Monday, August 31, 2009

Pattern Sale at JoAnn Fabrics - First Half of September 2009

Here's my bi-monthly notice of upcoming sale dates for sewing patterns at JoAnn Fabrics. Now is a good time to start working on those Christmas gifts you are planning to make. Patterns are expensive, and you can save a few dollars by buying your patterns when they are on sale.

SEPTEMBER 6 - 12 , 2009
Simplicity Patterns - $1.99 each
(MSRP $6.95 - $17.95 ea.) (Limit of 10) No Special Orders
Excludes "It's So Easy", New Look, Burda & Simplicity Books

SEPTEMBER 4 - 7 , 2009
McCall's Patterns $1.99 each
(MSRP $5.25 - $16.95 ea.) (Limit of 10) No special orders
Excludes "Easy Stitch ‘N Save”

Y Blessings,


Friday, August 28, 2009

Whirlwind Week -- BLESSED WEEK!

I mentioned that last week was a whirlwind week for us here at Brambleberry Cottage, but above that it was a blessed week of visiting with those who are very dear to our hearts. As I began to write down the happenings of the week, I realized that it would be best to divide this account into a two separate posts. I can't believe I have NO pictures to share, but I was too busy just enjoying friends -- too busy for photographing the events. Anyway, last week went something like this. . .


This was actually a quiet day. We worshipped morning and evening and were fed from God’s Word as expounded in two encouraging sermons. After Evening Worship, two close friends of our daughters came to stay the night -- one last summer get-together before they all return to their studies in the fall. I am so very grateful to God for the friendship shared between these girls.


Now, that there are two drivers among the girls, they are a little free-er to make plans to go places. They decided that they would go out for breakfast. While they were gone, I figured that I had better get moving and spent the morning making a dessert and a batch of flatbread for panninis to serve our much anticipated guests that were to arrive on Tuesday Night.

The girl’s friends went home in the afternoon, and we set about re-arranging the bedrooms for company accommodations.

Then it was time to pick up Bill at work. Our #1 Daughter was going to sign papers and pick up a car she had bought. She had worked all summer to buy a car to drive to classes. She hadn’t spent more than twenty dollars of her pay on herself all summer. She only paid a few preliminary costs to the college that she would be attending. The rest she diligently saved for the purchase of a car. However, when she and Bill began to look for a car about a month ago, she only had $3,000 dollars to spend, and that would leave her with NO money for BOOKS. She was so discouraged; she even despaired of being able to go to college. I encouraged her to pray. If the Lord wanted her to go to college, He would provide her with a car. A guy who works with Bill heard that she was looking for a car and approached Bill about a car his mother was planning to sell. She is 77 years old and for health reasons, her doctor told her she would have to stop driving. When Bill looked at the car and took it for a drive, it was in great condition, and the price was 1/3 of Meg’s savings. God has again provided!

After picking up her car, we made a grocery run. We needed some things with company coming


There was more cooking and preparation for our houseguests. I needed to make two more batches of flatbread and desserts. I washed loads of bedclothes and towels. We pumped up air mattresses and made beds.

I can’t tell you how GOOD it was to see them again when they arrived. I dearly miss this family and was thrilled to see them all again. I swear that the kids are a head taller than they were, and it was only last fall that we had seen each other. And oh my, you can tell that they are older – what a difference just a few months makes in a child. And then I got to see her for the first time – a precious little elf-babe. What a beautiful child! I got to hold her and look at her and thank the Lord for her. Of course there were hugs and kisses all around -- and lots of chatter as we all drank in each other’s company after the long drought of being apart.


Next morning, we were up early. Little Miss was up first and came down to the kitchen to see how she might help with breakfast, but there wasn’t much to do as I was only dishing out breakfast sandwiches. Everyone was popping his own sandwich in the microwave. (SOME HOSTESS, huh?) ;D Well, I did have some homemade banana bread, does that redeem me?

