Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fabric Doll House




Here are some pictures of what I've got done so far on the fabric doll house I'm making for my daughter's birthday.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Well meaning, but.....

I have to have a giggle about some of these poems and articles out there that make it sound like if you're washing dishes rather than playing with your child, your child will grow up thinking you love dishes more than him. On the other hand, there are also those poems and articles about keeping a lovely home in order to maintain a happy, healthy family. I'm sure some readers feel pulled back and forth and perhaps even guilted into wondering what they're doing wrong.

While they're all well meaning and some even downright beautiful and convicting, these poems and articles sometimes fail to mention something important. MODERATION and BALANCE. Sure, we should spend time with our children, but dishes HAVE to be washed sometime and floors should be cleaned, toilets scrubbed and dinner made. I try to spend as much time with my children as possible and even include them in my daily chores, but sometimes I just have to send my son to the other room to play so I can get something done!

We should have a clean house, but not obsess over one to the detriment of our families. We should play with our children and spend time with them, but not to the detriment of the cleanliness and comfort of our homes.

There, now I've added my own well meaning and perhaps guilt-tripping article. :b Hey, at least I didn't write a poem! :D

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Remember Happy Little Clouds and Bushes?


Did you ever watch his program on PBS? When I was a pre-teen and teenager, I loved watching his "Joy of Painting" program. In half an hour, he would step-by-step paint the most beautiful pictures, his soft, soothing voice comforting the viewer. I would love to purchase his PBS series and watch the programs again. Alas, the series is pricey, but it's on my wishlist. :) I should keep my eye out on half.com and ebay.

Monday, February 23, 2009

God is working wonders....

I'm frustrated at the time I've wasted. I'm 28 years old and I've been a Christian for nearly 20 years, yet it seems I'm only just getting a good grasp on what God expects of me as a Christian, how I should live, and especially who God really is and what He did and does for us.

The wonderment of Christ's work in my life overshadows the frustration of time wasted, though. He has forgiven me of the time I wasted and the reasons why I wasted the time. The main reason was simply selfishness. Many people call me an unselfish person, but I'm really very selfish.

I just finished the book of Habbakuk today. Did you know I've NEVER read the Bible all the way through? I've been reading it from Genisis to Revelations. To anyone who's a Christian, new or old, I highly recommend reading the Bible in it's entirety before reading any other Christian publication. For married and engaged ladies, after reading the Bible, I highly suggest Passionate Housewives Desperate for God.

I wish I could express better what it going on in my life, but I can't really put it into words. Around me, strong, evangelical Christians are picking up and going where God is leading them. It throws me deep into prayer and sharing my thoughts with the Lord. I feel strongly a need for preparation and my pastor preached on that this past Sunday. Prepare ye the way of the Lord. I'm almost shaking with anticipation.

Well, I'll ramble no more. If you are not a born-again, Bible-believing Christian, I have a message for you from Christ, Himself. Repent, for the time of the Lord is at hand. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Birthday Plans, Cleaning, New Desk


Oh, how I love my dear husband! His birthday is just 3 days after our son's, so for the past two years, his birthday has sort of been forgotten. This year, I'd really like to do something special for him. I'll have to really brainstorm.
I've been cleaning the basement out more. I'm really in a cleaning mood. I think part of it is that we've been cooped up in our little cottage for so long and the walls are starting to close in on us. For me, a good cleaning and a bit of decluttering and perhaps some arranging really opens the space up.
For fun, I went on my local craigslist last night and found a beautiful cherry desk for only $65.00! I hope the gentleman still has it available because if he does, it's going in my livingroom! My current desk is way too small for it's purpose and is often bursting it's joints. Besides, I'm going to turn my little desk into a portable kitchen for re-enactments!

Friday, February 20, 2009

March Plans

March is National Craft Month. Do you have any crafts planned?

My main plan for March is to spring clean, but I still hope to get many crafts and sewing projects done.

Despite facing a possible move in the near future, I'm still going to work on our little cottage. Hubby has no problem with it so long as it isn't too costly. Any little improvement will boost either the selling price or sell-ability.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Home-made Cream Cheese and Sour Cream

Home-Made Cream Cheese

Pour a container of home-made or store bought whole milk plain yogurt into a muslin-lined seive or jelly strainer with a bowl underneathe. Let the whey drain out for several hours. What's left in the muslin is cream cheese! You can use the whey to soak your grains (Read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon for how and why you should do this.)

Home-made Sour Cream

Pour some of the finest cream you can buy (not ultra-pasteurized) into a glass mason jar. Add some of the finest cultured buttermilk you can find (not fat-free). Cover and let it sit on your countertop for 24 hours before transferring to the fridge. It may be liquidy at first, but should solid up into sour cream. I'm not sure what ratio to use. I just kind of eyeball it, but I'd say for every cup of cream, use at least 2 tablespoons of buttermilk.

Less Supermarket, More Home-made

I'm beginning to detest going to the supermarkets and grocery stores. Now that I'm getting more accustomed to farm fresh items, I'm realizing just how old and processed the items are in the stores. Nevermind that you're paying a pretty penny for all that packaging and handling.

Here is what I make at home:

Yogurt
Buttermilk
Sour cream
Cream Cheese
Cottage Cheese
Kombucha
Salad dressings
Bread (sometimes....hubby still prefers the store-bought stuff)
Broths
All-purpose household cleaner

I make most of my meals from scratch. I try to buy from local farms when I can. My garden will be twice the size it was last year (provided we don't move).

