Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a very wonderful and merry Christmas!

Save 25% in the shop by entering in 25SALE in the coupon section while checking out! This will be my last week to be open, as I head off for college next week!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Last of Her Kind

I would have never guessed when I hosted an apron giveaway over three years ago, that people would still rave about the adorable black and white tea cup print with red trimming. It is sadly out of print, and extremely hard to find. Quite sometime ago I found an ebay seller who sold me all that she had, and earlier this week I discovered that I had just enough fabric to make one more apron out of what was left of it.
It is not for me, (quite a pity!) as I have chosen to offer it to anyone who was still hoping to purchase this A Joyful Handmaiden-classic apron.
In honor of it being the very last, I added my special tag to the inside back strap.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A Christmas Ball!

Earlier this week I received a personal invitation to a 19th century Christmas ball! Now, the reasons why I'm so elated by it is because it's the first one I've ever been invited to (but only because there aren't very many of the kind around here) and a kindred spirit thought of the sweet idea to invite me!

But laying that aside, I've got all excited about it, sort of like a dreamy Cinderella feeling, or a giddy Lydia Bennet excitement, or an Anne Shirley ecstasy, while trying to figure out if it would fit into my super busy schedule these days. And if it would work out, what would I wear? The suggested appropriate attire was in the Jane Austen through Charles Dickens era, and since I have very little knowledge or skill in the Dickens wardrobe, and Regency is a favorite, I've come up with two dresses that I'm tossing back in forth for inspiration ideas.

Marianne Dashwood's teal blue silk evening gown,
or Emma Woodhouse's pink evening gown"Putting the cart before the horse" you may be whispering behind your computer screens, but it is fun to dream every once in awhile. =) If anything comes into fruition, you may depend upon details of the preparation and of the event itself!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dressing Beautifully

"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be 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 3:3 and 4

"These verses do not teach, as some might think, that physical beauty is somehow sinful, or that it is wrong to pay any attention to our outward appearance. That is just as much a deception as the lie that place overemphasis on external beauty.

Nowhere does the Scripture condemn physical beauty or suggest that outward appearance does not matter. What is condemned is taking pride in God-given beauty, giving excessive attention to physical beauty, or tending to physical matters while neglecting matters of the heart."

Nancy Leigh DeMoss is one of my favorite female authors (Elizabeth Elliot is the other favorite!) and in her book, "Lies Women Believe" she talks about how so easy it is for us as women to buy into the lie that says physical beauty matters more than inner beauty. We may say, "Oh! But I don't believe that lie," but how we live determines what we believe. How much time do we spend in front of the mirror to "face the day" in comparison with how much time we spend in God's Word to "face the day?"

Of course in our efforts to squash this lie, some of us can so easily swing to the other side of looking sloppy, poorly groomed, and so unattractive that people don't want to be around us! I appreciate the continued thoughts of Nancy Leigh DeMoss,

"One of Satan's strategies is to get us to move away from one extreme to another. There is a growing aversion in our culture to neatness, orderliness, and attractiveness in dress and physical appearance... Do you know who you are? God made you a women. Accept His gift. Don't be afraid to be feminine and to add physical and spiritual loveliness to the setting where He has placed you. You are a child of God. You are a part of the bride of Christ. You belong to the King--you are royalty. Dress and conduct yourself in a way that reflects your high and holy calling.

"We as Christian women should seek to reflect the beauty, order, excellence, and grace of God through both our outward and inward person."

To read further, Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, the book is available here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Back in Business

A warm holiday greeting to all of you who still have this blog in your subscriptions and blog feeds! =) This post comes to a surprise to me, just as much as it comes to you, but I wanted to peep out and mention that I'll be doing a little bit more sewing than planned over the course of the next four weeks as my part time job is no more, unfortunately. That is not a good thing for a poor violinist trying to pay her way to college.

Not only is God my provider, He is my guide, too. After mulling it over in my mind and in prayer, I decided to pull out my fabrics, apron patterns, dust off my machines, and get busy sewing (and maybe a little blogging, too!). I'll be sewing up until Christmas, and will more than gladly take requests or sew up aprons from any fabrics in your stash for a discounted price.


Monday, August 30, 2010

The Last Rose of Summer

Last autumn when I was blessed to live with my Grandma for several months, we enjoyed her beautiful rose bushes up through November. They were literally "the last rose of summer." =)

It seemed fitting that my last apron offering to the shop be that of roses.

By the way, everything is 10% off, and eventually I'll be marking down as time goes on before I go to college.

Berry Picking

They are fun memories to relive when I think of all of the wonderful times berry picking when I was a young girl. Where we are now doesn't offer such delightful fields, but right in my own home there is my fabric bin that contains fabrics that I could pick from, and this is what I chose:

"We just told you, Father. We were berry picking!"
"...It's, uh, to early for strawberries."
"Well, it's been so cold lately they've turned blue!"
(a few favorite lines from the film, The Sound of Music)

Well, this apron doesn't feature strawberries or blueberries, but it does feature many raspberry delights: in the fabric, the large button from my stash, and the delicious vintage rick rack. It's up for grabs in the SHOP this morning.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

of Cosmos, Books, and Tasha Tudor

The seeds that barely made it turned into shoulder height plants of beautiful Cosmos. Just now they are flowering profusely. Do they make good cut flowers? I'm tempted to try it and put them in a vases for the bedrooms.