We needed a quick breakfast, because together, both of our families were out the door by eight o’clock and heading off to meet the third family in our trio. We were all heading off to my favorite place - Kishacoquillas Valley - to spend the day together.

We all had such a great day walking through the Flea Market, the Auction Barn and just enjoying one another. How very grateful I am to the Lord that He had blessed our family with two such fabulous families! They have been an encouragement and an example to us countless times.

In early afternoon, we were off to a nearby State Park for a picnic lunch, volleyball, walks, and swimming in the spring-fed pond (for the brave-of-heart).

In the evening (not wanting to part from each other’s company) we decided to head off to supper together. It was ten o’clock until we got home that night. Exhausted little children were tucked into bed, and two mommies huddles side-by-side on the couch for a knitting lesson, all the time relishing our time together and catching up with the happenings in each other’s lives.


We have a wonderful surplus store nearby. One side of the huge building is dedicated to fabrics, crafts, and home d├ęcor while the other side is dedicated to more manly items and pursuits. After breakfast, our older children volunteered to keep an eye on the “little ones” and get them down for their naps in the afternoon while we went to see what fabric bargains and the like we could find. By the time we got back, it was time for them to leave and spend the next few days at the home of the "Cornercreek Gang".

That evening I began work on the pattern for the doll dress that I displayedbin my last post. I wanted to finish it in time for Rebecca to take it home with her.
to be continued. . .

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Time for Play

I have had a whirlwind of a week, but it has been absolutely wonderful and refreshing. I plan to give the "Reader's Digest" version of it later when I have a little more time. Dear friends have been in town, staying a couple of nights here and a couple nights with another friend who lives nearby (well, kinda nearby). Our three families have been making up for lost time and have spent several days together.

While here, she mentioned that she would be making her little girl a dress and would like to make a doll dress to match. Of course, my ears perked up at the sound of that, and I offered (well, okay maybe I did beg a little bit) to make a pattern for the doll's dress to match. What a great excuse for me to spend time doing what I love to do. Wink, wink!! So yesterday I made up the pattern and today, I tested it. It's been a good while since I made patterns for a doll that wasn't an 18" doll. Here are the results. . .

I worked out a few of the bugs, and it looks like the pattern is ready to give to her.

Now that I've finished, my excuse for playing with doll clothes is gone. So, I guess I better get crackin' at some grown-up chores. . . like preparing dinner. Oh well, it can't be all play.

Y Blessings,


Monday, August 17, 2009

Pattern Sale at JoAnn Fabrics - Last Half of August 2009

Wow, this month (and this summer, for that matter) has slipped by me. I've been so busy with visitors here and more on the way, two birthdays in the the family this week, not to mention getting everything ready for our college-bound student ( I can't believe her classes begin next Monday). Well, anyway I almost forgot to post the JoAnn Fabrics pattern sale for the end of this month. It looks to me as if there is only Simplicity Patterns on sale this time, but it is a REALLY GOOD PRICE.

Before I give you the dates of the sale, I have a BIG FAVOR to ask of all of you. I would really like to know if my posting these Pattern sales is useful to anyone, so if you check out this post PLEASE just leave me a quick comment to let me know you find the info helpful, even if you come only to see the Pattern Sale info. I would REALLY appreciate this, it will help me to determine whether or not to keep posting the pattern sales and how much interest there is in them.

AUGUST 21 - 23, 2009

Simplicity Patterns - 5 FOR $5.00
(MSRP $6.95 - $17.95 ea.) (Limit of 10) No Special Orders -- Excludes "It's So Easy", New Look, Burda & Simplicity Books

If you have any Christmas projects or gifts in mind, it seems like this is a good time to save a bundle on the patterns.

Y Blessings,


Friday, August 14, 2009

A Pleasant Surprise

Back in May, I took you on a quick tour of the flora around Brambleberry Cottage. I must be honest and say that my flower gardens have been neglected this summer. So I was thrilled when I returned home from taking our #1 daughter to work this foggy morning and was greeted by this sight as I turned in the driveway.

