Saturday, December 23, 2017

Merry Christmas!

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.  In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:1-5

May all of you have a blessed Christmas filled with the peace and joy of Jesus!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas Books by Grace Livingston Hill

During the Christmas season I have always enjoyed taking some time to sit by the Christmas tree to read a Christmas story. Some of my favorite Christmas novels are by Grace Livingston Hill and I thought it was about time I shared my favorite titles here.
 Stranger Within the Gates is a rather unusual and at times humorous story. The book begins with a mother reading a letter from her college student son; he has written to say that he has married a girl that no one in his family knows. As the story unfolds the young man's family does their best to endure the Christmas season with a "stranger within their gates" - his new bride. In Grace Livingston Hill fashion this new member of the family adds some definite tension and drama to the Christmas season!

 The Substitute Guest is my favorite G.L. Hill Christmas novel! It tells the story of a world weary young man who finds himself unable to reach his Christmas destination due to a severe snow storm. Instead he ends up at a beautiful little farm belonging to a lovely family. They invite him to spend Christmas with them and since they have a daughter close to his age.... well you can guess what might be the outcome. : ) I especially enjoyed the descriptions of home and hearth in this book. It was so sweet and old-fashioned.

The Christmas Bride is an unlikely story of love between a terribly ill girl and a wealthy young man. Most of the story takes place throughout the rest of the year, but the wedding does take place at Christmas. It was a lovely cozy read.
April Gold may seem an unusual title to add to this list, however I just had to! The Christmas scenes depicted in this story are just perfect! April Gold is the story of a family of means going bankrupt and having to move to a little house on the wrong side of the tracks. Each member of the family must chip in to make ends meet. When Christmas comes they are surprised by visits from special friends, mother makes doughnuts and mincemeat pies. Overall, it is delightfully sweet and cozy!

The Gold Shoe is not actually a Christmas story, but it is a wintry tale that I thoroughly enjoyed! It is a book that made the rounds with my mom and aunt. We all unanimously agreed it was wonderful! A frivolous young woman accidentally gets off her train at the wrong station. She finds herself stranded at night at a desolate station. If that weren't bad enough she is caught in a blizzard garbed in an evening gown and gold party shoes. Much to her relief, and surprise, a handsome young man comes to her rescue and takes her back to his cozy home. It is a sweet romance that made me chuckle more than once.

Do you enjoy reading a good Christmas novel each year? What has been a favorite?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Ornament Exchange

 When Stephanie shared a link to Karina's ornament exchange on her blog I was delighted! I have enjoyed participating in the tea cup exchange and was pleased to have another opportunity to connect with some lovely ladies.

My box arrived one morning while I was busy sewing and listening to Christmas music. Jemimah and I were both quite excited to see what was inside. : ) My box came from a sweet young lady named Abigail. I was truly blessed by her thoughtfulness and generosity! Everything was carefully nestled in white tissue paper and beautiful packaged as you can see in the picture above.
Abigail sent two beautiful handmade ornaments.
 Scrumptious chocolate covered fruit and white fudge butter toffee almonds. It was a struggle to photograph these two items, as my little helper wanted to dig right in and eat the new treats. Both treats were delicious, but the white fudge butter toffee almonds were exceptional! One of the tastiest treats I have enjoyed.
Both ornaments look so pretty on our tree! Thank you again, Abigail! You truly blessed my heart!
 Through the exchange I was given the name of a lovely young lady name Hadassah, you can visit her blog here. It was such fun to put together a package of Christmas themed goodies for her, including some handmade items: the ornaments and doily.
 Many thanks to Karina for all of her hard work to make this exchange possible! Be sure to visit her blog Merciful Moments.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Recent Sewing

 Today I thought I would share a couple of the dresses I recently sewed for my little girl. I took these pictures last month, hence the turkey on the side board. ; ) As I have mentioned before every fall my sister Rachel hosts a German dinner at her home and the children wear dirndls or lederhosen. 

