess what I got yesterday?


This sweet thing is in mint condition, and came in its case! (Very hard to find, at a reasonable price...) My daughter Sarah spied it at a church rummage sale, and knew I'd want it.

Good, good daughter.

I can't wait to see what all I can create, with that lovely, old fashioned typed font.

I leave you with a few pictures, all fresh and just-snapped today, as though you came and spent an afternoon here with us...

One of my sunflower patches got tilled up over the weekend - it is waiting for me to plant it up!

Today was the first day of the 2011 season, that I got to hang the wash out on the line...bliss. ...a project Hannah is working on, for her new online shop (which sold out over the weekend! New items are being created, even as we speak.) That's my knee, there in the foreground. Dinner is in the oven, my honey and son-in-law are doing Wii golf, my knitting is calling my name.

Spent some time here today, with the grandbaby...just a few minutes was all we had, but we made the most of it, swinging and chatting together. Big Poppy Tim (as opposed to grandbaby Timothy) got our teacup poodle Rambo bathed and somewhat groomed today. Doesn't he have the biggest eyes of any poodle you have ever seen?

Wish you could come by and have a cold glass of diet Coke, and chat of cabbages and kings with me. It is just that sort of a relaxed evening - so nice after an overworked and very busy weekend.

I Am Stinkin' Sloppy-Blessed

I. Cannot. Stand. This. So unbearably adorable. My grandson. I'm still wrapping my mind around the wonder of it all. And he smiles at me, all the time. Just like what you see up there. My cup overflows...or, in my own paraphrase, I am sloppy-blessed.

Easter/Spring Decorating

Our Easter table. Blue ticking tablecloth - the fabric is antique, and was fashioned into a large round tablecloth. You can also see the chandelier that my daughter Hannah made from a thrifted light fixture that she painted and glued real crystals to...and just wait till you see her baby's high chair (you can see it peeking from behind the flower arrangement). She is almost done with it. We can't wait to show you!

The not-quite-finished tablesetting - "Grace" salad plates (Hobby Lobby), on top of white porcelain plates (by Martha Stewart), on top of hand painted chargers, each with a beautiful rose on it - chargers were a gift, don't know where they came from.) napkins from Target, "birdie" napkin rings are heavy black iron and came from a local interior design store, "Southern Market".

The three candles, represent the weeks between the time this picture was taken, and Resurrection Sunday. (Today, there is only one candle on the table, since there is only one more Sunday between now and Easter/Resurrection Sunday), daffodils from my garden, tucked in a vintage ceramic watering can, surrounded with moss and speckled eggs. I elevated all of it on a glass cake plate, just to make it more special.

Simple things, really, but it helps me feel more celebratory, more fixed and focused on the beautiful, scandalous, mysterious, historical plan of salvation enacted in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Next week is our family's Holy Week, leading up to Easter. I hope to get time to share some of the details as to how we mark this important week. Hope your Thursday was blessed, and that you are a vital part of a local church, where the Resurrection Season is always so fresh as it is retold once again.

Blouse "Upcycle" - From a Thrifted Dress and Skirt

It all started yesterday, when I made this pillow out of a linen thrift store dress... As I was gathering the scraps to throw them away, I noticed that the top of the dress was still intact: So I saved it, and began thinking about what I wanted to do with it. I remembered this thrifted skirt I bought last year, also for .75 cents, but have never worn - it is super cute, but a little too short for my liking.

But it has several rows of gauzy ruffles...

...which I utilized (cut off) to make a ruffled trim for the cut up dress-turned-pillow-and-blouse...

Here is the ruffle, sewed on to the bottom of the dress-top, making it into a tunic-length blouse:

Then I decided the neckline needed a little somethin'-somethin'. So I cut out about a zillion circles, and made four rosettes:

Here is all that was left of the skirt:

Here is the finished product - this thing is so cute! It looks darling on! I can't decide whether to keep it and wear it, or start a little online shop and sell it.

