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