Sunday, July 31, 2011


~A special gown waiting for the tiny arm and hand of a special baby.~

A Little Child Shall Lead Us
You, little child, with your shining eyes and dimpled cheeks, you can lead us along the pathway to the more abundant life:
We blundering grownups need in our lives the virtues that you have in yours:
The joy and enthusiasm of looking forward to each new day with glorious expectations of wonderful things to come.
The vision that sees the world as a splendid place with good fairies, brave knights, and glistening castles reaching toward the sky.
The radiant curiosity that finds adventure in simple things:  the mystery of billowy clouds, the miracle of snowflakes, the magic of growing flowers.
The tolerance that forgets differences as quickly as your childish quarrels are spent, that holds no grudges, that hates never, that loves people for what they are.
The genuineness of being oneself; to be done with sham, pretense, and empty show; to be simple, natural, and sincere.
The courage that rises from defeat and tries again, as you with laughing face rebuild the house of blocks that topples to the floor.
The believing heart that trusts others, knows no fear, and has faith in a Divine Father who watches over his children from the sky.
The contented, trusting mind that at the close of day woos the blessing of childlike slumber.
Little child, we would become like you, that we may find again the Kingdom of Heaven within our hearts.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Where I Sew

My friend, Southern Matriarch, reminded me there were only a few days left to add our sewing spaces to the  inspiring tour over at Pink Chalk Studio.  I have really enjoyed peeking into the creative spots of fellow bloggers and stitchers.  I also had good intentions of cleaning up my own sewing room and sharing it.

Well, the month is almost over and there has not been a lot of cleaning or photographing going on in my little corner of the sewing world!
Instead, I will share some photographs taken a few years ago.  My room remains pretty much the same, as far as furniture and fixtures.  There is just more fabric, stacks of books, magazines, patterns, and unfinished projects.
Please tell me you can relate!

The photograph above is the door to my sewing room.
So, come on in!

It was important to have not only a space for sewing, but also a place where I could surround myself with the things I love.  Many are items which once belonged to family members and friends.  They hold a special place in my heart.  Maybe in future entries, I will share some of their stories in more detail.
The settee is covered with a family quilt.  There is a shawl, crocheted by my mother, which comes in handy during cool weather.  The cutwork pillowcase was made by my grandmother Bessie.  The basket-turned-coffee table is topped with a silver tray that belonged to my mother-in-law.
Photographs and other favorite belongings are displayed on the shelf, along with some of my mother's hats which I shared in an earlier entry here.
The mahogany bookshelf, to the right, was purchased by my parents for their first home.

This Elfa drawer unit provides much needed storage and work area.
I have since made a black and white gingham skirt which hides the drawers.
The drawers hold sewing notions and patterns.
I keep my lace shaping board and iron here for quick pressing jobs, while sewing.
The stool was used by my father in his garage workshop. 
I do not sit there much, as it usually is piled with various magazines or pieces of current projects!

My sewing table is also constructed with Elfa components.
I made the window valances and covered a bulletin board with black and white toile fabric.
The Swiss cuckoo clock was purchased by my mother on one of the last overseas jaunts she and Daddy were able to take.  It always provided entertainment for the grandchildren when they visited the grandparents.
It just makes me smile!

My sewing chair is not fancy schmancy.
It is probably terrible for my back and legs.
It is very special, though.
This was the chair that always sat at my grandmother's sewing machine.
I painted it black to better coordinate with my room.  I also adorned it with some of the larger vintage mother of pearl buttons from her collection.  There are also mother of pearl buttons hot glued to the bottom of the black hanging shelf.  I love to see them when I sit and sew.
Do not fret all ye lovers of mother of pearl buttons!
These that met their fate with the hot glue gun were not ones I would have sewn on sweet little heirloom gowns or frocks!

