Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Up on the drawing board...

This jumper has become one of my favorites and this winter, I hope to modify a jumper pattern to make girl's sizes and women's sizes. It is a square neckline jumper that is a bit different than the one we offer in the catalog (Dora's Jumper). This one is more of a "bib" or "overall" style jumper. We've even seen jumper sewn with overall-style claps in the front; we haven't tried it ourselves though yet. And then another feature which I like about it is that it has ribbon drawstrings in the back which allow you to pull in the extra room in the back of the jumper. Pictures of someone wearing it (yours truly) can be seen here: http://ajoyfulhandmaiden.blogspot.com/2006/07/july-25th-tuesday.html
It is always exciting to start thinking about putting together another catalog for the new year. We always appreciate suggestions and comment regarding what we offer, so if you'd like to share some input, whether it is something you like what you'd like to see, more of something, etc, please feel free to share it with us!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Getting Used to Dresses

I came across this article a couple days ago and found it to be a blessing. Surely wish I knew of LAF when I first was learning about modesty!
"If you'll take some time just to look at old photographs in antique shops or on the web, you'll see women who spent their lives wearing dresses. No one ridiculed them. Everyone wore dresses or skirts, and they were able to do a wide variety of work, even farming, in them. The few who dared to dress like men were considered unfeminine. Today we have strayed so far from feminine dressing that women who have grown up in pants and sports shoes feel awkward in dresses. In this confused modern society, women feel uncomfortable wearing dresses in public and even at home. Who would have thought that a woman in a dress would be such an unusual sight that people would stop and stare? How far we haven't come!!
One of our problems is that we have been convinced that our first priority is to be comfortable. We hear that said over and over in the name of slovenly, immodest and unnattractive dressing. One thing we can learn from our Victorian forbearers is the attitude of putting others first and avoiding embarrassing or shocking behaviour. Our forebears were more concerned about appearing rude than almost anything. They were concerned about how people would remember them.
These days we are supposed to be so politically correct that when older people like myself see something totally shocking and inappropriate, we are forced, in the name of politeness, to act like we didn't notice. Girls can come to church in their pyjamas--or less--and no one has the nerve to say anything for fear of being accused of something untoward. If our great-grandparents saw what we are seeing today, they would certainly speak up about it, and it wouldn't always be pleasant. We need to think of how our way of dressing is affecting others, and work to dress in a non-offensive, yet pleasing, manner.
Modernists mock the old Victorian stays and corsets, while wearing spandex and jeans that are just as form-fitting and even tighter than the undergarments of the past. One reason women feel uncomfortable in dresses is that they are used to wearing these tight clothes and feel rather unprotected and cold when they wear a dress. Their tight jeans make their figures feel pulled together, well-shaped, and firm. If you have difficulty feeling trim and neat in a dress, invest in foundations that will make you feel well-dressed and comfortable.
You won't enjoy dresses if they are uninteresting, uninspiring and dull to you, so don't wear fabrics and styles that make you feel depressed. It wasn't too many years (or decades) ago that a new dress helped lift women from a bad day, sadness, or depression. New clothes, if they are the right color, pattern, print, or style for you, can make you feel energetic, optimistic, and creative. And you don't have to spend a fortune!" Read the full article here: http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/artman/publish/article_649.shtml

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Soon to be released!

Erin wrote yesterday saying that her harp CD is just about finished.
All she has to do is listen to the master CD, approve of it, and then within the
week, all the CD's should be ready to be released! We are all excited about it!
If you would like to pre-order a copy of her CD, please e-mail us
for more details as the websie I'm working on for her, isn't quite finished: ajoyfulhandmaiden@yahoo.com

Friday, November 17, 2006

Testimony of Modesty continued...

The other day I had to quickly end my post because of a pressing matter that needed my attention, so I left off where I was going to mention about being inwardly clothed with modesty and femininity. The two, outward and inward, go together I believe. What gets to me like nothing else when I see a woman in a dress ... they look really modest ... but their heart, attitude, and even they're mindset is totally opposite of what they are wearing.
A few years back, I remember several friends were bringing up the subject of being feminine and delighting in their God-given calling. And it brought back memories when there was a young girl who wished she was a boy, yes, that was me. Being the tough, strong girl I was, I loved it when on the father-daughter campouts they had guns to shoot down old liter pop bottles, and then being proud of on my first shot, to actually hit one right in the middle. How that happened, I'll never know...
So back to what I was saying, the term "femininity" has been new to me within the last 6-8 years or so. Books such as, "So Much More" by Anna Sofia Botkin and Elizabeth Botkin, "Let Me Be a Woman" by Elisabeth Elliot, and a couple other smaller books have really helped me as I search out my thoughts and feelings, goals and ideas.
And also realizing that without even knowing it, I to had been effected by this feminist mindset of being independent, career-oriented, fending for herself and no one else ... in fact, it reminds me of the woman in the Bible in Proverbs 7, "...And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtle of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner..." And as mentioned here, as I believe in the here and now, our clothing often speaks of our heart, our attitude, and our very life.
It is my prayer that what ever I wear, that it would reflect "...the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." 1 Peter 3:4
I'm not very good with writing my thoughts down, so if any one who is reading this, has any other thoughts or ideas, please feel free to comment or if something doesn't make sense and it needs to be clarified, please feel free to comment. =)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Testimony of Modesty

Just recently someone had asked me how we came about learning to dress in a more modest, feminine manner. It was a good reminder for me to think back about 10 years ago when Mama had received some resources from the Barth Family Ministries out in Vermont. At the time I was an independent girl of 12 years old whose life was wrapped up in Gymnastics, and considered Mama's desires to wear dresses seemed rather peculiar and strict. I remember thinking that I didn't want to look like I was going to church everyday. =)
However I knew that she would desire for Erin and I to have these same convictions, but didn't push them on us. Although she did take me out of Gymnastics...she couldn't let her daughter be tumbling and dancing in front of others with just a skimpy leotard! Not being truly committed to serving Jesus, I was rebellious in my heart towards that decision she made. Now being born again, I praise the Lord that she made that decision then!
Ever since I was young, I have always loved old-fashioned, prairie, victorian stuff and so for two years I chose to wear jumpers, skirts, culottes to just "look old-fashioned." But it was two years later that when I had been truly born again, the Lord confirmed it in my heart that dressing in a modest, feminine way, is truly His delight for me.
And it really has been a joy for me to dress the way I do. Yes, we do get quite a few stares, looks, questions (the most popular: Are you Amish or Mennonite?), but then we alot receive a lot of compliments and it is interesting that most of them have been from men. They open the doors for us, they tell us how much they appreciate the way we dress, and one guy even offered to pump the gas into our car! =)
But most importantly, I believe God Himself gives us His smile of approval when we choose to dress in a way that is distinct from what man wears, as well as being separate from this world. However I must add that all of this is fruitless if our hearts are not adorned with modesty and femininity. More about this next time as I must be off!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

New tatted bookmarks online!

Pinwheel: $3
Large Snowflake: $4

Vintage Diamond: $2