The dirndl/jumper pattern is one that my mom and I designed years ago.The blouse pattern is one the I purchased from Puperita. This was my second time sewing this blouse. It is such a sweet little blouse pattern! I love the gathers and binding.
This time I decided to make the dirndl extra special by adding some additional embroidery. The embroidery along the seam edges was done by chain stitching and then alternating between each chain with a french knot. It was a little time consuming, but I was pleased with the finished results. Embroidering the dirndls is my favorite part.
 This peter pan collar dress has probably been the most useful addition to her wardrobe this season. I found the fabric at a local Mennonite fabric shop and just love it! The pattern used to sew this dress was Butterick 6084.
It is a fast and easy pattern. In fact I have sewn another dress using this pattern this week. However this time I eliminated the collar and added trim to the neckline.
 This particular dress did not fit the dress form, it was a little too small. The dress looks far better on my little girl. I purchased this pattern from Puperita as well.
I really like the raised and rounded design of the yoke. This dress looks adorable with leggings. I know that this is a pattern I will sew time and again!
And to finish this post I will share a little knitting! I knitted this pair of mittens using a pattern from the Lion Brand book Irresistibly Snuggly. Jemimah is especially pleased with her new mittens. One of her favorite books at the moment is The Three Little Kittens. In fact she often quotes lines of the story while wearing her mittens. : )

I hope you are all enjoying a beautiful start to the Christmas season. We are enjoying the light dusting of snow that has fallen here today. It definitely is a pleasure to see this time of year.

"I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken."
Psalm 16:8

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Hinds’ Feet on High Places- Review

When my copy of Hinds' Feet on High Places arrived I was immediately drawn into the beautiful presentation of this book. The large format, folksy artwork, photography, and scripture art make this edition extra special. In the back of the book I discovered six beautiful pages of scriptures to color, as well as a brief autobiography by Hannah Hurnard.

I had read Hinds' Feet on High Places in 10th grade. I remember enjoying the story and was looking forward to reading it again. It truly is a beautifully written allegory of the Christian walk. The main character Much-Afraid meets the Shepard and desires to follow him. In turn he guides her on a difficult journey up the mountain to his kingdom in the high places. Much of the journey is difficult with detours through the desert, the lonely seaside, and forest. Each section is described with great sweetness and Much-Afraid learns much through the nature that surrounds her.

A little over half-way through this book I came across a conversation between the Shepard and Much-Afraid that made me uneasy. Much-Afraid declares that she would love the Shepard even if he chose to deceive her and he contemplates this possibility. Since the Shepard is meant to represent Jesus this truly troubled me. From reading God's Word I know that Jesus is the way, the Truth and the light (John 14:6). In Him there is no shadow of turning (James 1:17). It is absolutely impossible for God to deceive!

To tell the truth I have tried to finish this book, but each time I have begun a chapter, since reading that section, I find my heart is uneasy and I cannot continue. Hinds' Feet on High Places is considered a great Christian classic by so many and quite honestly as I read the first half  of the book many of the challenges that Much-Afraid faced spoke to me. The way the author depicted her frailties was relatable. There was great comfort in reading about how the Shepard consistently cared for Much-Afraid despite her doubts and weakness.

I decided to do a little research about the author Hannah Hurnard; I was surprised and disappointed to discover that she became involved with the New Age movement in her later years. I can't help but wonder if her thoughts were always somewhat swayed by ideas that were in opposition to scripture.

*I received a complimentary copy of Hinds' Feet on High Places from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review*

Thursday, November 16, 2017

New Items and A Sale
The weather is growing cooler, we have officially had our first snow fall and I am looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving next week. There is something about this time of year that feels so cozy. In the evening I enjoy drinking a hot cup of chamomile tea (recently my favorite) and knitting by the fire. This time of year I also feel more inclined to spend time cooking in the kitchen. Jemimah is already talking about baking Christmas cookies. : )

With these thoughts in mind I have made some new items for my Etsy shop. This afternoon I added three new aprons.
Two cozy white flannel nightgowns in size small and medium. Both gowns are delicately hand embroidered in white.
A jade wool bow scarf. This scarf style is my favorite! The design is so practical as it won't slip around like a standard scarf.
I also listed a few vintage finds. These two cookbooks and some apron patterns from the 1940's and 1950's.