Prior to building our current home, we spent twelve years living in and restoring a home in one of the city's historic districts.  As with most older homes, closet space was non-existent.
We purchased this antique armoire to help store out-of-season clothing.
For some reason, neither my husband nor myself could muster the courage to leave it behind or sell it when we moved.  So, it came to live in my sewing room!  It does provide wonderful storage, but it takes up the majority of the room.
There are three sections.  Behind the door on the left, is a space for hanging clothes.  The larger center section contains shelves and drawers.  The right section has flat pullout drawers. 
It comes apart in numerous pieces for moving.  Our movers were not thrilled with putting all the puzzle pieces back together again!
The small pictures to the right of the armoire once hung in my mother's childhood bedroom.
They are silhouettes of children at play painted in reverse on glass.

This is the armoire section with the flat pullout drawers.
I have since removed many of my finer fabrics from this section.  I discovered some were becoming stained if they came in contact with the wood.  I always kept the shelves lined with paper, but the fabric folds sometimes touched the sides of the armoire.

And this is the section with space for hanging clothes.
I upholstered the interior of this space with the same toile fabric used elsewhere in the room.
I also covered the inside of the door with a roll of cork, creating another space to tack notes and information.

So, that is my little corner of the world!
I think these photographs have inspired me to try and return it to this state of cleanliness!
Thanks for visiting!  Now, hop on over to Pink Chalk Studio and visit even more charming creative spaces!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Try measuring your wealth by what you are
rather than what you have.
Put the tape around your heart
rather than your head.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


The art of abundance is not about greed or selfishness.
The art of abundance is about celebrating life right now,
in this minute.
It is a way of looking at the potential your life holds --  the little blessings to be thankful for now
and the gifts that God wants to give you,
if you'll open your heart to receive them.
It's about being enthusiastic about life every day,
not just on the rare occasions when everything seems to be going your way.
~Candy Paull~

Monday, July 11, 2011

It Started with Bunny Slippers

These bunny slippers!
Aren't they uber cute?

They even have fluffy bunny tails!
How could I resist?

You may remember that last year, I made and donated a nightgown and little outfit to be used in a hospital fundraiser.  This year, I volunteered again to make something.
I just happened to spy these sweet slippers shortly afterwards, and decided they would become a part of my donation.  My original thought was a pair of pajamas and matching robe.
Now, comes the part when I have to admit to procrastinating, not finding a suitable pattern, and a deadline quickly approaching!

So, I turned to the trusty pattern used for last year's nightie.
Inspired by the Old Fashioned Baby Retreat slip dress that I am still working on, I incorporated many of those design details.

I omitted the sleeves from the pattern and added Swiss insertion and French lace edging to the bodice.
At the seamline of the skirt and bodice, I used large entredeux beading that I borrowed from a well aged and unfinished class project kit.  This nightgown needed to be completed, and I knew that class project would most likely remain in the basket of UFO's for a very long time.
Sweet pink and white gingham ribbon was threaded through the entredeux and tied in a bow --
because we all know a bow makes everything better!
While bows and long ties might not be a wise choice on a nightie for a real live little doll, I figured this dolly was not likely to encounter any harm.

The hem is finished with folded tucks and Swiss edging.

Last, but definitely not least . . .

bunny slippers!
Wooly bunny slippers may not be the normal choice for a delicate summer nightgown.
Let's just overlook that small detail, okey dokey?

Hoppy Monday!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


The great lesson is that the sacred
is in the ordinary,
that it is to be found in one's daily life,
in one's neighbors, friends, and family,
in one's backyard.
~Abraham Maslow~

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What I Did this Weekend

I wove blue floss through the Swiss entredeux edging on the skirt from the Old Fashioned Baby sewing retreat.

I began embroidering the hemline of the skirt, too.
Jeannie used featherstitching on her dress.  I have substituted stem stitch.
Featherstitching on curves is not my strength, and I really enjoy doing this stitch!

We fired up the grill.  After the hot dogs and chicken, came the best part --

We watched some of these, which were much prettier than my picture taking skills portray!

Hope each of you had a fun weekend, too!
Now on to a very busy, but short, week!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day

God Bless these United States of America!
Have a safe and happy celebration!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


As the tree is fertilized by its own broken branches and fallen leaves,
and grows out of its own decay,
so men and nations are bettered and improved by trial,
and refined out of broken hopes and blighted expectations.
~F.W. Robertson~

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