Sunday, August 28, 2011

Meet M.I.M.

My. Irish. Machine.  Isn't she beautiful?  Note the extended table for quilting.  Trust me, it's a big deal!  So is that little box full of quilting accessories.  Things are about to get serious.

Denise brought M.I.M. over on Tuesday afternoon.  In a matter of minutes, every free space in my teen-tiny-living-room was covered with boxes, styrofoam, free accessories, and other sewing essentials.

With Denise reading the manual, it didn't take long to wind a bobbin, thread M.I.M up, and sew my first seam.  That was about all I could handle on Tuesday.  I, like the rest of the folks on the team, was sick-something-horrible.  See that smile?  It took the last of my energy.

Luckily, my bug only lasted almost-exactly-24-hours.  By Wednesday evening, I was finally feeling up to the task of finishing a quilt I'd started while I was living at the Karnes'.  My teeny-tiny-living-room was barely-big-enough to get it ready to quilt.  Good thing "barely" counts when it comes to quilting.  M.I.M. surpassed all my expectations!

It turned out that sewing something was just what I needed to get well.  About 10 minutes after I finished quilting-and-binding that quilt, I started picking-and-cutting fabric for the next one.  I also discovered a more-fun-than-drying-laundry use for my drying rack...

M.I.M. and I have spent a lot of quality time together these past couple of days.  I don't want to speak too soon, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that she's everything I've been looking for... fast, quiet, easy to get along with... I think we're going to be very happy together.

See how straight she sews?  I can't take any credit for those seams (well, maybe just a little credit).  But most of it should go to the 1/4" quilting foot that came in that little box above.  I had no idea what I'd been missing out on all these years.  Now I know.  My world has been rocked.

I start school a week from Monday.  Which means I've got a week to get rid of all the quilting-energy that's been pent up over the last 2 months.  Like I said, things are about to get serious.  For real.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Some (mis)adventures from the Dakota-Half

Seeing as how Dakota didn't get to participate in the adventure of moving to Dublin (tear), "the adventures of Jo and Dakota" has really just been "the adventures of Jo."  I figured it was time to see what DK has been up to since I've been gone.  Luckily, she has a Mooly to keep her in line... most of the time...

This weekend, Dakota had some fun playing in the flower bed.

So she got put in time-out.  South Dakota.

For the most part, though, DK and Mooly get along great.  Especially when Mooly spends time with her in the backyard doing things like this:

Thanks Mooly, for making sure Dakota still gets her share of adventure... and for making sure I hear about all the mis-adventure too.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Perspicacious Perspicacity.

There are things Satan attacks me with: doubt, fear, insecurity, inadequacy.  He says that loneliness is inevitable.  That I'm not desired.  That I will never be sought after.  He tells me I'm too much.  Too independent.  Too strong.  He convinces me that I will fail.  That I don't have what it takes.  That I shouldn't even try.  He whispers.  He distracts.  He twists the words of others.  All to deceive my heart.  To draw me away from Love.

Then there are the things I am certain of, the things that these lies can never take away from me: God is faithful.  He is good.  He has a purpose for me, prepared in advance for me to do.  He listens when I cry out to him.  He delivers me from anguish.  He is greater than my heart.  He can do more than I could ever even dream to ask from Him.

He is all I need.  My worth is found in Him.  He is in control.  He loves me.  He will never leave me.  He dwells in me.  I am safe with him.  He is not malicious.  He is not deceitful.  He doesn't set me up to fail.  He uses my failures for good.  His will is perfect.  His timing is perfect.  His grip on my heart is eternal.  He is steadfast.

He doesn't keep me sheltered, but He's my refuge when I'm battered.  He prepares me for battle.  He fights alongside me.  He continues to fight for me when I have no strength left.  Then He lifts me up on eagles' wings.  He fills my weary lungs with the breath of Life.

In Him I find rest.  Peace.  Gentle waters.  He calms the storm raging within me.  He has proven Himself to me over and over.  His hand remains on my heart.  He surrounds me.  He guards me.  He watches over me.  He protects me.  All of my trust, my entire life, belongs to Him.  He is my only desire.

I cling to these promises.  To all the things I know about my Creator and the nature of His love for me.  He is faithful in His call.  In His provision.  In His refining.  In His healing.  In His protection.  Satan doesn't stand a chance in the battle for my heart!

Yes, perspicacious is a real word.  No, I did not make it up.  And I learned it from Denise, not Mary Poppins.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Great Move-In

It's official.  I live in Dublin!  I've got an address.  A bank account.  Internet.  Bills.  My bags are unpacked.  Most of the boxes have been thrown away.  It only took three trips to Ikea and another full day at a different shopping center to gather up most of what I needed... towels, bedding, pots and pans, lamp shades, pillows, etc.  I still need to find my perfect sewing machine.  And a bike.  It took me two days and three people to figure out how to use my washing machine/dryer.  I don't know how to use my oven yet.  But how hard can it be?  Other than that, I'm pretty much settled in.  Finally!

Outside my apartment after a big shopping trip with Juli:

My Living Room/Kitchen/Strange-Space-That'll-Be-Perfect-For-Sewing, from the Kitchen:

My Living Room/Kitchen/Strange-Space-That'll-Be-Perfect-For-Sewing, from the Strange-Space:

Guest Bedroom.  Awesome window/view.  Awesome Single Girl Quilt that's not quite finished:

My Bedroom.  With fancy bedding (no Dakota=fancy bedding) and a surprisingly-not-too-tacky purple chandelier:

The new drapes I made for the Strange-Space window.  Ignore the ugly ones in the middle.  Couldn't figure out how to get them off the curtain rod:

My house warming party is September 3rd.  You're all invited!