This morning I became inspired to look through my stash for something inspiring to make, and towards the top was this lovely Waverly fabric that I made in a Tasha Tudor style apron. It of course has pockets that hold my little antiquarian books. It, the highly-sought-after book is not for sale. Sorry if I had your hopes up!

The apron is, however!

Must run and check on the batch of Tasha Tudor's cornbread muffins (from her recipe book) that I have in the oven. I added some bacon fat to the batter. Here's hoping they'll still taste good!

Friday, August 27, 2010

An Enormous Tote

With preparing to go to college, at least one tote bag is on my list to bring. This afternoon I went through my stash and found the perfect fabrics to make one up for the shop. After all, I'm not the only one going to school!
A sister happily obliged to show it off in pictures. Like it?

Cappuccino Muffins

Last night I brought a batch of these to a ladies Bible study I'm apart of (anyone familiar with Beth Moore?) and they were a great hit! I can't claim it as one that I came up with, as I believe it came from a recipe book of some kind.

Cappuccino Muffins

2 c. all purpose flour
½ c. sugar
½ c. packed brown sugar
2 t. baking powder
2 t. instant coffee granules
1 t. ground cinnamon
¼ t. salt
1 egg
1 c. milk
½ c. butter, melted
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. miniature semisweet chocolate chips

6 T. all-purpose flour
¼ c. brown sugar
½ t. ground cinnamon
¼ c. cold butter

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugars, baking powder, coffee granules, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk the egg, milk, butter, and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.

For topping, combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter. Sprinkle over batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 22-24 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield 15 muffins.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Yes, I am sewing!

My posts these days have been rather sporadic, but that doesn't mean a lack of sewing on my account. I've been sewing up what seems to be a whole wardrobe for my mother! =) She like jumpers, and it is a fairly easy pattern of buttons in the front bodice and gathered skirts with hidden side pockets. Today I cut out two of those for her, and am hoping to get them both done by tomorrow. Only time will tell.

Over the weekend I was able to get a few tatted bookmarks done which I was happy about. Tatting is time consuming for me, but watching the new "Emma" with Romola Garai certainly helped pass time as I sat away making hundreds of knots! My sisters prefer this version to the other two, and while I agree it does seem to stand out more than the others (perhaps the longer length that makes the story easier to follow?) I must be honest to say that I still like the others ones almost as equally. Give me any Jane Austen movie, you'll get very little complaining on my account.

::sigh:: I wish I had enough yardage to make a Regency dress. They really are fun to make even if I end up selling them all. =)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

In Knots

Yesterday while watching the new version of Emma (which I really like!) I pulled out my shuttles and crochet thread and started having fun with knots.

That is, tatting. =) It has been several months now since I've done anything with hand work, and nearly forgot how pleasant it is. I finished a few bookmarks yesterday, and am wanting to finish a few more this weekend to add to my online shop of bookmarks.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Slice of Cherry Pie

Today I've been reminiscing about my times spent in MI during the autumn season, and making cherry pies in the kitchen with Grandma. It has gotten me in the mood to make a cherry pie, but unfortunately we don't have any frozen cherries around (hint: Get either fresh or frozen. The canned stuff just doesn't cut it!) and so the closest thing that I could come up with is an apron.

Terrible, aren't I? =)
If you're a cherry pie lover, you might be glad to know that it is in the SHOP this afternoon! =)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Going Out of Business

Well, I never imagined this would happen, but God is putting the details together for me to go to college this coming January down south. For nearly half of my life time I have known that the Lord would have me pursue music, specifically in violin. Not for my own reputation, fame, or career, my chief desire in pursuing music is to use it in ministry.

Because January will come sooner than I think it will, at the end of this month this blog will no longer be updated and will become an archive. Many, many thanks for all of you who regularly visit the blog and those who have been gracious to leave comments here and there. It has been wonderful!

I do have a music blog, which I mentioned a few weeks (months?) ago and that will be updated, though perhaps not consistently. If you'd like to read it, drop me an e-mail and I'll send you the link!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Summer Days

This month I've been enjoying the pleasures and delights of summer, and had put sewing on hold for a good week.
Earlier this week I was able to enjoy the first tomato from our garden. This year we have Roma, Celebrity, and Better Boy growing. Normally you would find Super Fantastic and Heirloom varieties in our garden also.

The other day my mother, older sister, and I tasted the delights of Celestial Seasonings tea. We sampled dozens between all of us, both cold and hot, and went on a free tour to see where they make the tea.

We of course took advantage of their tea shop in the adjoining building.

Reading back issues of Victoria magazines is also another favorite pastime on the porch...