My Rose of Sharon bush which I had started from seed last fall and planted outside this spring has blooms on it!!! It has grown about 6" inches over the summer, but I never expected it to bloom this year since it has been as neglected at the rest of my flowers.

But bloom it has; and it was such a wonderful surprise! I have several shades of Rose of Sharons in my yard, but this deep pink is by far my favorite.

Rebecca, this pic is especially for you. See, I am paying attention to Foto Friday tips!!
Here's my macro shot.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Quiet Day at Home

or An Unexpected Blessing!

Some women say, “Oh, I’d just like to get away by myself.” That’s never been my desire; if I’m going to go somewhere, I want to have my husband or my kids along to enjoy it with me. Now that’s not to say that I don’t, also, crave some “alone time”, but what I have always craved is a day AT HOME ALONE -- just me, myself, and I for company. That is a rare treat for me, because usually there is at least some one else here at the house as well.

But today, quite without realizing it was coming, I have the whole day before me at home by myself. All is quiet, and I have time to think, and plan, and create. It wasn’t until 8:30 this morning that I realized that such a day was mine to relish here at Brambleberry Cottage. It all began last evening with. . .

DEPARTURE #1: Our youngest daughter went to take her turn to spend three days at Grammy and Pappy’s house before it’s time again to start school.

DEPARTURE #2: This morning I made my usual 5:30 run, to take our elder daughter to work for the day. Her dad will pick her up on his way home from work.

DEPARTURE #3: My sweet hubby headed off to work at 6:15 a.m.

It was then that I remembered that. . .

DEPARTURE #4: was about to embark with my son. He and Pappy were going to make their annual run to the County Fair. Pappy loves the County Fair – Grammy doesn’t care for it, it tires her out too badly. Pappy doesn’t like to go alone, so each year he and his “side-kick” head off to spend the day together enjoying the sights and food at the fair.

And that left me with a day to do as I pleased.

The first thing I did was to finish this market bag I have been working on. I’ve finally had it with flimsy plastic grocery bags that tear, leaving the bag in my hand and my groceries “well, NOT in the bag!” So I designed this bag to mimic the design of the plastic grocery sacks, only a LITTLE LARGER and a LOT STURDIER, and a GREAT DEAL PRETTIER! This was my “prototype” and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. In fact, I like it so well that I’m going to try selling some of these bags.

This is the pocket, which I designed. It works on the same idea as a “Quillo” pockets. I can just turn it inside out, and it becomes a little “pouch” for the rest of the bag. I even added a wrist strap. I can keep it in the van in a nice, tidy, little pouch; and it will be ready to use when I need it at the market.

I embroidered the “To market, to market” phrase to give it a special touch. I borrowed the phrase from an old nursery rhyme I remember from my childhood.

To market, to market
To buy a fat pig
Home again, home again
Jiggity jig!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

To Top It All Off!

Our first born has been working long hours this summer, getting to work most mornings by 6 o'clock. She has done it all without a word of complaint. At the beginning of the summer she had mentioned that she hoped that she would have a Wednesday off work sometime during the summer because the one thing she would like to do is go down to the Kishacoquillas Valley to the Flea Market which is only held on Wednesday morning. Well, last week we learned that she would have today off work; so Bill took a vacation day. Early this morning we all headed off for a day trip to Amish country. We spent several hours at the Flea Market before we headed off to the Bulk Dry Goods Stores and the Fabric Shops. Our whole family just had a wonderful relaxing day! I took a camera along to get some pictures, but I was so busy enjoying myself that I didn't take one photo.

All of us had a find or two, but for now I just want to show you our youngest's treasures. As you might know she has acquired a taste for vintage apparel (and that includes hats). I think this stems from a combination of the wonderful imagination that she posseses and her playful personality.

Her first find was an army cap, and she was thrilled. Although she wore it all day, I didn't get a pic of her in it till we got home.
The inside label shows that it was made in 1951.

