Saturday, January 26, 2013

Book Review ~ When Hope Blooms

This is my 2nd Kim Vogel Sawyer book, and she is now one of my favorite authors!  I so enjoyed this gentle, sweet story of a Mennonite widow with 3 children.  Amy moves to Weaverly, Ks to start a new life.  Her young teen daughter, Bekah, is questioning if she wants to remain Mennonite.  Son Parker, age 10, is 'slow' due to a head injury at age 4.  And little daughter Adri, 5 years old, is a flittering butterfly of joy and fun!

Their neighbor is a quiet man named Tim, who left the Mennonite faith 20 years ago, rebelling against his father's strictness.  But he is consistently thrown into helping Amy and her children in their new home.

Amy's sweet, gentle nature, and the grace and love of fellow Mennonites in Weaverly are a consistent witness to Tim and make him question the choices he's made in the past 20 years.

This sweet story kept me up too late at night and had me riding my exercise bike extra minutes so that I could keep reading longer!
You won't be disappointed!



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Vintage Winter Tablescape

 One of the things I love about changing seasons and holidays is the opportunity to practice creativity in changing out my coffee table scape. 

 This antique sewing drawer has graced my home for about 1.5 years after I fell in love with it at a flea market.  I've been watching for a vintage muffin tin that I liked, and found this little sweetie this fall for just $4!  They are both lovely vintage blank-canvases in which I can create little seasonal scenes 4-6 different times a year.

The muffin tin is so cute because it is smaller than usual and has smaller cups than most.  Eight little pockets to stash something cute for each season.  

For January, my tin has a fortune cookie (we traditionally eat out at a Chinese buffet on New Year's Day!), a crocheted snowflake, a candle, red and white peppermints, and two little cups with Epsom salts in them for 'snow' and figurines that depict winter.  The other two cups hold a red and white ribbon wound into a mound and Scrabble tiles that spell JESUS.  :)

My sewing drawer vignette was inspired by my childhood copy of Frosty the Snowman.  All of the things in there with the book are things I already had...vintage cookie cutters are just begging me to make Sugar Cookies, yarn with the colors of the stuffed snowman reminds me to crochet, and the little scoop is my newest flea market treasure that I LOVE!
It's cute and small and roundish and has a red handle.  And is another little empty container that can hold something adorable and seasonal whenever I wish.

At Christmas, it held peppermints.  I'm pretty sure conversational candy hearts are in its near future.  :)

And lastly, I was glad to find that I had enough vintage blocks to spell out 2013 for the table, too.  A good reminder this first month of a brand new year as I try to remember to write the correct date!  And if you like the paper table scarf, it is just 6 pages from a vintage hymnal that I zigzagged together on my sewing machine, and then edged with a paper cutting tool.

The vintage things in my home that I've picked up for a few dollars here and there are my favorite accessories.  I'm a modern day mama with a vintage soul.  :)

Thanks for stopping by!  In just a week, I'll be adding some Valentine decor to my little tablescape...won't you?



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Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Home in Drayton Valley ~ A Book Review

Reading Christian fiction is my little daily vacation.  If a book is 'pretty good' then I read it just at bedtime til I get sleepy.  So some books take me more than a week to get through.  However this book not only got read at bedtime, but during the day in snippets here and there too!  It was really good!

I like stories that are a little bit different from the normal plots I have read time and again, and this one fits that bill.  Tarsie helps her sickly friend Mary, husband Joss, and their 2 wee ones to have the finances to move by wagon train from dirty, noisy downtown 1880 New York City to peaceful, rural Drayton Valley, KS.  The hope is that Mary's illnesses will lessen in a better environment.  However, Mary barely lives to see Kansas in the distance before her illness  consumes her.  Now Tarsie is left with the care of Mary's 2 little ones and the beligerent, prejudiced, ungodly Joss to finish the journey and set up a home.  What will happen?  Tarsie has promised Mary that she will love the children and even love Joss to the Lord.  But at what expense?

Kim Vogel Sawyer takes you on a wonderful journey with this unique story.  You will love it!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Felt Farm Animal Puppets

Our sweet little firstborn grandchild just turned one.  Happy 1st Birthday Carson Davis!!

His Momma dreamed up a darling birthday party for him.  The theme was Old MacDonald's Farm.  So farm animals played a large part in the decor.

Being that I love crafting, my daughter asked if I'd come up with some kind of table centerpieces for the tables where the guests would enjoy eating a farm fresh lunch!  "Of course!" I replied.

I found some cute farm animal ideas online and settled on these darling felt puppets.  I found these at Just Another Day in Paradise and was so glad that Larissa provided the patterns for free as well.  Cute for the party, and reusable throughout the years as fun toys!

I tweaked them a bit for my time schedule, just doing machine stitching around the outsides of the puppets, leaving raw edges, and sewing wrong sides together.  I used fabric glue to attach the faces and other details.  I did sew Kitty's whiskers on, using embroidery thread.

And here is how we displayed them on the tables...we sat each one over a small plastic cup turned upside down so that it would stand up, and then tucked some raffia around the base, as if it was in the barn.

Puppy got to welcome the gifts on the gift table.  :)  Carson will be able to play with these puppets when he is a bit older.  Since he loves animals so much, I'm sure they will star in many puppet shows over the years!  One little hint would be to make the body of the puppet a bit wider (another inch?) if you want adult hands to be able to wear the puppet.

Carson had such a fun birthday party!  Especially since our 2nd born grandchild, Eloise Mae, got to come too!  Eloise and Carson are just 7 weeks apart, and are sure to have GREAT fun over the years as cousins.  :)

And that's me.  Mimi!  I'm the happiest Mimi there ever was, when my arms are full of my granddarlings and my heart is full from having time with them.  There is nothing better!

Thank you for stopping in!  You'll find the puppet patterns HERE!

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