Sunday, November 28, 2010

Senegal Brought Home

These flowers are made from some Senegal skirt fabric purchased to make roses at the Missionary Women's Retreat held two weekends ago in Saly, Senegal.  They make up cute and are great to decorate a shirt, bag, tote, or hair.  The bottom two fabrics were found here in the States--the left is a beautiful Batik and the right's colors show through both sides--the only kind of fabric to use with this flower.  I'm going to put a couple or more in my Etsy shop, though sales have been nil the last month.  Hope you had a good Thanksgiving.  We did because we saw 9 of our 13 grandchildren during the last week.  What fun!  Tiring, but fun.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Return From Senegal

 I wasn't sure what I was going to do in Senegal but two days before we left, we got a message from our missionionary:  "Do you have anyone who can make curtains?"  Our leader immediately said yes, called me and asked, "Have you ever made curtains before?"  Well, I hadn't but I thought, "How difficult can that be?"  It turns out that making curtains was basically my soul purpose for being there.  Interesting how God works through our abilities, no matter how mundane.  I'm the one in the middle.
 Here they are hanging.  They will separate three beds, side by side and possibly another bed on the facing wall.  We needed heavy cotton that would be difficult through which to see.  We bought it in the market and thought we had enough but it turns out that there was significant shrinking so we had to track down some more.  We had trouble finding the right color and almost settled for a contrasting color when there it was--the same color and just a little different pattern--perfect.  The curtains were finished on the last afternoon that we were in the town. 
 The doctor was very pleased and expressed it to our missionary.
 Here is his wife sewing for the first time. We all got a chance to help.  I also grandmothered their three children (the fourth being 3 hours away at school) by teaching the 10 year old to sew and fixing a few pieces of clothing.  Kimberley (above) was excited and can't wait to show her mother that she actually used a sewing machine.  What an amazing family--such sacrifice and patience.
 The Senegalese are happy, peaceful people.  These boys are invited almost every day into the missionaries' compound to play on the trampoline.  Notice the tire swings in the background.  Though there is very little crime in Fatick, the compound is guarded at night.

 Here are a few little cuties hamming it up for the camera.  They loved getting their pictures taken.
This is a little neighborhood boy.  Everyone is barefoot or has very worn sandals.  Garbage is present everywhere.  There are no designated dumps and no trash pick-up.  Fifty years ago all the garbage was bio-degradeable but not now.
 Our nurse (the lady in the plaid top in the first picture) was able to witness the birth of this little sweetie.  This is our pastor's wife holding him.  The plaid top was a gift from the mother made especially for our nurse's help and encouragement the day before delivery and during delivery.
The nurse was really put to work.  This beautiful little three year old boy, the brother of the new baby, two days before we arrived, lost the first joint of his pointer finger in a bicycle chain accident.  The mother ran out after hearing his screams and fainted.  The father came running, thought his wife had died and saw the mangled finger.  A relative wound up extracating the boy and the father deleriously ran for Mo-John, the name given to our missionary.  Mo-John, Travis, usually fixes everyone's wounds but the finger was so bad that they had to drive the 3-hour trip to a decent hospital to have it amputated.  Our nurse changed the bandages while we were there.  She put just what she needed in her bag "just in case."  Isn't it wonderful that God helps us plan for things in advance and we don't even know for what we're planning?  A couple of hospital rooms in Fatick were cleaned, the cleaning of the hospital grounds was completed, and much encouragement was given to the missionaries by our team.  I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fluffy Rose Tutorial

 Stitch down the center of a 2-3" strip of fabric about 1 yard long.  Gather the fabric--loosely for heavy fabric and tighter for light-weight fabric.  Use fabric that is the same color on each side.
 Fold the fabric on the seam line.
 Stitch the fabric at the fold to the center of a 3" round piece of felt going through the felt and into the fabric at about 1/4" intervals.  Turn the fabric around itself as you stitch.
 Keep the rows close to each other.  At the end, knot and trim the edges of the end of the fabric into a curve.
 Trim the center of the flower about 1/4- 1/2" if desired.
 Add a pin back about 1/4" from the edge of the trimmed felt back.
 Add a bead to the center.  Wear on clothing, hat, purse, headband or slip a clippie on the pin and wear in your hair.  Use your imagination.

This little flower was put on a tote bag and is going to Africa with me tomorrow.  I'm doing a workshop on on Fluffy and Rolled Roses.  When I get back, I'll try to take pictures of my rolled rose as I make it and share it with you.  Use whatever skills you have to glorify the Lord.  Make the world a more lovely place in which to live by adding flowers.  Thanks for praying for me as I go to use my art and my music for Him.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pink and Purple Little Girl Necklaces

I made these cute little pink and purple necklaces for some sweet little girl friends the other week.  They wear them to school on days they don't have P.E. so they won't break them.  So sweet.   One did break, though, and I was able to fix the crocheted section by tying and glueing it.  A couple of warnings about these necklaces:  1.  They tangle easily so hang to store them.  2. Since heavy duty thread is used, it's still thread and it might break.  Catch the ends as quickly as possible.  One end will totally unravel and you might loose some beads. 
She was able to catch the necklace immediately and didn't loose any beads so I was able to connect the one charm without any problems.

Getting ready to leave day after tomorrow.  Almost everything is packed except a few things I still have to buy.  I'm so grateful for friends who have "helped" me be able to purchase necessary items.  I hate to leave Bill but I must.  He gets his shot tomorrow and we wait for three months before the radiation treatment.  Waiting is so difficult so I remain super busy to counter the edgy thoughts that enter my mind.  I must completely trust the Lord.  It's totally out of my hands.  I remain blessed.