Wednesday, November 30, 2016

And so it was, Thanksgiving 2016...

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This year’s thanks giving time was very very different for us,
to say the very very least!
The best laid plans of B,
did not turn out quite as planned, but nonetheless memorable!
Sometimes I find it funny how much like my mother I am, sometimes NOT!!!
We headed to “The Shawfarm” with all the trimmings, St. Philip in total supportive mode, as usual!  All the trappings of the holiday crammed into the truck, decorations, dog, desserts and food for Cox’s army (who is cox anyway?).  Not to mention, material for at least one farm project, my new edict for every trip, the proverbial whip cracker I am!
My visions of eating outside on a beautiful table under the old oak out back were squashed by unwanted thanksgiving guests, the entire Moulton fly population; so inside we stayed.  Just my dream of what the scene would have been…


This is what I do to entertain myself and practice my photography skills or lack thereof, while St. Philip works on his project…that’s fair right? 

We did have loads of company fun, rides in the woods, “kids” puzzle making, movies and a bit of rowdiness, cold nights and cozy fires.  All the good stuff which is really all that matters!   
 I so wanted perfect pictures and thankfulness writing…almost happened!  Sometimes my expectations are a bit too high, you know ~ flowers or a bottle of wine for the cook ~ Ha...Maybe next year! 

But after the dust settled and it was just St. P and I, the change in the holiday settled over me.  Missing Mom but know that she was watching over my attempt to repeat her dressing, the worry if the turkey was done and the quiet that ensued once the blessing was said. 
Always wishing for just one more moment to express my love to her,
Well ~ to everyone in my life... 
Something I am forever working on, maybe I’ll get that right one day too!
Colossians 3:15  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Hope your Thanksgiving opened your heart for love
to abound in the Christmas season ahead!
gracefully grateful, always b

Friday, November 4, 2016

Cluttered Grace

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Several months ago, I helped my Mom clean out her closets. 
No small feat if you knew Elizabeth, the Al spoiled, budgetless, shopping queen! After the loss of my stepfather Dad, her shining knight husband of 33 years, it was something that we all had to wait a while to do.   
What I had offered half-jokingly as an uninterrupted week of my assistance to do anything around her home as a “Mother’s Day” gift,
turned out to be just that.
For almost an entire week, we sorted through three closets filled with many years of ballroom dancing, sunday dressing, Steinmart shopping surplus.  My sister joined in as we sneezed a little, remembered a lot and laughed a bunch!
As she pondered each item, keep, pass down, donate, you could feel a sense of clarity settle over her.   Letting go of things held on to can be hard, whether kept out of true sentiment, stubborn will or simply forgetting they were there.  My mom loved her clothes; and with each bag filled, we had to chuckle as she said “this is just sinful”. 

But we also had to remember from whence she came…Born on Christmas Eve 1934, hailing from tiny Eagan, Texas; Elizabeth Carol Dixon told stories of corn husk dolls, getting one new pair of shoes per year if that and wearing underwear sewn from flour sacks!  A pair of which were devastatingly revealed to a young crush when she fell while playing a game in school and forever ingrained in her memory.
So after counting around 450 hangers to replace with those skinny non slip kind in her main closet, we narrowed it down to a color coordinated and organized 300, give or take, with quite a bit of breathing space.  My how life for her changed in 82 years!  Who’s to blame her for wanting nice things and loving to shop?  It was all a well deserved blessing.
I started this post a few months back.  And today as I tried to come up with a post to explain my absence and lack of posts regarding a Christmas Trunk Show, I decided to share this with you all. 
My beautiful, beloved, best dressed Mom is now in heaven…so unexpectedly, far too soon, but undoubtedly dancing with my Dad and quite possibly clothed in the most beautiful dancing dress she has ever worn.   When she first went in the hospital, just a short month ago, our “plan” was when she got better, she was coming over to sit with me while I prepared for the show.  She was always willing to help in any way, because she knew and loved my procrastinating self.
So today all I can hear is her saying, “Belinda, maybe you should have started a bit sooner"   But then she would follow up with, “What do you need me to do?”

