Author Archives: sewthrifty

Flowers for you!


There is a good song in water

A song for the King

Laughter of silver

Inside of it rings

It dances with freedom

Yet, obvious plan

It moves where it’s taken

As current demands

Make me like water, Lord

Peaceful and free

Flowing along in a soft melody

Blessing your name, Lord

And singing Your praise

Bending with your will in all of my ways.

“…For thus says the Lord, ‘Behold I extend peace to her like a river’…” Isaiah 66: 12 NKJV

Chrystelle Kinsella

© Lyric to the King

I am working on some floral card images to sell in my Etsy shop. Love working with flower images or live flowers! There is lovely nursery in the town where I grew up. “Cricklewood Greenery”, the name suggests the charming storybook gardens that it is. When I was younger I worked for a florist and spent much of my meager earnings on our inventory. I loved to grow all the beautiful plants that the California climate would allow, so I’d often go to Cricklewood and purchase my favorite scented geraniums to grace my front steps with the smell of lemon mint, or buy strawberry ivy to hang in a vintage pot above my kitchen window. It was not just the meandering through aromatic lavender, or the discovery of a new culinary herb that delighted me, it was also the water features that were scattered throughout the shop and gardens. The sounds of water spilling down tiered fountain bowls, the bubbling in a pond full of brilliant Koi fish, the soft spray of the misters over the feathery ferns…these were the calming sounds that soothe the spirit. There was a song in the water.

We can be the living water that Jesus is. We can wash the dirty wounds of someone who has suffered on “The Jericho road” of life. We can carry to “The healing pool” those who are crippled by their lonely years of pain. We can offer a clean cup of water to those who have chosen to drink from the polluted well of this world. Some people are like parched plants… They just need a little sunlight and water and they will spring back to life!  If we choose to let God’s rejuvenating love flow through us, then He promises in Isaiah 58:6-14 NKJV “You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”


Thank God!


Facebook box today: “What’s on your mind?”

Well, I have to clean my house, but Thank God I do not live in the Tijuana dump where we once went on a missions trip to impoverished Mexican children who did.
I wish I had a housekeeper, but Thank God I don’t live in a place where all I can be is a slave.
I need a few new spring/summer dresses, but Thank God I am not wearing a burka or a ragged Haitian t-shirt in a sweltering heat.
I don’t want the same old thing on my plate for lunch, but Thank God it is not the same old few grains of rice in my hand for the day.
I wish some of the people on tv news would knock off the whining, but Thank God they live in a country where they are freely allowed to whine and whine and whine…
I am under a pile of taxes, paperwork and house payments, but Thank God I am not paying on a house in Chile that is under a pile of rubble and stone.
I am in pain, and I might have to take some medicine that was shipped to me by a doctor that I can hardly reach by phone, but Thank God I am not carrying a sick and emaciated baby across an Ethiopian desert for days to wait in line to get a vaccine from a nurse who comes once a month.
I am tired, and I want to sleep tonight without my neighbors making noise and partying the night away, but Thank God I am not asleep in a uniform on a gritty uncomfortable cot in Iraq or Afghanistan with the neighbors firing guns all night long.
I am opinionated.
I am American.
Thank God!

Ain’t she sweet?


Yesterday I showed you the type of collage and cards I make using my stash of lovely papers, illustrations and ephemera. I mentioned my trading art elements with my friend Shelly of susiea at —in fact I met Shelly through Etsy!

You should be a fly on the wall (a butterfly shall we say) on the days we get a package from each other in the mail! Much dancing,  revelry and happiness abounds…although our husbands would think we were mortally wounded judging by the shrieks coming from the craft rooms! Vintage aqua glass beads,  bird illustrations embellished with opalescent paint, fine bits of antique tatting and lace, remnants of  rosy fabrics, swatches of treasured wallpapers… we have exchanged all that and more. We use it! Well, truth be told we hoard some, but we love to craft, and because we live far apart from each other we craft  “together” at the same time and chat and send each other photos of our works.

