About Me

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Wife, Mother, Mimi, lover of all things creative... sewing, embroidery, painting, collage... God and family are the most important things in my life.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Quick Sewing Post

I promised to post pictures of the two dresses I made Monday. I was hoping to get pictures of the lovely, little girls wearing them, but I haven't so here they are empty and alone. The one to the left is from a vintage nightgown pattern, and the jumper below is one I hope to make again for each of the other girls.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Well, I've actually had some time to sew today. I managed to make two little dresses and have three more planned in the near future. However, hope and planning do not a dress (or three) make. Time will tell. I'll post pictures of the ones I did today later, because today I want to share something much more interesting for those of you who like to sew: pocket tutorials, wonderful ones. I'm a lover of the pocket myself, and for me it really adds to the value of an article of clothing to have one or more. If you like pockets and would like to learn how to add them to your clothing with a large variety of styles hop on over to Ikat Bag and check out the great Pocket Series. Almost anything you want to know about pockets you can learn in one of the many tutorials in this series. All my dear little ones are going to be so excited, because they love pockets too. I can't wait to try some of these out. I'm really fascinated by the smocked pocket. I've been too busy with Christmas to even read all of these post, but I have them bookmarked and plan to not only read, but also try several, if not all, of these out. Aren't they all great? She's giving this quilt away as well, so be sure and get your name in the hat to win!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


What a wonderful Christmas. I can't put my finger on it, but this one seems so much more special. Maybe it's because my parent's have both been ill recently and I see anew how precious life is. Maybe it is the joy of being surrounded by so many people I love that makes it so special.

I was able this year as never before to really focus on what exactly it is that we are celebrating. I'm thankful that the Nativity is more than a part of the decoration, more than a story. It's true. Jesus really came as a baby, God as man. He lived among us, He died for us, and He changed forever the way we relate to God, the Father.

I feel awkward trying to even put into words the wonder I've experienced this year. I guess it's so deep and personal that I can't explain it adequately to anyone else, but I wish I could. I wish I could put into each of your hearts the joy and awe I've encountered.

Usually there is a let down feeling for me as Christmas passes and all of the hype dies down, but not this year. All of my celebrating with others has past, but I am still celebrating inside. The reason we celebrate is not over, because the consequences of Christmas are eternal. Everyday should be a celebration for the best news that ever was told is just as true today as it was 2000 years ago. Jesus came to set me free, and I shall remain free forever. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Projects

My daughter stopped blogging for a while to spend more time with her family. I'll miss reading her thoughts, but I appreciate her reasoning. She is such a wonderful mother and is raising some awesome kids (biased did you say? quite possible, but really she is and they are). She is overcoming her need for total perfection and making sure her house is really a home.

I am so proud of her. Each time I've been to her house lately she has had a project going and is involving the kids in it. One day it was making candy, you should have seen the proud little faces and sticky little hands as they dipped pretzels in chocolate and covered them with sprinkles. The little one was helping to roll Martha Washington balls and grinning from ear to ear.

They made a gingerbread house and she let them decorate it, choosing where the candies should go and later sneaking back in to pluck the most tempting ones off to eat. Sometimes it is hard when you have a creative idea to let go and let little minds form their own ideas and carry them out themselves. It really helps their self-confidence to know that their mother values their ideas enough to let them implement some of them.

The latest project was stocking making. Actually, she had planned to do this without their help, but when one eased in and asked if she could remove the pins and place them in the pin cushion, she smiled, backed up and let her do what she herself could have finished in a moment. She was so patient, even though I know she really wanted to finish up quickly while there was another adult around, and she could devote her whole energies to the task at hand.

Christmas is a time for sharing and giving, but we often only think of material things. However, sometimes it's the little moments of time and pieces of ourselves that are the gifts that mean the most and are remembered the longest. It is really encouraging to see those gifts being given so freely by and to ones I love so much.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It is a Good Day

I'm so thankful for the good days in my life. I'm too often found taking for granted what is only mine by the grace of God. Things like a loving family, joy, peace, good health, they aren't a given. There are many who don't have such luxuries and I certainly don't deserve them, but oh, when I stop to think about them and count my blessings it's almost more than I can take.

Counting blessings is almost like receiving the gift of them again. Reliving precious times is akin to multiplying them . Most of us have little memories that we all tuck away in our hearts and seldom take the time to take back out and examine again. When we hit certain milestones sometimes it gives us occasion for reflection. I always find wonderful treasures when I wander down those sentimental roads. Today was one of those days.

My son graduated from college today, it's been a long road for him with more than a few detours, but he arrived at that goal today. As I saw him walk across that stage and receive a diploma while his family wiggled and giggled all around me I realized again that my son is now a man and no longer my little boy. Oh, yes, he will always be that little one in my heart, but he is responsible for other lives now. He's the head of a lovely family, and he takes that job seriously. He's working two jobs, and positively affecting those around him, and I am so very proud of him, but not just because of the milestone that was passed today. I know it was a big accomplishment, but what I'm proud of is the man he's become. I'm thankful that he's compassionate, loving, creative, fun, industrious, generous and a man of God.

I've rewound lots of memories and played them in my head today, and each one is a treasure. The little tow-headed chatterbox with large expressive eyes and charming ways romped once again on the screen of my heart and mind, and thankfulness has flooded my soul that I am blessed to be his mom. Heartfelt congratulations to him!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Card Out-Takes!

There is plenty of fuzziness

For the past several years my daughter has asked me to come snap some pictures of them to try and make that very memorable Christmas card, and I adore that job. I'm not a great photographer, but with subject matter like grandkids who can miss?

Well, sometimes I do, and here are some of those misses.

It's hard to capture that ambiance of the tree, family, lights, and love when you're just a point and shoot kinda gal.

some cute but too dark

funny faces

clothing mishaps.

There were plenty other out-takes, but you get the general idea.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wonky Log Cabin

I've been seeing Wonky Log Cabin Quilts around Blogland for a while now. I wanted to make one right off the bat, first off because I'm a bit wonky myself so this just spoke to me, secondly because I figured if I could make a quilt out of scraps and without excessive measuring this just had to be great!

Oh, how I'm loving this process. It's so easy and I really like the quirky look of the blocks. These are a real mish-mash mixing vintage and newer scraps, no color scheme, just a real grab bag quilt.

I'm sure this won't speak to everyone, but I'm having fun and hey, it'll keep me warm, right?

I really like this ducky block! A friend gave me a little vintage scrap with the cutest whimsical animals, and I couldn't figure out what to do with it. Now I know. These blocks will set off each animal in their own funky frame.

There is a really great tutorial for wonky blocks over at Tallgrass Prairie Studio. There are easy step by step instructions and great pictures of every step.

These are all of the blocks I have made so far, but this is something that doesn't take a lot of planning so you can work on one a little at a time. Although I will tell you it's hard to stop once you start. It's sort of addictive!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tasty Treat

One of my favorite cookies is a rosette. I used to make them when I first got married many, many moons ago. I haven't thought about them in years, and then the other day as I was cleaning out a cabinet I found my rosette iron. It's not a fancy contraption just a star or snowflake on the end of a metal stick. You dip the end into the batter and then into hot oil and presto you have a beautiful cookie. These lovely goodies taste like a cross between a potato chip and a funnel cake. I know, that sounds kinda weird and not very appetizing, but it really is good! Trust me!! Here is the recipe straight out of Betty Crocker's cookbook, the one I received as a wedding gift way back when.


Vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup water or milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Heat oil (2-3 inches) in small deep saucepan to 400 degrees. Beat egg, sugar and salt in small deep bowl. Beat in 1 tablespoon oil, the water and flour until smooth. Heat rosette iron by placing in hot oil 1 minute. Tap excess oil from iron on paper towels; dip hot iron into batter just to top edge (don't go over top). Fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Immediately remove rosette; invert on paper towel to cool. (If rosette is not crisp stir in a small amount of water or milk.)

Heat iron in hot oil and tap on paper towels before making each rosette. (If iron is not hot enough batter will not stick.) Just before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

18 rosettes

These make such a festive cookie.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gift of an Apron

I love wearing aprons! They make me feel so domestic and homemakerish (okay, I know that's not a word, but hopefully you know what I mean.)

I have collected a few vintage ones, I've made a few, I have some my mom has made for me through the years, but for some reason I only recently began wearing them. I don't know why I waited so long because I've always been a messy cook! It probably has something to do with the fact that I often store things I love instead of using them. I'm always waiting for a special occasion. I'm trying hard to change this and use the things I love, even if they get messed up at least I'll have a memory associated with them.

I have been meaning to post on the apron I'm wearing in this picture for a while. A friend made this for me and then gave me the pattern so I can make some too! I love it! It's such a happy apron don't you think so? I'm anxious to make some for gifts. I was hoping to get some made before Christmas, but I don't think that is going to happen. Not much time left and I don't expect I'll have a lot of sewing time before then. Some of the best gifts are those given "just because" like this one was!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sewing For a Good Cause

I haven't had much time for sewing lately, but when I heard about a wonderful project some local women were involved in I just had to make some time to do a little sewing for a good cause. You see a group of people are going on a mission trip to one of the poorer regions of the Appalachians to distribute gifts of various items, including handmade dolls, to children who have very little. The dolls pattern is so adorable and pretty simple. You can find the original story of why women in a different area started making dolls for mission trips and a free pattern for the dolls here.

