Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day and My 'New Normal'

Submitted by Linda
Many of you know that my dad passed away in early January, thus the hiatus on blogging. I didn't have a ton of experience with loss prior to this, so I'm learning things every day. My biggest wish, in this process, is that life would slow down, and the calendar could be put on hold while we mourn, and while we go about the business of 'new normal' without Dad. 

I have found that I often feel depleted, like every day is a hard day's work, despite how much rest I get. I'm sure it doesn't help that my exercise routine became disrupted and I was eating amazing comfort food brought in by loving friends. Who knew there was a 'tater tot casserole?' 

Through this process, I also have learned so much about how to love others in times of need. So many dear folks reached out to us, with food, and help and Facebook messages and snail mail. I am very inspired to do better for others.

Over Christmas break, when we had hospice care at my folks' house, I was a veritable dishtowel factory.  Our hospice experience was full of lovely people, who were such a blessing to us at such a difficult time. And while much of our time was spent with Dad (and doctors and nurses and social workers and visitors), the rest of my time was spent stitching and stitching. I think I may have gone stir crazy had I not had something to keep my hands busy. Knowing that Valentine's Day was the next upcoming holiday, I found this image on pinterest and completed it in redwork. It was a happy coincidence that the Moda "Grandmother's crochet trim" was a perfect match.
This sweet bird pattern was purchased on Etsy for a dollar, to be downloaded and used. Don't we love technology? (Except when I can't download it and I have to email the whole deal to Michelle and ask her to figure it out for me). Nevertheless, it came out cute.
Usually, we are 'power' paper crafters, but it's been hard to get my mojo going in respect to stamping. But my  mom now has time on her hands, so we were able to make a few valentines last weekend. For this one, I copied Heather Klump at Downstairs Designs, using the Rain or Shine set and adding some Crystal Effects on the umbrella.
I'm not sure my boys yet appreciate a handmade valentine (they were probably more excited about the Groupon gift card inside), but I was eager to use my new Sweet Stuff set with the beehive embossing folder. I didn't have the perfect phrase, so I combined letters with my Rough Edges alphabet and Voila! I love that bee with the glitter on its wings.
And last, but not least, I needed a card for Craig. How do you create a card that says every single thing you love about someone, every reason you're thankful for them, every emotion from sharing 27 years? It's really an impossible task, so I just kept it light and pulled out a vintage Disney valentine that I had picked up in one of my antiquing adventures.
I added a big dot embossing folder, and a strip of chevron embossing in yellow, and a ribbon. I cut out the heart and popped it up with dimensionals, and added some glitter on Dopey's daisy. I think it does the job.  

I have other stitching to share, and the Valentine's treat that Michelle and I made for our little friends, so hopefully "I'm back" and will be able to keep posting. In the meantime, happy love and friendship day!

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