Gardening Books and Groundhog Looks.

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PLEASE SPRINGTIME

Somewhere beneath this January snow

June hides in the violet

Spring and I have tug-o-wars

That she might be here all at once

I have planted hyacinth and crocus early on

And wait each day for bits of green and lilac to appear

Savoring each inch of sunlight crawling on the soil

I pat the ground with childrens prayers

Of  “Rain, rain go away”.

Chrystelle (c) Lyric to The King

“For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;” Song of Solomon  2: 11 & 12

It’s that unpredictable time of the year when we crave sunlight, argue with rain, and bless our postman who brings us the most pretty and most pleasant mail we get the whole year long…garden and seed catalogs!  “Who cares what  Punxsutawney Phil saw!  Oh my goodness, my goodness, look at at the lovely  morning glories, and the sweet peas and the herbs!”  It’s time to pull  an horticulture book off your shelves, scoot the cat over to share that corner chair by the window, and pray that a little sunbeam just might warm you both while you sit in your socks and peruse the perennials!

Oh so many of my friends and family have told me lately that they have cabin fever or the seasonal blues. We need some vitamin D, that is >Daffodils! Here’s praying for us all. I saw some happy yellow crocus on Saturday, a sign of hope!  Please, take a look at my Etsy.com  shop:  Chrystelle to have  a look at the vintage gardening books I have listed…if you do, and add me to your favorites, then convo my shop with your email address.  I will send the first 20 people to do so my original digital collage sheet Waiting For Springtime absolutely free! 

Oh yes, and please let me know if you see a robin!

The Perfect Recipe

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Yes, I know, that’s the most kitschy cute recipe book you’ve ever seen in your life! It was made just for me by my retro crazy friend Elizabeth Young  from grandmothers attic at Etsy.com, and  Life in Smirleyworld,  as a gift when we met in LA last September, but that’s another day’s story…

APRONS AND AMENS

Oh how I love these home-baked cakes

Sweet confection of my affection

Seeing half seen smiles under frosting

Hearing “Can I lick the spoon?”

I love the fragrant cinnamon

Vanilla in the air

Coffee steaming

Daytime dreaming

Offerings to You.

“…She is like merchant ships; she bring her food from afar…” Proverbs 31:14

Chrystelle Kinsella © Lyric to the King

I am super keen on going to church rummage sales, the local hospital auxiliary thrift shop, or an estate sale at one of the old homes in our town. One favorite thing to happen upon is a little box full of someone’s well-loved recipes. It does not matter that it was not my Cousin Abigail, who put three stars on her “Cape Cod Cookies”, it isn’t important that it isn’t my mom who penned her standard “Mother’s Date Cake” on the back of an electric co. bill. I can see her, anyway, “whisking” up my imagination. I can picture the gingham apron, the Pyrex mixing bowl, and the Wedgewood oven that she used to bake the muffins that won a blue ribbon at the county fair.

The recipes that are best, of course, are the ones that are spattered, worn, and faded from use. That means that they were proven to work, used often, and pulled from the box when the cook needed a dish they could rely on. It does make me sad, though, to see that a family did not count a box full of their ancestor’s recipes valuable enough to keep; especially as I know in my family we will wrestle over who gets the original of our Grandma’s  “Mocha Cake”, or my sister’s “Pansy’s Never Fail Pie Crust”.

Even more saddening, though, is finding a Bible that is old but in unused condition. The original “Family heirloom” that for years sat idle on a guestroom bookshelf or only decorated the piano lid. Sad, that the recipe for life may not be handed down to those who could claim an inheritance, and even more depressing that those who have the “recipe book” in their home, the rightful heirs, we Christians, would not have its pages spattered torn and faded from use.

I have a friend, Mrs. Finnegan, whose Bible’s spine is creased, its pages splayed, and its corners tattered. She has searched and underlined countless passages. Why? Because she knows God’s word is proven to work, she has used it often, and she knows she can rely on it. She feeds on it daily.  Mrs. Finnegan is a Bible connoisseur.