Now as I look around at my cluttered home in the midst of an almost finished remodeling project; then think about getting through the holidays and months ahead, I am praying for God's grace and constance like never before!  Oh how I’m going to miss her and her not so subtle but loving way with me.  And as I muddle through this season without her, I smile just knowing that I will always have her constant love and support.

Sometimes we just forget that real good memories have a permanent storage place in our hearts…my heart will be forever cluttered with uncountable gracefull ones!

"If you live close to God And His infinite grace,
You don't have to tell; It shows on your face."
As for a GraceReclaimed Christmas Trunk Show...
IF I can shoo the contractors out of my house, muster up the strength and keep in mind she would have been here with bells on, it MIGHT just happen.  
Probably more of a "Pop Up" type show,
I'll keep you posted, patience requested!!
Love you my friends, Hug your Moms
In His gracious care, B

Friday, October 7, 2016

I think I can, I THINK I CAN….

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Hello Fall!  Yes, finally some fall like weather in Texas!  But I say that quietly, because you know what happens as soon as you speak it, shhhhhhh...
The pumpkins are out, the leaves are FALLING! 

I’m just not sure it’s the seasonal change because our trees seem sick and it’s a literal aphid festival in Tomball.  Anyone else?

In the midst of cleaning up a bit of the mess, we spied this big guy in our large pecan tree…about 50’ up no less; hope he is not stalking my Gracie!



But I digress...on to the THINK I CAN part. 
No promises, because I hate broken ones. Just know that I’m really, really trying to work a trunk show in and around a little caretaking, design work and new kitchen construction that keeps doing the “scope creep” thing.  I learned the term from St. Philip, imagine that!
He uses it often when I start adding to his to do list.
Dust and ideas are flyin’.  And of course I have to rearrange my tinytexasstudio, aka the sewing closet!!
Beginning to admit that this lady engine has a bit of A.D.D.
So just in case I make it over that creative mountain, I’m planning my GraceReclaimed
“Just B's~Everything but the Christmas Kitchen Sink”
 Trunk Show for November 12, 2016, or thereabouts!  

  PENCIL her in please!  Snippets and sneak peeks to follow.

My sweet tiny pumpkin candle holders, a long ago gift from a special friend, always makes me think of her!

I think I can thought for the day...
You cannot go back and make a brand new beginning, but you can start now and make a brand new ending! 
I love this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But love it even more from 2 Corinthians 5:17 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Off to the SILOBRATION with my sweet St. P

Gracefully thankful for him and the newness of each day, B

Welcoming Fall at the old Charlton Place!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

What I didn’t do on my summer vacation…

Almost fall…Well September is here!
But summer still lingers here in Texas and it will for a good while!
Hope things are cooling down and your summer was full of relaxation and fun.
  I’ve been MIA for a bit! Wish I could say I was off on another Pagosa adventure with my friend Robin or maybe a restful vacay to an exotic island location with St. Philip, but NO! 
Just here at home dealing with life, such as it is,
in the pretty empty nest on Epps Street!
It was however a very eventful summer. 
 St. Philip was job hunting again, WHEW God has a plan for us I’m still trying to understand! 
And it’s the season in our lives of worrying about parents and half grown children, just everyday stuff!
HE has a plan for that too!!!
~But on to the eventfulls~
My summer non-vacation pics...hope you have a chair!

Hosted a reception for my youngest guy, A big shout out to my family and friends for showing your love and support!
UPDATE, God answered prayer, as of November
Hallelujah He's single again!
On to new "Mom hair graying adventures",
Harley riding and the that order!
But I'll take these over the last thankfully!!

And helped decorate my middle’s new apartment, he and his sweet girl, YAY last semester, student teaching and real life to come!
Craig's List Sofa!
Heirloom Art...Ha!
 Started a little project upstairs...can you say original shiplap?
My way of cleaning the bits of string from old wall covering! Yep, I did!
On hold for now, St. Philip had to go back to work.
He's good like that!!
Spent some summertime fun with the grandbabes!
BeBe's Birthday, you can tell the excitement by age, I'm with you Jackson!
Dress Up Breakfast!
Costume Making!
 I caved in to doing the Camp Blessing Gala again, and I was blessed!
Thank you Carla!
 Parisian Circus Theme
 At San Souci Tomball, an over the top, interesting and extremely generous place!