I am so enjoying this little season of not homeschooling. I have not "not home schooled" for twenty years. Isaac will be completing his apprenticeship, and finishing up a very few things for his senior credits, and it is mostly all on him now.

I basically get to wake up every day, play with grandson, and decide what fun thing I want to do today. I have never had that luxury, ever. I graduated from school, went straight to work full time, got married, kept working, and got pregnant with twins before our first anniversary.

Then I chose to home educate all four children.

Now...here I am, in the enviable position of being a young "forty-something" who has absolutely no regrets, is not burned out, not skeptical, not jaded, and getting to decide what I want to do with the rest of my life - how would God have me spend and be spent for Him in these finest years that lie ahead of me? I am considering a part time job - since staying at home to raise and home educate four children with a husband in full time ministry was/is the equivelent of financial suicide. We have some ground to catch up on. I simply have to decide which job do I want? All advice will be eagerly considered.

God is good. And for now, waking up and sewing stuff is crazy-fun.

Embroidery on Burlap

Inspired both by the Easter season, and by the burlap tapestry art of Lisa Borgnes Giramonti, I started an embroidery-on-burlap project a few weeks ago...my very first.

I already had the burlap. I bought an inexpensive needlework frame, and got started, choosing the words "He Is Risen". Once I finished it, I decided to make a small pillow slip out of it.

Taking a small pillow that decorates my living room presently, I took its measurements and decided to make a pillow slip for that pillow - something I could put on it, and remove it sometime after Easter, and save it for next spring...I love decorating for both Christmas and Easter. This, I think, will be specific to Easter.

I took a .75 cent linen jumper that I bought at Goodwill, specifically for the fabric alone - wouldn't be caught cold and dead in the dress...

...and laid out the measurements of the pillow on it, using a disappearing ink pen - all you sewers know the one I'm talking about...

Cutting from the center out in an "X" shape, I cut the opening for the burlap insert, and pressed the seams back...

...and stitched the insert into the opening, then sewed three seams together. (I left a finished edge that was already on the dress - one less thing for me to sew!)

The finished product ~

I so enjoyed the embroidery on burlap, and am already planning my next project with it.

Baby Dedication(s)

(Tim and I, praying over baby Ethan...)

Yesterday, at Harvest, was a Sunday I will never forget. It was a true milestone in our history as a church - we've passed many milestones in the past few years...sending out our first full time missionary, setting in our elders, discovering "we" are expecting six babies (four are now born, two on the way), setting in five deacons, and the dedication, yesterday, of four babies.

I know elders are important. My own father was set in, also on a Sunday, as one of the elders in Harvest...think of it! I am a laborer in the harvest, side by side with my father. My daddy and I are in ministry together in the same church. I'd never have imagined it, just five years ago. And I know deacons are special. No finer men in this world can be found than those who serve Harvest as deacons.

It was a special Sunday, when we set those men in place. But yesterday was such a golden Sunday for me. Take a look at the front of the church, when the families all came forward to dedicate their babies:

Sorry this picture is dark. I'm the picture-taker, and I'm still learning. I posted the first picture so you can see Tim and I together. If you look closely above, the babies from left to right are: Timothy (my grandson, and my Tim's namesake), Ethan, Gabbi Grace, and Jeremiah.

Timothy (left) and Ethan (right)

...there's Gabbi Grace in the yellow dress, in her mommy Megan's arms. That's daddy Michael to the left of Megan and Gabbi.

This is Jeremiah, in his daddy Matt's arms. That's Kelly, to Matt's right. Baby Jeremiah and me...

"Then", back last November...

and now... (oh, how I wish I knew how to make this shot bigger for you!)

My. Lord. I. Am. Blessed. How I love these women and their babies. How I love that grandson of mine. Watching him being dedicated to the Lord was so very special.

Yes, it was a milestone Sunday. Four babies. How cool is that?