I once brought a dessert to a customer appreciation day at the charity shop where I volunteer. Almost everyone who came in that day pulled me aside to persuade me to share my recipe for those “scrumptious” Pecan pie bars. Men forced their wives to beg me to write it down; women pulled me aside and watched for “spies” as they covertly interrogated me as to my top-secret formula! I told each seeker that I would gladly share, but I did not have the recipe with me, and I had not memorized it, that it was my daughter-in-law’s Christmas standard, and that I thought it actually came from a favorite cookbook. I found I was right and that all the intrigue had been over a readily available Betty Crocker recipe.

Imagine if everyone we came in contact in any day knew we had the secret recipe that would satisfy the craving in his or her soul, if everyone we met asked us to impart that riddle of a recipe to him or her, but what if we could not recall the list of ingredients or instructions as we had not read or used it often enough? As Christians we do have the Maker’s “cookbook” and the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to interpret and recall his word. “…But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you…”. The recipe is right there in the book readily available to the fill the famished who we encounter everyday. “…For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness…”Psalm 107:9 NKJV. How sweet it is to know it is our book, our family inheritance, and when we use His recipe it will never fail!

My Current Favorite Etsy Shops

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It is so hunky dory to go traveling through the winding roads of idyllic Etsy-ville, and stop to window shop to one’s hearts content! These are some of my current favorites.  Sew Thrifty (just like me!),  and sewing themed,  hurray!  I invite you to walk along and shop with me. Skipping in delight is allowed! You will not want to stop at the window, though, c’mon I’ll carry your basket!

Sew Thrifty  Current Top Ten Etsy.com  Faves:

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33939714

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=37982498

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=20233539

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=37922046

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=37541903

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=23592558

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32085563

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33623589

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=35002357

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=37977853

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32638945

And…let’s take a look at my shop:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/chrystelle    to find a store full of Sew Thrifty items

tell them you’re with me!

The Merriest Christmas to you

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A freebie Christmas digital collage sheet  for my blog friends!

Vintage New Testament to be listed as an Etsy PIF

Hello friends, I have taken a long break from blogging, but resolve to try and do better in the coming year. I am enjoying  selling vintage books, art supplies, vintage sewing items, and digital collage sheets, in both my Ebay and Etsy shops. My customers are delighted with their purchases and their freebies, but in addition to the pretty little free gifts this Christmas I will give you the best gift I have,  not silver,  nor gold,  but such as I have…, the name, the words of Jesus Christ  that can cause you to be full of joy and healing! I will tell you a Christmas story~~~

My mother-in-law, Mildred, had an imitation fireplace and mantel. It was one of those kitschy things that, just as plastic sofa covers, Priscilla curtains, and flocked wallpaper, many 1960’s Brooklyn housewives had donned their “car coat”, grabbed their “pocketbook”, and took the subway downtown to the Kresge store to buy. It came out of storage every following Christmas, along with genuine artificial spruce tree, its bubbling candle strings of lights, and the plug in rotating color wheel. The fireplace was adorned, with corrugated simulated bricks, a stack of fake knotted pine Yule logs, a spun fiberglass blanket of snow on the mantle, and the finishing touch: the red and orange fan blown aluminum flames that made the fire look “so realistic”! After Mildred meticulously placed each piece of silver tree tinsel one at a time, and lovingly positioned the last angel on the roof of her Nativity set, she turned a Bing Crosby 78 on the Hi-fi and sat down with her children to cozy up fireside. She was pleased as plum pudding in her little holiday world, pleased with all but one thing…the fireplace put out no warmth on a blizzardy Brooklyn day!  There was no real blaze to take the chill from a Christmas visitor’s hands, no real flame to pop corn for a garland, or dry the children’s red mittens—for that she needed a real fire! Mildred, when she was a young mother, had suffered the injurious consequences of a bungled brain surgery; as a result one of the remaining disabilities was the fact that she had some memory loss. Mildred was always religious, but when she became a born again Christian, in the late 1970’s, she fell in love with Jesus, and faithfully read His word every day. The only problem was that she would sometimes forget where she was reading the day before, or which passage it was that she had already covered. She started keeping a notebook, a journal of sorts where she would painstakingly write down word for word every scripture she read every day. Just as she did for her medications, she made sure that she had “her Bible and her pills in her”. I admired her so much for her dedication to the Lord, for the commitment it took each day to follow through with her spiritual routine. What was the result of her faithfulness? Mildred became a person you’d want to cozy up to; she had the word glowing from her spirit even if her mind could not recall the address of a certain verse. Over the years Mildred endured many a malady, including seizures, and in the end cancer, yet never complained. She always said, “I know ‘my Jesus’ will take care of me. Why did she have such peace of mind? Because even though she may have often forgotten the written word, the living word was burning in her heart. As the scripture says, “…The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you…” (John 14:26 NKJV) Not knowing the word is a spark arrestor. We can’t kindle the small flame in the heart of an inquisitive new believer, or add a log to the smoldering embers in the mind of a disillusioned brother in Christ if we have not stoked our own fire. Let’s read the word, and even if, like Mildred, we cannot memorize it well, we can store it in our spirit. If we do, then when we are called on to bring God’s word into the conversation, let’s hope it radiates so much from us that someone will want to pull up a chair and get next to the fire! “That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world…” John 1:9 NKJV

