Monday, December 02, 2019

Freedom from Want

Freedom From Want  (also known as The Thanksgiving Picture or I’ll Be Home for Christmas) is the third of the Four Freedoms series of oil paintings by American artist Norman Rockwell. The works were inspired by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union Address, known as Four Freedoms.

The painting was created in November 1942 and published in the March 6, 1943 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. All of the people in the picture were friends and family of Rockwell in Arlington, Vermont, who were photographed individually and painted into the scene. This illustration t has become an iconic representation of the Thanksgiving holiday and family holiday gatherings in general.

My Alzheimer's fidget quilt was made from a fabric panel which featured four of Rockwell's most beloved paintings. I scored 2 of the small panels in a fabric donation bag and knew instantly they would make meaningful fidget mats to spark the memories of times gone by.

Whether our memories are ot the 1940s, 50s, 60s or yesterday, they are all the more precious when we realize we are beginning to lose our own.

I strive to create new memories with fun and family but cherish old ones with an aching awareness of just how fragile our memories are as we age.

One reason, I am still blogging (even without a desktop computer or Internt service) using only my phone is to keep my own brain active and continually remembering and learning new ways of doing challenging things.

As I approach 70, I am all the more aware of when I first noticed mental decline in my mom and how easy it became to substitute words or make excuses for things we no longer know, or know how to do.

Even quilting and sewing are harder with patterning changes in the mental circuitry for me now at this age. But then I've always winged anything and everything so the freedom of liberated and free form art or easy quilts or quilting are always my go-to creative textile favorites. Let's just call my typos "liberated blogging " shall we? I read and reread and my eyes and brain still have the ability to see what it shpuld say not what I typed... 😂

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with most of my wonderful family, really great food, and much laughter and appreciation for each of my loved ones but special enjoyment of our grandchildren. Grateful for three little darlings and one more blessing to come.

Three dogs being chased by a little ones. One wrapping the smallest dog up in a blanket and the other borrowing his doggie/leash vest for himself and being the doggie as his little sister took him for a walk. We laughed SO hard!

Great fun and many gratitudes for everyone and the wonderful food and camaraderie. Family is everything always, but never more than during the holidays! Facing aging,  all ots health problems  or a major illness for one of your loved ones, or just being separated from loved ones during the holidays are all challenging.

I am reminded more and more just how truly precious time is, especially when we spend it with those we love most. I am grateful for  every single day with my loved ones.

"Freedom from Want" Think about all that you have in your own lives and allow gratitude to be a part of each and every day and not just during holi-days.

For every day is indeed a gift of time to be used well and spent doing or being all the things we love most.

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and

healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Quilting Through the Holidays (With Gifts and Ideas Galore!)

I love sewing, quilting, crafting, and decorating for the holidays! And yes, I even put up and decorate a "Peace, Prayers, and Blessings" Thanksgiving tree and one of my prayer flag garlands on our railings.

I decorate inside and Mother Nature outside.

The air is crisp, cold, and freshly fallen leaves and bright colors are in abundance!

My peace lilies both bloomed. Two of my Thanksgiving cacti are filled with blossoms!

I love it and as busy and crazy as I often feel and truly I, 
it's still a "wonderful time of the year!"  

And then, a few fun crafts for me and more my grandkids.

Ordering sale fleece and voila! new fleece blankets for blanket forts, storytime, and cuddling!

And sewing and quilting!

As hard as our challenges may be, there's always room for gratitude and blessings still abound -- each and every day.

This blog post took 3 hours to create on a phone using its cellular signal of a bar and a half.

But I did it! And by tomorrow my typos should all be corrected! Maybe. I need wiggle room.

I even managed to design and make a new wreath with more sustainable decor this year.

Everything on it except for the bird's nest has been is use somehow/ somewhere and is reused over and over for decades!

I add natural touches from the yard as I go. So, Christmas greenery from our trees or holly bush etc.

One of my many things that bring me to my happy place of blessings. I needed one that was suitable for all seasons. In the spring birds will be added but now its acorns and filberts on the little nest.

Cooking, cleaning, decorating, sewing, quilting, and crafting through Thanksgiving,

Christmas, more  family birthdays in December, my husband's upcoming second hip replacement surgery  (and weeks for me as his primary caregiver) the continued progress towards healing times from advanced, aggressive cancer for my daughter.

She has been a valiant warrior through an intense and often brutal combintion 4 chemo and  4 buffer the side effects IV drugs (currently 18 weeks and counting process) with more to come in 2020.

Each and every single day no matter how sick we are or how much we hurt is another day with loved ones. Count your blessings not your litany of ailments and trust me, I know how hard that is to do!

Do what you can when you can and rest as you can. It's all about balance!!!

Through all of this I took in another stray. The story of my life since early on.

Bringing in, loving and caring for others. He hasn't quite been transformed into either a quilting or healing cat and now I have to look out for the old muddy paws in the house and tracking footprints on our hearts.

After eating from my feral and stray animals venue he decided we seemed like a nice place to settle down and waltzed into our house, up on the dining (gasp) quilted table runner in October and moved right on in! Welcome, Jasper for joining the Bilyeu menagerie!

There's a quilted table runner under all that fluff somewhere!

 As there are quilts incorporated into the decorating everywhere in my house!

Or vice versa, right Kermit? He's not too keen on the cat kibble competition but tolerates him.

Life is good, life is challenging, and life is very, very busy.

 Please continue praying for my beloved daughter, Terin. She is recuperating from her eighteent week of chemo, but has much more ahead. Your thoughts, prayers, and to those of you in this quilting community who have donated to her go fund me campaign, you are so appreciated and loved.


I blog completley on my cell phone no house wifi at all. Forgive typos, miss-corrects and posts that change constantly over a week of finishing each new addition complete with links and projects from multitudes of past posts!

Newest Fidget Quilt Ideas (shown below) Yet to be added in!

Here's some my wonderful quilt and blanket making ladies.that make or deliver them!

Many thanks to the amazing Paula Hill charitable quilter extraordinaire!  (hiding far right)

Thanks to all of you who give of yourselves, your time to community giving.

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    "I hear Thanksgiving is coming late this year. Did she buy a turkey yet or should we be worried?"

    Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands.