Tuesday, November 29, 2011

~The Dust Has Settled~

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!  Our son and his family (they live in Omaha) arrived mid afternoon on Thanksgiving day, our two daughters and their families also came and, while the turkey was baking, we had time to sit around and talk for a few hours before putting the rest of the dishes in the oven.  We have our dinner in the evening as our youngest daughter and her family go to her mother-in-law's for the noon dinner.  Works out great as there is plenty of time to get the meal ready.

Our dining table isn't large enough to seat everyone, so the younger ones sit in the hallway at the card table for their meal.

Mr. Dufus, J.W. thinks he's too old to sit with the younger ones and there's not enough room for him at the table so we compromise by letting him sit at my desk, which is near the dining table.

It is such a blessing for me to have all our children here with us enjoying a wonderful meal, having great conversations, laughing much, talking about our families and the "old" days.

When the out-of-state cousin comes to visit, the other families come over every day to take advantage of their time with us.  The toy closet is in the long hall and this is where they can spread out and play.

I love it when the older boys take time to play with the baby of the family.  I don't think that the 'little boy' in them is gone yet and they enjoy being able to play and act silly.  The older boys, who are brothers, even wanted to spend the night on Friday so I had to find enough blankets and such to make them pallets in my sewing room.

The kids are more dressed up on this day as my daughter-in-law took family pictures on Saturday.  It was quite an ordeal as we wanted outdoor shots but it was cold and raw, so the photo shoots had to be done in short sessions allowing everyone to come inside and warm up.  The Christmas tree is already up, which has never happened before but I'll tell you more about it tomorrow.

My son and his family left for home on Sunday.  It was a busy weekend full of great times and wonderful memories but I think everyone was tired and worn out, ready to get back to their own homes and rest.  Our home is quiet again and the dust is settling.  It is taking me a couple of days to recuperate but it is always so worth it.  I am thankful that my children are able to come home and look forward to spending precious time together.  Now it's time to start decorating the house and getting my Christmas shopping started!

Have a blessed day ~

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

~A Thanksgiving Blessing ~

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, 
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
           ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I pray your Thanksgiving holiday is full of God's richest blessings ~

Friday, November 18, 2011

~All Because I Love You~

This is my little granddaughter, who is lovingly referred to as "Monkey".  Several months ago, she called and asked me if I would make her a bandana skirt.  In case you missed it, you can read about the tutorial for the skirt HERE.  It was easy enough and I not only made one but THREE of them for her.

 As you can see, she was way beyond delighted, which she always is with each and every gift she receives.  I love the fact that she doesn't take her gifts, especially handmade ones, for granted.  Whatever she gets, you'd think that it was the bestest gift in the whole wide world  and I like it that way.  Well, she called me recently asking for another handmade item.  This time it is for a bridal gown for her Barbie doll!

For Halloween, her mama created a bride's dress for her out of the underskirt (what's that thing called??) of a bride's dress that she got from the thrift store.  Pretty darn good creation from someone who taught herself to sew!!  Anyway...long story short.  She saw one for a Barbie doll at an arts/craft show...she thought they needed matching dresses....it was too much money...got an idea to ask Mammer to make one and here we are.  She is always so sweet when she asks me and, since they were providing all the material and pattern, I couldn't turn her down.  Mind you...I haven't made Barbie clothes in probably 20 years or so and I never made a bride's dress!!!

With everything in hand, I started putting this little baby together.  It wasn't easy working with lace and I used alot of "fray check" to keep that and the satin type material from fraying and getting in the way of the Velcro.

Looks kinda freaky with the arms sticking out like this, doesn't it?  I don't have a Barbie doll on hand to model the dress but, thankfully, I was able to stand it up due to the tulle underskirt.

Hard to see in this photo, but the arms and shoulder area are not lined.  I'm hoping she'll be really careful taking it on and off.  If the lace gets torn up, I may have to make another one and use a real lightweight lining underneath to preserve the lace.  Thankfully, I've got some fabric leftover.

This is the veil.  The lace trim had rather stiff edging.  That's why it stands out like it does.  If it doesn't lay well on the doll, I may have to look for some different type of lace.  The halo that you see is made from a tiny braid trim that I sewed to the tulle.

Again, the freaky looking arms from the back side!  Sheesh, a kid could have nightmares with this thing standing alone on a shelf.  Not a good idea.  By the way, the train is attached with snaps at the waist.

