Monday, July 26, 2021

When Great Trees Fall








"When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety. 


When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.


When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.

Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.

Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly.
Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.

Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed."


"When Great Trees Fall"

by Maya Angelou









Photo of stranded bear cub in Bootleg Fire in Oregon


Wildfires: Oregon limits state park campfires east of I-5 as thousands battle Northwest blazes - OPB







2020



Michele Bilyeu Creates *With Heart and Hands*: Oregon Fires and Hope for Better Times Ahead









Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares her creative and healing  journey from Alaska to Oregon. Wildcrafting and the textiles arts of sewing, quilting, and crafting with fabric, paper, needles. and thread.

Monday, July 05, 2021

Happy Birthday, America!




With Gratitude to All of the Quilts of Valor Quilters Everywhere for their Beautiful Quilts and Google Photos!


COLUMBIA, S.C. — Members from the SC Quilts of Valor Foundation covered the State House in their patriotic masterpieces on Sunday. 
A Quilt of Valor is a lifetime achievement award and a 'thank you' for military service from the foundation. 
According to the group, veterans often consider a Quilt of Valor one of the highest honor they can receive."





As we celebrate our beautiful holiday weekend with family and friends, I am so grateful for being able to live in this beautiful land.




Whether I am in my childhood home in Alaska, or my married with children family home in Oregon, I am so blessed to be in beautiful places with people that I love.




This weekend we all gather together once again, to celebrate the joys that abound, in spite of any ,and all challenges.  And no other occasion brings out the red, white, and blue, like this one!








Free Patriotic Quilt Patterns


 There is no doubt in my mind that she searched out the stair steps of the the red, white, and blue rays as she crossed. I could never keep her off of any of my patriotic quilts :-)

And as I once again, offer my big collection of patriotic quilting and sewing patterns. Please remember that these links are my own. And my writings and wording and my stories are my own!!!




I've shared my patriotic sewing in the past, but a few fun photos once again. My singles are never quite as much fun as my multiples. You can see just how carried away I get ;-)






Happy 4th of July to everyone, everywhere!!!






Michele Bilyeu Creates *With Heart and Hands*: My Quilting, Sewing, and Crafting Tutorial Link Lists: By Themes



Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska. Sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting, with small format art quilts, prayer flags, and comfort quilts for a variety of charitable programs.
 
And best of all, sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join her and make and donate quilts to charitable causes. 

Help us change the world, one little quilt, art quilt, and prayer flag at a time!


PS to all administrators of other sites:
 
Those sites that have copied my wording, my comments and all of my patterns onto their own Quilts of Valor sites in Southern California and other places, please link to my blog instead of copying all of my words straight off of my blog. 

When you use my words, and my first person narrative, it's as if you are pretending to be me, in order to get search engines to go to your website instead of mine... and that's not ok and actually a reportable offense. Sorry, I have left comments and nothing has changed in many months now!! Please link instead of copying straight onto your blogs! These are my words, my stories.

And if you see any of these sites or others, please leave a comment that they should not be cutting and pasting, but only linking.. ... nicely, of course. ;-)  Happy 4th of July, thank you for your good deeds and service to Veterans, but please read my emails and comments and play nicely!

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Land, Sea and Sky: There is Love





June 17, 1972


49 years ago, my husband and I were married at the "Shrine of St. Therese". A tiny forested little island, in Auke Bay, Alaska. 25 miles north of Juneau, it was originally build by visiting Jesuit priests who came to the Diocese of Juneau to serve in territorial Alaska and found such beauty and so much need for their services that several stayed and with the help of volunteers completely built the tiny shrine of local stones on a tiny bit of an island now known as Shrine Island.




And today a beautiful labyrinth has been added and is walked by thousands of people a year who come out to view the beauty and feel the incredible energies of spirit that fill land, sea, and sky as animals gather without fail as blessings for all.





When the tide is in, the entire island is surrounded by beautiful blue water, except for the narrow  'walking-only' causeway.We walked out from our wedding ceremony to the sight of eagles soaring above, whales spouting, and sea lions barking their congratulations. It was incredibly beautiful. 


Now, there is this labyrinth walk etched in the sand where we once walked to the log cabin rectory on the mainland to sign our marriage certificate. And yes, we've been back and it's still lovely and weddings are still held there. 




During our ceremony "The Wedding Song" by Peter, Paul, and Mary was sung and played on a folk guitar by a high school friend and at our reception a lot of Simon and Garfield and similar songs from that era. Somehow those beautiful songs filled hearts and souls as they were after all, new to most back then!  


And yes, I made my own wedding dress! And each of my bridesmaids made theirs from fabric I bought and sent each of them in three different states as I gathered best friends from High School and College and included my youngest cousin who was so happy to be a bridesmaid! Our dresses were all in different colors and were beautiful laces over satin, I even made my veil, covered my Bible with the same fabrics and carried a hand carved rose wood rosary. Handmaid wedding in so many ways! 


Ah, the memories of a time, a place, the sounds, and the people. So many have passed on now, most of our guests, many of my own family even several who are younger than I am now. You never know what paths and cause ways you may walk in your life time. Who you will love and who you will remember. I have since lost both of my parents, a sister in law who was there, and uncle who died a few months after he attended our wedding and his young 11 year old daughter was my Junior Bridesmaid. Love and pride filled his face and his heart that day. His one and only chance to see her all grown up in a long bridesmaid dress.  




I rejoice in the wonderful memories of so many from that day, just as I grieve the loss of those who passed on.


For sadly, our dearest and best friends in the world passed away ..on this day..25 years ago. While it changed the memories of June 17th forever from our 25th anniversary on, it didn't change the love we felt for all who have been parts of our lives for whatever time we had with them.




But in the end, the lovely and positive sounds, sights, and memories remain above all else and I am filled with gratitude for the good times and the lessons and treasures from even the sadder ones!


Click to hear this lovely song as it was performed on their own 25th anniversary!



49 years ago from June 17, 1972 

The song is just as meaningful and beautiful as ever. 

The songs of that era are etched in my heart. Oh the power of music to touch the soul.








Michele Bilyeu Creates *With Heart and Hands*: My Quilting, Sewing, and Crafting Tutorial Link Lists: By Themes



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, June 13, 2021

Happy National Sewing Machine Day!



I am busy altering clothing I bought online for half price.  So far 4 large Columbia women's shirts that were available for less than half price (super clearance older stock Amazon) have been taken in on all side seams to create mediums.

Once upon a time I was an extra small. Now I cheer when I'm a medium!
I've spent my entire life from age 12 on altering hand-me-downs or super bargains from every size there was to every size I or others were.

Now I'm just glad when I can remember how to do it and grateful to be any size at all after this pandemic.

But oh the conversations my sewing machine and I are having!

Of interest: 

NATIONAL SEWING MACHINE DAY:

Each year on June 13th, National Sewing Machine Day honors an invention that has kept us in stitches for over 150 years.

 Before the sewing machine, tailors and sewists created clothing by hand, stitch by single stitch. The invention of the sewing machine brought about revolutionary change. Not only did it boost an entire industry, but it also changed the way we viewed the garments we wore. However, the development of the sewing machine took time. 

Skilled cabinet-maker and English inventor, Thomas Saint, received the first patent for a design of a sewing machine in 1790. He intended his design to sew on leather and canvas. However, he never advertised it and no evidence of the design, other than his drawings, could be found. In 1874, William Newton Wilson found Saint’s drawings in the London Patent Office. With some minor adjustments, Wilson built a working model. The London Science Museum currently owns Wilson’s model. 








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

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Ring of Fire Solar Eclipse





All of the mystery, magic and mayhem are all part of one another and with and through these intense world changes we are all experiencing right now. And with them comes incredible opportunities for elimination of the old and rebirth into the new.  This rebirth is an opportunity for transformation of the you that you truly are deep inside.  

It is time for all of us to understand why we have the patterns and patterning that we have, why we have made all of the choices that changed our lives, putting all of us and our planet at risk for annihilation, and why we now all get to choose again as we go into the dark of the physical, emotional and perhaps even spiritual eclipse as we expose our deepest and innermost selves to the light... and if you are willing and brave and have pure intent and purpose, come out into the bright light of a new transformed day once again.

The June 10, 2021 solar eclipse will be visible will be partially visible from the United States, northern Canada, Europe, northern Asia, Russia and Greenland, according to Time and Date. You can also watch it live online with several live webcasts, and if you live in any of the areas where it's visible and it's safe to travel, you can look at it outside — just make sure to  wear proper eye protection !

Solar eclipses happen when the moon passes in front of the sun, from the viewpoint of our planet. Total solar eclipses — which are relatively rare — happen when the moon covers the entire sun; the moon's orbit is tilted with respect to the sun and doesn't always perfectly align. A "ring of fire" or annular eclipse happens when the moon is near its farthest point from Earth during an eclipse, so the moon appears smaller than the sun in the sky and doesn't block the whole solar disk.







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

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

World Invocation Day



On World Invocation Day groups and individuals around the planet unite in prayer and meditation to invoke energies of Light, Love and Spiritual Will, using the Great Invocation. World Invocation Day has been observed annually since 1952.

Eleanor Roosevelt reads the Great Invocation on the first World Invocation Day, 1952

On World Invocation Day, 1952, Eleanor Roosevelt, a pioneering force in the passage of the Declaration of Human Rights at the United Nations, and wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, recorded a brief message which included the Great Invocation. The message was recorded by Mrs Roosevelt at the United Nations.


 "We are living today in a troubled world. In many parts of the world people have a sense of discouragement as to whether they will ever solve their difficulties and it seems to me that those of us who feel that a spiritual leadership is necessary in the world are looking for ways in which to express what we feel. Someone sent me the other day an invocation, its called the Great Invocation, and it seems to me to express the aspirations held by many people throughout the world so I’m going to read it to you on this program."

 Listen to the broadcast here

World Invocation Day




Human Unity

The intention to deepen understanding of the oneness of life and to express that understanding is growing daily within the hearts of people everywhere. In the birthing of a just, interdependent global society we need, above all, more light, love and spiritual will. On June 17 people of all faiths and spiritual backgrounds will invoke these higher energies by using a world prayer, the Great Invocation.


Using the Great Invocation every 15 minutes

On May 26, in all time zones, you are invited to hold an alignment with lighted energies for periods of 15 minutes - using the Great Invocation at the beginning and end of each 15 minutes. Join in for as many 15 minute periods as you wish. So, for the one hour period 9:00 - 10:00 AM, for example, you might use the Great Invocation at: 9:00; 9:15; 9:30; 9:45; 10:00 AM.


The Mindfulness Clock on Your Computer Will Help You Keep the 15 Minute Rhythm

There are a variety of Mindfulness Clocks available on your computer. Many of these can be set to sound a chime every 15 minutes, so as you are continuing with your work on Friday, June 5, you can quietly pause and use the Great Invocation every 15 minutes throughout the day. Imagine the pulse of invocation generated by thousands of people using the Great Invocation on this rhythm.


Download a Mindfulness Clock here. There is also a free Mindfulness Bell for MACs that can be downloaded on Itunes here.


One Initiative Among Many

The World Invocation Day Vigil was first held in New Zealand in 2000, and since 2003 it has been observed globally, attracting participants from most continents of the world. It is one initative among many for organised, concentrated use of the Great Invocation by groups and individuals on World Invocation Day.


Shown:

"Changing the World"

My small format art quilted designed and donated by Michele Savikko Bilyeu for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Iniative and purchased at their online auction by Bill Volkening For the Volckening Collection.



https://www.with-heart-and-hands.com/p/my-own-free-patterns-tutorials-and.html






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, May 23, 2021

Our Bee Keeping Fun












Bees are not only fascinating but serve an essential role in the propagation and continuation of flowering plants, trees, shrubs and crops. Without them many of our food sources would not be able to thrive and in fact survive. Crucial on the pollination of many vegetable,  fruit and berry crops, without them we would eventually be reduced to the most basic of diets not healthy or sustainable for our own future.

Due to climate change and pesticides the numbers of all bee varieties and other critical insects such as butterflies  are dramatically decreasing and already affecting gardens and farms. Our backyards and gardens were once filled with the abundance of these frequently misunderstood little creatures.




Coincidentally with this international recognition and celebration of bees in both the dedication of a special day of recognition, my own family was  actively involved that very week in the saving and caring for a bee colony in our own little world. 

Our oldest daughter, Terin,  has always been interested in beekeeping and involved in making a bee home in her backyard in hopes that she and her partner might invite in a wild bee swarm looking for an inviting home. Unfortunately it never happened naturally and their attempts to purchase an established hive was unsuccessful due to overwhelming demand in their area.

So when a wild swarm flew in and began to bunch into formation my husband, son and I rushed into action and our desire to finally give her that wish of a bee colony of her own.




Not having a beekeepers suit, we created one out of an old tyvek "suit" used in applying insulation materials in our home building business. My new and never used "Mr.Clean" rubber gloves, my husband's super building tape to close gaps between gloves and suit and a quickly cut wire mesh face protector to fit in suits hood plus plastic goggles completed our son Blake's ensemble. 








With the use of a ladder, a lawn mowing grass receptacle bag to "catch" the swarm into, he had them collected in minutes  We had borrowed a neighbors discarded wooden bee box to hopefully get the queen and her workers a temporary home.

It was so great to be able to transport the swarm in its container safely and thoroughly further contained in a super taped and sealed large cardboard box. 

Our daughter was thrilled to finally have a colony of her own and quickly ordered a prefabricated bee hive kit online to be pieced together over the next few days to provide the much needed space for this wonderful hive. 




It was incredibly exciting and rewarding for all of us!




Pieces as they arrive in kit and units as she put the box layers into a suitable arrangement. 


Making bee syrup for food.


Piecing kit pieces together bit by bit using pre-cut pieces.
Finishing it day by day then-sealing it and then
Transferring our initial bee box into her own larger hive structure.  






This allowed the queen and all her worker bees to transfer on their own from the "super" we provided (and unknowingly loaded upside down for the bees!) Terin remedied that of course 🀣





These lovely bees were amazingly docile and so gentle when they landed on her as she worked 







🐝 Our little 6 year old granddaughter even commemorated the occasion with artwork!  🐝 




Oh, the blessings no matter the challenges! We are grateful we could do this for our daughter!





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