Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pattern Sale at JoAnn Fabrics - December 2010 January 2011

Thursday thru Sunday
December 30, 2010 - January 2, 2011

McCall's Pattterns - 99 cents each
MSRP $11.25 - $19.95 each
No Special Orders. Limit of 10.
Excludes Easy Stitch 'N Sew

Vogue Patterns - $3.99 each

MSRP $11.95 - $30.00 each
No special Orders. Limit of 10.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pattern Sale at JoAnn Fabrics - First Half of December 2010

3 Day Sale

Thursday thur Saturday
December 2 - 4, 2010

McCall's Pattterns - $1.99 each

MSRP $11.25 - $19.95 each
No Special Orders. Limit of 10.
Excludes Easy Stitch 'N Sew

Vogue Patterns - $3.99 each

MSRP $11.95 - $30.00 each
No special Orders. Limit of 10.

Happy Holiday Sewing
from Brambleberry Cottage

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I've Been Kidnapped by the Karito Kids. . .

Gracious, it's been quite a while since I've sat down here at the computer to interact with all of you. I haven't dropped off the face of the earth, but I have been immersed in a rather secret project. Finally, today the wrapper came off, and I can finally share the news and my excitment with all the people I love. I have been nearly bursting keeping this little secret to myself.

Since about the time of my last post, I have been adapting some fabulous patterns that Cinnamon Miles, Designer and Founder of Liberty Jane Clothing, had created for 18" American Girl Dolls. Anyone who knows me, knows my love for American Girl dolls and making fashions for them. Then I was introduced to the Karito Kids and have fallen in love with them as well.

When Cinnamon approached me about adapting some designs for the Karito Kids, I was honored and just thrilled to pieces.

So while I REALLY haven't been kidnapped by the Karito Kids I have been knee-deep in the project. Thus far I have adapted pieces for three patterns and am in the midst of the fourth. I have sewn a tank top, 4 tee shirts, 4 strappy tanks, 2 skirts, a pair of leggings, and two pair of jeans for the photos. And I have taken an awful lot of pictures of the completed items.

I have been so busy that no time has been left for blogging, and my Etsy Shoppe is rather poorly stocked these days because I have precious little time to sew things to put in it. Bill and the kids have been so sweet to pitch in around here to pick up the slack of my undone chores. And I could never be doing this without their wonderful help and support.

But, this is something I have dreamed about for half my life. . . to design doll clothes for someone other than myself. And I have to tell you today that I am so excited, and I thank the Lord with every stitch and photo along the way. Cinnamon Miles has been such a dear; I thank the Lord for letting our paths cross. She has shared so liberally!

Sorry for rambling; guess you can tell I'm sort of giddy. Just wanted to say hi, apologize that updates may be scarce for awhile, but at least now you know why. I know not everyone can get excited about doll clothes, and that is one of the reasons why I started the Maiden Flight blog -- to keep my personal/sewing blog from being over-run by my doll designing enthusiasm. I hope you'll overlook my making an exception in this post, but this is really too much to keep to myself. And since it is affecting me so profoundly -- I guess that makes it personal as well.

Anyway here's the cover to the first pattern book. . . that's my doll and I made those clothes. . . I have to pinch myself because this all just amazes me. The patterns will be available in the next week or so at Liberty Jane Patterns.

You can check out Cinnamon's announcement of the patterns to be released here.

Note Added: February 1, 2011 -- 9:05 pm

Although this post is two months old,I have noticed that many web serches about Karito Kids have brought folks to this post. If you are interested in some more things that we have been doing for Karito Kid dolls, please check out our Maiden Flight Clothing blog. I think you will definitely enjoy seeing the fashions and information we have there.


Monday, November 1, 2010

A Wonderful Surprise

I'm so excited that I just had to share this pic with you all. Orangeblossom has tried sewing a few projects over the years, but it just never seemed to be something she enjoyed. She had a ton of other interests, but needlework just didn't seem to be one of them.

