Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

April 27, 2011

Outside my window...gray and raining.

I am thinking...about the things I need to do in town today. Lots of little errands.

I am thankful for...Gods Word. I marvel that it was written so long ago. Its so prevalent for today.

From the learning rooms...We are learning by leaps and and bounds. Little Felipe is 5 and knows all his letter sounds and letter names and is now learning to write the alphabet and spell his name.

From the kitchen...Ham and beans in the crock pot for dinner and they smell so good!

I am excited about...finding out our second grandbaby is a little girl too!

I am praying...for friends.

I am tee shirt and light denim skirt and I'm barefoot still! Must put my shoes on or I won't get much accomplished today.

I am creating...a fairytale doll . Fairytale to be announced.

I am finish some doll shirts today and hook doll hair and go to church :).

I am reading..Signs, Wonders and Miracles by James Knox.

I am get another doll in the shop tomorrow.

I am hearing...the hum of a happy house.

Around the house...the last load of laundry is fixing to go in the washer. Then I'm finished....until tomorrow.

One of my favorite things...Young people. I always dreaded having teens but I've found that my teens are some of my favorite people to be around. They keep me laughing.

A few plans for the rest of the week...doll in shop, sew brides maid dresses for a young lady at church and plan a great Sunday dinner.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...Donnie, my 18 year old. Love this boy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Miss Molly

It took me awhile. (all dolls seem to take me awhile) I can't just seem to whip a doll out. I want to make them up real fast. I have to think about them and decide how I want them dressed etc. Then real life happens. Children, school, cooking and laundry take up the bulk of my time and they are my main priority. So sometimes a dolly has to sit and wait patiently for me to get her clothes ready.

Anyway, I finally got Miss Molly dressed and ready for the day. I am loving the rainbow colored yarn. Its very soft and a pleasure to knit with.
All of her clothing is knit, right down to her pink skivvies. All her clothing is knit with wool or a wool blend. I'm sort of a yarn snob, preferring to only knit with wool or wool blends such as wool/silk or wool/mohair. My favorite fiber to knit with is Alpaca. So soft.

Molly is in the shop now.

Giving and Taking

I was recently informed that my friend has advanced breast cancer and it seems to also be in her lymph nodes. As I have prayed for her, I've thought about the children she has raised, is still raising and the powerful influence she has had directly on 10 lives. Several of her children are involved in various sorts of ministry so in essence the impact her children are having is indirectly her influence too.

I've been thinking about Job a lot because the children and I are reading through the book of Job together. Without fail there has been something in each of the 24 chapters we've read so far that has caught my attention and caused me to pause and think.

Thinking about my friend and Job, I've thought about giving and taking. Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

In my human mind I tend to think of the giving to be a good thing and the taking to be bad. Surely when Job cried those words he was of the same inclination. What I see in Job though is the set belief that no matter what, God is good. He is worthy of our praise. Even when our children are all destroyed in one day and our wealth and health have been taken from us, God is good and blessed be his name.

I've been thinking over things in my life, looking at the hindsight of being a Christian for 17 years, come the first of May. Things that were given and things that were taken away. I have been given a testimony I did not want. I wanted to cast it off and run from the burden it brought with it. I've had things taken away. Relationships, family, friends.

The giving and the taking didn't seem good at the time. At the time persevering seemed impossible and overcoming wasn't a thought in my head. I didn't understand the giving and taking that God was doing in my life and I thought I needed to grasp what he was doing right then when the pain was so intense. I thought if I could just get what he was doing it would somehow lessen the intensity of what I was going through. But in hindsight I can say that Jesus does do all things well. Blessed be his name.

So back to my friend. I want God to heal her for His sake. She is a beautiful testimony of what a christian woman ought to be. She brings glory and honor to his name. I don't want her example taken from among us. But the giving and taking of her life is not within my power. God has ordained life and death.
Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dolly Clothes

I love English smocking. I drew out a little pattern for a smocked bishop doll shirt. It took me a couple of tries to get the pattern adjusted to the right width (with pleats) for around my dolls necks.

Click on the pictures to see the details of the smocking better.

I am blessed to have a Sally Stanley smocking pleater. Without this handy dandy tool, I wouldn't smock much at all. When I first started smocking, I used transfer dots and ironed them on to my fabric. Then I began the long, arduous task of picking up each dot with needle and thread to make the pleats. It took forever. But I did it several times. Then my husband took pity on me and for Mothers Day bought me the pleater. I've used it for several years and learned a great deal more about English Smocking.