I am offering a special sale of 10% off everything in my Etsy shop today through the weekend. To take advantage of the special offer use coupon code 10PERCENT when checking out.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tea Cup Exchange

Today I am excited to share with you the lovely gifts I received from a sweet new friend through The Enchanting Rose Tea Cup Exchange!

It is always exciting to receive a present in the mail, and when my lovely box of tea time delights arrived I was so pleased! The box was sent to me by a sweet young lady named Erika. She included a letter introducing herself and I was so blessed to read about her and her family. I was truly impressed to discover that Erika is an author. Please be sure to visit her website RestingLife where she blogs and shares about her book Promise's Prayer.

 Erika knew that my favorite color is blue and she found the prettiest blue floral tea cup! I was thrilled!
 A sweet little plate for a snack to accompany my tea....
 Peppermint tea and basil from Erika's garden...
Blueberry muffin mix, tea and hot cocoa...
 Two delightful autumnal candles...
A pretty blue heart necklace!
Three books: Life with the Lanes a book Erika wrote in her teens (she thought my little girl would enjoy it), Promise's Prayer a beautifully written book by Erika, and Your Face, O Lord, I Shall Seek a book to inspire a closer walk with the Jesus. I recently finished reading Promise's Prayer and was truly inspired by the powerful message of seeking God's will for our lives through prayer. I would definitely recommend this book!

 Through the exchange I was given the name and address of Deborah who blogs at A Delightful Glow. I enjoyed reading through her blog posts about farm life and homemaking. I truly enjoyed putting together a package for Deborah with items I thought she would enjoy. In the package I included an apron I sewed and a doily I crocheted.
 It truly was wonderful to participate in The Enchanting Rose Tea Cup Exchange again! Thank you Stephanie for all that you do to make this event such a blessing to all the ladies involved!

Be sure to visit The Enchanting Rose, as all of the other ladies who participated in the exchange will link up and share their posts too!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Embroidered Pillowcases

   Awhile ago I found this image on Pinterest. I just loved how the letters in "dream" where created with flowers. I also really liked the colors and the addition of pink crocheted trim. I decided to search for a similar pattern and found the exact same design here! I just knew that my little girl would love to rest her head on such a pretty pillowcase.

In the evenings I would spend time embroidering this set of pillowcases, and Jemimah would often watch me working and tell me how pretty they were. Adam also took notice, and commented on how much fun it looked. He asked if it was like coloring in a coloring book and I agreed it was a little like that. : )
 Growing up I remember seeing pillowcases that my great-great grandma from Germany had embroidered and crocheted. I thought they were so pretty and wanted to learn to make something like that myself.
The pillowcase set above is a set I made as a teenager. When the set was completed I tucked them away in my hope chest (which can be seen in this picture).
 Currently they are being used decoratively on our bed. They look so lovely and old-fashioned.
This was also my first attempt at adding crocheted edging to a pillowcase. Here is a link to a post from last year about creating your own crochet edged pillowcase!
 And to close, I thought I would share some pictures of my very first embroidery project!

I will never forget the warm summer day I learned to embroider. I was nine, and was feeling a little bored that day, so I decided to tinker with some old sewing thread and scrap fabric. Much to my mom's surprise I had satin stitched a little flower on the fabric. Mom was so pleased she took my sisters and I to the store where she purchased two sets of pillowcases to be embroidered, a box of embroidery thread, along with needles and hoops.

I was a little overwhelmed, but tried to work on the stamped design. However, within the next few days we went to visit my great grandma and she taught me the basics of embroidery: how to separate my thread, make a French knot, etc.
Grandma ended up having as much fun teaching me as I had learning! She embroidered this pillowcase while I embroidered mine.
 I was so proud of my finished pillowcase! My great grandma was too. For my tenth birthday she gave me two embroidery kits. I am so grateful to have such sweet memories of sitting beside my great grandma learning to embroider with both of us working on our matching pillowcases. I look forward to someday soon passing along this gift to my own little Jemimah. : )

