Super Mom – No Cape!

One mother sharing her knowledge with others

29 Gifts Update and Sharing Our Good News

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on April 19th, 2014

Back in March, I posted about reading the book, 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life and how I had decided to accept the author’s challenge to give at least one gift every day for 29 Days. Day 29 of my personal giving challenge was Tuesday of this past week and I’m smiling as I write this because this has certainly been a month that has changed both mine and Dave’s life.  And the changes are only just beginning!

Over the course of the month, each day as I began my day, I would think about what I could give throughout the day. Each night, I wrote in my Giving Journal the gift(s) I had given and how I’d felt about each gift. Sometimes they were small gifts of money or items donated. Often I gave of my time. Some days I gave only one gift, other days I found several ways to give.

I learned some important lessons during the challenge. One was that I find it much easier to give to others than to allow others to give to me. So for me the challenge came to be about learning to receive as much as learning to give mindfully each day.

Another lesson was that on the days I gave a monetary gift, I felt I had given more than on days when I’d given a non-monetary gift. But as the days passed, I began to value and to recognize all the many gifts I gave. I also learned to be more creative in the things that I found to give.

As I’m a planner by nature, I found it easier to plan ahead the gifts I would give. But again as the days passed, I learned to embrace the urge to give spontaneously, in the moment and it wasn’t very long before I realized that those were actually the ones that turned out to be the most fun to give.

Those are the personal, internal changes that took place over the course of the month. We also had some amazing things happen in our life, one of which I’d like to share with you now.

I haven’t talked a lot on my blog about the trials we’ve gone through for the past 3 years but I’m sure that long time readers have been able to read between the lines and know that work contracts for Dave have all been short term contracts spaced out over the course of the spring/summer/fall seasons. For all of the last three years, we’ve been hoping and praying for another long term contract for Dave so that we can once again live a more settled life.

On the very second day of the giving challenge, Dave got a phone call from a company that he’d applied to last August asking if he was available to come to work for them. Within a week and many phone calls and e-mails back and forth, he had signed a new long term contract. He starts work on April 21st.

I wasn’t able to share our good news earlier because then we had to wait while the company that hired him drew up the paperwork to apply for a US work visa. We went through the border on Thursday and Dave now has a three year visa to work in the US.

As I write this we’re in a hotel room in Cedar Rapids, IA.  Tomorrow we’ll be traveling on as Dave will be working at the company headquarters for a week before we then head to the location of the new contract.

Needless to say we are really looking forward to this new, exciting adventure!  I’ll write more once we arrive at our final destination.

The car is packed so full that not a single thing more will fit in the trunk and the back seat is stacked so high that there’s only a narrow band at the top to see out the rear window. No post is complete without at least one photo but our camera is on the floor behind the driver’s seat with suitcases and other bags stacked over top of it. I can’t get at it without moving everything out but as tomorrow is Easter Sunday, I’ll share our Easter Tree from a few years ago and wish all my readers who celebrate the holiday a very Happy Easter.


Happy Easter from Our House to Yours

Happy Easter from Our House to Yours

By next Easter, we’ll be settled into a new home and I’ll be able to decorate a new Easter tree.

And in case anyone is wondering, this giving challenge has made such a huge difference in my life that I’ve decided to continue to give at least one gift each day and to record it in my Giving Journal.  Once I’ve filled that journal, giving mindfully each day should have become a way of life rather than a month long challenge.

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Posted in Our Travels | 2 Comments »

Canada Had the Last Laugh

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on April 15th, 2014

As long time readers know, Dave and I have spent the last two winters in Florida escaping the Canadian winter.  We left to drive back to Canada on Saturday and when we arrived at our son’s place in London, On yesterday afternoon, it was about 60 F.

We woke up to this….

Photo of snow covered tree

It’s not even supposed to get above 32 F today.  I guess Canada had one last laugh at our attempt to escape winter!

Posted in Our Travels | 3 Comments »

Vintage Embroidery Monday – Bunny & Some Little Daisies

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on April 14th, 2014

Easter is next Sunday but you’ll still have time to stitch this cute little bunny.  You could even arrange the daisies so that it looks like he’s dancing though the spring flowers.

Vintage Workbasket Embroidery Pattern for a bunnies and small daisiesThis pattern is available as a pdf to download here.

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Posted in Embroidery | 2 Comments »

I’ve Done It!