I have shown some of Shelly’s artwork on this blog and my flickr site as well. Today I thought I’d show you a little of what she, crafty girl that she is, does with her collection of  images and vintage add-ons. Shelly specializes in journals, art pieces and her famous pocket tags, and also makes altered art style jewelry. The journals are handmade covered in unique papers, and embellished with the prettiest of things such as crocheted trim, German gold paper scrap, or Victorian flower die cuts. She even sews a pocket on the inside cover and fills them with little art goodies for the recipient to add to personalize their writings. She finishes with  a bookmark, ribbons and even buttons and charms. She recently made me a prayer journal, and in it you can see that the work of her hands is blessed, and I am blessed to have  met such a sweet friend!

Take a look at her shop: susiea at

Sew Pretty!


I thought that after showing you how I reorganized my sewing/craft  room storage you might wonder what’s in those boxes.  Above is a sampling of the kinds of altered art kits I make up to sell in my Etsy shop: Chrystelle. I also swap kits with my friend Shelly of susiea at Etsy, and we happily have very similar taste in art goodies! I collect yarns and fibers, buttons and beads,  illustration and ephemera , all sorts of vintage and modern bits and bobs!  Then I go to work coordinating my assortment  into what I think will  be the perfect lot for either my shop customers or my own personal use so that they or I can make things like this:

Love to use all those things to make cards, collage, tags or any kind of altered art. So when I am at the thrift shop, or the rummage sale, I am looking for the boxes of old cards and letters, maps and  music sheets, anything that someone else will probably think is the contents of the junk drawer.  Matter of fact— in my house that drawer has some pretty cool junk!

With A Little Help From My Friend


My Craft Closet Before

My Craft Room Closet After

My Craft Room Shelves Before

My Craft Room Shelves After

As some of you know I have been decluttering  and reorganizing my sewing/craft room with the help of  writer, blogger and organizer extraordinaire, Benita of Chez Larsson.  This endeavor required some humility on my part, and I did’nt change or hide a thing when I took the before photos!

You can go to her very lovely and informative blog:  to see the process of my closet and open shelving revamp listed under organizing. Benita is by profession a visual merchandiser. Her work tasks  involve designing window display and advertising vignette. No wonder she teaches her readers to organize their spaces and homes in a manner that is pleasing to the eye and makes use of the artistic practice of involving a focal point. Benita brings her organization talents home, but for her the decluttering and practice of instituting order is not a chore, rather, a fascinating process with a very gratifying result! I know that I am loving the lightness that comes with letting go of those things I have unreasonably held on to mostly because  I heard the  voice of my darling mother (whom was a genuine Depression Era hoarder) whispering, “You might have a use for that someday!” Well I might, but there might be someone who comes to the thrift shop I donated to that needs it more than I do—today, and speaking of thrift when I happened upon Chez Larsson I saw that Benita, like me had to consider the margins of  tight spaces and a tight budget. She loves thrifting, recycling, and inventing new uses for her thrifty finds all well as I do.

Sometimes, as in my case, we cannot see a solution to our organizational problems, and we need to step back, seek some professional advice, get some courage and start tossing. I’m only halfway through the process, but I feel like my craft room is reaching its weight goal and on my scale that’s a TEN!

Silver Linings



~~~There is a place inside of this

Where I am the ocean

And you are the mist

Where I can stand on the furthest star

And you can only gaze afar

Where I am a redwood up poking the sun

And you are a crocus the green just begun

Where I am a mountain with great shawls of snow

And you are one snowflake lost whereas to go.