At the beginning of school this year, she wanted me to sew a shirt like this for her. I told her it was a simple pattern, and I would be glad to help her with it -- but I wasn't going to make the whole thing. It's not that I think that she should love sewing as much as I do, but I do think that every girl should know a few sewing basics like sewing on a button, or hemming something, or (even for economical reasons) to be able to sew a very simple top if needed.

She agreed, and so at the end of August we cut it out and I reviewed a few things she should know about. She got as far as some of the casings, and then her interest in the project waned. I thought, "Well, that's the end of that."

Lately, she has been talking more and more about being a clothing designer. I offhandedly mentioned that she really ought to know about garment construction to go into that field.

Saturday, she spent most of the day in her bedroom, which seemed a little odd to me.

Imagine my surprise when she came down wearing this peasant top. She had decided she wanted to finish it, studied the instructions, and voila. I think she really did a great job on it. And it is probably one of the nicest surprises I have had. I was so happy!!!

In case anyone else is interested, this is the pattern that she used.
Anyway, a very pleased and proud mama had to show you what she'd done. Orangeblossom is one of those kids that once she decides on something, she goes at it full force.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pattern Sale at JoAnn Fabrics - First Half of November 2010

Boy, I almost missed the information on this one. It took me a little bit to locate it -- it looks like only one brand of patterns is on sale during the first half of November, but it lasts an entire week.

November 7 - 13, 2010
5 for $5
MSRP - $6.95 - 17.95 each
Limit 10. No special orders.
Excludes It's So Easy, New Look, Burda, & Simplicity Books
Thanks "sew" much for stopping by! ;D

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sew with Confidence - Where do I start?

About a week ago, Dana left me a comment in which she asked me this question: ". . . I have visited you from time to time and was wondering if you have any sites/tutorials that would be good for me as a beginning sew-er to look at. My daughter (11) is anxious for me to make the very simple skirt I bought the pattern for. I know some things and have sewn some straight line things (curtains, bags). Any suggestions?"

First of all, Dana, I'm sorry I didn't respond to you more quickly. Time somehow gets away from me these days. Second, I thought this might be a topic that others might be interested in as well, and so, I decided to answer as a post.

I have taught my two daughters to sew when they were younger, and several of their friends, as well as a few adults. Several of them are becoming quite accomplished, steadily progressing in the difficulty of patterns they use.

My first suggestion is this: Always set yourself up for success. Start on projects that have only straight seams, perhaps casing and elastic waistband.. Progress to gentle curves in the next project. Perhaps gathering in the next. You want to walk away from each project with a sense of accomplishment that gives you confidence to do the next step. (I find that one of the biggest discouragements that causes someone (especially adults) to try one sewing project and never, ever try again is choosing a style they love, but the pattern is too difficult for them. They become discouraged and decide sewing is something they don't have the "talent" for. In truth they simply never learned the basics that allow them to eventually tackle a more difficult style.) ALL THAT TO SAY THIS -- START SIMPLE, WORK UP.

My second suggestion is this: A book rather than a tutorial. Why? Because a book is more portable, it can be taking right to the sewing machine. It's more easily referenced.

The book that I suggest is Sew with Confidence by Nancy Zieman. I have bought this soft covered book for my own daughters and also for a couple of their friends. It is a beginner's guide to basic sewing with lots of clear insructions and illustrations. It's a great reference book. The ISBN # is 0-87349-811-9. Here's a picture of the cover.

Nancy Zieman, learned to sew through 4-H when she was younger, and has now written the manual that is used by young girls in 4-H. However, this book is great for any beginner -- young or old. This and your sewing machine manual can get you started on your road to sewing well. I've always felt that she explained things simply and understandably in her books.

In the back of this book their are a few very simple projects such as the one shown above. There are also one for gift bags (good project with Christmas closing in).

