Amazing Gift came to me as the title of this entry. It sounds a lot like Amazing Grace. When you go through a difficult time, you may sometimes also experience the amazement of Grace. Spiritual gifts will be given to you, sometimes in the form of a concrete gift. Sheila Rumney gave me this gift because she cared and wanted to do something to help us in our profound sadness. She also gave it to us because she had know the sadness of pancreatic cancer. She had lost her ""other mother," (her stepmother, whom she loved very much) to pancreatic cancer. To me, therein lies the touch of Grace...for her to share out of her own pain. Out of that pain, came a gift of joy and the love of God appeared in a hard experience.
|Thank you to Sheila for letting me use her pictures!|
Sheila and I are "creators." I stop short of calling myself an artist. I would call her one. She made me a book to record my Christmas ornaments. More than any of my possessions, I love my ornaments. They tell stories. They tell the story of the life of Jud and I and our family, from before we were married to the present. They tell of when we had Katie, when we lost our twin sons in childbirth, the many other teens and young adults that came to live with us, and our wonderful friends and family. Sheila made a scrapbook that will house the pictures and stories of the ornaments and gave it to me as a gift. She poured herself into it. It is rich in beauty and detail and I love it! I wanted you all to see the whole thing!
"Ornament Stories" is created in beautiful cherry reds, greens which lean toward olive, gentle beige and soft aqua. The sides of the album are embellished with a joyous mass of lace, ribbon and strips of material that pick up these colors.
Poking through the top right is a beautiful crystal. I think it's fitting that the theme of the front page is sledding, something I did a lot of as a child, as we also did with our daughter, Kat. Is there a sled ornament on our tree? Of course! I bought a handmade one twenty-seven years ago at Calvary Lutheran Church in Rapid City, South Dakota!
There is always a place on my shopping list for ornaments Isn't that a darling little girl on the shopping list at the left? Each of my family gets a new one each year. This frame is meant to hold the picture of a particularly elegant one, I think. Most likely, it will hold a picture of the beautiful brass angel, given to us several years ago by our dear friends, Sheryl and Jo, in our annual Christmas angel exchange. I love the three-D nature of my book. Look at all of the dimensional flowers and the snowflakes that even have little rhinestones in the center. Under the picture frame is the most gorgeous antique laee.
Talk about joy! The page at the left is full of joyful Santas and snowmen. I would call them Retro, rather than Vintage....like when I was a girl! I can picture the big fat Snorkel Santa, given to us my Katie's godparents, Charlie and Kathie, the year we learned to snorkel. Jud and I were both too sick for our final dive, which was to take place on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. We have a wonderful (also fat) Santa the cook, gifted to us by Karen and Sam. We spent many happy hours cooking with those dear friends! At the right, there is a wonderful lace-trimmed pocket, holding two handmade tags, pieces of art in themselves! On these tags, I will tell these stories about the ornaments pictured on the left. The attention to detail is incredible. The holly is that great "old-fashioned" holly and there is a teeny tree cookie cutter on the tea-dyed tag. Oh, I love it!
Another darling set of pages. The background is covered with happy children. I love the red boy on the left that has a bell in the center, hooked with a safety pin. Look at that tag on the left that matches the trim. I love the little bit of houndstooth paper...and the button has red and white baker's string that matches!
This set of pages is amazing! A beautiful blue background (this paper is wonderful) and the cutest angel tag, dotted with glitter. In the middle is a wonderful Santa, 3-D glittery snowflakes, and, guess what, the page opens up...it is an envelope!!! I can imagine putting little gift tags in the envelope, when friends give us an ornament with a special loving gift tag. And look...
...Here is the other side of the envelope, fully decorated! Layer on layer, a beautiful round picture of Santa and children on a sled, lovely bits of glitter. Sheila is not a minimalist! Neither am I! i love the snowman tag on the other side, another place for writing about our beloved ornaments. It also has lovely, glittery bits and a glittery snowflake on the top. And white lines to help my crooked handwriting :-)
The other one, also totally adorable. Tea-dyed with a glittery snowflake. Hooked on to the seam binding bow, which is the prettiest shade of blue.
Another lovely picture on the left side with a cute tab in the middle. It begs to be written on...like on a file folder in school. And the right side has a different kind of pocket, decorated with gimp and two adorable tags. The one poking out has glittery children carrying a tree and darling lace on the bottom
Another lovely page of holly. It is a little hard to see, but that is a tiny red chandelier crystal handing from the tag on the left. Adorable page on the right. I love the pictures of children. I guess the school psychologist and special ed teacher in me is still in there somewhere. Love those dear children! The tag at the top is tied with an strip of muslin. Just so fitting! The other has the cutest little boy in a red parka. He almost looks like a little gnome! Then there is that glittery piece of candy and beige seam binding tied at the top. On the pocket there is darling lace everywhere!
Sadly, we are on our last page. Beautiful blues everywhere. This is really a wonderful set of paper. Sheila told me what t was and I believe she said it was Webster's Pages. Someone, correct me quickly, if I am wrong! It may be hard to see this clearly but I love how all the colors coordinate so beautifully. The Color Geniuses have been at work on this one. Would I ever have thought to put pale aqua blue with red and green. No. Never. It is a wonderful combination. Cheery and Classical Christmassy and yet so soft at the same time. Dud you see the big rhinestones? There are three on the tab on the left and one in the middle of the snowflake. The very last little picture has a mom and her little girl. She looks like she is seeing snow for the first time. Just precious.
We have no picture of the back but on the bottom, is says, "Made with Love, Sheila Rumney." Yes, indeed, this gift was made with so much love. My eyes are swimming with tears again. It is a gift of art and it is a gift from the heart.
This is a gift that I will add to and enjoy always. I pray that Jud will be here with me to enjoy it, too. I have already taken many pictures and look forward to the "story" part.
I am a creator, too. I know the hours of work that went into this. I am so touched!
Sheila, again, I thank you. I will never, ever forget this. I imagine being a little old lady and still not forgetting this. It came to me when my heart was low and picked me right up and brought me great joy.
It was an incredibly kind thing for you to do.
I have said it many times before, I am grateful. I am so grateful and so touched.
You are a lovely, lovely woman.
Inside and out.