I hope you’re sitting in front of a nice warm fire this Christmas season, and hopefully with a Good Book!

Buttons and Beaus

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I’ve been having so much fun making up new Vintage Sewing Lots to sell in my Etsy shop! Bits and pieces, retro fabrics, vintage buttons, collectible trims, rick rack, and quilter’s yo yos…all of those things are as fun to play with as an adult as jacks, pick-up sticks, and marbles were as a child! C’mon you big kids you know what I mean!

I think a girl should have as much sewing playthings as her heart desires and her home can fit, but always, always have a tiny sewing/mending kit in your purse! I learned that little seed pearl of wisdom from my mom, who met my father at a company summer picnic when she was an telephone operator for Pacific Bell and he an installer for Western Electric. Dad was showing off when he joined in a tug-o-war and ended up popping a button from his shirt chest, but my pretty mom was such a clever girl when she sweetly smiled at the handsome stranger and offered to sew the button back on with the sewing kit she just happened to have in her drawstring bag! Sew….. one little spool of thread and a needle and there you are in a white velvet wedding suit with a clutch purse and a little sewing kit tucked in the pocket!

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Collage Kits and Thrifty Bits

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French Ephemera  lot from  Chrystelle 002

My latest additions to my Etsy.com shop are my Vintage French Flea Market Collage Lots.  Bonne chance à vous tous because I have listed too many items in each lot for too little cost! I love making my art supplies lots from beautiful new fabrics, embellishments  and collage sheets, but finding lovely little vintage findings , buttons and fabrics in the  thrift shops is a secret delight,  and adding them to my collage and ephemera kits is the perfect way to spend a summer day!

WITHOUT A CARE IN THIS WORLD

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fm-billy-015I was looking through family photos and envied the grandson in this one that makes him look so peace-filled. He is!

This led me to recall something I had saved for a devotional I am writing, and I thought I’d post it today:

I once had a surgery that provoked a lot of anxiety within me. I feared the operation, and let my exaggeratedly imaginative mind concoct many scary scenarios when thinking about its outcome. It is silly to lend time to fear. I have a friend who wisely says, “Don’t borrow trouble from the future.” That saying summons up the laughable thought of carrying a measuring cup to the neighbors and inquiring if they might share a half-cup of their financial uncertainties, or would they be kind enough to lend you two cups of their marriage woes.

Psychologists list “Magnifying” as a “Limited pattern of thinking” in which a person, “Exaggerates the scale or intensity of a problem. They turn up the volume on anything bad, making it loud, large and overwhelming.” What if we had a pattern of thinking that magnified the scale or measure of the good that happens to us?

Little Levi was walking to the car with his Grandmother after church. He told her what he had learned in Sunday school, and then asked what she planned for lunch that day. “I was thinking I’d make Quesadillas (A sort of round Mexican grilled cheese sandwich), does that sound good to you?” she posed. “Yes Grandma,” he said, “But could you cut it into eight pieces this time, instead of six, because today I’m really hungry!” Levi knew the secret of magnifying the good!

We all need that childlike fearlessness that does not dread the future, that rather than having apprehension about the destination begs,“Are we there yet?” and rather than panicking over sickness just predictably spits out the “yucky purple medicine!” …..

O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:3 – 4