I hope these suggestions have been helpful to you. If you have further questions, just comment and I'll try to answer them for you.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pattern Sale at JoAnn Fabrics - Last Half of October 2010

Thursday through Saturday
October 17 - 23, 2010

McCall's Patterns -- 99 cents each
MSRP $11.25 to $19.95 each
Limit 10
No special orders
Excludes Easy Stitch 'N Save

Thursday through Saturday

October 28 - 30, 2010

Butterick Patterns -- $1.99 each
MSRP $10.95 - $19.95 each
Limit 10
No special orders
Excludes See & Sew

Vogue Patterns -- $3.99 each
MSRP $11.95 to $30.00 each
Limit 10
No special orders

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pattern Sale at JoAnn Fabrics - First Half of October 2010

In a continuing effort to cut costs, I try to reuse patterns, and if I do have to buy a new one, I try to buy it when it's on sale. You know the old adage, "A Penny Saved IS a Penny Earned." Here are the sale dates for patterns at JoAnn Fabric Stores for the first half of October 2010. If you have a costume sewing project you're thinking about, check out your local Jo Ann Fabric store for your pattern on the dates listed below.

OCTOBER 8 - 11, 2010

Simplicity Patterns - 99 cents each

(MSRP $6.95 - $17.95 ea.) Limit of 10

No Special Orders - Excludes "It's So Easy", New Look,

Burda & Simplicity Books

* * * * * * * * *

OCTOBER 14- 16, 2010

Butterick Patterns - 99¢

(MSRP $10.95 - $19.95 ea.) Limit of 10

No Special Orders - Excludes See & Sew

Y What will you be sewing?


Friday, October 1, 2010

Diabetes and Drink Stick Wallets

You may remember these from this post at the beginning of the month.

I left you hanging as to what I was going to do with them. "Not to my etsy shop" was all I told you.

Well, today is the day all you curious types get your answer. It all began with a short email from Misty, mother to sweet Allison, a cute little girl with blonde hair and Type I Diabetes. Misty maintains a blog where she gives support and information and encouragement to other moms of children with Type I Diabetes.

Bill, my husband was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes a few years back. At that time, we had to make some changes in our life to accomodate his special needs, nothing too major -- just a few adjustments here and there. One of the adjustments was handled by coming up with the idea of a Drink Stick Wallet. His was black plaid. It was a nice neat way to carry sugar-free drink sticks in his shirt pocket. It worked out great for him. It was frugal and it was discrete; it easily could have been mistaken for a business card holder carried in his shirt pocket.

After Misty's email, I began to read Misty's blog. I became acutely aware of how many "adjustments" have to be made when your child has diabetes. There are so many things that must always be close at hand in order to minister to that child.

Take a look here to see just what became of those drinkstick wallets

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

More Prototypes for American Girl Doll Clothes

Hi again! Well as you can see from the background in these pictures, fall has arrived in Central PA, and the trees are losing some of their leaves. I think this is mainly the result of dry weather because the leaves have not yet really turned colors. Around here in the mountains, we have beautiful displays each autumn.

I'm still working on some designs for American Girl dolls. Now before you look any further, remember these are just prototypes of the patterns I am working on -- trial runs to check for fit and such. The outfit is not co-ordinated in color, but a girl can't have her picture taken without having her bottoms on, and these were the jeans she was wearing. Okay? 'nuf said.

This is my shirred-front tank top. It can be worn alone or layered over a tee shirt. I'm really pleased with this. Now I am ready to make a couple in a little "snazzier" fabric. Note to self: shorten shirring by about 1/2".

I had been looking for a hobo bag pattern for an 18" doll but hadn't come up with anything that I had pictured in my mind. Then I ran across this full-size purse and just loved it. I knew I had to design a pattern for the 18" crowd.

So I grabbed some paper, pencil, rules, scrap fabric and such and began. I'm pretty satisfied with the results, but I need to "tweek" a few things before I really feel good about the pattern.

Just showing another angle. I think the size is good in proportion to the size of the doll.

I need to widen the tabs that hold the D-rings. I should, also, shorten the length of the tab.
Top stitching should be added for aesthetic reasons I think, especially on the straps. It has good body to stand on its own, and I like the contrasting lining. I think a tab with button closure would be a good detail to add.