...or reading any other book for that matter. Last week I received a book from amazon (and got it for free, thanks to swagbucks!) and read it in less than 24 hours.

Of course, I must not forget to mention the brown paper package tied up with string that arrived on my doorstep this morning, thanks to Lanier's new bookshop. Yay for another antiquarian book!

And on some very hot days, sometimes I wish I could curl up in a chilled sink like Charity so easily does.

How have you been enjoying your summer?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Zucchini Pie

Tonight we made a new recipe. Mom asked what we should make for supper, and I replied, "Let's do something fun!" We pulled out a cookbook, Farmhouse Cooking, given to use by some Mennonites, grabbed some zucchini out of the freezer, and made Zucchini Pie. It is deeeeelicious! Even our picky younger brothers gobbled it within minutes! If you have a large family, or hungry brothers, you'll want to make two of these.

Zucchini Pie

3 c. shredded zucchini
1 small onion, diced
1 c. Bisquik
1/2 c. oil
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
4 eggs
1/4 t. salt
1 tsp. parsley

Mix all but the last ingredient together and pour into greased 9" pie pan. Shake pepper (opt.) and parsley on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. May fry a little bacon and crumble in batter (I poured in about 1/4 c. bacon bits, as we don't have any of the real stuff right now), or dice in a little ham before baking.

Purple Roses

by Ronsard, 1550.

See, Mignonne, hath not the Rose,
That this morning did unclose
Her purple mantle to the light,
Lost, before the day be dead,
The glory of her raiment red,
Her colour, bright as yours is bright?

Ah, Mignonne, in how few hours,
The petals of her purple flowers
All have faded, fallen, died;
Sad Nature, mother ruinous,
That seest thy fair child perish thus
'Twixt matin song and even tide.

Hear me, my darling, speaking sooth,
Gather the fleet flower of your youth,
Take ye your pleasure at the best;
Be merry ere your beauty flit,
For length of days will tarnish it
Like roses that were loveliest.

But look! In an apron, your purple roses won't fade away for a great length of time!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

A Time to Breathe, a Time to Relax

Mother is home. She and my older sister went out east for nearly two weeks, and I while she was gone, I got to fill in the role of "mom" which is partly why I did that series of button-showcasing. With doing meals, laundry, cleaning, errands, appointments, church picnics ... there just wasn't anytime to sew!

Now that she is home, I should have some more time to catch up on some reading (if you love antiquarian books as much as I do, be sure to visit Lanier's new bookshop! Oh to have money to spend on books!!!) and of course, turn my sewing machine back on. Believe it or not, I have nearly a dozen aprons cut out and ready to sew from just about all of my apron patterns so keep your eyes peeled on the shop this month as I seek to fill it up.

Should get back to my garden. For weeks (months?) I've barely been out there, and just this morning I was able to get a good half of it done. Believe me it was no small chore, yet in a way, being out there is relaxation too. Oh yes, there were bugs in there too that I've only seen in Science books from when I was in school, and my garden has always been for the most part bug and creepy-crawly free. ::ahem:: Yes, it was that bad my dears!

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Button Collection: Metals

This is probably my favorite group out of all of them. There is something unique about silver and gold buttons.
I wonder where these buttons would have come from. I'd like to imagine that they came off of an old uniform of some kind.
These rhinestone buttons sparkle and dazzle in the light!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Button Collection: Pearly Whites

This is probably the largest group out of all of them. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish the ivory pearls from the whites and creams, so all of them are in this collection. As you can see the smallest ones didn't get organized. It was late at night and my eyes were playing tricks on me. =) Like most of the pictures I post, all of them are clickable.

And last but not least, the metal collection will be up on Monday. Have a lovely and restful weekend!

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Button Collection: Black

Contrary to what you might think, black buttons can be very nice. In fact some, quite classy indeed!

Tomorrows featured collection will be the white, ivory, and cream bunch.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Button Collection: Interesting Ones

Actually, they are the group of yellows, tans, browns, and tortoiseshell, but there ARE some interesting ones. As before, all of the pictures are clickable!

WHO would use those ugly snake ones?!

Stay tuned tomorrow for the black ones!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Button Collection: Red, Pink, & Purple

This is my smallest group. It shows that I don't sew much with these colors. I'm not sure why, because I do like these colors!

Up Next: some interesting ones

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Button Collection: Gray & Green

Some bright green, some dark, some army greens that turned into gray as I was sorting them out, so both colors are showcased together:

Up next tomorrow: red tones

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Button Collection

Surely this seamstress isn't the only one who collects buttons! Over several years I've seemed to accumulate buttons from my own sewing, and every now and then I've picked up buttons at antique shops, flea markets, and thrift stores.

This week I've decided to showcase the ones I've collected for anyone who likes buttons. Last week I was sorting them out by color and took pictures of each "group." Today's featured color is blue. All pictures are clickable.


Stay tuned tomorrow for the green ones!
P.S. There is a 10% off sale going on in the shop this week! Prices reflect the discount.