Monday, August 27, 2018

Season Changes

Season Changes!  Not only are we going through a seasonal weather change from Summer to Fall, but my personal life is also going through a seasonal life change.

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As the  big, "6"-"0" approaches for me, and  has already captured my husband, Jerry...we are looking into what is next?  What is next for us as a couple?  What is next for Pear Creek Cottage?  What does the future hold fo us?  Lots of big and life altering questions.

We sure don't have all the answers.  Actually, I'm not sure we have any of the answers!  ha ha.  All that to say that often, my mind gets lost in the wondering.

During my pondering time, I took some time to stop and reflect over the 8 years of Pear Creek Cottage's existence.  It is amazing to look back and remember.  When I first opened I had a few items listed, most were needle felted items I handmade.  Slowly new items came into the shop and it began to morph into what it looks like today.  When I started selling felt shapes, I had no idea all the wonderful customers I would come in contact with.  Many of these customers have become dear friends.

May I introduce you to one such customer?  Her name is Beverly Grayson.  I met Beverly because she purchased our felt die cut stars.  Beverly crochets American Flags, state flags, and other countries flags.  Here are some photos of her beautiful work.  She even sent a flag to The President and First Lady, and received this hand addressed thank you note in return.

 What a gem she is!  I feel so honored to have met her and become friends with her.  Beverly shared a little of her story with me, which gave me more insight into the beautiful person she is.  Beverly was raised in an Army home.  Both of her parents served in the Army.  During the Vietnam War, Beverly, and her siblings lived with her grandmother.  It was there she learned how to crochet and sew.  As time marched on, and life faded away, Beverly had to say good-bye to 4 different family members within a very short amount of time.  Planning 3 separate military funerals for brothers, and parents.

She took up crocheting again as a way to bring healing to her heart and keep her mind and hands busy.  She began to crochet American flags as a way of honoring her family, and to begin healing from the ache of missing her family.  Beverly has added state flags, and even the Dallas Cowboys flags to her crocheted flags offerings.  She shared that she enjoys the excitement of seeing someone who receives her flags.  Beverly sells her flags on Facebook.  Here is a link to her  Facebook page, if you are interested in seeing more of her flags, and maybe ordering one for yourself!  Beverly Stivner Grayson

I just love this story!  To me it speaks of unity and compassion.  Neighbors carrying about each other. 

       "I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, 
                    and to the Republic for which it stands, 
      one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Thank you Beverly for allowing me to share your story, and for the opportunity to serve you by cutting stars...but mostly for your sweet friendship.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Summer Refresh

Just the word alone, "Summer" , has a refreshing sound to it.  It rolls off the tongue with a melodic sound. "Summer." 
 Memories of childhood play, from morning to night.  Staying up, and staying outside late, with the crickets and fireflies.   Camping.  Being outdoors.  The smells of hot pine cones and eucalyptus leaves.  Redwood bark, and smokey campfires.  All the sights and sounds of summer.

Waves crashing on the beach.  Kids squealing with laughter and delight.  Giggles of sprinkler and pool splashes.  Family visits and trips.  Play, popsicles, and permission.

These are just a few things I love about summer.  Everything seems lighter, less rigid.  Eating outdoors.  Barefoot play, and imaginative possibilities galore.

This summer, I was able to spend time with extended family, and with my grandkids.  It has been so fun and refreshing, that in ways, I do feel like a kid again.  Giving myself permission to play and enjoy laughter just for the pure joy of it.

 Santa Cruz girls in Washington

Spending time with family, and getting reconnected; grounded, has been great for the "roots of my life".  Being reminded of history, and foundations have been "life giving" as pure fresh water and nutrients for my soul.

I tend to function in a work mode.  Thinking, planing and preparing for work and the necessities of life, often I forget that refreshment and rest are just as important.  Our bodies need to be in tune with the seasons of nature, and seasons of life.  I'm thankful that I've had different opportunities this summer to REFRESH and RESTORE.  Recalibrate my life balance to optimize healthy choices, and reset plans and goals.

For many, summer is starting to wind down as "back to school" preparations begin.  I hope that you are able to snatch some summer moments and hold them close in your memory.  May they give you the boost you need to gear up for the next season ahead of you, and I will try and do the same.

Inspiration from Great Grammy's Rose Garden

 Family reunion at Lake Tahoe

Have a beauty-filled summer!
 Breathe deeply.  Love wholly.  Laugh Loudly! And I will do the same.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

                                        The Magic Behind the Unicorns

I wanted to give a special "shout out" to my husband, Jerry, for all the help and support he has given to me since I started Pear Creek Cottage 8 years ago.

When we started this adventure, I had just completed over a decade of working for a corporation.  As with "corporate work", there were definitely ups and downs.  Major frustrations, a few "highs" help balance the "lows".

Jerry believed in me, right from the start.  He willingly supported the lack of income we received, while the business was being birthed and grown.  He was and still is my #1 moral support.  He believes in me and my dream...sometimes more than I believe in myself.