This hat was her second find. It was made in New York, but that's about all we know about it. It kinda' reminds me of a Mary Poppins hat.

Monday, August 3, 2009


I realize that it has been a while since I have said much about anything has been going on in our family. I have been so busy preparing and posting the last sewing tutorials for young sewers that much of everything else here at Brambleberry Cottage seems to have taken a back seat. So, for those of you who know us and visit here for the news on our family, "This Ones For You!"

The picture above pretty much sums up how I start out each morning - E.A.R.L.Y ! (Well, at least by my standards.) ;D I'm on the road taking The Eldest to work most mornings at 5:30. The hollow we live in always seems to be drenched in fog at that time of the morning, but I have been rather enjoying it. It's quiet and serene, not a bad way to start your day.

By the time I get back to the house, Bill and I have about a half-hour to talk over the coming day before he heads out the door for work. Occasionally, but not often, I have had to make the hour and a half round-trip drive to take him to work, because I have needed the car for the day.

Most mornings, I have a few hours to myself before (Not-so) Little Thing Two and Thing Three pull themselves out of bed around nine o'clock. This has given me time to enjoy some "alone time" meditating on scripture or in prayer. It also gives me a little time to work on some projects I have been excited about before my attention is diverted by two lively teenagers.

Life is not so "laid back" this summer as it has been in the past. We have been dealing with many pressing issues; some of these are of a more personal nature that I won't share here -- others involve the great many details that have to be worked out in order for the Eldest to hopefully attend College classes which begin in just three weeks.

She PASSED HER DRIVER'S EXAM over a week ago, and so at last she has her Driver's License. The same day her brother PASSED HIS KNOWLEDGE EXAM and got his Learner's Permit. You can only imagine the BEAMING SMILES that plastered their faces that day!

She is still deperately in need of a car for her daily commute school. We are a "vehicle and a half family" (van & motorcycle). So we are waiting on the Lord for His provision for her in this area. Her funds are very limited, so she is getting a little nervous. This is a "growing in the Lord" time for her. I have been reminding her that scripture so often instructs us to REMEMBER -- Remember what God has done in the past for His people (as recorded in Scripture) and to remember what He has done for us personally and the way He has supplied for her to attend college ( a thing that looked impossible to our earthly eyes just months ago). This is indeed a time for her growing in faith and trusting in the Lord.

Our front yard is now "tree-less", a fact that I am still lamenting. The roots of the two Maples near the house were causing some structural damage, and the the Pines closer to the road were putting so much pressure on the electrical lines that they were threatening to bring the wires down. Dear friends came by for a day to help cut the two large Pines and haul logs home to use in their furnace this winter. I am so thankful for this family for so many reasons. They have been a great encouragement to our family. Bill and our son would have been hard-pressed to do the job alone since Bill's accident and resulting surgery on his leg last autumn. They were; however, able to take care of the smaller Maples without extra help.

I have been especially busy this summer working on a "kinda" dream of mine, that I am excited about, and I will be "letting you in on" that in the near future.

God has been blessing, encouraging and challenging Bill and me through the sermons our pastor has been preaching over the past several months. Many unknowns and concerns for our family and our nation often cause great emotions to well up in me as God speaks to me through His Word. It is often with great difficulty that I try to hold back tears during corporate worship. While I have no trouble openly showing my joy, tears are a much more private matter for me, and I would rather save tears for when I am alone. Still, I am so thankful for a pastor who gives much attention to the Word and has such a great love for his Lord and His people. We are truly blessed as a congregation.

We have not been able to take any trips this summer, but I am looking forward to a day trip to Kishacoquillas Valley this month. Many of you know it is one of my favorite places to spend the day. We will go down on the day of the week when the Amish hold the barn auction and also visit the massive flea market in near-by Readsville.
So as they say, "THAT'S ALL THE NEWS THAT IS NEWS"! Well, at least that's news here at Brambleberry Cottage.

Y Blessings,


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