Beginning Anew – preparing for leave taking

As you begin thinking about where you might be going it is important to clean and organize where you are now. This is the time to close this chapter of your life.  You have a lot of decisions to make.  It is also time to clean where you are living now and to decide what you want to bring with you.  Packing for a move is the perfect time to make room for the new that lies ahead. Begin with the area you sleep in now. That way you will have a clean organized place to rest! There are lots of resources available on line and books to help you with this organization.  This is a great time to create a pretty memory box. You will be going through items and finding treasures. If you have children, you could encourage them to choose a few special items for their memory box.  This is a wonderful way to teach them about taking care of treasures and how to let go of items that they have outgrown.  Make a special box of toys or clothes they have outgrown and take items to a charity shop together. It is in the doing that the lesson is taught.  The words need actions to take them to heart. 

At one time in our married life we had been moved out of state by the company my hubby worked for.  A health issue caused us to have to move back to Pennsylvania.  This situation forced hard choices to be made.  What helped me was to find a home for some things with the friends I had made in the area.  One neighbor was happy to receive a sled and a child’s table and chairs. Another took an old oak dresser and to my delight she removed the legs, added castors and put on a butcher block top.  This she used in her kitchen.  Seeing others happy made my transition much easier.

When doing my spring or fall cleaning, I would always keep a charity bag near where I was working.  This has always helped me to keep control on clutter.  I make my own gifts by baking or sewing.  I have grouped baking items in a specific spot and all my sewing supplies in another.  If someone shares fabric, I wash it immediately and add it to the bookcase I keep fabric in.  If someone shares something I cannot use it goes into the charity box.  If I know of someone who can use it I also share but do so without pressure. It is vital that when something enters the house it be useful and has a place.

Move through out where you are and keep only what you truly love, that you use regularly, is needed for daily life or is a treasured heirloom. Things are meant to be used, keeping something because you feel guilt is not something to move forward with.  Try to find someone who would love it or donate it to charity. It will bring value and joy to another’s life.

I hope you have been following my encouragement for planning for your new home. I will share my dream list with you:

1. Sunlight
2. Porch or somewhere to sit with flowers
3. A Home Church
4. An eat-in kitchen
5. A spot where I could sew and not have to take down my sewing machine

Vital – Affordability — A place where we would be comfortable and be able to live within our means.

I would say that the kitchen was the most important room to me. We love to have folks around our table. This home allowed us to create a country kitchen by using the original dining room. We did this by purchasing only lower cabinets and a free-standing pantry. I had a china cabinet for my dishes. With faith we moved. With the help of Patrick, family and friends we made a home.  God has truly blessed us and we have been here going on 30 years. Your list will be different.  This was my dream.  Know yourself and learn what is important for you to live and find the mission God has planned for you. I will be praying for you.

Blessings, Trudy

Fifty-One Years

Thoughts on our wedding anniversary 4/20/1968 to 4/20/2019

The past: 1964
I was an 18-year-old senior in High School. A date for the prom was arranged by the family. Two brothers flipped a coin to see who lost and had to take this poor girl. I was the youngest of six children. My adult experiences were all ahead of me .I had my Christian faith, a strong love for my father and dreams. My Father did not believe in continuing education for me. I was taught great faith and to work hard. God blessed me because the young man who lost the coin toss was a Christian, an honorable young man and a very hard worker. We were chaperoned to the prom. We became friends. With patience and respect he won my heart.  
1968:  
We had quite a life of adventures as a young married couple. Mr. Pat worked two jobs for the first fifteen years of our marriage.  We had a son.  We were faced with heath issues, financial issues and dealt with day to day stuff.  What I want to share is that life happens. Sometimes, it is really important to place the one you love ahead of yourself.  What backing-up allows is the other person gets to see if their dream fits. You don’t know unless you try it on. Sometimes, it seems like the sky is falling, and you just have to find a shelter with the Lord then look at what broke.  Roll up your sleeves and see what or who you can help.  I discovered that a can of tomato soup and a box of pasta can feed six folks and allow us time for friendship. I focused my energies on creating a place for just being together and meeting the physical and emotional needs as best as I could.  Life is not just meeting a challenge but going beyond the challenge to discover the good. I was able to share my interest in and love of nature, music and reading with our son.  Now from where you are looking at this a half century later you may be thinking that’s a lot of giving. True, but you see when you put someone else ahead, you give them your belief in them.  I am not a rug.  I am a living person with beliefs and feelings. What I discovered is that in serving, we grow. At the age of forty, my husband and son supported my dream to work with young children.  I worked in this field for 30 years.  We supported our deaf son in his dream of being a musician and he has touched so many lives.
The present: 2019
We continue our lives together.  We continue to give and to receive from each other; faith, gratitude and love.  Each of us give of ourselves.  We have what money cannot buy.  We have each other, our faith, our church, our mission to share with others and our love for each other and for those who God brings into our lives.
The future:
God is there