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on April 12th, 2014

I finished my book!!  Oh it feels so good to say that.   It finishes just shy of 74,000 words and 384 manuscript pages.

I still have months of editing and revision ahead of me, but they recommend that you take a break before starting that, so that’s what I’m going to do.    The next couple of weeks are going to be busy ones anyway as we head back to Canada today now that spring seems to have finally arrived.  I’m hoping to have some really good news to share with you soon.

I’ll leave you with a photo of the main reason why we’ve spent the past two winters in Florida…

Photo of Johnson's Beach in Perdido Key, FL

I am always happiest when I’m living by a large body of water.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Vintage Embroidery Monday – Lamb Baby Bib

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on April 7th, 2014

With Easter slightly less than two weeks away, here are two adorable bibs on one pattern to embroider for the babies in your family.

On the smaller bib, “baby” in French knots and lazy daisies should be traced onto the center of the bib after you’ve traced the outline of the bib onto your fabric.

For the larger bib, the lamb can be placed anywhere.  To make a bib with a pocket, add four inches to the length, fold the extra length up and stitch the sides.

If you embroider using a hoop,  I would suggest completing the embroidery first on a piece of fabric large enough to cut out the bib pattern after your stitching is complete.

Finish the raw edges of the bib using bias tape that you’ve purchased or made yourself.

Vintage Workbasket Bib Pattern with Baby or LambThis pattern is available as a pdf to download here.




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Posted in Embroidery | 2 Comments »

Winners of the 29 Gifts Fat Quarter Giveaway

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on April 3rd, 2014

All the names of those who commented were printed out on slips of paper and placed in my Kraft Peanut Butter Teddy Bear jar:

Slips of paper ready to be drawn from a Kraft Peanut Butter Teddy Bear jar

The first name drawn was:

first name drawn in 29 Gifts Fat Quarter Giveaway

Congratulations LJ!  You’ll be receiving an e-mail from me asking for your snail mail address.

The second name drawn was:

Second name drawn for 29 Gifts Fat Quarter Giveaway

Congratulations Deb!  You’ll be receiving an e-mail as well asking for your snail mail address.  Once I have your addresses, your little bundle of fat quarters will be on their way to you.

And I just want to thank everyone who took the time to comment.    I was so touched by your comments and some of the e-mail conversations that resulted.

I’m now on Day 17 of the 29 Gifts in 29 Days Giving Challenge.  So far, I’ve succeeded in giving at least one gift each day.   One of the benefits that I’m seeing is that I’m much more mindful of the many gifts I can give each day and I’m actively looking for opportunities.   And opportunities truly are everywhere.  Most of my gifts have been either small gifts or gifts of my time.

For instance, yesterday’s gift was a letter I wrote to Publix praising the store that is just down the road from us.  It has been our grocery store of choice for the past two winters we’ve spent in Florida.  Dave and I often joke that the store manager must send each of his staff to charm school because they are the friendliest, most helpful and cheerful group of people.  They make shopping for groceries a fun outing rather than just another chore.

In the letter I listed the store’s # and I also listed the names of the staff members (along with which department they worked) who stood out in our minds as giving exceptional service.   Before we leave, I also plan to thank those people personally, but by writing the letter, it is my hope that they will receive recognition from management as well.

I had today’s gift all planned but Dave took the car in for new tires and to have the oil changed.  So I’ll be looking for opportunities to give spontaneously!




Posted in Giveaways | 2 Comments »

How to Make a Sea Shell Angel

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on April 2nd, 2014

If you’ve been on spring break to somewhere beachy and have been collecting those shells I showed you back in the middle of March, get ready to make some sea shell angels with them.

You need:  One scallop shell for the angel body, two small clam shell halves for the angel’s wings and one 3/8″ white pearly bead for each angel.

scallop shell, two halves of clam shells and one bead

You’ll also need:  Approx six inches of 1/8″ ribbon to make the hanger.    And either a low temp hot glue gun or Aleene’s Tacky glue.

Please note:  When I was making these I used a low temp hot glue gun but if you are making these with younger children, I would suggest using Aleene’s Tacky glue.  I made a test angel using the tacky glue before writing this tutorial and the glue holds the shells together really firmly.   It will take longer to make the angels using tacky glue because you have to allow the glue to set and dry for a few hours between each step, but even a low temp hot glue gun gets hot enough to burn little fingers.   Grown up fingers :)

Start by applying a circle of glue to the bottom of the pearly bead.