You'll notice I don't have the ever-popular home-made laundry detergent on my list. Lately, I've been able to get great deals on store-bought detergent, so I've nixed making the detergent. After all, it can get to a point where you just run out of time in making so many home-made things.

As a side note, it's funny how home-made and avoiding the stores is stretching to my wardrobe, too. The stores and catalogs don't really have what I'm looking for at a price I can afford.

Now that I've gone more farm-fresh and home-made, I'll be hard-pressed to return to the tasteless, expensive, rancid, processed junk the stores have.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dress I made


Here is the dress I made for my daughter out of scrap pieces of fabric I'm using in her fabric doll house.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Spring Teaser

We just had a spring teaser. The weather reached into the 50's. Snow was melting at great speeds, and even grass we peeking out where we plowed over the yard. It was a pleasure to go outside and smell the muddy, early spring smell. You could practically hear the sap beginning to run in the trees.

Naturally, my mind began racing towards my garden. Whether or not we're going to move, hubby agrees that we should still work on our gardens. We ordered a Crimson King maple tree, which is to be the crowning glory of our yard, planted near the little pond.

I was able to open some windows in the house and air it out a little. It's starting to get that stale, winter, shut-up smell. I scanned the house and started thinking about spring cleaning. I plan on March being my spring cleaning month. I've never been successful at Spring cleaning, but every year I try.

In the basement, as I tossed another load into the dryer because my clothes line space indoors is limited, I decided that if at all possible, I'm going to try to start hanging clothes out in March. My hopes aren't too high, though, because March is an unforgiving and cruel month where I live.

In order to hang clothes outdoors, I have to re-set up the little porch off my kitchen. Then, I thought about my enclosed porch. If the weather gets above freezing and not too damp, I can open up the porch during the day.

All these are signs that spring is coming.

In the meantime, I've learned to enjoy these February days by sewing, sewing, sewing. Last night, I cut out and pinned together a vintage-style black velvet skirt. The cool thing is that velvet fabric I'm using is older than me!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I could have gone crazy....

I had to do some grocery shopping at Walmart today. While there, I decided to take advantage of their fabric department and get the fabric I needed for my daughter's fabric doll house and for my dad's breeches. I could have gone crazy! I saw so many fabrics I just wanted to toss into my cart and take home. My son was busy picking out Thomas the Tank Engine fabrics. The upholstery fabrics were fantastic!

The problem with all this is my brain is going in circles with creative ideas and thoughts. That leads to insomnia. To help combat that, I had a nice mug of chamomile tea with local honey.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Books and Love

It was so nice, so sweet, so calming. While I was cooking dinner, hubby read to me. I love him so much!

I've been diving into The Well-Trained Mind and loving it! This evening, I read Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit to my kiddos, a Bible bedtime story about Queen Esther, and my son and I looked for the mice in A Country Mouse in a Town House.

I'm really enjoying books and sewing. I'm beginning to hope winter doesn't end too soon! As soon as the snow melts, it's yard work and gardening galore that leaves little time for these snug winter niceties.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Very Sensative Topic - botched abortion

I read in the paper yesterday that an 18 year old Florida girl was 23 weeks pregnant and wanted an abortion. The doctor gave her meds to dialate her cervix in preparation for the abortion and sent her home. She went into labor and delivered the baby ALIVE at the abortion clinic before the doctor arrived. A medically untrained clinic staffer cut the umbilical cord, threw the baby into a red biohazard bag and tossed the baby (alive) into the trash.

The woman is suing, of course and the whole case is being investigated, including by the homicide department.

I've heard so many pro-abortion people claim that botched abortions don't happen and that babies aren't born alive. Not so. This is a horrible, discusting, sinful, hateful practice that gives no regard to human life, to babies, nor to the mothers who many times are diluded into thinking they're not doing anything harmful or wrong only later to be fraught with guilt and medical issues.

I stand in prayer against abortion. Please join me.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Fabric Doll House

I've been brainstorming what kind of gifts to get my children for their upcoming birthdays. I'm rather sick of the modern play-for-you plastic toys out there. So many of them are so big now, too, they just don't fit in our little cottage.

Anyhoo, I remembered that my sister had a fabric doll house when she was a little girl. An in-depth search online came up dry for me. I found a few houses, but they were either way too expensive or not quite what I was looking for.

I did find a great blog that has a fabric house tutorial on it! It's at: www.uklassinus.blogspot.com

After some thought that kept me up for about an hour and a half last night, I think I just might attempt to make a fabric doll house for my little girl's birthday!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Spring Cleaning, Health

Every year I plan on Spring cleaning and every year I don't get very far. It's just so much work and something always seems to come up. I still plan on it every year. Perhaps it'll be my great triumph when I finally spring clean!

I have another goal, a short-term one. I want to be back down to the 120's by Valentine's Day. Yesterday, I did "The Firm" and found that their 30 minute Cardio Overdrive wasn't quite challenging enough. This morning, my muscles said otherwise. In an effort to loosen up every tighten and aching inch of me, I did Denise Austen's Yoga and Pilates. Tomorrow, I hope to "Firm" again.

The problem is I just don't feel like myself. I don't think it's physical. It's most likely emotional and spiritual. There's just so much going on and so much hanging up in the air and even some things hanging by a thread. I'm probably stressed and overwhelmed. It's hard to stand still when you so want things to move forward. I'm keeping plenty busy, but they aren't the tasks I want to do right now. This is typical for me. I get this way usually in March when winter holds on and won't let Spring arrive. It's just occuring earlier this year.