One last picture of Sam in her mismatched outfit. . . Tsk, tsk, tsk.
If you have any input or suggestions on these, I'd appreciate your thoughts. Two heads are usually better than one.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Recent American Girl Doll Sewing Project

I've been very busy around here lately as testified to by my lack of blogging. Our homeschool program is back in full swing, I've been doing a lot of sewing, and a little bit of designing.
So here's a look at what I've been working on.

Here's Sam sporting a Liberty Jane pattern design of an olive green T-shirt and khaki jeans. The only change I made to the pattern was to make the sleeves 3/4 length (instead of cap sleeves) which is very popular this fall fashion season. The crocheted cap is my own design.

The spaghetti strap top is, also, my own design. I love the layered look, and I think it blends very well with the Liberty Jane Design.

I used the same LJ pattern I mentioned before for the Tee and jeans. I think the Bittersweet orange shirt and copper cap really change the appearance of the entire outfit.

I really was pleased with the handkercheif hemline on the top, which was inspired by a shirt Orangeblossom wore this summer. It looks nice layered or all by itself.

A close up of the shirt's details.

Close up of the jean's. They have actual pockets in front and back, a faux fly, and lots of topstitching.
I'm really looking forward to sewing some more trendy doll clothes to sell. Orangeblossom is loving these, and the pieces mix and match to make lots of great outfits and looks.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor for the Day

Since it is Labor Day, I thought I would give you a little work project that yields big results. I discovered this method of propagating plants a few years ago and have had such wonderful success with it that I would like to share it with you. This plum tree was started last winter in my propagation pot and then transplanted into this pot in the spring. You can definitely see that it is thriving. My daughter is about 5 ft. tall, so you can compare the height of the tree to her. The pit was planted just about 9 months ago.

This propagating pot is so easy to assemble. You will need a few supplies to start.

1 large terra cotta pot (the one I use is 12" in diameter & 10" in height)
1 small 4 inch terra cotta pot

Peat Moss & Sand (mixed in a 1:1 ratio)

2 cork stoppers

First, let me say that the pots cannot be plastic, they must be terra cotta for this system to work. The pots must be porous.

Okay, here's how you assemble the propagation pot:
  • Stop up the holes in the bottom of both pots with a cork. Press it in firmly.
  • Mix sand and peat moss together (do not use potting soil or soil of any kind). The mixture ratio is 1 part sand to 1 part peat moss.
  • Fill large pot with the mixture until it is about 5 inches from the top of pot. Press mix down firmly.
  • Set the smaller pot on top of the mixture in the middle of the larger pot.
  • Surround smaller pot with the sand/peat moss mixture. Stop the mixture approximately 1/2" below the top edge of the smaller pot.
  • Completely fill the small pot with water to its top edge. From now on, the only thing you will need to do to maintain the system is EVERYDAY fill the small pot with water to its top edge.
  • Do not start any cuttings in pot until you have been keeping the small pot filled with water daily for 7 days.

Each fall I take 2 or 3 cuttings from each of my geraniums, dip the cuttings in rooting hormone, poke a hole in the sand/peat moss mixture, and place the cutting in it. By spring the plants have a nice healthy root system and are ready to plant outside. In this way, I have doubled or tripled the number of geraniums I had the year before. I am showing you a picture of the rooting hormone that I use on my cuttings. Any brand will be fine for you to use. Just follow the directions on the jar or package.

Geraniums are not the only plant you can propagate in this manner. Many house plants can also be propagated in this way. Have fun and experiment. For instance, the plum tree was not even started as a cutting. I simply put a plum pit from a plum I was eating into the propagation pot to see if it would sprout. And as you can see, it DID sprout (and with a nice healthy root system).
The steady moisture leaking through the sides of the small pot creates an ideal environment in which cuttings and hard-shelled seeds/pits just thrive.

Also, as long as the weather is nice, I leave the pot outside. I take it in the house before the frost comes and keep it inside for the winter months. When it starts warming up outside in the spring, I move it back outdoors again.

Hope you all have fun with your little project. BTW it's a great home education project for the kids as well.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Patience is a Virtue and Carries Much Wait

I have been working on several sewing projects this week. I have been sandwiching all my sewing in between the starting of our home school year. However, this is the only project that has been totally completed this week.