The back of the dress in all its glory with a beautiful long train...every bride's dream!!  I had to hurry up and get this project done since they will be here for Thanksgiving next week.  We'll see how it fits then.

I think I'm going to have to get me a Barbie doll for modeling purposes.  Cuz guess what this little girl is getting for Christmas??  Yep, you guessed it.  I've already got a pattern to make her a few dresses for her Barbie doll AND I'm going to make some American Girl dresses as I think Santa is bringing her an American Girl type doll.  But sshhhhh...don't tell!  I've got to get busy with my Christmas projects.  I've also got three stick horses to make for my young grandchildren.  I'll show you the finished products once they are done.  Busy, busy, busy.....

Have a glorious day ~

Monday, November 14, 2011

~Hitting the Jackpot!~

No, I didn't win the lottery.  No, I didn't go to the casinos.  Nope, I don't do those kinda things.  Just in case you were wondering.  My little furball, Banjo, had to go to the groomer and I had some time to kill...lucky me!  So, I drove up to the big college town and did some browsing at an antique mall.  Not looking for anything in particular.  Just looking but hoping that something would jump out at me.

And I found not one, not two...but four little items I just couldn't resist.  An old wooden stool, a large crocheted piece and two beautiful, dainty hankies.  So, in my world, I hit the jackpot!!

This old stool looks like it was pieced together and repurposed.  You can see some screw heads that aren't attached to anything and also places were support pieces were removed.  Kinda sloppy job, huh?

You can also see the holes where screws were used to attach the seat to the legs.  There's a bit of a stain on the far side but look at that lovely, rustic, old finish!!  And I love the worn areas of the seat where many a bottom has rested on it....maybe belonging to watchful little eyes in grandma's kitchen while she was kneading some bread dough for dinner or putting together a batch of cookies?

This little baby stands about 28 inches tall and I knew right away that would make a perfect side table next to one of the loveseats in my living room.  Sloppy or not, I am in love with it.  I need to clean it up a bit, do a little patch work and then repaint it keeping the rustic charm.  Not bad for ten bucks, huh?

For some time now, I have been looking for a square, crocheted tablecloth small enough to cover my breakfast table. I didn't have any specific measurements, just a picture in my head.  I don't know what this pattern is called but I love it.  Does anyone know the name?

 If you look real hard, you can see a couple of stains and what look like rust spots.  Other than that, it is in perfect condition.

Here it is on my breakfast table before washing it.  I'm not a fan of pristine white, so I am going to tea stain it.  I couldn't have asked for a more perfect fit!  It was only fifteen dollars.  I thought it was a real steal.

These two  little hankies caught my eye while I was sorting through a stack of linens looking for doilies and such.

The fabric is so lightweight and the stitching so delicate.  And the baby blue color....I couldn't resist.  I can't imagine a lady using it for anything except dabbing her nose or wiping away a few tears.  This definitely wouldn't pass the 'blow your nose' test, would it?

I had thought about framing it but since the design doesn't go all the way around the piece, I thought otherwise.  I think I will gather up several more hankies (may need to do more shopping...darn!), create a 'quilted' star pattern and then frame it.  Guess I'll have to add it to my project list and when it's done, I'll show you what I am talking about.

It's hard to see in the pictures I took, but this little beauty is a pretty light green.  For sure, I am going to frame this one.  It is going in my sewing room, which has the colors of sage green, pink and cream.

I'm in heaven with the delicate stitching on this one and, for sure, it is going to get framed.  I'm thinking about placing it on top of some osnaburg or burlap for contrast.  With or without glass?  What do you think?

I'm pleased as punch about my finds as I haven't done any real antique hunting in a while.  It made my day!  Do you go antique shopping?  If so, what treasures have you found lately?

Hope you are having a marvelous Monday ~

Sunday, November 13, 2011

~I Will Remember~

Veteran's Day has come and gone and I am ashamed to admit that I did not say thank you or even remember to acknowledge this day set aside to honor our soldiers.  But today I came across a beautiful post from Cindy at Oakview Cottage who got the post from Gracie at Gracie Jewellry.  It reminded me that we should honor and remember our soldiers each and every day not just one particular day a year.    This is quite humbling and gives us so many reasons to be thankful.  Thank you, ladies, for sharing.


When a soldier comes home, he finds it hard....

...to listen to his son whine about being bored.

....to keep a straight face when people complain about potholes.

...to be tolerant of people who complain about the hassle of getting ready for work.

...to be understanding when a co-worker complains about a bad night's sleep.

...to be silent when people pray to God for a new car.
...to control his panic when his wife tells him he needs to drive slower.

...to be compassionate when a businessman expresses a fear of flying.

....to keep from laughing when anxious parents say they're afraid to send their kids off to summer camp.

....to keep from ridiculing someone who complains about hot weather.

....to control his frustration when a colleague gripes about his coffee being cold.

...to remain calm when his daughter complains about having to walk the dog.

....to be civil to people who complain about their jobs.

....to just walk away when someone says they only get two weeks of vacation a year.

....to be forgiving when someone says how hard it is to have a new baby in the house.

The only thing harder than being a Soldier...

Is loving one.

Lord, I pray that you protect and bless those who have chosen to serve our country near and far.  Also for those who serve in other countries.  I pray that you protect and bless their loved ones while they are carrying out their military duties.  Thank you, soldiers, whatever branch you may represent, for serving near and far, for the sacrifices that you make.  God bless you!

Have a blessed day ~

Saturday, November 12, 2011

~Vintage Style Aprons for the Holidays~

I have a selling blog for the items that I create and sell in my Etsy shop but it is a work in progress at this time.  I have decided to wait until the first of the year to get back to work on that.  Until then, I will be posting about them here on this blog.  I have several vintage style aprons that are perfect for the upcoming holidays and figured I had better hurry up and get them on the site.  Time is running out!!

                            Pilgrim Harvest Vintage Style Apron - Medium
This is my Pilgrim Harvest apron with a collage of all things that remind us of Thanksgiving.  I especially love the pilgrims with the "give thanks" phrase.

   Pilgrim Harvest Vintage Style Apron - Medium
I make all my own bias trim using a coordinating print fabric.  This one is made with a soft burgundy and cream-colored dots.  It is used on the scalloped pinafore....

            Pilgrim Harvest Vintage Style Apron - Medium
and large roomy pockets, which are typical of a vintage style apron and also along the hemline (you can't see it in these photos...sorry).

                            Pilgrim Harvest Vintage Style Apron - Medium
The pinafore crisscrosses in the back and buttons at the waist.
I have only one available, at this time, and it comes in Medium.

                          Snow 'n' Peppermint Vintage Style Apron - Medium
I love not only the style of this little apron but also the fabric.  It doesn't have the typical red and green Christmas colors but rather touches of winter blue, deep red and silvery white.

Snow 'n' Peppermint Vintage Style Apron - Medium
Little peppermint snowmen with their blue scarves.  I used a deep red with silver speckles for 
the coordinating bias trim.

Scalloped hems and bias trim everywhere...how cute is that??

                           Snow 'n' Peppermint Vintage Style Apron - Medium
What I love about this apron is that it can be worn all thru Christmas and the winter season.  Do you agree?  This apron comes in Medium but can be made in other sizes with a one to two week wait.

 This is my gingerbread apron all decked out with gingerbread chefs ready to help with making their gingerbread houses.

 White rickrack with decorative red stitching trims the top of the bodice, extra large pocket and right above the ruffle at the bottom of the skirt.

  Wear this apron for your Christmas baking, cookie exchange, Christmas party...and what else?  This particular apron is a Small but other sizes are available.  There is a one to two week wait to complete your order.  If you are interested in these aprons or any other items I have, you can see them HERE.

Do you even wear an apron?  Do you especially wear one during the holidays or other special events during the year?  I love the vintage style aprons but what do you think about them?

Hope you are having a beautiful Autumn day where you are ~

NOTE:  Goin' to some blog parties at...
                                       Laurie Anna's Farmhouse Friday
                                       Homemaker on a Dime's Creative Bloggers' Party

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

~I Found a New Giveaway!~

I love to enter giveaways and just found a beautiful one on a new blog I came across.  Rebecca from A Gathering Place transforms vintage train cases into works of art with her handpainting.  Absolutely gorgeous!  She will transform this one for a lucky winner.  You might want to enter as well so I encourage you to stop by her blog to see her creations.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

~Blessed Chaos~

This is my youngest daughter and her sweet hubby.  They have two children, ages 2 and 3, fourteen months apart..  They also recently celebrated their fifth anniversary and wanted to get away for a few days.  Alone.  Without the kids.  So guess who had the blessed privilege of taking care of their beautiful babies??  My daughter was concerned that having the kids for that length of time would wear me out so she had her mother-in-law and her sister as backup.  She's thoughtful about those kind of things.

I most always love having any of my grandchildren here.  I say most...there are times for which I'm just not up to it.  This was almost one of those times (the reason why later)  but I didn't want to ruin their plans and, besides, I was really looking forward to having them stay with us.

Here they are at the window behind Poppa's desk, which is also the favorite perch for my dog Banjo.  Tater Tot has figured out that she can climb on his desk to get a better view of what's going on outside.  Big sister loves explaining to little brother, Bubba, about what's going on out there (which usually isn't much) and about when they get to go outside to play and what they will do.  She thinks it's her solemn duty to keep him informed of such things.  That's what big sisters are for, you know.

For the most part, they are pretty good about sharing.  They share and then take turns with Banjo on the leash.  We have a really big yard, without a fence, and when the grandchildren are here, it's the best way to keep the dog corralled.

Bubba is enjoying his lunch of peanut butter and jelly, always a favorite.  Maybe just a little too much with that mess on his face!

For the most part, Tater Tot can be an extremely sweet little girl.  But then she has her ornery side and can be SO stone faced if she doesn't want to smile.  She's alot like her mother.  I asked her to smile and this is what I got.  Sigh....

These grandchildren live just five miles down the road from us and live with farm animals.  Well, they don't actually LIVE with the animals.  Their daddy raises cattle and they live the country life like we do.  But they have never had the fun of doing chores with Poppa due to either bad weather, ear infections, allergies and such.  So it's exciting for them to help with chores for the first time and to see where Poppa gets his feed for the cows.

They are obviously in awe of this thing that makes a bunch of noise as the grain comes down the chute into the waiting buckets.  Little Bubba is more interested in how this thing works.  That's the way he thinks.  First and foremost, he is interested in how things work.  Even his toys.

The buckets are full of feed and it's time to drive the short distance to the corral to dump feed in the troughs.

Normally, Poppa has a couple of small buckets for the kiddos to use for dumping feed but he couldn't find them so they are using their hands.  They don't seem to mind.  See the cattle in the background patiently waiting?  Once the feed is in the troughs, Poppa will load the kids up and take them out of the corral, shut that gate behind them and go to the other gate to let the cattle in.  It's usually a small stampede.  With the cows I mean.

The next day, it's time to go outside to play.  My garden cart wears several hats.  Today, and any day that grandchildren are here, it's used as a wagon for pulling, pushing and riding.  Tater Tot and Bubba make a good team.

Bubba knows that that he doesn't have to ask very often and, if he patiently waits in the cart, sister will come around and give him a little ride.

See?  I told you.  It works just about every time.  If sister was in the cart, he would be trying to pull her but it's just a bit too heavy for him.  I am so happy that they play so well together.  For the most part.  After all, they are still babies.  Only fourteen months apart.  Wanting attention, something to eat, something to drink, taking a bath, reading a story...you name it....what one wants, the other wants as well.  And guess who is there to take care of their needs?  Me, their Mammer.  Who loves taking care of them and considers it a blessed privilege to be here for them when mommy and daddy need me to.  A blessed chaotic privilege.

I love my low sill windows.  All of the little grandbabies, at one time or another, love being able to look out the window while sitting on the sill.  Or better yet, consider it a great milestone when one is tall enough to stand on the sill.  It's a much better view when you're that high up, you know.  Right now, the window sill makes for a great little reading corner while waiting for lunch.  Yes, my windows are dirty with smudges from little faces, dirty little fingers and even from one curious little dog.  But I don't mind one little bit.

A little side note.  The kids spent the last night at their other grandma's house.  I had an appointment the next day at the spine hospital for a CAT scan and MRI on my lower back.  Several weeks ago, I had suffered a really nasty fall off the steps of our RV landing on the corner of one step right on my tailbone.  I had developed severe nerve pain in that area that kept getting worse...drop to your knees type nerve pain that radiated down both legs.  Apparently, I had knocked my coccyx bone loose traumatizing the nerves. I ended up getting a series of steroid and pain injections in the nerves on both sides of my tailbone.  Do you know how excruciatingly painful it is to get injections in nerves that are already inflamed and hurting?  I was ready to be shot and put out of my misery!!!  That's how much it hurt!  But I am truly thankful to report that, after a couple of days of severe muscle pain and tenderness, the pain is now basically gone and I am back to somewhat normal.  Whatever that is.

I pray you have a blessed, nonchaotic, day today~


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