Friday, December 17, 2010

These Happy Golden Days

7:45 AM found me in the car, being taken out to breakfast by my wonderful brother.  We had such a jolly time!  Singing in deplorable harmony, trying to get the poor little heater to start up, and cheerfully moaning over the fact that we were five minutes late, we finally pulled into the parking lot at The Country Boy in Athol.  
Where we had an even more jolly time=)
Tasha and Alex rendezvoused with us there, and it was quite a fabulous little outing.  The novelty of going out to breakfast by ourselves, combined with sparkling conversation, delicious food (I, for the record, had stuffed french toast swathed in berries and cream;) and wonderful fellowship, made it an experiment I would like to try again!  It was so fun to act quite grown up and independent...
After breakfast, we all drove down the road a ways to the spot where our Azure food co-op pick-up is held.  We found our order among the piles of boxes and cases, and after talking a bit more, headed for home down the frozen road.
Thanks so much for joining us, Snookie! Tristan!  I enjoyed it so much!
On the way home, I had a letter waiting for me.  Now any day that one receives a letter just for them, is sure to be a special one!  I read it while we were toiling up the long, snowy driveway, and finished it while my sisters pounced on and devoured my white carry-home box filled with stuffed french toast. (the french toast, not the styrofoam;)  In a few minutes, our friend Tess arrived for a visit.  She has lived in China, and speaks Chinese very well.  We've been learning to speak and write that beautiful language with her, and it's so much fun!  
I sent off a custom order apron to a customer, as well.  It was a very fun project to work on - what do you think?
I enjoyed working with such bright, cheerful colors, though they're not my usual palette.  And the Dachshunds are really cute;)

That crossed off my list, I sat down in the afternoon to watch It's A Wonderful Life with the girls, while making buttons.  I recently invested in a pin-back button maker, and it's so much fun to use!  I also have parts for making mirror-back buttons - fun!  Look for them in the shop soon.


Well, the Yuletide Farmgirl Festival is halfway through!  I've enjoyed each and every entry so far, and I want you all to know how much I appreciate your participation.
If you haven't yet, be sure to enter in the Giveaway going on!
I hope you have a lovely, joyful day!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sewing, Sledding, Smiling

The Farmgirl Festival is nearly upon us!  I've been working very hard to get everything prepared for this exciting event.  I'm so eager to see what everyone will come up with to enter!  Are you ready?
I'm also working on finalizing the details for the awards for each category - stay tuned for the announcement!
Besides the excitement of preparing for the festival, I wanted to share some snapshots from my life.  Enjoy=)
Lots of embroidery
New Carharrt coat!  So wonderful ♥
Scrumptious fabric
Zillions of needlebooks
Making wreaths
Baking spritz cookies - recipe coming soon!
Romping in the snowdrifts
Happy Saturday, everyone!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Yuletide Farmgirl Festival 2010

Yuletide Farmgirl Festival
~December 13-20, 2010~

A Walk in the Woods

I went out this morning a little earlier than usual to do the chores - 6:30 AM.  I had a mission.  
The sky was completely clear.  The thermometer read 19 F.  I knew it would come, and I wanted to be there when it did.
Armed with camera, I waited for it to arrive.  This is what I saw in the interval.
Frosted raspberry leaves
Eave detail
There's nothing so festive as icicles=)
I love where I live!
Frozen tree fort
By this time, my hands were getting frozen.  You know that searing, agonizing pain you get just before all feeling flees from your consciousness?  Yet I stuck it out.
Yes, I'm crazy.
I wrote a song with my friend one time about that very phenomenon - (frozen fingers and toes, not my mental state;).  We'll have to record it and share with you some time. . . 
My good puppy Rosie!
And my other good puppy, Leroy!  (who hates having her picture taken!)
Milo waiting for his breakfast
Susan the snow-lady - Lilly's handiwork
A cheerful rooster
And then, I took up my position.  The time was nigh.  Just a few minutes more. . . 
A winter sunrise.
God's gift to those who only go out to see it!
The sun's up - I'm going inside to make waffles!
And begin the painful process of defrosting.
Have a joyful Sunday!
"Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart."
-Psalms 32:11

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Announcing the Yuletide Farmgirl Festival!

