Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Giving thanks...

"In everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thess. 5:18) Our aim at the Hendrickson household is to gather with a grateful heart, both at Thanksgiving and throughout the year. I am continually amazed by the goodness and faithfulness of our Lord Jesus, despite the cultural tide that seems bent on changing the shoreline. I am convinced that even in these turbulent times of moral shifting, God is still on His throne and nothing is outside His control. 

As a believer, I need to be willing to stand for what is godly, even when doing so causes me personal loss or reproach. He calls us to holiness, to be set apart and separated for Him. Holy living, not perfect living --- living in Christ's grace each day and recognizing my own weakness. It's not easy to pursue a life of transformation when so many are clamoring for everything and anything but that reality. I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus, even if it means I will suffer for following Him. That's not pleasant to say, and many days I am afraid of the fallout --- I am bothered by the picture painted of Christianity in our culture at large. It is so different from the faith I experience and yet I believe I can understand why many see it the way they do (Rom. 1:18-32). Jesus calls us to live right-side-up in an upside-down world, and so to that end I am fixing my eyes on Him!

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3

Monday, June 29, 2015

Holy, Holy, Holy!

The words of this hymn were penned by Reginald Heber in 1826 for Trinity Sunday while he was serving as Vicar of Hodnet in Shropshire, England. He died unexpectedly the same year and his wife found the words among his personal affects. It's been on my heart this morning...
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

"And blessed be His glorious name forever;
And may the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen, and Amen." Psalm 72:19

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Just came across a super neat resource today! Founded by Terri Ann of the blog, Childlike Fascination, the site catalogs ongoing and past Quiltalongs, Mystery Quilts, Block-of-the-Month series, and daily link parties. Terri Ann also writes a pretty interesting blog in conjunction with the site --- I'll be visiting regularly. Oh, and maybe sign up for the newsletter.

What a nifty idea!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Silence is Golden...

...or maybe Grade B?  {grin}

For several years now my younger brother and I have flirted with the idea of tapping the giant sugar maples in the woods around our parents' home. At the end of the season last year, I even picked up a few old school-style spiles on clearance at our local farm store in preparation. I can't say what exactly pushed us over the edge this year, but we dove in headfirst and haven't looked back! It's been a nifty process and we can't help but cheer at the wonder of the creation around us. Our Heavenly Father's majestic design is plain for all to see!

“Ever since the creation of the world His eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things He has made. So [we] are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

We've no idea what 'grade' our syrup is --- only that is sweet, tasty, and utterly beautiful in the eye of the beholder, namely, us. It had better be --- it sure does take a whole lot of work!  {grin}  We started our adventure by going to the "Backyard Sugaring" class offered at Blanford Nature Center in Grand Rapids. That in itself was a treat! Tree identification, the science behind the "Big Thaw," and a tour of the Sugar Shack had us chomping at the bit to get started. We're two weeks into our season and have enjoyed the trial and error of sugaring. It's become a real family affair!

We're using a system of plastic spiles, tubing, and covered 5 gallon buckets for sap collection. We have a total of 12 trees tapped (my older brother secured the permission of several of his neighbors to tap their sugar maples, too!) and our sap is registering around 4% sugar content on the hydrometer. Eek! It sure does make for tasty syrup...

The boiling process began with a propane burner and large kettle, with an ingenious little 'drip can' that my mom rigged up comprised of a quart-size tin can with a hole punched in the bottom and hung on the rim of pot with a coat hanger. Yeah, she MacGuyver'ed it --- my mom's cool that way...  {grin}  She calibrated her can so it would drip a quart of sap into the boiling pot every 15 minutes. She said syrup making is perfect for people who have short attention spans!  {wink}

My dad and older brother got a little impatient, so they went ahead and ordered an evaporator! It cuts down significantly on the pre-syrup boil and it's a little easier to skim the sugar scum off, too. Our largest sap collection on any one day was 32 gallons. That's a lot of sap to keep below 40 degrees!  {grin}

We've got about a week to go on our sap collecting before the weather warms up too much here in West Michigan. I must say that this is the most I've enjoyed the month of March in a very long time! I'm usually mourning the passing of winter and glaring at the fury of "March Madness" taking over my regularly scheduled TV programming.  {wink}  Syrup making will definitely make this time of year more 'shiny' in my estimation.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 

Christmas doesn't end at the manger!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Lemon Cornbread Cake

[May I state for the record how frustrating it is to use an iPad to post on Blogger? The funny thing is, Safari gives me a "Complain to Google" button!]

...the jury of the D is still out on this one, but I loved it! A quick shuffle through the pantry landed me a box of Jiffy cornbread mix (what can I say, I'm nostalgic) and a box of "Cook & Serve" lemon pudding. From the fridge, I rescued an orphaned egg white, its full-fledged cousin, the last of the half 'n half, and a lemon that had known better days. A bit of sugar, a little flour, and a splash of olive oil rounded out a batter that baked up surprisingly tender for such humble beginnings. Mmmm...  (grin)

Try it!