So these little dolly shirts are fun because they are (in comparison to making a dress or something bigger) fairly quick to make and simple in their construction. I had 3 of these little shirts smocked and ready to go and yesterday I sat down and sewed all three of them up in about 1.5 hours.

I'm going to get some pictures of these outfits on a dolly today and but them in my shop later on this evening.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

April 20, 2011

Outside my window...gray but the birds are singing.

I am sons.

I am thankful for...the creative process.

From the learning rooms...I am learning about probiotics and prebiotics

From the kitchen...Making yogurt today.

I am excited about...finding out our second grandbaby is a little girl too!

I am praying...that I would have more love and natural affection.

I am tee shirt and khaki skirt and I'm barefoot! Must put my shoes on or I won't get much accomplished today.

I am creating...a cool doll coat :) .

I am finish some doll shirts today and hook doll hair and go to church :).

I am reading...Kinder Dolls by Maricristin Waldorf doll book ever. I wish I would have had it when I first started making dolls. So much valuable information.

I am get our budget rolling. It seems to take forever to get a base amount of money together so the money will move the way it needs too.

I am hearing...the dryer is squeaking.

Around the house...several cupboards need a good cleaning. That always seems to be the case though.

One of my favorite things...a clean bedroom.

A few plans for the rest of the week...taking dinner to a friend, working on dolls and doll clothes and doing something fun with the children on Friday.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...Gracie, one of the first dolls I ever made and the very first dolly that I sold in my Etsy store.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Confessions of a Pattern Junkie

I confess that patterns like this one (in my opinion anyway) are what dressing little girls is all about! If it were me and I had a little girl to sew for again, oh wait...I'm fixing to have a little girl to sew for again, YIPPEE! I would make the dress in a chambray fabric or a light weight, light colored denim and make a few different pinafores to go over it. Then it could be changed up with half the sewing effort. :)

I don't know the pattern number or the copyright date on this one. What I do know is that it was designed by a woman named Helen Lee. Googling her name was the smartest thing I've done in awhile. Apparently she was a BIG children's clothes designer. She designed bunches of patterns for McCalls. AND get this in 1953 she won the Coty Award for her “significant influences in the development of good taste and charm in children’s fashion” now isn't that fun to read! If you take a gander at the Helen Lee link, you'll see that it is true...she had excellent taste in children's clothing and her patterns are a mixed delight of childrens fashions and artwork to look at. I didn't realize it until I Googled Helen Lee's name that I have at least 5 of her patterns in my vintage stash. In the future I will be looking for her name on the patterns I'm drooling over.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Real Milk

I took this gallon of milk out of the fridge this morning to make yogurt and was in awe of the amount of cream that had rose to the top.

Good, raw, Jersey milk. Nothing better for making butter, whipped cream, yogurt and gravey.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I've been busy making a few dolls here. Two put together and I'm knitting up some hair for one of them. I'm creating another in my mind as I knit.

I had an awful thing happen yesterday. I put together the sweetest little doll, and just as I was almost finished, I snipped a string and cut a hole in her foot. There was no way to fix her and make her foot look good, so when I got home from church last evening, I cut her out a new body, sewed it up and put her back together and she is mighty cute....

A sneak peak of my fixed up girly girly,
I still have to make her clothes. We borrowed these from my growing pile of doll clothes that need to be listed in my Etsy store.

I still haven't thought of a name for her yet. Part of the fun of making dolls is getting to dream up a name for them. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

April 13, 2011

Outside my window...SUNSHINE and the strawberries are starting to bloom.

I am thinking...about my sister and her family.

I am thankful husband, who loves me.

From the learning rooms...we learned about the sentinels that guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier yesterday. Very interesting.

From the kitchen...Making yogurt today.

I am excited granddaughter, Penelope. She will be making her appearance in a month or so.

I am praying...for my children. They seem to get the lions share :) .

I am tee shirt and denim skirt, socks and sneakers.

I am creating...a garden list....gardening is upon me :) .

I am make a doll today.

I am reading...Kinder Dolls by Maricristin Waldorf doll book ever. I wish I would have had it when I first started making dolls. So much valuable information.

I am get out of debt

I am hearing...Donnie do his morning chores.