Once I started the process one of my brothers saw what I was doing and told me that there were possibly some available room if I wanted to go on the trip. He gave me a name and the next day I made the call. I'm happy to say I'm planning to go help deliver these dolls and the good news of the Jesus with them. I can hardly wait!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Review on Mundial Dressmaker Shears from CSN stores

I'm happy to finally share my review on the


that I received to review from CSN stores. They came very quickly just a few days after I placed the order the package arrived. I was so very excited, but there was quite a lot going on at my house for several weeks so I haven't gotten a chance to use them until yesterday. I am working on some dolls that have a lot of turns and small places that wouldn't work well with a rotary cutter, so it was the perfect opportunity to try out my new shears.

The first thing I noticed was their weight. I like a heavy forged pair of scissors and these do not disappoint. They fit my hand nicely too, which makes cutting so much easier. Have you ever used a pair of scissors that just seemed to work against you instead of with you? I have, and it is very discouraging. I was very grateful that these worked so well for me.

The blades are sharp and just the right length for me. I know that blade length is a matter of personal preference, and everyone wouldn't want the same length, but these are short enough to maneuver around smaller turns, and long enough that you aren't constantly having to open and close them.

They came with a small sheath. It is only long enough for the blades to fit in, not the entire scissors. That is the only drawback I see with them. I don't really see any advantage to a sheath that size, except that it may keep the scissors from poking something if you were carrying other things in, say, a sewing basket or bag with the scissors.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this new pair of shears. I actually am looking forward to cutting out some more doll parts. Usually cutting is my least favorite part of a project. The price was fair at $36.00. I would definitely recommend these to someone looking for a good pair of dressmaking shears.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Simple Joys

All you have to do is open your eyes around here and you can't help but think happy thoughts.

There is so much beauty everywhere you look.

Whether it is evening or morning the sky is amazing.

There is no way to capture in a photo the feeling that rolls in with the fog each morning. It's almost like the morning is going to be so great that God doesn't want to reveal it all at once so he covers it in a blanket and slowly pulls the cover back a little at a time.

Even though summer has pasted there are still some reminders hanging around.

A new season's produce is planted, and will soon be producing. You should have seen the kids running up and down the rows yesterday evening. They love the garden. I think they all have a little farming blood, and hopefully green thumbs.

Don't you just love new beginnings?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Visitors Galore

We had a very eventful week, with my husbands siblings down for several days, and some of their extended family in on Saturday. While they were down, my aunt, uncle, and cousin were visiting my parents as well. We enjoyed all of these visitors so much, but on Monday we had another visitor, an extremely evil stomach virus. Needless to say the rest of our time together with all of our family was altered. I should have tons of pictures, and I do, but not very many turned out that well, and after the uninvited guest showed up I stopped taking pictures altogether. So is one that maybe no one will kill me for sharing.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Vintage dress for Sweet Cheeks

Life has been a whirlwind lately, and it’s turned me around so many times in so many directions I really can’t tell you what I’ve done or where I’ve been. Good thing I’m not the type to follow a rigid schedule. I’ve pretty much always flown by the seat of my pants.

I have done a little sewing and have a few things to share, but only one at a time. So here’s the latest thing I’ve completed. (Please, don’t ask how many I’ve started, because I’m not sure I could tell you.) This is a dress from a vintage pattern. I made the pink, purple, and lime green one above a couple of years ago for Scooter, and now Sweet Cheeks has inherited it via the hand-me-down machine.

I used to love receiving hand me downs from my cousin when I was growing up. It was like Christmas for me. I couldn’t wait to pull each item out of the bag and try it on. Opps, sorry, I do digress, back to the dress. Anyway the dress I made for Scooter that now belongs to Sweet Cheeks (are you still with me, I think I’m going in circles here) is her mom’s favorite dress on her, and she asked me the other day if I got time could I make another one for her. So I did. I used two pieces from my stash. I’m not sure where either of them came from, but I think they go together nicely.

I’m hoping to get time to make another one really soon. This is such a sweet pattern, and I think next time I'll make the option with pockets.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cuties at my Front Door

Now who could pull a trick on someone as cute as this? Not me it was treats for sure!

And this guy was more interested in a water bottle than he was candy! Do I sense a health nut coming on? Nah, 'cause he was all about the chips when they came out!