Advent Banners


Planning Stages

Last January, a long time, much loved member of our congregation passed away.  I officiated the funeral and was handsomely renumerated.  Her favourite time of year was Christmas, she always did it up BIG!  I told the family that I would like to do something in her memory.

So, here was my vision.  Our congregation has a quilting group that managed to pull me into their creative circle.  I approached them with the request that ten banners be quilted to decorate the worship space of the church.  They agreed and asked that I provide some sort of ‘pattern.’  It was my hope that everyone would use somewhere in the skyscape the same fabric, purchased by me, to give some continuity through all the banners and they were free to use other fabrics I had available or fabric from their own stashes.  The lightest colours fabric was to begin at the bottom of their banner and gradually get darker toward the top.  The stars were Friendship Stars and could be placed as suited them.  My hope was that the pattern was just a guide and that each quilter would use their own creativity and imagination.

Following is the progress on my own banners.

Top for the 48″ x 64″ banner intended for the left side of the sanctuary

Full view of banner in process of being quilted

Smaller 36″ x 48″ banner in process of being quilted

These larger quilts are 48″ by 64″.  They hang at the front of the sanctuary, and so are larger so they can be seen, since no one sits in the front pews…

The below eight quilts are 36″ by 48″.  Some of the ladies embroidered the words with machines using a free motion foot.  Others hand stitched the lines from favourite Advent and Christmas hymns.

Regrettably the lines do not show up well, but do encourage viewers to come take a closer look.

Alaska Highway – Part 1 – Mountains


1st Pass into the Rockies

In case you were unaware, I am Canadian, proud to be so.  I am a Canadian who loves to travel.  Living in Canada, therefore, is a blessing.  It’s a big country, with lots to see, and even more places to go.  One of the things on my bucket list* is to visit every Canadian Province and Territory.  This past May long weekend I managed to cross another off that list.  Hubby and I packed a suitcase or two, coaxed the dog into the truck, and headed north on the Alaska Highway, destination — Whitehorse, the Yukon. The morning was lovely, occasional sun breaking through white cloud, and increasingly hazy as we got further north.  Until one gets past Fort Nelson the geography is pretty much high prairie, cleared of aspen, although still many groves of them in areas that the large farm machinery cannot access.

Approaching Muncho Lake

Almost at Muncho Lake

We stayed at Muncho Lake Friday night.  It is about half way and VERY expensive as it is one of the few places on the way that has gas ($2.89/lt), food, and washrooms.  Everything for the resort is trucked in from Edmonton, including the fuel for the generators, no hydro wires along this stretch of highway.  The colour of the lake is incredible (pictures to follow in another blog).

As we got further north the next day, there was more and more snow on the ground.  The above pictures were at our third major stop near Stone Mountain.  It was stunningly breath-taking.  The mountains are magnificent in their silence and grandeur.  I’ve visited them on numerous occasions, the scale and immensity never fails to impress.  Somehow the imposing size seems to fade so quickly once they are past.  And, of course, a picture never accurately represents them either.  Showing another person a 4 x 6 picture and say, “This is a mountain” is paramount to using the word “Holy One” to encompass all that God is, and was, and shall be.
Psalm 76:4   Glorious are you, more majestic than the everlasting mountains.

*Yet to visit – the Northwest Territorities, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador

Old Alaska Highway – Curved Wooden Bridge


 

At mile 21 from Dawson Creek, BC on the Old Alaska Highway is one destination I bring all out of town/country guests.  It is a wooden deck, curved bridge spanning the Kiskatinaw River.  During the construction of the Alaska Highway in 1942 the approach and shape of the river presented a problem for engineers.  The deck is banked to facilitate water run off.  The bridge is 190 feet long and boasts a 9 degree turn.  It took 9 months to complete, almost as long as the entire Alaska Highway!  It is the only wooden bridge of its kind remaining in Western Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

Below is the steel structure that supports the wooden deck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking down river to the north.

 

View up river back toward the bridge.

 

Preview of Things to Come


The forcast is calling for a snow fall warning over night.  We have been experiencing some fairly cold weather, typical for this time of year, but we have almost no snow so far.  As a reminder of winter I share some pictures of previous winters.  Enjoy.

These may not be the greatest, a couple were taken with a little instamatic camera, one with a advantix, a couple with my 35mm Canon.  I should have taken my new digital Nikon with me when I went to the ‘city’ today.  There was some amazing frost on the trees, sparkling in the sunshine, and etheral landscapes wrapped in fog and blanketed in snow that could have been, good.

Dark and Darker


Psalm 3 – The Message

God!  Look!  Enemies past counting!
Enemies sprouting like mushrooms,
Mobs of them all around me, roaring their mockery:
“Hah!  No help for him from God!”

But you, GOD, shield me on all sides;
You ground my feet, you lift my head high;
With all my might I shout up to GOD,
His answers thunder from the holy mountain.

I stretch myself out.  I sleep.
Then I’m up again — rested, tall and steady,
Fearless before the enemy mobs
Coming at me from all sides.

Up, GOD!  My God, help me!
Slap their faces,
First this cheek, then the other
Your fist hard in their teeth!

Real help comes from God
Your blessing clothes your people!

It’s one of those days, bad news, delays, disappointments, fatique, burdens.  Enemies of the spirit, closing in on all sides it seems to sap the motivation and strength out of time.  A body just wants to give in, give up, give way, give quarter, give vent.  It is dark, inside and out.  Skinny snow on the ground, cold, dreary.  I’m tired.

Prayers today for;

  • TP – work, exs, family disappointments
  • L, J, S, W & SP – legal challenges
  • J & KY – loss of possesions through theft
  • me

Fall Leaves


It’s snowing, lightly, this morning.  Fall has been mild, long, splendid in colour that has soften to taupes and beige and brown.  The expanse of fields preparing for sleep were glorious in their remembered harvests.  I thoroughly enjoyed the trip north yesterday.  Fall is leaving, and so have all the leaves.

 

Ezekiel 47:12   On the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.

Lion’s Gate Bridge


Some things in Vancouver I greatly appreciated.  I admired the Lion’s Gate Bridge.  I remember the first time I crossed it.  It was in my Aunt Helen’s little red convertible car.  I was ten. By the time we finished the tour around Vancouver my long blond hair was wind blown into knots.

The approached from Stanley Park is beautiful, coming out of the deep greenness of the giant cedar rain forest and climbing higher over the inlet entrance over to North Vancouver.  The above is taken from the sea wall walkway in Stanley Park.  Here are a few other views taken in 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These lions are the over pass of  the bridge.  There is no place to stop with a vehicle to photograph the lions on the approach to the bridge.  They can only be accessed by walking.