Last summer, I designed the pattern for these drink stick wallets, so that my husband could carry drink sticks to work with him for breaks and lunch. No, his was NOT in this color. His was in a MANLY black plaid. A few people saw his and liked it.

I made one for my sister. A few of her friend and collegues saw it, liked it, and ordered one from me. I made a few more and sold them around town, and it really seemed like they were becoming a hit. So I decided to put a few in my Etsy shop.
But, that's NOT where these two are heading. They are heading somewhere special and I am really excited about it!

This one, on which I appliqued a heart on the inside, is going to a very special someone.
But that is all I am going to tell you. Until the end of the month, it will have to remain a mystery.
ooooooooooooh, I always wanted to write a mystery!!! ;o)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pattern Sale at JoAnn Fabrics - First Half of September 2010

Can you believe it's nearly time to start back to school again? I certainly can't!!! If you're planning to make some new school outfits for your little ones, then now is the time to head over to the JoAnn Fabric and Craft Store's Pattern Sale.

Here are the pattern sale dates:

Friday through Saturday
September 3 - 6, 2010

McCall's Patterns -- $1.99 each
MSRP $6.95 to $19.95 each
Limit 10
No special orders
Excludes Easy Stitch 'N Save

Vogue Patterns -- $3.99 each
MSRP $8.95 to $30.00 each
Limit 10
No special orders

Thursday through Saturday

September 9 - 11, 2010

Simplicity Patterns -- $1.99 each
MSRP $6.95 - $17.95 each
Limit 10
No special orders
Excludes It's So Easy, New Look, Burda, & Simplicity Books

Remember, it's not too early for all you little elves to get started on your Christmas gift sewing projects. Do you have any completed? We'd love to see them. In fact we would love to see any of the sewing projects you are working on.

If you join us to show what you are working on, be sure to share the Pattern Company and Pattern Number, Book Title, or Online Tutorial URL that you used in your post. Link only to the post of your sewing project (not your entire blog), and please link back to my blog within your blog post, so that viewers can return here to Brambleberry Cottage. Thanks.

Last of the Summer Roses

Many of our friends have been blessed with babies lately, and we rejoice and celebrate the birth of each dear child with whom the Lord has blessed these families. I have just loved making dresses from this particular fabric. It has that vintage look about it that just seems, to me, to beg for an apron and Sunbonnet Baby applique to be added to the mix. I love the aquamarine color with the pink accents -- still very girly, but different from the "cliche-y" pink. I'm really rather sad that this is the end of my stash for this particular fabric.

Now for the patterns I used: The pattern that I used for the basis of the dress was a pattern that I had bought when my first child was being born nearly twenty years ago. The pattern brand is Sunrise Designs. They didn't number their patterns, instead they named them. This one was entitled Lullabies.

For the crown of the hat I used Simplicity Pattern #2905. BTW, if you are looking for an very cute "onesie" pattern, there is one included in this pattern.

Now, any of you who have been stopping by Brambleberry Cottage for any length of time have realized by now that I never can quite seem to leave a pattern well-enough-alone. But my philosophy is, "Why sew, if I can't change it to the way I envision it." To the right is a close up of the dress as the designer of the pattern intended it to look.

My vision was a little different. I wanted short puffy sleeves, no collar, and an appliqued apron attached.

The hat pattern had a straight brim, and
I wanted to "girly" it up a bit by making my brim ruffled.

So there you have it. I'm off to my next project. I have been working on revising and converting a pattern that I had created for an 18" doll into an E-Pattern. Everything has been coming along nicely as far as the instructions and photographs, but converting the actual pattern pieces into a PDF file is a little more than I was expecting. I've scanned them numerous times; each time the scaling is off. Maybe I bit off a little more than this technologically-impaired gal can handle. I hope not.