Lemon Cornbread Cake

1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
1 small box Jell-O Cook & Serve lemon pudding mix
1/4 cup flour
1 egg white
1 whole egg
3/4 cup half 'n half
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon, divided
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Beat together the cornbread mix, dry pudding mix, flour, egg white, whole egg, half 'n half, granulated sugar, olive oil, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Pour into a greased 11 x 7" pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 to 27 minutes, or until top springs back when lightly touched. Meanwhile, beat together powdered sugar and remaining lemon juice mixed with enough water to equal 2 tablespoons. Spread over top of warm cake to edges. Serve.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Disappearing Pinwheel

...such a fun little block! I first saw this technique in a Missouri Star Quilt Co. video tutorial --- then Jenny did a part two that resulted in a Churn Dash. Eek! I love those... Jenny strikes me as a very sweet lady. I'd totally like to meet her some day...  {grin}

Here's a little cheat sheet:

Monday, July 14, 2014


...a little color with the Palette Builder 2.1 - Beta software at Play-Crafts (and it's kind of fun!!)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Somewhat discouraged...

I've been visiting the Moda Bakeshop since pretty much its inception ---- I love that magical place! And I won't deny a deep and abiding love, too, for quite a few of the Moda pre-cuts.  {grin}  In my down time, I dig drawing patterns that are "Perfect for Pre-cuts" (yes, clever, but also a magazine name....I digress).

Last week I drafted a pattern for a throw quilt I named "Casablanca" that worked well with a 10" layer cake --- I was inspired by the quatrefoil repeat, Moorish tile, and a West Elm rug. Inspiration strikes in the strangest places, but I have friends living in northern Africa who are coming soon for a visit and were on my mind. I've been intending to make quilts for each of their 4 (soon to be 5!) kiddos and thought a taste of their adopted homeland might be a nice touch.

In the end, I felt the pattern was fun, cute, and rather nifty. Such that I finally talked myself into filling out the submission form and sending off my little one for consideration as a Bakeshop feature. I draw in solids, so I tracked down thumbnails of BasicGrey's fall line, Persimmon, and used those as my fabric starting points. (I can't be the only one who loves the fact that BasicGrey and Cosmo Cricket designs are available on both paper AND fabric, right???) Gorgeous, yes, yes!

Today as I was wandering through the various blogs I like to wander through from time to time, I came across some new pattern releases by Emily Herrick of Crazy Old Ladies. She posted them yesterday and honestly, my heart sank when I got halfway through the post. To me it's obvious our block construction is different and the overall pattern isn't a mirror image, but I am very bummed that my darling Casablanca is channeling the same vibe as Emily's Urban Trellis. Before today I'd never seen her pattern ---- in pictures, person, on the web, or anywhere. I don't know why this makes me so sad, except for the fact that I finally worked up the courage to submit something I'd made...only to discover somebody else was slightly ahead of me.  {sigh}

Monday, February 17, 2014


...a fun (and flannel-y) finish! I am quite the good project starter, but oh so painfully slow at finishing anything. That said, I am totally geeked about this contribution to the fabrisphere because it's for a very special new mommy and daddy. One of my dearest friends, Brooke, and her husband, Si, have been in the process of becoming foster parents. They were officially licensed on New Year's Day and just a few weeks ago welcomed a "permanent placement" into their home: a 15-month old boy named Nathaniel.

They are beginning the adoption process and hopefully by the end of this summer Nate will be theirs forever and ever! I got to meet their little man this past Friday and I completely agree with his momma ---- love at first sight! I can't post pictures of Nate, but I can show you his quilt:

Because I ended up meeting him sooner than I expected, I wasn't able to do the full-fledged quilt I had in mind (maybe for his birthday??), but I'm pleased as punch with this cozy flannel strip quilt with super soft ragged edges. It matches the nursery theme (by accident) and I found the cutest snuggly yellow lion to go with it.

For the quilt, I cut two 3" and 6" by the WOF strips from 6 half-yard cuts (flannel is funny -- my widths were all over the place and some had pretty 'deep' selvages, too). Each strip is three layers thick --- matching flannel for the front and back plus a solid for the 'batting' aspect. I quilted the layers together with a single center line stitch (you could do decorative here, I opted for straight) then joined the strips with a half-inch seam, making sure to keep all the seams on one side of the quilt. I snipped the seams width-wise at 1/8" and then sewed the perimeter with a 1/2" seam allowance and snipped those edges, too. No binding made a for a super fast finish! The whole thing went through two laundry cycles and frayed beautifully! It's a really warm blanket which is good for us northerly Mid-westerners.  {grin}

Welcome home, Nate!

p.s. I'm guessing by now that you figured out this quilt doesn't measure 60" ---- doh! It's more like 54" long, which is still a nice length when you're from the toddler set.  {wink}