Blessings and Hugs,
Trudy Groff Costello

Renewing our vows 4/20/2018


Easter Table

Easter Dinner Table
Second Photo Easter Table

Hello, it has truly been a special week. We had a beautify church service on Holy Thursday. I had my quiet time on Good Friday. It rained heavily last night. This morning we had choir practice and everything we saw on the way to church was the beautiful first green of Spring. Joy!
When we got home, Mr. Pat helped me make potato salad, corn pone and boiled the eggs for deviled eggs. Tomorrow we will cook ham in the crock pot. I hope to make a pie tonight also. I set the table so I could share a photo with you. I want you to know that it is a come together table scape. The cloth and napkins are from the thrift shop. Mr. Pat cut an empty wax paper
cardboard roll into 1-inch pieces. I hot glued a strip of fabric I had to make napkin rings. The centerpiece is my loving tree from Valentine’s day. I added a nest and eggs. My plates were a trade. I traded four blue and white plates for the four white ones. I truly enjoy these as a base for my collection of dishes with roses. I took three of my little tea cups and filled them with treats and a little bird. I tied a little ribbon to the handle. The beautiful antique table runner is an heirloom gift from a church friend. At one end of the table is a lady bunny sewing a quilt. Her little baby rabbit is in his cradle near her. The lady bunny was a gift and the tiny baby bunny was from my childhood. There is a little wagon full of carrots, thrifted ducks and another bunny from my childhood. Another church friend hand painted a little rock with a rabbit and chicks. The only things I purchased were the little birds, nest, eggs and treats. All that you see is a happy little collection gathered over time at very little cost. I truly wish you a joyous Easter Sunday. Mr. Pat, Patrick and I wish you and those you hold
dear God’s blessings. Miss Trudy

Spring Blessings

The completed flowers

I have lots to share with you. As you can tell from the photos, I have been happily stitching. I will start with the wreath on the font door. I bought the twig wreath at a thrift shop. I wrapped it with some lace. Since our anniversary is coming up, I used the strand of pearls and gold ribbon from the crown made for our fiftieth anniversary. Some baby’s breath and forget-me-knots from my wedding flowers. The pretty cross was a gift. The little cross stitch heart I made has two wedding rings and our Initials.

Joy! Next I found some old cushion covers and took them apart and made seat cushions for my porch rockers. I cut my geraniums that had overwintered in the kitchen. Putting the cuttings in some of my bottles with a little plant food and they all rooted. I filled my 3 window boxes with fresh potting soil and the cuttings. I set them on the porch. I found a white rabbit pillow that I made last year. I next took some scraps left over from the church quilt and made a strip pieced heart. I appliqued the heart to a white pillow. I had enough fabric to make a square table topper. The last piece was not big enough so I sewed a border to each side and made a rectangle table topper for the small table by the front door. The cost was to purchase some potting soil for my window boxes. JOY! By the front door is a flower pot of spring bulbs. These were planted last fall and I am so happy to see this touch of spring! For the small entrance table I brought out my apple bird house from the kitchen.

Lastly, the very first pictures show how I made a fabric daffodil. The library offered a class on making flowers from fabric. I took pictures for you as I went along. Patrick picked a flower from the garden for inspiration. I wanted a smaller circle so I traced a little tea cup. I cut out five circles which I folded into triangles. Knot a long piece of thread and sew a running stitch through each triangle base. Use the same thread for all the petals. When you pull on the two threads they will gather. Knot the thread. The next part was my own idea. I cut a rectangle, gathered it then sewed the two ends together to form the center if the flower. If you want a yellow daffodil, use yellow for the petals and make the rectangle a little wider. This will create the trumpet. I made leaves from green scraps. The secret here is to make the base of the leaf wide enough so you can turn the leaf to the right side. Sew the center to the petals then sew the leaves. A circle of felt tidies up the back stitches and lastly sew on a little pin. These make nice thinking of you gifts.