Announcing. . . 
. . . Brown paper packages tied up with strings. . .  an old-fashioned snowball fight. . . 
Passing on time-honored traditions. . . dressing up in your festive Farmgirl best. . .
Marveling at the simple yet intricate beauty of falling snowflakes. . . Popcorn balls. . .
Singing Christmas carols out on a snowy night. . . skating parties. . . 
If you are enchanted with the thought of a simple, pure, joyful Christmas season, Farmgirl style - handmade gifts, wonderful home cooking, family gatherings, and remembering the real reason for the season, the birth of Jesus Christ, I hope you will plan on joining me for this exciting online event!

I will be hosting the festival for an entire week as we celebrate the old-fashioned joys of a Farmgirl style Christmas.
Consisting of five different categories, each will have a link pool for you to connect your blog posts.  All you need to do is prepare your own blog posts, relating to the subject of the categories you wish to enter.  You may enter as many posts in as many categories as you like!
~*~ The categories: ~*~

Home Cookin'
 From sweet to savory, simple to superb, give us a helping of your favorite holiday recipes!  
Festive Photos
A calm, snowy night.  Singing carols at a nursing home.  The joys of an old-fashioned snowball fight.  
Share your fabulous festive photography!
Farmgirl Fashion
Calling all Farmgirl Fashionistas!  
Showcase your festive Farmgirl flair with aprons, mittens, wool skirts, boots - use
your imagination to create a warm, winsome, and modest outfit!

Made With Love
Gather together your yarn, buttons, needle and thread!
There is nothing like a hand made gift to show your love - inspire us with your ideas for crafting a homemade Christmas!
Looking Back
Share your treasured holiday customs, traditions, and memories of Christmas' past - even a favorite Christmas in literature!

Beginning on Monday, December 13th, and ending on Monday the 20th,
you will have plenty of time to prepare your posts for this exciting festival.
As stated above, I will have a linky for each category here on my blog so that everyone will be able to see each and every inspiring entry.  During the week I will be featuring fun posts with my favorite recipes, winter games, Farmgirl fashion inspiration, homemade gift ideas, free patterns, a fabulous giveaway, and more!
I will select finalists from each category for everyone to vote on at the end of the event week.  Finalists will be judged on...
Farmgirl flair
Photography quality {where applicable}
A special blog button will be awarded to all participants, as well as an award (yet to be announced) for the winner of each category.
Please post one of the following buttons on your blog sidebar or website if you wish to participate.  
Use them to link to this post.  Thank you!
I'm so excited!  How about you?
Comment and let me know if you will be participating, and if you have any questions!
I'd also love to hear of any ideas you may have!
Looking forward to hearing from all of you!
Lots of love,

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Surprise. . .

I'm working on such an exciting project - I can't wait to show it to you all!
Stay tuned!


A Surprise. . .

I'm working on such an exciting project - I can't wait to show it to you all!
Stay tuned!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Frosted Forest

Frosted Forest

A Thanksgiving Favorite. . .

As it's that cozy, festive time of year, I would like to share this fabulous thanksgiving-table worthy dessert that's worked it's way up to my list of top recipes.
This recipe is one of my specialties;)  My family says it tastes even better than pumpkin pie, if that is possible, and it's so easy to whip up!
Go fetch your apron, and enjoy!
~ Pumpkin Dessert ~
oven 350°F
1 C. flour
1/2 C. rolled oats
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. butter
15oz. (half of a 30oz can) Libby's canned pumpkin {Libby's is Tradition!}
12oz. evaporated milk
3/4 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
~ Topping ~
1/2 C. chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 C. brown sugar
For crust:
Mix dry ingredients.  Press into greased 13x9" pan and bake for 15 minutes.
For filling:
Mix the rest or the ingredients, pour on baked crust and bake an additional 20 minutes.
Top it off:
Remove from oven and sprinkle chopped nuts and brown sugar over the entire top.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until firm.
Serve warm with copious amounts of fresh whipped cream, and enjoy!

P.S. - Always make a double batch!!! 
P.S.S.  It's really good the next day, too, if it lasts that long=)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Hymn History - Once to Every Man and Nation

~The Present Crisis~
When a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth's aching breast
Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west,
And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels the soul within him climb
To the awful verge of manhood, as the energy sublime
Of a century bursts full-blossomed on the thorny stem of Time.
For mankind are one in spirit, and an instinct bears along,
Round the earth's electric circle, the swift flash of right or wrong;
Whether conscious or unconscious, yet Humanity's vast frame
Through its ocean-sundered fibres feels the gush of joy or shame;—
In the gain or loss of one race all the rest have equal claim.

Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight,
Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right,
And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and that light.
For Humanity sweeps onward: where to-day the martyr stands,
On the morrow, crouches Judas with the silver in his hands;
Far in front the cross stands ready and the crackling fagots burn,
While the hooting mob of yesterday in silent awe return
To glean up the scattered ashes into History's golden urn.
Careless seems the great Avenger; history's pages but record
One death-grapple in the darkness 'twixt old systems and the Word;
Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,—
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.

The above poem is derived from the original eighteen stanzas of "The Present Crisis", a work by James Russell Lowell that addressed the national crisis over slavery leading up to the Mexican War.  The hymn "Once to Every Man and Nation" was later derived from four of these stirring lines, and set to the welsh tune of Ebenezer in 1890.
James Russell Lowell was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1819.  His father was the pastor of the West Congregational Church in Boston for 55 years. James graduated from Harvard in 1838 and, as a lawyer, poet, critic, and editor, became an ardent champion of abolition.  In 1876, President Hayes appointed him minister to the court of Spain and, in 1880, transferred him to Great Britain.  Over the years, he was in great demand as a public speaker.
The poem, The Present Crisis, first appeared in print on December 11, 1845, in the Boston Courier.  Eventually, when music was added, the poem of protest became a hymn of challenge: "Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide, in the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side."
Written over 158 years ago, Once to Every Man and Nation is a poignant reminder of Who is in control of history and Who will ultimately write the last chapter.
Written by James Russell Lowell
Once to every man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood,
For the good or evil side;
Some great cause,
God's new Messiah,
Offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever
'Twixt that darkness and that light.
Then to side with truth is noble,
When we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit,
And 'tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses
While the coward stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue
Of the faith they had denied.
By the light of burning martyrs,
Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calvaries ever
With the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties,
Time makes ancient good uncouth;
They must upward still and onward,
Who would keep abreast of truth.
Though the cause of evil prosper,
Yet 'tis truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold,
And upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future,
And, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow
Keeping watch above His own..
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
(II Corinthians 3:17)
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
(II Chronicles 7:14)
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
(Joshua 24:15)

Saturday, October 30, 2010



Perhaps I was wearing my favorite denim circle skirt and brown sweater that day as I went out to the goat pens to meet a buyer interested in our Boer buck, Chauvelin.
Perhaps, on being asked "Does he lead well?", I confidently and innocently replied; "Oh, yes, he was raised out in the pasture on a lead rope with my little sisters - he's very well behaved."

Perhaps I was then unceremoniously plunged into an unprecedented, tremendous, terrifying, half hour long war, attempting to load said well-behaved buck into the buyer's pickup.
Perhaps, just perhaps, I named said well-behaved buck Citizen Chauvelin for a reason, after all. Other than the fact that I was reading El Dorado around the time I named him. Impair de poissons. Le Terrorist. ;D

Perhaps you have never experienced the physical and mental anguish of wrestling with an animal notorious for it's repugnant aroma, emanating fruity wafts of repulsive barnyard bouquet, and liberally splashed with that nameless, thick, odorous muck that accumulates after several weeks of rain in a goat pen.
Perhaps, oh, perhaps, that vile caprine creature was not the only thing liberally splashed with deplorable muck by the time I tackled, desperately sized, and bodily cast him up into the bed of the truck.

Perhaps I was never so glad in all my life to see someone leave our property as I was to see that whimsical, cruel, amused buyer go down the drive with that buck safely fastened to a sturdy rope in the bed, their cash safely ensconced in my now besmeared and besmelled skirt pocket.

Perhaps I astonished my poor mother by charging through the open front door, thrusting the paper bills into her hand, and crying UNCLEAN!! UNCLEAN!!! whilist racing for the shower.

Perhaps copious amounts of soap are the epitome of luxury, lavender is akin to a miracle, and I will never again give my word of honor about a goat.

Perhaps all of these things are true.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fishing For Lake Trout...

Round Lake at dawn.