Around the house...we have been cleaning up the strawberry bed. (400+ strawberries).

One of my favorite things...Silas my 2 year old in the mornings...he is so sweet and lovey.

A few plans for the rest of the week..I'm not really sure, other than working to get the strawberries in order and getting the garden ready.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...Jonah, my almost 8 year old, when he was a littler boy. Must have been wore out. He climbed on the bed and fell asleep.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Children grow so fast.
Seems now that there are so many its hard to get a picture of all of them together.

I wouldn't trade anything for my children. I'm so glad I've had each one of them.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Confessions of a Pattern Junkie

I confess that their are vintage patterns, like this one, on Ebay that could cause me to enter the cat fight between all the other vintage baby pattern lovers and determine that I would win the pattern, no matter the cost. Fortunately for me, I hit an estate sale a couple of years ago and discovered a box that had a bunch of old vintage patterns in it and vintage hankies...some of the hankies were still in the pretty boxes that hankies used to come in. I stood guard over the box and when the auctioneer (who is also my pastor) came round he sold the box for junk in with a bunch of other boxes. I entered into a bidding war but was out bid. Apparently, the man I was bidding against saw something in one of the boxes that he really wanted and was willing to pay more than $15 dollars for...that was my limit.

After the auction, I caught the man and his wife loading their boxes of junk and I asked them if they were interested in selling the box with patterns and hankies. They were interested, so I gave them $10 dollars and off I went with my patterns and hankies.

This little beauty was among some of the very sweet patterns and I absolutely love it. If I were to have another baby....I would be pulling this treasure out, along with the embroidery transfers, which are still good and I would be whipping up a few of these.

McCalls 773. Copyright 1940.

I've looked at the instructions and all these little gowns and shirts are very simple to make. I love hand made/home made clothes on babies and children. Anything home made, shows an investment of love, in the life of a child.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Give Away

My friend, Mary Ann @ A Joyful Chaos is having a give away on her blog. I have had the privilege of knowing Mary Ann and her family for the last several years as they used to live in our neck of the woods. She is telling the story of how she grew up Amish and eventually left the Amish church. Its is the sweetest blog I've ever had the pleasure to read.

Anyway...she is giving away REAL MAPLE SYRUP! Can I say YUM!

So check out her blog and grab a cup of coffee or tea because, believe me, you'll want to stay awhile.

Friday, April 8, 2011

16 years ago today

My son, Elijah Paul was born. What a boy! He is the comedian in our family. He keeps all laughing. He is one of those people that can fit into any group, any click and nobody thinks a thing about it. Most of my other children are not this way.

Elijah is cool. I like spending one on one time with him. He is interesting to talk to and is sharp about people. He watches people, their actions and reactions. I like that about him because I'm the same way.

16 years ago, I was in labor. Elijah was our first home birth. An *unassisted home birth. Meaning that there were no trained medical professionals there. A dear lady from our church came to help out and how thankful for her help we were. There isn't much need for an extra set of hands until things get down to business and then those extra hands are a blessing.

I'd had my previous babies in the hospital. Every time I'd given birth, the baby was whisked away and it was awhile, sometimes hours before I was allowed to see my baby. When Elijah was born, my husband and our friend were rubbing his back and stimulating him and I distinctly remember asking if I could touch him. My friend looked at me a little shocked and said "Of course you can touch him, he's your baby!" We've had 7 home births now. All unassisted and I've never asked that question again. If I had no other reason, getting to hold my baby as much as I want after birth is reason enough for me to have them at home.
How thankful I am that God sent this boy into our family.

*we went with an unassisted home birth because we didn't have medical insurance and we couldn't afford a midwife. After having one unassisted birth we decided we liked birth that way and that it worked for our family so we stuck with it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Summer of 1972

From left to right, Me, my brother, Guy and my sister, Carrie.
I remember this day. I was 3.5 years old. My dad took us to Salt Fork Lake to swim and bought us ice cream. What a treat that was. My dad liked to take us swimming. Its one of my clearest, early memories of him.
What copper colored hair I had as a child. No wonder I love to make red headed dollies. :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

April 6, 2011

Outside my window...The promise of the sun is there! YIPPEE

I am thinking...I have to make tamales this week.

I am thankful for...children who make me laugh.