~~~Though then there are days when I kiss you first time

One tear is for sorrow, one tear for sublime

Or maybe the day where I utter a word

That makes you erase all the trillions you’ve heard

Then sometimes the day where I write my own name

And all the world’s Shakespeare are now bestowed shame

Still maybe the day where my hands hold your chin

And suddenly Humpty’s together again

~~~Don’t judge me by step stones, or shoe ties, or pace

Or doctor’s, or teacher’s or man’s lacking grace

Just know me by moments, and sapphires in smiles,

And God’s great compassion in “Once in a whiles”.

© 2008 Chrystelle Kinsella. Use with permissions.

Photograph, Silver Linings: William Kinsella all rights reserved.

I know that many of you, like my family and I,  are waiting for that bright day when the gray clouds roll away and the golden sun breaks through…That day when there is a total cure, and a final healing for autism and autism spectrum diseases. We look forward to that day, but for now are grateful that the clouds have silver linings. Treatments that involve therapy, dietary solutions, and the use of several costly natural supplements have helped to alleviate symptoms, and to accelerate successes in my grandson. Those treatments are so expensive because, as I understand, most insurances and financial aid organizations do not support these methods or consider them medically viable.  My lovely and remarkable daughter -in -law wrote on her facebook wall today: “ It would be nice if money grew on trees and if treatment for My son wasn’t so INCREDIBLY expensive!!!! 😦   “

Yes it would be nice, in fact it would be miraculous! Miracles can happen because God is a God of miracles, and a God of compassion. In fact He came out of a cloud to walk before Moses and proclaim Himself, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God…” We are praying for miracles, and we will pray for you as well! Until then may God walk in front of you, and may you take comfort and joy in the, “Once in a whiles”.

Please forward this post and my poem AUTISM, which was written from the  (imagined) viewpoint of an autistic child, to anyone whom it might bless. Thank you!

Everyday Saints



Twenty sparrows in the Crepe Myrtle

Lord, I am so blessed

A picket fence

A sitting porch

All theses things a woman dreams

And I, here, am allowed to awaken to.


You make me think of eating Cracker Jacks when I was small.

They were good enough as it was, yet

They still contained a surprise!

(PS:  Please remind me to buy a birdbath.)

“He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge…” Psalm 91: 4 NKJV

Chrystelle Kinsella

© Lyric to the King

BRR! It’s cold out there today! There are only a few brave sparrows poking for breakfast in the snow! Reminds me of a story I wrote about bird feeding when my mother was spending her last days in an assisted living home…


Many of us vaguely remember an early Spring day in our childhood when we found a baby bird fallen from its nest. Usually more skin than feathers, they lay there wings askew, weakly twittering a pitiful cry for help. First of all we cursed the cat, and then if not warned by a knowledgeable adult, we took that bird in our little palms; straight away asked mother for an eyedropper, and we began to dig for worms. Most times our efforts failed and we ended up having a humble shoebox funeral while mother reassured us that “God knows each time a sparrow falls.”

Gladys is my mother’s next-door neighbor at an assisted living home. Gladys is one of the sparrows that fell. She told me that she came to live in the home after a terrible stroke and gestured to show me that it struck her from temple to temple. “I had to learn to walk again!” the tall and vibrant senior told me after she returned from one of her walkerless afternoon constitutionals. “ I had to learn to talk again, bless God, bless God!” she said distinctly as she gave us a guided tour of her studio. She pointed with her long and now steady fingers to beautiful beaded necklaces she had strung, and then lamented the parting of a fellow stroke victim she had helped rehabilitate by the sharing of her craft. “I couldn’t use one hand and she couldn’t use the other, so together we tied the knots!” She opened a dresser drawer and then modeled with steady grace one of several elegant the shawls she had crocheted (the ones she hadn’t yet given away).  “My daughters helped me to remember the pattern!” she said with a sparkle of pride.

Gladys spends her days laughing and cheering the other residents at the home. The healed sparrow, like a mother checking on all her little starlings, finds out who did not come down to lunch because they are feeling down, or didn’t show up at the puzzle table because they are puzzled as to where they are, or aren’t at the social hour because they aren’t feeling very social that day.

Every staff member and resident just expects Gladys to show up for every event in every day, but the place she is most often seen is when gathering food for her real baby birds. After dinner she makes her rounds seeking leftovers for her birdie breakfast. Any uneaten French roll or popover is on the menu for a finches feast! Each evening she and her faithful helpers tear their loot into little breadcrumbs and bag it for the birds that know that at precisely seven thirty Gladys will be at their birdhouse on the north lawn to feed them their morning meal. Her birds know she will be there to feed them. Under her watchful eye they are safe and worriless.

I am reminded of the scripture. “Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself… even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and my God.” Psalm 84: 3 NKJV

We are safe and worry-less if we like sparrows abide under the roof of God. Gladys, I’m sure, had a beautiful home before she “fell from the nest’’ because of her stroke, but with her family’s love, her doctor’s care, and her complete trust of her Lord she has made a beautiful new home. I am happy that she will check to make sure that like her other birds—her neighbors are there at breakfast!