If you would like to share a sewing project that you have completed or are working on, click here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Year Older. . ., A Year Wiser

Boy, am I ever behind on putting stuff on here. The summer is nearly over, and I just haven't seem to mention much of what we have been up to. And now that I am mentioning something, it's nearly 3 weeks past.
Two summers ago, we were introduced to "the country boil" and fell in love with it. So, it has become a annual summer tradition at our house when the corn comes in season. Last year Bill made it just for our family. That was NOT a good idea! Too much food and not enough restraint caused us to walk away from the table saying, "Oooooh, am I stuffed." This year we were much wiser and invited friends to enjoy it with us.

Good Friends

Good Food

Mmmmmmmm. . .

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I have been sewing all day since about 7 o'clock this morning and probably need to sew for another hour before I head to bed. I need to complete three dresses before Sunday. Since I was starting to get a little bleary-eyed, I thought I'd take a quick break and post about (what else) a pattern sale at JoAnn Fabric & Craft Stores.

Friday through Sunday
August 20 through 22

Simplicity Pattern Sale

5 for $5

MSRP $6.95 - $17.95 each

Limit 10

No Special Orders

Excludes It's So Easy, New Look, Burda & Simplicity Books

Okay, breaks over. . . back to the sewing machine.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Doll Socks are a SNAP

Okay, this is really pretty pathetic of me, but I got sooooooooooooo excited recently when I made these socks to go with an AG doll dress I had designed. Why??? Because they fit well and didn't droop or bag at the foot flexure.
I've had a weird thing about socks ever since I was a kid -- sort of a "droopysockaphobia". Socks in those day would get all stretched out and droopy, and I absolutely hated how that looked, and even more than that I hated how that FELT. Tights were exactly the same -- bagging and drooping at the ankles.
After I got married and had children, the one thing that I was very particular about was that their socks and tights had to have a lot of "snap" in them They had to have socks that were snug and fit well. I just have this thing about this!
Anyway, while these socks don't really snap, still they are snug, fit well, and look good! Hey, what more could I ask for? Well, except maybe, SNAP!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Catching My Breath

Hi all! I really thought I would become more faithful in posting after the homecoming surprise my sweet husband had waiting for me when I returned from my recent vacation. But alas (hand to forehead and swoon), I'm as negligent of this poor, old blog as ever I was. I have been extremely busy sewing gifts for the multitude of babies that have been or will be arriving

But I have also been busy, busy, busy adding things to my Etsy Shoppe. Here's a teeny-weeny peek of the most recent additions.

Oh, you're wondering what my homecoming surprise was!

Drumroll please....

High Speed Internet Service

Yes, I know that's really old hat to most, but here at Brambleberry Cottage we have been struggling along with DIAL UP service until just a couple of weeks ago.

HOORAAAAAY! for no more dial-up.

It also gave us unlimited long-distance service.

HOORAAAAAY! for unlimited long-distance service.

This is such a blessing for me because nearly all of my phonecalls to family and friends are long-distance calls.

And thank you, thank you, thank you
to my dear, dear, dear beloved husband.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Quick Asian Chicken and Noodle Recipe

  • 1 pkg. (3 oz.) chicken flavor instant ramen noodles (I use the "oriental flavor" variety
  • 1-16 oz. bag Birds Eye Frozen farm fresh mixture\

or just use some broccoli, carrots, and water chestnuts

  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken
  • 1/4 cup stirfry sauce

Reserve seasoning packet from noodles

Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a large saucepan. Add noodles and cooked vegetables. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, cook and stir until until browned, about 8 minutes

Stir in noodles, vegetables, stir fry sauce, and reserved seasoning packet. Heat through.

Make 4 servings

Prep Time - 5 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Progress Notes

Hope everyone will bear with me on this very NON-EXCITING post, but I wanted to have a little picture-record of my garden progress. Since I have a tendency to misplace things, it is rather senseless for me to keep a garden journal . This seems to be the best place for me to remember where I put it since I don't keep a garden journal.

After cutting back the lavender (to the ground) last fall, it has made a very nice and full return. Last fall I, also, took 2 cuttings from my one mum and placed them in the propagation pot. In the spring I transplanted them to the garden at the front of the house. Both plants are filling out nicely and are loaded with buds. Red flower (in the daisy family) is spreading like wild fire and needs to be divided and given away or planted elsewhere.