From the learning rooms...Livia is getting interested in her knitting again. Which is good because now I'm ahead of her in knitting knowledge and can teach her something. LOL

From the kitchen...Making yogurt today.

I am excited about...some doll clothes I'm in the process of making and church tonight

I am praying...for my sons.

I am wearing...brown long sleeved tee shirt and jammie pants.

I am creating... doll clothes.

I am going... grocery shopping and to church tonight.

I am reading...different tutorials on the internet.

I am get some yarn for doll hair in the mail today.

I am hearing...quiet.

Around the house...time to rake the yard off and get the garden ready.

One of my favorite things...breast milk running down a sleeping baby's cheek.

A few plans for the rest of the week...take Elijah birthday shopping, make tamales, plan for company on Friday, list several doll outfits in my shop.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...a smocked bishop dolly shirt. I figured out the pattern last week and aside from a small tweak here and there, its good to go. ;)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

In Search of a Memory

When I was a kid my mother used to sing the chorus of a song to us that went like this:
Does your chewing gum lose its flavor
on the bedpost overnight
If your mother says stop chewing it
Do you swallow it in spite
Can you catch it on your tonsils
and heave it left and right
Does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight.

Now, all my children know the chorus to that song and many others that she used to sing to us. Over the weekend I got to thinking about that song and thought I would look and see if it was on youtube. I knew there was more to the song than what she sang and its a funny song.

She also used to sing us the song "I Love You a Bushel and a Peck" so I went in search of this song too on Youtube and to my surprise found that Dorris Day had sang it. I sing part of this song to my children a lot. I wonder that they won't sing it to their children too.

Enjoy. :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Confessions of a Pattern Junkie

I confess that sometimes I can't resist a vintage pattern because I love the artwork on the envelope. I've often thought it would be cute to frame the envelopes and use them as decoration in a sewing room or a child's room.

Check out the artwork on this cutie.
Simplicity 4681 and again no copyright date. I'm guessing 40's because the original cost of the pattern was $.15.
I love this pattern and the envelope. Look at the barn drawn in the back ground.
What I really like though is the message this pattern envelope gives. Rural life. Work on the family farm. I'm often reminded that God put man in a garden and told him to dress it and keep it. Some of the best memories I have with my children are the early mornings and evenings that we have spent working in the garden together.

I especially like the little girl with the spade. Her bib overalls have eyelet trim around the bib and the pockets. She has a touch of femininity while she is working away in the dirt. :)

Yesterdays Work

My hands are a bit sore this morning. I spent some time yesterday making doll heads. I've never done the job alone before. I usually have one of the children there to hold the string down while I tie it off. Yesterday they were all gone to a church activity and it was just Silas (my 2 year old) and I at home. He wanted to help but didn't get the gist of what I was needing help with. So I tied alone.

I also made a head for a 8-9" doll. I've never made a doll that small before. I'm making this little dolly for my first grand daughter (first grandbaby too!!!), Penelope. If she comes out well I might make some to offer in my shop.

Friday, April 1, 2011

I was digging through a small storage tote a few days ago and came across this little dress.

I bought this dress at a resale baby shop when my oldest daughter, Autumn, was an infant. That was 20 years ago. After Autumn out grew it my sister in law was expecting a baby girl so I packed up a bunch of Autumns baby clothes and mailed them too her. I didn't figure I would ever see the dress again.

One day my sister was over at my sister in laws and saw this dress in a pile that sat on the couch. My sister asked my sister in law about it and was told that it used to be Autumns dress. My sister took the dress home with her and mailed it back to me.

When I was expecting Ezra (4 babies after Autumn) I was really wanting a girl. I pulled the dress out and looked it over. To my dismay it had a H U G E formula stain all over the collar, down most of one sleeve and over the shoulder to the front and the back. Left to sit the formula stain had turned a yucky orangish color. I was bummed. Formula stains are difficult to remove and I didn't have a clue about OxiClean.

I soaked the dress and hand rubbed it for awhile and let it set. I rinsed it thoroughly. Then I took a cotton ball and some peroxide and rubbed that stain over and let it set for awhile. I rinsed the dress again and let it dry. The stain was noticably lighter! I wet it again and dowsed it with peroxide again. The stain was even lighter! So I repeated the process again and this time the stain came out.

Ezra was not the girl I was hoping for and that was ok. Finally after 4 boys in a row we had a girl, Livia and she wore the dress too.