I want to share with you that it is possible to do a lot if you play with ideas. If you do not have fabric, visit the thrift shop. I have used men’s shirts to create with. Think about lace or buttons you could salvage from other things. Table cloths are another fabric source if they are cotton. Even if there are stains, you can use the good parts. It really is fun. The only caution I share is not to go overboard. Use what you have so there will be room in your scrap basket. Happy Spring!

Blessings and Hugs,

Trudy

Welcome Spring

Happy First Day of Spring! Sunday I took miniature daffodils to church and I came home with a bunch of the taller ones. I enjoy putting flowers from our home on the alter. I then give them to someone after service. This time I received flowers. I have had fun as I continue to freshen our home. Mr. Pat took me to the thrift shop and to Michael’s on Saturday. I got three things at each place and was delighted to spend only the amount I had planned on. At the thrift shop I bought a small plate. You know I love dishes with roses, a little tin and a book on machine quilting. At Michael’s I got a tiny bird’s nest, tiny little eggs and a tiny little birds. I couldn’t wait till I got home. Remember the little branches I used for my Loving Tree? I used them again, this time in a blue bottle. Little silk blossoms had been hot glued on. I added the nest, eggs and two little blue birds. Joy! I had put aside earlier a piece of blue denim fabric. I used this for my table cloth.

A friend from church had given me some had stitched treasures. One was the round table topper you see on the table in this video. Another was a runner with baskets of blue flowers stitched at each end and a edge of blue
crochet. I placed this on top of the denim cloth and covered both with a clear plastic table cloth. I used some blue bottles for flowers. I filled a little wagon with carrots and added a rabbit and two china ducks. A sprinkle of blue silk flower petals completed my table. Joy! I looked among my rose dishes and found three tiny tea cups. I will fill this with jelly beans and set one at each place. I think I will tie a ribbon on the handle. The little tin I purchased is just the right size to hold all my sewing machine accessories. The little plate was a special surprise. I placed it in the center of the kitchen window and wow – it has cut work on the rim and when placed in the light it sparkles, truly! I place the book on machine quilting in my sewing nook. Both my menfolk checked at our local shelter today. We miss our little dog and we hope to find a rescue that we can spoil.

Blessings and Hugs, Miss Trudy

Fabric and Dried Lavender

This week lent begins. I open with some thoughts from the Sermon on the Mount. As we journey together towards Easter I will offer some thoughts to reflect on. I hope you will walk with me in scripture and prayer.

I searched my fabric stash and found a piece of lavender pin dot that was enough to sew my Easter jumper. I am not a seamstress. I have really bad memories of Home Economics. In 1960 a new self healing zipper came out and so did the back of the jumper I was wearing. How about a fashion show modeling a blouse with front facing buttons down the front – yes another cause for blushing, truly! So I avoid zippers and more than one button hole in my sewing. Well I had to come up with a solution because I really like wearing jumpers and folks who know I sew share fabric with me. My answer is “Two Tops”! This is how I do it. I cut out the jumper pattern. Next, I mark with a water erasable pen transferring guides. I cut out the front and back pieces. (This pattern did not have a separate skirt). I unpin the pattern and set aside the fabric. I then lay out the fabric for the lining. I pin the pattern pieces onto the lining fabric. This time I want only a top. I cut out the pieces allowing enough length for a hem. Taking the lining fabric to the sewing machine I hem the front and back pieces. Next the main fabric (the lavender) is sewn wrong up any darts, tucks etc. The front and back pieces are joined at the shoulders. The lining is also joined at the shoulders. Now lay out the front and lining wrong sides together and pin. You will stitch the pieces wrong sides together starting at the under sleeve across the top and down to the under sleeve of opposite side. Leaving the side and back open. Turn wright side out. Now you sew the side seams and the back seams. A hand turned hem completes the jumper. This technique works on one piece and top and bottom jumpers. JOY!

When we last visited I showed you a picture of a nest I found. Well there are so many wonderful ideas for Spring decoration that I got inspired. I decided to add texture to my nest. I had saved some dried lavender and a dried rose. I crushed these, painted the nest with white glue and began to add these to the nest. I even had a few feathers I could add. I am happy with the result. I used what I had and had fun. Joy!

Have fun and think spring! God Bless, Trudy