I'm really thrilled with my flower pots this year. I planted several varieties of petunias which thrived, but had to be watered morning and night.

Knowing that I wanted a Hydrangea to plant in the yard, my first born had given me one for Mother's Day. After a few months in the house, it came as close to death as possible without being declared DOA. In desperation, I finally took it outside and continued to water it. I figured it was a lost cause, but I was pleasantly surprised (read "shocked") when it's crumply brown foliage fell off and was replaced with some beautiful, fresh green leaves. Then it went the extra mile and re-bloomed this past week. Who would have thought?

I shot this photo of it for Foto Friday when the topic was "Blue". Now I guess the topic would have to be "Pink" since it has changed its color.
I need to get it in the ground and give it some time to settle in before winter.

Some of you may remember this picture of a Rose of Sharon shrub I had started from seed in the fall of 2008. This is what it looked like in May of 2009; by August of last summer it had
managed to produce 2 lonely blooms.

Here it is today. It has grown approximately a foot since I planted it and has several blooms and dozens of buds.

All of these plants would probably have died while I was away because of the hot dry weather. So I owe a real BIG THANK YOU to my male child (who can hardly be called a child anymore) because he had carefully tended and watered them for me each day while I was gone.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pattern Sale at JoAnn Fabrics - First Half of aUGUST 2010

Arrrgh! August is almost upon us. Who can believe it?
Why do winters drag on and on and on
summers fly by us at supersonic speed?

Okay, that's out of my system now (well, sort of).

Since August is almost here, it high time I post the dates for the pattern sales at JoAnn Fabrics.

Friday through Sunday
August 6 - 8, 2010

McCall's Patterns - $1.99 each
MSRP $6.95 - $19.95 each
Limit 10 -- No Special Orders
Excludes Easy Stitch and Save

Vogue Patterns - $3.99 each
MSRP $8.95 - $30.00 each
Limit 10 -- No Special Orders

Remember to check the in-store flyers for coupons on other items.


Anyone planning or making Christmas gifts yet?

Feel free to share your ideas in our Comments?

We'd all love to hear about them.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Like Rain that Refreshes

I hate being an observer, and I LOVE being a participant. So it seems that the more I am enjoying myself or the more comfortable I am in a given setting, the fewer photos I take. Such was the case of a wonderful refreshing week with a dear, dear friend of mine. I am shocked when I think that I've really only known her and her family for four years, and that she lived nearby for only two short (much too short) years.

Last week I did something I have not done in twenty-one years of marriage. I spent a week away from home by myself and visited a friend. I have missed her so badly. I have missed talking with her and making things together and enjoying her company. I am often amazed at our friendship; afterall, I am twice her age at this time. Yet, it is as true and cherished a friendship as I have ever had with anyone. And when we get together, it seems to me as if the years between us seem to slip away, and we are just two moms who love Christ Jesus, our husbands, our children, and our homes -- oh yes, and to make things ;-)

It was such an enjoyable week. . .
filled with such things as
having an indoor picnics, when rain interupted our plans to have one outside

Walking in dry creekbeds and finding fossils.

Reading stories

Listening to stories

Cuddling with little ones

Answering the familiar question, Mrs. *, will you tell me a story about when you were a little girl?"

Watching the little "man of the house" helping Mama with chores, as each morning he brought produce from the garden without being asked to do so and helping to feed and water the animals.

Working on projects

And asking Rebecca every question about raising chickens I could think of except, "Why did the Chicken cross the road?"

and snapping a few pictures the very day that I was to come home

of children that love working with their Papa

and working with their Mama

But I knew my visit with them was over when Andrew came in the house on Saturday afternoon and announced, " Mrs. *, I'm sorry to tell you, your family is here." They had come to pick me up. I was so glad to see my family, and so sorry to leave this wonderful friend and her family behind. But first we made plans to have them to come to our house for a week next summer.

Among God's great blessings on our lives are treasured and faithful friends.

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