Monday, October 16, 2017

Cricket in Cream

Earlier this month I finished knitting the Cricket sweater for my little girl.  When I first saw this cardigan pattern I was immediately taken with the little details: the textured knitting about the shoulders, the little pockets and the button binding. It reminded me of the sweaters worn by the children on "The Road to Avonlea" show. 
 I knitted the size 2 after reading that this pattern runs a little big. I am very happy that I did, as the size 2 is a bit big on my three year old! However I am pleased that it will last a while. : )
 The textured design was easily knitted and adds such old-fashioned sweetness to the sweater!
This was the first time I had knitted the neck and button ribbing after completing the body of the sweater. The button hole tutorial provided with the pattern was very nice and made nice sturdy button holes. I also loved the idea of adding embroidered ribbon to further stabilize the buttons and buttonholes.
 The vintage pearl buttons I used were a gift from a sweet blogging friend and were the perfect finishing touch!
This was my first attempt at knitting pockets. It proved to be much easier than I thought and my little darling is so pleased to have a sweater with pockets!

Friday, September 29, 2017


It is hard to believe tomorrow is the last day of September! Where did this month go?! It has been quite a while since I last posted here - the summer months just flew by. Summer is always a busy season for us: working in our garden, canning, picnics by the lake, day trips and just enjoying time outside in our yard. 
 I enjoyed canning a variety of foods this summer. There are so many wonderful recipes on-line, I thought I would share a few of the new recipes I tried this year. The two quart jars contain soup, this was my first time canning soup and I am so pleased to have delicious homemade soup in my pantry! The two recipes I made are French Onion Soup and Tomato Vegetable Beef Soup (if you click on them you will be taken to the recipe). I am also hoping to can chicken soup within the next few weeks, which will be nice to have on hand during the cold season. It had been years since I made pickles and this year we had an abundance of cucumbers, so pickles were a must! I made "The Best Dill Pickles", they are delicious, but be forewarned the red pepper flakes do make for a zippy aftertaste. I also made pizza sauce for the first time, I eliminated the red pepper flakes from this recipe. : ) Two of my favorite recipes from last year that I made again are: Zesty Salsa and Spaghetti Sauce. I made a couple of different jams this year, but the unanimous favorite was Vanilla-Rhubarb Jam!
It feels good to look at my pantry and see so many jars ready for the winter ahead. It is always a treat to enjoy a taste of summer throughout those long cold months.
Over the summer months I completed a project that has long sat in my work basket unfinished. I am so please to have this beautiful design complete and ready to frame! This is my second embroidery project from Clementine Patterns. You can see the first one here.
I did make a few changes in the pattern's colors. I love bluebirds and changed the original robin colors to bluebird colors.

As a side story, we put up our first bluebird box this summer. Within two days of having placed the box in our side yard we discovered a bluebird couple had begun a nest! I was so pleased! They had a successful family of four babies. It was truly a blessing this summer. : )
 Another project I completed over the summer months was this doily. I have enjoyed revisiting this handicraft.
Our garden is pretty much done for the season. The pumpkins were a surprise since we never planted them. We think they must have been in our compost from last fall. Due to the rainy season they never did ripen as they should have, but I rather like the unusual color.
Our hens are spending their days scratching through the newly fallen leaves. They are comical at times! Adam says they make him think of a biker gang. They travel as a group at all times and have poor Winston (our cat) terrified of them!
This week I finished reading "Out of The Storm" by Grace Livingston Hill. It was a wonderful story of two brave young people meeting during a ship wreck. As you may know Grace Livingston Hill is one of my favorite authors. While I peeled vegetables to can this summer, I listened to a couple of her books on Librivox, it really made the time fly! I would highly recommend her Marcia Schuyler trilogy! Here are the links to all three: Marcia Schuyler, Phoebe Deane and Miranda. The series takes place in Upstate New York during the mid-1800's. Each story had me on the edge of my seat, I couldn't wait to see what would unfold next.
With the days growing chiller I have resumed my evening knitting. The scarves shown above are so practical and cozy! They are knit from a variety of lovely fibers, including alpaca, wool, cashmere and silk. You can find them in my Esty shop.

I hope you are all enjoying a lovely start of autumn!

"As for God, His way is perfect:
    The Lord’s word is flawless;
    He shields all who take refuge in him."
Psalm 18:30