Here we are 8 years later, and we are working side by side in our small home business.  Neither one of us saw this coming, but when Jerry's company sold the part of the business where he worked, he was let go.

He has company while he cuts out shapes!  His favorite is John Wayne movies.  He has seen them so many times, he has them memorized I think!  :)

We teased each other, about him "working for me"...but low and behold, it has come to pass.  Well, he doesn't really work for me, but with me.  He has become an excellent die cutting apprentice!  Can I just let you know that he has been cutting felt unicorns for the whole month of June and beyond.  He has cut over 4000 unicorns!  Whoo hoo!

Taking a lunch/walk break along our lovely Santa Cruz Coastline
It may not seem the "manly man" thing to do, but yet there he is still cutting and stacking the unicorns all nice and neat as they await shipping out to customers.  His large fingers, delicately cradling the fragile unicorns as if they were a newborn babe.  Observing this, as I routinely work on filling orders, has brought a new surge of love and admiration for this man that I said; "I Do" to, over 39 years ago.

I just had to stop and share with you the importance of our love and commitment to each other.  Doing things for each other, even when we don't "feel" like it.  Placing each other as a priority.  Working together to achieve our goals.  Realizing anew, that we need each other.  We were not made to do this life alone.  God intends for us to live in joy, and in relationship.  Just as The Father, and The Son, and The Holy Spirit live in community and relationship, we too are designed to live in relationship.

My joy level has risen as I see the care and love that Jerry displays by his actions.  The Magic behind the unicorns?  LOVE!!

 Together, we both are so grateful for your continued support of our small home business.  You are helping us as a family, and our THANKS is heartfelt and sincere.

Did you know that you can use our "White Wax Dipping Felt" shapes for more than dipping in wax!    Use your favorite markers, and color right onto the felt. Great for kids crafts or for your own personal muse.   Let your inner artist out!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

June is my Birthday Month!  Yay for Special Days and Celebrating.

Celebrating birthdays can sometimes be tedious.  Depending on the frame of mind one has.  The age old adage, "you're only as old as you feel"...and other great sayings can leave one feeling older than they really are.

This year, I am turning 59!  Yup!  It's a big one.  Not ready for retirement, but viewing it off in the distance.  When I think of retirement, I really don't know what to think specifically.  Does one really retire?  Retire from what?  Living?  The "promise" of something better in retirement shadows the present. The scene similar to hanging a carrot in front of a rabbit.  Teasing.  Taunting.  Causing dissatisfaction with current situation.  I don't want this to be my focus.

I've decided that today, right now...I'm going to live in the present.  Not exerting energy into speculating, what the future may have.  I feel mentally stronger, and accepting of my place and position in life.  I want to move forward confident in this acceptance of self.  Focusing on contentment, not discontentment.  Finding things to be grateful for, and appreciative of.

Recently, I've been able to work on new art pieces.  You can see some of the pieces here:
The words and verses on these art pieces are all meaningful to me.  This has been my process.  When you view these pieces, you can see what I've been thinking on, and where the direction of my life is heading.  Check the shop to see when these pieces are listed: here

As I look forward to my 59th year of life, I am excited.  I am anticipating great adventures and life lessons learned.  I am learning to see Immanuel's (God with us) presence in everyday moments.  I'm full of joy and expectancy as I look forward to what lies ahead on my life journey.

Sharing smiles with you straight from my flower garden.  Do you see them?  The little smiley faces in the middle of the daisies?  I just love how happy these make me.  Hope you enjoy them as well.

Thank you for joining with me and being a traveling companion on this adventure.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

What You Do, Is Important

Do you find yourself questioning your significance?  Is what you are doing right now of lasting importance?  Are you really making a difference in someone's life, or the world?

These are all natural questions that humankind asks.  We have a deep need inside each one of us, hardwired into our DNA and makeup, to be important.  To matter.

Every once in awhile, God pulls back the curtain and reveals to each of us "how" we matter to others.

I recently had this experience and wanted to share some of the highlights with you.

I own on online business called Pear Creek Cottage.  One of the services we offer are die cutting shapes for customers.  It often doesn't seem like a "big deal", but to our customers...we give them the gift of time.  We cut the shapes for them, freeing up their time to create, make, or do what is more important to them.  While we offer products for sale, we also consider that we are offering a service and gift of time.
 Pear Creek Cottage is situated on Family acreage bordering Pear Creek Lane 

Today, I would like to introduce you to a sweet customer named Dannell.  I first had the opportunity to work with Dannell in 2015.  She needed some of our felt die cut shapes for a project that she was working on with her son.  Most recently, I had the opportunity to work with her again, and this time, she let me know more of her amazing story.  You can read her story on her blog.

Special, sacred, holy; are the words that come to mind reading and hearing of Dannell's story.  She is a chosen individual that has a unique anointing to do the work of God.  I feel blessed indeed, that I was able to have a miniscule part in her story, by providing felt shapes for Levi.  In order to not detract from her writings, I encourage you to use the link to her blog.