Apply glue to bottom of the bead

Then position the bead on the top edge of the scallop shell.  Hold in place until the glue sets.

Place bead on top of shell

Next run a bead of glue along the top edge of the back of the scallop shell.

Glue all top back edge of shell.

Position the clam shells to form the angel wings and hold in place until set.  Make sure to get them positioned just right because once the glue is dry it will be difficult to remove and reposition them.  In fact, if you’re using tacky glue, it might be impossible to do without breaking one of the shells.

Position clam shells to form the wings of the angel.

And here you have the completed angel.

Completed shell angel

To make the hanger for your angel, fold the ribbon in half and knot the end.  Glue to the back of the angel and come Christmas time it will be ready to hand on the tree.

Sea Shell Angel hanging on the tree.

You can even add a tiny bow to some of them if you like.

Completed Sea shell Angel with bow

Dave and I made about 20 of these little angels to decorate our 2013 Christmas tree from shells we collected on the beach here in Perdido Key.  They are safely wrapped up in tissue paper and tucked away for us to use for years to come.

This post has been added to the following link parties:

Sew Darn Crafty Link Party at Sew Many Ways

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Posted in Budget Savers, Christmas on a Budget Series | 4 Comments »

Vintage Embroidery Monday – Violets in a Mug

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on March 31st, 2014

Even though the calendar says it’s spring now, for many of you it may still seem like is never going to arrive.    I always like to keep a few African Violets as house plants to brighten up even the dreariest of winter or late spring days.   Or you can spend this time waiting for spring to stitch these violets in a mug.

Vintage Workbasket Embroidery pattern for Violets in a Mug from Pattern Page No 78This pattern is available as a pdf to download here.

This post has been added to the following link parties:

Sew Darn Crafty Link Party at Sew Many Ways

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Posted in Embroidery | 3 Comments »

29 Gifts and a Giveaway

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on March 26th, 2014

The Giveaway is now closed!   Winners will be announced tomorrow, April 3, 2014

The weekend before last I read a book that touched my heart to the core. It’s called 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life.

The author, Cami Walker is diagnosed with MS a month after her wedding. Over a period of two years she becomes addicted to a cocktail of prescription medications all designed to help her control her symptoms and ever increasing pain.

During a major MS flare up, she receives an unusual prescription from her spiritual mentor, an African medicine woman called Mbali Creazzo: Give away something every day for 29 days.

At first, Cami ignores the advice but after spending several days hospitalized doing a drug detox she decides to take on Mbali’s giving challenge. Almost immediately her life begins to change and over the course of the next 29 days she discovers not only how to give mindfully but just as importantly, how to receive the gifts of others.

No miracle MS cure occurs but by the end of the 29 days she is walking without the use of canes and beginning to work again. But from my reading of the book, miracles do abound both in Cami’s life and those who also take on the giving challenge.

I’ve been so inspired by Cami’s story that last Tuesday I began my 29 gifts in 29 days. One thing Mbali suggests is that for one of your gifts, you give something that you have a difficult time parting with.

For me, that’s fabric. I don’t have a large stash of fabric but the fabric I do buy is bought because I really like it. On Sunday, I went through the fabric box that has been traveling with us and sorted out two medium sized bags of quilt shop quality fabrics. Then I contacted the local Project Linus co-ordinator and made arrangements to meet her earlier today to drop them off.

I did save these 2 bundles of four fat quarters to give away here on Super Mom – No Cape!

Photo of fat quarters for giveaway

The giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere in the world. Simply leave a comment and you’ll be entered for a chance to win. I will draw two names next Wednesday, April 2nd and each person will receive one bundle of four fat quarters.


This post has been added to the following link parties:

Sew Darn Crafty Linky Party at Sew Many Ways

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Posted in Giveaways | 18 Comments »

Vintage Embroidery Monday – Pansies in a Box

Posted by Super Mom No Cape on March 24th, 2014

Pansies are one of my favorite annuals to plant because the little faces in each bloom never fail to make me smile.   Stitch them as you’d find them at a garden center ready to take home and be planted out into your garden.

Vintage Workbasket embroidery pattern page 78 - Pansies in a boxThis pattern is available as a pdf to download here.

This post has been added to the following link parties:

Sew Darn Crafty Linky Party at Sew Many Ways

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Posted in Embroidery | 2 Comments »