Round Lake at Dawn

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Girl With Pears

~Girl With Pears~

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dress Design for Shabby Apple Dare to Design Contest

I very recently discovered a wonderful contest via Miss Atlanta, and as I am intensely keen about designing, love contests, and already have a sweet little spring-y dress all designed, sewed, and photographed, I am now taking the opportunity to enter the Dare to Design Contest!
Dress design for Shabby Apple Dresses.
This fetching frock is just the thing to don outdoors as Spring makes her charming debut.  
Timeless, retro-inspired styling incorporates flattering and feminine lines with the subtle charm of a crisp middy collar and dramatically pointed cuffs, creating an ensemble replete with classic, effortless grace.
 ~*~ Design Features: ~*~
*Figure flattering princess seams 
*Removable self-fabric belt with matching buckle
* Hidden side zipper maintains smooth back silhouette, while faux button front showcases three whimsical buttons
*Unique, face-framing middy collar
*Dramatic, retro-influnced pointed cuffs
*Rounded pockets are topped with a band, while small pleats add a distinct, charming detail
*Waist-slimming, swingy circle skirt
{petticoat is optional}
This dress lends itself to a variety of fabrics and materials, but I think a winsome gingham check in soft, springtime shades of cornflower blue (modeled), rose pink, buttery yellow, lavender, or leaf green would be perfect for a captivating, classic look easily spanning the warmer seasons.   
~Back view
~Pocket and cuff detail
A very warm thank you to Shabby Apple for hosting this wonderful contest!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Historical Costume Inspiration Festival - The Retro Sailor Dress

Presenting my final entry for the fabulous Historical Costume Inspiration Festival!
The Introduction
I created this dress to be my sewing project for 4-H this year, and I am happy to say that it won Senior grand champion!  Was I ever surprised - I am not exactly known for my patience in often long-drawn out trials of sewing, and I honestly didn't expect my project to do so well with the judges;)  It did, however, and I al so made 2nd place in garment modeling!  
Wonders never cease=)
Here I am at the County Fair in August, shortly after the 4-H fashion show ~
The Inspiration
I knew I wanted to make a 1940s-50s styled outfit for 4-H, but I couldn't make up my mind what style to go with:)
I first gleaned inspiration for the dress when I watched The Story of Seabiscuit (Shirley Temple) with my little sisters. 
I absolutely love Shirley's dress here - it reminds me of Smucker's jam, and picnics, and darling little shoes, and everything vintage and sweet=)
Then when I saw the dress Debbie Reynolds is sporting in this photograph - I fell in love. ;)
Smart little pointed cuffs, a sailor collar, and a small check fabric with a lovely drape were all elements I incorporated into my outfit from these pictures.
I based the main pattern off of a vintage Simplicity blouse pattern used by my friend's mother when she was little.  The skirt piece is derived from my favorite half-circle skirt pattern, worn with a muslin petticoat (also made by me) underneath for the correct silhouette.
The belt and buckle are covered with matching fabric and sewn entirely by hand.  I drafted the sleeves, as well as the pattern for the pointed cuffs, and the three blue buttons are an antique find. 
The Costume
The suitcase is one of my most prized possessions - it belonged to my dear great-grandma (lovingly called G.G. by all her great-grandchildren).  A spunky Irish girl and the eldest of seventeen, Rose met and married a handsome American solider (my g-grandpa Logan) who was on leave in london after being shot down by German snipers in the French countryside in 1945.
She came over from England in 1946 as a war bride, meaning she journeyed all the way to America solo to meet her husband after the war was over.  Though not absolutely certain, I like to think this valise made the journey with her, all that brave and hope-filled voyage.
I am planning to make several posts in future sharing the amazing stories, fascinating memorabilia, and darling photographs entrusted to us by G.G, who passed away only two weeks ago after a short battle with cancer.  
This post is dedicated to her.
My gloves and sweet little handkerchief were a gift from a very dear friend, procured at an antique shop in California.
My hat, also bequeathed to me by my friend, is a cunning little affair of pleated blue velvet, held on with pearl-head hatpins.  I love the sailor-inspired buckle detail on the navy pumps=)
Posing with Rosie
I sincerely hope you enjoyed your visit - please do come back soon!
Yours, lovingly, 
P.S. Many thanks to Ellen for her talented (humorous) and dedicated assistance as a photographer!
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