Joined in on a book launch group for "All the Pretty Things" by Edie Wadsworth
A wonderful, heartfelt, emotional jump...
A must read! 

And now this….my new kitchen beginnings!

Ingenious St. Philip!
Raised just enough for tile guys' demolition.

And it's just about now that I should be gearing up for the 
2016 GraceReclaimed Trunk Show!
I’m trying to wrap my head, heart and hands around it!  Pray for all three :))) please!

And to you gracefull and probably few that stuck with me to this end...Thanks for that, B
I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Getting one thing clear!!!

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For those of you who've asked....GraceReclaimed is NOT going anywhere!

I am still here doing my decorating and design, reclaimed stuff, trunk shows, etc. after 20+years!  Just so hard to believe!!  And rambling about my own shenanigans will continue as long as someone is willing to read!  Which is what this little blog thing has always been about...

You see, the blogging only started after a suggestion from a dear friend who set up the first website related to 7thJoy.  7thJoy was a sidelineshortlivedendeavor with another dear friend and my last post was a simple birthday wish to her and a final nod to that fun while it lasted creative partnership!

During the last seven or so years, I've come to enjoy the writing and sharing of creative things, life happenings, along with a bit of my faith strengths and struggles on this blog.  I am blessed when I know someone takes the time to read and especially when someone posts a comment.  But most of all, I am blessed and grateful that it has become a sort of personal journal of the things I love for those I love!   So I'm still here, doing my thing...

Now on to the good stuff...a weekend snag (almost!) 
If fighting the Friday afternoon traffic with the rest of Houston rushing home to enjoy it counts...
Yes we did! Drove all the way to Bellaire just before rush hour, to pick up this Craig's List guy and his twin!

 Aren't they handsome?  Contemplating the makeover!

 Just know for sure, I'm not laying a hand on their gorgeous green cowhide seats...not a chance!
 I'll share the progress, just might have to ponder these for a bit...

So hope to see you here again.
I'm here for a now anyway!
Stay faithful, blessed and close!!
In His gracious care,
Belinda Abbott-Shaw
of GraceReclaimed


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The birth and passing of 7thJoy!

Several years ago, as I was puttering along with my “little” design business, a friend and I decided that it would be fun to create together. 
Exactly what, we weren’t sure…
but determined we began 7thJoy. 
The name, just a little reference to our July births and the joy that creating with your hands can bring!!!

I first met Robin McCarty McKay when St. Philip and I moved to Timbergreen near Tomball and had the pleasure of hosting part of the neighborhood Christmas progressive dinner.  Robin showed up in her MoveOverMartha fashion, with a thoughtful hostess gift of homemade Fireside Coffee in of course, the sweetest little gift tin...
and I’ve been impressed by her talents ever since!

This wasn’t the Christmas Party…but an example of the fun she can be with friends in tow…Bunco night joke played on me by her & cohort Alisa!
It wasn’t until much later though...a move away from Texas and back to Tomball (me not her), boys growing up (mine and hers), my oldest getting married (her by my side, God bless her!); that we realized we had much more in common than living outnumbered in our male dominated homes and our love for creating beautiful things.   
And as we’ve weathered through these past 12+ years, getting to truly know each other, realizing our common obsessions, our shared interests, our strengths and weaknesses…much more has happened than creating together!  
And I am forever grateful!

Many Madonna pillows, corporate gift baskets, paper wreaths, sweater scarfs, Christmas ornaments, crosses and infamous peasant bags later, we are bonded by a triple stitch strong sisterhood!

7thJoy shenanigans in our past, she weary and off to new adventures, myself busy with sweet clients and GraceReclaimed, I reluctantly let our 7thJoy website/domain go this past month.  Bittersweet of course!   But nonetheless graced by its part in an everlasting kinship!

So Happy Birthday Robin, my talented, BetterthanMartha Friend!  It’s been a ride!  Thanks for sticking with me through the creative bliss, the calamity of guy raising (all of them!) and this thing we call mid-life!  And thanks for teaching me that rule following isn’t always necessary!  You are a beautiful blessing!  Love, b