The neat and extraordinary timing of Dannell sharing her story with me was, I needed encouragement.  I was taking a stroll down the path of discouragement, feeling like I wasn't making a difference or doing anything important.

 Isn't that just like God?  Just when I needed an uplift, along comes "angel Levi", and his mom Dannell to share their story with me.

May I encourage you today to know, even if you don't "feel" like you matter or are making a difference.  In the huge big picture, you are.  You are a uniquely designed, creatively placed, "puzzle piece" that completes the picture.  Without you, the "puzzle" has a gaping hole.  You matter.  You are needed.  There is a bigger picture and plan that we don't yet see.

Puzzle Blanks for sale in the shop

Thank you for reading and following along.  Please visit Dannell's blog and give her some love.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Spring is Here...feeling GRATEFUL

 After a couple of bouts with sickness this past winter, my body and mind are rejoicing that it is Spring.  Winter felt long and hard.  I was forced to rest and care for my health, which isn't a bad thing. 

I am a doer.  A "go-getter".  A planner.  Sometimes, I don't know when to stop.  Thankfully, my Creator God, has allowed me to experience sickness in order to stop and rest, and regain health; as well as learning to be more grateful for the health I do have.

In between sleeping, and coughing, I had some moments where I had mini inspiring creative moments.  Wanting to work in my planners, and get them spruced up, I came up with some designs that would help me be more organized.

 Recently, I started embroidering again.  Using wool blend felt shapes, and acrylic felt shapes gives me a great "canvas" to practice my stitches on.

 Here are some pictures of projects that I worked on while recuperating.

Hand-stitched basket of flowers
journal notebook book band.

Travelers Notebooks (TN) book bands. Elastic bands stitched with
decorative wool felt shapes.

Jumbo paper clips with decorative fabric shapes.
Stitched rabbit journal notebook band.


Yesterday, I was able to go for a nice walk with my daughter and grandson.  As I was walking along, all of a sudden, I realized..."I'm grateful!"  Grateful for the beauty of creation that surrounds me.  Grateful for movement, and the ability to walk.  Grateful for the company of my daughter and grandson...having family close.    Sharing these moments together, fills me with JOY!

I hope the season change to Spring has allowed you some time to capture and rehearse being thankful and grateful.  Thank you for reading and traveling with me on this life journey.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Living in the Moment

My day was planned.  I was carefully orchestrating the details for a productive work day. And then, I heard a knock on my back door.  My grandson Caleb, almost 4 years old, came over to ask me to go for a walk.  I had already declined to his mom.  Somehow, my declining and his mom explaining my unavailability to walk at that time, was not going to deter him.  He decided I needed another personal invitation; thus, the knock on my door.

Caleb insisted that our walk would be fun, and that I would enjoy it.  He willingly offered to wait for me, while I got ready to go.  Several adoringly sweet smiles, and 100% charm, and this Gramma was jumping up ready to go wherever her adventurous little grandson wanted.

This year, I am trying to learn to live more in each moment.  Not just looking toward the future, but what is happening in the here and now.  Practicing being present.  Living in JOY.  I am learning that JOY is relational.  Joy starts with a smile.  Joy means someone is glad to be with me.

The fact that Caleb was expressing his joy and delight in wanting to be with me was extremely contagious!  All of a sudden, there was nothing more that I wanted to do than to be with him.

What a beautiful lesson I received this morning in JOYfull living.  The weather was perfect!  The fresh sea-salt air was invigorating.   Inhaling the "signs of Spring" that surrounded us on our walk was mind renewing.  Below are a few photos snapped on our unexpected, and enchanting walk.

Freshly plowed brussel sprouts field on the left overlooking the Pacific Ocean!
 Sharing the hiking path with "Indy" and his rider!  Walking up to Indy and letting him check me out and then, getting to pet him was a glee filled moment!
 These apple trees are on the historic Wilder Ranch just north of Santa Cruz.  Meandering through the ranch setting and letting my imagination play was a great exercise.  Thinking of the people and their stories, folks that lived in this idyllic place gave me greater appreciation for the ingenuity and resourcefulness of earlier generations.  To be three generations observing the scene together was heartwarming.  (Gramma, daughter, grandson)
Isn't this the most perfect playground for children?  Caleb wanted to show me how he could climb this tree, and explore the "mature Aloe Vera plant hedge forts" that were surrounding it.

Surrounded by natural beauty.  Inhaling the freshness.  I am so thankful that I allowed my schedule to be interrupted and gave myself permission to be.  "Be" in the moment with my loved ones.  Be present with Creator God who made all the beauty I was observing. Just being present in the moment.

For a recovering workaholic today was just "what the doctor ordered".  I needed it more than I realized.  I am so thankful for the ways that God uses people in my life to show me things that I might have missed otherwise.  I am thankful for little Caleb. and his insistence that I accompany him and his mom on the walk.  I am thankful for all the little and BIG ways that my Creator God continually reveals his love for me, and his JOY in me and being in my presence.